World of Warcraft 2.2 to Feature MacBook-Specific Improvements

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Date: Monday, July 16th, 2007, 08:07
Category: Software

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In other news, Blizzard Entertainment has released a new beta version of its World of Warcraft massive multiplayer online role playing game.
The version 2.2 beta, which according to Macworld News, has yet to be released to the public, will include changes such as bug-fixes, revised items, player balancing and the ability to capture gameplay footage via QuickTime.
The new version will require Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later and QuickTime 7.1.6 or later to be able to make use of the new QuickTime functionality.
Perhaps the most interesting new change for portable users are graphics optimizations that are being made. The new version will incorporate changes which utilize AltiVec on PowerPC-based Macs and SSE on Intel-based Macs. The changes are expected to yield performance boosts on Macs wherein vertex animation shaders aren’t available such as the Mac Minis and MacBooks, which use Intel integrated video systems as opposed to specific graphic cards.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on this, let us know over in the forums.

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Apple Confirms iPhone Battery Software Bug

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Date: Monday, July 16th, 2007, 08:05
Category: iPhone

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No matter how much you love your new iPhone, there may be some bugs to sort out.
As the result of a survey held over at The Cell Blog in which over 60% of respondents mentioned that their iPhone didn’t display a fully charged battery, a new comment has emerged.
An Apple PR representative responded with the following: “Your battery is fully charged, but the UI (User Interface) is just not correctly reflecting this. We expect to fix this in a software update.”
No word has been given as to when to expect the software update and Apple apparently has yet to publish any information regarding this bug.
If you’ve seen something similar to the bug in your experience with your own iPhone or have thoughts or ideas about this, let us know over in the forums.

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Guide Posted for Adding Custom Ringtones/Tweaks to iPhone

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Date: Friday, July 13th, 2007, 13:31
Category: iPhone

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When the iPhone shipped a few weeks ago, it arrived without custom ringtones. I’ve told a few people who’ve groused about it that Apple might be sorting out an arrangement with a ringtone provider and that this might be taken care of in the first software update.
They weren’t terribly happy with that answer and I wasn’t that happy to give it. For US$499 and US$599, this seemed like a basic feature that should have been covered.
The guys over at iPhoneAlley may have a solution in the mean time. According to a guide that was just posted, a user named “Mubs” recently submitted a full tutorial to the site’s forums as to how to install custom ringtones to your iPhone.
It’s a bit technical and not for the faint of heart, but site head Michael Johnston reported that it worked perfectly on his iPhone and this is good enough for me.
So, if you get a chance, check it out and let us know how it goes in the forums.

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iPhone Battery Details Explained

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Date: Friday, July 13th, 2007, 10:03
Category: iPhone

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We’ve been talking about the iPhone battery a fair amount this week and while there’s apparently no clear explanation as to whether there’s a bug in the software that controls it’s charge, the guys at Macworld were able to get to the bottom of the battery’s specific functions and expected life span in this article by Jason Snell.
Here, Snell explains that while the iPhone’s battery – like any other – can be expected to eventually die, reports by outlets such as CNET that the battery will last for about 400 charges or two years of use are being debunked.
Apple marketing vice president Greg Joswiak went on the record to comment that the iPhone’s battery can be expected to lose about 20% of its overall capacity “after 400 full charge and discharge cycles.”
Joswiak then went on to explain that “topping a battery off”, or recharging it from three quarters to full, qualified as a quarter charge cycle.
Joswiak also commented that tips toward battery conservation had been posted on the iPhone web site and that use and performance would vary from user to user.
For users needing to replace their battery a few years down the line, Apple will apparently offer a battery-replacement program, replacing batteries that die young and are under Apple’s warranty for free.
If you have any ideas on this or have seen some strangeness via your own iPhone battery, let us know over in the forums.

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iPhone Codes Leaked

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Date: Friday, July 13th, 2007, 09:53
Category: iPhone

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Although the iPhone is still being unlocked, there’s still some cool hacks for you to try on your own.
The thoroughly-awesome Erica Sadun over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog discovered that certain Nokia phone codes were effective on an iPhone. She then Googled some other Nokia codes and found them to work as well.
So, for your edification:
“*3001#12345#* and tap Call. Enter Field Mode.
Field mode reveals many of the inner settings of your iPhone, specifically up-to-date network and cell information.
*#06# Displays your IMEI. No need to tap Call.
IMEI is the unique identifier for your cell phone hardware. Together with your SIM information it identifies you to the provider network.
*777# and tap Call. Account balance for prepaid iPhone.
*225# and tap Call. Bill Balance. (Postpaid only)
*646# and tap Call. Check minutes. (Postpaid only)
These three are pretty self explanatory.
*#21# and tap Call. Setting interrogation for call forwards.
Discover the settings for your call forwarding. You’ll see whether you have voice, data, fax, sms, sync, async, packet access, and pad access call forwarding enabled or disabled.
*#30# and tap Call. Calling line presentation check.
This displays whether you have enabled or disabled the presentation of the calling line, presumably the number of the party placing the call.
*#76# and tap Call. Check whether the connected line presentation is enabled or not.
State whether the connected line presentation is enabled or disabled. Presumably similar to the calling line presentation.
*#43# and tap Call. Determine if call waiting is enabled.
Displays call waiting status for voice, data, fax, sms, sync data, async data, packet access and pad access. Each item is either enabled or disabled.
*#61# and tap Call. Check the number for unanswered calls.
Show the number for voice call forwarding when a call is unanswered. Also show the options for data, fax, sms, sync, async, packet access and pad access.
*#62# and tap Call. Check the number for call forwarding if no service is available.
Just like the previous, except for no-service rather than no-answer situations.
*#67# and tap Call. Check the number for call forwarding when the iPhone is busy.
And again, but for when the iPhone is busy.
*#33# and tap Call. Check for call control bars.”
Give it a shot and let us know what comes up on your end over in the forums.

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Netscape 9.0 Beta 2 Released

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Date: Friday, July 13th, 2007, 08:26
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Netscape released the second public beta of its upcoming Netscape 9.0 web browser for the Mac. The new beta, a 16.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
-Visual Refresh – Netscape Navigator 9′s theme has been updated to save screen-space and leave more room for the websites you visit.
-URL Correction – Navigator 9 will automatically correct common typos in URLs. For example, if you accidentally type googlecom, Navigator will fix it be to google.com.
-The browser will watch for nearly 30 different types of common mistakes and correct them for you (asking you to confirm, if you choose to enable confirmation).
Click the jump for the full story…

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AT&T Under Fire for iPhone Termination Fees

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2007, 11:11
Category: iPhone

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Despite the favorable reviews it’s received in the few weeks since its debut, the policies surrounding the iPhone came under fire yesterday when Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, had some choice words about AT&T’s termination fees.
According to The Boston Herald, Markey criticized AT&T’s US$175 early termination fee as well as AT&T acting as the exclusive provider for the iPhone until 2012 in yesterday’s hearings.
During his speech, Markey described the iPhone as akin to the Eagles’ song, “Hotel California”, in which “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave – you’re stuck with your iPhone and you can’t take it anywhere.‚Äù
The comment arose during a hearing to decide whether Congress should grant the cell-phone industry’s wish of being allowed to pre-empt states from regulating wireless phone companies. Individual state public utility commission currently hold the authority to regulate both the terms and conditions of wireless service agreements.
If you have any ideas or thoughts on this, let us know via the forums.

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iPodVolumeBooster 1.3 Released

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2007, 10:42
Category: Software

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I’m not sure how useful this is, but it could be cool. Hans-Peter Dusel’s iPodVolumeBooster program has just been updated to version 1.3. The program acts as a workaround for the volume-limited iPods sold in Europe and works around the 100 decibel sound output restriction.
The program itself alters a database used by the iPod, thereby allowing with MP3 and AAC song files to remain unaltered.
Version 1.3, a 1.1 megabyte download, repairs the following bugs:
-iPodVolumeBooster now recognizes titles on the iPod.
-The new version now recognizes external iTunes music libraries.
iPodVolumeBooster is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have feedback about it, let us know in the forums.

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Reports Surface of iPhone Batteries Not Fully Charging

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2007, 08:12
Category: iPhone

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Getting back to the iPhone, the guys at iPhone Atlas and MacFixIt are reporting that a surprisingly high number of iPhone owners have stated that their batteries aren’t charging completely. In these cases, the universal plug icon fails to appear, which brings into question whether the battery itself is fully charging.
The iPhone Atlas article recommends charging the iPhone for at least 10 hours as a means of optimizing the unit’s battery life. If this has taken place, try restoring the device as well as fully draining the battery and recharging.
In some cases, iPhones have been failing to charge unless they were turned off, then plugged into a wall outlet. Should this happen, the article recommends contacting Apple for possible repairs or a warranty replacement.
If any of you have seen this on your iPhone, let us know in the forums.

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Microsoft Office 2004 Updated to Version 11.3.6

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2007, 08:32
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Microsoft released version 11.3.6 of its Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac suite. The new version, a 15.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
Improvements for Excel 2004
-Security is improved: This update fixes vulnerabilities in Excel 2004 that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.
Improvements for Entourage 2004:
-Microsoft Exchange public folder data loss issue is fixed: This update fixes an issue that causes data loss when public folder users who have a permission level of “Editor” or greater use Entourage to empty the cache for all public folders on the server running Exchange Server.
-Japanese postal code dictionary is updated: The Japanese postal code dictionary is updated with the latest information as of May 2007.
The update can be downloaded directly from Microsoft’s web site as well as through the Microsoft AutoUpdate application, which is typically found in Mac OS X’s Applications folder after the software has been installed.
Microsoft Office 2004 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to run and varies in price depending on the version purchased.
If you’ve had either a positive or negative experience with the new version of Office 2004, let us know in the forums.

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