Apple Releases AirPort 2006-002 Update for Core 2 Duo-Based Laptops

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:10
Category: Software

On December 13th, Apple released its AirPort 2006-002 for its Intel Core 2 Duo-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops according to an article on MacFixIt.com.
The update purportedly “improves compatibility” for the 13″ MacBook as well as the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro units. The update requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to be present prior to installation.
No additional documentation or Knowledge Base documents have been provided or cited in this software release.
The update is a 1.3 megabyte standalone download that can also be accessed through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you have any experiences with this update, positive or negative, let us know.

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VLC 0.8.6 Released, Becomes Universal Binary

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 10:32
Category: Software

Video Lan Client (VLC), the popular free “catch-all” media player for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux (where QuickTime falls short or isn’t licensed to play a format, this has become the easy substitute), has been updated to version 0.8.6 according to an article on arstechnica.
VLC 0.8.6, which is about an 11 to 22.7 megabyte download, is now a Universal Binary program capable of running natively on both Apple’s PowerPC and Intel hardware architectures and includes support for the Apple Remote, Windows Media Video 9 files, VC-1, VP5/VP6, Flash video, TTA, WavPack lossless audio and Shoutcast TV files. H.264 support has also been rewritten for this version.
VLC is an open-source project. For information as to how to beta test or contribute code to the effort, click here.

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New Software Snags Pictures of Would-Be Laptop Intruders

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 07:34
Category: Software

The Unofficial Apple Weblog and MacOSXHints have done their homework today to bring up a few nifty tools for laptop security using what’s already there to catch would-be intruders incorrectly entering passwords to try to gain access to your computer; your Intel-based MacBook or MacBook Pro’s built-in iSight camera.
Authsight by Jonathan Zdziarski, uses a monitoring daemon program which turns on the iSight camera after an invalid password has been entered and begins to take pictures of the intruder. The program is script-based and requires the iSightCapture command line tool to function.
Several commercial security solutions are available via the TUAW link and the article makes a good overall point; this is the time of year when the most laptops are stolen and a few additional precautions aren’t a bad idea. Short of renting a mastiff and its shotgun-wielding owner to guard your hardware this year, a few cool freeware, shareware and commercial applications could provide the peace of mind you’re looking for this holiday season.

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Aperture 1.5.2 Update Released

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 08:11
Category: Software

aperture-300.jpgMy favorite image management application, Aperture 1.5, has been updated to version 1.5.2. The 129MB update is substantial addressing a number of issues. If you have more than 5000 images in your iPhoto library or you use a digital SLR camera, you really should consider switching to Aperture in the new year. The download is available in Software Update or as a direct download.
Aperture 1.5.2 addresses issues related to overall reliability and performance in a number of areas, including:
- Contact sheet printing
- Smart Albums
- Watermarks
- Lift and stamp
- Image export
- Versions created using an external editor
This update is recommended for all Aperture users.
Note: If you haven’t already done so, it is strongly recommended that you also download the Digital Camera RAW Support Update 1.0.1, which is available on the Apple Downloads support page at http://www.apple.com/support/downloads.
The Digital Camera RAW Support Update provides RAW file format compatibility for the following digital SLR cameras:
- Canon Digital Rebel XTi / 400D / Kiss X Digital
- Nikon D80
- Pentax *ist DS
The Digital Camera RAW Support Update also addresses the following issues:
Handling of large Canon RAW files (.CRW)
DNG compatibility on Intel-based Macintosh computers
Lines sometimes appearing in images exported from Aperture

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CoolBook Update Fixes Controller App Bugs

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 15:05
Category: Software

CoolBook author Magnus Lundholm has released an e-mail to registered users as well as download links to a new build of his shareware application.
The program, a 688 kilobyte download, allows users to monitor their MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops’ CPU frequency, voltage and temperatures with registered users being allowed to manually set their voltage and frequency. Corrected settings can significantly reduce heat dissipation throughout the laptop as well as overall fan noise and help extend the life of their batteries.
The update repairs a damaged build of the CoolBook Controller application that may result in problems activating the program or if an error occurs when clicking the “deactivate original driver” box doesn’t show a window requiring authorization.
CoolBook is available for a $10.00 shareware registration fee.

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MiniBatteryLogger Tracks Battery Activities

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:23
Category: Software

Claudio Procida has today released version 1.5.2 of MiniBatteryLogger, a $15 shareware application that allows the user to view battery data such as charge and amperage over time as well as the ability to track this data via customizable colors and indicators for power events, such as surges and drains. Stored data is saved to a log file which tracks time and event occurrence while the program makes sense of this by creating charts, graphs and easy visual markers to follow.
Like other battery tracking programs, MiniBatteryLogger also shares details about your battery’s charge, actual, maximum and original capacities, amperage, voltage, cycle count, and estimated times to complete refill and discharge a battery.
The program is also compatible with the uber-cool Growl system notification program and can alert users via this application.
MiniBatteryLogger is a 2.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is written as a Universal Binary and runs cleanly on both the PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

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Thin Client Technologies En Route for Mac OS X 10.5

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 09:10
Category: Software

Although Apple’s reported iPhone has snagged an incredible amount of attention in recent weeks, a slew of new technologies appear to be en route to Mac OS X 10.5 according to a report by Macworld UK.
Thin client technologies generally center around a larger host and save data remotely to hard drives and online services.
Reported new features in iCal and new capacities within recent and upcoming builds of Mac OS X Server point toward devices like the iPhone and others that can integrate between Mac OS X and the Macintosh platform, according to a recent report by AppleInsider.
The report cites that Apple has demonstrated some of the new integration features to some parties, the features relying on an unreleased version of .Mac. These features include the ability to beam contacts, remotely control and gain access to calendars and appointment schedules, the Mac acting as a hub of sorts while sending data to a consolidated center where other computers can access it upon logging in from other locations.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about this, let us know.

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AppZone: Apple’s iPhone Spoken Quickly?

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Date: Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 12:10
Category: iPhone



PCS Intel
has avoided the constant iPhone rumor mill (which has been running
strong since about when PCS Intel was started… three years ago).
However, new documents have leaked out, and confirmation from industry
sources appears concerted on the same information.

Verizon’s latest projected launch estimate has set for launch
on Janurary 30 a product called “AppZone”. It is odd and rare for a
product to appear within 60 days before shipping with nothing known
about it. AppZone, when spoken slowly, does resemble “Apple’s Phone”.
This is also in-line with Digg founder Kevin Rose’s statements earlier this week, indicating that iPhone will be available on all carriers at-launch.

PCS Intel – AppZone: Apple’s iPhone Spoken Quickly?

technorati tags:

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iPhone ‘an almost definite certainty’, allegedly

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Date: Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 10:00
Category: iPhone

iphone-slider-250.jpgThe iPhone rumour mill has been cranked up to eleven by Digg.com founder Kevin Rose claiming that the new iPhone will be ‘small as sh*t’. Which, as any qualified scatologist knows, is very, very, very, very small. Possibly.
Rose also claimed that users should be able to use it on any GSM network, and that it almost certainly has a slide-out keyboard.
He also claimed that it will have two batteries: one for the music-playback, the other for the phone. This pretty much confirms that his story isn’t bogus because, as we all know, two small batteries are (nearly always) a LOT better than one big battery. Maybe.
He also thinks two iPhones will ship: a 4GB and an 8GB model, costing $249 and $449 respectively. This has the ring of truth. The iPhone will need memory, and (in the United States at least) be priced in dollars.
What Kevin Rose didn’t say (probably because he didn’t have time, or maybe just forgot) is that the new iPhone will nearly certainly feature WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a full suite of contact management utilities that synchronise effortlessly with Macs and PCs, a 5 megapixel digital camera (with optical zoom), voice recognition, a full range of flash-memory slots, a built-in high-resolution projector, and a virtual projector keyboard.
He also omitted to confirm that the iPhone would weigh less than 10 grammes, be a mere 3mm thick, and that the built-in screen would allow the viewing of hi-def video at full resolution.
He was probably wanting to leave Steve Jobs with a few ‘just one more thing’ announcements. Possibly.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan

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iCyclone Allows Users to Set Custom Fan Speeds

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Date: Monday, December 4th, 2006, 07:47
Category: Software

Kkillian has released iCyclone, an open source donation-ware program that allows users to manually set the minimum speeds of built-in fans for Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro Intel-based laptops.
The program allows a custom spin rate to be set as well as an optimal rate to be found automatically while not spinning below the hardware’s recommended specifications in order to protect the hardware.
iCyclone’s source code is available for download while the program itself is a quick 544 kilobyte download from the uber-useful MacUpdate.com.
The program is available for free albeit the author asks for the occasional donation via Paypal.
iCyclone requires an Intel-based MacBook or MacBook Pro laptop and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

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