Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.4.2 update

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Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 10:29
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, Microsoft released its Microsoft Office 2011 14.4.2 update. The update, a 119 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and features:

- Improves activation in Office for Mac 2011 – This update fixes an issue in which product activation is always required after you restart a computer that uses an Apple Fusion Drive. After you install this update, product activation may be requested one more time.

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Apple releases iTunes 11.2.2 update

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Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 10:39
Category: iTunes, News, Software

ITunes_11_Logo

The iTunes updates have been fast and frequent of late…

On Wednesday, Apple released version 11.2.2 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 235.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This update fixes a problem where certain podcast episodes may download unexpectedly after upgrading and includes several stability improvements.

iTunes 11.2.2 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Microsoft throws efforts behind Skype Translator real-time translation tool, says beta will be available this year

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Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014, 10:09
Category: News, Software

skypelogo

This could be interesting.

Per TechHive, before the end of 2014, Microsoft plans to release a beta Skype app that will enable real-time translation of people verbally speaking in different languages.

“Skype Translator”, as Microsoft has termed it, appears to be an extension of the real-time translation Microsoft has been developing over ten years.

As Microsoft notes, however, the new Skype Translator simply makes more sense than a dedicated app, given the different scenarios in which Skype is used: in business, to talk to friends and relatives internationally, and in education.

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Rumor: Apple to begin manufacturing larger iPhone 6 models in July, August

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 11:22
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

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When KGRI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo releases a report about forthcoming Apple products, people tend to listen.

Per Boy Genius Report and DigiTimes, Apple, which is expected to release a larger format iPhone in 2014 (rumors pointing towards a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone phablet), could release the larger devices sooner than expected.

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Rumor: Apple could announce home automation technologies at WWDC

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 11:36
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Software, WWDC

Unknown

It may not be a complete “Jetsons” future, but it might be Apple automating parts of your home.

And it might be announced as early as next week at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Per The Mac Observer and Financial Times, anonymous sources have told the Financial Times that Apple will unveil its plans on June 2 in front of developers and the media. Apple will introduce a new platform for controlling in-home devices such as lights, appliances, and security systems that will also tie in to a new version of Apple TV to be introduced later this year.

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Is Apple doing anything about iCloud breach?!

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 08:16
Category: Apple, Hack, iCloud, iOS, iPhone, security

icloud-iconUnfortunately, Apple has not acknowledged the supposed hack into the iCloud systems, and rarely comments publicly on such matters, so we’ll just have to hope they are working towards protecting users’ accounts. The incursion was claimed by two hackers going by the handles AquaXetine and MerrukTechnolog, who form Team DoulCi (derived by spelling “iCloud” backwards-ish). The hack exploits an iCloud security flaw that allows someone to bypass Apple’s Activation Lock system to unlock a lost or stolen iPhone. By utilizing the DoulCi web site, and making a simple change to a file on your computer, the iPhone can be fooled into thinking DoulCi’s site is actually Apple’s iCloud servers.

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Energous developing wireless Wattup technology, could allow for gadget charging across a room

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Date: Friday, May 23rd, 2014, 14:23
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News, wireless

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We’ve all dreamed of charging our devices from across the room.

This may soon be a reality.

Per the MIT Technology Review, startup Energous is developing a technology called WattUp that will allow you to charge smartphones, tablets, and other small gadgets from across a room without wires.

Energous hopes other companies will license this technology and build it into all kinds of products and places, so you can easily power your iPad while sitting on the couch or top off your phone while buying a coffee in an airport. It will face competition, however, from a startup called Witricity that uses a different method, and already has the backing of some major electronics companies.

For now, WattUp’s technology is still in the demo stage. But it works and devices can be charged wirelessly if they are connected to an external receiver, or slotted into a special protective case.

During a recent demonstration, an iPhone was plugged into a white device shaped like a smartphone atop a little stand. Another iPhone sits on the table, wearing a bulky Energous case. Across the table, a briefcase-sized wireless energy transmitter sits on another tripod and a plug dangling from that was plugged into the wall.

The demonstration showed the iPhone’s charge progress, as measured via an app on a nearby iPad, the wireless energy transmitter being controlled via an app on the iPad. A small beep indicated that the iPhone’s charge cycle had begun and recharging works more than 10 feet from where the power is emitted, and you can move the device around while it’s charging.

The most common wireless-charging technology currently available is magnetic induction, which uses coils to transfer power over small distances via a magnetic field. This is the method used to recharge electric toothbrushes, for example.

Energous’s charging method uses a transmitter with lots of small antennas to send radio waves to a receiver connected to the gadget being charged. The transmitter uses Bluetooth to scan for nearby gadgets that are authorized to receive a charge. Once it finds one, the transmitter directs radio waves toward the receiver, which collects them and converts their energy to DC power so it can charge the phone.

The transmitter and receivers Energous brings to my office can send power to two devices that require less than 10 watts of power at a distance of up to 15 feet; eventually, Energous says, it will be able to charge more gadgets at a time.

The company expects the first products using its technology—such as smartphone cases that can deliver wireless power to the devices—to be shown off by partner companies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next January and go on sale later in the year. Company representatives had predicted that a phone case would cost about US$75 to US$125, which is within the range of what you’d pay today for a case that provides extended battery life, though the transmitter for charging things probably would cost around US$300.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Safari 6.1.4 update

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Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 16:14
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

On Thursday, Apple released Safari 6.1.4, an update to its web browser for its OS X 10.7 and 10.8 operating systems. The new version, a 52.9 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

According to Macworld, it’s also been rumored that Apple is currently working on a significant security update for the iOS version of its Safari web browser, the company having been criticized for patching discrepancies between the iOS and OS X versions of the software.

Safari 6.1.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.7.5 or OS X 10.8.5 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

Apple comments on iMessage text bug issue, says fix is en route

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Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 12:18
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software, Windows

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There’s a fix en route for Apple’s current iMessage bug.

That’s the good news.

Per The Mac Observer and Re/code, a long-standing iMessage bug that failed to deliver some text messages to users who switched to Android or Windows smartphones from the iPhone will be fixed.

The problem can crop up when someone who currently uses an iPhone sends a text message to someone who switched from an iPhone to an alternate smartphone platform, but keeps the same phone number. Apple’s iMessage system sees the number as still attached to an iCloud account, and fails to send messages as regular SMS to the new phone. The sender sees the messages as delivered even though they never made it to the recipient.

Removing your phone number from iMessages before switching to an Android or Windows smartphone should prevent that from happening, but that hasn’t proven to be a reliable method for moving back to standard SMS texting.

Apple has now acknowledged the problem, and promised a fix is on the way. “We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” the company offered in a recent statement.

The announcement came on the heels of potential legal action against Apple over the issue. The case implies that Apple is in some way blocking text messages sent from iPhones to other smartphones and is penalizing switchers by not disclosing the issue.

Apple has yet to offer any form of comment on the possibility of litigation in this case.

Apple releases Safari 7.0.4 update

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Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 11:43
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

Late Wednesday, Apple released Safari 7.0.4, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 53.7 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

Safari 7.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9.3 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.