Wisair Introduces Wireless USB Display Dock for Apple Notebooks

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Date: Tuesday, February 9th, 2010, 05:21
Category: Accessory, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

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Getting a bit of a jump on the Macworld releases, peripheral company Wisair on Monday introduced a Wireless USB DisplayDock Set, allowing users to wirelessly connect their MacBooks to a desktop-like setup that include a monitor, speakers, a keyboard and mouse. Per Electronista, the device connects to a USB port on any MacBook and Wisair claims there are no delays in sending the keyboard or mouse commands due to the nature of the ultra wideband radio.

The pre-paired adapters have a 128-bit encrypted link for security, while maximum range is said to be 30 feet. Video tops out at a resolution of 1440×1050.

The Wireless USB DisplayDock Set requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. will ship by the end of March, though final pricing has yet to be revealed.

Cocktail 4.7 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2010, 05:13
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.7 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 2.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

-Adds clearing of Adobe Flash Player caches and cookies, as well as clearing of Google Chrome cookies, form values, history and page icons.

- The update also features overall performance improvements and addresses minor compatibility issues with Mac OS X Server.

Cocktail 4.7 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Releases Security Update 2010-001

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Date: Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, 06:58
Category: security, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released Security Update 2010-001 for its Mac OS X operating systems. The updates, which range between a 21 and 159 megabyte download (depending on operating system), address critical vulnerabilities in the system where hackers and malicious software can take advantage and either compromise the system or steal personal information.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later for the Mac OS X 10.5 operating system and Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later for the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system and can also be located and snagged with Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the updates and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

Apple Releases EFI Firmware 1.4 for Early 2009 Mac Pro

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 06:43
Category: Software

Albeit mobile devices are important, never forget your home desktop machines.

Late Monday, Apple released EFI Firmware 1.4 for the early 2009 Mac Pro desktop workstations. The update, a 1.9 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Improves compatibility with virtualization products utilizing VT-d.
- Improves storage performance under Windows XP for Boot Camp users.
- Improves system reliability during the boot process.

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Once downloaded, please follow the instructions in the updater application (/Applications/Utilities/MacPro EFI Firmware Update.app). The updater will launch automatically when the installation is complete.

The update requires an Intel-based early 2009 Mac Pro and Mac OS X 10.5 to install and run. The update can also be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update utility.

If you’ve installed the update and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

Adium Updated to 1.3.9

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Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 04:40
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.9.

The new version, a 21.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- 1.6 +Version 1.3.9 (01/11/2010).
- Updated libpurple to fix a security issue with custom emoticons.
- Corrected user icons not updating correctly on Snow Leopard.

Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Notebook Users Report Battery Errors Under Snow Leopard, Workarounds/Fixes Suggested

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Date: Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 06:43
Category: MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News

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Since installing it, I have to admit that I like Snow Leopard and it has yet to kick my pets or burn my apartment to the very ground.

These are good things.

Even so, per CNET, a large number of MacBook and MacBook Pro owners have noticed a problem with the computer frequently displaying a “Service Battery” warning in the battery system menu. This also seems to be coupled with relatively short battery life, either with the battery discharging rapidly or with the computer going to sleep but still reporting high percentage of charge left in the battery. As of the Mac OS 10.6.2 update, affected users are still experiencing the problem.

This problem appears to be an issue with Snow Leopard’s handling of the battery hardware, where the services that are supposed to detect battery problems are incorrectly reporting the battery status, and subsequently triggering the system to go into a precautionary sleep mode or claiming the battery is draining. This theory is backed up by the fact that affected people who have downgraded back to Leopard either by reinstalling, restoring from backup, or even booting off the 10.5 Leopard DVD have not had the problem occur on the same hardware.

A recent TUAW article suggests this behavior stems from Snow Leopard being fine-tuned to reveal existing battery problems that Leopard was not aware of. While this may be the case for some people, the sheer number of people reporting the problem indicates there may be errors in the software. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to discern those with pre-existing battery problems from those with healthy batteries.

In order to address the issue, the article offers the following tips to help sort things out via the mighty Apple Knowledge Base:

- Calibrating the battery

- Resetting the PRAM

- Resetting the SMC

Strangely, the battery issues have cleared for a few users who have just shut down and restarted their systems on a regular basis. While keeping the power supply plugged in to prevent any issued with the battery, they’ve turned off the machine and rebooted to see the battery being normally recognized. This suggests the problem may be with a setting more than a specific bug, that hopefully can be reset by a full restart. MacBook owners may tend to sleep their systems instead of restarting them, which will keep various settings from being refreshed.

Further supporting the claim of software issues in Snow Leopard is that some users have cleared the problem by booting into 64-bit mode. If you do not have any software that requires a 32-bit kernel and system extensions, try booting into 64-bit mode by restarting and holding down the “6″ and “4″ keys simultaneously. For some the problem has returned when booted back into 32-bit mode, but for others the switch to 64-bit mode has fixed it even when booted into 32-bit mode.

Another suggestion to address this problem is to remove the power management system preferences, which contains parameters that determine how the system will behave when running on either AC power, battery, or a UPS. This file is called “com.apple.PowerManagement.plist” and is located in the /Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ folder, and can be removed without harming anything. This isn’t a fix, however, and those who have done this have found it only seems to temporarily remove the warning in the battery system menu, and does not address the underlying issue.

Lastly, the issue may lie with the upgrade process itself, where settings for Leopard are not working with Snow Leopard. The temporary successes with removal of the Power Management property list suggests this may be a possibility. As a result, try booting off a clean OS installation of Snow Leopard to test the hardware.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end of have found a fix or workaround of your own, please let us know.

Google Chrome 4.0.249.49 Beta Released for Mac

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Date: Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 05:47
Category: Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 4.0.249.49 for the Mac. The new version, a 17.7 megabyte download, offers the following the following change:

- This release includes a relatively minor update that corrects a potential issue with our auto-update processes for Mac users.

Google Chrome requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve played with it and have an opinion, let us know what you think in the comments.

Google Chrome 4.0.249.43 Released for Mac

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Date: Friday, December 18th, 2009, 05:50
Category: News

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 4.0.249.43 for the Mac. The new version, a 17.7 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes in the beta:

- Fixed several common crashes.
- Added a notification says “xxx is synched.” if you are already synced and click that button.
- Known issue: You’ll get an error when checking for updates using the About Google Chrome dialog. ‘Update server not available’ (error : 12). Regardless of the error message, the update is successful.

Google Chrome requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve played with it and have an opinion, let us know what you think in the comments.

VMWare Releases Fusion 3.0.1

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Date: Friday, December 11th, 2009, 05:35
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 3.0.1 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, which can be found here, offers the following new features and fixes:

Highlighted New and Improved Features:
- Faster 3D performance, with Windows Experience scores 20-80% faster than before on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
- Reduced time for resuming virtual machines.
- Supports import of standalone VHD disks into VMware virtual machines.
- Supports import of Parallels Desktop 5 virtual machines into VMware virtual machines.
- New 64-bit native networking subsystem to match the 64-bit native engine.

PC Migration Agent and Migration Assistant Improvements:
- Adds support for Windows Server 2008 R2.
- Installer localized into all supported languages.
- Shows progress that VMware Tools are being installed in last step of migrating the PC.
- Does not automatically show the PC Migration Agent application in the resulting virtual machine.
- Adds only one network adapter to imported PC virtual machines.

A full list of changes and fixes can be found here.

Fusion 3.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

iSync Plugins 7.1.2.6 Released

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Date: Thursday, December 10th, 2009, 06:31
Category: Software

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iSync plugins, nova media’s shareware iSync extension package for Mac OS X and all-around useful utility that provides access to dozens of cell phones and handsets, received a small update over the weekend. Version 7.1.2.6, a 5.4 megabyte download, adds support for the following cell phone models:

- Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
- Nokia 5730 XpressMusic
- Nokia 6720 classic
- Nokia 6730 classic
- Nokia E55
- Nokia E72
- Samsung B2100
- Sony Ericsson Aino U10i
- Sony Ericsson F100i
- Sony Ericsson J105i
- Sony Ericsson Satio U1
- Sony Ericsson T715
- Sony Ericsson TM717
- Sony Ericsson Yari U100

iSync 7.1.2.6 retails for US$9.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 (under Mac OS X 10.4), Mac OS X 10.5.8 (under Mac OS X 10.5) and Mac OS X 10.6.2 (under Mac OS X 10.6) to install and run.