Apple offers first look at next-gen Mac Pro at WWDC

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Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 12:47
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News

The new Mac Pro is en route.

And it’s really, really, awesomely black.

Per Macworld, Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller unveiled the company’s upcoming Mac Pro during a “sneak peek” at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

The upcoming new desktop workstation features a sleek, cylindrical design that’s a stark contrast to the mammoth, roomy aluminum tower initially introduced with the PowerPC-based Power Mac G5 in 2003, and revised with the release of the Intel-based Mac Pro in 2006. Apple didn’t announce a formal ship date, stating that the new Mac Pro will ship later this year, nor did it talk about pricing or specific models. It will be designed and constructed in the United States.


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The new 9.9-inch tall Mac Pro case is about one-eighth the size of the Mac Pro tower and features a handle for carrying, and a motion sensor lights up to show the I/O ports. The new design, according to Schiller, is based around a “unified thermal core” to help keep the machine cool.

The unit will feature a Xeon E5 processor, which is based on Intel’s Haswell microarchitecture and introduced by the company last April. Configuration with 12-cores will be available, and all Mac Pros will use third-generation PCI Express architecture. Apple is also using 1866MHz ECC DDR3 RAM.

Schiller also went to great lengths to emphasize the new Mac Pro’s graphics performance. The machine will have dual AMD FirePro workstation-class GPUs, and be able to run three 4K displays at one time. Apple says the new Mac Pro’s graphics performance is 2.5 times faster than its predecessor.

The Mac Pro is designed for speed, and Apple is outfitting the machine with PCIe-based flash memory, not traditional SATA hard drives or solid-state drives. Apple touts speeds of 1.25 GBps for reads and 1.0 GBps for writes.

The computer will include the following ports:
– Audio out

– Headphone jack

– Four USB 3 ports

– Six Thunderbolt 2 ports

– Two gigabit Ethernet ports

– HDMI out

– Power

The most remarkable change with the Mac Pro is the elimination of expansion slots. The previous Mac Pro had a pair of 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 slots and a pair of 4-lane PCI Express 2.0 slots. For current owners who have filled their Mac Pro’s slots and still need to use their cards, you’ll have to invest in an external Thunderbolt expansion chassis that will house expansion cards and connect to the new Mac Pro via Thunderbolt.

During the new Mac Pro presentation, there was no visual evidence of an optical drive. With the elimination of the optical drive from the Mac mini, iMac, MacBook Air, and Retina MacBook Pro computers.

Each Thunderbolt 2 port supports up to six daisy-shained devices. With six Thunderbotl 2 ports, the Mac Pro can support up to 36 Thunderbolt peripherals.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to stream WWDC keynote to web site, iOS, Apple TV beginning at 10 AM PST

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Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 06:40
Category: News, Software

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We’re about two hours from the WWDC kickoff and its accompanying keynote address.

And it will, of course, be streamed.

Per 9to5Mac, like as it has done for some events in the past, Apple has pushed a WWDC app to Apple TV units overnight in order to access a live stream for today’s keynote, which is slated to start at 10 AM Pacific standard time.

Apple is expected to announce iOS 7, OS X 10.9, and a streaming music service at this event.

The keynote can be seen live at www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Security researchers to demo 30-pin dock connector hack/malware injection at Black Hat next month

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Date: Friday, June 7th, 2013, 07:57
Category: Hack, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, security, Software

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You’re not going to like this.

Per Senor O’Grady over on the Apple Core, a group of researchers from Georgia Tech have discovered a way to hack into an iPhone or iPad in less than a minute using a “malicious charger.” The group plans to present its findings at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on July 27, 2013.

Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song are presenting a session is called “Mactans: Injecting Malware Into iOS Devices Via Malicious Chargers” at the popular security conference next month. The name “Mactans” comes from Latrodectus Mactans, the highly venomous (and deadly) black widow spider.

According to the synopsis on the Black Hat website, the Mactans session will describe how USB capabilities can be leveraged to bypass Apple’s defense mechanisms built into the iPhone.

Jason’s got the full details, so head on over, take a gander and get ready to never completely trust your iOS device’s 30-pin dock connector again…

Apple, Sony reach agreement, all three major music labels signed of for anticipated WWDC iRadio launch

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Date: Friday, June 7th, 2013, 07:21
Category: News, Software

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Give them time at the negotiation table and they will come.

Per AppleInsider and AllThingsD, Sony Music, the last big kahuna they were waiting for, has reportedly signed a deal with Apple for its anticipated “iRadio” streaming music service, marking the last of the three major music labels to reach an agreement.

The story cites a source familiar with negotiations between the two companies, the agreement lending credence to the rumor that Apple is gearing up to unveil its rumored “iRadio” service at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

Details of the deal come just days after Apple was also said to have successfully courted Warner Music Group. Previously, Apple had already agreed to terms with Universal Music Group, rounding out the big three labels.

For months, reports have claimed that stalled negotiations with Sony in particular have been holding up Apple’s debut of “iRadio.” Specifically, it was said that a song skipping feature was a major stumbling block for the record label.

With Sony now on board, Apple is expected to announced “iRadio” at its WWDC keynote next Monday. The anticipated service is expected to be a direct competitor to established streaming music services like Pandora.

Apple is also said to be revising its iAd network to run audio advertisements as part of the service. Ad support is expected allow users to stream content from “iRadio” for free when it launches.

Google also recently stepped into the streaming Internet radio market with All Access, which launched in May. The search company’s subscription music service is expected to debut on iOS devices in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Developer locates data speed-throttling code in iOS for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint devices

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:49
Category: iPad, iPhone, News, Software

You might not like this.

Per Joseph Brown’s iTweakiOS and Cult of Mac, specialized code exists on iPhones and iPads operating on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, which limits the devices’ network settings to effectively caps data bandwidth.

Brown took snapshots of the iOS code managing the three carriers’ network settings as applied to an iPhone 5, all of which appear to hamstring the handset’s cellular data capabilities. For example, an AT&T iPhone 5 was limited to HSDPA “Category 10,” which tops out at 14.4Mbps. The second-largest U.S. carrier’s network is capable of supporting up to HSDPA+ speeds that reach 21.1Mbps.

As for Verizon, Brown found throttling code on the telecom’s versions of the iPhone and iPad relating to its 4G LTE network. Sprint, it seems, does not have such limitations enabled for its high-speed data offerings. Apple devices running on the 3G networks owned by both Verizon and Sprint, however, are also affected by similar limitations.

Because Apple is in complete control of the code running all of its devices, it can be posited that the company instituted the bandwidth caps at the behest of its partner carriers.

“[…] from previous statements released by AT&T and many tech orginizations [sic], iPhones are very complex devices with a very complex OS,” Brown writes. “The OS eats much more data, even when in idle mode, than most phones on the market. So by carrier request, Apple limits devices to ‘even out’ the network, even if it means Galaxy users out perform Apple devices by such large scales.”

In his testing, Brown did not find evidence of throttling on devices operating on T-Mobile’s network.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Aperture 3.4.5 update

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:00
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, Apple released version 3.4.5 of Aperture, its pro-grade image editing application. The new version, which is available as a direct download or via Mac OS X’s Software update feature, is a 548.6 megabyte download and offers the following fixes and changes:
– Addresses an issue that could cause Aperture to quit unexpectedly when deleting items from a camera or memory card after import.

– Memory cards are now ejected correctly when using the Delete Items option after import.

– Includes stability improvements.

Aperture 3.4.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases iTunes 11.0.4 update

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

These updates/bug fixes are getting a bit more common.

Not that that’s a bad thing.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 11.0.4 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 196.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
– New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork. In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.

– Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.

– Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.

– Fixes a problem that may cause iTunes to quit if you switch between wired and wireless syncing.

– Addresses an issue that may require you to log into the iTunes Store repeatedly.

iTunes 11.0.4 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.

Apple releases Security Update 2013-002 for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 operating systems

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Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2013, 06:40
Category: News, security, Software

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There were security updates yesterday.

And we’re still trying to figure out what was specifically changed.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple released security updates for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and Lion (OS X 10.7) on Tuesday, for both the client and server versions of the OSes.

The patch notes for all four updates say precisely nothing, and Apple’s security update page—where security patch notes get released—has not yet been updated with these releases.

Still, if you’re running Mac OS X 10.6 or later, make sure to run the Software Update feature to snag and install the latest updates.

For those of you who like the direct approach, here are the download links for the updates:
About Security Update 2013-002 (Lion) – 57.68MB

About Security Update 2013-002 Server (Lion) – 105.61MB

About Security Update 2013-002 (Snow Leopard) – 329.85MB

About Security Update 2013-002 Server (Snow Leopard) – 404.83MB

If you’ve tried the security updates and noticed any differences, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases Safari 6.0.5 update

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Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2013, 06:26
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released Safari 6.0.5, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 342.33 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:

– Improves stability for some websites with chat features and games.

Safari 6.0.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8.3 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.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.4 update

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Date: Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, 14:40
Category: News, Software

You’ve been waiting for it and it’s here.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 10.8.4 of its OS X Mountain Lion operating system. The new version, a 342 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
– Compatibility improvements when connecting to certain enterprise Wi-Fi networks.

– Microsoft Exchange compatibility improvements in Calendar.

– A fix for an issue that prevented FaceTime calls to non-U.S. phone numbers.

– A fix for an issue that may prevent scheduled sleep after using Boot Camp.

– Improved VoiceOver compatibility with text in PDF documents.

– Includes Safari 6.0.5.

OS X 10.8.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.8 to install and run, the update itself being attainable by using OS X’s Software Update feature.

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