Microsoft Announces Windows 7 Pricing, Upgrades, Release Date

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Date: Friday, June 26th, 2009, 04:00
Category: News

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Microsoft let the Windows 7 details fly on Thursday with news of lower Windows 7 upgrade prices as well as a concession that lets owners of the now 8-year-old Windows XP move up to the new operating system at a lower price.

According to AppleInsider, Microsoft detailed the pricing for the three editions of Windows 7 that customers would be likely to find in stores.

In a bid to placate those upset by elevated Vista pricing, some versions of Windows 7 will be less expensive than Vista has been in the past. At retail, a Home Premium upgrade will cost US$120 (US$40 less than it did when Vista was new) while its stand-alone version has dropped a similar amount to US$200. Buying a copy of Professional will retail for US$200 (upgrade) or US$300 (full) as it has in the past, but Windows 7 Ultimate will cost US$220 to upgrade versus the US$260 for Vista Ultimate in 2007. A full copy of the new Ultimate release costs US$320 versus US$400 two years ago.

Customers eager enough to pre-order the new OS before it ships on October 22nd will pay even less. Starting Friday, advance orders for Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional upgrades will retail for US$50 and US$100 each in the United States and should last until July 11th or until stock runs dry. Many PC vendors, including HP, will also offer upgrades to Windows 7 for free or for a small cost on any PC sold from Friday until Windows 7 comes preloaded on the new computers.

Microsoft also announced that those using the now two generations old Windows XP OS can upgrade their OS rather than pay full retail pricing. However, due to the change in architectures between Windows XP and 7, buyers will have to perform a clean install rather than the in-place upgrade Vista owners can use.

Current builds of Windows 7 function well under Apple’s Boot Camp technology and are expected to be supported by virtualization programs such as Parallels Desktop and VMware.

Apple To Buy Additional 2.2 Million Shares of Imagination Technologies

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Date: Friday, June 26th, 2009, 04:45
Category: Hardware, News

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Apple may be expanding in component companies once again, as Macworld UK is reporting that Apple has upped its stake in British outfit Imagination Technologies, the London-based company that developed the technology used in the 3G iPhone’s graphics chips

Imagination Technologies has stated that Apple is to acquire 2.2 million of its shares at £1.4275 (about US$2.351 per share.

Apple already owned shares in Imagination’s technology. On 18 December 2008, Imagination revealed in a filing with the London Stock Exchange that Apple acquired 8,200,000 shares, equal to a 3.6% stake in the company.

London-based Imagination Technologies develops intellectual property found in systems-on-chip (SOCs), including its Meta processor cores and PowerVR graphics engines.

A graphics chip based on PowerVR provides the graphics for Apple’s 3G iPhone and other companies, including Samsung Electronics and Intel, have licensed Imagination’s graphics technology.

Elgato Releases EyeTV 3.1.2 Update

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Date: Friday, June 26th, 2009, 04:01
Category: Mac, Software

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Late Thursday, Elgato Systems released version 3.1.2 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, which can be found here (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0′s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:

  • For EyeTV Hybrid (US 2009 and EU 2008 models), as well as some older devices, when capturing analog video, the timeshift setting in Preferences > Devices is now applied while recording. When timeshifting is off, recordings will use less CPU, and will display with a lower latency.
  • Quit and Sleep commands were added to EyeTV’s overlay menu.
  • Pressing the “Stop” button on the infrared remote control while playing back a recording in the EyeTV overlay menu now features an option to delete the recording.
  • Added support for widescreen (16:9) analog capture for all recent Elgato branded hardware. To enable widescreen capture, select “Stretch” from the View > Aspect Ratio menu. This feature is for capture of sources set to output 16:9 pictures squeezed into a standard definition output, usually set top boxes and DVD players. The output device should be set to 16:9 or “wide” output (as if it were feeding a widescreen TV).
  • To cycle through EyeTV’s different aspect ratio options, select View > Aspect Ratio > Rotate or press Command-Option-5.
    For NTSC set top boxes connected via RF modulation, EyeTV now supports channels 2 through 69 instead of 3 and 4.
  • To aid in solving problems downloading TV Guide data, EyeTV now features a Gemstar Program Guide Diagnostics window, accessible from the Help menu. In order to obtain the most current TV Guide data, EyeTV now additionally downloads data for the second and seventh day out.

New Hardware:

  • Support was added for the Devolo dLAN TV Sat, a DVB-S2 network tuner.

Bug Fixes:

  • A problem where EyeTV for DTT was not recognized by the EyeTV Setup Assistant has been resolved.
  • Problems detecting channels on DVB-S and DVB-S2 transponders with very high data rates have been resolved.
  • Teletext highlighting now work when viewing in transparent mode.
  • A crash at launch with corrupt preferences has been fixed.
  • Crashes while using the auto-update feature have been eliminated.
  • Invalid TitanTV Remote Scheduling account settings were not being reported correctly.
  • For improved compatibility with Remote Buddy, direct AppleScript access to some overlay menus was added.
  • The Apple Remote can no longer put the Mac to sleep while EyeTV is recording.
  • A problem where EyeTV would not wake up for recordings if the Energy Saver System Preference contained scheduled sleep/shutdown times has been fixed.
  • Problems exporting recordings with multiple Dolby Digital audio tracks have been resolved.
  • Several crashes while exporting have been fixed.
  • Added support for Eastern European ISO-8859-2 and ISO-8859-5 encodings for channel names and programming guide data.
  • EyeTV no longer cancels downloading the programming guide when encountering minor errors.
  • EyeTV now displays the file size number formatting in the international display format selected by the user.
  • Teletext in subtitle (“transparent”) mode no longer inhibits the timeshift overlay.
  • EyeTV now correctly sorts SmartGuide results by the “Where” column.
  • France 2 HD and Arte HD are now automatically assigned to tvtv.
  • A hang while quitting EyeTV in the middle of a program guide download has been eliminated.
  • The EyeTV MPEG Support Component has been updated to fix an incompatibility with Perian and other MPEG-4 decoders that resulted in the first frame always being green.
  • Exports to H.264 now include the QuickTime color info extension and the field info extension when the source is interlaced. This resolves dark playback in QuickTime Player.
  • EyeTV now supports DivX 7.
  • EyeTV is now compatible with the latest release of Flip4Mac Windows Media QuickTime components.
  • The overlay menu now responds to infrared commands after changing inputs.
  • A problem with white stripes at the edges of Apple TV exports with close captioning has been resolved.
  • EyeTV no longer crashes at launch when there is a corrupted text-to-speed voice installed.
  • After automatically updating to the latest version, the old version of EyeTV is always moved to the Trash.

EyeTV 3.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$79.95.

Apple Releases Apple TV 2.4 Firmware

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Date: Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 05:52
Category: Apple TV, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released version 2.4 of its firmware for the Apple TV set top box. The new firmware, which can be downloaded via Apple TV’s Software Update feature, boasts the following fixes and changes:

  • Remote app directional control: Control your Apple TV with simple finger gestures via the Remote app. This feature requires Remote 1.3 running on an iPhone or iPod touch with iPhone OS 3.0.
  • Flickr Search: Search Flickr photo tags to find recently updated photos of interest. Save searches to quickly find new photos or use as a screen saver for Apple TV.
  • New view options: View movies By Genre, By Movie, or Unwatched. View TV Shows and Podcasts By Date, By Show, or Unwatched.
  • Updated transport and chapter modes: During video playback, click right or left to fast forward or rewind. Additional clicks increase the speed. Click down to show chapter markers.

If you’ve downloaded the new firmware and tested it out, let us know how it works in the fabulous and rebuilt and functional comments section!!!

Jobs Acknowledges Liver Transplant, Cites Good Condition

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Date: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 04:35
Category: News

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Working to settle the question of his health once and for all, Apple chief Steve Jobs has acknowledged that he did undergo a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital and that he has come out of surgery in good condition.

Per AppleInsider Jobs gave permission to the Tennessee hospital to publish the news after a leak on Friday had all but confirmed the operation in the southeastern state.

Program director Dr. James D. Eason justified the transplant, which can sometimes be controversial due to its uncertainty, by noting that Jobs likely needed it. He was the patient with the greatest likelihood of developing an end-stage liver disease among those with a blood type matching the next available donor liver; as such, he was a prime candidate for the operation.

Even so, as he was the patient with the greatest risk in the waiting line, Jobs is now believed to have come out of his surgery with an “excellent prognosis” and a strong recovery.

Jobs declined to provide more information on the reasons for the surgery or his current state, but experts may have answered these questions themselves. Physicians speculating about the operation suggest that, like the majority patients who recovered from the form of pancreatic cancer he had in 2004, the cancer had metastasized in his liver, creating the “hormonal imbalance” that ultimately forced Jobs to take leave of his normal office for the past six months.

Tennessee is known to have been chosen for the small size of its transplant waiting list. Where the median number of days a patient would have to wait for a procedure in the US was 306 as of 2006, Tennessee’s list was just 48. Methodist University Hospital also points out that it’s one of the ten largest locations offering liver transplants in the U.S. and that Jobs specifically chose the hospital due to its strong reputation for patient survival rates.

Though it’s currently unknown just how healthy the Apple CEO is or when his surgery actually took place, Jobs has purportedly been seen on campus this week. He was also quoted in a press release for the first time in months on Monday.

VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.5

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Date: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 04:27
Category: Mac, Software

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Late Tuesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.5 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, a 289 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:

  • Supports Mac OS X Server guest operating systems on Macs with Intel Xeon 5500 and 3500 Series processors (based on Nehalem micro-architecture).
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server as a guest operating system (32-bit only).
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard as a host operating system (32-bit only).
  • Supports Ubuntu 9.04 as a guest operating system, including features such as VMware Tools pre-built modules and Easy Install.
  • Reduces CPU usage when a virtual machine is idle under VMware Fusion.
  • Contains fixes for more than 80 bugs.

The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

Apple Releases Time Capsule & AirPort Base Station 7.4.2 Firmware Update

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Date: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 04:52
Category: Software, wireless

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Late Tuesday night, Apple leased version 7.4.2 of its firmware for its 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule routers. The revised firmware, which can be downloaded here or the update application within the AirPort Utility program, makes the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixes some problems with extending and maintaining connectivity with extended networks.
  • Fixes an issue with clients that enable 802.11 “Power Save.
  • Fixes connectivity issues with some third-party devices.
  • Fixes an issue when the base station is configured for PPPoE.
  • Fixes some Back To My Mac issues with connectivity and support for third-party routers.
  • It is recommended that AirPort Utility 5.4.2 or later be installed before upgrading to Firmware version 7.4.2.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7

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Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009, 05:23
Category: MacBook Pro, Software

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Apple released its MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.7 patch on Tuesday, a 3.4 megabyte download which addresses an issue reported by a small number of customers using drives based on the SATA 3Gbps specification with the June 2009 MacBook Pro. While this update allows drives to use transfer rates greater than 1.5Gbps, Apple has not qualified or offered these drives for Mac notebooks and their use is unsupported.

The update is also available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later to install and run.

Adium X Updated to 1.3.5

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Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009, 05:11
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 1.3.5.

The new version, a 21.2 megabyte download, fixes a connection issue with Facebook, Yahoo and MSN.

Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Apple Changes Newest iPhone Model Name to “iPhone 3GS”

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Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009, 05:01
Category: iPhone, News

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In a move that may seem both a little odd but actually makes sense, Apple has quietly changed the way it is spelling the new iPhone 3GS, which now appears without a space all of Apple’s press materials.

According the Macworld UK, Apple’s website is still using the “iPhone 3G S” term. The general understanding is that it is officially “iPhone 3GS” from now on and that the main website will be updated shortly.

When the iPhone 3GS first launched, there was much consternation amongst the press as to the correct spelling of the new product, compounded by the logo – which places the “S” inside a small square.

Apple helped clarify matters by issuing press releases with the term “iPhone 3G S”. But just four days into the launch it has changed the spelling to iPhone 3GS, and reworked all of its press materials to mark the new change.

One that is that the revised name offers more clarity for Google, and other web search engines, helping avoid confusion between searches for the new and old model of iPhone.

On the other hand, there may be a legal reason behind the move. It may be that Apple’s legal department pointed out that 3G is a generic term, and that S is a generic term and that “3G S” would be difficult to copyright; whereas “3GS” would be more easy to protect.

Or there may be another, unknown reason. An Apple spokesman allegedly commented to media that “we just feel it looks better with the 3GS all together.”