Intuit Releases Quicken Online Mobile App for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Friday, May 1st, 2009, 08:30
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch

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Recently, software developer Intuit released Quicken Online Mobile, the company’s iPhone and iPod touch companion to the Quicken personal finance web service.
According to Macworld, the application focuses on a forward-looking view of your money, showing you how much you have left until your next paycheck. It lets you set budgets and keep track of them while you’re out and about, and you can enter cash purchases on the go to track spending, among other features.
Upon setting up a free account with Quicken’s online service (which reportedly works with more than 5,000 financial institutions for checking, savings, investments, loans, and credit cards), Quicken Online and the Quicken Online Mobile app lets you see and tracks all of those accounts, downloading your financial data once a day (Wells Fargo accounts, however, don’t currently support auto updating.)
Intuit has stated that the application doesn’t store any of your financial passwords and the Quicken Online Mobile app uses a four-digit passcode for added protection on your iPhone.
The app also includes an integrated ATM finder that uses the iPhone 3G’s GPS capabilities to help you find nearby places to get cash at ATMs that won’t add a surcharge. You can also enter a zip code to search for ATMs, which lets users of the iPod touch and older iPhones use the feature as well.
Quicken Online Mobile requires iPhone OS 2.2 or later to install and run.

Rumor: Apple Allegedly Lowering Prices for MacBook Notebooks, iMacs

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Date: Friday, May 1st, 2009, 07:00
Category: iMac, MacBook, Rumor

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Apple may be in the process of restructuring its Mac offerings to include a variety of lower-priced models. According to AppleInsider, an anonymous source told the publication that this change could be in effect and that more affordable variations of the MacBook notebook and the best-selling iMac could be en route.
Though specific details weren’t to be found and Apple recently reported its best non-holiday quarter yet, Mac sales have taken a hit as the economic recession continues. Shipments for computers were down 3%, while iPhone and iPod sales contributed to an 8.6% gain in revenue.
According to the article, many analysts believe Apple’s lackluster performance in the PC segment can be explained by its higher ASPs. Although the structural collapse of selling prices has slashed revenues for many companies, the Mac-maker could be experiencing a drop in market share as customers flock to less-expensive systems. While Apple was shipping less Macs for the recent quarter, HP systems showed an 11% gain.
Acer has doubled its market share in the U.S. in recent quarters, this gain being attributed to the popularity of its netbook devices. User spending is also said to have contracted significantly in the first quarter of the year, and it remains unknown if the global PC market has reached its lowest point.
Although revised pricing information has yet to be fully disclosed, it is believed that the first products could arrive as early as this spring with a revamped MacBook line.

OWC Releases Faster Internal Superdrives for 13″ MacBook, 15″ MacBook Pro Notebooks

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Date: Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 13:42
Category: Accessory, MacBook Pro

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Accessory provider Other World Computing announced the release of its new Mercury SuperDrive Internal Upgrade Kits for Apple’s 13″ MacBook and 15″ MacBook Pro notebooks. The new OWC Mercury SuperDrives offer faster burn speeds than factory – up to 8X DVD, 6X DVD-DL (Dual-Layer 8.5GB), 5X DVD-RAM, and 24X CD burn speeds with support for DVD+/-R/RW, DVD+/-R DL (Dual-Layer), DVD-RAM, and CD-R/RW media.
The new SuperDrive Internal Upgrade Kits for MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks available immediately:
OWC Mercury SuperDrive Dual-Layer Internal Drive Kit for the 13″ MacBook and 15″ MacBook Pro(Non-”Unibody”) features up to 8X DVD+/-R burn, 6X DVD-R DL burn, 5X DVD-RAM, 24X CD-R burn, and 1 year OWC warranty and is priced at US$147.99.
The “Value Bundle” of this same SuperDrive Kit, priced at US$159.99, also includes 10 pieces of 8X DVD-R media in jewel cases, Prosoft Data Backup 3 software, and NTI DragonBurn CD/DVD authoring software.

Blu-Ray Support Code Found in iTunes 8.2 Beta

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Date: Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 09:24
Category: Rumor, Software

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Apple’s long had a strange relationship with Blu-Ray support on its machines, often cited as the company’s hesitancy when it couldn’t get all the concessions it wanted on licensing. Even with this, an interesting article on MacRumors has discovered references to Blu-Ray data from the Gracenote music service in the latest version of the iTunes 8.2 beta.
In short, official Blu-Ray support may not be far off for the Mac.

Truphone 3.0 Released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 23:26
Category: iPhone, Software, Uncategorized

Software Cellular Network Ltd., makers of Truphone software and call services, released version 3.0 of its popular iPhone app. The new version, available in the App Store (iTunes link), adds the following new features:

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  • View your call history in real time.
  • Instant messenger tool is now integrated into the app.
  • Super-clear sound and improved reliability.

The new version requires an iPhone running firmware 2.1 or higher.

Versions of Truphone are also available for the iPod Touch and G1 (Android) Smartphone.

Amazon Acquires iPhone eBook Reader Stanza

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 22:16
Category: iPhone, News, Software

Apparently the Kindle app for iPhone wasn’t enough for Amazon. Monday it was announced on Lexcycle, Inc.’s blog that the online retailer purchased the company which includes the popular iPhone eBook reader Stanza.

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According to the Lexcycle blog, there will be no changes to the Stanza application or it’s function as the result of the acquisition. They imply that they hope they will be able to offer more books and services through the Amazon connection. No mention of the company’s purchase on Amazon’s web site or PR releases.

Lexcycle is encouraging discussion of the move on their forums or by contacting them directly at info@lexcycle.com. You can discuss it on OUR forums and tell us whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing. Is this the first step in an Amazon eBook monopoly? Personally, I think Stanza is a great program so I hope Amazon leaves it alone and just makes good deals on books available to it.

Rumor: Apple Could be Developing iPhone Lite, “Media Pad” for Summer Release

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Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 08:18
Category: Rumor

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It came from the very depths of Rumorville, but it’s interesting stuff.
Per BusinessWeek, two anonymous sources have stated that Apple and Verizon may release two new Verizon-exclusive iPhone-like products as early as this summer.
The rumors go hand-in-hand with recent talk that the iPhone is coming to Verizon, and that Apple has new devices up its sleeve for the summer.
The first device has been described as an iPhone nano of sorts and may function as a smaller, less expensive iPhone handset. The “iPhone Lite”, as it’s been coined, is smaller and thinner than the existing iPhone and will come cheaper because it “relies on a so-called system on a chip, which incorporates many types of chips and drives down the cost of silicon in such devices.”
The other device is a “media pad” which features the same functionality as an iPod Touch – music, games, photos – but with HD video and calling ability via a Wi-Fi connection.
The sources told Business Week that the device will be smaller than Amazon’s Kindle 2 ebook reader, but feature a larger touchscreen, paving the way for more speculation about Apple entering the eBook market.
“The media pad category might go to Verizon,” a witness told Business Week. “We are talking about a device where people will say, ‘Damn, why didn’t we do this?’ Apple is probably going to define the damn category.”

Google Earth 5.0.11729.1014 Released

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Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 08:10
Category: Software

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Late Tuesday, software giant Google released version 5.0.11729.1014 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 27 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

  • Historical imagery from around the globe.
  • Ocean floor and surface data from marine experts.
  • Simplified touring with audio and voice recording.
  • The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    New Snow Leopard Seed and Server Features for iPhone

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, 14:08
    Category: Apple, iPhone, Mac, Mobile, Server, Services, Software

    Apple sent an announcement to developers last Thursday that the next seed for Snow Leopard was available for downloading. AppleInsider reported that this was the second beta of the software released this month and is labeled Mac OS X 10.6 build 10A335.

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    The new download is reported to also include a new version of 10.6 Snow Leopard Server which incorporates a number of new features. Some of the features mentioned, “[...] new junk mail filters in Mail Server, better automated account creation in Calendar Server, and completely re-written certificate management code”.

    One of the developments that may be of interest to businesses that have, or want to deploy, a fleet of iPhones to their employees is the addition of the secure Mobile Access Server. The first hints of the new mobile services comes as a listing on Apple’s Developer site as one of the sessions available at WWDC called Deploying Mobile Access Server. The session has the following description:

    Secure remote access to your business network has never been more critical than in today’s increasingly mobile world. The Mobile Access Server provides a path through a corporate firewall for IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, and CalDAV without using VPN. Learn about the features of, and deployment tips for, this powerful new service in Snow Leopard Server.

    This comes in addition to features already mentioned such as remote access and control of mobile devices as well as push notifications. This positions OS X Server as a means to deliver intranet web services to iPhone and iPod touch users far more cost effectively than Microsoft Windows Server, and takes advantage of the popularity of the iPhone.

    VirtualBox 2.2.2 Out the Door

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 28th, 2009, 10:51
    Category: Software

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    VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 2.2.2. The new version, a 57.9 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Host and guest clipboard: fixed a number of issues affecting hosts and guests running the X window system.
  • Guest Additions: make sure the virtual mouse autodetection works on first reboot after installing the Additions on X.Org server 1.5 and later.
  • Guest Additions: properly report process identity number of running services.
  • Guest Additions: clean up properly if the X Window server terminates.
  • Linux Additions: fixed installation path for OpenGL libraries in some 64-bit guests (bug #3693).
  • Solaris Additions: fixed installation to work when X.Org is not installed on the guest.
  • Solaris Additions: fixed a bug that could panic the guest when unmounting a busy shared folder.
  • Windows Additions: fixed mouse pointer integration of some Windows guests (2.2.0 regression, bug #3734).
  • Windows Additions: fixed installation on Windows Server 2008 Core (bug #2628).
  • Main: do not try to use older versions of D-Bus (Linux hosts only, bug #3732).
  • VMM: fixed out-of-memory conditions on Windows hosts (bug #3657).
  • VMM: fixed occasional hangs when attaching USB devices during VM startup (2.2.0 regression; bugs #3787).
  • VMM: fixed guru meditation related to memory management (software virtualization only).
  • Virtual disks: fix possible data corruption when writing to diff images, incorrect detection of redundant writes.
  • GUI: reworked network settings dialog.
  • GUI: properly show the detailed settings dialog of NAT networks (bug #3702).
  • GUI: HostKey could not be changed (2.2.0 regression, bug #3689).
  • GUI: fixed memory textfield size (Windows hosts only; bug #3679).
  • GUI: fixed crash when selecting a shared folder path (Windows hosts only; bugs #3694, #3751, #3756).
  • VBoxManage modifyhd –compact: implemented again for VDI files, and now supports relative paths (bug #2180, #2833).
  • VBoxManage snapshot discard: made it work again (2.1.0 regression; bug #3714).
  • NAT: on some Windows host, the guest didn’t receive a DHCP lease (bug #3655).
  • NAT: fixed release assertion during poll() (bug #3667).
  • Clipboard: fixed random crahes (X11 hosts only, bug #3723).
  • Shared Folders: fixed incorrect permissions for Solaris guests.
  • Shared Folders: fixed wrong file sizes with Solaris guests.
  • CBindings: fixed possible memory leak while releasing the IVirtualBox and ISession Objects.
  • Solaris hosts: fixed host-only network interface incompatibility with nwam/dhcpagent (bug #3754).
  • Windows installer: fixed several install and uninstall issues (bugs #3659, #3686, #1730, #3711, #3373, #3382, #3701, #3685, #3710).
  • Mac OS X hosts: preliminary support for Snow Leopard.
  • VirtualBox 2.2.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.