E3: Gallery and Final Thoughts

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, June 7th, 2009, 12:54
Category: Opinion

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With the cacophony of E3 2009 over and done with, here are some parting thoughts as well as an event gallery with which to remember the event:
-iPhone Development: The same conumdrum Mac gaming has always faced is back, but in a different format. While there are some great titles out there for the platform and it’s gotten easier to code games for the platform via the Intel architecture, it’s still questionable as to whether it’s worth the investment to write a title for the Mac (thereby helping to explain why Apple has never kept an official booth at E3).
This situation is flipped on its head when it comes to the iPhone and with an installed base numbering in the millions, a growing market and the App Store as the current king of online efficiency. The end result is a developer community that seems to be tripping over itself to write games for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 features such as micropayments, Push Notification, Bluetooth multiplayer, improved networking and the like make the platform even more attractive and those who had seen prototypes for the new iPhone hardware didn’t seem disappointed in the least.
This isn’t quite the dream of hordes of developers rushing to create titles for the Mac (especially when there are more guaranteed profits with writing for Windows or the consoles), but the mobile gaming market is exploding, there are some great titles on the horizon and there are some great, affordable titles on the horizon.
-Yoostar: This one came out of nowhere and it was a bit odd to find it at a gaming expo, but Yoostar could be one of the best surprises of the year. Essentially your own green screen movie kit and retailing for US$169.95, the kit includes a webcam, portable green screen and software for Mac OS X and Windows that allows users to place themselves in given movie scenes as their character of choice. Clips can then be cleaned up and exported and the creators have negotiated continuous streams of new content, including clips from classic titles such as “Rocky”, various NBA games, Children’s Televisions Workshop (creators of “Sesame Street”) and memorable commercials.
There’s something potentially great here and it’ll be interesting to see how this sells during the holidays, especially if it hits the right price point as a digital gift.
Click the jump for the full story…

Google Releases Early Beta of Chrome Web Browser for Mac OS X

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 5th, 2009, 09:02
Category: Software

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It ain’t for the faint of heart, but according to Macworld UK, the Google team released an early beta of its long-anticipated Chrome web browser for Mac OS X.
Under the heading “Danger: Mac and Linux builds available” the Google Chromium blog warns of the following:
“In order to get more feedback from developers, we have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, but whatever you do, please DON’T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software.”
“How incomplete? So incomplete that, among other things, you won’t yet be able to view YouTube videos, change your privacy settings, set your default search provider, or even print.”
“Meanwhile, we’ll get back to trying to get Google Chrome on these platforms stable enough for a beta release as soon as possible!”
Take a gander if you’re feeling brave and let us know what you make of it…

Report Cites Jobs as Ready to Return to Apple

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Date: Friday, June 5th, 2009, 09:27
Category: News

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Apple’s stock rose appreciably following news that company CEO Steve Jobs is on track to return to the company from his medical leave of absence as planned.
Per a Reuters article, sources have cited that Jobs will return by the end of the month, which would place his comeback ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday, an event at which Jobs unveiled Apple’s 3G iPhone a year ago but had not been expected to attend this time.
Jobs, 54, had said his medical leave would run until the end of June when he initially announced the move in January, setting the stage for a July return. Company representatives had said repeatedly he remained involved in strategic decisions and would return as scheduled.
Jobs was treated for a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2004. He appeared gaunt at an Apple event last June and in January said he would take a leave of absence because his health problems were “more complex” than originally thought.
The Apple CEO’s recovery “is coming along,” the news wire reported.
The report also said two people who do business with Apple have been told by Apple managers that the company is trying to coordinate Jobs’ return with a product launch or public event.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple Releases iLife Support, iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD, iDVD, Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Updates

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 21:32
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Apple released a slew of updates for its iLife ’09 suite of applications. The updates, which range between 3.9 and 96 megabytes in file size and can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature, include the following:
Apple Digital Camera Raw Compatibility 2.6: A 3.9 megabyte download that extends RAW image compatibility for Aperture 2, iPhoto 08, and iPhoto 09 for the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 500D
  • Canon Rebel T1i
  • Canon EOS Kiss Digital X3
  • Nikon D5000
  • Olympus E-30
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iPhoto 8.0.3:
    A 96 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility, improves overall stability and fixes a number of issues in the following areas of the application:

  • Publishing to MobileMe, Facebook, and Flickr.
  • Slideshow playback.
  • Location (GPS) info embedded in emailed photos and exported JPEGs.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iLife Support 9.0.3:
    A 55.1 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility issues, improves overall stability for the Media Browser, and fixes a number of other minor issues. The issues addressed include:

  • Resolved memory leaks for improved performance of the Media Browser.
  • Corrected issues to display custom folders when added to the Media Browser.
  • Maintained correct image dates when importing from iPhoto to Aperture.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iMovie 8.0.3:
    A 35.6 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility issues, improved overall stability and fixes a number of other minor issues. The issues addressed include:

  • Support for 720p AVCHD Lite cameras and camcorders.
  • Deleting a beat marker no longer modifies the project duration.
  • Video Effects palette now uses the correct thumbnail for still images.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    iDVD 7.0.4: A 27.5 megabyte download that addresses general compatibility issues and fixes an issue where iDVD is unable to add title/comment to an image in the image details list.
    The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

    E3: Microsoft Presents Milo Demo, Shows Uses for Project Natal

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 12:59
    Category: News

    Ok, this was completely interesting, even if it proved that the British are mildly crazed on some levels, but there’s some cool stuff in the works for Microsoft’s Project Natal (video courtesy of GameTrailers.com:




    If Apple could trump this, that’d be something worth seeing.

    Best Buy Customer Purchases MacBook Pro, Receives 5-Pound Paving Brick in Box

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 09:15
    Category: Fun, retail

    Per TechEBlog, a Best Buy customer identified only as “Ryan” recently purchased a MacBook Pro notebook for a U.S. Best Buy location only to discover a five pound paving stone in place of the US$2164.89 notebook.


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    When he tried returning the item, the store’s manager stated the following: “Apple seals the boxes, not us. Take it up with Apple.”
    Sometimes words fail me.
    And this is one of them.

    Rumor: Rogers Wireless May Offer 15GB Data Plan On June 16th

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 08:59
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

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    A current rumor circulating points towards Canadian provider Rogers Wireless offer a 15GB data package for the iPhne 3G beginning June 16th. According to iPhone in Canada, the plan will retail for CAN$150/month with 1 cent for each additional megabyte of data used. It will be available for monthly and 1, 2, or 3-year contracts. The plan would compete against the company’s current 6GB plan, which retails for only $30/month.
    Stay tuned for more details as they become available and if you’ve heard anything on your end, let us know.

    Apple Releases AirPort Utility 5.4.2

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 08:43
    Category: Software

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    Late Wednesday, Apple released version 5.4.2 of its AirPort Utility application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 16.9 megabyte download, provides the following fixes and changes:

  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to be unable to read certain AirPort wireless device configurations.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to sometimes be unable to discover an AirPort wireless device when Back To My Mac is enabled.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to sometimes be unable to download firmware.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to not correctly import Access Control Lists created in AirPort Admin Utility 4.x
  • Added the ability in AirPort Utility to show all wireless passwords in the “Equivalent Network Password” sheet.
  • AirPort Utility 5.4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    Cocktail 4.3.4 (Leopard Edition) Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 16:37
    Category: Software

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    On Wednesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.3.4 of Cocktail (Tiger Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
    The new version, a 1.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed minor compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.5.7.
  • Fixed compatibility with Firefox and Google Gears.
  • Added clearing of Renepo.A-B and Tored.A trojans.
  • Other minor bug fixes.
  • Updated Automator actions.
  • Cocktail 4.3.4 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

    Push Notifications Ready for WWDC?

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009, 14:51
    Category: iPhone, Software

    As WWDC gets closer (less than a week now!), people are beginning to wrap their predictions for the Keynote. A new iPhone is pretty much in the bag, but there are still a lot of questions on the minds of iPhone watchers.

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    It is presumed that any new iPhone models will not go on sale until at least the end of July, based on the previous two generations. If the hardware is ready, will the software be ready and solid? Apple already missed the boat on Push Notifications in firmware 2.x, as noted by Scott Forestall’s apology during the iPhone 3.0 sneak peek. Will it be ready in time for the release of 3.0?

    According to MacRumors, Appple seems to be wrapping its high-volume testing of the push notification feature that it began in mid-April. A special “developer” build of the Associated Press’s iPhone app was distributed by Apple for testing the service. It is believed that the notification that testing is complete coupled with the release of iTunes 8.2, which reportedly adds compatibility with firmware 3.0, is the signal that Apple is wrapping up the iPhone OS development for imminent release.

    Since it is expected that many of the WWDC sessions will focus on the new mobile OS, it will need to be ready in time for the event so that developers can start putting the finishing touches on their apps to be ready for 3.0 and the new iPhone (s?). One question I have is that given that OS 3.0 will be backwards compatible with both the original and 3G iPhones, is there a chance we might see Scott, Phil, or even a surprise visit from Steve, announce that the 3.0 version is ready for download on June 8th?! If you think about it, it might just be a good way to roll out the new OS and put it through it’s paces before the new hardware is in stores.

    What do you think? Less than one week left to speculate. Share it in the forums!