Princeton University analyzes iPad Wi-Fi bug, offers workaround

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Date: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, 10:13
Category: How-To, iPad

Following up on the notorious wireless glitch in the iPad wherein an Internet Protocol (IP) address of the iPad fails to correctly refresh, or “lease”, its address, the Office of Information Technology at Princeton University looked into the issue.

On Tuesday, Princeton issued a report stating that the iPad will incorrectly continue using an IP address without renewing the lease, usually for hours. The issue is resolved when the iPad asks for a new DHCP lease, or the iPad disconnects from the network.

The information suggests it is a software issue within iPhone OS 3.2, and is likely something that Apple could repair through an update to its mobile operating system.

The problem was found to be common on Princeton’s campus, with 25 out of 41 of all iPads demonstrating the malfunction as of April 18th. If that ratio bears out on a larger scale, there are likely a huge number of iPad owners experiencing similar issues, as Apple sold more than 500,000 devices in its first week.

The report noted that some devices have demonstrated the malfunction several times, and eight devices were outright blocked from the university’s network.

“When a DHCP client malfunctions this way repeatedly, Princeton blocks the device from using those campus network services which rely on the device’s DHCP client respecting lease times,” the IT office said. “These include our wireless services. We do this to protect other customers of those services from the disruptions caused by the malfunctioning devices.”

The university has published a temporary workaround for the issue, but has stated that it is working with Apple and providing them with technical data in hopes of solving the problem. That data was sent to Apple on April 7th.

The Information Technology office also noted that it has been incorrectly attributed with diagnosing the cause of Wi-Fi signal issues or connectivity issues that have been widely reported by iPad users. The university noted that information is inaccurate, as its documentation relates only to a DHCP client issue, not Wi-Fi signal or connectivity issues.

Princeton has been able to replicate the problem regularly by allowing the iPad to lock its screen before the DHCP lease renewal time, and allowing it to remain locked, with the screen off, until the DHCP lease has expired.

The current workaround has users reconfigure the iPad’s settings so that the screen never locks. This can be accomplished by going to Settings, General, Auto-Lock and choosing “Never.” Users must also turn off Wi-Fi before they manually lock the screen, turn the iPad completely off (rather than just locking it), or simply leave the iPad on without locking the screen.

Soon after the iPad was introduced earlier this month, users began to report connectivity issues with the device. One of the most common problems experienced relates to rejoining a Wi-Fi network after the iPad has been restored from sleep. Apple responded by issuing a support document.

Apple releases Security Update 2010-003 for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6 operating systems

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Date: Thursday, April 15th, 2010, 04:40
Category: security, Software

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Following up on a slew of recent software updates, Apple released Security Update 2010-003 on Wednesday. The update, which varies in size between 6.2 and 208 megabytes depending on the version used and fixes assorted security holes described here.

The update, as usual, can be located, snagged and installed Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Security Update 2010-003 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 Supplemental Update to address stability problems

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Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 03:59
Category: News, Software

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This was strange but it’s worth snagging.

On Tuesday, Apple released stability fixes for the client and server versions of its Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating systems via its Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 Supplemental Update. The update, which can be found here, is intended for users who have updated to Mac OS X 10.6.3 directly from Mac OS X 10.6 using the recently issued Mac OS X Update Combined 10.6.3 for Snow Leopard. Users who updated from either Mac OS X 10.6.1 or 10.6.2 to 10.6.3 do not need to install this update.

Per Macworld, the update includes many of the same improvements in Mac OS X 10.6.3, such as updates to QuickTime X, OpenGL-based apps, coloring messages in Mail, and printing reliability. It also addresses issues with opening files with some special characters in Rosetta apps, color problems with HD content in iMovie, recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server, and it improves performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 under 64-bit mode.

The Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 update is available from Apple’s support download site as a 785MB combo updater; there’s also a 897MB combo update for Mac OS X Server 10.6.3 v1.1.

As always, if you’ve tried the update and noticed any significant changes (for better or for worse), feel free to hurl your two cents in.

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.3.3 update

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Date: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 04:32
Category: News

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Late Monday, Elgato Systems released version 3.3.3 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, a 112 megabyte update which can be found here via VersionTracker (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0′s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:

- EyeTV 3.3.3 contains several additional components that are running in Intel 64-bit mode. In addition to the H.264 video decoder, MPEG-2 video is decoded in 64-bit mode for both playback and export.
- Improved quality of analog recordings with EyeTV Hybrid (North America 2010) on Macs with Intel Core Duo processors 2.26 GHz and faster.
- Improved stability for the EyeTV Netstream DTT, EyeTV Hybrid 2010 (North America), and EyeTV Sat.
- Improved CAM reliability and support for EyeTV Sat.
- EyeTV Sat no longer accepts remote commands from unsupported remote controls.
- Fixed a problem where analog channel names were not displayed when tuning with EyeTV Hybrid.
- Improved performance when loading large libraries.
- Fixed crashes related to memory usage.
- Fix a problem where an incorrect audio track was exported to program or elementary streams.
- Improved sort speed in Programs window.
- Fixed a problem where shows longer than 3 hours would not show a title or episode title in the EPG.
- Improved details view for EPG.
- Fixed a crash when clearing the EPG.
- Program Guide searches are no longer case sensitive.
- Improved resiliency during EPG server outages.
- EyeTV 3.3.3 fixes video playback problems with EyeTV 3.3.2 in certain countries.
- Fixed a crash when displaying Picture-in-Picture.
- Fixed a problem during analog input capture where certain VHS players would show “No Signal” after a few seconds of fast forward or reverse.
- Improved picture quality of DV exports.
- EyeConnect now recognizes when the local IP Address has changed, and resumes working.
- Fixed a problem where large channels list were deleted.

EyeTV 3.3.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$79.95.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.3 update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 29th, 2010, 11:46
Category: Software

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After months of waiting, Apple has finally released its Mac OS X 10.6.3 update. The update, which varies between being a 400+ and 700+ megabyte download, contains a massive set of changes and fixes presently listed here.

The Mac OS X 10.6.3 update requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

As always, the update can be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve downloaded the new update and noticed any positive or negative changes or the living room carpet has caught fire for an unexplained reason, please let us know in the comments.

Apple Releases iMovie 8.0.6 Update

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, March 27th, 2010, 17:25
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released iMovie 8.0.6, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 35.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This update improves reliability when working with videos from Aperture.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and can be snagged manually or via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

Perian 1.2.1 Released

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Date: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010, 05:18
Category: Software

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Late Tuesday, the Perian team released version 1.2.1 of Perian, the open-source QuickTime components effort that allows QuickTime to support and play a variety of additional formats beyond what it would normally be able to handle.

The new version makes the following fixes and changes:
- Added Indeo 5 decoding. [r1271].
- Fixed several bugs in Matroska support (1.2 regression) [r1240, r1243].
- Incomplete AVI files were not fully imported (1.2 regression) [r1242].
- Fixed subtitles crashing in 10.4 [r1240].
- Fixed a rare crash with .mp4 [r1265].
- No error was shown if the installer somehow failed [r1270] Note that it does not try to correct errors, only report them.
- Fixed crash in SSA support [r1250].
- Fixed invisible subtitles sometimes appearing over the first frame [r1275].

Perian is a 3.3 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases iTunes 9.0.3 Update

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Date: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010, 05:16
Category: News

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Late Monday, Apple released iTunes 9.0.3, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, an 90.8 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- iTunes no longer ignores your “Remember password for purchases” setting.
- Addresses problems with syncing some Smart Playlists and Podcasts with iPod.
- Resolves a problem recognizing when iPod is connected.
- Addresses issues that affect stability and performance.

iTunes 9.0.3 is available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Some Users Reporting Bugs, System Slowdowns After Security Update (2010-001) Install

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 2010, 08:03
Category: News, Software

As well-intentioned as Apple may be, a number of users are reporting that the company’s latest Security Update (2010-001) is causing extremely slow start-up times and poor performance or crashing for several programs, including Skype, Firefox, and Photoshop CS3.

Per CNET, a used identified as “Forgiss” reported the following issue on the Apple Support Discussions board:

“I installed the security update this morning, and rebooted the machine. Startup was extremely slow. in the region of about 5-10 minutes with a consistent beachball untill startup has completed. After startup, I could not launch any non-apple product so far. That includes:
Skype
Firefox
CaptureONE Pro
Photoshop CS3 or CS4
Microsoft office suite (word, excel, etc)

Some applications would open, and then as soon as I try and open a file, it would crash (microsoft and Adobe Products) some would just bounce in the dock (skype, firefox) and some would start to open and then crash after the ID screen has been up for a few seconds. My Wacom Tablet is not recognised and crashes (through USB) although my iTunes and iPod Touch seems to work fine (so it’s not the USB drivers, per se). I have not had any problems with this computer since my upgrade to snow leopard (10.6) and have had no indication that there are any system issues.”

The help in the forum suggests that the hard drive on the computer was being slowly damaged to the point that Disk Utility (via Permissions Verify/Repair) was not noticing anything. The update also seems to have been the catalyst for the hard drive damage to become evident to the system.

If you’ve seen anything like this on your end, let us know.

VLC Updated to 1.0.5

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 1st, 2010, 05:45
Category: Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 1.0.5 over the weekend. The new version, a 40.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Decoders:
- SubRip extra styles improvements.
- Fix potential crashes in SSA and svg decoders.

Mac OS X Interface:
- Improved support for the 2009 Apple Remote.

Windows port:
- Use of gcc 4.4.2 to compile instead of gcc 4.2. This might slightly increase performance and fix x264 issues.

Translations:
- Portuguese Brazilian, Lithunanian, Romanian, Ukranian, Japanese, Bengali, Walloon, Galician, Danish, Khmer, Polish, Slovenian, Vietnamese, Finnish Russian, Slovak translation updates.
- New Malayalam, Macedoninan, Nynorsk translations.

Audio outputs:
- Fix deadlocks in the audio output core.
- Make PulseAudio the default output if available.

Video outputs:
- Fix fullscreen mode with KDE 4.3.3 and other window managers.
- Fix incompatibility with cairo-dock and compositing.

Input:
- Fix DVB scanning regression from VLC 1.0.3.
- Support for XZ-compressed byte stream (LZMA algorithm).

Playlist:
- Support for .m3u8 playlist files (UTF-8 M3U).

Unix:
- Support for xcb-keysyms version 0.3.4 or higher.
- Fix globalhotkeys on FreeBSD.

Qt4 interface:
- Fix opening V4L version 1 devices.
- Fix default destination ports in the streaming wizard.

Translations:
- New Walloon translation.
- Swedish, Ukrainian and French translation updates.

VLC 1.0.5 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.