Perian 1.1.4 Released

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Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009, 05:47
Category: Software

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Late Monday, the Perian team released version 1.1.4 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:
Features:
* Forced VobSub subtitles are imported into a separate track.
* Added initial DTS passthrough via similar mechanisms as AC3.
* Support old ffmpeg-generated MKV files with no enabled tracks.
* 10.6-compatible preference pane.

Fixes:
* Fixed “Load External Subtitles” checkbox.
* Fixed crash/freeze when loading broken VobSub subtitles.
* Fixed import of uncompressed audio in FLV.
* Fixed import of some audio tracks; should improve iApps.
* Fixed CRAM codec AVI in browsers.
* Worked around bug in iChat codec loading.
* Never allows Apple’s code to handle AC3 data anymore so passthrough works more often.
* Doesn’t try to decode some RGB colorspaces (such as in Camtasia) that aren’t supported.
* Fixed some 16-bit RGB codecs on Intel.
* Fixed importing movie files with no video tracks (regression from r706).
* Fixed H264 crash in put_h264_qpel8_h_lowpass_l2_ssse3 (in FFmpeg).
* Fixed crash with corrupt first frame.
* Fixed BMP/RLE in AVI.
* Fixed several memory leaks.
* Fixed a problem with wrong channel order in DTS 5.1.
* Fixed possible conflict with UniversalDetector.framework.

Subtitles:
* Fixed garbage characters appearing at the end of a line with some fonts.
* Better handling of invalid SSA files.
* Fixed rendering of multi-layer subtitles.
* Fixed SRT files using ‘,’ for decimals.
* Ignored SSA shapes and blur instead of misparsing them.
* Disabled vertical font support again to fix files wrongly using it for Latin text.
* Fixed subtitles in MKV wrongly displaying at the end of a video.
* Better handling of move and org.

Perian is a 3.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

Some Mail.app Users Reporting Difficulties with Cox Cable Provider

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009, 08:20
Category: How-To, News

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A number of Cox internet service members have been having trouble accessing their e-mail accounts through Apple’s Mail program. Per MacFixIt, the connection seems to be fine and log-in works, but while Mail will show downloaded messages in the “Activity” window, they will not show up in an in-box. Additionally, a message of “mail cannot verify the identity of pop.central.cox.net” may appear.

The issue may have arisen from a recent update of the Cox e-mail servers that is contributing to this problem, since it seems to have cropped up in the past few days. Other (such as those discussing the issue in this Apple discussion thread) have claimed this happening for a few weeks. According to Cox, its e-mail servers seem to be fine, but the problem persists for affected members.

Some users have found that turning off SSL authentication for their e-mail accounts has helped the problem, which can be done in the “Advanced” section of the accounts settings in the preferences. To have Mail work continually you may need to toggle the SSL setting periodically, but this has helped a few people experiencing problems.

One workaround to at least accessing your mail is to use the Cox Web mail program, which can be found at http://webmail.cox.net.

Microsoft Releases Office 2008 12.2.0, Open XML Converter 1.1 Updates

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Date: Tuesday, July 21st, 2009, 05:47
Category: Software

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On Monday, Microsoft released updates for its Microsoft Office 2008 suite as well as its Open XML Converter applications.

The Office 2008 update (which functions as a second service pack), is a 297 megabyte download that offers the following fixes and changes with a full description of the changes available here:

  • Stability is improved: This update fixes an issue that causes Office 2008 applications to exit unexpectedly when you open or use the applications.
  • Setup Assistant displays a message when an invalid product key is used: This update fixes an issue that causes Setup Assistant to loop when the user enters an invalid product key. The Setup Assistant now displays a message and asks the user to enter a valid product key.
  • Spell checking is improved when International System Preferences is set to Austrian or German input methods: This update fixes an issue in which the spell checking feature is disabled intermittently for Austrian and German languages.
  • Text box and the custom tab stops on a ruler align on a PowerPoint slide: This update fixes an issue that causes the text box and the tab stops on the ruler not to line up appropriately.
  • New controls for changing the alignment of text on chart elements: This update includes new controls for setting the vertical position, orientation, and custom angle of text in chart elements. It also includes controls for data label positions.
  • Improvements for Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac: Stability is improved when you use Mail Merge with pictures.
    This update fixes an issue that causes Word to crash when you use the Mail Merge Manager to insert a record with pictures from an external data source into your main document.
  • Notebook Layout View recovers audio notes after Word closes unexpectedly: This update fixes an issue that causes users to lose their audio notes when Word closes unexpectedly. When you restart Word, the AutoRecover file does not include the audio notes. This issue is fixed now.
  • Performance is improved: This update fixes performance issues that occur in the following scenarios:
    When you use the Outline View.
    When you use Japanese characters and the Formatting Palette Styles functionality.
  • Section indicator is included in the Word status bar: This update reintroduces the Section indicator to the status bar. The Section indicator provides the section number that you are currently viewing in your document.
  • Reliability is improved with display redraw issues: This update fixes various display redraw issues that might occur when you scroll through a document that contain bullets and numbering.
  • Compatibility with Word 2007 is improved: This update fixes an issue that causes a Word 2007 document that has table borders not to be displayed correctly when the document is viewed in Word 2008 for Mac.
  • Reliability is improved when you copy a numbered list: This update fixes an issue that causes a numbered list to lose its formatting when it is copied into another document.
  • Improved editing when you use Korean characters: This update fixes an issue that causes Korean characters in a document to display incorrectly when you press the arrow keys.
  • Compatibility is improved with SpellCatcher X: This update fixes an issue that improves compatibility with SpellCatcher X.

Microsoft Office 2008 12.2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later to install and run.

Per the Open XML Converter 1.1 update, Microsoft released the 44.7 megabyte updater file for download. The new version of the utility (which lets you convert Open XML files that were created in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac or 2007 Microsoft Office for Windows so that you can open, edit, and save them in earlier versions of Office for Mac) boasts currently unspecified fixes and changes.

The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to and Microsoft Office X 10.1.9 or Microsoft Office 2004 11.4.0 or later to install and run.

Both updates can be located and installed with the Microsoft AutoUpdater application.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.5.1 Update

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 17th, 2009, 01:53
Category: Software

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Early Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.5.1 of its Firefox web browser.
The new version, a 17.5 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Version 3.5.1 introduces a fix for a critical security hole, improving stability, and speeding launch time on some Windows systems.

Firefox 3.5.1 is available in more than 70 different languages and requires a G3, G4, G5 or Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and 128MB of RAM to install and run.

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

Apple Releases iMovie 8.0.4 Update

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 17th, 2009, 01:48
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released iMovie 8.0.4, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 35.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed a problem with incorrect rotation when working with video created by iPhone 3GS.
  • Resolved instability when adding multiple beat markers in some languages.
  • Corrected an issue where iMovie could become unresponsive after using fine-tuning controls beyond the stabilized portions of a clip.

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.

Apple Releases Safari 4.0.2 Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 9th, 2009, 03:26
Category: Software

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On Wednesday, Apple released an update to the Safari 4 browser.

The Safari 4.0.2 Update is recommended for all Safari users and improves the stability of the Nitro JavaScript engine and includes the latest compatibility and security fixes.

Safari 4.0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be downloaded via the Software Update control panel on your Mac.

Apple Cites Possible iPhone 3GS Discoloration as Possibly Case-Related, Other Issues Emerging with Handset

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 6th, 2009, 03:58
Category: iPhone 3GS

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With random horror stories about the iPhone 3GS’s heat factor and potential discoloration circulating across the Internet, the frenchiphone.com web site dug up something interesting.

Per a call placed to an an Apple level 3 support technician (who’s an engineer), the discoloration could be due to the iPhone getting warm and then coming into contact with third-party cases. The simple fix that Apple mentioned is to clean the iPhone with alcohol, which can remove the residue left by the case.

After numerous calls to Apple technical service and maintenance of contact with a level 3 (engineer) the problem seems to come not from a hot 3GS but contact with some covers! This was evident by ourselves on a device with a small sticker (a warning not to listen to music too loud) remained stuck, part of the hull below remained white.

Where stories of the iPhone 3GS overheating are concerned, Apple is apparently blaming the overheating on the weather. According to an article over on the UK Telegraph web site, Apple has stated that users should, “Store iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a place where the temperature is between -20º and 45º C (-4º to 113º F). Don’t leave the device in your car, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range.”

The iPhone 3G / 3GS also boasts a feature that puts the iPhone into a cooling mode if it starts to overheat. According to the support documentation, the device will first stop charging, dim the display, offer up a weak cell signal, and finally place a temperature warning on the screen and only allow emergency calls.

Finally, just when you thought the iPhone 3GS couldn’t have any other problems, Engadget is now reporting that the oleophobic coating on the screen has the ability to rub-off over time.

Cocktail 4.4 (Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 04:18
Category: Mac

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On Thursday, 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:

  • Added ability to reset home directory permissions and ACLs. (Disks – Permissions)
  • Added “Enable unsupported network volumes” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Disable backup of system files” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Do not backup when disks are mounted” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Do not ask to use newly connected disks” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Animate background” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added ability to set Time Machine’s backup interval. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added support for more network interfaces. (Network – Optimization)
  • Added support for Safari 4.
  • Added “Disable webpage previews” setting. (Interface – Safari)
  • Other minor bug fixes and improvements.
  • Updated Automator actions.
  • Updated help files.

Cocktail 4.3.4 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Releases iPhoto 8.0.4 Update

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Date: Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, 02:17
Category: Mac, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released version 8.0.4 of its iPhoto image organization and editing application. The new version, a 102.2 megabyte download, addresses a rarely encountered issue involving photos imported into a previous version that could affect overall stability, and corrects references to a few points of interest and location names that were labeled incorrectly.

The update can also be located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

iPhoto 8.0.4 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Several Original iPhone Owners Report Difficulty Maintaining Wireless Connections Under iPhone OS 3.0

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 29th, 2009, 05:37
Category: iPhone, iPhone 3GS

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As nifty as iPhone OS 3.0 may be, a number of original iPhone owner have reported that their handsets are having difficulty remaining connected to wireless networks.

According to MacFixIt, complaints similar to the following description have been left over on the site’s discussion board:

MacFixIt reader Mark M. reports:
“I’ve been having persistent problems getting my iPhone to remember Wi-Fi networks after the upgrade to 3.0. I’ve been following the Apple User Group discussions (iphone, network) and have followed the suggestions there (restore the phone; forget network settings) to no avail. I have a 1st gen iPhone and currently I have to go to settings, general, reset, reset network settings several times a day to maintain a Wi-Fi connection to my home airport. From the User Group discussions it appears this is a fairly common problem.”

The issue currently appears to be bigger than single cases and has also been reported with many iPhones running iPhone OS 2.2.1 as well as units with the iPhone OS 3.0 update installed.

Over on the Apple Discussions Board, user “GoHawks” reported the following:

“A lot of us, myself included, are all of a sudden having this issue. Mine started a few weeks ago as well, when I was running 2.2.1, and continued on into 3.0. Every once in a while it will work, but it’s a rare occurrence. Unfortunately all the tips and tricks don’t appear to work for me either, things I’ve tried include:
1. Reset Network settings
2. Reset All Settings
3. Restore (done about 12 of them over the last couple of weeks)
4. Deleting various apps to see if that makes a difference
5. Reboots
6. Airplane Mode on/off
7. Toggle WiFi
8. Turn of Bluetooth
9. Resetting the phone by holding the top button and home until it reboots
I’ve done all of this many times and every once in a while one of them will seem to work, but within an hour I’ve lost it again. Even when I have it I’m constantly having to put in my password information for the networks I connect to with encryption.”

Currently there does not appear to be a permanent fix for this issue. Most users report that a combination of any of the above attempts for a solution will temporarily provide relief and decent wireless performance.

Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and if you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know in the new, revamped and nifty comments section!