Adobe releases Flash Player 11.3.300.214 beta update

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Date: Thursday, April 12th, 2012, 06:48
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.3.300.214 for Mac OS X, a 10.9 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new beta version includes the following fixes and changes:

- Texture streaming.

- Background Updater for Mac.

- Driver gating hardware acceleration relaxed to 2006.

- MouseEvent.RELEASE_OUTSIDE.

- ApplicationDomain.getQualifiedDefinitionNames().

- Improved Mac App Store Support.

- Simulator Support for iOS.

- Aspect Ratio Enhancements.

- ADT support to package 144×144 size icons has been added in AIR 3.3.

- Capabilities.screenDPI now returns appropriate DPI value for high resolution iPads.

Flash Player 11.3.300.214 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments.

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.2.202.228 update

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 07:38
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.2.202.228 for Mac OS X, a 10.7 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version includes the following fixes and changes:

- Drivers gating for hardware acceleration relaxed — Previously, the hardware accelerated content was gated to 1/1/2009, however, we have relaxed the driver gating to 1/1/2008.

- Throttling event — This release introduces a new ThrottleEvent. A ThrottleEvent is now dispatched by the stage when the Flash Player throttles, pauses or resumes content.

- Mouse lock, relative mouse coordinates, right and middle click events — Create immersive, panoramic games with infinite scrolling to enable new classes of content, including first-person games.

- Multithreaded video decoding (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) — The video decoding pipeline is now fully multithreaded. This feature should improve the overall performance on all platforms. Note that this feature is a significant architecture change required for other future improvements.

Flash Player 11.2.202.228 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments.

Teardown reveals new A5 processor, second antenna, additional RAM in new Apple TV unit

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Date: Monday, March 19th, 2012, 07:16
Category: Apple TV, Hardware

It’s the teardowns of new products that make technology interesting.

The new Apple TV unit has gone through a full teardown courtesy of XBMC community member “aiciofs” to discover the following components:

- A custom-built A5 processor that, unlike the A5 CPU found in the iPhone 4S or iPad 2, features only a single processing core.

- 512 MB of upgraded RAM.

- The internal flash memory remains at 8 gigabytes.

- Second antenna (as opposed to the single antenna of the previous Apple TV unit). Its exact purpose is unknown, but it was suggested that the antenna could be to improve Wi-Fi connectivity and speed.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 17.0.963.78

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Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 11:58
Category: News, Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 17.0.963.78 for the Mac. The new version, a 35.4 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

- This release fixes issues with Flash games and videos, along with a security fix.

Google Chrome 17.0.963.78 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Camino updated to 2.1.1

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Date: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012, 07:19
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, the Camino Project released version 2.1.1 of Camino, its free, open source web browser.

The new version, an 18.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Upgraded to version 1.9.2.27 of the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine, which includes several critical security and stability fixes.

- Blocked versions of Adobe Flash Player 10 older than 10.3.183.15 and Flash Player 11 older than 11.1.102.62 on Intel Macs due to severe security issues.

- Tweaked the autocomplete algorithm to reduce the weight of visit count.
Added a hidden preference to allow turning off autocomplete’s use of page titles in matches.

- The location sheet once again shows an autocomplete window.

- It is now possible to clear the “Recently Closed Pages” menu with the “Clear History…” menu item even when history is disabled.

- Improved the appearance of the bookmark toolbar in background windows on Mac OS X 10.7.

- On Mac OS X 10.7, Camino now appears in the “Productivity” category when sorting Finder windows by category.

- Camino now correctly checks for the presence of a Java plug-in on Mac OS X 10.7.

- The “open location” AppleScript command now supports optional “referrer” and “loading in background” parameters.

- Camino will now display an error message when the “open location” command’s direct parameter is empty or missing.

- A new “reload” command allows AppleScripts to reload browser windows and tabs.

- The status of Camino’s offline mode is now available to AppleScript, and scripts can toggle offline mode on and off using the application object’s “online” property.

- The AppleScript “visit count” bookmark property once again works correctly.

- Pressing Escape will now cancel Tab Overview.

- “Fill Form” no longer fills disabled hidden form controls.

- The “Block Flash animations” checkbox is no longer enabled if Flash is not installed.

- Camino now correctly resolves Bonjour services that do not include an initial forward slash in their “path” information.

Camino 2.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

If you’ve tried the new version of Camino and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know.

How-To: Run Adobe Flash Player Content on an Adobe-Free Mac

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, 08:00
Category: How-To, Software

You either love or hate Adobe Flash Player.

It’s there, it’s useful, but it can also act like a screaming, colicky infant and be more trouble than it’s worth.

Albeit it DOES allow you to watch hilarious cat videos on YouTube, so who are you to argue?

Even so, for those who ever wondered how they could get all the benefits of Flash Player content without having to have Flash Player itself installed on their Mac, one of the Mac Geek Gab podcast listeners contributed an outstanding how-to piece over to the cool cats at the Mac Observer.

Take a gander, see what you think and until HTML5 becomes the de facto standard, this might restore just a tiny bit of your sanity in the process.

Steve Wozniak, Leonard Nimoy to speak at DEMO Bay area technology conference

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Date: Thursday, January 5th, 2012, 04:50
Category: News

There shall be dorkitude.

And it shall be awesome.

Per MacNN, Apple co-founder and inventor Steve Wozniak will host a talk at a DEMO conference on technology’s past, present and future with special guest Leonard Nimoy, an actor and photographer best known for his role as “Spock” in the Star Trek franchise of TV shows and movies.

Nimoy has addressed the topic of the technological ideas used in Star Trek and how more and more of the concepts are appearing in real-world devices before, and Wozniak is in some way an architect of the mass acceptance of high technology that fuels such innovation. Wozniak is currently serving as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io, a flash-memory technology company and major sponsor of the conference, which is perhaps-ironically entitled DEMO: Enterprise Disruption.

Wozniak has mentioned in previous talks that Star Trek was a favorite TV show of his as a young man. The DEMO conference is a bi-annual event that brings together leading technologists to announce or discuss new projects and developments in electronics and related fields. The conference is not open to the public.

The presentation will be streamed live beginning at 6:30 p.m. Pacific time via venturebeat.com later today. If you’re in the Bay area, hop on over and check it out.

Rumor: Apple to purchase Israeli flash memory company Anobit

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Date: Tuesday, December 13th, 2011, 06:49
Category: Finance, Rumor

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When Apple ponders buying something, it’s worth paying attention to.

Per TechCrunch, Apple is planning to spend between US$400 million and US$500 million to buy Anobit, an Israel-based flash memory company, according to a new report.

Citing a Hebrew-language report, TechCrunch relayed on Tuesday that Apple plans to acquire the 200-employee Israeli fabless semiconductor company that specializes in flash storage. If the deal comes to pass, it’s believed to be the first acquisition for Apple with Tim Cook at the helm as CEO.

“Anobit provides flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile markets, based on its proprietary MSP (which stands for ‘Memory Signal Processing’) technology,” the report said. “Its solutions are designed to improve the speed, endurance and performance of flash systems while driving down the cost. Anobit’s technology is comprised of signal processing algorithms that compensate for physical limitations of NAND flash, the company claims.”

Apple is believed to already rely on Anobit’s solutions for its flash-based products, including the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. Of the most interest to Apple is said to be Anobit’s MSP20xx embedded flash controllers for mobile devices.

Apple has used its massive cash hoard to strategically invest in components and acquire companies that will give it a leg up on the competition. In 2005, Apple inked a major flash memory deal with Samsung, allowing Apple to build products with NAND flash including the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.

The company made a similar deal earlier this year, when Cook revealed that Apple had committed US$3.9 billion to secret, long-term component contracts. Cook said the deals were a “fantastic” use of the company’s cash reserves, but declined to say what components Apple had secured, citing competitive reasons.

If Tuesday’s report is accurate, it would be a rare hardware-based acquisition for Apple. The company’s last major buyout of a hardware company came in 2008, when Apple bought P.A. Semi for US$278 million, paving the way for it to build custom ARM-based chips for the iPhone and iPad.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Seagate announces 750GB Momentus XT hard drive, combines HDD, SSD features on same unit

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Date: Tuesday, November 29th, 2011, 08:11
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News

This could smack of the nifty.

Per Engadget, hard drive manufacturer Seagate has released its 750GB Momentus XT, a hybrid HDD/SSD unit with a conventional 742GB hard drive attached to 8GB of NAND flash memory. The unit boosts a speedy SATA III 6Gb/s interface and promises to cut boot-up and lag times compared to a standard laptop hard disk, by gradually learning which of your files are popular enough to deserve a spot in that solid state VIP lounge. The unit retails for US$189 and includes a five-year warranty.

Stay tuned for additional details and if you happen to snag one, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Rumor: Adobe to announce cancelation of Flash Player for mobile platforms

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Date: Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, 04:20
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

It’s had a good run, but maybe it’s time to move on to something else.

Per ZDNet, Adobe has briefed its employees on the company’s plans to abandon development of Flash player for mobile browsers in a blow to Google Android and Research in Motion PlayBook tablets, according to a new report.

Citing “sources close to Adobe” late Tuesday, ZDNet went on to claim that the company will soon make the following announcement, possibly as early as Wednesday:
“Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.”

Adobe’s partners will reportedly receive an email briefing them on the fact that it is “stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile,” the report continued. The company will instead focus its efforts on mobile applications, desktop content “in and out of browser,” and investments in HTML5.

The rumored announcement can largely be seen as a win for Apple and a loss for Android tablets and the Playbook. Competitors to the iPad and iPhone had originally touted Adobe Flash as a major selling point for their devices over Apple’s mobile offerings, which have eschewed Flash. RIM had highlighted in videos the fact that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was Flash-capable.

Making the resource-intensive Flash work for low-power mobile situations has long been a thorn in Adobe’s side. The company has encountered delays as it struggled to streamline Flash to run on mobile processors. Earlier this year, Motorola bragged that its Xoom tablet would come “fully Flash-enabled,” but then went ahead and launched the device without initial Flash support, promising to add it later.

The end of mobile Flash could also be seen as a vindication of Apple’s decision to steer clear of it. The late Steve Jobs famously called out Adobe for its struggles with Flash.

“Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it,” Jobs said in an open letter last April.

“Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

In recent months, Adobe has moved towards HTML5. For instance, in September, the company announced that its Flash Media Server product would support the delivery of HTML5 video to Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. Adobe also unveiled this summer work on an Edge web development tool that will enable creation of Flash-style animations through HTML5.

Adobe’s decision to drop development of mobile Flash comes as the company has initiated a round of layoffs due to restructuring. According to a press release on Tuesday, the software maker is aiming to focus more on “Digital Media and Digital Marketing” and will cut 750 full-time positions in North America and Europe as a result.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.