Google releases Picasa 3.9.11.6 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 12th, 2012, 10:47
Category: News, Software

picasaicon.jpg

On Wednesday, software giant Google released Picasa 3.9.11.6, the latest version of its photo organization program for the Mac. Once installed, Picasa imports (without moving or copying) photos from the iPhoto library as well as other folders and external hard drives on your Mac. The program also includes assorted editing tools for straightening, text generation, red eye removal, collage creation and Photoshop-like effects and adjustments. The new version, a 33.9 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Fixed Sync/upload to re-upload on image size or metadata changes.

- Fixed reading jpg files saved by Gimp.

- Fixed Reading some png files with metadata errors.

- Fixed some errors storing faces in XMP data.

- “Save as” and “Save a Copy” are now re-enabled when switching away from two-up AA mode.

- The size option for uploads is now saved in the album data.

Picasa 3.9.11.6 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Apple making changes with iCloud Notes and Reminders, adding more comprehensive Lost My iPhone feature in forthcoming updates

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012, 06:27
Category: iCloud, News, Software

Some upcoming iCloud features could prove incredibly useful and interesting.

Per AppleInsider, the upcoming iCloud Notes and Reminders apps are virtually identical to their iOS and OS X Mountain Lion siblings. The new Reminders web app offers a cloud-based version of events synced with iOS mobile devices and desktop Macs, although it does not support location based reminders (simply ignoring any “geofence” reminder settings triggered to go out when entering or leaving a particular location).

Notes gets a similar web treatment, although unlike its iOS and OS X counterparts, there’s no way to change the default font from Noteworthy. Notes on the web also reflects the stitched leather binding of its iOS counterpart rather than the plainer version in OS X.

In addition to the two new apps, iCloud Mail and Calendar are both getting minor updates. The new Mail adds support for VIP inboxes introduced in Mountain Lion’s Mail this summer.

Mail also uses iOS style scroll bars that are skinnier and translucent, in strange contrast to iCloud’s Calendar app, which continues to use a standard scroll bars with a full gutter and arrow buttons.

The only apparent change in Calendars is the removal of the Reminders list, which is now its own app. Similarly, the iCloud Contacts app hasn’t changed at all, so it retains the odd “bookmark” control for accessing contact groups that Apple has removed from both the OS X and iOS 6 versions of the app.

Also left apparently unchanged is Apple’s support for saving and accessing iWork documents from the web. Overall, the company’s web strategy for iCloud seems very conservative, given that both Google and now Microsoft have made web versions of their office apps a prominent part of their software strategy.

One final feature Apple has added to iCloud’s web portfolio is a new “Lost Mode” within Find My iPhone. The new feature is an enhancement over the previous version, which only offers to lock the device and optionally send it a message.

If your iOS 6 device goes missing, you can click on Lost Mode and the app prompts you to enter a phone number and message, locks the device remotely and will track the device every time it moves, reporting changes in location via email updates. It will also draw each location change on the map, showing a trail of where the device has shown up.

Devices that haven’t yet upgraded to iOS 6, along with Macs registered to use iCloud’s Find My Mac, continue to support the old Lock feature, without updates or live tracking.

Notably, Apple is still using Google Maps within iCloud rather than its own Maps that will launch with the new iOS 6 update later this week. The company may transition over to its own map services at some point.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.89

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 30th, 2012, 16:35
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

Hey, a web browser update is still a web browser update.

On Thursday, Google released a beta of version 21.0.1180.89 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 43.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Several Pepper Flash fixes (Issue 140577, 144107, 140498, 142479)..

- Microphone issues with tinychat.com (Issue: 143192).

- Devtools regression with “save as” of edited source (issue: 141180).

- Mini ninjas shaders fails (Issue: 142705).

- Page randomly turns red/green gradient boxes (Issue: 110343).

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.89 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Mozilla to discontinue support for Firefox under Leopard this October

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012, 09:22
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

Ya gotta upgrade sometime.

Per Macworld, Mozilla will drop support for Apple’s OS X 10.5, or Leopard, after it ships Firefox 16 in October, according to company developers.

“We are not planning to support Mac OS X 10.5 with Firefox 17,” said Josh Aas, who works on the Firefox platform group, in a message last month on Bugzilla. “The builds will fail to run on anything less than Mac OS X 10.6.”

OS X 10.6 is Snow Leopard, the 2009 follow-up to Leopard, which shipped in October 2007.

By Mozilla’s release calendar, Firefox 16 is to debut Oct. 9. Firefox 17, the first that will not to pushed to Leopard users, is slated for a Nov. 20 launch.

Mozilla is following Google’s lead in dropping Leopard; Google released its last browser for OS X 10.5, Chrome 21, on July 31.

Although Mozilla talked about ditching OS X 10.5 support in December 2011, it decided then to keep Apple’s OS on the list. Discussions among engineers, managers and contributors restarted in late June.

According to Mozilla, Leopard’s importance is diminishing. “Mac OS X 10.5 users have been declining by 1% per month, as a share of our total Mac OS X users,” said Aas. “This, combined with the impact of the release of Mac OS X 10.8 [Mountain Lion], means that Mac OS X 10.5 users will likely make up around 10% of Mac OS X users when Firefox 17 ships.”

As of June 21, 17% of Firefox 13’s Mac users were running Leopard, with larger shares on Snow Leopard (35%) and Lion (48%), Aas said. Only 4.6% of all Firefox 13 users were running it on a Mac.

Like Google, another reason Mozilla cited for dumping Leopard was that Apple has also ended support.

The last time Apple patched bugs in Leopard was November 2011, and its most recent security update, in May 2012, disabled older copies of Flash Player to stymie Flashback rather than fix specific security flaws. Nor has Apple maintained Safari on OS X 10.5. The final update was issued over a year ago.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.81

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 17th, 2012, 16:42
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

You can’t knock frequent updates.

On Friday, Google released a beta of version 21.0.1180.81 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 43.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Duplex Printing defaults to Yes, which prints extra pages even for a 1 page print out (Issue 138312).

- Print preview takes forever on Win XP (issue: 140044).

- Anti-DDoS inversion of logic (Issues: 141643, 141081).

- Pepper Flash: in file uploads, treats HTTP status != 200 as failure, breaking (e.g.) uploads to Amazon S3 (Issue: 140468).

- Projectmanager.com application causes Flash to hang (Issue: 141018)
Turn off TLS 1.1 in Chrome 21 Stable (Issue: 142172).

- An additional scroll bar appears at the right on many sites (issue: 140239).

- Setting and unsetting display:none obliterates current scroll position (issue: 140101).

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.81 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.75

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012, 13:31
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

Hey, updates are useful.

On Wednesday, Google released version 21.0.1180.75 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 40.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Flash videos not longer remaining in fullscreen when clicking a secondary monitor while the video is playing (Issue: 140366).

- Flash video full screen displays on wrong monitor (Issue: 137523).

- REGRESSION: Rendering difference in Chrome 21 and 22 that affected on Persian Wikipedia (Issue: 139502).

- Some known crashes (Issues: 137498, 138552, 128652, 140140).

- Audio objects are not “switched” immediately (Issue: 140247).

- Print and Print Preview ignore paper size default in printer config (Issue: 135374).

- Candidate windows is shown in wrong place in Retina display (Issue: 139108)
more of the choppy and distorted audio issues (Issue: 136624).

- Japanese characters showing in Chinese font (Issue: 140432).

- Video playback issues with flash-based sites (Issue: 139953).

- Sync invalidation notification broken after restart (Issue: 139424).

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.75 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Cocktail updated to 6.0.1

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012, 07:45
Category: News, Software

cocktaillogo.jpg

On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.0.1 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may fail to clear DNS cache.

- Fixed compatibility issues with Google Chrome 20.

Cocktail 6.0.1 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

Apple releases iOS 6 beta 4, removes YouTube app in newest developer version

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 7th, 2012, 06:30
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software

Apple on Monday afternoon released the 4th beta of iOS 6 to developers and in the process appears to have nixed the inclusion of the once-standard YouTube app in what appears to be an escalation of tensions between the company and rival Google.

Per AppleInsider, upon installing the release, sources familiar with the software confirm that the Apple-developed YouTube app is no longer part of the distribution — potentially a sign of increased tensions between the two companies which are facing off against each other in both the mobile and connected television segments.

Google owns YouTube.

Update: in a statement issued yesterday, Apple offered the following:

“Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”

At the release of the original iPhone in 2007, Apple partnered with Google to develop a native, bundled YouTube app for the iPhone that would allow users to access Google’s vast library of user-created videos.

Without work on Google’s side to make those videos available using the open H.264 codec, its YouTube videos would not have worked with the iPhone because Google’s player and distribution formats were tied to Adobe Flash, a software platform that wasn’t functional on smartphones and wouldn’t be made available by Adobe in a partially-usable form until 2010, and then only on brand new hardware powerful enough to run it.

Because of the proprietary nature of Flash, Apple would have been severely constrained in any of its efforts to create an in-house compatibility layer to support it. It would also have required significant resources and introduced new limitations on Apple’s iOS.

Rather than taking on the nearly impossible task of supporting Flash on 2007-era mobile devices, Apple decided to instead provide alternative workarounds that minimized the feature loss of not having Flash available.

Because the primary valuable uses of Flash revolved around simple web site animations and video playback, Apple focused on providing rich support for advanced HTML techniques and began promoting Flash-free, direct H.264 video playback, two features that became prominent capabilities of HTML 5.

After initially supporting YouTube playback on the iPhone, Apple TV and later the iPad by converting its huge library to enable raw H.264 video downloads, Google began an attack on the H.264 standard because it incorporated licensed technologies that put it at odds with free software advocates in the open source community, particularly Mozilla.

Google acquired its own proprietary codec (renaming it WebM) and made the specification “open” in the sense of requiring no licensing fees to use it. However, the MPEG Licensing Authority, the standards body behind H.264, insisted that Google’s new specification infringed upon the technical patent portfolio already developed by the global community for H.264.

Concerns around the legal legitimacy and infringement risks of Google’s own WebM codec, as well as the codec’s serious technical shortcomings (including a lack of mobile hardware acceleration support) has caused it to fail to gain any serious traction in the market since, even despite Google’s removal of H.264 playback support from its Chrome web browser.

Over the last five years, Apple’s support for HTML 5 and H.264 video has made both open standards (one freely licensed, the other requiring licensing from the MPEG LA) the new foundations of web development. This is particularly the case in the global market for mobile devices, about half of which are now produced by Apple.

Adobe has canceled Flash development on mobile devices, and its middleware platform is now becoming increasingly irrelevant on the web as HTML 5 takes over more and more features formerly served by Flash. After YouTube’s switch to serving H.264, other prominent video distributors followed suit, to the point where most of the world’s web videos do not require Flash to work, an unbelievable scenario back in 2007.

At this point, iOS doesn’t need a special app to access YouTube videos, and as Apple indicated in its comment to the media, Google has terminated its license to access YouTube videos natively, rather than via Google’s website.

While Apple no longer needs to direct attention to YouTube videos in a special iOS app, the removal of its YouTube app sends a strong message when combined with other, related efforts Apple has made to exclude Google from its once intimate position on Apple’s iOS platform.

New “Share Sheets” Apple introduced for iOS 6 and this summer’s OS X Mountain Lion specifically support Google’s YouTube competitor site Vimeo, but not YouTube.

Apple has also added support for Yahoo’s Flickr photo site but not Google’s Picassa, and has added or announced new social link features for Twitter and Facebook, but conspicuously not Google’s own competing services Buzz and Google+.

One of the most significant features of iOS 6 is Apple’s new Maps, which erases its former support for Google’s mapping services and establishes Apple’s own in-house services in their place.

Apple’s new Maps app for iOS 6 (below) similarly avoids any support for Google’s Places, instead partnering with Yelp, and makes no effort to incorporate Google’s Latitude location sharing, having introduced Apple’s own device location and Find My Friends services tied to iCloud.

Apple’s removal or lack of support for Google’s services (particularly given the support of its competitor’s) is apparently an intentional distancing effort Apple has initiated as a response to Google’s increasingly intense competitive efforts, which include Google’s Android software platform, legal efforts to challenge Apple’s infringement complaints with offensive use of standards essential patents through Google’s new Motorola subsidiary, and most recently, efforts to take on the iPad and Apple TV with Google-branded hardware devices.

Stay tuned for additional details and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the new iOS 6 beta, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.57

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, 05:38
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

If you have one of the fancy new MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display, you’ll like this.

Otherwise, it’s a Google Chrome update and those are always useful…

According to its Chrome blog, Google released version 21.0.1180.57 of its Chrome web browser on Tuesday.

The update, a 40.7 megabyte download, adds high-resolution support to its browser for Retina display Macs as well as other fixes tracked over on the change log page.

Released at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has a screen resolution of 2,880 by 1,800 pixels. Optimized versions of Apple’s own software for OS X, including its Safari Web browser, became quickly available, while some third-party applications took more time.

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.57 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Mozilla releases Firefox 14.0.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 05:14
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

On Monday, Mozilla.org released version 14.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 30.7 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

New:
- Google searches now utilize HTTPS.

- Full screen support for Mac OS X Lion implemented.

- Plugins can now be configured to only load on click (requires an about:config change).

- The Awesome Bar now auto-completes typed URLs.

Changed:
- Improved site identity manager, to prevent spoofing of an SSL connection with favicons.

Developer:
- Pointer Lock API implemented.

- New API to prevent your display from sleeping.

- New text-transform and font-variant CSS improvements for Turkish languages and Greek.

Fixed:
- Various security fixes.

- GIF animation can gets stuck when src and image size are changed (743598).

- OS X: nsCocoaWindow::ConstrainPosition uses wrong screen in multi-display setup (752149).

- CSS :hover regression when an element’s class name is set by Javascript (758885).

Firefox 14.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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