Waze adds celebrity voice directions

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013, 11:14
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, News

waze_logoWaze, the popular crowdsourcing navigation app, which was recently purchased by Google, announced a new partnership with Universal Pictures to add celebrity voice navigation to its quiver of features. First on the list of celebrities is actor and comedian Kevin Hart (no, I don’t know who he is either). Hart acted on Real Husbands of Hollywood, a comedy-improv parody show on BET and in January, stars in an upcoming movie with Ice Cube called Ride Along. The addition of Hart’s voice is a promotional move to get the word out about the movie. Whether future voices will be tied to promotions is still unknown, but Waze already offers other advertising opportunities for businesses by having the app notify the driver when they get near the business. Both the Waze app and Hart’s voice are free so there is no reason not to try it out. To have Hart tell you where to go, navigate to Settings > Sound, and select “English – Ride Along” as your language.

Did Apple mess up with the Retina iPad mini?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 08:46
Category: Benchmark, Consumer Electronics, Features, Hardware, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, Opinion, The Apple Core

ret-ipad-mini-fanToday I broke down and bought one of the new Retina iPad minis. That is one of the dilemmas of living in a city with multiple, easy to get to Apple Stores. I’ve been watching the local stores’ inventories fluctuate using the Apple-Tracker web site, and noticed that there were several of the model I wanted in stock, so I ordered one for Personal Pickup and had it by this afternoon, which was rather impulsive considering I hadn’t spent any time with an iPad mini. One of the key factors of getting a new iPad was to upgrade to a Retina display, since I do a lot of reading on the iPad. Comparing some my iBooks between my iPad 2 and the iPad mini, there is a noticeable difference in the text, but so far I haven’t noticed the same difference in other graphics.

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Will Apple Mail ever play nice with Gmail?

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Date: Tuesday, November 5th, 2013, 13:24
Category: Google, Mac, Mavericks, Software

Gmail-Apple-Mail-relationship-killed-by-MavericksIf you are one of the unfortunate few many that suffered problems accessing their Google mail after upgrading to Mavericks, hope may be on the horizon. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is hard at work prepping an update for Mail that will hopefully fix the Gmail issues, such as missing messages and deleted messages that keep reappearing in the Mail app’s inbox, and has asked testers of the software seed to test the following: (more…)

Apple, Adobe sandbox Flash Player development for OS X versions

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Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 22:00
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, sandbox the sucker.

Per Mac|Life, Adobe announced on Wednesday that the latest version of the Safari web browser included with OS X Mavericks now features app sandboxing for Flash Player, following similar moves with browsers from Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Although Flash Player has been sandboxed for some time, for whatever reason Apple didn’t get on board with Safari until version 7.0, which is included with this week’s update to OS X Mavericks.

“For the technically minded, this means that there is a specific com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin.sb file defining the security permissions for Flash Player when it runs within the sandboxed plugin process,” explains Adobe Platform Security Strategist Peleus Uhley.

“As you might expect, Flash Player’s capabilities to read and write files will be limited to only those locations it needs to function properly. The sandbox also limits Flash Player’s local connections to device resources and inter-process communication (IPC) channels. Finally, the sandbox limits Flash Player’s networking privileges to prevent unnecessary connection capabilities.”

The bottom line is that viewing Flash Player content will now be safer and more secure for Safari users on OS X Mavericks, thanks to the combined work of Adobe and Apple, who not so long ago were on opposite sides of the track when it came to Flash technology.

If it makes it more secure, then godspeed…

Rumor: iPad media event to take place October 22nd, exact location unknown

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 07:35
Category: iPad, iPad mini, Rumor

It’s the leaks that make things interesting.

Per AppleInsider and AllThingsD, the date for Apple’s anticipated iPad media event was leaked on Tuesday, which cited unnamed sources. The same publication has accurately shared word of Apple event dates in the past.

In addition to new iPads, the event in two weeks is also expected to focus on the company’s revamped Mac Pro high-end desktop, and the forthcoming OS X Mavericks operating system update.

While the date for the event is known, its exact location has yet to be determined. Possible spots include Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., campus, or the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Last year’s iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad event was held in San Jose, but the company reportedly does not plan to return there this year.

The next 9.7-inch iPad is widely expected to sport a redesigned chassis that will make it look like a big iPad mini. Apple is expected to reduce the weight and thickness of its full-size iPad, and also give the device thinner side bezels.

As for the iPad mini, it’s anticipated to feature a high-resolution Retina display with its second-generation model. Both devices are rumored to sport high-quality 8-megapixel rear facing cameras, equivalent with the iPhone.

Still unknown is whether either of Apple’s new iPads will sport the Touch ID fingerprint sensor the company unveiled in the new iPhone 5s, but did not bring to its mid-level iPhone 5c.

The new iPads will hit the market ahead of the holiday shopping season, and at a time when traditional notebook PCs continue to struggle. Competition in the tablet space has been heating up, with Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX, Microsoft’s Surface 2, and Google’s Nexus 7.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 30.0.1599.69

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 4th, 2013, 07:49
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

You can’t knock a decent update.

On Thursday, Google released version 30.0.1599.69 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- [Fix] Tabs freeze up (Issue: 303293).

- [Fix] Lag in some games/GPU issues with certain monitors (Issue: 262437).

Google Chrome 30.0.1599.69 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 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 30.0.1599.66

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013, 06:47
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

They grow up so fast…

On Wednesday, Google released version 30.0.1599.66 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Fixes and Improvements:
- Easier searching by image.

- A number of new apps/extension APIs.

- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

Security Fixes:
- Races in Web Audio.

- Out of bounds read in Window.prototype object.

- Address bar spoofing related to the “204 No Content” status code.

- Use after free in inline-block rendering.

- Use-after-free in Web Audio.

- Use-after-free in XSLT.

- Use-after-free in PPAPI.

- Use-after-free in XML document parsing.

- Use after free in the Windows color chooser dialog.

- Address bar spoofing via a malformed scheme.

- Address bar spoofing related to the “204 No Content” status code.

- Out of bounds read in Web Audio.

- Use-after-free in DOM.

- Memory corruption in V8.

- Out of bounds read in URL parsing.

- Use-after-free in resource loader.

- Use-after-free in template element.

- Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives (Chrome 30).

- Use-after-free in ICU.

Google Chrome 30.0.1599.66 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 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 Earth updated to 7.1.2.2019

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Date: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013, 06:31
Category: News, Software

googleearth

On Wednesday, software giant Google released version 7.1.2.2019 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 45 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- The “Enable Controller” option in user preferences is now turned off by default. This prevents red directional arrows from displaying as a result of uncalibrated joysticks and other controllers being connected to Earth at startup.

- For enhanced security, “Use HTTPS for Google connections” is now toggled on by default.

- We fixed a bug whereby the cache size rose above user-specified limits.

- We fixed a crash resulting from searching on some Windows machines.

- We updated the LEAP API to version 1.08.

- We reduced LEAP controller sensitivity to user hand motions. This enables a smoother flight and greater control over your flight path when using a LEAP.

Google Earth 7.1.2.2019 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 to offer, let us know in the comments.

Cocktail updated to 6.8

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 17th, 2013, 10:47
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.8 of CocktailCocktail (Mountain Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
- Major improvements to the Pilot scheduler. The scheduler will be automatically disabled after installing this update and have to be enabled manually.

- Addresses compatibility issues with the latest versions of Firefox and Google Chrome.

- Added OS X 10.8.5 compatibility.

- Resolves a number of other issues discovered in the previous release.

Cocktail 6.8 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.

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

Rumor: Apple TV software update expected for September 18th, will provide additional AirPlay features

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 08:30
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There shall be nifty new Apple TV software in the relatively near future…

Per AllThingsD, sources have indicated that come next week, Apple will update its set-top box, the Apple TV, with new software that will offer enhanced AirPlay capabilities with the software update reportedly set to arrive on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

While Apple apparently isn’t planning on updating the Apple TV hardware, the company is set to launch an “internal overhaul” that will “tweak” the current AirPlay feature, which allows users to stream content from their iOS device or Mac to the set-top box.

After the update, users will reportedly be able to stream purchased content from the iTunes Store to another person’s Apple TV, even if it isn’t set up with their Apple ID and password. That media will reportedly be streamed directly from the cloud, rather than requiring a local device.

The tweak gives the Apple TV an ability offered by Google’s new Chromecast, a US$35 media streaming dongle the search giant launched this summer.

Details on Apple’s alleged software updates headed for the Apple TV were first revealed last week, suggesting that the latest version will gain additional channels, content and functionality. Apple has been gradually adding new channels to the device in recent months, with the latest push supplying content from Vevo, Disney, the Weather Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel. Prior to that, in June, Apple added HBO Go, WatchESPN, Sky News, CrunchyRoll, and Qello.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.