Apple purchases WifiSLAM, attached “indoor GPS” technology for $20 million

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:12
Category: News, Software

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Well, Apple had to buy SOMETHING…

Per the Wall Street Journal, Apple recently closed a deal worth about $20 million to acquire WifiSLAM, a Silicon Valley firm focused on building technology that affords users positioning data while indoors.

The news paper was able to confirm the acquisition with an Apple spokesman, though the company did not give details of the deal or what it plans to do with WifiSLAM’s “indoor GPS” technology.

“[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time,” the spokesman said, declining further comment.

In the report, the publication cited people familiar with the acquisition as saying Apple paid some US$20 million in the recently closed deal.

WifiSLAM is a developer of indoor positioning technologies, which extends location data to the inside of buildings and other structures using Wi-Fi signals. The data can be used by third-party apps to accurately grant handset users positioning data where GPS signals are absent.

The indoor positioning startup is two years old and has already raised funding from angel investors, though the exact amount is unknown. WifiSLAM has a number of ties to Google, including the company’s co-founder Joseph Huang, who was a software engineering intern at the search giant. Current Google employee Don Dodge is also listed as an angel investor.

Apple could implement the positioning assets into its much maligned iOS Maps app as an answer to Google’s Indoor Maps initiative, which leverages crowdsourcing to deliver indoor location information for a number of sites worldwide.

While Apple’s first-party mapping service has seen improvements since stumbling out of the gates in September 2012, many users still prefer to use the Google Maps iOS app, which offers features like Street View and a more robust set of satellite imagery.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.172

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Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 07:08
Category: News, security, Software

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Hey, take an update where you can find it.

On Wednesday, Google released version 25.0.1364.172 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This release contains stability improvements, and a new version of Adobe Flash.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.172 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 25.0.1364.160

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Date: Friday, March 8th, 2013, 07:52
Category: News, security, Software

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You can’t fault a company for regularly updating its software.

On Friday, Google released version 25.0.1364.160 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- [Fixed] High CVE-2013-0912: Type confusion in WebKit.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.160 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 25.0.1364.155

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Date: Thursday, March 7th, 2013, 06:09
Category: News, Software

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Hey, an update’s an update.

On Wednesday, Google released version 25.0.1364.155 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This release fixes a crash when typing in the Omnibox.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.155 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.

Researcher locates HTML 5 exploit, floods hard drive with cat images in proof of concept video

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Date: Monday, March 4th, 2013, 07:32
Category: News, security, Software

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In as much as Java and Adobe Flash Player have taken recent beatings where security is concerned, apparently no platform is safe.

Per the BBC, a recently discovered flaw in the HTML 5 coding language could allow websites to bombard users with gigabytes of junk data, with a number of popular browsers being open to the vulnerability.

According to developer Feross Aboukhadijeh, who uncovered the bug this week and posted it to his blog, data dumps can be performed on most major Web browsers, including Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Opera, the BBC reported. The only browser to stop data dump tests was Mozilla’s Firefox, which capped storage at 5MB.

If in doubt, this proof of concept video sorta says it all…:



The problem is rooted in how HTML 5 handles local data storage. While each browser has different storage parameters, many of which support user-definable limits, all provide for at least 2.5 megabytes of data to be stored on a user’s computer.

Aboukhadijeh discovered a loophole that bypasses the imposed data cap by creating numerous temporary websites that are linked to a user-visited site. Because most browsers don’t account for the contingency, the secondary sites were allowed local storage provisions in amounts equal to the primary site’s limit. By generating a multitude of linked websites, the bug can dump enormous amounts of data onto affected computers.

In testing the flaw, Aboukhadijeh was able to dump 1GB of data every 16 seconds on his SSD-equipped MacBook Pro with Retina display. He noted that 32-bit browsers like Chrome may crash before a disk is filled.

“Cleverly coded websites have effectively unlimited storage space on visitor’s computers,” Aboukhadijeh wrote in a blogpost.

The developer has released code to exploit the bug and has created a dedicated website called Filldisk to highlight the flaw. In true internet meme fashion, the site dumps images of cats on to an affected machine’s hard drive.

Bug reports have already been sent to makers of the affected Web browsers, and Aboukhadijeh said malicious use of his code has yet to been seen in the wild.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google opens Maps API to entire developer base

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 08:04
Category: News, Software

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Well, this is one pretty definite way to win the GPS app war…

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Google has expanded its Google maps SDK for iOS developers. The SDK, which was quietly launched back in December, allowed developers to do two things: first, they can embed Google Maps in their apps instead of Apple Maps, and second, they could specify in their apps if an address or directions should be opened in Apple Maps, or the Google Maps app. However, in order to access the SDK, iOS developers had to register their interest and wait in line to be approved, which led to a limited amount of third-party apps bringing Google maps back.

Google has now released version 1.1 of Google Maps SDK for iOS. Not only does the updated SDK include support for ground overlays, gesture control and geodesic polylines, it makes the Google Maps API immediately available to all developers that want it. Now a developer simply needs to grab their keys from the Google API Console.

With the release of Google Maps SDK for iOS version 1.1 users can expect to see a quick uptick in the number of iOS apps that are using Google Maps again.

If you’ve had a chance to play with the new SDK, please let us know.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.99

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

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Ya can’t knock a regular update.

On Thursday, Google released version 25.0.1364.99 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 46.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Improvements in managing and securing your extensions.

- Better support for HTML5 time/date inputs.

- Javascript speech API support.

- Better WebGL error handling.

- And lots of other features for developers.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.99 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 24.0.1312.57

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Date: Thursday, January 31st, 2013, 07:25
Category: News, Software

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An update’s an update.

Late Wednesday, Google released version 24.0.1312.57 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 46.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Mac: r177690 Fix renderer crashes when using certain IMEs. (Issue 152566)

- Mac: r178517 Fix microphone input dropout with Pepper Flash. (Issue 168859)

- Chrome Frame: r178591 Fix renderer exiting in certain cases when opening a new Window from Chrome Frame. (Issue 171877)

Google Chrome 24.0.1312.57 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.

Microsoft announces Office 365 Home Premium for Macs, PCs and Windows tablets, points to February 27th release date

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Date: Tuesday, January 29th, 2013, 08:05
Category: News, Software

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If you were wondering when Office 2013 would find its way to the Mac, it’s on its way come February 27th.

And in a subscription model.

Per CNET, after existing in preview form since last summer, Office 2013, the next version of Microsoft’s productivity software, is now available for download.

The company has begun offering users Office Home and Student 2013 with all the familiar apps like Word and Excel for a one-time fee of US$139. Since this stand-alone package won’t entitle you to any subsequent upgrades, Microsoft is also offering a more complete subscription model for US$99 per year that delivers the various updates over the coming months and years.

The package offers the following:
- The latest and most complete set of Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.

- One license for the entire household to use Office on up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs or Macs, and Office on Demand available from any Internet-connected PC.

- An additional 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage, nearly three times the amount available with a free SkyDrive account.

- 60 free Skype world calling minutes per month to call mobile phones, landlines or PCs around the world.

- Future upgrades, so you always use the latest time-saving technology.

Microsoft also announced today the cloud-connected Microsoft Office Home and Business, though you won’t be able to snatch it up until February 27. You can get it for a one-time fee of US$219 or as a subscription for US$150 per year.

And along with the new software, Microsoft’s Office.com Web site has received a refresh in both look and functionality. The Web site lets you manage your account, set up and check the status of your subscription, and download the Office software to your computer.

Office 365 Home Premium for the Mac requires the following specs to install and run:
-1 GHz or faster x86 or 64-bit processor with SSE2 instruction set (PC); Intel processor (Mac).

-1 GB RAM (32-bit or Mac) /2 GB RAM (64-bit).

-3.0 GB of available disk space (PC); 2.5 GB HFS+ hard disk format (Mac).

-1024×576 or higher resolution monitor.

- Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 2008 R2 with .NET 3.5 or later (PC); Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later (Mac).

- Graphics hardware acceleration requires DirectX10 graphics card with 1024 x 576 resolution.

- Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10; Mozilla Firefox 10.x or later; Apple Safari 5; or Google Chrome 17.x.

A full 30 day trial can be found and downloaded from here.

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

Google Chrome updated to 24.0.1312.56

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013, 07:07
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a decent web browser update.

Late Tuesday, Google released version 24.0.1312.56 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 46.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed performance of mouse wheel scrolling. [Issue: 160122]

- Fixed visited links regression. [Issue: 160025]

Google Chrome 24.0.1312.56 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.