Apple releases AirPort Utility 6.3.1 update

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Date: Thursday, July 11th, 2013, 14:07
Category: News, Software, wireless

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Late Thursday, Apple released AirPort Utility 6.3.1, a 21 megabyte download which offers the following fixes to the AirPort Utility software:

- Fixed an issue that caused some AirPort Base Stations not to be recognized by device apps.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run. The AirPort Utility update can be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature or via the update feature in Airport Utility itself.

Rumor: Apple considering switch to IGZO displays to boost next-gen MacBook Pro battery life

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Date: Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, 15:54
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor

The next-gen MacBook notebooks could possess even longer lasting batteries.

Per Korea IT News, Apple is once again rumored to be considering indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) LCDs, this time for inclusion in not only upcoming versions of its iPad, but also in its forthcoming MacBook Pros. A recent report has the Cupertino company talking with Sharp and LG Display in preparation for wider manufacture.

The new MacBooks would reportedly be scheduled for release some time early in 2014, though the report gives no word on when IGZO-packing iPads would be set for release. The latest speculation surrounding the iPad does make mention of reduced backlighting and improved battery life, both of which could be outgrowths of IGZO technology.

An oxide semiconductor, IGZO is about 10 times faster in electron mobility than an amorphous silicon semiconductor. This allows the technology to consume far less power in operation. IGZO also requires smaller wiring, which also contributes to its lower power consumption.

The panels are significantly more expensive than traditional LCDs, though, so that could represent an obstacle for Apple in bringing them to market in the MacBook Pro line. Some estimates have Apple paying 1.5 to two times as much for the same panel sizes seen in current models.

A switch to IGZO could be in keeping with Apple’s already established goals for this generation of MacBooks. When introducing the 2013 MacBook Air, Apple made sure to note that the inclusion of Intel’s new Haswell processors had boosted overall battery life to 12 hours for the 13-inch model. The inclusion of less power-intensive displays could push the next generation of MacBook Pros to even greater heights.

Apple has long been rumored to have been looking at IGZO technology for future devices. Previous rumors have focused on the iPhone or iPad.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Earth updated to 7.1.1.1871

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Date: Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, 06:12
Category: News, Software

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Late Monday, software giant Google released version 7.1.1.1871 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 45 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- We have included another fix for the unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2 directory filling beyond specified cache limits for some Windows and Macintosh users.

- Imagery no longer stays blurry upon zooming in when the cache is full.

- Font and tilt settings now stick between sessions.

- Balloon opens now display when recording tours.

- We have included UI improvements to Flight Simulator.

- When printing, the scale legend now displays correct distances.

- Collada models now display with uncorrupted textures.

- Polygons and image overlays now display correctly across the Antimeridian.

- We fixed an issue with certain GPU – driver combinations whereby no imagery displayed in the client.

- The time slider in Sun and Historical Imagery features now displays the correct Daylight Savings time.

- Performance and stability improvements.

Google Earth 7.1.1.1871 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.

Geekbench entry hints at next-gen 15-inch, Haswell-based MacBook Pro

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Date: Tuesday, July 9th, 2013, 07:14
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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This could point to something cool down the road.

Per MacRumors, a new entry that surfaced last month in the results database for popular benchmarking tool Geekbench 2 appeared to reveal Apple’s next-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. Many observers had expected the update to come at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, but Apple has yet to release the new machines.

The post appears to reveal Apple’s next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro, carrying a code name of “AAPLJ45,1″. As with the 13-inch model, it is not clear whether this machine is a Retina or non-Retina model, although Apple has been rumored to be leaving the non-Retina models without any further updates as it seeks to phase out the line in favor of an all-Retina lineup.

The benchmarked 15-inch MacBook Pro, which carries one of Intel’s new Haswell processors and 16 GB of RAM, received a Geekbench score of 12497, roughly in line with the current generation of the machine. But as was seen with the MacBook Air released last month, Haswell’s biggest benefit comes in efficiency, with Apple being able to boost the battery life on those machines to up to 12 hours.

The chip included in the benchmarked machine is a Core i7-4950HQ running at 2.4 GHz and offering Intel’s new high-end Iris Pro 5200 integrated graphics. Intel’s promotional materials for Iris previously showed graphics performance gains of 2-2.5x for this i7-4950Q with Iris 5200 compared to the i7-3840QM with HD Graphics 4000 found in the current stock high-end Retina MacBook Pro.

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro has, however, historically also included a dedicated graphics chip for improved performance, although it is unclear exactly what Apple’s plans are in this regard for future generations. With Intel’s integrated graphics seeing significant increases in performance, it is possible that Apple could, at least on some models, forego a dedicated graphics chip in order to push battery life even higher.

As with the 13-inch model benchmarked earlier, this 15-inch model is running a custom build of OS X Mavericks, in this case 13A2052. The machine is also running a Boot ROM dated June 24.

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro currently offers 7 hours of battery life, and while Apple may not be able to duplicate the 80% increase in battery life seen with the MacBook Air’s switch to Haswell due to other power-hungry components such as the MacBook Pro’s Retina display, the company may still be able to offer substantial battery life improvements in its new machines.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Cocktail updated to 6.5

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Date: Monday, July 8th, 2013, 07:38
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.5 of CocktailCocktail (Mountain Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
- Added ability to hide the Spotlight menu bar icon (System – Spotlight).

- Added ability to rebuild Mail’s Envelope index database (System – Databases).

- Added ability to clear Mail downloads (Files – Caches).

- Added ability to enable Simple Finder (Interface – Finder).

- Added ability to disable send and reply animations in Mail (Interface – Mail).

- Added OS X 10.8.5 compatibility.

- User interface improvements.

- Updated Automator actions.

- Updated Help files.

Cocktail 6.5 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.

Skype updated to 6.6.0.467

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Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 09:33
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, version 6.6.0.467 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 40 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Improvements:
- Optimizations to video messaging: To ensure a consistent Skype experience no matter which device you use, we have added entry points for video messaging to the share menu (plus button). You will now be prompted to send a video message if your call goes unanswered for ten seconds.

- Upgrading for users with non-administrator accounts: After downloading 6.6, all future updates will be silently downloaded for you even if you don’t have an administrator account on OS X.

- Improvements to the instant messaging experience: We have reintroduced quick access to the button that lets you edit chat messages. By clicking the arrow that appears on hover next to the timestamp of a message, you can access the editing menu.

Resolved:
- [File Transfer] “Reveal File in Finder” can point to the wrong file when multiple files with the same name are sent via file transfer.

- [Conversations] Sometimes unsent chat message does not show up when switching back to prior a conversation.

- [Generic] In some cases, Skype accesses the non-existent file video.cfg every second.

- [Calling] Cannot block phone numbers.

Known issues:
- [Conversations] Messages sent to a Facebook contact show up multiple times. Fix is in progress.

Skype 6.6.0.467 is available for free and 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, please let us know in the comments.

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.16

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Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 07:36
Category: News, Software

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An update’s an update.

VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.16. The new version, a 110 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- OVF/OVA: don’t crash on import if no manifest is used (4.2.14 regression; bug #11895).

- GUI: do not restore the current snapshot if we power-off after a Guru Mediation.

- Storage: fixed a crash when hotplugging an empty DVD drive to the VM.

- Storage: fixed a crash when a guest read from a DVD drive attached to the SATA controller under certain circumstances.

- EFI: don’t fail with 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts (bug #11456).

- Autostart: fixed VM startup on OS X.

- Windows hosts: native Windows 8 controls.

- Windows hosts: restore native style on Vista 32.

- Windows hosts / guests: Windows 8.1 adaptions (bug #11899).

- Mac OS X hosts: after removing VirtualBox with VirtualBox_Uninstall.tool, remove it from the pkgutil –pkgs list as well.

VirtualBox 4.2.16 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

Adium updated to 1.5.7

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Date: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013, 06:32
Category: News, Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.5.7.

The new version, a 22.8 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:
- Updated Twitter support. (#16118)

- Retweets (RTs) now properly display the original author.

- t.co links are now expanded.

- Fixed parsing to conform to the standard. (#13947)

- Removed StatusNet support, see ​http://adium.im/blog/2013/07/adium-1-5-7-released.

- Fixed a crash when redrawing the contact list. (#16119)

- Fixed a bug that could cause SSL connections to be closed prematurely. (#15405, #15411, #15741, #16356)

Fixed the following weaknesses in the SSL code:
- Removed all anonymous ciphers from the list Adium tries, these are insecure and would crash Adium.

- Removed SSL_RSA_WITH_NULL_MD5 from the list of ciphers, as it doesn’t use encryption.

- Removed the caching of untrusted certificates, as the implementation would make it easy to replace it with a different certificate when reconnecting.

Adium 1.5.7 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any comments, let us know.

OnyX updated to 2.7.1

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 28th, 2013, 13:33
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a decent update.

OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.7.1. The new version, a 19 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Bug corrected in the Utilities > Applications pane.

- Keyboard Viewer in the Utilities > Applications pane.

- The opt folder can be shown/hidden now from the Utilities > Visibility.

- New replacement icon.

OnyX 2.7.1 requires an Intel-based processor and OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases updated Canon printer drivers for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 operating systems

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Date: Friday, June 28th, 2013, 07:52
Category: News, Software

On Friday, Apple released its Canon Printers Drivers 2.12 package. The update, a 342.52 megabyte download, adds updated drivers for assorted Epson printers, scanners and multifunction devices.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.1 or later and can also be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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