Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18345

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Date: Thursday, November 29th, 2012, 07:09
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 8.0.18345 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 319 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Option to disable edge swipe gestures in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, for those who often accidentally swipe from the edges of the touchpad and activate features.

- Improved connectivity to the Internet via a proxy-server.

Parallels Desktop 8 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

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

Next-gen iMac to go on sale Friday, November 30th

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Date: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, 08:19
Category: Hardware, iMac, News, retail

If you’re hankering for the new, thinner iMac, just wait 72 hours.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Tuesday announced that its all-new iMac desktop will launch this Friday, Nov. 30, meeting its deadline to launch before the end of the month.

The 21.5-inch model will be available through Apple’s online store, Apple retail stores and select authorized resellers. The 27-inch variety will begin shipping in December, but orders will begin at Apple’s online store on Friday.

The 21.5-inch iMac will feature a 2.7-gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce G6 640M graphics for a suggested retail price of US$1,299. A faster 2.9-gigahertz model will be offered for US$1,499.

The larger 27-inch iMac will have a 2.9-gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i5 and GeForce GTX 660M graphics for US$1,799. The high-end 3.2-gigahertz model with GTX 675MX graphics will cost US$1,999.

The redesigned iMac has an aluminum and glass enclosure that is 5-millimeters thin at its edge. It also features a reengineered display that Apple has said reduces reflections by 75 percent.

The new iMac also sports 8 gigabytes of 1,600-megahertz memory, along with a 1-terabyte hard drive and standard Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to a Core i7. The new Nvidia GeForce graphics processors also promise up to 60 percent fast performance.

The all-in-one iMac desktops also sport Apple’s new hybrid Fusion Drive, which gives customers the performance of flash with the capacity of a hard drive. This is accomplished by combining 128 gigabytes of flash with a standard hard drive, creating a single storage volume that intelligently manages files to optimize read and write performance.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases first OS X 10.8.3 beta, inclusion of AMD Radeon 7000 drivers hints at next-gen Mac Pro

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Date: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, 07:31
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News, Software

This could turn into something really interesting.

Per Netkas.org, Apple’s first beta of OS X 10.8.3 has quietly added support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series of graphics cards, hinting that they could be featured in the company’s designed Mac Pro desktop.

Support for the AMD Radeon HD 7XXX series was discovered by Netkas.org this week, following the launch of the first beta of OS X 10.8.3. Specifically, the Mac operating system supports the Radeon HD 7900 series, codenamed “Tahiti,” which includes the Radeon HD 7970 and 7950.

Both of those cards feature 3 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, and are based on a 28-nanometer chip manufacturing process. The cards are the first products to feature AMD’s “Graphics Core Next” compute architecture.

Support for the dedicated desktop graphics card series could signal that AMD’s latest GPUs may be headed for an updated Mac Pro. Apple’s lone tower computer was quietly updated in June with a modest speed bump featuring a two-year-old Intel Xeon E5645 chip.

After users expressed frustration over that update, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook quickly confirmed that his company was working on an overhaul of the Mac Pro. He indicated that the updated desktop would be released sometime in 2013.

“Don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for next year,” Cook said to a customer in an e-mail.

Signs of a sixth-generation Mac Pro appeared in internal configuration files found in the Mountain Lion operating system earlier this year. The “MP60″ is expected to be a significant overhaul of the current Mac Pro model, which has had the same basic aluminum box design introduced for the 2005 PowerMac G5.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91

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Date: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, 07:11
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a bug fix.

Late Monday, Google released a beta of version Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- No audio from Flash content when speaker configuration is set to Quadraphonic (Issue: 159924).

- Aw, Snap renderer crash on Windows Server 2003 (Issue: 160559).

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.91 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.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard install DVDs surface in Apple online store, available for $19.99

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Date: Friday, November 23rd, 2012, 08:45
Category: News, retail, Software

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In as much as it’s useful to keep operating systems on thumb drives and recovery partitions, there are times where you miss having an emergency DVD on hand.

That being said, this should be useful.

Discovered by French web site MacGeneration and the mighty Mac Observer, Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has returned to Apple’s Online Store as a physical disc purchase after being removed upon the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in July.

Snow Leopard, released in August of 2009, was the first Apple operating system to run exclusively on Intel processors. It was also the last version of OS X to include Rosetta, Apple’s translation software that allowed applications written for PowerPC-based Macs to run seamlessly on Intel-powered machines.

Most importantly for owners of older Macs, Snow Leopard represented a crucial transition point for Apple. The Mac App Store, which launched in early January 2011 exclusively on Snow Leopard 10.6.6, inaugurated a new era of digital software distribution. Starting with the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion in July 2011 and continuing with Mountain Lion in July 2012, the primary method for Mac owners to receive new versions of OS X became the Mac App Store (there were indeed other methods of acquiring a new version of OS X, such as the short-lived official USB installer or by making your own, but these were limited options for relatively advanced users).

For users who had already upgraded their eligible Macs to Snow Leopard, the upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion was simple: purchase and download it from the Mac App Store. But if users were still on OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.4 Tiger, they would first have to install Snow Leopard to gain access to the Mac App Store, and then purchase and download Lion or Mountain Lion.

As a result, Apple kept OS X Snow Leopard for sale in its online store until the launch of Mountain Lion when, for reasons unknown, the company removed it. Now, thankfully, the Snow Leopard installation DVD is back for US$19.99, and is currently in stock with free shipping.

While it is true that most Mac owners who are eligible to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion have already done so (or have at least upgraded to Snow Leopard), for the remaining holdouts who want to try a newer version of OS X, or for current users who want a copy of Snow Leopard in case they ever need to run a PowerPC app via Rosetta, now is the time to snag it while it’s still available.

Mozilla releases Firefox 17.0 update

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Date: Wednesday, November 21st, 2012, 09:35
Category: News, Software

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The Firefox version number just keeps getting pushed higher…

Late Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 17.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 33.3 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

What’s new:
- FIXED – 16.0.2: Security fixes can be found here

- FIXED – 16.0.1: Vulnerability outlined here.

- NEW – Firefox on Mac OS X now has preliminary VoiceOver support turned on by default.

- NEW – Initial web app support (Windows/Mac/Linux).

- NEW – Acholi and Kazakh localizations added.

- CHANGED – Improvements around JavaScript responsiveness through incremental garbage collection.

- DEVELOPER – New Developer Toolbar with buttons for quick access to tools, error count for the Web Console, and a new command line for quick keyboard access.

- DEVELOPER – CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transforms and Gradients unprefixed in Firefox 16.

- DEVELOPER – Recently opened files list in Scratchpad implemented.

- FIXED – Debugger breakpoints do not catch on page reload (783393).

- FIXED – No longer supporting MD5 as a hash algorithm in digital signatures (650355).

- FIXED – Opus support by default (772341).

- FIXED – Reverse animation direction has been implemented (655920).

- FIXED – Per tab reporting in about:memory (687724).

- FIXED – User Agent strings for pre-release Firefox versions now show only major version (728831).

Known Issues:
- UNRESOLVED – If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash (see 573369).

- UNRESOLVED – For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual (see 579260).

- UNRESOLVED – Windows: The use of Microsoft’s System Restore functionality shortly after updating Firefox may prevent future updates (see 730285).

- UNRESOLVED – Pointer lock doesn’t work in web apps (see 769150).

Firefox 17.0 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.

Flip4Mac updated to 3.0.0.143

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Date: Wednesday, November 21st, 2012, 08:18
Category: News, Software

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Early Wednesday, software developer Telestream has released version 3.0.0.143 of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, a 15.4 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
- This standalone version of Flip Player is available without the Flip4Mac Windows Media components.

- This standalone version of Flip Player does not require an installer. Instead, you can install it by mounting the disk image, and dragging the Flip Player application to your Applications folder. However, you must agree to the EULA before the disk image will mount.

- This standalone version of Flip Player contains an embedded framework, rather than relying on that framework being installed into /Library/Frameworks or ~/Library/Frameworks.Added support for the application/x-ms-wmp mime type.

Flip4Mac 3.0.0.143 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 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.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini to retire next May

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Date: Monday, November 19th, 2012, 08:54
Category: News, Processors

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Come next May, someone new steps in as head of Intel.

The processor giant announced on Monday that president and CEO, Paul Otellini, has elected to retire as an officer and director of the company effective next May according to the Washington Post.

Otellini’s retirement caps a career of nearly 40 years of continuous service to Intel and its stockholders. His distinguished tenure includes eight years as CEO, during which he is credited with managing the company through challenging times and market transitions. In a statement Monday, Otellini said he plans to remain an advisor to the company’s management following his retirement.

“I’ve been privileged to lead one of the world’s greatest companies,” Otellini said. “After almost four decades with the company and eight years as CEO, it’s time to move on and transfer Intel’s helm to a new generation of leadership.”

Over the next six months, Otellini will work with Intel’s chairman Andy Bryant and senior management on a leadership transition that will include a CEO search conducted by the company’s board of directors. Intel says it plans the consider both internal and external candidates for the chip maker’s top seat.

In addition, Intel also announced Monday that the board has approved the promotion of three senior leaders to the position of executive vice president: Renee James, head of Intel’s software business; Brian Krzanich, chief operating officer and head of worldwide manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, chief financial officer and director of corporate strategy.

While presiding as CEO from the end of 2005 through the end of 2011, Otellini helped grow Intel’s annual revenue from $38.8 billion to $54 billion, and generated cash from operations in excess of $100 billion.

Shortly after assuming to leadership role at Intel, Otellini teamed with late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to help shift the Mac away from PowerPC processors and towards Intel’s — a transition that helped fuel Apple’s resurgence in the PC market. He’s also credited with transforming Intle’s operations and the cost structure for long-term growth, as well as achieving breakthrough innovations like High-K/Metal gate, 3-D Tri-gate transistors, and dramatic improvement in energy efficiency of Intel processors.

Skype updated to 6.0.60.2968

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Date: Friday, November 16th, 2012, 07:00
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, version 6.0.60.2968 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 34.6 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Crash occurred if user has OS X Mountain Lion and Retina display with external monitor attached.

Skype 6.0.60.2968 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 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.

Opera 12.11.1659 public beta goes live, now available for download

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Date: Friday, November 16th, 2012, 06:14
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, Opera Software released a public beta of version 12.11.1659 of its web browser. The new version, a 19.1 megabyte download via MacUpdate, boasts the following fixes and changes:
- CT-3634 Switch with foreignobject is not rendered

- CORE-49240 Some jQuery functions not working correctly in Opera 12.10.

- CORE-49235 Complicated transitions don’t always start or complete, leaving behind a messed up layout.

- CORE-49175 Crash if SVG foreignObject is display:list-item.

- DSK-377538 Opera uses 100%+ cpu on google chat.

- DSK-376755 alt + space does not bring up system menu.

Opera 12.11.1659 is available for free and 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, let us know in the comments.