Rumor: Apple may be looking to move away from Intel chipsets, begin using its own processors for certain products

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Date: Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012, 07:15
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, Processors, Rumor

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It’s been six years.

Maybe it’s time for a change.

Per Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple has reportedly “deliberated” moving its lineup of Mac computers away from Intel processors, though such a change apparently isn’t “imminent.”

The details come from a profile of Apple’s current state under CEO Tim Cook published Wednesday by Bloomberg Businessweek. Citing two unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s discussions, the report indicated that Apple would like to move away from Intel’s CPUs in its Macs.

“Such a shift would be difficult and isn’t imminent, though it would allow Apple to further distinguish its laptops and desktops from competitors that run Intel’s chips and Microsoft’s Windows software,” authors Brad Stone, Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows wrote.

Apple’s interest in moving away from Intel is not new, but Wednesday’s report is an indication that the desire still exists at the company. Per AppleInsider, Apple had discussions with Intel’s chief competitor, AMD, about switching to its chips for future Macs.

Apple previously differentiated its Mac lineup from Windows PCs by utilizing PowerPC chips built by IBM and Motorola. But in 2005, Apple announced it would switch to Intel microprocessors for all of its Mac hardware. The transition was complete by August of 2006, and starting with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in 2009, support for legacy PowerPC Macs no longer existed.

While Intel currently powers Apple’s Mac lineup, the company is absent from Apple’s more popular iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad. Intel has instead pushed its own “Atom” processors for mobile devices, but tests have shown that Apple’s latest A6 CPU found in the iPhone 5 outperforms Atom.

While AMD would be an option if Apple were to abandon Intel, Apple has made headway in designing its own custom silicon for the iPhone and iPad. Earlier this year, rumors suggested Apple was looking to use its own ARM processors in upcoming iterations of the MacBook, especially in power-critical applications like the thin-and-light MacBook Air.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Opera 12.10.1615 public beta goes live, now available for download

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012, 07:17
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Opera Software released a public beta of version 12.10.1615 of its web browser. The new version, a 20.1 megabyte download via MacUpdate, boasts the following fixes and changes:
- Extensions, improved

Several new and improved APIs are included in this version of Opera including:
- API for URL filtering

- Context Menu API

- Screenshots API

- Resource Loader API

- High-resolution Display Support: Improved support for all high-resolution displays, including Apple’s new Retina Displays is included in this beta.

Web Specifications Support:
- Opera 12.10 beta will include changes in the Opera Presto 2.12 engine up to core-integration-point 388.

- SPDY: Support for the SPDY (“Speedy”) network standard is included in Opera 12.10 beta. SPDY was designed to cut down the time it takes for a webpage to load, while reducing some of the security risks posed by HTTP.

- CSS3 Gradients, Transitions, Animations, and Transforms: All members of these specifications are now available without the -o- prefix and have been updated to the latest published versions.

- CSS Site Compatibility: To improve site compatibility and interoperability, Opera 12.10 beta also introduces aliasing for a selection of prefixed CSS properties.

- Fullscreen API: Fullscreen API support has been implemented and fully supports Draft 7 of the Fullscreen API specification.

- Page Visibility API: Basic support for the Page Visibility API specification has been added, including support for visible and hidden.

- WebSockets: Support for WebSockets has been updated in Opera 12.10 beta and is now enabled by default.

- ICC Profiles: International Color Consortium profile support has been added, ensuring images look as the author intended.

Improvements:
- Display and Scripting.

- Add onpaste to document.

- Add an href attribute to the widget element in config.xml.

Fixes and Changes:
- The OS X version of Opera has been reverted to in-process plugins while stability issues stemming from the out-of-process plugin system are investigated and resolved.

Opera 12.10.1615 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple releases Aperture 3.4.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012, 06:29
Category: News, Software

Late last week, Apple released version 3.4.1 of Aperture, its pro-grade image editing application. The new version, which is available as a direct download or via Mac OS X’s Software update feature, is a 550 megabyte download and offers the following fixes and changes:

- Addresses an installer issue that could cause the application to quit unexpectedly on launch.

- Improves the reliability of syncing photos to iOS devices via iTunes.

- Resolves an issue with downloading and viewing photos synced from Facebook albums.

- Addresses other stability issues.

Aperture 3.4.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 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 22.0.1229.79

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012, 08:32
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a decent update.

Late Tuesday, Google released a beta of version 22.0.1229.79 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 44 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Mouse Lock API availability for Javascript.

- Additional Windows 8 enhancements.

- Continued polish for users of HiDPI/Retina screens.

Google Chrome 22.0.1229.79 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.

Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 11

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 25th, 2012, 10:01
Category: News, Software

The headline sort of says it all.

On Tuesday, graphics giant Adobe announced the released of its Photoshop Elements 11 consumer image editing suite, the new version, a 1.99 gigabyte download with a 30 day demo available, adds the following features and changes:

- Quickly turn photos into stunning illustrations: Get the wow without the work by simply clicking to apply new Comic, Graphic Novel, and Pen & Ink filters.

- Discover a friendly and intuitive environment:Organize, edit, create, and share more quickly and easily thanks to big, bold icons; a helpful Action bar; and the ability to choose from Quick, Guided, and Expert editing modes to fit your needs.

- Manage your photos more easily: Intuitively sort and manage photos and video clips based on people, places, and events using new Organizer views.

- Easily create pro-quality photographic effects: Use new Guided Edits for step-by-step help creating tilt-shift effects that make photos look like miniature scenes, vignettes that draw attention to the center of your photos, and high- and low-key effects that add energy or drama with high levels of white or black.

- Combine elements from different photos with ease: Cleanly extract something from one photo to put in another. Industry-leading Adobe Photoshop picture editing technology makes it easy to select and refine the edges of hair and other tricky content, so you can add relatives to the family portrait, put a friend onstage with her favorite singer, and more.

- Map your memories: Relive your journeys by viewing your photos and videos on a map based on where they were taken.

- Share videos on Vimeo: Quickly share your video clips and movies on the popular Vimeo site.

- New templates: Impress friends and family by sharing photos in eye-catching new templates for printed photo keepsakes and Online Albums.

- Take your photo editing to the next level: Expand your editing options by quickly importing and applying effects and styles from popular photo sites and blogs. Even import actions that automate repetitive editing tasks.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 retails for US$99.99 for the full version and US$79.99 for the upgrade version and requires Mac OS X 10.6 and an Intel multi-core processor to install and run.

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

CrossOver updated to 11.2.2

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 21st, 2012, 10:16
Category: News, Software

CrossOver, the popular virtualization program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 11.2.2. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

- This release fixes a bug which caused applications doing 3D drawing to fail to launch under CrossOver on Mac OS X 10.8.2 and 10.7.5. Because of this failure, many games, and some other applications, would not run using CrossOver on OS X 10.8.2 and 10.7.5. If you are using any version of Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion), you should install this upgrade to ensure that CrossOver continues to function.

CrossOver 11.2.2 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 and or later and an Intel-based Mac 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 Security Update 2012-004 out the door for Mac OS X 10.6.x operating systems

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 20th, 2012, 07:07
Category: News, security, Software

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You can’t go wrong with a timely security update.

Late Wednesday, Apple released Security Update 2012-004, the company’s most recent security update for its Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) operating systems.

The update, a 2.36 megabyte download, offers a series of fixes and changes detailed here.

Security Update 2012-004 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

Apple releases firmware updates for late-2010 MacBook Air, mid-2012 MacBook Air, mid-2012 MacBook Pro and mid-2012 Retina Display MacBook Pro

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 20th, 2012, 07:06
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

Pretty much everything in the known universe was updated on Wednesday.

And assorted firmware updates for your MacBook…those tend to be important, so let’s go through them.

On Wednesday, Apple released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.9 for its mid-2012 MacBook Pro notebook. The update, a 4 megabyte download, resolves an issue which can cause the system to hang during heavy processor loads and requires an Intel-based mid-2012 MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

The company also released MacBook Air SMC Update 1.7 for its late-2010 MacBook Air notebook. The update, a 668 kilobyte download, enables Power Nap support on MacBook Air (Late 2010) computers, is recommended for all users running OS X v10.8.2 or later and requires an Intel-based late-2010 MacBook Air running OS X 10.8.2 or later to install and run.

Second to last, the company also released MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update 1.0 for its mid-2012 MacBook Pro Retina Display notebook. The update, a 5.2 megabyte download, resolves an issue which can cause the system to hang during heavy processor loads, and resolves an issue where NetBoot does not function properly when using an Ethernet adapter and requires an Intel-based MacBook Pro with Retina Display running Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

Finally, the company also released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.5 for its mid-2012 MacBook Air notebook. The update, a 5 megabyte download, fixes an issue where Turbo Boost does not activate when using Boot Camp, and resolves an issue where NetBoot does not function properly when using an Ethernet adapter and requires an Intel-based mid-2012 MacBook Air running Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

As always, these updates can be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. Be sure your computer is plugged in while the firmware updates take place and you should be home free.

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

Apple releases OS X 10.8.2 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 19th, 2012, 10:21
Category: News, Software

You’ve been hankering for this for a while now.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 10.8.2 of its OS X Mountain Lion operating system. The new version, a 665 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Facebook:
- Single sign on for Facebook.
- Adds Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos.
- See Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts.
- Facebook notifications now appear in Notification Center.

Game Center:
- Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages.
- Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations.
- Added Facebook “Like” button for games.
- Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement.

Other new features:
- Adds Power Nap support for MacBook Air (Late 2010).
- iMessages sent to your phone number now appear in Messages on your Mac.
- You can now add passes to Passbook (on your iPhone or iPod touch) from – Safari and Mail on your Mac.
- FaceTime can now receive calls sent to your phone number.
- New shared Reminders lists.
- New sort options allow you to sort notes by title, the date you edited them, and when you created them.
- Dictation now supports additional languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian.
- Dictionary app now includes a French definition dictionary.
- Sina Weibo profile photos can now be added to Contacts.

General fixes:
- Adds an option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As.
- Unsent drafts are now opened automatically when launching Mail.
- Receive Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone.
- URLs are shortened when sending tweets from Notification Center.
- Notifications are disabled when AirPlay Mirroring is being used.
- Adds SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field in Safari.
- Adds a new preference to have Safari launch with previously open webpages.
- Resolves an issue that may cause the “Enable Autodiscover” checkbox to always remain checked.
- Enables access to the Mac App Store when Parental Controls are enabled.
- Support for @icloud.com email addresses.
- Resolves a video issue with some VGA projectors when connected to certain Mac notebooks.
- Addresses an issue that may prevent Active Directory accounts from being locked out.
- Resolves an issue that may cause the policy banner to re-appear prior to logging in.
- Improvements to SMB.
- Addresses an issue with NIS users when auto-login is enabled.
- Addresses an issue in which the Keychain may not be accessible.
- Ability to pre-authenticate a FileVault protected system.
- Addresses an issue that may cause Xsan to not automatically start after migrating from Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

OS X 10.8.2 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.8 to install and run, the update itself being attainable by using OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Skype 5.11.0.33 public beta released

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 14th, 2012, 07:41
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Skype released a public beta (version 5.11.0.33) of its VoIP application. The new version, a 31.7 megabyte download via MacUpdate, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Sharing Instant Messages with friends on Messenger. You can now sign in with your Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID), and see presence as well as send and receive IM messages from your friends who are using Messenger, Xbox, Hotmail or Outlook.com.

- Improved Facebook integration. You can now sign in directly with your Facebook account, without needing to first create a Skype account.

- Different conversations can now be opened in separate windows by selecting this option in Preferences (General -> Open conversation in new window when I double-click in the sidebar).

- Link Microsoft and Facebook accounts to a Skype account. If you sign in with a Microsoft or Facebook account you will be offered the option to link your Skype account. If you choose the link option then Skype will display a combined list of friends. This is an area we are still working through so please let us know about your experience.

Skype 5.11.0.33 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, please let us know in the comments.