Google Chrome updated to 20.0.1132.47

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Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:34
Category: News, Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 20.0.1132.47 for the Mac. The new version, a 40.7 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

- Disables some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Air notebooks), in order to prevent a resource leak which is causing a kernel panic on that hardware. This is a temporary change while we work on fixing the root cause of the issue.

Google Chrome 20.0.1132.47 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.

VLC updated to 2.0.2

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:34
Category: News, Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to a release candidate version of 2.0.2. The new version, a 25.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Video Output:
- XP machine will now use DirectX mode by default, like in previous versions. There were too many errors with broken drivers.

- More accurate colourspaces conversions for YUV->RGB in OpenGL

- Add menu support for libvlc / VLCKit applications on Mac OS X

- Various fixes on Mac OS X, notably for crop, zoom, osd and menu support

- Misc fixes in OpenGL module, on all platforms

- Fix video output on PowerPC-based Macs equipped with an ATI Radeon 7500, an ATI Radeon 9200 or a NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra.

- Fix video output of 10bit encoded contents on Intel-based Macs equipped with an Intel GMA 950 chipset running OS X 10.6 or later.

- Add support for the HiDPI mode used on recent Apple products with so-called Retina Displays.

Access:
- Rework Digital TV module for Windows. DVB-T and DVB-C should work again

- Fixes for RAR compressed files

- Fix DirectShow crashes on exit

- Improve PulseAudio input latency

- Fixes for HTTP access through a proxy

- v4l2 webcam outputting H264 can now be used directly (use –v4l2-chroma=h264)

- Fix subtitles auto-detection in subfolders and detection behaviour

- IE http proxy is not used anymore by VLC on Win32

- Accept more extensions for DVD images

- Fix crash in VC1 packetizer

- Improvements in Blu-Ray playback

- Improvements and fixes in HLS support

Codec:
- Fix crashes in AAC decoder on channels changes, notably in ISDB streams

- Fix compilation with multiple FFmpeg and libav versions

- Fix G726 support

- Fix MP3 free format support

Demuxers:
- Fixes for MKV segments, seeking and MKV title display

- Fix for some mp4, voc, midi and au crashes

- Fix for Real .ram, .f4v, .avi and .ra files support

- Fix for DVB channels file support

- Fixes for alac, vorbis, DTS, VC-1 and Dirac in mp4

Encoders:
- Fix for MPEG Audio encoding, use layer2 when using fourcc “mp2 ” and “mp2a”

- Fix for JPEG generation, when doing snapshots

- Audio filters and output:

- Limitation of spatializer volume output

- Fix DirectSound device selection

- Correct PulseAudio volume control

- Do not apply volume in file output

- Fix sampling rate in JACK output

- Fixes in ALSA output for latency and for broken drivers

Mac OS X:
- Enable drag and drop of playlist items between the temporary playlist and the persistent media library

- Enable import of playlist items taken from the service discovery modules to the media library or the temporary playlist

- Media key support for keyboards by other manufacturers than Apple This fix was facilitated through a hardware donation by ZF Friedrichshafen AG manufacturing keyboards under the brand “Cherry”.

- Add support for the Apple Remote to set the Mac to sleep using a longer press on the Play/Pause button

- Remove libfontconfig’s font cache by an Apple Type Services lookup. This removes the “Updating Cache” dialog, before finding all fonts.

- Re-add an option to hide the window decoration during video playback

- Improve compatibility with other 3rd party apps using SPMediaKeyTap

- Many Fullscreen fixes

- Keep Aspect Ratio when resizing is back

- Add controls to manipulate the Subtitles Duration to the Track Synchronization panel

- Hidden items in the sidebar are being retained for the next launch now

- Fix crash when trying to open an Audio CD by drag & drop

- Improve reliability when opening DVDs or BDs by drag & drop

- Fix crashes on exit

- Fix crash when mounting a device with multiple logical volumes while VLC is running

- Chosen audio output device is retained throughout multiple sessions

- Since running the Mac OS X interface as an Extra Interface or Control Interface can lead to undefined results, eventual settings will be automatically reset on the first launch.- This fixes issues with unresponsive playback controls and crashes on quit.

- Update Growl plugin for use with Growl 1.3

- Miscellaneous minor interface improvements

Lua Scripts:
- Fixes for stdin/stdout and for different locale issues

- Fixes for icecast SD

Qt:
- Fix preferences for audio devices on Windows

- Fix playlist search and selector behaviour

- Fix multiple issues in the Open Disc dialog

- Miscellaneous fixes in preferences, buttons, EPG, playlist and customize dialog

- Fix tags and file names display

- Fix various crashes, display issues and usability issues

Skins2:
- Fix mousewheel on Windows

- Fix for key events and focus loss

Web interface:
- Fix display of some buttons

- Fix listing of files in the Open interface

- Fixes for widgets behaviour and vlm dialog

Security:
- Fix Ogg Heap buffer overflow

- Update taglib (CVE-2012-2396)

- Update libavcodec and other codecs libraries

Translation:
- Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Walloon, Slovak, Polish, Khmer, Japanese, Italian, French, Czech, Belarusian, Breton, Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Irish, Galician, Hungarian, Japanese, Dutch, Telugu, Ukranian, Thai translations update
New Scottish Gaelic translation

VLC 2.0.2 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.

Apple releases extensive batch of printer driver updates for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 operating systems

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 29th, 2012, 09:03
Category: News, Software

It’s not the sexiest set of updates in the world, but it’s useful.

Per AppleInsider, Apple released the following printer driver updates as listed below. The updates provide additional support for a wide range of devices from assorted providers and vary in size:

- NRG Printer Drivers v2.3

- InfoPrint Printer Drivers v2.3

- Lanier Printer Drivers v2.3

- Savin Printer Drivers v2.3

- Ricoh Printer Drivers v2.3

- Gestetner Printer Drivers v2.3

- Infotec Printer Drivers v2.3

- Lexmark Printer Driver v2.8

- Epson Printer Drivers v2.10

- Canon Printer Drivers v2.9

The updates require an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and can also be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Apple releases Aperture 3.3.1 update

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Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012, 13:48
Category: News, Software

On Thursday, Apple released version 3.3.1 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 529 megabyte download and offers the following fixes and changes:

- Fixes an issue that in rare cases could cause Aperture to hang or quit unexpectedly when upgrading libraries.

Aperture 3.3.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.4 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.

CrossOver updated to 11.2

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Date: Monday, June 25th, 2012, 16:25
Category: News, Software

CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 11.2.0. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Support for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

- Signed code to work with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion’s ‘Gatekeeper’ feature.

- Bug fix for a crash when typing with Chinese Pinyin input on OS X 10.7 Lion.

- Fix for certain graphical glitches where small black rectangles would appear in certain applications.

- Improve font discovery.

- Prevent an occasional hang while updating CrossTie profiles.

- Fix a crash in Civilization IV and V in windowed mode.

- Fix an issue where applications could appear frozen after being minimized into the Dock, even though they were still running.

- Fix an error opening documents with parentheses ‘()’ in their filenames.

- Added support for Microsoft Visio 2010.

- Added support for Microsoft Project 2010.

- Integration of Wine 1.4.1, which includes many, many bug fixes and improvements over Wine 1.4.0, as well as improved translations for many languages.

- Bug fix for microphone detection for Rosetta Stone 3.

- Fix a crash for certain files PowerPoint 2010.

- Improvements to Japanese input when running Internet Explorer 7.

- Improvements to graphics card detection.

- Allow for graphics driver detection in CrossTie files.

- Better installation notes during CrossTie installations.

CrossOver 11.2.0 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.

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15098

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Date: Monday, June 25th, 2012, 06:59
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15098 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 306 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Support for Retina Display.

Parallels Desktop 7 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.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.18

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 05:57
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.18. The new version, a 92.7 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

- VMM: fixed VERR_REM_VIRTUAL_CPU_ERROR under rare conditions after the guest has been reset (bug #5164 and others).

- VMM: fixed host freezes with 64-bit guests on 32-bit Linux hosts (bug #10528).

- VRDP: added a workaround for rdesktop clients not properly updating the screen size when minimized.

- AHCI: fixed a rare bug which can cause a guest memory corruption after the guest storage controller has been reset.

- NAT: another attempt to fix crashes under rare conditions (Windows hosts only; bug #10513).

- Mac OS X hosts: addressed issues running Leopard / Snow Leopard (bug #10631).

- Linux hosts / Bridged Networking: fixed the problem with device driver unloading on kernels 3.2.18 and newer due to an invalid reference counter (bug #10624).

- Linux hosts / guests: Linux 3.5-rc1 fixes.

- Linux Additions: the guest content was sometimes not properly updated (bug #9887).

- Solaris Additions: installer fix for X.org Server 1.11 and 1.12.

VirtualBox 4.1.18 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 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.

Testing shows Retina Display MacBook Pro capable of powering 3 external monitors

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2012, 05:14
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

Ok, this is cool.

Per Other World Computing, testing has shown that Apple’s new Retina Display-equipped 15-inch MacBook Pro can power up to three external monitors for an impressive total of four screens.

The peripheral sales company put the new flagship professional-level laptop through its paces by hooking it up to two iMacs in display mode via Thunderbolt and an LG monitor via HDMI while setting the machine’s own display settings to “Best for Retina.”

Even with all four displays active, the new MacBook Pro did not appear to have any performance issues. “Moving images and media didn’t create any lag and we were able to play video on all four displays simultaneously,” OWC wrote in a blog post about the experiment.

Counting the full resolution of the MacBook Pro’s display, OWC’s four-screen setup shows the laptop powering a whopping 14.86 million pixels.

Apple’s own technical specifications for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display only detail support for two external displays at 2,560 by 1,600 pixels, plus the built-in display. The laptop’s graphics are powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 650M GPU and Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 4000.

The new MacBook Pro has received gushing reviews, with most noting the US$2,200 price as the only major downside.

In addition to the Retina Display, the new MacBook Pro features a thinner form factor, SSD storage, USB 3.0 and Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors. A recent teardown of the laptop’s display called Apple’s design, which removed a layer of glass, an “engineering marvel.”

So, if you’ve got a brand new Retina Display MacBook Pro and have three external displays to power today…have at it!

Microsoft targets iPad, unveils Surface tablet

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2012, 07:56
Category: Hardware, News

A little competition never hurt anyone.

Per Engadget, Microsoft debuted its Surface Windows 8 tablet on Monday at a last-minute special event in Los Angeles, marking the tech monolith’s entrance into the iPad-dominated tablet market.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, showed off the tablet computer based on the company’s new Windows 8 operating system he called “the new Surface,” according to the report.

After giving a brief history of Microsoft-branded hardware like the venerable mouse and keyboard, Ballmer introduced the new device, likening it to the Xbox 360 in that it has a strong synthesis of software and hardware that push each other to new limits.

Microsoft’s President of the Windows and Windows Live Division Steven Sinofsky proceeded to show off the 10.6-inch multi-touch tablet, which features a magnesium enclosure called “VaporMg” with built-in stand, dual MIMO arrays, an optically-bonded proprietary display with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 and a variety of input ports. The unit is also coated with vapor-deposited magnesium (PVD) to avoid scratching.

Surface will be sold in two distinct incarnations with one touting an Ivy Bridge i5 processor while the other will feature a low-energy NVIDIA-made ARM cortex CPU. The Intel model, called Surface for Windows 8 Pro, will weigh in at 1.9lbs at 13.5mm thick and feature a 10.6-inch 1920-by-1080 pixel ClearType full HD display. Input and output for the higher-tier Surface is handled by USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort and an microSDXC card reader.

The thinner ARM cortex version will be released under the Surface for Windows RT moniker and will come in at a trim 1.5lbs and 9.8mm thick but bumps specs down to a 1280-by-720 pixel screen. Handling the heat put out by the Intel chip is what Microsoft calls “perimeter venting” or a series of integrated vents encircling the edge of the bezel, which itself is beveled. While the Windows RT model doesn’t carry the high-powered connectivity as its bigger brother, it still manages a microSD slot, USB 2.0 and Micro HD Video.



Accessories for both units include the “Touch Cover” which is a full multi-touch keyboard complete with arrow buttons that changes the color of Surface’s screen to the color of the cover when attached. Much like Apple’s Smart Cover, the Touch Cover also turns the device on and off presumably through use of magnets. The Surface “Type Cover” accessory brings physical switch-type keys and a clickable trackpad, though the part adds 5mm of girth to the tablet.

The Surface supports palm-blocking Digital Ink technology and can mark up PDFs and other supported documents with a digitizer, though the feature seems to be limited to the Intel model.

It is unclear what company is manufacturing the tablet for Microsoft, though the product itself looks to be a branded device with prominent Windows logos adorning the screen bezel and the back kick-stand.

The debut of the ARM-based Windows RT version of Surface is set to coincide with the launch of Windows 8 and will be available in 32GB and 64GB flavors. Pricing will be in-line with competing ARM tablets. The Intel Ivy Bridge i5-based Windows Pro Surface is slated to follow about three months later and will be sold in 64GB and 128GB capacities with prices comparable to Ultrabook PCs.

Full video of the event can be found here and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2.1 firmware upgrade

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2012, 06:59
Category: Hardware, News, Software

On Tuesday, Apple released its Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2.1 firmware upgrade for its Thunderbolt-equipped Macs running Mac OS X 10.7 (“Lion”). The update, a 506 kilobyte download, adds support for the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.

In addition to the direct download, Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2.1 is available through Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature. The update requires a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know in the comments.