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

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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.

Mozilla releases Firefox 13.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 19:37
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, Mozilla.org released version 13.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 30.7 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

- FIXED – Windows Messenger did not load in Hotmail, and the Hotmail inbox did not auto-update (764546, fixed in 13.0.1).

- FIXED – Hebrew text sometimes rendered incorrectly (756850, fixed in 13.0.1).

- FIXED – Flash 11.3 sometimes caused a crash on quit (747683, fixed in 13.0.1).

- NEW – When opening a new tab, users are now presented with their most visited pages.

- NEW – The default home page now has quicker access to bookmarks, history, settings, and more.

- CHANGED – SPDY protocol now enabled by default for faster browsing on supported sites.

- CHANGED – Restored background tabs are not loaded by default for faster startup.

- CHANGED – Smooth scrolling is now enabled by default.

- DEVELOPER – 72 total improvements to Page Inspector, HTML panel, Style Inspector, Scratchpad and Style Editor.

- DEVELOPER – The column-fill CSS property has been implemented.

- DEVELOPER – Experimental support for ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects has been implemented.

- DEVELOPER – Support for the CSS3 background-position property extended syntax has been added.

- DEVELOPER – The :invalid pseudo-class can now be applied to the element.

- DEVELOPER – The CSS turn unit is now supported.

- FIXED – Various security fixes.

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 – OS X: nsCocoaWindow::ConstrainPosition uses wrong screen in multi-display setup (see 752149).

- UNRESOLVED – CSS :hover regression when an element’s class name is set by Javascript (see 758885).

Firefox 13.0.1 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.

Opera web browser updated to 12.00

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 06:54
Category: News, Software

operalogo

On Thursday, Opera Software released version 12.00 of its web browser. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
- Opera now runs plug-ins as a separate process, allowing for more control when a plug-in misbehaves. This feature will enhance security and stability.

- The 64-bit version of Opera will offer performance improvements for some functions and allow Opera more freedom in allocating memory.

- New, lightweight themes make it easier to customize the browser. Install or change themes at the click of a button, without restarting the browser.

Numerous improvements to the address bar have been made:
- Improved address field and address bar drop-down suggestions.

- Smart URL shortening in the address field drop-down.

- The page title and the page excerpt will be used for full page search results
URL and page content columns in the address field drop-down have been combined
Hardware acceleration allows Opera to offload graphics rendering from the processor (CPU) to the graphics card (GPU), making graphics intensive operations such as animations faster.

- RTL support will bring additional stability for certain languages. Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic languages added.

- Extensions will now be able to interact with tabs, create tab groups, and manage windows.

- Opera Unite and Opera Widgets will be off by default in Opera 12.00, and will eventually be phased out of the Opera browser in the future. Voice support will be removed as of Opera 12.00, as the voice-detection library is no longer supported by the third-party vendor.

- Opera 12.00 will include changes in the Opera Presto 2.10 engine up to core-integration-point 289.

- Initial support for real-time communication has been added. Allowing the source of HTML5

- Drag and drop enables webpages to have elements that the user can drag from one page to another, or from their desktop to the webpage.

- Support for animations and transitions has been updated and expanded.

- Added support for the Do Not Track (DNT) HTTP header.

- An innovative new set of CSS constructs that allow webpages to be split up into paged media, revolutionizing the Web reading experience.

- CORS enables more secure and flexible communications between websites.

Improvements:
- General and User Interface.

- Appearance dialog improvements and cleanup.

- Sandboxing enabled for Mac App Store builds.

- A custom user agent preference has been added to opera:config.

Display and Scripting:
- Improved pipelining, JavaScript, and Turbo.

Fixes and Changes:
- Mail, News, Chat.

- Removed IRC client, start bar, navigation bar, main bar, and BitTorrent support.

Security:
- Fixed an issue where hidden keyboard navigation could allow cross site scripting or code execution, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

- Fixed an issue where a combination of clicks and key presses could lead to cross site scripting or code execution, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

- Fixed an issue where cross-domain JSON resources may be exposed as JavaScript variable data.

- Fixed an issue where carefully timed reloads, redirects, and navigation could spoof the address field, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

- Fixed a moderate severity issue; details will be disclosed at a later date.

- Fixed an issue where pages could prevent navigation to a target page, spoofing the address field, as reported by Code Audit Labs of vulnhunt.com.

Opera 12.00 is available for free and requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Skype updated to 5.8.0.865, adds Mac OS X 10.8 support, refined contacts list

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 10:18
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 5.8.0.865 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 23.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

- Reintroduction of a slimmer contact list, which can be resized and repositioned as necessary.

- When talking to people using the iOS or Android apps, the Mac software will now automatically detect when a person has rotated their mobile device, and adjust incoming video on a Mac automatically. Auto-rotation was already supported for incoming Windows Phone video; Skype is notably owned by Microsoft. Premium subscribers, meanwhile, can now see photos and live video simultaneously during Screen Sharing.

- The company has promised that a future Mac release will add the ability to open chats in separate windows, and talk to multiple contacts at once.

Skype 5.8.0.865 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.

Rumor: Apple to release 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 10:35
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Rumor

It’s a rumor, but one can always hope it’ll come true.

Per AppleInsider, Apple will bring a high-resolution Retina display to its 13-inch MacBook Pro with a product update set to launch this October, according analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI in a note to clients on Thursday. Kuo stated that he expects Apple to ramp up production of a 13-inch next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display in September. Such a change would allow the product to hit stores in early October, in time for the holiday shopping season.

Kuo was the first to indicate that Apple would retire its 17-inch MacBook Pro, and that the 15-inch next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display would be sold alongside the previous-generation MacBook Pro with lower-resolution display and thicker design. Both of those details proved true this week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple has the “highest hopes” for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, according to Kuo. But Apple was likely unable to unveil the new product at WWDC this week because of a low yield rate and greater assembly difficulty, he said.

Like the next-generation Retina display MacBook Pro, the 13-inch variety is expected to lack an optical disc drive and rely solely on solid-state flash memory storage. Kuo expects the screen to have a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels, and he said the 13-inch model will be slightly thinner than the 15-inch model, at 18 millimeters.

The next-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro is not expected to have discrete graphics like its 15-inch counterpart, but will instead rely on Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics. Kuo also expects it to have an Intel Ivy Bridge processor with a clock speed greater than 2 gigahertz.

As for the just-released 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro, Kuo said that Apple should have about 300,000 units of the next-generation notebook available to sell this month, a number that he called a “moderate” amount.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.