Will Siri have to answer to Samsung?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014, 08:01
Category: Apple, Business, iPhone, Mac, News, Samsung, Siri, Software

siri-icon-ios7According to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the voice-recognition tech company behind Apple’s Siri assistant may be in talks with Samsung to sell its technology to Apple’s most notorious competitor. Nuance has reportedly been in talks with several potential buyers as the company seeks to sell off its highly sought after voice-to-text translation software. According to some sources familiar with one of the companies involved, Samsung and other private-equity firms have been part of discussions surrounding a possible sale of the company. In addition to Siri, Nuance provides the technology behind Dragon Naturally Speaking software for both Mac and PC, as well as Samsung’s own phones, tablets, and wearable devices.

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iMac speed-bumps next week?

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 13th, 2014, 08:32
Category: Apple, Hardware, iMac, Mac, Processors, Rumor

elthinimacAccording to C|NET, a report sent out on Tuesday from French blog site MacGeneration (use Google Translate) says that the iMac lineup is getting some speed upgrades to be announced as early as next week. Expectations for the base versions of all four of the iMac models are as follows;

  • The $1,499 21.5-inch 2.9 GHz version would see its CPU speed inch up to a full 3 GHz, while its Turbo Boost feature, which automatically manages individual cores of the processor for better performance and power efficiency, would rise from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
  • The $1,299 21.5-inch 2.7 GHz would undergo no changes, according to MacGeneration.
  • The $1,799 27-inch 3.2 GHz variant would increase its processor speed to 3.3 GHz accompanied by a Turbo Speed bump from 3.6 GHz to 3.7 GHz.
  • The $1,999 27-inch 3.4GHz model would rise in CPU speed to 3.5 GHz, while the Turbo Speed’s performance would grow from 3.8 GHz to 3.9 GHz.

While the information provided showed no evidence of these iMacs sporting Retina Displays, some recent rumors say that code within the early betas of OS X 10.10 Yosemite hints that a Retina Display may find its way into an iMac in the near future.

 

 

Amazon introduces Prime Music – more value for your $99

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 13th, 2014, 08:49
Category: Amazon, Announcement, iOS, Mac, music, Opinion, Review, Services

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Amazon just announced the latest service in its Prime family, Prime Music, which together with Prime Instant Video and Prime Shipping will cost $99 a year. Earlier this year, Amazon increased the the price of a Prime subscription from $79 to $99, but at the time there was no indication that there would be any new features to offset the higher price-tag (unless you count the promise of a sky full of drones).

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Firefox updated to 30.0

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 11th, 2014, 10:40
Category: News, Software

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There’s nothing wrong with turning 30.

On Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 30.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 60.4 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:

New:
- Sidebars button in browser chrome enables faster access to social, bookmark, and history sidebars.

- Mac OS X command-E sets find term to selected text.

- Support for GStreamer 1.0.

Changed:
- Disallow calling WebIDL constructors as functions on the web.

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Apple introduces new programming language at WWDC

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Date: Thursday, June 5th, 2014, 08:51
Category: Announcement, Apple, conference, Developer, Software, WWDC

Swift_app_iconOne of the more unexpected announcements at WWDC, given the audiences reaction, was that Apple would be introducing a new programming language called Swift. Craig Federighi commented on how Objective-C had been the backbone of Mac and iOS development for 20 years, and with the phrase, “What it would be like if we had Objective-C without the baggage of C…?”, the developer crowd seemed to express its stunned approval in ooooooo’s and ahhhh’s until finally erupting in applause. According to Federighi, “It totally rules!”.

Continue if you are nerdy and excited by this sort of thing.

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Adobe Creative Cloud updated to 1.6.0.393

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 30th, 2014, 10:11
Category: News, Software

Adobe-Creative-Cloud-Logo

In as much as Adobe’s Creative Cloud client has taken some abuse, it’s getting some updates.

On Thursday, Adobe released version 1.6.0.393 of its control hub software for its Creative Cloud suite. The new version, a 2 MB download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- You can now install older versions of Adobe products straight from Creative Cloud Desktop. These are installed side-by-side with existing versions.

- Improved performance when syncing a large number of files.

- Fixed scenarios where font sync would show perpetual spinner.

- Improved overall font sync stability.

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Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.4.2 update

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Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 10:29
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, Microsoft released its Microsoft Office 2011 14.4.2 update. The update, a 119 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and features:

- Improves activation in Office for Mac 2011 – This update fixes an issue in which product activation is always required after you restart a computer that uses an Apple Fusion Drive. After you install this update, product activation may be requested one more time.

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Moscone readies for WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 29th, 2014, 08:10
Category: Apple, conference, Developer, iOS, OS X, WWDC

wwdc14 crop2WWDC is only 4 days away and San Francisco’s Moscone Center is already dressing up the place in preparation. Given that I’m downtown all the time, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t remember to swing by and take my own pictures, but the web site RazorianFly is on top of it and has a bunch showing numerous banners already going up on interior walls of the convention center. Actually, it would seem that RazorianFly has some kind of insider arrangement, since I can’t imagine any other way one could get these kinds of photos inside the building. Typically the first signs are…well, “signs” going up on the outside of Moscone Center. Anyway, here’s a couple from the site, and maybe I’ll get some myself to add later.

Apple announced Wednesday that they will be streaming this year’s WWDC keynote on June 2 at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET). Several insiders say there will be no hardware announced or discussed, but that Apple will instead concentrate on software including iOS 8, Mac OS X 10.10, and possibly some of the software planned for the iWatch such as HealthBook.

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Online version of iWork gets some improvements

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 08:56
Category: Apple, Apps, Features, iCloud, Software

 

iWork iCloud app icons

It looks like Apple has been giving the iWork apps on iCloud some new features. The entire list, including those made to iWork for the Mac, and the iOS apps can be found here. Many of the updates apply to all three apps, rather than specific functionality change to each.  Document handling, text formatting, and collaboration seem to be areas of focus. A few examples are;

  • Add passwords and share password-protected documents
  • Export documents to ePUB format
  • Print your documents directly from the Tools menu
  • Collaborate with up to 100 people at the same time
  • See cursors and selections for everyone in a document
  • Watch images and shapes animate as your collaborators move them around
  • Almost 200 new fonts
  • More color options in the format panel
  • Folders
  • Edit documents up to 1 GB in size
  • Support for Retina display

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Apple fixes disappearing Users folder “bug”

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Date: Monday, May 19th, 2014, 08:40
Category: Apple, iTunes, Mac, Software

blueitunes11logoThere was quite a bit of online discourse when a recent set of Apple updates rendered people’s Users folder invisible in OS X. The Mac Observer’s observations concluded that it was the iTunes 11.2 update rather that the 10.9.3 update as many initial thought, which seems to be confirmed by Apple’s release of iTunes 11.2.1 which fixes the problem. What confused the matter was that there were reports of Apple representatives telling people that it was intentional. After all the hacks and fiddling to restore the folder visibility, it seems that patience won out as Apple’s latest iTunes update restores visibility of the Users folder. Initially I was annoyed at the possibility that Apple was “dumbing down” OS X again, as it did when it made the user’s Library folder invisible, but as I thought about it, unlike accessing the Library folder (as an IT consultant and power user), I rarely if ever access the the Users folder. Fortunately that’s not the case and was just a “whoopsie”on Apple’s part, unless they are just backpedaling on their initial decision, so go out and update without worry.

Is Apple getting a bit slack about vetting software updates, in spite of the new beta program? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.