Rumor: Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta references hint at upgraded Mac Pro units, improved video cards

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Date: Monday, December 5th, 2011, 07:20
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Software

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It’s the beta references that provide the best hints.

Per netkas.org, Apple’s Mac Pro may be getting a long awaited refresh according to hints tucked away in the most current Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta. The beta version of the OS update includes references to an ATI video card code named “Tahiti” tucked away in the ATIRadeonX3000 driver file, which would give a new Mac Pro model even more powerful graphics processing than current models.

The article stated that “Tahiti” is a code name for ATI’s next generation AMD-based video cards, and may be the upcoming high-performance 7900-series.

The Mac Pro was last updated in July 2010, making the current configuration well over a year old.

The long interval between updates has to reports claiming Apple is questioning whether or not to continue selling its pro-level tower computer, especially since processors like the Core i7 are available, and Thunderbolt ports offer a potential alternative to the Mac Pro’s built-in expansion slots.

Referencing new AMD video cards doesn’t, however, necessarily mean new Mac Pros are on the way. Apple could simply be adding support for the upcoming cards as a build-to-order option, or developers might be misinterpreting what the references in the driver files mean.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adium updated to 1.4.4

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Date: Monday, December 5th, 2011, 06:58
Category: News, Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.4.4.

The new version, a 22 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Services:
- Facebook: Fixed connectivity. (#15544, #15583)

- Yahoo: Fixed avatars of contacts not updating correctly.

- Gadu-Gadu: Fixed logging in on PPC Macs. (#15153)

Chat Window:
- Renamed the “Show Info” toolbar item to “Get Info” for consistency. (Ariel Chinn) (#14072)

Contact List:
- Turned off rubber band scrolling for the contact list, as this looks bad when using a borderless window. (#15455)
Xtras

- Fixed a crash when installing an Xtra from the website. (#15581)

Localisation:
- Updated German localisation. (#15477, #15658)

- Fixed two small mistakes in the Brazilian Portuguese localisation. (#15511).

Adium 1.4.4 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

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

Apple releases Keynote 5.1.1 update

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Date: Friday, December 2nd, 2011, 04:00
Category: News, Software

Late Thursday, Apple released version 5.1.1 of its Keynote document presentation application. The update, a 29.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This update addresses issues when working with large Keynote presentations on Mac OS X 10.7.

- It also includes improvements in stability and accessibility for Keynote.

Keynote 5.1.1 retails for US$79.00 as part of the iWork ’09 suite and requires iWork ’09, an Intel processor and Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later to install and run. The update can also be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature if Keynote is already installed on your Mac.

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

Perhaps the Greatest Thing Ever

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2011, 07:44
Category: Fun, Hack, Hardware

It’s unassailably cool, a perfect combination of cats, programmable Arduino circuitry, LEDs, Twitter and the shell from your old eMac. Per creator Samuel Cox, you too can develop an eSleeper, which turned a hollowed-out eMac into a bed for his feline. Inside the shell is an Arduino Ethernet connected to an IR sensor, some LEDs and a sound shield. When the cat breaks the infrared beam it triggers the iconic Mac chime and turns on a series color-shifting LEDs for a little mood lighting. From there the clock starts ticking.



When your gate decides it’s had enough napping and leaves the white plastic cocoon, tripping the IR sensor again, a random phrase is tweeted, along with the length of the cat’s siesta. Check out the video after the break to see the eSleeper in all its adorable DIY glory.

Check the link for full instructions as to how to build your own.

And you should, as it’ll give your cat one less reason to murder you for its own amusement.

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.5.4 update

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Date: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011, 13:33
Category: News

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On Wednesday, Elgato Systems released version 3.5.4 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, a 133.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

New:
- EyeTV Sat, EyeTV Sat Free and EyeTV Netstream Sat* now support Unicable setups. Unicable is a satellite TV technology that allows multiple users to receive programming with a single coaxial cable.

- EyeTV now offers improved support for second generation Apple TVs. A new button in the programs window enables one-click export of selected 720p or 1080i HDTV recordings to 720p H.264 files. This new preset is also available as an auto-export option.

Bug Fixes:
- Resolves an audio issue with the EyeTV HD.

- A crash with a specific Picture-in-Picture command sequence has been resolved.

- Improved UI and overall performance.

- Fixes an issue where EyeTV was not filling the screen in windowed mode.

- Specific North American XMLTV files now work with cable TV.

- General stability fixes for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

EyeTV 3.5.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$39.95.

Camino updated to 2.1.0

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Date: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011, 08:42
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, the Camino Project released version 2.1.0 of Camino, its free, open source web browser.
The new version, an 18.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Web content support:
- Camino now uses version 1.9.2 of Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine, which contains thousands of bug fixes, enhanced support for web standards, and improved JavaScript performance.

- Enhanced location bar autocomplete

- A completely rewritten autocomplete now searches both bookmarks and history and matches against page titles as well as page URLs.

Changes to plug-in support:
- Camino now disables certain insecure or incompatible versions of common plug-ins.

- A new “Internet Plug-Ins” folder in the profile allows for Camino-only plug-ins.

- A new hidden preference allows disabling specific plug-ins.

- Camino no longer includes a Java plug-in; users who need to run Java applets should install Java Plug-In 2 or the Java Embedding Plugin, as appropriate for the version of Mac OS X in use.

Offline mode:
- New “Work Offline” and “Go Online” items in the “Camino” menu allow Camino to enter offline mode and provide a more useful experience when no network connection is available.

Status Bar:
- The status bar can now be hidden by choosing “Hide Status Bar” in “View” menu.

Camino requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

If you’ve tried the new version of Camino and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know.

Apple releases Safari 5.1.2 update

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Date: Wednesday, November 30th, 2011, 04:14
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released Safari 5.1.2, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 38.7 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and new features:

- Improve stability.

- Address issues that could cause hangs and excessive memory usage.

- Address issues that could cause webpages to flash white.

- Allow PDFs to be displayed within web content.

Safari 5.1.2 is available on Mac OS X via Software Update or via direct download from Apple and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

CrossOver updated to 10.2

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Date: Tuesday, November 29th, 2011, 03:41
Category: News, Software

CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 10.2. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Added a workaround for a bug in Mac OS X 10.7. Many games running in a virtual desktop cause a crash. This can be resolved by setting the CX_LEAK_XPLUGIN_SURFACES environment variable.

- Work around a bug in OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. 10.6.8 generated corrupt icon files which caused occasional Finder crashes. Now we use a different API to generate icon files which bypasses the issue.

- Changed behavior of group permissions on certain files. Resolves an issue with .docx files on certain file systems.

CrossOver 10.2 retails for US$69.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

VMWare releases Fusion 4.1.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011, 17:48
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 4.1.1 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 180 megabyte download, can be found here and offers the following fix:

- Corrects an omission from the Fusion 4.1.0 release that affects running Mac OS X in a virtual machine. (Removes the ability to use Leopard and Snow Leopard virtual machines.)

Fusion 4.1.1 retails for US$49.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac, 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (10.7 recommended) and a copy of Windows (if you’ll be installing Windows).

Microsoft looking towards digital delivery system for Windows 8 upgrades/installs

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Date: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011, 14:11
Category: News, Software

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You may not be in love with Windows, but it does become handy from time to time.

Per the MSDN blog, Microsoft looks to be gearing up to release its next-generation Windows 8 operating system via digital release. In a post to the company’s official blog this week, Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, detailed the setup experience users will see with Windows 8.

Sinofsky explained that Microsoft aims to satisfy two distinct types of customers in the install process: those who want to install with minimum hassle, and those who want to do a clean install with more options, control and customization. Microsoft’s simpler solution will allow users to simply launch a file that can be delivered via the Web, not unlike Apple’s Lion, which is available for purchase and install through the Mac App Store.

“In the past, if you wanted to buy an upgrade for Windows, it involved purchasing a boxed product from a retail outlet, taking it home, (sometimes being infuriated while trying to open the box,) and inserting a DVD,” Sinofsky explained. “However, buying boxed software is quickly becoming the exception rather than the rule, with more and more software being purchased online as broadband penetration increases and large-size media downloads become more common.

“While we will continue to offer boxed DVDs, we are also making it easier than ever to purchase and install online. This includes starting the setup experience online as well, and having one continuous integrated experience from beginning to end.”

Microsoft’s Web setup will allow the company to “pre-key” the setup image that is downloaded to a unique user. This means users won’t need to enter the 25-digit product key that is currently necessary to install existing versions of Windows.

Sinofsky stopped short of saying that the Web install method will be the preferred way for users to install Windows 8, though the simplified process will likely make it ideal for most users. Through one application, Microsoft will scan a user’s system for compatibility, download Windows 8, and then install the operating system.

Apple has made it clear that the Mac App Store is the preferred way for users to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, though the company has made Lion also available on a USB thumb drive. But while Lion costs US$29.99 on the Mac App Store, its US$69 price tag when bought on a USB drive is more than double the price of the digital download.

Of course, Microsoft’s digital delivery method for Windows 8 is very different from Apple’s approach, in that Microsoft does not have a centralized software storefront akin to Apple’s Mac App Store. Users will have to load the dedicated Windows 8 Setup application to make the upgrade on their system, while the Mac App Store is available on all up-to-date systems running Apple’s previous-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Beyond digital delivery, Microsoft has made a number of other changes to help simplify and speed up the Windows 8 install process. Through a number of modifications to the upgrade engine, Microsoft says it has reduced a clean install time from 32 minutes for Windows 7 to 21 minutes with Windows 8.

The greatest improvement will be seen for power users who complete a “super upgrade,” which, in Microsoft’s tests, includes 1.44 million files and 120 installed applications. While a Windows 7 upgrade under that scenario would have taken 513 minutes, Windows 8′s advertised upgrade time is just 52 minutes.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.