Apple posts first Mac OS X 10.7 job opening, cites web technologies as integral to new OS

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Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010, 05:13
Category: News

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Hype from the computer industry always makes things a bit more interesting, but it’s sometimes informative.

Per CNET, an Apple job listing suggests something big will be coming to OS X 10.7.

The listing states the following:
“Are you looking to help create something totally new? Something that has never been done before and will truly amaze everyone? Are you excited by the prospect that what you helped create would be used every day by millions of Apple customers? Then come and work with the Mac OS X software engineering team to help build a new and revolutionary feature for Mac OS X.
We are looking for a senior software engineer to help us create a revolutionary new feature in the very foundations of Mac OS X. We have something truly revolutionary and really exciting in progress and it is going to require your most creative and focused efforts ever.”

The announcement goes on to further describe an ideal candidate having familiarity with HTTP protocols and other Web and Internet-based programming experience, suggesting the next version of OS X will be more integrated in the Web and networking.

Either way, it could be the start of something nifty.

Albeit Apple will now have to ponder what large and deadly cat to name Mac OS X 10.7 ever.

The best I can think of is “ocelot”…

OWC releases Slim ExpressCard/34 peripheral for MacBook notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2010, 04:54
Category: Accessory, MacBook, MacBook Pro

Peripherals maker OWC has released a new eSATA ExpressCard adapter for MacBooks. The card, which is rated for 3GB/s, is hot swappable and ACHI compliant, requiring no drivers for any Mac notebook running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.

Per MacNN, the card is said to be capable of 170MB/s read speeds and 120MB/s write speeds using external SSD-based eSATA drives and supports up to five disk drives on a JMicron JMB360 chipset. The ExpressCard is bootable for MacBooks with any Core 2 Duo chips, which cover all but the first generation.



The new eSATA ExpressCard requires Mac OS X 10.4 to install and run, with Mac OS X 10.5 or later required for hot-swapping. It also supports Windows 2000 and higher, including Windows 7. The card retails for US$40 but is currently on sale for US$33.

Apple cites $15.7 billion in sales, $3.25 billion profit for 2010 Q3 financial report

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Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2010, 04:37
Category: Finance, News

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Apple generated its best quarter to date, reporting US$15.7 billion in sales and a profit of US$3.25 billion yesterday with shares accelerating US$3.51 per share, up 75% in the year over year from the same period in 2009. The company’s results beat analyst expectations of $3.10 a share and $14.74 billion in revenue according to Macworld.

The company sold a record 3.47 million Macs during the three-month period ended June 26, 2010, another quarterly record for the company that topped the previous high sales mark by 100,000 units. Mac sales increased 33% over the 2.6 million units Apple sold in the third quarter of 2009. Oppenheimer noted that Apple’s 33% sales growth topped the 22% growth rate market research firm IDC projects for the overall computer market.

As expected, portables drove Mac sales for the three months ending in June. Of the 3.47 million Macs sold, 71% were laptops.

The third quarter also marked the first full quarter of sales for the iPad, Apple’s new tablet. Apple said it sold 3.27 million iPads during the quarter with the company seeing US$2.17 billion in recognized revenue from iPad sales during the quarter. The tablet is currently shipping in 10 countries, and Apple plans to introduce the iPad to 9 more countries on July 23rd. The company also stated that it’s selling iPads just as fast as it’s making them, while attempting to increase manufacturing capacity.

Apple sold 8.4 million iPhones in the third quarter, a 61% jump over last year’s figures. The iPhone 4, which debuted in the waning days of the third quarter, made up about 20% of those sales—or more than 1.7 million units. Apple called the iPhone 4 launch the most successful product launch in its history.

Consumer demand for the new phone has been so great, in fact, that Apple has had trouble filling orders. Last month, the company announced that it would delay the release of the white iPhone 4—it’s expected to ship by the end of July. iPhone 4 orders placed through Apple’s online store list a three-week shipping wait as of this writing. (In contrast, the 8GB iPhone 3GS ships within 24 hours.)

Apple saw recognized revenue from its handsets of US$5.33 billion during the quarter, up 74% from last year’s figures. Apple says the iPhone has a sales value of US$5 billion, for an average selling price of US$595.

Combining the sales of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Apple sales there are now 100 million devices running its iOS mobile operating system.

iPod sales fell during the third quarter of 2010. Though the company sold 9.41 million iPods, the figure represented an 8% drop from the 10.2 million music players Apple sold in the year-ago quarter. The iPod segment has seen declining growth for some time now, particularly outside of the holiday shopping season. During the fiscal second quarter, iPod sales dipped by 1% while the 2009 third quarter saw a 7% decline in sales.

Despite the decline, the music device remains the top-selling MP3 player internationally and continues to command a 70% market share in the U.S. More significantly to Apple, the iPod touch continues to grow with Apple stating that sales of that product were up 48% from the year-ago quarter, leading to a 12% increase year-over-year in average selling price for the music player. Apple’s iPod segment saw quarterly revenue of US$1.5 million, a 4% increase from last year.

With regard to the iTunes Store, Apple cited more than $1 billion in revenue, a growth rate of 25% year over year. The mobile app segment of the store has grown to 225,000 apps, with 11,000 specifically built for the iPad. Users have download more than 5 billion apps from the App Store, Apple says.

Apple ended the third quarter with 293 Apple Store locations, the company opening seven more during the three-month period. Four of those new stores were opened in the U.S., while two opened in Australia; the remaining new store was in Canada.

Retail stores generated US$2.58 billion in revenue during the quarter, jumping 73% from the year-ago numbers. Apple sold 677,000 Macs via its retail stores, compared to 492,000 last year; half of the Macs sold at Apple Store were to customers new to the platform, Apple says.

Apple plans to open 24 stores during the fourth quarter. In addition to an outlet in Shanghai, China, that opened earlier this month, noteworthy store openings include ones in Paris, London, and Apple’s first two stores in Spain.

Apple ended its fiscal third quarter with US$45.8 billion in cash and short-term investments, up from US$41.7 billion at the end of last quarter.

For the fiscal fourth quarter ending in September, Apple expects revenue of US$18 billion and earnings per share to come in around US$3.44. Analysts were predicting sales of US$17.03 billion and earnings of US$3.82 per share in advance of Apple’s announcement on Tuesday.

Apple said it would defer revenue during the quarter as a result of its decision to offer free cases to iPhone 4 customers. Last week, the company made its free case offer after reports of reception problems related to the placement of antennas in the iPhone 4. Oppenheimer put the cost of the case giveaway at US$175 million; Apple will recognize the cost of those cases as they’re delivered to customers.

Apple posts changes to MobileMe back end, apps

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Date: Friday, July 9th, 2010, 05:25
Category: News, Software

There’s always something happening on the server end and Apple’s MobileMe service is no exception. Per CNET, Apple released a new bout of changes to the MobileMe services on Thursday. The changes cover everything from iApp improvements to using the MobileMe website and working from within OS X 10.6.4:

Improvements with iOS 4.0 (for iPhone and iPod touch):
The Mail app supports MobileMe Mail aliases when composing or replying to messages.

Find My iPhone app:
The new Find My iPhone app allows you to find your device from another iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

iDisk app version 1.2:
Designed for both iPhone and iPad.
Option to open iDisk documents in compatible apps (such as open a PDF file in iBooks).

Gallery app version 1.1.1:
When viewing individual photos over a Wi-Fi network, higher resolution images are automatically downloaded on iPhone 4.

Improvements with Mac OS X v10.6.4:
Fixes an issue that may cause Address Book contacts to disappear when sharing is enabled.

MobileMe Control Panel 1.6:
Improves syncing of MobileMe Contacts with Microsoft Outlook. See this article for details.

Mail at me.com:
The new MobileMe Mail web application is available for all users.

Find My iPhone at me.com:
The Find My iPhone web application has a full-screen map view. Multiple devices are listed in a sidebar.

Calendar Beta at me.com:
The beta includes a new web application with support for calendar sharing and event invitations.

Me.com website:
Clicking the cloud icon brings up an application switcher.
Clicking your name allows you to access Help, Account, and sign out.

Opera web browser updated to 10.60

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Date: Friday, July 2nd, 2010, 04:11
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Opera Software released version 10.60 of its web browser. The new version, a 22.7 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

- Our further-optimized JavaScript engine is over 50% faster than in Opera 10.50.

- Enhanced support for advanced Web standards such as HTML5 and WebM video is now included.

- Opera can prompt you to share your location, making geolocation-supporting websites more useful.

- Search suggestions for selected providers help you find results more easily.

Opera 10.60 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple releases Epson printer drivers 2.4, HP printer drivers 2.4.1 for Snow Leopard users

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Date: Thursday, July 1st, 2010, 03:00
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released updated sets of Snow Leopard drivers for Hewlett-Packard and Epson printers and scanners.

Per Macworld, the first is version 2.4 of the Epson drivers, which comes in a package listed on Apple’s download page at a whopping 737MB; Epson Printer Drivers 2.4 provides updated compatibility between Mac OS X 10.6 or later and dozens of scanners and printers made by Epson.

On the HP side, the update, dubbed version number 2.4.1, is listed at a significantly smaller 388MB for the full download.) HP Printer Drivers 2.4.1 requires OS X 10.6.1 or higher in order to function and provides support for both printers and scanners made by Hewlett-Packard.

Both updates can be installed through the Software Update built into Mac OS X, or obtained directly from Apple’s Website for Support Downloads.

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.3.3

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Date: Wednesday, June 30th, 2010, 04:51
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.3.3. The new version, a 3.7 megabyte download, adds the following changes:

- Fixed a “divide by zero” error that would cause backup tasks involving very few files to fail at the end.

- Fixed a bug that would cause CCC and the scheduled task helper application to crash when certain filesystems were mounted.

- CCC now enables ownership on the target volume regardless of the ownership setting on the source volume. Previously, clones made of Macs in Target Disk Mode would have incorrect ownership information on system files if the target volume did not have ownership enabled.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task would fail to run properly if the user logged out and then logged back in.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task would log many errors if the user logged out while the scheduled task was in the middle of a backup.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC would not run a “Backup everything” scheduled task that used the “Delete items from the target that do not exist on the source” option.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task that was configured to back up to a disk image would not run if it was set to run “When the target volume is reconnected”. These tasks now run properly when the underlying volume is reconnected to your Macintosh, whether it is a local volume or a mounted sharepoint.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC would report minor errors if a directory disappeared from the source volume in the middle of a backup task.

- Fixed an issue in which preferences from a very old version of CCC would cause errors while trying to select a source volume.

- Fixed a memory leak related to files with Access Control Entries.

- CCC no longer creates the target folder on a remote Macintosh. This enforces the behavior of aborting the backup task if the backup volume is not available, or is not mounted at the expected mountpoint on the remote Macintosh.

- The CCC.log file is now properly created when CCC is run under a non-admin user account.
Minor interface enhancements, specifically around the presentation and content of the “bootability” checks.

- Minor bug fixes around the creation of encrypted disk images.

- If you checked the box to display the scheduled task “task finished” panel only when errors occur, this panel will no longer re-present itself after the scheduled task is reloaded on startup. The setting will only be reset when changes are made to the scheduled task’s configuration in the Scheduled Tasks window.

- CCC now saves only modified scheduled tasks when clicking the Save button in the Scheduled Tasks window.

- Updated the list of items that CCC automatically ignores from a backup set. See the documentation for complete details about this list.

- Fixed an issue in which Intel systems would be permitted to run portions of CCC using Rosetta, leading to reduced performance and potentially crashing behavior.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.3 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

Mozilla releases Firefox 3.6.6 update

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Date: Monday, June 28th, 2010, 04:54
Category: News, Software

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Over the weekend, Mozilla.org released version 3.6.6 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, an 18.7 megabyte download, sports the following major change:

- Firefox 3.6.6 modifies the crash protection feature to increase the amount of time that plugins are allowed to be non-responsive before being terminated.

Firefox 3.6.6 is available in more than 70 different languages and requires a G3, G4, G5 or Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and 128MB of RAM to install and run. If you’ve snagged the new version and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments.

How-To: Work around Mail program errors in Mac OS X 10.6.4

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Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010, 03:50
Category: How-To, News, Software

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Following the update to Mac OS X 10.6.4, a number of users are experiencing an error where Apple’s Mail email client will not open. Per CNET, when the application is launched, a message stating “Mail version 4.3 (1081/1078) cannot be used on Mac OS X Version 10.6.4″ is displayed and the program shuts down.

The version of Mail that is included with OS X 10.6.4 is 4.3 or build 1081, which can be found by right-clicking the Mail application, choosing “Show Package Contents”, opening the /Contents/version.plist file, and checking the version string. Apple purposefully prevents some builds of Applications from running on different versions of OS X, and this type of error will be presented if you try to do so.

One reason this may happen if the OS X update did not complete properly and the system detects the version of Mail as being the older one. The following are a few approaches you can try to fix the problem:

“Reapply the combo updater:
If this problem happens to you, the first thing to try is to reinstall the OS X 10.6.4 update using the “Combo” updater. Download the updater, boot into Safe Mode by restarting and holding the Shift key at bootup, and then run the installer. As an extra safeguard, you can run general maintenance routines beforehand to ensure permissions and caches are in order.

The OS X 10.6.4 Combo updater can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1048

Downgrade Mail and then reapply the combo updater:
Since the Combo updater may not have a full version of Mail included, and instead may only have updated components for Mail, you can try putting a previous version of Mail on the system and then running the combo updater to update it to the latest version. Older versions of Mail can be found in the following locations:

A Time Machine backup:
On the Snow Leopard installation DVD (use Pacifist to extract it)
From another computer running OS X 10.6.3 or earlier

Copy from another system:
Lastly, if you have access to another system that has a properly functioning version of Mail, you can copy the program from that computer to your OS X 10.6.4 installation. You can use a USB flash drive or copy the program over the network and replace the one on your system, but after doing so be sure to run a permissions fix on the boot drive.

Archive and Install:
As a last resort, if the update did not work you can either restore your whole system to a previous version by using Time Machine and then upgrading again with the “Combo” updater, or you can use the OS X 10.6 installation DVD to reinstall OS X. By default the installer will run an “Archive and Install” method, which will replace your system components and Apple-supplied applications with those that are on the DVD. From here, immediately update the system again using the “Combo” updater.”

If you’ve seen this issue on your end and have any fixes or workarounds of your own, let us know.

Nvidia releases Mac OS X 10.6.4-compatible driver for GTX-285 graphics card

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Date: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 04:04
Category: News, Software

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This is sort of interesting.

With the recent release of the Mac OS X 10.6.4 update, assorted users have complained of conflicts with some of Nvidia’s graphics cards. Responding to this, Nvidia has released a new suite of graphics drivers for the GTX-285 graphics card. The driver, a 20.87 megabyte download, is listed for OS X 10.6.4 only, and is specifically for the GTX-285 card that is available as a third-party purchase for Mac Pro systems.

Per CNET, the update specifically addresses OpenGL performance issues and improved compatibility with the latest OS X software updates. In addition, the update has support for applications that implement Nvidia’s CUDA technology, but you will need to download and install an additional driver for this functionality.

Keep in mind that this driver will replace the one provided by Apple, and while it should bring new and updated functionality to the GPU, there is a chance that you may experience some errors. If so, try booting into Safe Mode and using a maintenance application to clear the system’s boot caches, along with running other general maintenance routines.

If you’ve tried the updated driver and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.