Apple Releases iTunes 8.1.1 Update

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Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 06:17
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Apple released iTunes 8.1.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 68 megabyte download, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

  • Adds support for renting HD movies.
  • Provides a number of bug fixes, including addressing issues with VoiceOver and syncing with iPhone or iPod touch.
  • iTunes 8.1.1 is available for free, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be snagged using Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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    Sleep Tips for MacBook, MacBook Pro Notebooks Published

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    Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 09:03
    Category: How-To

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    Albeit generally reliable, putting your MacBook or MacBook Pro notebook to sleep can be a bit of a gamble. When you open the notebook back up, you want to make sure the computer will wake up again or your day just got that much worse.
    Over on the Apple Core, David Morgenstern has offered the following tips in getting his MacBook Pro to wake from sleep under both Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.5.
    Per Mac OS X 10.4:

    1. Before I put the machine to sleep, I unplug anything connected, such as an Ethernet cable, hard drive or mouse.
    2. Next I use the Sleep command under the Apple Menu to put the MacBook to sleep and I wait until the screen actually goes blank before closing the lid. I don’t just close the lid.
    3. When I go to wake the MacBook, I open the machine and make sure that I don’t plug anything into the machine before I wake it.

    Interestingly enough, Mac OS X’s Energy Saver panel allows for multiple types of sleep (“computer sleep,” which is what we commonly think of as sleep, where the system sleeps; “display sleep,” where the screen goes black; and “hard disk” sleep, where the drive spins down).
    The column then mentions that the following types of sleep can be used:

    Sleep, where the Mac saves the state in RAM, which means it can go to sleep and wake up quickly, but could bring trouble if the battery runs down or is removed.
    Hibernate, where the state is written to the hard disk (the safest for your data), but takes the longest time to be put to sleep and to wake up.
    Combination Sleep and Hibernate, which Apple calls Safe Sleep. It may take the longest time to sleep but it also can wake quickly. And if your MacBook supports it, you can swap in a fresh battery.

    For users looking to specify the sleep type used, software developer Patrick Stein’s SmartSleep lets you choose between the modes.
    For users experiencing problems getting their MacBook notebook to sleep, Apple’s “Why Your Mac Might Not Sleep or Stay in Sleep Mode” Knowledge Base article offers the following tips:

    There are reasons why you may want your Mac to stay awake even though you are not using the keyboard or mouse, such as when you are:
    Watching a DVD movie
    Listening to your iTunes music library
    Running an automated backup
    Away from your computer while downloading large files

    The article also mentions that using Bluetooth devices can disrupt a MacBook’s sleep function:

    You can allow Bluetooth devices to wake a sleeping computer by enabling “Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer” in Bluetooth preferences. A bluetooth device paired correctly should not typically prevent a computer from sleeping. However, some Bluetooth mice can interfere with sleep.

    Finally, applications themselves can affect sleep:

    If an application uses a custom font to display text but the font resource is marked purgeable, then at some point the memory manager will purge the font from memory. When the application tries to draw text using that font again, it will be loaded from the hard drive, resetting the sleep timer.
    Applications can be designed to keep the system awake and prevent idle sleep indefinitely. In developer lingo, an application may explicitly prevent system sleep by calling IORegisterForSystemPower(), and calling IOCancelPowerChange() when it receives a power management kIOMessageCanSystemSleep notification.

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    VLC Updated to 0.9.9a

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    Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 06:36
    Category: 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.), has recently been updated to version 0.9.9a. The new version, a 31.6 megabyte download, fixes the application’s behavior on PowerPC-based Macs and includes updated libraries for the Mac OS X platforms.
    VLC 0.9.9a requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available as a free download.

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    VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.3

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    Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2009, 08:23
    Category: Software

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    Late Thursday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.3 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 286 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:

  • Resolves an issue where driverless printing stops working for users that run Mac OS X 10.5.6, and installed Apple Mac OS X Security Update 2009-001. The shared printers would disappear from Windows. If you configured your printer differently as a workaround, turn on driverless printing feature again by clicking Virtual Machine > Settings, selecting Printers, and selecting the Enabled check box.
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server as a guest operating system. You can now run the current Snow Leopard Server builds (32-bit kernel) in a virtual machine.
  • Resolves an issue with driverless printing, where the Enabled check box on Virtual Machine > Settings > Printers might get deselected automatically.
  • The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

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    VLC Updated to 0.9.9

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    Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2009, 08:36
    Category: 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.), has recently been updated to version 0.9.9. The new version, a 19.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fullscreen behaviour on Windows with multiple screens.
  • Workaround bug with libxml2 >=2.7.3.
  • Video performance on Intel-based Macs.
  • Various decoders updates on Windows.
  • VLC 0.9.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available as a free download.

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    OmniWeb Updated to 5.9.2

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    Date: Thursday, April 2nd, 2009, 07:31
    Category: Software

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    Late Wednesday, Omni released version 5.9.1 of its OmniWeb web browser. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Implemented support for the Gopher protocol–a first for WebKit-based browsers.
  • OmniWeb 5.9.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve played with the new version and noticed any major improvements or shortcomings, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Camino Reaches Version 1.6.7

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    Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 08:38
    Category: Software

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    Late Tuesday, the Camino Project released version 1.6.7 of Camino, its free, open source web browser.
    The new version, a 15.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Upgraded to version 1.8.1.21 of the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine, which includes several critical security and stability fixes.
  • OpenSearch plug-ins containing ampersands will now work correctly on Mac OS X 10.3.9.
  • Cookies without a valid name no longer prevent display of the list of stored cookies.
  • Quitting Camino with the pop-up blocker visible should no longer cause a crash.
  • Find will now work properly when viewing JavaScript files which use the new JavaScript MIME type definitions.
  • The default browser pop-up menu will no longer show a blank default browser on clean Mac OS X 10.5 installations.
  • Selecting an item from a context menu after its window has closed will no longer cause a crash.
  • The icon for the Google feed handler has been updated to match the new Google site icon.
  • Upgraded the “Block flash animations” code to use Flashblock 1.5.8.
  • Improved ad-blocking.
  • Camino requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
    If you’ve tried the new version of Camino and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Cocktail 4.3.3 (Tiger Edition) Released

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    Date: Tuesday, March 31st, 2009, 15:22
    Category: Software

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    On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.3.3 of Cocktail (Tiger Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
    The new version, a 1.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Major improvements on the clear potentially harmful files procedure.
  • Added clearing of the latest (F and G) variants of the RSPlug trojan horse.
  • Added clearing of the Inqtana.C worm.
  • Updated Automator actions.
  • Cocktail 4.3.3 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Carbon Copy Cloner Updated to 3.2.1

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    Date: Tuesday, March 31st, 2009, 08:49
    Category: Software

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    Late Monday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, has released version 3.2.1 of the program. The new version, a 2.7 megabyte download, adds the following changes:

  • Resolved interface issues with non-English localizations.
  • Resolved an issue in which, in some circumstances, rsync was unable to create a directory if the parent directory was locked.
  • Addressed a codesigning issue that would prevent CCC from launching in some cases on Mac OS X Tiger.
  • Resolved an issue in which the Authentication Credentials installer package would not install on certain installations of Mac OS X Tiger.
  • Carbon Copy Cloner 3.2 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
    If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.8 Update

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    Date: Monday, March 30th, 2009, 06:16
    Category: Software

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    On Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.8 of its Firefox web browser.
    The new browser, a 17.3 megabyte download, boasts two unspecified security changes.
    The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve tried the new browser and have any feedback about it, let us know over in the comments or forums.

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