VLC updated to 2.0.8

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Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013, 13:43
Category: News, 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.), was updated to version 2.0.8. The new version, a 41.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixes some regressions of the 2.0.x branch of VLC.

- Fixes numerous crashes and dangerous behaviors.

- Fixes ISDB-S tunning and some OS X issues.

VLC 2.0.8 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases sixth OS X 10.8.5 build to developer community

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Date: Thursday, July 25th, 2013, 11:59
Category: News, Software

They’re getting closer to OS X 10.8.5.

Per MacNN, Apple has again made available a new beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.8.5 for developers to test. Like last week, the new version (12F26) is just three build numbers higher than the previous one, suggesting that the company is nearing the end of testing.

As with last week’s build, there are no known issues — however, due to the prolonged downtime of Apple’s Developer Center, download options to obtain the latest build are limited. Those who are running previous builds can obtain the new one through the Software Update mechanism, and AppleSeed members can also download it. However, the download page through the Dev Center continues to be closed.

The latest update also comes with a new build of Safari. Apple is still asking developers to continue testing components like graphics, Wi-Fi, wake-from-sleep functions, mobile device management, and PDF viewing and accessibility.

If you’ve tried the new build and have any feedback to offer, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Dropbox updated to 2.2.10

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Date: Thursday, July 25th, 2013, 06:17
Category: News, Software

The Dropbox updates just keep comin’…

On Wednesday, Dropbox released version 2.2.10 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 31 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Reduced initial startup time.

- Reduced initial link time.

- Reduced time taken when relinking a previously linked account.

- Fixed an issue which could cause certain files to sync endlessly.

- Fixed an issue which could cause proxy connection settings to be lost.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.2.10 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new beta and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Opera web browser updated to 15.0.1147.147

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Date: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 08:09
Category: News, Software

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The Opera web browser project begins.

On Wednesday, Opera Software released version 15.0.1147.147 of its web browser. The new version, a 54.4 megabyte download via MacUpdate, boasts the following fixes and changes:

General and User-Interface Changes:
- Opera 15 is a major reinvention for Opera. Going forward, the browser’s source code will be based on Chromium and Blink, a fork of the WebKit rendering engine.

- New rendering engine based on WebKit.

- New user interface.

- New capabilities.

New features:
- Improved site compatibility.

- Silent auto updates

New features:
- Combined address and search bar. Opera 15 combines the address and search bar, allowing for multiple predictive results that can be filtered by search engine. This bar includes options for adding current pages to Opera’s Speed Dial or Stash, and expandable page information.

- Enhanced Speed Dial. Opera 15 allows you to combine Speed Dial entries into groups, and introduces a search function that filters through entries.

- Stash. Opera 15 introduces Stash – a feature that records the location, meta data, and a screenshot of a page. It places this information into a collapsable list entry on the browser’s Start Page, that can be searched by keyword and/or scanned visually by screenshot.

- Discover. A recommender service is included with Opera 15. Discover displays news and topical content that can be filtered by category or location/language.

- Off-Road mode. Opera 15 adopts the server-side compression technology used by Opera Mobile.

Fixes:
- Chromium was updated to 1500.72.

- Fixes a minor issue in Opera installer, which deleted existing Opera shortcuts from desktop instead of changing them.

Opera 15.0.1147.147 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

Apple releases Q3 2013 numbers, cites $35.3 billion in revenue, $6.9 billion profit

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Date: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013, 06:17
Category: Finance, News, retail

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There wasn’t massive growth, but the numbers were still good.

Per Macworld, Apple reported sales of US$35.3 billion, with net profit at US$6.9 billion for its third fiscal quarter. That translated to earnings of US$7.47 per diluted share. Apple’s revenue marked a record for the June quarter, ticking up 1 percent from the $35 billion Apple posted in last year’s third quarter. Still, profits fell 22 percent year-over-year, down from US$8.88 billion in 2012. Apple also reported a drop in profit during its fiscal second quarter of 2013.

With a tiny increase in revenue but a drop in profit, you’d rightly conclude that Apple’s gross margin dropped: For the quarter, it was 36.9 percent, versus 42.8 percent on the year-ago quarter. That’s because Apple’s most popular products now have lower margins than the top-sellers a year ago.

The company also says it has issued US$18.8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and buybacks.

While Apple generally keeps a tight lid on future product announcement, company officials did reiterate a point made during its second-quarter earnings announcement in April—that the company plans to roll out new products starting this fall and into the next year. “We are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products,” CEO Tim Cook said in an statement accompanying Apple’s earnings announcement.”

Apple says it sold 32.2 million iPhones—a record for the June quarter. That’s up from 26 million iPhones in the year-ago period. For the U.S., iPhone sales rose 51 percent year-over-year, Apple says.

The picture was less rosy for iPad sales, but Apple has a perfectly reasonable explanation for the 14 percent drop in tablet sales from last year’s third quarter. A year ago, Apple introduced the third-generation iPad and enjoyed a full quarter’s worth of sales to the tune of 17 million units. This quarter, sales fell to 14.6 million iPads.

Still, Apple has plenty of reason to remain bullish on the iPad. Company chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said that the iPad ranked tops in a 2013 U.S. tablet satisfaction survey by JD Power and Associates. And during the quarter, the company inked a deal with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest district in the U.S., to roll out iPads to 640,000 students.

In fact, the iPad got the bulk of the credit for a strong quarter of sales to U.S. schools. According to Oppenheimer, the last three months generated the highest quarterly revenue ever for Apple’s U.S. education institution business.

Mac sales also fell in the quarter, down 7 percent from last year to 3.8 million units. Still, Oppenheimer pointed out that the 3.8 million Macs sold beat Apple’s own expectations. And Apple’s sales still were ahead of the total PC market, which saw sales contract by 11 percent according to estimates from research firm IDC. By Apple’s math, the Mac gained market share during the quarter.

The Mac was one of the few product lines to see any changes during the quarter, with Apple updating its MacBook Air lineup at the beginning of June by adding new Intel processors. Company executives had little to say about any impact those new laptops had on overall Mac sales, but Oppenheimer did call it the most successful MacBook Air launch to date, adding that customer response was great.

But during the call, executives implied that there were better things to come. Oppenheimer noted that June’s Worldwide Developers Conference included previews of both the Mac Pro and the next version of OS X, code-named Mavericks.

The iTunes Stores—which includes the App Store, Mac App Store, iBookstore, and the music, movies, and TV sections of iTunes—generated $4.3 billion in billings, Oppenheimer said, culminating in the best week and best month ever for App Store. That translated to quarterly revenue of US$2.4 billion, up 29 percent year over year. Total quarterly revenue from iTunes, software, and services generated US$4 billion in revenue.

Oppenheimer said that Apple now has over 320 million iCloud accounts, and 240 million Game Center accounts.

As for brick-and-mortar retail efforts, the Apple Store saw revenue of US$4.1 billion for the quarter, virtually unchanged from the year-ago quarter. Oppenheimer reported that Apple saw 16,000 visitors per store each week.

For the quarter, Apple had an average of 405 stores, with average revenue per store at US$10.1 million, down US$1 million from the year-ago quarter. Apple opened six stores across five countries during the quarter, giving it 408 stores around the globe; 156 of those outlets are outside the U.S.

The company plans to open nine new stores during the September quarter, giving it 27 new openings during the 2013 fiscal year. It’s not just about new stores, however: Apple says that it relocated four of its stores to more appealing spots; it will complete 23 such relocations before the end 2013 fiscal year in September.

Where stockholders are concerned, the company’s Board of Directors has announced another cash dividend, this one at US$3.05 per share of common stock, payable on August 15 to any shareholder as of August 12.

For the next quarter, Apple is predicting revenue between US$34 billion and US$37 billion, with gross margins between 36 and 37 percent. That sales figure would put Apple’s performance in line with the US$36 billion in revenue it reported in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the coming quarter, Apple also predicts operating expenses will be between US$3.9 billion and US$3.95 billion, with a tax rate of 26.5 percent.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

CrossOver updated to 12.2.2

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Date: Monday, July 22nd, 2013, 11:22
Category: News, Software

Even a small update makes a difference.

CrossOver, the popular virtualization program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 12.2.2. The new version, a 75.4 megabyte download, is available as a demo, offers the following fix:

- CrossOver has been updated to allow Cube World, a popular indie computer game, to run.

CrossOver 12.2.2 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.6 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.

Apple purchases HopStop, could focus on public transit and navigation updates for upcoming versions of Maps

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Date: Monday, July 22nd, 2013, 06:47
Category: News, Software

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Apple has snagged HopStop.

Per AppleInsider and AllThingsD, Apple on Friday purchased transit navigation service HopStop, which also has an iPhone app of the same name, in a possible bid to bolster its own in-house mapping solution.

Citing sources with knowledge of the deal, Bloomberg reports that Apple has just purchased HopStop, a localized public transit navigation service that could potentially be folded into the company’s Maps iOS app, and the upcoming OS X Mavericks version.

If the report is accurate, HopStop’s technology could be used by Apple to build out its Maps app, offering users directions for bus, train, subway and other transit options. The current version of Maps does not include such functionality, and instead points users searching for public transit routes toward third-party apps that can handle such tasks. Along with supporting transit information for over 300 major cities, HopStop also includes walking, car and bicycle routing.

News of the reported purchase comes just hours after Apple announced it had acquired Locationary, a tech startup that uses crowd-sourced data to offer accurate and up-to-date listings of local businesses.

Apple’s Maps has been the source of much debate since it was launched with iOS 6 in 2012. Incorrect data, graphical glitches and navigation issues plagued the app during its first few months in the wild. The company is still working hard to bring the mapping solution up to snuff, as evidenced by the acquisitions.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18608

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Date: Friday, July 19th, 2013, 10:51
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, Parallels released version 8.0.18608 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 336.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Install Windows 8.1 Preview using Express installation.

- Work with Ubuntu 13.04 in Coherence view mode.

- Resolves an issue with the Contact Card opening too slowly in Microsoft Outlook 2013.

- Resolves an issue with visual artifacts in Microsoft Outlook 2013.

- Smoother mouse scrolling in guest operating systems.

- Improved 3D graphics performance: playing World of Tanks, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and other games in a virtual machine became more stable.

- Resolves an issue with reverted colors on guest OS screenshots.

Parallels Desktop 8 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.6.8 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.

OnyX updated to 2.7.2

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Date: Thursday, July 18th, 2013, 11:49
Category: News, Software

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An update’s an update.

OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.7.2. The new version, a 22.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Deleting the Fonts Cache improved.

- Deleting the Applications Cache improved.

- Deleting the temporary items improved.

- New option: Turn On/Turn Off the startup sound.

- New option: Show/hide Quartz Debug’s hidden options.

- New option: Show/hide the desktop icons.

- New option: Modify the default save location of new documents.

- Turn on Dashboard and its widgets option corrected.

- Turn on Mission Control option corrected.

- Bug when restoring default options corrected.

OnyX 2.7.2 requires an Intel-based processor and OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases fifth OS X 10.8.5 build to developer community

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Date: Thursday, July 18th, 2013, 08:53
Category: News, Software

OS X 10.8.5 is on its way.

Per MacNN, Apple is now seeding a fifth beta of OS X 10.8.5 to developers. The latest build, 12F23, is just a few version numbers advanced since the previous one, 12F20. That could mean that v10.8.5 will reach the public by the end of the month.

There are no known issues with 12F23. Apple is asking developers to continue testing components like graphics, Wi-Fi, wake-from-sleep functions, mobile device management, and PDF viewing and accessibility.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the new build and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.