O'Grady's PowerPage » OS X

Users complain of shorter battery life after Mountain Lion install, Apple reportedly launching investigation of issue

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 3rd, 2012, 12:15
Category: battery, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

This is either the end of the world or a firmware update that may need to happen.

Per AppleInsider, a number of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners who updated to the recently-released OS X Mountain Lion are complaining of battery performance issues, with some reporting their batteries only last half as long as when OS X 10.7 Lion was installed.

Since the first complaints surfaced in an Apple Support Communities thread started on July 25, the day Mountain Lion launched, the number of reportedly affected MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners has grown to the point where Apple has supposedly initiated an investigation. As of this writing the thread, titled “Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion” now stands at 15 pages.

While most users are seeing battery life drops of about one to two hours, some cases claim performance has fallen to less than 50 percent as their machines are only capable of staying on for a little over two hours.

Community members have been trying a variety of methods to remedy the issue, from re-installing the software to turning off some of Mountain Lion’s new features like Power Nap, but the attempts have yet to produce a fool-proof solution. Some members have seen limited success in resetting the machine’s system management controller (SMC), though the battery issue crops up again after continued use.

Many users are reporting heightened CPU temperatures even when the machine is at idle, possibly pointing to a backend program management problem, while others are seeing battery drain when the system is sleeping.

Apple has taken notice of the complaints and, according to one community member, sent out a questionnaire on Friday in an attempt to pinpoint the problem.

OS X Mountain Lion launched last week, bringing with it over 200 new features including tighter iCloud integration, the Messages app, Notification Center, Facebook integration, Dictation, AirPlay Mirroring and Game Center.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

And, as always, if you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Guide: How to troubleshoot PowerNap weirdness under OS X 10.8

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 3rd, 2012, 11:13
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News

There’s been a lot written about OS X 10.8’s new PowerNap feature, wherein your 2011-2012 MacBook Air and 2012 Retina Display MacBook Pro notebooks can perform various background tasks (such as synchronization and updates) while in Sleep mode, but it’s hard to say what to do when things go wrong.

With that in mind, the mighty Topher Kessler has written a spiffy PowerNap troubleshooting guide over on CNET.

Go.

Take a gander.

Check it out.

And even though the guide goes through the somewhat frightening steps as to how to reset your notebook’s SMC should circumstances require it, it’s worth reading.

That is all and enjoy your Friday.

Opera web browser updated to 12.01

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012, 06:02
Category: News, Software

operalogo

On Thursday, Opera Software released version 12.01 of its web browser. The new version, a 26.9 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

Several general fixes and stability improvements:
– Website thumbnail memory usage improvements.

– Address bar inline auto-completion no longer prefers shortest domain.

– Corrected an error that could occur after removing the plugin wrapper.

– Resolved an issue where favicons were squeezed too much when many tabs were open.

– Fixed a problem where the Adobe PDF plugin is picked up and used by Opera.

Display and Scripting:
– Resolved an error with XHR transfers where content-type was incorrectly determined.

– Improved handling of object literals with numeric duplicate properties.

– Changed behavior of nested/chained comma expressions: now expressing and compiling them as a list rather than a tree.

– Aligned behavior of the #caller property on function code objects in ECMAScript 5 strict mode with the specification.

– Fixed an issue where input type=month would return an incorrect value in its valueAsDate property.

– Resolved an issue with JSON.stringify() that could occur on cached number conversion.

– Fixed a problem with redefining special properties using Object.defineProperty().

Network and Site-Specific:
– Fixed an issue where loading would stop at “Document 100%” but the page would still be loading.

– tuenti.com: Corrected behavior when long content was displayed
https://twitter.com: Fixed an issue with secure transaction errors

– Fixed an issue with Google Maps Labs that occured when compiling top-level loops inside strict evals.

– Corrected a problem that could occur with DISQUS.

– Fixed a crash occurring on Lenovo’s “Shop now” page.

– Corrected issues when calling window.console.log via a variable at watch4you.

– Resolved an issue with Yahoo! chat.

Mail, News, Chat:
– Resolved an issue where under certain conditions the mail panel would continuously scroll up.

– Fixed a crash occurring when loading mail databases on startup.

Security:
– Re-fixed an issue where certain URL constructs could allow arbitrary code execution, as reported by Andrey Stroganov; see our advisory.

– Fixed an issue where certain characters in HTML could incorrectly be ignored, which could facilitate XSS attacks; see our advisory.

– Fixed another issue where small windows could be used to trick users into executing downloads as reported by Jordi Chancel; see our advisory.

– Fixed an issue where an element’s HTML content could be incorrectly returned without escaping, bypassing some HTML sanitizers; see our advisory.

– Fixed a low severity issue, details will be disclosed at a later date.

Opera 12.01 is available for free and requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.57

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, 05:38
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

If you have one of the fancy new MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display, you’ll like this.

Otherwise, it’s a Google Chrome update and those are always useful…

According to its Chrome blog, Google released version 21.0.1180.57 of its Chrome web browser on Tuesday.

The update, a 40.7 megabyte download, adds high-resolution support to its browser for Retina display Macs as well as other fixes tracked over on the change log page.

Released at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has a screen resolution of 2,880 by 1,800 pixels. Optimized versions of Apple’s own software for OS X, including its Safari Web browser, became quickly available, while some third-party applications took more time.

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.57 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Crucial unveils solid-state drives for older Mac notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 14:34
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News

You should add more solid-state drives to more things, as they are awesome.

Per Macworld, accessory provider Crucial today announced a new solid-state drive (SSD) targeted at users who want to upgrade older computer systems with a flash drive that boasts a price well under US$1 per gigabyte of capacity.

Crucial’s new v4 SSD, which is being manufactured by partner Micron, may not sport top flash-drive speeds. But it outpaces any consumer hard drive by more than twice the performance. The new 128GB SSD sells for US$100; a 256GB model can be had for US$190.

The price of consumer-class SSDs had been expected to drop to US$1 per gigabyte this year. SSD prices further slipped precipitously because of market oversupply. For example, NAND flash memory maker Toshiba recently slashed its production by 30 percent in order to deal with oversupply issues.

Crucial’s new v4 SSD uses the more widely used but older SATA-2, which has the 3 Gbps interface that most pre-2011 computer systems sport for internal drive connectivity. SATA-3 offers 6 Gbps, but only the latest systems (such as the new MacBook Pro) come with it.

Crucial said its v4 SSD has sequential read/write speeds of 230 MBps and 190 MBps, respectively. To put that in perspective, a top-of-the-line hard disk drive, such as Western Digital’s 7200-rpm Scorpio Black, has maximum read/write speeds of around 104 MBps and 101 MBps.

By comparison, an Intel top-of-the-line 520 Series SSD boasts peak read/write speeds of 550 MBps and 520 MBps, respectively. So the new Crucial SSD rests nicely in the middle.

The v4 SSDs are available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities with suggested retail prices of US$50, US$70, US$100, and US$190, respectively. The SSDs can be purchased now through global channel partners, or direct through Crucial’s website.

The Crucial v4 SSD comes with a three-year limited warranty, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X systems.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.7.5 build, iCloud Control Panel beta to developer community

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 05:24
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock the development cycle.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday seeded new builds of OS X Lion, Lion Server and the Windows-only iCloud Control Panel beta to developers with no known issues.

In the new builds, noted as 11G30 for both OS X Lion and Lion Server, Apple is asking developers to focus on graphics performance and quality as there are no known issues with the release.

Work on the server side is a bit more substantial as developers have been tasked with focusing on Password Server, Profile Manager, Webmail (RoundCube), Server App, System Image Utility, Software Update Server, Web Sharing and Workgroup Manager. No known issues are present in the server build.

iCloud Control Panel:
– The second seed for version 2.0 of iCloud Control Panel brings a host of new features to the Windows-centric software including consolidation of Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Tasks enablement into a single checkbox and overall stability enhancements.

– This seed build of iCloud Control Panel 2.0 includes all the same features as Seed 1, with the following changes:

– Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Tasks are now enabled with a single checkbox.

– Shared Photo Streams can now be explicitly enabled and disabled through the Control Panel.

– Shared Photo Streams UI in Explorer view has been substantially improved.

– Addressed an issue where Push Notifications could crash or stop working.

There are a few known issues with the second iCloud Control Panel beta:
– The seed is available in English only

– If you sign out of the control panel and sign in as another iCloud account, you may need to restart your computer to use Shared Photo Streams with your second iCloud account.

– If you are unable to sign out of the iCloud Control Panel, open the task manager and stop the ApplePhotoStreams.exe process.

– Portrait JPG images may create low-resolution versions and not have proper orientation.

– Both the OS X Lion and Lion server seeds as well as the iCloud Control Panel are available for developer download today.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the new beta and had a chance to play with it, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Apple releases MacBook Pro Retina SMC Update v1.0, adds Power Nap feature to Retina Display MacBook Pro notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 27th, 2012, 15:44
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

In the wake of an enormous operating system release, you can always expect some updates.

Per MacRumors, Apple on Friday rolled out a firmware update for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display enabling Mountain Lion’s new Power Nap feature two days following the new operating system’s release.

The update, a 190 kilobyte download entitled “MacBook Pro Retina SMC Update,” comes on the heels of a Thursday firmware release which brought the same functionality to mid-2011 MacBook Airs and is available via OS X 10.8’s Software Update feature and enables the new Power Nap feature that comes with Mountain Lion.

Limited to newer MacBook Air models and the MacBook Pro with Retina display, Power Nap keeps Macs up to date and allows for the automatic backup of data while the machine is sleeping. The automatic data-refreshing service, which handles Time Machine and iCloud syncing, is both silent and power-efficient.

This update fixes several sleep/wake issues to improve the stability of MacBook Pro with Retina display (Mid 2012) computers and is recommended for all users running OS X v10.7.4. It also enables Power Nap support for users running OS X v10.8 or later.

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

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.3.300.268 update

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Date: Friday, July 27th, 2012, 07:30
Category: News, Software

adobelogo

Late Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.3.300.268 for Mac OS X, a 10.9 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new beta version includes the following fixes and changes:

– Various general stability issues.

Flash Player 11.3.300.268 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, please feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments.

Dropbox updated to 1.4.12

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 27th, 2012, 06:09
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a useful update.

On Friday, Dropbox released version 1.4.12 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 21.5 megabyte download, which adds OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion support.

Dropbox 1.4.12 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later 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 releases SMC firmware updates, enables Power Nap feature for mid-2011, mid-2011 MacBook Air notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 26th, 2012, 06:47
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

At long last, your mid-2011 and mid-2012 MacBook Air notebooks will be able to nap.

Per AppleInsider, a pair of firmware updates released by Apple on Wednesday enable the Power Nap in certain MacBook Air models that were promised the feature but found it missing when OS X Mountain Lion launched on Wednesday.

Apple rolled out the new firmware via Software Update in conjunction with the release of OS X Mountain Lion after the company previously noted Power Nap may not be able to work on certain Macs without such an update.

First outlined in June during Apple’s WWDC, Power Nap enables Macs to stay up to date and allows for the automatic backup of data while the machine is sleeping. The automatic refreshing of data, including Time Machine and iCloud syncing, is reportedly silent and power efficient though compatibility is limited to Macs with solid state drives like the MacBook Air.

When OS X Mountain Lion was released earlier in the day, some MacBook Air users noticed that the touted feature was missing. The problem has apparently been remedied in the Software Update which is for some “MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.6” for the mid-2011 MacBook Air and “MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.5” for the mid-2012 MacBook Air.

After the firmware is download through Software Update the Power Nap feature can be found in the Energy Saver pane in System Preferences once installed.

The firmware updates can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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