Developer cites OS X 10.8.1 beta as substantially improving Apple notebook battery life

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Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012, 17:54
Category: battery, News, Software

Come the OS X 10.8.1 update, your Apple notebook’s battery life could improve significantly.

Per Softpedia, substantial improvements were discovered by an unnamed developer after installing OS X 10.8.1. Previously, the developer’s MacBook was reportedly showing a battery life of 4 hours and 5 minutes after a full charge, but installing the beta software increased the advertised battery life to over 8 hours.

The details suggest Apple is working to fix battery life issues that some users have reported since the release of Mountain Lion on the Mac App Store in July.

Those complaints were later validated by a series of tests conducted by Ars Technica. Their unscientific data showed that Apple’s new operating system drains batteries significantly faster than its predecessor, OS X 10.7 Lion.

While Apple has not publicly commented on any battery issues with Mountain Lion, a number of users who have posted on Apple’s official community forum have said that company representatives reached out to them and obtained system information in an attempt to fix the issue.

Only certain MacBook models have been reported by users to experience the battery drain issue introduced with the launch of Mountain Lion. Some others have said that their battery life actually increased since updating to OS X 10.8.

The first pre-release beta of OS X 10.8.1 was supplied to Apple’s developer community earlier this month. Documentation accompanying Build 12B13 revealed it aims to correct a display noise issue when using Thunderbolt, but made no mention of battery life.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.20

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Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012, 06:20
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.20. The new version, a 101.3 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

– VMM: fixed a crash under rare circumstances for VMs running without hardware virtualization.

– VMM: fixed a code analysis bug for certain displacement instructions for VMs running without hardware virtualization.

– VMM: fixed an interpretion bug for TPR read instructions under rare conditions (AMD-V only).

– Snapshots: fixed a crash when restoring an old snapshot when powering off a VM (bugs #9604, #10491).

– VBoxSVC: be more tolerant against environment variables with strange encodings (bug #8780).

– VGA: fixed wrong access check which might cause a crash under certain conditions.

– NAT: final fix for crashes under rare conditions (bug #10513).

– Virtio-net: fixed the problem with receiving of GSO packets in Windows XP guests causing packet loss in host-to-VM transfers.

– HPET: several fixes (bugs #10170, #10306).

– Clipboard: disable the clipboard by default for new VMs.

– BIOS: the PCI BIOS was not properly detected with the chipset type set to ICH9 (bugs #9301, #10327).

– Mac OS X hosts: adaptions to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

– Linux Installer: fixes for Gentoo Linux (bug #10642).

– Linux guests: fixed mouse integration on Fedora 17 guests (bug #2306).

– Linux Additions: compile fixes for RHEL/CentOS 6.3 (bug #10756).

– Linux Additions: compile fixes for Linux 3.5-rc1 and Linux 3.6-rc1 (bug #10709).

– Solaris host: fixed a guru meditation while allocating large pages (bug #10600).

– Solaris host: fixed possible kernel panics while freeing memory.

– Solaris Installer: fixed missing icon for menu and desktop shortcuts.

VirtualBox 4.1.20 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

smcFanControl updated to 2.4, Mountain Lion, Retina support among changes included

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Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012, 06:49
Category: News, Software

On Tuesday, software developer eidac released version 2.4 of its smcFanControl utility, a free program that allows users to adjust the minimum fan speed of their Intel-based Macs, thereby allowing the unit to potentially run cooler.

The new version, a 768 kilobyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Support for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion / Gatekeeper.

– Support for Retina Macbook Pro.

– smcFanControl is now a 64 Bit application.

– AutoStart works now without AppleScript.

– Support for Mac OS X 10.4 is deprecated.

– The source code for smcFanControl is now available at Github.

smcFanControl 2.4 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running 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.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.81

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Date: Friday, August 17th, 2012, 16:42
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock frequent updates.

On Friday, Google released a beta of version 21.0.1180.81 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 43.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Duplex Printing defaults to Yes, which prints extra pages even for a 1 page print out (Issue 138312).

– Print preview takes forever on Win XP (issue: 140044).

– Anti-DDoS inversion of logic (Issues: 141643, 141081).

– Pepper Flash: in file uploads, treats HTTP status != 200 as failure, breaking (e.g.) uploads to Amazon S3 (Issue: 140468).

– Projectmanager.com application causes Flash to hang (Issue: 141018)
Turn off TLS 1.1 in Chrome 21 Stable (Issue: 142172).

– An additional scroll bar appears at the right on many sites (issue: 140239).

– Setting and unsetting display:none obliterates current scroll position (issue: 140101).

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.81 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.

Apple seeds third Mac OS X 10.7.5 beta to developer community

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Date: Thursday, August 16th, 2012, 07:37
Category: News, Software

The nice thing about betas, it means they’re a bit closer to getting somewhere.

Per MacNN, Apple is seeding a third developer beta of OS X 10.7.5 to developers. The code is listed as build 11G36, and as before, has no known issues. Apple is also holding steady on testing focus, asking developers to look at graphics quality and performance, along with media importing, editing, and viewing.

The Mac OS X 10.7.5 update may or may not be the last for OS X Lion, since Mountain Lion has been available for several weeks. Apple is forging new ground with its current development cycle, since it has switched to releasing a new OS every year. As a result, it may end up having to support Lion well into Mountain Lion’s lifespan.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Cocktail updated to 6.0.2

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Date: Thursday, August 16th, 2012, 07:39
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.0.2 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail could not force empty the Trash.

– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may fail to scan preference files.

– Various improvements to the Pilot scheduler.

– Resolves some OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility issues.

Cocktail 6.0.2 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

QuarkXPress 9.3.1 update released

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Date: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 07:25
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, software developer Quark released version 9.3.1 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 1.1 gigabyte update, which can be downloaded here (thanks to MacUpdate), adds the following change:

– Includes an installer/updater that is compatible with the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Gatekeeper feature. This release is not compatible with QPS 9.2.

QuarkXPress 9.3.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 later to install and retails for US$799.00 for the full version.

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

Dropbox 1.5.12 beta goes live, now available for download

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Date: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 07:15
Category: News, Software

Hey, sometimes the beta version can rock.

On Wednesday, Dropbox released a public beta of version 1.5.12 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 22.6 megabyte download, which adds the following fixes and changes:

– Support for Notification Center on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

– Support for new sign-in backend.

– Minor bug fixes.

Dropbox 1.5.12 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.

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.3.300.271 update

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Date: Tuesday, August 14th, 2012, 15:39
Category: News, security, Software

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Late Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.3.300.271 for Mac OS X, a 11.6 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version adds a slew of security fixes outlined here.

Flash Player 11.3.300.271 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.

Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat Pro updated to 10.1.4

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Date: Tuesday, August 14th, 2012, 14:20
Category: News, Software

On Tuesday, Adobe released version 10.1.4 of its Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Pro applications. The updates, which can also be snagged through the Adobe Update Utility, adds the following fixes and changes:

– This is a regular quarterly update that provides security mitigations, feature enhancements, and bug fixes.

– Added support for Mac OS X 10.8.

– Safari 5.1 for 10.6.8-10.7, Safari 6.0 for 10.8.

Acrobat Reader 10.1.4 and Acrobat Pro requires an Intel-based processor and Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new versions and noticed any differences, please let us know what you think.