Apple releases OS X 10.8.1 beta to developers, looks to focus on Thunderbolt display noise bug, others

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Date: Monday, August 13th, 2012, 06:26
Category: News, Software

If you’re looking for Mountain Lion bug fixes, they’re en route.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Friday evening began providing its developers with the first maintenance update to its Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system released just weeks ago.

Sources familiar with the matter say the 38.5MB beta release was accompanied with a set of release notes identifying no known issues.

Instead, the Mac maker asked developers to focus their testing efforts around USB, PAC proxies in Safari, Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange support in Mail.

Apple also made a specific request for testers to evaluate Wi-Fi and audio when connected to a Thunderbolt display, suggesting it has attempted to address problems in this area after MacBook Air users said they were experiencing audio issues — static, distortion and crackling — when they connect their notebooks to the company’s latest 27-inch LED display.

Apple has historically aimed to push out its first maintenance release for major operating systems milestones in a swift manner, suggesting we could see a formal release of the software in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adium updated to 1.5.3

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Date: Monday, August 13th, 2012, 06:19
Category: News, Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.5.3.

The new version, a 23.7 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed another problem with the transcript viewer causing search to fail when closing and reopening the window. (#13586, #15699)

– Fixed a problem with iTunes 10.6.3 on Mac OS X 10.6.8 causing the chat window’s toolbar to break. (#16046)

– Fixed crash at startup that was meant to be fixed in 1.5.2. (#15787)

– Fixed a crash when receiving invalid XML on 10.8. (#16095)

– Fixed an issue that caused logging in to Facebook to fail when login approvals are enabled. (#15705)

– Icons set for group chat bookmarks will now show up on the tab bar in the chat window. (Andreas Marienborg) (#14484)

– Fixed tables not being declared as such via VoiceOver. (Marco Zehe) (#16085)

– Fixed a problem with emoticons scaling disproportionately in the yMous message style when using OS X 10.8.

– Improved memory use slightly.

Adium 1.5.3 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.

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

Apple releases HP Printer Drivers 2.10 update for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 operating systems

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Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2012, 11:51
Category: News, Software

If your printer doesn’t work, you tend to notice it.

On Thursday, Apple released its HP Printers Drivers 2.10 package. The update, a 473.3 megabyte download, adds updated drivers for assorted HP printers, scanners and multifunction devices.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and can also be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Ars Technica testing shows evidence of lowered battery life under Mountain Lion for some MacBook Pro users

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Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2012, 05:56
Category: battery, MacBook Pro, News, Software

Well, patches and updates DO tend to exist for a reason…

Per Ars Technica and a test conducted by the web site, there may be evidence that Apple’s new operating system is draining batteries significantly faster than the previous OS X Lion, as the publication’s test unit lost some 38 percent of runtime after having installed Mountain Lion.

In a series of unscientific tests, a MacBook Pro with Retina display was run on battery power both with and without Mountain Lion installed. Ars was able to hit just over eight hours of runtime with Lion and the integrated Intel HD4000 GPU, meaning the computer wasn’t leveraging the discrete and power-hungry NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M. With Mountain Lion installed and using the same settings, however, runtime dipped to around five hours.

The test was conducted a number of times, each using the same applications under what was described as a “daily workload.” Being used actively were Safari, Chrome, Twitter, iChat, TextEdit, Photoshop, Mail and Outlook, among others while Dropbox and gfxCardStatus ran in the background. As far as systems settings, Wi-Fi was activated while Bluetooth was turned off and screen brightness was set to half-strength.

Mountain Lion’s Activity Monitor was used to check CPU usage and, while there were occasional spikes when reading or writing files, loading web pages or other user-initiated operations, the processor was usually below five percent capacity. This is contrary to one account from an Apple Communities forum member who noted a heightened CPU temperature when the computer was idle.

A 49-page Apple Support Communities thread fist started on July 25, the day Mountain Lion was released, chronicles a number of battery issue complaints from users who recently installed Apple’s new OS.

A few forum members suggested the problem lies with one of Mountain Lion’s new features like Power Nap, while others have found limited success with resetting their machine’s system management controller, but a legitimate fix has yet to be discovered.

Interestingly, only certain machines are affected by the purported battery drain issue and some users are even reporting their battery life increased after installing the new operating system.

Apple has yet to release an official statement, but a number of forum members affected by the issue claim Apple representatives reached out to obtain system information in an attempt to remedy the problem.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.75

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Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012, 13:31
Category: News, Software

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Hey, updates are useful.

On Wednesday, Google released version 21.0.1180.75 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 40.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Flash videos not longer remaining in fullscreen when clicking a secondary monitor while the video is playing (Issue: 140366).

– Flash video full screen displays on wrong monitor (Issue: 137523).

– REGRESSION: Rendering difference in Chrome 21 and 22 that affected on Persian Wikipedia (Issue: 139502).

– Some known crashes (Issues: 137498, 138552, 128652, 140140).

– Audio objects are not “switched” immediately (Issue: 140247).

– Print and Print Preview ignore paper size default in printer config (Issue: 135374).

– Candidate windows is shown in wrong place in Retina display (Issue: 139108)
more of the choppy and distorted audio issues (Issue: 136624).

– Japanese characters showing in Chinese font (Issue: 140432).

– Video playback issues with flash-based sites (Issue: 139953).

– Sync invalidation notification broken after restart (Issue: 139424).

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.75 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.

Cocktail updated to 6.0.1

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Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012, 07:45
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.0.1 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 may fail to clear DNS cache.

– Fixed compatibility issues with Google Chrome 20.

Cocktail 6.0.1 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.

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15106

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Date: Monday, August 6th, 2012, 05:09
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15106 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 306 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Resolves an issue with installing Parallels Desktop in Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 or later.

– Resolves an issue with opening third-party virtual machines in Parallels Desktop.

– Resolves an issue with managing Mac computers running OS X Mountain Lion via Parallels Mobile.

– The power saving option is now available for new MacBook Pros (mid 2012) and MacBook Pros with Retina display.

Parallels Desktop 7 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 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.

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.5.1

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Date: Friday, August 3rd, 2012, 12:38
Category: News, Software

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On Saturday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.5.1. The new version, an 8.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed an issue in which CCC was unable to save scheduled tasks after being updated.

– Resolved a permissions issue related to accessing some files on source when the destination was a network volume.

– Made some minor UI adjustments in the Documentation window.

– Fixed an intermittent exception at the end of a scheduled task that would result in the “Task finished” window disappearing early and failure of email notifications.

– Fixed an exception that would cause a hang during the creation of a Recovery HD volume.

– Non-admin users will no longer be prompted to authenticate when launching CCC on Lion or Mountain Lion. This authentication was leveraged to collect information about the Recovery HD volumes attached to your Mac, but CCC was unable to give that indication prior to the authentication dialog being presented. To avoid unnecessary concern, we chose to not collect that information when a user is logged in to a non-admin account.

– When LateNite Software’s “Clusters” software makes changes to .DS_Store files on the source volume, those changes can lead to errors during the backup. These errors are now suppressed.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5.1 retails for a US$39.95 shareware registration fee. The application requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

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

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

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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

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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.