VLC 1.1.10.1 update released

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Date: Friday, June 17th, 2011, 04:54
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 1.1.10.1. The new version, a 31.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Small fixes for the Mac OS X port such as disappearing repeat buttons and restored Freebox TV access.

- The installation size was reduced by up to 30 MB.

VLC 1.1.10.1 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, let us know in the comments.

Microsoft releases 14.1.2 update for Office 2011, 12.3.0 update for Office 2008

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Date: Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 03:06
Category: News, Software

On Monday afternoon, Microsoft released version 14.1.2 of its popular Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac suite. The update, a 109 megabyte download, can also be located, snagged and installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate program, offers the following fixes and changes:

- This update fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

In an updated security bulletin, the company admitted that a “specially crafted” Excel file could allow unwanted access, thus leading to the updates.

Microsoft Office 2011 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run and is available for US$149.99 and up depending on the suite purchased.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

In other news, Microsoft also released version 12.3.0 of its Office 2008 suite for Mac. The update, a 333 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Improves stability. In addition, it includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

Microsoft Office 2008 12.3.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and
Microsoft Office 2008 with Service Pack 1. The update can, of course, be located and installed with the Microsoft AutoUpdate tool.

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

Adium updated to 1.4.2

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Date: Monday, June 13th, 2011, 16:46
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 1.4.2.

The new version, a 22 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Updated to libpurple 2.7.11. Highlights of applicable changes:

MSN:
- Fixed bug that prevented adding contacts to your contact list in certain circumstances. (#14965)

- Added support for MSNP16 including multiple points of presence (MPOP) which allows multiple simultaneous sign-ins and which should resolve connection problems involving the “Signed in from another location” error. (#13654)

- Fixed crash related to Direct Connections. (#14650)

ICQ:
- Fixed a bug where some contacts from your contact list might not show up. Affected non-English users the most. (#14901)

Contact List:
- Fixed tooltips not being updated when scrollwheeling through the contact list. (#3480)

- Improved readability of tooltips by making their contents opaque and only the background transparent. (#15050)

Logging:
- Added a “Log only certain accounts” setting to Adium’s “General” preferences. (#8, #14522)

- Added a “Log secure chats” setting to Adium’s “General” preferences. (#94)

- Renamed “Save opened chats when quitting” setting to “Reopen chats from last time on startup” for clarity. (#14651)

Message View:
- Only display focus indication for group chats. (#14420)

- Enable %service% keyword in header.

- Fixed issue where sections of conversations loaded from message history are repeated. (#13362)

- Fixed iChat emoticons in Snow Leopard on case-sensitive file systems. (#14936)minimal_mod

- Disabled consecutivization of actions to prevent overlapping icons. Fixed erroneous application of a grey dotted top border to a consecutive, unfocused action that follows a non-action. Fixed text wrap alignment issues on actions.

Mockie:
- New mention and focus indicators, and improved scaling at large font sizes. (#14420)

Renkoo:
- No longer scrolls to bottom on new content regardless of scroll position. (#14331)

Smooth Operator:
- Compact: Mentions in actions are no longer italicized. Sendercolor Adiumy is not displayed in IRC too. Fixed progressively increasing saturation of the sendercolor Adiumy on each consecutive message.

- Classic: Fixed slight misalignment between sender and message. Lightened the on-click shadow. The per-message marks in the classic variant now grow to the left rather than to the right where it can overlap message text.

- Dark: New variant!

- all variants: Improved the performance of all-by-sender-on-click javascript. Shifted the built-in buddy icons down a few pixels so they look more centered. Switched to more compact focus indication icons.
Stockholm

- Reverted to pre-1.4 layout for per-message timestamps (#14361). Per-message timestamps now display on the left when the message text is RTL (#10403).

yMous:
- Removed the per-message triangle, slimmed the area between the sender and message, and fixed more elements to scale with font-size. Improved the performance of all-by-sender-on-click javascript.

ICQ:
- Fixed ICQ disconnections going unnoticed. (#14229)

- Fixed hang caused by reading badly formatted transcripts from ICQ. (#14627)

- Switch to clientLogin authentication for ICQ and AIM, allowing SSL to be used if possible again. Change the options for encryption to “Require”/”Opportunistic”/”Disabled.” (#15000)

- Use the clientLogin key of the official ICQ Mac client instead of the AIM key we had which got banned. (#15244)
IRC

- Fixed a crash related to invalid UTF8 in nicknames on IRC. (#13351)

- Fixed a crash that occurred when opening irc://-links to new servers on ports other than 6667. (#15093)

MSN:
- Added a preference to enable/disable MSN Direct Connections. (#14602)

XMPP:
- Double confirmation is now required to delete and unregister an XMPP account. (#14357)

- Fixed xmpp:-urls without a user part opening chats with (null)@… (#14908).

Miscellaneous:
- Growl notifications for Group Chats now show the channel on the same line as the nick, instead of before the message. (#14890)

- Fixed a bug causing a switching of user profiles following Adium updates. (#14432)

- Fixed 1.4.1 regression of arrows not showing up in the Events tables of the Preference pane and the Get Info pane for active events. (#14629)

- Fixed a hang that occurred when required parts of loaded message styles were missing. (#7438)

- Fixed bookmark icons not updating when changing icon sets. (#13221)

- Fixed two memory leaks. (Adrian Godoroja) (#15047)

- Fixed “Remove Link” showing up twice in the input box’s context menu on 10.6. (Shawn Khan) (#14454)

- Fixed 1.4 regression where selection of the active voice in the “Speak Event” and “Speak Text” contact alert actions failed. (#14574)

- Fixed positioning of selected icon in Recent Icons not being reapplied when icon is reselected. (Adrian Godoroja) (#9908)

- Fixed an issue with adding URLs via copy/paste resulting in an invalid link. (#15229)

Localisation:
- Updated the Localizable.strings files, adding missing translatable strings/nibs. (#14588, #14582)

- Updated and improved localisations: British English (#15116), Catalan (#15231), Danish (#15160), Dutch (#15202), Finnish (#15211), French (#15198), German (#15204), Italian (#15224), Polish (#15230), Portuguese (Portugal) (#15223), Russian (#15246), Swedish (#15217).

- Fixed an issue in the Czech localisation. (#14586)

Adium 1.4.2 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

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

Apple releases iMac Graphic FW Update 2.0 to resolve sleep issue

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Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2011, 18:28
Category: iMac, News, Software

Late Wednesday, Apple released an iMac graphic firmware update on Wednesday to resolve a startup and wake from sleep hanging issue. The iMac Graphic FW Update 2.0, a 699KB download, “fixes an issue that in rare cases may cause an iMac to hang during startup or waking from sleep.”

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.7 to install and run and can also be located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iTunes 10.3.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2011, 05:46
Category: News, Software

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Early Wednesday, released iTunes 10.3.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 75 megabyte download, may fix the following bug, though official release notes have yet to be distributed:

- Release notes are the same as version 10.3, however it’s possible the release fixes an Unknown Error -50 syncing issue with iOS devices.

iTunes 10.3.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5.3 or later to install and run.

Mac OS X 10.7 features, release date, App Store-only purchase structure highlighted at WWDC

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Date: Monday, June 6th, 2011, 15:02
Category: News, Software

Ok, this might take a while to go through…

Following up on Apple’s yearly Worldwide Developers Conference which opened today, Apple announced on Monday that Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will be available only in the Mac App Store, and the operating system upgrade will be available for just US$29.99.

Per AppleInsider, a new developer preview of Lion will be available to download today, while the final product will become available to users on the Mac App Store in July. The Mac App Store release of Lion and aggressive pricing of the operating system were both first reported by AppleInsider earlier this year.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was demonstrated Monday by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, and Craig Federighi, head of Mac OS X Software. Together, they demonstrated 10 of the more than 250 new features found in Lion.

The forthcoming operating system features new Multi-Touch gestures and fluid animations built into Lion that allow you to interact directly with content on the screen for a more intuitive way to use your Mac. New gestures include momentum scrolling, tapping or pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, and swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps. All Mac notebooks ship with Multi-Touch trackpads and desktop Macs can use Apple’s Magic Trackpad.

Full screen apps take advantage of the entire display and are perfect for reading email, surfing the web or browsing photos, especially on a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. With a single click your app fills the display and you can swipe from one window to another, between full screen apps, or back to your Desktop, Dashboard or Spaces without ever leaving full screen. iWork and iLife apps, as well as Safari, iTunes, Mail, FaceTime and others, all take advantage of Lion’s system-wide support for full screen apps.

A new Mission Control feature combines Exposé, full screen apps, Dashboard and Spaces into one unified experience for a bird’s eye view of every app and window running on your Mac. With a single swipe, your desktop zooms out to display your open windows grouped by app, thumbnails of your full screen apps and your Dashboard, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere with a tap.

Similar to Mac OS X 10.6.6 and beyond, the Mac App Store is built into Lion and allows you to buy them with your iTunes account, download and install them. Apps automatically install directly to Launchpad, and with Lion’s release, the Mac App Store will be able to deliver smaller “delta” app updates and new apps that can take advantage of features like In-App Purchase and Push Notifications.

A Launchpad feature allows you to find and launch any app. With a single Multi-Touch gesture, all your Mac apps are displayed in a full screen layout wherein apps can be organized in any order or into folders that can be swiped through to find the one you want.

A redesigned Mail app with a widescreen layout includes a Conversations groups related messages into an easily scrollable timeline, hiding repeated text so the conversation is easy to follow, and retaining graphics and attachments as they were originally sent. A new search feature allows you to refine your search and suggests matches by person, subject and label as you type. Mail includes built-in support for Microsoft Exchange 2010.

Additional new features in Lion include:
- Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app.

- Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work.

- Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions.

- AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.

The Mac App Store will be built into Lion and will offer in-app purchases and push notifications, just like in iOS. Apple is also adding delta updates, which should make it faster to patch software.

Other features mentioned, but not detailed, include built-in FaceTime, FileVault 2, Windows Migration, Lion Server add-on, Safari Reading list, resize from any edge, Xsan built-in, dictionary lookup smart magnify in Preview, and more.

Mac OS X Lion will be available in July as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard from the Mac App Store for US$29.99 (US). Lion will stand as a 4GB download and Mac OS X Lion Server requires Lion and will be available in July from the Mac App Store for US$49.99 (US).

Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. The Lion upgrade can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs.

The Mac OS X Lion Up-To-Date upgrade is available at no additional charge via the Mac App Store to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-To-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and the date when Lion is available in the Mac App Store will have 30 days from Lion’s official release date to make a request.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VLC 1.1.10 update released

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Date: Monday, June 6th, 2011, 05:21
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 1.1.10. The new version, a 43.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Security update regarding an integer overflow in xspf demuxer.

- Rewrite of the pulseaudio audio output module.

- Update of libmodplug for security reasons in Windows and Mac versions.

- Major updates in most language translations.

- Removal of the font-cache re-building on the freetype module on Windows.

- Numerous updates and fixes on the interface and look of VLC for Mac OS X.

- Many miscellaneous fixes in decoders, demuxers and subtitles.

- 3rd party libraries updates.

VLC 1.1.10 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, let us know in the comments.

Rumor: iCloud service to be initially free for certain customers, then available for $25/year

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Date: Friday, June 3rd, 2011, 02:49
Category: iTunes, Rumor, Software

You can have it for free…for a while.

Per the Los Angeles Times, music industry insiders allege that Apple’s forthcoming iCloud service will have an initial free period for iTunes Music Store customers, but the company plans to eventually charge a US$25 a year subscription fee.

The newspaper confirmed on Thursday earlier reports that Apple had finalized contracts with the last of the major music labels, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

“The service initially will be offered for a free period to people who buy music from Apple’s iTunes digital download store,” the report read. “The company plans to eventually charge a subscription fee, about US$25 a year, for the service.”

It is unclear, though, whether the report refers to the cost of the whole iCloud service or just the streaming music feature. By comparison, MobileMe, Apple’s current online storage and sharing solution, costs US$99 a year.

In addition to charging a subscription fee, “Apple would also sell advertising around its iCloud service,” the report noted, without providing details on why Apple would both charge for the service and sell advertising. Sources also indicated that Apple “envisions the service to be used for movies, TV shows and other digital content sold through iTunes.”

Sources stated on Wednesday that Apple could offer general iCloud features free to Mac users who make the upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 (“Lion”), though a music streaming service would likely come with a price tag. Music industry executives have previously suggested that Apple’s cloud-based music service could be free at first, but would eventually cost money.

According to sources knowledgeable with the terms of Apple’s agreements with the music labels claim 70% of the revenue from iCloud’s music service will go to the labels and 12% will go to the publishers, leaving Apple with 18%, according to Thursday’s report.

However, those numbers contradict a report from CNet earlier on Thursday that alleged Apple would keep 30% of revenue and share 58% with the labels and 12% with publishers. That report also cited sources claiming Apple’s streaming music service won’t be available on Monday “but will be offered soon,” though it will reportedly store only music purchased from the iTunes.

Apple is set to unveil the service next Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in San Francisco, alongside a preview of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and the introduction of iOS 5.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop 6.0.12090.660720 released

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Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011, 09:24
Category: News, Software

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Parallels Desktop, the popular virtualization application that allows users to run the Windows and Linux operating systems simultaneously alongside Mac OS X, reached version 6.0.12090.660720 on Thursday. The new version, available here, sports the following major fixes and changes:

- Adds support for Ubuntu 11.04 virtual machines.

- Improves mapping of Mac OS X system shortcuts to their equivalents in guest operating systems.

- Improves sharing clipboard between Windows and Mac OS X.

- Post about your exploring Windows on the Mac to Twitter and Facebook right from Parallels Desktop.

- Migrate multiple user accounts from a PC to your Mac using Parallels Transporter.

- Many issues have been fixed.

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac retails for US$79.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 later to install and run.

Microsoft looking to ARM processors, HTML5 for Windows 8 mobile strategy

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Date: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011, 04:38
Category: News, Software

There may be something to this whole HTML5 thing…

Per AppleInsider, Microsoft has provided a look at how it plans to bring Windows to more mobile devices in the future, leveraging ARM processors and using HTML5 as the basis of a new app platform.

As demonstrated at the D9 conference, Windows 8 will deliver a touch-centric new interface for apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that runs on top of the existing, conventional Windows platform.

The company showed off a new Start screen patterned after the tiled home page of Windows Phone 7. The company says the new tiled interface “replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.”

Microsoft’s mobile Windows CE core operating system differs dramatically from its desktop Windows operating system, but the two will grow closer together in appearance as Windows 8 adopts a similar, top level interface to Windows Phone 7 and the Zune.

In contrast, Apple’s desktop Mac OS X and mobile iOS share the same core operating system and use optimized versions of the company’s proprietary Cocoa development platform to deliver native apps, but differ in the interface they present, with Mac OS X retaining a mouse-based windowing environment while iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad present a completely rethought, touch-based interface.

Microsoft’s own efforts to build a cohesive development environment for both the Windows CE-based Windows Mobile 6 and its desktop Windows XP/Vista/7 platform initially revolved around the company’s .Net APIs before shifting Windows Phone 7 to use Microsoft’s Adobe Flash-like Silverlight as its mobile app platform.

Now, Microsoft is announcing a new shift that leverages the interest in HTML5 to deliver “web-connected and web-powered” apps (similar to HP’s webOS platform acquired from Palm) that will run alongside legacy Windows apps on the forthcoming Windows 8. Microsoft says this approach “is designed and optimized for touch,” although the company also says “it works equally well with a mouse and keyboard.”

Ironically, the new HTML5 layer of Windows 8 works like the Dashboard layer of Mac OS X, although rather than only supplying quick assess to simple widgets, the new “Windows 8 apps” are intended to supply a layer of highly animated, full screen, touch-based apps capable of competing with native apps running on Apple’s iPad.

Like Apple’s iOS, Windows 8 is intended to be deployed on highly mobile devices such as ARM-based tablets in addition to the conventional PCs Windows has powered in the past. Unlike Apple’s iOS, which became instantly popular on the iPhone before expanding to the iPod touch and iPad, Microsoft’s tile-based Zune interface hasn’t yet found a significant, sustainable audience. After the Zune failed, Microsoft KIN and Windows Phone 7 have both found little interest among consumers.

Microsoft’s radical experimentation with Windows Vista in 2007 caused a negative backlash from Windows PC users, which has only settled down with the more conservative release of Windows 7. Sales of PCs have yet to rebound to levels prior to the release of Vista, and new mobile devices, in particular Apple’s iPad, have siphoned off a significant amount of demand among generic PCs.

Microsoft does have considerable clout among its developers and hardware makers however, and describes the new Windows 8 as its biggest risk yet, hoping the new release, due sometime over the next couple years, will bring it back into relevance among new generations of consumers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.