SpamSieve updated to 2.9.3

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Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2012, 11:07
Category: News, Software

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Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.3. The new version, a 10 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and improvements:

– Added support for the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7.5.

– Fixed a bug that could prevent SpamSieve from auto-launching on the forthcoming OS X 10.8.

– SpamSieve is now able to recover from certain unexpected system errors on OS X 10.8.

– Fixed a layout bug in the German-localized Statistics window.

– Improved the Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages instructions.

– SpamSieve now tells the system that it can use the integrated GPU, which should reduce battery use on newer MacBook Pros.

– SpamSieve’s disk image background is now displayed at Retina quality on eligible Macs running Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8. (On Mac OS X 10.6, due to an OS bug, it will incorrectly display at double size.)

– Fixed a regression where SpamSieve’s disk image icon didn’t display properly.

SpamSieve retails for US$30.00 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

27-inch Thunderbolt display exhibiting noise issue with 2012 Retina Display MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

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Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2012, 06:01
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News

Firmware updates were invented for a reason…

Per Electronista, a number of MacBook Air owners are experiencing audio issues when they connect their laptops to Apple’s Thunderbolt display and complain of static, distortion and crackling emanating from the speakers built into the 27-inch screen’s chassis.

The problem usually presents itself intermittently after a few hours’ use when sound from Apple’s new 2012 MacBook Air, which was announced during WWDC in June, is routed through the Thunderbolt display’s speakers.

It should be noted that as of this writing a single report claiming the same issue was found on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, though it seems to be an isolated case not associated with the MacBook Air matter.

An Apple Support Communities thread started on June 23 is now six pages long though the issue seems to be affecting only a small number of users. Owners of both the 11-inch and 13-inch versions of the MacBook Air have reported identical problems, though some experience the issue more frequently than others.

The exact cause of the problem remains unclear though it could be related to how the thin-and-light’s firmware handles audio output. Sound played directly through the MacBook Air’s internal speakers are unaffected by the supposed bug meaning the issue lies in the interconnect.

Forum members have speculated that the adaptor needed to connect Apple’s new MagSafe 2 power connector to the Thunderbolt display’s power cord is somehow related to the static. This seems unlikely, however, as owners have unsuccessfully attempted to switch adaptors and run the laptop without plugging in to the Thunderbolt display’s power connector.

Most users have found that a workaround involving the switching between audio outputs solves the issue for a short time while others note that terminating and restarting an offending application gives temporary relief. Unplugging and replugging all connections also seems to remedy the problem.

Apple is aware of the issue though no official response has been released.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Retina Display MacBook Pro shipping times drop to 2-3 weeks

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Date: Friday, July 13th, 2012, 06:36
Category: MacBook Pro, News

It never hurts to catch up to demand for your product.

Per AppleInsider, Apple has begun catching up with demand for its popular new MacBook Pro with Retina display, as estimated shipping times have improved to two-to-three weeks.

Shipping times advertised at Apple’s online store for both models of the 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro were shortened this week, and as of Friday, both the 2.3 gigahertz and 2.6 gigahertz models ship within two-to-three weeks.

The latest shipping estimate from the Apple Store is a slight improvement from the three-to-four weeks that were previously advertised. It’s also the shortest estimated shipping time seen since mid-June.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was announced last month, and was heralded by Apple as “the most beautiful computer we have ever made.” It takes design cues from the MacBook Air by ditching the optical disc drive and relying solely on flash memory, allowing it to have a thinner design while maintaining long battery life.

The standout feature of the new MacBook Pro is its 2,880-by-1,880-pixel Retina display that features 220 pixels-per-inch on the 15.4-inch screen. The new design also cuts glare by 75 percent by removing the glass cover found in previous models.

Apple’s top-of-the-linenotebook also features two high-speed Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0 connections, a dedicated HDMI port, and a built-in SD card reader. The 2.3-gigahertz model with 256 gigabytes of flash storage has a suggested price of US$2,199, while the 2.6 gigahertz model with 512 gigabytes of flash storage runs US$2,799.

Alternatively, the MacBook Pro with Retina display is also available and in stock at Apple Authorized Resellers. Prices through these resellers can be found included below.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15104

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 06:38
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15104 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 306 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Run Windows 8, Ubuntu, and Fedora on the latest models of Mac computers (MacBook Air (mid 2012), MacBook Pro (mid 2012) , MacBook Pro with Retina display).

– Run Fedora 17 in virtual machines.

– Install Parallels Desktop on Mac computers running OS X Mountain Lion.

– Use IMG disc images for the virtual machine CD/DVD-ROM drive.

– Use USB 3.0 devices in virtual machines.

– Improved Parallels Mobile connectivity with Mac.

– Improved Linux distributions detection during Express installation.

– Enhanced Retina display support.

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.

Adobe confirms InDesign app crashes under 2012 MacBook portables

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 10:31
Category: News, Software

This is why they invented the software update…

Per AppleInsider, users running Apple’s latest MacBooks featuring Intel Ivy Bridge processors are experiencing system crashes with Adobe’s popular InDesign software.

The issue has been documented by InDesign users on Adobe’s official website where a forum thread has been growing since mid-June. The problem appears to be limited to users who are running just-released MacBook Pros or MacBook Airs featuring Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors and Mac OS X 10.7.4.

Adobe technical support employee Scott Worthington confirmed in the thread that the issue is related to a change made by Apple in OS X 10.7.4 The latest MacBook models, including the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, ship with OS X 10.7.4 preinstalled, making it difficult to “roll back” the operating system to a previous version.

“At this time it appears the update is removing an API we use to control our use of system icons,” Worthington wrote. “At present the solution appears to be to rollback the update for the software to continue to function as expected.”

Worthington added in a subsequent post that he’s unsure if the problem will persist when Apple releases OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion later this month. He did not attempt to explain why the issue appears to be isolated to new 2012 MacBook models with Ivy Bridge processors.

“We’re taking this issue very seriously,” he said. “I wish we had more to share at this time but I’ll be sure to share what comes down the line from the engineers relating to solutions or any workarounds they can find.”

User “arminvit,” who started the thread on June 15, found that they were able to address the problem by restoring their 2012 MacBook to factory settings and not installing the “MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update” available from Apple that includes OS X 10.7.4.

When running the latest version of OS X on their 2012 MacBook Pro, that user found that InDesign would crash when trying to delete a page that has content, and also when packaging a file. Users in the thread said the issue occurs with both Creative Suite 5 and Creative Suite 6.

When the crash occurs, InDesign attempts to post a warning box. However, the box is displayed blank except for the text “Warning,” and InDesign promptly crashes.

If you’ve seen this crash on your end, please let us know.

Rumor: Next-gen iPhone to feature quad-core processor

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2012, 07:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

You have to admit: a quad-core ARM processor in your new iPhone would qualify as nifty.

Per a Thursday report from DigiTimes, Apple’s next-gen could feature a quad-core processor according to industry sources. Other details on the rumored processor, including clock speed or graphics processing capabilities, were not presented.

Last year’s iPhone 4S features a custom dual-core processor clocked at 800 megahertz, dubbed by Apple the “A5.” That chip was first introduced months earlier in the iPad 2, where it ran slightly faster at 1 gigahertz thanks to a larger form factor with a bigger battery.

With the third-generation iPad launched this year, Apple didn’t unveil a true next-generation chip, choosing instead to name the processor the “A5X,” suggesting an evolutionary upgrade over its predecessor. That CPU is based around Samsung’s 45-nanometer low-power architecture, also found in the A5 CPU in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

The main change with the A5X was an updated integrated graphics processor. While the CPU remained dual core, the GPU was upgraded to quad core in order to push the 3.1 million pixels found on the tablet’s high-resolution Retina display.

If Apple does build a quad-core ARM CPU for its next iPhone, the upgrade could presumably be significant enough to earn the chip the “A6″ distinction. DigiTimes said Apple’s expected introduction of a quad-core iPhone will help “heat up” competition with other quad-core smartphones.

Samsung, HTC, LG and Meizu all launched quad-core smartphones in the second quarter of 2012, most notably Samsung’s Galaxy S III, the latest flagship handset for Google’s Android mobile operating system. However, the quad-core Galaxy S III has thus far only been available in international markets, while the 4G LTE-capable model released in the U.S. features a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Next week, Samsung will launch a quad-core LTE Galaxy S III, but only in Korea.

More quad-core smartphones are expected to be introduced in the second half of 2012, thanks to volume production of chips from Qualcomm.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

SpamSieve updated to 2.9.2

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 12:16
Category: News, Software

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Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.2. The new version, a 10 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and improvements:

– Improved compatibility with the forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

– The recommended condition for the Apple Mail rule is now Every Message rather than Message Type Is Mail. SpamSieve will auto-update your rules at launch on OS X 10.7 if Mail is running.
SpamSieve is better at detecting a certain type of tricky spam message.

– Worked around an OS bug that prevented SpamSieve from properly analyzing some message attachments.

– False negative files now have the .eml extension so that they work with Quick Look, etc.

– The Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone section of the manual has been updated with simpler instructions for Apple Mail and new instructions for setting up a drone using Microsoft Outlook 2011.

– Added the Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server section of the manual (for Apple Mail).

– Updated various graphics for retina displays.

– If the Apple Mail plug-in cannot be installed due to a folder ownership problem, SpamSieve will now ask for an administrator password to try to fix the folder for you.

– Reverted to version 1.2.3 of the Growl SDK to avoid problems with high CPU usage, internal errors, and crashes.

– Improved SpamSieve’s reporting of unexpected errors as well as script errors from Apple Mail.

– SpamSieve no longer responds at all to certain invalid commands. This should work around an OS bug that could lead to crashes.

– The crash reporter can now make recommendations for you based on the contents of the crash log.

– Added a link to the forum in the Help menu.

SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.

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

Rumor: Apple readying changes for next-gen iPad’s battery, camera lens

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Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2012, 06:10
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

Sometimes a few changes are needed.

Per DigiTimes, Apple is planning to make “small revisions” to its third-generation iPad, such as an enlarged lens hole and changes to the battery to keep the device from overheating, later this year.

Supply chain sources have indicated that Apple will likely release the updated iPad “around the holiday season.”

“The sources said the new iPad’s battery is being revised, which will help prevent overheating issues and could possibly make the device slightly lighter and thinner than previously designed,” the report noted.

No reason was given as to what Apple hoped to accomplish by enlarging the iPad’s lens hole. The third-generation tablet, which was released in March, features a 5-megapixel rear camera and a front camera capable of VGA-quality photos.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record and has been criticized for its willingness to report even the most speculative rumors from its sources. The publication did, however, correctly predict the Retina Display on both the new iPad and the new MacBook Pro.

Apple’s new iPad took some heat from product reviewer Consumer Reports shortly after release because it felt “very warm” while running a game. Separate tests also showed the device ran hotter than the second-generation iPad, though one report noted that the tablet was not much hotter than Android tablets or notebook computers.

For its part, Apple dismissed the concerns by stating that the new iPad operates “well within our thermal specifications.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Apple may use IGZO display for next-gen ‘Mini’ iPad

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Date: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012, 10:08
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

It’s the rumors that make life interesting.

Per Unwired View and MyDrivers.com, rumors of a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch display continue have cropped up, with one new report out of the Far East claiming the device will feature a Sharp IGZO display and will cost under US$300.

The latest details claim Apple’s so-called iPad mini will be as thin as the iPad 2, according to anonymous sources. The machine translation indicates that the “endurance has also been strengthened,” perhaps referring to the battery life of the rumored device.

The report also said that Apple’s smaller iPad will feature Sharp’s IGZO display technology, named for its use of indium, gallium and zinc. The new screen would be optimized to reach 330 pixels per inch, according to the latest rumor.

Finally, the new iPad is rumored to have a capacity of 8 gigabytes with a price between US$249 and $299. It was said that Apple’s primary target with a smaller iPad is Google’s newly unveiled Nexus 7, as well as the Amazon Kindle Fire, both of which are available for US$199.

But the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire feature 7-inch displays, while Apple’s rumored new iPad has been said in various reports to feature a slightly larger 7.85-inch display. Rumors of a smaller iPad have lingered since Apple launched its first model in 2010.

Speculation on a smaller form factor iPad gained traction again this year in February when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple officials have been showing off designs for a smaller iPad that has a similar screen resolution as the iPad 2. The report did caution, though, that Apple could be simply testing new designs and might not actually release the device.

As for IGZO technology, it was also rumored to be featured in the high-resolution Retina display of Apple’s third-generation iPad. But those claims didn’t pan out, and follow-up reports suggested that Sharp’s new screen technology couldn’t meet Apple’s approval process.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to hold Q3 earnings call on Tuesday, July 24

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Date: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012, 06:25
Category: Finance, News

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It never hurts to be able to turn a profit.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday announced that it will report its financial earnings results for the third quarter 2012 on Tuesday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific, 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The company updated its investor relations page to reflect the scheduled earnings report and ensuing conference call which will be streamed live here.

Apple’s last earnings call brought another record-breaking quarter and was the company’s best second fiscal quarter ever, second only to results from the 2011 holiday period. Profits during the three-month last quarter were up 94 percent year-to-year on strong iPhone and iPad sales. Macs sales also reached record highs during the period ending in March.

With the WWDC unveiling of the MacBook Pro with Retina display and a refresh of the entire MacBook line as well as introductions of other products like the new AirPort Express Apple is set to see another strong performance that some analysts believe will add to what could be the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company in history. The record is contingent on whether the tech giant can stay above a perceived US$500 billion market capitalization “barrier,” a level at which large corporations traditionally begin to see a slowdown in growth.

AAPL stock stood at US$592.52 at the end of trading on Monday with a market cap of US$554.04 billion.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.