Apple releases third-gen Apple TV, adds 1080p support, new user interface in the process

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Date: Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 13:30
Category: News

It may look exactly the same as its previous generation, but some oomph has been added.

Per Macworld, Apple unveiled a new Apple TV model on Wednesday, with support for 1080p video and a new user interface, at a special event in San Francisco.

The new Apple TV model features a redesigned user interface with iOS-like buttons that appear on the home screen below the thumbnail images. The buttons highlight Apple’s movies, TV shows, music, computers, trailers, podcasts, and settings areas, but also better call out the third-party services available on the Apple TV, including Netflix, Vimeo, and live sports subscriptions for baseball, basketball, and hockey.

Still, the good news for current Apple TV owners is that the new interface is available Wednesday as a free software update.

The company also added support for 1080p HD video with the new model. Previously, the Apple TV only supported 720p HD video, and that’s the highest resolution that Apple sold through the iTunes Store. Now the Apple TV can play 1080p video, and movies and TV shows sold by Apple will now be available in 1080p resolution as well.

Users can redownload movies you purchased on any of your devices. Movies and TV shows in the iTunes Store will now support 1080p HD. The higher resolution means better-looking photos too.

Apple has allowed you to redownload (or stream to the Apple TV) TV shows you’ve purchased already. The company has now added movies to the list of content you can redownload as well.

The Apple TV also incorporates Apple’s Genius functionality in order to recommend movies based on your downloading habits.

The new Apple TV looks identical to the previous model, but incorporates a more-powerful single-core A5 chip instead of Apple’s older A4 chip from the second-generation Apple TV.

The new model will be available on March 16 at the same US$99 price as before.

Apple releases long-awaited iOS 5.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 12:51
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

You’ve been craving it for months and it’s finally here. Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple has released its iOS 5.1 update for qualifying iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices.

The update, which can be located, snagged and installed via iTunes, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)

- Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream.

- Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation).

- Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces.

- Redesigned Camera app for iPad.

- Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers.

- Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer.

- Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind for iPad.

- Updated AT&T network indicator.

- Addresses bugs affecting battery life.

- Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls.

As always, if you’ve tried the new iOS and have any feedback to offer (positive or negative), please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.8 for late 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks

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Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2012, 16:08
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.8 for its late 2008, 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks. The update a 3 megabyte download, resolves a graphics issue that may cause the internal display to flicker.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5.8, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later to install and run.

As always, if you’ve tried the new firmware and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases iMac Wi-Fi Update 1.0, hopes to resolve wake/reconnection issue

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Date: Monday, February 27th, 2012, 07:41
Category: iMac, News, Software

The firmware updates, they keep on rolling in.

Late Friday, Apple released iMac Wi-Fi Update 1.0, a 25.8 megabyte download that resolves an issue that may cause an iMac to not automatically connect to a known Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep. It is recommended for all iMac (Late 2009 or newer) users running 10.7.3.

The firmware update is available either via direct download or through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature on a qualifying iMac.

If you’ve tried the iMac Wi-Fi Update 1.0 upgrade and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases firmware updates for early and late 2011 MacBook Pro, mid-2011 MacBook Air notebooks

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Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012, 18:11
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released firmware updates for its early and late 2011 MacBook Pro notebooks as well as its mid-2011 MacBook Air Notebooks.

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.7, a 4.1 megabyte download, fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Pro (Early 2011) and MacBook Pro (Late 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged.

MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.4, a 3 megabyte download, fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Air (Mid 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged.

The updates can be directly downloaded and installed or located, downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later to install and run.

As always, if you’ve tried the new firmware updates and have either positive or negative feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

VLC 2.0.0 release candidate 1 goes live, available for download

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Date: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, 06:07
Category: News, Software

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If you’re feeling experimental, this might be for you.

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 a release candidate version of 2.0.0. The new version, a 24.1 megabyte download, adds a wide array of fixes and changes listed on MacUpdate.

VLC 2.0.0 release candidate 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.

Mozilla releases Firefox 10.0.1 update

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Date: Sunday, February 12th, 2012, 21:55
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 10.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version stands as a 31.8 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

- FIXED: Java applets sometimes caused text input to become unresponsive (bug 718939).

- NEW: Most add-ons are now compatible with new versions of Firefox by default.

- NEW: The forward button is now hidden until you navigate back.

- NEW: Anti-Aliasing for WebGL is now implemented (see bug 615976).

- NEW: CSS3 3D-Transforms are now supported (see bug 505115).

HTML5: New element for bi-directional text isolation, along with supporting CSS properties (see bugs 613149 and 662288).

- HTML5: Full Screen APIs allow you to build a web application that runs full screen (see the feature page).

- DEVELOPER: We’ve added IndexedDB APIs to more closely match the specification.

- DEVELOPER: Inspect tool with content highlighting, includes new CSS Style Inspector.

- FIXED: Mac OS X only – after installing the latest Java release from Apple, Firefox may crash when closing a tab with a Java applet installed (700835).

- FIXED: Some users may experience a crash when moving bookmarks (681795)

- FIXED: Silverlight video may not play on some Macintosh hardware (715396).

Known Issues:
- UNRESOLVED: Two-digit browser version numbers may cause a small number of website incompatibilities (see 690287).

- UNRESOLVED: If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash (see 573369).

- UNRESOLVED: For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual (see 579260).

- UNRESOLVED: Some synaptic touch pads are unable to vertical scroll (see 622410).

- UNRESOLVED: Firefox notifications may not work properly with Growl 1.3 or later (see 691662) (Unresolved on v10 Resolved in v11).

- UNRESOLVED: Under certain conditions, scrolling and text input may be jerky (see 711900).

Firefox 10.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple releases firmware updates for early 2010 MacBook Air, Pro notebooks, adds Lion Recovery and sleep fix

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Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012, 06:20
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Firmware updates…they get useful.

Late Tuesday, Apple released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.6 for its early 2010 MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, a 3 megabyte download, enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Pro (Early 2010) models.

The company also released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.3 for its early 2010 MacBook Air notebooks. The update, a 3 megabyte download, enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection and also addresses an issue where the system would sometimes restart when the power button was pressed immediately after waking from deep sleep.

The updates can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later to install and run.

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

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.4.4

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Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012, 06:30
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.4.4. The new version, a 6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Made several changes to the preset configurations. Both the wording and some of the settings have been changed in response to user feedback and typical usage scenarios.

- New feature: CCC now provides support for archiving and cloning the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Recovery HD partition. Choose “Disk Center” from CCC’s Window menu to find this functionality.
New feature: Scheduled tasks can now be configured to wake or boot the system when the task is scheduled to run.

- New feature: For users with a Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installer application in /Applications, CCC’s Source menu now includes a handy “Create a Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installer…” choice that will clone the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installation disk image onto a physical volume.

- Window positioning of the scheduled task helper application is now retained on a per-task basis, so you can move these windows around on your screen and multiple tasks won’t be stacked on top of each other.

- CCC will now mention the lack of a Recovery HD partition in the Cloning Coach prior to running the initial backup task.

- The table of scheduled tasks in the Scheduler window are now sorted alphabetically by default.

- Fixed a scheduler issue in which tasks scheduled to run on the first (any weekday) of the current month would be scheduled to run in the following month.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC was not “remembering” the last preset that had been selected upon relaunching CCC.

- Fixed an issue with the German localization related to the application of a particular setting in custom presets.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task had trouble mounting a disk image when uncommon permissions conditions were present (such as when a system is bound to an Active Directory directory service).

- The “This volume will be bootable” message is back, though with a caveat that I have to insist upon from a support perspective. Many external hard drive enclosures still manage to screw up the boot process, and it’s impossible for me to determine if that is going to happen for any particular user from within CCC.

- When backing up to a subfolder, CCC now overlays an icon of the underlying volume on the folder icon in the task status panel.

- Scheduled tasks that specify a network volume as the destination are now aborted when CCC receives a sleep notification.

- Growl notifications should now work properly on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion with Growl 1.3.

- Email notifications now include the sender’s full name.

- Fixed a couple minor bugs associated with email notifications.

- Fixed an issue in which the scheduled task window would be unresponsive while CCC waited for a response from an email server.

- Added support for sending email to servers that use a self-signed certificate. This support is disabled by default, see the documentation for details on enabling this functionality.

- Resolved a problem in which an errant filter would protect items in folders that were to be deleted, resulting in CCC reporting that it couldn’t replace a particular folder or application.

- Fixed a minor 5-second shutdown hang associated with CCC scheduled tasks.

- Numerous tweaks to the advice that CCC offers for various error conditions.

- Fixed some Mac OS X 10.7 Lion-specific problems with the mounting of sparsebundle disk image files that are hosted on a network volume.

- If you’re running an ad hoc task in CCC (e.g. click “Clone” in the main window), CCC will ask before deleting anything from the _CCC Archives folder. To avoid problems that would affect automation, this warning is not provided for scheduled tasks.

- CCC is more proactive about dealing with the 4GB file size limitation of FAT32 volumes. Files larger than 4GB will now be excluded by default, and you’ll get a warning of this exclusion before running the task.

- Fixed a hang that would occur at the end of a scheduled task while CCC tried to unmount the destination volume (network volumes only, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion only).

- Made some cosmetic changes concerning ZFS support.

- Mail account settings on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion are now properly imported and populated into the email notifications tab of the scheduled tasks window.

- The path to a disk image file is now properly provided as the fourth argument to postflight scripts.

- Fixed a 30 second hang that would occur while saving changes to scheduled tasks on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. For every OS, though, saving scheduled tasks should be considerably faster.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.4 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to run.

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

Mac OS X 10.7.3 bugs being tracked, workarounds/fixes discovered

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Date: Friday, February 3rd, 2012, 05:25
Category: News, Software

Mac OS X 10.7.3 is here.

Now it’s time to sort out the bugs.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users are reportedly suffering from an odd application crash bug. Affected people will see apps crash often, with the unusual twist of error messages that feature the word “CUI” stamped over them. A source claims that the company has already sent out an email to a v10.7.3 test group, asking them if they’ve run into the problem and requesting bug reports if so.

Some workarounds exist (which are cataloged here). The most extreme of these involves booting into a Lion Recovery partition, and using Terminal to install a downloaded Combo version of the v10.7.3 update.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve discovered any issues or workarounds, please let us know in the comments.