Rumor: Apple to manufacture Thunderbolt, Sandy Bridge-equipped Mac Pro, Mac mini units in August

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Date: Monday, June 20th, 2011, 05:57
Category: Mac mini, Mac Pro, Rumor

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In spite of a current lack of native devices for the mighty Thunderbolt port, a new rumor places Apple as manufacturing new Mac Pro and Mac mini systems with Thunderbolt this August.

Per a Twitter post from CNET’s Brian Tong on Sunday, the “all new” next-generation Mac Pros and Mac Minis will launch “either end of July (or) first week of August.”

He then followed up with a second post, in which he said that August is “more likely.” He also suggested that Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt would appear on both machines, as expected, though he added that “no details for specs or configurations were given.”

Tong in March correctly pointed to the launch of new iMacs, also with Thunderbolt ports and Sandy Bridge processors. He said the updated all-in-one desktops would arrive by early May, and they went on sale right on schedule.

The Mac Pro was last updated in late July of 2010. The tower was upgraded to 12 processing cores with Intel Xeon processors, making them up to 50% faster than their predecessors.

Just a month before, a redesigned Mac mini was released in June adding an HDMI port for easy connectivity to a high-definition television. The Mac mini also sports a built-in SD card slot for grabbing photos and videos from a digital camera, all in a size just 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thin starting at US$699.

The MacBook Air is also expected to receive an upgrade in the near future to be outfitted with Sandy Bridge processors and a Thunderbolt port. Last week, it was reported that Apple is expected to hold off on releasing any new Mac hardware until its next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, goes on sale in July.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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

Posted by:
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 iBooks 1.3 update

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Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2011, 05:45
Category: iOS, News, Software

On Tuesday, Apple released version 1.3 of its iBooks e-book and PDF reading app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Per Macworld, iBooks 1.3 adds a couple of new features, including a read-aloud feature for some children’s books that isn’t working yet.

iBooks 1.3 requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 3.2 or later to install and run.

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

Apple unveils updated retail experience, introduces interactive iPad displays

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Date: Monday, May 23rd, 2011, 03:52
Category: News, retail

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There were rumblings that Apple was doing something for its 10th retail anniversary.

And they apparently did.

Per Mac Prices Australia, Apple retail stores have taken the wraps off Apple’s new retail upgrade, which makes use of interactive iPad displays to provide product information, pricing and features.

Apple launched “Retail 2.0″ on Sunday morning in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Apple retail stores. The company opened its first retail stores on May 19, 2001, in McLean, Virginia and Glendale, Calif.

According to the report, the main change is the addition of stationary iPads placed next to other Apple products in order to display product prices, information and features. The touchscreen tablets can also be used to compare models and ask for help from a specialist. Photos of the new iPad display units reveal that the devices are placed in plexiglass.

The iPads appear to be running a custom software application, as customers report that pressing the home button on the tablets does nothing. Though the power cable for the device does not appear to connect to the dock, one person familiar with the matter said the cable is indeed connected to the dock connector, but is “very well hidden.” Also, detaching the cable will reportedly activate an alarm.

Some reports also suggested that Apple retail employees were wearing party hats to celebrate the occasion. Customers reported via Twitter that the Apple store updates created a “totally new experience.”

Apple had been reported as stockpiling iPads in preparation for a retail overhaul, the new in-house iPads having been slated for use with an updated version of RetailMe, Apple’s proprietary retail software.

Apple reportedly scheduled overnight shifts for retail employees in preparation for the updates to the Apple store. The company had blocked employees from taking vacation from May 20 to May 22. Mandatory meetings have been scheduled on Sunday morning and evening for Apple retail staff.

Apple has also taken offline the Order Status page from its website until Sunday, May 22 in order to perform a system update.

A recent report claimed Apple will update its “Apple Store” retail app for iOS this weekend, adding full build-to-order purchasing options to the application. Apple first released the retail app last year with support for stock configuration orders.

If you’ve wandered into an Apple Store location since the overhaul this weekend and have anything to report, let us know.

Apple TV 4.2.2 update out the door

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Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 03:59
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

A new software update addresses a variety of minor issues for users of the second generation “black box” A4-powered Apple TV. You can install the update on your Apple TV by navigating to Settings -> General -> Update Software and following the directions there.

Per AppleInsider, the update, which is the second minor update to version 4.2, is named 4.2.2, but internally is described as iOS 4.3 build 8F305, addresses a half dozen minor issues:

- Audio: Addresses an issue in which audio is not output when playing some video content.

- Video playback: Addresses an issue in which video is not displayed when playing some content.

- Audio output setting: Adds an audio output setting for switching to 16-bit audio for compatibility with some TVs and AV receivers.

- Live FF/RW improvements: Improves the performance of fast-forwarding and rewinding live events.

- Movie description: Addresses an issue in which the description information is not displayed for some movies.

- YouTube video order: Addresses an issue in which YouTube subscription videos were not ordered by date.

Users of the original, Intel-based Apple TV are still stuck with software update 3.0.1, as that model is now discontinued.

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

Apple releases iPhoto 9.1.3 update

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Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 02:56
Category: News, Software

eliphoto

Apple on Tuesday released iPhoto 9.1.3, the latest version of its image organization and editing application. The update, a 112 megabyte download which can be be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, offers the following major fix:

- Fixes a problem that could cause some events merged in iPhoto to be split back into multiple events on iOS devices after being synced.

iPhoto 9.1.3 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases firmware updates for Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro, iMac units

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 6th, 2011, 06:27
Category: iMac, MacBook Pro, News, Software

It never quite works perfectly until the updates hit.

Per AppleInsider, Apple this week released a series of updates for its newest MacBook Pro notebooks and iMac desktops equipped with the high-speed Thunderbolt port, addressing issues related to performance and stability.

Two updates are available for MacBook Pro owners: MacBook Pro Software Update 1.4, a 132.69MB download, and MacBook Pro EFI Update 2.1, a 3.06MB download. Both are available direct from Apple’s website or via Software Update.

Update 1.4 is said to include fixes that improve graphics stability, address issues with external display support and 3D performance, and also improve Thunderbolt device support.

Meanwhile, EFI Update 2.1 includes fixes that resolve an issue with Turbo Mode in Boot Camp, and improves performance and stability for graphics and Thunderbolt. A user’s power cord must be connected and plugged in to a working power source when applying this update, as it updates the EFI firmware on the MacBook Pro.

Owners of the new iMacs just released this week get Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update for iMac (early 2011) 1.0, a 382.56MB download, and iMac EFI Update 1.6, weighing in at a 6.1MB download. The Mac OS X update applies a number of fixes for the Snow Leopard operating system, including:

- Improve the reliability of Back to My Mac.

- Resolves an issue when transferring files to certain SMB servers.

- Addresses various minor Mac App Store bugs.

- Addresses minor FaceTime performance issues.

- Addresses issues with graphics stability and 3D performance.

- Improves external display compatibility.

- Improves Thunderbolt device support.

Finally, the iMac EFI Update 1.6 includes fixes that improve the performance and stability for the new high-speed Thunderbolt port. The update will restart any iMacs it is installed on, at which point a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update.

Apple has already quickly released a handful of updates for its new iMac desktops. On Tuesday, when the all-in-one computers first went on sale, a Boot Camp update was also available for download.

Apple updated its iMac line on Tuesday, adding faster Sandy Bridge Intel quad-core processors, a FaceTime HD camera, and the new Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt debuted in February in Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pros.

If you’ve tried the updates and noticed any significant changes (for better or for worse), please let us know in the comments.