VirtualBox 3.1 Released

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 30th, 2009, 09:05
Category: Software

virtualbox.png
VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 3.1. The new version, a 65 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

- Teleportation (aka live migration); migrate a live VM session from one host to another (see the manual for more information).
- VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots instead of only the last one, and new snapshots can be taken from other snapshots as well (“branched snapshots”; see the manual for more information).
- 2D video acceleration for Windows guests; use the host video hardware for overlay stretching and color conversion (see the manual for more information).
- More flexible storage attachments: CD/DVD drives can be attached to arbitrary storage controllers, and there can be more than one such drive (the manual for more information).
- The network attachment type can be changed while a VM is running.
- Complete rewrite of experimental USB support for OpenSolaris hosts making use of the latest USB enhancements in Solaris Nevada 124 and higher.
- Significant performance improvements for PAE and AMD64 guests (VT-x and AMD-V only; normal (non-nested) paging).
- Experimental support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface; see the manual for more information).
- Support for paravirtualized network adapters (virtio-net; see the manual for more information).
- VMM: guest SMP fixes for certain rare cases.
- GUI: snapshots include a screenshot.
- GUI: locked storage media can be unmounted by force.
- GUI: the a log window grabbed all key events from other GUI windows (bug #5291).
- GUI: allow to disable USB filters (bug #5426).
- GUI: improved memory slider in the VM settings.
- GUI: the VirtualBox website couldn’t be opened from the help menu (bug #4559).
- 3D support: major performance improvement in VBO processing.
- 3D support: added GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array support.
- 3D support: fixed crashes in FarCry, SecondLife, Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, Eve Online (bugs #2801, #2791).
- 3D support: fixed graphics corruption in World of Warcraft (#2816).
- 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (#4653).
- 3D support: fixed incorrect rendering of non ARGB textures under compiz.
- iSCSI: support iSCSI targets with more than 2TiB capacity.
- VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash (bug #5424).
- Network: fixed the E1000 emulation for QNX (and probably other) guests (bug #3206).
- NAT: added host resolver DNS proxy (see the manual for more information).
- VMDK: fixed incorrectly rejected big images split into 2G pieces (bug #5523, #2787).
- VMDK: fixed compatibility issue with fixed or raw disk VMDK files (bug #2723).
- VHD: fixed incompatibility with Hyper-V.
- Support for Parallels version 2 disk image (HDD) files; see the manual for more information.
- OVF: create manifest files on export and verify the content of an optional manifest file on import.
- OVF: fixed memory setting during import (bug #4188).
- Mouse device: now five buttons are passed to the guest (bug #3773).
- VBoxHeadless: fixed loss of saved state when VM fails to start.
- VBoxSDL: fixed crash during shutdown (Windows hosts only).
- X11 based hosts: allow the user to specify their own scan code layout (bug #2302).
- Mac OS X hosts: don’t auto show the menu and dock in fullscreen (bug #4866).
- Mac OS X hosts (64 bit): don’t interpret mouse wheel events as left click (bug #5049).
- Mac OS X hosts: fixed a VM abort during shutdown under certain conditions.
- Solaris hosts: combined the kernel interface package into the VirtualBox main package.
- Solaris hosts: support for OpenSolaris Boomer architecture (with OSS audio backend).
- Shared folders: VBOXSVR is visible in Network folder (Windows guests, bug #4842).
- Shared folders: performance improvements (Windows guests, bug #1728).
- Windows, Linux and Solaris Additions: added balloon tip notifier if VirtualBox host version was updated and Additions are out of date.
- Solaris guests: fixed keyboard emulation (bug #1589).
- Solaris Additions: fixed as_pagelock() failed errors affecting guest properties (bug #5337).
- Windows Additions: added automatic logon support for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
- Windows Additions: improved file version lookup for guest OS information.
- Windows Additions: fixed runtime OS detection on Windows 7 for session information.
- Windows Additions: fixed crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo).
- Linux Additions: added support for uninstalling the Linux Guest Additions (bug #4039).
- Linux guest shared folders: allow mounting a shared folder if a file of the same name as the folder exists in the current directory (bug #928).
- SDK: added object-oriented web service bindings for PHP5.

VirtualBox 3.1 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

Firefox Web Browser Unlikely to Come to iPhone, iPod Touch

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 05:55
Category: iPhone, News

elfirefox

Representatives from Mozilla, the company responsible for Firefox, have announced that the web browser will not be coming to the iPhone. Responding to questions from ElectricPig.co.uk, Mozilla’s European president, Tristan Nitot, said that Firefox on the iPhone isn’t an option with Apple’s current restrictions on web browsers that would compete with Mobile Safari.

“The issue is more with Apple than with us because they control the App Store and because they refuse applications which compete with something that is already on the phone. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a version of Firefox running on the iPhone,” said Nitot.

Nitot also stated that Mozilla is so sure it isn’t going to happen that he said the foundation isn’t even looking in to making a version for just in case Apple changes their mind.

“We’re not investing time and energy in this direction because we’re pretty sure it would be blocked by Apple, so we’re better off using our time in terms of development to do things on open platforms”.

“[Firefox for mobile] is a modern browser with all the bells and whistles that you’ll find in your desktop browser so you need a powerful operating system such as Android or Maemo or Windows Mobile,” he said. “The list of operating systems we want to support in the mobile world is already pretty long – I guess BlackBerry would be one of the last in our priority list”

Firefox Mobile will be launching on Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile, and Nokia Maemo tablets in December.

Livestream Announces Video Streaming Service for iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 13th, 2009, 05:44
Category: iPhone, News

3gs.jpg

Live streaming video on the iPhone and iPod touch handsets may not be the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not impossible. Per Macworld, Livestream on Thursday unveiled its free service for streaming live video to the popular Apple devices.

The application, which is available only for Windows, though there’s currently a beta available for the Mac, allows anybody to produce live video streams from sources such as a professional video camera, a web cam, or even a PC desktop. The new service takes advantage of the H.264 HTTP live streaming that Apple began including in the iPhone OS’s QuickTime player earlier this year.

Livestream says it is also making an API available to developers so that video can be incorporated into apps if producers prefer a more customized experience for their viewers. But the Mobile Safari/QuickTime route will get your video on to the small screen just as soon as you can get Procaster up and running (which Livestream claims takes about five minutes to do).

VLC Updated to 1.0.3

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 05:54
Category: Software

vlclogo.jpg

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 1.0.3 over the weekend. The new version, a 41 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Video outputs:
- Fixed video quality when resizing the video on Windows Vista and 7, due to regressions in most popular drivers.
- New deinterlacers modules based on yadif and yadif(x2) algorithms.

Decoders:
- Windows version supports now natively the WMA Professional codec, as it didn’t work in the packaged version of 1.0.2.
- Fixed downmixing of particual 4.0 AC-3 audio tracks.

Encoders:
- x264 has profile-limitter, like: #transcode{vcodec=h264,venc=x264{profile=baseline,level=12}..}.

Input:
- Update for appletrailers lua script.
- Fixes on the RAR stream filter.
- Fix for E-AC3 in ATSC/TS streams.
- Various fixes for v4l and v4l2.
- Fixed a crash in mjpeg demuxer.

Service discovery:
- New udev module for linux.

Qt4 interface:
- Fixes on the playlist and the stream output panels.

Translations:
- French, Galician, Korean, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Slovak and Ukrainian updates.

VLC 1.0.3 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and is available as a free download.

VirtualBox 3.0.8 Released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 7th, 2009, 03:22
Category: Software

virtualbox.png
VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 3.0.8. The new version, a 62.9 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:
- VMM: fixed 64 bits guest on 32 bits host regression in 3.0.6 (VT-x only; bug #4947).
- VMM: fixed a recompiler triple fault guru meditation (VT-x & AMD-V only; bug #5058).
- VMM: fixed hang after guest state restore (AMD-V, 32 bits Windows guest and IO-APIC enabled only; bug #5059).
- VMM: fixed paging issue with OS/2 guests.
- VMM: fixed guru meditation in rare cases (2.0 regression; software virtualization only).
- VMM: fixed release assertion during state restore when using the Sound Blaster 16 emulation (bug #5042).
- Security: fixed vulnerability that allowed to execute commands with root privileges.
- Linux hosts: fixed runtime assertion in semaphore implementation which was triggered under certain conditions (bug #616).
- Linux hosts: change the default USB access mode on certain distributions (bugs #3394 and #4291).
- Linux hosts: on hardened Gentoo, the VBoxSVC daemon crashed by opening the VM network settings (bug #3732).
- Linux hosts, Solaris hosts: pass the XAUTHORITY variable along the DISPLAY variable when starting a VM from VBoxManage or from the VM selector (bug #5063).
- Linux hosts: use sysfs to enumerate host drives if hal is not available.
- Solaris hosts: fixed a bug which would hang the host sporadically as interrupts were not re-enabled everytime.
- Solaris hosts: fixed a kernel panic with bridged and host-only networking (bug #4775).
- Solaris hosts: fixed incorrectly persistent CD/DVD-ROMs when changing them (bug #5077).
- X11-based hosts: support additional function keys on Sun keyboards (bug #4907).
- Mac OS X hosts (Snow Leopard): fixed problem starting headless VMs without a graphical session (bug #5002).
- Mac OS X hosts: fixed problem listing host-only adapter names with trailing garbage (attached VMs won’t start).
- Windows Additions: now work with Vista 64-bit Home editions (bug #3865).
- Windows Additions: fixed screen corruption with ZoomText Magnifier.
- Windows Additions: fixed NPGetUniversalName failure (bug #4853).
- Windows Additions: fixed Windows NT regression (bug #4946).
- Windows Additions: fixed VBoxService not running if no Shared Folders are installed.
- Linux Additions: implemented ftrunctate (bug #4771).
- VRDP: start VM even if configured VRDP port is in use.
- Networking: the PCnet network device stopped receiving under rare conditions (bug #4870).
- VBoxManage: implemented controlvm vrdpport command.
- iSCSI: fixed issue with NetApp targets (#5072).
- SCSI: add support for virtual disks larger than 2TB.
- USB: fixed potential crash when unplugging USB2 devices (bug #5089).
- NAT: IPSEC did not properly work with Linux guests (bug #4801).

VirtualBox 3.0.8 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

Recent NPD Group Report Finds Mac Market Share up to 12% in U.S. Households

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009, 05:59
Category: News

applelogo1.jpg

If you’ve been having the market share debate with your friends for years (if not decades), this may come as a welcome surprise. Per an article on The Loop, nearly 12% of U.S. computer-owning households now own a Mac according to the NPD Group’s second annual Household Penetration Study. The new report places the market share up three percentage points from the market-research firm’s 2008 findings.

According to the report, 72% of those Mac users have laptops, and are very likely to live in mixed environments, a staggering 85% of those Mac users surveyed also own a Windows-based PC and 66% of those households contain three or more computers, compared with 29% for Windows households.

Those in Mac households are also greater consumers of consumer electronics. The survey found that 63% of Apple households own an iPod, compared to 36% of overall computer owners. 32% own a DSLR camera (versus 12%), while 18% own a 50+” LCD TV (versus 8%).

The report went on to explain that Mac households tended to make more money and thus had additional income for gadgets. In a statement accompanying the report, Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, wrote, “36% of Apple computer owners reported household incomes greater than $100,000, compared to 21% of all consumers. With a higher household income, though, it’s not a surprise that those consumers are making more electronics purchases.”

He also said that Apple households own twice as many consumer electronics devices—48—as the average computer household.

The results come from a survey of more than 2300 of NPD’s online panelists.

Rumor: Apple to Unveil Updated iMacs, Refreshed Plastic MacBooks for Holiday Season

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 28th, 2009, 04:33
Category: iMac, MacBook, Rumor

applelogo1.jpg

The rumor mill is starting back up again and The Unofficial Apple Weblog as well as other sites have begun to report on Apple’s expected releases for the holiday season.

French Mac site Mac4Ever is citing tips indicating that a new iMac, possibly quad-core powered, is in the works for a possible release before the holiday season. Like the MacBook Pro line, the new iMac would feature an SD card reader. There’s also the thought that a high-end iMac could even pack in a Xeon processor. AppleInsider has added its two cents, citing that an iMac boost is in the works, although they’re not speculating on quad-core or Xeon processors, and even reports that a new, slimmer design has been churning off Taiwanese assembly lines for the past two weeks.

The second rumor, also from AppleInsider, points to a less expensive and slimmer white polycarbonate MacBook. If Apple is able to reduce the price of the low-end laptop below its current US$999 level, it could stem the tide of sales of low-cost Windows and Linux netbooks.

They’re just rumors, but there’s generally some nuggets of truth to be found. If you’ve heard anything or want to chime in on this, let us know what’s on your mind.

Microsoft Offers Windows 7 Upgrade for $30 to Students for Limited Time

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 18th, 2009, 07:11
Category: News, Software

windows7logo

As much as you may want to burn Microsoft’s headquarters to the ground, they do remain competitive on some levels. According to AppleInsider, Microsoft will allow students to purchase the upcoming Windows 7 operating system for US$29.99, roughly the same price as Apple’s competing Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Per the article, Microsoft this week launched win741.com, a Web site devoted to promoting Windows 7 to students.

“For a limited time, eligible college students can get the sweetest deal on Windows 7 – for only $29.99 USD,” the site reads. “That’s less than most of your textbooks! Hurry — offer ends January 3, 2010 and 12 a.m. CST.”

The offer applies to the Home Premium and Professional versions of Windows 7. Students will be allowed to purchase one copy of either from Microsoft’s online store. Similar offers are available in the U.K, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea and Mexico.

Rather than mailing a disc, the software will be made available for students to download in either 32- or 64-bit versions. The Web site’s FAQ recommends that those looking to do a clean install of the operating system buy a Windows 7 backup DVD.

For all non-students, Windows 7 is less expensive than Vista, but still much higher than Snow Leopard. A retail copy of the Home Premium upgrade will retail for US$120 and the standalone version is US$200. The Professional edition will cost US$200 for an upgrade, or US$300 for the full price. The Windows 7 Ultimate version is US$220 for the upgrade and US$320 for the full copy. Upgrades require Windows XP or Windows Vista to be installed on the machine.

The Windows 7 launch date is set for October 22nd.

Look at it this way: It’s not Vista, it’s gotten good feedback and it’ll happily run under Boot Camp, so there may be a bargain to be had here.

Apple Releases QuickTime 7.6.4 Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 10th, 2009, 03:44
Category: Software

quicktimelogo.jpg
On Thursday, Apple released the latest version of QuickTime, its multimedia support system for Mac OS X and Windows. The new version, known as QuickTime 7.6.4, is available as a variably-sized download (depending on version chosen through the download page), improves compatibility with iTunes 9 and improves audio device support on Windows Vista.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 Build 3846 Released

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 31st, 2009, 03:17
Category: News

parallelslogo1.jpg
Virtualization software maker Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3846 on Monday. The new version, which can be downloaded from here (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the following fixes and changes:

Improvements:
* Improved 3D graphics in Windows virtual machines.
* Problems with Palm synchronization in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
* Random disconnection of USB 1.1 devices in Linux virtual machines — fixed.
* Invisibility of the text mouse pointer on black background in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
* Problems with SMB shares in native Windows Boot Camp installations that have Parallels Tools installed — fixed.
* Problems with Shared Networking on Snow Leopard host computers — fixed.

Improvements:
* General performance improvements.
* Improved USB support (performance, USB1.1 compatibility fixes).
* Better performance of Suspend/Resume operations.
* Improved hard disk performance for virtual machines converted from Parallels Desktop 2.5 and 3.0.
* Memory leak in Parallels Desktop GUI that might happen after 1-2 days of work — fixed.
* Accidental crash in Redhat Linux 5.2 Server x86_64 during installation — fixed.
* Problems with connecting Palm handheld devices via USB — fixed.
* Improved sound playback via USB devices.
* Empty keyboard remapping in the clean PD4 installation — fixed.
* Networking issues when the Mac network location changes — fixed.
* Timezone and daylight saving time were not synchronized in the virtual machine with time synchronization enabled — fixed.

Click the jump for the rest of the story…