Livestream Announces Video Streaming Service for iPhone

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

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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

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Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 05:54
Category: 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 1.0.3 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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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…

Report Finds Running Windows 7 on MacBook Pro Drains Battery Life Quickly

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Date: Thursday, August 6th, 2009, 04:55
Category: MacBook, News

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Users hoping that the arrival of Windows 7 will lessen the power drain on Apple’s MacBook Pro notebook may have some hard news to face up to, as CNET’s Eric Lai discovered for a recent article he wrote. Running Windows 7 in Boot Camp caused one CNET reviewer’s battery life to fall by more than two-thirds.

In addition to this, virtualization software such as VMware Fusion suffer from the same complaints. Some blame Apple’s Boot Camp drivers (the last ones were released in April 2008) while others blame Windows’ bloated codebase. With Apple and Microsoft both trying to avoid responsibility for improving the experience, Windows 7′s reported improvements in power management will be moot for MacBook Pro users for a while.

If you’ve tested the Windows 7 beta on your MacBook and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple Releases 2TB Time Capsule Router

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Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2009, 05:29
Category: Time Capsule

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Apple released an anticipated Time Capsule router router with an integrated two terabyte hard drive on Thursday, the new unit selling for US$499 while the previous generation one terabyte model is now available for US$299, per AppleInsider.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced new AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules with dual-band support. The new models allow simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking. With dual-band, base stations can simultaneously support iPhones and other 802.11b/g devices operating at 2.4 GHz, while also broadcasting 802.11n wide signals in the 5GHz band to maximize throughput for notebooks and devices such as Apple TV.

Time Capsule pairs the existing AirPort Extreme with a hard drive to serve as a backup appliance for Leopard machines running Time Machine, in addition to acting as a simple file and print server. It is offered for both Mac and Windows users, although Windows PCs (or Macs not running Leopard) won’t have Time Machine and therefore will access it only as a regular file and print server.