Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.6.4 and Security Update 2010-00

Apple today released Mac OS X 10.6.4, the fourth maintenance update for Snow Leopard, via Software Update. The update offers a number of fixes implemented since the release of Mac OS X 10.6.3 in late March.
 
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4150.
For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

Surprise Mac mini update: unibody case, HDMI, 320M graphics

Apple rolled out a relatively major update to the Mac mini. The little headless Mac now comes in a unibody aluminum enclosure like its notebook brethren, and sports a new HDMI port, SD card slot, and improved graphics performance.

With the new casing, the mini is 7.7 inch square and only 1.4 inches thick, including an integrated power supply. This is down from 6.5 inches square and two inches high in the previous model—it appears Apple is trying to get the mini to look a lot like the Apple TV, which is also a 7.7 inch square with an HDMI port.

Both flavors of Mac mini now come with the NVIDIA GeForce 320M, which is the same integrated GPU that comes in the current MacBook (the last mini came with a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M). This, according to Apple, will bring "twice the graphics performance" of the previous Mac mini model. The machines come in either 2.4 or 2.66GHz flavors with 2 and 4GB of RAM as a base respectively, though they can go up to 8GB of RAM with build-to-order options.

Like before, the high-end mini is actually a compact Snow Leopard server, with two 500GB hard drives and no optical drive. That model goes for $999, while the entry-level model starts at $699—a surprising price increase given the relatively minor changes in internal hardware. Additionally, Apple has finally given users an easy way to upgrade the Mac mini's RAM themselves with a circular panel on the bottom for easy access.

Full article here

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Safari 5 tested: Chrome, Opera still have JavaScript edge

Apple released the latest major version of its Web browser, Safari 5, earlier this week. Along with several new features—one of them somewhat controversial—the update was said to pack a number of performance improvements, including DNS pre-fetching and optimizations to Safari's Nitro JavaScript engine. "Safari continues to lead the pack in performance," Apple SVP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said in a statement. We decided to put those claims to the test, pitting Safari against leading browsers on both Mac OS X and Windows 7.

Included in our tests are a number of JavaScript benchmarks, including the WebKit team's SunSpider, Google's V8 Benchmark, and Mozilla's Dromaeo. We also took a look at graphics acceleration performance using Microsoft's HTML5 "Flying Images" speed demo. The tests were run on the latest stable versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera on Mac OS X 10.6.3 running on a 3.0GHz, 8-core Mac Pro with 10GB RAM and two ATI Radeon 2600XT GPUs. The tests were also run on Windows 7 on a 2.67 GHz Core 2 Duo PC with 4 GB of RAM and an ATI 4830 GPU. On our Windows 7 rig we had a recent development build of Chrome (as opposed to the latest stable version), and we also ran the tests using IE8 and a developer preview of IE9.

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Overall, Safari 5 is quite snappy, and does feel faster than Safari 4—especially on Windows. Though Safari's Nitro JavaScript engine may have a very slight raw performance advantage, the benchmarks we ran show that Apple and the WebKit team certainly have some areas where it can improve—both in JavaScript performance characteristics as well as optimizing performance for animation and other graphics rendering. All this fierce competition among Apple, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, and Opera for "fastest" browser, though, ultimately benefits all users in the long run.

Full article here.

iPad gives Apple 11.5% of Japanese portable computing

Apple's strong Japanese iPad launch may have given it a large piece of the entire local computer market, analysts at BCN discovered today. If the tablet is counted as a computer, it would almost triple Apple's market share in Japan from 3.5 percent in April to 11.5 percent in May. The spike would help Apple overtake Sony's 9.3 percent and make it the fourth largest computer company on the island nation....
 
Full article here

Friday, June 4, 2010

TextCrypt encrypts instant messages, Facebook posts

<img align='left' src='http://photos.macnn.com/news/1006/textsml.jpg' border='0' width='176' height='120' />SubRosaSoft has released TextCrypt, a security utility designed to protect communication. The software uses a Rijndael AES-128 algorithm to encrypt information sent through instant messages, e-mail, or social networking sites such as Facebook....


Facebook - Encryption - Advanced Encryption Standard - Social network service - [ Full story from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network ]

Google alters WebM to make it safer against patent lawsuits

<img align='left' src='http://photos.macnn.com/news/1006/webm.jpg' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Google today changed the license for its WebM video standard to help shelter users against possible patent lawsuits. It's now been reworded to only deny access to the patents themselves in the event of a lawsuit shutting them down. Previously, the license would have cut off all rights, locking any patent users out of use altogether....


Google - Patent - Searching - Search Engines - [ Full story from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network ]

Google Goggles finally reaching iPhone soon

<img align='left' src='http://photos.macnn.com/news/1006/googlegoggles.jpg' border='0' width='176' height='120' />Google project lead Shailesh Nalawadi today told those at the Augmented Reality Event that Google Goggles will reach the iPhone "soon." He didn't elaborate on when this would arrive or in which app but suggested it was finally close to release. The company had teased the prospect of the visual search as long ago as December but had never indicated how certain the release might be....


Google - AugmentedReality - Google Goggles - iPhone 3G - [ Full story from MacNN | The Macintosh News Network ]

Microsoft CEO hopes to reenter phone market, disputes PC shift

At All Things Digital, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer admitted having fallen behind in the mobile business, but expressed a hope of reentering the market with its upcoming products. He also took issue with comments by Steve Jobs on the shift away from PCs.

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[ Full story from AppleInsider ]

Apple rewards elementary school students' excitement for iPad

Thirteen fifth-grade students in Florida were given free iPads by Apple, and could appear in a forthcoming advertising campaign after they were photographed excitedly eyeing the company's new hardware.

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[ Full story from AppleInsider ]

Apple's current iPad software won't allow iPhone tethering

When AT&T customers in the U.S. finally have access to tethering on their iPhone, it won't work with Apple's iPad due to software limitations, not AT&T policy.

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[ Full story from AppleInsider ]

Apple hanging Moscone Center banners for WWDC 2010 [u]

Apple has started preparing San Francisco's Moscone Center with banners for its Worldwide Developers Conference being held next week [Updated Friday with more photos].

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[ Full story from AppleInsider ]

Apple highlights interactive capabilities of HTML5

Apple this week posted a new section on its website, showing off the abilities of HTML5 in a standards based browser such as Safari, including interactive videos and photos.

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[ Full story from AppleInsider ]

iPad news advertisements command 5 times more than Web ads

Advertising on print publications repurposed for Apple's iPad draws a fee up to five times more than buying placement on the same content provider's website.

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[ Full story from AppleInsider ]

The iPad And Dreamliner Economy

Apple isn't the only innovator. From the heartland to the golden gate, American industry is alive with innovation from Caterpillar to Cisco. [ Full story from Forbes.com Business Technology News ]

Obama shelves trip to Indonesia, Australia

President Barack Obama has abruptly scrapped a trip to Indonesia and Australia for the second time this year, as he grapples with the calamitous oil spill at home. The president informed both countries' leaders of the change in plans in Thursday night phone...

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Barack Obama - Indonesia - Australia - United States - [ Full story from SFGate: Top News Stories ]

AT&T customers grumbling about data plans

AT&T Inc.'s decision to scrap unlimited data plans for new customers has prompted a backlash from bloggers and subscribers like Danette Collins. "As soon as I can get out of the AT&T plan, I'll switch to Verizon," said Collins, a finance and operations...

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Verizon - AT&T - IPhone - Apple - [ Full story from SFGate: Top News Stories ]

Set Up a Virtual KVM

You can share one monitor, keyboard, and mouse between a Mac and a Windows PC—for free. [ Full story from Extremetech ]

iWeb Themes Park releases five new templates

These new third-party themes for Apple's WYSIWYG Web editor are focused mostly on various business uses, from real estate to general sales and service.

[ Full story from Macworld ]