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All posts tagged "os x"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vonage Pro User? Companion is now Available for Mac

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 10:00 AM

"Vonage, the international VoIP provider, has just released its Vonage Companion software for OS X. Vonage Companion is available to users who subscribe the the Vonage Pro plan and it basically allows users to use their laptops or desktops to make or receive phone calls. Think of it as Skype but for your Vonage account."

I don't have Vonage, but this sounds like a pretty slick interface. As long as you have a Vonage Pro account, you can record calls, set up conference calls, block calls, transfer calls, etc. This makes it possible for you to make and receive calls from the road using your existing Vonage account, from your laptop. The program works with OS X 10.4.11 Tiger and OS X 10.5 Leopard, and is free for Vonage Pro customers. You can check out the PDF Manual at Vonage if you want to learn more, or download it here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

iTunes Trailers on Twitter

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

"It's no secret that Apple has been known for their secrecy. Even when the iPhone, one of their biggest products today, was first announced, it came as a major surprise to people worldwide. However, in a random act of openness, Apple's iTunes Trailers team has created a Twitter account for themselves."

When this was posted, itunestrailers had just over 5,000 followers and now they are approaching 7,500. They certainly aren't the first company to post on twitter to provide help and a sounding board for feedback, but is rather public way for Apple to do it. They aren't exactly known as an "open" company. I've read through some of the tweets and whoever is posting to the account appears helpful. If you want to keep updated on the latest additions to iTunes, or just throw down a comment or ask a questions, this seems like a good way to connect.

Time Machine Corruption Fix, If You Had a Problem

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 10:00 AM

"If you've been having issues with corrupted Time Machine images either inside the Time Capsule or connected externally to your base station, the 7.4.1 firmware update (for all base stations from 2007 to today) plus the 10.5.6 update might help, according to TidBITS."

TidBITS says to start fresh after archiving your saved data, but Apple says this will fix whatever problems may have cropped up without starting fresh. I guess do what you think is best. Luckily for me I haven't experienced any problems with mine and to be honest, this is the first time I've heard of any problems of this kind.

Safari Falls First Again at Pwn2Own

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

"In a repeat performance of last year, security researcher Charlie Miller arrived at the CanSecWest conference this week with a prepared exploit to use in cracking Safari running on Mac OS X. Unsurprisingly, Miller was able to use his exploit to immediately win the event's "Pwn2Own" contest, generating headlines that suggested that Macs are inherently less secure, despite the fact that every browser involved in the contest failed on the first day."

Ouch. Safari falls first again, although this doesn't say how long he worked on his "exploit" of Safari before the competition began. I'd call for an umpires ruling since that seems like cheating, but how can you really call it cheating when it is a hacking competition?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

iTunes Updated As Well As Front Row and Remote

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

"There you have it, boys. Dear Uncle Software Update has just brought us the goodie we've been waiting for. iTunes 8.1 has just landed, and it has brought along its distant cousin Front Row 2.1.7. Apple was kind enough to have updated us that the update could land anytime soon. As we told you earlier, iTunes 8.1 is now, apparently, faster and more responsive when working with large libraries, browsing the iTunes Store, preparing to sync with iPod or iPhone, and optimizing photos for syncing."

The release of the pre-announced iTunes 8.1 update is here. Funny how lately Apple is pre-announcing things, such as this update. But I digress. A few of the highlights are speed, autofill and importing CDs at higher quality. The speed, of course, to allow faster loading of the larger libraries and syncing the devices faster. The autofill feature allows iTunes to autofill your ipod from the whole library or a particular playlist. Seems to be pretty flexible with this feature which is nice. One of the big things for me is the ability to import CDs to iTunes at the same sound quality as iTunes Plus. I don't buy that many CDs these days, but I do have quite a few that I need to add to my library, and having them imported at the higher quality is a big plus. The only thing I'll have to be careful of is that Apple is basing their capacity calculations on the old 128-Kbps bit rate so there won't be as much room on my devices.

Not much noted on the Front Row update, other than bring "improved iTunes 8.1 compatibility" to Front Row. To go along with this, the Remote application has also been updated, "for compatibility" and some bug fixes.

The feature list can be found on the Apple site, and is very detailed. And as a bonus, after you update, you don't have to restart your computer. Wonder if that is going to be a regular occurrence?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Boxee Releases Bleeding-Edge Update

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

"My favorite media center software, boxee, has just released a new alpha update for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 users and Apple TV users. This update, which the boxee team classifies as bleeding-edge (which means, if you don't want to deal with any potential bugs, wait for the more stable release scheduled for March 24, 2009) adds the "App Box" -- boxee's version of the App Store, automatic updates, and most excitingly, a new video-optimized RSS reader."

In addition, you can use the new RSS reader to access the Hulu's public RSS feeds directly from Boxee. If you recall, two weeks ago Boxee was forced to remove Hulu from it's service, but the hackers were on top of it and came up with a workaround. That didn't last long though before it was broke, so they fixed it again. And again.

The process for adding content has gotten easier apparently, and if you are interested in loading up this latest version you can head over to Boxee for it. I would love to see this on the Apple TV but I'm just not comfortable hacking mine. I may end up doing it soon though if some quality updates don't come through for it from Apple.

Tags: rss, apple tv, hulu, boxee, os x

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Media Center Computer? Control It With Your iPhone or iPod Touch

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

"I've been impatiently waiting for the arrival of the new Mac Mini, so I could run out and buy one to use as my living-room media center. So on Tuesday, I did just that. (Yes, I left work and walked down to the local Apple Store on day one, put down my credit card and left with a Mac in a bag. Told you I was impatient.) Then I went home and attached it to my high-definition TV. It looks great, and the Apple Remote works well with the built-in Front Row software to display media files on my hard drive and in my iTunes library."

But the reviewer found out his Apple Remote only goes so far, so he had been thinking of getting a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, until he found this program. My findings with the remotes limitations are similar although my situation is a little different. I use my MBP as my DVD player and Front Row interface for my TV in the bedroom, and when I'm done watching my programs, I've always had to get out of bed and turn the computer off. Yea, lazy I know, but when I relax I don't want to have to get out of bed to turn off my computer!

This program works pretty much as it says it will, turning your iPhone or iPod Touch into your keyboard/mouse. So now I don't have to get out of bed to shut down my computer! There is much more to it than that of course, and regardless of your opinion about my laziness, if you have a similar situation with a media computer, you might want to give this a look.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Prove Your Hacking Skills at Pwn2Own 2009

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 10:00 AM

"The Pwn2Own hacking contest, held during the CanSecWest Security Conference in March, will pit hackers against browsers from Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla and Google. The hackers will also have a chance to "pwn" an iPhone as well as other mobile devices."

TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) team is sponsoring the contest for the 3rd consecutive year. They are going to officer $5,000 USD for each browser hack and $10,000 USD for each mobile hack. The contest will be held during the CanSecWest Security Conference from March 16th through March 20th in Vancouver, BC.

Last year it was a Macbook Air that was hacked on day two by exploiting a Safari Browser security flaw, the winner took home $10,000 USD. Guess that isn't such a big deal anymore so they dropped the bounty!

Tags: hack, safari, os x, pwn2own

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The OmniGroup Rolls Out Free Apps!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

"The Omni Group has decided that it needs to focus most of its attention on things other than four of its Mac desktop apps, which is why the company has stopped charging for them and has now made them fully-functional and license-free."

The four apps being made available for free from the Omni Group website are OmniDazzle (creates screen effects), OmniDiskSweeper (disk utility), OmniObjectMeter (memory optimization tool) and OmniWeb (web browser). The last update to any of the programs was in September of 2008 when they came out with an update for OmniWeb. The company says they are making "applications which are not currently under active development available" since they are going to focus limited resources elsewhere, so I wonder if this means the end of updates?

Friday, February 20, 2009

iWork '09 Incompatibility Issue, Does it Matter?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

"Apple has acknowledged file compatibility issues with the new iWork '09 software suite that was debuted at the Macworld Expo early in January. Users running iWork '08 will not be able to open files saved in the iWork '09 formats. The issue also applies to Numbers '08, Keynote '08 and Pages '08 documents that are opened and saved using iWork '09."

From my understanding, you create a file on iWork '09, and you cannot open it with the older version, iWork '08. However you can open files created with iWork '08 with iWork '09. I personally don't see this as that big of a problem. When I buy new software, I don't expect my older software to be able to open up the new and improved files I created on my newer version software. What is the point? If I want to open it, I should use the version it was created on, or am I off base here?

Apple instructs users to save their documents as iWork '08 files if they need compatibility with the older version so at least there is a work around available from within the iWork '09 program.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Safari Add-On for Twitter

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 10:00 AM

"Contributing for the Smoking Apples twitter feed there have been so many times where I find a link I want to tweet about, shorten it, and then go to the page (Eventbox doesn't support multiple accounts yet) to post it. Now I know there are special bookmarklets that will allow me to cut down on all of this running around, but I was looking for a more elegant solution."

Sounds like he found it with this add-on for Safari. I installed it on my system and it works perfect for posting links to Twitter. You can either use the file drop-down to "Post to Twitter" or use keyboard combination of Ctrl+T. David Watanabe of XTorrent and NewsFire fame created this plugin, appropriately called "Safari140"

Tags: safari, twitter, os x

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Security Update 2009-0001 Problems Found

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

"Over the weekend, the mailbag caught a few notes of problems starting up once Leopard users had applied the 2009-001 Security Update (thanks @danielbru), and on Friday the spotty issue was noted by MacFixIt as well."

I haven't had any of the problems that some are having, but apparently they are out there. MacFixIt has an article on it as well, and they offer some tips for fixing the problems (such as "boot disk not found" and disabled keyboard and mouse) that have been encountered.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Palm CEO Says "We Can Get Along" with Apple

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:00 AM

"Palm CEO Ed Colligan says that despite the posturing from his company and Apple, there aren't any pending legal actions over patents. Apple CFO and acting CEO Tim Cook stated that his company will aggressively defend its patents, which many saw as a warning shot at Palm and its upcoming Pre smartphone."

According to the Palm CEO they are comfortable that Palm could "hold its own" in a lawsuit from Apple, but that they have always been respectful of other companies property. He further states they are focusing on their business and not what anyone else may or may not do, and has seen "nothing to date" that would indicate a lawsuit from Apple. Of course that is just because they haven't released the product yet, who knows what will happen once it is out there.

Screenshots of Google Chrome for Mac

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 09:00 AM

"The busy Google Bees are hard at work building Mac and Linux versions of their Webkit-based Chrome browser. The Chrome browser currently runs only on Windows but is gaining a significant following, especially amongst heavy Google Apps users."

Love the message in the error screen, "Aw, Snap!" The main advantage of this browser over others is that the tabs work independently, and you can supposedly close the problem tab without affecting the rest of the open tabs. Mike Pinkerton's blog outlines the progress, and it is supposed to be released sometime near the middle of 2009.

Security Update 2009-001

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 06:00 AM

"Apple on Thursday released the first security update of 2009, the aptly named Security Update 2009-001. The update, which is available in versions for Leopard, Leopard Server, Tiger for Intel Macs, Tiger for PowerPC-based Macs, Tiger Server for PowerPC-based Macs, and Server Universal addresses a number of flaws in OS X. Security Update 2009-001 is recommended for all users and is available via Apple's site or Software Update."

This update, the first one of 2009, addresses among other things the Safari RSS vulnerability reported by Brian Mastenbrook in January of this year. There is a detailed list available at the Apple site.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sims 3 Coming to the iPhone (and Mac)

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch)" @ 12:00 PM

"Electronic Arts (EA) has announced plans to release The Sims 3 for multiple platforms this summer. A release date has also been set: June 2, 2009."

Not sure how this will translate onto the iPhone, but the desktop version has always been fun. No word so far on if it will sync between your iPhone and desktop so you can make changes on either one for the same game. It would be cool if you could continue your Sim life while away from the desktop, instead of having two separate games.

Tags: iphone, games, os x, sims 3

Psystar Wins a Battle, But Not the War

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 10:00 AM

"A federal judge last week ruled that Psystar Corp. can continue its countersuit against Apple Inc., giving the Mac clone maker a rare win in its seven-month-old battle with Apple."

Just one battle in this drawn out war that started when Psystar started selling their computers with OS X pre-installed, and Apple filed a lawsuit to stop them in July of 2008. Psystar then countersued, stating that Apple was breaking anti-trust laws by trying to block users and others from installing Mac OS X on non-Apple computers. And now, in this ruling, the judge is allowing Psystar to amend their countersuit, and switch it from "breaking" anti-trust laws to just "bending" them. So in all it's glory the lawsuit continues, stay tuned for the next chapter in this long and drawn out saga. I'm sure there is much more to come because I don't think that Psystar wants to settle, especially now that they have a win under their belt.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Solve a Puzzle, Get an App!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

"Everyone's favorite app bundle/puzzle game, AKA MacHeist, is back! MacHeist, now in its third year, combines a pre-bundle game, where users solve puzzles to unlock free apps and bundle discounts, and an actual bundle of apps, which go on sale at the end of the heist."

Seems like a fun way to get in on some free applications. I signed up today, and when I checked out the loot link they already have a couple free programs to download. One is called Shovebox, a nifty application that sits on your menu bar allowing you to capture bits of information in a variety of ways. According to the site they will soon have an iPhone app to go along with the desktop application. It's a $25 program so not bad for just signing up for the heist.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Learn OS X at the University of Utah

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

"In a sign that Apple's Mac OS X operating system has gone truly mainstream, computer science programs like that at the University of Utah have formally announced classes like "Mac OS X Deployment v10.5" focused on administering Mac OS X."

It sounds like a pretty basic course oriented towards administration of an OS X system, but hints at more to come especially in the enterprise arena. They must feel there is a market for this type of education and I think I'd have to agree. I wonder if they will offer it online?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

OS X Shows Gain in Market Share

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 03:00 PM

"January was a good month for both the emerging Windows 7 and the venerable Mac OS, according to Web metrics company Net Applications. The Mac OS is now hovering around the 10 percent mark among operating systems accessing the Web."

To go along with the iPhone market share increase, users accessing the web did so with OS X 9.93 percent of the time, up from 9.63 percent in December 2008. Interesting to note, while Windows was still number one overall, it is in a slight downward trend going down to 88.26 percent in January from 88.68 percent in December 2008.

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