You’re probably saying to yourself, “didn’t Skype just get a Windows 8-friendly refresh?” Why yes, yes it did. But Skype 6.0 here isn’t limited to Windows RT slates, instead it’s designed for more traditional Windows systems and even has a similarly numbered OS X counter part. There’s a number of notable changes here, including the ability to sign in directly with your Facebook or Microsoft account. (If you’ve got a Live Messenger, Hotmail or Outlook.com account, then you’ve got a Microsoft account.) The most visible changes, however, will be the “flattened” Don’t-call-it-Metro-friendly UI on Windows and the addition of Retina display support on OS X. There’s a few other minor changes, including some additional localizations, which you can read about at the source. And heck, since you’re already there, might as well download Skype too.
Apple announces 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display: 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, Thunderbolt and HDMI starting at $1,699
If the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was feeling lonely up there on its high-resolution pedestal, it needn’t any longer. As expected, Apple just announced a 13-inch version to keep it company. The 2,560 x 1,600 resolution means that 13-inch screen offers a ppi of 232, marginally more than its larger brother’s 226. As well as that lovely new display, there’s a pair of Thunderbolt ports, and a full-size HDMI port to let you make good use of it with, as well as a pair of USB 3s. While this might not be the primary focus of the day, it will definitely be one of the more hotly anticipated reveals from the company’s San Jose event this afternoon. The base model will run you $1,699 and comes with a 2.5GHz i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash memory. At the top end you can expect 768GB hard drive, atop a Core i7. And, like last time, to top it all off, all the new goodies come in a slimmer, desire-stoking design — weighing a whole pound less than the 2011 13-incher and at just 0.75-inches thick, 20 percent thinner. Already full of want? Then don’t hang around, as it ships today! In the meantime, keep your retinas locked right here for our hands on.
Apple has recently released a Mac update for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion that removes its Java plugin from all OS X browsers. If you install the update, you’ll find a region labeled “Missing plug-in” in place of a Java applet; of course, Apple can’t stop you from clicking on it to download a Java plug-in directly from Oracle. The Cupertino-based company had previously halted pre-installing Java in OS X partially due to the exploitable factors of the platform, so this update signifies further distancing from Larry Ellison’s pride and joy.
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac: Retina Support, Dictation, Instant switching and 30 percent faster performance
Parallels 8 has arrived with a raft of tweaks that makes running Windows on your Mac that much easier. The newest version lets you use Mountain Lion’s dictation feature in Windows, open any website in Internet Explorer with a single click and you can even add Redmond-hewn apps to Launchpad. Retina display support is now included, offering you eye-popping detail no matter your operating system and the company’s claiming performance has been boosted by up to 30 percent. It’ll cost you $80 for the full version, while students get it for $40, and if you purchased Parallels 7 after July 25th, you’re eligible to upgrade for free. Meanwhile, if you’re more into running Windows software on your iOS device, Parallels Mobile is available from the App Store for $5.
Looking to tame Apple’s Mountain Lion? Step right up, Cupertino’s latest build of OS X is ready for consumption — assuming you’re a registered developer, of course. Following WWDC’s reveals and teases, Apple has released an updated preview of its desktop and mobile operating systems, serving up Mountain Lion Preview 4 and an iOS 6 beta to developers. The rest of us will have to console ourselves with iTunes 10.6.3, which adds support for the mobile and desktop OS’ those fancy devs are getting their hands on. Don’t worry, the updated music management software will be able to make full use of Mountain Lion next month, but you’ll have to wait until this fall to sync with iOS 6. Hit the source link below to get your update.
While feverishly revamping Flash with the all-new Next version — to keep HTML5 from killing it — Adobe is still plugging the current incarnation with smaller updates. To that end, Flash 11.3 just popped out of beta, which sees the company add a few notable goodies for the beleaguered plugin. On top of filling seven critical security holes, Adobe added a background updating feature for Mac OS X and signed the code in preparation for compatibility with Mountain Lion. That way it’ll align it with the upcoming Gatekeeper feature in the next OS X release, though you’ll have to dial its max security down one notch to get it. Lastly, sandboxing — already in Chrome — has been tacked on to Firefox as well, slowing hackers by isolating the plugin from critical system processes. All that fresh duct tape and polyfill should keep Flash rattling along — until Adobe can pull the gleaming Next platform out of the hangar. Meanwhile, click the source for the download links.
We’re entering a world of mainstream 64-bit computing — whether we like it or not. Just weeks after Adobe started requiring 64-bit Macs for CS6, DICE’s Rendering Architect Johan Andersson has warned that some of his company’s 2013 games using the Frostbite engine will need the extra bits as a matter of course. In other words, it won’t matter if you have a quad Core i7 gaming PC of death should the software be inadequate; if you’re still running a 32-bit copy of Windows 7 come the new year, you won’t be playing. The developer points to memory as the main culprit, as going 64-bit guarantees full access to 4GB or more of RAM as well as better virtual addressing. Andersson sees it as a prime opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8, although 64-bit Vista and 7 (and presumably OS X, if and when Mac versions exist) will be dandy. Just be prepared to upgrade that Windows XP PC a lot sooner than Microsoft’s 2014 support cutoff if you’re planning to run the next Battlefield or Mirror’s Edge.
After the Flashback / Flashfake Mac trojan was exposed by Russian site Dr. Web, Apple has finally responded by publishing a support page about the issue and promising a fix. If you haven’t heard by now, the malware exploits a flaw in the Java Virtual Machine, which Oracle pushed a fix for back in February, but Apple didn’t patch until a botnet consisting of as many as 650,000 Macs was identified on March 4th. Antivirus maker Kaspersky has confirmed the earlier findings, and released a free tool affected users can run to remove the trojan from their computers. Other than the update already delivered for computers running OS 10.6 and 10.7 Apple recommends users on 10.5 and earlier disable Java in their browser preferences. What isn’t mentioned however, is when its fix is incoming or any timetable on its efforts with international ISPs to cut off the IP addresses used by the network. This is not the first timeMacs have fallen prey to malware and as their market share grows will likely not be the last, so don’t think just opting for OS X is automatically keeping you a step ahead security-wise. Check the links below for more information about what the malware does, and how to get rid of it.
According to Wikipedia, the mountain lion, also known as the cougar, is distinguished by having the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial animal in the Western Hemisphere. Indeed, from what we’ve seen so far of Apple’s forthcoming Mac operating system, its new features will likely find favor with a broader range of Apple users than Lion.
Not everyone will embrace Mountain Lion’s additions.
Unquestionably, Apple has a vested interest in easing the path to the Mac from the iPad and iPhone, whose users have expanded to include many people accustomed to Windows PCs. Lion, the seventh major version of OS X, began the post-iPad cycle of bringing iOS conventions “back to the Mac” — revisions that fundamentally affected Mac’s core user experience. A few of these, including “natural” scrolling, full-screen apps and particularly Launchpad, rankled some Mac veterans, who needed to either unlearn old behaviors or just ignored them outright. In contrast, most of Mountain Lion’s additions focus on carrying over iOS applications and features that feel more at home on the desktop.
While we’ve had access to Adobe’s Flash Player 11 in beta form for months, the company announced it will finally get official, along with Air 3, next month. Among the many new features included are support for accelerated 2D and 3D graphics with a claimed 1,000 times faster performance than Flash Player 10 and Air 2. That’s enough to enable “console-quality” gaming on both computers and connected TVs and on mobile devices (Android, iOS, Playbook) with a pre-release version of Flash 11 (a production release you can take on the go is expected in “the near future”). Other new options include allowing developers to package Air 3 along with their apps in a single install, HD video quality on multiple platforms including iOS, DRM for video rentals, 64-bit support and more. Check out Adobe’s pitch to developers with a press release and demo videos after the break, including a look at the hit iPad game Machinarium which was built with its tools.
Sure, OS X Lion borrowed many of its design cues from Apple’s iOS platform, but now users of jailbroken iPhone and iPod Touch devices may bring much of the desktop Mac’s functionality onto their handset with Lion Ultimatum. In essence, this beta project is a theme for Dreamboard (which is required software), but it’s rather far-reaching, with a functional file manager and Finder menus, a scrollable dock and draggable windows, along with Stacks, Launchpad, Mission Control and Dashboard. There’s also a customizable lock screen that provides access to the dialer, email and messages. Even the keyboard can be modified to resemble the design of MacBook Pro or the traditional Apple Keyboard, thanks to integration with ColorKeyboard. If you’re thirsty for more, hop the break for an extended video preview, or just follow the source for the full install instructions.
Not to be outdone by Seagate’s 4TB GoFlex Desk, Hitachi’s G-Technology unit has now unleashed a jumbo-sized external HDD of its own, with the 8TB, dual-drive G-RAID. Demoed at this week’s IBC conference in Amsterdam, the company’s new storage house consists of two 4TB drives nestled within an aluminum enclosure, each of which clocks in at 7,200 RPM. Configured for OS X, the G-RAID also sports a Thunderbolt port that offers transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, though it can also support Windows with some simple reformatting. G-Technology will begin shipping its 4TB drives in October (with eSATA, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 ports), whereas its “4TB-based” Thunderbolt-equipped drive won’t hit the market until Q4 — though it’s still unclear whether either model will ship as single drives, or as a two-headed, 8TB beast. Pricing remains a mystery for the moment.
There comes a time when that giant, corporate-issued laptop stops fitting into your lifestyle. When dragging around a Kensington roller case just won’t do. When you start to hear the siren lilt of something thinner, lighter, and maybe a bit more alluring. For years the MacBook Air has been that svelte temptress hollering your name, but it’s always been a bit too slow — all show and no go. It didn’t have the power and the longevity to make it a serious contender for your serious affections.
No more. With its latest refresh, Apple has taken what was once a manilla-clad curiosity and turned it into a legitimate machine, not just a sultry looker. Good thing, too, because the death of the plastic-clad MacBook means the Air is now Apple’s entry-level portable. Weary traveler looking for a laptop that will lighten your load and, it must be said, your wallet too? This might just be it.