Step could affect web advertising
Mozilla is delaying plans to start blocking third-party tracking cookies in Firefox by default, according to an announcement. The company states that more work is needed for the anti-tracking feature. "The idea is that if you have not visited a site (including the one to which you are navigating currently) and it wants to put a cookie on your computer, the site is likely not one you have heard of or have any relationship with," explains Mozilla's Brendan Eich. "But this is only likely, not always true."
White version of Google smartphone identical in specification to original
A white version of the Google Nexus 4 smartphone could be released in the next month. A rumor suggests the white mobile device will become available through Google Play on the 10th of June, and will be accompanied by the release of the next iteration of the Android mobile operating system, version 4.3.
App dumps screenshots into a folder, command and control servers inactive
A new semi-functional malware has been found for OSX. Discovered on a computer at the Oslo Freedom Forum by researcher Jacob Appelbaum, the OSX/KitM.A is a backdoor application which launches on boot and captures screenshots on a regular basis, which are then dumped in a folder.
Update mandatory, Apple says
Apple has posted a new support download for mid-2012 MacBook Airs, MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0. Unusually, Apple states that the patch is mandatory; it fixes a problem with the Air's firmware that can, potentially, prevent a computer from recovering from a crash. The file is a 1.69MB download, and requires either OS X 10.7.5 or 10.8.3.
Adds album artwork to Songs, supports multi-disc albums, more
On Thursday, Apple updated its flagship program iTunes to version 11.0.3, which brings some new features as well as addresses a number of minor bugs and improves security and performance for those running and sorting large collections. The main new features include a redesigned MiniPlayer that now features artwork and a progress bar, and some changes to the Songs view that also adds album artwork. Importantly, multi-disc albums are now seen and counted as one album rather than individual discs.
Google+ Hangouts to gain SMS integration, outbound calls, Google Voice
The new Google+ Hangouts app will soon have SMS integration, though this is likely to be only within Android. The Next Web notes that the permissions list for the app includes listings for reading and sending SMS messages from within the app, something which would bring Hangouts in line with Apple's iMessage app. A message by Google employee Dori Storibeck confirmed that SMS integration is on the way, along with outbound calls and Google Voice features.
Televised investigation forces Samsung to work on space issue
Samsung is working on reducing the amount of internal storage in the Galaxy S4 that is taken up by the operating system. After a number of customer complaints and an investigation from the BBC consumer affairs show Watchdog, the company will try to shrink the room its TouchWiz implementation and other items it has added to the base Android installation.
Beta in progress, users can sign up for future invitation
Digital game marketplace Steam has added a new feature -- in-game Steam Trading Cards. Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards earned by playing games on Steam. Sets of cards can be turned into game badges and tradable Steam community items, including discounts on titles or downloadable content, profile graphics, and custom game-related emoticons.
Company may be on accelerated pace ahead of WWDC
Apple is seeding yet another build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, 12E52. As before there are no known issues, and Apple is still asking developers to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, and graphics drivers. When it's finished v10.8.4 is primarily expected to be a maintenance update, although it does appear to include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Reminder cards, suggestions for media part of Google Now additions
Google Now, the predictive information service, has received a number of updates, in how it works and what it shows. The Google I/O attendees saw Google Now showing options for new cards, including ones for dedicated reminders, as well as activating voice recognition without pressing a button, and adding it to the Chrome browser.
Hangouts conversations to carry between iOS, Android, Web
Google has shown a significant number of changes to Google+ at its Google I/O developer event, as part of its attempts to attract users. The redesign of the social network is accompanied by the rumored unified messaging system, branded Hangouts, and the automatic enhancement, editing and highlighting of photographs uploaded onto its service.
DirecTV now offers voice search functionality
DirecTV has launched a new version of its iPhone app that introduces new voice recognition functionality. Located in a new Voice tab, the voice recognition tool can be used to search for programs by speaking the title, channel, keyword, actors, and more. Also new to this release is a new TV mode that can be used to view dialogue and search results on a TV screen that is connected to an HD DVR running on the same network as the iOS device. Additionally, the TV mode also offers a few of personalize recommendations.
Google Maps API, multiplayer tools, Google+ sign-on added to Android
Google has revealed some of the new tools available to developers on Android at its Google I/O event. A number of new APIs have been introduced, along with the rumored APIs for multiplayer gaming, and new tools for developers to create the apps themselves, including a new Android Studio tool, and help in the creation of international versions of apps.
Google Maps preview page shows maps customized by searches
Google has updated its Google Play app store, just before the first day of the company's developer event, Google I/O. A new sign-up page for Google Maps also briefly appeared online before an expected reveal at the conference, which gave more information about the search giant's plans for its navigational product.
Minor update reaches Mac App Store
Apple has released a minor update for iMovie, the video editor included as part of its iLife suite. Version 9.0.9 copes with a trio of issues, mainly a glitch which can prevent iMovie from detecting connected video cameras. It also deals with general instability, and compatibility problems when importing iOS iMovie projects. The app is a 1.36GB download.
Quartet of D-Link dual-band routers available now worldwide
D-Link today announced its new line of AC routers -- the Wireless AC1750 Router (DIR-868L), Wireless AC1200 Router (DIR-860L), Wireless AC1000 Router (DIR-820L) and Wireless AC750 Router (DIR-810L) -- are now available. D-Link’s family of AC routers are equipped with Dual Band technology enabling users to perform simple networking activities on the 2.4GHz band, and offload more demanding activities to the cleaner, more robust 5GHZ band. The routers are also backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n devices for enhanced connectivity. Prices range from $80 to $170, depending on model.
Messaging system for BlackBerry phones will work on other platforms
BlackBerry will be expanding access to its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to new platforms this summer, in a move that has surfaced in rumors a number of times in the past. Users of iOS and Android devices will be able to download a free app for their device in order to use the service, with the core BBM functionality initially available and other aspects expected later in the year.
Windows 8.1 public preview set for June 26th release
Microsoft has revealed more details for its upcoming Windows Blue update for Windows 8. Given the official title of Windows 8.1, the software pack will be made available as a free update to users of Windows 8 via the Windows Store, with a public preview of Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and Windows RT also due next month.
Q5 mimics general design of Q10, heads to emerging markets
BlackBerry has revealed a BB10 smartphone aimed at emerging markets, at the same time as announcing the BB10.1 update's availability for the flagship Z10 device. The Q5, a remarkably similar device to the Q10 and leaked last week, provides the same QWERTY keyboard and 3.1-inch touchscreen as its more-expensive stablemate, but in a cheaper package.
Netflix updates API to remove expiry dates for movies, shows
Netflix has removed the expiry dates for films and TV shows from its public API, following recent reports that the streaming service would drop around 1,800 items of content in May alone. According to a company blog post, the change is being made due to the inaccuracy of the expiry date due to the "frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow," though the field will still appear with a default date in the API, in order to avoid errors in third-party apps.
Developer kit to allow Card.io-based credit card scanning
Payment service PayPal has launched a new software development kit for Android. Following on from the iOS version launched in March, the Android SDK will allow developers to integrate PayPal payments into their apps, providing them with an alternative payment processing system to Google Play, and the option to pay for in-app items or services by credit or debit card.
Improves Mac performance
E-on Software has released LumenRT 4.1 Studio, an update of one of the developer's 3D modeling tools LumenRT meshes 3D models into realistic natural or urban environments, for instance adding people, plants, animals, and/or car traffic. The v4.1 patch introduces new animated water materials, ranging in scale from ponds to oceans.
Updates could arrive on or soon after WWDC
Several recent Apple job listings may hint that the company is on the verge of updating both the OS X and iOS editions of iWork, reports say. Some of the listings date back as far as March; one of them, though, was posted on May 11, and specifically calls for an iWork QA tester, which could mean Apple is in the last phases of development. Another opening, dating back to May 7, asks for a "HiDP Image Specialist," tasked with bringing iWork visual designs to Retina displays.
Offers first offline playback support
Amazon has released a native version of Cloud Player for Windows. Previously, Cloud Player was only accessible through mobile and web apps. Amazon says it also working on native Mac software, but no release date is available.
Netflix updates PlayStation 3 Player app with revised design
Netflix has updated its streaming app for the PlayStation 3. The new Netflix Player has a revised design that brings it in line with the web and mobile device versions, according to a company blog post, as well as options to change the audio and subtitles for a show or film. The design of "trickplay" mode has also been adjusted, allowing for faster-loading preview images to load when seeking for a specific scene in a movie.
Live Button rolls out to viewers in New York, Philadelphia first
Broadcaster ABC is said to be updating its iOS app to offer live streams of shows from local ABC stations later this week. New options for a "Live" button in the Watch ABC app for iPhone and iPad will mark it as the first major US broadcaster that provides live streams of its channels to app users, with the first markets to gain the service being New York and Philadelphia.
Gaming framework for Android could appear at Google I/O
Google may be revealing an entire gaming framework to developers at Google I/O next week, based on newly-released data. The Google Play Services component for Android includes support for various game-related features in a new update, including synchronizing saved games and various multiplayer components seen in a previous leak.
Apple apparently reticent to add Metro support
"You shouldn't expect an iTunes [Metro] app on Windows 8 any time soon," Microsoft CFO Tami Reller tells CNN Money. "iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It's not for lack of trying." The quote may suggest that Microsoft has been talking with Apple about adding Metro support for iTunes, but without any progress.
iPad Netflix now cues TV episodes automatically
Yesterday Netflix rolled out the next major release of its iOS app, introducing a new auto-play feature for TV shows. While currently restricted to the iPad users, the new feature brings the software in line with the functionality of the current web and TV app. At the end of a TV episode Netflix will minimize the credits and cue the next episode in the season. If users do nothing, then the episode will will automatically begin playing within 10 seconds. In addition, post play also works for movies by providing users with three recommendations of other movies they may enjoy.
Currently offering discounted single-app memberships
Adobe is considering doing a "photographer’s bundle or photography cloud solution" to cater to one of its key markets, the company said in a blog post earlier this week. Under original plans announced on Monday, getting access to the next version of Photoshop, Photoshop CC, will normally cost at least $20 per month. People wanting the companion app Lightroom will still be able to buy a permanent license for that software, but getting access to both Photoshop and Lightroom -- as well as other apps a photographer might want -- could potentially be expensive.
Apple issues minor patch
Apple has posted a new support download for Macs, Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2. The patch appears to deal solely with stability problems related to Target Disk Mode. The file is 1.22MB, and requires OS X 10.8.3 or later.
'Light Leak' effect simulates broken-down cameras
The developer of Pixelmator has released an important v2.2 update for the image-editing software. Codenamed Blueberry, the update makes several enhancements to the app's shape tools, for instance adding "smart" controls that rapidly adjust outlines. The Shape Style palette has new Fill, Stroke Style, Shadow, and Inner Shadow options, and the Custom Shapes palette now includes dozens of preset objects.
GOG offering 10 additional Mac games
Following its "Massive Mac Games Drop" at the end of April, GOG.com has further expanded its Mac game catalog with 10 new titles. The new batch of games offers titles from various genres, and includes Slipstream 5000, Guilty Gear X2: Reload, Syndicate Wars, Strike Commander, Evil Genius, Rise of the Triad: Dark War, Guilty Gear Isuka, Blake Stone: Planet Strike, Darklands, and Litil Divil. Prices range from $6 up to $15 depending on the title, and every game has been tested to work on Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later.
Microsoft said to be responsive to OEM feedback on Windows 8
Acer Chairman J.T. Wang has said that Microsoft is starting to listen more closely to its OEM partners following the troubled launch of Windows 8, reports the Wall Street Journal. Wang indicated that he thought that that Microsoft has had its head in the clouds until recently, “But now the go down to earth and they start to learn how people living on earth think.” Acer President Jim Wong also added that Microsoft is becoming more “considerate” to its partners and has been baking in their suggestions into Windows Blue, the first major update to Windows 8 due later this year.
No noted changes or known issues reported once again
The weekly release of new builds of the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 are continuing apace, with build 12E47 now available for testers -- again with no new changes or known issues, and again asking developers to focus testing efforts on the same areas as before: graphics, Safari and Wi-Fi performance. Earlier builds of 10.8.4 are known to be slightly improving battery life, addressing bugs with Wi-Fi stability and reconnection after waking from sleep, as well as fixing some remaining Nvidia card graphic glitches.
Switch to subscription-based software suites could take ten years
Microsoft has laid out the various changes the company will make to Office Web Apps in the future, with a focus on social features, partly confirming a previously leak. It has also revealed that, unlike Adobe's recent announcement of switching focus to providing subscription-based products, Microsoft will continue to release packaged versions of Office for the next few years.
Weak security resulted in DRM-free MP3 file downloads
A vulnerability found in Spotify's web player has been exploited, allowing users to download permanent copies of songs from the service. A Chrome extension by the name of Downloadify used the exploit to download MP3 files that were free of DRM, rather than just stream them, something which Spotify has been quick to rectify.
New version brings better mobile integration, enhanced reporting
Retail technologist LightSpeed today announced the launch of StoreMaster, enabling Macintosh users to track real-time data across all sales channels, manage inventory levels, and process invoices and shipments from one control panel. Its new customizable Dashboard delivers up-to-the-minute metrics in easy-to-read graphs, assisting stores in reaching sales goals and performance monitoring.
Patch fixes numerous bugs, requires OS X 10.5.8 or higher
A new update is available for Microsoft Office 2011, the most recent version of the widely-used office suite. Version 14.3.4 addresses numerous issues and bugs, adds a needed font for sharing documents, and most importantly further refines the interoperability of the Office 365 initiative, allowing the option for users to jump to the subscription version of Office if they want. In addition, the new version adds the built-in option of saving files to SkyDrive and SharePoint in Microsoft Word.
Rhapsody adds 'liner notes,' technical info to music files
Music service Rhapsody has implemented a new "liner notes" feature, implementing the RIAA's "Give Fans the Credit" plan for including detailed production information with each digital song, including songwriters, background performers, producers and engineers involved in the production. The rollout, scheduled to take place over the next few months, would allow fans to search for music in new ways, such as tracking songs a specific producer was involved in, or for example finding out which songs featured a specific group of sidemen. The service has already started curating collections of tunes grouped by notable names of either producers, engineers or composers.
Carries over features of mobile apps
VoIP service Viber has released new Mac and Windows versions of its client software. Previously the app was only available for mobile platforms, such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. The Desktop software incorporates all the features of the iOS app, such as instant messaging, contact sync, group chats, and shared histories.
Should pave way for Google Now on OS X
The Chrome OS notification center -- already in the Windows releases of Chromium and Chrome Canary -- is in the process of being ported to the Mac version of Chromium, says Google's François Beaufort. The Chromium evangelist points to a logged Chromium issue titled "[Mac][MC] Implement notification updates and relayouts." He comments that the Mac version of the notification center is still "under heavy development," but that it can already be toggled on by running Chrome with an "--enable-rich-notifications" switch.
YouTube Trends Map shows popular videos in areas of US
Google has created a new map that shows videos trending on YouTube by area. The Trends Map displays the most popular videos being viewed in major markets across the US, with the added option of viewing the top videos in areas by age band and gender. While it is covering the United States initially, the YouTube Trends blog states that there are updates due in future, which could include providing data on regional viewing habits in other countries.
Windows 8 passes 100 million licenses, Windows Blue due by holidays
Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller has revealed that Windows 8 licenses sold has now passed the 100 million mark, six months after its launch. This is said to include installations on new PCs and tablets, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. Reller didn’t reveal the breakdown of Windows 8 licenses, which includes Windows RT sales, but did say that there are now 2,400 devices certified to run its controversial new operating system.
Basic portfolio service to promote sharing, showcasing work
Adobe's move into a subscription model with its rebranded "CC" suite doesn't mean it is entirely leaving behind users who haven't yet or opted not to join Creative Cloud, the company reports. In its press release heralding the improvements and features of its now fully-integrated Creative Cloud programs, Adobe added that it would continue to offer a non-CC version of Creative Suite 6 for the foreseeable future, and is obligated to support existing software for years to come. In addition, the Behance portfolio feature is available to non-Cloud users as well.
Apps rebranded under Creative Cloud brand
Adobe is focused on its Creative Cloud service this week at its Max conference, where the company has introduced updates to its broad range of software. The new offerings include video-focused utilities Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Prelude CC, SpeedGrade CC and Adobe Story Plus, along with the audio-production app Audition CC. Many of the new apps will enable users to sync settings between computers and remotely collaborate on videos without downloading the source materials.
Flash rebuilt with 64-bit architecture, Dreamweaver gains CSS Designer tool
Adobe has outlined a large number of changes for its web-development products, as part of its major announcements today. Flash Professional CC has been rebuilt to be more modular and streamlined, Edge Animate CC and Edge Reflow Preview 3 add some workflow improvements, and Dreamweaver CC introduces a visual editing tool for CSS, PhoneGap build support, and other extra tools.
InDesign gets modernized interface, engine
As a part of today's major Adobe announcements, the company has gone into detail for the upgrades present in its design software. Illustrator CC features a new Touch Type tool, which lets people manipulate individual characters in text while still maintaining control over font and other edits. Multi-touch devices have been added as a form of input.
Company continues subscription push
Adobe has introduced a wide range of software updates, dropping the Creative Suite branding as the company continues to embrace its Creative Cloud subscription service. New features have been added to Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Pro, After Effects, Muse and Dreamweaver, among other titles.
Folds in 3D tools from Photoshop Extended
One of the core pieces of today's Adobe announcements is Photoshop CC, its rebranded and updated photo-editing software. Among new features in the software is Smart Sharpen, which analyzes images and attempts to produce the best-possible sharpening, while minimizing any halos or noise. The process can be tuned as needed.