Safari 3.2 update fixes bugs, prevents phishing

Safari 3.2 was updated a few minutes ago with not too much in the excitement department.  Safari 3.2 is mostly a security and bug fix release as far as Apple’s KB is concerned.  You can upload from Software update or get a brand spanking new version here.

Initial tests show not much in the way of speed gains.  Anyone else notice anything unusual?  From Apple:

This update is recommended for all Safari users and features protection from fraudulent phishing websites and better identification of online businesses. This update also includes the latest security updates.

For detailed information on the security content of this update, please visit this site: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Apple building a search engine frontend?

According to TechCrunch and their multiple sources, Apple is building a search engine to take on Google and Yahoo.  While it seems far fetched at first. (little expertise, no advertising model, etc.) Tech Crunch does raise a good point that Apple may be trying to enhance the experience for their users and could just be putting some Apple window dressing on another serch engine’s backend.

But one important fact that isn’t checking out – if Apple were building a search engine, they’d be hiring search experts and engineers. We’ve talked to a ton of them at all the big companies, and while some of them heard the same rumors, none have lost search employees to Apple, or heard of any specific hirings.

That alone almost certainly rules out a full on search competitor. You can’t do it without people who know what they’re doing.

Apple also loves the fees they receive regularly from Google for search marketing dollars earned from Safari. They obviously aren’t in the advertising business today, so even if they did launch a search engine they’d still heavily rely on Google or its competitors for the advertising piece. So why invest all that capital into search?

The answer is they’re not. But the rumors persist, and we believe they have a nugget of truth. Here’s what we think is really going on: Apple doesn’t like the search experience on its mobile devices, and may be building a radically different user experience which is much more visual than exists today. It will likely still be powered by Google results, but Apple may present it in a very different way that suits mobile users much better.

Stay tuned for more. There are pieces of this we are still putting together.

Rainbow iPod update fixes stuff, gets you ready for new headphones

Now that those in ear headphones are actually coming out, Apple is updating their iPods to get ready for it.  First up, the iPod Nano 1.03 Patch.  Hit that software update for all of the goodness…and buckle your seatbelts, the new in-ear headphones are coming in 3…2….1…

Update includes:

• Support for Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic including In-Ear Headphones
• Fixed instability issues when using Nike + iPod Sport Kit
• Adds a setting to turn off Cover Flow when rotating iPod nano and a Cover Flow menu item under the Music menu
• When Shuffle setting is set to Songs, pressing play on a song in a saved Genius playlist will now follow the Shuffle setting
• After playing a slideshow with TV out, Cover Flow album art is no longer distorted
• Waking iPod nano after hibernating no longer distorts photos
• Other minor bug fixes

 

Carbon fiber rumor debunked

MacBlogz is echoing some of what we’ve been hearing from our sources.  The recent rumors of a carbon fiber MacBook not only don’t make sense from an aesthetic standpoint, they also don’t make sense from a materials standpoint.  Our source said that anyone who knows materials science will know it is made up.  Real carbon fiber can’t be used in a laptop effectively – while it is strong, it can’t be fastened to aluminum or other metals effectively.  MacBlogz echoes this sentiment:

As an engineer who designs carbon fiber parts, I know it’s an amazing material, but it has its limitations. Ultra light and strong organically shaped structures: Yes! Small intricate parts: No. Laptops from Sony and VooDoo claim to be made from carbon fiber, but it’s not the woven type you see on a Formula 1 car. Its merely injection molded plastic with tiny little pieces of carbon fiber in it. One could call it a marketing ploy.

Why aluminum beats carbon fiber in Apple’s notebooks:

- Anodized aluminum is many times harder than carbon fiber in epoxy, thus very scratch resistant.
- You can easily tap screw holes into aluminum, not into carbon fiber.
-
CNC machined aluminum has tolerances down to a few microns, carbon fiber is much less exact.
- Aluminum can be cast, milled and forged into almost any geometry. Carbon fiber cloth is limited by the geometries it can fit around and there can be no sharp corners.
- Carbon fiber cloth must be laid up by hand before curing – aluminum cutting and forming is automated.
- Aluminum is easily recyclable, carbon fiber less so.

Bottom line…  Don’t expect a carbon fiber laptop from Apple or trust anyone who says one is in the works.

AT&T to charge iPhone users another $30 to tether and cap at 5Gb

According to MacBlogz, AT&T is going to roll out a similar tethering plan for iPhone as it does with its Blackberry customers.  Frankly, we don’t like tethering.  Jailbreak and PDANet says us!  Details from MacBlogz:

The reason we haven’t heard or seen anything about it, is because AT&T is being extremely paranoid of how the service will run on their network. “Since I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen them be so worried about legalities,” my colleague explained. Regarding the service being available to Blackberry users, he says that it’s a different situation. Blackberry users haven’t slammed AT&T’s network by the millions in one quarter, in such large rushes. “Regardless of how many billions of dollars AT&T pours into their 3G network, it hasn’t been stable enough to handle all you iPhone users,” he explained.

• 5GB Data Cap (just like Blackberry users) – AT&T will automatically turn off your tethering connection if you use too much bandwidth. Of note, the 5GB cap might get sliced for all users, not just iPhone users, in order to accommodate all new tethering plan customers (bandwidth demand).
• Initial connection through iTunes? (not sure if this is every time you connect, or just for initial setup)
• Expected speeds: GPRS: 30k – dialup speeds / EDGE: 110k – ISDN speeds / 3G: 1000k – slow broadband.
• You’ll want to disable auto-updates for everything, so as to not go over usage limitations.
• Will be +$30/month, new iPhone plans may be rolled out with tethering rolled in.
• Do not pro-rate tethering/bandwidth, it can become a nightmare, instead wait until new billing cycle.
• For unlimited bandwidth, AT&T will tell you to get a wireless PC card.
• No idea on a launch date.

 

Parallels Desktop 4.0 out and for sale cheap!

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac

You wouldn’t know it from looking out on the net today, but Parallels has introduced version 4.0 of their already solid software. Updates include speed and security and the ability to run OSX Leopard Server virtualized.

Yep, we have an affiliate link too (no rebate hassles!)—>

Or get $20 off at Amazon ($59.99 after rebate)

Video tour from Parallels

RENTON, Wash. – (Business Wire) Parallels today announced the availability of version 4.0 of Parallels Desktop for Mac, its market-leading product that currently enables more than 1.5 million users to run Windows, Linux and other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X. This new version of the award-winning Parallels Desktop for Mac improves OS integration, performs up to 50% faster and incorporates a range of security, backup and power saving features to give Mac users a truly easy, fast and powerful desktop computing solution.

  "We run a high volume of Macs and it’s absolutely vital that they deliver on fast performance and ease of use. Parallels has met this need well with features like Coherence and SmartSelect in creating a seamless Windows-on-Mac experience," said John Hermes, Chief Technology Officer at Oklahoma Christian University. "Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac builds on this, providing blazing speed and all-round performance through innovations such as the Adaptive Hypervisor, which gives our users the resources they need on the fly; and advanced graphics support, which provides a very smooth experience."

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac introduces support for DirectX 9, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2.0, providing fast video performance, while the Adaptive Hypervisor dynamically allocates resources to meet user needs. The responsiveness to all applications is further enhanced as the virtualization engine has been optimized to consume 15-30% less resources than previous versions.

Parallels is committed to continuing the innovation that has resulted in Parallels Desktop for Mac winning more than 30 major awards and being a premier Windows-on-Mac virtualization product, said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. With version 4.0, we are delivering an advanced solution that is easy, fast and powerful with industry-leading tools and utilities included at no extra cost.

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac addresses two other primary user concerns: security and backup. The software offers users peace of mind through Parallels Internet Security powered by Kaspersky for anti-virus, firewall, scanner, recovery, filtering and identity protection as well as Acronis True Image Home backup and restore and Acronis Disk Director Suite. These three additions to Parallels Desktop represent $175 in extra value along with a more complete user experience.

"Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system and its ability to run Windows on a Mac is yet another reason users are switching to the Mac at a rapid rate," said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "This rapid adoption is supported by applications like Parallels Desktop for Mac, which enables users to get the most from their hardware."

Parallels Desktop 4.0 offers a computing experience that is:

  • Easy  Get easy access to all your applications and data while enjoying the full Mac experience with Improved Windows and Mac integration, True Drag & Drop and Copy & Paste, SmartX Technologies and Built-in Installation and Migration Tools.
  • Fast  Experience the fastest speed for all applications with Adaptive Hypervisor, FastLane Architecture, up to 8 way SMP and 8 GB RAM plus 64-bit support for each VM, HyperBus and support for DirectX 9.0, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0, and OpenGL 2.0.
  • Powerful  Get a complete suite of essentials for Internet security, data protection and disk management with Parallels Internet Security powered by Kaspersky, Acronis True Image Home backup and restore, SmartGuard, PowerSaver, Full-hardware ACPI support and Acronis Disk Director Suite disk management.
  • Developer and Enterprise Ready  Additional features specifically for Developers and IT administrators include Mac OS X Leopard Server and Windows Server OS support, VM Directory, CLI and Scripting support, SDK and API, remote control from iPhone, PXE Boot, improved networking and VM Templates.

With more than 50 new features, additional highlights include a redesigned user interface with quick access to all VMs, additional Screenview modes, Clips for screenshots, Speech Recognition, Security Manager, Safe Mode, Shut Down Mode and Over 45 Supported Guest OSs.

The growth, in both performance and ease of use, of desktop virtualization software is making it easier for Windows users to adopt Macintosh computers. The availability of this technology is one of many factors driving growth in the adoption of Mac desktops and notebooks, for which shipments have grown 46.6% between the first half of 2007 and the first half of 2008, according to our data, said Michael Rose, Industry Analyst at the research firm, IDC. Those users leveraging virtualization software on their Macintosh hardware will find that many of the new capabilities in Parallels Desktop 4.0 represent another step forward."

Availability and Pricing

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is available in English and localized versions will soon be available in Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Polish and Russian.

The standard retail price (SRP) of Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is $79.99. New users can test a free, fully-functional copy for 15 days. Current Parallels Desktop users can upgrade their existing software for only $39.99 a 50% off promotional price available until November 30, 2008. Users that purchased version 3.0 on or after September 1, 2008, qualify for a free upgrade to version 4.0.

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is available at Amazon.com, Apple Store, Best Buy, Frys Electronics, MicroCenter, Office Depot, Staples and hundreds of other retailers nationwide.

Volume pricing and site-license opportunities are also available for new customers by contacting the Parallels Sales Team at sales@parallels.com or 425-282-6400.

In-depth information on Parallels Desktop 4.0s new features and major improvements, as well as videos and screenshots of key features in action, are available at www.parallels.com/products/desktop.

About Parallels Optimized Computing

Parallels is a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software that optimizes computing for consumers, businesses, and service providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with 800 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.parallels.com.

 

Parallels
Jenny Ellis, +1 425-306-4633
Director of Worldwide Communications
jen@parallels.com
or
For local PR contacts:
http://www.parallels.com/contacts/media/

Costco selling iPhones for $150? Comes with 50 gallon drum of Wheat Chex?

Barron’s today has analyst Trip Chowdhry (sounds like a 9to5mac writer or Sarah Palin child!) giving credence to the fact that Apple will indeed be slashing iPhone prices in 2009 and slumming out its retail sales points.  And why not?  Put that thing in as many hands as possible we say!  Got to compete with the incumbents.  Will we see T-Mobile (or CDMA Verizon/Sprint) anytime soon?

According to Trip:

Apple, he says, is going to start selling iPhones via Costco at $149 starting in January.

The Wheat Chex is pure, educated speculation.

via MDN