Sharp Bringing OS X-Compatibility to New 32" 4K Touchscreen Monitor

Sharp has announced that its 32" 4K touchscreen monitor will eventually have drivers for full OS X touchscreen support, reports Japanese site Mac Otakara. The display, which is aimed at the retail/commercial applications (PDF), sports a 3840x2160 IGZO LCD panel and includes a capacitative touch interface and pen support. Sharp demonstrated the display running off a Apple notebook at the CEATEC Japan trade show earlier this month...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Virus Protection on your Mac - Do you need it ?

For many many years I have used an Apple Mac, my platform of choice. This is not for any reason other than it seems to disappear into the background and allow me to get my work done. Having used Windows based computers for many years and having worked as an IBM Engineer, my feelings were somewhat tainted with ongoing support issues for many co-workers experiencing downtime due to viruses. This is not to say that things have not improved a great deal for Windows users, with many solutions out there.

Back on track now… I want to cover the subject of Mac OS X users and if we are now under threat like our Windows friends and users? Well, to a certain degree yes we are. As the Mac platform has grown in popularity there are definitely virus & malware threats out there. In addition to this, there are also concerns about people snooping on our data and phishing for personal information. For virus protection, we have limited choice on the Mac and I personally am still not convinced we need to load up our Macs with virus software. There is another solution out there though, that can certainly protect us from a lot of online threats and that is a VPN. In the video below I discuss my thoughts further on this subject and invite you to share in the comments any Mac virus experiences you have had.

You can check out HotspotShield here … a great VPN option.

Wave-Themed OS X Banner Goes Up at Moscone West for WWDC 2013

9to5Mac has posted a new photograph showing a wave-themed banner with an X in the middle, similar to the iOS 7 banner that was revealed earlier today. The spartan and minimalistic banners are significant change from the style used in previous years, particularly the OS X banner below.

The X appears to use the Helvetica Neue Ultra Light font, an extremely thin variant of Helvetica and the same font as the iOS 7 banner.

Source: Mac Rumours 

Twitter for Mac update brings photo sharing improvements, Retina display support

Twitter's showing off an updated version of its Mac app today, featuring a number of key fixes, including improvements to photo sharing and a slew of new languages. On the image side of things, you can now share a photo by clicking on the camera icon in the tweet composing module, or just do it the old fashioned way by dragging pictures from your desktop. Also new in this version is support for Macs with retina displays and a total of 14 new languages, including Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese and Turkish. Interested parties can download the update via the source link below.

[Source: Engadget]

SimCity Mac out on 11 June, as 'Cheetah Speed' returns

Owners of Apple's aluminium computers won't be denied their urban-planning kicks, as EA has confirmed its recent SimCity game is headed to Mac on 11 June.

SimCity for Mac will only be available to download, via EA's Origin service. Although you don't get the disc for your collection, you'll still be paying £45 for the digital download -- the same price as the PC version, although if you've already bought it for PC you're entitled to download it again for Mac for nothing. 

June is a long time to wait, but with any luck EA will have ironed out the technical kinks thatruined SimCity when it launched in March. EA told me that, "The team has been working round the clock to smooth out the launch issues," so fingers crossed.

SimCity's insistence on a constant Internet connection was to blame, as gamers piled in to the new title, putting strain on EA's unprepared servers. Days later, an anonymous developerreportedly claimed that the always-on system wasn't even necessary to keep a single-player mode up and running.

The disastrous debut prompted us to ask whether gamers could claim a refund, while EA's response was to offer disgruntled customers a free game.

One feature EA powered down in order to keep SimCity afloat was 'Cheetah Mode', which lets you speed up time to ignore the boring bits of building a metropolis.

EA has confirmed via Facebook that Cheetah Mode is now back in play -- surely a relief to would-be mayors bored of watching virtual skyscrapers creep slowly toward the sky.

[Source: CNET]

Code in OS X 10.8.4 Suggests Future Macs Will Offer 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi Support

Code within the latest 10.8.4 beta release of OS X confirms that 802.11ac 5G "Gigabit Wi-Fi" support, which is not offered in OS X 10.8.3, will be offered on Apple's next generation Macs, reports 9to5Mac.

In January, Apple reportedly signed a deal with wireless chip firm Broadcom to bring the high-speed wireless access to its future Mac lineup. 

802.11ac offers triple the speeds that are available with the current 802.11n standard, supporting up to 450 Mbps on one antenna and up to 1.3 Gbps when used with three antennas. The speed boost allows for quicker file transfers between home computers. 

report from Digitimes earlier today suggests that Apple might be refreshing its notebook lineup near the end of the second quarter, which may translate to an introduction at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

[Source: MacRumors]

Firefox 20 for Mac Adds Download Manager and New Private Browsing Features

Mozilla has today launched Firefox 20, adding a number of significant improvements to the browser. Users are now able to initiate private browsing without the need to open a new window or close a current browsing session. 

There is a new function in place that allows users to close a hanging plugin without the need to shut down the entire browser, and the update also includes a new download manager in the Firefox toolbar. 

The download manager can be accessed by clicking on the down arrow button on the right side of the search bar. When clicked, the arrow will show the drop down file manager, displaying all downloads and providing a progress bar for files that are in the process of downloading. Tools allow users to pause/resume downloads, cancel, go to the download page, and open the downloads folder. 

Firefox version 20 also includes several bug fixes, performance improvements, and new tools for developers. This version of Firefox comes approximately six weeks after the release of Firefox 19

[Source: MacRumors]

Apple blocking older version of Flash Player plug-in on Safari

Apple announced today that they've updated the web plug-in-blocking mechanism in Safari on OS X to disable older versions of the Adobe Flash Player. The move is a way to protect users from a recent vulnerability that took advantage of an older version of the Flash Player plug-in.

If you're running one of these older versions, a "Blocked Plug-In" alert may appear on the Safari browser page where the Flash Player is located. Clicking the alert displays the message shown at the top of this post, which enables downloading of an up-to-date version of the plug-in.

More details about the update and how to install a newer version of the plug-in are available on the Apple support pages.

[Source: TUAW]

Google Says Fix Incoming for Chrome Bug on OS X

Hoo boy, I thought I was the only one. Multiple Chrome users on OS X are experiencing  unexpected crashes, and it’s happening as many as 20 times a day. I checked with the TechnoBuffalo stuff who hadn’t noticed any issues, so I’m the odd man out here. But it’s as annoying as all heck.

Google said it’s aware of the issue and already has a fix, but only said it’ll arrive “soon.” The sooner the better, because it sure is annoying. There’s only so many times I can handle a crashed browser. I’ve even considered using Safari until this thing blows over.

According to Wired, the issue only happen when users visit sites such as Google Drive and Facebook. I’m no scientist, but a quick experience in Chrome’s Omnibox made the browser crash on the first try. Coincidence? It doesn’t happen every time, mind you. But ugh.

I’m glad to know it’s not just me, and that a fix is imminent. I’ll just try and stay away from Facebook and Google Drive for a little while.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Yet another Java vulnerability discovered, researchers recommend disabling browser plug-in

Following an attack on a smaller number of corporate Macs that exploited exploited a flaw in the Java browser plug-in, researchers from security firm FireEye are warning users of yet another new Java zero-day vulnerability. According to a blog post published yesterday (via IDG), browsers running Java v1.6 Update 41 and Java v1.7 Update 15 are currently vulnerable to a malware attack that installs a remote access tool known as McRAT. The exploit is reportedly different from the one used to attack Facebook, Twitter, Apple and several other companies last month. Following the earlier attack, Apple released an updateto Java for users to version 1.6.0_41. These recent vulnerabilities come after several updates over the past year to Java addressing exploits.

FireEye is recommending users disable Java until Oracle addresses the issue:

We have notified Oracle and will continue to work with Oracle on this in-the-wild discovery. Since this exploit affects the latest Java 6u41 and Java 7u15 versions, we urge users to disable Java in your browser until a patch has been released; alternatively, set your Java security settings to “High” and do not execute any unknown Java applets outside of your organization.

Oracle provides the instructions below for uninstalling Java on Mac:  

  1. Click on the Finder icon located in your dock
  2. Click on Applications tab on the sidebar
  3. In the Search box enter JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
  4. This will find the JavaAppletPlugin.plugin file
  5. Right click on JavaAppletPlugin.plugin and select Move to Trash

[Source: 9to5Mac]

Skype testing video messaging service in iOS and Mac apps

Hot on the heels of recent additions to its apps including automatic reconnects for dropped calls and e-gifting, Microsoft-owned Skype is rolling out a short-form video messaging service within its iOS and Mac clients. The new feature allows users to send each other video messages up to three minutes in length, which can be sent to other users even when they aren't online.

Since this is a beta of the feature, it's not available to all users. If you're one of the lucky few, the video messaging option will appear in your app without requiring an update. You just need to make sure you're running the most recent version of the iPhoneiPad or Mac app in order to receive it. Skype says it'll be rolling the feature out to more users soon, so if you don't see it yet, sit tight.

[Source: TUAW]

EA Launches Origin Online Game Distribution for Mac

A Mac client for EA's digital distribution platform Origin was launched today, as first noted by AppleInsider. Origin for Mac was originally announced in August 2011 and went intoalpha testing in late January. 

Origin is quite similar to Valve's Steam and allows users to download games and demos, chat with friends and continue saved games from most computers.

The store currently lists 48 Mac games available for download, including games like Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition, LEGO Batman, Harry Potter and Star Wars, Tropico 3: Gold Edition and The Sims 3 and its plethora of expansion packs. The new SimCity is supposed to launch a little after the March release of the PC version of the game.

EA Origin Vice President of Production Mike Blank told AppleInsider that EA brought Origin to Mac because of two reasons: growing Mac marketshare and a vocal community of Mac gamers.

"We're seeing increased activity from our Mac gamers," he said. "In the past, we've brought games slower to market for Mac than for PC partly because the audience hasn't been at the same level. The growth of iOS and Mac devices, though, means we're starting to see gamers demand to play their games on devices that are becoming more prominent. I think, across the board, developers have focused on the PC platform, but I think you're going to start seeing some changes there. [Origin] is the first step in a strategy you're going to start seeing coming out of EA."

Origin client for Mac is available as a download for free at EA's Origin website. It requires OS X 10.6.8 or higher and an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor.

[Source: MacRumors]