3D Mac OS X Interface

11 12 2008

A series of Apple patent filings published this week reveal the Mac maker has spent a considerable amount of time outlining a new multi-dimensional interface for Mac OS X that would make better use of screen real estate by increasing the number of virtual surfaces capable of housing application and interface elements.

See the AppleInsider Account for more details!





Snow Leopard Details

18 10 2008

Finder-

People familiar with matter say the Finder, which currently stands as
one of the oldest Carbon-based applications in the Mac OS portfolio,
has been completely re-written in the company’s native object-oriented
application program environment called Cocoa.

Apple has reportedly tapped select members of its developer community
to begin testing the updated graphical file system manager as part of a
new pre-release copy of Snow Leopard belonging to the build train
10Axxx. In addition, many of the Apple-authored applications accompany
the new build are also said to have been wrapped completely in Cocoa.

ImageBoot-

When it makes its debut, likely at WWDC 2009, Snow Leopard will also
introduce a new, third option for disc image-based installation called
ImageBoot. Based on Apple’s existing NetBoot technology, which allows
Macs to boot from a remote disk over the network, ImageBoot will allow
users to set up any number of disk images on a secondary partition or
external drive, and then selectively boot their system from any one of
those disk images at startup.

This new feature will allow users to set up a series of test
environments or uniquely configured Mac OS X systems, store the
bootable systems as discrete disk images, and subsequently store
multiple boot targets on the same disk or partition. Currently, only
one bootable Mac OS X installation can be stored on a given disk
partition.

With ImageBoot, multiple NetBoot sets can be maintained locally on the
same storage partition, and the user can select any one of the disk
images available to boot from without having to restore or mount the
disk image first. The result is a system that works similar to
virtualization software such as Parallels, which can create disk images
for different PC operating systems and selectively boot from any of
them. The difference is that Mac OS X isn’t booting up in a virtual
environment; it actually boots a fully native Mac OS X system.





Snow Leopard Details

18 10 2008

Finder-

People familiar with matter say the Finder, which currently stands as
one of the oldest Carbon-based applications in the Mac OS portfolio,
has been completely re-written in the company’s native object-oriented
application program environment called Cocoa.

Apple has reportedly tapped select members of its developer community
to begin testing the updated graphical file system manager as part of a
new pre-release copy of Snow Leopard belonging to the build train
10Axxx. In addition, many of the Apple-authored applications accompany
the new build are also said to have been wrapped completely in Cocoa.

ImageBoot-

When it makes its debut, likely at WWDC 2009, Snow Leopard will also
introduce a new, third option for disc image-based installation called
ImageBoot. Based on Apple’s existing NetBoot technology, which allows
Macs to boot from a remote disk over the network, ImageBoot will allow
users to set up any number of disk images on a secondary partition or
external drive, and then selectively boot their system from any one of
those disk images at startup.

This new feature will allow users to set up a series of test
environments or uniquely configured Mac OS X systems, store the
bootable systems as discrete disk images, and subsequently store
multiple boot targets on the same disk or partition. Currently, only
one bootable Mac OS X installation can be stored on a given disk
partition.

With ImageBoot, multiple NetBoot sets can be maintained locally on the
same storage partition, and the user can select any one of the disk
images available to boot from without having to restore or mount the
disk image first. The result is a system that works similar to
virtualization software such as Parallels, which can create disk images
for different PC operating systems and selectively boot from any of
them. The difference is that Mac OS X isn’t booting up in a virtual
environment; it actually boots a fully native Mac OS X system.





Mac OS X Security Update 2008-007

10 10 2008

Apple on Thursday afternoon released its seventh distinct security fix of the year for Mac OS X to tackle a number flaws, including one introduced with its 10.5.5 update.

Available for both Mac OS X Leopard (Client, Server) and Tiger (Intel Client, PowerPC Client, PowerPC Server), Security Update 2008-007 addresses a mixture of UNIX foundation and Mac-specific flaws.

Among the fixes is one for the launchd daemon that only affects Mac OS X 10.5.5. The particular implementation may sometimes fail to sandbox apps that want to be isolated from the system, potentially exposing them to attacks.

Other Mac-related problems mended in the were first discovered by outside security teams, including a remote CUPS printing exploit found by TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative as well as holes in ColorSync, Finder, general Mac OS X networking, PSNormalizer, QuickLook, root certificates, Script Editor and Weblog.

A pair of additional, special patches close vulnerabilities in the third-party ClamAV utility and allow a single sign-on with a password in a file, allowing scripts to use the sign-on feature without dropping security.

Solutions for UNIX flaws include updated versions of Apache, libxslt, MySQL Server, PHP, Postfix, rlogin, Tomcat and vim.





Apple Recieves Dock Patent

9 10 2008

After nearly 9 years, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and company were awarded this week with a patent for their implementation of a software-based computer dock that has since become a trademark of the Mac OS X operating system.

On Tuesday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the Mac maker patent number 7,434,177 titled “User interface for providing consolidation and access.” The 20-page filing outlining the principles behind the Dock and its magnification component is credited to Jobs, in addition to well-known Apple interface designers Bas Ording and Donald Lindsay.

Apple now retains the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or otherwise employing replicas of the technology in their own products. Under United States patent law, that right typically extends 20 years assuming the company keeps up with routine maintenance fees due 3½, 7½ and 11½ years following the grant date.





Next-Gen MB +MBP

25 09 2008

Production ready versions of Apple’s next-generation MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks have surfaced stateside in matching attire, according to reports.

In its attempt to provide the most accurate picture of Apple’s future product plans, AppleInsider is publishing these tidbits only as a rumor to supplement earlier reports of higher conviction.

According to the latest reports, both the new 13-inch MacBooks and 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros will share similarities not only in their employment of aluminum enclosures, but in their overall aesthetic as well, with the new 13-inch MacBooks for the first time matching their higher-priced cousins as if they were members of the same product family.

Again, the new designs were described as a cross between the 13-inch MacBook Air introduced this January and the aluminum iMacs that made their debut during the summer of 2007. In April, AppleInsider reported this would include a trimming (or tapering) around the edges and instances of black material to contrast the largely aluminum motif of the new notebooks.

New, however, are rumors that Apple has done away with some traditional I/O ports and altered others as it strives to marginally reduce the overall footprint of its next-gen notebooks. In particular, the FireWire 400 port appears to have been removed from the new MacBook Pro, leaving a backwards compatible FireWire 800 port.

(Note: a hybrid 9-pin FireWire 800/3200 port looks identical to a FireWire 800 port, though there is no information either way on whether the new 3200 technology will be supported.)

MacBook Pro port mockup

In addition, the new MacBook Pro is also reported to be missing its traditional and bulky 28-pin DVI-I (Dual Link) port, which has instead been replaced with what appears to be a mini-DVI port like the one found on the existing 13-inch MacBook line and iMac line.





Spore: 100mil Copies Sold

24 09 2008

Spore, the new evolution game from Electronic Arts, has sold a million units since its September 7 launch, the publisher said Wednesday.

The sales figures are for copies of the game on the PC, the Mac, and the Nintendo DS.

The results are impressive and important for EA, especially given the heavy expectations that awaited the game, which was first announced in 2005 and was first expected in 2006, and also because the game has been beset by some controversy surrounding its DRM (digital rights management) restrictions.

And early indications from retailers around the country showed that the game was selling well in its first few weeks on store shelves.

However, the sales numbers don’t match those delivered by recent hits like Grand Theft Auto IV, from Rockstar Games and Guitar Hero III, from Activision, which sold multiple millions of copies right off the bat.

Still, for a game with what some might see as a wonky or overly intellectual theme–the evolution of species and the colonization of space–a million copies sold in just 17 days is a good sign.

The big question, of course, is whether Spore can continue to sell over time and justify EA’s stated hopes that the game could end up becoming a full-scale franchise along the lines of The Sims.








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