Doug McLean holds the position of Staff Writer at TidBITS, before which he did testing for the New York Times Web site and oversaw Mac support at the Montserrat College of Art. Doug has an art degree from Cornell University and remains a working artist.
Apple has updated Safari, activating extension capabilities and launching the new Safari Extensions Gallery, a one-stop shop for adding new features to the company's Web browser. Quite a few specific bugs and security vulnerabilities also received attention.
Apple has announced substantial speed and graphics updates to the iMac and Mac Pro lineups, and debuted a new 27-inch Cinema Display.
Apple has announced that, on Friday, 30 July 2010, the iPhone 4 will arrive in 17 new countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Customers can purchase the iPhone 4 through Apple's online or retail stores, or from any Apple Authorized Reseller.
Improves support for Dropbox, adds support for Firefox 4 beta versions and Camino 2.0.3, and enhances 1PasswordAnywhere capabilities to include search, copy, and auto-lock. (Free, 26.3 MB)
Apple is now taking orders for free iPhone 4 cases to reduce antenna problems. Orders can be placed only through the new iPhone 4 Case Program app, which requires your iTunes account password for verification. From there, you select a case (choices include Apple's black bumper and several third-party options), enter your shipping information, submit your order, and wait 3 to 10 weeks (depending on the case) for it to arrive. You can place only one order, so once you've done so, you may as well delete the app.
Addresses issues related to user authentication, wiki group calendar access, and migrations from Leopard Server. (Free, 26.3 MB)
New York Times contributor Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, has written a thoughtful article on the ramifications of data persistence on the Web. Those who share personal information via social networking services are being forced to come to terms with the Internet's extraordinary capability to preserve past actions, beliefs, and versions of oneself for posterity, causing problems as the lines between the real and virtual, and the past and the present, become ever fuzzier. Rosen provides an overview of the legal, technological, and social solutions we might employ to overcome this new inability to forget.
Ars Technica reports on the growing number of universities experimenting with integrating the iPad into their academic missions. While a couple of campuses will run exploratory pilot programs (not dissimilar to Princeton's Kindle experiment), others are offering iPads to all incoming freshmen, to select honors students, or to select graduate students. Also, at least one university, North Carolina State, has equipped its libraries with a collection of iPads for anyone to use (which is a little odd, given how personal these devices tend to be).
Addresses a long list of minor technical stability issues and fixes several critical security vulnerabilities. (Free, 17.6 MB)
Fixes bugs related to first-time syncs, upgrading to iOS 4, and drag-and-drop capabilities. (Free, 101.82 MB)
Apple hoped its recent press conference could heal the bruising the iPhone 4's image has taken from the press. But for further repair there's Antenn-aid, a vinyl Band-Aid sticker sized precisely to cover your iPhone 4's antenna gap. It's mainly a gag, but if you're trying to avoid a bulky rubber bumper, you might give it a shot!
Are you unconvinced by Apple's videos showing other mobile phones being affected by the "death grip" reception problem? Check out further evidence presented by David Chartier at his new Don't Hold It Wrong blog. He cites examples ranging from YouTube videos to user handbooks that show this is an industry-wide problem that's far from secret. (P.S.: Don't let small children read the blog's About page.)
Add new scheduling behaviors and options, email notifications of missed syncs, wake-on-LAN capabilities, and improved performance. ($40/$10 new, free updates, 20.7/3.1 MB)
Macworld reports on Apple's forthcoming iPhone 4 press conference which will be held this Friday, 16 July 2010, at 10:00 AM Pacific time. While the company has given no details regarding who will be speaking or what exactly will be discussed, it's clear Apple is trying to get a handle on the very public controversies surrounding the iPhone 4's antenna problems. It's likely the recent Consumer Reports retracted recommendation increased the pressure on Apple to comment more directly on the iPhone 4's problems and what the company is doing to address them.
Adds support for Snow Leopard, blessing capabilities, and a simplified startup process. (Free, 372 KB)