One of the biggest concerns to come out of the early days of the iPad revolves around an apparent problem with rising temperatures when operating the touch-screen tablet in direct sunlight or other hot conditions.… Read more
As I've already spoken my piece on the new Zune HD firmware, I'm going to let Microsoft do most of the talking this time (see below). But I will say two things: First, I'm surprised the company got this sucker out so quickly, what with the staunch silence on the actual release date. And second, Zune owners can take advantage of the update right now by firing up the Zune Software and plugging in the device--simple as that.
Following numerous other updates from Apple this week, the company has released a firmware update for AirPort Extreme Base Stations and Time Capsule devices. This update addresses wireless performance issues and problems with creating Guest networks when using the 5GHz band. In addition, Apple has released an update to the AirPort Utility for both Mac and Windows machines.… Read more
If you were just thinking to yourself that it's high time for some fresh Zune news, you're in luck. Microsoft was kind enough to send some of the Zune staff down to the CNET offices today and give us a sneak peek of the new firmware build for the Zune HD. Version 4.5 isn't a massive update, but it does add a few very notable features to the device, most of which are described in detail throughout the gallery below.
But in case you don't have the time to look through all of our lovely … Read more
Those who own an older PS3 version and currently run Linux on the console will want to listen up: a new firmware update coming down later this week will kill that installation.
According to Sony, it plans to release PlayStation 3 firmware version 3.21 on Thursday to achieve one goal: eliminate the "Other OS" option currently available in all pre-Slim models of the video game console. The feature allowed PS3 owners to install an operating system--in almost every case, Linux--onto the PlayStation 3.
Sony said that its decision to remove the Other OS option is based on security concerns. The company contends that after installing the update, users will have "a more secure system." Those who currently use the Other OS option and have an operating system running on the PS3 will loss all data (and, obviously, the OS installation) after installing the update.
Although Sony wants PS3 owners to download the software, it said that users won't be forced to do so. That said, if users don't install the firmware, they will lose access to the PlayStation Network and playback of games and Blu-ray movies that require the new software. The console will also stop playing copy-protected content from media servers.… Read more
In an unusual move, Canon released a firmware upgrade for its high-end EOS 5D Mark II camera that substantially expands its video capability nearly a year and a half after the SLR was released.
Customers of the $2,500 camera had sought more flexibility in the 1080p video frame rates to better match their medium of production. The camera initially only supported 30 frames per second, but the firmware 2.0.3 update changes that to 29.97fps "to comply with TV production standards," adds a 23.976fps option for those in the cinema world, and for those who set the camera to use the European PAL video standard, there's also a 25fps option. (As is common, the terminology on the camera itself is rounded up to 30fps and 24fps.)
There are other significant changes in the update (downloadable from Canon's Web site). First, video can operate with a set shutter speed or aperture, with the camera maintaining exposure by varying other settings. Previously only fully automatic or fully manual settings were possible. The shutter speed changes let photographers choose between freeze-frame-style video or smoother but blurrier motion, and the aperture settings make it easier to keep a shallow depth of field to focus attention on the subject.
Second, the audio sampling rate has been increased from 44.1KHz to 48KHz for better sound quality desired by professionals, and input recording levels can be set manually. And third, a histogram can be overlaid in manual shooting to gauge exposure.
"I have been lucky enough to have played with the new firmware for the Canon 5DmkII over the past couple of weeks. It has utterly revitalised my love for the camera," said Philip Bloom, a filmmaker with 20 years experience. "The 30p has always been a problem. It's a frame rate that is of no real use to me as I need 25p or 24p for my work. Converting your rushes [rough video from the day's shoot] from 30p is more than a nightmare...This can take sometimes over a day depending on how long your rushes are."
Absent is support for 60fps modes for 720p video in the lower-end but newer 7D, the higher-end 1D Mark IV, and the newest Canon SLR, the lower-end Rebel T2i, aka 550D. The 60fps frame rate is better for slow-motion video.
Dawn of a new era The video SLR era is significant because it offers videographers higher-end features such as interchangeable lenses that are relatively expensive to come by in the video world. In addition, the 5D Mark II's full-frame 36x24mm sensor has much better low-light sensitivity. However, for professional use, where people need camera rigs to mount the SLR, separate audio recording gear, external monitors to aid in focusing, and expensive gear to edit video, the costs still can mount quickly. … Read more
If you have owned an NAS server from Synology, such as the DiskStation DS710+, DS209+, or DS409slim, you probably know and appreciate the server's excellent Web interface. That interface is called DiskStation Manager, and it just got even better.
Synology announced Monday another major upgrade to all of its NAS servers via the latest revision of the DiskStation Manager, version 2.3. This new update adds a long list of new features and enhancements including:Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR): Synology's proprietary RAID setup allows users to add new hard drives, or replace the existing ones. Synology claims that … Read more
This week is full of...updates! Apple has issued a small update to the firmware for their 2009 Aluminum Keyboards. The update follows the recently released one for their 2007 model keyboards, and should not be confused with it. If you tried updating your keyboard with the old update and failed, it is probably because you have the newer keyboard model.… Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature from MacFixIt where our editors answer questions e-mailed to us by our readers. We have been getting regular contacts and questions from our readers, and hope to share our correspondences so everyone may benefit and contribute to them. This week we have questions about e-mail attachments not being recognized, troubles with OnyX, iPhoto e-mail attachments changing font size, and concerns about the latest iMac firmware updates.… Read more