• Friday Morning News

    AppleCare support employees have begun their training on iOS 7, which suggests that the release of iOS 7 is not too far away. Apple requires all support employees to have a total understanding of iOS and the various troubleshooting steps, and this time around they're also requiring OS X and Mac employees to do the training on iOS 7 in anticipation of high call volumes.

    A text bug has been found in OS X and iOS that crashes browsers when attempting to display a string of Arabic characters. It's a bug in Apple's CoreText API that causes apps to crash when rendering the string, but the good news is that the bug is reportedly fixed in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.

    Parallels has announced availability of Parallels Desktop 9. The update will support OS X Mavericks going forward, and also Windows 8.1. There's the usual performance improvements, and Parallels are claiming a 40% improvement in disk performance with faster virtual machine startup and shutdown. Parallels 9 is available right now for individuals upgrading from an earlier version, but those wishing to buy a new copy have to wait until September 5.

    Parallels has also put out a new iOS offering, and Parallels Access is the way you can access your desktop apps on your iOS device. Like Parallels Mobile, Access allows you to view your virtual machines that are running on your Mac, but it goes a long way to solve the problem of desktop interfaces not being optimised for touch input. 9to5Mac has a hands-on if you're interested in learning more.

    The advent of ambient light sensors have meant backlit keyboards and screens that automatically adjust their brightness depending on ambient light levels, but what about on-screen content? One Apple patent describes a method for independently adjusting the appearance of on-screen UI elements in response to user input.

    It's easy to look at Nintendo and ask why they aren't making games for other platforms besides their own. But Federico Viticci explains why it's not as simple as that, and how Nintendo and Apple share certain similarities.

    Speaking of games, the new SimCity has finally landed on the Mac. EA has done the right thing and not just ported it across, but made a fully OpenGL version of the same title on PC. SimCity now also includes cross-platform play, allowing PC and Mac Mayors to play in the same regions and best of all, if you already own the PC version you don't have to re-buy the Mac version.

    Following on from that, Aspyr has up and ported Bioshock Infinite to the Mac. It's actually available via the Mac App Store and Steam via SteamPlay, but the only thing to bear in mind is that you won't be able to access any DLC released via Steam if you buy it on the Mac App Store. Something to keep in mind.

    A flaw in sudo opens up a potential security risk for users of OS X and Linux systems, giving unauthorised users root access on some machines. The steps required to successfully exploit the security flaw mean that many, if not most, Mac users will not be at risk before a patch is available.

    We've seen some crazy Mac mods in our time here at MacTalk, but the tiny original Macintosh is probably one of the cooler ones out there. The tiny original Macintosh lives on in one-third scale, powered by a Raspberry Pi and 3.5-inch monochrome display.
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