Will the Kindle Fire be worth rooting?

The average consumer probably isn't thinking right now about installing custom firmware on Amazon's Kindle Fire, but I know the first thing a bunch of you wondered was, "Wow, a $199 Android tablet with a dual-core processor; is this thing rootable?"

Well, at least according to one Amazon rep I spoke to at the launch event, it is--and apparently Amazon isn't putting up any measures to stop people from doing it.

Call it confidence (or arrogance), but Amazon seems to feel that it's giving consumers--and even more hard-core Android enthusiasts--enough attractive features to keep … Read more

Apple issues Thunderbolt Display firmware update

Apple's new Thunderbolt Cinema displays just began arriving last Friday, and Apple has been feverishly ensuring they will work properly with existing systems by offering a number of firmware updates for these systems' Thunderbolt connections. Today Apple added to these updates by offering one for the display itself, which according to the updater "improves the stability of the Apple Thunderbolt Display."

Granted, not much information is given about the fixes addressed by this update, but if you own one of the new displays you might as well install the update. The update is a small 923KB download … Read more

Apple releases more EFI firmware updates

On Monday, Apple released an EFI firmware update for MacBook Air systems that in addition to fixing performance issues with Target Disk mode, implemented compatibility for the upcoming Thunderbolt displays that Apple is developing. Following this update, Apple today released two more updates for the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro systems which address the same problems and compatibility issues as the MacBook Air update.

In addition to addressing Thunderbolt-related issues, the updates address issues with OS X Lion's "Internet Recovery" feature on the Mac Mini, and enables it on the MacBook Pro which previously did not have … Read more

Case of the bad firmware upgrade: Jambox

I admit it. I enjoy a good firmware upgrade.

There's nothing like a software fix to make you feel better about your device, especially if it adds new features while eliminating bugs. But not every firmware upgrade is good. Sometimes things go horribly wrong. Which is what happened recently when I updated Jawbone's little Jambox Bluetooth speaker to version 2.0.

The update gave me something called LiveAudio, a "technological breakthrough" that would let me experience my music, games, video "like never before"--as if I was, "on stage, in the action, hearing it live." Furthermore, this immersive, three-dimensional listening experience brought "incredible depth, detail, and unprecedented spatial realism to everything from mp3s to special binaural recordings."

Based on the promo material, I expected a lot; I wanted in on the 2.0 LiveAudio action. Wanted it bad. … Read more

OWC releases Mac-compatible Mercury SSD firmware updater

Mac upgrade vendor Other World Computing is the manufacturer of the popular Mercury line of SSD upgrades that many Mac users have installed on their systems. Early revisions of the drives have had firmware issues that resulted in problems with some machines being put into sleep mode. In late January, OWC tweaked the firmware to address this problem; however, until now the firmware updaters have been Windows-based applications.

As a result, if you have an early revision of these SSD drives and have been experiencing sleep problems, without Boot Camp or without removing the drive from your system and installing … Read more

Panasonic releases notable firmware for Lumix LX5

Though the company doesn't plan to update its fixed-lens enthusiast compact champion this year, Panasonic will be making an attempt to enhance the Lumix DMC-LX5 and keep it current. On September 13, the company plans to issue a firmware update that should tweak the camera's performance and image quality, in addition to tossing in a few more features.

The LX5's performance is actually pretty good for its class, but the new firmware will add autofocus algorithms derived from the company's Light Speed autofocus system for improved AF speed. It will also augment the image stabilization with … Read more

Apple releases Boot Camp and iMac graphic firmware updates

Apple has released a couple of updates that are relevant to people running Boot Camp on their Macs, and for iMac systems. The Boot Camp update brings the version of the drivers to 3.0, and according to the Boot Camp updater Web page, it addresses some critical problems with the version 3.2 driver set. Therefore if you are running Boot Camp, then Apple recommends you install this latest update.

The firmware update for iMac systems will flash their Radeon graphics cards to a new version that will address a problem where the systems were hanging when performing some … Read more

Apple releases Thunderbolt firmware update

Apple's new high-speed Thunderbolt technology is still in its infancy, and as a result its initial implementations have had a few minor bugs and performance issues. Apple has released a firmware update to address some bugs relating to the new I/O technology.

The update requires OS X 10.6.8, and is for all Mac systems that have Thunderbolt ports, which so far are the latest MacBook Pro line, and iMac systems (21.5-inch and 27-inch models).

The firmware update should be available via Software Update for these systems, but can also be downloaded from the Thunderbolt Firmware Update Web siteRead more

Quick fix: New iMac unresponsive during start-up

For some users who have the latest iMac (mid-2011), startups have been rocky, including getting stuck at a white screen or dealing with the appearance of vertical lines across their screen. In this case, you must install the latest iMac firmware update, version 2.0.

If you have not installed the iMac Graphic Firmware Update 2.0 and find that your iMac is unresponsive during startup, you should reinstall the firmware update. Remember that firmware updates are different than normal updates and require some interaction with your machine.

Download the iMac Graphic Firmware Update 2.0 and follow the instructions … Read more

Apple releases iMac Graphics firmware update 2.0

Apple has released a firmware update for iMac systems that addresses problems where iMacs have been hanging during start-up or when waking from sleep. Unfortunately Apple has not specified which specific iMac models are eligible for this update. The contents of the updater file show the Flasher utility is for ATI graphics, though this does not narrow the systems down by much because most-recent iMac models except for the early 2009 ones have used ATI graphics.

Because of the lack of specifics about the eligible models for this update, even though the updater is available as a standalone installer, we … Read more