Firefox and Mozilla Updated, Receive Fixes, New Features

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 11:41
Category: Software

Firefox and Thunderbird, the free web browser and e-mail client by Mozilla, have been updated to versions 2.0.0.1 and 1.5.0.9, respectively according to VersionTracker.com
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The new version of Firefox, a 17.6 megabyte download, sports the following fixes:
-XSS using outer window’s Function object
-RSS Feed-preview referrer leak
-Mozilla SVG Processing Remote Code Execution
-XSS by setting img.src to javascript: URI
-LiveConnect crash finalizing JS objects
-Privilege escallation using watch point
-CSS cursor image buffer overflow (Windows only)
-Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.8.0.9/1.8.1.1)
Firefox 2.0.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or higher to run.
The new version of Thunderbird, a 17.8 megabyte download, features the following fixes and enhancements:
-The ability to customize your toolbars the way you want them. Choose View / Toolbars / Customize inside any window.
-UI extensions can be added to Mozilla Thunderbird to customize your experiene with specific features and enchancements that you need. Support for extensions. Extensions allow you to add features particular to your needs such as offline mail support. A full list of available extensions can be found here.
-A new look and feel. Thunderbird also supports a large number of downloadable themes which alter the appearance of the client.
-An addressing sidebar for mail compose which makes it easy and convient to add address book contacts to emails.
-Online help includes a FAQ, tips and tricks and other useful information.
-Simplified preferences UI and menus.
-Footprint and performance improvements.
Thunderbird requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run.
Update: I’ve been having nothing but trouble with FireFox 2 and Flock 0.7.8 lately, mostly in the form of a complete lockup of the browser. The only way to get out of it is with a force quit. I’m not sure if it’s a memory leak or what, but it usually manifests itself after at least thirty minutes of browsing with several tabs open. FF and Flock have always been rock solid for me, so I’m not sure what happened. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone else experiencing bad behaviour from these browsers. I haven’t tested FF 2.0.0.1 yet and am waiting to hear about an update from Flock. – Jason

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Extreme: Yes, I Destroyed my MacBook

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

Fans of yesterday’s “Anyone Knee’d a PowerBook?” will appreciate today’s Extreme MacBook installment. Those that really love their MacBooks may want to skip ahead to the next story as this one’s kinda gory.
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Yes, I destroyed my MacBook
This was actually my third one. The others went back as DOA. This one almost worked, enough for me to keep it. It never really worked right though. Random lockups, wireless dropouts, wireless not working when returning from sleep. Weird stuff like my whole desktop just disappearing. Yes I tried different memory, and it always passed the Apple hardware test fine.
After six months of this crap, In a fit of rage I did this to it. The rage was probably caused by the crazy amounts of drugs I am on for Lupus at the moment.
It cut my hand pretty bad in the process, hence the blood. I can’t afford another one, so now I have to use my Windows PC :(
I was really disappointed in this computer as my previous Mac (Mac mini) was the best computer I have ever owned.

If you’ve got the stomach for it, there’s eight more pictures of MacBook murder.
Contributed by: carbuncle

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SplashID: Safe Storage for Your Passwords

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

splashid-treo.jpgEveryone has a zillion passwords and logins for the various Web sites that they frequent, but what about that rare site you didn’t use since last year? Remember your login? Password hint not helping?
There’s an application that I couldn’t function without called SplashID (US$30) and it kicks ass. It does all the things you’d expect like protecting your passwords with 256-bit Blowfish encryption and organizing them into tidy categories (with a ton of icons to boot). But it also has a feature that’s near and dear to my heart: a Palm application and conduit, so your Treo (for example) is always up to date.
No more arriving at the bank without the correct account number or not having the correct credit card number available when you need it. SplashID is an indispensable tool that I use every day on my Mac and at least once a week on my Treo 700p. If you always forget your passwords or (God help you) store your passwords in an open text file, then you need a tool like SplashID.
Features include:
* Unlimited number of customizable record types and categories
* Synchronize data between your handheld or phone and your desktop PC using the included desktop software
* Password protection, using 256-bit Blowfish encryption
* Automatic password generator
* Customizable list view supports color and icons
* Share records with other SplashID users
* Custom icon support
* Field masking
* Customizable field labels
* Enhanced security options
* Category support
* Backup and restore feature
Splash also makes some other great Palm/Treo apps including SplashPhoto (for syncing photos) and SplashShopper which manages Santa’s shopping list.

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Keep Tabs on Your Holiday Eating With CalorieKing

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

calorie_king_screens.jpgIf you’re like me you tend to overeat on the holidays. After all, who can’t resist an extra helping of mashed potatoes and stuffing at Mom’s. Don’t even get me started on the various pies, cakes and other delicious desserts.
If you want to keep track of what you eat, there’s a great little application for the Palm that you should check out called CalorieKing (US$30, free trial). CalorieKing is extremely convenient because it runs on Palm-based Treos. So if you have your phone with you, you can’t feign ignorance of the fact that cheesecake has 680 calories and 46 grams of fat (give or take) per slice.
Whether your a health nut or just trying to maintain your “summer weight” through the winter doldrums, CalorieKing is worth checking out. Features include:
* 50,000+ food database (the largest available)
* Easy-to-use interface
* Food and Exercise Diet Diary – Tracks what you’ve eaten, and how much more you can eat, each day.
* Intelligent personal profile works out exactly how many calories you need to eat.
* Set goals and targets for calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber.
* Make regular check-ins and graph your progress on your Palm.
* Store food database on an SD card or memory stick. Only 500K of main memory required.
* Free downloadable databases available every week.
* Five-way navigator support for new Palm OS devices.
* New database layout makes it easier to browse.
* New search function
Save yourself the guilt of overeating and extra two days at the gym with CalorieKing.

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The Apple Core: Waiting for iPhone? Consider a Treo instead

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

treo_700pv.jpgReaders of this blog already know that I think that the Treo 700p is still the best smartphone for Mac users. Not only does the Treo 700p sync with Mac OS X right out of the box, but there’s also a ton of great saftware available for the Palm OS that Macheads like.
There’s a nice comparison of the differences between the Treo 650 and the 700p at Rentzsch.com that’s required reading if your considering upgrading to the newer model (like I did). Most notable are the improvements to Blazer and Versamail.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Russell Warneboldt Releases Snowfall Screensaver

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 07:59
Category: Software

In an article over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Scott McNulty points out a cool application for the holiday season .
Snowfall by Russell Warneboldt takes the standard falling-snow screensaver that typically accompanies this time of year and cranks it up several notches by using amazingly detailed public domain snowflake images taken by Wilson Bentley. These images have been applied to the screensaver to make each snow flake as unique as possible.
The end result is extremely cool and worthy of being your screensaver of choice until the snow melts and the hot cocoa runs dry.
Snowfall is a free download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

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Leaked Image/Patent Office Search May Keep “iPhone” Name Alive

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 07:01
Category: Rumor

Despite everything that’s happened with the iPhone and Monday’s lack of an Apple announcement that left us crying into our holiday eggnog, there may be hope on the horizon. An article over on aMobileME shows an Apple-style advertisement in the works that matches previously leaked images of the firm’s long-anticipated cell phone.
leaked.jpg
Strangely, at the very bottom of the image, the text “This board should” appears, as if the image is being passed back and forth between Apple and the ad agency designing the image with ideas and comments being exchanged in the process.
The the rest of text and image style appears to be what Apple would use in a potential advertisement.
Also keeping the hope of the “iPhone” name alive is a report over on MacNN.com citing the fact that according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, there are actually no less thaan four “iPhone” trademarks on file. One has been granted to Linksys and its parent company Cisco while two others have been refused and the fourth application, submitted by Ocean Telecom, has yet to be formally approved.
The Ocean Telecom patent application remains unique as it’s the only application pertaining to a device that actually addresses music, whereas the Cisco/Linksys iPhone patent is limited to “”integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks,” which the Skype-enabled VoIP phone fits under the category of.
If the product is diverse enough, apparently the USPTO will allow the name to be used again and this may just keep the iPhone name alive for a later announcement and release date.
If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions, let us know.

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Top 10 Software Tools for the Mac Road Warrior

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 11:55
Category: Article

An outstanding article over on the The Apple Blog cites 10 must-have software tools. Author Samuel Cohen brings us the best of what’s out there to make the most for the user who is “forced to make certain sacrifices in usability, power, and efficiency.”
Sidetrack: This is a free (provided you put up with the nag screen) or $15 shareware utility that adds scrolling functionality to the borders of the trackpad.
Menufela: A $5 program that makes the very most out of a smaller screen (such as a 12 or 13 inch PowerBook, iBook or iBook laptop). The application autohides the menu bar until the mouse is positioned over it in an effort to show every possible pixel to the user.
Stoplight: This is a free program that lets the user adjust the behavior of the red-yellow-green buttons at the upper left hand corner of each Mac OS X window.
Letterbox: This is a free user interface adjustment for Apple’s Mail program that switches the default view to a three-column view and helps make the most of screen real estate.
Virtue Desktops: Until Spaces arrives in Mac OS X 10.5, this will pave the way and show you just how cool multiple desktops truly are. Virtue Desktops is a freeware multiple desktop manager that helps consolidate mulltiple windows and gives the selected window the full screen while putting the others in the background to work with later.
Quicksilver: THE application launcher and one of the most useful programs ever written for the Mac. Type in a word found in a document or application name and it’ll find it, then suggest several actions that can be done with it. The program is donation-ware, so if you like it, throw a little bit their way.
CornerClick: A free program that adds programmable functionality (such as applescripts, file launches, etc.) to clicks made at the four corners of the screen.
Sidenote: A free program that acts as a miniature notepad which can be easily hidden throughout the screen and revealed by moving the mouse over its location. Items such as text, images and links can be hurled into Sidenote, which helps consolidate everything and makes the desktop more easily navigated.
fKeys: A free program that remaps the enter key (the one on the number pad of a fully sized keyboard). This allows the user to use a function-return key combination instead of having to hunt for the oddly-placed enter key.
And, finally:
Noise: A free application that makes white noise to help blend out surrounding noise or conversations.
If you have any suggestions for must-have programs you routinely use, let us know.

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Matsushita to Offer Overheating-Resistant New Batteries

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:10
Category: News

According to an article from the Associated Press mentioned on the Dallas-Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram.com web site, Japanese electronics firm Matsushita (which Apple has long used for components such as optical drives), whill begin mass production of a new type of lithium-ion battery that should prove resistant to the overheating problems that prompted Sony to issue a massive recall of up to 9.6 million of its batteries this year.
The recall also included batteries for the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop lines.
Sony has mentioned that the overheating problems were due to microscopic metal particles in the batteries which caused short-circuits and later breakdown and even swelling. Competitor Matsushita has stated that its lithium-ion batteries can avoid this problem altogether.
The firm finally commented that the new batteries would depend on the quantity ordered, but be somewhat higher than that of existing models.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about this, let us know.

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Regarding the iPhone: Chris Owes You a Sundae at MWSF

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:32
Category: Announcement

After weeks of rumors, speculation and build-up regarding the possibility of an Apple iPhone and finally a due date of Monday for an announcement, we finally received news of an iPhone – from Linksys.
Needless to say, more than a few people were disappointed.
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I also promised to buy readers an ice cream sundae if Apple didn’t announce an iPhone device yesterday and it’s time to face up to this. Come Macworld Expo San Francisco, we’ll be combining the annual PowerPage photo with a Monday night migration out to an ice cream shop near the Moscone Center that PowerPage editor Jason O’Grady mentions as serving an extremely decent sundae.
We’re shooting for a time on January 8th and further details will be published as they become available.

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