Unibody 17″ MacBook Pro Notebooks Now Shipping

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Date: Monday, February 16th, 2009, 09:01
Category: News

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A slew of readers have informed AppleInsider that their order updates for Apple’s unibody 17″ MacBook Pro notebook have been updated to “shipping” as of Friday.
The notebook, which was launched in January at Macworld, showed signs of delay when some customers were told their orders would likely slip into March despite promises it would ship in late January. Early this month, the company let many of these buyers know that their orders wouldn’t ship for about two weeks due to problems “wrapping up” production.
The reason for the delay is currently unknown.
If you’ve heard naything from your end or received an order update, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Customizable Four-Finger Gestures May be En Route for Apple Notebooks in Mac OS X

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Date: Monday, February 16th, 2009, 08:12
Category: News

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There’s some interesting stuff buried within the depths of the Mac OS X file structure. Among these, according to MyAppleGuide, is a bit of code in Mac OS X’s Trackpad preference panethat would allow users of multitouch-capable trackpads such as those on the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros to define their own four-finger gestures.
The file is currently a .nib, meaning it’s currently just installed as part of the interface and no actual code is hooked up to it, but if you have a multitouch-capable Mac (such as a unibody MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air), you can find the same file at /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Trackpad.prefPane/Contents/Resources/ English.lproj/FourFingerSwipeGesture.nib.
Currently, the multitouch trackpad’s four-finger gestures are hard-coded and perform a given set of functions such as activating the desktop, triggering Expose, and bringing up the Application Switcher.
Customization of gestures could be en route in a future Mac OS X update, a feature many users might appreciate.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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CoolBook Updated to 2.13, Receives Unibody MacBook Support

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Date: Monday, February 16th, 2009, 08:30
Category: Software

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Over the weekend, developer Magnus Lundholm released CoolBook 2.13, the latest version of his shareware CPU frequency, voltage and temperature monitoring program.
The new version, a 600 kilobyte download, adds support for Apple’s new unibody MacBooks as well as repairs the following bugs and features:

  • Fixed a bug adding invalid values to the frequency selector.
  • Fixed an issue with the throttling level selector.
  • Additional fixes to support the new unibody models.
  • CoolBook 2.13 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.
    If you’ve tried the program and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know over in the forums.

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    PowerPage Podcast Episode 104

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    Date: Sunday, February 15th, 2009, 20:44
    Category: Podcast

    PowerPage Podcast Logo 2008Episode 104 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (1’21:48, 28.79 MB, AAC).
    Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Youngmoo Kim and Tom Hesser.
    Topics include: 20,000 apps, $99 iPhone (sans 3G and GPS), iPhone v.3 at WWDC, iTunes Replay, Kindle 2, MatteBook Pro, 7200 RPM notebook drive and we play “What’s on your Mac?”
    What’s on your Mac?:

    • Tom:

      • Twhirl (free) – Twitter client for Mac OS X.
    • Jason:

      • Tweetdeck (free) – Twitter client for Mac OS X.
      • Xumii (free) – A social address book for iPhone that lets you chat with friends, share photos and get status updates across all your networks (video).

    Follow us on Twitter:

    Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
    PowerPage Podcast theme music is generously provided by The Tragically Hip. Pick up their new release “We Are The Same” on iTunes.

    Rumor: Apple to Meet with China Unicom Executives Regarding iPhone

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, February 13th, 2009, 10:20
    Category: Rumor

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    Wireless carrier China Unicom has reportedly sent top executives to meet with Apple in the United States next month as Apple may be bringing its iPhone handset to the Chinese market.
    According to tech.sina.com.cn (the report is in Chinese) and Macworld UK, the movements of the China Unicom executives were cited by “knowledgeable sources.”
    The article then goes on the state that China Unicom plans to launch WCDMA (Wideband Code Divison Multiple Access) 3G services in May.
    In recent months, Apple has been rumored to be in negoatiations with China Mobile Communications, the country’s largest mobile operator, about selling the iPhone in China.
    Throughout this process, rumors have circulated that Apple has also been in talks with China Unicom regarding sales of the iPhone in China.
    The 3G iPhone supports WCDMA, which is widely used in Asia, North America and Europe. However, China Mobile was granted a license to offer 3G services using TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous CDMA), a different 3G technology that was developed in China and is significantly less mature from a development standpoint.
    Even before Chinese regulators made the news official last month, China Mobile was long been expected to receive a license for TD-SCDMA, not WCDMA. For China Mobile to offer the 3G iPhone, Apple would be required to redesign the handset using new components that would need to be sourced from different suppliers.
    Such changes would appreciably increase Apple’s production cost and likely result in higher prices to the end user.
    Another sticking point between Apple and China Mobile was the Apple Store, which the company uses to sell and distribute third-party applications, Sina reported. Previous reports have indicated that China Mobile has its own plans for an application store and did not want to yield to Apple’s control.
    For this reason, a deal to bring the iPhone to China will likely involve significant concessions from China Unicom to meet Apple’s requirements, the report said.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Releases Security Update 2009-001

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, February 13th, 2009, 09:56
    Category: Software

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    Making Friday a somewhat official update-o-rama, Apple released Security Update 2009-001, its first collection of security fixes for the new year.
    The 43.4 megabyte download contains the following fixes and features:

  • AFP Server:
    Impact: A user with the ability to connect to AFP Server may be a able to trigger a denial of service
    Description: A race condition in AFP Server may lead to an infinite loop. Enumerating files on an AFP server may lead to a denial of service. This update addresses the issue through improved file enumeration logic. This issue only affects systems running Mac OS X v10.5.6.
  • Apple Pixlet Video:
    Impact: Opening a maliciously crafted movie file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
    Description: A memory corruption issue exist in the handling of movie files using the Pixlet codec. Opening a maliciously crafted movie file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved bounds checking. Credit: Apple.
  • CarbonCore:
    Impact: Opening a file with a maliciously crafted resource fork may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
    Description: A memory corruption issue exists in Resource Manager’s handling of resource forks. Opening a file with a maliciously crafted resource fork may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved validation of resource forks. Credit: Apple.
  • CFNetwork:
    Impact: Restores proper operation of cookies with null expiration times
    Description: This update addresses a non-security regression introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.6. Cookies may not be properly set if a web site attempts to set a session cookie by supplying a null value in the “expires” field, rather than omitting the field. This update addresses the issue by ignoring the “expires” field if it has a null value.
  • CFNetwork:
    Impact: Restores proper operation of session cookies across applications
    Description: This update addresses a non-security regression introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.6. CFNetwork may not save cookies to disk if multiple open applications attempt to set session cookies. This update addresses the issue by ensuring that each application stores its session cookies separately.
  • Certificate Assistant:
    Impact: A local user may manipulate files with the privileges of another user running Certificate Assistant
    Description: An insecure file operation exists in Certificate Assistant’s handling of temporary files. This could allow a local user to overwrite files with the privileges of another user who is running Certificate Assistant. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of temporary files. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit: Apple.
  • ClamAV:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in ClamAV 0.94
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in ClamAV 0.94, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issues by updating ClamAV to version 0.94.2. ClamAV is distributed only with Mac OS X Server systems. Further information is available via the ClamAV website at http://www.clamav.net/.
  • CoreText:
    Impact: Viewing maliciously crafted Unicode content may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
    Description: A heap buffer overflow may occur when processing Unicode strings in CoreText. Using CoreText to handle maliciously crafted Unicode strings, such as when viewing a maliciously crafted web page, may result in an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved bounds checking. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit to Rosyna of Unsanity for reporting this issue.
  • CUPS:
    Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination
    Description: Exceeding the maximum number of RSS subscriptions results in a null pointer dereference in the CUPS web interface. This may lead to an unexpected application termination when visiting a maliciously crafted website. In order to trigger this issue, valid user credentials must either be known by the attacker or cached in the user’s web browser. CUPS will be automatically restarted after this issue is triggered. This update addresses the issue by properly handling the number of RSS subscriptions. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5.
  • DS Tools:
    Impact: Passwords supplied to dscl are exposed to other local users
    Description: The dscl command-line tool required that passwords be passed to it in its arguments, potentially exposing the passwords to other local users. Passwords exposed include those for users and administrators. This update makes the password parameter optional, and dscl will prompt for the password if needed. Credit: Apple.
  • fetchmail:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in fetchmail 6.3.8
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in fetchmail 6.3.8, the most serious of which may lead to a denial of service. This update addresses the issues by updating to version 6.3.9. Further information is available via the fetchmail web site at http://fetchmail.berlios.de/
  • Folder Manager:
    Impact: Other local users may access the Downloads folder
    Description: A default permissions issue exists in Folder Manager. When a user deletes their Downloads folder and Folder Manager recreates it, the folder is created with read permissions for everyone. This update addresses the issue by having Folder Manager limit permissions so that the folder is accessible only to the user. This issue only affects applications using Folder Manager. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit to Graham Perrin of CENTRIM, University of Brighton for reporting this issue.
  • FSEvents:
    Impact: Using the FSEvents framework, a local user may be able to see filesystem activity that would otherwise not be available
    Description: A credential management issue exists in fseventsd. By using the FSEvents framework, a local user may be able to see filesystem activity that would otherwise not be available. This includes the name of a directory which the user would not otherwise be able to see, and the detection of activity in the directory at a given time. This update addresses the issue through improved credential validation in fseventsd. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit to Mark Dalrymple for reporting this issue.
  • Network Time:
    Impact: The Network Time service configuration has been updated
    Description: As a proactive security measure, this update changes the default configuration for the Network Time service. System time and version information will no longer be available in the default ntpd configuration. On Mac OS X v10.4.11 systems, the new configuration takes effect after a system restart when Network Time service is enabled.
  • perl:
    Impact: Using regular expressions containing UTF-8 characters may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution
    Description: A memory corruption issue exists in the handling of certain UTF-8 characters in regular expressions. Parsing maliciously crafted regular expressions may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of regular expressions.
  • Printing:
    Impact: A local user may obtain system privileges
    Description: An error handling issue exists in csregprinter, which may result in a heap buffer overflow. This may allow a local user to obtain system privileges. This update addresses the issue through improved error handling. Credit to Lars Haulin for reporting this issue.
  • python:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in python
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in python, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issues by applying patches from the python project.
  • Remote Apple Events:
    Impact: Sending Remote Apple events may lead to the disclosure of sensitive information
    Description: An uninitialized buffer issue exists in the Remote Apple Events server, which may lead to disclosure of memory contents to network clients. This update addresses the issue through proper memory initialization. Credit: Apple.
  • Remote Apple Events:
    Impact: Enabling Remote Apple Events may lead to an unexpected application termination or the disclosure of sensitive information
    Description: An out-of-bounds memory access exits in Remote Apple Events. Enabling Remote Apple Events may lead to an unexpected application termination or the disclosure of sensitive information to network clients. This update addresses the issue through improved bounds checking. Credit: Apple.
  • Safari RSS:
    Impact: Accessing a maliciously crafted feed: URL may lead to arbitrary code execution
    Description: Multiple input validation issues exist in Safari’s handling of feed: URLs. esp issues allow execution of arbitrary JavaScript in the local security zone. This update addresses the issues through improved handling of embedded JavaScript within feed: URLs. Credit to Clint Ruoho of Laconic Security, Billy Rios of Microsoft, and Brian Mastenbrook for reporting these issues.
  • servermgrd:
    Impact: Remote attackers may be able to access Server Manager without valid credentials
    Description: An issue in Server Manager’s validation of authentication credentials could allow a remote attacker to alter the system configuration. This update addresses the issue through additional validation of authentication credentials. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit: Apple.
  • SMB:
    Impact: Connecting to a maliciously crafted SMB file system may lead to an unexpected system shutdown or arbitrary code execution with system privileges
    Description: An integer overflow in SMB File System may result in a heap buffer overflow. Connecting to a maliciously crafted SMB file system may lead to an unexpected system shutdown or arbitrary code execution with system privileges. This update addresses the issue through improved bounds checking. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.5. Credit: Apple.
  • SMB:
    Impact: Connecting to a maliciously crafted SMB file server may lead to an unexpected system shutdown
    Description: A memory exhaustion issue exists in the SMB File System’s handling of file system names. Connecting to a maliciously crafted SMB file server may lead to an unexpected system shutdown. This update addresses the issue by limiting the amount of memory allocated by the client for file system names. Credit: Apple.
  • SquirrelMail:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in SquirrelMail
    Description: SquirrelMail is updated to version 1.4.17 to address several vulnerabilities, the most serious of which is a cross-site scripting issue. Further information is available via the SquirrelMail web site at http://www.SquirrelMail.org/
  • X11:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in X11 server
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in X11 server. The most serious of these may lead to arbitrary code execution with the privileges of the user running the X11 server, if the attacker can authenticate to the X11 server. This update addresses the issues by applying the updated X.Org patches. Further information is available via the X.Org website at http://www.x.org/wiki/Development/Security
  • X11:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in FreeType v2.1.4
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in FreeType v2.1.4, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution when processing a maliciously crafted font. This update addresses the issues by incorporating the security fixes from version 2.3.6 of FreeType. Further information is available via the FreeType site at http://www.freetype.org/ The issues are already addressed in systems running Mac OS X v10.5.6.
  • X11:
    Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in LibX11
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in LibX11, the most serious of which may lead to arbitrary code execution when processing a maliciously crafted font. This update addresses the issues by applying the updated X.Org patches. Further information is available via the X.Org website at http://www.x.org/wiki/Development/Security These issues do not affect systems running Mac OS X v10.5 or later.
  • XTerm:
    Impact: A local user may send information directly to another user’s Xterm
    Description: A permissions issue exists in Xterm. When used with luit, Xterm creates tty devices accessible by everyone. This update addresses the issue by having Xterm limit the permissions so tty devices are accessible only by the user.
  • Security Update 2009-001 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Apple Releases Java for OS X 10.5 Update 3

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, February 13th, 2009, 08:39
    Category: Software

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    Early Friday, Apple released its Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 3 patch. The 3.1 megabyte download, adds the following fix:

  • Java: Impact: Multiple vulnerabilities in Java Web Start and Java Plug-in
    Description: Multiple vulnerabilities exist in Java Web Start and the Java Plug-in, the most serious of which may allow untrusted Java Web Start applications and untrusted Java applets to obtain elevated privileges. Visiting a web page containing a maliciously crafted Java applet may lead to arbitrary code execution with the privileges of the current user. This update provides patches for the Java Bug IDs 6694892, 6707535, 6727081 and 6767668 from Sun Microsystems.
  • The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Monoprice.com to Begin Selling Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter on March 15th

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 13:39
    Category: MacBook

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    If you own a unibody MacBook or MacBook Pro with a Mini DisplayPort and want to export video to a TV or other HDMI device, hang on for just a bit longer.
    According to AppleInsider, discount cable outlet Monoprice.com will begin sell Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapters for US$14.25 starting March 15th. Two other new adapters, offering to convert the Mini DisplayPort signal for either DVI or VGA, will also be available that same day. The vast majority of today’s HDTVs have HDMI inputs, but DisplayPort is a relatively new player on the connection standard scene and connectors between the two are rare, especially for Mac owners.
    Some users have been able to work around the problem with a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter that in turn feeds a DVI to HDMI cable, though that method may be less than ideal, requires the purchase of two adapters and may not be aesthetically satisfying and may degrade the video to a certain extent.
    Apple currently sells a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter for US$29 as well as DVI adapters for US$29 through the Apple Store, but nothing for the HDMI standard.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments or forums.

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    MacBook to Modbook in About a Minute

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    Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 09:16
    Category: Fun

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    The guys at TechRestore have sent along the following video of a conversion from an Apple MacBook to Axiotron’s Modbook tablet. (Disclaimer: TechRestore is a PowerPage sponsor.)
    The video runs for less than two minutes and uses some undoubtedly nifty stop motion techniques to make it even more interesting:




    Take a gander and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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    VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.2

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 09:45
    Category: Software

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    Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.2 of its Fusion software for the Mac.
    Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.
    The new version, a 246 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:

  • Allows importing Windows virtual machines from both Parallels Desktop 4.0 and Parallels Server for Mac.
  • Supports mounting unencrypted .dmg file format as a CD/DVD disk image, in addition to .iso file format.
  • Supports Mac OS X 10.5.6 as a host operating system.
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X Server 10.5.6 as a guest operating system.
  • Supports Ubuntu 8.10 as a guest operating system, including features such as VMware Tools with prebuilt kernel modules, Easy Install, and Unity.
  • Ships with a 12-month complimentary subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 antivirus software, with localization support for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.
  • Provides performance improvements when browsing mirrored folders and shared folders in Windows virtual machines.
  • Supports display of Windows applications in Unity view as 48 pixel x 48 pixel icons.
  • Resolves issues with “Optimize for Mac OS application performance” preference option for Mac OS X 10.5.5 and later.
  • The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.
    If you’ve tried VMware Fusion 2.0 or have a favorite virtualization program of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.

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