Google Chrome updated to 17.0.963.78

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Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 11:58
Category: News, Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 17.0.963.78 for the Mac. The new version, a 35.4 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

- This release fixes issues with Flash games and videos, along with a security fix.

Google Chrome 17.0.963.78 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple releases iBooks 2.1, Find My iPhone 1.4 updates

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Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 10:07
Category: News, Software

If you blinked yesterday, you might have missed some of the updates from the Cupertino Mothership.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple, released version 2.1 of its iBooks application. The new version functions as a redesign to support the new iPad Retina Display and adds a feature that lets page numbers correspond to the printed editions. This only works on some titles, but obviously the feature will be spreading to more and publications.

Users can now search for a page number and jump to it with a single tap and you can use your finger as a highlighter when swiping over text.

The update requires iOS 4.2 or later to install and run.

The company also released version 1.4 of its Find My iPhone utility. The changes are mainly to support the iPad Retina Display, and there are the usual bug fixes and stability enhancements. Find my iPhone has rescued many a lost iPhone and iPad, so if you’re not signed up, it’s free to do so.

The update requires iOS 3.1.3 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new versions and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

New Flashback malware variant strain discovered, infection tactic changes approach

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Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 10:34
Category: News, security

When in doubt, try something new.

Per Macworld, a new variant of the password-stealing Flashback malware aimed at Macs has emerged, the new software attempting to install itself after a user visits an infected website, according to new research.

Flashback, discovered by security vendor Intego last September, is engineered to steal passwords for websites, including financial sites. Since its emergence, several variants have appeared showing its authors’ innovation.

The first version of Flashback tried to trick users into installing it by masquerading as Adobe’s Flash Player. Later versions checked to see if the Apple computer in question had an unpatched version of Java with two software vulnerabilities.

If the computer was running unpatched Java, Flashback automatically installed itself. If the Java attack didn’t work, Flashback then presented itself as an Apple update with a self-signed security certificate.

The latest “Flashback.N” version spotted by Intego tries to infect the computer after a person has visited an infected Web page. The tactic is often referred to as a drive-by download. Much of the drive-by download malware for Windows can infect a computer without any action by the user merely by visiting the tampered website.

Users get a bit more warning with Flashback.N. Upon hitting the infected website, Flashback.N shows a “Software Update” dialog box similar to the legitimate Apple one and asks for a user’s password.

On its blog, Intego described the installation procedure as “somewhat odd,” as the website, that has been rigged to deliver the malware, displays Apple’s multicolored spinning gear for a while before the dialog box appears. Flashback then injects itself into the Safari browser and starts sniffing data traffic for passwords.

Earlier this week, Intego found that Flashback was using Twitter as a command-and-control mechanism. Other botnets have also used Twitter to post commands or directions to new commands.

The Flashback malware queries Twitter for 12-character hashtag composed of seemingly random characters, according to an Intego blog post. The strings are actually generated using 128-bit RC4 encryption and are composed of four characters for the day, four for the month and four for the year.

As always, look before you leap in terms of the sites you visit, keep your Mac OS X operating system updated and whoever would like to contribute to a piranha-filled pool to hurl the Flashback malware creators into upon their discovery, we welcome your contributions.

iPad 3 shipping estimates slip to March 19 for certain models

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Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 10:38
Category: iPad, News

You people wanted the iPad 3…now you might have to wait a few extra days to get yours.

Per AppleInsider, shipping estimates for the white 4G LTE model from AT&T have slipped to March 19 at Apple’s online store.

Both the 16-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte models are now advertised to ship by March 19, while the 32-gigabyte model is still shown to deliver on March 16.

There are not yet any delays for the Wi-Fi-only models, or any of the Verizon models. In addition, all of the black third-generation iPad models compatible with AT&T remain available for delivery on March 16.

Next Friday’s iPad launch marks the most ambitious debut yet for a new version of Apple’s touchscreen tablet. It will launch on day one in a total of 10 countries: the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Demand for the iPad is expected to continue to grow, bolstered by the Retina Display on the latest model, as well as a lower US$399 entry price for the 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only iPad 2. The 3G-capable 16-gigabyte iPad 2 is also available for US$529.

iPad 3 RAM doubled to 1GB, battery life to remain about the same

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Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2012, 09:01
Category: iPad, News

The third-generation iPad may look fairly identical to its predecessor, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

Though the new A5X chip in Apple’s third-generation iPad features the same dual-core CPU found in its predecessor, the system-on-a-chip is still believed to double the onboard RAM to 1 gigabyte.

Although Apple has never announced the amount of RAM built into any iPad or iPhone, preferring to focus less on technical specifications and more on the abilities of a devicea source who spoke with The Verge said the new A5X processor found in the latest iPad will, in fact, feature a gigabyte of RAM.

This amount doubles the 512MB of RAM found on the iPad 2 and says something about the iPad 3′s new battery, as RAM limitations in previous chips were said to be driven by battery life concerns. Last October, Microsoft explained that RAM is constantly consuming power, so the more memory that is included with a system, the less battery life it gets.

Reports first surfaced ahead of Apple’s iPad unveiling that Apple would increase the RAM in its custom processor. The information was derived from alleged iPad debug photos that leaked last month.

The new A5X processor features a dual-core CPU, the same as the A5. But its performance has been boosted by a new quad-core graphics processor that Apple says is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3 while offering four times the performance.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.