Evidence of unknown iPad models surface in developers notes, speculation of forthcoming “iPad mini” grows

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Date: Friday, August 31st, 2012, 06:39
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

When in doubt, there’s always some interesting stuff in the logs.

Per the cool cats at MacRumors and his own blog, developer Marco Arment he noticed the two “curious entries” in Instapaper’s device stats on Friday, positing the device identifiers could offer clues to the supposed tablets’ internal hardware.

As a side note, Arment said, “There were also a few iPhone5,1 devices, but that’s not a surprise — that’s almost certainly next month’s new GSM iPhone,” but didn’t give specifics.

While Arment concedes the unknown “iPad2,5″ and “iPad2,6″ identifiers can conceivably be spoofed, he has “never had a device show up [on the logs] that didn’t end up being a real, about-to-be-released Apple device.”

Arment goes on to explain that when Apple first launched the iPad 2 in 2011, the Wi-Fi, GSM and CDMA versions were tagged with the internal designations iPad2,1, iPad2,2 and iPad2,3, respectively. Alongside the release of the New iPad in March, Apple unveiled a quietly updated iPad 2 Wi-Fi model with a new A5 processor manufactured on the 32nm process, identifying it as “iPad2,4.”

It is possible that the new “iPad2,5″ and “iPad2,6″ devices discovered by Arment could simply be GSM and CDMA versions of the iPad 2 carrying the 32nm A5 chip, but the developer believes such a move would be unusual so late in the product’s lifecycle.

If the unknown devices turn out to be a smaller iPad, Arment said, the Apple-assigned identifiers suggest “the iPad Mini is, effectively, an iPad 2″ with an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.

“This is all speculation, of course,” Arment writes, “but I’m convinced: like the leaked Dock connector, this move is so ingenius that it’s most likely to be what Apple has really done.

Apple is rumored to debut the so-called “iPad mini” at a special event in October. Many expect the tablet to sport a 7.85-inch screen and boast a design resembling an iPod touch.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Oracle releases patch for Java 1.7, works to close hole on discovered security flaw

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Date: Friday, August 31st, 2012, 06:33
Category: News, security, Software

With any luck, the patch fixed the issue.

Per AppleInsider, Oracle on Thursday released a patch for the Java 1.7 runtime, plugging a recently discovered security hole that allowed malware to take over any operating system when a user visits a malicious website.

In an update to its “CVE-2012-4681″ security alert, Oracle addressed three separate vulnerabilities and one “security-in-depth” issue affecting Java 7.

It was reported on Monday that a new zero-day exploit had been discovered and proven to be effective within the Java 1.7 runtime, which includes the latest Java 7 update, in browsers on any operating system.

According to researchers, the flaw allows malware to breach the security of a Mac or PC by having a user visit a compromised website hosting the attack code. Because Java came bundled with older versions of OS X like Leopard or Snow Leopard, Macs running the legacy software are potentially more vulnerable to the attack than those with the latest 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Apple removed Java from OS X last year with the release of 10.7 Lion after a security flaw in Oracle’s software allowed the infamous Flashback trojan to affect a reported 600,000 Macs. As a safety precaution, users must now authenticate browser requests to download and install Java, proactively blocking potential exploits.

From Oracle’s alert:
“If successfully exploited, these vulnerabilities can provide a malicious attacker the ability to plant discretionary binaries onto the compromised system, e.g. the vulnerabilities can be exploited to install malware, including Trojans, onto the targeted system. Note that this malware may in some instances be detected by current antivirus signatures upon its installation.”

The patch for Java 1.7 can be downloaded directly from Oracle’s java.com web site, while more information about the security issues can be found at the company’s security page

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Opera web browser updated to 12.02, now available

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Date: Friday, August 31st, 2012, 06:34
Category: News, Software

operalogo

Late Thursday, Opera Software released version 12.02 of its web browser. The new version, a 28.2 megabyte download via MacUpdate, boasts the following fixes and changes:

General and User Interface:
- Several general fixes and stability improvements.

- Resolved an issue with Speed Dial thumbnails when automatic scaling is enabled.

Security:
- Fixed an issue where truncated dialogs may be used to trick users; see our advisory.

Opera 12.02 is available for free and requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.89

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 30th, 2012, 16:35
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

Hey, a web browser update is still a web browser update.

On Thursday, Google released a beta of version 21.0.1180.89 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 43.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Several Pepper Flash fixes (Issue 140577, 144107, 140498, 142479)..

- Microphone issues with tinychat.com (Issue: 143192).

- Devtools regression with “save as” of edited source (issue: 141180).

- Mini ninjas shaders fails (Issue: 142705).

- Page randomly turns red/green gradient boxes (Issue: 110343).

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.89 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Parallels releases Desktop 8 upgrade, slates full release for September 4th

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Date: Thursday, August 30th, 2012, 06:12
Category: News, Software

parallelslogo1.jpg

You can’t knock a solid version release.

Per The Mac Observer, Parallels has announced the release of Desktop 8 for Mac, its virtualization software that allows OS X users to run a wide variety of other operating systems, notably Windows. The many enhancements in Desktop 8, including Windows 8 support, are aimed at making the integration between these two OSes even more seamless with the new version offering the following fixes and changes:

- A new button is made available in Safari, “Open in Internet Explorer.” When a website doesn’t render well or at all in Safari, just click the IE button and IE launches on the Mac desktop.

- In OS X, drag a file on the desktop to the Outlook icon and send it, in Windows Outlook, as an attachment.

- Dictation Support. For Windows apps that accept voice dictation, Mountain Lion’s voice dictation can be passed along to them.

- The Parallels Virtual Machine list now shows CPU and RAM utilization of each running OS.

- If a Windows app supports full screen, it will run full screen in OS X. A new Presentation Wizard makes presentations easier and interruption-free by disabling screensavers on Mac and Windows, optimizing the full-screen display and automatically adjusting resolution. In the “smart full screen,” the OS X dock is suppressed, and presentations can appear as if they are natively running on a PC.

- Notifications from Windows. Windows app notifications are passed along to Mountain Lion’s Notification center.

- Mountain Lion gestures like pinch, rotate and zoom are passed along to Windows 8. Copy and paste, drag and drop are supported for Windows 8.

- USB 3 support for the virtual machines in Desktop 8.

- Retina display support – Mac Retina display resolution is supported for Windows 7 and Windows applications to see crisper fonts, vivid photos, images and animations.

- One can download the Windows 8 Release Preview right from the Parallels Install Wizard.

- One can put Windows apps in the OS X Launchpad and run them from there.

- Bluetooth Support: Windows and Mac devices can now share Bluetooth connections.

- Improved speed. Parallels claims that Desktop 8 performance is up to 30 percent faster for input/output operations, 30 percent faster for games and up to 25 percent faster for virtual machine operations such as boot, suspend, shutdown and resume, when compared to Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac.

- Desktop 8 for Mac supports a wide range of guest OSes, including Windows, Linux and Solaris. Also supported as guests are Snow Leopard Server, Lion, and Mountain Lion. (Snow Leopard client is not licensed by Apple for virtualization.)

Parallels Desktop 8 requires a Mac with at least an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8, 4 GB of RAM and 15 GB of disk space for each virtual machine to install and run. The Parallels Desktop 8 upgrade for Mac is available beginning Aug. 30, 2012 for current customers and is priced at US$49.99 as a download only.

The full version will be available to new customers on www.parallels.com/desktop starting September 4 and will retail for US$79.99.

Special pricing of US$49.99 for the full version is available to customers currently using VMware Fusion.

Customers who purchased Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac from an authorized reseller on or after July 25, 2012, are eligible to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac at no additional cost.

Apple releases second OS X 10.8.2 beta to developer community, focuses on upcoming Facebook integration

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Date: Thursday, August 30th, 2012, 06:48
Category: News, Software

Hey, betas are still hip.

And cool.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday provided developers with the second beta of OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion, less than a week after the first beta became available.

Sources familiar with the latest beta of OS X 10.8.2 indicated it is known as build 12C35. Developers have reportedly been asked to focus on the new Facebook integration coming to the updated version of Mountain Lion.

Other areas of focus highlighted by Apple for developers are said to be Messages, Game Center, Safari and Reminders. The latest build of OS X 10.8.2 reportedly contains no known issues.

The first beta of OS X 10.8.2 was provided to select developers last Thursday. Those who participated in the beta were invited to do so by Apple via e-mail.

The biggest change in OS X 10.8.2 is expected to be Facebook integration across the entire Mountain Lion operating system. The new feature will work similar to how Twitter is currently integrated, with the ability to post pictures and other content directly to a user’s Facebook account with the operating system’s Share Sheets button.

The latest public release of Mountain Lion, OS X 10.8.1, also launched last Thursday. It resolved an issue that caused Migration Assistant to unexpectedly quit, improved compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail, and addressed an issue playing audio through a Thunderbolt display.

Just two developer previews of OS X 10.8.1 were made available to developers before the software officially launched. Mountain Lion became available on the Mac App Store just over a months go, on July 25.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the new beta and have any feedback to offer, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Analyst: Java 1.7 zero-day less likely to affect Mac users due to lack of current installed base on platform

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 29th, 2012, 07:53
Category: News, security

Yesterday, we posted as to a new Java vulnerability that could open the gates for additional malware on the Mac.

Today, there’s some better news regarding this.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, online backup service CrashPlan co-founder Matthew Dornquist had the following to offer about the new Java vulnerability and what it could mean for the Mac.

In a recent study of a random sample of 200K recent users; Dornquist’s numbers showed that the overwhelming majority of CrashPlan’s Mac users are on Java 1.6 (92%) and a small minority on the older 1.5 version. The percentage on the 1.7 version targeted by the malware? Approximately zero.

Research shop FireEye identified a Java zero-day exploit this weekend that is already targeting fully patched versions of the Java JRE version 1.7 running on Windows machines. The exploit attempts to install a dropper executable (Dropper.MsPMs) on the machines it attacks. In theory, a separate dropper could be crafted to attack Mac or Linux systems, although none has yet been observed in the wild.

That’s a reason for Mac users to rest a little more easily, but it’s not the big one. As noted by CNET, the vulnerable edition of the JRE — 1.7 — isn’t installed by default in a stock configuration of OS X. The Java that Apple delivers on Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion is JRE 1.6 (and on Lion and Mountain Lion, it’s only installed on demand when needed to run Java applications); in order to be on 1.7 and be theoretically susceptible, you’d have to install the Oracle beta build manually.

If you did install the Oracle build and you’re concerned about the new exploit, you can disable the Java plugin in each of your browsers individually, or uninstall 1.7 entirely. While it bears repeating that there is no evidence of a Mac payload for this exploit at this time, if you don’t have a specific reason to run the new version then it’s probably safest to stick with JRE 1.6 instead (or turn off Java completely if you don’t need it). In response to past exploits including Flashback, Apple’s Java web plugin is now set to auto-disable when it isn’t used for some time, further reducing the attack surface for Mac users.

So, yeah, try to avoid manually updating to Java 1.7 on your Mac until this is sorted out and we’ll have additional details as they become available.

Apple to file injunction against certain Samsung smartphones on December 6th

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 29th, 2012, 07:22
Category: Legal, News

applelogo_silver

Come December 6th, Apple will be looking to take punitive action against Samsung.

Per Reuters, Apple v. Samsung presiding Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday set the date on which the Court will hear Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban against certain Samsung smartphones.

According to a court order filed on Tuesday, the judge is slated to hear arguments on Dec. 6 regarding Apple’s move for a permanent injunction against eight Samsung handsets identified on Monday.

The order also outlines the deadlines by which both parties must submit their respective replies and oppositions regarding post-judgment filings. In the interest of expediency, Judge Koh has consolidated other post-trial motions for the Dec. 6 hearing. Apple and Samsung were initially scheduled to meet on Sept. 20 to discuss the injunction, but that date is now reserved for the Korean company’s request to dissolve a sales ban against the Galaxy 10.1.

Judge Koh is once again pushing for strict adherence to her mandates regarding post-judgment motions, a position she took during the trial to avoid an onslaught of filings. During the trial, the judge fought to keep the case on track as her “rag tag” team was having trouble keeping up with filings from the two companies’ “legion” of lawyers.

From the order:
“The page limits set forth herein will be strictly enforced. Any argument that is not explicitly articulated within the briefing page limits will be disregarded. Any supporting documentation shall be for corroboration purposes solely and shall not be used as a vehicle for circumventing the Court’s page limits. Any citations to the record must include the relevant testimony or exhibit language. Any single-spaced bullets in an attempt to circumvent the briefing page limits will be disregarded.”

Apple on Friday won a sweeping victory over Samsung as a jury found Samsung in violation of six Apple design and utility patents, assigning damages of nearly US$1.05 billion for the offense.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adobe releases Lightroom 4.2 public beta

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012, 12:12
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock additional camera suport on a powerful image editing program.

On Tuesday, Adobe released a public beta of version 4.2 of its Lightroom image editing program. The new version, a 392 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

New Cameras:
- Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i
- Canon EOS M
- Fuji FinePix F800EXR
- Leaf Credo 40
- Leaf Credo 60
- Nikon 1 J2
- Panasonic DMC-FZ200
- Panasonic DMC-G5
- Panasonic DMC-LX7
- Pentax K-30
- Sony DSC-RX100

New Lens Profile Support:
- Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM
- Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM
- Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
- Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
- Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
- Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZE
- Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 ZE
- LEICA APO ELMAR-S 180 mm f/3.5 (CS)
- LEICA APO MACRO SUMMARIT-S 120 mm f/2.5 (CS)
- LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH.
- LEICA ELMARIT-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. (CS)
- LEICA SUMMARIT-S 35 mm f/2.5 ASPH. (CS)
- LEICA SUMMARIT-S 70 mm f/2.5 ASPH. (CS)
- LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-S 24 mm f/3.5 ASPH
- LEICA VARIO-ELMAR-S 30-90 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH.
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
- Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR xcSigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM xcTamron SP 24– 70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD A007N
- Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZF.2
- Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 ZF.2
- Pentax smc D FA 645 25mm F4 AL (IF) SDM AW
- Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 XS
- Pentax smc DA 50mm F1.8
- Pentax smc DA 645 25mm F4 AL (IF) SDM AW
- Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC HSM
- Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
- Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
- Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC HSM

Fixed:
- Folder stacks with virtual copies get unstacked when moving to another folder.

- Stacked photos get hidden in both the Grid view and Filmstrip. This occurs when photos get unstacked as a result of enabling auto-stacking.

- Errors encountered when publishing videos to Facebook through the Facebook Publish Service.

- Users may have occurred problems when trying to enter the Web Module from Library.

- Unable to edit JPEG photos in Photoshop Elements.

- Background graphics that are applied to a Book globally may not appear as expected in a Saved PDF.

- Certain book covers had spine text positioned in a Horizontal manner, not Vertical.

- Double byte characters are not being exported to PDF in Books.

- Photos were exported with original GPS coordinates recorded by the camera, not with the GPS coordinates updated in Lightroom.

- Keyboard shortcuts in the Develop module sometimes do not work when editing an image in Process Version PV2010.

- Parents and synonyms of “do not export” keywords also do not export.

Adobe Lightroom 4.2 retails for US$149.00 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

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

Mozilla releases Firefox 15.0 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012, 10:14
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

On Monday, Mozilla.org released version 15.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 32.6 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

What’s new:
NEW: Silent, background updates.
NEW: Support for SPDY networking protocol v3.
NEW: WebGL enhancements, including compressed textures for better performance.

CHANGED: Optimized memory usage for add-ons.
DEVELOPER: JavaScript debugger integrated into developer tools.
DEVELOPER: New layout view added to Inspector.
DEVELOPER: High precision event timer implemented.
DEVELOPER: The CSS word-break property has been implemented.
DEVELOPER: New responsive design tool allows web developers to switch between desktop and mobile views of sites.
HTML5: Native support for the Opus audio codec added.
HTML5: The element now supports the media attribute.
FIXED: Focus rings keep growing when repeatedly tabbing through elements (720987).

Known issues:
UNRESOLVED: Debugger breakpoints do not catch on page reload (see 783393) Unresolved on v15 Resolved in v16.
UNRESOLVED: If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash (see 573369).
UNRESOLVED: For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual (see 579260).

Firefox 15.0 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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