Apple comments on iMessage text bug issue, says fix is en route

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Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 12:18
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software, Windows

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There’s a fix en route for Apple’s current iMessage bug.

That’s the good news.

Per The Mac Observer and Re/code, a long-standing iMessage bug that failed to deliver some text messages to users who switched to Android or Windows smartphones from the iPhone will be fixed.

The problem can crop up when someone who currently uses an iPhone sends a text message to someone who switched from an iPhone to an alternate smartphone platform, but keeps the same phone number. Apple’s iMessage system sees the number as still attached to an iCloud account, and fails to send messages as regular SMS to the new phone. The sender sees the messages as delivered even though they never made it to the recipient.

Removing your phone number from iMessages before switching to an Android or Windows smartphone should prevent that from happening, but that hasn’t proven to be a reliable method for moving back to standard SMS texting.

Apple has now acknowledged the problem, and promised a fix is on the way. “We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” the company offered in a recent statement.

The announcement came on the heels of potential legal action against Apple over the issue. The case implies that Apple is in some way blocking text messages sent from iPhones to other smartphones and is penalizing switchers by not disclosing the issue.

Apple has yet to offer any form of comment on the possibility of litigation in this case.

Apple releases Safari 7.0.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 11:43
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

Late Wednesday, Apple released Safari 7.0.4, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 53.7 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

Safari 7.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9.3 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

OS X 10.9.3 update boosts maximum amount of VRAM recognized by recent Apple notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:39
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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If you’re hesitant about updating to the recently-released OS X 10.9.3, there may be good news if you’re a recent Apple notebook owner.

Per French news site Mac4Ever and MacRumors, updating to 10.9.3 increases available VRAM from 1024MB to 1536MB, boosting the size of the shared memory, possibly to further improve 4K performance on the most recent Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks..

The change can be seen in the Graphics/Displays section of the System Report accessible via “About This Mac”. Apple has not yet updated its support page to reflect the new VRAM limits, continuing to list 1GB of system memory as the maximum. The update was also not mentioned in the 10.9.3 release notes.

The 10.9.3 update also included enhanced support for 4K displays and restored the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices over USB.

Finally, it’s been reported that some machines with HD 4000 graphics have seen a VRAM boost as well, namely the 2012 Mac Mini, which now has a maximum VRAM of 1024MB, up from 768MB.

If you’ve seen this improvement or any significant changes on your end since installing OS X 10.9.3, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 35.0.1916.114

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Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:16
Category: News, security, Software

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It’s the updates that tend to help.

On Thursday, Google released version 35.0.1916.114 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- More developer control over touch input.

- New JavaScript features.

- Unprefixed Shadow DOM.

- A number of new apps/extension APIs.

- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

Security Fixes:
- High CVE-2014-1743: Use-after-free in styles.

- High CVE-2014-1744: Integer overflow in audio.

- High CVE-2014-1745: Use-after-free in SVG.

- Medium CVE-2014-1746: Out-of-bounds read in media filters.

- Medium CVE-2014-1747: UXSS with local MHTML file.

- Medium CVE-2014-1748: UI spoofing with scrollbar.

- CVE-2014-1749: Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

- CVE-2014-3152: Integer underflow in V8 fixed in version 3.25.28.16.

Google Chrome 35.0.1916.114 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 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.

Intel, partners looking to manufacture 64-bit mobile processors

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:30
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

Never doubt the power of the mobile processor business.Intel-logo

According to Forbes, at the ARM developers conference today, Intel partner Altera announced that the world’s largest semiconductor company will fabricate its ARM 64-bit chips starting next year. The announcement sent shockwaves through the technology industry as Intel is desperately trying to break ARM’s supremacy in the mobile market. Unlike Intel, ARM Holdings of the U.K. doesn’t manufacture chips but its designs are licensed and used worldwide in the mobile industry.

“It’s huge. Imagine ARM’s most powerful and technologically advanced 64-bit processor built on Intel’s leading-edge fabs. A duo that will be hard to beat,” explains Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

But this is just the beginning of a much larger endeavor for the chip giant as Intel is even willing to compete with semiconductor foundry leader TSMC for the business of its fiercest rivals, like Nvidia or Qualcomm.

“Intel will build Apple’s, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or the Nvidia Tegra for the right price. Now, the question is, are they ready to pay that premium [to ARM] and feed their direct competitor? But that would actually make business sense for everyone,” adds Brookwood.

With Intel ready to open up its leading-edge factories to whomever is willing to pay a premium, chip prices could actually come down, with the other foundries (TSMC, UMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, IBM or SMIC) feeling the pressure to compete.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

FAA to allow airplane mode use of electronic devices during all phases of flights

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:41
Category: News

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It’s all about the airplane mode.

Per AppleInsider, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced on Thursday that by the end of the year passengers will be allowed to use portable electronic devices, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad, from gate to gate as long as they are kept in airplane mode.

The rule change will allow passengers to be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos during all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing, with very limited exceptions. Previously, passengers had to wait until their plane was at a high enough altitude before they could turn on their devices.

The FAA will require that electronic items, books and magazines be held or put in the seat-back pocket during actual takeoff and landing. Cell phones must be kept in airplane mode or have cellular service disabled, and they will not be able to be used for cellular voice calls.

If a carrier offers Wi-Fi service during a flight, that may be accessed. In addition, short-range Bluetooth connections are also allowed.

“We believe today’s decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer’s increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future.”

So, airplane mode happy device-usage, you crazy gatos!!!

Apple support document acknowledges late-2013 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro input issues, promises fix

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:37
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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It’s not the easiest thing being an early adopter.

Per Macworld, an Apple support document posted on Wednesday stated that the input devices on the brand spanking new MacBook Pro may become “unresponsive,” which is a fancy way of saying “no worky so good.” Fortunately, you only need those for little tasks like controlling your computer, so no big deal. The 15-inch MacBook Pro seems to be unaffected, so if you decided to opt for one of those, good on you.

The company’s working on an update that should fix this tantrum-like behavior, but in the meantime, Apple suggests that those who run into this issue close the computer’s display for around a minute, and then open it again. Which I guess is the 21st century equivalent of “Have you tried restarting it?”

Security firms weigh in on Adobe breach, cite 38 million+ user IDs stolen

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:56
Category: Hack, News, security

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You’re probably going to want to change your Adobe login and password.

Per Macworld and Krebs on Security, the security breach reported earlier this month at Adobe is turning out to be much more widespread than the company first let on. At least 38 million users have been affected by the early October incident.

When Adobe announced the breach on October 3, it said that attackers stole user names and encrypted passwords for an undisclosed numbers of users, along with encrypted credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates for 2.9 million customers. Krebs on Security has reported on the full extent of the attack, confirming the 38 million figure with Adobe.

The total damage could go beyond 38 million users. According to the article, the 3.8GB file includes more than 150 million usernames and hashed passwords, all taken from Adobe. The same file also apparently turned up on a server with the other stolen Adobe data.

Adobe says that 38 million active users users were affected, whereas the other usernames and passwords could include inactive IDs, test accounts and IDs with invalid passwords. However, Adobe is still investigating, and given the tendency of users to repeat the same usernames and passwords across multiple Web services, inactive account holders could still face a security risk. Adobe is trying to notify inactive users of the breach, and has already reset passwords for active users who were affected.

To make matters worse, Krebs on Security and Hold Security both claim that the hackers stole source code for flagship products such as Photoshop, Acrobat, and Reader. Adobe acknowledged that at least some Photoshop source code was stolen; the company is trying to get the data taken down.

In a blog post, Hold Security suggested that the source code theft could have far-reaching security implications. “While we are not aware of specific use of data from the source code, we fear that disclosure of encryption algorithms, other security schemes, and software vulnerabilities can be used to bypass protections for individual and corporate data,” the firm wrote. “Effectively, this breach may have opened a gateway for new generation of viruses, malware, and exploits.”

Active Adobe users affected by the breach should have received a notification from the company by now, prompting them to change passwords. As always, users can employ several strategies to keep their data safe, such as setting different passwords on each site or setting up a password manager.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple confirms manufacturing issue that could shorten battery life in some iPhone 5s units

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Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:58
Category: battery, Hardware, iPhone

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If your iPhone 5s’ battery seems a bit wonky, there’s a valid reason for it.

Per 9to5Mac and The New York Times, Apple has confirmed that a “very limited” number of iPhone 5s units could experience shortened battery life as the result of a manufacturing problem.

“We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Teresa Brewer, an Apple spokeswoman. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”

The exact number of affected units is not clear, but the statement is said to imply that the number is in the few thousands range. Apple sold 9 million iPhones total over its opening weekend. The article notes that a manufacturing problem does not equal a defective battery, so it is unclear what the actual source of the issue is.

Affected users can expect to be contacted by Apple soon and will be issued a replacement phone.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Dropbox updated to 2.4.5

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:37
Category: News, Software

This could be somewhat helpful.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released version 2.4.5 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 32.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed Finder crash at startup.

- Fixed crash when quitting in XP.

- Other small fixes.

Dropbox 2.4.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 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.