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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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.
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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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Cisco, Not Apple, Releases iPhone Device

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:53
Category: News

An iPhone device has finally been released, albeit not from Apple, according to an article by Macworld UK.
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Cisco’s Linksys division has released a set of web-enabled VoIP phones today, Cisco having owned the “iPhone” trademark since acquiring Infogear. Infogear first showed an iPhone Internet-capable device at the Consumer Electronics show in 1997, a year before Apple started naming various devices with an “i” precursor (such as the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.).
The iPhone will retail within the $180 range and is Skype-capable according to an article over at Engadget.
Whether Apple and Cisco will reach a consensus and share the “iPhone” name has yet to be determined, even though there’s been weeks of rumor and speculation as to a forthcoming telephone device from the Cupertino firm.
Further details about the iPhone devices can be seen at the Linksys web site.
If you have any comments or suggestions or ideas about this topic, please let us know.

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iPhone Concept Image Leaked

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Rumor

MYiPhone.com (now aMobileME) has released a leaked image of the potential interface for Apple’s long-awaited telephone device:
iphone-concept.jpg
The touch screen is fairly self-explanatory while the gray area below may be used for gesture motions. Apple has been rumored to announce a product later today or at Macworld Expo in San Francisco this January.
If you have any suggestions or comments regarding this, please let us know.

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Macworld Reviews 17″ MacBook Pro, Finds OS X Profile Bug

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

According to a recent review on Macworld.com, Apple’s 17″ 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro laptop, which shipped this November, performs on par with the similarly-equipped 15″ model, yet falls short in collective iPhoto tests due to a bug within Mac OS X 10.4.8 discovered via a collaboration between Macworld Lab staff and Apple.
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The tests, which demonstrated the expected results for trials within programs such as Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Compressor, iMovie, iTunes and Unreal Tournament, proved nearly identical for the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro models. The iPhoto tests proved far more relevant, as the 17″ model took 2.5 times as long to import 100 photos from the hard drive into the iPhoto Library and even lagged behind a 1.67 GHz model.
Puzzled, the Macworld Lab staff borrowed an identical 17″ MacBook Pro model from Apple and found the same iPhoto discrepancy. Swapping the hard drive between the 15″ MacBook Pro and the 17″ model proved that the 17″ unit had sped up considerably, but was still 11 seconds behind its 15″ cousin. Apple and Macworld swapped test photo files and in using Apple’s, the problem had disappeared. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Apple had removed the ColorSync profile in their images, which made all the difference.
From Apple’s end, the staff removed the ColorSync profiles from the Macworld lab’s test images (a script for this entitled “Remove profile from image” can be found in the /Library/Scripts folder).
The change made all the difference and the 17″ MacBook Pro’s benchmark time went from nearly three minutes to a single minute once the script had been run. Both Apple’s and Macworld’s test systems had been running Mac OS X 10.4.8 and Apple has promised to look into the bug.
A full review of the 17″ 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro is forthcoming from Macworld.
If you’ve seen similar instances of this or have suggestions or comments regarding the issues, let us know.

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Sub-$800 Refurbished MacBooks, Discounted iPods Still Available

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Date: Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: News

According to an article on MacNN, Apple is still offering sub-$800 refurbished MacBook laptops via its online Apple Store.
The discounts have also been offered alongside iPod Nano and refurbished iPod video units. The MacBooks, which are based off the older Intel Core Duo processor, start at $799 and are available in the following configurations:
-1.83 GHz MacBook (white) with 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive for $799.
-2.0 GHz MacBook (white) with 1 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive for $1,049.
-2.0 GHz MacBook (black) with 1 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive for $1,099.
Reconditioned iPod Nanoss are also available in the following configurations:
-1 GB black model for $89.
-1 GB white model for $89.
-2 GB black model for $99.
-2 GB white model for $99
-4 GB black model for $149.
-4 GB white model for $149.
Reconditioned video iPods are also being offered in the following configurations:
-30 GB white model for $179.
-60 GB white model for $229.
-60 GB black model for $229.

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