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

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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

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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

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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.

Apple seeds fourth Mac OS X 10.7.5 beta to developer community

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Date: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012, 10:18
Category: News, Software

Mac OS X 10.7.5 is en route, or at least that’s what the betas would have you believe.

Per MacNN, Apple has released a fourth beta of OS X 10.7.5 to developers. The download, build 11G45, is about 1.16GB as a delta, or 1.93GB as a combo update. As with the previous build there are no known issues, and Apple is again asking developers to test graphics quality and performance, as well as media importing, viewing, and editing.

Mac OS X 10.7.5 could be the last major update for OS X Lion, since Apple is now concentrating development work on Mountain Lion, which was launched late in July. Subsequent Lion updates will probably be intended to patch specific components.

Stay tuned for additional details and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the new beta, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Samsung vows to appeal, fight injunctions sought by Apple

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Date: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012, 06:59
Category: Legal, News

When you get thrashed to the tune of US$1.05 billion in open court, it’s generally good form to go for the appeal…

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has vowed to fight back and keep some of its best selling products on the market.

Samsung will combat Apple’s attempt to ban the sales of eight smartphones with “all necessary measures,” the company said in a statement issued on Tuesday. Among the options available to Samsung are filing to stop the injunction, appealing if the injunction is granted by Judge Lucy Koh, and modifying its products to circumvent any bans.

Citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter, Tuesday’s report also indicated that officials from Samsung have begun talking to wireless partners about “removing or modifying infringing features to keep products on the market if the injunctions are granted.”

In a filing on Monday, Apple asked the court to bar the sale of 8 Samsung smartphones, including the company’s U.S. Galaxy S II lineup. In all, the phones Apple wishes to bar from sale accounted for US$1.3 billion of Samsung’s U.S. sales during the first six months of 2012, documents disclosed in Samsung’s lawsuit with Apple have revealed.

The eight smartphones Apple hopes to ban accounted for the lion’s share of Samsung’s American profits in the first half of the year. A total of 28 devices were included in the Apple-Samsung case, which earned a collective US$1.5 billion in U.S. sales in the first six months of 2012.

A jury determined last week that Samsung’s products have infringed upon Apple’s patented inventions. The jury awarded Apple nearly $1.05 billion in damages from Samsung as well.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Java vulnerability discovered, researchers warn of potential new malware for Mac OS X platform

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Date: Tuesday, August 28th, 2012, 06:53
Category: News, security, Software

You’ll never lack a job in IT security…

Per Computerworld, researchers announced on Monday that hackers are taking advantage of a zero-day vulnerability in Oracle’s Java 7, with the newly discovered flaw able to exploit any platform, including Apple’s OS X.

According to Tod Beardsley, engineering manager for open-source testing framework Metasploit, hackers can use the bug to compromise any system through a web browser running the latest Java software.

While there have yet to be reports of the new exploit affecting Macs, Errata Security confirmed the Metasploit exploit is effective against the latest Java 1.7 runtime on Apple’s latest OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Mac users running older versions of OS X, like Snow Leopard or Leopard, could be more vulnerable as those operating systems came bundled with Java, however the new exploit is actually in Oracle’s latest software, dubbed “Update 6.”

“The vulnerability is not in Java 6, it’s in new functionality in Java 7,” said Beardsley.

He went on to call the bug “super dangerous” and said a potential piece of malware can feasibly compromise the security of a Mac by simply having a user visit a website that is host to the attack code. This means both purpose-built malicious sites as well as those which have been hacked can compromise a system.

“What is more worrisome is the potential for this to be used by other malware developers in the near future,” said antivirus vendor Intego. “Java applets have been part of the installation process for almost every malware attack on OS X this year.”

As Oracle has not yet released a patch for the exploit, Beardsley recommends users disable Java until one is pushed out.

Mac users can visit Java’s site here to check if they have the 1.7 runtime installed. Alternately, the “Java Preferences” application can also be used to make sure the software is disabled.

The new flaw is the latest in a number of security holes found in Java code on OS X, including the infamous Flashback trojan that reportedly affected some 600,000 Macs worldwide. Apple released a removal tool specifically tailored for the malware, later disabling the Java runtime in subsequent versions of Safari. Java was removed from OS X when Lion was released last year, forcing users to authorize a browser request to download and install the software if an applet for the runtime appears.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.