Apple Modifies iPhone BootROM on 3GS Models to Stop Hacking Efforts

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Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 04:56
Category: iPhone, Software

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If you can’t beat them on software, change the BootROM. Per iClarified, Apple has taken an usual step in its efforts to stop groups from hacking its iPhone hardware and installed a modified iPhone 3GS BootROM. The report noted that the new iPhone is no longer vulnerable to the so-called “24kpwn” exploit.

Over the years, it’s this exploit that hackers have used to jailbreak the iPhone. With the most recent update, they will have to find another way to hack the device.

Jailbreaking of the iPhone is nothing new, but it has been an ongoing battle between Apple and the hacking community since the first iPhone was released. It seems whenever a new version of the iPhone OS is released, Apple breaks the most recent hacks.

However, within days or weeks, the hacking community comes out with a “fix” and the cycle starts all over again. There is no word yet on how the community will get around the latest update.

Apple Releases Performance Update 1.0 Patch for Certain Macs

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Date: Thursday, October 15th, 2009, 03:46
Category: Hardware, Software

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Early Thursday, Apple released Performance Update 1.0, a firmware fix for Macs experiencing occasional hard drive stalls under the Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 operating systems.

The patch, a 300 kilobyte download available via Software Update, affects the following machines:

- MacBook Air (Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53GHz, Mid 2009)
- iMac (20-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009), MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2009)
- MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)
- iMac (24-inch, Early 2009)
- iMac (20-inch, Early 2009)
- Mac mini (Early 2009)

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or Mac OS X 10.6.1 (for the Snow Leopard version) to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update, please let us know how it worked in the comments.

Apple Reportedly Working on FM Radio Application for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 06:54
Category: iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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Apple is reportedly developing an FM radio application for the iPhone and iPod touch, with similar functions now available to iPod nano users. Per 9to5Mac, the company is developing an FM radio application that would work in the background, like listening to music via iTunes, while users check email and surf the Internet.

Last month Apple added an FM radio tuner to the popular iPod nano with the ability to pause and rewind your favorite radio stations and shows while on the go.

The radio supports tagging in the US, with listeners able to buy songs they hear on air via iTunes.

According to 9to5Mac: “The holdup on this app is that Apple is trying to integrate the Mobile iTunes Store purchases into the functionality of the program.”

The website suggests Apple could could add some Shazam technology to help with those stations that don’t support tagging, which appears to be the majority of them.

Apple’s iPhones and iPods are already able to receive FM radio signals but the function has only be used for the Nike+ ecosystem until now according to 9to5Mac.

Adobe Releases Acrobat, Reader 9.2, Addresses Security Concerns

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Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 05:49
Category: Software

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Last Friday, Adobe released version 9.2 of Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, the company’s Portable Document Format reader and creation utility.

Adobe Systems has updated Acrobat and Reader to version 9.2. Both updates are available through the Adobe Updater application or for download through Adobe’s Web site.

The new versions of Acrobat and Reader both address “critical security vulnerabilities while providing more stability,” according to Adobe’s documentation.

Both Adobe Reader 9.2 and Adobe Acrobat 9.2 require Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Cocktail 4.5.2 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 05:37
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.5.2 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 2.0 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed a bug causing high CPU usage on 32-bit Macs.
- Improvements on the clear font caches procedure.
- Improvements on the clear dynamic link editor’s shared caches procedure.
- Addresses compatibility issues with QuickTime X.
- Addresses compatibility with the latest versions of Camino, Firefox, Flock, OmniWeb, Opera and Shiira web browsers.
- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may report problems with diskutil.
- Fixed a bug in which some items in /private/tmp folder were not deleted during clearing of the temporary files.
- Addresses an issue in which check of the S.M.A.R.T. status may fail.
- Addresses an issue in which two Help menus are displayed.
- Fixed miscellaneous issues with the Sparkle software update framework.
- Fixed other minor bugs discovered in the previous version.

Cocktail 4.5.2 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Acknowledges Snow Leopard Data Loss Issue

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Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 07:35
Category: News, Software

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Since the release of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), a number of users have reported that their personal data has gone missing after logging into their guest accounts. According to CNET, Apple now says it’s working on finding a fix.

“We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix,” an Apple representative said in a prepared statement Monday.

The statement marks the first time Apple has said it is looking into the issue. In early September, a handful of Mac users reported the issue on Apple’s discussion boards. The problem, when it occurs, goes like this: when logging into the guest account on their Mac first and then logging into their regular account, some users are finding all their data to be missing and their accounts completely reset.

This doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem and there are currently less than 100 posts on several current discussion threads on the issue. Microsoft is currently dealing with a massive data loss at its Danger subsidiary, the company it acquired that makes the Sidekick mobile phone.

Apple’s data loss issue marks the most recent significatn bug with the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system, including the Finder hanging or crashing, incompatibility with certain apps, and the AirPort connection dropping.

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

Prosoft Releases Data Rescue 3.0

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Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 03:10
Category: Software

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Data Rescue II, Prosoft Engineering’s data rescue and recovery program, was updated to version 3.0 on Tuesday. The new version, a 14.8 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

- Data Rescue 3 runs on OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) and later, including OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) and OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard)
- Data Rescue 3 sports a brand new Graphical User Interface, with animated visual effects.
- Many (over 100) new Reconstructed file types have been added for Deleted and Deep scans. See the last section of this file for a current list of supported types.
- A powerful new feature called FileIQ allows Data Rescue 3 to learn about new file types from user-supplied samples. This greatly extends the number of potential Reconstructed file types supported.
- A new File Previewer feature, which can preview many file types prior to recovery.
- The ability to suspend and resume scans, and to manage the results from multiple scans.
- Improved support for scanning Apple software RAID drives.
- Improved support for scanning large > 1TB drives.
- Improved support for recovering large sparse disk image files.
- Improved support for recovering pkzip files.
- Improved recovery of hard linked files.
- Added ability to unmount or eject a volume (useful when booted from DVD-ROM).
- Automatic check for updated Data Rescue 3 version.
- Improved features to assist if a call to Prosoft technical support becomes necessary.
- New Home Folder feature when booted from DVD; avoids the need to re-enter activation key each time it’s booted.
- Numerous bug fixes.

Data Rescue 3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.

Apple Releases Second Mac OS X 10.6.2 Developer Build, Focuses on Wide Array of Fixes

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Date: Monday, October 12th, 2009, 11:38
Category: News, Software

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Apple’s second beta of its Mac OS X 10.6.2 update hit the developer circles recently, the new build incorporating numerous fixes for a wide variety of issues.

Sources familiar with the latest build, dubbed 10C519f, said the update addresses nearly 150 “general focus areas” ranging from applications like Address Book, Photo Booth and QuickTime Player to core services including Front Row, Spaces, and Time Machine.

The update also specifically targets WWAN support for mobile data services and enhances Exchange support, MobileMe and iDisk features, as well as NTFS and WebDAV file system support.

The new beta also addresses specific issues related to the app switching in the Dock, performance and stability issues tied to graphics drivers and the OpenCL compiler, as well as patches impacting bugs in Parental Controls Preview, printing, and the software update mechanism itself.

Apple Updates MobileMe Service, Revises File Sharing and iPhone Services

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Date: Monday, October 12th, 2009, 04:20
Category: Software

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In a behind-the scenes fix, Apple’s MobileMe cloud services package has been updated to improve its public file sharing features and make it easier to locate the Find My iPhone page. The web apps still can’t be accessed from the iPhone however. Per AppleInsider, The company issued the update Friday. Users who login will notice a new “radar sweep” icon in the navigation bar, which serves as a direct link to pull up the Find My iPhone page. This feature was previously hidden in under the Settings page.

The update also addresses Public shared files in the user’s iDisk, which can be made fully available to anyone or restricted to users who know a Public password set by the user. The revamped interface now allows users to password-protect their Public folder and provides the option to enable visitors to upload, move and delete any publicly shared files.

However, the new settings are hidden behind a Preferences item within the drop down menu displayed by the “gear icon” action button.

Apple also gave the public iDisk page MobileMe’s SproutCore treatment, which provides a cohesive look and feel and supports direct drag and drop of files between folders within the web page (but not to or from the desktop). The update also enables users to connect to another user’s Public folder while being currently logged into their own MobileMe account.

As with the previous version, MobileMe makes access personal and public iDisk files available from the desktop as a WebDAV file share on Windows or via the Finder using the Go/iDisk menu, and viewable from the iPhone using the free iDisk app.

Apple still has yet to address the most bizarre problem with MobileMe: the web service is completely and intentionally blocked to iPhone users. Rather than providing web-based access to the site via the iPhone’s browser, users attempting to pull up me.com are sent to a special landing page that tells them to use the phone’s native Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Photos apps instead.

This prevents iPhone users from accessing their MobileMe account information (such as changing their password), looking up the location of other iPhones attached to their MobileMe account with Find My iPhone, logging into an alternative account (such as offering a guest web access to their own account on the iPhone) or troubleshooting problems with email connectivity (such as local SMTP mail delivery problems in a given location that could be resolved with direct webmail access).

Apple has also added some custom support for accessing MobileMe features from the web, including a mobile-optimized Gallery for viewing shared pictures. Apple’s refusal to support access to more or most of MobileMe from the iPhone or iPod touch is particularly strange given the company’s marketing that referred to the iPhone’s browser as providing access to the “real Internet.”

If you’ve played around with the new version, let us know what you make of it.

Google Chrome Web Browser Could Hit the Mac by Christmas

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Date: Friday, October 9th, 2009, 07:00
Category: Software

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A Mac OS X version of Google Chrome could arrive as early as Christmas. According to Macworld UK, Google CEO Eric Schmidt broke the news at a New York press conference responding to a question about Chrome’s market share, which some have claimed is disappointing.

“I see a lot of Macs in this room, and a lot of very sophisticated people are using Macs now and we need to get a version of Chrome out for that, which we’ll have in a couple of months. The key to browser strength is speed.”

Google Chrome is billed as a browser that combines minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer and easier.

The Mac version was expected sometime in 2010.