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
firefox.jpg
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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SplashID: Safe Storage for Your Passwords

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

splashid-treo.jpgEveryone has a zillion passwords and logins for the various Web sites that they frequent, but what about that rare site you didn’t use since last year? Remember your login? Password hint not helping?
There’s an application that I couldn’t function without called SplashID (US$30) and it kicks ass. It does all the things you’d expect like protecting your passwords with 256-bit Blowfish encryption and organizing them into tidy categories (with a ton of icons to boot). But it also has a feature that’s near and dear to my heart: a Palm application and conduit, so your Treo (for example) is always up to date.
No more arriving at the bank without the correct account number or not having the correct credit card number available when you need it. SplashID is an indispensable tool that I use every day on my Mac and at least once a week on my Treo 700p. If you always forget your passwords or (God help you) store your passwords in an open text file, then you need a tool like SplashID.
Features include:
* Unlimited number of customizable record types and categories
* Synchronize data between your handheld or phone and your desktop PC using the included desktop software
* Password protection, using 256-bit Blowfish encryption
* Automatic password generator
* Customizable list view supports color and icons
* Share records with other SplashID users
* Custom icon support
* Field masking
* Customizable field labels
* Enhanced security options
* Category support
* Backup and restore feature
Splash also makes some other great Palm/Treo apps including SplashPhoto (for syncing photos) and SplashShopper which manages Santa’s shopping list.

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Keep Tabs on Your Holiday Eating With CalorieKing

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Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

calorie_king_screens.jpgIf you’re like me you tend to overeat on the holidays. After all, who can’t resist an extra helping of mashed potatoes and stuffing at Mom’s. Don’t even get me started on the various pies, cakes and other delicious desserts.
If you want to keep track of what you eat, there’s a great little application for the Palm that you should check out called CalorieKing (US$30, free trial). CalorieKing is extremely convenient because it runs on Palm-based Treos. So if you have your phone with you, you can’t feign ignorance of the fact that cheesecake has 680 calories and 46 grams of fat (give or take) per slice.
Whether your a health nut or just trying to maintain your “summer weight” through the winter doldrums, CalorieKing is worth checking out. Features include:
* 50,000+ food database (the largest available)
* Easy-to-use interface
* Food and Exercise Diet Diary – Tracks what you’ve eaten, and how much more you can eat, each day.
* Intelligent personal profile works out exactly how many calories you need to eat.
* Set goals and targets for calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber.
* Make regular check-ins and graph your progress on your Palm.
* Store food database on an SD card or memory stick. Only 500K of main memory required.
* Free downloadable databases available every week.
* Five-way navigator support for new Palm OS devices.
* New database layout makes it easier to browse.
* New search function
Save yourself the guilt of overeating and extra two days at the gym with CalorieKing.

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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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Apple Releases AirPort 2006-002 Update for Core 2 Duo-Based Laptops

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:10
Category: Software

On December 13th, Apple released its AirPort 2006-002 for its Intel Core 2 Duo-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops according to an article on MacFixIt.com.
The update purportedly “improves compatibility” for the 13″ MacBook as well as the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro units. The update requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to be present prior to installation.
No additional documentation or Knowledge Base documents have been provided or cited in this software release.
The update is a 1.3 megabyte standalone download that can also be accessed through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
If you have any experiences with this update, positive or negative, let us know.

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VLC 0.8.6 Released, Becomes Universal Binary

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 10:32
Category: Software

Video Lan Client (VLC), the popular free “catch-all” media player for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux (where QuickTime falls short or isn’t licensed to play a format, this has become the easy substitute), has been updated to version 0.8.6 according to an article on arstechnica.
VLC 0.8.6, which is about an 11 to 22.7 megabyte download, is now a Universal Binary program capable of running natively on both Apple’s PowerPC and Intel hardware architectures and includes support for the Apple Remote, Windows Media Video 9 files, VC-1, VP5/VP6, Flash video, TTA, WavPack lossless audio and Shoutcast TV files. H.264 support has also been rewritten for this version.
VLC is an open-source project. For information as to how to beta test or contribute code to the effort, click here.

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New Software Snags Pictures of Would-Be Laptop Intruders

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 07:34
Category: Software

The Unofficial Apple Weblog and MacOSXHints have done their homework today to bring up a few nifty tools for laptop security using what’s already there to catch would-be intruders incorrectly entering passwords to try to gain access to your computer; your Intel-based MacBook or MacBook Pro’s built-in iSight camera.
Authsight by Jonathan Zdziarski, uses a monitoring daemon program which turns on the iSight camera after an invalid password has been entered and begins to take pictures of the intruder. The program is script-based and requires the iSightCapture command line tool to function.
Several commercial security solutions are available via the TUAW link and the article makes a good overall point; this is the time of year when the most laptops are stolen and a few additional precautions aren’t a bad idea. Short of renting a mastiff and its shotgun-wielding owner to guard your hardware this year, a few cool freeware, shareware and commercial applications could provide the peace of mind you’re looking for this holiday season.

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Aperture 1.5.2 Update Released

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 08:11
Category: Software

aperture-300.jpgMy favorite image management application, Aperture 1.5, has been updated to version 1.5.2. The 129MB update is substantial addressing a number of issues. If you have more than 5000 images in your iPhoto library or you use a digital SLR camera, you really should consider switching to Aperture in the new year. The download is available in Software Update or as a direct download.
Aperture 1.5.2 addresses issues related to overall reliability and performance in a number of areas, including:
- Contact sheet printing
- Smart Albums
- Watermarks
- Lift and stamp
- Image export
- Versions created using an external editor
This update is recommended for all Aperture users.
Note: If you haven’t already done so, it is strongly recommended that you also download the Digital Camera RAW Support Update 1.0.1, which is available on the Apple Downloads support page at http://www.apple.com/support/downloads.
The Digital Camera RAW Support Update provides RAW file format compatibility for the following digital SLR cameras:
- Canon Digital Rebel XTi / 400D / Kiss X Digital
- Nikon D80
- Pentax *ist DS
The Digital Camera RAW Support Update also addresses the following issues:
Handling of large Canon RAW files (.CRW)
DNG compatibility on Intel-based Macintosh computers
Lines sometimes appearing in images exported from Aperture

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CoolBook Update Fixes Controller App Bugs

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 15:05
Category: Software

CoolBook author Magnus Lundholm has released an e-mail to registered users as well as download links to a new build of his shareware application.
The program, a 688 kilobyte download, allows users to monitor their MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops’ CPU frequency, voltage and temperatures with registered users being allowed to manually set their voltage and frequency. Corrected settings can significantly reduce heat dissipation throughout the laptop as well as overall fan noise and help extend the life of their batteries.
The update repairs a damaged build of the CoolBook Controller application that may result in problems activating the program or if an error occurs when clicking the “deactivate original driver” box doesn’t show a window requiring authorization.
CoolBook is available for a $10.00 shareware registration fee.

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MiniBatteryLogger Tracks Battery Activities

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:23
Category: Software

Claudio Procida has today released version 1.5.2 of MiniBatteryLogger, a $15 shareware application that allows the user to view battery data such as charge and amperage over time as well as the ability to track this data via customizable colors and indicators for power events, such as surges and drains. Stored data is saved to a log file which tracks time and event occurrence while the program makes sense of this by creating charts, graphs and easy visual markers to follow.
Like other battery tracking programs, MiniBatteryLogger also shares details about your battery’s charge, actual, maximum and original capacities, amperage, voltage, cycle count, and estimated times to complete refill and discharge a battery.
The program is also compatible with the uber-cool Growl system notification program and can alert users via this application.
MiniBatteryLogger is a 2.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is written as a Universal Binary and runs cleanly on both the PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

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