Recent security updates make Macs more secure, unless you’re a Snow Leopard user

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 08:47
Category: Apple, Lion, Mac, privacy, Processors, security, Software

snowleopardEverybody was concerned last week when it was announced that a nasty bug in OS X was leaving Macs vulnerable to attacks that could grab information traveling across shared networks. While it has been confirmed that the bug only affected Mavericks, Apple simultaneously posted security updates for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was no sign of any security love for Snow Leopard (10.6). This really shouldn’t be a surprise to most people since 10.6 was also skipped when a previous security update was released as well as an update to the Safari browser. The omission of 10.6 from the current update simply confirms that Snow Leopard is no longer on Apple’s radar.

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Firefox updated to 25.0

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:08
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

Firefox is now old enough to make foolish mistakes but get a lower insurance rates when it goes to rent a car.

On Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 25.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 47.1 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:
- [New] Web Audio support.

- [New] The find bar is no longer shared between tabs.

- [Changed] If away from Firefox for months, you now will be offered the option to reset it to its default state while preserving your essential information.

- [Changed] Resetting Firefox no longer clears your browsing session.

- [Developer] CSS3 background-attachment:local support to control background scrolling.

- [Developer] Many new ES6 functions implemented.

- [HTML5] iframe document content can now be specified inline.

- [Fixed] Blank or missing page thumbnails when opening a new tab.

- [Fixed] Security fixes can be found here.

Firefox 25.0 requires an Intel-based Mac running 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.

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.5.3

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:21
Category: News, Software

carboncopycloner

On Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.5.3. The new version, an 11.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- This update is fully qualified on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and now OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

- CCC now offers volume-specific advice about how to enable full disk encryption. Enabling encryption on an OS X backup volume, for example, involves several steps that must be executed in the correct order. If full disk encryption is not supported on a particular volume, CCC indicates exactly why not. We have also added answers to some frequently asked questions about full disk encryption to our documentation.

- Fixed an odd edge case in OS X in which you can mount a network volume using a short user name, such as “johnny”, but the remote host will place the long name in the filesystem URL that is returned, e.g. “Johnny Appleseed”. Previously, this difference would cause CCC to believe that the network volume was mounted with other credentials altogether, and CCC would refuse to use the network volume under the assumption that permissions issues would ensue. This update addresses that issue, CCC will now immediately evaluate the filesystem URL of the network volume that is returned in reponse to its mount request and update its own internal reference to the user account as appropriate.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC may refuse to allow the user to schedule a backup task to a disk image that resides on a FUSE volume.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task could load in a hung state if the task configuration file was corrupted.

- Changed to accommodate some Drobo devices having a problem storing extended attributes larger than 1KB. Rather than reporting that the Drobo device is unable to accommodate the extended attribute, these devices report that the destination volume is full, even when there is adequate space available. This update catches this edge case and reports it in a more meaningful way.

- Changed to explicitly refuse to create a Recovery HD partition if it can positively identify the selected volume as a Drobo device. Drobo’s proprietary data moving techniques do not play well with dynamic partition changes, and Drobo specifically does not support the modification of partitioning outside of the Drobo Dashboard.

- Fixed an OS X 10.9 Mavericks-specific display anomaly in the list of items to be copied.

- Fixed an issue in which the OS rarely, but occasionally, does not send an “application finished launching” notification to the scheduled task helper tool, causing task initialization to fail.

- Fixed an issue in which the OS rarely, but occasionally, does not send a distributed notification that a task has finished, resulting in the task appearing to hang at the end despite the fact that it had actually finished.

- Fixed the option to “Silently skip if the source or destination is missing”, CCC will no longer proceed with that backup task if the missing volume reappears before the next scheduled run time. The task will instead run on its normal schedule.

- Fixed the “LOGIN” SMTP authentication mechanism for Apple’s iCloud SMTP service which recently started to return invalid challenge responses to SMTP clients, causing some CCC email notifications to fail (for users that use iCloud SMTP accounts with CCC). This version of CCC works around this problem by preferring the
“PLAIN” authentication mechanism instead.

- Fixed an issue related to Google’s recent changes to its Gmail SMTP service that introduced a problem with sending email notifications to multiple recipients. This update resolves that problem.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5.3 retails for a US$39.95 shareware registration fee. The application requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) Software Update 1.0

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:09
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

elretina2

This might come in handy.

On Tuesday, Apple releases its MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) Software Update 1.0 firmware update. The new firmware, a 4.97 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses an issue with the Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese OS X Software License Agreement by installing a readable copy in your Documentation folder.

The new firmware requires a late-2013 13-inch Retina display MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple releases HP Printer Drivers 2.16.1 Mac OS X update, Canon Laser Printer Drivers 2.11 for Mac OS X update

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:47
Category: News, Software

printer-setup-utility-icon

This might prove helpful.

Apple on Tuesday released two sets of printer drivers, one for HP printers and another specifically for Canon laser printers. There honestly doesn’t appear to be anything special about either update other than bringing them up to date with the latest printers and under-the-hood stuff.

The HP Printer Drivers 2.16.1 for OS X update, which stands as a 499.82 MB download and the Canon Laser Printer Drivers 2.11 for OS update, which stands as as a 28.82 MB download, install the latest drivers for an assortment of printers and multi-function devices.

The updates require an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple updates Java to SE 6 version 1.6.0_65 for OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 operating systems

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:27
Category: News, security, Software

applelogo_silver

You can’t knock a Java update.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple updated Java for OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion on Tuesday. The releases adds compatibility for Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_65.

The patch notes are unspecific, saying:

“This release updates the Apple-provided system Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_65 and is for OS X versions 10.7 or later.”

The update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled “Missing plug-in” to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.

The updates come in two flavors:
Java for OS X 2013-005 – (for Lion and Mountain Lion)

- Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 17 (that link, direct from Apple’s Downloads site, currently resolves to Update 16)

The update is available through OS X’s Software Update feature.

As always, let us know what you make of the update in the comments section and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

CrossOver updated to 12.5.1

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:13
Category: News, Software

crossovericon

Don’t look a moderate update in the mouth.

CrossOver, the popular virtualization program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 12.5.1. The new version, an 84.9 megabyte download, is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed a font problem with Office 2010 bullet points.

- Fixed a problem which caused CrossOver to fail to download installers from certain URLs.

- Fixed a problem which caused bottles which were created prior and used until the trial expired to fail to launch.

- Fixed a problem in which mouse activity would sometimes cause unwanted diagonal movement of the mouse pointer.

- Fixed a problem minimizing Visio 2010.

- Fixed a problem which caused BibleWorks to fail to launch.

- Fixed a problem which caused Shin Megami Tensei to fail to launch.

- Improved the names of application installers as shown in the Mac menu bar.

CrossOver 12.5.1 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.6 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

VirtualBox updated to 4.3.0

Posted by:
Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:22
Category: News, Software

virtualbox

You can’t knock a tidy update.

VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.3.0. The new version, a 113 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes with the full release notes posted here:
- VMM: major rewrite of the VT-x code and the AMD-V code including many bug fixes and performance improvements (for example bug #9659).

- VMM: introduced a lightweight instruction interpreter for situations not handled by hardware virtualization.

- GUI: extended messaging mechanism (new non-modal popup overlays used to show non-critical warnings and provide user with additional information).

- GUI: keyboard shortcuts management (input page of global preferences extended with possibility to edit general keyboard shortcuts for VirtualBox Manager and Virtual Machine).

- GUI: video capturing support (bug #4766).

- Added USB touch device emulation.

- Added experimental support for webcam passthrough complementing USB passthrough (see the manual for more information).

- Added SCSI CD-ROM emulation, including boot support.

- VRDP: support for IPv6.

- Guest Control: guest sessions now are running in dedicated, impersonated session processes (needs at least Guest Additions 4.3 installed).

- Guest Control: implemented IGuestFile support.

- NAT: experimental virtual router mode: several VMs are attached to the same internal network and share one NAT service (see the manual for more information).

VirtualBox 4.3.0 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know.

Adobe Flash Player updated to 11.9.900.117

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 06:06
Category: News, Software

This one’s fairly substantial.

On Tuesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.9.900.117 for Mac OS X, an 18 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version adds the following fixes and changes:
- Mobile Workers (concurrency) – Android: Workers APIs are now supported for Android. This will work only with swf-version 22 (namespace 3.9) or later. The feature is in development and there are a few known issues.

- Support for background execution in Direct render mode – iOS and Android: Presently AIR on iOS and Android does not support background execution when render mode direct is set. Due to this restriction, Stage3D based apps are not able to execute background tasks like audio playback, location updates, network upload/download etc. iOS does not allow OpenGLES/rendering calls in the background. Applications which attempt to make OpenGL calls in the background are terminated by the iOS. Android does not restrict applications from either making OpenGLES in the background or other background task (like audio playback). With this feature, we would be allowing AIR mobile apps to execute in background when renderMode direct is set. AIR iOS runtime will throw an error if OpenGLES calls are made in background. However no error will be thrown on Android, as Android native apps are allowed to make OpenGLES calls in background. It’s recommended to not make rendering calls while app is executing in background as its important to utilize the mobile resources judicially. List of Stage APIs which may throw the error 3768 – The Stage3D API may not be used during background execution”.

- XXHDPI (144×144) Icon Support – Android: With this feature we have added support for beautiful, high resolution icons on devices such as the Nexus 10.

- Mac OS X 10.9 Support: We have tested against the latest developer releases of OS X 10.9 and are ensuring that Flash Player continues to perform as expected.

- Mac .pkg Installation Support: Deploying Flash Player and keeping it up to date is a critical task for system administrators worldwide. We’re introducing a new .pkg installer format for our distribution partners so we can reduce their workload by allowing them to deploy Flash Player for Mac using their current tools and environments.

Adobe Flash Player 11.9.900.117 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new Flash Player and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 30.0.1599.69

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 4th, 2013, 07:49
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

You can’t knock a decent update.

On Thursday, Google released version 30.0.1599.69 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- [Fix] Tabs freeze up (Issue: 303293).

- [Fix] Lag in some games/GPU issues with certain monitors (Issue: 262437).

Google Chrome 30.0.1599.69 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.