Apple comments on iMessage text bug issue, says fix is en route

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 12:18
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software, Windows

imessage-logo

There’s a fix en route for Apple’s current iMessage bug.

That’s the good news.

Per The Mac Observer and Re/code, a long-standing iMessage bug that failed to deliver some text messages to users who switched to Android or Windows smartphones from the iPhone will be fixed.

The problem can crop up when someone who currently uses an iPhone sends a text message to someone who switched from an iPhone to an alternate smartphone platform, but keeps the same phone number. Apple’s iMessage system sees the number as still attached to an iCloud account, and fails to send messages as regular SMS to the new phone. The sender sees the messages as delivered even though they never made it to the recipient.

Removing your phone number from iMessages before switching to an Android or Windows smartphone should prevent that from happening, but that hasn’t proven to be a reliable method for moving back to standard SMS texting.

Apple has now acknowledged the problem, and promised a fix is on the way. “We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” the company offered in a recent statement.

The announcement came on the heels of potential legal action against Apple over the issue. The case implies that Apple is in some way blocking text messages sent from iPhones to other smartphones and is penalizing switchers by not disclosing the issue.

Apple has yet to offer any form of comment on the possibility of litigation in this case.

Apple releases Safari 7.0.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 11:43
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

Late Wednesday, Apple released Safari 7.0.4, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 53.7 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

Safari 7.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9.3 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

OS X 10.9.3 update boosts maximum amount of VRAM recognized by recent Apple notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:39
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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If you’re hesitant about updating to the recently-released OS X 10.9.3, there may be good news if you’re a recent Apple notebook owner.

Per French news site Mac4Ever and MacRumors, updating to 10.9.3 increases available VRAM from 1024MB to 1536MB, boosting the size of the shared memory, possibly to further improve 4K performance on the most recent Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks..

The change can be seen in the Graphics/Displays section of the System Report accessible via “About This Mac”. Apple has not yet updated its support page to reflect the new VRAM limits, continuing to list 1GB of system memory as the maximum. The update was also not mentioned in the 10.9.3 release notes.

The 10.9.3 update also included enhanced support for 4K displays and restored the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices over USB.

Finally, it’s been reported that some machines with HD 4000 graphics have seen a VRAM boost as well, namely the 2012 Mac Mini, which now has a maximum VRAM of 1024MB, up from 768MB.

If you’ve seen this improvement or any significant changes on your end since installing OS X 10.9.3, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 35.0.1916.114

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:16
Category: News, security, Software

google-chrome-logo

It’s the updates that tend to help.

On Thursday, Google released version 35.0.1916.114 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- More developer control over touch input.

- New JavaScript features.

- Unprefixed Shadow DOM.

- A number of new apps/extension APIs.

- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

Security Fixes:
- High CVE-2014-1743: Use-after-free in styles.

- High CVE-2014-1744: Integer overflow in audio.

- High CVE-2014-1745: Use-after-free in SVG.

- Medium CVE-2014-1746: Out-of-bounds read in media filters.

- Medium CVE-2014-1747: UXSS with local MHTML file.

- Medium CVE-2014-1748: UI spoofing with scrollbar.

- CVE-2014-1749: Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

- CVE-2014-3152: Integer underflow in V8 fixed in version 3.25.28.16.

Google Chrome 35.0.1916.114 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.

Apple fixes disappearing Users folder “bug”

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 19th, 2014, 08:40
Category: Apple, iTunes, Mac, Software

blueitunes11logoThere was quite a bit of online discourse when a recent set of Apple updates rendered people’s Users folder invisible in OS X. The Mac Observer’s observations concluded that it was the iTunes 11.2 update rather that the 10.9.3 update as many initial thought, which seems to be confirmed by Apple’s release of iTunes 11.2.1 which fixes the problem. What confused the matter was that there were reports of Apple representatives telling people that it was intentional. After all the hacks and fiddling to restore the folder visibility, it seems that patience won out as Apple’s latest iTunes update restores visibility of the Users folder. Initially I was annoyed at the possibility that Apple was “dumbing down” OS X again, as it did when it made the user’s Library folder invisible, but as I thought about it, unlike accessing the Library folder (as an IT consultant and power user), I rarely if ever access the the Users folder. Fortunately that’s not the case and was just a “whoopsie”on Apple’s part, unless they are just backpedaling on their initial decision, so go out and update without worry.

Is Apple getting a bit slack about vetting software updates, in spite of the new beta program? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

iOS updated to 7.1.1

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, 08:01
Category: Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Software

ios7logoApple released the latest update to iOS for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The update is 26.1 MB and requires 1.2 GB of available space to install it on your device.

 

WHAT’S NEW

Version 7.1.1:

  • Further improvements to Touch ID fingerprint recognition
  • Fixes a bug that could impact keyboard responsiveness
  • Fixes an issue when using Bluetooth keyboards with VoiceOver enabled

REQUIREMENTS

Version 7.1.1 supports:

  • iPhone 4/4s  5/5c/5s
  • iPad Air / iPad 2 / new iPad
  • iPad mini / iPad mini with Retina Display
  • iPod touch 5th gen

 

 

Software Update Rundown for April 21st, 2014

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 21st, 2014, 09:54
Category: App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Mac, OS X, Software

software-updateWe’ll be posting info on updates of some of our favorite software along with some high profile apps that are pretty essential to anyone on a Mac or iThing, just in case you missed them. This information is brought to you by updates I get from developers and my own software use, but mostly by MacUpdate, although not officially, because that is what I use to keep all my apps up to date. I also like to add some value by throwing in some extra notes from my experiences. So let’s get to it!

 

Mac

calibre 1.33.0

This app is great if you want to access PDF documents, ePub books, or other readable, in different formats. Excellent for managing books on a Kindle from your Mac.

New Features

  • Edit book: Add a tool to check spellings, access it via Tools->Check spelling…. The calibre book editor now has builtin spellcheck. You can install new dictionaries via Preferences->Editor->Manage spelling dictionaries. It comes with builtin dictionaries for English and Spanish. You can add OpenOffice dictionaries (in .oxt format). The tool checks spellings in all HTML/OPF/NCX files in the book, taking into account any language declarations in the book, so that it will work correctly on multi-lingual books as well. The code is very new, so there may well be bugs. As you type spell checking is not yet implemented.
  • Kobo driver: Support firmware version 3.3
  • Device driver for Tolino Vision on windows

Bug Fixes

  • Amazon metadata download: Fix Editorial Reviews not downloading into the comments section for some books
  • DOCX Input: Fix some text highlighting colors in the DOCX file not being correctly translated during conversion.
  • Wireless device driver: Fix incorrect syncing behavior when book matching is run for a second time while connected. This happens when the user changes the library or selects ‘Update cached metadata on device’.
  • Searching: Fix searching by date not using the system locale to interpret dd/mm vs mm/dd dates on windows

New news sources

  • Various new and updated Spanish news sources by Marc Busque

Improved news sources

  • Barrons
  • Creative Blog

 

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Samsung’s fingerprint scanner not immune to hackers

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 17th, 2014, 08:17
Category: Android, Hacks, privacy, Samsung, security

 

samsung_galaxy_s5_official_1_fingerprint_scanner-crop

It was only a matter of time before someone found a weakness in the fingerprint scanner found on the new Samsung Galaxy S5. Too bad Samsung didn’t learn anything from Apple’s experiences with fingerprint hacking. The very same hack that was used to bypass the iPhone 5S’s scanner, that we reported on last September, has now been used to get past the one on the Galaxy S5. The security blog SRlabs has posted a video of a fake fingerprint, which was copied from a photo image and reproduced, being used to unlock a Galaxy S5.

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Heartbleed bug hits the Internet

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 11th, 2014, 08:25
Category: Announcement, Hacks, privacy, security, Websites

heartbleedA newly announced bug, dubbed “Heartbleed” has got online companies on the run as they race to patch the insecurity. In spite of all the current fervor however, the bug has actually been around for about two years. It may also be the first wide-scale bug to have its own web page and logo (heartbleed.com). Heartbleed is based on a fault in functionality in the widely used OpenSSL library. OpenSSL is the cryptographic software that protects information being transferred from server to server throughout the internet. It is meant to stop hackers from intercepting secure information such as logins, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

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Safari updated to version 7.0.3

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 15:04
Category: App Store, Apple, Mac, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, OS X, security, Software

safari_icoEarlier this week, Apple released an update to Safari bringing it up to version 7.0.3 for Mavericks and Safari 6.1.3 for Mountain Lion and Lion users. The updates are available through the OS X App Store application. You will need to quit Safari, if it is open, in order to complete the update. The following is the list of changes in the update:

  • Fixes an issue that could cause the search address field to load a webpage or send a search term before the return key is pressed
  • Improves credit card auto fill compatibility with websites
  • Fixes an issue that could block receipt of push notifications from websites
  • Adds a preference to turn off push notification prompts from websites
  • Adds support for webpages with generic top-level domains
  • Strengthens Safari sandboxing
  • Fixes security issues, including several identified in recent security competitions

Interesting to note is Apple’s nod to non-Apple sources for the security fixes, although the specify sources are not named.