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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.

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

Posted by:
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.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.20

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 2012, 06:20
Category: News, Software

virtualbox.png

VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.20. The new version, a 101.3 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

- VMM: fixed a crash under rare circumstances for VMs running without hardware virtualization.

- VMM: fixed a code analysis bug for certain displacement instructions for VMs running without hardware virtualization.

- VMM: fixed an interpretion bug for TPR read instructions under rare conditions (AMD-V only).

- Snapshots: fixed a crash when restoring an old snapshot when powering off a VM (bugs #9604, #10491).

- VBoxSVC: be more tolerant against environment variables with strange encodings (bug #8780).

- VGA: fixed wrong access check which might cause a crash under certain conditions.

- NAT: final fix for crashes under rare conditions (bug #10513).

- Virtio-net: fixed the problem with receiving of GSO packets in Windows XP guests causing packet loss in host-to-VM transfers.

- HPET: several fixes (bugs #10170, #10306).

- Clipboard: disable the clipboard by default for new VMs.

- BIOS: the PCI BIOS was not properly detected with the chipset type set to ICH9 (bugs #9301, #10327).

- Mac OS X hosts: adaptions to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

- Linux Installer: fixes for Gentoo Linux (bug #10642).

- Linux guests: fixed mouse integration on Fedora 17 guests (bug #2306).

- Linux Additions: compile fixes for RHEL/CentOS 6.3 (bug #10756).

- Linux Additions: compile fixes for Linux 3.5-rc1 and Linux 3.6-rc1 (bug #10709).

- Solaris host: fixed a guru meditation while allocating large pages (bug #10600).

- Solaris host: fixed possible kernel panics while freeing memory.

- Solaris Installer: fixed missing icon for menu and desktop shortcuts.

VirtualBox 4.1.20 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 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.

Apple advocates use of iMessage in wake of SMS bug discovery

Posted by:
Date: Monday, August 20th, 2012, 07:11
Category: iPhone, News, security, Software

Ok, this is going to require a fix.

Following a discovery last week wherein Pod2G uncovered a SMS flaw in iOS that lets someone send a spoofed SMS (in this scenario, the SMS would appear to be from a trusted source, but the response would actually be sent to someone else), the cool cats at Engadget reached out to Apple for comment and received the following reply:

“Apple takes security very seriously. When using iMessage instead of SMS, addresses are verified which protects against these kinds of spoofing attacks. One of the limitations of SMS is that it allows messages to be sent with spoofed addresses to any phone, so we urge customers to be extremely careful if they’re directed to an unknown website or address over SMS.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and with any luck, a fix should be en route soon.

Cocktail updated to 6.0.2

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 16th, 2012, 07:39
Category: News, Software

cocktaillogo.jpg

On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.0.2 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail could not force empty the Trash.

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may fail to scan preference files.

- Various improvements to the Pilot scheduler.

- Resolves some OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility issues.

Cocktail 6.0.2 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

QuarkXPress 9.3.1 update released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 07:25
Category: News, Software

quarklogo

On Thursday, software developer Quark released version 9.3.1 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 1.1 gigabyte update, which can be downloaded here (thanks to MacUpdate), adds the following change:

- Includes an installer/updater that is compatible with the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Gatekeeper feature. This release is not compatible with QPS 9.2.

QuarkXPress 9.3.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 later to install and retails for US$799.00 for the full version.

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

Dropbox 1.5.12 beta goes live, now available for download

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012, 07:15
Category: News, Software

Hey, sometimes the beta version can rock.

On Wednesday, Dropbox released a public beta of version 1.5.12 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 22.6 megabyte download, which adds the following fixes and changes:

- Support for Notification Center on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

- Support for new sign-in backend.

- Minor bug fixes.

Dropbox 1.5.12 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.3.300.271 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 14th, 2012, 15:39
Category: News, security, Software

adobelogo

Late Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.3.300.271 for Mac OS X, a 11.6 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version adds a slew of security fixes outlined here.

Flash Player 11.3.300.271 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, please feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments.

Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat Pro updated to 10.1.4

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Date: Tuesday, August 14th, 2012, 14:20
Category: News, Software

On Tuesday, Adobe released version 10.1.4 of its Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Pro applications. The updates, which can also be snagged through the Adobe Update Utility, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This is a regular quarterly update that provides security mitigations, feature enhancements, and bug fixes.

- Added support for Mac OS X 10.8.

- Safari 5.1 for 10.6.8-10.7, Safari 6.0 for 10.8.

Acrobat Reader 10.1.4 and Acrobat Pro requires an Intel-based processor and Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new versions and noticed any differences, please let us know what you think.

Ars Technica testing shows evidence of lowered battery life under Mountain Lion for some MacBook Pro users

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2012, 05:56
Category: battery, MacBook Pro, News, Software

Well, patches and updates DO tend to exist for a reason…

Per Ars Technica and a test conducted by the web site, there may be evidence that Apple’s new operating system is draining batteries significantly faster than the previous OS X Lion, as the publication’s test unit lost some 38 percent of runtime after having installed Mountain Lion.

In a series of unscientific tests, a MacBook Pro with Retina display was run on battery power both with and without Mountain Lion installed. Ars was able to hit just over eight hours of runtime with Lion and the integrated Intel HD4000 GPU, meaning the computer wasn’t leveraging the discrete and power-hungry NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M. With Mountain Lion installed and using the same settings, however, runtime dipped to around five hours.

The test was conducted a number of times, each using the same applications under what was described as a “daily workload.” Being used actively were Safari, Chrome, Twitter, iChat, TextEdit, Photoshop, Mail and Outlook, among others while Dropbox and gfxCardStatus ran in the background. As far as systems settings, Wi-Fi was activated while Bluetooth was turned off and screen brightness was set to half-strength.

Mountain Lion’s Activity Monitor was used to check CPU usage and, while there were occasional spikes when reading or writing files, loading web pages or other user-initiated operations, the processor was usually below five percent capacity. This is contrary to one account from an Apple Communities forum member who noted a heightened CPU temperature when the computer was idle.

A 49-page Apple Support Communities thread fist started on July 25, the day Mountain Lion was released, chronicles a number of battery issue complaints from users who recently installed Apple’s new OS.

A few forum members suggested the problem lies with one of Mountain Lion’s new features like Power Nap, while others have found limited success with resetting their machine’s system management controller, but a legitimate fix has yet to be discovered.

Interestingly, only certain machines are affected by the purported battery drain issue and some users are even reporting their battery life increased after installing the new operating system.

Apple has yet to release an official statement, but a number of forum members affected by the issue claim Apple representatives reached out to obtain system information in an attempt to remedy the problem.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.