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”

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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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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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Could the Facebook app be killing your battery?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Apps, battery, iOS, iPhone, Software, Tips

ios7-facebook-logo-iconWe recently did a piece on iPhone battery saving tips, but it looks like we need to add another one to the list. Evidence has been found that Facebook’s iOS app may be a suspect in shortening battery life. The web site overthought.com, run by Scotty Loveless, has its own battery saving tips which adds Facebook’s app as a culprit. Being an ex-Apple Genius gave Scotty some extra insight into his own iPhone’s battery drain. Fueled by evidence collected over the years in the support field, and recent finger-pointing to the iOS 7.1 update as the cause for many users’ battery woes, he set out to pinpoint the most likely, and serious, battery draining problems.

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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.

 

 

Pebble 2.1.1 update now in the App Store, appears to solve crashing issues

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 14:05
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconSometime yesterday, Pebble’s updated iOS app to fix the problems introduced by the 2.1 update, appeared on the App Store. Version 2.1.1, in our experience, has resolved the problems, in particular the inability to launch the iOS app. I simply installed the new version over the old and everything started up fine. There was a method posted on some sites for removing 2.1 and reinstalling the old version, but I do not know the results of trying this. Pebble’s response was little more than a confirmation that the updated app had been submitted and then the fact that the 2.1.1 version was showing up in the App Store. The following in the list of changes introduced by the 2.1/2.1.1 update:

Pebble iOS App (v.2.1.1) Release notes:

  • Share apps with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook, and text message.
  • New apps added to the appstore.
  • Fixed issues with version 2.1 (released 31-Mar-2014)
  • Bug fixes.

New features, if upgrading from v1.x app versions:

  • Pebble watchapp directory: browse, find and install the latest watchapps for Pebble.
  • List of prior notifications are now stored on your Pebble.
  • Watchapp locker: keep track of your favorite apps and manage the apps on your Pebble.
  • Completely revamped and improved user interface design.

 

Let us know in the comments if you are still having any trouble.

 

 

iOS Pebble 2.1 app critical fail [updated]

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014, 09:46
Category: Accessory, Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconThe latest version of Pebble’s iOS app has proven to be a problem. Released on March 31st, the 2.1 version has totally disabled the app, generally crashing when anyone attempts to run it. Pebble advises anyone who has not yet updated the app not to do so until a fix is in place. If you are one of the lucky ones, it is recommended that you turn off Automatic Updates on your iPhone. Pebble has stated that a 2.1.1 update has already been submitted to Apple, but there is not yet any information on when it will go live on the App Store. While some sites are reporting that the buggy update prevents the smart watch from working, that is not necessarily the case. Being one of the unfortunate upgraders, I find that my Pebble is still working normally, but that I simply can’t make any changes other than what is available through the watch’s on-board settings. This includes switching out apps and watch faces from your Pebble locker, which is controlled by the iOS app. The iOS multitasking manager even seems to think that the Pebble app is open and running, which may indicate that the app is not actually crashing, but that something is wrong with the app’s ability to present its interface. Hopefully Apple will recognize the need for approval urgency and the new update will appear shortly, so keep a sharp eye out for it and let us know when you see it hit the App Store.

Update: 04-03-2014

Version 2.1.1 has been submitted and is now available in the App Store. The updated appears to have resolved the problems. More details here.