VMWare releases Fusion 3.1.2 update

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Date: Friday, December 3rd, 2010, 06:39
Category: News, Software

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Late Friday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 3.1.2 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 436 megabyte download, can be found here, offers the following new features and fixes:

- The error Could not publish or run one or more applications. occurs when resuming a virtual machine that has DivX Player installed in the guest.

- Slingbox Slingplayer does not display video in the guest when 3D acceleration is enabled. In addition, very high CPU usage occurs if the guest is set to 1 core.

- Microsoft Office applications do not display as the frontmost window when they are launched in Unity view.

- Sound volume in the guest operating system is reduced after upgrading to Fusion 3.1. The volume observed through the host is not consistent with the guest volume setting.

- In a Windows XP guest, if you connect a handheld device to the host, the handshake application might time out or stop responding due to unhandled USB disable requests.

- While the virtual machine is running, if you switch from full screen mode to single window mode, the virtual machine window disappears and the light underneath the Fusion icon disappears as well. Fusion stops responding if you restart after this issue occurs.

- The guest operating system might fail with a blue screen and the error Multiple IRP Complete Requests if you access a file or folder two or more folders deep into a VMware Shared Folder and are running applications, such as Microsoft Office Powerpoint or Project, that use the byte range locks file system feature.

- Samsung Galaxy S phone with Android 2.1 does not work with Fusion. The phone does not appear in the virtual machine.

- Guest software might use CPUID information to determine characteristics of underlying (virtual or physical) CPU hardware. In some instances, CPUID information returned by virtual hardware will differ from the responses physical hardware might report. Based on these differences, certain pieces of guest software might not behave as expected. In this release, this fix causes certain CPUID responses to more closely match the responses that physical hardware might return.

- If you run Outlook 2007 in Unity mode, the Outlook dock icon might flash, or briefly quit and restart. When this happens the Outlook window also disappears and then reappears.
Mac OS X Server guests might intermittently fail to boot, displaying a stop symbol on a gray screen shortly after powering on.

Additionally, this release resolves the following security-related issues:
- The way temporary files are handled by the mounting process could result in a race condition. This issue could allow a local user on the host to elevate their privileges. Windows-based host systems are not affected.

- vmware-mount, which is a SUID binary, has a flaw in the way libraries are loaded. This issue could allow local users on the host to execute arbitrary shared object files with root privileges. Windows-based host systems are not affected.

- A vulnerability in the input validation of VMware Tools update allows for injection of commands.

- This issue could allow a user on the host to execute commands on the guest operating system with root privileges. The issue can only be exploited if VMware Tools is not fully up-to-date. Windows-based virtual machines are not affected.

Fusion 3.1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

Google Earth 6.0.0.1735 released

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Date: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, 04:42
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, software giant Google released version 6.0.0.1735 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 53.3 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

New features in Google Earth 6:

- Integrated Street View: In Google Earth 6, the Street View experience is now fully integrated. You can enter Street View either by dropping pegman in navigation controls or by zooming in all the way to ground level on places that have Street View.

- 3D Trees:Google Earth now has trees. You can enable trees by turning on the check-box next to the Trees layer under the 3D buildings layer folder. You can see trees in several places, and we will add trees to more places over time.

- Easy to use historical imagery:When you fly to an area where historical imagery is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. If you click on this date, you’ll instantly be taken back in time to view imagery from that time period.

- Ground-level navigation: In Google Earth 6, in addition to flying around features, you can now walk on the ground to explore either 3D buildings and trees or Street View imagery.
3D Measurements in Google Earth Pro:In addition to measuring distances and areas on the ground, you can now measure heights and widths of 3D building and distances from buildings to the ground.

Other changes in Google Earth 6:
- Tour Recorder Improvements:With Google Earth 6, the tour recording feature has been improved in several ways. The tour recorder now incorporates the activation of Sunlight, Street View, and Historical Imagery modes into the recorded tour. Additionally, the quality of the recording has been significantly improved, including better motion fidelity and better synchronization with sound recording.

- Earth on PowerPC Mac:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on PowerPC Macs. Users of PowerPC macs can still use the Google Earth 5.2 version.

- Earth on OS X 10.4:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on 10.4 version of Mac OS X. Users of this version of Mac OS X can still use Google Earth 5.2 version.
Earth on Windows 2000:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on Windows 2000. Users of Windows 2000 can still use the Google Earth 5.2 version.

- Linux Builds:Google Earth Linux binaries are now based on the Linux Standard Base. This improves the compatibility of Google Earth on different Linux distributions, but requires users to have Linux Standard Base installed on their system. If your Linux system does not have LSB, please install it using apt, yum, smart or up2date. As a side effect of moving to LSB, joysticks are currently unsupported.

Issues Fixed:
- Addressed issues related to slow internal browser and balloon performance

- Addressed issues related to broken images in balloons seen in Earth 5.2.

- Linux now handles KML in locales where the radix separator isn’t “.”.

- Linux fixes for Flash-induced crashes. Google Earth Plug-in and API Changes

- Updated API version 1.007

- New class KmlViewerOptions, to set global render state (Historical Imagery, StreetView, and Sun)

- Added ability to enable/disable street view in GENavigationControl

- Added ability to enable/disable automatic transition to ground level view in GEOptions

- Added ability to enable/disable 3d tree rendering through new layer LAYER_TREES

- Added altitudeOffset functionality to KmlLinearRing and KmlLineRing. This allows ability to set altitude for all vertices through a single function call.

- Added ability to enable/disable building selection through mouse input in GEOptions

- Added ability to enable/disable building highlight through mouse input in GEOptions

- Added copyAsLookAt() and copyAsCamera() conversion to KmlAbstractView

- Improved performance on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

The new version requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple releases firmware updates for mid-2010 MacBook Pro notebooks

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Date: Friday, November 19th, 2010, 04:39
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released two EFI firmware updates for its mid-2010 MacBook Pro notebook line. The MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.0, available for the 13″ MacBooks and MacBook Pros released earlier this year, resolve an issue that had caused purple discoloration when some systems were connected to an external display.

The EFI firmware downloads are available directly from Apple’s support site or via Software Update and are also available as a 1.98 megabyte download.

If you’ve tried the new updates, please let us know how they went and if anything caught fire.

Apple releases iOS 4.2.1 golden master to developer community

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Date: Thursday, November 18th, 2010, 15:10
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

Um, good things are worth waiting a fairly long time for?

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Thursday issued yet another iOS golden master to developers, this time dubbed iOS 4.2.1 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Sources familiar with the latest software update said it is known as Build 8C148. Software that has reached the golden master status is typically final code that will be released to the public.

However, two golden masters of iOS 4.2 were issued to developers: the first one for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on November 1st, and a second specifically for the iPad less than two weeks later.

Previous reports indicated that the release of iOS 4.2 was held up by issues with Wi-Fi connectivity in the first golden master. The release of numerous golden masters to developers would suggest that an issue with the software was spotted before it could be released to the public.

Some users who connected their iPhone or iPad to iTunes on Thursday were given error messages that the software update server could not be contacted. That led to some anticipation that iOS 4.2 might finally be released, though it never came to be.

The update will mark the debut of iOS 4 on the iPad and is expected bring features like folders and multitasking.

Mozilla releases Firefox 3.6.12 update

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Date: Thursday, October 28th, 2010, 03:27
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.6.12 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, an 18.6 megabyte download, sports the following major change:

- Firefox 3.6.12 fixes a critical security issue that could potentially allow remote code execution.

Firefox 3.6.12 is available in more than 70 different languages and requires a G3, G4, G5 or Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and 128MB of RAM to install and run. If you’ve snagged the new version and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.5 build 10H562 to developer community for testing

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Date: Friday, October 22nd, 2010, 06:16
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released a new beta for its forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6.5 update. The new build, labeled “10H562″ was released to developers late Thursday as a 616MB delta update. According to the release notes, there are no known issues. With new builds coming steadily for several months now, the update is expected to arrive in advance of the November release of iOS 4.2.

Per AppleInsider, the seed note accompanying the build specifies Printing as a “Focus Area.” 10.6.5 will work with iOS devices running iOS 4.2 to enable the new AirPrint wireless printing functionality. 10.6.4, the last update to Mac OS X 10.6, came in June with fixes to Adobe Creative Suite 3 issues and a resolution for unresponsive keyboards and trackpads.

Stay tuned for additional details as we get it and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build for testing, let us know.

Prosoft releases Data Rescue 3.1 update

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Date: Thursday, October 21st, 2010, 01:23
Category: News, Software

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Amidst yesterday’s hubbub, Data Rescue II, Prosoft Engineering’s data rescue and recovery program, was updated to version 3.1 on Wednesday. The new version, a 13 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- Runs natively as 64-bit on supported machines in Snow Leopard.

- New Welcome window for easier access to suspended and completed scans.

- Improvements to the Workspace and Home Folder workflows: now simpler to understand and use.

- New Expert feature for erasing any drive or volume to HFS+.

- Added contextual menu to Details View for quick access to common features.

- Improved recovery of InDesign, PEF raw image, TIFF and AVI files, for certain cases.

- Added support for recovering certain ORF raw images.

- A number of additional file types with no, or non-standard, extensions can now be previewed.

- DMG files with no partition table can now be found and recovered.

- Some improvements were made to improve Deep Scan results, in some cases.

- Some optional additional file browser columns may be shown by right-clicking on the table columns header.

Fixes:
- Catalog files with more than 8 fragments would sometimes be recovered incorrectly.

- Activation while launched from a read-only volume wouldn’t be applied correctly.

- Erase wasn’t working on 10.4.

- Erased drives wouldn’t show up in the source selection screen, sometimes causing unnecessary warnings to be displayed.

- Erase wouldn’t work on a volume that was mounted while the open dialog was active.

- Crash when attempting to erase a drive that just disconnected.

- Rare crash when a device is disconnected.

- Minor incompatibilities with the software update feature on 10.4.

- Several usability enhancements to Set Drive/Volume Params.

- Arenas weren’t rendering properly on Snow Leopard.

- User interface preferences are now properly stored in the Home Folder for when booted off the DVD.

- Fixed some bugs related to running the application on a secondary monitor.

- Improved performance and stability while browsing scan results.

- Analyze sometimes crashed just when finishing.

- When unmarking many nodes when quitting, the UI would seem to hang and show the beach ball.

- Some miscellaneous sources of memory leaks and potential crashes were fixed.

Adobe releases Acrobat Reader, Pro 9.4 versions, patches security holes

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Date: Wednesday, October 6th, 2010, 04:06
Category: News, Software

Late Tuesday, Adobe released version 9.4 of its Adobe Reader and Acrobat Pro applications. The updates, which can also be snagged through the Adobe Update Utility, address security vulnerabilities while providing additional stability.

Acrobat Reader 9.4 and Acrobat Pro requires an Intel or PowerPC-based processor and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases iTunes 10.0.1 update

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Date: Monday, September 27th, 2010, 03:42
Category: News, Software

Late Friday, Apple released iTunes 10.0.1, the latest version of its digital jukebox/digital hub software. The new version, an 84 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and new features:

- Addresses an issue where the picture quality of a video changes depending on whether the on-screen controls are visible.

- Resolves an issue where iTunes may unexpectedly quit while interacting with album artwork viewed in a separate window.

- Fixes a problem that affects the performance of some third-party visualizers.

- Addresses an issue where the iTunes library and playlists appear empty.

- Resolves an issue that created an incompatibility with some third-party shared libraries.

iTunes 10 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and can be located, downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new version and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

Cocktail 4.7.7 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Tuesday, September 14th, 2010, 03:28
Category: News, Software

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Over the weekend, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.7.7 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- Added Mac OS X 10.6.5 compatibility.

- Fixed compatibility issues with Safari 5 extensions.

- Fixed compatibility issues with iTunes 10.

- Added ability to restore horizontal window controls in iTunes 10 (Interface – Misc).

- Added Dock menu.

- Minor user interface improvements.

- Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 4.7.7 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later to install and run.