Apple releases OS X 10.8.5 update

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Date: Thursday, September 12th, 2013, 15:16
Category: News, Software

It’s taken a while to get here, but it’s officially out.

On Thursday, Apple released version 10.8.5 of its OS X Mountain Lion operating system. The new version, a 287 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages.

- Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

- Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically.

- Improves Xsan reliability.

- Improves reliability when transferring large files over Ethernet.

- Improves performance when authenticating to an Open Directory server.

- Addresses an issue that prevented a smart card from unlocking preference panes in System Preferences.

- Contains the improvements included in MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0.

OS X 10.8.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.8 to install and run, the update itself being attainable by using OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new operating system and have any feedback whatsoever, please let us know in the comments.

Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.3.7 update

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Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 07:28
Category: News, Software

An update’s always appreciated.

Microsoft on Tuesday released version 14.3.7 of its Microsoft Office 2011 suite for the Mac. The update, a 113 megabyte download, features the following changes:
- This update fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code. For more information about this update, please visit the Microsoft Web site.

- Applies to: Office 2011, Office 2011 Home and Business Edition, Word 2011, Excel 2011, PowerPoint 2011, Outlook 2011, Office for Mac Standard 2011 Edition, Microsoft Office for Mac Home & Student 2011, and Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011.

The update can also be located and installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate feature.

Microsoft Office 2011 14.3.7 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

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

Adobe Reader, Acrobat Pro updated to 11.0.04

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Date: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, 07:41
Category: News, security, Software

You can’t knock a useful update.

On Tuesday, Adobe released version 11.0.04 of its Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Pro applications. The updates, which can also be snagged through the Adobe Update Utility, add the following fixes and changes:

- This update provides system requirement enhancements, mitigation for security issues, improved overall stability, bug fixes, and feature enhancements.

Acrobat Reader 11.0.04 and Acrobat Pro 11.0.04 require an Intel-based processor and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

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

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.18

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Date: Monday, September 9th, 2013, 08:53
Category: News, Software

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There’s nothing wrong with a regular update to a useful program.

VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.18. The new version, a 110 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- VMM: properly handle NMIs on Linux hosts with X2APIC enabled.

- VMM: fixed potential crashes with 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts (bug #11979).

- GUI / seamless: properly handle mouse wheel scroll events.

- GUI, VBoxManage: when unregistering a VM, also unregister the hard disk images which are used exclusively (bug #10311).

- GUI: prevent crashes under certain conditions on X11 hosts.

- 3D: multiscreen fixes (incorrect mouse position, flickers).

- 3D Support: several fixes for the Windows WDDM video driver (multiscreen, seamless).

- Snapshots: made live snapshots work again (bug #9255).

- Teleportation: made it work again (bug #9455).

- VBoxManage: on snapshot take, –pause is default and –live is for doing live snapshots.

- VBoxSVC: don’t crash on systems with many VLAN interfaces (Solaris hosts only).

- Network: after the host resumes from suspend, disconnect and reconnect the virtual network cables to force renewing the DHCP leases for the guests. So far only Mac OS X hosts and Windows hosts (bug #10063).

- NAT: on name server changes force a reconnect of the virtual network cable to notify the guest (Mac OS X hosts only).

- Mac OS X installer: keep previously installed Extension Packs on VirtualBox upgrade.

- Linux hosts / guests: Linux 3.11 fixes (bug #12001).

- Solaris hosts: fixed a potential kernel panic caused due to unexpected preemption due to logging.

- Windows hosts: fixed an issue with USB2 devices being inaccessible when plugged into USB3 ports.

- Linux Additions: added PCI device identifier to vboxvideo.ko fixing DRI initialization under certain conditions (bug #11957).

- Linux Additions: fixed udev detection in the init script with Linux 3.x kernels.

VirtualBox 4.2.18 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.

Opera web browser updated to 16.0.1196.73

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Date: Friday, September 6th, 2013, 09:37
Category: News, Software

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If you’re an Opera web browser fan, this might come in handy.

On Friday, Opera Software released version 16.0.1196.73 of its web browser. The new version, a 54.6 megabyte download via MacUpdate, boasts the following fixes and changes:
- Quick typing strings at address field doesn’t start search.

- Corrected positioning and sizing.

- Fixed Opera 16 source release build.

- Implemented a gentler crash-loop recovery policy.

Opera 16.0.1196.73 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

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

Cocktail updated to 6.7.1

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Date: Thursday, September 5th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.7.1 of CocktailCocktail (Mountain Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
- Improvements on the “Clear CrashReporter logs” and the “Clear Apple System logs and diagnostic messages” procedures.

- Crash reports are created by OS X when either an application or the operating system encounters an error and must close. In addition to the local reports iTunes will also synchronise logs from Apple’s iOS devices in case they have crashed. Crash reports are used to debug problems and improve the overall stability of the system and are stored in both the user’s and system’s directories. Choosing to clear the logs with the everyone option includes the current user’s log files.

- In addition to this Cocktail can also clear the Apple System logs which contains general and diagnostic system messages produced by OS X. These files can occasionally contain useful information for debugging problems with the operating system, however a new log file is created daily so the system logs can take up considerable disk space if they are not cleared regularly.

Log files locations:
CrashReporter logs (.asl, .crash, .diag, .hang, .log, .panic, .ping, .shutdownStall, .spin files).
/Library/Logs/CrashReporter
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter

Apple mobile devices CrashReporter logs (.crash, .log, .submitted files).
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Baseband
~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Retired
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Baseband
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/Retired

Apple System logs and diagnostic messages (.asl, .crash, .diag, .hang, .log, .panic, .ping, .shutdownStall, .spin files).
/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
/private/var/root/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports
/private/var/log/asl
/private/var/log/DiagnosticMessages
/private/var/log/performance

- Improvements on the “Rotate log files” procedure. Install, System, and Wi-Fi logs are now archived using bz2 compression.

- Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 6.7.1 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.

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

QuarkXPress updated to 9.5.3

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Date: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013, 11:46
Category: News, Software

quarklogo

On Tuesday, software developer Quark released version 9.5.3 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 58 megabyte update, which can be downloaded here, adds the following changes:
- Improves quality and stability.

- Fixes two known issues with PDF export.

QuarkXPress 9.5.3 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.

Google Chrome updated to 29.0.1547.62

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Date: Friday, August 30th, 2013, 08:16
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

It’s not a monumental change.

But it’s nice to be able to print from Google Docs.

On Friday, Google released version 29.0.1547.62 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 51.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Fixed an issue with printing from Google Docs applications.

Google Chrome 29.0.1547.62 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.

Researcher draws attention to long-standing security vulnerability in OS X operating systems

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Date: Thursday, August 29th, 2013, 10:19
Category: News, security, Software

applelogo_silver

After five months, it might be time to fix this sucker…

Per mitre.org and Ars Technica, a unaddressed bug in Apple’s Mac OS X discovered five months ago allows hackers to bypass the usual authentication measures by tweaking specific clock and user timestamp settings, granting near unlimited access to a computer’s files.

While the security flaw has been around for nearly half a year, a new module created by developers of testing software Metasploit makes it easier to exploit the vulnerability in Macs.

The bug revolves around a Unix program called sudo, which allows or disallows users operational access based on privilege levels. Top tier privileges grant access to files belonging to other users’ files, though that level of control is password protected.

Instead of inputting a password, the flaw works around authentication by setting a computer’s clock to Jan. 1, 1970, or what is referred to as the Unix epoch. Unix time starts at zero hours on this date and is the basis for calculations. By resetting a Mac’s clock, as well as the sudo user timestamp, to epoch, time restrictions and privilege limitations can be bypassed.

“The bug is significant because it allows any user-level compromise to become root, which in turn exposes things like clear-text passwords from Keychain and makes it possible for the intruder to install a permanent rootkit,” said H.D. Moore, founder of the open-source Metasploit and chief research officer at security firm Rapid7.

Macs are especially vulnerable to the bug as OS X does not require a password to change these clock settings. As a result, all versions of the operating system from OS X 10.7 to the current 10.8.4 are affected. The same problem exists in Linux builds, but many of those iterations password protect clock changes.

While powerful, the bypass method has limitations. In order to implement changes, an attacker must already be logged in to a Mac with administrator privileges and have run sudo at least once before. As noted by the National Vulnerability Database, the person attempting to gain unauthorized privileges must also have physical or remote access to the target computer.

Apple has yet to respond or issue a patch for the bug.

“I believe Apple should take this more seriously but am not surprised with the slow response given their history of responding to vulnerabilities in the open source tools they package,” Moore said.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple could release OS X 10.8.5 update as soon as today

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Date: Monday, August 26th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

If you’ve been hankering for OS X 10.8.5, it could hit as soon as today.

Per AppleInsider, Apple began supplying prerelease builds of OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion to select partners on Monday, signaling that a public release of the maintenance and software update is not far behind.

Sources familiar with the software indicated that the prerelease version made available is identified as build “12F35.” The update, recommended for all users of Mountain Lion, includes the following changes:
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages.

- Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

- Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically.

- Improves Xsan reliability.

The prerelease build supplied to partners on Monday is said to weigh in at 286 megabytes. Those early releases are typically provided only hours before the software is launched to the public, suggesting that OS X 10.8.5 will arrive on Monday.

A total of seven beta builds of OS X 10.8.5 have been supplied to developers for testing ahead of the final release. The most recent was issued on July 31, identified as build “12F30.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.