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

Posted by:
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

Posted by:
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

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

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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.

Happy Labor Day from O’Grady’s PowerPage

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 2nd, 2013, 07:48
Category: Announcement

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Ladies and gentlemen, Labor Day is upon us and with that in mind, the staff of O’Grady’s PowerPage will be taking the day off to be with friends, family and awesome barbecued food.

As you should be, too.

Swing back tomorrow for the latest in Mac mobile news and have a safe and happy holiday, guys.

Google Chrome updated to 29.0.1547.62

Posted by:
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

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

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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.

Parallels Desktop 9 announced, adds cloud support, Windows 8 Start button, other new features

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 29th, 2013, 09:47
Category: News

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Parallels announced its Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac client today, the new version of the virtualization software offering the following set of fixes and features:
– Cloud storage optimizations for iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.

– Support for OS X Launchpad in Windows applications

– Enhanced support for Apple’s forthcoming OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

– Incorporates the familiar Start menu and Windows Start button for Windows 8 users..

– Extends the OS X PowerNap feature to Windows and Windows applications.

– Allows Mountain Lion Dictionary gesture compatibility in Windows apps.

– Allows users to connect Thunderbolt and FireWire devices to either their Mac or virtual machine, just like with USB.

– Enhances the virtual machine wizard, making it easier to create new systems by automatically locating operating systems on a Mac. Users can also manually select a range of media types to install.

– 40 percent better disk performance than the previous version.

– Virtual machines shut down up to 25 percent faster than the previous version.

– Virtual machines suspend up to 20 percent faster than the previous version.

– 3D graphics and web browsing is 15 percent faster than the previous version.

– A new Security Center in Parallels Desktop 9 is said to make it easier to ensure that files are secure, both on the Mac and in a Windows virtual machine.

– In addition, Parallels Desktop 9 comes with a six-month subscription to Parallels Access for iPad, announced earlier this week. That new software allows customers to remotely access and experience Windows and Mac applications as if they were designed for Apple’s iPad.

– Mac gestures inside Windows apps: Parallels Desktop now includes the addition of the Dictionary lookup gesture in Windows applications.

– PDF printer for Windows: Lets people print from any Windows application to a PDF on the Mac desktop, even if the application doesn’t have that functionality.

– Sticky multi-monitor setup: When using Windows in Full Screen mode and connecting to an external monitor, Parallels Desktop will remember settings and put the Windows virtual machine back in full screen mode on the remote monitor.

– Custom keyboard: Editable keyboard shortcuts help customize the Windows experience.

– Linux guest integration: Parallels Desktop customers who use Linux now have additional and enhanced integration with the Mac OS.

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac will become broadly available for purchase next Thursday, Sept. 5. It is now available as a US$50 upgrade for legacy Parallels users, and a free upgrade for those who recently bought Parallels Desktop 8.

Thursday’s launch of Parallels Desktop 9 is available for existing customers for US$49.99, while those who recently purchased may be eligible for a free upgrade. Customers who buy Parallels Desktop 8 today will also be eligible to upgrade to the new version at no additional charge.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Access debuts, brings Parallels features to iPad

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013, 06:28
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

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You can’t knock a company that also goes in a subscription-based direction.

Per AppleInsider, Parallels, the company known for its virtualization software, rolled out a new iPad app and subscription service on Tuesday called Parallels Access that promises to run both Mac and PC programs on Apple’s tablet with near-native performance.

With Parallels Access, the company has built a completely new way to naturally interact with desktop applications on an iPad. A number of developers have fielded similar apps that promise full remote control functionality from Apple’s tablet, but many resort to clunky interfaces that draw users out of the “iPad experience.”

Unlike other apps, Access offers the full gamut of iPad gestures, with taps, swipes and pinches all supported by almost any desktop program. To bridge the gap between computer and tablet, the system translates mouse clicks and movement into iPad-friendly gestures.

Parallels claims its new product can handle a variety of tasks, including business programs, streaming video and even games. Internet speeds are supposedly a non-factor, though degradation may be expected when connecting over cellular networks.

The system is actually split into two parts: the iOS app and a Mac or PC client that runs on the host computer. Access authenticates via a Parallels account and links the two devices with a 256-bit AES secured SSL connection.

At the heart of Access is the App Launcher, which is basically a Springboard-like layout of compatible desktop applications. Programs can be added or deleted from this view in much the same way as iOS.

The App Switcher seamlessly moves users between programs, a necessary tool since Access only works in “full screen” mode. Parallels calls this method “applifying.”

Navigating within running programs is an intuitive experience thanks to the combination of SmartTap and the iOS magnifying glass. SmartTap is a contextual cursor control that, in tandem with magnifying glass, allows users to perform advanced mouse actions like drag and drop.

One difficult maneuver that many VNC and other remote desktop apps have trouble with is scrolling. Access’ gesture translation engine doesn’t appear to suffer from the same problems, making in-window navigation less of a chore.

The app’s keyboard is also tweaked from the standard iOS version, offering users dedicated keys for functions, arrows, and even the “Windows” button.

Those interested can try Parallels Access for free for 14 days on a Mac and 90 days on a Windows machine. Subscription pricing is set at US$79.99 per year for each computer running a registered client. The iPad app and Mac or PC clients can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Parallels’ webpage, respectively.

Apple releases Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.08

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 07:12
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple posted its Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.08, an update designed to extend RAW image compatibility for the Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’11 applications.

The update, a 6.9 megabyte download, adds support for the following cameras:
– Canon EOS 70D

– Fujifilm X-M1

– Leica M

– Leica M Monochrome

– Nikon COOLPIX P330

– Pentax 645D

– Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R

– Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run and is also available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new Digital Camera RAW update and noticed any changes, please let us know how it went.