Adium updated to 1.5.8

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Date: Monday, October 14th, 2013, 05:51
Category: News, Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.5.8.

The new version, a 24.5 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:
- Changed the default tab switching shortcuts for new users to Control-Tab/Control-Shift-Tab, to match Safari. This was meant to be done for 1.5.4 but it did not work that time.

- XMPP: refer to XMPP as “XMPP (Jabber)”. Unfortunately, just “XMPP” still has some potential for confusion.

- Fixed SIP account names to be case-sensitive.

- Enabled a large number of TLS cipher suites, including ECC suites and suites new in TLS 1.2.

- Fixed a problem causing Sametime login to fail.

- Try to avoid Twitter’s rate limiting causing Adium to go in a reconnection loop.

- Don’t try to download images included in HTML when pasting in the text field.

Adium 1.5.8 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.

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

Dropbox updated to 2.4.2

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

The Dropbox update-o-rama continues…

On Friday, Dropbox released version 2.4.2 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 32.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed Import to iPhoto and Screenshots not working for some international users.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.4.2 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.

AOL to discontinue iCloud account support for its Alto webmail service come December 2nd

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Date: Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 06:42
Category: iCloud, News, Software

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If you weren’t enchanted with AOL before, then this won’t help win you over.

According to 9to5Mac, AOL has informed applicable users that it will be dropping support for accessing email from Apple’s iCloud service from its recently launched Alto webmail client. Alto is a web-based mail client that intelligently sorts and integrates email from services such as iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. AOL has informed iCloud users who have logged into Alto that support for iCloud will be dropped on December 2nd via the following e-mail:

“Thanks for using Alto to read and send mail from your @iCloud, @me or @mac account. We’ve been honored to host those accounts and get great, positive feedback on the experience from users like you. But we’re sad to say that Alto will no longer support iCloud accounts as of December 2, 2013. We sincerely regret the frustration this will cause.”

iCloud accounts will automatically be disabled in Alto on that date, but users can begin the process early by removing iCloud accounts from Alto manually. All iCloud accounts, no matter if the domain is @icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com will no longer be supported. AOL has not shared why it is dropping support for Apple’s email service, and AOL does not appear to be dropping support for any other provider.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adobe Flash Player updated to 11.9.900.117

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Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 06:06
Category: News, Software

This one’s fairly substantial.

On Tuesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.9.900.117 for Mac OS X, an 18 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version adds the following fixes and changes:
- Mobile Workers (concurrency) – Android: Workers APIs are now supported for Android. This will work only with swf-version 22 (namespace 3.9) or later. The feature is in development and there are a few known issues.

- Support for background execution in Direct render mode – iOS and Android: Presently AIR on iOS and Android does not support background execution when render mode direct is set. Due to this restriction, Stage3D based apps are not able to execute background tasks like audio playback, location updates, network upload/download etc. iOS does not allow OpenGLES/rendering calls in the background. Applications which attempt to make OpenGL calls in the background are terminated by the iOS. Android does not restrict applications from either making OpenGLES in the background or other background task (like audio playback). With this feature, we would be allowing AIR mobile apps to execute in background when renderMode direct is set. AIR iOS runtime will throw an error if OpenGLES calls are made in background. However no error will be thrown on Android, as Android native apps are allowed to make OpenGLES calls in background. It’s recommended to not make rendering calls while app is executing in background as its important to utilize the mobile resources judicially. List of Stage APIs which may throw the error 3768 – The Stage3D API may not be used during background execution”.

- XXHDPI (144×144) Icon Support – Android: With this feature we have added support for beautiful, high resolution icons on devices such as the Nexus 10.

- Mac OS X 10.9 Support: We have tested against the latest developer releases of OS X 10.9 and are ensuring that Flash Player continues to perform as expected.

- Mac .pkg Installation Support: Deploying Flash Player and keeping it up to date is a critical task for system administrators worldwide. We’re introducing a new .pkg installer format for our distribution partners so we can reduce their workload by allowing them to deploy Flash Player for Mac using their current tools and environments.

Adobe Flash Player 11.9.900.117 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.3.8 update

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Date: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, 15:32
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a steadily updated app.

Microsoft on Tuesday released version 14.3.8 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 14.3.8 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.

Why the Mac (still) beats the PC

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Date: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, 08:25
Category: Apple, Opinion

Christopher Laincz, Ph.D., is director of the LeBow Ph.D. Program at Drexel University, and associate professor in LeBow’s Department of Economics and International BusinessI’m publishing this guest blog by Dr. Christopher Laincz, because I couldn’t agree more with his opinions. If you don’t agree, be sure to read the pro-PC counter-point article by his colleague Mark Eyerly and sound off in the comments below.

I find myself in a strange town, and I want a cup of coffee. I see a Starbucks and some local dive. I choose Starbucks.

Here’s why: When you walk into Starbucks, you know exactly what you’re getting; and, they’ll customize it to your taste. If they make an error, they fix it immediately. I expect a good experience right from the start.

On the other hand, the local dive might prove great, but it might serve bug-infested sludge.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “risking a dollar or so on the local dive’s coffee is no big deal.” Sure. But when it comes to computers, it’s much riskier. You could easily spend $1,500 on some crappy PC. Perhaps for an extra $500, you could take home a (beautiful and better-designed) Mac with similar specs.

Why do I spend more on a Mac? Because Macs are better. In fact, the quality-adjusted price actually makes the Mac the better deal. PCs can be made in any Joe’s garage – and too frequently are – hence the hardware quality is a crapshoot. The Windows environment is fraught with holes and issues. Ever try to get service help for your PC? Ugh.

Furthermore, I do not need or appreciate my computer warning me at every turn about this risk or that issue. Just fix it, dammit! I’m busy with my own work. I don’t have time to invest in searching for the answers to every PC/Windows security or design flaw that crops up.

This isn’t a problem I encounter on my Mac. Apple takes care of maintenance and quality-control, so I am willing to pay for that. Buy a PC, and the maintenance and quality-control risks are on you. You may have paid less for the hardware up front, but over time you’ll pay with time, money and frustration to keep the thing functioning and not destroying your own tireless efforts.

Mac products stay way ahead of the Windows environment in terms of innovation and user-friendliness. I blame the PC/Windows marriage from hell.

The Justice Department brought an anti-trust suit against Microsoft for abusing its market power to kill off Netscape (which it did successfully). One of the punitive options in front of the Justice Department was to break Microsoft up into two companies: operating system (Windows) and software (MS Office).

Had the Justice Department gone with that option, the software would have been thrown into a more competitive environment. But it didn’t, and as a result the Office Suite has not evolved much.

Some complain that Apple excludes other products from seamless integration with its own. Sure, that may be true, but for me it isn’t a problem.

After falling in love with my 4-year-old MacBook Pro (which I’m using right now), I got a Mac desktop for my home, another for the office, and I just added the iPhone.

Digital bliss.

Christopher Laincz, Ph.D., is director of the LeBow Ph.D. Program at Drexel University, and associate professor in LeBow’s Department of Economics and International Business. He’s actually pretty down-to-earth for a Mac-toting academic.

SpamSieve updated to 2.9.9

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 7th, 2013, 08:02
Category: News, Software

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SpamSieve’s about ready for Mavericks.

Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.9. The new version, a 10.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- SpamSieve is now compatible with the GM build of OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It is recommended that you update to SpamSieve 2.9.9 before installing Mavericks. If you’ve updated to Mavericks first, and you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.

- Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.

- Microsoft Outlook 2011’s notification sounds are now available in SpamSieve’s Notification preferences.

- Added the Apple Mail – Server Junk Mailbox script. When it’s not possible to turn off a server-side junk filter (e.g., iCloud’s), this lets SpamSieve save you from mistakes that the server junk filter made by moving any messages that SpamSieve thinks are good back to the inbox. It will also consolidate the spam messages from all the accounts into a single spam mailbox (the same one where SpamSieve is already putting your spam).

- Can now repair the ownership and permissions of the SpamSieve and Apple Mail preferences files if needed. This fixes problems where SpamSieve would lose its registration information or Apple Mail wouldn’t show the SpamSieve menu commands.

- Fixed some problems where the Open Window command in Apple Mail was not available or did not always open the specified window.

SpamSieve 2.9.9 retails for US$30.00 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Google Chrome updated to 30.0.1599.69

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 4th, 2013, 07:49
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a decent update.

On Thursday, Google released version 30.0.1599.69 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- [Fix] Tabs freeze up (Issue: 303293).

- [Fix] Lag in some games/GPU issues with certain monitors (Issue: 262437).

Google Chrome 30.0.1599.69 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.

Dropbox updated to 2.4.1

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Date: Friday, October 4th, 2013, 07:30
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a steadily updated program.

On Friday, Dropbox released version 2.4.1 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 32.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Changed Move to Dropbox to be below Move to Trash on OS X (Requires a Finder restart.)

- Fixed rare issue in which screenshots were not working.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.4.1 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.

Apple releases iTunes 11.1.1 update

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Date: Thursday, October 3rd, 2013, 13:17
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a quick bug fix.

On Thursday, Apple released version 11.1.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 225.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Resolves an issue that may cause iTunes Extras to display incorrectly, fixes a problem with deleted podcasts, and improves stability.

iTunes 11.1.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

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