First Builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3 Update Due This Week

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Date: Thursday, December 10th, 2009, 07:42
Category: Software

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The first external builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3, the next incremental update to Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system, should be seeded to developers this week. Per AppleInsider, sources close to the story say the forthcoming builds are likely to be released to some developers in the next 48 hours, and carry the expected prefix of 10Dxx. It is not yet known what issues Apple hopes to address with the latest update.

A month ago, Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2, which corrected a guest account bug that could potentially delete a user’s account data, triggered by logging in and out of a guest account on a Snow Leopard machine. The update also included native support for the Mac maker’s new multi-touch Magic Mouse.

That update was in beta for just over a month, before its release to the public on Nov. 9. A timeframe for the potential Mac OS X 10.6.3 release is not yet known.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

How-To: Repair Fuzzy Icons in Snow Leopard

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Date: Tuesday, November 24th, 2009, 07:35
Category: How-To

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There’ll always be bugs, you can count of that.

Per CNET, a number of Snow Leopard users have been complaining of blurry and pixelated icons showing up in the Finder. A thread on the Apple Discussion Board outlines this issue, where instead of the large and crisp icons that are so prominent in OS X, the system shows grainy and low-resolution versions of them, regardless of the icon size being used.

Mac OS X icon files are actually comprised of several files in one, each which represents a different version of the icon from low resolution to high resolution. This is so the system will not always load the high-resolution versions if the icon size does not call for it.

Potential fixes for this issue include the following:
An application called BlueHarvest allows users to repair the DS_Store files that might be causing this issue. The program can be located and downloaded here.

Remove system and user caches:
Additionally, you can try using a system maintenance tool to remove all user and system caches. This can be done with a utility like OnyX, and I would recommend tackling the following system caches:
dyld’s shared cache

All “System” cleaning routines

All “User” cleaning routines

After removing the caches, restart the computer.

Additionally, removing the Finder’s preference file may also help, since icon rendering is a function of the Finder. The preference file is called “com.apple.Finder.plist” and is located in the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder. Move this to the Desktop and restart the computer (or logout and log back in) and hopefully the Finder will load the icons properly again. Keep in mind that doing this will remove a few customizations of the the Finder, including sidebar additions and recent items, but that should be easy to set up again.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, let us know.

Hack Finds Ways to Reenable Atom Processor Support for Mac OS X 10.6.2

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Date: Friday, November 20th, 2009, 06:34
Category: News

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If Apple says you can’t do it, then someone out there will find a way.

Per Macworld, hackers have found a way to circumvent the changes in Mac OS X 10.6.2 to allow the latest upgrade to Apple’s Snow Leopard to run on netbooks with Intel Atom processors. When Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2 earlier this month, Intel Atom support was missing from the release. Though no Apple-sanctioned hardware uses the Atom processor, some low-cost netbook users would use the hack to install Mac OS X on their systems.

The hack applies only to a select number of “Hackintosh” users, as not all who install Mac OS X on unauthorized machines use netbooks with Intel Atom processors. Atom is a low-voltage microprocessor used in inexpensive portable computers.

According to MacWorld, support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 has been brought to the Atom processor thanks to a complicated hack that requires use of the Terminal and replacing the kernel of the operating system.

As developer builds of Mac OS X 10.6.2 were released, the status of Atom support fluctuated, leaving hackers wondering Apple’s purpose.

For those of you willing to tear your Mac OS X kernel apart and spend a considerable amount of time in the Terminal program, go to this Insanelymac forum thread and follow the directions to the letter to reenable Atom support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 on your Atom-based netbook.

And please don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Still unknown is whether Apple actually had any intent in disabling Atom processor support. It’s possible the situation could be much like the cat-and-mouse game with Palm, where Apple released minor updates to iTunes that served only to break compatibility with the Pre smartphone. Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.

DivX Player 7.2 Released

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 08:34
Category: Software

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DivX for Mac, the shareware player that allows users to view high definition H.264 (.mkv) videos with AAC audio and video, hit version 7.2 yesterday. The new version, a 30.5 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the followings changes and features:

- DivX Player for Mac now plays DivX Plus HD (.mkv) videos and H.264/AAC/MKV videos from the Internet.
- DivX Player for Mac sports a brand new design with translucent windows, cleaner play controls and more.

DivX Player 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for a US$19.99 registration fee.

Rumor: Apple Black Friday Discounts Leaked

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Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009, 05:54
Category: Rumor

It may still be a full 10 days away, but it got leaked to the media and it’s interesting.

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Per Boy Genius Report, Apple will be offering the following deals on the Friday after Thanksgiving:

- Up to 30% off on all iPods (except iPhone and iPod shuffle).
- Up to 25% off Macs.
- Up to 15% off all accessories as well as Apple software and hardware.

The only catch is that the deals are only good on Friday, November 27th according to the rumor.

As mentioned over on the Apple Core, in 2008 Apple offered a US$101 discount on the unibody MacBook, a US$51 discount on the white MacBook, US$51 and US$101 off the aluminum iMacs, plenty of iPod discounts (US$11 off 8GB iPod nanos, US$21 off iPod classics, and US$21 off iPod touches) and a US$21 discount on Apple TV and 500GB Time Capsule.

If you’re inclined to go battle the herd, have at it and let us know how it goes.

Intego Warns Against Ikee Worm for iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, November 11th, 2009, 06:31
Category: iPhone, security

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It’s not Rick Astley you have to worry about, it’s the Ikee worm.

According to Macworld UK, Intego, which develops and sells desktop Internet security and privacy software for the Mac, claims to have spotted a hacker tool, which potentially copies personal info from users iPhones.

The news comes after the first iPhone worm, known as Ikee, was revealed, which simply adds Rick Astley wallpaper to jailbroken iPhone phones.

Intego claims the new worm is far more dangerous than the Ikee worm. This hacker tool, which Intego identifies as iPhone/Privacy.A, takes advantage of the same vulnerability in the iPhone as the Ikee worm, allowing hackers to connect to any jailbroken iPhone whose owners have not changed the root password.

“It is important to note that standard, non-jailbroken iPhones are not at risk; it is extremely dangerous to jailbreak an iPhone because of the vulnerabilities that this process creates,” claims Intego, who believe 6-8 per cent of iPhones are jailbroken.

The tool reportedly allows a hacker to silently copy user data from a compromised iPhone including email, contacts, SMSs, calendars, photos, music files, videos, as well as any data recorded by any iPhone application insists Intego.

This new hacker also tool gives no indication that it has invaded an iPhone warns the company.

“Hackers using this tool will install it on a computer – Mac, PC, Unix or Linux – then let it work. It scans the network accessible to it, and when it finds a jailbroken iPhone, breaks into it, then steals data and records it,” insists Intego.

“This hacker tool could easily be installed, for example, on a computer on display in a retail store, which could then scan all iPhones that pass within the reach of its network. Or, a hacker could sit in an Internet café and let his computer scan all iPhones that come within the range of the wifi network in search of data.|

“Hackers could even install this tool on their own iPhones, and use it to scan for jailbroken phones as they go about their daily business,” Intego adds.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and, well, if you were planning on jailbreaking your iPhone in the near future, you might want to give it a second thought.

Cocktail 4.6.1 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, 08:59
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.6.1 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 2.0 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may unexpectedly quit while clearing Mac OS X 10.6.2 system caches.
- Added Mac OS X 10.6.2 compatibility.

Cocktail 4.6.1 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update

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Date: Monday, November 9th, 2009, 14:14
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Apple released its second maintenance update to its Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system. Mac OS X 10.6.2, a 473 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes for the following issues:

- An issue that might cause your system to logout unexpectedly.
- Graphics distortion in Safari Top Sites.
- An issue wherein Spotlight search results not showing Exchange contacts.
- A problem that prevented authenticating as an administrative user.
- Issues when using NTFS and WebDAV file servers.
- The reliability of menu extras.
- An issue with the 4-finger swipe gesture.
- An issue that causes Mail to quit unexpectedly when setting up an Exchange server.
- Address Book becoming unresponsive when editing.
- A problem adding images to contacts in Address Book.
- An issue that prevented opening files downloaded from the Internet.
- Safari plug-in reliability.
- General reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, and iDisk.
- An issue that caused data to be deleted when using a guest account.

Other fixes include improved video playback, fixes for performance on certain Nvidia graphics cards and assorted security updates.

As always, the update can be snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new update and noticed anything, positive or negative, please let us know in the comments.

Apple Seeds Latest 10.6.2 Build, Includes Bug Fixes for Fusion 3.0, iMacs, Retains Atom Support

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Date: Thursday, November 5th, 2009, 04:59
Category: Software

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Apple has released the most recent build of its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 operating system update. Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with the build, titled 10C540 have said that it contains fixes for AirPort performance issues on the newly released iMacs and also resolves a problem which arose when plugging and unplugging a system to an Apple TV. A VMWare fix is also included, presumably for the newly released Fusion version 3.0.

The new build also fixes reported panic issues with USB, Apple Filing Protocol, and some video cards.

In the 10.6.2 update, Apple plans on fixing and tweaking nearly 150 OS X components.

Some components slated for fixes include: AppleBacklight, Battery Menu, Dictionary, Expose, FileSync, Family Controls, Fonts, Front Row, HFS, Inkwell, iPhoto, MobileMe, OpenCL, Parental Controls, QuickTime, Screen Sharing, Spell Checker, Spotlight, Time Machine, and USB.

The new build also reportedly restores support for Intel’s Atom processor, which was said to have been blacklisted and might not be supported in the update given its popularity in the “Hackintosh” community.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 is expected to be released sometime this month and will reportedly be around 480 MB in size.

Apple to Upgrade Nearly 150 Components in Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update

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Date: Thursday, October 29th, 2009, 05:34
Category: Software

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Recently, Apple shipped yet another beta of its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 operating system update to developers, the update altering nearly 150 components. Per AppleInsider, the latest beta, labeled Mac OS X 10.6.2 build 10C535, arrives one week after the Mac maker issued build 10C531 to address issues with Snow Leopard’s Dock, ColorSync, QuartzCore and graphic driver components.

This week, Apple has asked developers to continue to provide feedback on graphics drivers while also tasking them with focusing their evaluation efforts on TrackPad preferences and the ability to create virtual machines, sources close to the story say.

As was the case with last week’s beta, documentation accompanying build 10C535 reportedly lists no known issues. While Apple has temporarily ceased its practice of providing a running list of bug fixes that will come baked into the impending release, it did identify 148 components that have seen tweaks.

Among those components are AppleBacklight, Battery Menu, Dictionary, Expose, FileSync, Family Controls, Fonts, Front Row, HFS, Inkwell, iPhoto, MobileMe, OpenCL, Parental Controls, QuickTime, Screen Sharing, Spell Checker, Spotlight, Time Machine, and USB.

In bare bones Delta form, Mac OS X 10.6.2 currently weighs in at a roughly 480 megabyte download. The update is expected for release sometime in November.