Cocktail 4.4.1 (Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Tuesday, August 11th, 2009, 12:29
Category: News

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.4.1 of Cocktail (Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 1.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
* Addresses compatibility issues with Firefox 3.5.x and Flock 2.5.x web browsers
* Added clearing of the latest variants of the RSPlug (Jahlav) trojan horse
* Added Mac OS X 10.5.8 compatibility
* Other minor bug fixes and improvements.
* Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 4.4.1 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Microsoft Releases Office 2008 12.2.1, Open XML Converter 1.1.1 Updates

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Date: Friday, August 7th, 2009, 05:06
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Microsoft released updates for its Microsoft Office 2008 suite as well as its Open XML Converter applications.

The new version of Microsoft Office 2008, a 23.8 megabyte download, corrects a problem that prevented Office 2008 from opening some Open XML documents. Office 2008 would, under certain circumstances, display an error indicating that it couldn’t open the file, and instructed the user to download a more recent update of Office for Mac.

According to TidBITS, Microsoft indicated that the problem affected Open XML Word, Excel, PowerPoint presentation and PowerPoint show files, along with templates and macro-enabled Open XML documents and templates.

The Open XML Converter utility, which reached version 1.1.1, is available as a 45 megabyte download.

The updates require Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases Security Update 2009 – 003

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Date: Thursday, August 6th, 2009, 04:34
Category: security, Software

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Along with yesterday’s release of the long-awaited Mac OS X 10.5.8 update, Apple also released four security updates for users of OS X 10.4.

According to Macworld, the updates for the PowerPC version of Tiger, the Intel version of Tiger, the PowerPC version of Tiger Server, and the Universal version of Tiger Server address security issues that could have cause applications to quit unexpectedly or arbitrarily execute code. Those issues include decompressing maliciously crafted data, viewing a maliciously crafted image with an embedded ColorSync profile, viewing a maliciously crafted OpenEXR, or processing a maliciously crafted PNG image. The update also addressed a format string issue in Login Window that could lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

The updates can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.4.11 to install and run.

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.5.8 Update

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Date: Thursday, August 6th, 2009, 04:22
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released Mac OS X 10.5.8, the latest version of the Mac OS X operating system. The new version, which varies in size per its download, offers the following fixes and changes:

* Upgrades Safari to version 4.0.2.
* Improves the accuracy of full history search in Safari 4.
* Resolves an issue in which certain resolutions might not appear in the Display pane in System Preferences.
* Dragging an Aperture image into Automator now invokes an Aperture action instead of incorrectly invoking an iPhoto action.
* Resolves an issue that could prevent importing of large photo and movie files from digital cameras.
* Improves overall Bluetooth reliability with external devices, USB webcams and printers.
* Addresses an issue that could cause extended startup times.
* Improves iCal reliability with MobileMe Sync and CalDav.
* Addresses data reliability issues with iDisk and MobileMe.
* Improves overall reliability with AFP.
* Improves overall reliability with Managed Client.
* Improves compatibility and reliability for joining AirPort networks.
* Improves Sync Service reliability.
* Includes additional RAW image support for several third-party cameras.
* Improves compatibility with some external USB hard drives.
* Includes latest security fixes.

The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update is available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature and is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard. A combo updater, weighing in at a hefty 759 MB download, is also available for those upgrading from versions of Mac OS X 10.5.

If you’ve installed Mac OS X 10.5.8 and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments!

QuarkXPress 8.1 Out the Door

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Date: Wednesday, August 5th, 2009, 03:02
Category: Software

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Late Tuesday, software developer Quark released version 8.1 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 752 megabyte update, which can be downloaded here, adds the following fixes and changes:

* Improves PDF output capabilities.
* Introduces a ‘Native Transparency’ mode for creating PDFs which can offer designers faster and more flexible PDF output support and provide greater control over their PDF workflow process.
* Renovates spell checking, adding the ability to paste text without formatting, and improves productivity with Scale functionality.
* Improves Usability and Item Styles.
* Works to prevent errors by reporting faux font styles such as bold or italic.
* Readies QuarkXPress for Snow Leopard and Windows 7 compatibility, and the Windows version of this release adds a Welcome Screen.

QuarkXPress 8.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 later to install and run and retails for US$799.00 for the full version.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.5.2 Update

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Date: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009, 04:00
Category: Software

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Early Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.5.2 of its Firefox web browser.
The new version, a 17.5 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:
* Several security issues.
* Images with ICC profiles now render properly on all monitors.

Firefox 3.5.2 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.

Adobe Releases Acrobat, Reader 9.1.3 to Address Security Concerns

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Date: Monday, August 3rd, 2009, 04:28
Category: Software

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Last Friday, Adobe released version 9.1.3 of Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, the company’s Portable Document Format reader and creation utility.

Adobe Systems has updated Acrobat and Reader to version 9.1.3. Both updates are available through the Adobe Updater application or for download through Adobe’s Web site.

The new versions of Acrobat and Reader both address “critical security vulnerabilities while providing more stability,” according to Adobe’s documentation.

Both Adobe Reader 9.1.3 and Adobe Acrobat 9.1.3 require Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.0.1 to Close SMS-Based Security Hole

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Date: Friday, July 31st, 2009, 10:29
Category: iPhone

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Responding to a dangerous security exploit unveiled this week, Apple released an update to its iPhone operating system Thursday to patch the security hole.

iPhone OS has just become available for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS handsets. The update is between 230 and 300 megabytes and appears to exclusively fix the reported SMS exploit.

According to AppleInsider, security researcher Charlie Miller, co-author of The Mac Hacker’s Handbook, demonstrated the hack Thursday at the Black Hat 2009 conference in Las Vegas. The attack takes advantage of a vulnerability in the phone’s short messaging service, or SMS, feature, allowing an outside party into the phone’s root access without the owner’s knowledge.

The exploit takes advantage of the fact that SMS can send binary code to a phone which is then automatically processed without user interaction, and can be compiled from multiple messages, allowing larger programs to be sent to a phone. The exploit supposedly exposes the iPhone completely, allowing access to the camera, dialer, messaging and Safari. It occurs regardless of hardware revision or which version of the iPhone OS is running.

The technique involves sending only one unusual text character or else a series of “invisible” messages that confuse the phone and open the door to attack. Given that users won’t know which messages to block in advance, there’s little iPhone owners can do but to shut off the phone immediately if they suspect they’re at risk. Once exploited, the trick could also be used to make an iPhone send additional messages of its own, thereby spreading the problem.

To install the new iPhone OS firmware, simply connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC, open iTunes, select the iPhone in the device window and tell it to check for an update. The process will complete on its own.

If you’ve tried the new firmware, let us know what you make of it in the comments or forums.

Drive Genius 2.2 Out the Door

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Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009, 10:54
Category: Software

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Prosoft Engineering has released Drive Genius 2.1.1, an updated version of its drive repair and recovery program for Mac OS X.

The new version, a 33.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and features:
* Now supports Snow Leopard.
* Improved defragmentation functionality.
* Improved repartition performance and other improvements.

Drive Genius retails for US$99 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later installed to work. The application is a Universal Binary and functions natively under both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

VLC Reaches Version 1.0.1

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Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009, 04:18
Category: Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 1.0.1 on Tuesday. The new version, a 28.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

* Flv and mpeg2 seeking.
* Wmv, wav, rtsp and ssa support.
* Fixes for Qt and MacOS interface.
* Fix of an integer underflow in Real pseudo-RTSP module.
* Translations updates.
* Port of the ZVBI module to Windows for full teletext support.
* Codecs updates for Windows and Mac OS.

VLC 1.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and is available as a free download.