Apple Releases Java Security Update for Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.5 Operating Systems

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Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 18:12
Category: Software

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On Monday, Apple released Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 4 (a 158.3 megabyte download) and Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 9 (an 80.1 megabyte download). The two updates work to “deliver improved reliability, security and compatibility” and are available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The updates address previously reported exploits to Java that Sun Microsystems patched more than six months ago.

How-To: Add Multi-Touch Functionality to Your Pre-2008 Apple Notebook Trackpad

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Date: Monday, June 15th, 2009, 18:13
Category: How-To, MacBook

Amidst heated controversy as to whether Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system will add multi-touch gestures to older MacBook and MacBook pro notebooks, the guys at The Unofficial Apple Weblog have taken it upon themselves to ask what makes a multi-touch trackpad unique and how to simulate this on an Apple notebook sans such an interface. The answer lies in an embedded controller chip, identical to the one in the iPhone and iPod Touch, which allows advanced input from more than two fingers at once.

Later, Apple’s unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros debuted with multi-touch trackpads, but also introduced new four-finger gestures, which will not be officially supported in the older MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros until Snow Leopard’s release.

The original MacBook Air and early 2008 MacBook Pro are the only machines which will gain additional gestures via Snow Leopard. The only reason these notebook models are able to gain these gestures via software updates, while earlier MacBook Pros and all plastic MacBooks are not, is because they possess the multi-touch controller chip in their trackpads.

The following is the list of Apple notebooks that will support multi-touch gestures, either now or after Snow Leopard:

  • MacBook Air (all models)
  • Early 2008 MacBook Pro
  • Late 2008 17″ MacBook Pro
  • Unibody MacBook (all models)
  • Unibody MacBook Pro (all models)

Still, for pre-2008 and plastic MacBook owners, the following steps (courtesy of the MacRumors forums) can help bring multi-touch functionality to your notebook:

First, download a modified AppleUSBMultitouch.kext file. Navigate to System/Library/Extensions, and remove the old AppleUSBMultitouch.kext (you will need to type in your admin password).

Move the modified AppleUSBMultitouch.kext into System/Library/Extensions. You’ll most likely have to type in your password again.

This next step is critical: repair disk permissions using Disk Utility. If you don’t, after you restart your trackpad will not function.

Once permissions are repaired, restart. Success!

This procedure isn’t for the faint of heart and will probably have to be repeated with every major Mac OS X 10.5.x update, but it should provide multi-touch goodness if you want it.

Delicious Library Updated to 2.1.1

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:33
Category: Software

Late Thursday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.1.1 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.

The new version, a 15.8 megabyte download, incorporates the following major fixes and changes:

  • There is a free Delicious Library iPhone app for viewing your collection on-the-go (without needing a network connection).
  • When you first run Delicious Library 2.1 you’ll be prompted to download the iPhone app, if you have an iPhone.
  • Our long national nightmare is finally over, and details are vertical again (like in version one), instead of horizontal.
  • Lots of layout changes because of this. Rather than merely going back to version one’s look, I’ve tried to improve on it.
  • We now allow copying / pasting the raw cover image from the details pane using standard copy menu item. (Just click on image first.)
  • Some fields have been added to make syncing and publishing your collection faster in the future, but this requires a one-time upgrade when you first launch version 2.1.
  • This upgrade may take a long time. Sorry.
  • Your new file will NOT work with 2.0, but a backup of your 2.0 data is made in the folder Library / Application Support / Delicious Library 2 – you can use that if you want to go back for some reason.
  • If you launch Delicious Library after upgrading, and get a message to the effect of “the model file can’t be used with the data file,” that means you’re accidentally running an your old 2.0 version, not 2.1. You probably don’t want to leave Delicious Library 2.0.7 on your system after going to 2.1.
  • Scanning with your web cam, our Bluetooth scanner, or a USB scanner has been enhanced so you can select different kinds of shelves and scan new or existing items and the functionality you might expect now actually works:
  • If you select a custom shelf in your collection and scan a new or existing item, the item will be created if needed, then added to the selected shelf.
  • If you select a friend’s shelf and scan a new or existing item, the item will be created if needed and then loaned to the friend. (If you have multiple copies of the same item already in your library, only the first one that hasn’t already been loaned out will be lent.)
  • If you select one of your shelves (or your main library) and scan an existing item that has been loaned out, the item will be checked-in. (If you have multiple copies of the same item in your library, only the last one on your shelf that has been loaned out will be checked-in.)
  • ‘Number in Series’ property is now present for all media types.
  • Worked around a Logitech mouse driver bug – people who installed the Logitech mouse driver found that many items would draw as their generic types instead of specific types (eg, Nintendo video games would draw as DVDs instead of in Nintendo boxes). Logitech illegally injects their code into ALL running programs in their current software, and actually messes up other people’s code.
  • Fixed a very rare bug we’d fail to scan items that had two different keywords in their subtitles that we recognized, like “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Widescreen & Full Screen Edition)”
  • Fixed a bug where Backups were sometimes truncated when they were written out, so they couldn’t be read in again. (Sorry!)
  • iPods (non-touch) are now listed under the new “DEVICES” header shelf.
  • iPods present themselves like iPods do in iTunes, for syncing libraries.
  • iPods now delete the library out of their “Notes” directory if you set them to no longer sync.
  • iPods won’t needlessly sync as often if you leave them plugged in.
  • iPods won’t ever be duplicated (rare bug).
  • Only write out the first 1,000 items to the iPod, since iPods are hard-wired by Apple to never display more than 1,000 notes, and it just slows us down to write, like, 7,000 items every time a single one changes.
  • Pop up a HUD when updating the iPod’s contents.
  • Searches are now encoded correctly when searching for items by keywords in non-English alphabets, including Japanese (finally), German, and French. It turns out there’s no real standard for these searches, but I finally figured out what Amazon does.
  • ‘Search for Cover Art’ now works for items with special characters in their names (eg, “Harold & Kumar”).
  • Added a first Korean localization.
  • Fixed some translations from user suggestions.

Delicious Library 2.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.11 Update

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:19
Category: Software

Late Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.11 of its Firefox web browser.

The new version, a 17.3 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Several issues were reported with the internal database, SQLite, which have now been fixed by upgrading to a newer version.
  • Fixed an issue where, in some specific cases, the bookmarks database would become corrupt. (bug 464486)

The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to Retail for $29 Upgrade Price

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Date: Thursday, June 11th, 2009, 09:26
Category: News

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Recently, Apple announced a final ship date and upgrade price its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system. The new OS will hit this September as an upgrade for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) users and be available for US$29.
According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Snow Leopard features include built-in Microsoft Exchange 2007 support along with a slicker install process, faster applications, and 64-bit versions of standard applications that boost overall performance. Apple brags that “[u]sers will notice a more responsive Finder; Mail that loads messages 85 percent faster and conducts searches up to 90 percent faster; Time Machine with up to 50 percent faster initial backup; a Dock with Expose integration; a 64-bit version of Safari 4 that boosts the performance of the Nitro JavaScript engine by up to 50 percent and is resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins.”
In addition to the US$29 single user upgrade, a family pack upgrade will cost US$49. Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) users will pay US$169 for a 10.6/iLife box set or US$229 for a family pack.
All users who purchased or will purchase a new qualifying Mac between June8th and December 26th will receive a free upgrade package and pay US$9.95 for shipping and handling. You must request your up-to-date upgrade within 90 days of your original purchase.
Snow Leopard requires a minimum of 1GB RAM and runs on Intel-based Macintoshes. Full system requirements are hosted at Apple’s tech specs page.

Microsoft Releases Office 2004 11.5.5, Office 2008 12.1.9 and Open XML Converter 1.0.3 Updates

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 09:47
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Microsoft released updates for both its Office 2004 and Office 2008 suites for the Mac.
Microsoft Office 2004 version 11.5.5, a 59.2 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program, offers stability and performance fixes and repairs a vulnerability in which an outside party could insert malicious code.
The program requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to install and run.
The company also released Microsoft Office 2008 12.1.9, a 267.7 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program that offers improvements to enhance security, stability, and performance, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.
Microsoft Office 2008 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
Finally, the company released Open XML Converter 1.0.3, the latest version of its XML file translation application. The new version, a 44.8 megabyte download, also improves security and prevents malicious code from being activated on your computer. The update can also be installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate application.
Open XML Converter 1.0.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Adobe Reader Updated to 9.1.2

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 09:59
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Adobe released version 9.1.2 of its free Reader program. The program, which has long been a staple for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files, addresses a number of customer workflow issues and critical security vulnerabilities.
Adobe Reader 9.1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and its download file size varies depending on version chosen. The update can also be snagged and installed via the “Check for Updates Online” option, which can be pulled down from Adobe Reader’s Help menu.

Flip4Mac 2.2.3.7 Released

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 08:31
Category: Software

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Software developer Telestream has announced a new beta version of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, an 10.7 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), includes the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed hang when exporting files with a high Quality setting.
  • Added warning when attempting to open a DRM protected file.
  • Improvements to wording and tool tips in Preference Pane.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.
  • Flip4Mac 2.2.3.7 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and QuickTime 6.5.1 or later to run.

    Apple Releases Safari 4.0 Web Browser

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    Date: Tuesday, June 9th, 2009, 09:27
    Category: Software

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    Amidst yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference announcements, Apple finally released Safari 4.0, the newest version of its web browser. The new version, available here, is reported to run JavaScript up to 4.5 times faster than Safari 3.
    Other new features include Top Sites, Full History Search and Cover Flow, and support for modern web standards like HTML 5 and advanced CSS Effects.
    Safari 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    Google Releases Early Beta of Chrome Web Browser for Mac OS X

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, June 5th, 2009, 09:02
    Category: Software

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    It ain’t for the faint of heart, but according to Macworld UK, the Google team released an early beta of its long-anticipated Chrome web browser for Mac OS X.
    Under the heading “Danger: Mac and Linux builds available” the Google Chromium blog warns of the following:
    “In order to get more feedback from developers, we have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, but whatever you do, please DON’T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software.”
    “How incomplete? So incomplete that, among other things, you won’t yet be able to view YouTube videos, change your privacy settings, set your default search provider, or even print.”
    “Meanwhile, we’ll get back to trying to get Google Chrome on these platforms stable enough for a beta release as soon as possible!”
    Take a gander if you’re feeling brave and let us know what you make of it…