VMWare Fusion 6 released, offers Mavericks, Windows 8.1 support

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Date: Wednesday, September 4th, 2013, 07:24
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock the new version of a pretty useful virtualization application.

Per 9to5Mac, VMware has just released the immediate availability of VMware Fusion 6 and VMware Fusion 6 Professional. The new version of the virtualization software boasts over 50 new features and is prepared for the new operating systems coming from both Apple (Mavericks) and Microsoft (Windows 8.1).


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The new version offers the following fixes and changes:
- Supports Mavericks multi-display features and even AirPlay displays.

- Enhanced dictation support.

- Run Mavericks as a guest operating system – can be installed using the recovery partition in just a couple of clicks.

- Ready for Windows 8.1.

- Built-in optimizations for the Haswell processors.

- Up to 16 virtual CPUs, 64GB of RAM, and 8TB of disk space – ready for the new Mac Pro coming soon.

- VMware Fusion 6 is available exclusively on the VMware Online Store for US$59.99 or US$49.99 for VMware Fusion 4 or 5 upgraders. A 30 day trial is available as well.

The announcement comes just days after Parallels announced the release of Parallels Desktop 9, which is currently available as an upgrade. The full version will be available tomorrow. We’ll have a full review of both apps shortly.

Generally Parallels is geared toward single users and has better performance whereas VMware is geared toward larger enterprise and folks who also work on PCs.

VMWare 6 requires any 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo processor or better, 2 GM of RAM, 750MB free disk space and OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run.

QuarkXPress updated to 9.5.3

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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.

Google Chrome updated to 29.0.1547.62

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Date: Friday, August 30th, 2013, 08:16
Category: News, Software

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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

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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

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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.

Apple could release OS X 10.8.5 update as soon as today

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Date: Monday, August 26th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

If you’ve been hankering for OS X 10.8.5, it could hit as soon as today.

Per AppleInsider, Apple began supplying prerelease builds of OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion to select partners on Monday, signaling that a public release of the maintenance and software update is not far behind.

Sources familiar with the software indicated that the prerelease version made available is identified as build “12F35.” The update, recommended for all users of Mountain Lion, includes the following changes:
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages.

- Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

- Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically.

- Improves Xsan reliability.

The prerelease build supplied to partners on Monday is said to weigh in at 286 megabytes. Those early releases are typically provided only hours before the software is launched to the public, suggesting that OS X 10.8.5 will arrive on Monday.

A total of seven beta builds of OS X 10.8.5 have been supplied to developers for testing ahead of the final release. The most recent was issued on July 31, identified as build “12F30.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.08

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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.

Apple seeds Mavericks Developer Preview 6 to programmer community, include minor fixes

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Date: Thursday, August 22nd, 2013, 07:41
Category: News, Software

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Mavericks is still en route, folks.

Per MacNN, on Wednesday, Apple seeded the sixth Developer Preview of the next major upgrade of OS X, known as “Mavericks” (10.9) to developers. Apple appears to be back on its normal development cycle following the disruption of the Developer Center due to a security intrusion in July. The latest update comes two weeks after the fifth DP, which introduced iBooks for the Mac to the upgrade. Registered developers can download the software from the Mac App Store or Software Update. The final version is expected to arrive in September.

The update arrives with no significant reported enhancements, just bug fixes and minor tweaks. The final version will include new additions such as Finder Tabs, Apple Maps for OS X, and a number of processor-management enhancements that should further extend battery life for portable users, among other features.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 29.0.1547.57

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Date: Wednesday, August 21st, 2013, 07:05
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, Google released version 29.0.1547.57 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 51.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Improved Omnibox suggestions based on the recency of sites you have visited.

- Ability to reset your profile back to its original state.

- Many new apps and extensions APIs.

Lots of stability and performance improvements:
- Incomplete path sanitization in file handling.

- Information leak via overly broad permissions on shared memory files.

- Integer overflow in ANGLE.

- Use after free in XSLT.

- Use after free in media element.

- Use after free in document parsing.

- Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

Google Chrome 29.0.1547.57 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.

Cocktail updated to 6.7

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Date: Tuesday, August 20th, 2013, 06:53
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.7 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 System caches” procedure. Added clearing of CVMS and Core symbolication daemon caches. XPC Helper Agent cache is now forced to be rebuilt – this can fix many of media plug-in issues, including issues with Aperture and iPhoto.

- Improvements on the “Clear Java caches” procedure. Added compatibility with the latest version of Java.

- Improvements on the “Clear Kernel caches” procedure. Addresses an issue in which kernel cache could not be rebuilt, “Can’t create kext cache under / – owner not root” error.

- Improvements on the “Clear QuickLook caches” procedure.

- Improvements on the “Clear QuickTime caches” procedure.

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may not be able to change Launchpad background blur radius.

- Addresses an issue in which number of CPU cores may not be displayed in the Specifications window.

- Added OS X 10.8.5 compatibility.

- Updated Automator actions.

- Updated Help files.

Cocktail 6.7 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.