Skype 2.8.0.438 Released

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Date: Thursday, April 9th, 2009, 07:20
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Skype released version 2.8.0.438 of its popular Voice over Internet Protocol communications program.
The new version, a 41.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

  • change: spectator window for screen sharing.
  • change: My Account page embedded in the client.
  • bugfix: Skype didn’t hide on OS X login< ./li>
  • bugfix: copy/paste from chats was not working correctly.
  • bugfix: sometimes Skype froze for a couple of seconds when starting or stopping screen sharing.
  • bugfix: screen sharing windows could be left on screen when a call was joined to a conference.
  • bugfix: PiP didn’t appear in full screen when receiving screen sharing.
  • bugfix: the overlay didn’t appear for fullscreen screen sharing and then the exit fullscreen button didn’t work.
  • bugfix: fullscreen mode would exit after a held call was resumed.
  • bugfix: call could not be ended after being redirected to voicemail.
  • bugfix: the call window layout was broken if the dialpad was shown during a video call
  • bugfix: URLs inside brackets were not clickable.
  • bugfix: sometimes Skype crashed after deleting missed events without reading them.
  • Click the jump for the full story…

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    Recent Mac OS X 10.5.7 Beta Focuses on 100+ Fixes, Second Security Update for 2009

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    Date: Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:44
    Category: Software

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    A recent Mac OS X 10.5.7 beta has made its way among Apple developer with Apple apparently also beta testingits second security update of the year for certain Mac OS X distributions.
    According to AppleInsider, build 9J44 of Mac OS X 10.5.7 was released to developers. The new beta arrives a little more than a week after the company issued build 9J39 and, per sources close to the story, offers a fix for a PDF font render along with four other fixes, thus bringing the number of documented code corrections to 104.
    Similarly, the lone issue affecting the last several builds has been the inability to install Apple’s Safari 4 beta, which hasn’t been tweaked to run on the new system update.
    Mac OS X 10.5.7, code-named Juno, is expected for a release sometime this month and reportedly weighs in at approximately 442MB. A combo updater capable of updating versions of Leopard prior to 10.5.6 and bundling earlier security improvements is currently about 730MB.
    Where the second security update is concerned, Apple has reportedly tasked security experts with evaluating its second security update to Mac OS X of the 2009 calendar year. The release is said to be in testing for versions of Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 operating system and a version for Mac OS X 10.5 has yet to be reported.
    People familiar with the situation say Apple doesn’t brief its security testers on the improvements it bundles into beta security updates and instead asks them probe for holes blindly. As such, it’s not entirely clear what components of Tiger it targets, though the rumor is that it addresses a networking vulnerability.
    Apple is expected to recommend the update “for all users” saying it “improves the security of Mac OS X.” Four different distributions are currently being evaluated: Tiger client (PPC), Tiger server (PPC), Tiger client (Intel), and Tiger server (Intel).
    The latest known builds are reportedly 8S410 (PPC) and 8S2410 (Intel).

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    How-To: Reset Mac OS X’s Software Updater Function

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    Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 07:20
    Category: How-To

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    As nigh-indispensable as Mac OS’s Software Update feature can be to locate and install patches for the operating system and supported applications from Apple, there remains the fact that some items might not install or the updater may not seem to work at all.
    Per MacFixIt, a user identified as “The Dragon” posted this comment over in the Apple Discussion Boards:

    “After a longish while, the “Checking for new software…” progress bar [in Software Update] had reached about halfway, and the update list indicated it had found five updates. At that point however, the progress bar chose to freeze entirely. After a good while and no further progress, I Cancel the update, and attempt to relaunch. Software Update opens, but the aforementioned progress bar freezes immediately.”

    Like any other application, problems can occur if any required resources have become corrupt. From here, the application will start properly and not run correctly. These resources can include the program’s preferences files and caches. In addition, when updates are applied, a receipt is generated that Software Update reads to know what updates have already been installed. If an installation fails, but the receipt is left, software update may not try to install a needed update. Additionally, if a receipt is corrupt, then software update may try to repeatedly install the same update.
    Assorted fixes for the issue include the following steps:

    Fixes:
    1. Remove Software Update preference and cache files.
    If Software Update seems to be unable to complete an update, and either freezes or quits half-way through checking for updates, then try removing the application’s preferences and cache files from the following locations:
    /username/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ –> remove “com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.NUMBER.plist”
    /username/Library/Preferences/ –> remove “com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist”
    /username/Library/Caches/ –> remove “com.apple.SoftwareUpdate” (folder)
    /Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/ –> remove”com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist”
    After removing these items, restart the system for the changes to take effect and try launching Software Update again.
    2. Remove faulty receipts.
    If an update continuously appears and is being applied, try removing the receipt for that specific update. The receipt should be located in the /Macintosh HD/Library/Receipts/ folder and will be named something similar to the update files (i.e., FrontRowUpdate2.1.7.pkg). Do not delete the receipt, but instead move it to the desktop or some other location and retry the update. If it still does not work, replace the receipt in its original location, since it may be required and isn’t the root of the problem.

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    Apple Releases iTunes 8.1.1 Update

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    Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 06:17
    Category: Software

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    Late Monday, Apple released iTunes 8.1.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 68 megabyte download, offers the following fixes, changes and new features:

  • Adds support for renting HD movies.
  • Provides a number of bug fixes, including addressing issues with VoiceOver and syncing with iPhone or iPod touch.
  • iTunes 8.1.1 is available for free, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be snagged using Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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    Sleep Tips for MacBook, MacBook Pro Notebooks Published

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    Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 09:03
    Category: How-To

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    Albeit generally reliable, putting your MacBook or MacBook Pro notebook to sleep can be a bit of a gamble. When you open the notebook back up, you want to make sure the computer will wake up again or your day just got that much worse.
    Over on the Apple Core, David Morgenstern has offered the following tips in getting his MacBook Pro to wake from sleep under both Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X 10.5.
    Per Mac OS X 10.4:

    1. Before I put the machine to sleep, I unplug anything connected, such as an Ethernet cable, hard drive or mouse.
    2. Next I use the Sleep command under the Apple Menu to put the MacBook to sleep and I wait until the screen actually goes blank before closing the lid. I don’t just close the lid.
    3. When I go to wake the MacBook, I open the machine and make sure that I don’t plug anything into the machine before I wake it.

    Interestingly enough, Mac OS X’s Energy Saver panel allows for multiple types of sleep (“computer sleep,” which is what we commonly think of as sleep, where the system sleeps; “display sleep,” where the screen goes black; and “hard disk” sleep, where the drive spins down).
    The column then mentions that the following types of sleep can be used:

    Sleep, where the Mac saves the state in RAM, which means it can go to sleep and wake up quickly, but could bring trouble if the battery runs down or is removed.
    Hibernate, where the state is written to the hard disk (the safest for your data), but takes the longest time to be put to sleep and to wake up.
    Combination Sleep and Hibernate, which Apple calls Safe Sleep. It may take the longest time to sleep but it also can wake quickly. And if your MacBook supports it, you can swap in a fresh battery.

    For users looking to specify the sleep type used, software developer Patrick Stein’s SmartSleep lets you choose between the modes.
    For users experiencing problems getting their MacBook notebook to sleep, Apple’s “Why Your Mac Might Not Sleep or Stay in Sleep Mode” Knowledge Base article offers the following tips:

    There are reasons why you may want your Mac to stay awake even though you are not using the keyboard or mouse, such as when you are:
    Watching a DVD movie
    Listening to your iTunes music library
    Running an automated backup
    Away from your computer while downloading large files

    The article also mentions that using Bluetooth devices can disrupt a MacBook’s sleep function:

    You can allow Bluetooth devices to wake a sleeping computer by enabling “Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer” in Bluetooth preferences. A bluetooth device paired correctly should not typically prevent a computer from sleeping. However, some Bluetooth mice can interfere with sleep.

    Finally, applications themselves can affect sleep:

    If an application uses a custom font to display text but the font resource is marked purgeable, then at some point the memory manager will purge the font from memory. When the application tries to draw text using that font again, it will be loaded from the hard drive, resetting the sleep timer.
    Applications can be designed to keep the system awake and prevent idle sleep indefinitely. In developer lingo, an application may explicitly prevent system sleep by calling IORegisterForSystemPower(), and calling IOCancelPowerChange() when it receives a power management kIOMessageCanSystemSleep notification.

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    VLC Updated to 0.9.9a

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    Date: Monday, April 6th, 2009, 06:36
    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.), has recently been updated to version 0.9.9a. The new version, a 31.6 megabyte download, fixes the application’s behavior on PowerPC-based Macs and includes updated libraries for the Mac OS X platforms.
    VLC 0.9.9a requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available as a free download.

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    VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.3

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    Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2009, 08:23
    Category: Software

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    Late Thursday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.3 of its Fusion software for the Mac.
    Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.
    The new version, a 286 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:

  • Resolves an issue where driverless printing stops working for users that run Mac OS X 10.5.6, and installed Apple Mac OS X Security Update 2009-001. The shared printers would disappear from Windows. If you configured your printer differently as a workaround, turn on driverless printing feature again by clicking Virtual Machine > Settings, selecting Printers, and selecting the Enabled check box.
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server as a guest operating system. You can now run the current Snow Leopard Server builds (32-bit kernel) in a virtual machine.
  • Resolves an issue with driverless printing, where the Enabled check box on Virtual Machine > Settings > Printers might get deselected automatically.
  • The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

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    VLC Updated to 0.9.9

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2009, 08:36
    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.), has recently been updated to version 0.9.9. The new version, a 19.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fullscreen behaviour on Windows with multiple screens.
  • Workaround bug with libxml2 >=2.7.3.
  • Video performance on Intel-based Macs.
  • Various decoders updates on Windows.
  • VLC 0.9.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available as a free download.

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    OmniWeb Updated to 5.9.2

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    Date: Thursday, April 2nd, 2009, 07:31
    Category: Software

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    Late Wednesday, Omni released version 5.9.1 of its OmniWeb web browser. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Implemented support for the Gopher protocol–a first for WebKit-based browsers.
  • OmniWeb 5.9.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve played with the new version and noticed any major improvements or shortcomings, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Camino Reaches Version 1.6.7

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    Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 08:38
    Category: Software

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    Late Tuesday, the Camino Project released version 1.6.7 of Camino, its free, open source web browser.
    The new version, a 15.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Upgraded to version 1.8.1.21 of the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine, which includes several critical security and stability fixes.
  • OpenSearch plug-ins containing ampersands will now work correctly on Mac OS X 10.3.9.
  • Cookies without a valid name no longer prevent display of the list of stored cookies.
  • Quitting Camino with the pop-up blocker visible should no longer cause a crash.
  • Find will now work properly when viewing JavaScript files which use the new JavaScript MIME type definitions.
  • The default browser pop-up menu will no longer show a blank default browser on clean Mac OS X 10.5 installations.
  • Selecting an item from a context menu after its window has closed will no longer cause a crash.
  • The icon for the Google feed handler has been updated to match the new Google site icon.
  • Upgraded the “Block flash animations” code to use Flashblock 1.5.8.
  • Improved ad-blocking.
  • Camino requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
    If you’ve tried the new version of Camino and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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