Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.3.6 update

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Date: Wednesday, July 17th, 2013, 12:30
Category: News, security, Software

An update’s an update.

Microsoft on Wednesday released version 14.3.6 of its Microsoft Office 2011 suite for the Mac. The update, a 113 megabyte download, features the following changes:
- This update fixes an issue in which Outlook repeatedly tried to send messages that exceeded certain server-side size limits from the Outbox. Now, messages that exceed these size limits are put in the local Drafts folder after three unsuccessful attempts to send the messages.

- This update fixes an issue in which syncing a folder from which many messages were deleted on another client frequently caused Microsoft Outlook for Mac to freeze.

- This update fixes an issue that causes Word to be unable to save files to an SMB share.

- Full release notes can be found here.

The update can also be located and installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate feature.

Microsoft Office 2011 14.3.6 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Mid-2013 Haswell-based MacBook Air owners cite volume fluctuation issue

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Date: Monday, July 15th, 2013, 08:51
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News, Software

This is why they invented firmware updates…

Per Macworld UK, a number of MacBook Air owners have taken to Apple’s Support Community forums to express concern over unexpected, and unwanted, changes in volume when viewing video content.

According to numerous posts, the issue presents itself in both first-party and third-party applications, such as QuickTime and Google’s Chrome. It is unclear whether the issue extends into other areas of OS X, though many of the replies to the thread started on June 21 pertain to watching videos.

A trigger or cause has yet to be discovered, though some users have found third-party volume control and enhancement apps like Boom can serve as a temporary fix while Apple works to resolve the problem.

Apple recently refreshed its MacBook Air lineup in June, concentrating on a significant boost to battery life instead of focusing on performance. With the new Airs, Apple also introduced the first Macs to boast 802.11ac “Gigabit Wi-Fi,” a next-generation wireless protocol that promises speeds up to 1300Mbps with the also new AirPort Express.

Previous to Friday’s news, both MacBook Air models were found to be running 802.11ac at speeds far less than advertised. It is thought that OS X is to blame for the artificial speed cap, but Apple has yet to acknowledge the issue and it remains unresolved.

If you’ve seen this issue with your own mid-2013 MacBook Air, please let us know in the comments.

Delicious Library updated to 3.1.1

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Date: Monday, July 15th, 2013, 07:09
Category: News, Software

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Late Friday, software company Delicious Monster released version 3.1.1 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 77 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- PlayStation 4 games draw nicely.

- Help localized into Catalan courtesy of Xavier Escribano.

- Publishing preview doesn’t lock up the UI as much.

- Recommendations does a better job of hiding items you already own.

- Fixed adding books by barcode on Amazon China.

- Dates in smart shelf rules are normalized from the current time zone, so “Release Date >= 1990-01-01″ matches items with a release date of “1990″.

- Field names in smart shelf rules are more consistent with the names used elsewhere.

- Fixed spelling of plurals in some chart titles.

- Fixed “Refresh from Amazon” incorrectly being enabled for iBooks.

- Display warning for incompatibility on 10.9 Developer Preview 2.

- Word cloud charts don’t rearrange unnecessarily.

Delicious Library 3.1.1 retails for US$40 and requires OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

Apple releases AirPort Utility 6.3.1 update

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Date: Thursday, July 11th, 2013, 14:07
Category: News, Software, wireless

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Late Thursday, Apple released AirPort Utility 6.3.1, a 21 megabyte download which offers the following fixes to the AirPort Utility software:

- Fixed an issue that caused some AirPort Base Stations not to be recognized by device apps.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later to install and run. The AirPort Utility update can be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature or via the update feature in Airport Utility itself.

OS X 10.8.5 update in development to reportedly fix Photoshop/flickering issue on Haswell-based MacBook Air notebooks

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Date: Thursday, July 11th, 2013, 06:49
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

As nifty as the new Haswell-based MacBook Air units are, there may be another bug to contend with.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog and MacRumors, it seems that the MBAs with Haswell processors have issues with Adobe’s flagship software. In particular, many MacBook Air owners noticed severe screen flickering while using brush tools in Photoshop. When news of the flickering first surfaced, an Adobe representative said he believed a GPU issue or a driver bug was causing it.

It’s been suggested that that the flickering is a result of a software glitch. Apple has released a new build of OS X 10.8.5 to developers and the Photoshop flickering issue appears to be resolved, as reported by MacRumors:

“Today, MacRumors tipster Todd Davis tells us the flickering issue has been fixed in the OS X 10.8.5 beta released to developers today. The bug made Photoshop nearly unusable for a number of MacBook Air users. Some users have previously suggested that upgrading to the developer release of OS X Mavericks solved the problem, so the fix may be a matter of Apple pushing upgraded code sooner than it planned.”

There’s no word on when users can expect to see OS X 10.8.5 released to the general public. If the latest build does indeed fix the MacBook Air/Photoshop flickering issue, chances are good that Apple will push it out sooner rather than later, since it doesn’t want their newest Haswell laptop to present problems with such popular software.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Earth updated to 7.1.1.1871

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Date: Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, 06:12
Category: News, Software

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Late Monday, software giant Google released version 7.1.1.1871 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 45 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- We have included another fix for the unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2 directory filling beyond specified cache limits for some Windows and Macintosh users.

- Imagery no longer stays blurry upon zooming in when the cache is full.

- Font and tilt settings now stick between sessions.

- Balloon opens now display when recording tours.

- We have included UI improvements to Flight Simulator.

- When printing, the scale legend now displays correct distances.

- Collada models now display with uncorrupted textures.

- Polygons and image overlays now display correctly across the Antimeridian.

- We fixed an issue with certain GPU – driver combinations whereby no imagery displayed in the client.

- The time slider in Sun and Historical Imagery features now displays the correct Daylight Savings time.

- Performance and stability improvements.

Google Earth 7.1.1.1871 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases Mavericks Developer Preview 3 to developer community

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Date: Tuesday, July 9th, 2013, 08:38
Category: News, Software

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Mavericks is coming…

Per MacNN, Apple has posted OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 on Monday. While it is too soon to notice any significant changes or improvements, the beta is focused on compatibility and performance issues, as well as integrating the forthcoming “iCloud Keychain” feature. The update is still dealing with assorted known issues, including some that render it incompatible with even the last Mavericks and iOS 7 betas. Installation on production machines remains strongly discouraged.

The update, which is just over 1GB in size, doesn’t support virtual machines made by VMWare Fusion, nor does Adobe’s After Effects CS6 work properly. A number of functions in DP3 are not backwards-compatible with previous versions — such as new Fusion Drive volumes, screen recordings, Recovery Partition reinstalls and iCloud Keychain. The latter, an expansion of the ability to sync keychains between devices, still has a number of serious known issues.

The iCloud Keychain proposes to move the centralized storage of secure passwords, website usernames and other important data to iCloud, with entries encrypted using 256-bit AES. This enables users to take more advantage of the built-in Password Generator that creates unmemorable complex passwords for online accounts, since users don’t have to remember the password itself, just the one master password that unlocks the keychain and can be used across any devices the user has.

The release notes refer to issues with QuickTime Player, Aperture, Photoshop, Maps and others. The new update does include a newer version of OpenSSH, 6.2p2, but also lists a number of odd bugs such as “the headphone port on the new 2013 MacBook Air will not operate unless headphones are present at boot” and “on some machines, frequently sleeping and waking may result in the machines restarting,” indicating that the latest release is still far from being ready for public consumption. Migration from Windows is still not supported, and network migration from earlier versions of OS X requires a Migration Update (for Snow Leopard and later) that is only available from the Mac Dev Center.

The forthcoming Mavericks promises users long-requested features such as Finder Tabs and better multi-monitor support, extensive efficiency routines that should prolong battery life, improved Maps, a faster Safari, iBooks for the Mac and many other new and improved features. It is expected sometime in the early fall, although no exact release date has been released.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Cocktail updated to 6.5

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Date: Monday, July 8th, 2013, 07:38
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.5 of CocktailCocktail (Mountain Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:
- Added ability to hide the Spotlight menu bar icon (System – Spotlight).

- Added ability to rebuild Mail’s Envelope index database (System – Databases).

- Added ability to clear Mail downloads (Files – Caches).

- Added ability to enable Simple Finder (Interface – Finder).

- Added ability to disable send and reply animations in Mail (Interface – Mail).

- Added OS X 10.8.5 compatibility.

- User interface improvements.

- Updated Automator actions.

- Updated Help files.

Cocktail 6.5 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.

Skype updated to 6.6.0.467

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Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 09:33
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, version 6.6.0.467 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 40 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Improvements:
- Optimizations to video messaging: To ensure a consistent Skype experience no matter which device you use, we have added entry points for video messaging to the share menu (plus button). You will now be prompted to send a video message if your call goes unanswered for ten seconds.

- Upgrading for users with non-administrator accounts: After downloading 6.6, all future updates will be silently downloaded for you even if you don’t have an administrator account on OS X.

- Improvements to the instant messaging experience: We have reintroduced quick access to the button that lets you edit chat messages. By clicking the arrow that appears on hover next to the timestamp of a message, you can access the editing menu.

Resolved:
- [File Transfer] “Reveal File in Finder” can point to the wrong file when multiple files with the same name are sent via file transfer.

- [Conversations] Sometimes unsent chat message does not show up when switching back to prior a conversation.

- [Generic] In some cases, Skype accesses the non-existent file video.cfg every second.

- [Calling] Cannot block phone numbers.

Known issues:
- [Conversations] Messages sent to a Facebook contact show up multiple times. Fix is in progress.

Skype 6.6.0.467 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running 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.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.5 build 12F17 to developer community

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Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 07:28
Category: News, Software

Mavericks is further down the line, but the OS X 10.8.5 update is in progress.

Per 9to5Mac, one week after the second beta seed of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5, Apple has issued OS X 10.8.5 build 12F17 to registered developers. The new update, again, includes no known issues and is available for developers via the Mac Developer Center and the Mac App Store Software Update function.

Apple has asked testers to focus on Wi-Fi, Graphics, Wake from Sleep, PDF viewing and Accessibility, and Mobile Device Management during their testing. Apple has also been providing 10.8.5 beta updates to its retail staff for testing.

If you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.