VirtualBox updated to 4.1.22

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Date: Wednesday, September 12th, 2012, 07:40
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.22. The new version, a 96.6 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

- VMM: fixed a potential host crash triggered by shutting down a VM when another VM was running (only affected 32-bit hosts and 64-bit OS X hosts, 4.1 regression, bug #9897)

- VMM: fixed a potential host crash under a high guest memory pressure (seen with Windows 8 guests).

- VMM: respect RAM preallocation while restoring saved state.

- VMM: fixed handling of task gates if VT-x/AMD-V is disabled.

- Storage: fixed audio CD passthrough for certain media players.

- USB: don’t crash if a USB device is plugged or unplugged when saving or loading the VM state (SMP guests only).

- RTC: fixed a potential corruption of CMOS bank 1.

- Mac OS X hosts: installer fixes for Leopard (4.1.20 regression).

- Windows Additions: fixed memory leak in VBoxTray (bug #10808).

VirtualBox 4.1.22 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know.

Apple making changes with iCloud Notes and Reminders, adding more comprehensive Lost My iPhone feature in forthcoming updates

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Date: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012, 06:27
Category: iCloud, News, Software

Some upcoming iCloud features could prove incredibly useful and interesting.

Per AppleInsider, the upcoming iCloud Notes and Reminders apps are virtually identical to their iOS and OS X Mountain Lion siblings. The new Reminders web app offers a cloud-based version of events synced with iOS mobile devices and desktop Macs, although it does not support location based reminders (simply ignoring any “geofence” reminder settings triggered to go out when entering or leaving a particular location).

Notes gets a similar web treatment, although unlike its iOS and OS X counterparts, there’s no way to change the default font from Noteworthy. Notes on the web also reflects the stitched leather binding of its iOS counterpart rather than the plainer version in OS X.

In addition to the two new apps, iCloud Mail and Calendar are both getting minor updates. The new Mail adds support for VIP inboxes introduced in Mountain Lion’s Mail this summer.

Mail also uses iOS style scroll bars that are skinnier and translucent, in strange contrast to iCloud’s Calendar app, which continues to use a standard scroll bars with a full gutter and arrow buttons.

The only apparent change in Calendars is the removal of the Reminders list, which is now its own app. Similarly, the iCloud Contacts app hasn’t changed at all, so it retains the odd “bookmark” control for accessing contact groups that Apple has removed from both the OS X and iOS 6 versions of the app.

Also left apparently unchanged is Apple’s support for saving and accessing iWork documents from the web. Overall, the company’s web strategy for iCloud seems very conservative, given that both Google and now Microsoft have made web versions of their office apps a prominent part of their software strategy.

One final feature Apple has added to iCloud’s web portfolio is a new “Lost Mode” within Find My iPhone. The new feature is an enhancement over the previous version, which only offers to lock the device and optionally send it a message.

If your iOS 6 device goes missing, you can click on Lost Mode and the app prompts you to enter a phone number and message, locks the device remotely and will track the device every time it moves, reporting changes in location via email updates. It will also draw each location change on the map, showing a trail of where the device has shown up.

Devices that haven’t yet upgraded to iOS 6, along with Macs registered to use iCloud’s Find My Mac, continue to support the old Lock feature, without updates or live tracking.

Notably, Apple is still using Google Maps within iCloud rather than its own Maps that will launch with the new iOS 6 update later this week. The company may transition over to its own map services at some point.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Initial tests show forthcoming OS X 10.8.2 update may help resolve battery life issues

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Date: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012, 06:30
Category: News, Software

They may not be scientific tests, but they prove a point.

Per the intensely cool cats at The Mac Observer, a set of tests published on Monday claim to show significant a boost in MacBook battery life using a new developer build of OS X Mountain Lion, with the latest beta showing an 85-minute increase from the current 10.8.1.

The unscientific test from The Mac Observer pitted numerous revisions of OS X, from 10.6 Snow Leopard to 10.8.2 Mountain Lion developer build 12C35, against each other to determine how the operating system effects battery life.

The test used a 2011 15-inch MacBook Pro running a 2.0 GHz i7 processor with 8 GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 6490M GPU and two internal hard drives, an OCZ Vertex 4 64 GB SSD and a Seagate Momentus 750 GB HDD.

Each operating system was tested at full charge, with all applications and services disabled save for Wi-Fi, screen adjusted to 50 percent brightness with display set for continuous use and screen saver disabled. A moderate workflow was simulated using a custom Automator application, which repeated until the battery was fully drained.

Using OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard as a baseline, the compiled test data showed a significant hit to battery performance with the introductions of 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion. Upon release, Lion lost over 40 minutes of battery life and took three revisions to regain Snow Leopard power efficiency. In contrast, Mountain Lion saw a huge 105 minute loss in battery performance when it was released in July, with the latest 10.8.1 version moving the OS only 30 minutes closer to baseline.

With OS X 10.8.2, however, battery life is not just brought back in line with Snow Leopard levels, but the OS actually outperforms its predecessor by eight minutes. This marks an 88.5 minute savings in power consumption from the most recent 10.8.1 version of Mountain Lion.

It was previously reported that Apple’s Mountain Lion was causing battery life issues for many users, with some MacBook Air owners seeing their batteries lasting half as long as when OS X 10.7 Lion was installed. Subsequent tests of the latest public version of OS X, Mountain Lion 10.8.1, showed Apple engineers were working on a fix as battery life was substantially improved. If Monday’s tests are accurate, OS X 10.8.2 will bring further battery life improvements, perhaps besting even the legacy OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

While the final public version of OS X 10.8.2 may not boast power savings identical to the home-brew test, the developer builds are promising and show Apple is taking an aggressive stance in solving the battery degradation issues seen at Mountain Lion’s launch.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the current OS X 10.8.2 beta and have any feedback about battery life under the forthcoming operating system revision, please let us know in the comments.

OnyX updated to 2.6.1, adds Mountain Lion support

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Date: Monday, September 10th, 2012, 07:07
Category: News, Software

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OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.6.1. The new version, a 20.5 megabyte download adds full support for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

As of now, specific changes to the version have yet to be released.

OnyX 2.6.1 requires an Intel-based processor and OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

Roxio releases revised Toast Titanium 11.1 update

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Date: Friday, September 7th, 2012, 10:09
Category: News, Software

This is a little awkward, but people make mistakes and that’s why pencils have erasers.

On Friday, Roxio released a revised version of the Toast Titanium 11.1 update.

Per the release notes, the new build (1067) fixed bugs that the previous build (1063) had introduced.

The new build, a 92.8 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Resolved digital signing issue which occured on some OS versions.

- Resolved issue where updating would generate invalid signature message.

- Customers still encountering this error will need to download a full version of Toast 11.1 from our software update page or install a previous version and then update.

- Toast has been fully Cocoa-ized – Hundreds of changes and fixes .

- Added OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility.

- Added support for recording to 100GB and 128GB BDXL media.

- Implemented Gatekeeper Support.

- Web-Video feature improvements.

- Requires using Safari to capture web-video.

- YouTube users may need to OPT OUT of HTML5 Trial.

- Mountain Lion users will need to update to 10.8.1 or later to publish video to YouTube.

Toast Titanium 11.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

If you’ve tried the new update and noticed any changes, please let us know in the comments.

Mozilla releases Firefox 15.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, September 7th, 2012, 06:03
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, Mozilla.org released version 15.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 34.1 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

Sites visited while in Private Browsing mode could be found through manual browser cache inspection (787743)
- Silent, background updates.

- Support for SPDY networking protocol v3.

- WebGL enhancements, including compressed textures for better performance.

- Localization in Maithili (see all available locales).

- Optimized memory usage for add-ons.

- JavaScript debugger integrated into developer tools.

- New layout view added to Inspector.

- High precision event timer implemented.

- The CSS word-break property has been implemented.

- New responsive design tool allows web developers to switch between desktop and mobile views of sites.

- Native support for the Opus audio codec added.

- The element now supports the media attribute.

- Focus rings keep growing when repeatedly tabbing through elements (720987).

Firefox 15.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 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.

OS X 10.8.2 beta focuses on improving Power Nap, other features

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Date: Thursday, September 6th, 2012, 07:45
Category: News, Software

Come OS X 10.8.2, your Mac will take more efficient naps.

Per AppleInsider, Apple seeded a new OS X 10.8.2 beta on Wednesday, asking developers to focus on a number of areas including the Power Nap feature introduced with Mountain Lion.

Build 12C43 of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 beta was seeded with no known issues, however it appears Apple is looking to improve operability of the Power Nap feature introduced with the operating system in July.

Power Nap enables Macs to stay up to date and allows for the automatic backup of data while the computer is in sleep mode. Time Machine and iCloud syncing are supported, though compatibility is limited to mid-2011 or later MacBook Airs and the MacBook Pro with Retina display.

The newest 12C43 build comes one week after Apple seeded the second 10.8.2 beta, asking developers to focus on system-wide Facebook sharing integration.

As always, if you’ve gotten your mitts on an early copy of the beta, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Apple releases Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 10, Java for OS X Lion 2012-005

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Date: Thursday, September 6th, 2012, 06:18
Category: News, security, Software

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If there’s a Java update out there, it might be worth snagging.

Per the cool cats at The Mac Observer, Apple updated Java for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Wednesday with the release of Java for OS X 2012-005 along with the release of Apple Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 10. The updates, which vary in terms of download size given the version used, tweak Java controls by automatically turning the Java plugin off when no Java applets have been run for an extended period of time.

Apple’s patch notes also specify that if users hadn’t installed the previous version of Java (Java for for OS X Lion 2012-004), that the Java plugin will be disabled immediately.

The releases add the following fixes and changes:

- Delivers improved security, reliability, and compatibility by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_35.

The updates can be located, snagged and installed with Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 10 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run while the Java for OS X Lion 2012-005 update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases iMovie 9.0.8 update

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Date: Thursday, September 6th, 2012, 06:02
Category: News, Software

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It may be an absolutely gigantic greater-than-one-gigabyte download, but it’s still an update.

Late Wednesday, Apple released iMovie 9.0.8, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 1.08 gigabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Addresses an issue related to third-party QuickTime components that could prevent iMovie from opening.

iMovie 9.0.8 requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run and can be snagged manually or via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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

VMWare releases Fusion 5.0.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, September 5th, 2012, 07:44
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 5.0.1 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 215.1 megabyte download, can be found here and offers the following fixes and changes:

Resolved Issues:

Install and Upgrade:
- Previously, you could not include the space character in the security server password or a trailing space at the end of the password. If the security server password contained a space, security server installation failed with the message Unable to pair the Security Server with the specified Connection Server.

View Administrator:
- Previously, on rare occasions, when you used the Add Pool wizard, the following error message appeared: “There was an error while trying to determine domains. [errorcode=3,000].” This message indicated that one of the domain objects in Active Directory was corrupted. This issue has been resolved.

View Client:
- A memory leak issue associated with copying and pasting text was addressed and resolved.
Occasionally, if you used a View desktop on multiple monitors and had some application windows open on each monitor, if the View desktop session got disconnected and then reconnected, some of the application windows would change size, position, monitor, or some combination of these. This issue has been resolved.

- Previously, on rare occasions, View Client could not connect to View Connection Server, and the client logs indicated a failure of the AcquireCredentialsHandle API, with a 0×80090305 error. This situation occurred because the message framework component of View Client failed to load the secur32.dll system DLL dynamically. This issue is now resolved by linking secur32.dll statically in Messageframework.dll. With regards to the virtual printing feature, occasionally, one or more printers available from your client system would not become availab le from within your View desktop. Or you would see printers listed in the View desktop that were not available to your client computer but were available from a client computer that you previously used to connect to your View desktop. This issue has been resolved.

- Previously, on Japanese systems, if you used location-based printing, in the View desktop, if you went to the Printers and Fax dialog box, clicked Preferences, and then went to the “Page Setup” and “Advanced” tabs, you would find that the text at the bottoms of these tabs was truncated. This issue has been resolved.

- Previously, when you first logged in to a checked out local desktop, the desktop would sometimes display the following error: There are currently no logon servers available to service the logon request. This issue was most likely to occur for a Windows Vista or Windows 7 guest operating system on a full virtual machine from a manual or automatic pool.

Miscellaneous:
- Previously, if you opened a command prompt in a View desktop and ran the set command, the list of environment variables displayed would sometimes not include the volatile environment variables for View Client. This issue has been resolved.

- Previously, you could configure dedicated View desktops to be suspended if users had logged out but not if they had disconnected without logging out. This issue has been resolved so that you can now configure dedicated View desktops to be suspended when users disconnect. This functionality helps to conserve resources. To enable “Suspend on disconnect”:
Open ADSI Edit.
In the console tree, click ADSI Edit.
From the Action menu, select “Connect to.”
In the “Select or type a domain or server ” field, specify the server name as localhost:389.
Under “Connection point,” click “Select or type a distinguished name or naming context “, and then specify the distinguished name as DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int and click OK. The ADAM ADSI Edit main window appears.
Expand the ADAM ADSI tree, and expand OU=Properties.
Select OU=Global and select CN=Common in the right pane.
Select Action > Properties, and under the pae-NameValuePair attribute, add new entry suspendOnDisconnect=1.
Restart View Connection Server.

New Features:
- New bundled Mac OS X client – The new PCoIP-enabled View Client for Mac OS X is now bundled with this release. For more information, see the VMware View Client for Mac OS X Release Notes.
Client SSL requirement – View Client for Windows 5.0.1, View Client 1.4 for Mac OS X, and the other View 1.4 clients require SSL for connections to View Connection Server. Therefore, you must enter a fully qualified domain name for View Connection Server, rather than an IP address, in the View Server field of View Client. By default, View Client then checks the server certificate that View Connection Server presents. For more information, see the topics about configuring certificate checking in the VMware View Installation document and in the Using VMware View Client documents for the various platforms of View Client.

Fusion 5.0.1 retails for US$49.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac, 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (10.7 recommended) and a copy of Windows (if you’ll be installing Windows).

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