O'Grady's PowerPage » OS X

Mozilla releases Firefox 14.0.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 05:14
Category: News, Software


On Monday, Mozilla.org released version 14.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 30.7 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

– Google searches now utilize HTTPS.

– Full screen support for Mac OS X Lion implemented.

– Plugins can now be configured to only load on click (requires an about:config change).

– The Awesome Bar now auto-completes typed URLs.

– Improved site identity manager, to prevent spoofing of an SSL connection with favicons.

– Pointer Lock API implemented.

– New API to prevent your display from sleeping.

– New text-transform and font-variant CSS improvements for Turkish languages and Greek.

– Various security fixes.

– GIF animation can gets stuck when src and image size are changed (743598).

– OS X: nsCocoaWindow::ConstrainPosition uses wrong screen in multi-display setup (752149).

– CSS :hover regression when an element’s class name is set by Javascript (758885).

Firefox 14.0.1 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.

Adobe releases InDesign fix to alleviate crash on Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBooks

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Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2012, 06:19
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

It never hurts to issue a bug fix.

Per AppleInsider, Adobe on Monday issued a ZIP file complete with instructions to manually fix an API bug that would crash the company’s InDesign professional layout software on Intel Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBooks.

The fix comes less than a week after Adobe acknowledged a problem with its program and Apple’s OS X 10.7.4 which comes pre-installed on all 2012 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs. According to a user support forum thread started in mid-June, the issue can be traced back to an API that handled InDesign’s system icons which was removed in the latest update to OS X.

The problem caused blank dialogue boxes to pop up as InDesign failed to retrieve the correct icon assets which in turn crashed the program.

It appears that the issue is confined to mid-2012 MacBooks that have “MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update” installed. Previous to Monday’s response some users created a workaround by rolling back the machine’s operating system to factory defaults.

Adobe is working closely with Apple on both their current and future OS releases to resolve this issue in a more comprehensive manner.

Adobe’s pseudo-patch involves the running of a script that installs three InDesign icons automatically or, for cases where the script does not run, a manual installation of the files directly into the application’s resources folder.

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

HandBrake updated to 0.9.7

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Date: Monday, July 16th, 2012, 05:18
Category: News, Software

Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.7.

The new version, a 7.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Supported Sources:
– VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted — CSS is not supported internally and must be handled externally with third-party software and libraries), BDMV folder (unencrypted), and some .VOB and .TS files.

– Any multimedia file it can get libavformat to read and libavcodec to decode.

– File format: MP4 and MKV.

– Video: MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264 or Theora (1 or 2 passes or constant quantizer/rate encoding).

– Audio: AAC, HE-AAC, AC3, MP3, Vorbis, FLAC or AAC, MP3, AC3, DTS and DTS-HD pass-through (supports encoding of several audio tracks).

Misc features:
– Chapter selection.

– Soft subtitle support (DVD/VobSub in DVD/MKV/MP4, SRT files, SRT/UTF-8 in MKV, ASS/SSA in MKV, TX3G/3GPP in MP4 – DVD/VobSub and ASS/SSA subtitles can also be burned-in the picture).

– Picture deinterlacing, cropping and scaling.

– Grayscale encoding.

– Fixes several small bugs from the previous version.

HandBrake 0.9.7 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple releases iPhoto 9.3.1 update

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Date: Friday, July 13th, 2012, 06:17
Category: News, Software


Late Thursday, Apple released its anticipated iPhoto 9.3.1 update. The update, a 600 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Addresses a problem during the migration of albums from MobileMe Gallery that may cause photos to be moved from their original events into a new event called “From MobileMe”.

– Fixes an issue that in rare cases could cause iPhoto to hang when upgrading libraries.

iPhoto 9.3.1 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

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

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15104

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 06:38
Category: News, Software


On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15104 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 306 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Run Windows 8, Ubuntu, and Fedora on the latest models of Mac computers (MacBook Air (mid 2012), MacBook Pro (mid 2012) , MacBook Pro with Retina display).

– Run Fedora 17 in virtual machines.

– Install Parallels Desktop on Mac computers running OS X Mountain Lion.

– Use IMG disc images for the virtual machine CD/DVD-ROM drive.

– Use USB 3.0 devices in virtual machines.

– Improved Parallels Mobile connectivity with Mac.

– Improved Linux distributions detection during Express installation.

– Enhanced Retina display support.

Parallels Desktop 7 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

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

Apple posts official list of OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)-compatible Macs

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Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 06:38
Category: News, Software

If you qualify, you’ll try to high-five everyone you meet today and your friends will eventually want you to shut up about it.

If you don’t, well, you can meet me down at the corner pub for happy hour…

Per The Verge, Apple has posted a “How to Upgrade” page on its website that contains a list of Mac models with Intel chipsets that qualify for Mountain Lion:

– iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)

– MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)

– MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)

– MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)

– Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)

– Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

– Xserve (Early 2009)

After verifying that a Mac is eligible for the upgrade, users are instructed to check that they have OS X Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.8) installed. The third step is simply to “download OS X Mountain Lion when it becomes available in July” and follow the onscreen instructions to install it.

Apple announced OS X Mountain Lion in February, specifically mentioning newer Macs as qualifying for the upgrade. At the time, it was suspected that Macs with Intel’s GMA 950 and GMA X3100 integrated graphics processors would not be capable of running OS X 10.8.

By distributing new versions of OS X solely on the Mac App Store, Apple has also drawn a line in the sand, since Macs not capable of installing at least OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 won’t be able to access the App Store.

The Mac maker appears on track to release Mountain Lion this month as promised. Developers received the Golden Master version of the OS on Monday and an invitation from Apple to submit applications for the update to the Mac App Store. The US$19.99 upgrade contains over 200 new features, such as closer integration with iCloud, new security checks and voice dictation.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

And as much as I love my 2006 Mac Pro, maybe it’s time we started seeing other people…

Google Chrome updated to 20.0.1132.57

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 11:56
Category: News, Software


Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 20.0.1132.57 for the Mac. The new version, a 40.7 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

– Along with security fixes, this build contains an update to Flash player, v8 ( and couple of stability/bug fixes.

Google Chrome 20.0.1132.57 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.

Adobe confirms InDesign app crashes under 2012 MacBook portables

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 10:31
Category: News, Software

This is why they invented the software update…

Per AppleInsider, users running Apple’s latest MacBooks featuring Intel Ivy Bridge processors are experiencing system crashes with Adobe’s popular InDesign software.

The issue has been documented by InDesign users on Adobe’s official website where a forum thread has been growing since mid-June. The problem appears to be limited to users who are running just-released MacBook Pros or MacBook Airs featuring Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors and Mac OS X 10.7.4.

Adobe technical support employee Scott Worthington confirmed in the thread that the issue is related to a change made by Apple in OS X 10.7.4 The latest MacBook models, including the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, ship with OS X 10.7.4 preinstalled, making it difficult to “roll back” the operating system to a previous version.

“At this time it appears the update is removing an API we use to control our use of system icons,” Worthington wrote. “At present the solution appears to be to rollback the update for the software to continue to function as expected.”

Worthington added in a subsequent post that he’s unsure if the problem will persist when Apple releases OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion later this month. He did not attempt to explain why the issue appears to be isolated to new 2012 MacBook models with Ivy Bridge processors.

“We’re taking this issue very seriously,” he said. “I wish we had more to share at this time but I’ll be sure to share what comes down the line from the engineers relating to solutions or any workarounds they can find.”

User “arminvit,” who started the thread on June 15, found that they were able to address the problem by restoring their 2012 MacBook to factory settings and not installing the “MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update” available from Apple that includes OS X 10.7.4.

When running the latest version of OS X on their 2012 MacBook Pro, that user found that InDesign would crash when trying to delete a page that has content, and also when packaging a file. Users in the thread said the issue occurs with both Creative Suite 5 and Creative Suite 6.

When the crash occurs, InDesign attempts to post a warning box. However, the box is displayed blank except for the text “Warning,” and InDesign promptly crashes.

If you’ve seen this crash on your end, please let us know.

Java malware goes live, begins affecting, Mac OS X, Windows, Linux systems

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 10:47
Category: News, security, Software

On the plus side, this keeps a security department employed.

Per F-Secure, a new form of browser-based cross-platform malware can give hackers remote access to computers running Apple’s OS X, Microsoft’s Windows, and even Linux.

The multi-platform backdoor malware was disclosed this week by security firm F-Secure. It was originally discovered on a Colombian Transport website, and relies on social engineering to trick users into running a Java Archive file, meaning it is not likely to be a major threat.

However, its cross-platform design is unique. If users grant permission to the Java Archive, the malware will secretly determine whether the user is running a Mac, a Windows PC, or a Linux machine. When running on a Mac, the malware will remotely connect to an IP address through port 8080 to obtain additional code to execute.

Anti-virus maker Sophos said on Wednesday that the new malware has the potential to affect a higher number of people because of its multi-platform strategy. Typically, malware and viruses target Windows PCs, as they represent the overwhelming majority of computers.

“Once it has found out which operating system you are running, the Java class file will download the appropriate flavor of malware, with the intention of opening a backdoor that will give hackers remote access to your computer,” explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Sophos.

On a Mac, the new malware is defined as “Backdoor:OSX/GetShell.A. According to F-Secure, it is a PowerPC binary, which means users running a modern, Intel-based Mac must also have Rosetta installed.

While rare, cross-platform malware attacks are not unheard of. In 2010, a Trojan known as “trojan.osx.boonana.a” was a Java-based exploit that affected both Macs running OS X, as well as Windows PCs.

As Apple’s Mac platform has grown in popularity and outpaced the PC market as a whole, the OS X platform has become a bigger target for hackers. Last month, Apple opted to tone down promotional language on its website that once claimed the Mac “doesn’t get PC viruses.” Apple’s website now says that OS X is “built to be safe.”

That change was made just a few months after more than 600,000 Macs were estimated to have been infected by a trojan horse named “Flashback.” More than half of the Macs believed to be infected by the botnet were found in the U.S. alone before Apple aggressively released a series of software updates to quash the malware.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

OS X 10.8 may not run on earlier 64-bit Macs

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Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 07:24
Category: News, Software

The good news: OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) has gone gold master and will probably arrive this month.

The bad news: It might not run on your older 64-bit Intel-based Mac.

According to Ars Technica, Apple has updated the upgrade page of its website, tweaking which models will be supported by the latest big cat.

Despite a few older Macs being otherwise 64-bit capable — a requirement for both the current OS X Lion and the upcoming OS X Mountain Lion — it appears that 32-bit graphics drivers may be to blame for Apple’s decision.

“While Mountain Lion is compatible with any Mac capable of running a 64-bit kernel, the kernel no longer supports loading 32-bit kernel extensions (KEXTs),” Ars Technica explains. “Since those older drivers are 32-bit, Mountain Lion won’t load them. We believe Apple decided it was better to draw the line in the sand for some older machines rather than invest the resources into updating the drivers for these older GPUs.”

As noted by Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion upgrade page, supported Macs now include the following:

– iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)

– MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)

– MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)

– MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)

– Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)

– Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

– Xserve (Early 2009)

If you’re running close to edge of this cutoff, now might be a good time to consider a new Mac anyway, as Apple will chuck in a free copy of Mountain Lion with the purchase.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.