Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update

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Date: Monday, November 9th, 2009, 14:14
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Apple released its second maintenance update to its Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system. Mac OS X 10.6.2, a 473 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes for the following issues:

- An issue that might cause your system to logout unexpectedly.
- Graphics distortion in Safari Top Sites.
- An issue wherein Spotlight search results not showing Exchange contacts.
- A problem that prevented authenticating as an administrative user.
- Issues when using NTFS and WebDAV file servers.
- The reliability of menu extras.
- An issue with the 4-finger swipe gesture.
- An issue that causes Mail to quit unexpectedly when setting up an Exchange server.
- Address Book becoming unresponsive when editing.
- A problem adding images to contacts in Address Book.
- An issue that prevented opening files downloaded from the Internet.
- Safari plug-in reliability.
- General reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, and iDisk.
- An issue that caused data to be deleted when using a guest account.

Other fixes include improved video playback, fixes for performance on certain Nvidia graphics cards and assorted security updates.

As always, the update can be snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new update and noticed anything, positive or negative, please let us know in the comments.

Apple Releases Third Beta Build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update to Developers

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Date: Monday, October 19th, 2009, 04:38
Category: Software

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Over the weekend, Apple sent its third beta release of the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 update with fixes for QuickTime, iChat, and a widely reported guest account glitch that could delete user data to its developer community.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with build 10C527f said the latest update has only one known issue, and has a number of fixes in 13 different focus areas. It also reportedly provides reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, iDisk, and Safari plug-ins.

The update also reportedly fixes a glitch that could delete user data. This issue is triggered by logging in and out of a guest account on a Snow Leopard machine. Upon logging back in to their regular account, some users may find that it has been wiped of all data. Apple acknowledged the issue earlier this week and has stated that the company is working on a fix.

The latest build allegedly provides a number of GraphicsDrivers fixes, including resolutions for crashes with OpenCL, a screen flickering issue, and stuttering while playing 1080p content with QuickTime Player X.

The update is also said to resolve an issue that did not allow some QuickTime movies to play in QuickTime Player X.

A handful of iMovie-related issues were also addressed, including color shift issues and a crash that occurred when looping previews of titles in the skimming palette.

The update is currently a 483.5 megabyte file, and is the third beta release in less than two weeks. The previous build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 was provided to developers on Oct. 9. The last build addressed nearly 150 general focus areas covering a wide range.

Some Snow Leopard Users Complain of Spontaneous Logouts

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Date: Monday, September 28th, 2009, 05:31
Category: Software

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If Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is behaving strangely for you, you’re not alone. Per CNET, a number of users have reported that Mac OS X 10.6 (as well as 10.6.1) will spontaneously log out of their account in the middle of using applications. The issue does not appear to be related to specific applications running as users have reported it happening while using Excel, Word, Safari, Photoshop, and Filemaker Pro among others. Most guesses have the problem related to Rosetta running on the new operating system, though an official fix has yet to be reported.

Over on the Apple Support Discussions, forum poster “Stu Baker” writes:
“I am having spontaneous logouts while I am in Snow Leopard. This is happening a couple times a day and it is very annoying. When it logs out it instantly goes to a blue screen and then the login screen appears. When I log back in all my apps have quit and it is like I am logging in for the first time. I did have this happen in Leopard too, but very rarely.”

One forum poster suggested a complete erase and install of Snow Leopard. If you’re going to attempt this, make sure you have all your data backed up to a safe location, if not a Time Machine archive on an external disk to make setup that much easier after the OS is installed.

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

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.0.1 to Close SMS-Based Security Hole

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Date: Friday, July 31st, 2009, 10:29
Category: iPhone

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Responding to a dangerous security exploit unveiled this week, Apple released an update to its iPhone operating system Thursday to patch the security hole.

iPhone OS has just become available for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS handsets. The update is between 230 and 300 megabytes and appears to exclusively fix the reported SMS exploit.

According to AppleInsider, security researcher Charlie Miller, co-author of The Mac Hacker’s Handbook, demonstrated the hack Thursday at the Black Hat 2009 conference in Las Vegas. The attack takes advantage of a vulnerability in the phone’s short messaging service, or SMS, feature, allowing an outside party into the phone’s root access without the owner’s knowledge.

The exploit takes advantage of the fact that SMS can send binary code to a phone which is then automatically processed without user interaction, and can be compiled from multiple messages, allowing larger programs to be sent to a phone. The exploit supposedly exposes the iPhone completely, allowing access to the camera, dialer, messaging and Safari. It occurs regardless of hardware revision or which version of the iPhone OS is running.

The technique involves sending only one unusual text character or else a series of “invisible” messages that confuse the phone and open the door to attack. Given that users won’t know which messages to block in advance, there’s little iPhone owners can do but to shut off the phone immediately if they suspect they’re at risk. Once exploited, the trick could also be used to make an iPhone send additional messages of its own, thereby spreading the problem.

To install the new iPhone OS firmware, simply connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC, open iTunes, select the iPhone in the device window and tell it to check for an update. The process will complete on its own.

If you’ve tried the new firmware, let us know what you make of it in the comments or forums.

Apple Releases Safari 4.0.2 Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 9th, 2009, 03:26
Category: Software

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On Wednesday, Apple released an update to the Safari 4 browser.

The Safari 4.0.2 Update is recommended for all Safari users and improves the stability of the Nitro JavaScript engine and includes the latest compatibility and security fixes.

Safari 4.0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be downloaded via the Software Update control panel on your Mac.

Apple Releases Safari 4.0.1 Update

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Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 18:03
Category: Software

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On Wednesday, amid the iPhone 3.0 release craziness, Apple released an update to the Safari 4 browser.

The Safari 4.0.1 Update (a 43.8 megabyte download) is reported by Apple to address incompatibilities between Safari 4.0 and certain features in iPhoto ’09, including Places and Facebook publishing.

It can be downloaded via the Software Update control panel on your Mac. At the time of this posting, there was no stand-alone updater at the Apple website.

Apple Releases Safari 4.0 Web Browser

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Date: Tuesday, June 9th, 2009, 09:27
Category: Software

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Amidst yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference announcements, Apple finally released Safari 4.0, the newest version of its web browser. The new version, available here, is reported to run JavaScript up to 4.5 times faster than Safari 3.
Other new features include Top Sites, Full History Search and Cover Flow, and support for modern web standards like HTML 5 and advanced CSS Effects.
Safari 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Intego Warns of Unrepaired Security Vulnerability in Mac OS X

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Date: Thursday, May 21st, 2009, 08:48
Category: Software

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Security firm Intego has warned that a critical security vulnerability within the current version of Java has gone unrepaired for months and may place Mac OS X users at risk.
According to the company’s web site, the current version of Java incorporates a serious flaw that could allow local code on a user’s Mac to be executed remotely.
“This can lead to ‘drive-by attacks,’ where users are attacked simply by visiting a malicious web site and loading a web page,” the firm said.
The exploit could allow a third-party to execute code, access or delete files, or run applications on the compromised machine. Combined with other exploits, outside parties could even potentially run system-level processes and gain total access over the affected Mac.
Given that the vulnerability relies solely on Java, no native code is required to execute the flaw, which theoretically exists in all browsers on all platforms that have not been patched. This is the case with Mac OS X 10.5.7 and earlier, meaning the vulnerability affects even the update released just a week ago.
The firm claims that Apple has been aware of the exploit for at least five months, when it was publicly disclosed and fixed by Sun, but has yet to issue a security patch. The exploit was first discovered by Landon Fuller, who has released a proof of concept via his blog that outlines the security hole.
Intego has stated that it has not found any malicious applets in the wild thus far, but the publicity around this vulnerability may entice hackers to target the exploit before Apple issues a security update. The firm’s VirusBarrier X5 already blocks potential malware but unless users are sure they trust the site they’re viewing, simply disabling Java in the browser may provide the best protection while Apple works on a fix.
To disable Java, launch Safari, choose Safari > Preferences, click the Security tab, and uncheck “Enable Java” if it is checked. In Firefox, this setting is found on the Content tab of the program’s preferences. It is safe to leave JavaScript activated, since the vulnerability only affects Java applets.

Adium X Updated to 1.3.4

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Date: Monday, May 18th, 2009, 07:39
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.4.
The new version, a 21.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Facebook fixes:
    Updated to pidgin-facebook 1.5.0, fixing a major bug in which massive amounts of data could be continuously sent and received under certain situations as well as several minor bugs.
    Fixed a bug in which the Facebook numeric ID rather than name could be shown in the contact list (#11676).
    Improved proxy support.
  • Fixed a crash when loading Jabber/XMPP account preferences when the computer’s host name is not set (#11246).
  • Fixed a display issue in message windows when running Safari 4.
  • Updated to libpurple 2.5.6.
  • Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

    Apple Releases Updated Mac OS X 10.5.7 Developer Beta, Build 9J56

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    Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009, 14:48
    Category: News, Software

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    The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, which appears to be close to release, went through yet another pre-release build late last week with developers working out additional tweaks for the operating system.
    According to AppleInsider, build 9J56 focuses on “Bluetooth compatibility and stability fixes” per sources familiar with the software.
    A number of recent Mac mini purchasers have complained about intermittent Bluetooth connection problems on their new systems, though similar problems are believed to be plaguing a variety of Macs.
    Another fix in the latest build targets an issue with Personal File Sharing and AFP volumes not being properly recognized as Time Machine shares. However, the other three fixes were relatively minor, two of which add once-missing descriptive information to certain crash logs.
    The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update is expected to offer more than 110 code corrections spanning over two dozen areas of the operating system. Earlier this month, Apple added Help Viewer to the list of key software components where beta testers should focus their testing efforts.
    Though its believed that Mac OS X 10.5.7 remains close to release, Apple still notes that the software is incompatible with the public beta of Safari 4 — the OS update’s lone known issue.