Apple Posts iPhone OS 3.1 Beta 2, New Mac OS X 10.6 Seed

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Date: Wednesday, July 15th, 2009, 05:30
Category: News

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Last night, Apple distributed iPhone developers with a second beta of its upcoming iPhone OS 3.1 firmware as well as offered Mac developers a new incremental build of its forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system.

According to ArsTechnica, iPhone OS 3.1 beta 2 is only accessible to those with an existing developer account and provides a number of fixes and features, including the ability to connect to and work with a system wirelessly, without the tether of a USB cable.

No official information is available regarding the upcoming iPhone OS 3.1 as developers are currently under a non-disclosure agreement. The second beta is available at the iPhone Dev Center Web site.

Though the new feature does free up a USB port and allows more flexibility for developers, Apple has reportedly warned that physically tethering is still the preferred method, as it is faster and consumes less power.

As revealed with the first release, iPhone OS 3.1 is expected to add Bluetooth and video features. Users can now invoke Voice Control using a Bluetooth headset rather than a wired headset or the built-in microphone. When editing video clips, users can save a copy of the trimmed video instead of permanently losing the discarded ends.

The article reports that developers cannot install applications from Xcode or debug them via WiFi.

Further additions appear to improve battery life, greater access to video recording features for developers, and possible preparation for adding MMS support for AT&T subscribers.

The first iPhone OS 3.1 beta and SDK reportedly included roughly a dozen new extensions for the OpenGL ES graphics library, allowing developers to improve graphics on the iPhone 3GS. Beta 2 reportedly includes fixes for the OS Xcode, as well as other facets of the software.

Where the conventional Mac OS X operating system is concerned, developers testing Snow Leopard received build 10A411 of the operating system over the next-gen system’s Software Update mechanism.

“This Snow Leopard Developer Preview Update is recommended for all users running the Snow Leopard Developer Preview Build 10A402 or later,” Apple reportedly told developers. “This update includes general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security.”

The latest update weighs in at roughly 730 MB, about half the size of build 10A402a distributed last week.

Apple Releases Safari 4.0.2 Update

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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 Java Security Update for Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.5 Operating Systems

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Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 18:12
Category: Software

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On Monday, Apple released Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 4 (a 158.3 megabyte download) and Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 9 (an 80.1 megabyte download). The two updates work to “deliver improved reliability, security and compatibility” and are available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The updates address previously reported exploits to Java that Sun Microsystems patched more than six months ago.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.11 Update

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:19
Category: Software

Late Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.11 of its Firefox web browser.

The new version, a 17.3 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Several issues were reported with the internal database, SQLite, which have now been fixed by upgrading to a newer version.
  • Fixed an issue where, in some specific cases, the bookmarks database would become corrupt. (bug 464486)

The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Microsoft Releases Office 2004 11.5.5, Office 2008 12.1.9 and Open XML Converter 1.0.3 Updates

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 09:47
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Microsoft released updates for both its Office 2004 and Office 2008 suites for the Mac.
Microsoft Office 2004 version 11.5.5, a 59.2 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program, offers stability and performance fixes and repairs a vulnerability in which an outside party could insert malicious code.
The program requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to install and run.
The company also released Microsoft Office 2008 12.1.9, a 267.7 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program that offers improvements to enhance security, stability, and performance, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.
Microsoft Office 2008 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
Finally, the company released Open XML Converter 1.0.3, the latest version of its XML file translation application. The new version, a 44.8 megabyte download, also improves security and prevents malicious code from being activated on your computer. The update can also be installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate application.
Open XML Converter 1.0.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Adobe Reader Updated to 9.1.2

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 09:59
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Adobe released version 9.1.2 of its free Reader program. The program, which has long been a staple for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files, addresses a number of customer workflow issues and critical security vulnerabilities.
Adobe Reader 9.1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and its download file size varies depending on version chosen. The update can also be snagged and installed via the “Check for Updates Online” option, which can be pulled down from Adobe Reader’s Help menu.

Apple Releases AirPort Utility 5.4.2

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Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009, 08:43
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple released version 5.4.2 of its AirPort Utility application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 16.9 megabyte download, provides the following fixes and changes:

  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to be unable to read certain AirPort wireless device configurations.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to sometimes be unable to discover an AirPort wireless device when Back To My Mac is enabled.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to sometimes be unable to download firmware.
  • An issue causing AirPort Utility to not correctly import Access Control Lists created in AirPort Admin Utility 4.x
  • Added the ability in AirPort Utility to show all wireless passwords in the “Equivalent Network Password” sheet.
  • AirPort Utility 5.4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    Apple Releases QuickTime 7.6.2 Update

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    Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 07:09
    Category: Software

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    On Monday, Apple released the latest version of QuickTime, its multimedia support system for Mac OS X and Windows. The new version, known as QuickTime 7.6.2, is available as a variably-sized download (depending on version chosen through the download page), improves reliability, application compatibility and addresses security issues.
    The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

    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.

    Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update

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    Date: Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, 09:32
    Category: Software

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    After months of anticipation, Apple has released Mac OS X 10.5.7, the latest update for its Leopard operating system. According to Macworld, the update includes more than 20 major updates as well as security fixes.
    Included within the fixes are additional RAW image support for third-party digital cameras, improved performance of video playback for recent Macs with Nvidia graphics chips, and resolution for an issue with the Dvorak keyboard layout in 10.5.6.
    The update also features fixes to help resolve third-party network services such as improved reliability in syncing contacts with Yahoo and a fix for issues that could occur when logging into Google’s Gmail. The update also improves the reliability and accuracy of several of OS X’s Dashboard widgets, like Unit Converter, Weather, Stocks, and Movies.
    Apple-specific fixes within the update include improved reliability for iCal’s CalDav, better syncing with MobileMe, improved Notes syncing within Apple Mail and a bug fix where Apple Mail’s BCC field populated incorrectly in certain cases. Apple also improved consistency with Parental Controls and fixed a bug with the system when using full-screen games and Fast User Switching, and also fixed several printing issues, including adding the ability for non-admin users to add and remove printers.
    Other fixes include a number of security fixes in the update for the Apache Web server, PHP, CoreGraphics, as well as patches for three separate vulnerabilities discovered as part of Tipping Point’s Zero Day Initiative, which appear to be the same ones demonstrated at the CanSecWest security conference last March. The fixes address issues in Apple Type Services, QuickDraw Manager, and WebKit, each of which could lead to arbitrary code execution.
    Apple also released Mac OS X Server 10.5.7 Update, which rolls out fixes for a number of systems, including Client Management, Directory Services, AFP Server, System Image Utility, and more. The update also includes improved kernel stability and a number of security enhancements which had not been detailed at this writing.
    The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update is available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature and is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard. A combo updater, weighing in at a hefty 729MB download, is also available for those upgrading from versions of Leopard previous to 10.5.6.
    Finally, if you’ve installed Mac OS X 10.5.7 and have any feedback, positive or negative to offer about it, let us know and we’ll see that it’s published by Friday.