Recent security updates make Macs more secure, unless you’re a Snow Leopard user

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Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 08:47
Category: Apple, Lion, Mac, privacy, Processors, security, Software

snowleopardEverybody was concerned last week when it was announced that a nasty bug in OS X was leaving Macs vulnerable to attacks that could grab information traveling across shared networks. While it has been confirmed that the bug only affected Mavericks, Apple simultaneously posted security updates for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was no sign of any security love for Snow Leopard (10.6). This really shouldn’t be a surprise to most people since 10.6 was also skipped when a previous security update was released as well as an update to the Safari browser. The omission of 10.6 from the current update simply confirms that Snow Leopard is no longer on Apple’s radar.

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Apple updates Java to SE 6 version 1.6.0_65 for OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 operating systems

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Date: Saturday, October 19th, 2013, 22:27
Category: News, security, Software

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You can’t knock a Java update.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple updated Java for OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion on Tuesday. The releases adds compatibility for Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_65.

The patch notes are unspecific, saying:

“This release updates the Apple-provided system Java SE 6 to version 1.6.0_65 and is for OS X versions 10.7 or later.”

The update uninstalls the Apple-provided Java applet plug-in from all web browsers. To use applets on a web page, click on the region labeled “Missing plug-in” to go download the latest version of the Java applet plug-in from Oracle.

The updates come in two flavors:
Java for OS X 2013-005 – (for Lion and Mountain Lion)

- Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 17 (that link, direct from Apple’s Downloads site, currently resolves to Update 16)

The update is available through OS X’s Software Update feature.

As always, let us know what you make of the update in the comments section and stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Epson printer drivers 2.15.1 for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 operating systems

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Date: Friday, September 13th, 2013, 08:57
Category: News, Software

It’s not the most exciting update in the world, but it might be helpful.

In addition to assorted other updates on Thursday, Apple released version 2.15.1 of its Epson printer driver update. The update, a 1.2 gigabyte download, modifies drivers for the ES and Expression, F-3200, Perfection and GT line of standalone scanners, and the Epson FAX and FAX-A3 fax machines. No new models of Epson products were added in the update, but the file replaces all existing Epson drivers with fresh copies, even if they are unmodified from the previous version.

The update covers OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new printer drivers 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.

Apple releases Security Update 2013-002 for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 operating systems

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Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2013, 06:40
Category: News, security, Software

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There were security updates yesterday.

And we’re still trying to figure out what was specifically changed.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple released security updates for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and Lion (OS X 10.7) on Tuesday, for both the client and server versions of the OSes.

The patch notes for all four updates say precisely nothing, and Apple’s security update page—where security patch notes get released—has not yet been updated with these releases.

Still, if you’re running Mac OS X 10.6 or later, make sure to run the Software Update feature to snag and install the latest updates.

For those of you who like the direct approach, here are the download links for the updates:
About Security Update 2013-002 (Lion) – 57.68MB

About Security Update 2013-002 Server (Lion) – 105.61MB

About Security Update 2013-002 (Snow Leopard) – 329.85MB

About Security Update 2013-002 Server (Snow Leopard) – 404.83MB

If you’ve tried the security updates and noticed any differences, please let us know in the comments.

Dropbox updated to 2.0.21

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Date: Friday, May 24th, 2013, 06:54
Category: News, Software

Never doubt a steadily-updated program.

On Friday, Dropbox released version 2.0.21 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 29.3 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:

Fixed:
- Fix Windows installer sometimes failing to install properly.

New:
- A new tray popup that combines the old tray menu features with a timeline of the most important sharing events in your Dropbox.

- Notifications menu is only enabled on OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) and above, and on Windows XP and above.

Dropbox 2.0.21 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Dropbox updated to 2.0.7

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Date: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, 08:35
Category: News, Software

It’s the week for useful updates.

On Wednesday, Dropbox released version 2.0.7 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 29.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed a bug where certain messages indicating time spent were incorrect.

- Fixed a bug where opening or closing client is impossible while disconnected.

- Fixed a bug where notifications can sometimes be sorted incorrectly.

- Fixed a bug causing excessive CPU usage.

- Fixed a series of minor errors causing the tray popup to fail to appear.

- Fixed a bug on certain versions of Snow Leopard.

- What you should know about the new notifications menu: it is only enabled on OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) and later.

Dropbox 2.0.7 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Dropbox updated to 1.6.14

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Date: Tuesday, January 15th, 2013, 10:37
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released version 1.6.14 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 21.9 megabyte download, which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix Icon overlays not updating in OS X.

- Fix not using Growl on Snow Leopard.

- Fix hang on startup on Leopard.

- Upgraded to Growl SDK 1.2.3.

Dropbox 1.6.14 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Dropbox updated to 1.6.5

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Date: Friday, December 14th, 2012, 08:07
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update.

On Friday, Dropbox released version 1.6.5 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 23.1 megabyte download, which adds the following fixes and changes:

- Temporarily stop using Growl for Snow Leopard and below.

- Fix icon overlays getting out of the Dropbox folder.

- Fix (rare) Dropbox not autostarting after updating.

Dropbox 1.6.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard install DVDs surface in Apple online store, available for $19.99

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Date: Friday, November 23rd, 2012, 08:45
Category: News, retail, Software

snowleopard

In as much as it’s useful to keep operating systems on thumb drives and recovery partitions, there are times where you miss having an emergency DVD on hand.

That being said, this should be useful.

Discovered by French web site MacGeneration and the mighty Mac Observer, Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has returned to Apple’s Online Store as a physical disc purchase after being removed upon the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in July.

Snow Leopard, released in August of 2009, was the first Apple operating system to run exclusively on Intel processors. It was also the last version of OS X to include Rosetta, Apple’s translation software that allowed applications written for PowerPC-based Macs to run seamlessly on Intel-powered machines.

Most importantly for owners of older Macs, Snow Leopard represented a crucial transition point for Apple. The Mac App Store, which launched in early January 2011 exclusively on Snow Leopard 10.6.6, inaugurated a new era of digital software distribution. Starting with the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion in July 2011 and continuing with Mountain Lion in July 2012, the primary method for Mac owners to receive new versions of OS X became the Mac App Store (there were indeed other methods of acquiring a new version of OS X, such as the short-lived official USB installer or by making your own, but these were limited options for relatively advanced users).

For users who had already upgraded their eligible Macs to Snow Leopard, the upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion was simple: purchase and download it from the Mac App Store. But if users were still on OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.4 Tiger, they would first have to install Snow Leopard to gain access to the Mac App Store, and then purchase and download Lion or Mountain Lion.

As a result, Apple kept OS X Snow Leopard for sale in its online store until the launch of Mountain Lion when, for reasons unknown, the company removed it. Now, thankfully, the Snow Leopard installation DVD is back for US$19.99, and is currently in stock with free shipping.

While it is true that most Mac owners who are eligible to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion have already done so (or have at least upgraded to Snow Leopard), for the remaining holdouts who want to try a newer version of OS X, or for current users who want a copy of Snow Leopard in case they ever need to run a PowerPC app via Rosetta, now is the time to snag it while it’s still available.