Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18480

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Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 06:24
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Parallels released version 8.0.18480 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 335.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Better compatibility with new iMacs.

- Create Boot Camp virtual machines on new iMacs with 3 TB hard drives.

- Create virtual machines from the Boot Camp partition with Windows 8 installed.

- Support for Fedora 18.

- Fixed visual artifacts when changing screen resolution in a Windows 8 Pro virtual machine with more than 256 MB of video memory and nested virtualization enabled.

- Resolves an issue with the Command + click combination not opening links in new tabs in Windows browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.)

Parallels Desktop 8 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.6.8 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 releases Final Cut Pro X 10.0.8 update

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Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 06:11
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a good update.

Late Thursday, Apple released version 10.0.8 of its Final Cut Pro X video editing software.

The update, a 1.53 gigabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Support for Sony XAVC codec up to 4K resolution.

- Option to display ProRes Log C files from ARRI ALEXA cameras with standard Rec. 709 color and contrast levels.

- Resolves an issue where some third-party effects generated green frames during render.

- Resolves performance issues that could occur with certain titles and effects.

- Time reversed clips render in the background.

- Ability to use key commands to adjust Clip Appearance settings in the timeline.

- Ability to view reel number metadata located in the timecode track of video files.

- Mono audio files in a surround project export with correct volume levels.

- Drop zones no longer reset to the first frame of video after application restart.

- Fixes a performance issue which resulted from selecting multiple ranges on a single clip.

- Fixes an issue where the Play Around function did not work properly on certain clips when viewed through external video devices.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.8 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run along with an OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later, 256MB of VRAM, display with 1280-by-768 resolution or higher and retails for US$299.99

If you’ve tried version 10.0.8 of Final Cut Pro X and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 26.0.1410.43

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Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013, 05:12
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a worthwhile update.

On Tuesday, Google released version 26.0.1410.43 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- “Ask Google for suggestions” spell checking feature improvements (e.g. grammar and homonym checking).

- Desktop shortcuts for multiple users (profiles) on Windows.

- Asynchronous DNS resolver on Mac and Linux.

Google Chrome 26.0.1410.43 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 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.

Dropbox 2.1.3 beta out the door

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update, even if it’s just a beta.

Late Friday, Dropbox released the public beta 2.1.3 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 27.4 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix an issue preventing Dropbox from starting on Mac.

- Fix an issue when clicking on notification bubbles.

- Fix an issue with Camera Uploads.

- Fix some issues with the right click context menu on Mac.

- Minor translation fixes.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.1.3 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.

Apple adds two-step verification, other new features to iCloud security

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Date: Friday, March 22nd, 2013, 06:44
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, beef up the ol’ security system a bit…

On Thursday, Apple has rolled out a new two-step verification service for iCloud and Apple ID users. This functionality greatly enhances the security of Apple accounts because it requires users to use a trusted device and an extra security code.

Per 9to5Mac, the security code can be sent via SMS or via the Find my iPhone iOS app (if it is installed). Users can now setup two-step authentication on their devices via the Apple ID web site. Users need to access the security tab on this website to conduct the setup process.

During the setup process for two-step verification, users can choose which of their iOS devices they want to be “trusted.” This new service will allow only you to be able to reset your password.

Full details can be located at the Apple ID web site.

New iOS passcode bypass bug discovered one day after iOS 6.1.3 release

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Date: Thursday, March 21st, 2013, 07:32
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, security

Well, this is sort of awkward…

Remember how you JUST installed iOS 6.1.3 to get rid of a passcode bypass bug that would allow an unauthorized person to access the Phone app on a locked iPhone? Per iMore and The Next Web, a new bypass bug has been discovered.

The passcode bypass in the previous versions of iOS 6 required a series of well-timed taps and button presses. The result was full access to the Phone app on a locked device without entering the passcode. This new bug (not quite new, it seems to have existed prior to iOS 6.1.3) requires a sequence that’s a little easier to execute as can be seen in this video. For some reason, this bypass seems to to be more difficult to accomplish on newer, Siri-capable devices.



The bypass can be achieved using the iPhone’s Voice Dial feature. By holding the Home button on a device for a few seconds, the Voice Dial feature will come up. Issue a dial command such as “Dial 303-555-1212”, then as the call is being initiated, eject the SIM card. The iPhone detects the SIM has been removed, cancels the call, and displays an alert saying there is no SIM. Behind the alert you will see the Phone app and after dismissing the alert, you will have full access to the Phone app. As before this means you can access contact information as well as all photos on the device.

Initially thought to only be possible on non-Siri phones, reports are now coming in of this bypass being performed on the iPhone 4S and 5 as well, though it doesn’t seem to be as easily reproducible on these devices. Performing the bypass on these devices devices would also require Siri to be disabled and Voice Dial to be enabled.

Unlike the previous bug, this bypass can also easily be prevented by disabling Voice Dial. This can be done in the iPhone’s Settings app, under General > Passcode Lock, by turning the Voice Dial switch to off. With the way Apple has been handling these so far, it would not be surprising to see this fixed in a 6.1.4 update.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple TV updated to 5.2.1, adds bug fixes, redesigned Hulu interface

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Date: Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, 06:49
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

When in doubt, go for a bit of a redesign.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple released its Apple TV 5.2.1 operating system on Tuesday. The update features bug fixes, security fixes and a redesigned Hulu interface that makes it easier and quicker to access content. Like other Apple TV features, the updated Hulu section now has a top-bar with categories. Users can now jump into each individual category to access content.

Apple TV users on the latest iOS version will receive the new interface automatically. Apple added Hulu to the Apple TV last summer after settling some “political” issues with the content provider. Apple is rumored to be adding HBO Go to the Apple TV later this year.

Dropbox updated to 2.0.2

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Date: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013, 12:51
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a credible update.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released version 2.0.2 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 27.4 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix a bug on OS X where the tray popup isn’t repositioned properly when plugging in an external monitor.

- Fix a bug on OS X where the tray popup can sometimes fail to appear.

- Fix a bug on OS X where the popup can fail to appear if the “Hide” option of the “Login Item” is set.

- Better reporting and handling of error conditions.

- Fix a bug where a notification’s time label sometimes contained incorrect information.

- Fix a bug where closing the client can trigger errors.

- Various performance improvement and bug fixes in rendering.

- Tweaks to notification acknowledgement.

- Minor tweaks to the tray popup’s UI.

- Other small fixes.

Dropbox 2.0.2 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.

Microsoft to begin automatically pushing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update starting today

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Date: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013, 06:03
Category: News, Software

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If your Windows 7 partition seems to be updating itself after you’ve booted into it, there’s a reason why.

Per ZDNet, as Microsoft marches toward its early April 2013 end of free support deadline for Windows 7, the company is planning to update automatically some of those who still have yet to install the first (and seemingly only) Service Pack for the operating system.

As announced on March 18 via its “Blogging Windows” blog, Microsoft plans to begin rolling out Windows 7 SP1 automatically, via Windows Update to Windows 7 users who still are running the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version without SP1 installed. This process will begin on March 19.

From the blog post:

“Starting tomorrow, the installation will be fully automatic with no user action required for those who already have Automatic Update enabled. SP1 will be released gradually over the coming weeks to all customers on the RTM version of Windows 7. The service pack will take slightly longer to install compared to other updates. To ensure Service Pack 1 is installed without issue, customers should check for sufficient free disk space and that AC power is present on a laptop. If additional space needs to be created, we recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool to delete some files so that the service pack will install. If the service pack installation is interrupted, it will reattempt to install automatically after the next restart.”

This automatic update will be applied only to Windows 7 consumer PCs that are not managed via other Microsoft management tools like System Center Configuration Manager or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), the post noted. Some admins have chosen to temporarily block their users from getting SP1 until they’ve tested it to their satisfaction. Those in that category won’t be getting SP1 pushed to them starting tomorrow.

Windows 7 RTM, with no service pack installed, will no longer be supported as of April 9, 2013, according to a February 14 post on the Microsoft Springboard Series blog. Support for specific Windows releases ends 24 months after the release of a new Service Pack, and Windows 7 SP1 was released in February 2011.

Windows 7 SP1 mainstream (free) support continues until January 13, 2015. Extended (paid) support for Windows 7 SP1 is available until January 14, 2020. (Microsoft continues to provide security updates for free during the Extended support phase of a product.)

Microsoft made available last week a Windows 7 hotfix rollup that includes 90 previously released hotfixes.

So, if you’ve been lax with the “Windows Update” feature on your Windows 7 partition, it might just do it for you.

Adium updated to 1.5.6

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Date: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013, 06:56
Category: News, 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 1.5.6.

The new version, a 22.8 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed a crash on startup on OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

- Fixed a crash when accepting or canceling the certificate verification dialog. (#16280)

- Fixed a crash or hang when trying to use OTR on 32-bits Macs. (#16203)

Adium 1.5.6 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.

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