Apple releases firmware updates for early and late 2011 MacBook Pro, mid-2011 MacBook Air notebooks

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Date: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012, 18:11
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released firmware updates for its early and late 2011 MacBook Pro notebooks as well as its mid-2011 MacBook Air Notebooks.

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.7, a 4.1 megabyte download, fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Pro (Early 2011) and MacBook Pro (Late 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged.

MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.4, a 3 megabyte download, fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Air (Mid 2011) computers and is recommended for all users.

This update improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged.

The updates can be directly downloaded and installed or located, downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later to install and run.

As always, if you’ve tried the new firmware updates and have either positive or negative feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

VLC 2.0.0 release candidate 1 goes live, available for download

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Date: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, 06:07
Category: News, Software

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If you’re feeling experimental, this might be for you.

Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to a release candidate version of 2.0.0. The new version, a 24.1 megabyte download, adds a wide array of fixes and changes listed on MacUpdate.

VLC 2.0.0 release candidate 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, let us know in the comments.

Mozilla releases Firefox 10.0.1 update

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Date: Sunday, February 12th, 2012, 21:55
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 10.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version stands as a 31.8 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

- FIXED: Java applets sometimes caused text input to become unresponsive (bug 718939).

- NEW: Most add-ons are now compatible with new versions of Firefox by default.

- NEW: The forward button is now hidden until you navigate back.

- NEW: Anti-Aliasing for WebGL is now implemented (see bug 615976).

- NEW: CSS3 3D-Transforms are now supported (see bug 505115).

HTML5: New element for bi-directional text isolation, along with supporting CSS properties (see bugs 613149 and 662288).

- HTML5: Full Screen APIs allow you to build a web application that runs full screen (see the feature page).

- DEVELOPER: We’ve added IndexedDB APIs to more closely match the specification.

- DEVELOPER: Inspect tool with content highlighting, includes new CSS Style Inspector.

- FIXED: Mac OS X only – after installing the latest Java release from Apple, Firefox may crash when closing a tab with a Java applet installed (700835).

- FIXED: Some users may experience a crash when moving bookmarks (681795)

- FIXED: Silverlight video may not play on some Macintosh hardware (715396).

Known Issues:
- UNRESOLVED: Two-digit browser version numbers may cause a small number of website incompatibilities (see 690287).

- UNRESOLVED: If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash (see 573369).

- UNRESOLVED: For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual (see 579260).

- UNRESOLVED: Some synaptic touch pads are unable to vertical scroll (see 622410).

- UNRESOLVED: Firefox notifications may not work properly with Growl 1.3 or later (see 691662) (Unresolved on v10 Resolved in v11).

- UNRESOLVED: Under certain conditions, scrolling and text input may be jerky (see 711900).

Firefox 10.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple releases firmware updates for early 2010 MacBook Air, Pro notebooks, adds Lion Recovery and sleep fix

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Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 2012, 06:20
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Firmware updates…they get useful.

Late Tuesday, Apple released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.6 for its early 2010 MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, a 3 megabyte download, enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Pro (Early 2010) models.

The company also released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.3 for its early 2010 MacBook Air notebooks. The update, a 3 megabyte download, enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection and also addresses an issue where the system would sometimes restart when the power button was pressed immediately after waking from deep sleep.

The updates can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later to install and run.

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

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.4.4

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Date: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012, 06:30
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.4.4. The new version, a 6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Made several changes to the preset configurations. Both the wording and some of the settings have been changed in response to user feedback and typical usage scenarios.

- New feature: CCC now provides support for archiving and cloning the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Recovery HD partition. Choose “Disk Center” from CCC’s Window menu to find this functionality.
New feature: Scheduled tasks can now be configured to wake or boot the system when the task is scheduled to run.

- New feature: For users with a Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installer application in /Applications, CCC’s Source menu now includes a handy “Create a Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installer…” choice that will clone the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installation disk image onto a physical volume.

- Window positioning of the scheduled task helper application is now retained on a per-task basis, so you can move these windows around on your screen and multiple tasks won’t be stacked on top of each other.

- CCC will now mention the lack of a Recovery HD partition in the Cloning Coach prior to running the initial backup task.

- The table of scheduled tasks in the Scheduler window are now sorted alphabetically by default.

- Fixed a scheduler issue in which tasks scheduled to run on the first (any weekday) of the current month would be scheduled to run in the following month.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC was not “remembering” the last preset that had been selected upon relaunching CCC.

- Fixed an issue with the German localization related to the application of a particular setting in custom presets.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task had trouble mounting a disk image when uncommon permissions conditions were present (such as when a system is bound to an Active Directory directory service).

- The “This volume will be bootable” message is back, though with a caveat that I have to insist upon from a support perspective. Many external hard drive enclosures still manage to screw up the boot process, and it’s impossible for me to determine if that is going to happen for any particular user from within CCC.

- When backing up to a subfolder, CCC now overlays an icon of the underlying volume on the folder icon in the task status panel.

- Scheduled tasks that specify a network volume as the destination are now aborted when CCC receives a sleep notification.

- Growl notifications should now work properly on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion with Growl 1.3.

- Email notifications now include the sender’s full name.

- Fixed a couple minor bugs associated with email notifications.

- Fixed an issue in which the scheduled task window would be unresponsive while CCC waited for a response from an email server.

- Added support for sending email to servers that use a self-signed certificate. This support is disabled by default, see the documentation for details on enabling this functionality.

- Resolved a problem in which an errant filter would protect items in folders that were to be deleted, resulting in CCC reporting that it couldn’t replace a particular folder or application.

- Fixed a minor 5-second shutdown hang associated with CCC scheduled tasks.

- Numerous tweaks to the advice that CCC offers for various error conditions.

- Fixed some Mac OS X 10.7 Lion-specific problems with the mounting of sparsebundle disk image files that are hosted on a network volume.

- If you’re running an ad hoc task in CCC (e.g. click “Clone” in the main window), CCC will ask before deleting anything from the _CCC Archives folder. To avoid problems that would affect automation, this warning is not provided for scheduled tasks.

- CCC is more proactive about dealing with the 4GB file size limitation of FAT32 volumes. Files larger than 4GB will now be excluded by default, and you’ll get a warning of this exclusion before running the task.

- Fixed a hang that would occur at the end of a scheduled task while CCC tried to unmount the destination volume (network volumes only, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion only).

- Made some cosmetic changes concerning ZFS support.

- Mail account settings on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion are now properly imported and populated into the email notifications tab of the scheduled tasks window.

- The path to a disk image file is now properly provided as the fourth argument to postflight scripts.

- Fixed a 30 second hang that would occur while saving changes to scheduled tasks on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. For every OS, though, saving scheduled tasks should be considerably faster.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.4 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to run.

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

Mac OS X 10.7.3 bugs being tracked, workarounds/fixes discovered

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Date: Friday, February 3rd, 2012, 05:25
Category: News, Software

Mac OS X 10.7.3 is here.

Now it’s time to sort out the bugs.

Per 9to5Mac, a number of users are reportedly suffering from an odd application crash bug. Affected people will see apps crash often, with the unusual twist of error messages that feature the word “CUI” stamped over them. A source claims that the company has already sent out an email to a v10.7.3 test group, asking them if they’ve run into the problem and requesting bug reports if so.

Some workarounds exist (which are cataloged here). The most extreme of these involves booting into a Lion Recovery partition, and using Terminal to install a downloaded Combo version of the v10.7.3 update.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve discovered any issues or workarounds, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases Security Update 2012-001 for Snow Leopard, Snow Leopard Server operating systems

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Date: Thursday, February 2nd, 2012, 05:53
Category: News, Software

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With Mac OS X 10.7.3 going live yesterday, one has to wonder what changed for Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) users?

Not that much.

Per AppleInsider, Apple’s legacy Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server operating systems saw only minor security patches, though it is recommended that users install the latest software.

The Snow Leopard downloads, which can be found through Software Update or at Apple’s support page, offer Security Update 2012-001 (Snow Leopard) and Security Update 2012-001 (Snow Leopard Server), these updates weighing in at 192.73 MB for the Client version and 212.09 MB for Snow Leopard Server, with both requiring Mac OS X 10.6.8 to install and run.

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

Cocktail 5.1.2 (Lion Edition) released

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Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2012, 08:18
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.1.2 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

- Addresses an issue in which Pilot scheduler could not be enabled.

- Error -105 (Path to user’s home directory contains spaces).

- Error -114 (Home directory not found in the /Users folder).

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail could not force empty the Trash.

- Error -362 (The Trash contains more than 2000 files).

- Addresses an issue in which Safari webpage previews could not be disabled.

- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may freeze when trying to gather disk information or the journaling state of the case-sensitive HFS+ disks could not be detected.

- Error -215 (diskutil is not responding).

- Error -217 (Could not get information about the partition).

- Addresses an issue in which improper permissions were applied to the File Sharing logs during the rotation of these logs.

- Added Mac OS X 10.7.3 compatibility.

- Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 5.1.2 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

Apple releases firmware updates for early, mid-2010 MacBook Pro notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, 09:58
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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It’s the firmware updates that make all the difference.

On Wednesday, Apple released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.5. The update, a 4.1 megabyte download, enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection, early-2010 MacBook Pro models.

The company also released MacBook EFI Firmware Update 2.1. The update a 3.1 megabyte download, enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on mid-2010 MacBook Pro models.

Both updates require Mac OS X 10.7.2 or later to install and run and can be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried these updates and have either positive or negative feedback to offer, please let us know what you think in the comments.

Apple release Mac OS X 10.7.3 build 11D50 to developers with no known issues

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Date: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, 05:44
Category: News, Software

If you’re hankering for the Mac OS X 10.7.3 update, you probably won’t have much longer to wait.

Per MacNN, a week after the last release, Apple has again posted build 11D50 of the upcoming Mac OS X 10.7.3 for developers. The new version lists no known issues and again asks testers to focus on iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight, and Safari. The build weighs in at 1.26GB for the combo update, and 997.01MB for the delta release (reversioners are no longer required).

While the company hasn’t identified any issues in several builds now, each subsequent releases is slightly larger than the one before it, suggesting that Apple is still tweaking the codebase. The main features of 10.7.3 are expected to be support for several new languages and issues relating to smart card authentication, Windows file sharing and directory services authentication. Testers are cautioned that they cannot revert to an earlier version of OS X once the beta 10.7.3 is installed.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the current build and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.