Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18345

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Date: Thursday, November 29th, 2012, 07:09
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 8.0.18345 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 319 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Option to disable edge swipe gestures in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, for those who often accidentally swipe from the edges of the touchpad and activate features.

- Improved connectivity to the Internet via a proxy-server.

Parallels Desktop 8 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 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.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91

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Date: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, 07:11
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a bug fix.

Late Monday, Google released a beta of version Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- No audio from Flash content when speaker configuration is set to Quadraphonic (Issue: 159924).

- Aw, Snap renderer crash on Windows Server 2003 (Issue: 160559).

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.91 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 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.

Mozilla releases Firefox 17.0 update

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Date: Wednesday, November 21st, 2012, 09:35
Category: News, Software

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The Firefox version number just keeps getting pushed higher…

Late Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 17.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 33.3 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

What’s new:
- FIXED – 16.0.2: Security fixes can be found here

- FIXED – 16.0.1: Vulnerability outlined here.

- NEW – Firefox on Mac OS X now has preliminary VoiceOver support turned on by default.

- NEW – Initial web app support (Windows/Mac/Linux).

- NEW – Acholi and Kazakh localizations added.

- CHANGED – Improvements around JavaScript responsiveness through incremental garbage collection.

- DEVELOPER – New Developer Toolbar with buttons for quick access to tools, error count for the Web Console, and a new command line for quick keyboard access.

- DEVELOPER – CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transforms and Gradients unprefixed in Firefox 16.

- DEVELOPER – Recently opened files list in Scratchpad implemented.

- FIXED – Debugger breakpoints do not catch on page reload (783393).

- FIXED – No longer supporting MD5 as a hash algorithm in digital signatures (650355).

- FIXED – Opus support by default (772341).

- FIXED – Reverse animation direction has been implemented (655920).

- FIXED – Per tab reporting in about:memory (687724).

- FIXED – User Agent strings for pre-release Firefox versions now show only major version (728831).

Known Issues:
- 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 – Windows: The use of Microsoft’s System Restore functionality shortly after updating Firefox may prevent future updates (see 730285).

- UNRESOLVED – Pointer lock doesn’t work in web apps (see 769150).

Firefox 17.0 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, please let us know in the comments.

Some 15-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro owners complain of graphical glitches following Retina EFI Update v1.0 installation

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Date: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012, 07:58
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

If you have a Retina Display, the last thing you want is graphical weirdness after an update.

According to AppleInsider and threads on the Apple discussion boards, a number of 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display owners are experiencing noticeable drops in graphics and processor performance after having updated their machines to the latest EFI (extensible firmware interface) version, such as drastically clipped frame rates when running graphics-intensive programs.

In this case, some 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro users noticed the performance drop immediately after installing Apple’s MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update v1.0, which was released in September. While it is unclear if the firmware is to blame, many owners feel the update has been detrimental to how the system handles heavy workloads.

The issue is most pronounced when waking a computer from sleep, playing a graphics-intensive game or operating Windows in Boot Camp. Under heavy load, the CPU, GPU, or both are being underclocked as core temperatures reach or exceed supposedly conservative thresholds.

In one specific case, a user’s Retina MacBook Pro’s GPU begins to throttle down the machine’s discrete GPU to 700MHz from 850MHz, at a reported temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Celsius. The GPU is pulled back further if the CPU temperature hits 80 degrees Celsius.

From this information, it can be speculated that the computer’s firmware may not be correctly communicating with the thermal sensors, the threshold presets may be conservatively low, or there is an error with systems management.

Processor manufacturer Intel has noted that the Tjunction maximum, or highest operating temperature specification, of the processors used in the Retina MacBook Pro is 105 degrees Celsius, a much higher threshold than where forum members are seeing throttles. This could mean the problem lies in how the thermal management system handles the data from the digital thermal sensor (DTS), which is integral in calculating a processor’s Tjunction.

It should be noted that Intel chips, like most modern CPUs, have built-in thermal shutdown capabilities to prevent permanent damage to the silicon.

According to the forum members, the Retina MacBook Pros operated without fault prior to EFI version 1.0. Some have found that resetting the SMC or flashing the PRAM solves the problem temporarily, however the fix is far from permanent and owners report a reoccurrence after the computer wakes from sleep.

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

VMWare releases Fusion 5.0.2 update

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Date: Monday, November 12th, 2012, 07:11
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 5.0.2 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 215.9 megabyte download, can be found here and offers the following fixes and changes:

- USB 3.0 stability improvements.

- Graphics improvements when running the Microsoft Office 2013 preview.

- Fixed an issue that caused the library and the Fusion start menu contents to get out of sync.

- Fixed an issue that caused Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) guests to see stale directory information when using HGFS.

- Fixed a multi-monitor behavior on Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) when Use All Displays in Full Screen is selected.

- Fixed an issue that caused the full screen short-cut key to intermittently fail when Caps Lock was on.

- Easy Install improvements for Microsoft Windows 8.

- Fixed key repeat behavior (typematic) on certain versions of Mac OS X (Mountain Lion).

- Fixed an intermittent problem that caused Fusion to quit when the network editor was opened.

- Fixed cancelling of the import of OVF virtual machines.

- Addressed graphics issues with Autodesk Inventor, Altium Designer, and Solidworks.

- Fixed an issue installing on Macs with a user or group named “0″.

- Fixed error compiling HGFS on Linux 3.6 kernels.

- Changed the selection color in the library icon view.

- Renamed the Pause key menu item to aid with accessibility and automation.

- Fixed an issue importing a Parallels virtual machine that has no network devices.

- Resolved an issue that caused the PC Migration Assistant to not complete when migrating a Windows PC.

Fusion 5.0.2 retails for US$49.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac, 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (10.7 recommended) and a copy of Windows (if you’ll be installing Windows).

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

Parallels offers warning to users looking to upgrade to Windows 8 on current virtual machines

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Date: Monday, October 29th, 2012, 06:53
Category: News, Software

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You love Parallels.

And you’re curious about Windows 8.

Just use some caution before putting that chocolate/peanut butter combination together…

Per the Apple Core, virtualization top dog Parallels has issued a warning advising users to exercise caution before upgrading existing virtual machines to Windows 8. The company has stated that the virtual machine could be damaged, thereby resulting in data loss.

The company has stated that it’s presently testing the Windows 8 upgrade and also points out that a new virtual machine should work just fine.

The only caveat is to use the very latest build of Parallels Desktop 8 to create this new virtual machine.

If you’ve tried the Windows 8 upgrade with your Parallels virtual machine, please let us know how it went in the comments section.

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.4

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Date: Monday, October 29th, 2012, 06:12
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.4. The new version, a 101 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- GUI: fixed validation warning on global settings / proxy page (4.2.2 regression, bug #11089).

- GUI: fixed crash with multiple guest screens on certain conditions (OS X hosts only).

- VBoxBalloonCtrl: fixed command line argument handling of ballooning module.

- VRDP: fixed occasional crash during a video playback in the guest (bug #11082).

- BIOS: fixed broken DMI information (4.2 regression).

- BIOS: workaround for booting from Windows 2000 floppy disks.

- EFI: fixed video mode selection loss on VM reboot (bug #10983).

- Parallel: fixed parallel port printing failure/ paper queue empty error (Windows hosts only; bug #2226).

- NAT: fixed crash on alias-less DNS responses when host-resolver is used.

- Storage: fixed hang under rare circumstances.

VirtualBox 4.2.4 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.2

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Date: Friday, October 19th, 2012, 07:02
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.2. The new version, a 102.3 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- VMM: adapted to changes in Mac OS X 10.8.2 (bug #10965).

- GUI: restored VM item tool-tip functionality (4.2 regression).

- GUI: added group item tool-tip functionality.

- GUI: fixed handling of the .ova/.ovf file name association (4.2 regression).

- GUI: it was not possible to change any setting before the first VM was created (bug #10928).

- GUI: disable grouping action if all the selected items are full children list of the same group already.

- GUI: added menu for runtime drag-and-drop option change.

- GUI: cleanup shared-clipboard menu on visual-mode change.

- GUI: make sure VM receives keyboard focus on entering fullscreen-mode on Win host (bug #11051).

- GUI: disable proxy authentication for security reasons.

- 3D Support: DrawIndexedPrimitiveUP implementation fixes for the Windows WDDM video driver (bug #10929).

- Storage: fixed a release assertion in the AHCI emulation when requests where canceled with asynchronous I/O disabled.

- Storage: fixed a hang during VM reset under certain circumstances (bug #10898).

- NAT: fixed a crash under rare circumstances (Windows hosts only; bug #10128).

- NAT: automatically use the host resolver if the host name server is set to some unusual loopback value (bug #10864).

- E1000: fixed a VirtualBox crash during intensive network transfers (4.2 regression; bugs #10936, #10969, #10980).

- ICH9: fixed PCI bridge initialization.

- USB mouse: ensure that the last mouse event doesn’t get lost if no URBs are available.

- BIOS: certain legacy guests (e.g. Windows 95) didn’t find the boot device after a warm reboot.

- BIOS: don’t trash the palette in text modes when setting the border color.

- EFI: fixed OS X guest autoboot (4.2 regression).

- VBoxManage: fixed output of showvminfo –machinereadable (bug #10973).

- VBoxManage: fixed parsing of storageattach –discard (bug #11023).

- VBoxManage: fixed wrong output of the HPET setting in showvminfo (bug #11065).

- VBoxManage: fixed closing the guest session after executing a guest process via guest control.

- VBoxShell: adaptions to interface name changes.

- Guest Additions device: fixed a Guest Additions hang when a machine was reset after a crash.

- Linux hosts / guests: Linux 3.7-rc1 fixes.

- Linux Additions: support X.Org Server 1.13.

- Linux Additions: fixed a hang when the X server was restarted with old guest kernels.

- Linux Additions: fixed a VBoxService crash during CPU hot remove (bug fixed in … (new)”>#10964).

- Windows Additions: fixed automatic screen resize issue for NT4 guests.

- OS/2 Additions: fixed shutdown hang.

- OS/2 Additions: fixed mouse driver panic.

- Solaris hosts: fixed autostart service going into maintenance mode after all VMs started.

- Solaris hosts: fixed linking the host driver with the dtrace module.

VirtualBox 4.2.2 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

Mozilla releases Firefox 16.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, October 12th, 2012, 07:21
Category: News, Software

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Because quick revisions never hurt and Mozilla quickly pulled Firefox 16.0.1, then rereleased the new version after a security hole was plugged.

On Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 16.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 32.6 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:
- FIXED — 16.0.1: Vulnerability outlined here

- NEW — Firefox on Mac OS X now has preliminary VoiceOver support turned on by default.

- NEW — Initial web app support (Windows/Mac/Linux).

- NEW — Acholi and Kazakh localizations added.

- CHANGED — Improvements around JavaScript responsiveness through incremental garbage collection.

- DEVELOPER — New Developer Toolbar with buttons for quick access to tools, error count for the Web Console, and a new command line for quick keyboard access.

- DEVELOPER — CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transforms and Gradients unprefixed in Firefox 16.

- DEVELOPER — Recently opened files list in Scratchpad implemented.

- FIXED — 16.0.1: Vulnerability outlined here.

- FIXED — Debugger breakpoints do not catch on page reload (783393).

- FIXED — No longer supporting MD5 as a hash algorithm in digital signatures (650355).

- FIXED — Opus support by default (772341).

- FIXED — Reverse animation direction has been implemented (655920).

- FIXED — Per tab reporting in about:memory (687724).

- FIXED — User Agent strings for pre-release Firefox versions now show only major version (728831).

Firefox 16.0.1 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, please let us know in the comments.

Flip4Mac updated to 3.0.0.126

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Date: Thursday, October 11th, 2012, 07:33
Category: News, Software

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Early Wednesday, software developer Telestream has released version 3.0.0.126 of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, a 62.1 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
- Introduced the new Flip Player application for playing, editing, and transcoding video and audio. Flip Player supports unique features such as dimming the background, cropping video, and creation of iPhone ringtones. It also supports exporting to Apple and Telestream applications, exporting to Apple devices, and Windows Media. Flip Player replaces the WMV Player application.

- All software is now signed with a digital certificate from Apple to address security and anti-malware requirements in Gatekeeper.

- Added support for the application/x-ms-wmp mime type.

- Added 64-bit Core Audio support for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Fixes:
- Flip4Mac will now continue playing even if it encounters corrupted audio packets, as long as there are enough valid packets to prevent a perceptible problem with the audio.

- Fixed a bug that prevented Flip4Mac from opening local wvx files.

- Fixed a bug that prevented MMS stream playback and resulted in a -19160 error.

- Fixed potential crashes and memory leaks.

- Fixed various issues with QuickTime X Player 10.2 in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Flip4Mac 3.0.0.126 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 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.