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A MacNN reader points to yet another URI exploit in Mac OS X, not fixed in the recent Apple Security Update, that allows malicious users to embed links that can launch the Terminal application and potentially delete files: "In addition to the 'disk:', 'disks:', and 'help:' URI protocols mentioned yesterday, you should also turn off the 'telnet:' protocol. By default, it’s assigned to Terminal; I recommend using RCDefaultApp to set it to 'disabled'." Update: Unsanity describes yet another exploit method in a new white paper on not-yet-fixed security issues and offers an update to the freeware Paranoid Android 1.1 to protect Mac OS X until an official fix is available from Apple.
The VideoLAN team has released VLC 0.7.2, an update to its media player for Mac OS X. The release adds new OpenGL video output for Quartz Extreme machines, support for H264/Theora Alpha 3/Annodex/CMML, improvements to the stream output system, an improved stream announce system, better Goom audio visualization, faster-than-realtime stream output/transcoding, a new VideoLAN manager, to launch several streams with only one instance of VLC, and other fixes. The multimedia player supports many formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. The team is searching for developers to fix VLC's issues with audio on the G5 and comment/design on some new VLC artwork.
DrawWell Technologies today released WorksWell 2.2 and DrawWell 2.2 for Mac OS X. These releases feature enhanced compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 and have many other improvements. Key changes in WorksWell include: support for iLife '04, support for iTunes 4.5, numerous improvements to Charts and Presentations, and more. In both WorkWell and DrawWell: context menus, multiple windows for different views of the same document, new toolbar items, and more. WorksWell costs $100 and DrawWell $50. An upgrade from DrawWell to WorksWell costs $60.'
Apple today released Security Update 2004-05-24 [Panther, Jaguar], which delivers a number of security enhancements and patches a critical vulnerability in the Mac OS X Help Viewer application (noted earler this week). The free update is recommended for all Macintosh users and is now available via the Mac OS X Software Update.
The Adium team has updated Adium 0.57, its free multi-service instant messaging client for Mac OS X. Adium supports all the major instant messaging services, including AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, ICQ, Groupwise, and Gadu-Gadu. The 0.57 update includes a large number of bug fixes, and improves reliability and performance. It is recommended for all Adium users. Adium is free, but the developer accepts donations.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: photos and documentation for disassembling a 12" PowerBook G4; the feasibility of running Mac OS X 10.3 on an older G3 iMac; Apple's recent statement that it would decrease the frequency of paid Mac OS X updates; digital video camera suggestions and recommendations; the latest themes and interface modifications for Mac OS X; members' impressions of the new Call of Duty game for Mac OS X.
Jiiva today announced AutoScrubber 1.5, a new release of its $60 privacy utility that "brings interactivity to a process normally hidden behind the scenes." Version 1.5 adds many visual feedback when files are being securely erased as well as an on-screen notice when Software Update is launched. Other enhancements to AutoScrubber include an updated list of built-in configurations, improved support for multi-gigabyte files, speed improvements, and better support for Norton Utilities. AutoScrubber catches file fragments left behind by applications and deleted copies of private files made by the operating system. The AutoScrubber DeleteWatch demo offers a quick demo of "deleted" files available on your computer.
Aspyr today announced it will be publish Shrek 2 for the Mac. "Shrek, the loveable green ogre is back and this time he’s bringing friends. Shrek 2™ the video game is based on the new motion picture but it incorporates a few additional bells and whistles. Play as Shrek and 4 of his pals, both familiar and new, as they go adventuring through their twisted fairytale world." It will ship in July for $30.
Robert Cringely tackles Apple's move to create an iPod division in his column for PBS. "Apple is essentially getting out of the business of making its own products... Why would they take someone used to producing products like the G5 workstation and turn his attention to little music players? It's hardly a comparable challenge... I think it comes down to a combination of structural changes in the industry and Apple trying harder to cut costs, which really means raising profit margins."
Macworld UK handed out its annual Editor's Choice awards at a dinner Thursday evening. The winners include: HP's all-in-one PSC 2510 (Productivity Hardware), FileMaker Pro 7 (Productivity Software), Canon EOS 300D (Imaging Hardware), Adobe Creative Suite (Imaging Software), Iogear Boss (Connectivity), Epson Stylus Photo R800 (Print Imaging), LaCie Bigger Disk (Storage), Macromedia Flash MX 2004 (Multimedia/3D Software), Mathematica 5 (Education), El Gato EyeTV (Consumer Hardware), Freeway Express (Consumer Software), Lord of the Rings (Entertainment), Power Mac G5 (Apple Product of the Year), Wacom Graphire3 (Best non-Apple Hardware), Adobe Photoshop CS (Best Software), MacWarehouse (Best Mac Reseller), and Miglia Director's Cut 2 (Creative Choice Award). Macworld UK readers selected the iMac as Best Apple Product of All Time.
Apple Taiwan today announced that it has started shipping Xserve G5 and Xserve RAID units to that country, as noted by DigiTimes. Supply is limited, however, as worldwide demand continues to outstrip supply. In the U.S., new orders for Xserve G5 carry 5-7 week waiting times.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k