the future of Mac OS X debate continues
This week in the MacNN forums, members continue to debate what the future of Mac OS X will hold, with some forum-goers noting that Microsoft is attempting major redesigns and customers are rejecting it. On another topic, "Can I delete apps without having to enter ID?" asked Mac Elite "jeff k" yesterday.
VPN Unlimited service for Mac released as beta
VPN Unlimited has announced the availability of its Mac client, launched under a open beta program. Subscribing to a VPN server can allow for access to blocked websites, Wi-Fi connection privacy, and the ability to bypass ISP restrictions. VPN Unlimited's servers are located in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Germany. Including unlimited bandwidth and connection speed, users can utilize their VPN access with up to five devices, and up to three VPN Unlimited accounts can be used on same device or computer. The client apps for both iOS and OS X offer automatic VPN setup.
Reduced up to 50 percent or more this weekend, including $1 apps
Black Friday sales aren't exclusive to tech gear and shopping malls -- there are plenty of discounts to be had on iTunes and the App Store for Mac OS X and iOS users.
Valentina Studio 5.5 released, Paradigma offers Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials
Paradigma's cross-platform database management software for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, Valentina Studio has been updated to v5.5 and 5.5 Pro. Offering new features for administration of database servers, Valentina Studio has improved report design features for datasource Microsoft SQL Server, additional administrator functions, and more. Valentina Studio Pro is regularly available for $200, and includes 12 months of free updates, while Valentina Studio is free.
NeoFinder update optimized for Mavericks, adds new organizing options
NeoFinder, a file management and cataloging desktop app known formerly by the name CDFinder, has received an update and is now offered as a native 64-bit application. NeoFinder assists users in keeping track of digital files, photos, songs, movies, fonts on hard disks, DVD-ROMs, CD-ROMs, and other media. Version 6.4 is certified to run under Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and subsequently is able to integrate the new Finder Tags. The new Movie Contact Sheet generates a customizable preview of one or multiple selected movie files as graphic, and NeoFinder can also index Adobe XMP metadata for movie files. Other notable new features includes the ability to catalog ZIP archive files larger than 4 GB, a new FLAC file parser, and numerous bug fixes. Available as a free update for NeoFinder customers, new users of NeoFinder 6.4 can purchase the software for $40.
Apple-provided update fixes issues, uninstalls the old Apple Java applet plug-in
For the fifth time this year, Apple has had to issue an update to Java for all three supported versions of OS X: Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7) and Mountain Lion (10.8). As has become the norm, the update was issued due to the discovery of "multiple vulnerabilities" in Java 1.6.0_51. The cross-platform development technology has been updated to version 1.6.0_65, and is referred to in Software Update as "Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 17" for Snow Leopard and "Java for OS X 2013-005" for newer systems.
Updates fix security, stability, and compatibility problems
Apple has posted twin Java updates for OS X, Java for OS X 2013-004 and Mac OS X v10.6 Update 16. Both deal with security, stability, and compatibility flaws. The first is targeted at Lion and Mountain Lion users, while the second is for Snow Leopard only.
Ambitious update said to make over look, add features to mobile OS
Following on the heels of rumors that Apple reassigned engineers from other projects (including the next OS X release, 10.9) in order to help ensure completion, a new report from unnamed sources has said that iOS 7, the forthcoming major update to the company's mobile platform, will ship on time despite pressures. Anonymous informers told AllThingsD that while the extra help was needed, the update "will ship on time" and debut as scheduled at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC).
Win one of 30 copies of Ohanaware Shine!
Ohanaware has recently released its latest photo-enhancing App called "Shine" for Mac OS X. Shine enhances or filters digital images by using lighting effects like Light Rays and Lens Flares, as well as color modifications using gradient tints and a whole lot more. MacNN has thirty copies of Shine to give away: read on to learn more about this cool new software, and how you can enter to win.
Took only half the time Lion did to best Snow Leopard
Mac OS X 10.8.x, known as Mountain Lion and the current release of the operating system, has accounted for a majority share of the web traffic from Macs for the first time, according to new figures from web statistics firm Net Marketshare. The crowning comes just five months after the release of Mountain Lion, and took about half the time it took Lion (10.7) to take the lead position away from Snow Leopard (10.6) as the most popular version of OS X.
Which version of OS X is best for me?
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Mac Enthusiast "Ted L. Nancy" explained that he just got an early 2008 Mac Pro and he's wondering "which version of Mac OS X is best for me?" Also yesterday "PeterParker" was looking for urgent assistance with setting up AirPrint with a new printer, click here to read more and join in.
Thunderbird, now discontinued, also gets security and bug updates
Mozilla today made available version 17 of its Firefox desktop browser, bringing a number of functionality fixes and security upgrades. The upgrade brings an improved Awesome Bar experience with larger icons, revision of the Social API and support for Facebook Messenger, and click-to-play blocklisting to prevent vulnerable plugin versions from running without user permission. The version update brings one major exclusion, though: it drops support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
Mix of methods used to import 51 games to the library
Classic game seller Good Old Games has added a selection of OS X titles to the service, highlighted by the current title The Witcher 2. Both free and paid titles are available, with a total of 51 games -- mostly old DOS-based classics from the 80s and 90s -- ready for purchase. All games have been released with no digital rights management, allowing for maximum user flexibility in installations.
Stacksocial Macintosh Utility Bundle offers five apps
Stacksocial is offering the Name Your Own Price utility bundle for Mac OS X. The applications offered in the base bundle are Sparkbox, iClip, iDocument, MacCleanse 3, Jaksta Music Converter, and skEdit. While a purchaser can opt to pay whatever they want, if the average purchase price is beaten, then MacFlux 4, Typinator, and ForkLift 2 are added to the purchase for free.
Possibly infected MacBook Pro and more
This week in the MacNN forums one forum member is trying to see if it's possible to install and run Mac OS X on a computer that previously ran Windows, click here to give advice. One disgruntled forum goer is concerned about a MacBook Pro possibly infected with malware, and seeks help to solve the problem.
Latest OS brings deep iCloud integration
As promised, Apple has released the ninth major revision to its OS X operating system, v10.8 Mountain Lion, approximately five months after it was first announced. The update brings deeper iCloud integration, even more features inspired by iOS, and a long list of other tweaks and improvements.
Removal may force university IT, researchers to find new solutions
OS X Mountain Lion was officially unveiled on Monday, and is shipping in July -- but conspicuously absent from the list of features is Apple's ad-hoc supercomputer tool Xgrid. Apple's Xgrid provided network administrators a means of constructing a Beowulf cluster, allowing them to use computer idle-time to drive calculations that can be divided into smaller operations. Xgrid client has been installed in all computers running OS X 10.4 or greater by default, so installation and configuration of a massively parallel grid was completed with little time or money outlay. The job controller is included in Mac OS X Server up to OS X Lion and as a free download.
New Macs to ship with Lion, get free upgrade
As expected, Apple has formally detailed the next major Mac OS X release, referred to as Mountain Lion, which is scheduled to arrive in July. Version 10.8 is claimed to offer more than 200 new features, including "Documents in the Cloud," native voice dictation, and deeper iCloud integration that will automatically sync Messages, Reminders and Notes content.
Current forum discussions.
Yesterday in the MacNN forums Mac Enthusiast bojangles points out a quiet bug fix in Mac OS X 10.7.4 that affects Screen Sharing on multiple displays, click here to read more. Also Yesterday one forum member was replacing a G5 Xserve with a late 2008 Xserve and had some questions, read more here.
Available in app form for Windows, Mac, mobile
A new version of the subscription streaming music service Rdio has launched, bringing with it a native Mac OS X application for the first time. Previous versions were web-based. The new version is available on browsers, and applications Windows, the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. All versions allow listening to over 15 million tracks on the Rdio service.
Tablet serves as 2048x1536 monitor
Avatron's Air Display update has been approved and added to the App Store ($10, iTunes), enabling users to take advantage of the new iPad's Retina display. Users who run the wireless display app from a Retina device can now enable the HiDPI display mode that had been hidden in Mac OS X Lion, bringing the maximum output resolution up to 2048x1536.
Air Display to soon support iPad Retina screen
Avatron has just detailed that its Air Display app ($10, iTunes) will be updated to support the new iPad's 2048x1536 resolution for its wireless secondary display technique. The update process did encounter challenges, however, as adding four times more pixels slowed frame rates. While resolving this problem, the Avatron programmers were able to improve the frame rates on older iOS devices, and especially the dual-core iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.
Current forum topics
Today in the MacNN forums, members discuss the name change from "Mac OS X" to just "OS X" after one user suggested the possibility that Apple may be considering licensing the operating system to other hardware manufacturers. Yesterday besson3c started a discussion about the latest Mac trojan in the thread titled "OS X trojan horse."
Chitika claims iOS now used online more than Mac
New Chitika traffic data has seen Apple possibly cross a milestone for web use online. As of February, 8.15 percent of all web traffic being monitored was coming from an iOS device, passing the Mac for the first time with OS X share at 7.96 percent. The two platforms had been converging since October, with the Mac losing share mostly as Apple's other OS gained prominence.
Apple intern details Apple's experiments with ARM
A paper written by a former Apple intern, and now Core OS engineer, has detailed Apple’s attempts at getting a full version of Mac OS X to boot on an ARM processor, reports iMore. Initially subject to an embargo, but just recently published, the paper was written as part of a Bachelor degree thesis in 2010 by Tristan Schapp. It details the technical aspects and challenges associated with getting Darwin, which underpins OS X, to work effectively on the ARM architecture.
Closes vulnerabilities in Apache, PHP, more
Today's release of Mac OS X 10.7.3 also incorporates Apple's first Security Update of 2012, addressing vulnerabilities in components throughout the OS and its components. The update is also available as a separate download for Snow Leopard users, and while none of the issues have been reported in the wild, the update is recommended for all users of Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7, and closes potential issues in programs ranging from Apache to QuickTime.
Update focuses on smart cards, file sharing
A week after the last release, Apple has again posted a new beta 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, numbered 11D50, weighs in at 1.26GB for the combo update, and 997.01MB for the delta release (reversioners are no longer required).
Move reflects sea change in non-Windows platforms
DSPanel has utilized Java to create multi-platform native versions of its Performance Canvas Studio for Mac OS X, Linux and Unix as well as its original Windows platform. The suite is the company's flagship product for business intelligence (BI) correlation of various data sources and is also accessible on mobile devices via the web. The program is "multi-tenant" meaning databases can be set up to serve multiple clients, organizations or users to access the data.
Less than a week after the last one
Testing continues on the next minor update to Mac OS X, with a new version of 10.7.3, this time with a build number of 11D36, being released to developers. The new build comes five days after the previous version, which had a build number of 11D33. As before, no known issues are listed with the update. The small increment between versions may indicate that a public release will come soon.
Offers USB touchscreen for Windows 7 computers
Mimo has taken its turn at a capacitive USB-powered touchscreen monitor. The Mimo Magic Touch is a 10.1-inch display that can respond to as many as four touch-points at any one time when connected to a Windows 7 computer. For devices running other operating systems, including Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS X, it still supports a display-only mode.
Joined by Safari 5.1.1, Lion Recovery Update
Apple is now seeding OS X 10.7.2 to the public. The update is available through Lion's Software Update function, and should measure about 435.5MB in standard form. The main upgrade is support for iCloud, allowing Lion users to sync and backup data such as email, calendars, contacts, and Safari bookmarks and Reading Lists. It is also required for Back to My Mac remote access functions, and Find My Mac device tracking.
Over 8 percent still using unsupported software
Lion is still only the third most popular version of OS X, according to Chitika. New weekly data produced by the analytics firm puts Lion at just 14.18 percent of the market, compared with Snow Leopard, which remains dominant at 55.54 percent. Even Leopard -- now nearly four years old -- has greater representation at 22.23 percent.
flashback.A assumes guise of Flash installer
As has become standard, Apple has quietly updated OS X definitions to counter a recently-publicized malware threat, checks show. Lion and Snow Leopard will now block a Trojan fronted by OSX/Revir.A, which in turn installs a backdoor program identified as OSX/Imuler.A. Although neither part of the Trojan is especially dangerous at the moment, Imuler could potentially be used at a later date to capture screenshots or steal files.
Malware currently just minor threat
A newly-detailed Trojan attack is being directed at Macs, say security firms F-Secure and Sophos. Originally spotted in late July, the Trojan relies on two pieces of malware. The first is a downloader identified as "Trojan-Dropper:OSX/Revir.A," which not only retrieves the second piece of software but repeatedly opens a Chinese PDF document -- trojan.pdf -- said to contain offensive political statements. The real purpose of the document is thought to be distracting a person while the second app is downloaded.
Little time left for finished 10.7.2 to go live
Apple is seeding a new build of the forthcoming OS X 10.7.2 update to developers. Listed as 11C62, the release has no known issues, in keeping with other recent builds. The current Combo version of the update measures 790MB.
Firmware fixes Thunderbolt Display stability
Apple has posted a trio of new software updates, the most important of which are Thunderbolt-related. The Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update fixes unspecified stability problems with Apple's latest product, and apart from the monitor requires a Mac running either OS X 10.6.8 or 10.7.1. A new Thunderbolt Software Update for Snow Leopard is required to use the Thunderbolt Display with the OS, and also fixes compatibility issues with other Thunderbolt devices. A matching Lion update was released late last week.
Works without root access
OS X Lion has a serious security vulnerability allowing hackers to alter the password of any user account, writes security blog Defence in Depth. The OS reportedly allows non-root users the ability to view password hash data. As a consequence, an attacker can potentially use a basic Python script to glean a person's password.
Many areas still in testing
Apple is seeding another build of OS X 10.7.2 to developers, 11C57. The code is the second release to merge iCloud support into Lion, rather than require a separate download and installation. The Combo version of the latest release tops out at 790.2MB.
Leopard left out of updates
Apple has posted Security Update 2011-005, a new patch for OS X Lion and Snow Leopard. In each case the code is aimed at fixing just a single problem: fraudulent certificates issued by DigiNotar, a threat Microsoft dealt with on Wednesday. Apple notes that it has removed DigiNotar from the listed of trusted root and extended validation certificates. By default, OS X should now distrust any certificate connected to DigiNotar.
iCloud already in 10th beta
Continuing a regular Friday trend, Apple has released new developer seeds of OS X 10.7.2 and the Lion iCloud client. The v10.7.2 update is now in build 11C48. The iCloud client is actually in its 10th beta, suggesting that Apple is conducting an extensive amount of testing before it risks making its cloud technology public.
Desktop iCloud betas so far restricted to Lion
Apple may be working on a Mac OS X 10.6.9 update to extend iCloud to Snow Leopard, an error message reveals. After upgrading a MobileMe account to iCloud, one developer says he encountered a unique error message in Tiger's .Mac preferences pane. "You will no longer be able to sync with this machine because you've upgraded to iCloud," it begins. "iCloud requires running Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.9 or later for Contacts, Calendars, and Bookmarks."
Hole allows any password to be used
OS X Lion has a serious security vulnerability related to LDAP, reports say. If a machine is using LDAP to authenticate access to other resources, a person can use any password for logins as long as they get past Lion's initial login process. The issue is said to be sensitive in an enterprise environment. "As pen testers, one of the first things we do is attack the LDAP server," explains Errata Security CEO Rob Graham. "Once we own an LDAP server we own everything. I can walk up to any laptop (in an organization) and log into it."
iCloud makes way toward fall launch
Apple has released new developer seeds for three upcoming Mac updates. The first is OS X 10.7.2, now in build 11C43. The iCloud Lion client has now been advanced to beta 9, while iPhoto 9.2 is in its third beta. Apple warns that installing the latter will replace any existing installation of iPhoto, and that beta 3 will not open libraries created by beta 1. The only way to revert iPhoto to an earlier version is to do a clean install of OS X and then install iPhoto again separately.
Update supports Lion, Snow Leopard
Apple has released a new set of drivers for Epson printers. Now at v2.8, the drivers technically include both printing and scanning software. The download is a sizable 961.5MB, but is compatible with both Lion and Snow Leopard, and also supports a variety of languages.
Storefront limited to 10.7 for several days
Apple has at last updated the Mac App Store version of OS X Lion to v10.7.1. The v10.7.1 code was originally introduced last week through Software Update and Apple's website, but until today the Mac App Store copy of the OS remained stuck at v10.7. For several days this forced people upgrading from Snow Leopard to download an update immediately after installing Lion.
Special Mini, Air updates solve added issues
Apple has released Mac OS X 10.7.1, its first major update for Lion. The patch solves a collection of bugs, including reported trouble with Wi-Fi connections. Also fixed are data migration barriers, audio cutting out when using HDMI or optical audio output, and an error which caused computers to become unresponsive when playing video in Safari.
Shipping delay at 1 to 3 days
Following up on retail availability, Apple has made the USB release of OS X Lion available on its online store. The stick costs $69, as opposed to the normal Mac App Store price of $30, but provides a physical backup and allows a person to install or reinstall Lion without having an Internet connection handy. Shipping times are currently sitting at 1 to 3 business days.
New definitions still rare
Apple made a rare update to the malware definitions in OS X earlier this week, a look at the software's XProtect.plist file shows. An entry has been added for "OSX.QHost.WB.A," a Trojan known to disguise itself as an installer for Flash Player. Should a person encounter and launch the installer, the Trojan will modify a person's hosts file to redirect certain Google websites to an IP in the Netherlands.
Fixes data transfer issues
Apple has released a now-rare patch for Mac OS X Leopard in the form of a Migration Assistant Update. The code fixes a problem that was preventing the transfer of data to Lion, including files, settings and programs. The file is 4.98MB, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.8.
10.7.2 update intended 'solely' for iCloud
Over the weekend Apple began seeding new developer betas of OS X 10.7.2 and the iCloud add-on for Lion. The Lion release is listed as build 11C35, and in its official description is said to be "provided solely for to testing iCloud." The iCloud add-on, distributed at the same time, is identified simply as beta 6.