New $15,000 award for successful submissions, up from $5,000.
Google is increasing the rewards in its bug bounties program, as it tries to make its software more secure. The search company is updating its reward pricing range to between $500 and $15,000 per bug, up from the previous maximum of $5,000 for a high-quality report, with an increased focus on discovering potential vulnerabilities within the Chrome browser.
Extensis announces availability of its new modular digital asset management system software
Extensis is launching a new digital asset management (DAM) system tomorrow, Extensis Portfolio. Aiming to provide a more affordable system for companies of all sizes, Extensis Portfolio allows users to holds millions of assets in one catalog or several, and can be used by multiple departments. Companies can choose what they will use with Portfolio's modular platform, with options for mobile DAM, single sign-on, web portals and more. The system's new "Restful" API provides simple integration with other third-party applications, such as eCommerce Systems, collection managements systems, and web content management systems.
Sway combines content from multiple sources, offers layout assistance
Microsoft has added a new app to Office, one which may help users create and share projects or documents for reading online. Sway is a simplified webpage creation tool that allows for content to be collected from a variety of sources and formatted in an attractive manner on a cloud-hosted page, without needing the user to have prior web development experience.
Windows Phone virtual assistant could appear in desktop Windows release
Cortana, Microsoft's voice-controlled virtual assistant from Windows Phone 8.1, may appear in the final retail release of Windows 10, according to a report. Though it was not demonstrated during the Windows launch event yesterday, it is claimed Microsoft is actively testing the feature in internal builds of the operating system.
Spotify opens Canadian streaming service to everyone
Spotify has opened up its service in Canada to all users, following a brief invitational period. The streaming music service boasts over 20 million songs served on 320kbps streams, with chief content officer Ken Parks claiming the collection has been "tailor made for Canadian music fans." Users have the same ad-supported free and paid service options as other regions, with Spotify Premium priced at $10 per month.
Final version imminent as golden master in hands of developers
On Tuesday, Apple signaled the end of active development of the first official version of OS X 10.10 Yosemite with the seeding of the "Golden Master," a one-last-lookover build that will be used as the final first release if no show-stopping bugs are found. An email was sent to registered developers calling for app submissions ahead of the upcoming launch of Yosemite, though no date or deadline was given. The existence of a GM candidate suggests that Yosemite is not far from being released to the public.
Yosemite coming soon, contract confusion and more
With the release of the golden master candidate of Yosemite to developers, there has been renewed interest in the MacNN forums about when this next update will be out of beta and in the App store for everyone. Forum Regular "webraider" was attempting to purchase a contract free factory unlocked iPhone 6, but has run unto some problems and wonders if anyone has an answer.
Public releases coming soon
Apple has begun seeding gold master candidates of OS X Yosemite and Xcode 6.1 to developers. While "candidate" status means the software is still pre-release, it implies that the code is nearly complete, as it could be released to the public should no serious bugs be discovered. Apple has, in some years, released multiple GM candidates.
Windows 10 reintroduces Start Menu, lessens Live Tile use
Microsoft has formally announced the latest iteration of its computer operating system at its media event, but it isn't named Windows 9. The incoming Windows 10, set to be made available to users next year, is being billed by the company as the "most comprehensive platform ever," with the software expected to run on the broadest range of device types, including computers, mobile devices, and the "Internet of Things" ecosystem.
Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.
Partnership takes its first step to bring Creative Cloud to Chromebooks
Photographers and artists holding off on buying a Chromebook because of the lack of program options may have one more reason to reconsider in the future. A partnership between Adobe and Google was announced today, taking steps towards bringing the subscription-based Creative Cloud suite to Chrome OS. To start out, a streaming version of Photoshop will be brought to the inexpensive notebooks.
Microsoft Indonesia president reportedly confirms free major Windows upgrade
The next version of Windows may be a free upgrade for some Windows users, numerous reports claim. The software, potentially called Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold," may end up being offered to owners of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, though users of earlier operating system iterations are likely to be required to pay for the upgrade.
Directory, Education and Qwiki to be shuttered to better align with company vision
In the last two years, Yahoo has made a large number of changes to its core business, acquiring more than 40 companies to bolster various division of the company or open new areas of business. However, the company also ended more than 60 products in order to refine its vision since coming under the leadership of CEO Marissa Mayer. To that effect, Yahoo states three other products are coming to the end of their lives, as Yahoo Education, Directory and Qwiki will be closing down before 2015.
Rumor claims low-specification Tizen smartphone bound for India in November
Samsung could be planning to release an entry-level smartphone running Tizen in India, according to a rumor. Following the launch and persistent delays to bring the Samsung Z to market, the company is said to be preparing a lower-specification device for launch in November, with the unnamed smartphone said to be running on Tizen version 2.3.
Maxupgrades boosts blade SSDs for iMac, Retina Macbook Pro to 1TB
Macintosh upgrade purveyor Maxupgrades has boosted its expansion SSD line for the Retina Macbook Pro and compatible iMac models. Newly released are 1TB versions of its Blade SSD for the 2012 and early 2013 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, plus the 21- and 27-inch 2012 iMacs, based on the Samsung 840 EVO SSD. The new model retails for $479, and is capable of sequential reads of up to 540MB/s and write speeds of 520MB/s, with up to 98,000 operations per second read. The models mentioned are not normally upgradeable, but the company does not appear to provide instructions on the necessary disassembly of the machines, or the tools needed to do so.
Connect IQ SDK offers sensor access, fitness data, option to create watch faces
Garmin is attempting to make its GPS watches for runners more attractive to fitness apps, by opening the platform up to third-party developers working in the field of wearable devices. Connect IQ is billed as a software development kit allowing developers create apps which will work with future Garmin watches and other items.
Major security risk could be bigger issue than Heartbleed
A new bug may have a greater potential for harm than April's Heartbleed vulnerability, according to reports. The "Shellshock" vulnerability in Bash, a Unix shell typically used in Linux systems as well as in OS X, apparently allows for code held in environment variables to be executed within the shell as soon as it is invoked, potentially allowing for the control of affected systems to be taken over by another user.
Bug-finding and reporting emphasized, event runs through Sunday
Developers and AppleSeed testers working with the latest beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite are receiving email invitations from Apple to join in on a focused "test fest" that concentrates on one particular feature -- AirDrop, which allows wireless transfers of files between Macs and iOS devices. This is the first time in recent memory that Apple has opened up a "test fest" to users outside Apple for this level of focused feature examination.
Launches Elements Live portal for online learning, tips and tricks
On Tuesday, Adobe released major upgrades to its two consumer-oriented "Elements" programs -- the image-editing program Photoshop Elements, and the video-editing program Premiere Elements, now both at version 13. In addition, both programs now feature a new help and instruction portal called Elements Live that offers various tips, tricks and tutorials on using the programs. Both programs boast several new features.
Software creates dynamically-updating magazine apps, could aid publishers, iBooks Author
One of Apple's routinely-unpublicized acquisitions this year was magazine-app creator Prss. The firm, which created software that makes it easy to create magazine apps (and more importantly, to dynamically refresh them with silent updates), shut down this July -- and some of the former employees now appear to be working at Apple, according to Dutch enthusiast site iCulture. The iPad maker recently confirmed the acquisition.
Sony rolls out the open beta test of the game rental service to PlayStation 3 owners
PlayStation 3 owners wanting to get a taste of PlayStation Now finally have their chance, as Sony rolled out the open beta of the program out to the last-generation console last week. Residents of the United States and Canada with the nearly eight-year-old system can now rent more than 150 titles, rather than paying full price for games that may only be played for a few days. Pricing varies for each rental period and game, but Sony recently reduced the price for the four-hour rental period.
Palm Pilots? (un)predictive text? iOS 8 internet problems?
This week in the MacNN Forums, "subego" started a thread that appears to be showcasing some of the bizarre interpretations Apple's new predictive text in iOS 8 creates -- either that, or he is simply trying to live up to his "Clinically Insane" ranking by spewing incoherent gibberish. Today a Fresh-Faced Recruit who goes by the name "Swervage" has started a rather unusual thread, lashing out at Apple for not making Mavericks compatible with Palm Pilots, going as far as saying that this is "monumentally moronic" of Apple.
Update for Evernote for Mac includes rebuilt note editor, image resizing
Evernote has announced the release of its updated productivity software for OS X. Offering users the ability to write, collect, find and present information in a centralized workspace, Evernote assists in organizing data and making it accessible across devices. The update focuses on improving its existing features, one being a rebuild of its note editor.
Google Now adds flight price monitor card shown after Google Flight searches
Google Now has added a new card to its roster, warning users of changes in flight prices. Spotted by Android Police, the card will automatically appear if a flight is searched for via Google Flight Search, though apparently not when using other fare comparison sites, with the card advising of any rise or fall in cost. It is unknown how far the feature has rolled out, nor if it picks up relevant data from standard Google searches or Gmail.
Is that wizard really from the moon and actually worth spending $60 on?
Let's just cut through the normal crap of a boring introductory paragraph. If you've been alive and a gamer for more than 15 years, you know who Bungie is. More than 25 years, and you've played a Bungie game or two. At more than 40 (and a Mac user), you've played games from the company that shipped on 3.5-inch disk. Bungie is now freed from the clutches of Microsoft, and under the thrall of a new master -- Activision. Destiny is the first title from the thrice-born company, and it's -- different. Is it any good, and more importantly, how is the experience on the seemingly-omnipresent previous generation of console?
Development, support to continue on Aviary's SDK under Adobe's Creative SDK banner
Adobe announced that it acquired a developer of software development kits (SDK) for photo-editing and third-party mobile software. Aviary's SDKs are to be folded into the Adobe Creative SDK, which the company is building as a development platform for mobile apps. Terms of the acquisition were not given, but Aviary was privately held.
Solves problem preventing message writing
Apple has released an separate update of its Mail client for the public and developer betas of OS X Yosemite. The code "resolves an issue that may prevent composing a message," attached notes explain. Beta participants can download the update via the Mac App Store.
Signing up a Gmail account no longer requires a social media account setup
Google is no longer forcing users to create a Google+ profile when setting up a new Gmail account, according to a report from marketing blog Wordstream. By easing up on the mandatory setup of the social media arm of the search company, Google is continuing to put distance between users and the service that never seemed to find the same footing as Facebook.
Move brings OS X compatibility, wider Windows penetration
Sony has shifted delivery of its Video Unlimited service for computers away from a discrete application, and onto a web-based player. In allowing browsers to play back video for the first time, Sony has opened up the service for OS X as well as a wider array of Windows-based devices.
new iPhone and iOS 8 first impressions
As the long lines outside of Apple stores world-wide finally start to move, and new iPhones start landing in the hands of Mac fans everywhere, MacNN forum-goers with phones in-hand begin to post their first impressions in the thread titled "Incoming iPhone" which was started late last week. Also today, reports are starting to come in that iOS 8 is a bit sluggish and buggy, with some even stating that it's the worst release yet. Of course, people always say that.
Navigation in Google Maps apps enabled in 19 more countries
Google has made two changes to its Google Maps mobile apps. The app now provides navigational instructions in an additional 19 countries, bringing the total number of countries with the function enabled to 96, while users finding issues with local maps are able to notify Google of new places of interest from within the app, with corrections added to the public version of the maps at a later time.
MacNN and Electronista weekly deals for September 19, 2014
Standing in line at the Apple store? We aren't, so this afternoon we're going to take a look at sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best deals on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before you click buy. We do add deals over the weekend, so keep checking!
Pebble Firmware version 2.5 adds iOS 8 support, emoji
A firmware update for the Pebble smartwatch range adds iOS 8 support to the device, among other new additions. Version 2.5 of the firmware also activates its compass features using its magnetometer, allowing developers access to the component, as well as reintroducing the Domo watch face and adding the ability to display emoji within notifications and messages.
No details available on acquisition or company behind it, no legal plan stated
It turns out that TwitPic won't be forced to shut down after all, according to a tweet sent out on the official TwitPic Twitter account. Apparently, an interested party came to the rescue by acquiring the company, allowing it to fight off its recent conflict with Twitter -- at least for now. TwitPic was previously said to be winding down on September 25 as a result of a trademark dispute with Twitter.
Pearl Mountain PicGIF and VideoGIF for everyone!
It's back to school time, and that means long hours slaving over books and filling heads with heaps of knowledge that will, for the most part, end up being lost by springtime. So why not have a little fun and make something that you can share with friends and never forget -- animated GIFs? Pearl Mountain Software has teamed up with MacNN to give away copies of PicGIF and VideoGIF software for Mac. For the next week, everyone and anyone who wants to download a copy can get them as our treat.
Former gets Windows users iCloud Drive ahead of Macs
Apple has issued v4.0 of iCloud for Windows, the client needed for Windows users to sync content such as email, bookmarks, and photos with iCloud. The v4.0 software is a major update, bringing support for iCloud Drive, Apple's Dropbox-like file storage service. Significantly, this means that Windows users are getting access to the feature ahead of Mac owners. It first became an option with iOS 8's debut on Wednesday, but won't hit OS X until Yosemite appears at some point in the next month.
Follows a day after 7.0.6
Despite v7.0.6 being released just yesterday alongside OS X 10.9.5, Apple has released another version of Safari for Mavericks, 7.1. The release mainly follows in the steps of its iOS 8 sibling, introducing secure search site DuckDuckGo as an alternative to the likes of Google or Yahoo. Security for Yahoo searches has been improved, as entries into the search field are now encrypted.
MyGlass iOS update automatically synchronizes photos between Google Glass, iPhone
An update to MyGlass, the iOS Google Glass companion app, has been updated to allow users faster access to images shot using the headwear. The Next Web writes that photographs will now appear on an iPhone or iPad for editing when Photo Sync is enabled, viewable both via the app and a separate MyGlass album. The Android version of the app reportedly already has the function built in.
Company is a 'very different place,' but changing market suits Cook's management style
A hit-and-miss profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook has brought some new details to light about changes made at Apple since Cook took over in late 2011. It also confirms that the Apple Watch project was started after former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died, that the consolidation of hardware and software teams that led to Scott Forstall's ouster was a deliberate move by Cook, and that those who work with him have no doubts about the ability of the company to continue innovating.
Official iPhone User Guide updated on iBooks for iPhone 6 line, iOS 8
Following the arrival of iOS 8 on Wednesday, Apple has updated its official iPhone User Guide (a free e-book download available from the iBookstore) to cover its release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as offer a tour of all the new and changed features of iOS 8. The e-Book can be read on the iBooks app for iOS, or on the OS X version of iBooks for Mavericks and later. The guide covers all iOS 8-compatible iPhone hardware, from the iPhone 4S to the latest iPhone 6 models as well as offering iOS 8 tutorials, including the new Health app.
Mavericks updated includes Safari 7.0.6, fixes VPN and SMB server bugs
In what is likely the final numerical update for OS X Mavericks, Apple has released version 10.9.5 just one day after it was seeded to AppleCare representatives. The release notes indicate that it improves the reliability of VPN connections requiring USB smart cards, and access to files on SMB servers. The patch also includes Safari 7.0.6, though it was released separately about a month ago, alongside v6.1.6 for older operating systems for security patches. The company also updated iMovie for iOS to add iOS 8 compatibility.
Update pushed to Dropbox, Carousel over automatic upload failure
Users of Dropbox on iOS are unable to back up data to the cloud storage service, due to a compatibility issue with iOS 8. The company claims the issue prevents users of the latest Apple mobile operating system from automatically backing up all of their photographs and videos to the service, with only a few of the latest files able to be uploaded successfully.
Plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom now offers revamped UI, 2x speed increase
Image correction software specialists Athentech have updated their flagship product to a new major version. Perfectly Clear, a pair of plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom, has been updated to version 2.0. The new version offers major speed improvements and is now twice as fast as previously, and now includes an extensive "Beautify" module. The upgrade also features better noise removal, full resolution zoom, a new split view, and a lower price.
MacNN forum-goers anxiously awaiting the delivery of their latest, greatest iPhones have converged in the thread titled "Incoming iPhone" to discuss just where in the world the tracking numbers state their precious cargo resides. Forum members who are looking for an iPad sleeve with a spot for a power adapter that doesn't cause a bulge are conversing about the available options in a thread started by Clinically Insane member "subego" earlier this week.
Panasonic announces firmware update for Lumix DMC-GH4
Panasonic has announced the release of a new firmware update program for its Lumix Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera, the DMC-GH4. Intended to enhance performance and controllability of the camera, the update features a new 4K Photo mode. The 4K mode allows users to crop out a designated frame from their 4K video; recording format, picture quality setting and brightness level are automatically set to the optimal parameters for photo shooting.
Hints at imminent public launch
OS X 10.9.5 is already being seeded within Apple, say several sources working for AppleCare. The step is believed to be an immediate precursor to launching the update for the public, since AppleCare staff need to be familiar with the update in order to troubleshoot it. Furthermore, iOS 8 is being released tomorrow, and Apple often clusters major software updates.
Finished code will likely be last Server release for Mavericks
Apple is seeding another preview of OS X Server 3.2 to developers. Changes are so far unknown, but the code is listed as build 13S5179. Server 3.2 is intended for Macs running OS X Mavericks, particularly 10.9.4 or later.
Updated Autodesk video editor is put to the test
The follow-up to Smoke 2013, Autodesk's Smoke 2015 aims to improve on the original video editing software. While it introduces a new Timeline FX workflow and integrated 3D tracker alongside other new features and performance upgrades, is it enough to make users switch to the latest edition? Read our review of Smoke 2015 to find out.
Event to give insight into what is to come for Windows, enterprise users
Microsoft started circling invites today for an event that it's holding later this month. The September 30 event plans to give attendees a chance to see what is coming down the pipe for enterprise and Windows, but offers no specific information on what the event will entail. The Verge previously reported that a press event on the announced date would be used to unveil Windows 9 according to sources close to the matter.
Boinx Software releases update for FotoMagico, optimized for 4K video
Boinx Software has announced the release of an update for its slideshow creation tool, FotoMagico. Now optimized for the production of 4K video, FotoMagico v4.5 can now better accommodate later versions of OS X, from Mountain Lion to the upcoming Yosemite. Users can quickly preview special scaling animations when using 4K clips, and overall software performance and stability is improved. Priced at $100, FotoMagico v4.5 is available as a free update for existing v4 users.