Spreads through networks, can re-infect if a single file is overlooked
Earlier this month the official blog of security firm KnowBe4 revealed information about a new strain of Ransomware. On top of the usual encryption of files on a computer and demanding payment in Bitcoin currency to regain access, VirRansom can replicate itself like a virus, infecting any and all files on a computer before spreading through a network.
AutoFill, HTML5 video, notifications among testing areas
Apple is distributing three new Safari betas to OS X developers. Yosemite users are getting v8.0.3; v7.1.3 is available for Mavericks, while v6.2.3 is the equivalent for Mountain Lion. Some testing focus areas include AutoFill, web notifications, website and extension compatibility, HTML5 video playback on "popular video sites," and debugging sites via Web Inspector. Apple is also concerned with bookmark editing, and the read/unread state of Reading List items.
13-inch MBP unresponsive
This week in the MacNN Forums Moderator "Thorzdad" and fellow forum-members have been trying to determine why a 13-inch MacBook Pro has suddenly gone unresponsive. It won't boot, light up or make any sounds after failing to recharge two nights ago. With the holidays fast approaching, the debate continues about which phone is a better choice, the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6+ in a thread started shortly after the phone was released.
May not reach public until January
Although it recently released iOS 8.1.2, and is well into development on iOS 8.2, Apple is also working on an interim v8.1.3 update, web traffic shows. The first hits from v8.1.3 devices appear to have come around December 8th, a day before v8.1.2 went live. Since then the number has increased, but just a "few dozen" have reportedly come from Apple's networks.
May complicate troubleshooting in affected locations
As they have in the past, some Apple Stores are repurposing their Genius Bars to accommodate holiday sales, a report notes. The spaces may be used for things such as pick-up service, or extra room for products. Conversions are only happening as dictated by individual stores' needs and shopping traffic, and Geniuses should still be around, whether walking the floor or at tables in front of the Bars.
Apple Support Community members' exhaustive testing rules out 1Password as cause
On November 1, a thread was started on the Apple Support Community regarding an intermittent and troublesome lag when using Apple's Mail, the default email program, in Yosemite. User 'Andrew-StL' kicked off the discussion, reporting the issue while composing messages after updating from Mavericks to the then newly-released Yosemite, noting that the lag was not experienced while entering text in any other application.
Timeline for final update up in the air
Apple has issued a third beta of OS X 10.10.2 to developers. The code is listed as build 14C81f, and follows 14C78c, released on the 4th. One significant change is that Mail and VoiceOver have been added as new areas for testing focus, suggesting an expanded scope for Apple's bugfixes.
Faulty soldering once again blamed
A second class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over the 2011 MacBook Pro. The new case originates in Canada, specifically from a Montreal-based lawfirm, Lex Group Attorneys. Like the original US case, the new suit states that Apple shipped MacBooks with bad soldering of an AMD graphics chip to the logic board, and that this led to a variety of graphics problems. To get it fixed, some customers were forced to pay out-of-warranty repair costs that could scale up to $600, despite Apple apparently being at fault.
alleged iPhone instability
While this week has been relatively quiet in the MacNN forums, members discuss topics such as iPhone instability, software compatibility and more. After having his first iPhone for a short while, Mac Elite "jeff k" turned to the forums looking for explanations to problems he is experiencing. Yesterday one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums to ask if Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 and Yosemite work nicely together.
8.0.2 update replaces botched 8.0.1
Apple has released Safari 8.0.2 for users of OS X Yosemite. Unlike most updates to the browser, v8.0.2 is virtually identical to its predecessor. It instead patches over the broken v8.0.1 release, which was found to cause some copies of Safari to become completely non-functional, and later pulled.
Can be run from Recovery Partition, offers partition table repair, more
A once-essential utility for Mac owners has returned after several years of only minor updates with a major new version that offers significant changes and improvements. DiskWarrior 5.0 by Alsoft is something of a one-trick pony, in that it primarily repairs and optimizes OS X directories -- but this can often be used to save data from failing hard drives, prevent failures in the first place, or rescue data from flash drives where directory corruption is a common problem, among other instances. The new 5.0 version supports Apple Fusion and CoreStorage homebrew "Fusion" drives, repairs partition table damage (especially vital for multi-system boot users) and much more.
My gripes with Safari
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss gripes with Safari, iPad battery drainage issues, and more. One long-time forum-goer, "l008com," took to the forums this week to voice their complaints about Safari, and some users agreed with his criticisms. Yesterday, Mac Enthusiast "TribeLeader" took to the forums to bump a thread he had started last week about his wife's iPad battery draining while it is in sleep mode, and a solution has yet to be found.
Users directed to URL to restore missing files
Apple has released iOS 8.1.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners. The firmware is a minor update, dealing mainly with a glitch which removed ringtones bought through the iTunes Store. People wanting to get those files back are being pointed to a special URL, which in turn redirects visitors to a new page at the Store.
Mac OS X 11
OS X 10.10 has only been officially available for a month now, but MacNN forum goers are already looking to the future and discussing what they would like to see in the next major update, which presumably would be known as Mac OS X 10.11. Earlier today, when Forum Regular "michael180" ran into a puzzling problem with Apple Mail not being able to send an image file that was 31MB in size, he turned to the forums looking for some advice.
Developers asked to focus on Wi-Fi speeds and related issues
On Thursday - exactly two weeks after the first OS X 10.10.2 beta - Apple updated developers with a second beta, build 14C78c. The primary focus from the previous beta, Wi-Fi stability and connectivity, continues to be the requested center of testing. Specifically, Apple is asking developers to test recent changes made to Wi-Fi interaction. While the first update, 10.10.1, fixed a number of issues users were having with Wi-Fi and Mail issues, some users continue to report problems with Wi-Fi stability.
Bugfix updates add Firefox import, improves WebGL on Retina displays
On Wednesday, Apple released minor updates to Safari for the current and two most recent OS X versions. Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.5) users will see an update to Safari v6.2.1, Mavericks (10.9.x) users will see Safari 7.1.1 available for update, and Yosemite users (10.10) will get Safari 8.0.1. The releases share a variety of bug and security fixes, and add the ability to import usernames and passwords from Firefox.
iMac useless after setting login password
One Fresh-Faced Recruit reported some troubling news about his iMac recently in the MacNN Forums. He said that after changing security preferences to "require log-in upon start-up" he was unable to log into his system, and a solution has yet to be found. Yesterday, another Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums looking for help trying to figure out why the tab, caps lock and eject keys stopped working on their keyboard.
Profiles still suffering from CPU issues
Microsoft has released a minor update to Skype for Mac, v7.2. The software mainly copes with several bugs, including crashes caused by changing a profile picture, playing the test sound in the Welcome tour, and/or launching Skype with Ecamm Call Recorder 2.5.11 installed. It also deals with Call and SMS buttons not working on a contact's profile page.
Testing on Nexus 6 shows dramatic decrease in NAND read and write performance
While initial reviews of the anticipated Google Nexus 6 device were decent, a few reviewers pointed out some confusing performance metrics. Initial examiners of the device are reporting that implementation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) cuts NAND random read speeds dramatically, from over 16.6MB/s with encryption off, to 6.18MB/s with the feature active.
Workaround: Use Firefox or Chrome, switch Safari ID to other browser
Users are starting to chime in on Google and Apple's support forums about a sudden incompatibility with video hosting service YouTube. Some users of OS X 10.10.1 are complaining that YouTube videos with leading advertisements either fail to load, play a discordant sound with no video, or crash Safari itself. Firefox and Chrome are not affected by whatever is causing the problem.
Siri fails and iOS 8.1.1 comments
This week in the MacNN forums, members share amusing tales of times that Siri has failed them, providing examples of how Siri doesn't always understand what is really going on. Comments are piling up faster than the snow in Buffalo about the latest update to iOS 8, with some saying it made things better while others aren't so sure it has helped much at all.
First beta comes with known problem, but no focus areas for testing
Just days after issuing the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update that has reportedly fixed a raft of Wi-Fi and Mail issues (but not all of them), the company has seeded the first beta of 10.10.2 for developer. The new build, 14C68k, is now available through the Yosemite Software Update mechanism or Apple's developer portal. The release notes for the beta curiously do not mention any focus areas, but do warn testers of a known flaw in opening documents from iCloud Drive.
Joined by Camera Raw 8.7
Adobe has released the final incarnation of Lightroom 5.7, an update to its photography workflow software. The most important addition is a promised migration tool for people switching from Aperture or iPhoto, though it does not bring in all data. Apple is slowly discontinuing Aperture and iPhoto in favor of a new Photos app for OS X Yosemite and iOS in 2015, and while Photos will be able to import Aperture libraries more fully, the program may not provide the professional-level features of something like Lightroom.
private browsing, custom colors and more
Yesterday, when trying to figure out how to set up Safari's private browsing feature in Yosemite, Mac Elite "jeff k" turned to the MacNN Forums looking for some help. Earlier today, forum-goers assisted "Ralph Tomaccio" with trying to change the color of the text under a folder icon on their desktop on Yosemite.
Patch solved issues for some, not nearly all
Apple's latest patch to OS X 10.10 Yosemite, version 10.10.1, has brought along fixes for Wi-Fi and Mail issues for some users. The Apple support threads regarding the matter, however, suggest that not all users are getting relief. While the update has helped some, users are still reporting frequent disconnects and very slow speeds through Wi-Fi, even after the patch.
Appears unconnected to OS X, iOS updates
[Updated with status information] Some people are encountering problems with Apple's iMessage system, according to complaints on social networks such as Twitter. Affected users will find messages taking a long time to send, if they go out at all. Apple's system status page doesn't currently display any warnings.
Yosemite update fixes serious Wi-Fi issues
Apple has released simultaneous updates for OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. OS X 10.10.1 for Mac copes mainly with significant bugs, such as a glitch with Wi-Fi that would cause a system to repeatedly disconnect. It also solves problems with sending Mail messages, displayed updates at the Mac App Store, Mac minis not waking from sleep, and disappearing items like Actions, sharing services, and Notification Center widgets.
Clerks expected to ditch lanyards
Apple is planning some minor changes at its retail stores in preparation for the holiday season, sources say. One of these includes dressing clerks in red holiday shirts. A permanent adjustment, though, will involve removing neck lanyards from the standard uniform; to compensate for the lack of ID, clerks will reportedly be asked to introduce themselves more often.
Fixes Swift, Interface Builder, other components
Apple is now seeding a gold master version of Xcode 6.1.1 to developers, listed as build 6A2006. The update is a relatively minor one, dealing with bugfixes for Xcode Server, Interface Builder, and handling of Apple's Swift programming language. It can be downloaded through the official OS X developer portal.
iPad mini rants, Siri fails and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Grizzled Veteran "chasg" needed to rant about how he is beginning to hate his iPad mini for a variety of reasons, and a few others have chimed in with some advice on how to reconcile the relationship, and make things right again. Forum-goers continue to discuss which of the new iPhones are best in the thread titled "iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus?"
Google makes data-erasing full restore images available for download
Google is now offering a number of methods by which users of four selected Nexus devices can upgrade to Android 5.0 "Lollipop." The primary method, an "Over The Air (OTA) update" is rolling out in phases to users of Google's mobile devices now, and is expected to be available to all owners of the four devices in the next month. Additionally, the company has posted full-restore factory images to its website, should a user want to completely erase a device, and start from scratch (otherwise known as a "clean install").
WTF, memory leak in Messages?
Today in the MacNN forums, Clinically Insane member "turtle777" was bashing their head against the wall trying to figure out why the Messages app seems to have sprung a memory leak which took up more than 50GB, and brought his iMac to a halt. Forum Regular "imdipped" was trying to figure out how to get rid of their Master Boot Record formatting, and do a clean install of Mavericks.
New build doesn't list any new areas of focus; still testing Wi-Fi, Exchange mail, Notification Cent
A week after offering developers and public beta testers a first release of OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite, the company has issued a smaller second beta with the same focus areas as the previous version. The new build, 14B23, again asks testers to focus on Wi-Fi, Exchange email accounts and tracking down bugs in Notification Center, just as with the first beta. Those who signed up for pre-release builds for the Yosemite public beta will also receive the 10.10.1 betas.
Copes with serious glitch encountered by former iPhone owners
Apple has launched a new web tool for deregistering a phone number from iMessage. When a person begins using the Messages app on an iPhone, it links their phone number with an iMessage account so that conversations are seamless whether messages are being delivered via SMS or Apple's own network. The trouble is that if that person decides to switch from an iPhone to a different cellphone, such as an Android or Windows device, other iPhone users trying to message them can end up sending those messages into the ether.
Is the 1,000 app limit storage size or quantity of file related?
Ever since reports of issues with large libraries on Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus surfaced, rumors have been flying around -- all claiming to know the true source of the problems, and Apple's future intentions for the iPhone and iOS. MacNN began some tests about a month ago to try and nail down the root cause of the issue -- and as we alluded to last week, we believe that the "problem" lies in the iOS, and not a hardware flaw related to NAND cells. Read on for our methodology, as well as our specific findings.
Home mechanics and pros alike may benefit from this app-driven code scanner
There's no doubt about it, having the check engine light pop on just might top the list of "most dreaded events" that car owners face. The warning doesn't have to herald disaster to home mechanics with the help of OBD 2 scanner tools. One such device, the Lemur BlueDriver, is designed to provide peace of mind and guidance to anyone who might have come down with a case of the check-engine-light-blues. We've had some check engine lights ourselves -- check our review to see how the Lemur BlueDriver did.
something cool about dictation, GPU replacement and more
Professional Poster "moonmonkey" was letting fellow MacNN forum goers know "something cool about dictation on Yosemite" in a thread started late last week. Today one Fresh-Faced Recruit was asking fellow forum goers if anyone had any suggestions for legitimate places to have graphics cards replaced on some 2007 and 2011 motherboards.
data restoration, Mavericks notifications and more
Today, forum-goers attempt to assist "l008com" with restoring data from an erased SSD/TRIM-enabled Mac, and wonder if Data Rescue will find nothing in the free space. Yesterday, Mac Elite "Matt OS X" turned to the forums looking for a way to completely disable notifications using a command line in Mavericks, and has yet to get a response.
Concentrates on bugfixes, speed boosts
In tandem with the OS X 10.10.1 beta, Apple has simultaneously released an initial iOS 8.1.1 beta to developers. The code is listed as build 12B432. So far, the update appears concentrated around bugfixes and performance increases, rather than adding new features, as in iOS 8.1.
Several support threads discussing issue related to GPU switching
Some early Retina-equipped MacBook Pro users are seeing graphical issues in Safari and other browsers following an upgrade to OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The severity of the issues vary, but a growing series of support threads on the Apple user forums show users experiencing problems ranging from minor text entry issues, all the way through persistent crashing. A pair of workarounds are available, but not all users are reporting success with them.
Testers are to focus on Wi-Fi, Mail and Notification Center fixes
On Monday, Apple released the first beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.1, the forthcoming first update to Yosemite. This first beta is the first to arrive after the release of OS X Yosemite on October 16. The new build, 14B17, can be obtained by registered developers through Apple's Software Update. Apple is asking developers to focus on Wi-Fi, Exchange accounts in Mail, and Notification Center. No release notes have yet been published detailing any changes or fixes present in 10.10.1.
Fixes vary from preference deletion all the way through OS X reinstall
Complaints from Yosemite upgraders about Wi-Fi connectivity are beginning to stack up. Reports are circulating about strange Wi-Fi issues, with issues seemingly related to corrupted preference files or bad configurations left over from previous installs. Fixes abound for the issues, with seemingly no commonality to the problems beyond just being related to wireless networking.
new Mini mysteries
Since the release of the updated Mac mini, there has been a lot of chatter in the MacNN forums regarding some of the choices made by Apple to use slower processors and take away the ability to upgrade RAM, among other things. Yesterday, Professional Poster "badidea" took to the forums, reporting serious problems with re-partitioning their startup disk, and he is pleading for help from fellow forum members.
2011 Core i7 iMac vs Retina i5 iMac
After having some display backlight and logic board issues with an older iMac, Mac Enthusiast "Boochie" has decided now would be a good time to start thinking about a new iMac. A post they made in the MacNN forums sparked a debate about what would be a better choice, a 2011 iMac with a Core i7 processor, or a new Retina iMac with an i5 processor. Yesterday, one Forum Regular was trying to determine the best cable to use to connect a Mac mini to a Dell UltraSharp monitor, and asked fellow forum members for their thoughts.
Apple failing to acknowledge video defect, suit says
Following up on earlier talk, lawfirm Whitfield Bryson & Mason has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of owners of the 2011 MacBook Pro. For some time, users of the laptop have been complaining about visual artifacts, blank screens, and/or crashes, which appear to be linked to problems with AMD graphics hardware. Apple, though, hasn't offered to fix affected systems outside of warranty coverage without charging high fees, and using replacement parts that may cause the exact same trouble.
Blames distribution system, not code
Via Re/code's first annual Code/Mobile conference, Apple's VP for iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak, has apologized for the botched iOS 8.0.1 update in September. "It wasn't the software itself it was the way it was distributed," he explains in an interview. "We're very sorry."
Will replace bank-sponsored system with competing mobile wallet platform next year
Following reader complaints of Rite-Aid stores no longer accepting Apple Pay or Google Wallet payments (following a brief period where both worked properly) and a "cone of silence" from PR representatives, leaked documents have revealed that the reversal by Rite-Aid on accepting NFC-based payments was deliberate, and that it may never accept Apple Pay, since it is planning to go with a rival mobile payments platform -- sometime next year.
Fix for card images in progress, sources say
Although the service appears to be working in general, some banks supporting Apple Pay are encountering some early technical problems. One issue is that in some cases, the correct card designs aren't being displayed in Passbook. Affected cards will show generic logos for their associated institutions, and possibly lack descriptions as well, which can make numbers the only way to distinguish between them when a person has multiple cards from the same firm. Sources claim that a fix for the bug is already underway.
All iOS apps must support 64-bit code??
One headline on MacNN this week has caused a bit of a stir in the forums, when Mac Elite "WizOSX" pointed out that Apple has announced that all iOS apps must support 64-bit code by February. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is having trouble playing video with their Windows notebook computer, and is wondering if the MacBook Air would be able to handle it better.
Includes delayed SMS Relay tech, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes
As planned, Apple has released iOS 8.1 to the public. The main addition is support for Apple Pay, but a number of other important features are present. These include beta support for iCloud Photo Library, and the return of the Camera Roll to the Photos app. SMS Relay enables SMS/MMS messaging via a nearby Mac or iPad, and people can now force a device to use 2G, 3G, or 4G for data, instead of it selecting networks automatically. A minor photo-related improvement generates alerts whenever there's too little storage to start a timelapse video.