New tactic addresses complaints of silent disabling of outdated versions
Apple is trying a different tack in the struggle to keep Macs secure by encouraging users to either disable the Flash browser plug-in outright, or to keep up-to-date with the latest version, which routinely fixes serious security issues found in the multi-platform media player. The latest maneuver by the iPhone maker, which debuted today, is a direct pop-up prompt to update to the latest version when users visit a page that requires Flash Player. The dialogue box takes users directly to Adobe's own page for updating Flash.
SwitchEasy announces new kickstand cases for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
Mobile accessories designer SwitchEasy has announced two new cases for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus entitled Rave. Composed of a combination of faux leather and thermoplastic polyurethane, the Rave case is reflective, and shimmers when it catches the light. Its folding design allows the phone to be propped up into a kickstand, ideal for watching videos. The Rave joins SwitchEasy's line of cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and will be available online, with pricing starting at $30.
Offers many of the same tracking features as the Shine, loses the aluminum casing
Misift, the company behind the Shine fitness tracker, announced another tracker today that aims at bringing wearables to a wider audience. The Flash functions as a fitness tracker and sleep monitor, taking on the same features found in the Shine for a lower price. Where the $100 Shine was a tracker in an aluminum shell, the Flash takes a cheaper route with polyurethane and polycarbonate construction for $50.
Designed to save time wasted on incompatible content
Google has implemented a change to the way mobile search results are displayed, warning users if a website uses Adobe Flash. On devices running iOS or Android, results may now show a tag saying "Uses Flash. May not work on your device." Below this are links letting users "try anyway" or learn more about the problem.
Latest version for Snow Leopard and higher now required for Flash to work
Following an emergency patch issued by Adobe yesterday for a vulnerability in Flash Player and Adobe AIR that the company deemed "critical" for users to upgrade to, Apple is now blocking all un-upgraded versions of the plug-in in Safari, though the warning dialog will take users to the Flash Installer page where they can obtain the patched version. Users of OS X 10.6 and higher must be running version 220.127.116.11 in order for the Flash plug-in to work normally. Windows and Linux users are also affected by the flaw.
Flaw allows attackers to steal authenticating cookies, hasn't been seen in wild yet
Adobe has issued an emergency patch of its Flash Player technology to correct a security flaw that could allow hackers false access to thousands of popular websites -- notably Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and eBay among many others. The patch, which will update Flash to version 18.104.22.168, is considered "critical" for users of OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. Even if users have Flash Player disabled in their browser, they may still need to update if they are using any products that require Adobe AIR.
Mavericks Applescript Problem
This week, MacNN Forum members assist others with troubleshooting Applescript problems, updating Flash issues with Safari, and more. One Fresh-Faced Recruit has been having problems with an Applescript after upgrading to Mavericks from Mountain Lion, and he hopes that others might be able to assist in figuring out why. Today, "jeff k" was asking fellow forum-goers if they could figure out why Safari would keep asking him to do a Flash update after he has already updated Flash.
Windows exploits already active
Adobe has issued a new security bulletin warning of a Flash flaw that could allow a hacker to seize control of a computer. So far just Windows exploits have been seen in the wild, but Adobe cautions that Mac and Linux systems are vulnerable as well. The security hole is present only in older versions of Flash Player, requiring simply that people have up-to-date software.
At least three websites attacked so far
Adobe has issued a new version of Flash Player, 22.214.171.124, to deal with a serious vulnerability. Security firm FireEye notes that the hole has already been used to attack at least three non-profit websites. "This threat actor clearly seeks out and compromises websites of organizations related to international security policy, defense topics, and other non-profit sociocultural issues," it writes. "The actor either maintains persistence on these sites for extended periods of time or is able to re-compromise them periodically.
Drives use compact flash or CFast to emulate SSD RAIDs
Addonics Technologies has released two storage solutions using Compact Flash (CF) cards in five slot drive configurations with the Sapphire five-slot CFast and Sapphire five-slot CF drives. The drives use CFast and Compact Flash cards, respectively, to create RAID arrays for SSD storage solutions, aimed at systems using USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA interfaces.
Should minimize impact of exploit
Apple has silently updated malware definitions in OS X to block anything but the latest Mac version of Adobe Flash, v126.96.36.199, according to a security memo. Adobe issued the new Flash code yesterday to deal with a serious vulnerability that could let hackers seize control of a computer. Equivalent Windows and Linux patches were also made available.
Threat seen in the wild, Adobe says
Adobe has released a new version of Flash Player for Windows and Mac, 188.8.131.52, to cope with a serious security hole. The company warns that exploits for the vulnerability have been seen in the wild, and that the problem could potentially allow an attacker to seize control of a computer. A matching Linux update is labeled v184.108.40.2065.
Atom USB 3.0 flash drive size of a quarter, available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB
Mushkin has announced its new Atom USB 3.0 Flash Drive, which focuses on providing a small form-factor the size of a quarter. Backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1, the Atom USB 3.0 flash drive enables users to leave the flash drive into the USB port while working on the go without obstruction. Offering versatility for tablet and slim notebook users, the flash drive can be plugged in and left as secondary device storage with a low power usage.
Could limit key attack vector
Flash is now a sandboxed plugin in OS X Mavericks, according to an Adobe blog post. Using the OS' App Sandbox feature, Adobe says it has been able to limit Flash's file read/write access and what assets the plugin can find in the first place. It can no longer reach local connections to device resources and IPC (interprocess communications) channels, for instance, and network privileges are restricted such that Flash-based malware can't communicate with servers set up by hackers.
Adobe squashes 14 security issues in latest update to Flash for browsers
It wasn't only about iPhones and iOS on Tuesday -- Apple continues to keep an eye out for potential security threats and, where possible, prevent them. A recent silent update to Apple's built-in (for Snow Leopard and higher) XProtect anti-malware software blocked all but the most recent update to Java due to security concerns, and today another update to XProtect did the same thing to all but the very latest release of Flash, as Adobe released a patch that fixes some 14 bugs that could have compromised user security.
Speakers compatible with Siri and Voice Commands
Ematic released yesterday its ESB100 Speaker, its first Bluetooth speaker product. The speaker -- comparable to a softball in size -- offers 30 feet of wireless range, as well as a line-in feature to listen directly from a non-Bluetooth device. With 35 hours of playtime per charge, the ESB100's battery is recharged with the included microUSB cable and wall charger. Including customizable foam speaker grills in blue and black, consumers can purchase Ematic's ESB100 for $40 at Wal-Mart.
Samsung 3D flash tech set to spur next-gen smartphone, tablet design
Samsung has debuted the industry’s first 3D vertical NAND flash memory architecture. Just as Intel has pushed processor technology with its 3D tri-gate architecture first seen on its ‘Ivy Bridge’ designs, Samsung’s engineers have taken a vertical to boost performance applying a similar principle to the way it designs its next-generation NAND flash designs. According to Samsung, its new design overcomes inherent technical challenges that arise when moving to 10nm processes including cell-to-cell interference while breaking through scaling limitations.
Flash rebuilt with 64-bit architecture, Dreamweaver gains CSS Designer tool
Adobe has outlined a large number of changes for its web-development products, as part of its major announcements today. Flash Professional CC has been rebuilt to be more modular and streamlined, Edge Animate CC and Edge Reflow Preview 3 add some workflow improvements, and Dreamweaver CC introduces a visual editing tool for CSS, PhoneGap build support, and other extra tools.
Company continues subscription push
Adobe has introduced a wide range of software updates, dropping the Creative Suite branding as the company continues to embrace its Creative Cloud subscription service. New features have been added to Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Pro, After Effects, Muse and Dreamweaver, among other titles.
Adobe Flash update and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss the most recent Flash update in the thread titled "Adobe Flash 11.7.7 update requires download?" which was started by "Hawkeye_a" who found it strange, especially after the recent malware scares. Yesterday "ibook_steve" reported that his Finder is showing that he has more free space on their hard drive than he does in reality.
Linux on a Mac could be hazardous
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, Grizzled Veteran "abbaZaba" questioned the veracity of a technician's report that Linux on Apple hardware could permanently damage the CPU. "Do I need Adobe Flash Player?" asks one Forum Regular who is trying to avoid a plague of pesky popups and other such annoyances.
Counteracts recently-discovered vulnerabilities
Apple has updated the plugin-blocking component in Safari to prevent earlier versions of Flash from being used, a new support document states. Lion, Mountain Lion, and Snow Leopard users are affected. The update comes in response to recently-discovered vulnerabilities in Flash that have already been patched by Adobe, but which could impact people who don't update on a regular basis.
Exploits affect both platforms, one targets the Mac specifically
Adobe has issued a patch to update Flash on both the Mac and Windows platform in order to fix two new vulnerabilities already being exploited "in the wild" to spread malware. One of the targeted attacks using the exploit works equally well against Mac users as it does against Windows users. Visitors are tricked into downloading and opening MS Word files that contain malicious Flash content, while the other vulnerability users a similar technique but only affects Windows users.
Flash drive with 1TB capacity accompanied by smaller drives
Memory manufacturer Kingston is to release what is claimed to be the world's largest-capacity USB 3.0 flash drive. The high-capacity DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 will have a version shipping later this quarter with a total storage of 1-terabyte, while others in the range will ship at the same time at more standard capacities.
Google cites Flash as vector for malware
Google announced today a new, more secure version of Flash Player for the Mac version of its Chrome Internet browser. The update brings increased protection against malware, which Google noted in its announcement of the update is a major vulnerability with Flash. The search giant has been working with Adobe since 2010 to improve the security of Flash Player, and the new version relies on a new plug-in architecture aimed at making the feature more secure.
Media Player app launches video on website, iPlayer
The BBC is rolling out a way to help it's Android apps to function without Flash, by using Flash. A custom app called BBC Media Player (Google Play) will allow British users to watch and listen to BBC on-demand content from their mobile device, even when Adobe pulls Flash from Android for the second, and potentially final, time.
Samsung pushes mobile memory technology forward
Samsung Semiconductor has started fabricating 128GB flash storage chips and 2GB LPDDR3 DRAM modules for mobile devices. Currently, most high-end smartphones are shipping with a maximum of 64GB of internal storage, leaving users with media-heavy libraries unable to take their music collections with them. The introduction of the new modules should go a long way to alleviating this problem, although pricing will remain a key factor in adoption.
Adobe bows to partner pressure, revives mobile Flash temporarily
In a slight reversal, Adobe has returned its Flash media player to Google's UK Play Store. According to the BBC, the move comes following pressure from Adobe's "strategic partners," including the BBC itself, who asked that Adobe continue to support mobile Flash, as that is the technology underpinning many of their applications.
Possible flagship phone from Chinese manufacturer
Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE may be launching a flagship-level handset on Sprint later this fall. The ZTE Flash has shown up in what appears to be an internal document acquired by TalkAndroid. The document shows off a good deal of specs for the device, which represents something of a departure for ZTE, as the company's phones are usually more underpowered affairs.
Adobe to push ahead on post-Flash plans
Adobe Systems believes web standards have achieved most of what Flash is capable of handling. In an interview with CNET during Google I/O, the senior director of web platform and authoring at Adobe, Arno Gourdol, suggested that web standards are "close to 80 percent" of Flash, as the company moves away from its multimedia platform.
New Flash installs also being disabled on Google Play
Adobe will stop supporting Flash Player in Android from Android 4.1 onwards, with new installs of Flash on the mobile OS ceasing altogether in the near future. A company blog post has announced that there will not be a certified implementation of Flash Player on Jelly Bean; development and testing of Flash for the new version of Android has already ceased.
Problem may also involve Flash, reported to Apple
A member of the Apple Support forums posted yesterday that an employee of the company had told him that "the specific combination" of Google's Chrome browser, it's built-in version of Flash and the Intel HD 4000 chip found in the latest MacBook Airs was causing a problem that Apple was working to fix, with some owners reporting frequent crashes and even kernel panics as a result of the issue.
Backed by AES encryption, cloud storage software
On Thursday, SanDisk announced four new products enhancing existing product lines. Newly unveiled are the Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card, the Extreme USB 3.0 flash drive, the thin Cruzer Pop USB Drive, and a new high-capacity Cruzer Glide. Each product emphasizes something different -- the SDHC card boasts fast read/write speed for a card, the Extreme USB 3.0 sports the new faster USB interface, the Cruzer Pop is extremely thin, and the extension of the Cruzer Glide line provides mass USB flash storage.
Patches solve issues with Flash, Flashback
Apple has posted two separate security updates for OS X Leopard. The first, Leopard Security Update 2012-003, disables versions of Flash without the most recent security updates, and instead provides a method of getting the latest release from Adobe. Apple's update is 1.11MB and requires at least OS X 10.5.8.
'Priority 1' issue affects PC, Mac, Android
A "critical" security issue that can cause the Flash plug-in to crash and allow a malicious program potential access to the system is addressed in the latest Adobe security update for both the Flash player standalone program for CS users and web browser plug-in for Macs, Windows and Android systems. Users are strongly advised to upgrade to version 220.127.116.11 on Macs and Windows, and v18.104.22.168 on Android (version 22.214.171.124 for Android 4.0).
Research may lead to faster, longer lived media
A thirty-year-old concept in computer memory may be making a resurgence. Material engineers at Johns Hopkins University have turned to diamonds to change the properties of elements used in phase change memory such as used in CD-RW and DVD-RW discs. This development could lead to higher data density storage systems that both last longer and react quicker than current optical, flash, or magnetic media.
Adobe CS6 ships within 30 days
Adobe began the week early with official launch details of Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud. The collection of professional tools are available for pre-order as of Monday and should ship within 30 days.
Adds hardware acceleration for older models
Adobe has released a public beta of it's next iteration of Flash Player, version 11.3.300.214, which features improvements to the desktop player, as well as enhancements to AIR Mobile for developers. In the release notes, Adobe mentions that it has "relaxed" the driver gating hardware acceleration to 2006, which may mean that older cards and Intel graphic chipsets such as the GMA 950 will gain hardware acceleration in the final release.
Adobe Flash and AIR udpate with 3D focus
Adobe updated Flash and its offline parallel AIR with a heavy emphasis on gaming, but also with new payment rules. Flash 11.2 on the desktop will now have "premium features" to both get hardware-boosted graphics along with domain memory, but these won't be automatically free, Adobe said. Starting August 1, any Flash app that uses these "console quality" features and earns over $50,000 in app revenues will have to pay a royalty to Adobe.
Apple still uncontested in mobile HTML5 benchmarks
Apple still has an unambiguous lead over Google in HTML5 performance on the mobile web, app development tool maker Spaceport.io found in a head-on benchmark test. iOS devices were typically about three times faster than their Android equivalents. Even Android 4.0's flagship, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, was still about 42 percent slower than the iPhone 4S despite newly optimized HTML5 code and a theoretically faster 1.2GHz clock speed.
HTML5 may get pseudo DRM with proposal
Google, Microsoft, and Netflix have put forward a proposal that could add a level of copy protection to HTML5 audio and video. Encrypted Media Extensions would let apps on the web and elsewhere use keys to control who has access to a given media stream. It would allow any format that would work in HTML5 as long as the format itself can support some kind of key or bit.
OnLive Desktop Plus tries subscription
OnLive on Wednesday boosted its Desktop for iPad with a new subscription tier. Desktop Plus gives access to a version of Internet Explorer with both Flash and PDF support. To help justify the software additions, OnLive gives high-priority access to its streaming virtualization service.
Adobe to focus on speed first for Flash
Adobe on Wednesday published a roadmap (PDF) giving a peek at the long-term future of Flash. Having dropped the mobile version, it's now focusing on games and video on the desktop and now agrees that HTML5 and other web standards are more suited for animation. Accordingly, the imminent 11.2 update would improve hardware graphics acceleration, multi-core video processing, and support for right clicks when using mice.
Software hack opens up Google TV platform
Google TV users can now enable new functionality, such as accessing Flash-based services including Hulu, thanks to a hack. The long-winded GTVHacker Sony Recovery Downgrader & Rebooter was developed by member zenofex and other developers over on the GTV Hacker forum. The hack is entirely software-based, but does require four USB sticks at least 512MB in capacity.
Windows 8 on ARM to require HTML5 for advanced web
Microsoft's Windows leader Steven Sinofsky picked an interview this week to reveal that Windows 8 on ARM wouldn't support plugins. He explained to AllThingsD that Internet Explorer on these chips, even in the regular desktop, wouldn't run Flash or any similar browser add-ins. Mobile devices were moving away from Flash as a whole, he said.
As expected, doesn't support flash
Mozilla has released the latest mobile version of its browser for Android devices. Firefox 10 is now available for download (free, Android Market). As expected, the new version offers enhanced HTML5 support, but doesn't support Flash.
Intel makes key deal for RealNetworks video
Intel and RealNetworks made a crucial deal for video technology on Thursday. The semiconductor firm has paid $120 million to get a "significant" 190 of RealNetworks' patents. In exchange, Intel has agreed to team with RealNetworks to co-develop the latter's signature video codecs and will take on seven codec developers from its partner in the process.
Adobe posts last real Flash 11 mobile update
Adobe posted its last significant update to Flash 11 on Android (Market). The update is primarily to provide support with Android 4.0 phones like the Galaxy Nexus. Speed-ups and bug fixes are also part of the fix, Adobe said.
YouTube UI revamp goes live
YouTube took public its Cosmic Panda web remake. The homepage look is designed to focus more on channels, such as its original content, as well as existing subscriptions. It's now also possible to link YouTube to Google+ or Facebook to improve sharing.
Lovefilm to move to Silverlight, drop Flash
UK DVD and streaming video outfit Lovefilm just announced that it will move from Flash-based streaming to Microsoft's Silverlight. The move was prompted by movie studios, as they believed Silverlight offers greater security in the fight against piracy. The studios were apparently fairly adamant, threatening to pull their movies if the change wasn't made.