Free upgrade pushes
Five months after launch, Mavericks has already grabbed slightly over 40 percent of all North American OS X usage, according to web traffic data from ad network
Five months after launch, Mavericks has already grabbed slightly over 40 percent of all North American OS X usage, according to web traffic data from ad network
Mavericks is already the predominant version of OS X in use by the public, according to November tracking data from Net Applications. During that month, Mavericks' share rose from 0.84 percent to 2.42 percent of the Mac's total global share of 7.55 percent. Mountain Lion's share, meanwhile, plummeted from 3.31 percent to 1.85, while Lion dipped from 1.56 percent to 1.34. Leopard and Snow Leopard, already marginal platforms, dropped only slightly, slipping from 0.33 and 1.6 percent to 0.32 and 1.53 percent, respectively.
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.
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.
VMware will soon reverse an important change introduced with Fusion 4.1, according to an official blog post. Undocumented in the update was the ability to run virtualized copies of the Leopard and Snow Leopard clients. Apple's licensing normally restricts virtualization to Lion, Leopard Server and Snow Leopard Server.
VMware's Fusion 4.1 update has made an important, undocumented change, users have discovered. The software will now run virtualized Leopard and Snow Leopard clients, something that was previously blocked. The only requirement is that a user click "Continue" to assert that they have a license to run either OS on their system.
Adoption of Mac OS X Lion has slowed significantly in the past month, Chitika found in its latest web traffic results. While it was up to 14 percent in September after being available for two months, it had moved just two percent more by late October to hit 16 percent of the Mac user base. Snow Leopard still had a clear majority at 55 percent, while even the four years old Leopard was at 22 percent.
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.
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.
For security reasons, Apple has updated the Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) and Windows (XP SP2 and later) versions of QuickTime to version 7.7, addressing 13 security issues. The update is not available to Macs running OS X 10.6 or later, as the security fixes in this update have already been addressed in OS X 10.6.7, 10.6.8 and later releases. Apple recommends the update for all QuickTime users on Windows or Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8.
In addition to OS X Lion, iTunes 10.4, iWork 9.1 and Safari 5.1, Apple has pushed out several minor software updates. These include the Server Admin Tools for Lion Server, which also incorporate Podcast Composer, Workgroup Manager, Xgrid Admin and the System Image Utility. The download is 193.25MB and will run only on Lion Server.
Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.6.8, what may be the final major update of Snow Leopard. One of the key features of the code is in fact preparation of the Mac App Store for Mac OS X Lion, which will launch sometime in July. The update is also designed to close several security holes, scrub "known variants" of Mac Defender, and improve VPN reliability as well as support for IPv6 networking.
Two more software updates have been released by Apple, most importantly Xcode 4.0.2. The update is essential for iOS developers, as it adds compatibility with the new iOS 4.3.2 firmware. It also incorporates an assortment of bugfixes, for example addressing mapping models in Core Data, OpenGL ES apps in iOS Simulator, and LLVM compiler 2.0.
A leak Wednesday has uncovered plans for Windows 8 to imitate the behavior of Time Machine in Mac OS X. Nicknamed History Vault, it would use the Shadow Copies feature that came as early as Vista but give it a proper visual interface for restoring older files. The WinRumors shot doesn't provide many details of the restoration process but shows that users could use both real and virtual drives to make a History Vault archive.
Apple has posted two new Mac OS X Java updates. The first, Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 4, upgrades Java SE 6 in Snow Leopard to v1.6.0_24. Apple is vague on details, but does mention that the release improves "compatibility, security, and reliability." Security-wise it copes with "multiple vulnerabilities," the most dangerous of which might allow an untrusted applet to run code outside of the Java sandbox.
[Update: This bug has been fixed as part of Security Update 2010-007, released today] An important security bug in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) that remains unpatched despite missed deadlines from Apple has forced Core Security Technologies to go public with the exploit, even though a fix may be imminent. Apple was informed of the flaw, which has also been used to create jailbreaking software for iOS devices, and has already developed a patch -- but has missed two promised deadlines to release it, says the firm.
Some details on the future of Java on Macs has emerged in combination with the release of two Java updates, a tipster tells MacNN. "As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated," the company now remarks in the Mac OS X Reference Library. "This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X."
Microsoft preceded the one-year anniversary of Windows 7 by noting that it had sold 240 million licenses of the OS over that timeframe. The OS is both Microsoft's and by nature the industry's fastest-selling OS. It was helped by overcoming much of the negative reputation earned by Vista, as every Windows PC builder was using 7 within half a year where 30 percent had avoided Vista in its first six months.
Apple has released a new security update, 2010-005. Four versions of the file are available, directed at the regular and Server editions of Leopard and Snow Leopard. Several vulnerabilities are fixed across all patches; these include ones with maliciously crafted fonts and PDF files, as well as remote attacks linked to the Samba cross-platform networking protocol. Another closed hole involves impersonating hosts with a slightly modified domain name.
Apple has released Mac OS X 10.6.4, an update long in development for Snow Leopard. The patch fixes several important problems; these include keyboards and trackpads becoming unresponsive, Creative Suite 3 programs failing to launch, and difficulty in copying, renaming or deleting files on SMB servers. Minor bugfixes target fullscreen editing in Aperture and iPhoto, and using Good Quality deinterlacing in DVD Player.
Apple has posted two new Java updates for Mac OS X, iterated for Leopard and Snow Leopard, respectively. The Snow Leopard download -- Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 2 -- brings the operating system's version of Java SE 6 up to 1.6.0_20. The install file is 78MB, and requires at least Mac OS X 10.6.3.
In tandem with the release of Mac OS X 10.6.3, Apple has also posted two smaller updates for other operating systems. Security Update 2010-002 is directed at Leopard users, and includes all of the same security fixes as the Snow Leopard update. These close holes in areas such as AppKit, Core components and most notably QuickTime, which has had nine vulnerabilities addressed. The download is 78.39MB.
Google's Chrome was the only significant web browser to gain market share last month, Net Applications found today. The WebKit browser jumped almost four tenths in February to get 5.61 percent of web use where every other large browser dropped. Internet Explorer fell once again to a record low of 61.58 percent, but Firefox and Safari also declined to 24.23 percent and 4.45 percent each.
Apple on Thursday released an update to its Server Admin utility for Snow Leopard Server, as well as Boot Camp drivers for Windows. Server Admin tools 10.6.2 includes the latest releases of iCal Server Utility, Podcast Composer, Server Admin, Server Monitor, Server Preferences, System Image Utility, Workgroup Manager, and Xgrid Admin.
Apple on Monday released Security Update 2009-006 for Leopard and Snow Leopard operating systems, including Server and Client editions. The update addresses a number of vulnerabilities, including an issue that could have allowed disk images using FAT filesystems to execute arbitrary code. Memory handling has also been improved with DirectoryService to prevent remote attacks.
Despite previous efforts to bring support for the ZFS file-system to Mac OS X, Apple has dropped the project. Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz several years ago publicly claimed Leopard would utilize ZFS instead of HFS+, although Apple only provided limited support for the new technology. Even the read-only functionality was dropped with the transition to Snow Leopard.
Apple on Wednesday released performance updates for both its Leopard and Snow Leopard operating systems. The downloads address intermittent stalls caused by hard drives, an issue reported by a a small number of users. The updates do not appear to include any other bug fixes.
Apple on Thursday released security updates for Mac OS X v10.5.8 and v10.4.11, including the standard and Server editions. The updates resolve a variety of security vulnerabilities relating to maliciously crafted alias files, resource forks, image files, PDFs, scheduler requests and PixarFilm files, among others.
A controversial report today has accused Apple of borrowing or being late to features previously available in Windows. The PC World story argues that Apple is behind in implementing 64-bit and that Exposé's new integration with the Dock, the enhanced PDF preview, and QuickTime X are all either derivative of features first seen in XP or Vista or else available separately. Author Randall Kennedy goes as far as to claim that QuickTime X is a "reactionary" move to Windows Movie Maker.
Verbatim today catered to those who want high-performance but portable hard drives through the SureFire. Every model has both FireWire 800 and USB 2 ports and will run the 2.5-inch drive inside solely on bus power, particularly suiting it to MacBook Pros that need the full 800Mbps of bandwidth. Their casing is both relatively sturdy and scratch-resistant aluminum.
New builds of Mac OS X 10.5.8 and 10.6 Server have been seeded to developers, reports say. The v10.5.8 release, titled 9L25, is said to have no known problems, and correct only two: one with saving e-mails as individual documents, and another involving URL localization. Testing efforts are now shifting from narrow to broad focus, concentrating on some three dozen components previously examined in other builds.
Following the availability of Mac OS X 10.5.7, Apple on Tuesday released updates for Safari, Mac OS X Tiger systems and OS X 10.5.7 Server. Safari 3.2.3 is recommended for all Safari users, providing fixes for a number of security vulnerabilities. The downloads are available for Tiger, Leopard and Windows operating systems, with file sizes ranging from 20MB to 40MB.
Undeterred by lawsuits, Psystar this morning launched the Open(3) as its latest overt Mac clone. The system drops the conventional mini-tower for a slimline shape but is technically faster: the stock model uses a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo desktop processor and now has the option of up to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Quad. Psystar further gives the clone space for a small dedicated graphics card and options for 802.11n Wi-Fi as well as three FireWire 800 ports or a USB Bluetooth adapter.
Following the release of Mac OS X 10.5.6 in December, Apple is now said to be testing the next maintenance and security update to the Leopard operating system, Mac OS X 10.5.7, according to AppleInsider. Sources indicate that the upcoming version includes a large number of bug fixes, with nearly six dozen code corrections already contained in the 440MB pre-release package.
Following the release of the latest Mac OS X Snow Leopard build to developers, screenshot leaks posted on World of Apple show a few minor changes to the interface. The build allows users to navigate the folders from within Stacks, without automatically closing the Stack each time a folder is opened. Diving further into the Stacks will create a small grid window of the parent Stack in the corner of the screen.
HyperMegaNet is not worried about any legal threats from Apple, according to company spokesman Dirk Bloessl. The German builder is currently selling the PearC line, a series of PCs which have the option of Mac OS X Leopard as an alternative to Windows; Leopard's EULA strictly forbids installing the OS on non-Apple hardware. Should Apple initiate a lawsuit, Bloessl notes that HyperMegaNet will first try to settle outside of court. "But if necessary," Bloessl adds, "we are not afraid of going to court with Apple."
As made possible by a recent ruling, Psystar has filed an amended complaint in its countersuit against Apple. While the Mac clone builder has been forced to drop antitrust accusations, it is continuing with allegations of copyright misuse relating to Mac OS X. Leopard's End-User License Agreement (EULA) specifies that the OS can only be installed on an official Apple computer, something Psystar argues is an overextension of the Mac OS X copyright.
Apple has released several security updates for Mac OS X Leopard, Server, Tiger Intel and Tiger PowerPC. A variety of vulnerabilities have been addressed, including a potential issue with the AFP Server that could lead to an infinite loop or denial of service on systems running OS X 10.5.6. For all operating systems, the Apple Pixlet Video code has been corrected to prevent a maliciously crafted movie file from executing arbitrary code.
Another Mac clone builder has appeared in spite of questionable legality, a publication reports. Based in Germany, a company known as HyperMegaNet UG has begun selling the PearC line, on which shoppers can have Mac OS X Leopard installed, or alternately Windows Vista or XP. The line is divided into Starter, Advanced and Professional models, with base prices ranging from €499 to €1,499.
The long-awaited uTorrent beta for Macs is out as of Wednesday, offering users of Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or newer the same low-memory footprint Windows users have enjoyed to date. Compared to the Windows version, however, the newly-released version is missing certain features, including an RSS downloader. Rumors of a Mac uTorrent release first surfaced in June of 2007, with an alpha version leaked back in September.
A new Wenatchee build of Rhino has upped the system requirements to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and introduced several new features, while the new Electric Image Sonica 1.0 plug-in provides audio-visual synchronization for Maya users. Architosh reports that Rhino can now accommodate European ISO keyboards for some menu shortcuts, as well as two new mouse gestures, four trackpad gestures, and many new commands for tool palettes.
A recent topic of interest in the MacNN forums revolves around one user questioning the benefits of the rumored update to the Mac OS, Snow Leopard. One forum member expresses their interest in the Netbook segment that has been gaining in popularity, and hopes that Apple will be coming out with a model to compete. Complaints about the MacBook Air bogging down when viewing such websites as YouTube is the topic of conversation in this thread. Forum goers discuss Alsoft: DiskWarrior and its incompatibility with the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. Dedicated MacNNer, Robster1958, does not like the screen on the new MacBook and sparked a conversation comparing it to other competitors models.
Apple on Thursday unveiled Security Update 2008-007, resolving numerous holes in the system that mainly allowed for arbitrary code execution, but also pertains to several other vulnerabilities. The Weblog server was patched to fix an issue where users with multiple short names on the access control list would cause the server not to observe access rules properly. Security Update 2008-007 is available for both Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger and 10.5.5 Leopard.
An Apple patent application, published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office, contains indications that the company may seek to expand on the preview concept first introduced with Leopard's QuickLook. Apple notes that in most operating systems, the mouse cursors reacts comparatively little to its positioning, for instance changing shape to enter text or click on a URL. This does provide not much (if any) information however, something the proposed patent would aim to change.
You Software has released You Control: Desktops 1.3, an update featuring Mac OS X 10.5 compatibility for the workspace-management application. You Control: Desktops allows users to set up multiple desktop configurations, switching easily between them. In addition to compatibility with Leopard, the update also adds new options for customizing how desktops behave.
Smith Micro says it has released StuffIt Deluxe 2009, an upgraded version of its popular compression program. The 2009 edition adds a variety of features, most notably support for more recent Apple technologies. These include Time Machine and Quick Look, the latter of which lets users examine an archive within Finder and other supporting applications, such as Mail.
Apple is now distributing the latest upgrade to Mac OS X, v10.5.5, through Software Update. The patch addresses a considerable number of aspects in the operating system, such as Mail, MobileMe and Address Book, as well as some "general" concerns, according to Apple's support notes. Some of these include Spotlight indexing, the reliability of iPhone sync with both iCal and Address Book, and problems with Macs powering on involuntarily at the same time every day. The update is sized anywhere between 136 and 353MB, depending on the number of minor patches already installed.
Microsoft's next Windows Home Server may share some design cues from Mac OS X, a job posting by the company reveals. The firm is searching for a software engineer that would design a "slick" user interface for the networked media storage hub, with examples of the intended changes coming from other software. The device will ideally have a visual restore tool similar to Mac OS X Leopard's Time Machine; it should also integrate tightly with Microsoft's own Windows Media Center and Live Mesh interfaces.
Despite having been in operation for just three weeks, a company specializing in Mac clones is already putting itself up for sale, according to a website notice. Open Tech says it is now willing to sell the entire company, including branding, trade secrets and website, for a price of just $50,000. This amount can even be paid via PayPal, an extremely unusual move in the business world.
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