Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations

You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 30-Mar-09

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Firefox 3.0.8 from Mozilla is a security and stability update to the popular Web browser that addresses two critical vulnerabilities. Two security researchers, working independently, discovered ways to exploit crashes stemming from XLS stylesheets and XUL tree elements to run arbitrary code on a victim's computer. The update addresses both of these issues, and fixes a handful of minor bugs as well. (Free update, 17.2 MB)

iLife Support 9.0.2 from Apple provides unspecified bug fixes for iLife '09, iWork '09, and Aperture. At the same time, the company updated many of the iLife applications, available as separate downloads and described with the same lack of useful detail: iWeb Update 3.0.1, iPhoto Update 8.0.2, and iMovie Update 8.0.1. Lastly, the oddly numbered iWork '09 Update 1 version 9.0.1 is also recommended for iWork '09 users. The iLife Support update requires that you restart your Mac. (Free updates, various sizes)

MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware Update 1.0 from Apple addresses the appearance of vertical lines and distortions in the display of some 17-inch MacBook Pros produced in early 2009. More information regarding the update, including installation steps, can be found on Apple's Web site. The update is available via Software Update or from the Apple Support Downloads page. (Free update, 770 KB)

Sandvox 1.6 from Karelia Software is a significant update to the template-based Web site creation tool. The update adds a plug-in discovery feature that enables users to view a list of third party plug-ins from within Sandvox. Other changes include the capability to customize the site's window title and meta description for each page individually, and added support for blog commenting systems such as Disqus, IntenseDebate and JS-Kit. ($57 Regular/$97 Pro, free update, 26.3 MB)

TextExpander 2.6 from SmileOnMyMac updates the typing shortcut utility with new expansion options. Abbreviations can now be set to expand when preceded by any character including letters, numbers, and common punctuation (in previous versions, abbreviations could only expand when preceded by a space). Also added is the capability to specify the Clipboard-restore-delay and the words-per-minute rate that are used to calculate how much time is saved by using TextExpander. ($29.95 new, free update, 3.6 MB)

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.2 from Bombich Software updates the long-standing backup and disk cloning utility with a variety of performance improvements. Absent since version 3.0, the capability to delete items at the root level of a target volume, even when those items were not present on the source volume, has been restored. Other changes include added filter support for remote source volumes, support for non-HFS formatted volumes in the source and target lists, updated documentation, and a slew of minor bug fixes. A full list of changes is available via Bombich Software's Web site. (Free, 2.8 MB)

 

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