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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 24 September 2012

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iBank 4.6 -- IGG Software has released iBank 4.6, which should improve overall stability thanks to a long list of bug fixes. Bug squashing highlights include a fix for an issue where the “actual expenses” figure in a budget didn’t update immediately after adding a category, resolution to a crash that occurred when downloading large amounts of data from some banks (including Chase and Wells Fargo), and a fix for CSV imports with unrecognizable date formats that didn’t prompt a choice of format. Additionally, the update brings support for Retina displays and improves overall budget performance while adding the capability to edit which accounts are included in budgets and to change budget periods. ($59.99 new, free update, 33.1 MB, release notes)

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Growl 2.0 -- The Growl Project has released Growl 2.0, a major update for the system-wide notification utility that brings compatibility with Notification Center in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. With this new release, you can set Growl to route all of its notifications through Notification Center (rather than use Growl’s standalone pop-up notifications). However, you’ll still find some apps (including Dropbox) using Growl’s notification system instead of forwarding to Notification Center due to the requirement that developers update their apps to the Growl 2.0 API. The update also adds support for Prowl and Boxcar, two utilities that enable you to receive notifications from your Mac on your iOS device. It also reportedly resolves the high CPU spikes and multiple crashes suffered by the previous version. ($3.99 new from the Mac App Store, free upgrade from previous Mac App Store versions, 6.1 MB)

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Parallels Desktop 8.0.18101 -- The first maintenance release for Parallels Desktop 8 (version 8.0.18101) has been released with fixes for a number of issues related to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The update improves support for multi-display configurations that include Retina and non-Retina displays, fixes an issue where the mouse moved too fast when SmartMouse was disabled, and ensures that drag-and-drop from Mac OS X to Windows 8 works correctly. Additionally, the release improves overall performance for full-screen viewing in both single and multi-display configurations, fixes Flash video playback in Google Chrome for Windows, and resolves a keyboard malfunction while in the Coherence (non-Crystal) view mode. ($79.99 new, $49.99 upgrade from previous versions, free update, 346.6 MB, release notes)

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KeyCue 6.3 -- Ergonis has released KeyCue 6.3, which adds compatibility with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion to the keyboard shortcut utility and ensures that KeyCue’s new technique for adding the app to the Login Items list now works with the big cat. The update also fixes an issue that caused group titles to appear white on white while editing custom shortcuts, improves the Start at Login setting when KeyCue has been renamed, and plays the Installer’s completion sound through the “sound effects” channel while respecting the volume level set in System Preferences. (€19.99 new with a 25-percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 2.2 MB, release notes)

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SpamSieve 2.9.5 -- In answer to the recent security update released for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (which changed how plug-ins work with Apple Mail), C-Command Software has quickly updated SpamSieve to version 2.9.5 to return its spam filtering to working order. The company notes that if you don’t see SpamSieve commands in Mail’s Message menu after updating, you may need to go to the SpamSieve menu and choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In. The update also fixes an issue with the AppleScript scripts that control Griffin Technology’s PowerMate, which in turn caused SpamSieve to crash when running 10.8 Mountain Lion (the PowerMate option has been turned off but can be re-enabled in preferences). Additionally, the release provides a workaround for some Macs where SpamSieve was prevented from receiving training commands under Mountain Lion, and the app is better at identifying from which account in Apple Mail a good message has come from. ($30 new, free update, 10.4 MB, release notes)

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Typinator 5.2 -- Ergonis has updated its Typinator typing expansion utility to version 5.2 with a wide-ranging list of improvements and fixes. The highlights include compatibility with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the capability to import Spell Catcher glossaries that were exported as XML files, improved import of text files, and a new technique that passes context variables to AppleScript scripts in Unicode format. The update also includes numerous fixes for audio glitches, the timing of display elements, and compatibility issues with other apps. (€24.99 new with a 25-percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 4.9 MB, release notes)

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Microsoft Office 2011 14.2.4 and 2008 12.3.4 -- Microsoft has released Office 2011 14.2.4 and Office 2008 12.3.4, with Office 2011 gaining Retina display support. Additionally, version 14.2.4 brings a number of improvements to Outlook, including the display of reminders for calendar events on all calendars (previously, reminders were only displayed in the default account’s calendar). The update also changes the HTML syntax of new signatures to be compatible with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and the latest version of WebKit, improves handling of partially downloaded messages, fixes a crash that occurred when some messages were moved via client-side rules, and more (see the release notes for a complete rundown of changes). However, Microsoft has heard that a “small number of users” have been experiencing difficulty in updating to version 14.2.4, and the company is working with Apple to resolve the problem.

The Office 2008 12.3.4 update gets a fix for an issue that crashed Excel after clicking Insert Object and then clicking to select the Display as Icon check box in the Insert Object dialog box. It also includes unspecified improvements in stability, reliability, and performance. (Free updates as a download from the Office for Mac Web site or through Microsoft AutoUpdate, 111 MB/218.4 MB)

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Security Update 2012-004 (Snow Leopard) -- Apple has released Security Update 2012-004 for both Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard and 10.6.8 Snow Leopard Server, both of which address the same issues. Among the list of fixes, the releases update Apache 2.2.22 to prevent a vulnerability that could lead to denial of service, add a revoked TrustWave root certificate to a list of untrusted certificates, and update the DirectoryService Proxy to prevent an arbitrary execution of code due to an overflow buffer vulnerability. There’s no reason to update instantly; we recommend waiting a week or so and seeing if online reports note any distressing side effects. Note that Apple incorrectly lists the file size of the 10.6.8 Snow Leopard Security Update as 2.36 MB — it is actually 257 MB. (Free, 257/276 MB)

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Mac OS X 10.7.5 Lion Server -- Apple has released Mac OS X 10.7.5 Lion Server with fixes for a variety of commonly used services. The update provides fixes for maintaining the Spotlight index when changing share point settings, creating and connecting to the Open Directory master, using Software Update, and using Profile Manager to set how frequently the Mobility sync interacts with mobile accounts. It also improves the reliability of password authentication and changing an Xsan metadata controller into a client. The updates come in two editions — a delta update for those upgrading from 10.7.4 Lion Server (1.22 GB) and a Combo update for those upgrading from previous versions of Lion Server (1.99 GB). (Free update)

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EFI and SMC Updates for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air -- Apple has released four firmware updates for select MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models released in 2012. The MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.9 (4.29 MB) resolves an issue that caused the system to hang during heavy processor loads. The MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.5 (4.76 MB) fixes an issue where Turbo Boost isn’t activated while using Boot Camp, and it ensures that NetBoot works properly when using an Ethernet adapter. The MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update 1.0 (4.97 MB) borrows a little from each of these sibling updates, addressing the former’s system hangs during processor-intensive use and the NetBoot issue of the latter.

Additionally, the MacBook Air SMC Update 1.7 (658 KB) is a System Management Controller patch that enables Mountain Lion’s Power Nap feature for MacBook Air models released in late 2010. As always with firmware updates, we recommend relying on Software Update to ensure you get the firmware update for your specific model, and be careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free)

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iPhoto 9.4, Aperture 3.4 -- Apple has updated its two photo management applications to take advantage of the new Shared Photo Stream feature in iCloud. Both iPhoto 9.4 and Aperture 3.4 now enable you to share a selection of photos for others to view, and each app includes a new File menu item for easier access to opening and editing a file from the other’s library (if you have both iPhoto and Aperture installed). Additionally, iPhoto 9.4 adds new card and calendar themes and enables you to add comments to photos after publishing them to Facebook. Both updates are also rounded out by unspecified performance and stability improvements. (Free updates. iPhoto, $14.99, 757.61 MB via direct download; Aperture, $79.99, 554.48 MB via direct download)

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Mac OS X 10.7.5 Lion -- Apple brings an added measure of security to Mac OS X Lion with the inclusion of Gatekeeper in the Mac OS X 10.7.5 update. (If you haven’t been keeping up with Gatekeeper or other new features included in 10.8 Mountain Lion, see Rich Mogull’s “Gatekeeper Slams the Door on Mac Malware Epidemics,” 16 February 2012.) Note, however, that Gatekeeper isn’t called out very visibly on the Security and Privacy preference pane in System Preferences. You’ll find it in the General pane under “Allow applications downloaded from,” with “Mac App Store and identified developers” being the default setting. The update also resolves an issue where icons in Launchpad could be rearranged after a restart, improves Wi-Fi reliability for iMac models released in 2009 or later, fixes an issue using Spotlight to search an SMB server, and improves compatibility with Active Directory servers. It’s available via Software Update (894.3 MB) or via direct download in two flavors — a Client version for those running 10.7.4 (1.14 GB) and a Client Combo version for those running previous versions of Lion (1.91 GB). (Free update)

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TechTool Pro 6.0.5 -- Micromat has released TechTool Pro 6.0.5 with compatibility for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (including Gatekeeper-approved code signing). The update also adds detection of USB 3.0 connection speeds for the USB gauge, updates both creation and removal routines in the eDrive tool, adds a verification check to the Volume Optimization tool, and improves File Sync Cloning in the Volume Cloning tool. The new version squashes a Video Memory bug that caused a crash under Mountain Lion, fixes a memory leak in the Video tool, and addresses Volume Rebuild issues where volumes wouldn’t unmount or would skip to rechecking structures. Finally, the release updates French, German, Italian, Japanese and Chinese (Simplified) localizations. ($99.99 new, free update, 54.8 MB, release notes)

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Coda 2.0.3 -- Panic has released Coda 2.0.3 with improvements in performance and syntax highlighting for the Web site development tool, as well as a number of bug fixes. The update makes importing of Coda 1 sites more reliable, improves the speed of returning to code when editing over a VPN connection, improves CFML HTML autocomplete and syntax highlighting, improves PHP syntax highlighting in certain circumstances, ensures that tabs aren’t obscured by the menu bar in Full Screen mode, and adds support for Notification Center. It also addresses some situations where Coda could become unresponsive, fixes an issue that prevented renaming of files and folders using Git, and ensures that site preview passwords are remembered if needed.

If you own the Mac App Store edition of Coda (which is still stuck at version 2.0.2 as of this writing), Cabel Sasser writes in the Coda Users forum that you can unlock the direct version of Coda by choosing Unlock Coda from the Purchase menu (available in Coda 2.0.2), and then subsequently download the 2.0.3 update. Additionally, Sasser notes that Panic received word from Apple that the OS X 10.8.2 update includes a fix for a WebKit-related problem that has been causing the majority of crashes in Coda 2. ($99 new, $75 upgrade from 1.0, free update, 48.4 MB, release notes)

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GraphicConverter 8.3 -- Lemkesoft has released GraphicConverter 8.3 with a number of updates to the highly regarded graphic conversion and editing utility, including support for Notification Center in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and accessing Aperture’s library. Other additions include Automator actions, shared menu support, new PDF export options, the capability to copy and paste GPS locations to the browser, an option to select a default display in multi-display configurations, enhanced GIF export, and an optimized unsharp mask. The release also includes several fixes, including a bug that prevented saving an image with the original creation date, crashes that occurred with Fast Preview and saving grayscale GIFs, and a bug when converting movies to GIF animations. ($39.95 new, free update from version 7.x, $29.95 upgrade from versions 1 through 6, 128 MB, release notes).

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