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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 14 January 2013

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MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.6 -- Apple has issued EFI Firmware Update 2.6 for the MacBook Air models that were released in June 2012. The update resolves a color issue with connected HDMI displays, a bug that caused the system to freeze if a Thunderbolt device was unplugged while in standby mode, and a problem with properly booting Windows using Boot Camp. It requires OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion. As always with firmware updates, we recommend relying on the App Store to ensure you get the firmware update for your specific model and being careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free, 4.76 MB)

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Firefox 18 -- Reaching voting age in record time, Mozilla has released Firefox 18 with the new IonMonkey JavaScript compiler, which Mozilla claims will improve the speed of Web apps and games by up to 25 percent. The new release also gets Retina display support (joining the already Retina-fied Safari and Chrome Web browsers) for those running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and later. It also adds “preliminary” support for the Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) open framework that enables in-browser video chat capabilities. Other changes include improved performance when switching tabs, improved image quality thanks to a new HTML scaling algorithm, a fix that disables insecure content from loading on HTTPS pages, and improved proxy responsiveness. Note that if you haven’t opened Firefox in a while and allowed the automatic updates to be applied, you’ll have to go through multiple updates to get to Firefox 18 (our version needed to jump first from 16.0.1 to 17.0.1 and then to 18). (Free, 36.6 MB, release notes)

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Fission 2.1.1 -- Rogue Amoeba’s Fission audio editing software gets a minor update with version 2.1.1, which offers a lone feature addition: the Batch Converter now accepts folders containing audio files as well as individual files. The release also ensures that the Save panel remembers the last saved location, corrects an issue with chapterized AACs and very large image files, and fixes an issue with the Mac App Store version where attempting to save a file would cause an error. Additionally, Fission now includes a hidden preference accessed via the Debugging window that enables the app to check for and prevent rare instances of Normalization clipping. ($32 new with a 20-percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 10.7 MB, release notes)

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