Duplicating a fix provided by the recently released Firmware Update 1.6 (see “SMC Firmware Updates for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air,” 31 January 2013), Apple has released MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.7 to target a range of specific models — both 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models released in mid-2010 and early 2011. Like the previous update, this one addresses a “rare issue” that caused laptops with a battery that had accumulated more than 1,000 charge cycles to shut down and possibly fail to boot back up again. As always with firmware updates, we recommend relying on Software Update or the App Store app to ensure you get the firmware update for your MacBook Pro, and being careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free, 1 MB)
Find Which Applications Phone Home with VirusBarrier X6
Worried about rogue applications or spyware "phoning home" with your private data? Turn on VirusBarrier's Anti-Spyware feature, and it will alert you to applications that attempt to connect to remote servers. Once you know which apps are phoning home, you can block or allow each individually, and you can even block or allow specific ports for each application, to ensure that your private data stays private.