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Apple dominated the news again last week, releasing a snazzy new iPod nano and minor updates to the rest of the iPod line, along with iTunes 9 and iPhone OS 3.1. And if that weren't enough, two days later the company pushed out Mac OS X 10.6.1 and a raft of security updates for Tiger and Leopard. We have all the details on those releases, along with coverage of the New York Times Web site being compromised and AT&T's announcement of which cities would get faster cellular connectivity first. In fact, lots of other stuff happened last week too, so check the Bonus Stories for links to more content on our Web site. Finally, Snow Leopard continues to drive software releases, including Default Folder X 4.3.1, Phone Amego 1.0.3, PDFpen 4.2.1, PhoneValet Message Center 6.0.3, Simon 2.5.3, Airfoil 3.3.3, Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.3, Cocktail 4.5, ConceptDraw Updates, HP Printer Drivers for Mac OS X 10.6, iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.2, Apple RAID Card Firmware Update, Firefox 3.5.3, QuickTime 7.6.4, and Suitcase Fusion 2.v13.2.

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Apple iPod Refreshes Add Storage, Tweak Prices

  by TidBITS Staff <>

While the big news on the iPod front at last week's announcement was the iPod nano, Apple also tweaked prices, performance, and capacity on the iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and iPod classic. None of the changes are in any way earth-shaking, but they, along with the significantly updated iPod nano (see "iPod nano Morphs into Video Camera, Pedometer, Radio," 2009-09-09) put the iPod line in a strong position for the upcoming holiday feeding frenzy.

Noting that $199 is a "magic price point in the iPod market," Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said that's now the price of the new 8 GB iPod touch. A new 32 GB version is $299, and a whopping 64 GB model costs $399.

The 32 GB and 64 GB models will be 50 percent faster than the 8 GB iPod touch, Schiller said, and can use the OpenGL ES2.0 technology that's part of the iPhone 3GS.

We were surprised and disappointed that the iPod touch still lacks a camera, even as video was added to the iPod nano. With its large screen and iPhone OS, one would think adding a camera to the iPod touch would be both easy and obvious. In an interview with the New York Times, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company is positioning the iPod touch as a gaming platform and also keeping it as inexpensive as possible.

The iPod classic, the only remaining iPod with a hard drive, remains priced at $249, but now contains a 160 GB drive instead of 120 GB. It's Apple's answer for those people who have huge music or movie collections that they need with them at all times.

The iPod shuffle comes in two models, now priced at $59 (2 GB capacity) and $79 (4 GB). The latest versions are also available in new colors: silver, pink, green, blue, and black. A special edition 4 GB model will have a case of polished steel and will sell for $99.

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iPod nano Morphs into Video Camera, Pedometer, Radio

  by Glenn Fleishman <>

The inexpensive handheld camcorder market just underwent a major shift with Apple's debut of a major revision to the iPod nano. The new version adds video and audio recording, a pedometer that syncs with Nike+, and an FM tuner. The 8 GB price remains unchanged at $149; a 16 GB version costs $179. Both models are available immediately.

Apple's entry into this market isn't strange, given the engineering work it did to add video to the iPhone 3GS, but it's another example of the company's hard-to-anticipate strategies: instead of introducing a new product or adding it to the iPod touch (which seemed more obvious), Apple grafted video onto an existing model line. CEO Steve Jobs said that the iPod nano is one-fifth the thickness and one-tenth the volume of a Flip camcorder, and the 8 GB iPod nano has twice the memory of a $149 Flip model.

Flip pioneered small but easy-to-use video recorders with decent quality, capturing a double-digit percentage of camcorder sales, and spurring Kodak and other firms to jump in. The Flip cameras also contributed to the growing prevalence of solid-state memory for capturing video. Recording directly to memory enabled the devices to shrink dramatically in size, making the Flip and successive devices truly pocketable. Cisco acquired Flip for $590 million in March 2009.

The iPod nano's camera records video in H.264 VGA resolution - 640 by 480 pixels - and at rates up to 30 frames per second; audio uses the AAC format. These are the same specs offered by the iPhone 3GS, which produces acceptable, but not stellar, video output. The iPod nano will let you apply 15 real-time effects, such as sepia or motion blur - but you need to specify the effect before you record, making it a permanent addition to your footage.

Video recorded on an iPod nano can be synced to iPhoto on a Mac, or to a Windows video folder. Apple advertises the notion that the video is just the right size for Facebook, MobileMe, and YouTube, but of those, iPhoto can upload movies only to MobileMe at this time (we expect more video support in the next version of iPhoto, but then again, we've been anticipating that for years). The iPod nano also includes a voice-recording feature, and somehow manages to shoehorn in a speaker for playback.

Oh, yes: it's still an iPod, too.

The inclusion of a pedometer is an extension of Apple's existing efforts to tie in the Nike+ system, but adding an FM tuner at this point in the game seems slightly bizarre. Apple has never included FM tuning in any of its iPods, and has sometimes ridiculed the very notion. More recently, Microsoft replaced its Zune models with the Zune HD, which offers FM tuning for analog FM radio signals and the HD Radio (which doesn't stand for "high definition") digital format used by about 15 percent of radio stations in the United States as a supplement to their main broadcasts.

The iPod nano's FM radio function acts a bit like a TiVo for radio, storing up to 15 minutes of broadcasts and allowing rewind and pause, although you can't save stored audio for later listening. The iPod nano can read and display information embedded in analog broadcasts by radio stations that reveal artist and song details.

Apple uses this data with iTunes Tagging, a system it designed to work with HD Radio receivers. When you tag a song on an iPod nano (just as you can with supported radio receivers), that song's information is retrieved when you sync the iPod via iTunes. iTunes then displays a Tagged category in the iTunes Store list in the sidebar that shows the song, if it's recognized. (See "Tag Radio Songs for Later Purchase While You Drive," 2009-06-19, for more about iTunes Tagging.)

Apple offers the new iPod nano in nine colors, including black and silver. The company touted a number of environmentally sensitive features, such as the device's highly recyclable nature, and the absence of BFRs, PVC, and mercury, as well as the inclusion of arsenic-free glass.

Apple also released a minor software update for the VoiceOver feature that enables users to control playback on the iPod nano by speaking artist names and songs. The VoiceOver Kit for iPod 1.2 fixes bugs, adds variable playback rates for spoken word media, and includes support for this new iPod nano, the fifth generation.

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New York Times Web Site Compromised; How to Stay Safe

  by Adam C. Engst <>

Over the weekend, numerous visitors to the New York Times Web site were greeted with pop-ups that warned about a virus and promoted antivirus software that was itself Windows-based malware - an attack technique known as "scareware." The Times has released a statement saying that the pop-ups likely came from an unauthorized advertisement. In a more detailed Gadgetwise blog post, Riva Richmond of the Times explains more of the situation and offers suggestions for what to do if you see such a pop-up.

In short, if you're using a Mac, don't worry much about this particular one (see the screenshot on the Random Mutters blog), since it attempts to get you to download Windows malware, which won't have any effect on a Mac. We don't recommend that Mac users run antivirus software under normal circumstances ("Should Mac Users Run Antivirus Software?," 2008-03-18).

Of course, if you're using Windows, make sure you're running antivirus software with all updates applied, and if at all possible, use a current Web browser, since older browsers have fewer protective features and may suffer from security vulnerabilities.

That said, these attacks often propagate too quickly for antivirus companies to keep up, so even a fully updated antivirus program may not be able to detect such malware and protect you from it.

Even though Macs are safe from the actual Windows malware that was the payload of this particular attack, there are Web-based attacks (including this one, from what I can tell from reader reports) that essentially take over your Web browser once activated. It's important in such situations to quit the Web browser using Mac OS X's native mechanisms (Control-click the Web browser's Dock icon and choose Quit) in order to circumvent any parts of the user interface that the attacker may have compromised (buttons within the Web browser itself may not do what you expect).

If you're using Firefox or another browser that automatically restores your session after relaunching, I recommend force-quitting the browser (Control-Option-click its Dock icon and choose Force Quit). If you're using Firefox, force-quitting puts Firefox into a recovery mode in which it asks if you want to restore your session, thus letting you avoid reloading the offending page.

In Windows, right-clicking the Web browser in the Task Bar and closing it from there should be a safe way to quit; you can also force quit by pressing Control-Alt-Delete and ending the task from the Task Manager.

If you're interested, Troy Davis has posted an analysis of how this particular attack works on his Inputs & Outputs blog. In essence, the attackers inserted an IFRAME into a third-party advertisement, and that IFRAME contained a series of redirects and a fake page that displays the pop-up with the link to the actual malware.

The important lesson to take away is that this attack relies largely on the user taking specific actions, and it's entirely possible that a future attack could target Mac users with Mac OS X-specific malware. So be cautious, and if you're presented with an extremely unusual pop-up in your Web browser, don't click its buttons, and quit immediately.

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Security Update 2009-005 Fixes Tiger, Leopard Vulnerabilities

  by Adam C. Engst <>

We presume that Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard included numerous security-related fixes, since Apple has now released Security Update 2009-005 to bring them to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, both the desktop and server versions. Not all the fixes apply to all versions of Tiger and Leopard, but since they're all bundled together, the best advice we can give is to download and install.

Most of the bugs were discovered by Apple, which is good to hear, since it could imply that the company is performing more security auditing than in the past (for more suggestions, see Rich Mogull's "Five Ways Apple Can Improve Mac and iPhone Security," 2009-06-03).

Areas receiving attention include the Alias Manager, CarbonCore, ClamAV, ColorSync, CoreGraphics, the CUPS printing system, ImageIO, Flash Player plug-in, Launch Services, MySQL, PHP, SMB, and the Wiki Server; you can read more about the fixes in this KnowledgeBase article.

I was amused at this bug: "Viewing a maliciously crafted PixarFilm encoded TIFF image may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution." Could there be some animosity between Pixar and Apple? I mean, who else would maliciously craft a PixarFilm-encoded TIFF file?

We recommend using Software Update to get Security Update 2009-005 for simplicity's sake, but if you must download, there are numerous versions:

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AT&T Selects Six Cities for Speed, Adds Preferred Callers

  by Glenn Fleishman <>

AT&T will install its faster mobile broadband technology, which it calls HSPA 7.2, in six cities by the end of 2009, and in 25 of the top 30 markets by the end of 2010, the firm said today. Those cities are an odd mix of large and medium: Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. The company will cover 90 percent of its current 3G footprint by 2011's close.

AT&T's 3G network currently uses a 3.6 Mbps flavor of HSPA for downstream access, and either a 1.4 or 1.9 Mbps version for upstream transfers. The iPhone 3G and 3GS support only the older UMTS standard for upstream traffic and therefore max out at 384 Kbps.

The iPhone 3GS is capable of using 7.2 Mbps HSPA but needs an enabled network. Several European networks operate at the faster HSPA rate.

HSPA 7.2 operates at 7.2 Mbps, including all the network overhead; individual users could typically expect to see between 1 and 4.5 Mbps of downstream speed, depending on a whole pile of factors.

AT&T is in the middle of spending tens of billions of dollars to upgrade its network, details about which it released in May of this year, and which I discussed in depth at my Wi-Fi Networking News site in "Hunk of Network Upgrade News from AT&T."

In unrelated news, AT&T is adding unlimited calling to numbers you pick at no extra charge, so long as you have a high-enough value subscription plan. Starting 20-Sep-09, A-List lets you pick five numbers on an individual calling plan of $60 or more (exclusive of data, tax, and other charges), or 10 numbers on a family plan of $90 or more. Numbers must be in the United States, but may be landline or cellular with any carrier.

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iTunes 9 Refines Crowdsourcing and Sharing Features

  by Adam C. Engst <>

At the special Rock and Roll media event last week, Apple unveiled a new version of the near-ubiquitous media application iTunes. The latest version introduces a variety of features, including some that respond to user requests and others that are clearly just what Apple (or Steve Jobs, who was back on stage with a much younger liver) wants to see.

As usual, Apple touted the success of the iTunes Store, boasting about how it's now available in 23 different countries and hosts over 100 million iTunes accounts. Those users have purchased 8.5 billion songs so far, making iTunes one of the largest stores on the Web, and the top music retailer in the world.

It will take some time with the software to wrap our heads around the new features in iTunes, since Apple's demo of them was relatively brief, but they include the following:

As always, iTunes 9 is free, and is available now as a 82.8 MB download or via Software Update. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, although the iTunes LP and iTunes Extras features need Mac OS X 10.5 or later. It does work on older PowerPC G4- and G5-based Macs, but with some limitations for video playback.

Apple also still offers iTunes 8.2.1 for PowerPC G3-based Macs; it's a 77.3 MB download.

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iPhone OS 3.1 Update Refines iPhone Usage

  by TidBITS Staff <>

The iPhone OS 3.1 release provides incremental improvements for all iPhone and iPod touch models, the most significant of which is the addition of app recommendations. The release also adds the capability to buy ringtones directly from an iPhone, enables you to organize and lock where applications appear, fixes security holes, and lets you lock your phone remotely via MobileMe.

Programming Genius -- With over 75,000 applications in the iPhone App Store, finding new apps can be daunting. Apple has used the iPhone OS 3.1 release to expand its Genius music and video recommendation feature to offer app suggestions within the device's App Store app. Unlike "Staff Suggestions" or "Hot Picks," these recommendations are based on the apps installed on your device and the app libraries of other users with similar tastes.

The Genius feature for music also expands, adding support for the new Genius Mixes from iTunes 9 (see "iTunes 9 Refines Crowdsourcing and Sharing Features," 2009-09-09). The device supports up to 12 Genius Mixes from iTunes - automatically generated playlists based on the contents of your music library.

Although the iPhone has long supported purchased and custom ringtones, you had to manage and synchronize the files via iTunes. Users can now directly purchase and download ringtones on the iPhone through the iTunes app for $1.29 each.

Apple announced that over 30,000 ringtones are available from all four major music labels. You can still create your own custom ringtones from any DRM-free song or audio on your Mac using GarageBand and other applications, but you'll need to sync them manually through iTunes.

Remote Lockout -- The iPhone OS 3.1 update also adds a feature that folks who suspect their iPhone or iPod touch has been stolen are going to love: a remote lock feature via MobileMe.

iPhone OS 3.0 brought the Find My iPhone feature that plots the location of your stolen or missing device on a Google map using GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular positioning - whatever is available (see "Find Your Lost iPhone or iPod touch with iPhone OS 3.0," 2009-06-17).

Find My iPhone also lets you display a message on the remote phone or wipe its contents. But there was a flaw: wiping the original iPhone or the iPhone 3G could take hours; the iPhone 3GS with hardware encryption takes just seconds. Thus, the new remote lock feature.

Via MobileMe's Settings view, you can enable a passcode on your phone. Select the Settings view, then click Find My iPhone. Underneath a map of your device's location (if available), a new Remote Passcode Lock section appears (only for devices updated to iPhone OS 3.1). Click Remote Lock, and a dialog appears in which you enter a passcode. Enter it twice and then the device is immediately updated and locked.

[View image]

To use the missing iPhone or iPod touch, you must enter the new code, which overrides any previous code you had set. With such a security code in place, a thief would be unable to use the phone or access stored information. His or her only option would be to power the phone off to disable the Find My iPhone feature.

Paired with this new feature, fortunately, is a security fix. Earlier iPhone OS software had a flaw that could allow a cracker to bypass a security code with relative ease. Rich Mogull wrote about this problem in "iPhone 3GS Hardware Encryption Easy to Circumvent," 2009-08-07; Apple's iPhone OS 3.1 security notes say that this problem has been fixed.

Pin Apps on the Screen -- The last major improvement in the iPhone OS 3.1 update is support for the new app organization feature in iTunes 9. This long-awaited enhancement finally lets you organize your iPhone and iPod touch applications within iTunes, then synchronize them with the device.

All of us with more than a few screens of applications issued a collective sigh of relief with the realization that we'll no longer have to battle our phones to keep our applications where we'd like them.

Tiny Gems and Security Fixes -- iPhone OS 3.1 also introduces a collection of smaller improvements, including:

This iPhone OS update also includes several security fixes, such as the already noted passcode problem, the elimination of the "SMS of Death" (an SMS message that could break network connectivity), and a problem with lookalike characters making a malicious domain look legitimate, among other repairs.

Worth an Upgrade -- Although many of these updates are primarily to support the new features of iTunes 9 (and to sell you more apps and ringtones), iPhone OS 3.1 appears to be a worthy upgrade with a collection of much-appreciated usability enhancements.

The iPhone OS 3.1 upgrade is free for iPod touch owners with 3.0 software and all iPhone owners. While the upgrade from any version to 3.0 used to cost $10, Apple has lowered that price to $5 for iPod touch owners who haven't yet updated.

iPhone OS 3.1 is available only via iTunes, where it's a 302 MB download, and it requires a lengthy installation process, so set aside some time before updating. For unknown reasons, the update is numbered 3.1.1 for the iPod touch.

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Tiny Mac OS X 10.6.1 Update Fixes Some Bugs

  by TidBITS Staff <>

Hewing to the traditional two-week lag between a major release of Mac OS X and the first bug-fix update, Apple has now released Mac OS X 10.6.1. The quick release shouldn't be surprising: software engineers start working on .1 releases of software as much as four to eight weeks before a .0 release ships.

Oddly, the release is tiny - only 9.8 MB via Software Update on some Macs and about 70 MB on others. The version Apple posted on the Support Downloads site weighs in at 71.47 MB, a fraction of what we've become used to with updates to Mac OS X.

Network administrators also get to join in the fun with the release of Mac OS X Server 10.6.1 Update, a 71.57 MB download that appears to address the same issues covered below as well as offering improved reliability of services using Grand Central Dispatch and fixing a problem with duplicate serial number alerts on servers with multiple network interfaces.

We suppose it's possible that architectural changes to Snow Leopard allow Apple to ship much smaller updates, but it seems more likely that Mac OS X 10.6.1 was pushed out quickly to address only a small number of particularly egregious bugs.

We're pleased that Apple continues to provide some useful detail about software updates, a change that kicked in several months ago. Now, we'd like to encourage them to hire short-story writers and humorists to flesh out some of the more obscure bullet points. (We've made a pass ourselves.)

The 10.6.1 release notes are brief, calling out only nine specific improvements in a KnowledgeBase article:

That said, there are clearly other changes. In our use of 10.6.1, we've already found that a number of minor inconveniences have been removed:

On the downside, some bugs remain, including this one:

And at least one new bug was introduced (and reported):

All in all, we recommend that you take a screenshot of the Login Items view for your user account before you install the update. That way, if your login items are toasted, you'll at least remember what they were. (If you can't recall your screenshot keyboard shortcut, check the Keyboard Shortcuts view in the Keyboard system preference pane. In Snow Leopard, your screenshots are no longer named "Picture 1," "Picture 2," etc.; instead look for a file on your Desktop called "Screen shot 2009...".) Once your screenshot is in place, you too can share in the spills and thrills of the Mac OS X 10.6.1 update.

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 14-Sep-09

  by Doug McLean <>
  1 comment

Default Folder X 4.3.1 from St. Clair Software is a maintenance update to the Open/Save dialog enhancement utility. Changes include the capability to sort files and folders by date or name in the Recent Folders submenus, support for Safari plug-ins that launch Open/Save dialogs, and capability to view contextual menus in Open/Save dialogs in Snow Leopard as columns, icons, and lists. Also several problems have been addressed including an issue that caused a white square to appear in the Snow Leopard menu bar in place of Default Folder X's icon, a performance issue that led to the Get Info command to launch very slowly, and a window management issue that affected primarily Final Cut Pro, QuickTime Player 7, and other applications that use QuickTime to export files. ($34.95 new, free update, 10.6 MB)

Phone Amego 1.0.3 from Sustainable Softworks is a maintenance update to the software that enables users to control a Bluetooth mobile phone from a Mac. Changes include an added Hang Up item in the main menu, display of phone numbers in the Address Book format, Command-clicking the close button to dismiss the call status window without terminating the call, improved recovery capabilities when rfcommChannel closes, an additional AppleScript command to intercept phone numbers before dialing, support for dial prefix, and faster Bluetooth connection opening on startup. Also, Yahoo Search is consistently enabled from the call status window, call information is logged when Google Voice reports a failed call, and users can now Option-click a Google Voice forwarding number from the menu to select which number will ring. ($20, free update, 963 KB)

PDFpen 4.2.1 and PDFpenPro 4.2.1 from SmileOnMyMac are the latest versions of the company's PDF editing utilities. The updates fix several Snow Leopard-related issues including problems with opening PDF documents, Quartz filters, click selection behavior, and issues with filling some IRS forms. Also, the Combine PDFs and Split PDF scripts no longer require Rosetta. ($49.95/$99.95, free updates, 11.9 MB/12.1 MB)

PhoneValet Message Center 6.0.3 from Parliant is a compatibility update to the Mac OS X-based hardware/software telephone management package. The latest version adds Snow Leopard compatibility and 64-bit support. ($169.95 per line, free update for 6.x users)

Simon 2.5.3 from Dejal Systems updates the Internet monitoring tool with Snow Leopard compatibility. Other changes include an updated iPhone Report Template which improves the Back button's behavior, a new hidden preference that outputs debug information from the E-mail plug-in, a hidden preference for the E-mail plug-in that uses the recipient's SMTP server instead of the sender's, and a Japanese localization. ($29.95 to $195, free update, 11.8 MB)

Airfoil 3.3.3 and Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.3 from Rogue Amoeba are Snow Leopard compatibility updates to the wireless audio distribution tool and all-around audio recording utility. With these updates the company's entire software line is now fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.6. ($25/$32 new, free updates, 10.1/6.2 MB)

Cocktail 4.5 from Maintain is a significant update to the general purpose maintenance utility. Changes include added compatibility with Snow Leopard, 64-bit support, speed enhancements to Pilot, updated Automator actions, revised help files, and refreshed Sparkle software update framework. ($14.95, free update, 2.0 MB)

ConceptDraw Updates from CS Odessa bring Snow Leopard compatibility to the company's line of brainstorming, project management, and business graphics and diagramming software. Updated products include ConceptDraw Office, ConceptDraw Pro, ConceptDraw Mindmap, and ConceptDraw Project. (Free updates for current ConceptDraw product owners)

HP Printer Drivers for Mac OS X 10.6 from Apple "includes the latest HP printing and scanning software for Snow Leopard." A list of supported printers, as well as additional installation information, is available on Apple's Web site. The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.1, and is available via Software Update or the Apple Support Downloads page. (Free, 381.5 MB)

iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.2 from Apple improves system stability in iMacs running Mac OS X 10.5.2 or later with an ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro or ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics card installed by updating the graphics card firmware. The update is available via Software Update or the Apple Support Downloads page. (Free, 850 KB)

Apple RAID Card Firmware Update from Apple improves boot and power fail recovery reliability, enhances battery handling and reporting, addresses an unspecified issue with rebuilding a degraded RAID 5, and fixes an issue that caused the on-board flash file system to be filled. The update is recommended for all Mac Pro and XServe systems (Late 2006 or Early 2008) with the Apple RAID card. To install the update, follow the instructions in the updater application that launches automatically after the installer has closed (/Application/Utilities/Apple RAID Card Firmware Update). The update is available via Software Update or the Apple Support Downloads page. (Free, 26.12 MB)

Firefox 3.5.3 from Mozilla is a security and stability update to the popular Web browser. The update addresses several critical security issues that could lead to attackers executing arbitrary JavaScript with elevated privileges, preventing users from seeing the URL of a malicious site, crashing a user's browser and subsequently corrupting memory and executing arbitrary code. The latest version also introduces an automatic check-for-Flash-Player-updates feature, which ensures users are running the most recent version of Flash Player and are thus protecting themselves from potential security threats. (Free update, 17.6 MB)

QuickTime 7.6.4 for Leopard from Apple is a security, stability, and compatibility update to the multimedia software. Changes include support for iTunes 9 and enhanced audio-device support under Windows Vista. Security vulnerabilities that have been addressed include application crashes or arbitrary code execution when opening or viewing maliciously crafted MPEG-4 videos, H.264 movies, or FlashPix files. The update is recommended for all QuickTime 7 users, and is available via Software Update or the QuickTime Downloads page. (The update apparently does not apply to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard users who have installed QuickTime 7 as an option.) (Free, 59.4 MB)

Suitcase Fusion 2.v13.2 from Extensis is a maintenance and compatibility update to the popular font management utility. The latest version adds support for Snow Leopard, Adobe plug-ins powered by Font Sense technology for InDesign and Illustrator CS2, and support for True Type collection fonts. ($99.95 new, $49.98 upgrade, 31.4 MB)

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Bonus Stories for 14-Sep-09

  by TidBITS Staff <>

Exploring Widespread SuperDrive Problems -- An attempt to track down reports of widespread defective SuperDrives via Apple user forums reveals the difficulty in assessing these sorts of large-scale issues, yet also confirms the existence of some kind of significant problem at play. (Doug McLean, 2009-09-14)

New iPod Touch Has 802.11n Chip -- Apple slips in a single-stream 802.11n chip in the latest iPod touch, iFixIt discovers. Faster networking? More likely, a better networked media player. (Glenn Fleishman, 2009-09-12)

Watch Apple Events Online -- If you aren't invited to Apple's special events and want to see the real thing rather than reading liveblog transcripts, subscribe to the Apple Keynotes podcast. (Adam C. Engst, 2009-09-12)

Sprint Offers Unmetered Mobile Calling -- Sprint has a new unmetered plan that lets you call any other U.S. cell phone without dipping into a minutes pool. The plan includes no preset limits on text, data, video, MMS, and GPS navigation, too. (Glenn Fleishman, 2009-09-10)

Hack Microsoft Word's Page Up/Down Keys -- If you're as irritated as we are at Microsoft Word's habit of moving the insertion point when you use the Page Up and Page Down keys (something most Mac applications don't do), read on for a solution that requires no additional software. (Pete Resnick, 2009-09-08)

Google Books Settlement Hits Snags -- The proposed settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers over Google's past work in scanning in-copyright titles may be scuttled over the advantages that such a settlement would confer on the search giant. (Glenn Fleishman, 2009-09-07)

Solve Snow Leopard's Screen Sharing Bug -- The screen sharing feature in Snow Leopard has a significant bug: the remote screen is blacked out or frozen when you connect. Fortunately, there's a simple, though repetitive, fix. (Glenn Fleishman, 2009-09-07)

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ExtraBITS for 14-Sep-09

  by TidBITS Staff <>

Apple Releases Grand Central Dispatch as Open Source -- Snow Leopard's Grand Central Dispatch is a new technology aimed at helping developers to create applications that take full advantage of multi-core Macs. Apple has now made Grand Central Dispatch available under an Apache open source license, encouraging Linux and Unix developers to adopt it. MacResearch suggests that we might see scientists using Grand Central Dispatch to parallelize code for use on clusters and supercomputers. (Posted 2009-09-14)

AT&T Drops Paging Instructions from Voicemail -- The first victory has been achieved in New York Times columnist David Pogue's "Take Back the Beep" campaign to eliminate wasted seconds in voicemail instructions. AT&T has now trimmed the "To page this person..." bit from their instructions, saving a few seconds that just confused everyone under the age of 45 anyway ("What's a pager, Mom?"). (Posted 2009-09-11)

Subscription Music Comes to iPhone via Rhapsody -- The subscription-based Rhapsody music service from Real Networks is now available as an app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The service lets you listen to an unlimited amount of music from an 8-million song library for $15 per month. The app only streams music; this version can't even download songs temporarily. (Posted 2009-09-10)

MacJury Podcast Discusses Apple Announcements -- TidBITS editors Glenn Fleishman and Jeff Carlson joined Chuck Joiner's MacJury with Adam Christianson, Keith Lang, and Chuck La Tournous to talk about all the news that emerged from Apple's music and iPhone OS announcements. Among the topics covered in part one and part two, we conclude that Norah Jones isn't "rock and roll." (Posted 2009-09-10)

Minding the Line between Humans and Computer -- TidBITS Editor Glenn Fleishman penned this article for The Economist about the state of CAPTCHA, those distorted text images you must enter to post comments or buy tickets online. TidBITS relies on reCAPTCHA for submitting tips and emailing authors. (Posted 2009-09-07)

Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk for 14-Sep-09

  by Jeff Carlson <>

Snow Leopard and the ZFS file system -- Support for the ZFS file system has apparently been removed in Snow Leopard, but readers debate whether ZFS offers compelling benefits for users. (6 messages)

Post Snow Leopard upgrade experiences -- Have you installed Snow Leopard? Read what others have experienced if you're having problems. (47 messages)

Recovering iCal from backup -- A reader gets advice about where to find all the components for restoring iCal calendars from backup. (2 messages)

AirPort wireless problems -- A previously functional wireless network setup fails inexplicably. Could the problem be cables gone bad? (2 messages)

New External HD prior to new computer -- Read this thread for suggestions on purchasing a new external hard drive. (3 messages)

regarding the new iPod nano with video -- A reader wonders if it's possible to control the iPod nano's video recording feature from a connected Mac, and how to access other USB commands. (3 messages)

iPhoto - Photo Book irregularity with framing Photos imported into Books -- iPhoto books generally assume a 4:3 aspect ratio, but you can pan and zoom each photo within its slot. (4 messages)

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