TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 9 May 2011
Skype 184.108.40.2067 — Skype has released Skype 220.127.116.117 to block a critical vulnerability related to receiving a malicious file via an instant message. Also resolved are problems with video freezing in networks with high packet loss, and unspecified minor bugs. Unfortunately, the horrid design of Skype 5 remains in place, but, luckily, the still-functional Skype 2.8 does not suffer from Skype 5’s security vulnerability. So, you can either upgrade to Skype 18.104.22.1687 or stick with (or
downgrade to) Skype 2.8. I recommend downloading manually; the automatic updater failed when I chose Skype > Check for Updates. (Free, 20.2 MB)
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MacBook Pro Software Update 1.4 and MacBook Pro EFI Update 2.1 — Apple has released two updates for recent MacBook models that address several stability and reliability issues. The MacBook Pro Software Update 1.4 introduces changes that improve the reliability of graphics rendering and external display support, as well as Thunderbolt device support. The MacBook Pro EFI Update 2.1 seems to have a similar set of targets, but also resolves an issue with Turbo Mode in Boot Camp. As always with firmware updates, do not disturb or power down your MacBook Pro while installing,
since it could leave the Mac in a non-functional state. Both updates can be downloaded and installed via Software Update, or through their individual pages on Apple’s Web site. (Free, 132.69 MB and 3.06 MB respectively)
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Mac OS X 10.6.7 for iMac (Early 2011) and iMac EFI Update 1.6 — On the heels of the recent iMac refresh (see “New iMac Gains Thunderbolt, FaceTime HD, and Quad-Core CPUs,” 3 May 2011), Apple has released a couple of iMac-specific updates that address stability-related issues with several apps and interfaces, with a particular focus on Thunderbolt. Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update 1.0 for iMac (Early 2011) 1.0 introduces fixes that improve the reliability of Back to My Mac, App Store, and FaceTime, and corrects issues in Windows file sharing, graphics and video display, and the new
Thunderbolt interface. The latter is also the main target of the iMac EFI Update 1.6, whose release notes mention no changes beyond Thunderbolt. But according to Other World Computing, the EFI update also unlocks the full 6 Gbps SATA 3.0 capabilities of the two internal drive bays, though the optical drive bay remains at 3 Gbps. As always with firmware updates, do not disturb or power down your iMac while installing, since it could leave the Mac in a non-functional state. Both updates can be downloaded and installed via Software Update, or through their individual pages on Apple’s Web site. (Free,
382.56 MB and 6.1 MB respectively)
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Neat Image 7.0 — ABSoft has released Neat Image 7.0, a new major release of its noise reduction software. This version is notable for the fact that it makes use of the GPU built into every Mac to increase the performance of its de-noising operations, making it, according to the company, the first such app on the market. In addition, the Pro edition now supports 32 bits per channel, which is ideal for HDR photography. Neat Image comes as a standalone app or as a plug-in for Photoshop or Aperture, in both Home and Pro editions; the latter offers more advanced features and can manipulate pictures with more bits per pixel. ($39.90–$79.90 new, free upgrade from v6, 10 MB)
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Photoshop CS5 12.0.4 — Adobe has released an update to Photoshop CS5, its popular image-editing app. The Adobe Photoshop 12.0.4 Update addresses several potential security issues and fixes crashes in a number of different filters, including Sharpen and Quick Selection. The big news, however, is the introduction of Remote
Connections, a new feature that makes it possible for external mobile apps to connect and communicate with Photoshop, including several iPad apps that Adobe itself is planning to release through the App Store “in the future.” (Free update, 19.7 MB)
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Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.4 — Adobe has released a minor update to its Dreamweaver CS5 Web development tool. The Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.4 Updater provides new code required to make Dreamweaver work with the latest incarnation of BrowserLab, the company’s Web-based cross-browser testing app. Included in the patch is also a fix to a critical bug related to the SFTP protocol, as well as other enhancements included in the previous 11.0.2 and 11.0.3 updates. (Free update, 14.12 MB)
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iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8 — In response to the recent kerfuffle surrounding the way its mobile devices collect and store location data (see “Apple Addresses Location Controversy Questions,” 27 April 2011), Apple has released the promised update to iOS that limits the location information the operating system gathers and caches. The new release is available in two versions: iOS 4.2.8 for the CDMA iPhone that operates on Verizon Wireless’s network, and iOS 4.3.3 for all other compatible iOS devices; these latter devices include
the GSM iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, the iPad and iPad 2, and the third- and fourth-generation iPod touch. (Older devices limited to iOS 3 don’t suffer the same problems.) When updated, the iOS device retains a shorter history of location data than it previously did, and it does not back up that data to the user’s computer when the device syncs with iTunes. In addition, the device no longer collects any location information at all when Location Services is turned off. The updates are installed via iTunes. (Free)
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