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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 19 September 2011

DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.3 — DEVONtechnologies’ information management applications DEVONthink and DEVONnote have once again been updated, this time to version 2.3. Lion users will now find full-screen mode available for main windows as well as Quick Look support for attachments and links in rich text documents. Address Book importing has been improved, as has email archiving in DEVONthink Pro Office, and a number of other changes and bug fixes have been made. (All updates are free. DEVONthink Pro Office, $149.95 new; DEVONthink
Professional, $79.95 new; DEVONthink Personal, $49.95 new, release notes; DEVONnote, $24.95 new, release notes)

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Camino 2.0.9 — Following quick on the heels of version 2.0.8, the Camino Project has released version 2.0.9 of its Camino for Mac OS X Web browser. The updates provide improved handling of invalid SSL certificates, as well as better localization of the email field in the Camino Crash Reporter. A new version of the Java Embedding Plugin is included, and Camino now provides better ad-blocking capabilities.The 2.0.9 release fixes build issues with the previous version which caused some formerly fixed crashing bugs to reappear.
In addition, 2.0.9 fixes both a Netflix-related crashing bug and a hang that occurs when Camino is asked by another application to open a URL using an unknown protocol. It also updates the code that the browser uses to block Flash animations. (Free, 15.8 MB)

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Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.1.3/2008 12.3.1/2004 11.6.5 — Microsoft has released a trio of updates for Office for Mac 2004, 2008, and 2011. The Office 2004 update and the Office 2008 update, versions 11.6.5 and 12.3.1 respectively, address security issues that allow an attacker to overwrite the contents of a Mac’s memory with malicious code. The Office 2008 update also includes a fix that makes Word’s help work in all languages, and it updates Entourage’s time zone information. (Free updates through Microsoft AutoUpdate; 333 MB for 2008, 9 MB for

The Office 2011 update, version 14.1.3, makes improvements to most of the suite’s apps, starting with PowerPoint and Excel, where issues that cause the programs to crash have been addressed. For Word, PivotTable field settings are now enabled, and citations in Dutch now appear correctly. For Outlook, the update fixes an issue that prevented contact images from displaying properly. It also provides improved handling options for shared Outlook calendars, and it updates Outlook’s time zone information. Notably, the update disables Outlook’s capability to import from Apple Mail because “it does not work as expected in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.” (Free update through Microsoft
AutoUpdate, 112 MB)

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Firmware Updates for Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air — Apple has released a trio of seemingly identical updates for recent Macs, including the Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.3, the MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2, and the MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.1. The updates improve the stability of Internet-based recovery operations under Max OS X 10.7 Lion, resolve unspecified issues when connecting to Thunderbolt displays, and improve the performance of Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode. As with any firmware update, you
should read the installation instructions carefully before installing. To ensure you get an update only if it’s necessary, we recommend relying on Software Update; if an update doesn’t appear for you, it’s not appropriate for your Mac. (Free, 4 MB)

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VMware Fusion 4 — Hot on the heels of last week’s release of Parallels 7 comes VMware Fusion 4.0, a major upgrade to the popular virtualization program that lets Mac users run Windows, Linux, and other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X. Fusion 4 includes more than 90 new features; as in Parallels 7, some of the biggest changes include full support for Lion capabilities such as Mission Control, full-screen mode (even for individual Windows applications), and gestures; you can also run Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and Lion Server as guest
operating systems, and you can choose which Windows apps you want to appear in Launchpad, the Applications folder, and Spotlight. When running in single-window mode, Fusion 4 makes better use of screen real estate, which is helpful for Macs (such as the MacBook Air) with small displays. A variety of other changes make both Fusion itself and Windows apps running in a virtual machine more Mac-like and better integrated into Mac OS X. Fusion 4 now works better with Time Machine, supports Remote Disc, and offers virtual Bluetooth support.

Fusion is now a self-contained, 64-bit Cocoa application, so you can install or uninstall it by drag-and-drop and run it from any location; in addition, it uses no system resources at all when not running. The program features significantly improved performance, too, especially in 2D and 3D graphics. According to VMware’s benchmark testing, overall performance is neck-and-neck with Parallels 7 — Fusion’s advantage averages about 2 to 4 percent, depending on the hardware and the test (although it does fall slightly behind Parallels in certain tests). Although not currently sold through the Mac App Store, Fusion 4 now uses a similar license model; except in business and educational settings, a single license is now valid for all the
Macs a user owns or controls. Promotional pricing — the same price for upgrades and new purchases — is $49.99 through the end of the year. ($49.99 new or upgrade, 399 MB)

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