TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 23 March 2015
Safari 8.0.4, 7.1.4, and 6.2.4 — Apple has released Safari 8.0.4 for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, along with Safari 7.1.4 for 10.9 Mavericks and Safari 6.2.4 for 10.8 Mountain Lion with a collection of WebKit-related security patches. All three releases include fixes for 16 instances of a vulnerability associated with memory corruption issues that could lead to unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution (for specific CVE IDs, see the security content notes at Apple Support). The updates also fix a user interface inconsistency that could allow an attacker to misrepresent a URL in a phishing scheme. All
three versions of Safari are available from Software Update. (Free)
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Skype 7.6 — Microsoft has released Skype 7.5, which significantly reduces CPU consumption from animated emoticons. The Internet telephony and messaging app also reduces the instances of App Nap preventing Skype from reconnecting, fixes a bug that caused the input field to disappear occasionally, fixes an issue that caused the screen to flicker when a Screen Sharing window is off screen, and adds support for 14 new languages (Hindi, Turkish, Czech, Ukrainian, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, Indonesian, Catalan, Croatian, Slovak, Vietnamese, Thai, and Malay). Additionally, the release notes state that
Skype 7.5 requires OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later, despite the download page claiming “All you need to get started is Mac OS X 10.5.8 or above.” We accidentally failed to publish this piece when it was first written, and Microsoft has now released Skype 7.6, reducing chat memory usage and increasing the maximum height of the chat input field. (Free, 36.9 MB, release notes for 7.5 and 7.6, 10.9+)
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Voila 3.8.3 — Global Delight has released Voila 3.8.3 with support for 64-bit processors, which should improve the screen capture utility’s overall performance and efficiency. The update also manages memory usage better, sends a full image to Skype (instead of just a link), fixes several bugs related to recording system audio, improves the OS X 10.10 Yosemite menu bar and dark mode, and improves recording on the Mac Pro. ($29.99 new from Global Delight with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members or from the Mac App Store, free update, 30.2 MB, 10.8+)
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Security Update 2015-003 (Yosemite) — Apple has issued Security Update 2015-003 for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the second security update released this month (see “Security Update 2015-002 (Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite),” 10 March 2015). Available solely for 10.10.2 Yosemite, this release takes another swing at fixing two vulnerabilities that were originally part of Security Update 2015-002 — improving iCloud Keychain’s bounds checking and IOSurface’s handling of serialized objects (both to prevent execution of arbitrary code). Once again, there are two
updates available: one for Early 2015 Macs (see “New 12-inch MacBook Joins Updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro,” 9 March 2015) and another for older Macs. (Free. For 10.10.2 Yosemite, 5.3 MB; and for Yosemite on Early 2015 Macs, 4.9 MB)
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Typinator 6.5 — Ergonis has released Typinator 6.5 with new options to help control OS X’s system-wide “smart substitutions” that could lead to problems with expansions that require regular quote characters (but not smart quotes). Typinator 6.5 turns off smart substitutions by default, but they can be enabled by right-clicking within an expansion field and choosing an option from the Substitutions submenu. Speaking of quotes, Typinator 6.5 now supports French quoting style (with double angle quotation marks and non-breaking spaces) for nested abbreviations. The update also no longer displays the “must not
be empty” message immediately after creating a new item, works around a crash when expanding text in OS X 10.10 Yosemite’s sharing window with the “quick expansion” option enabled, fixes a bug related to cursor positioning in apps created by Fluid, and reduces the amount of logging in case of certain events. (€24.99 new with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members, 6.9 MB, release notes, 10.6.8+)
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Audio Hijack 3.0.3 — Rogue Amoeba has released Audio Hijack 3.0.3 with a major reduction in overall latency for the audio recording utility. Additionally, improvements have been made to keep latency from growing. Audio Hijack was also hit by a bug associated with the switch over to Daylight Saving Time, and version 3.0.3 corrects this to ensure timers work correctly on all days of the year. The update also improves finalization of AAC and ALAC recordings (such as correctly naming split files), adds Delete Recording and Delete Timer buttons to the Recordings and Schedule tabs, ensures that multiple selection of items
in the Recordings and Schedule tabs works as expected, and makes a variety of interface improvements. ($49 new with a 20 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update for version 3.0 licenses, $25 upgrade from older versions, 14.3 MB, release notes, 10.9+)
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Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 — Nisus Software has released Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 with added support for OS X’s Auto Save and Versions. The word processor now saves changes to all open documents automatically using OS X’s approach instead of its own, enabling you to browse and revert to older versions of any document. The update also switches Nisus Writer Pro to 64-bit, adds support for iCloud, integrates the previously separate Nisus Thesaurus, adds the Edit > Repeat command for repeating the last used menu or palette command, adds the capability to insert a cross-reference that shows the name of the target bookmark, and makes a number of
macro enhancements (for a general feature list, see “Nisus Writer Pro 2.0: The Review,” 8 June 2011). Highlights from the lengthy list of bug fixes include a cure for a potential hang when opening documents with a certain combination of inline images, prevention of some possible crashes related to text layout, and improved behavior when the Apple text engine encounters certain kinds of bugs. Note that Nisus Writer Pro 2.1 is now sandboxed, which may require granting it some additional permissions for accessing macro files or locations outside the app’s own sandbox space. System requirements now specify Mac OS X 10.7.5 Lion or later, though Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.2 remains available for those running 10.4 Tiger through 10.6 Snow Leopard. ($79 new, free update, 188 MB, release notes, 10.7.5+)
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