OS X gets security updates to combat ‘Pegasus’ — Apple has issued security updates for OS X Yosemite, OS X El Capitan and Safari to address a vulnerability called Pegasus that potentially allows nefarious agents to take over a target device with a single click. You can download the updates via the Mac App Store — and you certainly should. [Open About This Mac from the Apple menu at top left of your screen and click the software Update button.]
Ultimate Mac Cyber Security Bundle — It’s a scary world out there, but this bundle is going to make you and your Mac feel a lot more secure. The Ultimate Mac Cyber Security Bundle provides seven apps and services that not only keep your online activities and local files safe, but can improve your home security. And the sale price puts this at just US$49.99 instead of US$247.92. [Note that some of the features are 1-year subscriptions, so presumably you’d be up for presubscription bills for them in a year’s time.]
Colour filter, brightness control & screen dimmer — Screen Tint is a handy utility app that is designed to reduce the brightness of your Mac’s screen, proving particularly useful for users with sensitive eyes and for those that wish to use their Mac in a darker environment, but find that their screen’s brightness is too harsh. A warm tint colour is preferred for working at night and a cool tint for working in artificial light.
Requires Mac OS X 10.7+; it’s available from the Mac App Store for NZ$4.49.
Another tool for shaping the Apple narrative, @Apple, comes to life — Apple sort of activated its long-held, but dormant Twitter account @Apple. It’s yet another symbol of CEO Tim Cook’s decision to take a more active role in shaping the Apple narrative.
Newest Apple Campus 2.0 flyover shows glass panels, solar panels, more — YouTube user Matthew Rogers has posted a new drone flyover video of Apple Campus 2.0, the so-called Spaceship HQ. This update features some of the glass panels that will form the outer walls of the building, solar panels on the roof, the shrinking dirt mountain on site, many of the outer buildings, fuel cells, and more. I love seeing these updates.
Apple removing abandoned titles from App Store — Apple is about to start cleaning the App Store’s house by removing outdated and abandoned apps. The change should make it easier to find the apps you’re looking for, improve discoverability, and cut down on apps that aren’t compatible with current iOS versions. Developers trying to manipulate search results with long app names are in for a surprise, too.
CPU choices for a 2016 MacBook Pro — While no Mac update is expected at the September 7th Apple event (September 8th in New Zealand), a long-awaited refresh of the MacBook Pro is still, hopefully, due soon after. It has two obvious main processor choices [Intel 6th generation Skylake or 7th gen Kaby Lake]— but what it has selected to use will dictate if the computer releases sooner, or later.
Apple issues Mac security Update — Security Update 2016-001 El Capitan and Security Update 2016-005 Yosemite OS X Yosemite v10.10.5 and OS X El Capitan v10.11.6 1 Sept 2016. Open the Mac App Store, click Updates and apply.
Lurssen Mastering Console for Mac/PC and iOS adds Digital Delivery Mastering feature in latest update — Lurssen Mastering Console for Mac/PC and iOS now lets musicians create Mastered for iTunes specification-compliant audio masters for digital distribution services like iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and more.
The update is complimentary for current owners of Lurssen Mastering Console for Mac/PC, and is an included feature in the HD engine in-app purchase in the iOS release. Five new style presets for Hard Rock/Heavy Metal music are also included in this update.
Lurssen Mastering Console for Mac/PC – is available from the IK Multimedia web site and select retailers worldwide for $/€199.99 (excluding taxes). Users can download and test-drive Lurssen Mastering Console’s full features at no cost for a period of 10 days. The update is free for current registered users.
For more information, please visit IK Multimedia.
Every Apple Keynote since 1997 at a glance — NotesKey has every Apple keynote event since 1997 laid out in an easy-to-grasp table. Each year is laid out by month, and each keynote event is represented with an icon that immediately conjures up memories of that event. The earlier ones use images from moments in the keynote, while recent years use the images Apple sent out in media invitations (via Mac Observer).
NetMarketShare: Mac OS X and iOS were both down in August — According to the latest market share survey from NetMarketShare, the market share for Mac OS X dipped again in August, while iOS rose a bit. Mac OS X had 7.37% of the global market share in August, down from 7.87% percent in July (that’s global market share; in the US it’s over 13%). April 2016’s 9.2% was an all-time high, according to NetMarketShare’s measurements. Windows remains dominant with 90.52% as of August.
Sonnet announces Dual-Port SFP+ 10 Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt 2 Adapter — Sonnet Technologies has announced the Twin 10G SFP+ Thunderbolt 2 to Dual-Port SFP+ 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) adapter, solution for adding 10GbE network connectivity to any Mac with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports.
Apple’s iCloud gets 2TB storage tier ahead of iPhone 7 launch — Apple quietly added a 2TB storage option for iCloud subscribers, doubling the previous high end tier. The company added the new level this week, leading to speculation that the company’s September 7th media really will include a new iPhone with 256GB internal storage. [To buy extra (you have 5GB free) storage on your Mac, open System Preferences, click iCloud, click the Manage button, then Buy More Storage and you’ll see the new 2TB storage plan for NZ$29.99 a month/US$$19.99 a month.]
Dropbox hack released details of more than 68M accounts, report says — Dropbox recently notified users of a potential forced password reset after its security team discovered a batch of account credentials believed to have been obtained from a known 2012 data breach. While the initial announcement failed to specify the exact number of impacted users, a report on Tuesday puts the number at well over 68 million.
Irish cabinet may get more time to decide on Apple’s tax appeal — Ireland’s cabinet may be given more time to decide on whether to back the finance minister’s recommendation that Dublin appeal the European Commission’s ruling against its tax dealings with Apple, reports Reuters. The EU-imposed Apple Irish tax bill could exceed $21.2B if appeal process fails.
Geekbench 4 Released for Mac, iOS, and Other OSes — Primate Labs has released Geekbench 4 for OS X (and for iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android) this week. Geekbench is a benchmarking app that will test your device and show how it compares to other devices. The new version includes a new interface, a new structure that allows more features on mobile devices, and new workloads (ie tests for CPU). [Geekbench is one of the few tools that leta you see how Apple device compare in computing power to non-Apple devices.]
Camera Guard for Mac OS X blocks webcam and microphone access — ProtectStar has introduced Camera Guard Professional 2016, a safety software solution for Mac OS X. It’s designed to make sure that no hacker, spy or malware can observe you or listen in on you. It normally costs €$29.90, but is being offered for €$19.90 in the first week of launch. There’s also a free version of Camera Guard available that offers protection of the webcam and safety information over access. [Scroll down on this page to find both version.)
macOS Sierra, iOS 10 public betas available today — Apple has opened the public beta program for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra today in order to get more feedback on bugs and features from a larger number of users. If you’re not already signed up for the public beta program, you can do so here. [I’m on the program and it hadn’t reached the NZ update circuit this morning 7am.]
Here’s what you need to know about the new Mac operating system, and how to use Picture in Picture in macOS Sierra/
Photos displeasure — Mac imaging software company MacPhun has surveyed nearly 1000 Photos users to discover a high level of use goes along with pretty general dissatisfaction.
Apple tops the PwC Global Top 100 list for the fifth time — Apple retains pole position for the 5th year in a row in PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking; however, a US$121 billion (17%) decrease in market cap sees the gap with second ranked Alphabet narrow from US$350 billion last year to just $86 billion. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, briefly dethroned Apple in February 2016.
Gamer HQ’s top Mac games — More from the game’s obsessed site. [I’m still waiting for that great WWII FPS.]
Whisply is a new Mac compatible file transfer service — Secomba, the developer of the cloud encryption solution Boxcryptor, has debuted Whisply, a web-based file transfer service that allows you to send files end-to-end-encrypted out of Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Also, Boxcryptor for Mac OS X and Windows has been upgraded with new features, including Whisply integration.
Your heirs may not get your digital goodies when you die — You may not know it but when you ‘buy’ digital content such as books, music and movies from Apple and Amazon, you’re not actually buying them but renting them. As more people realise this, it’s unlikely they’ll reconsider making physical purchases instead of digital ones. But this needs to change.
Server Ranger is a new website and server monitoring tool for OS X — LibertyApp has introduced Server Ranger 1.0, a website and server monitoring solution for OS X. It scales to monitor the performance and uptime of any number of servers, as well as any type of server, including web, mail, file, routers and more. The utility requires OS X Yosemite or El Capitan. It’s available for NZ$44.99/US$29.99 at the Mac App Store. Server Ranger has no in-app purchases and requires no subscriptions or other monthly fees.
You may think you don’t need a product like MacScan 3, but you probably do — A study by the Bit9 + Carbon Black Threat Research Team says that five times more OS X malware appeared in 2015 [and two in the last week] than in the previous five years combined, so perhaps, now, precautions are needed.
SecureMac’s MacScan is one well-regarded solution. The latest version is 3, which continues to provide the functionality from earlier versions of MacScan, while addressing the need to protect against a new generation of malware. It costs US$49.99, though …
Using Selective Sync with Dropbox — Dropbox offers a very cool feature called Selective Sync. Melissa Holt tells you howe to use it on Mac.
Browser caches — And this How To tells you how to clear browser caches in various types of browsers for Mac, and why you should do it sometimes.
Celebrity hacker Guccifer’s confession gives us all a lesson in security — The activity of Romanian hacker Guccifer, who has admitted to compromising almost 100 email and social media accounts belonging to US government officials, politicians, and other high-profile individuals, is the latest proof that humans are the weakest link in computer security.
Marcel Lehel Lazar, 44, is not a hacker in the technical sense of the word. He’s a social engineer: a clever and persistent individual with a lot of patience who a Romanian prosecutor once described as “the obsessive-compulsive type.” By his own admission, Lazar has no programming skills. He didn’t find vulnerabilities or write exploits. Instead, he’s good at investigating, finding information online and making connections.
QuarkXPress 2016 review: New features help your documents look their best — [Once Quark was the king of desktop publishing – then arrogance and feature lag let it down. Many will be amazed it even still exists. Here’s Macworld’s review of the latest.] “You have to hand it to Quark: every few versions they add a major new capability that has never existed in any program before. With QuarkXPress 2016 they’ve added the ability to – cue drum roll, please – convert imported PDF, EPS, and Adobe Illustrator files into native editable QuarkXPress objects. You can even convert objects or entire pages from Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), CorelDraw, Affinity Designer, and other apps.”
Ye gods! You’re a deity in Black and White 2 — If you’ve ever wanted to be a god, Black and White 2 from Feral Interactive gives you the chance. It’s a $19.99 (about NZ$30) sequel to the real-time strategy sequel for Mac OS X 10.9.5 or higher. It’s a fun, addictive game, though not without flaws.
Pixelmator for Mac gets new Quick and Magnetic selection tools, Retouch extension for Photos — Pixelmator Team has updated its namesake Mac image editor with two new selection tools, and a Retouch extension for Apple’s OS X Photos app. [The update is available via the Mac App Store – click Updates at top right.]
Apple’s Lisa Jackson visits The Barefoot College in India — While Apple CEO Tim Cook was revealing his business plans in India, a top Apple executive – Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives – was in Rajasthan this week, visiting ‘solar mamas’ and the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Ajmer, a rural, non-profit school that makes extensive use of iPads, reports IANS.
Youtubers Life comes out on Steam for the Mac in ‘early access’ — U-Play Online has announced Youtubers Life, a mixture of two genres, life sim and tycoon. It’s launching simultaneously for the Mac and Windows systems on Steam. [It sounds bloody awful! ‘In Youtubers Life, you can effortfully become the world’s greatest youtuber in history by editing videos, expanding the amount of fans and turning yourself into a wealthy fellow.’]
IK Multimedia releases T-RackS Saturator X for Mac/PC — IK Multimedia has released T-RackS Saturator X, a new T-RackS digital signal processor module designed to impart the colour, flavour and saturation effects of classic analog audio processing gear to digital recordings.
Apple begins hiring for long-awaited Brooklyn store, likely opening this year — Apple is now hiring retail workers for its first store in Brooklyn , suggesting that the company’s anticipated project in New York City’s most populous borough will open its doors by the end of the year.
BetterZip 3 is a useful Mac OS X archiving tool — MacItBetter’s BetterZip 3 is a handy Mac OS X solution for archiving. One of the coolest features is Direct Mode, which speeds up working with large archives by making archive preparation and recompression obsolete. [Every Mac can archive, or ‘zip’, already – right-click or Control-click on a file in the Finder and choose ‘Compress ‘___’. This software just adds more options.]
How to copy your Photos Library and keep its organisation —
How do you have a copy of your Photos Library on an external drive that looks like what you see in the app? It’s complicated …
Thanks (for nothing), Apple, for removing the podcast creation feature in GarageBand — Before version 10, you could launch GarageBand from the Applications folder, select New Project on the left, then double-click on Podcast.
No longer …
Edit your custom Mac OS Dictionary File — If you tap the spacebar when you see a suggestion like the one above, your Mac will helpfully insert the correction, and you’ll be on your way. But what if it keeps trying to correct a word you know is right?
Well, there’s a custom dictionary file for every user account on your Mac, and were you so inclined, you can go in and add words, names, or anything else you were tired of being corrected on to its list. This’ll prevent Mac OS X from attempting to correct those items, and it’ll also take away that irritating red squiggle underneath ’em that means they’re misspelled.
The Mac reaches over 3000 games on Steam — The Mac has reached over 3000 games on Stream and has over million active players according to MacGamer HQ. This is particularly impressive when you consider how often the Mac is dismissed as a gaming platform.
Apple’s Photos app may restore iPhoto editing features — Happy Leap Day! You won’t get this opportunity for another 4 years so maybe you should do something you don’t normally do … anyhow, Apple is rumoured to be planning big changes in its Photos applications for both OS X 10.12 and iOS, more closely aligning the capabilities of the iPhone and Mac apps while restoring some functionality previously found in iPhoto and lost in the transition to Photos. Key editing features that were axed included brush correction, adjusting the brightness of a selected portion of an image, the ability to flag pictures and EXIF data editing.
How to calculate print size for your photos — A little bit of easy math is all it takes to make sure your prints look their best.
Third collection of dual-screen backgrounds for OS X —
Twelve South has released the third collection of dual-screen backgrounds for the Mac: Sky Lights.
The company partnered with photographer Scott Gordon to capture the San Francisco Bay during the time before sunrise and sunset when the light is perfect for shooting. All the dual-screen backgrounds are complementary.
Excellent iMac hub idea needs help — If you own an iMac, you know it’s hard to reach the USB ports in the back. Enter the ExoHub, which can work without a power adapter. You can connect your iMac to the hub in three steps. Once connected, you have get access to four USB 3.0 ports, one rapid charger, and an SDXC card slots the iMac base sits on it exactly. If you back the project, you can receive an ExoHub and/or a MacBook stand – you get a bargain as well as a great enhancement to your Mac (I did so). Kickstarting is cheaper than retail – for example, they’ll ship you an ExoHub for US$89 instead of its retail shipping price of US$129once the unit goes into production.