Mac Software

iPhoto to Aperture: Carryover features compared

Apple got a lot of things right in iPhoto '09, and in the latest version of its higher-end, $200 Aperture software it's tried to replicate that same success. But did it work?

The short answer is yes. What might be more surprising to an iPhoto user is how similarly easy to use these features are in Aperture, despite being far more powerful.

Some of the carryovers include facial recognition, geotagging, and integration with third-party sites like Flickr, Facebook, and the company's MobileMe subscription service. Out of that bunch, facial recognition and geotagging are likely to be the most familiar. Where things get interesting are the extra features Apple has added to both of these, and a handful of other tools that can be found within iPhoto. Read on to get the details.… Read more

Wake up refreshed and kill zombies with plants: iPhone apps of the week

Before we get to the apps today, I have a couple of news items to tell you about. First, there is a sale right now for the game I wrote about in last week's post, Space Miner: Space Ore Bust (was $4.99; now $1.99). I really can't recommend this game enough (I'm still playing whenever I get a chance), so if you were waiting for the price to come down, now is the time to pull the trigger.

Also, a new Apple patent application, reported by AppleInsider, suggests that a future handheld device will have … Read more

Mozilla patches critical flaws

Mozilla has released fixes for five security holes in older versions of Firefox, while a security company has warned of a zero-day flaw in the latest version of the popular browser.

Mozilla issued patches Wednesday for versions 3.5.8 and 3.0.18 of the browser, sending out fixes for the latter even though it had said it would stop supporting Firefox 3.0 in January. In its security bulletin, the company said the vulnerabilities had previously been resolved in Firefox 3.6, which was launched on January 21. The five flaws addressed by Mozilla included three the company … Read more

Photoshop, a software industry fixture, turns 20

It's not often that a technology product, even a successful one, enters the language as a verb. Some of us google, but nobody iPhones, Excels, or HDMIs.

But by remaining influential over a history that now spans 20 years, Photoshop software has achieved a place in the English language. Over its two decades, it grew from a single black-and-white image-editing package to a multi-product franchise, a starring member of Adobe Systems' Creative Suite line, and, of course, a verb.

At a National Association of Photoshop Professionals event Thursday in San Francisco, Photoshop's movers and shakers will gather to … Read more

Malware and social network attacks surge in '09

Malware-carrying spam and attacks via Twitter and Facebook grew dramatically in the second half of 2009, says a report (PDF) released Tuesday by security company M86 Security.

The volume of spam shot up last year to more than 200 billion messages each day, or 80 percent to 90 percent of all inbound e-mail sent to organizations, said M86. Spam carrying malware also surged in the second half of the year, hitting 3 billion each day compared with 600 million per day in the first half of 2009.

The vast majority of spam is now sent through botnets hiding on infected … Read more

Weekly utilities update: Hardware Monitor, Print Therapy, PodSalvage, more...

Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. While utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our main focus in this column is to bring you those that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week's updates include file and data salvage utilities from SubRosaSoft, and the Hardware Monitor utilities and supporting programs from Marcel Bresink.… Read more

Motocross mayhem and an astroid-shooting RPG: iPhone apps of the week

Macworld Expo 2010 started on Tuesday here in San Francisco, and will continue through tomorrow (Saturday) at the Moscone Center. I had a chance to walk the expo floor on Thursday and though there weren't nearly as many vendors as in years past, I was able to talk to a few iPhone developers about their products and all seemed excited about showing off their latest projects.

Even though Apple is no longer in attendance at Macworld, Moscone North was crowded with throngs of Mac and iPhone fans, looking at the latest software, peripherals, and gear. While the big Apple … Read more

Opera 10.5 lags in my speed tests

Opera, which was bumped down to fifth place in browser usage after Google Chrome burst on the scene, has embraced a super-fast JavaScript engine as part of its bid to stay relevant.

Unfortunately for Opera, my tests show more work is needed.

The beta version of Opera 10.5 arrived Thursday morning, and I thought it a good time to compare how some of the cutting-edge versions of the browsers were shaping up in performance--especially because Mozilla has released a preview version of the next version of Firefox.

Before we dig into the statistics, let's start with some important … Read more

New OpenOffice boots faster, is more compatible

The latest minor-point update to OpenOffice brings users faster launch speeds and better support for Microsoft Office 2007-formatted files. OpenOffice 3.2 for Windows, Mac, and Linux also sees the debut of comments in Impress, encryption support for Office 2007-formatted files, and smoother sort, merge, and copy and paste functions in Calc.

Highlighting has also been tweaked to stand out more visually, with a new blue background and edging. The full list of changes can be read here. Be warned, it's a very tech-speak-heavy chart and is not easy to navigate.

The performance improvement is immediately noticeable, although when … Read more

Adobe warns of new Reader, Flash holes

Adobe Systems on Thursday warned of new critical holes in Reader and Flash Player, released a security update for the Flash hole, and said a patch for Reader would come next week.

Updates for the following software are coming on Tuesday, according to Adobe's prenotification security advisory:

Reader 9.3 for Windows, Mac, and Unix Acrobat 9.3 for Windows and Mac Reader 8.2 for Windows and Mac Acrobat 8.2 for Windows and Mac

The Tuesday updates will also address the Flash issue, Adobe said.

Meanwhile, the company released a security update to fix a hole in … Read more