Mozilla takes another stab at elusive multiprocess Firefox

Firefox may offer a lot of competitive features in a tight browser marketplace, but one thing it lacks is the kind of sandboxed, multiprocess architecture under its hood that other browsers have had for years.

Changing to a multiprocess architecture for Firefox would result in numerous benefits, wrote Firefox engineer Bill McCloskey on Thursday, in the three key areas of performance, security, and stability. A multiprocess architecture splits various browser functions into multiple tasks on the computer, instead of bundling them all together as one process for the browser.

While Firefox's performance now is significantly faster than it was … Read more

Terraria looks, sounds, and plays just like the original, but the controls are lacking

Terraria for iOS brings the popular 2D sandbox adventure game that was loosely based on Minecraft to the touch screen. As a longtime player of the game on PC, I was excited to get my hands on the iOS version, and after a few hours of playing, I think it stacks up well with the original. But one flaw makes the game much better on the iPad than it is on either the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Never the same experience One of the great things about this 2D adventure game on any platform is that when you start a … Read more

Review: Grand Theft Auto III brings a classic gaming experience to iOS devices

Grand Theft Auto III is one of the most successful video games ever released, making its re-release on the App Store a chance for millions to play a game they might have missed a decade ago. The results are very good, with a few small issues related to screen size and the original game design.

Grand Theft Auto III was originally released on a DVD for the Playstation 2, so it is a big game and may take some time to download to your device. After it has, though, it loads quickly and plays smoothly, especially on the newest iOS … Read more

Fix permissions errors for sandboxed applications in OS X

When using some common sandboxed applications in OS X such as TextEdit, you may run into an issue where the program experiences file access errors for which you may not even receive a notification. For example, if such an error occurs in TextEdit, you may see a warning stating that you do not have permission to access a file you are trying to open, or you may just find yourself unable to save a new or existing file you are currently editing.

In addition, access restrictions in sandboxed applications may result in odd file-saving behaviors in which multiple copies of … Read more

Get sandboxed applications working again after OS X update

Apple recently released OS X 10.8.3 along with security updates for past versions of OS X, and while the updates have worked properly for the vast majority of users, a few have reported having the problem that certain programs like Preview and TextEdit now will not run. When the program is opened, in some cases the system prompts users to authenticate and repair the user Library, but after this is done the program simply quits after bouncing in the OS X Dock for a few seconds. In other cases the program may simply crash and generate an error … Read more

New Java flaw could hit 1 billion users

It's just a proof of concept for now, but a newly revealed Java vulnerability could have very widespread repercussions.

Security research company Security Explorations has issued a description of a new critical security flaw in Java SE 5 build 1.5.0_22-b03, Java SE 6 build 1.6.0_35-b10, and the latest Java SE 7 build 1.7.0_07-b10. This error is caused by a discrepancy with how the Java virtual machine handles defined data types (a type-safety error) and in doing so violates a fundamental security constraint in the Java runtime, allowing a complete bypass of the Java … Read more

Chrome improves Flash sandboxing for Windows: 20 percent fewer crashes

Google has improved Flash sandboxing in the latest version of its Chrome browser for Windows, boosting its security and reducing crashes by as much as 20 percent.

The change also means Windows 8 users will be able to use all of a Web site's Flash features in the mode formerly known as Metro.

By sandboxing Flash, a plug-in can crash without taking down the rest of the browser. Sandboxing was introduced in early versions of Chrome to prevent rogue tabs from causing such total browser crashes, and as an anti-malware measure.

Google ported Flash off the aging NPAPI architecture … Read more

Sandbox errors may temporarily break specific OS X application functions

To fend off attacks and faulty programming, Apple has implemented sandboxing routines to manage what system resources applications have access to. While the sandboxing process should allow the applications to run as intended by the developer, sometimes an odd bug or configuration error may result in random breaks in functionality.

For example, TextEdit is one of the sandboxed programs that Apple includes in OS X. Sandbox entitlements allow it to save to the filesystem and accept keyboard inputs, among other features, so you can use the program to create documents and edit them. However, if a sandboxing error involving one … Read more

Apple's sandboxing restrictive for some applications

Starting June 1, the Mac App Store will be adopting a new policy that requires applications distributed through it to be sandboxed -- a feature that restricts default access to all system resources except those allowed by specific Apple-defined entitlements. The sandboxing and entitlements are generally voluntarily set up and elected by the developer, but in the case of the App Store, are both mandatory and also scrutinized and approved by Apple. While sandboxing is a great option for protecting users' systems and should offer seamless functionality for most programs, Apple's implementation is too restrictive for some applications to … Read more

App Store changes on June 1 should have minimal impact

On June 1, Apple will begin enforcing sandboxing requirements for all applications distributed through its Mac App Store service. If you've purchased applications from the Mac App Store, you can expect updates to become available in the next week or two.

Sandboxing is a security measure that restricts applications from unintended resource access. When enabled on an application, the default sandbox gives a program no access to any resources. Developers then enable Apple-supplied entitlements for the sandbox that allow access to printing, the network, and filesystem reading and writing, and other features so their program can work properly. The … Read more