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Oracle has been forced to release another update to the Java plug-in due to critical security flaws present in the previous release. Java SE 7 update 15 was released yesterday, February 19, and contains patches that plug security holes that allowed Facebook and Apple to hacked. The update also features improvements in performance and stability.
The update will force users of Java SE 6 to upgrade to the latest version as long as their system can run Java SE 7. Version 6 of Java has been officially "retired" by the company and should not be used due to security risks that are present. If you still have Java installed on your system, you should update to the latest version without delay.
This morning users of Apple's iTunes might have noticed a small update pending. Apple released iTunes 11.0.2 today which brings forth several minor bug fixes, including one where purchased items sometimes failed to show in the user's library.
Also included in the update is the new Composer View, which as it says, shows the name of the composer of a piece of music. After updating you can enable this feature by clicking on View, then View Options, and selecting the Composer box.
The 54.2MB update is said to improve responsiveness as well when syncing playlist and large numbers of tracks. Version 11 of iTunes completely redesigned the player, including making the iOS and desktop versions feel and behave more like each other.
In preparation for Crysis 3's launch tomorrow, NVIDIA has released WHQL-certified graphics drivers. Version 314.07 brings with it some more performance improvements for Crysis 3, though not much beyond the improvements that were seen with the beta version released not too long ago.
NIVIDA says that users can expect up to a 5 percent improvement in performance in Crysis 3 when coupled with a GTX 680. You can pick up the drivers from NVIDIA's website.
For the interested software developer, or for those who want to experience a bit of nostalgia, Adobe has released a free and legal copy of the source code of Photoshop version 1.0. The code has been released in conjunction with the Computer History Museum who has detailed the software on their website.
The source code consists of about 128,000 lines and is mostly undocumented. Version 1.0 of the software was created by one sole engineer, Thomas Knoll. Version 2 had just two engineers. Around 75 percent of the code is written in Pascal and about 15 percent is in 68000 assembler language.
The code is free for non-commercial use and can be downloaded from the Computer History Museum. Nearly everything is included, save for the MacApp applications library that was licensed from Apple.
For users interested in testing out the latest antivirus software, avast! has just pushed out the third beta of version 8 of their popular free software. Version 8 of the antivirus software brings with it a new GUI interface, a new product tier that has new features, and a version of avast! for Windows Home Server.
You can find out more about the beta from this post on the avast! forums. The final version of the software is expected to be released towards the end of February, so hang on for a bit longer if you aren't interested in testing out the beta version.
Software developer Adobe is working on a patch for a "critical" vulnerability that is present in the company's PDF software. The bug, present in both Reader and Acrobat, will allow hackers to gain full access of a computer and is currently being exploited. You should avoid opening PDFs unless you know the sender and trust them.
The bug is present in Adobe Reader XI, 11.0.01 and earlier; Reader X, 10.1.5 and earlier; Reader 9.5.3 and earlier. Acrobat versions similarly numbered are also vulnerable. The bug is present across all platforms including Mac, PC, and Linux.
Adobe has suggested users make use of the 'Protected View" option given by the software if they have to open a PDF. An estimated time of arrival has not been given for the patch.
Unigine Corp. have just released the latest revision to their GPU benchmark, Heaven Benchmark 4.0. Heaven 4.0 is perfect for stability testing on your system, mainly for your GPU.
Heaven 4.0 has full support for DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0, works across multiple platforms - Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and includes countless settings for you to tinker with. Best of all, it has support for multi-monitor setups as well as different stereo 3D models. What's new in Heaven 4.0? Here's a list of what to expect:
- Benchmarking presets for convenient comparison of results
- GPU temperature and clock monitoring
- Drastic improvement of SSDO
- Stars at nighttime
- Improvement of lens flare
- New, improved version of UNIGINE Engine under the hood
- Detection of multiple GPUs
- Anti-aliasing support on Mac OS X
- Enhancement of automation scripts in Pro version
- New Advanced edition (see details below)
- Russian and Chinese localization
You can download Heaven Benchmark 4.0 here.
Chances are, if you are reading this article, then you have at least heard of VLC, if it's not already on your PC. For those of you who have not heard of it, VLC is the world's most popular after-market software media player, mostly because it does not need to be configured with a ton of codec packs to work properly.
Fans of the media player would like to see the software be able to stream BitTorrent files and are putting their money where their mouth is by offering $10,000 to the person who can code in the functionality to VLC.
The dev team at Video Lan, the company behind VLC, has said that if the code were right, then they would be more than happy to add a BitTorrent module to the player. The major hurdle that has to be overcome is that the torrent would need to prioritize data close to the play position in the VLC player, which is something that torrents don't traditionally do.
The Evasi0n jailbreak continues to make tracks in terms of installs. The tool for untethered jailbreaks of nearly every iOS device saw massive downloads and uptake on Monday when it was first released and demand appears to be continuing. As of Thursday night, the jailbreak had been used on approximately seven million devices.
The way this is being tracked is through the alternate app store Cydia. As of Thursday night, the app store had recorded visits from 5.15 million new iPhones, 1.35 million iPads, and 400,000 iPod touches. Altogether that works out to just about seven million new devices.
While jailbreak statistics for previous tools aren't perfectly recorded, Jay Freeman, author of the Cydia app store, says that Evasi0n has brought "insanely more new traffic" than the release of Absinthe, a jailbreak that worked for some iOS 5 versions and devices.
If you have an iOS device, have you jailbroken it yet? If not, why not?
OS X has a massive following of web developers who constantly used Linux based web server stacks to run their CMS stacks - it's actually a pretty common trend at the moment. Within Apple's OS X App Store, users can now find four of the most popular CMS's that run inside BitNami - Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla, and a generic MAMP stack (Mac, Apache, MySQL and PHP).
The issues arise when developers wanted to dev on a CMS in the local environment, files would be stored all over the place instead of a simple single directory. BitNami solves this problem by "walling-off" the CMS software and keeping everything nice in neat in a single place. This single directory structure is essential when migrating a site from a local host development environment to a live server out in the interwebs.
Traditionally web developers mitigate this issue by building a development server that is hosted on a Linux server somewhere on their local network. I have one sitting beside me at this moment with no less than six Drupal sites in the development phase.