For those of you rocking a Mac, Apple on Monday released a software update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard bringing the current version to 10.6.3.
The latest update plugs a whole bunch of security holes, addressing everything from improved validation of MPEG encoded movie files to preventing remote attackers from extracting information from Open Directory, as well as a little love for more secure Wi-Fi. There are 69 security related updates in all, of which you can view here.
Version 10.6.3 also includes several stability and compatibility enhancements, some of which include:
address compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications
address a color issue in iMovie with HD content
improve the reliability of 3rd party USB input devices
improve printing reliability
Apple also took a step towards better error reporting. In addition to the Crash Reporter state data, updated Macs will also include recent system loga information as well as details about the apps and hardware devices installed.
Interestingly, Windows 7 usage trailed that of OS X by almost a percentage point earlier in the week. "Certainly, the trend line shows Windows 7 will surpass Mac (market) share soon,” believes Vince Vizzaccaro, executive vice president at Net Applications, according to Computerworld.
In what's turning out to be a game of cat and mouse, Apple last week disabled support for Intel's Atom processor through a Snow Leopard update, a tactic the Hackintosh community insisted would present only a temporary setback. They were right, thanks to a Russian hacker known as "teateam," who says he has restored support for Atom-based Hackintoshes running Snow Leopard 10.6.2.
"The problem originates in a revision to the kernel in 10.6.2. The changes Apple made to the latest mach_kernel removes support for [Atom] processors, leaving updated netbooks in a useless state," InsanelyMac member "blkhockypro19" explained in a forum post.
TeaTeam's hack appears to address the issue, though Jeff Porten of MacWorld warned that performing the crack is not something to be taken lightly.
"You'll need to roll up your Terminal sleeves for a few simple steps here," said Porten. "And, of course, replace the kernel of your operating system -- the fundamental code that underlies everything else in Mac OS X -- with a file you've downloaded from the Internet."
Not only that, but it's only a matter of time until Apple releases another update that, in all likelihood, breaks support again. Apple hasn't been sympathetic to the Hackinstosh community, and even went so far as to serve Wired.com a cease and desist order after the tech site posted a video with instructions on how to hack a netbook to run Mac OS X.
Rumors of an Atom ban turned out to be true, as the Hackintosh community found out with the latest update to Apple's Snow Leopard OS.
"Well, looks like I was right, again," Hackintosh guru StellaRola wrote in a blog post. "The netbook forums are now blowing up with problems of [Snow Leopard] 10.6.2 instant rebooting their Atom-based netbooks. My sources tell me that every time a netbook users installs 10.6.2 an Apple employee gets their wings."
While the ban presents a temporary setback, StellaRola reiterated that "this is OSx86 after all," and predicted that a modded kernel is likely just around the kernel.
In the meantime, a user on the MyDellMini forum claims to have found a workaround that entails running 10.6.2 with a 10.6.1 kernel. The process involved booting from a backup, mounting the 10.6.2 partition, and punching in a few commands, all of which you can read here.
This one's sure to ruffle a few feathers, but according to the latest data from Net Applications, the launch of Windows 7 hasn't done anything to slow down Mac's record rise in market share.
Of course, we're only talking about a 5.27 percent of the OS market, which doesn't come anywhere close to Windows, which dominates the scene with a 92.52 percent share. Still, Mac fans will be quick to point out that Mac OS X still managed to reach a new hgh, and did so amid a heavy marketing campaign for Windows 7 accompanied by temporary deep discounts.
If you've been watching Apple's Mac vs PC ads, then you've seen Apple encouraging consumers to use the launch of Windows 7 as an excuse to switch to Mac. After all, if you're going to upgrade anyway, you might as well make the transition, Apple argues. And that's what Electronista believes is going on.
We're not so sure we agree, and while we'll concede that the numbers might not be what we were expecting, it's far too early to tell what impact Windows 7 or Mac OS X will have on the ongoing OS wars.
Hit the jump and tell us how you interpret the numbers.
Following the launch of Windows 7 next week, if Microsoft's upcoming OS can avoid deleting user data, it will have bragging rights over Apple's recently released Snow Leopard. That's because Snow Leopard users have been reporting lost data due to a bug in the OS.
According to the complaints, the problem crops up when a user logs into the Guest account, whether on purpose or by accident. Once the user logs out and then back into their regular one, users are greeted with a fully reset account where all the data has been eradicated, just as if they had created a new one.
Users initially reported that the data was unrecoverable, but Cnet published steps on how to restore the files from a Time Machine backup to a new, identical user profile, although the method can take over two hours to complete, Neowin.net reports.
An analyst with the NPD Group suggests that Apple's Snow Leopard has been selling like hot cakes, noting the first two weeks of Snow Leopard sales were more than two times higher than Leopard's initial release numbers, and four times higher than Tiger, TGDaily reports.
Baker was quick to point out that Snow Leopard's sales didn't show much signs of slowing down after the initial launch, either. From week one to week two, sales declined just 25 percent, compared to a 60 percent drop in demand for both Leopard and Tiger during each one's opening week volumes.
"With pricing reduced by more than $100 for both the single-user and five-user pack versus Leopard pricing, Apple has clearly demonstrated that aggressive pricing policies in this economic environment generate an outstanding consumer response," explained Baker.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft has begun offering students special pricing for Windows 7 Home Premium. Eligible students can grab a downloaded copy for just $30, while special pricing for Family Pack licensing is also planned.
Psystar once again flips Apple the bird by confirming it will support Mac OS X Snow Leopard on all new Mac clones. Furthermore, the company said it had developed "new virtualization technologies" to better integrate with the newly released OS like "never before."
At the same time, Psystar issued a warning to its customers not to install Snow Leopard until the OEM had a chance to work out any kinks and ensure a no-fuss upgrade.
"We ask you not to attempt to install the new OS X as it may cause harm to your computer, resulting in a possible re-installation of Leopard OS 10.5 and a loss of data," Pystar wrote in a blog post. "As with all previous software updates to the OS, Psystar meticulously tests and retests all software updates to confirm their compatibility with older Psystar machines."
As could be expected, Apple is none too happy about Psystar's continued defiance and has asked a California judge to order a 30 day "re-opening of discovery" to give Aple time to obtain Psystar's modified Snow Leopard source code.