Apple Fixes Mac OS, Microsoft Intros Messenger

Autumn is apple-picking season, so somehow it seems appropriate that Apple  would do some picking of its own. Only in this case, it picked some bugs.

The company released a batch of 15 fixes to security holes and vulnerabilities across the operating system and applications.

The update brings the Macintosh OS to revision 10.4.8. The last update came in June. Some of the new fixes are for some pretty interesting bugs. In one case, a corrupted JPEG2000 image could be created to cause a buffer overflow error and arbitrary code execution.

A similar fix was issued for corrupt PICT images, where code could be embedded in the image and cause a buffer overflow and code execution. Apple also issued a pair of Kerberos security-related fixes, a patch to its Safari browser and one for Adobe’s Flash multimedia player.

In more positive news, Microsoft  released Messenger for Mac 6.0. The new version, available for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, lets users tell people what you are listening to on iTunes. Another new features is communication with Yahoo Messenger.

The news was announced on Mac Mojo, the Macintosh Business Unit’s blog on MSDN by Mary Starman, group product manager for the MacBU, as the group likes to call itself.

Starman explained that A/V support isn’t available in this release because Windows Live Messenger and Live Communications Server (are not quite in sync on their audio and video technologies, but eventually will be.

So rather than write two sets of code, only to have to throw one away in the coming months, the team is preparing a single, common protocol to put A/V support in a future version of Messenger for Mac.

Messenger 6.0 will allow users to share their IM conversations, check the spelling of their messages and share the songs they are listening to on iTunes with their personal contacts.

It also allows users to check to see if someone who made changes in a Word document is online through Word’s track changes feature. Users can send an instant message concerning the changes from within the Word document.

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