Free up hard drive space with these Mac disk cleanup apps

Mac_Cleaner

No matter the size of your Mac’s hard drive, there will come a time when you need to free up some space. Having a full hard drive can make your Mac feel sluggish, and running out of space can be terrifying.

Sifting through your archive of files may seem like a daunting task. But don’t fear — these three super-simple and effective Mac disk cleanup apps can help you out.

Check them out in the Cult of Mac video review below.

The apps shown here will get your computer feeling clean and ready to go. Freeing up plenty of space on your startup disk can result in your Mac feeling snappier than before, so it’s definitely worth doing.

Download Mac disk cleanup apps now

Ready to get started with your spring cleaning? Download one of these Mac cleaners OmniDiskSweeper (free) or DaisyDisk ($9.99, with a free trial), and/or duplicate-buster Gemini($9.99, with a free trial), to free up Mac hard drive space today.

 

Poor security leaves popular Mac apps open to attack

Protect your Mac.

When it comes to your Mac apps, there’s reason to fear a so-called man in the middle.

A security engineer is reporting several apps vulnerable to malicious coding through Sparkle, the third-party software framework apps use to receive updates. Some of the apps identified include versions of Camtasia, VLC, uTorrent, Sketch and DuetDisplay.

The weakness was first reported last month on a blog by the engineer who goes by the name Radek. It has since been verified by another researcher, Simone Margeritelli, and was reported Wednesday by the tech website, arstechnica.

The risk involves hyper text transfer protocol or HTTP. Some app developers used HTTP for information updates as opposed to HTTPS. The S is for secure, meaning apps that use HTTPS ensures data is encrypted. HTTP is essentially plain text and not secure.

Radek said apps with HTTP are open to MiTM, or man in the middle attacks, meaning code could be secretly manipulated as traffic passes between an end user and the server.ir

“The Sparkle Updater framework in its nature is safe and easy to use,” Radek said on his blog. “Developers who include Sparkle in their projects just broke one simple rule: they didn’t set HTTPS everywhere.”

The good news is the most recent version of Sparkle uses only HTTPS channels. The bad news is it’s a lot of work for developers to address the vulnerability and publish a new version of their apps.

“Now, this is the moment when people can check for the update and replace this particular app version on their computers with the newest ones,” according to an email Radek wrote to arstechnica. “It all depends on the complexity of an application, its size and maintainers. That’s the reason why some developers don’t want to update or can’t update Sparkle in their applications.”

Radek said it is hard to know how many Mac apps are affected, but suspects the number is rather high. His blog outlines the tests he ran on some apps.

Margeritelli ran an attack test of the VLC Media Player and did a short video, posted below, showing the vulnerability.

Source: arstechnica

BitTorrent’s new app is a secure alternative to iMessage and Snapchat.

You can replace iMessage and Snapchat with Bittorrent's new app. Photo: Bittorrent

BitTorrent’s not just a way to torrent anymore.

Released a couple years ago, BitTorrent Sync proved itself to be a great way to keep your files synced between machines without trusting a service like Dropbox with your data.

And now? BitTorrent Bleep, a serverless chat app, is here to show you you can do without Snapchat or iMessage.

Here’s how it works. Like a chat room from the old days of the Internet, with Bleep, all you do is pick a username, and then anyone else with the app on any platform can securely message you.

Supplying a phone number or email address? It’s optional, and only to help people figure out your username, which you can also share as a secure Bleep key.

BitTorrent Bleep also has Snapchat-like functionality. You can set any message you like as a Whisper, which is a disappearing message.

The big appeal of Bleep is its security. It doesn’t collect metadata on your or store your information in the cloud. It runs in a distributed network, just like BitTorrent does. That makes it secure.

Bleep is now available for iOS. It’s also available for PC, Mac and Android.

Download Bleep here.

The Festive Apple 2013: Snow Apps for OS X and iOS.

I like snow, although I’m never sorry if it holds off till Christmas. Here on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia where I live, we usually don’t get snow that sticks until after Christmas, but this year we have plenty. The weather has been extraordinarily wintery again so far this season.

If you’re a snow fan, wherever you live, you can enjoy some snow apps on your computer or iDevice desktop for Christmas. And the great thing about virtual snow is that you don’t have to shovel or plow it!

There are more snow apps for Apple devices than you might imagine.

Snow Apps for OS X

LotsaSnow (free)

This screensaver draws snowflakes falling down your screen. Simple enough, but the oh-so-clever part is that it uses a semi-physical model for growing each snowflake, meaning every snowflake is actually unique, and also that it uses a quite a bit of processing power…but that’s the price you pay for indivduality.

lotsasnow12

LotsaSnow requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

For more information, visit wakaba.c3.cx.

Let It Snow ($0.99)

Bring a Winter Wonderland to your desktop with Let It Snow’s realistic snowfall and get into that festive holiday feeling as snow covers your dock and settles on windows while you work.

Let it SnowLet it Snow features:

  • Realistic snow fall – using a physics engine
  • Snow drifts – that build up at the bottom of the screen
  • Snow covered windows – snow settles on the currently active window
  • Random flurries of snow – so you’d better wrap up warm
  • Melting snow – snow disappears after a period of time

A number of preferences let you control how the snow falls:

  • Amount – Decide how much snow you want
  • Size – Pick bigger or smaller snow flakes
  • Speed – Select faster or slower snow
  • Flurries – Choose if you more or less flurries of snow
  • Thaw – Set how quickly you want the snow to thaw
  • Escape bottom – Toggle between snow escaping from the desktop or building up at the bottom of the screen
  • Escape sides – Choose to have the snow escape from the sides of the screen, or fall down the sides
  • Multicolored – Add a bit of colour to your snow flakes
  • Settle on active window – Choose if snow settles on the active window

Let it Snow brings a bit of winter magic to your Mac.

Let it Snow

Let it Snow requires OS X 10.7 or later.

For more information, visit www.ilialang.com.

Snow ($2.50 demoware/shareware)

Back when I was running the Classic Mac OS, my favorite snow application was Rick Jansen’s Snow for Macintosh, which let it snow on your desktop and windows, adds a Christmas tree, and sends Santa and his sleigh flying around your screen for extra festive season cheer. However, one of the cool things about Classic Snow is that since the whole process of letting it snow on your windows is somewhat CPU intensive, if you found Snow slowing down your machine you could use the preferences to choose fewer or smaller snowflakes, no Santa, no tree, or no snow at all. You can set the number of flakes, how fast they fall, Santa’s speed limit etc. It all worked very well.

Snow

Happily, Rick has released an OS X native version of Snow for the Macintosh. It still snows on your desktop, and Santa and his reindeer still fly around your screen while snow piles up on top of your windows. However, the tree is gone, having been replaced by an ambling Polar Bear and resizable snowdrop plants. Rudolph’s nose also glows red once you register the application.

Snow requires OS X (not yet tested with OS X 10.9 Mavericks).

For more information, visit: www.xs4all.nl.

Snow Dance 3D Screensaver ($12.95 shareware)

Snow Dance

Smoothly falling flakes create the sensation of calmness and serenity.

Snow Dance 3D Screensaver shows you the bewitching attraction and purity of snow-white winter. Imagine you are on mountain top and take pleasure in a magnificent landscape of mountain nature. Huge flakes of snow softly lay down on the earth, forming a snow-white airy cover. The well-shaped evergreen and splendid firs, muffed with snow, harmoniously brighten a panorama and decorate solitary, centuries-old mountains. Harmony and pacification reign everywhere.

More than just a screensaver:

  • Each screensaver contains a clock of two kinds (analog and digital)
  • Each screensaver contains a calendar
  • Screensavers work under Windows and Mac OS X

Snow requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

For more information, visit 3dsignal.com.

Snowfall: The Ice Storm (free)

This quartz composer screensaver for Mac OS v10.4 Tiger features snowflake images by Wilson Bentley: The Snowflake Man. Once it’s installed in the Library/Screensavers, you can customize it to suit your tastes by modifying the options in System Preferences.

Snowfall

“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.”

– Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley 1925

Snowfall requires OS X v10.4 and up.

For more on Wilson Bentley see www.snowflakebentley.com. For more information, visit www.alittlebitofnothingleft.net. For a mini-tutorial on installing and using Snowfall, see fairerplatform.com.

Flake-Saver (free)

This open GL SnowFlake screen saver draws white flakes of love on your screen—a winter holiday present.

This is a simple OpenGL screensaver for OSX in cocoa. It uses a very simple custom NSOpenGLView, as a subview of a ScreenSaverView/

For more information, visit github.com.

Snow Apps for iOS

Snowflakes ($0.99 for iPhone, $2.99 for iPad)

Seattle based Hado Labs has released Snowflakes 1.2, an entertainment app developed for iOS. Independently engineered and artistically designed, Snowflakes generates more than 9,000 unique and beautifully realistic snowflakes, with intricate ice-like structural details. With the touch of a finger, you can create single snowflakes with three levels of detail or layer multiple snowflakes to build rich textural effects. Save your high-resolution snowflake compositions to your device.

Snowflakes

“No two snowflakes are the same” is a truism that holds up under Snowflakes’ powerful design engine, which renders the skeletal, ice-like structure of snowflakes with ethereal realism. No other app on the market produces such intricate, realistic snowflakes.

In Single mode, create up to 9,621 single snowflakes with three levels of detail. Multiple background effects and millions of color choices infinitely increase the design possibilities. Multi mode allows the possibility to layer snowflakes in multiple size and color combinations to create complex textural compositions. Move, scale and view snowflake designs in full 2,048 x 1,536 Retina display.

Use your high-resolution Snowflake compositions in your holiday greetings by saving them, or share your images instantly with your friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase Snowflakes for iPhone or iPad.

 

Zen of Snow HD ($0.99)

Zen of Snow

A beautiful and peaceful snow globe world. Shake to “stir up” the snow and then watch it slowly fall. We call this Zen of Snow because it is so peaceful to watch.

Features:

  • Send free e-cards
  • 4 snow scenes (animated Christmas lights twinkle, snow falls, creek flows, smoke rises from cabin’s chimney)
  • Shake to stir up snow and watch it fall
  • Christmas music: “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Silent Night,” “Midnight Clear”
  • Swipe to pan between the four scenes

Also includes:

  • In-App purchase for Rabbit
  • Option to have snow fall forever
  • Option to adjust the the amount of snowfall
  • Option to adjust the wind blowing the snow
  • Night Mode (see the lights in all their glory)
  • Option to rotate into wide-screen view
  • Option to turn off the Christmas lights
  • Option to turn off the Christmas music

Zen of Snow HD is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. If you would like to try out the free version, grab Zen of Snow Lite.

 

Source: AppleTell

Dialogue Lets You Make Calls On Your iPhone Using Your Mac.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 7.56.42 AM

It’s happened to everyone. You’re typing on your Mac, and you suddenly get a phone call on your iPhone. But you only have two hands. On a deadline, you grab your iPhone, and try to talk to whomever is calling by clenching your phone against your shoulder with your chin, but it suddenly slips, and slides down your tucked shirt and into your underpants. And now, here you are, screaming at your crotch to call you back while shaking an iPhone down your pants leg. How embarrassing.

What, that hasn’t happened to you? How strange. Must just be me. Either way, though, wouldn’t it be cool if you could just route incoming iPhone calls to your Mac? Now you can, thanks to Dialogue.

Dialogue is a new Mac app which uses Bluetooth to pair your iPhone with your Mac. Whenever a new call comes in, Dialogue will alert you on your desktop and ask you if you want to answer the call. You can also dial out in the same way.

And here’s the kicker: not only can you use your Mac’s built-in speakers and mic to talk to someone on your iPhone, you can actually record calls and save them for later. Pretty neat.

Dialogue is available now on the Mac App Store for just $6.99.

Source: Cult of Mac.

Apple updates to Safari, Aperture and iPhoto.

Software UpdateToday’s been a big day for updates from Apple, as the company has just released three more software updates on top of the public iOS 6.0.1 release and the iOS 6.1 beta release to developers. This time, the updates are all for OS X, and aim to bring Safari, Aperture, and iPhoto up to date.

Below is a full list of the new features and fixes in iPhoto 9.4.2 and Aperture 3.4.2. Safari 6.0.2 has seemingly only been given security fixes in this update. All updates are available right now via Software Update.

iPhoto 9.4.2:

  • Photos now can be added to shared streams or My Photo Stream by dragging them to “Photo Stream” in the source list
  • Multiple email addresses can now be copied and pasted in the “Shared with” field for shared streams
  • When more than five subscribers “Like” a photo in a shared stream, their names are now displayed correctly
  • Contextual menu now includes an Import command to import all the photos contained in a shared photo stream
  • Addresses the reliability of Shared Photo Streams when switching between iPhoto and Aperture with the same library
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Microsoft Outlook from being used to email photos from within iPhoto
  • Updated national holidays are available for use in printed photo calendars
  • Includes stability improvements

Aperture 3.4.2:

  • Photos received via My Photo Stream or shared streams can now be added directly to other shared streams
  • Multiple email addresses can now be copied and pasted in the “Shared with” field for shared streams
  • When more than five subscribers “Like” a photo in a shared stream, all their names are now displayed correctly
  • The Info panel for a shared stream now includes an Unsubscribe button
  • The status line in the toolstrip now displays the number of new photos added to a shared stream
  • Faces are now properly detected on photos imported into a library from a shared stream
  • Adjusted photos added to shared streams are now published with EXIF metadata properly preserved
  • Addresses the reliability of Shared Photo Streams when switching between iPhoto and Aperture with the same library
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts are now properly preserved when upgrading from earlier versions of Aperture
  • Double-clicking a photo in Viewer-Only mode now correctly toggles to the Browser view
  • Addresses a problem that could prevent the Viewer from displaying images with correct color after Auto White Balance and Auto Enhance are applied
  • Addresses an issue that could cause JPEGs exported with a custom ICC profile to render incorrectly
  • A dialog now displays progress when deleting large numbers of photos using the Empty Aperture Trash command
  • Fixes a problem that could cause duplicate detection on import to fail when the “Auto-Split Projects” option is enabled
  • RAW files are no longer displayed in the Import window when the “JPEG files only” option is enabled
  • Key photos made from panoramic images are now displayed at high resolution
  • Addresses a problem that could cause the Info panel in the Inspector to display the wrong metadata view
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Microsoft Outlook from being used to email photos from within Aperture
  • Improves stability when working with AVCHD video files
  • Fixes a problem with using the Zoom navigator on a second display
  • Addresses issues that could cause web journals to export incorrectly
  • Includes stability improvements

Source: AppleTell.

Skype releases Mac client update.

Skype 6 for Mac

Microsoft has released Skype v.6.0, adding a few improvements and bug fixes. The update adds Retina display support for Apple’s latest MacBook Pro laptops and also brings richer integration with Facebook, allowing you to sign in to Skype using your Facebook account information. Microsoft also has added chat protocols that give you the choice to chat with friends using their own Windows Live messenger.

At the Skype Garage Blog, Microsoft further explains the updates:

Microsoft and Facebook Account Integration
Sign up and sign-in is easier than ever. You can now sign into Skype using your Microsoft or Facebook account – there’s no need to create a new Skype account. This makes it even easier to connect with friends on Skype without having to set up another account.

IM friends on Messenger
Now you can instant message your Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail and Outlook.com contacts via Skype all in one place. If you use a Microsoft account today, merging your accounts is easy – just sign in to Skype with your Microsoft account.

Open Chats in Multiple Windows
We hear your feedback! With this release we’ve added support to open chats in multiple windows.

Retina Display Support
We also added another feature you’ve asked for – support Retina display. Now you can take full advantage of improved usability and of higher resolution screens.

The Skype for OS X update is available now at Skype Garage, and requires OS X v10.5.8 or later.

Source: AppleTell.