Adobe releases Creative Suite 2 for free

Got an older computer and want to do some photo editing but lack the right software? You may be in luck, as Adobe has released the full version of Creative Suite 2 – including Photoshop CS2, InDesign 2 and other software – for free!

While Adobe is releasing the software package for free, newer computers may have trouble running it because of a lack of updates (the current, updated version of the software is Creative Suite 6). The only requirement to download the software is a free Adobe account. Besides the suite itself, individual copies of the bundled software can be downloaded as well.

The software is available in both Windows and Mac versions.

Adobe CS2 was originally released in April 2005 and is no longer supported by the company. On Dec. 13, the company disabled the activation servers for CS2 products and Acrobat 7 signifying the end of the suite’s support life.

Source: Adobe | Image via Adobe

375 Free eBooks: Download to Kindle, iPad/iPhone & Nook

This collection features free e-books, mostly classics, that you can read on your iPad/iPhone (purchase), Kindle (purchase), Nook (purchase) or other devices. It includes great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. To learn how to load books to your Kindle using the links below, please watch this video. This other video explains how to upload epub files to a Nook.

Learn how to load ebook (.mobi) files to your Kindle with this video:

Learn how to load ebook epub files to your Nook with this video:

Assorted Texts

  • Assortment of Classic Books for Kids – Read Online
  • 65 Modern Art Books by the Guggenheim – Read Online
  • Baldwin, Frederick – Dear Monsieur Picasso – PDF
  • Boon, Marcus – In Praise of Copying – PDF
  • Chomsky, Noam and Edward Herman – Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact and Propaganda – Read Online
  • Chomsky, Noam – Deterring Democracy – Read Online
  • Chomsky, Noam – Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and U.S. Political Culture, Boston: South End Press, 1993. – Read Online
  • Chomsky, Noam – Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Read Online
  • Chomsky, Noam – Secrets, Lies and Democracy – Read Online
  • Brand, Stewart – The Whole Earth Catalog – Read Online
  • Doctorow, Cory – I, Robot – Kindle + Other Formats
  • Doctorow, Cory – With a Little Help – Kindle + Other Formats
  • Kamenetz, Anya – The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential – Kindle + Other Formats
  • Lessig, Lawrence – The Future of Ideas – PDF
  • Lethem, Jonathan – The Empty Room – Read Online
  • Rucker, Rudy – The Ware Tetralogy – D0wnload
  • Scroggy, David – The Blade Runner Sketchbook: The Art of Syd Mead and Ridley Scott – Read Online
  • The Beatles – Yellow Submarine – iPad

Apple announces presumed iPhone 5 launch event for September 12th

Apple announces presumed iPhone 5 launch event for September 12th

Apple has just invited members of the press to attend a San Francisco-based product launch event on September 12th, where the next generation iPhone is expected to be officially unveiled. As rumored, it seems as if the company’s prior iPod-focused fall events may be split off into two. It’s been reported that an October event may follow this one, with a miniaturized 7-inch iPad on the docket for that. This event, however, seems a lock for the iPhone 5 — or “new iPhone,” or whatever it ends up being coined — and while CEO Tim Cook confessed at D10 that it would be doubling down on secrecy, leakers seem to have doubled down on tipping the world off on what’s to come. The keynote kicks off at 10AM PT in SF, and you can bet we’ll be there covering every second of it live. Didn’t have any “lunch” plans for 9/12? Looks like you do now.

Google acquires Sparrow, the Apple centric email app maker

Sparrow, maker of popular email apps for iOS and Mac OS X, has just announced that it’s been acquired by Google. Expectedly, details on the acquisition are being kept under wraps at the moment, but company CEO Dom Leca has confirmed in a blog post that Sparrow will be joining the Gmail team at Google to “accomplish a bigger vision.” Fans of the company’s apps will be glad to know, however, that the team will “continue to make Sparrow available and provide support for our users” while also working on new things at Google. That does sound like most of their attention will be focused elsewhere, though. You can find Leca’s full statement on the matter at the source link below.

McAfee says PC malware level is highest in four years

If you have a desktop or laptop, you might want to be aware that the number of malware threats that could invade your PC is the highest it has been in some time. That’s the conclusion of security software company McAfee. In their latest “threat report” for the first quarter of 2012, McAfee (owned by Intel) claims that numbers of malware threats reached its highest level in the past four years.

The press release quotes Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, as saying:

In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected 8 million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development of new malware. The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac; and as more homes and businesses use these platforms the attacks will spread, which is why all users, no matter their platforms, should take security and online safety precautions.

The total amount of malware samples could reach 100 million before the end of 2012, according to McAfee. In addition to a rise in PC malware, the company has also seen a rise of malware made for Mac computers in the first quarter.

The same report claimed that mobile malware was also on the rise, although that was due in part to McAfee’s increased ability to find new mobile threats. Botnet activity increased in the first quarter, with the company claiming that over 5 million PCs have been infected. On the other hand, email spam activity did drop slightly in the first quarter, but that’s a relative number. McAfee says that there was slightly more than 1 trillion spam messages emailed on a monthly basis.

Add 1GB of storage to your Dropbox permanently

Dropbox is always coming up with ways to give its users more space on its cloud storage service. Today, the company is launching its annual Dropquest event. As Dropbox’s blog states: “Dropquest is a multi-step scavenger hunt that has you solve a series of puzzles (inspired by the likes of MIT’s Mystery Hunt or Notpron [though not nearly as time/effort-consuming]).”

The Dropquest event starts at this link, although before you start you might want to download the company’s PC desktop client, because a number of the puzzles take place within a user’s own Dropbox account.

The nice thing is that everyone who enters and completes Dropquest 2012 will be able to get an extra 1 GB of space on their Dropbox account. The person who completes all the puzzles first will get 100 GB of free storage space for life, along with some other nice Dropbox swag.  10 second place finishers will get 20 GB of free space for life, 15 third place finishers will get 5 GB for life and 50 fourth place finishers will get an extra 2 GB of space.

One more thing: Dropbox claims that this year’s Dropquest will be hard, saying, “Last year Dropquest was finished in a little under 2 hours, but the Black-ops team doubts that it’ll be solved in under 5 hours this year — feel free to prove us wrong.”

Chapter 1: 64529 38645 46637 24929 <- try one of these
Chapter 2: https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2012/crane
Chapter 3: SMUDGES
Chapter 4: SOMA
Chapter 5: MAD LIB

Chapter 6:
https://www.dropbox.com/events?ns=false&n=0&d=1-7-2003
https://www.dropbox.com/events?ns=false&n=0&d=3-21-2005
https://www.dropbox.com/events?ns=false&n=0&d=11-28-2001

Chapter 7:
https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2012/LEADING or
https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2012/DEALING or
https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2012/aligned

Chapter 8: triumphant
Chapter 9: Go https://www.dropbox.com/tour/6 and invite the given email address
Chapter 10: Mexico, Korea or Argentina
Chapter 11: Southpole
Chapter 12: Restore Chapter12.txt to its previous version (on the dropbox website)
Chapter 13: Go to https://www.dropbox.com/help, and click on the shield of “Security and Privacy”
Chapter 14: Click http://www.surfpoeten.de/sudok… and find out the square that’s referring to your highlighted square. Then solve the puzzle by placing the numbers as they are shown exactly on your highlighted square
Chapter 15: Share a folder with savior@dropbox.com, flash@dropbox.com, or boxer@dropbox.com
Chapter 16: Go to https://www.dropbox.com/share and click on the rainbox icon on the top middle of the page
Chapter 17: Shanghai
Chapter 18 – Do a repair on the Dropquest Folder (bottom left corner of chapter page)
Chapter 19: On the actual dropbox site, move the pictures in the ‘spring cleaning’ folder into the category folders:

Category 1: 1 3 6 8 9
Category 2: 2 4 5 7 10

Chapter 20 solution: https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2012/apollo13

Chapter 21: ABUSIVELY

Chapter 22: Adage, Faced, Nasha, Badge

Chapter 23: MACHU PICCHU

Endgame: colosseum

Google Drive rumored to launch 4/24

Sometimes we get lucky, and today is one of those days. I got a draft release from a partner of Google’s upcoming Google Drive service and it gives away a wealth of information about how Google plans to take on the incumbent Dropbox. The short story? 5 GB of storage, and it launches next week, likely on Tuesday at http://drive.google.com

Now let’s talk details. It’s no surprise that it will roll out for free. What’s interesting though is that Google is planning to start everyone with 5 GB of storage. Of course you can buy more, but that trumps Dropbox’s 2 GB that is included with every account. Dropbox does make it easy to get more space, including 23 GB of potential upgrades for HTC users.

What’s also interesting is the wording related to how the system will work. It’s been long-thought that Windows integration will come easy, but that getting the Google Drive icon into the Mac a la Dropbox would be a bit harder. From what we’re reading, Google Drive will work “in desktop folders” on both Mac and Windows machines, which still leaves the operation question unanswered.

GD1 520x355 Google Drive detailed: 5 GB for free, launching next week for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS

But there is one very solid piece of news – Google Drive is expected to launch in the middle of next week. Given how big companies such as Apple, Google and the rest operate, I’m placing my bets on Tuesday, but Wednesday is also a popular day for Google updates. In fact, TechCrunch seems to have gotten their hands onto the app itself.

Now as for the reliability of the information? It’s not at all uncommon for big companies to launch with partners for new features. When that happens, the partners will often-times have a heads up to integration and specifics, and that’s exactly what appears to have happened here as it did with the Lucidchart leak from last week. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how it all works out, but let’s just say that our earlier prediction of in-app document editing is pretty solid as well, given the nature of the release that was sent to us today.

With Google’s current purchased pricing structure:

  • 20 GB – $5/yr
  • 80 GB – $20/yr
  • 200 GB – $50/yr
  • 400 GB – $100/yr
  • 1 TB – $256/yr
  • 2 TB – $512/yr
  • 4 TB – $1024/yr
  • 8 TB – $2048/yr
  • 16 TB – $4096/yr

This will certainly put a hurt on competitors, like Dropbox, who charge $10/month for 50GB a year. Google’s equivalent to that price would be the 400GB level.

Update: A site has received a working copy of the Mac OS client for Google Drive. While the client runs and is definitely is a Google product, it does not connect to his account because it is not activated for the service. This probably means a beta rollout.

Exotic XSS bug in Adobe Flash controlled users’ Web accounts

Adobe has plugged a hole in its ubiquitous Flash media player that attackers were exploiting to control services such as webmail accessed by end users.

The universal XSS, or cross-site scripting, vulnerability is present in all versions of Flash, but was only being actively exploited in versions that worked with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. In a security bulletin, Adobe credited Google for discovery of the bug and warned it “could be used to take actions on a user’s behalf on any website or webmail provider, if the user visits a malicious website.” Representatives with Adobe and Google didn’t elaborate on the in-the-wild attacks or the underlying bug, except for an Adobe spokeswoman saying Google first reported it on February 10.

Security researchers, meanwhile, said the squashed bug was exotic.

“They’re kind of rare and they’re extremely powerful, so now you’re talking about an 0-day cross-site scripting flaw being used in the wild, which can really only be useful for account takeovers,” said Jeremiah Grossman, a Web security expert and the CTO of WhiteHat Security. “For an attacker to find one and use it in the wild, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of.”

Most XSS vulnerabilities are the result of coding errors on a specific website. A universal XSS, by contrast, stems from bugs present in browsers or plugins and can be exploited as they access multiple sites. Besides its zero-day status as a vulnerability—meaning it was fixed only after it was under attack—the Flash bug is noteworthy because it affects software that is installed on a majority of the world’s computers. What’s more, universal XSS vulnerabilities typically give an attacker the ability to run custom-written JavaScript in a victim’s browser that can steal authentication cookies used to log into private accounts and take similar actions, such as send spam or messages to all addresses contained in an address book.

Over the past few years, Adobe has worked hard to improve the security of its Acrobat, Reader, and Flash applications, which are available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems and installed on millions of machines. In 2010, the software maker released a Windows version of Reader that included a security sandbox that isolated the document viewer from sensitive OS functions, such as the changing of registry settings and the writing or modification of crucial files. That same year, Adobe Flash for Google Chrome added similar protection. Last week, Adobe released a beta version of Flash for Firefox when running on Windows Vista and Windows 7 and has said similar protection will be coming to the IE version of Flash soon.

As useful as sandboxes are in restricting potentially buggy code to a small part of the operating system, they do nothing to minimize the damage that can be done by attacks that exploit universal XSS flaws, researchers said.

“Adobe and Google, when they create their sandboxes, they’re designing them to stop memory corruption vulnerabilities,” Chris Rohlf of Leaf Security Research told Ars. “To their credit, the sandboxes do a good job of stopping memory corruption vulnerabilities, but they’re simply not designed to stop these sorts of things.”

An updated version of Flash, which includes fixes for several other vulnerabilities Adobe rated as critical, is available here.

Next version of OS X to be more iOS-like than ever with Mountain Lion

Next version of OS X to be more iOS-like than ever with Mountain Lion

Apple significantly accelerated the upgrade cycle for Mac OS X on Thursday, announcing just seven months after the release of Lion that the next major version of OS X will be available in summer 2012. Dubbed Mountain Lion (we note no mention of a version number, like 10.8), the new OS will bring even more iOS-like features to the Mac, including Messages, Notes, and Reminders. Registered Mac developers have access to the first developer preview starting today.

Mountain Lion will offer increased integration between iOS and OS X. A new Messages app replaces iChat, which can send messages, video, and images between Macs and iOS devices (yes, iMessage has come to the desktop). According to Apple, Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Talk. A beta version of Messages is available to all Lion users starting today (thought at the time of publishing the download is currently unavailable).

Notification Center on Mac OS X Mountain Lion is hidden under the Desktop.
Notification Center on Mac OS X Mountain Lion is hidden under the Desktop.

Mountain Lion will also include Mac versions of Notes, Reminders, Game Center, Notification Center, Share Sheets, OS-wide Twitter integration, and AirPlay Mirroring. Many of the new apps, such as Notes, Reminders, and Messages, will sync seamlessly with iOS devices and other Macs connected to your iCloud account. Game Center will enable live multiplayer gameplay between Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.

A Share Sheet makes it easy to tweet about a webpage in Safari.
A Share Sheet makes it easy to tweet about a webpage in Safari.

Share Sheets will let users share and tweet links, photos, and videos from any app that supports them, including Safari, Quick Look, Preview, and more. Third party developers will be able to add Share Sheet support to their own apps as well. Notification Center will centralize alerts from apps like Mail, Calendar, and Reminders, as well as offering a centralized API for developers to send alerts as well (so long, Growl). Finally, AirPlay Mirroring enables any Mac to send a 720p video stream to an Apple TV (though apparently not to an iOS device).

AirPlay Mirroring sends a 720p stream of your desktop to any Apple TV.
AirPlay Mirroring sends a 720p stream of your desktop to any Apple TV.

Mountain Lion includes additional improvements, like updated iCloud support. In addition to offering a single sign-in to set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime, and Find My Mac, improved iCloud Documents APIs will make it easier to keep files stored in iCloud updated across Macs and iOS devices. There’s also improved Chinese language support, including access to common services like Baidu, QQ, Youku, Tudou, Sina weibo, as well as enhancements to Chinese input.

An interesting new feature called Gatekeeper is designed to offer improved security for installed third-party apps. Essentially, Gatekeeper can be configured to install apps from any source, from developers with a special developer ID provided by Apple labeling them as “trusted,” or strictly from the Mac App Store. Users have expressed concern since the introduction of the Mac App Store that Apple would eventually limit all app downloads to those from the Store; while Gatekeeper could be viewed as another step towards that goal, we think it provides some level of granularity in controlling what sources a user can get apps from. Furthermore, it will likely be a welcome feature in enterprise settings, where admins could limit access as required by security policies without completely eliminating the ability for users to install apps themselves.

Gatekeeper will let users set their Mac to install any app, apps from
Gatekeeper will let users set their Mac to install any app, apps from “trusted” sources, or Mac App Store only.

Developers gain access to “hundreds” of new APIs, many of which debuted on iOS 5, such as GLKit for integration OpenGL support. Other APIs include GameKit, 64-bit QuickTime, and enhanced multitouch. Mountain Lion will also include a revamped graphics subsystem and improved address space layout randomization for better security.

As noted, Mac OS X Mountain Lion is expected to be released this summer, and will likely be a $29.99 purchase via the Mac App Store.

Apple unleashes OS X Mountain Lion Preview to Mac Developer Program

You may still be purring your way through our in-depth preview, but Mountain Lion is now officially out of the bag, with Apple releasing a preview version of its latest OS X to the members-only Developer Program. If you’re up to date on those $99/year dues, you can head on over to the Member Center to get your OS 10.8 fix, and start checking out those shiny new Messages, Reminders, Notes and Notification Center apps. Or kick up your feet and bring your desktop to the big screen with AirPlay Mirroring. If you have the Apple-approved credentials to proceed, you can find all that and more by making your way over to our source link just below.