June/July 2011 Software Closet
Click the links below to download each individual item.
Mac Defender: Don't Panic
Mac users are being targeted with a malware app called Mac Defender that pretends to be a virus protection tool in hopes of tricking victims into giving up their credit card information. This isn't a virus or worm, and doesn't take advantage of any security flaws in OS X because it instead relies on users to install it. Mac Defender and its variants are easy to avoid since installing these trojan horse apps requires users to explicitly allow the installers to run. The best defense is to avoid websites that are known for hosting malware, such as pirated software sites.
Apple has also released a security update to help Safari users avoid potentially dangerous downloads.Snow Leopard users who install Apple's Security Update 2011-003 -- which we recommend -- receive daily updates for new potential security threats, but there isn't any feedback letting you know what happened, and there isn't an easy way to force the update.
Luckily, The Mac Observer's Adam Christianson wrote Safe Download Version (free) to check Apple's safe download list and force updates. Get it at http://tmo.to/egJl
The release of Mac Defender doesn't mean OS X is being targeted with viruses. It means greedy malware developers think they can trick enough Mac users into giving up credit card account information to make it worth their time to write trojan horse apps.
CloudApp: Quick Document Sharing
CloudApp (free) is an easy to use online file sharing service that lets you exchange documents with coworkers without having to set up or configure any servers. Users can upload files to their CloudApp account, share file download links, organize uploaded documents, and accounts can be password protected to keep sensitive documents safe. In addition to the Web interface, users can upload documents through a menu bar item, Finder hotkey shortcuts, and directly from CloudApp-aware applications. Plug-ins for several applications, such as iPhoto and Photoshop are already available, and more are on the way. Get it at www.getcloudapp.com.
iStumbler Release 99
iStumbler is a free tool for locating wireless networks or Bluetooth devices. You can monitor signal strength, Base Station ID, signal strength and more and a real-time log tracks all AirPort and Bluetooth activity. It's great for determining the optimum orientation of a base station, and for troubleshooting connection problems.
Free Painterly Filters
Adobe's Russell Brown has a video tutorial that shows how to use the free Pixel Bender filters to create impressively painterly artwork from a photo. Get everything you need at www.tinyurl.com/3ajz2hs
GuideGuide: Easier Guides in Photoshop
Making guides in your Photoshop document can be frustrating at times and there is no built-in grid and guide tool as there are in other Adobe products. The free GuideGuide panel from designer Cameron McEfee adds this missing functionality. This panel gives you a way to find the midpoint, create margins, and also create row and column guides. The real power of this little tool is that if you select something with the rectangular marquee, the guides, margins, and/or midpoint will be drawn in relation to your selection, as opposed to the whole image. GuideGuide works in multiple units of measurement and allows you to enter exact values or an equivalent expressed as a percentage. Also available at www.cameronmcefee.com/guideguide
Indisnip's free InDesign script FontReporter 2 collects information on fonts from multiple documents at once. The script allows you to create a report for either all open InDesign documents, or to browse to a folder of files to extract the information. Get it at indisnip.wordpress.com
AW Conqueror contains nine fabulous styles — see them in this PDF, and download them free for a limited time at www.tinyurl.com/4yyzzh3
JF Autumn Fair
Museo has 27 weights and styles. See the enclosed PDF for a font sample printout of all of them.