Newsletter Archives

  • Secret Photoshop feature won’t open images with certain filenames

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    An undocumented feature of Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and related programs makes the applications open but fail to load an image — and the apps then close abruptly — if you launch the apps using a filename with specific characters, according to numerous licensed users.

    This weird behavior, which is either an inadvertent bug or a deliberate Easter egg programmed in by some Adobe developer, can be seen on releases of the software all the way back to Photoshop version 5 (1998) and through Photoshop 23.2.2.325, which is the current version in Adobe’s Creative Cloud 2022.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.14.0, 2022-04-04).

  • Adobe license revoked … Hello, Updated Terms

    Yesterday, while busy working in Adobe Acrobat Pro (as part of Creative Suite 6), I had an unwelcome pop-up appear while I was in a hurry, telling me that my license had been revoked, and that to continue working on the document that my client was waiting for, I had to re-enter the software’s license number.

    This isn’t a cloud product with a dreaded monthly fee, but one of those where I paid a pretty penny for the software in advance, and don’t owe the company to be able to use it after that purchase.

    Finding the license number slowed me down a little. Then when I entered it, I was advised that a log-in was required or I would be in demo mode for up to 7 days, when it would again fail. I had to waste more time searching out the log in details, and in that log-in process, I received a screen headed Updated Terms – accept or else. I was rushing, and flustered. You can imagine how much time I had to read screeds of legalese.

    Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve had an issue with Adobe needing to have the license number reinstalled to take me out of demo mode for a paid suite, usually at an equally inconvenient moment. But I did wonder if I was the only one getting a license revoked pop up now.

    A little searching led me to find:

    Adobe General Terms of Use

    Published March 16, 2020. Effective as of April 16, 2020. These Terms replace and supersede all prior versions.

    THE MANDATORY ARBITRATION PROVISION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN SECTION 14 (DISPUTE RESOLUTION) BELOW GOVERN THE RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES. PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE MANDATORY ARBITRATION PROVISION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN THE TERMS, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SERVICES OR SOFTWARE.

    Yes, I have been using the product since April 16th. So why now?! Have you seen this?

    If you’d like to read the new terms, you can find them here

  • Adobe: 64% of American computer owners say they apply updates immediately

    Adobe just posted the results of their survey of 2,000 American adults. The summary is a bit different from the details, but here are the questions and answers that caught my eye:

    Q: Do you typically update the software on your computer when new updates are released?

    A: 64% said yes, 30% said “it varies” and only 4% said they don’t. Note that there’s no response available for “I apply updates but not when the manufacturer pushes them out.”

    Q: How do you typically update your software?

    A: 41% say they typically choose to be prompted when updates are available. 34% say that, when the software has the option to install updates automatically, they choose that option. 3% say they didn’t know there was more than one way to update software.

    Interesting report.

     

  • Microsoft plus Adobe: do the math

    I have a fun post on Infoworld Tech Watch, for those of you gullible enough to fall for the Microsoft + Adobe rumors.

  • Microsoft plus Adobe: Do the math

    Will Microsoft swallow Adobe? There are some efficiencies of scale.

    Strap on your hip boots and mosey over to my Infoworld Tech Watch blog.

  • Flash (in) security

    Once again, Ed Bott hits the nail on the head in his ZDNet blog “How Secure is Flash?”

    Flash is more ubiquitous than Windows. But it’s riddled with security holes.

    Way back in October 2008, my Windows Secrets Newsletter column talked about Flash cookies and their inherent insecurity. I don’t think anything has been done to fix it. Adobe didn’t listen, and apparently doesn’t care.

    The world needs a good alternative to Flash. Let’s see if that happens sometime soon.

  • And don’t forget to patch Adobe Reader and Acrobat

    Microsoft ain’t the only massive patcher this week.

    Adobe has unleashed a single security bulletin with a download that plugs 29 (yes, you read that right, 29) separately identified security holes.

    If you use Acrobat Reader to read PDF files (I don’t, I use Foxit Reader), take a look at Adobe Security Bulletin 9-15.

    Yes, I recommend that you patch Acrobate reader immediately.