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Passing of Jobs Prompts Samsung and Google to Delay Launch Event

Earlier this morning, both Samsung and Google announced that they would be canceling a previously scheduled event that was set to take place on Tuesday in the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing. The event was supposed to be when both companies were planning on introducing the Nexus Prime, the first handset...

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March 2012 to Bring Sandboxing to Apps of the Mac App Store

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories | Posted on 06-11-2011

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Mac App StoreAn interesting bit of news came out of Apple recently as the company sent out an email to registered developers that is definitely going to raise some eyebrows. As of March 2012, Apple will require all apps submitted to the company’s app store to implement sandboxing. However, this isn’t an entirely new development as Apple was originally going to require sandboxing starting in November of this year. It appears as if Apple delayed the initiation of the rule for another few months, though the fact that the requirement will exist at all may pose problems for some Mac developers.

Many people are wondering what is prompting this action from Apple and the answer is security. According to the company in a recent statement, “Sandboxing your app is a great way to protect systems and users by limiting the resources apps can access and making it more difficult for malicious software to compromise users’ systems. As of March 1, 2012 all apps submitted to the Mac App Store must implement sandboxing.” While the company’s intentions are noble, the all-or-nothing approach is potentially problematic for sure.

Over recent months, a plethora of some of the biggest developers in the app world have been pointing out the flaws and shortcomings of Apple’s sandboxing approach. These include a buggy Carbon implementation as well as questionable support for most AppleScript-centric automation tools. Other big names in the app community, like Jason Snell and Andy Ihnatko, have also chipped in their two cents with both parties concerned that sandboxing may eventually lead to a dumbing down of the Mac App Store options or the death of AppleScript entirely.

On a lighter note, Apple does allow for a few exceptions to its upcoming sandboxing policy. According to the company, “If your app requires access to sandboxed system resources, you will need to include justification for using those entitlements as part of the submission to the Mac App Store.” However, Apple did follow this up with some bad news saying, “Apps that are being re-engineered to be sandbox compatible may request additional temporary entitlements. These entitlements are granted on a short-term basis and will be phased out over time.”

However, it may do everybody some good to look at the fact that unlike the iOS platform, the Mac App Store is not the only legitimate platform to get apps onto your Mac computer. On the other hand, that probably doesn’t do much for developers who have found the Mac App Store an easier and more lucrative channel for app distribution as opposed to the conventional methods. But then again, who knows how long it will be before Apple restricts all apps on Mac devices to go through the Mac App Store and not another platform?

With all that said, this policy is a bit extreme, much like the rule of “no third-party IDEs” for the iOS platform Apple made last year. This policy also seems to be more like something a committee created that seemed like a good idea at the time. However, it will more likely than not be modified or deprecated once the real-world implications for the Mac platform become evident. The simple fact that Apple has already delayed the launch of the rule by five months indicates that Apple may be working on further reprieves or workarounds for developers with affected products.

Source: TUAW – Apple to require sandboxing in Mac App Store apps as of March 2012

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Apple and Mac Rentals

Posted by kthompson | Posted in Computer, iPad | Posted on 14-10-2011

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Apple Mac RentalsEstablished on April 1, 1976, the company was previously named Apple Computer, Inc., for its first 30 years, but removed the word “Computer” to reflect the company’s ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers. They are best known for their Macintosh line up of computers, including the iMac. Other consumer electronic and mobile devices like the iPod, iPhone, and now the iPad, are extremely popular in today’s technology world.

Apple has established a unique reputation in the consumer electronics industry for various reasons, like their comprehensive aesthetic design and unique advertising campaigns. Apple has a large following and a customer base that is devoted to the brand and the company. Apple was actually named the most admired company in the US and even the world for the past few years. All Apple Mac Rentals feature the latest Mac OSX version.

If you are interested in renting any of Apple’s computers, laptops or tablet PCs, then a Tech Travel Agent is your best bet for acquiring Apple rentals. An experienced Tech Travel Agents can meet any of your Apple or Mac rental needs. We offer a full line of Apple products for business or personal needs. These products include Mac Pro Rentals, iMac Rentals, MacBook Pro Rentals, MacBook Air Rentals, Mac Mini Rentals and Apple iPad and iPad 2 Rentals.

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New BlackHole RAT Malware Variant for OS X Uncovered

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 28-09-2011

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Mac malwareMany of you remember when malware, known as BlackHole or MusMinim, was discovered by security company Sophos for Mac OS X. If you don’t remember, BlackHole is a backdoor server program Remote Access Tool (RAT) that runs on an infected system and allows a remote user(s) to interact with the system.

The user can then issue shutdown commands, display screen messages, open URLs or request usernames and passwords. In simpler terms, this is similar to a remote desktop utility that is not distributed for productive purposes.

Unlike more recent attempts at getting malware on Mac OS X that attempt to keep hidden and steal a user’s information automatically, BlackHole isn’t very discreet and requires a remote user to actively interact with the system.

That is why many security experts classify it more as a prank or “annoyware” as opposed to malware. Despite that, though, it can still be used for the purpose of stealing information and was not developed as a legitimate piece of software, which technically classifies it as malware.

It does appear as if the developer of BlackHole is refining the malware as Sopho has just released new definitions on a third variant of the malware. When new malware is discovered, definitions of it are usually labeled alphabetically in order to differentiate its variants.

Even though this malware is in no way as volatile as the MacDefender malware and its variants, it does show that even seemingly old malware can be tweaked at any time. Despite the development, there really is nothing new and it presents a very low risk to Mac users.

If you do happen to come across this malware on your Mac, it is advisable that you remove it as soon as possible, if only to be better safe than sorry.

Source: CNET – Sophos tackles new BlackHole RAT malware variant for OS X

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Apple Releases 10.7.1 Update for OS X Lion

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 17-08-2011

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Mac OS X LionNot long after its release, Apple has already issued the first maintenance update to OS X Lion. The update, known as OS X Lion 10.7.1, is available now via Software Update and Apple’s download pages though you should be prompted by your Apple computer to update the next time you turn it on.

According to Apple, “The 10.7.1 update is recommended for all users running OS X Lion and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability and compatibility of your Mac.” Fixes to OS X Lion found in 10.7.1 include:

  • Addresses an issue that may cause the system to become unresponsive when playing a video in Safari.
  • Resolves an issue that may cause system audio to stop working when using HDMI or optical audio ouput.
  • Improves the reliability of WiFi connections.
  • Resolves an issue that prevents transfer of your data, settings and compatible applications to a new Mac running OS X Lion.

All the information on the OS X Lion update 10.7.1 can be found on the website http://support.apple.com/vb/HT4764 so you should head on over there if you have any questions or you want more information about the update itself.

In addition to that, Apple has also released a separate version of 10.7.1 that is specific to the most recent MacBook Air and Mac Mini. This update included the same features as the original 10.7.1 update but also adds specific fixes only designed for these devices. These new fixes include:

  • Resolves an issue where MacBook Air may boot up when MagSafe Adapter is attached.
  • Resolves an issue causing intermittent display flickering on MacBook Air.
  • Resolves an issue that causes the SD card slot in Mac Mini to run at reduced speed with SD and SDHC media.

To top it all off, Apple has also released a separate OS X Lion Update 10.7.1 (Server) update for any system with Lion Server components installed. This fix improves the reliability of the Apple File Service. In addition to that, a unique OS X Lion 10.7.1 Update for Mac Mini 2011 (Server) update, including all of the OS X Lion 10.7.1, Lion Server and specific Mac Mini changes has also been released.

Source: Mac Rumors – Apple Releases OS X 10.7.1 with Fixes for Video in Safari, Audio Out, Wi-Fi and more

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One Million Mac OS X Lion Downloads in First Day

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 22-07-2011

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Mac OS X LionIn its first day of public availability, Apple’s new operating system Mac OS X Lion was downloaded over one million times from Apple’s Mac App Store.

Apple boasted in a statement about the initial success of Lion with wording that hinted that the operating system had brought in nearly $30 million. According to Apple’s statement, “In just one day, over one million users bought and downloaded Mac OS X Lion.” Mac OS X Lion is currently priced at $29.99.

However, the words “bought and downloaded” could be interpreted in a different way. Due to the fact that Mac owners are able to download multiple copies of Lion for the price of one, it is possible that the revenues of the first day were much less than the predicted $30 million that Apple teased. Apple did say that Lion was selling “faster than any other OS release in history.”

It is also impossible to determine how well Lion is doing compared to the last Apple OS, Snow Leopard, due to the fact that Apple never released early sales figures for that operating system. In September of 2009, it was estimated that Snow Leopard sold twice as many copies in its first two weeks than its predecessor, Leopard, and nearly quadrupled the number sold by Tiger. However, Snow Leopard did cost $100 less than both systems.

In October of 2007, Apple claimed that it had sold or delivered 2 million copies of Leopard in its first four days, however, that number included copies installed on new Macs sold during that time period. Apple plans on selling Lion on a USB drive for $69 next month. In addition to that, Apple also sells Lion Server for $49.99 as an add-on/upgrade to Lion.

By late Thursday, Lion had collected more than 9,500 customer ratings and boasted a collective score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you haven’t already upgraded to Lion, the OS can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and installed on most Macs running Snow Leopard 10.6.6 and later.

Source: Computer World – Apple touts 1M Lion downloads on Day 1

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Apple Recommends You Upgrade to OS X 10.6.8, Even Though It Isn’t Even Out Yet

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 22-06-2011

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Mac OS X Snow LeopardHere’s something interesting. Even though it has yet to be released, Apple is recommending that users of the newly released Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Compressor 4 update their systems to Mac OS X 10.6.8. So how am I supposed to upgrade to something that doesn’t technically exist yet?

In a recent support document released by Apple after the new Pro apps became available, Apple briefly mentioned that “Updating to Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later is strongly recommended when using Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 or Compressor 4.” Update to Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later!? How can I go to a later version if the earlier one isn’t even available? Has Apple somehow discovered the secret to time travel or something?

This recommendation seems to indicate that the update to Mac OS X should be available very soon. In addition to OS X 10.6.8, Apple is also working on the initial public version of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion scheduled to become available next month. Apple seems to have high hopes for this as Apple has delayed the release of its new notebooks to wait for OS X 10.7.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will be available for a nominal $30 fee via the Mac App Store but the new 10.6.8 update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard will be a free update available via Software Update for all existing Snow Leopard users.

Apple is also reminding people that the new Pro Apps run Software Update in order to download and install the new QuickTime codecs for Pro Apps. This includes Apple Intermediate Codec, Apple PreRes, AVC-Intra, DVCPRO HD, HDV, XDCAM HD / EX / HD422, MPEG IMX and Uncompressed 4:2:2.

Source: Apple Insider – Apple recommends yet unreleased OS X 10.6.8 for Final Cut Pro X users

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Apple Deciding to Wait for Mac OS X Lion Before Debuting Updated MacBook

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 17-06-2011

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Mac OS X LionApple is holding back its latest refresh of its Mac notebook, citing that it is waiting on the new version of its operating system to be released in July before letting the new notebook loose on the public.

This bit of tasty information came from sources quoted by AppleInsider who said that the new MacBook Air models, which will be featuring Intel Sandy Bridge processors as well as the Thunderbolt expansion port, have been ready for quite some time but Apple does not want to release them with the old Mac OS X 10.6 operating system released back in 2009.

The MacRumors.com Buyer’s Guide, which tracks all the intervals by which Apple refreshes its hardware, is in support of this decision. The Buyer’s Guide shows that all the portable Mac products are reaching the end of their typical sales cycle. That is all products aside from the MacBook Pro which was updated earlier this year.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is supposed to debut in July and is far more than your traditional operating system. It connects users to the iCloud, the new storage service from Apple. iCloud represents a big new direction for Apple, who sees it as a way of bringing together all the different desktop and mobile platforms.

Apple overcame the issue of hardware releases not syncing up with OS X release dates by bundling CPU Drop-in discs with the new Macs. The computers came with an older version of the OS preinstalled, while the disc contained the new OS and allowed you to manually upgrade your device.

However, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will only be available for download through the Mac App Store which is installed on all Macs running the current Mac OS release. OS X Lion will not be available on  a DVD in any way which will make it unavailable through traditional retail chains.

It should, theoretically, still be possible for Apple to bundle a voucher code that would permit users to upgrade for free through the App Store. However, Apple is traditionally against registration keys like the ones found on Windows computers.

OS X retail releases have never used them and retail releases for the iWork productivity suite has dropped the need for registration keys completely. The Mac App Store also prevents the need to register your software by using digital rights management to tie the software to your computer.

So, if you are looking forward to the latest installment to either Mac OS X Lion, the new Mac notebook or both, you are going to have to wait a little while longer. But, hey, think of it this way, at least you get them both at the same time.

Source: PC World – Apple Delays MacBook Update, Waits for Lion

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Mac Defender Malware Removal Instructions Released by Apple

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 25-05-2011

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Mac Defender MalwareAre you one of the many people who has been having problems with annoying malware in the form of Mac Defender? If so, you will be pleased to know that Apple has recently posted a support document explaining the steps you can take in order to avoid or remove Mac Defender. Apple also stated that it would release an update to Mac OS X in order to automatically find and remove the malware.

Apple’s support document describes the malware as a phishing scam that automatically redirects users from a legitimate website to a fake program telling the users that their computer has been infected with a virus even though it really hasn’t.

In addition to that, the websites then offer users fake antivirus protection in order to solve the false problem. The protection that is offered comes under many names including Mac Defender, Mac Protector and Mac Security with the word “MAC” spelled in all caps.

The removal steps set forth by Apple detail quitting the offending app and deleting it from your Utilities folder that it is installed to by default. This particular malware’s primary goal is to attempt to gain the user’s credit card information by selling them a solution they don’t need to a problem they don’t have.

Many supporters of Windows PCs are using this as proof that Mac computers are now experiencing malware and virus problems just like the kind Windows PCs have experienced for the past 20 years. Security Expert Charlie Miller has downplayed these malware threats on Mac computers.

Miller stated in an interview, “Microsoft recently pointed out that 1 in 14 downloads on Windows are malicious. And the fact that there is just one piece of Mac malware being widely discussed illustrates how rare malware still is on the Mac platform.”

Miller also explained that while antivirus software can help protect your system from being attacked, “it’s expensive, uses system memory and reduces battery life. At some point soon, the scales will tip to installing antivirus, but at this point, I don’t think it’s worth it yet for most people.”

Apple recommends that Mac users “should exercise caution any time they are asked to enter sensitive personal information online.” Apple also noted that, “it provides security updates for the Mac exclusively through Software Update and the Apple Support Downloads site.”

This scam pops up a fake website scanner that looks similar to iTunes and depicts itself as being an “Apple Security Center”, which is apparently modeled after the “Windows Security Center” that Microsoft added to its own products.

Source: Apple Insider – Apple posts instructions on how to remove Mac Defender malware

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Apple Macs Hacked to Run Sandy Bridge Processors

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 05-01-2011

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Hacked MacIntel’s new line of Sandy Bridge processors is coming out soon, and when they hit, they will be available on Windows PCs first and, undoubtedly, Mac computers later. But “later” just wasn’t good enough for some people, because hackers have already installed Mac OS X on a Sandy Bridge Processor.

That’s right, before the formal unveiling of Intel’s next-generation of processors, hackers have managed to get Mac OS X up and running on a Sandy Bridge processor even though Intel said that this ability would be available in the future. People really seem to be getting impatient these days.

The official introduction of Intel’s new processors was at CES 2011. These new processors are the first to combine visual and 3D graphics technology along with microprocessors on the same chip. This new line of products, which earned the codename “Sandy Bridge”, houses newly designed Intel HD graphics on each 32nm die allowing for a serious performance boost.

And while we will see this technology on Mac devices in the future, hackers just could not wait. In a post from Engadget, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was installed on what they called a “Hackintosh” computer that was running the Intel Core i5-2500K CPU. Also noteworthy is that it had a clock speed of 3.30GHz.

This device also achieved a Geekbench Score of 8874 as well as an Xbench Score of 282.40. This is partly boosted by 6MB of L3 cache in the Sandy Bridge chip and hackers were able to achieve this by utilizing a patched kernel.

Intel, even though they are prepared for the official unveiling at CES, issued a press release earlier this week showing off some of the features of these second generation core processors. Intel noted that more than 500 desktop and laptop PCs from all of the major computer manufacturers are expected to house the chips in 2011.

According to Mooly Eden, Vice President and General Manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, “The new second Generation Intel Core processors represent the biggest advance in computing performance and capabilities over any other previous generation. The built-in visual capabilities enabled by these new processors are stunning. This, combined with improved adaptive performance, will revolutionize the PC experience in a way that is obvious for every user to see and appreciate – visibly smarter performance.”

A rumor that floated around last month stated that Apple would be producing new MacBooks in 2011 that would rely on Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor. This means that NVIDIA graphics solutions may not be included in some models 13 inches and smaller. Models 13 inches and under, as it has been suggested, would house Sandy Bridge-only graphics.

Expect big things to come from this second generation of processors, whether they be on a Mac device or not.

Source: Apple Insider

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Apple Introduces the Magic Trackpad

Posted by seander70 | Posted in Computer | Posted on 08-08-2010

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Apple Introduces the Magic TrackpadLast week Apple announced that it had added a little “magic” to its product line: the Magic Trackpad.  What is the Magic Trackpad?   Much like the trackpad on your laptop, Apple’s Magic Trackpad acts as a replacement for the mouse on your desktop computer.  It will connect to your Mac via a Bluetooth wireless link.

The Magic Trackpad also gives some of your Mac applications multitouch capabilities.  According to Apple, the new product will offer a “standard touch experience” that will allow you to do things such as flip through pages, rotate images, and scroll websites with two fingers.  Multitouch seems to be a new trend with Apple these days.  Many of Apple’s smaller gadgets, including the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Magic Mouse, and Mac laptops, feature the technology.

The idea of the Trackpad began in 2005 when Apple acquired a company called Fingerworks.  They specialized in a “mouse pad that could use gesture recognition to perform tasks on a computer, including opening files by turning multiple fingers on the pad,” according to the New York Times. These products were popular with people who had repetitive strain injury from using a traditional mouse or keyboard.

Fingerworks was originally developed in the 90’s by University of Delaware student Wayne Westerman and Professor John Elias.

The Magic Trackpad will cost you about $70.

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