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Macintosh, Mac Apps, iPhone, Steve Jobs, Apple

January 27th, 2009

Is The Mac Not Invincible Anymore?

According to this story posted on Yahoo, a new trojan has found it’s way to the Mac OS. This trojan is embedded in some pirated/cracked software that can be found on BitTorrent sites. Specific software mentioned were iWork09 and Adobe CS4.

The iServices.A Trojan horse is found in pirated copies of the said software. Once it’s installed it connects to remote servers. The trojan also allows the creator to take control of your Mac.

Intego, a Mac security software firm estimates that roughly 20,000 machines have been infected as of January 21, 2009. As a precaution users are asked not to download software from untrusted sources.

The approach of this trojan is genius. It works around the limitations of the Mac operating system and instead it exploits the flaw of the users. One flaw is greed. Mac users wanting to save money resort to downloading pirated copies of software instead of buying original versions. Hence opening themselves to attacks such as this. Wherein they literally welcome the trojan with open arms.

Several things you can do to avoid this. 1. Don’t download pirated software. 2. Download applications directly from developer’s sites or the Apple web site. 3. Now is probably a good time to start thinking about Anti-virus software. It’s better safe than sorry.

That being said, the Mac OS X is still pretty much a safe platform. If you’ve been infected the removable tool can be downloaded here.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 26th, 2009

iLife 09 to Ship On Jan 27th

Apple has announced that the eagerly awaited iLife 09 will begin shipping on January 27th. A quick excerpt from their press release states

CUPERTINO, California—January 26, 2009—Apple® today announced that iLife® ’09 will be available tomorrow, January 27, and features major upgrades to iPhoto®, iMovie® and GarageBand®, with breakthrough new ways to organize and manage photos, create movies and learn to play music. iLife ’09 is included with every new Mac® and is available as a $79 upgrade for existing users through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

For the complete press release read it here.

*Edit: Thanks to Bourne for pointing out the error on the title

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By Juan -- 1 comment

January 25th, 2009

CharacterPal: Your Symbol Cheat Widget

[Image courtesy of Taco Widgets]

If you’re someone like me who’s memory isn’t all that great, you’d be pressed to remember all the keyboard shortcuts for the various menu items and keyboard symbols. If you wanted to insert an “•” in the document that you’re typing, how would you do it? The answer? Just press “Option - 8″. For the life of me I can’t remember all. I only remember the ones I use often. For the rest, forget it.

Thankfully there’s the CharacterPal widget from Taco Widgets. It’s a nifty add-on to the Dashboard that gives you the keyboard shortcuts for most of the symbols that you need. It also provides HTML and URL escape characters.

I found out about CharacterPal from this blog entry that’s a real help as well. Bookmark it too!

Try it out. CharacterPal is “Karmaware”. It’s available to download for free but highly recommended to donate a few bucks for good karma.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 24th, 2009

From Macs To PC: A White House Transition

[via BuzzNewsRoom]

Obama’s team suddenly found themselves in the “dark ages” so to speak. The Obama team is known to be Mac users and as they transitioned from campaigning to become the President-Elect’s transition team to ultimately White House staff, their Mac days seem to be over.

Upon coming to work, they saw the reality that was Windows. The White House runs mainly Windows Operating systems. Windows XP and Windows 2000. This is a far cry from the elegance that is the Mac OS. But that is the government and it’s not that easy to change systems. So good luck to the Obama team.

Read about it here.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 22nd, 2009

Does Apple Really Need To Make A NetBook?

Over the course of the past few days I’ve spoken to two friends who are considering getting a Netbook. One of them is a Mac user. He’s thinking of getting a netbook having tried one of our friend’s HP Mini-Note.

The MacBook Air is the closest thing that Apple has to an ultraportable. The Air is thin and light but the 13″ screen still makes it a wide laptop. It’s also quite expensive. The starting price for the Air is $1800.

Compare that to netbooks such as the Mini-Note which have 10-11 inch screens and priced somewhere between $400-$700 dollars. But because of the lower price point you get a slower processor and basically a slower architecture.

While netbooks are small and more affordable they’re not for everyone. If you travel a lot and use your laptop as your primary work computer then a netbook isn’t for you. I just can’t imagine spending a whole day with a netbook. It’s fine for checking emails and the occasional web browsing but not for a full day of typing out a document or doing a spreadsheet.

The Air however offers a full-size keyboard, ample screen real estate. While it’s not the most powerful computer, it’s enough for a full-days worth or word processing and doing spreadsheets.

The Air and netbooks in my opinion are totally different markets. The question is does Apple need to be in both markets.

Apple has said before that while they’re watching the netbook market, they don’t want to go into that market if they can’t offer anything substantial. If they feel that they can’t make a good contribution to that market then why get in to it?

In my opinion, Apple doesn’t need to be in the netbook market. If it’s email and web browsing you want, the iPhone/iPod Touch does a pretty good job at it. I’d be happier if Apple comes up with a slightly bigger mobile device that is similar to the capabilities of the iPhone.

I feel at this current time, Apple should just leave netbooks to the likes of HP and Acer.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 21st, 2009

iWork 09 to Anti-Piracy Measure: Buh-bye!

[via AppleInsider]

Apple has decided to drop the anti-piracy measures on it’s iWork 09 productivity suite. Specifically the feature that asks you to input a serial number prior to using iWork 09 for the first time.

Previous versions of iWork needed a serial number to work past the 30 day trial period or when installing a fresh copy of iWork.

Apple has deemed that the benefit of having that anti-piracy measure doesn’t outweigh the nuisance that it causes users.

In my opinion, as much as Apple wants to make the experience a little easier, they’re also not that concerned with piracy. They probably wouldn’t mind and look the other way if people install iWork 09 in more computers than they should. I think they want to build up a bigger user base for iWork and in a way this will do it. It’s like having an indefinite trial version for iWork. Hopefully when the user base is large enough, iWork will become a stronger force in the productivity suite market.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 21st, 2009

Apple Updates White MacBook

[image courtesy of Apple]

Apple quietly updates it’s entry level MacBook. The white polycarbonate model got it’s specs bumped up. While the older processor was a 2.1 Ghz the new specs now sports a 2.0 Ghz processor, however this is the newer Intel Core 2 model. Some upgrades include the new GeForce 9400M chipset similar to the aluminum Macbooks.

So for $999, you get a MacBook that’s pretty decent. Giving a better bang for buck. If you don’t mind that the Macbook you’re getting still sports the old body and is still polycarbonate and not as environmentally friendly then this is a great deal. Now if it only came in black too…

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 19th, 2009

Safe Mobile Browsing

There’s a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that will help protect your kids from browsing objectionable content on the internet. While internet filtering software is nothing new to the desktop environment, it’s still relatively new to the iPhone/iPod Touch platform.

InternetSafety.com introduces Safe Eyes Mobile, an internet filtering software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It blocks inappropriate content but still allowing you to view the rest of the World Wide Web. You don’t need to turn off all the browsing capabilities of your mobile device.

Below is the official press release about this product.

New ‘Safe Eyes Mobile’ Delivers First Internet Filter for Apple iPhone,
Keeping Browsing Safe for Younger Users

Selectively Blocks Inappropriate Content in Multiple Categories

InternetSafety.com today dialed up safe online browsing for young Apple iPhone users with the introduction of Safe Eyes® Mobile, the first Internet filtering software enabling parents to protect children from exposure to objectionable Internet material on a mobile device. This new browser for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch blocks millions of pages of inappropriate online content while allowing full access to the rest of the Web, eliminating the need to turn off the iPhone’s highly acclaimed mobile browsing feature to avoid exposing children to the unsavory side of the Internet.

A demo is available at www.safeeyes.com/iphonedemo.

Using the same approach as the company’s award-winning Safe Eyes software for PCs and Macs, Safe Eyes Mobile works by checking requested websites against a massive blacklist of potentially objectionable Web addresses that is updated on a daily basis. It prevents iPhone/iTouch access to pages in the pornography, nudity, sex and tasteless/gross categories by default. Parents can also configure the software to filter sites in 31 other categories as well as by URL at www.safeeyes.com.

In contrast, the iPhone itself can control Internet browsing only by blocking Web access entirely, while AT&T’s wireless MEdia Net Parental Controls do not work on the iPhone at all. Safe Eyes Mobile filtering works on both the AT&T cellular network and individual Wi-Fi networks to which the iPhone automatically connects when in range.

“iPhones are becoming the new youth status symbol, with some surveys reporting that as many as 8% of U.S. teenagers own one. That presents a major challenge for parents who believe it is vital to manage their children’s Internet browsing,” said Aaron Kenny, CTO of InternetSafety.com. “Safe Eyes Mobile is the first solution to address the problem without an all-or-nothing approach. If kids try to reach an objectionable website, the software simply blocks it. It’s a safety net that protects younger users without disabling one of the iPhone’s best features: the Internet.”

Safe Eyes Mobile has no noticeable effect on iPhone performance. In addition, the solution cannot be overridden by children because it is controlled from the Safe Eyes website with password-protected setup.

To learn more and sign up to be notified of a release date, visit www.safeeyes.com/iphone. Per-phone pricing will include automatic daily updates of the product’s website blacklist.

About InternetSafety.com
Established in 1999, InternetSafety.com™ specializes in providing Internet safety solutions. Its flagship software, Safe Eyes®, is the two-time recipient of the PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award, earned a separate Editor’s Choice Award from LAPTOP magazine, and was rated as the #1 parental control solution by America’s leading consumer advocacy publication. The company’s Safe Eyes, Safe Eyes Mobile and EtherShield products provide online protection for consumers and businesses in more than 140 countries.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 16th, 2009

App of the Week: Icoon - A Bunch of Drawings That Might Save The Day

If you travel a lot, this 99 cent application might just save your day. Icoon is offering an iPhone/iPod Touch version of their best selling global picture dictionary.

It’s basically a bunch of drawings classified into 12 categories. Line drawn icons that will address basic things that you need to communicate while traveling. An image can communicate a lot of things and can transcend language barriers. So if you can’t say bathroom in Chinese, you just pop-up your iPhone and show them the icon of the bathroom.

Sure you can technically take pictures/draw the icons that are found in Icoon but seriously for 99 cents, why go through the hassle. Just download this baby and save yourself the trouble.

Check out Icoon’s web site here and the buy the app here.

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By Juan -- 0 comments

January 15th, 2009

Steve Jobs To Take A Break Till June

In what can only be taken as a surprising turn of events, Steve Jobs, Apple’s beloved CEO is taking a leave of absence until June to focus on his health. Quoting from an email that he sent out to Apple employees, Steve said:

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

Tim Cook, Apple’s COO will be taking the helm until Steve’s return. If he ever does return. There have been speculations that Apple might not see it’s captain.

This bit of news sent Apple stocks tumbling. As of this writing, Apple shares are down 4.7% and is trading at the $81 area.

My prayers go out to Steve and his family. I sincerely hope that this is not a recurrence of the big C. Having several people close to me suffer from cancer, I know it’s a terrible, terrible thing.

Whatever it is, my sincerest well wishes for a speedy recovery. See you in June Steve!

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By Juan -- 0 comments