This day in Apple History - June 1st
This day in Apple History - May 31st
Apple Computer announces a corporate restructuring which will eliminate both the Apple II and Macintosh divisions, combining them into manufacturing and marketing divisions. As part of the move, Steve Jobs is removed from all his duties as as a division manager. He is given the job description of “global thinker”, and his new, remote office is dubbed “Siberia”. Visit the official website of Apple Computer.
Mac Defender - Who's behind this fake?
With the latest version of the Mac Defender fake antivirus doing to the rounds with the added danger that this one doesn't require a password for installation, people are wondering where this fake came from.
It turns out that our old "friends" Microsoft looked at the malware and the url's it uses for the scam and thinks that it's a product of the "Winwebsec" group.
"In addition to using similar UIs, we noticed that they even share the same payment gateway (this is the site where users are duped into giving the criminals their credit card information). Simply changing the file name from “buy.php” to “mac.php” causes the ‘branding’ to change from the Windows version to the Mac version…"
Journalist Brian Krebs claims that ChronoPay, “Russia’s largest online payment processor and something of a pioneer in the rogue anti-virus business,” is involved in this scamware.By looking at domain name registrations he traced them back to ChronoPay. This company was the “core processor for trafficconverter.biz, the rogue anti-virus affiliate program that was designed to be the beneficiary of the first strain of the Conficker worm, a menacing contagion that still infects millions of PCs worldwide.” This company also seems to be behind “a scam site that targeted filesharing users and stole victims’ money by bullying them into paying a ‘pre-trial settlement’ to cover a ‘Copyright holder fine.’”
Better be safe than sorry - protect yourself with the totally free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac home edition.
This day in Computer History - May 27th
Apple Computer stops selling computers directly to corporations.
Power Computing begins shipping the PowerTower Pro 250 computer, featuring Macintosh compatibility, a 150 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 32MB RAM, a 2GB hard drive, a 16X CD-ROM drive, 1MB Level 2 cache, a 128-bit graphics accelerator, and six PCI slots, and nine expansion bays. Price: US$4495
Ambrosia Software releases Uplink for Mac OS X. In the game, the player assumes the role of a hacker in the year 2010, who begins work for the Uplink Corporation. The player amasses Gateway hardware, money, skill, and software in the course of performing jobs for various clients, hacking the servers of global corporations for profit. Uplink focuses on emulating highly stylized, Hollywood-esque hacking, as seen in movies such asHackers, Sneakers, Swordfish, and WarGames. References to these movies can be found throughout the game, including joke servers for companies such as Steve Jackson Games (which appears in the game to have been raided by the Secret Service) and a nuclear missile control system from WarGames.
MacDefender Anti Virus Trojan Warning
The Mac Defender FAKE Anti Virus trojan is hitting a lot of people so it's worthwhile pointing back to the original posting from last week.
PLEASE don't fall for this scam. If you've been "had" please refer to this blog entry on how to remove it.
New iMacs Only Accept 'Apple' Replacement Hard Drives
New iMacs Only Accept 'Apple' Replacement Hard Drives
Historically it was a simple process to put a larger hard drive into your iMac, or to replace a failing drive with an off the shelf 3rd party drive. Now one of the things your iMac does while operating is to monitor the temperature of the drive and to adjust the speed of the internal fans accordingly. Many computer manufacturers place these sensors separately from the drive, whereas Apple, for the past couple of years, have placed the sensor on the drive itself.
Without wanting to get too technical, with the release of the new ThunderBolt enabled iMacs Apple have made changes to the way the internal drive communicates with the iMac, with the result that, should you wish to upgrade or replace your drive with any 3rd party drives, your iMac will not know the temperature of the drive and will spin the fans up to full speed to make sure the drive is not overheating.
Some 3rd party drive vendors claim that this is an indication that Apple, once more, wants to control how and where and from whom you purchase your drives. And for those who look for conspiracy theories everywhere, it's always possible to find evidence to suit your theory.
But the plain truth of the matter is that the iMac is becoming more and more like the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, the MacBook Pro - a finished package that you purchase as is, and should you need to do something major (and in the case of upgrading the drive - you need to remove the screen - that's pretty major) you'll need to deal with an Apple authorised reseller instead of the previous DIY options. If you need to put a new battery in your MacBook Pro, you'll need to bring it to us...
Apple make decisions on what will make the device they are creating the best of breed - not based on how the customer will be able to customise the hardware. Those days are coming to an end with the consumer range. And with the new ThunderBolt technology promising us external connection speeds that equal or exceed the performance of an internal drive while this might be an inconvenience, it certainly isn't the end of the world.
And if the ability to upgrade your drives or add more internal storage is an important factor in your purchasing decisions, the Mac Pro is a sturdy workhorse that meets those needs in spades.
DigiCape rolls out local version of Apple Genius Bar
Digicape are now offering a Fundi service for customers. A Fundi being the local equivalent of an Apple Genius.
Fundi: A person who is very skilled at something or who has gained a lot of knowledge about a particular subject. From ku-funda, "teach" in Swahili.
If you have questions or need hands-on help with your Mac, iPad, iPod, or iPhone, you can get friendly, expert advice from the Fundis at a Digicape store near you. Simply make a booking by selecting the store and the time that suits you best and they will even send you a reminder!
Adobe Announces Photoshop Touch Apps For The IPad
Adobe has announced three Photoshop Touch apps -- Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav for the iPad.
With Adobe Eazel ($4.99 on the App Store), you can use your iPad and your fingertips to paint beautiful works of art. Paint across your entire iPad screen, and easily access the tools you need. Send your artwork directly to Photoshop CS5 from any location—all you need is a network connection between your iPad and computer. Or do all your painting in the app, and share via email.
With Adobe Color Lava ($2.99 on the App Store), you can use your fingertips to mix colors on your iPad and create custom swatches and five-swatch themes. Instantly access them in Photoshop CS5—all you need is a network connection between your iPad and computer. Or use the app wherever inspiration strikes, and then bring your colors into Photoshop CS5 when you're connected. Share colors via email, too.
With Adobe Nav ($1.99 on the App Store) and a network connection between your iPad and computer, you can customize the Photoshop CS5 toolbar on iPad to easily access the tools you use most. Browse, reorder, view, and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop documents on iPad. Tap a document on iPad to make it the active document in Photoshop CS5. Disconnect from the network and use iPad to easily share files in person with others.
Ivy Bridge bound for next gen Macs?
Just as Apple released the updated iMacs featuring Sandy Bridge processors on Tuesday, it's time to start looking forward to Ivy Bridge-equipped Mac. Intel (http://www.intel.com) says that, "for the first time since the invention of silicon transistors over 50 years ago, transistors using a three-dimensional structure will be put into high-volume manufacturing."
Intel Corporation today announced a significant breakthrough in the evolution of the transistor, the microscopic building block of modern electronics. For the first time since the invention of silicon transistors over 50 years ago, transistors using a three-dimensional structure will be put into high-volume manufacturing. Intel will introduce a revolutionary 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate, first disclosed by Intel in 2002, into high-volume manufacturing at the 22-nanometer (nm) node in an Intel chip codenamed "Ivy Bridge." A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.
The three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistors represent a fundamental departure from the two-dimensional planar transistor structure that has powered not only all computers, mobile phones and consumer electronics to-date, but also the electronic controls within cars, spacecraft, household appliances, medical devices and virtually thousands of other everyday devices for decades.
"Intel's scientists and engineers have once again reinvented the transistor, this time utilizing the third dimension," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "Amazing, world-shaping devices will be created from this capability as we advance Moore's Law into new realms."
iOS 4.3.3 Direct Download Links & Upgrade Guide
Apple has posted iOS 4.3.3 for GSM-based iPhones and iOS 4.2.8 for CDMA-based iPhones. The main focus of the updates is to address the location data logging "scandal" that has dogged Apple for the past few weeks.
The 4.3.3 update -- compatible with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, third and fourth generation iPod touch, and the iPad and iPad 2 -- reduces the size of the location data cache, no longer backs up the cache when syncing with iTunes, and deletes the location cache from users iPhones when Location Services is disabled. Apple has said the tendency of iOS devices to continue updating Wi-Fi and cell tower data from Apple’s crowd-sourced database even with Location Services was a bug in previous versions of iOS.
You may be struggling to download the file via iTunes - also it's a big one.
The more reliable method is to download the file directly from the links below (or grab a copy from the nice folks at Digicape - remember to take a memory stick) and install them manually.
First - plug your device in and do a sync/backup! Also remember to launch iPhoto and sync any photographs you may have on your device. Check to see if the Address Book/Calendar etc. looks okay on your Mac.
In iTunes, (Download iTunes 10.2.2 for Windows and Mac), select your plugged-in device in the left column, choose the "info" tab and "alt click" the restore button. This will bring up a requester asking you to locate the ipsw file.
Select restore and away you go. The rest is automatic.
After the restore iTunes will detect your iDevice and prompt you to either restore or set up as a new device. 99% of the time it's okay to restore. That way you'll get back all the SMS's etc. You may find that the network doesn't work as anticipated. That's easy to fix by going to settings/General/Reset/Reset Network Settings.
If anything else "funny" happens, I suggest doing the restore procedure again and choose Set Up As New then re-sync from your Mac.
One final thing, you wont see the much anticipated Personal Hotspot on the top level of Settings until you set it up in Settings/General/Network/Personal Hotspot. It this option doesn't show up then try resetting your network settings and/or set up as new device.
Mac users hit with Fake AV when using Google image search
Security Update from Sophos
A massive SEO poisoning attack has hit Google, targeting Windows and Mac users alike. From rather innocuous terms related to global warming, to hot topics like Osama bin Laden's death, users are being hit with fake anti-virus programs, this time delivering payloads to users of Apple's Mac OS X.
When you click or close the fake scanner page you are prompted to download a .zip file onto your Mac with a filename like "BestMacAntivirus2011.mpkg.zip".
Some of the downloads are a package installer that installs the fake software; others simply a contain ready-to-run Mac application.
In a similar social engineering trick as we have seen in Windows fake scanners it pretends to be a legitimate Mac anti-virus program called MacDefender.
The scanner doesn't actually touch the hard disk while "scanning", although on a Mac it can be hard to know without a hard disk light.
It pretends to find some very important things that may have been compromised, such as the Terminal application and the standard Unix utilitytest, also known to Unix shell programmers as [.
It uses a lot of social engineering including redirecting your browser to rather offensive porn sites, although it does not appear they are doing this to make money, simply to imply that you are infected.
It also uses scare tactics like your credit card data being at risk. The reality is that your credit card is only at risk if you actually try to purchase the fake software.
Sophos customers using the Sophos Web Security Appliance and Sophos Live protection are protected against these threats.
Mac users with Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac are protected by the identities OSX/FakeAVZp-B and OSX/FakeAV-DMP. Windows users are protected against the Windows version known as Mal/FakeAV-FS.
Download the Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac - for free! anti-virus for Mac OS X