Tag : Apple

Mac Malware blocked if you fix this simple Setting

mac malware

In the last week two different types of OS X malware made their debut and it has Mac users biting their nails about the possibility of an unprotected Mac. Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor and OSX/Keydnap, the two newest Mac malware, are both blocked from execution if managed with the appropriate Mac settings.

As MacWorld points out to us, with some malware there is little that can be blamed on the user. The software that leverages vulnerabilities in the operating system to install without verification or that has the ability to mask itself as an application that it is really not, is usually to blame. But how easy is it to really spot this in the act? Most of us can’t, and have to rely on an operating system, or researchers  in order to find out about the malware and by that time who knows whats happening on the device.

The Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor is a Trojan horse distributed under the name EasyDoc Converter. Masking itself as a file converter application through reputable websites that offer Mac software, users think they are downloading valuable Mac software when really, they are in for a big surprise. This is the time when I advise you the user, to be careful when downloading software from sites that are not the direct developer. Nowadays many download sites package software inside of installers that also install adware or other unwanted apps. The OSX/Keydnap  malware vector distribution is unknown. We do know that it arrives in the form of a ZIP archive that has to be extracted, with the file inside double clicked.

OK the goods. Unsigned apps can only launch by either right-clicking the app after it is downloaded, selecting Open from the contextual menu, and agreeing to launch the app even though it is unsigned. OR If the Security & Privacy system preference pane’s General tab has Allow Apps Downloaded From set to Anywhere. This should be changed to Mac App Store and Identified Developers.  In the new macOS Sierra, this won’t be a problem as the Anywhere option has been removed for this very reason. Remember, Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor and OSX/Keydnap will be blocked if these settings are in place, so even if you mess up and don’t take any of my advice to heart, your Mac will still be safe.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this post, please visit : macworld.com

macOS Sierra – New Goodies for Apple Users

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If you upgrade from OS X 10.11 El Captain, to version 10.12 this fall, you’ll be upgrading to macOS Sierra not OS X. You can try an early version of OS now, here’s the goods if you decide to give it a test. macOS Sierra will be a free upgrade and works on any mac from 2010 and on, and MacBooks and iMacs from 2009 and on.

Siri finally comes to Mac. Off the tails of Microsoft’s integration of their built-in speech assistant Cortana. The Mac doesn’t listen to you all the time so she won’t respond to “Hey Siri”. Rather she pops up with a keystroke, the default keystroke being Fn +space, or a mouse click works just the same. Siri will be there in a second to help you find nearby restaurants, closing times, weather reports, sports scores, news, a picture, whatever you name it. You can drag Siri’s answers from a pop-up window to the notification pane or drag images into documents. A new preference panel allows you to decide whether you would like Siri to respond to questions with voice or typed responses. Perfect for work folks. You can also choose Siri’s gender and nationality.

Sierra introduces a universal clipboard that lets you save text on a Mac and paste it into your iPad or iPhone, and vice a versa. Tightening up the Apple ecosystem once more. You can also enjoy automatic unlocking of a Mac, when an unlocked Apple Watch is close by.

New to the Mac is picture in picture. On the iPad you can extract a video from a Web page and have it play on your macOS desktop without the surrounding Web page. The video stays playing, in the same position, even when you switch among multiple desktops.

The Finder is also improved. A new option that automatically empties items from he trash after 30 days, should make for more efficient machines. You can also employ the new option to put folders first when the Finder lists files and folders by name. Windows has had similar features for years. Long overdue for Mac.

Unless you turn this new feature off, Sierra will automatically upload to iCloud form your desktop and documents folders. The point here is that all the files that you use most often will be instantly available on any of the Apple devices you use. Even the Windows devices you use that have iCloud installed. Could be a good tool for those switching back and forth between Sierra and Windows machines. Sierra will also advise you on which files you might want to delete from your Mac and store in the cloud, only downloading them when needed. Although this might be a good option for those with limited space on their machines but with loads of space available in the cloud, the 5GB free in the cloud will certainly not be enough if all files are being uploaded to the iCloud automatically. Perhaps a small ploy to get users to entertain more iCloud storage.

The Memories feature in Photos uses facial recognition to combine related photos into movies that pan in and out of your pictures with a soundtrack added. It’s a pretty cool feature, not sure if it will have a profound effect on the average user, but we will just have to wait and see if it takes off.

Maps, Mail, and any application that normally opens multiple windows can now use separate tabs instead. I really appreciate this feature, although small, it significantly de-clutters my screen. When I use Mail and have an average of 3 messages open at once, they are all organized and easy to use with the integration of tabs. Much easier navigation and efficiently.

More to come in 2017…Apple plans to release a new file system to users in 2017, called Apple File System (APFS). This should bring new security, speed, and reliability features. Only available to developers now, Apple is planning to take their time testing and perfecting the file system before it’s release. This will be the biggest file system change Apple has had in 30 years. Stay tuned.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, please visit : www.pcmag.com

Apple it’s about time you retire the 16 GB iphone

The Wall Street Journal reported this past week from an inside source that Cupertino is retiring the 16GB iPhone. The base model of the iPhone 7 is expected to double to 32GB. Currently Apple offers the iPhone 6s in 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB models. The 16GB version of the iPhone was long overdue to be retired. Lets be honest, the iPhone can do way more than 16GB can hold. It has been long advised that consumers buy a higher storage iPhone rather than a less expensive 16GB model. I now have a 64GB iPhone 6 and after nearly two years and 11,706 photos, I still have 14GB of storage free on my device. Plenty of room to install future OS updates, and add to my collection of cat photos. Well worth the money in my opinion.

That being said, if I had skimped on the storage model when I bought my iPhone 6, I would have ran out of space long ago seeing as I have used 41.4 GB of storage to date.

“Hallelujah!” writes the Journal‘s Joanna Stern. “I’ve long said that keeping the 16GB iPhone was just a ploy for Apple to get people to buy the 64GB model—for $100 extra.”

Apple rumors are still in full swing as we approach the release of a new model this following year. Reports have been made that Apple plans to incorporate only minor changes to the new iPhone 7, such as the removal of the headphone plug  which should make the device thinner. We have also heard that Apple will keep the same screen size as released with the iPhone 6, the 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch models. However, the iPhone’s 10th Anniversary is fast approaching in 2017 which leads many to speculate that big changes are in the works. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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Robots take 60,000 jobs – and we’re happy about it

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Main Apple supplier and the largest electronics manufacturer in the world, Foxconn, has automated 60,000 jobs, the goal of their long pursued automation integration. Now, that being said, we must take into account the abilities and resources of the organization. The company itself has taken a great leap into the robotics market, even predicting HUGE increases in robotic manufacturing on their product line. Foxconn also has a significant stake in SoftBank Robotics Holdings. If you don’t already know SoftBank makes the emotionally intelligent robot, Pepper.

Foxconn CEO relays that the company will be applying robotics engineering to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees. The company wishes to move their employees into more research and development roles and other higher end value positions that have to do with the manufacturing process. The company still has jobs for their over 1.2 million employees even with the automation of 60,000 positions. I find it hard to believe that Foxconn will do anything other than continue to innovate and invest in the robotics market for both their own company and the innovation of other markets. Foxconn CEO states that they expect to keep a significant workforce in China, even with automation.

To be honest, nothing about this is surprising to me. Foxconn is a huge company as both a manufacturing powerhouse and a significant contributor to the robotic market. It is only in their best interest that they employ some of the technology they help put together. Not only will this increased innovation make for a more efficient production line, but will most certainly set the standard for other companies to come.

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Apple supplier Foxconn automates 60,000 jobs, but says quality, productivity will improve

Apple cleans up Safari, iTunes, and a lot of bugs

Of the many fixes deployed by Apple, Safari was brought to version 9.1.1, patching 7 vulnerabilities in the browser. One of the most detrimental being the loop used to take over a Mac whose user had entered a malicious website. Apple implemented something new along with their patches, now Safari is being run through a beta program of its own with the Technology Preview.This month Apple updated OS X El Captain to version 10.11.5, patching about 70 vulnerabilities, and cleaning house. They also decided to patch older OS X Maverick and OS X Yosemite, from 2013 and 2014 let me remind you.

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Apple usually supports an operating system for three years, providing support for the newest edition of Safari and the two prior versions. Just as many of you might remember when Mountain Lion was retired last year, when the newest version drops this year  the oldest edition, Maverick, will also retire. Apple likes to announce the newest version of Mac’s operating system during the June Worldwide Developer Conference. Apple then offers developers and users a preview code before the official release. In addition to Safari clean up and patches, Apple also release iTunes 12,4 which supports many of the new user interface changes with a simpler design. All updates can be downloaded like any other update, from the Apple App Store.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Apple patches 67 bugs in OS El Capitan, refreshes Safari and iTunes

iPhone 7 Anticipated to be Most Complex Model Yet

OK, so now that it has been a few rounds of Apple iPhone releases, we know a thing or two about their product secrecy and production habits. Sounds a little creepy, but iPhone 7 anticipation will do that to a girl. Apple’s top two suppliers started hiring employees earlier than usual due to a ‘more complex’ iPhone 7 design and the rumors are swirling.

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As it is already May and we have little information besides buzzing rumors about the newest addition to the iPhone family, the iPhone 7 seems to be more secret than previous models. It has been speculated that the 7 will house the same framework as the 6. Most are saying that the infrastructure won’t be much of a wowzer either. Economic Daily News feels the opposite, stating that the iPhone 7 will be “more complex than previous models” and has been shown through Apple’s increased production hiring. Apple’s top two suppliers are Foxconn and Pegatron, and their usual hiring practice before the production of a new generation iPhone has commenced a month earlier than in the past. This has been the first time in two years that Foxconn has started recruiting in May. This leads me to believe that the earlier hiring means more production hands on deck, for something bigger and more complex.

The two rumors that I would most like to see are the dual camera system and a water proof design. As an optimist, I am going to keep believing these features are the reason for the increased hiring practices, until the official iPhone 7 release in September.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: iPhone 7 said to be ‘more complex’ than previous models

Apple Makes $1B Investment in Chinese Didi Chuxing

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Apple has decided to invest 1 billion dollars in the Chinese taxi startup, Didi Chuxing. This is by far the largest investment of funds that Didi Chuxing has received to date, as well as one of the largest investments Apple has ever made. Remember Beats? Apple shelled out 3 billion to them. But that is besides the point. Why is Apple so intrigued by Didi Chuxing?

“Didi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China,” CEO Tim Cook said. “We are extremely impressed by the business they’ve built and their excellent leadership team, and we look forward to supporting them as they grow.”

Didi Chuxing began as Didi Dache back in 2012. Last year they merged with Kuaidi, their rival service, and became Didi Chuxing. Didi Chuxing is available in 400 Chinese cities and offers services similar to Uber and Lyft, with taxi, private car, and ride-sharing. Impressively, Didi Chuxing facilitates more than 11 million rides per day! Bringing in a whooping 1.43 billion in 2015. It has been recently reported that Uber is losing 1 Billion a year in China due to competition from Didi.

Most likely that is all the information we will receive from Apple concerning their plans for the investment. Speculation around the investment stirs as Apple hasn’t been doing too hot in China. Recently China has shut down access to iTunes, iBooks, and iMovies, leaving revenue in China down by 11 percent in the most recent quarter.

It is my prediction that Apple is trying to regain market in China as well as advance themselves in the up and coming car market. Nothing has been released, but rumors around the Apple car are buzzing with anticipation as Apple has been recruiting auto executives and quietly searching for places to test drive automobiles. Suspect…

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Apple Makes $1B Investment in Chinese Uber Rival

Apple patches vulnerable OS X Git version

5743588-Sick-green-apple-with-patches-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-PhotoNearly a month after Git vulnerabilities, CVE-2016-2324 and CVE-2016-2315 were made clear to Apple, they have finally been fixed. Upsetting to some, the patched version of Git was released on March 17th, but was not implemented into Xcode by Apple until about 6 weeks later. Apple released a new version of its Xcode development tool this past week, in order to patch two critical vulnerabilities in the Git source code management client. The Git vulnerabilities allow attackers to use malicious code on systems that utilized the initiated cloning operations.

Developers use Xcode to write applications for OS X and iOS as it is an integrated development environment. Xcode includes a package called the OS X Command Line Tools for Xcode, which contained the Git vulnerabilities. Now updated to 2.7.4. version, the Git with the command tools package should be back in working  order. System administrators and researchers alike criticized Apple for their lack of timely attention to the patches. Left in the dark and without a patch for 6 weeks, many were forced to resort to hacking in order to disable Git within company Mac machines, not exactly the ideal solution to the problem. When it takes Apple a month and a half to implement the fix, sometimes hackery is the only viable answer.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Computer World – Apple Patches

The Almighty Apple finally falls!…well sorta

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Apple released financial reports this week that revealed a decline in quarterly revenue, something that hasn’t happened since 2003. In terms of product, Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones compared to 61.17 million iPhones sold in the same quarter last year.

As Jason Perlow, writer for Tech Broiler states, Apple sits on billions of dollars in cash assets. However, the core product of the Apple corporation is the iPhone, making up 68% of revenue. Perlow points out that the smartphone market is beginning to resemble that of the PC market. What has been done, is being done again and again. Smartphone innovation  is almost to the point of little advancement, and will eventually give up shares to more price-aggressive Chinese products.

Aggressive prediction, but he has a point. Most of the model advancements we witness on the latest editions of smartphones are standard, improved battery life, sharper display, faster downloads and cloud storage. Nothing too major.

As Perlow writes, “Apple does not play by the same rules the rest of the industry does. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.” One of Apple’s best skills is creating brand loyalty within its customers. Much of how Apple sustains itself is due to repeat customers, buying their products over and over again. How many of us are filled with excitement and joy at the hint of a new Apple product release? I’ll speak for myself here, I am a shining example of the usual Apple consumer. I have two Apple smartphones, both the 6 and the 5c, an iPad, and a Macbook. I began with one device and once I learned how to navigate the Apple “language” so to speak, I was hooked.

But is this enough? Perlow doesn’t seem to think so. He makes a valid point that once someone creates something that capitalizes on the Apple magic, but for a much cheaper price, most of Apple’s loyal fan base will probably jump ship. Once the displays, the RAM, flash, batteries and so on can be manufactured in China, Apple and Samsung are going to have some major competition.

Are we worried? Not really. Apple has close to 200 Billion dollars in cash assets just sitting, and they have braved lows like this before. Usually a downturn like this one leads to a peak innovation cycle for Apple.

Go figure.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Here comes the iPhone apocalypse and the end of Apple as we know it

 

Apple Watch 2 Predictions

apple-watch-21According to an investors note issued by Ming-Chi Kuo Securities, most of the changes to the Apple Watch will be to the inside rather than to the appearance. This solidifies rumors that the next version of the Apple Watch will be virtually the same as the previous except for minor hardware and application upgrades. Longer battery life and faster charging is one of the elements consumers are hoping the next generation will improve upon. The screen visibility when outdoors or in heavy natural lighting is less than perfect and is also on the radar as a possible improvement to be seen in the newer version.

Most customers are on board will updating their phones and PCs in a timely manner, even every year when the latest model makes its debut. However, watches are not a revolving door item. This leads me to believe that most of those buying the next version of the Apple Watch are new to the Apple Watch and want the latest and greatest in watch technology. Leaving the design of the device alone is one of the smartest things Apple can do. A change in design would exclude first generation buyers.

Kuo predicted a decline in watch shipments this year, to 7.5 million units shipped from 10.6 million in 2015, AppleInsider reported. It is proposed that this drop in sales could be due to the increased desire for more standalone features and specialized must have features that can only be found on the Apple Watch. Researchers and IT professionals predict Apple will begin segmenting the Apple Watch into different models with specific price points and features as they usually do with the iPhone and iPad.

One thing we know to be true, Apple will continue to polish up each new version of the Apple Watch until we are all itching for one on our wrists.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Next Apple Watch Will Be More ‘S’ Than 2