O'Grady's PowerPage » Microsoft

Recent security updates make Macs more secure, unless you’re a Snow Leopard user

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Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 08:47
Category: Apple, Lion, Mac, privacy, Processors, security, Software

snowleopardEverybody was concerned last week when it was announced that a nasty bug in OS X was leaving Macs vulnerable to attacks that could grab information traveling across shared networks. While it has been confirmed that the bug only affected Mavericks, Apple simultaneously posted security updates for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was no sign of any security love for Snow Leopard (10.6). This really shouldn’t be a surprise to most people since 10.6 was also skipped when a previous security update was released as well as an update to the Safari browser. The omission of 10.6 from the current update simply confirms that Snow Leopard is no longer on Apple’s radar.

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Microsoft finally patching up Skype message sync problems

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Date: Friday, February 14th, 2014, 09:14
Category: Announcement, Microsoft, Software

skypeiconFor some time since Microsoft acquired Skype, the conferencing and messaging software, users have been plagued by messages that won’t sync from one device to another. Additional problems included delayed notifications of new messages or notification of messages that have already been read. Anyone who used iMessages in its early days will recall similar, frustrating issues with Apple’s internet chat service.

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Satya Nadella named as new Microsoft CEO

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Date: Thursday, February 6th, 2014, 08:40
Category: Announcement, Business, Microsoft

Satya-NadellaAfter a long guessing game about who would be the next CEO, Microsoft finally announced Tuesday that it was appointing Satya Nadella to the post and adding him as a member of the Board of Directors. Nadella, who has been at Microsoft for 22 years, previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. He is replacing Steve Ballmer, who has held the position of CEO for 13 years following Bill Gates’ transition from CEO to Chairman of Microsoft’s Board of Directors in 2000. Ballmer will now take a position on the Board of Directors. Gates, meanwhile, makes another title change as he relinquishes his Chairman position to John Thompson and goes on to assume the role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor. There is still plenty of guessing and speculation to go around as everyone waits to see what possible fallout results from the announcement. Many speculate that some of Microsoft’s executives, who were in the running to take a seat in the CEO chair, may move on to jobs outside of Microsoft now that the decision is made. Also of interest will be Nadella’s vision for Microsoft now that he is in the driver’s seat.

PrimeSense purchase confirmed

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Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013, 11:40
Category: Accessory, Apple, News, Television

primesenselogoOn Sunday, Apple officially announced its acquisition of 3D sensor developer PrimeSense. As we reported earlier, Apple has been in talks with PrimeSense since the summer in a bid to grab the company. PrimeSense was the developer of the 3D tracking technology used in Microsoft’s original Kinect device that shipped with the Xbox 360. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the PrimeSense deal to AllThingsD, with Apple’s standard footnote;

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

AllThingsD followed up with a spokeswoman for PrimeSense who said;

“We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage.”

Sources say that the purchase price for PrimeSense was in the neighborhood of $360 million. Speculation is that Apple may use the technology in the long rumored Apple branded television, or perhaps as an accessory to the AppleTV.

Apple working on PrimeSense purchase

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 18th, 2013, 08:01
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, Finance, Microsoft, News, Siri, Wearables

primesense_sensorApple is currently in talks to buy the Israeli company, PrimeSense, the developer of the original 3D body sensing technology used by Microsoft for its Kinect platform. Since the release of the Xbox One, Microsoft has turned to it’s own solution for the current iteration of the Kinect hardware and software. Back in July of the is year, MacRumors reported that Apple was looking at the company for a possible purchase, and had entered into early negotiations with PrimeSense.

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Crossover updated to 13.0

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Date: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, 09:03
Category: Apps, Game, Mac, News, Software, Windows

crossovericonCrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office, or at school without purchasing a Windows license, without rebooting your computer, and without having to use a virtual machine. And CrossOver can run a wide range of Windows software.

The 13.0 update includes the following changes:

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Problems with BootCamp in Mavericks?

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Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013, 08:27
Category: BootCamp, Installation, Mac, Mavericks, Software, Windows

bootcampicon500x500It appears that some people, after updating to Mavericks, are no longer able to boot from their BootCamp partition. The reports vary, some people update and don’t experience any problems, but some are finding that the entire partition has disappeared. There are a number of threads about this on Apple’s discussion pages. Here are a few:

*any misspellings are theirs, not mine

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Apple, Adobe sandbox Flash Player development for OS X versions

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Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 22:00
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, sandbox the sucker.

Per Mac|Life, Adobe announced on Wednesday that the latest version of the Safari web browser included with OS X Mavericks now features app sandboxing for Flash Player, following similar moves with browsers from Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Although Flash Player has been sandboxed for some time, for whatever reason Apple didn’t get on board with Safari until version 7.0, which is included with this week’s update to OS X Mavericks.

“For the technically minded, this means that there is a specific com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin.sb file defining the security permissions for Flash Player when it runs within the sandboxed plugin process,” explains Adobe Platform Security Strategist Peleus Uhley.

“As you might expect, Flash Player’s capabilities to read and write files will be limited to only those locations it needs to function properly. The sandbox also limits Flash Player’s local connections to device resources and inter-process communication (IPC) channels. Finally, the sandbox limits Flash Player’s networking privileges to prevent unnecessary connection capabilities.”

The bottom line is that viewing Flash Player content will now be safer and more secure for Safari users on OS X Mavericks, thanks to the combined work of Adobe and Apple, who not so long ago were on opposite sides of the track when it came to Flash technology.

If it makes it more secure, then godspeed…

Study shows Microsoft’s Windows market share falling from 90% to 33% in post-PC device world

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 11th, 2013, 06:21
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

microsoftlogo

The day you never thought would arrive may finally be here.

Of course, it still depends on how you look at the data…

According to Asymco’s Horace Dediu, over the last five years, Post-PC devices have displaced conventional Windows PCs so rapidly that Microsoft’s dominance over personal computing has plummeted from roughly 90 percent share to less than a third.

The data highlights in implosion of growth that has sapped Worldwide PC shipments starting with at the launch of Apple’s iPad in 2010.

While PC shipments have stagnated over the past five years, Apple’s sales of iPhone and iPads and the estimated shipments of Android-based devices have grown rapidly.

The personal computing industry has shifted from 92 million shipments in 2008 to today’s market of 269 million units, as the site further details in charts.

Five years ago, Windows PCs accounted for the vast majority of computing devices – around 90 percent. But after failing to materially participate in the shift to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft has been left with its OS software on less than a third of the devices companies and individuals now use.

Dediu’s figures come from Gartner’s PC and tablet shipment data. The firm, along with IDC, suddenly stopped counting certain tablets among PC sales after Apple released its iPad. Both companies have since added Microsoft’s Surface and other Windows-branded tablets to their PC numbers while relegating iPads and Android tablets into a separate “media tablet” category.

Ostensibly, this was to separate devices used only for “media consumption” from PC figures, but the firm’s PC data has always included vast numbers of PCs that have only ever been used to browse the web or check mail, and have also included low powered netbooks and other limited-duty PC devices.

In stark contrast, complete PC market data from Canalys has more clearly shown how modern tablet form factors have had a tremendous impact on the PC market, without regard for how flattering the truth is to Microsoft.

Rumor: iPad media event to take place October 22nd, exact location unknown

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013, 07:35
Category: iPad, iPad mini, Rumor

It’s the leaks that make things interesting.

Per AppleInsider and AllThingsD, the date for Apple’s anticipated iPad media event was leaked on Tuesday, which cited unnamed sources. The same publication has accurately shared word of Apple event dates in the past.

In addition to new iPads, the event in two weeks is also expected to focus on the company’s revamped Mac Pro high-end desktop, and the forthcoming OS X Mavericks operating system update.

While the date for the event is known, its exact location has yet to be determined. Possible spots include Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., campus, or the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Last year’s iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad event was held in San Jose, but the company reportedly does not plan to return there this year.

The next 9.7-inch iPad is widely expected to sport a redesigned chassis that will make it look like a big iPad mini. Apple is expected to reduce the weight and thickness of its full-size iPad, and also give the device thinner side bezels.

As for the iPad mini, it’s anticipated to feature a high-resolution Retina display with its second-generation model. Both devices are rumored to sport high-quality 8-megapixel rear facing cameras, equivalent with the iPhone.

Still unknown is whether either of Apple’s new iPads will sport the Touch ID fingerprint sensor the company unveiled in the new iPhone 5s, but did not bring to its mid-level iPhone 5c.

The new iPads will hit the market ahead of the holiday shopping season, and at a time when traditional notebook PCs continue to struggle. Competition in the tablet space has been heating up, with Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX, Microsoft’s Surface 2, and Google’s Nexus 7.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.