2015 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro models drop Windows 7 support in Boot Camp

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2015, 10:27
Category: BootCamp, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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The good news is that Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks are pretty nifty. The bad news is that they won’t boot Windows 7 in Boot Camp. Apple’s official support documentation has it that Boot Camp only supports Windows 8 and 8.1 on the new devices; however, official Windows 10 support will likely roll out later in 2015.

This is the second time Apple has decided to give Windows 7 the cold shoulder. The late 2013 Mac Pro also ceased to support Windows 7 in Boot Camp boot, but other Macs released 2014 did support Microsoft’s operating system.

Apple hasn’t officially said if the lack of Windows 7 support for Boot Camp is the new normal going forward, but it seems likely. In January, Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7, meaning the OS will only receive security updates for the next five years, and retail disc sales for Windows 7 ended in late 2013. With Microsoft winding down its own support of Windows 7, now is the ideal time for Apple to say goodbye to it as well.

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Uncovered documents point towards CIA-sponsored program to break iOS device encryption, install backdoors

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Date: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015, 09:45
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software

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When the CIA sponsors a full-on “jamboree” focused on breaking the security found in the iPhone and iPad, there’s something to be said for that.

According to recently obtained top-secret documents, security researchers were gathered at a CIA-sponsored “Jamboree” event wherein attendees discussed strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics. The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was released.

By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.

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OS X malware on the rise, tips posted as to how to remove it

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Date: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, 08:33
Category: News, security, Software

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This is worth a gander.

A recent piece on How-To Geek points out the dramatic rise in malware for Mac OS X, the article highlighting a spike in spyware, adware and overall malware that comes with clicking the wrong items during an installation.

Once installed, the adware injects itself directly into your browser, analyzing your Web traffic, email and sending data back to company servers. The overall message is this: even though you’re a Mac user, there’s additional malware on the rise and it’s time to form some better habits where security is concerned. In the meantime, the Mac App Store is still secure thanks to Apple vetting what goes through there, although not all vendors distribute their software through this store front.

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iPhone accounting for almost 90% of smartphone industry profits in fourth quarter report

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2015, 08:47
Category: Finance, iPhone, News

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If nothing else, the iPhone industry is profitable for Apple.

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Apple continued to dominate in global smartphone profit during the fourth quarter of 2014, capturing a record-high 88.7 percent share of profit during the three-month period ending December. Apple earned quarterly operating profit of US$18.8 billion on iPhone sales, up from US$11.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Global smartphone operating profit grew 31 percent annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014. Android hardware vendors combined took a record-low 11 percent global smartphone profit share, down from 29 percent one year ago. In contrast, Apple iOS captured a record-high 89 percent profit share, up from 71 percent in Q4 2013.”

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Swatch looking to release smartwatch to compete in wearables market

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Date: Friday, February 6th, 2015, 04:38
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

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It’s been a while since Swatch was considered hip and/or cutting edge, but the company might be seeing something in the wearables market.

Swatch Group AG announced plans to start selling a smartwatch within the next three months, potentially pitting the Swiss maker of colorful plastic timepieces against the debut of the Apple Watch.

The device will communicate via Near Field Communications and won’t have to be charged, Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.

Analysts stated that the market for such timepieces, which enable phone or data communication, will probably reach about US$10 billion in 2018, Citigroup Inc. analysts forecast last year, with half of the market coming from traditional watch wearers switching to the devices.

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Updated version of Google Drive gains new status menu, bandwidth controls

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Date: Thursday, January 15th, 2015, 11:35
Category: News, Software

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Google Drive will be getting some additional muscle this week, a new version becoming available for OS X and Windows.

Per 9to5Mac and the Google blog, the new version includes an improved status menu to show much more information than before. Now, you can see the files that are being synced up to the cloud as well as a check mark next to them that will appear as they do so. The app will also make it clear which files are currently syncing and which files are yet to be synced. Additionally, hovering over an item will let you share it straight from the menu.

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Google releases Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS, Android

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Date: Wednesday, January 14th, 2015, 18:17
Category: iOS, News, Software

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This could come in handy.

On Wednesday, Google released its Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS and Android.

The app, which connects mobile devices to Mac, Windows & Linux-based computers for desktop access, requires the Chrome web browser and application to install and run as well as a user-configured 6-digit PIN.

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Apple accounts for 51% of devices as Christmas gifts

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Date: Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, 10:51
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, retail

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These are the days of giving devices as gifts.

Specifically, Apple devices.

Per Flurry, 2014 turned into a banner year for Apple, its devices accounting for 51 percent of the new device activations worldwide Flurry recognized in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day (December 19th – 25th). Samsung held the #2 position with 18% of new device activations, and Microsoft (Nokia) rounded out the top three with 5.8% share for mostly Lumia devices. After the top three manufacturers, the device market becomes increasingly fragmented with only Sony and LG commanding more than one percent share of new activations on Christmas Day. Up-and-comers Xiaomi, Huawei, and HTC all had less than one percent share on Christmas Day. One reason is surely their popularity in Asian markets where December 25th is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year.

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Google Chrome for OS X goes 64-bit

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Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014, 16:40
Category: News, Software

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If you were hankering for a 64-bit version of Google Chrome for OS X, it’s finally arrived.

Safari has been 64-bit since OS X 10.6 (August 2009) and Firefox has been 64-bit since version 4 (2011). Incidentally, a 64-bit web browser is required to run Oracle Java on OS X.

Per Google’s Chrome Releases Blog, the Chrome team promoted v.39 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. Google Chrome 39.0.2171.65 contains a number of fixes and improvements, including 64-bit support for Mac, a number of new apps/extension APIs, lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

Chrome 39 will arrive through an automatic update (if you have that feature enabled). If you don’t, you can download it from Google.

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Microsoft begins overhauling Skype, launches selected users to Skype for Web beta

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Date: Friday, November 14th, 2014, 11:19
Category: News, Software

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A while back, it was reported that Microsoft has been significantly overhauling Skype.

As of Friday, the company announced that it is starting to roll Skype out onto the Web. Per 9to5Mac, Skype for Web will allow users to chat, video call, and manage contacts from a web browser without having to download the Skype app. Microsoft is currently offering Skype for Web as a beta to select users.

To participate in the Skype for Web beta, Microsoft says to log on to Skype.com where the browser-based version of the video calling will be and check for an invitation. The company says its making invitations available to a small number of users to start and will expand to users worldwide “in the coming months.”

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