O'Grady's PowerPage » Windows

Some 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro owners cite user interface choppiness, lag under OS X Yosemite

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Date: Monday, April 6th, 2015, 15:09
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software, Yosemite


This is what bug and firmware fixes are for.

As nifty as the new 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro is, a number of users have logged complaints about the user interface lag in OS X Yosemite. The lag accounts for slow and choppy animations across functions like Mission Control, Launchpad, launching full-size applications, resizing windows and scrolling through web pages.

A pair of threads related to the issue have received close to 200 replies and 20,000 views within the discussion forums, with some users that previously experienced UI lag offering advice on how to resolve the problem. One potential solution involves resetting the Mac’s PRAM, while temporary workarounds listed include increasing contrast and reducing transparency under the Accessibility menu in System Preferences.


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


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.


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

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


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.


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

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


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.


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


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.”


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


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.


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


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.


Google releases Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS, Android

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


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.


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


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.


Google Chrome for OS X goes 64-bit

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


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.