Archive for the ‘ iPhone ’ Category


Which smartphone is the most secure?

Written by admin
December 25th, 2013

Not all mobile phone operating systems are created equal. As Spencer McIntyre of SecureState explains, there are unique differences and threats specific to each smartphone and, in the end, security is largely up to the user

These days, it is almost impossible to meet someone who doesn’t own a cell phone. More specifically, smartphones, whether it be the trendy iPhone, corporate favored Blackberry or modern Windows Mobile, almost everyone has joined the smart phone frenzy — and with good reason. A smartphone offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary phone.

Just like a handheld computer, most of the population relies on their operating system to multitask the demands of work, personal life and finances. However, many Smartphone users forget about the risks of malware on these crucial devices. In fact, a study from Rutgers’s University disclosed that malicious software for cell phones could pose a greater risk for consumer’s personal and financial well-being than computer viruses.

Clearly, there is a need for greater protection of cell phone software and greater awareness of cell phone vulnerabilities from owners, especially when it comes to what kind of operating system you are using. There are unique differences and threats specific to each Smartphone. Here are some important key points that consumers should consider to protect their mobile operating systems.

iPhone
There is a lot to be found regarding this popular device, half of our research findings surrounded the iPhone. Malware for this device took a different approach with the release of IOS 4. The multitasking that users take part in on their systems easily goes unnoticed, allowing the presence of malware to be easier to miss and less intrusive. Malware is more commonly found on iPhones that have been jail broken.

“Jail breaking” means freeing a phone from the limitations imposed by the wireless provider and in this case, Apple. Users install a software application on their computer, and then transfer it to their iPhone, where it “breaks open” the iPhone’s file system, allowing you to modify it; however, this also opens it up to malware. By jail breaking a phone, users are possibly allowing malicious applications into their device which has access to their personal information including their bank account. These applications are not subjected to the same limitations as Apple and therefore are easier to get from a rogue reference and infect cell phone.

Additionally, by not changing the password on a jail broken iPhone, the SSH service, is easy for malicious attackers to create worms used to infect the users operating device. An example of how important this threat is to note was highlighted by Ike, a worm created to raise security awareness when it comes to using these jail broken devices. It illustrates how once the core app has run its route, the vulnerability can gain complete control of the system.

Apple is slow to pinpoint vulnerabilities, including the SMS (texting) exploit released in the summer of 2010 by Charlie Miller. This also revealed that Apple is so slow to release that third party organizations were able to produce a security patch before Apple.

Windows Mobile
When it comes to threats, Windows Mobile takes the cake when it comes to attracting malware via SMS. Specifically the amount of SMS malware found on Windows Mobile devices is much higher in comparison to others. An interesting facet of the Windows Mobile OS is that many of the system calls are shared with it’s full-featured desktop counterparts. This detail has contributed to many pieces of malware that have originated on the Windows OS being ported to the Windows Mobile OS. A noteworthy example of this is the Zeus botnet that in recent years has begun to appear on mobile versions of Windows.

BlackBerry
A popular alternative to the previous two mobile operating systems, the BlackBerry is also quite different from the typical smart phone. The BlackBerry uses what is arguably the most closed source of the operating systems discussed herein. Research In Motion, the developers of BlackBerry have done an excellent job of keeping the sensitive inner workings of this smart phone a secret from the public. This is a contributing factor for the relatively small number of reliable exploits for the BlackBerry smart phone.

BlackBerry also suffers from the multitasking concerns that make it easier for malware to run unnoticed. An interesting proof of concept developed for the BlackBerry is the BBProxy application that was presented at DEFCON.

Symbian
There is not a lot of information regarding malware for this operating device, although it is the oldest of the smart phones and one of the most popular outside of America. Windows, Blackberry and Symbian are malware populated and not present on Android or iPhone. Along with the Windows Mobile family of Phones, Zeus has be ported the Symbian as well. The mobile version of Zeus is being used to intercept text messages sent as the second factor of authentication in many services.

Android
The Android operating system is the only open source operating system discussed herein. Android is unique in that it is community driven. The Android operating system is not owned by an individual organization, so it is developed in the best interest of the users. However, the applications are not monitored for vulnerabilities in the marketplace, so anyone can submit applications containing malicious functions which are less likely to be caught. Essentially, it is up to the users to determine if it is a safe and reputable source from which they are getting the app.

Amazon now has a 3rd party market place, which imposes additional policies and restrictions on applications that are distributed.

Android is based on the Linux operating system. On Linux, availability on Android is unlike others and there is not much evidence of ported malware. This is not because there is not any known Linux malware out there, but because it doesn’t receive much attention.

In Conclusion
All operating systems have distinct strengths and weaknesses; however, many are the same and essentially are up to the user and the configuration of the password. Users need to remember not to install apps from unnecessary sources, especially if they are unknown. While users can’t know them all, users need to ensure that they are from a reputable source. If not, that is where malware commonly comes from, with backdoor apps masquerading as secure applications. Also, jail broken phones are at a huge risk if the user maintains the default password and an even higher risk if not used in the Apple marketplace. Instances of malware exist on all of the phones and are even more relevant on ones using untrusted app sources. Consumers can keep this research in mind when using their smartphone to best protect their valuable information.


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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending August 23

Written by admin
August 27th, 2013

Putting price(s) on the cheap Apple iPhone, the Golden Age dawns

With the Next iPhone(s) announcement barely three weeks away, the iOSphere hungered and thirsted for data, for facts, for truth about iPhone 6, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5S.

Instead, it got five different definitions of what “cheap” means for the expected plastic iPhone 5C.

And it got gold.

You read it here second.

__________

“Personally, I don’t give a hoot about a gold iPhone. Mashable will continue to report on gold iPhone rumors, since our readers seem to care. I will not be making a big deal of it otherwise. Except for writing this post. Which is really about how I don’t care about the gold iPhone. Is that clear?”
Lance Ulanoff, editor in chief, Mashable.com, on why he, and we, don’t need no stinkin’ colors, even though his dumb readers seem to believe otherwise.

__________

iPhone 5C will be priced at, uh, less than the not-5C

If you’re already convinced that Apple is launching a cheap or low cost or less expensive iPhone, usually now called iPhone 5C, then the only question left, really, is: what price Apple will slap on it?

[IPHONEYS: The iPhone 6 & iPhone 5 edition]

This week the iOSphere was rife with answers. And when you add them all up, the answer is…that no one knows. Check our own coverage: Pricing a low-cost iPhone: How ‘cheap’ is cheap?

At KnowYourMobile, Clare Hopping assured readers that iPhone 5C will be priced at full retail between $400 and $500, based on speculation by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Currently, the prices for iPhone 5 at Apple.com for an unlocked iPhone 5 are $649 for 16GB, $749 for 32GB, and $849 for 64GB. Typically, with a new iPhone, Currently, the unlocked iPhone 4S, in keeping with Apple’s practice, sells for $549.

Kuo also puts forward the novel theory that the plastic-bodied iPhone 5C will replace the aluminum bodied iPhone 5, which will no longer be sold. “We’ve learned that the iPhone 5 line will be terminated from 4Q13, while the iPhone 4S line will carry on,” Kuo says, according to KnowYourMobile. “From this, we infer that iPhone 5C is launched to replace iPhone 5.”

Meaning “the 5C model will be positioned as midrange,” according to Kuo. His breakdown of pricing: iPhone 5S, $600 to $700; iPhone 5C, $400 to $500; iPhone 4S, $300 to $400.

Another pricing option, suggested by John Gruber at his DaringFireball blog last week, is a lower-cost iPhone that essentially is based on adding a cellular radio to the iPod touch. The touch starts at $229 for the 16GB model, which has only a low-end video camera; and $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB, both of which have a 5 megapixel main camera. The cellular radio would add something to those prices, but Apple might be able to offer a plastic-bodied phone starting under or just over $300.

Another analyst, Citi Research’s Glen Yeung, offered his own pricing speculation, according to Brooke Crother’s CNET post summarizing Yeung’s conclusions. “Based on this assumption [that the iPhone 5C costs about $50 less to build], we estimate that the wholesale selling price of iPhone 5C will be $390 and the retail selling price will be $450.”

So there you have it. The iPhone 5C will be $300, $360, $400, $450, or $500. Somewhere in there for sure.

In a post at TechPinions, Ben Bajarin argues that an “entry level iPhone,” is or ought to be a “strategic move to acquire customers who seek value but not at premium price points and [to] get them into Apple’s ecosystem.”

In other words, Apple wants to attract those customers who are willing to spend money on apps, music, and other services that it offers to iOS users. The “key point for Apple and an entry-level priced iPhone is how low does it need to be to still acquire a customer who will spend money and add value to the ecosystem,” Bajarin says.

Evidence for Bajarin’s argument comes from an assessment by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, as reported by Apple 2.0 blogger Philip Elmer-DeWitt, at Fortune.

In a note to investors, Huberty outlined the results of proprietary survey of 2,000 Chinese mobile phone owners. Perhaps the most intriguing result is this: “Chinese consumers consider US$486 to be an acceptable price range for the lower-priced iPhone”; that’s 22% higher than Huberty’s own estimate of Apple’s final price for the 5C. And needless to say far higher than what most advocates of a “cheap” iPhone had in mind. By comparison, “the acceptable [to these buyers] price ranges for Samsung [Galaxy] S4 Mini and HTC One Mini were lower than the expected price.”

Those results seem to suggest that a significant number of potential Chinese buyers are willing to pay significantly more for a lower-end iPhone than for comparable Android phones, because of the iPhone’s higher perceived value.

iPhone 5S will be available in a “gold” color

There will be gold.

Of course it’s not actually gold, as in the 24-carat kind. It’s a gold color. Or goldish, anyway. There is some confusion on that score. Would Apple really create a gleaming yellow slab that looks like something worn on “Real Housewives of Orange County?”

The Consensus iOSphere Hivemind currently is that “champagne” gold is much more…Appleish.

“Yes, there will be a gold iPhone,” announced MG Siegler at TechCrunch.

“At first, I couldn’t believe Apple would break from the tradition of offering the simple choice: black and white (or “slate” and “silver” if you prefer for the iPhone 5) for their flagship device,” he confides. “Gold simply seemed too gaudy, perhaps even tacky. But a few compelling arguments countered my disbelief. And now, upon checking, sure enough, there will be gold.”

There will be gold.

IMore’s Rene Ritchie also backed away from gaudiness, swapping a gaudy mockup for the much more restrained champagne version.

“According to our own Ally Kazmucha, who’s no stranger to the process, gold is among the easiest colors to anodize onto an iPhone,” Ritchie said. “It involves simple chemical reaction, with the possible addition of dye depending on the exact color they want to produce. (True black, conversely, is the hardest, and takes the most time, which is likely why we currently have “slate” instead.)”

But what’s the motivation, Ritchie wonders?

“Given how popular gold is as an aftermarket option for color-treatments, and how many gold cases there are – including but certainly not limited to the Asian markets – it could simply be the decision to offer supply where there’s demand,” he concludes.

Or Apple could be pandering to another audience entirely. “Given the ignorant boring comments Apple had to endure after introducing the completely re-built iPhone 5 last year, gold would give the market the superficial appearance of change they seem to crave,” Ritchie said.

Later in the week, TheVerge, among others, posted “leaked” photos of The Gold iPhone, pulled from their original posting at a Japanese-language website.

“Photos purporting to show the phone have trickled out online, though the images published today on Japan’s ASCII website look far more convincing than earlier leaks,” explained TheVerge’s Amar Toor, oblivious to the fact that we live in the Adobe Photoshop Age, or to online workshops on “How to Draw a Photorealistic iPhone 4 in Photoshop,” which have far more convincing results.

And still more photos, a veritable tsunami of images, appeared on the eponymous website, SonnyDickson.com, named for a Melbourne, Australian who is trying to make a business of posting photos of Apple prototypes. His latest batch shows rear housings, screens and various unnamed parts of both The Gold iPhone 5S side by side with a robin’s-egg-blue plastic iPhone 5C.

Perhaps predictably, the blizzard of posts and pictures sparked a reaction. Mashable’s editor-in-chief, Lance Ulanoff, let it be known that “This fascination with iPhone colors confounds me.”

It’s “irrational,” he says. “[I]t’s only a stinkin’ color.”

And we don’t need no stinkin’ colors.

“It’s a fashion statement….If that’s the case, what does a gold iPhone 5S say about you? That’s you’re classy? Fun? Rich? Perhaps it’ll also say ‘you’re lucky,’ since the gold iPhone 5S will probably be murder to get ahold of for its first few months.”

“Call me old school, but I like to think about what’s inside the phone,” Ulanoff says. Judge a smartphone not by its outward appearance, or at least by its stinkin’ color.

“Personally, I don’t give a hoot about a gold iPhone,” Ulanoff hoots. “Mashable will continue to report on gold iPhone rumors, since our readers seem to care.” The bane of online editors-in-chief everywhere: being forced to cover those things that irrational, color-crazed, fashion-obsessed, superficial, fickle, and let’s face it stupid readers demand to know about.

“I will not be making a big deal of it otherwise,” he vows. “Except for writing this post. Which is really about how I don’t care about the gold iPhone. Is that clear?”

[Ulanoff simply doesn’t appreciate the mystical hold of color. As is clear in the 2010 satire, “iMoby: the hunt for the great white iPhone,” by Herman Cox.]


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Latest report says Windows Phone will be neck-and-neck with iPhone by 2017.

Some time back, IDC predicted that Windows Phone would overtake iPhone to be the dominant platform in the smartphone business. This was met with a round of snickering and outright laughter. IDC gave Microsoft and Nokia until 2015, so they have two years to go, but right now, it doesn’t look like it will happen, does it?

And, according to this report from Canalys, it won’t happen. Canalys predicts that by 2017, the iPhone will have a 14.1% market share, while Windows Phone is right behind it with a 12.7% share. As of last year, the iPhone had a 19.5% market share, and Windows Phone a 2.4% market share.

Nothing changes with the Android market, which at this point should be called the Samsung market. It had 67.7% market share last year and will be at 67.1% in 2017.

Jessica Kwee, analyst with Canalys, said in the report that “Apple’s growth will be curtailed by the fact that momentum in the smartphone market is coming from the low end, and Apple is absent from this segment.”

Conversely, Microsoft and its partners, particularly Huawei, will deliver lower-end phones at more competitive pricing. Over the long term, the low-cost Chinese manufacturers will be what pushes Windows Phone into double digits.

“Longer-term it is the Chinese vendors that are best placed to challenge Samsung’s market dominance. Microsoft already has a relationship with Huawei and ZTE in the phone space, and Lenovo is a major partner in the PC space. These partners will be needed to help deliver the scale that Microsoft needs,” Kwee wrote.

I can agree on the Apple side of the analysis. Apple has always been a premium product maker for an affluent audience, and there is no intention of changing that. The game changer will be if Windows Phone ever lands OEMs that will push into the high end. It had LG and Samsung, then lost both. Nokia is going a great job, better than I expected, but it is essentially going it alone.

Then again, that’s how most of the smartphone market is operating if you think about it. The iOS market is Apple only. BlackBerry has talked of licensing its OS; so far, no takers. Nokia is pretty much the Windows Phone market with a little on the low-end via HTC, and Samsung is almost half of the total Android market.

There are other variables I don’t think Canalys took into consideration. What will Samsung do when it ships its Tizen OS? That will surely change the landscape. What if Windows Phone gains momentum and some of these also-ran Android phone companies decide they have a better chance with WP than against Samsung?

That’s why market predictions, like the weather in New England, are impossible to predict beyond one day.


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Which Tech Giant Will Own the Future?

Written by nancy@freetrainingkey.com
November 4th, 2011

Of all of the companies, Apple has the most difficult path. This is because it recently lost the one person in the world who had the proper skills to run that company. This is because Steve Jobs redesigned Apple around his unique skill set. To continue at its current level, it can’t just be good — it has to be outstanding, and the firms that did this consistently last decade can be counted on one hand with four fingers left over.

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I ran into a new forward-looking video from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) last week that showcases a number of Microsoft technologies as they might be used a decade from now. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) produced a video a few years ago, equally compelling, showcasing a future based on its technology; unfortunately, it hasn’t been able to demonstrate a single design win yet that indicates it is on that path. This got me thinking of a Philips (NYSE: PHG) video (unfortunately I don’t have a link) in the 1990s that basically predicted the iPhone — a device it never actually made.

Over the years, it has often seemed like the companies in power have people inside who can accurately see the future but are often cursed by people running the business who can’t or won’t execute against that vision. They are able to see the future but in some terrible parody of the cursed Greek prophetess Cassandra, who could see but not change the future, they are unable to benefit from it.

I’ll look at four companies that are at various stages and consider their future chances: Microsoft appears to be in decline; Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is in transition; Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) appears to be the next Microsoft — in a bad way; and Facebook is the current heir-apparent.

I’ll close with my product of the week: a notebook from Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) that looks like it was carved out of a block of aluminum and blends practicality with design elegance.
Microsoft on the Cusp

This is now Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft, and in many ways the firm bears little resemblance to the user-focused company that Paul Allen and Bill Gates launched in the 1980s. It is financially successful but clearly struggling in a market defined by Apple gadgets and user focus — which is somewhat ironic, given Microsoft’s initial success was largely because it was more user-focused than IBM (NYSE: IBM). The video I started out with accurately showcases a possible future for the company, but its historic problem is that it is too unfocused as a company, and the result is too many efforts that are massively under-resourced.

For instance, with Mango, the latest iteration of the Windows Phone platform, Microsoft has a product that is actually competitive and arguably better than Android — yet it is still losing market share, largely because it is massively underfunding it. It is spending billions on Bing, but the lack of progress there indicates it is under-resourced as well.

The test is not how much you spend, but whether you are making progress — and this new Microsoft focuses too much on containing costs and not enough on funding at levels that ensure success. That, to a large extent, is why it fails.

Channeling Yoda for a moment, it tries but it needs to do — and the end result continues to fall short of expectations. If Microsoft could accurately assess the cost of success, it would likely choose different battles to fight rather than underfunding the battles it is fighting. Seems like a simple thing, but if it made this one change, it would be far better for it.
Google: Death by Envy and Advertising

In 2007, this video foretold a future in which Google wins. It predicts that Google buys Microsoft in 2015 and pretty much takes over the world by 2050. Is really is rather interesting to watch. I do think it accurately showcases Google’s potential, but I don’t think Google is on this path either.

As was revealed in Steve Jobs’ biography, Jobs himself, effectively speaking from the grave, argued that Google was becoming Microsoft — too unfocused and too willing to toss crap out to the market. In short, Google needed to focus and grow up.

Children tend to obsess over showing up their elders. Mature adults focus on goals tied to success — well we should, anyway. Steve Jobs accurately described Google’s childlike excessive focus on Microsoft as its biggest problem and the reason that it has become a poor parody of that company.

Recently it even got its own version of the old Microsoft consent decree (which ironically mirrored IBM’s decades before). As I was writing, this info graphic was released showcasing that Android, Google’s premier operating system, pretty much screws the people who use it.

This brings up a second clear problem for Google, and that is quality. By separating the revenue from the product (it funds everything indirectly through advertising), it does what any product company knows is death: It makes its developers a cost center. Cost centers are naturally starved for funding and generally underperform as a result. So, for Google to reach its potential, it needs to stop focusing on showing Microsoft up, find a way to adequately resource its efforts, and focus instead on what it wants to be when it grows up — or it will fail, as Netscape did, for being the perennial child.

I also doubt Google wants to be remembered as the company that stole from Steve Jobs while being mentored and while Jobs was dying of cancer.
Facebook: Nibbled to Death

Facebook is clearly its own company. It doesn’t seem to be focusing excessively on any predecessor, and it is shifting its revenue sources from pure advertising into things more closely connected to products, like gaming. Interestingly, the video that showcases Facebook is being created, and it is being crowdsourced. This approach also showcases both the promise and problem for Facebook in the future. The video isn’t done, and the teaser is a collection of disjointed views from observers on the company’s future — kind of the video equivalent of a group of monkeys trying to type Shakespeare.

Because Facebook’s long-term success is most tied to how people interact, the core skills needed are more closely tied to skills like ethnography than they are to the engineering skills that typically define companies like this and currently define Facebook. In fact, coverage of Mark Zuckerberg (the CEO and vision behind Facebook) suggests that he is about as far from a people expert as we are likely to get in this business.

Already we are seeing services like Tagged, a social service designed to create deeper relationships, and Nextdoor, a Facebook-like secure offering focused on neighborhoods nibbling around Facebook’s edges. Services like this showcase Facebook’s core weakness — the very real problem that humans currently can’t scale to the relationship numbers that Facebook provides, and general services like Facebook have trouble focusing on the needs of small demographics or distinct geographies.

In short, Facebook’s future will likely be dependent on its ability to develop and apply leading expertise on human behavior and remain good enough for the majority of people looking for a social service. If it doesn’t, it isn’t Google it has to worry about — it is being nibbled to death by a ton of better-focused competing services, as barriers to entry remain very low in this segment.
Wrapping Up: Apple – The Next RIM or Reborn Again?

Of all of the companies, Apple has the most difficult path. This is because it recently lost the one person in the world who had the proper skills to run that company. This is because Steve Jobs redesigned Apple around his unique skill set. To continue at its current level, it can’t just be good — it has to be outstanding, and the firms that did this consistently last decade can be counted on one hand with four fingers left over.

Atari, Commodore, Netscape, Palm, Motorola and now Research in Motion (RIM) have all demonstrated that today’s champion can easily be tomorrow’s bozo. It doesn’t feel like Apple’s board or executive team has yet fully grasped that Apple can’t be sustained as it is without Jobs. It will have to change or find someone who can actually replace him.

Right now, this video showcases Apple’s future, and it desperately needs to change this outlook to something far more positive. In 1996, commenting on Apple, Steve Jobs appears in this video to have provided direction. But in the end, the company will have to maintain product passion at the top to continue to dominate — and right now, that is broken at Apple. Interestingly, this video by Corning may represent the best future for Apple, particularly if the new Apple TV rumor is true.

In the end, each of these companies must find in itself the vision, the focus, and the willingness to take the needed risks to define the future. Each could, but odds are that none of them will. Something to think about this week.
Product of the Week: Dell XPS 14z

Product of the Week

The XPS line has always been one of my favorites, and for most of this year, I carried the 17-inch older version of this product. The XPS 14z, initially released in China, represents the current state of the art in Windows 7 notebook computers. Pretty to look at and elegant in use, this laptop computer, at 14 inches, hits the proper balance between portability and usability in terms of size.

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Dell XPS 14z
Dell XPS 14z
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Twelve inches is far more portable, but the screen and keyboard tradeoffs make them hard to use for heavy writers. Seventeen inches is an amazing desktop replacement, but portable it isn’t, and the weight and inability to use it in many planes — even in business class — makes it problematic.

While the 13.3-inch screen size is typically the better form factor, the unique LG Shuriken display this laptop uses is a 14-inch panel in a 13.3-inch mount, giving you the benefits of more screen size in a smaller laptop.

Dell went to a great deal of trouble to make sure this laptop balanced properly and unlike other premium laptops in its class (read MacBook Pros) it won’t try to iron your legs and dissipates heat properly.

With the passing of Steve Jobs, Dell is the only large PC company still run by its founder, and the XPS line is that company’s premier line. As a result, this is the product that is likely most closely designed for its founder.

Balance is important in any product, and whether you are buying from Apple or Dell, paying a little more for something you’ll depend upon is always worth the price — at least, it is to me. Since the XPS 14z is the quintessential Dell product and the most balanced Windows 7 consumer notebook I’ve yet seen, it is my product of the week.

HTC dealt a setback in Apple patent battle

Written by nancy@freetrainingkey.com
October 17th, 2011

Apple says phones such as the HTC Amaze infringe on its patents. HTC has countersued with its own claims of patent violation by Apple.

Apple didn’t infringe on four of HTC’s patents, according to an initial ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s administrative law judge.

The administrative law judge ruling, which is essentially a recommendation to the ITC’s judges, found “no violation” by Apple, Reuters reported. A final ruling by the ITC is expected in February.

The ruling is just one component of an increasingly complex set of complaints and lawsuits between Apple and HTC filed in multiple courts and employing several different patents. The four HTC patents in this case, for instance, don’t include an amended complaint that uses patents HTC acquired from Google. As a result, even a full rejection of these patents from HTC wouldn’t spell an end to the litigation.

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“This is only one step of many in these legal proceedings.,” HTC General Counsel Grace Lei said in a statement e-mailed to CNET today. “We are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to protect our intellectual property.”

Apple wasn’t immediately available for comment.

HTC’s complaint was a response to Apple’s own volley of lawsuits alleging the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer had violated several technologies already used in the iPhone. HTC filed the complaint last year in the ITC, seeking a ban on the importation of iPhones, iPods, and iPad tablets. The initial complaint, however, used a weak set of patents, according to some legal experts.

“I didn’t take it seriously from the day it was filed,” said Florian Mueller, a legal consultant on patents. “Even if they were successfully enforced, I doubt they would pose a serious threat to Apple.”

Apple has gone on the offensive against the various Android manufacturers, hitting even longtime partners such as Samsung Electronics with lawsuits and bans in an effort to halt the growing momentum of Google’s mobile platform. While the iPhone remains the top-selling smartphone–with the iPhone 4S selling 4 million units over this past weekend–the widespread nature of Android has fueled Google’s market share gains.

Technology companies have increasingly used the ITC to settle their differences over the past few years. The process is quicker than a traditional district court, and holds the threat of a ban on the importation of devices or products. No ban has even been enforced on a technology company in the U.S.; the companies have always settled beforehand.

HTC was the first company hit with a lawsuit by Apple. The company is seen as the Android supporter with the weakest patent position, requiring recent assistance from Google. The company also acquired S3 Graphics, which owns patents that Apple may have violated.

How to live with malware infections

Written by admin
July 5th, 2011

Get used to it: Malware can’t be completely blocked or eliminated. But you can manage your PCs, mobile devices, and networks to function despite being infected

Malware survival tip No. 2: Deploy technologies and tactics that can help keep malware from spreading

 

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Even when some of your systems are infected with a virus to the point where nothing seems to remove it completely, that doesn’t mean the virus has to spread to other systems in your organization.

When you discover or suspect such a virus, take the infected systems offline as soon as possible to reduce the chance of spreading the malware or compromising other systems. Next, reapply a known, clean image, says Andy Hayter, the antimalcode program manager at ICSA Labs, a testing and certification firm.

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Putting in a layered defense that includes technologies such as firewalls, antispam, intrusion prevention systems, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software — plus keeping systems up to date with the latest patches — should help prevent the malware from infecting an entire organization, Hayter says.

“Control gateways between network segments and apply greater monitoring and control over internal networks,” adds Richard Zuleg, a consultant at security consulting firm SystemExperts.

Encrypt traffic and data whenever possible, Zuleg advises, and use technology such as server and desktop virtualization both to quickly redeploy systems or even reset them to clean images and to separate data from the system.

“Companies need to be controlling who has advanced privileges on systems and strictly control access to data,” Zuleg says. “If infected PCs are to become an accepted part of a network segment, then you will have no trust in that segment and must consider it to be like the public Internet.”

New network analysis tools will soon emerge that let you better identify where malware exists on the network and how to best contain viruses, says Marc Seybold, CIO at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. When such technology becomes available, “if devices that Jane Smith uses to access the network are persistently trying to transmit data to outside domains that are in some way anomalous compared to other traffic on the network or her long-term patterns, then additional attention would be focused on such a user’s devices and remedial action taken,” he says. Among the companies working on such technology are Alcatel-Lucent, Riverbed, and SonicWall.

At the same time, Seybold says, network traffic flows will start to be more compartmentalized and insulated from each other as network access control and policy-based management are combined with application flow monitoring. “As these are linked up, full behavioral analysis based on end-to-end application flows bound to specific users will become possible,” he says. Eventually there might be predictive analytics that could preemptively intercept malware transmissions based on past user behavior, “but that is still science fiction,” he says.

Malware survival tip No. 3: Diversify your IT infrastructure to decrease reliance on one or two OSes or browsers
It might make sense to move away from the Windows monoculture, which can be more quickly and easily attacked, and bring in other operating systems and devices so that you know a malware infection can never take down everyone in the organization. Maybe some people who handle critical systems or data can use a Linux PC or a Mac OS X PC so that they’re not as likely to be hurt by a virus aimed specifically at a common Windows vulnerability.

Along these lines, consider avoiding a browser monoculture, because a lot of current malware invades systems via the browser. Evaluate browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera to see which fit best with your enterprise applications and user base.

“Diversity is always good to prevent your entire infrastructure from coming down,” says B. Clifford Neuman, director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Computer Systems Security. “But there is the flip side to this strategy in that it gives an intruder many different possible choices of attacked system in which to get a foothold into your organization.” You trade potentially limiting infection for having more possible infection entry points.

Of course, whenever you make a move to switch operating systems, you might encounter resistance from some quarters. Tony Hildesheim, senior vice president of IT at financial services firm Redwood Credit Union, says his company is reviewing the use of alternative operating systems, browsers, and some business applications. But “none of these options appear to be all that popular with the business units,” he notes.

Technology diversity is not always an effective defense per se. ICSA Labs’ Hayter points out that malware infections are not limited to desktop PC environments. “There are many serious pieces of malware that can infect other [operating systems] and devices, be they desktop-based or mobile,” he says. “Additionally, malware can cross platforms from one OS or device to another, further requiring a layered defense plan.”

Note-Taking Apps for the Apple iPad

Written by admin
June 16th, 2011

Seeing as the Apple iPad is a ‘tablet,’ do it some justice and put it to use as a true writing surface with these five great note-taking apps.

As any efficient, organized, and focused person knows, finding the right note-taking app is crucial to getting the most out of your iPad. It is a “tablet” after all. Our favorite iPad note-taking apps are the ones that make use of Apple’s spacious screen to let you write, draw, or scribble with nothing more than a finger or stylus. We put five of the best iPad note-taking to the test to help you sort out which one offers what you need.

 

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Note-taking apps are a dime a dozen, but they don’t all support the same features or offer equal functionality. Some let you sketch and draw directly, while others force you to stick to typing. Most let you record and save voice memos, photos, and Web clips, but not all of them let you draw on top of images to further annotate them. The best note-taking apps focus on not only making notes, but on finding and sorting them later as well.

The price range for note-taking apps on the iPad is huge, and the most expensive ones are not necessarily the best. We’ve found a free app that works just fine. And two iPad note-taking apps that we selected as our Editors’ Choices both cost less than $5. On the higher end, one $10 app that we tested is more of a project management app than a straight note-taking tool, although what project manager doesn’t need to reference her meeting notes, comments, and reminders, too?

For more note-taking app recommendations, see our round up of Note-Taking Apps for the iPhone.

How To Hide Your Data

Written by admin
June 13th, 2011

Basic File Hiding
If you don’t trust the cloud, that only leaves your hard drive for fast access to files. So how do you keep those important files incognito? There is a very basic way to hide something, even right on your Windows desktop: Make it invisible.

Here’s how to activate a folder cloaking device in Windows XP/Vista/7:

 

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1) Folders typically need a name, even if it’s super short. You can get rid of the name though. Rename a folder on your desktop by highlighting it. Hit F2 and type 0160 with the number pad (not the numbers above the letter keys) while you hold down the Alt key. The numbers will NOT appear to change. Press Enter. The name of the file will be blank.

Note: You can only do this to one folder on the desktop at a time, as Windows sees no name as the name and won’t let you duplicate folder names.

2) The name is gone but the folder icon is still there. Right click on it and select Properties. Go to the Customize tab and click Change Icon. Windows will give you a choice of icons to change it to; three of those choices are blanks (you can find them about 12 columns from the right). Click on a blank one and then click OK.

Your folder is now invisible on the desktop. You can then combine these steps with some basic encryption. For example, use software like WinZip, WinRAR, or 7-zip to create a file archive that is encrypted with a password of your creation. That way, if someone does find the folder you’ve concealed, that person still won’t be able to get to it. You can also change the file extension, from say .ZIP to .JPG, to obscure that it’s an archive.

Caveats: If you do this to a folder inside another folder and view the contents in list or details mode, the invisible folder will show up at the top. The name is blank, but the space will be obvious. Also, on the desktop, if someone clicks and drags with a cursor to highlight multiple icons, the invisible one can be highlighted and thus be seen—like throwing paint on the Invisible Man. So this method is free but far from foolproof.

You don’t have to do all this hiding yourself; you can also turn to software. Tools like Hide My Folders (14-day trial is free and then $39.95) or My Lockbox 2 (free or $24.94 for Pro edition) promise to hide your valuable data on Windows. Mac users can try Altomac’s Hide Folders (free or $24.95 if you want passwords on hidden folders) MCITP Training .

Hide the Whole Drive
Making a file or a whole folder invisible is one thing, but what if you’ve got a hard drive filled with secrets? Interestingly, it might be even easier to hide.

The simplest thing to do is make a Windows volume with its own drive letter, whether it’s a partition, a second internal drive, or an external drive (even a USB drive), and hide the letter from Windows Explorer. The open-source No Drives Manager does this, providing you with a list of drives from A to Z. Put a check next to the drive you want to hide and click “Write current settings to the registry.” The software adjusts Windows, so after you log off and back on again, that drive is no longer visible in Windows Explorer. When you want to access it, go to a command line—you can use the search bar in the Windows 7 menu—and type the drive letter with a colon to access it. Because No Drives Manager changes the registry, you don’t have to install it. You can keep it on a USB key and run it as needed to hide or unhide drives.

Note: This might not work if you use a Windows Explorer replacement tool.

Want to go the extra mile and add in some encryption? The free TrueCrypt software runs on multiple operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and can encrypt parts of a hard drive or an entire drive partition. What’s more, it can create a volume on the drive that it not only encrypts but hides.

Install and run TrueCrypt and the Volume Creation Wizard will appear. Tell it you want to make an “encrypted file container” on a “standard TrueCrypt volume.” Put the volume anywhere except your C: drive (for now, it doesn’t matter where you put it, but remember the path to the .TC file you create). Give the volume a strong-as-Hercules password. Let TrueCrypt create an encryption key, click Format, let it go, and exit the wizard. But wait, you’re not done yet.

In a command line window (to get one, type CMD in the Windows search box) and type:

Attrib D:\volume.tc +h

Make sure the path matches the one you used (we’ve shown an example above). The “+h” makes it a hidden file, so it won’t appear in Windows Explorer.

Go back into TrueCrypt and you’re going to mount the volume that you made and hide as a virtual hard drive using an unused drive letter. Again, type in the full path to the .TC file and click Mount. Dismount when finished, again using TrueCrypt. (The software offers to help you make a hidden volume inside an obvious volume on the drive, but I couldn’t get the hidden drive to work.) TrueCrypt can even hide your entire operating system, so you end up with two Windows installations—one for show and one for secret work.

Other software that promises to encrypt and hide include BDV DataHider, Folder Vault, and SafeHouse Explorer.

Will the carriers kill the mobile revolution?

Written by admin
June 5th, 2011

Verizon’s ugly ploy to squeeze out small carriers
If you live in a big city, you’ve probably never heard of Blue Grass Cellular. But to millions of people living in rural areas, companies like Blue Grass offer the best — in some cases, the only — local service you can buy. You might think that the survival of those companies isn’t your problem. But it is.

 

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To stay in business, companies like Blue Grass have to make roaming agreements with the big national carriers. Those agreements allow their subscribers to have service when they travel to other regions. Without those agreements, subscribers who want service when they’re away from home would be forced to sign up with Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, or AT&T, further bolstering these already large and powerful companies.

To protect the small carriers and their customers, the FCC earlier this year passed what sounds like a very reasonable rule: Mobile broadband providers must provide data roaming to other carriers “on commercially reasonable terms and conditions.” The carriers offering roaming services still have the freedom to negotiate agreements with smaller carriers individually, but they can’t arbitrarily turn them down or make charges so high that customers couldn’t afford them.

And that’s something they’ve done in the past, says Steven K. Berry, the CEO of the Rural Cellular Association, which represents about 100 carriers.

But Verizon Wireless doesn’t want to abide by that rule and is suing in a federal court to have it thrown out. “It is not at all surprising that Verizon Wireless is appealing the data roaming order. Verizon has fought competitive policies for a long time. They have opposed data roaming, they have opposed interoperability, and they have opposed putting an end to exclusive handset deals,” says Berry.

Simply put, Verizon Wireless is trying to reduce the market to fewer and fewer players. The bigger Verizon Wireless and its rival AT&T become, the more leverage they have to set prices and terms of services across the country. Already, they together control about three-quarters of the market. Why hasn’t AT&T jumped in as well? “In sports parlance, this is the equivalent of what you would call a tag-team match. If AT&T is not there to fight a logical competitive policy decision, then Verizon will step in to complete the tag-team operation for the duopoly,” Berry says.

Verizon Wireless argues that it does sign agreements with small carriers. “The reason that we’re filing the appeal is we just think that the voluntarily negotiated agreements have been working,” a company spokesperson said.

Mac products offers released Monday the release towards iOS 4.Three.Several meant for iphone 4g and consequently ipad 3gs you, whom fixing a handful of pests that is going to every now and then end in ignore and / or veggies recall video recordings down Face time give a call and even ipad device 3rd generation online scenario.

 


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How Many BlackBerry PlayBooks Did RIM Sell?

Written by admin
April 21st, 2011

The reviews for the BlackBerry PlayBook might prompt tablet fans to think twice, but according to one analyst, first-day sales of the Research in Motion device were solid, with the company possibly selling 45,000 PlayBooks.

“While the launch of the Playbook is not attracting overnight crowds, preorder sales and in-store demand in major cities has been solid; however, AT&T’s prohibition of free tethering is an unexpected negative,” Peter Misek, an equity analyst with Jefferies, wrote in a Wednesday note.

 

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The PlayBook went on sale on Tuesday and in first-day checks, Misek found that sales skewed toward pre-orders, as well as the 32GB and 64GB models, while inventory and demand was higher in urban areas. He predicted that Best Buy and Staples sold about 20,000 units, excluding pre-orders, while consumer pre-orders totaled 25,000.

“If correct, 45K+ sell through on the first day would be a success,” Misek wrote.

Despite more glowing reviews for the Motorola Xoom, Misek speculated that PlayBook sales “are far exceeding” the Xoom’s.

One controversial aspect of the PlayBook is that it’s tied to a BlackBerry smartphone via the BlackBerry Bridge software, which pipes over email and messages and lets the PlayBook get on the Internet for free. That feature, however, is not yet available via AT&T.

“AT&T is working with RIM to make the BlackBerry Bridge app available for AT&T customers. We have just received the app for testing and before it’s made available to AT&T customers we want to ensure it delivers a quality experience,” AT&T said earlier this week.

Misek estimated that of the 60 million BlackBerry users, about 8 million are on AT&T, so “the lack of free tethering support is obviously disappointing,” he said.

RIM, meanwhile, has promised that the PlayBook will get a native email client in the next 60 days.

For more, see PCMag’s full review of the PlayBook and the slideshow below, the unboxing, our review of the BlackBerry tablet OS, and PCMag’s comparison of the Xoom, PlayBook and iPad 2.

How to Recycle Your Technology

Written by admin
April 20th, 2011

Recycle with Computer Manufacturers and Mobile Carriers

Computer Manufacturers Most will take their own stuff, but how you go about it depends on the maker. You can find a quick chart on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Plug-In to eCycling site.

Mobile Carriers
Every one of the four major mobile phone service providers will take cell phones back for recycling, either to dispose of safely or, better yet, to refurbish for special use as 911 emergency phones for those in need, such as abuse victims or active duty military soldiers. Just remember to erase the data from your phone before you drop it off. If it’s from AT&T or T-Mobile, take out the phone’s SIM card, too. All of the carriers’ efforts are also part of the EPA Plug-In to eCycling campaign.

 

 


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AT&T Reuse & Recycle
Takes any phone, plus batteries and accessories. Just drop them at the nearest AT&T store.

Sprint Re:cycle
Sprint offers to buy-back some phones from existing customers and provides credit toward a new one, but if that doesn’t work, it will take any phones, batteries, and accessories you want to drop off or send in by creating a pre-printed, postage-paid shipping label.

T-Mobile’s Handset Recycling Program
Again, T-Mobile will take any carrier’s phone and accessories—it’s a good idea to also donate the charger—either in the story or by mail with a pre-printed label with postage already paid.

HopeLine from Verizon
Specifically targeted to get recycled phones to victims of domestic violence, Verizon’s program is no different for you, the donate—you can drop phones, batteries, and accessories at the stores around the country or use the pre-paid shipping label. Start your own HopeLine Phone Drive to get involved.

This week, Google announced several updates to its Google Apps online productivity suite. Improved migration tools and the ability to paginate Google Docs were followed by an new administrator interface. And yes, I did just say that Google announced pagination.

In fairness, Google Docs has had the ability to insert page breaks for some time now. You just couldn’t really see the pages very well. Or know for sure where soft breaks would occur. Fairness aside, though, this bit of news is being met with almost as much scorn as the great ruler debacle of 2010. A year ago today, Google announced a ruler with tab stops in the Google Docs interface and Microsoft responded with an unusually clever snark:

Andrew Kisslo, a Sr. Product Manager with the Office group, blogged about the new features on Wednesday, noting, “Rumor is the WordPad Team is very nervous about that leap in productivity gain. (Yes that’s a joke.)”

And yet…

Google Docs has always been about creating content and sharing it with coworkers. Page breaks, after all, don’t exist on the Internet. Only scroll wheels or, if you’re lucky, two-fingered scrolling on your touchpad, make the difference between a short page and a long one.

I use Google Docs now in my new job working for a virtual classroom company more than I ever have. The majority of my colleagues are in northern and central India and we get to talk when we occasionally happen to be conscious simultaneously. Fortunately, I’m a night owl and they seem to just work all the time, so it’s OK. However, as their head of marketing, I’m constantly collaborating on documents and pulling together content that will ultimately go into a CMS, onto a web page, or into a press release anyway. It doesn’t matter if it has pages.

Of course, it’s smart of Google to add this visual queue. Students around the world have had to hit Print every 10 minutes to see if they’ve actually written a 5-page essay since schools started adopting Google Apps. Now, they will know for sure.

But now for the more substantive updates. You can now add custom themes to Gmail!

OK, now I’m being snarky.

The updates that matter include the deprecation of their IMAP email migration tool, used to bring user accounts from other systems over to Apps. Rather, the Exchange Migration tool has been enhanced to handle more than just Exchange. According to the Google blog,

The IMAP mail migration tool in the administrator Control Panel will no longer be accessible as of April 30th. We recommend using the Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange utility which migrates email from IMAP mail servers in addition to supporting migration from Exchange Server 2003/2007/2010, PST files, and Google Apps.

The update to the “Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange” is discussed in more detail here.

There were other updates for Lotus Notes users, but I think they all work at IBM anyway, so we can ignore those.

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The point of all this is that Google Apps is steadily marching forward with enhancements and tweaks. Nothing revolutionary recently, but many enhancements to the entire suite of related products. As I asked a year ago, is it enough to compete with Office 2010? It certainly is in my job right now. I think it is for a lot of other users, too. But even I can’t keep the snark out of a blog post on these little tweaks. Maybe it’s just late and I should get some sleep, but more likely, Google still has a ways to go to convince people that all they really need is a browser.

Asia-Pacific Runs Out of IPv4 Internet Addresses

Written by admin
April 16th, 2011

The Asia-Pacific region effectively ran out of IPv4 addresses on Friday, meaning that the region is now conserving addresses for the IPv4-to-IPv6 transition.

The region officially moved into its planned “Phase Three” of the transition, where new and existing members will have restricted access to the existing IPv4 addresses used by most PCs today. All new and existing APNIC members will be entitled to a maximum delegation of a “/22″, or (1,024 addresses) of IPv4 space, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre said.

 

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APNIC is the first regional Internet registry to exhaust its IPv4 address space, which experts have warned about for some time. When the available IPv4 addresses are exhausted, new devices coming onto the network, from phones to network switches, must be assigned an IPv6 address unless some intermediary technology is used.

“Considering the ongoing demand for IP addresses, this date effectively represents IPv4 exhaustion for many of the current operators in the Asia Pacific region,” said Paul Wilson, director general of APNIC, in a statement. “From this day onwards, IPv6 is mandatory for building new Internet networks and services.”

Current IP addresses use the IPv4 format, which assigns users an IP address using four numbers, each from 1 to 256. (8.8.8.8 is an available DNS server IP address administered by Google, for example.) Addresses like pcmag.com are translated behind the scenes into their numeric equivalents, just like 800-DOMINOS equates to an actual phone number. Each new device that connects to the Internet is assigned a new IP address, although home networks can assign their own non-unique IPs via network address translation, or NAT.

While the IPv4-to IPv6 shift will be a worry for networking vendors, ISPs, and domain-name registrars, the transition shouldn’t be as much of a concern for ordinary consumers, networking vendors told PCMag.com. ISPs like Comcast can also run in dual-stack mode, internally translating addresses from IPv4 to IPv6.

“You can certainly run dual-stack in the routers to serve both types of packets,” said Vint Cerf, the so-called “father of the Internet” and a chief Internet evangelist for Google, in an interview earlier this year. “You can certainly run dual-stack at edge devices, if the device has been provided with both address types. The IPv4 address might be a NAT assignment using so-call ‘private IP address space.’

“Eventually there will be no more IPv4 ‘public address space,’” he continued. “When that exhaustion occurs (and it won’t happen in a uniform way—some places will run out before others), then there will be some devices that only have IPv6 assignments. They will not be able to directly interact with IPV4-only devices.”

Adobe Alerts, Patches Latest Flash Zero-Day Hole

Written by admin
April 16th, 2011

Adobe said Friday that it has identified and issued a patch for Adobe Flash Player, just days after issuing a similar patch.

Adobe issued Adobe Flash Player 10.2.159.1 on Friday, for users of Flash version 10.2.153.1, and Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.25 for those that use Chrome. Adobe also said it recommends users of Adobe AIR 2.6.19120 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux update to Adobe AIR 2.6.19140.

 

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Adobe expects to make available an update for Adobe Flash Player 10.2.156.12 and earlier versions for Android no later than the week of April 25, 2011, the company added.

Why? According to Adobe, there have been reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a malicious Web page, or a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Word (.doc) or Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment, targeting the Windows platform. The updates resolve a memory corruption vulnerability that could lead to code execution, Adobe said.

That’s basically the same vector that a previous vulnerability exploited on Wednesday.. Adobe said then that it was not aware of PDF-related attacks in Reader or Acrobat, and Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent that type of exploit from happening.

As PCMag’s Larry Seltzer points out, this type of vulernability might sound familiar. It’s quite similar to another Flash zero-day from several weeks ago that was embedded in an Excel file and used to attack RSA.

Adobe Reader 9.x for UNIX, Adobe Reader for Android, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.x are not affected by this issue, Seltzer noted.

Adobe Alerts, Patches Latest Flash Zero-Day Hole

Written by admin
April 16th, 2011

Adobe said Friday that it has identified and issued a patch for Adobe Flash Player, just days after issuing a similar patch.

Adobe issued Adobe Flash Player 10.2.159.1 on Friday, for users of Flash version 10.2.153.1, and Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.25 for those that use Chrome. Adobe also said it recommends users of Adobe AIR 2.6.19120 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux update to Adobe AIR 2.6.19140.

 

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Adobe expects to make available an update for Adobe Flash Player 10.2.156.12 and earlier versions for Android no later than the week of April 25, 2011, the company added.

Why? According to Adobe, there have been reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a malicious Web page, or a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Word (.doc) or Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment, targeting the Windows platform. The updates resolve a memory corruption vulnerability that could lead to code execution, Adobe said.

That’s basically the same vector that a previous vulnerability exploited on Wednesday.. Adobe said then that it was not aware of PDF-related attacks in Reader or Acrobat, and Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent that type of exploit from happening.

As PCMag’s Larry Seltzer points out, this type of vulernability might sound familiar. It’s quite similar to another Flash zero-day from several weeks ago that was embedded in an Excel file and used to attack RSA.

Adobe Reader 9.x for UNIX, Adobe Reader for Android, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat 8.x are not affected by this issue, Seltzer noted.

Oracle to Make OpenOffice.org Community-Based

Written by admin
April 16th, 2011

When a group of developers broke off from Oracle last year to establish the Document Foundation and create the new LibreOffice open-source office suite, it was unclear what would become of the well-known OpenOffice.org project they left behind. Today, Oracle has announced that it will no longer offer a commercial version of the OpenOffice.org software, and that it plans to move the suite to a purely community-based open source project.

 


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In a statement, Oracle Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven said, “Given the breadth of interest in free personal productivity applications and the rapid evolution of personal computing technologies, we believe the OpenOffice.org project would be best managed by an organization focused on serving that broad constituency on a non-commercial basis. We intend to begin working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office. Oracle will continue to strongly support the adoption of open standards-based document formats, such as the Open Document Format (ODF).”

“Oracle has a long history of investing in the development and support of open source products,” Screven continued. “We will continue to make large investments in open source technologies that are strategic to our customers including Linux and MySQL. Oracle is focused on Linux and MySQL because both of these products have won broad based adoption among commercial and government customers.”

Oracle provided no additional information about OpenOffice.org, or its own proprietary Web-based office suite, Oracle Cloud Office, which also supports ODF.

The LibreOffice developers released their first stable version of that software earlier this year.

Install Mac OS X Lion 10.7 on PC Hackintosh

Written by admin
April 13th, 2011

After writing a number of Hackintosh Guides, we are revealing curtains off the next big Guide that had been keeping us Busy for last few weeks.

Its now possible to Install Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on your PC with the standard Hackintosh techniques.

Note: Hackintosh PCs are for nerds who desire to have them with effort, if you are lazy, you may quit now.

This Hackintosh is based on the developer release of Mac OS X Lion released to Apple’s developers.

Update: You can checkout the video of my hackintosh at the end of the post.

Minimum Requirements:

* Intel Core 2 Duo or better i.e. Core i3, i5, i7. (no Core Duo or AMD right now).
* 2GB RAM (4GB recommended)
* A Nvidia or ATi radeon graphics card. (On Intels get ready to go glitchy)

Pre-Requisites:

 

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* Mac OS X Lion .dmg image (Search on torrents or ask your Apple developer program friends)
* Existing Hackintosh PC – Can be a Snow Leopard or Leopard form any of our existing guides. OR ask any of your friends to lend you a Mac for preparing USB.
* EFI Boot Loader – iBoot Download (Let me know @taranfx on twitter if link goes down)
* 2 USB thumb drives, one  atleast 8gb in size.

How to Install Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on PC/Laptop

1. Boot into existing Mac OS X installation (Leopard or Snow Leopard). This can be your friend’s Mac, it doesn’t matter.

2. Double click Mac OS X Lion.dmg to mount it.

3. In the Terminal, Type the following:

open /Volumes/Mac\ OS \ X\ Install\ ESD/BaseSystem.dmg

4. Plug your 8gb USB drive and Open Disk Utility.

5. Format the USB drive as “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”.

diskUtility-Lion

6. Navigate to Finder and locate the restored drive and goto folder System > Installation and there you will see “Packages”. Remove it. Create a new Empty folder called “Packages”.

7. In Terminal, type:

open /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/Packages

copy the contents to System > Installation > Packages (empty folder).

8. Locate your “FakeSMC.kext” (typically in Extra > Extensions) and copy it to USB’s  “System > Library > Extensions”.

9. In Terminal navigate to “Extensions” (you can do this quickly by typing “cd ” and then dragging & dropping “Extensions” to Terminal) and fix permissions using:

sudo su

[your password here]

chown -R 0:0 FaksSMC.kext

chmod -R 755 FakeSMC.kext

That should be all for the USB. It now has all the basic stuff for kicking the installation. We’ll add few more things to the USB to make it bootable and compatible with hackintosh hardware.

Phase 2. Installing iBOOT

Option I: If you have Windows Installation on same PC

1. Boot into your Windows installation (on same PC where you wish to install the Mac OS Lion) and extract the iBOOT, run the installation from iBOOT_SetupToolBeta.2.exe

2. Plug in your second USB drive and format (FAT preferred). Replug the usb drive and click “Prepare iBOOT” inside the iBOOT app.

At this time you can add DSDT (place it in the DSDT folder in your iBOOT USB stick, i.e. “iBOOT USB Stick > efi > dsdt”) or EFI drivers, if your hardware needs any. Checkout OSx86 wiki or insanelymac forums if you are not very sure. Option 2: No Windows. Use Mac instead

1. Navigate to folder iBOOT > DuetToHDD. Drag and drop this file to Terminal, press space bar and type “write /dev/rdiskXsY”

Where X = your second USB’s Drive number and Y is Partition number. Y should be 0 for most cases ,since its single partition.

2. Press space bar again and drag the file “Efildr20″ into terminal and hit Enter.

That’s it Both your USBs are ready to get into Action.

Phase III: Installation of Mac OS X Lion

If you’ve made it well so far, you shouldn’t face much problems, provided your hardware is compatible.

1. Go to BIOS settings of your PC, enable USB booting and give USB the highest priority for booting.

2. Plugin both of your USB drives (iBOOT USB & installation USB) and switch ON your PC. You should see a GUI interface in few moments. In some cases you might even see a white line for couple of seconds.

iboot

3. If you see GUI interface, Press “U” to increase resolution. (alternatively “D” to decrease). Do so until you see the available USB drives. If you still don’t Press “V” to probe the USB volumes.

4. Lets now set Boot flags by pressing “M” followed by boot flags i.e. “-v” to enable verbose mode. You can also use other flags that you know of from previous hackintosh guides like arch=i386, arch=x86_64, cpus=1 etc.

5. Select your Installation USB which might be shown as “Mac OS X Base System”.

Troubleshooting Tip: If somehow you don’t get this visual, you have either done a blunder during preparation of Installation USB or you are missing an important flag for your hardware.

6. Soon you would enter the installation where you can select your Language and continue with standard Mac OS X install. If you are confused over this, checkout the Video in Step 3 of this Hackintosh guide, its very much identical till the point you reboot. Basically, what you have to do is format the hard drive you want to install OSX Lion to (go to Utilities -> Disk Utility, then click on the drive, select 1 Partition, Mac OS X Journaled, give it a name, and make sure GUID Partition Table is set in the Options. After you Apply the new partition, go back to the installer and install like normal to that drive. You may want to customize the install to remove unnecessary stuff like printers, etc.

Phase IV: Finalizing and Fixing stuff

Bear it with us, we are almost done. This is the last part that would ensure that you can boot into Mac OS X Lion without trouble, everytime!

1. Once your Installation completes, Boot into iBoot again and Load “MAc OS X Base System” from USB. When installation screen appears, Goto “Utilities > Terminal” and type in:

cd /Volumes/Lion/System/Library/CoreServices/
rm -rf PlatformSupport.plist
cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Base\ System/System/Library/Extensions/
cp -R FakeSMC.kext /Volumes/Lion/System/Library/Extensions/
chown -R 0:0 /Volumes/Lion/System/Library/Extensions/FakeSMC.kext
chmod -R 755 /Volumes/Lion/System/Library/Extensions/FakeSMC.kext
exit

Where “Lion” is the name of the partition on which OSX Lion was installed.

2. Reboot and load iBOOT again, this time select your “Lion” Partition where you installed it, instead of USB.

3. All should go well and you should see a welcome Video. Congratulations, You now have Mac OS X Lion installed on your PC.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-Desktop

Phase V: Post-Installation Driver (Hardware) tips

Chances are most of your hardware like Graphics card, sound card, network card don’t work yet. Lets fix them one by one.

1. Add KEXTs to iBOOT

You can customize iBOOT to install kexts from “Extra > Extensions” from any of your previous hackintosh machines into “System > Library > Extensions”. If its your first time, you will have to checkout OSx86 wiki to see what kexts do you need to make your hardware work.

2. Essentials:

We are listing some of the must have KEXTs:

* FakeSMC.kext – We’ve already installed it. Essential for System Management controller emulation
* ElliotForceLegacyRTC.kext – Prevents the CMOS Reset encountered on some motherboards.
* NullCPUManagement.kext – Disables AppleIntelCPUManagement.kext which may cause Kernel Panics with incompatible DSDT.

Optional  KEXTs:

* EvOreboot.kext – Makes your hardware compatible for Shutdown and Restart (yes, Really!) without actually needing a DSDT.
* IOAHCIStorageBlockInjector.kext – Makes external drives behave as internal.
* NVEnabler 64.kext (NVidia GeForce 9500GT)
* VoodooHDA.kext 2.7.1 (2.7.2 doesn’t work, ALC888b)
* RealtekR1000SL.kext (Realtek 8111)

3. Making Graphics Card Work with Lion

Most of the Modern ATi, Nvidia Graphics card would work out of the box since Apple supports them in macbooks. If on a Nvidia graphics card, you are not able to get the optimal resolution, try using Fermi drivers NVDAResman.kext and NVDAFG100hal.kext from NVIDIA drivers into /System/Library/Extensions/ of Lion, and remove GeForce.kext.

I’ve achieved QE/CI out of the box with my ATi Radeon card (Desktop), and with some additional work on Nvidia GT 230m (laptop), but mileage may vary. I`ll update more about QE/CI support as soon as I get handson different machines.

Transform Windows 7 to Snow Leopard

Written by admin
April 13th, 2011

If you are tired of watching the same look and feel of Windows 7, or you envy Mac OS X Snow Leopard for X reasons, it’s try to change the UI and transform the Experience.

We’ve already shown you in the past How  you can Transform Windows 7 XP Vista to Mac OS X Leopard. Now lets go little further to match look and feel of  Snow Leopard on your windows 7, Vista.

 

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Snow Transformation Pack will change the appearance of your whole system, including the login screen, icons, wallpapers, sounds, dock, dialog boxes, and other UI elements.

STP even skins Internet Explorer to look a bit like Safari, and the familiar OS X style dock is included as well — based on  RK Launcher. There’s even a stacks docklet included.

Installation:

Make sure you disable User Account Control to install it. On installing, you’ll get a few choices as to whether you want to install a few extra background apps that add extra graphics, which is nice if your computer doesnt have enough horsepower

iPad vs. Windows 7 Tablet

Written by admin
April 13th, 2011

Its not about winning or losing, we are happy to start seeing some competition to industry’s most popular Tablet device: Apple iPad.

As illustrated in the video, there are things that iPad would do better than Windows 7 tablet, and vice versa.

Watch the Handson Comparison video for most daily use-cases:

 

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Web Browsing: Windows 7 Tablet might be slightly faster at this but layout, screen size-wise, it fails to showcase its appeal.

OnScreen Keyboard: The on-screen keyboards are great, iPad definitely has a better one.

Flash, youtube: Windows runs native Flash in browsers and iPad relies on native youtube app to achieve the same. Other flash sites, just wont work. However, unofficial iPad Flash [Frash] should nail down to stability and support.

Screen: Windows 7 Tablets will feature different screens, varied by the vendor that manufactures it. But iPad already features best in class IPS display.

Email & apps: As you can see from the video above, Windows 7 tablet seriously lacks on user usability. Its not easy when it comes to touching small areas which were originally meant be used with mouse cursor.

Connectivity: Windows 7 Tablets have its edge over here as it provide all kinds of standard PC connectivity ports: USB, SDcard and what not.

Battery: Mileage may vary but, iPad gives a bare minimum of 10hours, which is atleast 2x times better than any Windows 7 Tablet device that will be coming anytime soon. This is one of the reasons why HP windows 7 Slate was dropped.

Multitouch: Nobody, I said nobody can beat apple in this. They are the mastters of multitouch gesture smoothness, google might be approaching them, but Apple is far more superior at this.