Mar 22 2010

Apple’s Snow Leopard to be Updated Soon

An update to Apple’s latest operating system, Snow Leopard, is probably going to be released to the public in the near future. The private beta, Mac OS X 10.6.3, available to developers, has been undergoing testing. According to sources familiar with the beta versions, Apple is asking developers to focus on certain applications, such as Mail and QuickTime. In an earlier beta version, developers focused on iCal and fonts.

When Mac OS X 10.6.3 is released, there will be a QuickTime update that provides enhanced security and compatibility. There are still some other issues that will hopefully be solved, including a problem with copying files to a shared Windows volume.

Apple has given developers two betas of this update in very quick succession. It normally only does this if the update is due to be released soon or if there is a dangerous glitch in the system. No dangerous glitches have been reported about this update.

Via Network World, image via Apple.

Mar 21 2010

Charlie Miller Discovers 20 Security Holes in Mac OS X

Hacker Charlie Miller has been snooping around Mac OS X, poking at its core elements to see if there are any major flaws in Apple’s security net.  In his attempts to remotely control OS X machines and steal various files from them, it appears he has racked up quite a list of problems.  Rounding up no less than 20 holes, he is planning on reporting at the upcoming CanSecWest security conference in Canada.  He has made several appearances there before, showing multiple flaws in Apple’s OS.

Ultimately, Miller points out that there are multiple elements in Mac OS X that put it at risk: a combination of open-source components, 3rd party closed-sourced apps, and Apple’s closed sourced pieces.  He sums it up with the sentiment, “Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town.” Read, Mac users: be grateful you are such a small demographic, because otherwise you would run a serious risk of being hacked.

Via Engadget

Mar 1 2010

The Great Debate: Mac OS X or iPhone OS?

Along with the highly anticipated iPad release from Apple at the end of March, comes a heated debate regarding whether the iPad should run using the traditional Mac OS X interface or the iPhone OS.

Looking from the pro-Mac OS X perspective, the main argument against the iPhone OS concerns the weaker processing, something Mac OS users think overshadows the “revolutionary” interaction between the user and the operating system. Why use OS X in the iPad? For one, the resolution is the same between the iPad and the first iMac models (1024×768), however, the significant difference lies in the different screen sizes (iPad 9.7″, Mac 13.8″.)

Now, this doesn’t seem like a striking issue, but the iPhone interface purely relies on Cocoa Touch, eliminating the mouse cursor used in classic Macs. In addition to the less precise finger as opposed to mouse cursor, the smaller screen only further raises questions of precise interaction. Also, the new interface won’t be able to run certain applications such as Mozilla Firefox 10.4.

The iPad’s size has its benefits though; it isn’t meant to compete with a regular Mac, but rather to be an innovative and portable substitute. In the end, we are left to question: will we embrace the new revolutionary interface used on the iPhone, or stay faithful to the classic Mac OS X interface? We’ll surely find out by the end of the month.

Via AppleInsider.

Feb 23 2010

Apple Wants to Expand iPhone OS

According to a recent job posting on Apple’s website, the company is looking to expand its iPhone OS to work on other devices. Those platforms will also be powered by a similar processor to the A4, Apple’s own processor that is going to be used in the iPad.

Apple is looking for an engineering manager to head a team that will expand the iPhone OS. Apple describes the team as follows:

The team is responsible for low level platform architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware platforms. The team consists of talented engineers with experience in hardware, firmware, IOKit drivers, security and platform architecture.

Some analysts are speculating that Apple may eventually transform some (maybe eventually even all) of its laptops to run ARM-based processors such as the A4.

This news about the expansion of the iPhone OS shows that Steve Jobs really meant it when he said that OS X was always meant to be “platform independent.”

Via Ars Technica, image via CrystalXP.net.

Jan 20 2010

Apple Patches 12 Weaknesses in OS X

On Tuesday Apple released a security update for Leopard and Snow Leopard (unfortunately, no updates for those still using Tiger) that patched 12 vulnerabilities, seven of which were in Adobe Flash Player and one involving secure internet traffic. The security update was much smaller than Apple’s recent update, released in November, that fixed close to 60 flaws.

The Flash Player patches updated it to version 10.0.42.34, the edition that Adobe shipped in December 2009 with Windows and Linux operating systems. Apple bundles Flash Player with its operating system, so it can distribute Adobe patches.

Nine of the 12 issues fixed were described by the phrase “may lead to arbitrary code execution,” which in Apple language means attackers could have exploited and hijacked a Mac due to these flaws.

Another notable problem fixed by this update was a flaw in SSL (secure socket layer) and TLS (transport socket layer) that could have allowed attackers to capture encrypted data. Two security analysts working at PhoneFactor discovered the flaw in August 2009.

Via Computerworld, image via Apple.

Dec 28 2009

Is Apple Going to Develop a Spectrum of Operating Systems?

Apple Inc. used to be called Apple Computer, Inc., but it dropped the word “computer” from its name in January 2007, reflecting the fact that the company does not just make computers anymore. iPods and iPhones count for a large portion of the company’s sales, so the name needed changing. Now some analysts are speculating that Apple may start to differentiate between its different operating systems on its various devices.

The different versions of OS X right now are augmented for their various platforms. There is the version we have on desktops and laptops, the version on the iPhone, the version on the iPod Touch, and a possible new version on the Apple tablet.

However, many people are speculating that the Apple tablet will change the formula by running a brand new version of OS X, powered somewhere in between the iPhone’s OS and Leopard. Leopard is a bit cumbersome for a tablet, but the iPhone’s does not allow for apps to run in the background.

Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog, image via CrystalXP.net.

Nov 20 2009

Get Mac OS X 10.6.2 on your Non-Intel Atom-Based Netbook

Hey you! Want to install Mac’s Snow Leopard OS onto your non-Mac netbook? Fortunately with this following hack, you can. A forum member at InsanelyMac posted a patch that allows users to install the Mac OS X 10.6.2 update on their netbooks. Testing has ensued for roughly a week already and the hack seems to be in full operation.

If you have a netbook that has doesn’t come equipped with an Intel Atom-based processor and want to give the the Mac OS X 10.6.2 a try, click here for a link to the patch.

Via TheMacObserver.

Image via SoftSailer.

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