Now that Apple has paid $60 million to end a thuggish extortion attempt on the part of China’s Proview over the iPad trademark, it looks like at least one additional Chinese trademark troll is coming out of the woodwork, looking for a payday. This time, however, it’s a dispute over a product Apple doesn’t even sell anymore: OS X Snow Leopard.
Those of you using OS X 10.7 Lion (which I hope is all of you) may have missed the ability to adjust the system volume in tiny quarter steps. This feature was available in Snow Leopard and ditched in the Lion "upgrade." Now, in good news for obsessive compulsive Mac users the world over, the option has returned.
Microsoft is a company known for creating strict, labyrinthine, costly terms in its commercial and end-user licensing. With Windows 8 seen as a make-or-break product for Microsoft, the company has already been adding licensing terms intended to strengthen its hand in the mobile market. As we reported earlier this year, Microsoft’s enterprise licensing for Windows 8 has provisions to coerce businesses into buying ARM-based Windows RT tablets while punishing those that deploy iPads with more costly terms.
Ratcheting things up a notch, Microsoft’s general counsel Tim Fielden announced new details about the company’s end-user license agreements. Although not mentioning specific products or services, Fielden posted on a Microsoft blog that many new agreements will prohibit users from initiating a class action lawsuit against the company.
Last week, Adobe created a firestorm of user unrest when it issued a series of security bulletins impacting three applications of its Creative Suite and said that users must pay to upgrade to the latest versions of the apps if they wanted patches that would close the vulnerabilities.
The company was quickly besieged by users, technology professionals, and security experts demanding that it reverse course and offer security patches to users who couldn’t afford the upgrades (or didn’t want to spend the money). Even though company quietly backpedaled and announced it would offer security updates without acknowledging the reason for its about face or offering an apology, the gaffe raises concerns that Apple’s yearly OS X release cycle might lead it down a similar path.
Boom, a terrific utility for Mac OS X that boosts system volume well above Apple’s default limit, is set to receive a new update that promises to deliver all of the features and improvements that Boom users have been asking for. That includes scroll gestures for those running Snow Leopard and Lion, the ability to access functions from the status bar icon, and more.
Apple finally gave the notice that it would be killing off MobileMe once and for all on June 30th, 2012. The soon-to-be-defunct service has already been replaced with iCloud, but Mac users who are still not running an OS X version older than Snow Leopard can’t hop on the bandwagon. You must have Snow Leopard installed to then install OS X Lion from the Mac App Store and gain access to iCloud. And chances are that if you’re still using MobileMe, you aren’t running the latest version of OS X.
The after effects of the Flashback Trojan are going to be felt for a long time to come. Although there’s been the occasional Mac malware announcement over the past few years, none was ever found to be rampant in the wilds of the Internet. Most were easily avoided by Apple’s basic security elements or by simple user actions like telling Safari not to immediately open so-called “safe” files after downloading them.
As a result, the Flashback Trojan caught a lot of people off guard – including individual Mac owners and some IT professionals who ought to have known better. It also highlighted deficiencies on the part of Apple when it comes to security.
Tired of using USB and Bluetooth dongles to power your presentations? Sick of dealing with device drivers for remote mice and remote controls that never seem to be there when you need them? How about an app for controlling presentations from anywhere in the room? Here’s a tip for you, then.
Intego, the company behind the popular VirusBarrier security software for the Mac, has uncovered a new trojan horse called ‘Flashback.G’ that infects Macs running older versions of Java Runtime. The software installs itself on your system without your acknowledgement when you visit a malicious webpage, then it will record usernames and passwords for sites like Google, eBay, PayPal, and more.
Mountain Lion’s GateKeeper feature is designed to improve Mac security by harnessing the power of the Mac App Store and through a new developer program in which Apple will offer Developer IDs to members of its Mac Developer Program. Those IDs will let developers digitally sign their applications so that Mountain Lion Macs can verify an app’s authenticity and security before running it.
While this may seem like a new approach and an extension of the Mac App Store model, it’s actually based on technology that has been part of OS X since the release of Leopard.