Mavericks issue solved


A while back I posted I was having issues with Mavericks. I am happy to say that these are now resolved. The solution that finally resolved the remaining issues left unresolved by updates to Mavericks was to remove two hard drives from my Mac Pro. I had hoped that the two hard drives in question, which were somewhat long in the tooth would be suitable for using with Parallels for the Windows side of things. Alas, it was not to be. For whatever reason they were causing problems with the Mac side of things and had to go. Since I took them out things have vastly improved. Maybe it was because they were formatted as NTFS as I wanted to use them as backup for data on the Windows side of things. Maybe it was an issue with Paragon’s NTFS for Mac. Who really knows? Certainly, as the actual need for them was minimal I decided it was simpler to remove them. Now my Mac boots up in 10 seconds and all apps run without trouble (most of the time)!

So I guess the moral of this story is, if you are going to add extra drives to the bays of your Mac Pro (pre-2013 version that is) it’s probably best to install brand-new ones. In the meantime, I wish all my readers a very Happy New Year!

Parallels Desktop for Mac

Parallels Desktop for Mac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Safari Gets Security Update, along with iOS and Mac


Apple Safari icon

Image via Wikipedia

Apple has released an update for Safari on both the Mac and Windows platforms. At the same time it has released updates for iOS and the Mac. These are security updates to close an exploit recently demonstrated at the PWN2OWN security challenge. It was Charlie Miller, a security researcher, who  successfully exploited iOS earlier this year by successfully hacking into an iPhone. Apple’s iOS also uses the WebKit rendering engine, which was exploited by VUPEN security in their 5 second attack on Mac OS X.

Here is what Apple says about the Safari update:

Products Affected

Safari 5 (Windows), Safari 5 (Mac OS X 10.6), Safari 5 (Mac OS X 10.5), Product Security

Safari 5.0.5

  • WebKitAvailable for: Mac OS X v10.5.8, Mac OS X Server v10.5.8, Mac OS X v10.6.5 or later, Mac OS X Server v10.6.5 or later, Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later

    Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

    Description: An integer overflow issue existed in the handling of nodesets. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

    CVE-ID

    CVE-2011-1290 : Vincenzo Iozzo, Willem Pinckaers, and Ralf-Philipp Weinmann working with TippingPoint‘s Zero Day Initiative

  • WebKitAvailable for: Mac OS X v10.5.8, Mac OS X Server v10.5.8, Mac OS X v10.6.5 or later, Mac OS X Server v10.6.5 or later, Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later

    Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution

    Description: A use after free issue existed in the handling of text nodes. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

    CVE-ID

    CVE-2011-1344 : Vupen Security working with TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative, and Martin Barbella

Note:

Certificates Trust Policy

Several fraudulent SSL certificates were issued by a Comodo affiliate registration authority. This may allow a man-in-the-middle attacker to redirect connections and intercept user credentials or other sensitive information. Safari relies on the certificate store of the host operating system to determine if an SSL server certificate is trustworthy. For Mac OS X systems, this issue is addressed with Security Update 2011-002. For iOS, this issue is addressed with iOS 4.3.2 and iOS 4.2.7. For Windows systems, applying the update described in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2524375 will cause Safari to regard these certificates as untrusted. The article is available athttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/2524375

Here is what it has to say about the Security Update for Mac:

This document describes Security Update 2011-002, which can be downloaded and installed via Software Updatepreferences, or from Apple Downloads.

For the protection of our customers, Apple does not disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patches or releases are available. To learn more about Apple Product Security, see the Apple Product Security website.

For information about the Apple Product Security PGP Key, see “How to use the Apple Product Security PGP Key.”

Where possible, CVE IDs are used to reference the vulnerabilities for further information.

To learn about other Security Updates, see “Apple Security Updates“.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.6, Product Security

Security Update 2011-002

  • Certificate Trust PolicyAvailable for: Mac OS X v10.5.8, Mac OS X Server v10.5.8, Mac OS X v10.6.7, Mac OS X Server v10.6.7

    Impact: An attacker with a privileged network position may intercept user credentials or other sensitive information

    Description: Several fraudulent SSL certificates were issued by a Comodo affiliate registration authority. This may allow a man-in-the-middle attacker to redirect connections and intercept user credentials or other sensitive information. This issue is addressed by blacklisting the fraudulent certificates.

    Note: For iOS, this issue is addressed with iOS 4.3.2 and iOS 4.2.7. For Windows systems, Safari relies on the certificate store of the host operating system to determine if an SSL server certificate is trustworthy. Applying the update described in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2524375 will cause Safari to regard these certificates as untrusted. The article is available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2524375

    For mre info on all the recent updates visit http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Microsoft’s CEO rated worst CEO of Tech Companies


Steve Ballmer

Unlike Steve Jobs. Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has never been the darling of the tech media. According to the site glassdoor.com his approval rating from his employees is the lowest of any major tech company — a dismal 40%, down from 46% last year.

In contrast, Steve Jobs has a rating of 95% and Eric Schmidt of Google has a rating of 96%. In fact, of the top 12 tech companies surveyed, Ballmers was the worst CEO and Schmidt was the best. The largest year-on-year decline however belongs to Yahoo’s Carol Bartz, after she started off with a 77% approval rating, which was more than twice the approval rating of her predecessor Jerry Yang, who had a 34% approval upon his departure.  In the past 12 months, Bartz’s approval has dropped to 50%.

You can view the full chart and comments at http://goo.gl/dZXXe

Whether this poor performance will lead to calls for Steve Ballmer to go remains to be seen. There have been rumblings in recent months due to the lacklustre performance of Microsoft in the mobile sector and its failure to come up with a response to the iPad. Some have argued that Microsoft Office has dominated the company’s outlook so much that innovation in the mobile devices sector has been stifled or worse, actively resisted lest it lead to a resources being taken away from Office development.

Certainly, Microsoft has lost the plot as far as the smart phone and tablet sectors are concerned.

 

 

 

Windows 8 to have Time Machine clone


Windows 8 screenshotRumours are that Windows 8 will come with Microsoft’s version of Time Machine, enabling easy backups from within the OS. Although Vista had something similar (Shadow Copies) Apple’s Time Machine preceded this by around 2 years. Certainly, Apple made a better job of the interface and user-friendliness of the software than did Microsoft, but then that is a given most of the time.

As always, it seems Microsoft copies the best of Apple’s innovations, only usually a few years after Apple debuts them and then somewhat poorly. At least that’s the argument that most Mac fans would make.

Facial recognition and tablet computers are apparently a part of Microsoft’s Windows 8, along with improved start-up times. However, so far these are just rumours and we will have to wait a while longer before we have confirmation of Window 8’s official features list.

Microsoft admit iPad eating into netbook market


Behold the iPad in All Its Glory
Image via Wikipedia

Microsoft‘s own Gavriella Schuster, general manager for Windows product management has admitted in an interview that the iPad is impacting netbook sales.

Netbooks are a huge market for Microsoft with over 90% of them shipping with Windows, so any loss of sales to the iPad is sure to hit profits for the company.

This is a big deal for them and it is yet another indication that the iPad is re-shaping the market, just as the iPod did in the portable music player arena and the iPhone has done in the smartphone market. Truth is that no company, not Nokia, Sony Ericsson nor Microsoft can afford to ignore what Apple is doing. Why else would there be a veritable flood of new tablet devices coming to market and a decline in netbook sales?

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VMware announces Fusion 3 – run Windows 7 on your Mac


VMware Fusion 3VMware are rivals of Parallel when itcomesto providing virtualisation software forrunning other OSes on your Mac. I tried out their early beta of Fusion but ended uppreferring Parallels offering. Thislatest update is no doubtan attempt to compete with Parallels Desktop verison 4.

Get the Best of Both Mac and PC Worlds
Seamlessly run your favorite Windows applications and devices, on any Intel-based Mac. Built from the ground up for the Mac, VMware Fusion is the easiest way to switch to Mac—letting you bring all of your Windows applications with you, making the most of your Windows software investment, while providing the perfect safety blanket for the switch.

Break Down the Walls Between Windows and Mac
With the powerful Unity feature, VMware Fusion seamlessly integrates your Windows applications with your Mac. Instantly launch Windows applications from any Mac file, the Dock, and more. Minimize Windows applications to the Dock and even quickly switch between Windows and Mac applications with Exposé.

Safest Way to Run Windows on the Mac
VMware Fusion makes your Windows-on-Mac experience the safest possible with a suite of features to keep Windows safe and sound. From automated, timed snapshots, to embedded antivirus and antispyware software, VMware Fusion keeps Windows on your Mac sparkling.

Mac-like and User Friendly
Built from the ground up for Mac users, with an obsessive eye towards being a “good Mac citizen” VMware Fusion is the easiest, most Mac-friendly way to run Windows on the Mac. A Mac-first user interface ensures that users get the features they expect, like customizable tool bars, searchable Apple help, Boot Camp support, dock notification integration, and more.

Power to Burn
Based on the most advanced virtualization engine the world has ever known, the result of more than a decade of development, VMware Fusion brings all the power of VMware’s enterprise-proven technology to the Mac.

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Parallels Starts Its Own Apple Switch Campaign


The Complete Move-to-Mac Solution — Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition

Parallels have announced their ‘Switch to Mac‘ edition of their popular Parallels Desktop virtualization software that allows you to run Windows on a Mac.

Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition includes everything you need to get up and running on your new Mac:

According to their site: “Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition makes the move to Mac as easy as ready, set, switch.”

As a user of their software from the first version I can vouch for their software being easy to use and I use it whenever I need to run Windows on my MacBook Pro. Although the first version had its flaws they have been largely fixed in the latest version (4.0). I can recommend it and in recent reviews it does better than its main rival, VMware Fusion.

The latest version of Parallels now allows you to to run select 3D games and graphics applications right on your Mac. Run productivity applications programs like AutoCad, or Photosynth and play popular games like Age of Empires, HALO and Day of Defeat right on your Mac.

You can now run your Windows programs seamlessly on your Mac without worrying which O you re using, sharing files and folder easily, as well as printers and other hardware. In my experience it works rather well and all I need now is a faster Mac! My MacBook Pro is the first version and is now a bit long in the tooth and in need of replacement. If you have a later Mac then you will find it all runs even more smoothly. Certainly, for occasional use it is perfect and better than running 2 separate computers and the expense involved.


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