Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities predicts that Apple may discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro model due to weak sales, MacRumors reported on Monday. The analyst has previously offered accurate information regarding the discontinuation of Mac products, specifically the 13-inch Macbook in 2011. Kuo estimates Apple will sell 5.32 million Mac computers in the second quarter of 2012, representing a 35.2% year-over-year increase. The Cupertino-based company is expected to launch an updated line of MacBook computers this summer that will be will be thinner and may feature Retina-resolution displays. More →
Apple on Thursday released Java update for OS X that removes a number of common variants of the Flashback trojan virus. Discovered last week to have infected more than 600,000 Mac computers, Flashback is a trojan that is capable of intercepting sensitive data and transmitting it back to an attacker. Security experts at F-Secure published instructions on how to manually detect and remove the malware, but Apple’s new Java update will handle the process automatically. The update, Java for OS X Lion 2012-003, is available for download immediately from within Apple’s integrated OS X software update utility.
Apple on Friday issued a second software update to address a security flaw on its OS X operating system that has allowed a massive botnet to form. The update, “Java for OS X 2012-002,” is only available for desktop and laptop PCs running OS X Lion 10.7; Apple issued a similar update last week for both Lion and Snow Leopard, and the exploit was seemingly addressed properly the first time on the Snow Leopard OS. Russian anti-virus experts revealed earlier this week that the “Flashback” trojan virus had utilized a Java vulnerability to infect more than 600,000 Mac computers worldwide. The trojan is capable of intercepting sensitive data such as passwords and other personal information, and transmitting the data back to a host. A separate firm later published instructions detailing how to detect and remove the virus, and Apple’s new update should be the last step in protecting its systems from further attacks. Apple had not yet published details surrounding the new update on its website at the time of this writing. More →
Adoption of Apple’s latest version of OS X stalled in October following a strong start that saw OS X Lion downloaded more than 1 million times during its first day of availability this past July. Ad network Chitika analyzed its recent traffic and found that Lion’s share among all operating systems is just over 1.5%, barely a blip on the radar. Usage of the new OS had grown at an average rate of 4.05% each month between June and September, but since then its share has increased at an average rate of just 0.98% per month. Read on for more. More →
Apple on Wednesday made good on its promise to push out the release build of iOS 5 to consumers around the world. The new software is available for download immediately, and iTunes 10.5 is required in order to install the update. Owners of Apple’s iPhone 4 (GSM and CDMA), iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and third and fourth-generation iPod touch handhelds have access to the new build, while owners of earlier devices will not be able to install the update. iOS 5 includes more than 200 new features such as a revamped notifications system, iMessage, built-in Twitter integration, Newsstand and more. Apple also released OS X 10.7.2 with iCloud support and two new iOS apps on Wednesday: Find My Friends, which can be downloaded by visiting iCloud.com on your iOS device, and AirPort Utility.
Security blog Defense in Depth has found a glaring security flaw in OS X Lion that enables hackers to change the password of any user on a machine running Lion. “[While] non-root users are unable to access the shadow files directly, Lion actually provides non-root users the ability to still view password hash data,” Patrick Dunstan from Defense in Depth explained in a recent blog post. The result is that anyone could use a simple Python script, created by Dunstan himself, to discover a user’s password. It gets worse. Reportedly, OS X Lion does not require its users to enter a password to change the login credentials of the current user. That means typing the command: “dscl localhost -passwd /Search/Users/Roger” will actually prompt you to set a new password for Roger. As CNET points out, a hacker could only take advantage of the known bug if he or she has local access to the computer and Directory Service access. CNET suggests disabling automatic log-in, enabling sleep and screensaver passwords and disabling guest accounts as some preventative measures to keep your Mac secure. More →
Apple on Tuesday released OS X Lion 10.7.1 to Mac users with the following changes listed:
The 10.7.1 update is recommended for all users running OS X Lion and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:
- Address an issue that may cause the system to become unresponsive when playing a video in Safari
- Resolve an issue that may cause system audio to stop working when using HDMI or optical audio out
- Improve the reliability of Wi-Fi connections
- Resolve an issue that prevents transfer of your data, settings, and compatible applications to a new Mac running OS X Lion
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4764.
The new update is available immediately via OS X’s software update utility. Hopefully there are also a few more changes hidden under the hood so we can start unchecking a few boxes in Lion Tweaks.
Apple made Lion, its eighth major OS X release, available to Mac computer users on July 20th, and the Cupertino-based tech giant noted in the first sentence of its press release that Lion includes “more than 250 new features.” Unfortunately for a seemingly large group of users — this editor included — the only new features that really mattered were the numerous annoyances that came to light after just a few minutes of usage. The new autocorrect, the annoying new event behavior in iCal, the lack of key repeat, the bizarre defaults set throughout the OS… we could go on for quite a while. Some love these new features while others seriously considered rolling back to Snow Leopard. While unhappy users will have adjust to much of the new behavior if they wish to continue using Lion, there is now an answer for several common gripes: Lion Tweaks. Developed by “Fredrik W,” Lion Tweaks allows users to dial back some of the improvements that are common sources of agony, including the new spelling correction feature, a bunch of annoying animations and more. Lion Tweaks is at version 1.2 right now, and it looks like the app is being actively developed, so we can hopefully expect new capabilities soon. Hit the break to download the utility from the developer’s site. More →
Fresh on the heels of launching a client for the iPad, Skype released Skype version 5.3 for Mac on Monday. The update adds support for Apple’s latest OS X Lion operating system as well as HD video chat. Users will now be able to send and receive HD-quality video using their built-in Mac webcams or other HD-capable cameras. Skype says that the feature will work best for those with internet connections that can maintain at least 1.5Mbps upload/download throughput. The software is compatible with with OS X Leopard and later versions of Apple’s PC operating system. More →
Apple is in the late stages of testing a new ultra-thin 15-inch notebook computer that may or may not be an upcoming new addition to the MacBook Air family. MacRumors on Tuesday reports that the new ultra-thin laptop could either be a MacBook Air, which is currently offered in 11 and 13-inch sizes, or a MacBook Pro, which is currently offered in 13, 15 and 17-inch sizes. No pricing or release timing is being reported at this point, though a launch in the near term is unlikely. Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup this past February and new MacBookAir models launched just this past week. More →