Historically, the Mac has been much less prone to various types of malware attacks than Windows machines. Of course, this is largely due to the fact that Windows, on account of its dominant market share, has long been a much more appealing target for hackers. But in recent years, as Apple’s share of the PC market has grown, malware specifically targeting Apple’s Mac platform slowly but surely began to increase. In the process, the types of malware attacks targeting Macs have also became far more insidious and, at times, sophisticated.
At WWDC this past June, Apple had so many items to get to that it simply didn’t have enough time to cover every single one of the new features it baked into iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. While developers are typically pretty adept at unearthing all of the great new tips and tricks associated with any new OS from Apple, one of the more interesting new features went completely unnoticed.
The latest numbers from Net Applications show that Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 operating system is slowly gaining traction. The company’s latest operating system is now found on 3.17% of computers, a small increase from February’s 2.67% share. Windows 8 was released last October and has gradually increased its market share over the past five months. The operating system experienced its biggest jump in market share following the holiday season, growing from 1.72% in December to a 2.26% share in January. Despite the small gains, however, Windows 8 remains less used than previous Windows releases. More →
San Francisco-based startup Leap Motion has finally announced availability of its small motion control sensor. The company revealed on Wednesday that it will ship its $80 motion tracking device to customers who placed preorders during the week of May 13th, and it will arrive at Best Buy (BBY) stores in the U.S. on May 19th. The Leap controller was supposed to debut ahead of the holidays last year. BGR had a chance to test Leap’s motion control sensor last July and we were impressed. We called the technology “a total game-changer” and said it was “one of the coolest pieces of technology we’ve seen in a while.” The Leap Motion sensor is compatible with desktops and laptops running Windows 7, Windows 8, OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8.
Microsoft’s (MSFT) 10-year old operating system, Windows XP, is still the most popular platform in the world but Windows 7 isn’t far behind. According to data from Web analytics firm Net Applications, Windows XP captured a 42.86% share of the market in the month of July, compared to Windows 7’s 42.21%. Microsoft’s latest operating system has seen tremendous growth over the past year, though; in July 2011, Windows 7 held a mere 29.6% share of traffic while Windows XP had more than 52%. Windows XP was launched in 2001 and has had far more success with many businesses and consumers than any of other operating systems. Microsoft is planning to cut off support for XP by April 2014, however, forcing users to upgrade or be left in the dark. As a whole, Windows accounted for 92% of all traffic on Net Applications’s network in July, while Apple’s (AAPL) Mac OS X captured 7%, an increase from less than 6% in July 2011. More →
Microsoft researchers recently discovered a piece of Mac OS X malware that exploits a three-year-old flaw in old versions of Office for Mac. The threat uses a multi-stage attack, just like a Windows virus would. While Microsoft did fix the problem in 2009, the software giant notes that not every machine is up-to-date. The company’s data indicates, however, that the malware is not widespread. “No operating system that exists outside a laboratory is entirely immune to malware,” Microsoft stated on its blog. “As different operating systems continue to gain in popularity they attract more attention from would-be attackers – especially since, as we see in the example analysis above, the techniques and understanding needed to do so may be much the same as those used against other platforms. And even though an operating system may include many risk-reducing mitigation technologies, any machine’s defenses against vulnerabilities are directly related to how current its security updates for applications are kept.” Microsoft concludes by warning users of Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac or Open XML File Format Converter for Mac to update their software in order to protect themselves from possible threats. More →
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple on Thursday that reveals a 3D eye-tracking-based interface that could be used for gaming, digital photography and videography in future iOS and iMac devices, reports PatentlyApple. The new features could work in conjunction with Apple’s current 3D head tracking and ambient light technologies. The solution would utilize a variety of sensors such as an accelerometer and compass in combination with eye-tracking technology to alter the perspective of 3D graphics displayed on an iPhone. The result would be a 3D experience that constantly adjusts to the user’s position and a device’s position, creating a unique experience far more advanced and precise than current solutions. The patent application was originally filed in the third quarter of 2010 and it is unclear if Apple is currently experimenting with the technology.
In 2009, Tristan Schaap received the chance of a lifetime when he was offered an internship by Apple’s Platform Technologies Group. During his time interning with the company, Schaap was part of a team that was secretly attempting to port Mac OS X to the ARM architect, according to his Bachelor thesis published by Delft University of Technology. ARM-based chipsets are currently used in in Apple’s mobile devices while its computers use Intel processors. The thesis was originally embargoed due to the sensitive content, however the embargo has since been lifted and the paper was published in September last year. After completing his 12-week internship and graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science, Schaap was hired by Apple as a CoreOS engineer. It has long been rumored that Apple is considering a move to support ARM in its desktop and laptop computers. More →
Apple started seeding OS X Lion 10.7.2 11C37 and iCloud beta 7 to developers on Friday afternoon. The latest iCloud beta 7 build includes updated versions of Documents & Data Cloud, Find my Mac and Back to my Mac, 9to5 Mac said. The latest OS X Lion 10.7.2 build is being offered “solely for testing iCloud and updates to the public release of OS X Lion and any earlier seed of OS X Lion 10.7.2,” Apple said. iCloud, which is still only open to those with developer accounts, allows users store up to 5GB of free data online. Apple opened iCloud up to developers on August 1st and it offers a tiered pricing system for additional storage. The latest OS X Lion and Cloud Beta 7 builds can be downloaded from Apple’s iCloud developer portal now. 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 →
Florida-based Operating Systems Solutions has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. OSS is alleging that the Cupertino-based firm’s Mac OS X fast-boot feature infringes on one of its patents relating to a “method for quick booting an OS.” More specifically, the lawsuit says Apple infringes on:
A method for fast booting a computer system, comprising the steps of: A. performing a power on self test (POST) of basic input output system (BIOS) when the system is powered on or reset is requested; B. checking whether a boot configuration information including a system booting state which was created while executing a previous normal booting process exists or not; C. storing the boot configuration information from execution of the POST operation before loading a graphic interface (GUI) program, based on the checking result; and D. loading the graphic user interface (GUI) program.
LG Electronics was originally granted the patent in 2002 and Patently Apple said the patent was then reissued to a company named Promitus Technologies LLC in 2008. It remains unclear how Operating Systems Solutions obtained the patent, or if LG or Promitus Technologies are involved in the lawsuit in any way. More →
It wasn’t exactly a secret, but now the proverbial big cat is out of the bag. Apple has just updated the company’s best-selling computer product, the MacBook Air with a Core i5/i7 option, better storage, Thunderbolt port, and finally, a backlit keyboard (again). Mac minis are updated as well, at long last bringing them up to speed with current processors and features.
The other big story is obviously OS X Lion which is Apple’s most iOS-like release yet, and it slowly starts to bridge PC and post-PC devices. Lion is a major OS update with more than 250 new features, and it’s available for $29 through the Mac App Store starting now. More →
Moments ago at WWDC 2011, Apple announced that the next major update to Mac OS X, Lion 10.7, will be available for purchase and download exclusively through the Mac App Store in July for just $29. OS X 10.7 Lion features over 250 new updates to the OS including Mission Control, Launchpad, full-screen apps, Auto Save, Resume, and much more. Hit the break for Apple’s full press release. More →