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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Apple releases iPhoto '11 update for data loss issues | Photography | Digital Photo | Macworld

IPhotoImage via WikipediaApple releases iPhoto '11 update for data loss issues | Photography | Digital Photo | Macworld
Apple released an update for iPhoto '11, version 9.0.1, that addresses a data loss problem some users have experienced when upgrading from an older version of iPhoto to iPhoto '11.
When you first open iPhoto '11, the application requires that you upgrade your existing iPhoto library to make it compatible with the new software. Some users have reported losing anywhere from a handful of images to entire libraries during this upgrade process. There have also been complaints of lost metadata and events. There are many similar problems posted in the Apple forums, but Apple says the issue is actually "extremely rare." The full iPhoto 9.0.1 update description reads, "This update addresses issues that, in extremely rare cases, could result in data loss when upgrading a library from an earlier version of iPhoto."
Along with the update, Apple has posted a support document that acknowledges the data loss problem, and gives specific recommendations for avoiding it. In addition to installing 9.0.1, the support document recommends that that all iPhoto users backfup their library before attempting the move to iPhoto '11. If iPhoto '11 unexpectedly quits, Apple warns against force quitting the application during subsequent attempts at upgrading. During the upgrade process, the program may appear to be inactive for extended periods of time. This delay is especially common with large libraries, but eventually a progress bar should appear.
The upgrade is 35.4MB and can be downloaded through Software Update, or manually downloaded from the Apple site here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will antivirus die in the post-PC era? | Anti virus - InfoWorld

Will antivirus die in the post-PC era? | Anti virus - InfoWorld
As smartphones and iPad-like devices become the preferred media for accessing information, antivirus companies may find themselves out of a job. End-users, however, will need more education to avoid falling for ploys that dupe them into giving away sensitive information.
That's the conclusion of a recent report by Forrester Research, which predicts that by 2015, half of devices on corporate networks will be post-PC devices, such as RIM's BlackBerry or Apple's iPad. Because such devices are typically sandboxed -- either programmatically, through a managed marketplace, or both -- exploitable vulnerabilities are harder to find and to attack consistently. Attacks that do succeed can be removed remotely by the operating system makers before they propagate too far.

Microsoft Profits, Revenues Up Strongly : NPR

Microsoft Profits, Revenues Up Strongly : NPR
Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that its net income in the latest quarter rose 51 percent, boosted by higher sales of Windows and Office software to businesses.
In last year's quarter, Microsoft deferred some revenue from Windows sales. Had it not done so, net income would have been only 16 percent higher this year in comparison.
For the fiscal first quarter, which ended in September, net income rose to $5.4 billion, or 62 cents per share, from $3.6 million, or 40 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue increased 25 percent to $16.2 billion, from $12.9 billion a year ago.
Microsoft beat Wall Street's expectations on both counts. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast net income of 55 cents per share on $15.8 billion in revenue.
Microsoft said the increase in sales to businesses of the newest versions of its Windows operating system, Office programs and server software made up for softer-than-expected revenue from consumer PC buying in the quarter.

China's Tianhe-1A takes supercomputer crown from US | Technology | The Guardian

China's Tianhe-1A takes supercomputer crown from US | Technology | The Guardian
Tianhe-1A capable of sustained computing of 2.507 petaflops a second – 1.4 times faster than Cray XT5 Jaguar
China has overtaken the US as home of the world's fastest supercomputer. Tianhe-1A, named for the Milky Way, is capable of sustained computing of 2.507 petaflops – equivalent to 2,507 trillion calculations – each second.
The US scientist who maintains the international rankings visited it last week and said he believed it was 1.4 times faster than the former number one, the Cray XT5 Jaguar in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. That topped the list in June with a rate of 1.75 petaflops a second.
The US is home to more than half of the world's top 500 supercomputers. China had 24 in the last list, but has pumped billions of pounds into developing its computational ability in recent years. The machines are used for everything from modelling climate change and studying the beginnings of the universe to assisting aeroplane design.
Housed in the northern port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, Tianhe-1A was developed by the National University of Defence Technology. The system was built from thousands of chips made by US firms – Intel and Nvidia – but domestic researchers developed the networking technology that allows information to be exchanged between servers at extraordinary speeds.
Tianjin's weather bureau and the National Offshore Oil Corporation data centre are already using it for trial projects. "It can also serve the animation industry and bio-medical research," Liu Guangming, director of the National Centre for Supercomputing, told China Daily.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is the MacBook Air a Peek Into the Future of Laptops? - PCWorld

MacBook AirImage via WikipediaIs the MacBook Air a Peek Into the Future of Laptops? - PCWorld
"We think all notebooks will look like these one day." Those were Steve Jobs's words when he took the stage on October 20th to introduce a refreshed version of the MacBook Air, making it clear that Apple's newest computers were a harbinger of things to come.
Many people insist on calling the Air an overpriced netbook despite the fact that every single one of its specifications would easily blow any other computer in that category out of the water. But much of the analysis on this new product has been on its immediate usefulness as a mobile computing platform, rather than on its significance for the long-term evolution of the notebook computer.
A triumph of integration
There are a number of major changes in the Air that clearly tag it as a forward-looking system; it seems clear that Apple has gone out of its way to redefine the very concept of portable computers.
Those old enough to remember a time when laptops were still a niche area of computing will also remember how alien they looked inside. While the desktop industry was already well on its way to standardizing component sizes, specifications, and arrangements, laptop manufacturers were faced with the unenviable task of fitting a whole computer into some sort of portable format--and that was before loading it up with heavy, bulky batteries.
The early attempts at this process resulted in some rather bizarre contraptions that were called "portable" simply because they happened to be fitted with a handle: case in point, the 16-pound "luggable" Macintosh Portable. It wasn't until the industry started rethinking the components themselves that the form factor of laptops started to evolve into what we're used to today. The need for retooling and rethinking made laptops expensive for many years until, eventually, the entire market once again standardized on the components that make today's laptops possible: 2.5-inch hard disks, ultra-slim optical drives, smaller and less power-hungry processors, more efficient batteries, and so on.
If Apple wants to push laptop design to a new level, the newest Air clearly indicates that the roadmap it has chosen points in one direction: integration. A picture of the Air's underbelly clearly shows that no effort has been spared to squeeze every last cubic inch of space from the device's interior. This has meant letting go of the traditional 2.5-inch casing that solid-state drives have adopted in favor of a set of a chips on a circuit board (which is really all an SSD is, of course), shedding the optical drive, and tightly integrating every chip into a custom design that minimizes clutter and leave as much room as possible for those still bulky batteries.
From this perspective, then, the Air is much more than a thin laptop: it is a proof of concept that a powerful computer doesn't need to come into a big package. If Apple can squeeze a machine like the Air into a container that others have only been able to use for underpowered devices--such as the many netbooks currently on the market--imagine what it can do with a system like the MacBook Pro.

New Mac Trojan uncovered: "Boonana" | MacNN

New Mac Trojan uncovered: "Boonana" | MacNN
SecureMac and Intego, among other security firms, today alerted the Mac community to a new Trojan threat, trojan.osx.boonana.a (Intego gives it the name OSX/Koobface.a), which is spreading via social networking sites like Facebook and e-mail. The trojan appears as a link in messages with the subject "Is this you in this video?", and when users click on the link, a Java applet downloads an installer, which modifies system files to bypass passwords and other protections.
Boonana affects both Mac OS X and Windows, and sets itself up to run invisibly in the background at next startup, allowing outside access to files. It periodicially checks in with servers and spreads itself via further spam messages. Mac users are advised to disable Java on their web browsers and avoid clicking email links that claim to point to videos.
Although this is not the first trojan for the Mac to take advantage of exploits in browser Java, this is a rare instance of one that works on both major platforms simultaneously. SecureMac has released a free removal tool, directly downloaded here.

Microsoft Launches Office 2011 - PCWorld

Microsoft Launches Office 2011 - PCWorld

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the official release of Office 2011 for Mac, the latest incarnation of its popular office suite.

The widely anticipated release includes a completely reworked user interface, based on the ribbon menus that were first featured in the 2007 edition of Office for Windows; it also adds several new features, including support for document co-authoring and the inclusion of a Mac version of the Outlook mail and calendaring program, which replaces the Entourage application that shipped with previous versions of the suite.

Additionally, the new Office brings back an old favorite: macros, which can once again be written and run using Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications language. Macros are popular with power users, who take advantage of them to automate complex tasks.

Office 2011 comes in three different versions: Home and Student, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Messenger and costs $120 (or $150 for a family pack with three licenses). The base package doesn't include Outlook, which is only available with the Home and Business edition, which retails for $200 (with a "multi-pack" of two licenses available for $280), or with the Academic edition, which costs $100.

Who's Afraid of the Office 2010 Upgrade? Most Businesses - PCWorld

Who's Afraid of the Office 2010 Upgrade? Most Businesses - PCWorld
What does corporate IT think of Office 2010?
While there's enthusiasm for the new version of Office, according to a survey of 950 IT professionals conducted by Dimensional Research, there's no rush to roll it out: Enterprise IT views Office 2010 as a complex and daunting upgrade.
Eighty-five percent of survey respondents plan to upgrade to Office 2010 eventually, but only 18 percent have plans to deploy broadly in 2010. As of now, only 4 percent have Office 2010 fully deployed in their environments, and 52 percent have not deployed it in any way. The rest are deploying Office 2010 on test machines or on new machines only.
A majority of survey respondents (78 percent) cited concerns keeping them from doing a migration this year, with the top concerns being the new ribbon interface, compatibility with current applications and licensing.
"At this time it seems that migration concerns are outweighing confidence of a speedy Office 2010 migration, said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research.
The Ribbon user interface, where a set of toolbars are arranged on tabs across the top of an Office document, was introduced in Office 2007 and enhanced in Office 2010. Still, Office 2003 users remain intimidated by it. According to the survey, 45 percent of respondents are worried about training employees on the new Ribbon interface. Incompatibility with add-in applications was also listed as worrisome by 33 percent of survey respondents. Incompatibility with Office 2003 formats was listed as worrisome by the same amount of respondents, 33 percent.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Iranian Cyber Army Moves Into Botnets - PCWorld

Iranian Cyber Army Moves Into Botnets - PCWorld
A group of malicious hackers who attacked Twitter and the Chinese search engine Baidu are also apparently running a for-rent botnet, according to new research.
The so-called Iranian Cyber Army also took credit last month for an attack on TechCrunch's European website. In that incident, the group installed a page on TechCrunch's site that redirected visitors to a server that bombarded their PCs with exploits in an attempt to install malicious software.
Researchers with a security startup called Seculert have traced the malicious server behind those attacks and found indications that the Iranian Cyber Army may also be running a botnet.
They've found an administration interface where people who want to rent the botnet can describe the machines they would like to infect and upload their own malware for distribution by the botnet, said Aviv Raff , CTO and co-founder of Seculert. The company runs a cloud-based service that alerts its customers to new malware, exploits and other cyber threats.
"You provide the number of machines and their region," Raff said. "You then provide the malware download URL, and they will do the malware installation for you."
There are many computer crime gangs that create botnets, or networks of compromised computers, that can then be rented to other players in the cybercrime industry, such as spammers.
Raff said Seculert was able to see the administration panel as it was left unprotected. His company has since notified the provider where the page is hosted and contacted law enforcement.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Asian Cities Dominate Fast Broadband - PCWorld

Asian Cities Dominate Fast Broadband - PCWorld
State of the Internet report identifies cities, countries with fastest and most available broadband service.
John E. Dunn
Sunday, October 24, 2010 08:05 AM PDT
High-speed broadband has become a phenomenon of densely-populated Asian cities, which now account for 74 of the top 100 global cities offering fast connections according to Akamai's latest State of the Internet report.
According to the company's statistics for best average connection speeds, Japan leads the way with an astonishing 62 cities in the top 100, ahead of South Korea and Hong Kong on 12, Europe on 15 and the U.S. and Canada on 10.
The top 10 for speed are all in South Korea, however, which benefits from intense coverage around capital city Seoul, where average speeds range from 15Mbit/s to 21Mbit/s, with Japanese users hitting between 8.5Mbit/s and 12.2Mbit/s.
The best European city was Constanta in Romania with an average of 8.5Mbit/s while the best U.S. city was Monterey Park, California, which managed 6.9Mbit/s.
These are average connection speeds, but looking at the extremes also gives further insight. Again, South Korea leads the way with some users reaching 38Mbit/s connections, ahead of Hong Kong (32Mbit/s), Japan (28Mbit/s), and Romania (27 Mbit/s). The US languishes, in relative terms at least, with peak rates of only 16Mbit/s.
In terms of U.S. cities, California is the place to be -- seven of the best connections speeds were recorded there. At the other end of the scale, the state with the highest number of connections above 2Mbit/s was Delaware, where 98 percent of connections reached this level.
Akamai also measured global 'attack traffic', which showed Russia falling to third place as an originator on 10 percent, behind the US and China which head the list on 11 percent each. These three counties swap top placing in all such reports.