Apple

Goodbye Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs touching foreheads with his wife

Steve Jobs touching foreheads with his wife

The tech world will miss you terribly.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Categories: Apple   Tags:

Apple iPod Shuffle, Nano, Touch and Classic Specials

Walmart is pushing sales on the iPod’s they have in stock so right now you can Save with iPod Value Bundles at Walmart.com. Check out all of the iPod bundles below.

iPod nano 4GB Value Bundle Customer Choice of Three Accessories – Only $159.88 at Walmart.com

iPod shuffle Value Bundle with 14-in-1 Accessory Kit – Only $59.88 at Walmart.com

iPod 80GB classic with Bonus $25 Electronic Gift Card – Only $247.88 at Walmart.com

iPod nano 8GB Value Bundle with Your Choice of Three Accessories – Only $209.88 at Walmart.com

iPod 8GB touch Software Upgrade Value Bundle w Your Choice of Three Accessories – Only $309.88 at Walmart.com

iPod 8GB nano with Bonus $20 Electronic Gift Card – Only $197.88 at Walmart.com

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 23, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Categories: Apple, Gadgets   Tags: , , ,

Mac OS X Has More Vulnerabilities Than XP and Vista

Larry Dignan at ZDnet has posted a comparison of the numbers of vulnerabilities between Mac OS X and Windows, both XP and Vista, and while the numbers look like Microsoft has a big lead on security, it certainly does not mean that. It just says that Mac OS X has 5 times the flaws of XP and Vista every month in 2007.

Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X vulnerability stats for 2007
XP Vista XP + Vista Mac OS X
Total extremely critical 3 1 4 0
Total highly critical 19 12 23 234
Total moderately critical 2 1 3 2
Total less critical 3 1 4 7
Total flaws 34 20 44 243
Average flaws per month 2.83 1.67 3.67 20.25

Source: Mac versus Windows vulnerability stats for 2007

Now, before everyone does the Mac versus PC thing, this is just a comparison of the vulnerabilities and in no way does it say that Windows is more secure, now, if they did a comparison of the actual number of exploits taking advantage of the same vulnerabilities, I am sure the number would be severely tilted to Microsoft as they have the larger installed base. Plus, after reading some of the comments, it doesn’t take into account how many of these are actually from Apple for their software, as they distribute patches for the software that comes with their OS as well, lots of it being open source.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 18, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Categories: Apple, Microsoft News, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , ,

Apple iTunes DRM Free Tracks Contain User Data

It’s great that Apple is starting to sell DRM free music, right? Well, you might want to think again, because, apparently, the tracks contain data embedded data that contains the full name and account information, including e-mail address, of who bought them. That’s right, full name and account information of who bought them. This data has always been there, but before, no one could share the DRM tunes, now they can share the tunes with anyone, and that data could be tracked back to the person, or persons, who bought it, and, it could also be spoofed by someone on the internet. Your data could be embedded in a music file and dropped on a peer to peer network for the whole world to share, and for the suit happy music labels to see. Playlistmag.com referred to it as Watermarked iTunes files.

The big question, of course, is what might Apple do with this information? Because it can be spoofed, it’s not exactly the best way to determine who is sharing music, and in any case, tracing a link back such as this would leave a copyright holder in a gray area. Embedded data or not, the mere presence of the data in a file found on a share is not an unassailable indicator of copyright infringement.

That said, it would be trivial for iTunes to report back to Apple, indicating that “Joe User” has M4As on this hard drive belonging to “Jane Userette,” or even “two other users.” This is not to say that Apple is going to get into the copyright enforcement business. What Apple and indeed the record labels want to watch closely is: will one user buy music for his five close friends? The entertainment industry is obsessed with the idea of “casual piracy,” or the occasional sharing of content between friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if some data was being analyzed in aggregate, although Apple’s current privacy policy does not appear to allow for this. As with the dust-up over the mini-store, Apple should clarify what this embedded data is used for. Source: Apple hides account info in DRM-free music, too

While I don’t think iTunes users would buy music from the iTunes store to share on P2P networks, someone could, and that someone could change the data to anyone they wanted to. I bet there are files with Steve Jobs email address in them online right now. I also bet there will be cleaners created soon to clean the data, but, this does make you wonder what Apple will and could do with it.

In other Apple news, it was reported that iTunes version 7.2 had broken the ability to play Mp3′s that had been ripped from music purchased from the iTunes store. Most users had figured out that you could buy songs from the iTunes store, burn them to CD and then rip them to MP3 to get rid of the Fairplay DRM. The EFF had reported that the upgrade to version 7.2 of iTunes had broken this, but now, according to a post on Playlistmag.com, it appears it is merely a bug and you can bypass it by recreating your iTunes music library.

Yesterday, I noted that iTunes 7.2 had trouble syncing certain MP3 files to an iPod. It appears that this is a bug.

Specifically, if you burn a playlist of iTunes? protected music to a CD in iTunes 7.2 and then rip that CD in the MP3 format (a trick people often use to remove the tracks? copy protection), those MP3 tracks won?t copy to an [tag]iPod[/tag]. Try, and you?ll be told that the tracks are incompatible with the iPod.

The bug appears to take the form of some problem with the iTunes music library, causing these specific tracks to be deemed incompatible with the iPod. You can put things right by recreating your iTunes library. Source: More on iTunes 7.2 and MP3s

This knowledge base article from Apple will walk you through recreating your iTunes library, and this one, iTunes: How to backup and restore playlists, will show you how to backup and restore your playlists.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - June 1, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Categories: Apple   Tags: , ,

The MacLockPick, Live Forensics for Your Mac

This is one cool little USB drive, and I am currently looking for a Windows version, drop a comment if you know of one. The MacLockPick is a USB device that will allow you to perform live computer forensics on a suspects Mac OS X system, once the software is run, the drive will extract data from the Apple Keychain and system settings to give the examiner fast access to the suspect’s critical information with as little interaction or trace as possible.

MacLockPick, live computer forensics for Mac OS X

MacLockPick takes advantage of the fact that the default state of the Apple Keychain is open, even if the system has been put to sleep. It also makes use of the openly readable settings files used to keep track of your suspect’s contacts, activities and history. These data sources even include items that your suspect may have previously deleted or has migrated from previous Mac OS X computers. Source: MacLockPick, live forensics for OS X via MacUser

Here is some of the data you will have after the software runs:
System passwords.
General passwords.
Internet passwords.
Appleshare passwords.
Folder dates.
Disk images.
Files that have been viewed in the preview program.
Recent QuickTime file names.
Recent Applications, Documents, and Servers.
IM default login and buddy list.
Email account details, address book and opened attachments.
Complete web history, including search strings in the Google toolbar, cached bookmarks, current bookmarks, cookies, and browsing history, including the number of times visited and the date and time of the most recent visit!
Serial numbers of attached iPods.
Bluetooth devices.
Wifi connections.
Network interfaces.

Unfortunately, this device if for law enforcement only, you must provide proof that you are a licensed law enforcement professional and that the use of this technology is legal on federal, state and local levels.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 27, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Categories: Apple, Computer Forensics   Tags: , , ,

Todays Tech

Here are some of todays tech stories.

This is How We Catch You Downloading Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company?s techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed ?forensic quality? evidence for use in court cases.

Joost: It’s The Metadata, Stupid! Now those are all valid points, but the real key to Joost’s success may be something else: A metadata framework that might just revolutionize the way we watch television.

Apple WiFi iPod due Q3 2007? Let’s not bet the farm Perennial Apple rumor-ist DigiTimes has come out with a biggie today, predicting a non-iPhone, WiFi-connected iPod in Q3 this year.

Apple’s iPod may gain Wi-Fi by holidays Apple plans to release an iPod with Wifi in the second half of 2007.

Can LeapTag Capture The Magic Of StumbleUpon? It?s a good way to keep track of websites that you like using tags, and it?s also useful for serendipitous discovery of new sites you might like, based on the things you?ve already bookmarked.

Microsoft addresses speed issues in Outlook update Latency issues led to irate users even before November launch.

Is This Google’s Achilles Heel? To summarize, it looks like Matt wants people to report to Google when they see paid links, because they want more “data” on the issue of paid links. Oh, its also the third post in a single day on paid links.

Live Internet Video Stream New experiment from Chris Pirillo.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 15, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Categories: Apple, Google, Tech News   Tags: , , ,

Review of Apple Boot Camp 1.2 Beta

Paul Thurrot has a review of Apple’s latest version of Boot Camp, 1.2 beta, this version includes support for Windows Vista. So, he tests it with Windows Vista and Media Center and details a few of the little quirks and problems he has, but, it sounds like it worked pretty good.

As with the initial Boot Camp release, the process of installing this software, and an associated version of Windows, is a multi-step process. Since last year, I’ve purchased an Apple MacBook notebook computer, so I used this system to install Boot Camp 1.2 Beta. And since I’d been holding out hope that I could run Windows Vista on an Intel-based Mac ever since Apple announced the switch a few years back, this seemed like the logical time to see whether that dream could come true.

Despite some small issues, Boot Camp 1.2 Beta is an excellent solution for running Windows and OS X on the same machine. Apple has done an exemplary job of improving this useful software over the past year, and now that it supports Vista as well, I have no compunction in recommending it whole-heartedly. If you’ve been eyeing one of those beautiful Macintoshes over at the Apple Store but don’t want to give up all the useful Windows software you use, you now have one less reason not to give it a shot. With Boot Camp 1.2 Beta, today’s Macs provide the best of both worlds: You get Mac OS X, with its high-quality iLife suite of digital media solutions, and Windows, with its unsurpassed gaming and application libraries, all in one box. That’s the kind of switch I could easily rally around. Source: Apple Boot Camp 1.2 Beta Review

If you need a more in depth look at Boot Camp, check out his original review of Boot Camp, Apple Boot Camp Review.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Categories: Apple, Windows Vista   Tags:

Bounty of $1,000 for Apple TV USB Drive Hack

AppleTVhacks.net and Fatwallet.com are offering a $1,000 dollar bounty for the first team to get an Apple TV to use a USB drive for storage.

The rules:

  1. Patch must allow a USB hard drive, plugged into the Apple TV’s USB port to act as the default and primary storage for the Apple TV.
  2. The Apple TV must still boot from the internal drive and cannot use a complete replacement OS (the kernel may be patched, and additional kexts added).
  3. Patch must allow the media to be accessed as it would be were the internal drive being used (i.e if you couldn?t see their was a USB drive attached you wouldn?t know).
  4. Patch must be able to be applied without opening the case.
  5. Patch must be able to be removed (and the Apple TV to original configuration) without opening the case.
  6. No commercial files can be used asides from those found on the Apple TV or Mac OS X Intel. All others must be freely and legally distributable.
  7. The process cannot have been previously published, or demonstrated / distributed publicly.
  8. Judges decision is final.

See this post to enter and for more info.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 9, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Categories: Apple   Tags: ,

Apple Releases Mega Patch

apple security patches
Apple has released a huge set of security patches for their servers and clients, ranging in size from 36mb all the way up to 350mb for the Mac OS X Server 10.4.9 Combo Update (Universal) update. They probably should have called this thing a service pack, but the client is only 36mb, so no need too I guess. The client patch makes all of these products more “secure” although it does not say how. ColorSync, CoreGraphics, Crash Reporter, cups, Directory Services, DiskImages Framework, Flash Player Plug-in, Foundation, gnutar, OpenSSH, Print Center, QuickDraw and sudo were updated.

Apple on Tuesday issued a security update for its Mac OS X to plug 45 security holes, including several zero-day vulnerabilities.

The mega patch is the seventh Apple security patch release in three months. It deals with vulnerabilities in Apple’s own software, as well as third-party components such as Adobe Systems’ Flash Player, OpenSSH and MySQL. Sixteen of the vulnerabilities addressed by the update were previously released as part of two high-profile bug-hunting campaigns. Source: Apple mega patch plugs 45 security holes

The mega patch, the one that is 350mb, has many fixes and updates in it, note the following list:

The 10.4.9 Server Update is recommended for all servers and includes fixes for the operating system and various applications, services and technologies. It includes fixes for:

  • using AFP, SMB/CIFS, NFS and FTP file sharing protocols
  • login and authentication in Open Directory and Active Directory environments
  • ensuring server?s host name is set to valid name in DNS at startup
  • synchronizing Open Directory servers and ensuring reliable replica promotion
  • membership and permissions issues when users are in more than 16 groups
  • clearing old password entries when changing password types
  • copying read-only files to AFP shares on Xsan and UFS volumes
  • copying files with extended attributes from an AFP share of an Xsan volume
  • serving files larger than 64k with Apache 2, and running JBoss
  • hosting MySQL databases and authenticating with PHP programs
  • reliably hosting mail services when handling thousands of user accounts
  • directory service usage affecting Mail server performance
  • virus filtering and quarantine; update to ClamAV version 0.88.2
  • publishing iTunes music and video formats using the Weblog server and RSS2
  • creating and hosting NetBoot and Network Install images for Intel-based Macs
  • Software Update server notifications and package synchronization
  • creating and editing reverse DNS zones in Server Admin
  • configuring up to 64 NFS server daemons in Server Admin
  • streaming movies to localized versions of the QuickTime Player
  • using VPN and DHCP services after running Gateway Setup Assistant
  • creating and rebuilding software RAID sets with Disk Utility
  • updating Kerberos keytab files when using changeip
  • pre-allocating files when using tar, cp and mv with Xsan volumes
  • rebooting SAN clients without causing other clients to hang
  • time zone and daylight saving time changes for 2006 and 2007
  • reliably running periodic scripts following server restart
  • importing users with multiple short names into LDAP domain
  • creating and managing VLANs from the command-line
  • using rsync to copy files with extended attributes
  • handling TCP Selective Acknowledgments in congested networks
  • better TCP performance with Windows clients and servers
  • compatibility with third party applications and devices
  • previous standalone security updates

Still no update for iTunes and the few problems it has with Windows Vista. They did patch a problem with iPhoto, a security problem relating to photo casts. The total for patches this year so far is:
Apple: 7, although, they fixed a lot more vulnerabilities than that.
Microsoft: 30 fixes total.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 14, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Categories: Apple, Security   Tags:

Steve Jobs Says No DRM! No DRM!

The MASTER of marketing, Steve Jobs of Apple has put out a call to the big four music companies to allow them to sell DRM free music in the iStore. I have not heard a truer statement in awhile than this one, “So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free, what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none.” It is completely ridiculous that the music companies require all online music stores to “protect” the music with a DRM, these stores would be perfect without it, as you could buy one or two songs from a CD instead of buying the whole CD. This is how it should be and I bet the increase in the number of songs purchased to increase dramatically.

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

In 2006, under 2 billion DRM-protected songs were sold worldwide by online stores, while over 20 billion songs were sold completely DRM-free and unprotected on CDs by the music companies themselves. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system. Source: Thoughts on Music

It will be interesting to see how the music companies, Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI, respond to this call for action, if anyone can get people talking about something, it is Steve Jobs. Take a look at the picture below, it is a screenshot of Techmeme, an online news aggregator that tracks news stories. Usually when a post is featured on the site it only has a few sites talking about it, some big stories will have 20 or 30 sites talking about it. This post by Steve Jobs has probably three times that many sites discussing it.

Thoughts on music

It’s easy to go on record and make sure everyone remembers that the music companies are the bad guys, hehe, Bill Gates has already gone on record as hating DRM, and the music companies are probably going to do it anyway, and they have already made billions with DRM. Plus, he reinforces the view that he and Apple are the cool people, sticking it to the man. However you look at it, no DRM sounds really good to me.

No DRM! No DRM! No DRM!

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - February 7, 2007 at 7:20 am

Categories: Apple   Tags: , , , , ,

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