Tag Archives: Mac

The Internet Operating System

Way back in the 90’s Microsoft rose to power with the brilliance of their Windows Operating system. It made using a computer easy to use and visually appealing.

In the late 90’s three guys from Stanford launched a tiny search engine called Back Rub, which finally became Google.

how is this going to change?

Today, in 2005, Both Google and Microsoft dominate their perspective business space. Google owns search, and Microsoft owns the Operating system market.

Consider how far the net has progressed in the past 10 years. Back then, the net was used for email, and for the Military and Universities alike to store information that could be accessed easily by anyone with a connection to the web.

hasty forward to today, and you have on line banking, e commerce, pod casting, film trailers, mp3 files and about any other type of digital media available on the web.

there is no longer a need to be “stuck” with Windows or MAC. All you need is a browser – and the browser will be the official “Operating System” of the web.

From my browser not only can I access the universe of information, but I don’t need to worry about if it’s on a computer or MAC. A HTML page doesn’t care if you have a Dell computer, a G5, or web television. All it cares about is rendering out images and text in a logical format.

Stay tuned to this upcoming battle, as whoever emerges victorious will be in the best position to truly monopolize the web.

This is truly where the revolution has only begun with Mozilla’s Fire Fox, and Microsoft’s web Explore hopes to catch up with. An while all of this is going on Google isn’t waiting around. they quietly bought the domain name called “gbrowser.com” – which would seem to indicate that they are working on their own version of a browser (with the help of Mozilla) to compete.

Mac market share drops in May, Apple revenue share up

According to the NPD Group, Apple’s market share where Mac computers are concerned continued its downward trend in May. Mac sales were down 3 percent YoY in May, while overall PC sales were up a substantial 12 percent. The NPD Group also noted that iPod sales were down a whopping 18 percent YoY last month. As Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty points out however, investors are hardly heading for the hills:

Perhaps most important, Apple’s mix of shipments improved significantly, with commercial shipments +25% MoM versus market growth of +1%. The higher ASP commercial shipments allowed Apple to outperform market revenue growth trends (despite losing unit market share) and could support higher margins in the June quarter.

Translation: Apple is still banking. Beyond Huberty’s assessment, a revised notebook line and lower prices revealed this month will likely help curtail the continued dip to some extent. As far as Apple’s overall performance in the coming months, let’s not forget a little thing called the iPhone 3G S that hits store shelves this Friday. While it might not be the upgrade many were hoping for, preliminary reports suggest that pre-orders are selling like Viagra in Florida — and sales likely won’t slow down any time soon.

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WWDC gets kicked off this year with new Mac products; first up, the 15″ MacBook Pro

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for since last June: This year’s WWDC is getting kicked off and we’re here to bring the goods to you as the drama unfolds. The event is being lead by none other than Phil Schiller who will be delivering this year’s keynote, of course.

First up for the day: a new 15″ Macbook Pro with its famous unibody build which looks to be using the same battery as the 17″ model. The new line of 15″ MBPs should be getting an impressive 7 hours of battery life about 1,000 charges. There will be an SD Card slot where the Express Card slot used to be for greater convenience. It now sports a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and can hold up to 8GB of RAM along with the capacity for a 500GB hard drive. And the best news of all is that the price has been hacked down to $1699! Here are the three flavors of 15″ Macbook Pro: $1699 (2.53GHZ, 4GB RAM), $1999 (2.66GHz, 4GB RAM 320GB HD), $2299 (2.8GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD). But the 15″ isn’t the only one getting a refresh as the 17″ Macbook Pro and 13″ Macbook are getting some serious updates. Stay tuned!

Google Chrome finally available for Mac, but not recommended for download

Lots of Google fans who are using Mac computers have been waiting for what feels like ages for Chrome. Well, it’s finally here. The only catch is that Google doesn’t recommend downloading it right now. Say what? That’s right, it’s still in very early stages and it’s actually not for general consumption just yet. So far, getting it installed is as simple as most Mac app installations are. The look mimics that of Safari 4 to keep the Apple feel, but reports are saying that some aspects of Chrome seem faster than Safari or Firefox 3. It’s available for download if you want to try it out, but pages like YouTube don’t work and editing settings is not entirely available, either. Just remember before you go crazy that it’s still in a pre-release stage and recommended for devs only.

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TetherBerry for Mac enters (semi) public beta

Back in March we gave you an extensive hands on review of a great little BlackBery app called TetherBerry. In short, TetherBerry allows you to connect your compatible BlackBerry handset to your Windows-based computer via USB in order to share your cellular data connection with your PC. The nice thing about it of course, is that you can tether without the need for pricey monthly plan add-ons from your carrier. Until recently the application was only available for Windows users and a select few taking part in the private Mac OS X beta. Fret not however, as TetherBerry is ready to take its OS X app to the next level as of this morning. Though it will still technically be in private beta, Mac users can now head over to the Mac beta page and sign up for an invite. There may be a bit of a waiting list but hey, at least you’ll be one step closer to getting your Mac/BlackBerry tethering on…

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Expandrive for Mac updated to version 2.0

Back in February we reviewed a great little piece of software for OS X and Windows called Expandrive. In a nutshell, Expandrive makes interacting with FTP servers as easy as interacting with an external hard drive or a networked drive. FTP connections appear as drives and you can browse them and drag/drop files just as if you were using Finder or Windows Explorer — because, well, you are using Finder or Windows Explorer. During this past week, Expandrive announced a major upgrade in the form of version 2.0 for Mac and if you’re an Expandrive user, you need to check it out asap. Brief change log:

  • All new SFTP Layer
  • Up to three times faster when transferring large files
  • New metadata-caching architecture that is faster and more reliable
  • Experimental support to detect updates made on the server within ~20 seconds.
  • Utilizes OpenSSH to take advantage of Kerberos auth, public key auth, etc on Leopard.
  • Amazon S3 support — access Amazon S3 accounts like a filesystem, connecting to the root or an individual bucket
  • Refreshed GUI with customizable drive icons
  • In line eject/show in finder buttons
  • Many many enhancements to FTP/FTPS, no longer in beta

There is a caveat, however. As the new build is essentially a new app, upgrades are not free for everyone. If you purchased Expandrive within the past 60 days, you’re good to go at no cost. If you purchased the program before then, an upgrade to 2.0 will run you $19.95. New users enjoy a 30 day free trial and then it’s $39.95 to stick with it.

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PC sales jump in February as Mac continues to decline

No, we’re not exactly out of the water just yet but growth in any market these days is definitely a diamond in the rough. The NPD Group released its February numbers yesterday and with both Apple and Microsoft still spending major ad dollars, PC and Mac computers saw remarkably different results. PC units sales jumped 22 percent year over year in February and revenue crept up 1.4 percent. In stark contrast, Mac unit sales were down a steep 16.7 percent and revenue dropped off a cliff, down 23.3 percent — this the month after Apple refreshed its laptop lineup, by the way. Ouch. Did Microsoft’s retaliatory “I’m a PC” ad campaign provide OEMs the adrenaline shot Microsoft was hoping for? Maybe. The simplest explanation is most often the correct explanation however, and February’s numbers likely boil down to dollars and cents. The average selling price of a PC in February was $555 while the average price of admission for a shiny new Mac was a whopping $1,500. In other words you can almost score three new PCs for the price of a Mac. Amidst a recession, the numbers speak for themselves.

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Google Chrome for Mac gets pictured

Mac users have long felt shafted when it comes to Google’s increasingly popular web browser. Sure, Google made it known that Chrome would be arriving on Macs at some point but the time frame is a bit of a mystery. While the when is still anyone’s guess, Google has at least provided confirmation that it is actively working on bringing the Chrome browser to OS X in the form of the first official screen shot, pictured above. Posted last night by Googler Avi Dressman under the heading “Now we can call it Chrome!”, little can be ascertained from the image other than the fact that, well, it looks like Chrome. As cute as the error message is, we’ll presume it is an indication that things are still early going and we still have a bit of a wait before any kind of alpha or beta release finds its way out to testers. In the meantime, if Safari and FireFox simply don’t get the job done for you – at least you can rest assured that Chrome is still on its way.

[Via Silicon Alley Insider]

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Syncplicity opens Mac beta, your data rejoices

Mac users, rejoice – the cloud storage solution to end all cloud storage solutions is finally ready for public beta on OS X and trust us when we tell you, you’ll want to have a look. The Syncplicity founders might have Microsoft pedigree but that certainly doesn’t mean they can’t bang out a Mac build as full-featured and capable as the Windows client, and that is exactly what the Syncplicity team has done. For those completely unaware of the service, allow us to bring you up to speed. Syncplicity allows you to mirror any folder on your computer with an always-in-sync online copy, “in the cloud”. What’s more, Syncplicity can sync files and folders across multiple computers and folders can even be shared amongst different Syncplicity users. Folders can be designated for remote syncing in just two clicks from your right-click menu and anytime a file is altered in any synced folder, on any computer, the changes will automatically be synced across Syncplicity’s servers along with all other computers where the file is present. Oh, and did we mention you’ll also have access to all of your synced files and folders from any web browser on any computer or mobile phone? Recap: Any folder, anywhere, everywhere, automatically.

Syncplicity has been hard at work on its private Mac beta for some time now and we’ve been enjoying every minute of it. Nearly all of the functionality found in the Windows application has been integrated at this point and the team has even thrown in a few extra spices like Growl integration for notifications. Just like the Windows client, overlay graphics appear on all synced folder and individual file icons to display sync status at all times. Mac users also have access to the the same web interface for file and folder access, or to recover an unlimited number of file revisions. Each time a file is changed and saved, a historical copy remains on Syncplicity’s servers in the event you or a collaborator makes an unwanted change. Since we obviously have a particular affinity for the mobile space here at BGR, we’ll also mention that all files can be accessed while on the go from an iPhone-optimized or standard mobile site. Files can easily be downloaded to your handset and supported file types can even opened right in your browser.

Syncplicity really does trump competitive options in so many ways. Beyond the ease of use and versatility already covered, the company uses an open API which will allow third-party development to expand upon its offering in any way imaginable. To kick things off, web-based services such as Google Docs, Sribd, Picnik  and Zoho Writer are integrated, allowing you to easily open and edit a document or image by right-clicking the file on your computer or choosing to open the file in your web app of choice from within the web interface. Syncplicity is also integrated with Facebook, allowing you to designate a folder to sync photos with your account automatically. In other words, any time you drop a new photo in the designated folder it will automatically be uploaded to your Facebook account. Create a new folder within your designated folder and it will automatically become a new album on your Facebook account, allowing you to keep everything as organized however you’d like.

There’s plenty more to cover but we doubt you’ve even made it this far into the post without clicking over and checking out Syncplicity for yourself. If you’re still here however, we’ll wrap things up with the nitty gritty details. First and foremost, Syncplicity offers a free account with 2GB of remote storage which can be increased to 5GB if you invite three friends (one extra GB per friend). Free accounts have access to each and every feature Syncplicity offers – the only restriction is storage. Once you’ve maxed out on your free space, upgrade options are offered at a flat rate with each 50GB block of space costing $99 per year (or $9.99 per month if you pay monthly). So 50GB of storage is $99 per year, 100GB is $198 per year, 150GB is $297 per year, etc.

If you’re worried about security, as you should be, know that Syncplicity uses SSL encryption while moving everything from log in credentials to file syncing and backup – absolutely no data is exchanged without being encrypted. Within the Syncplicity data center, all stored files are encrypted with military grade (AES-256) encryption. Syncplicity has plenty more cooking for the near future including a Business Edition complete with large-scale deployment capabilities and monitoring / reporting features for IT Managers. In the meantime, Mac users should definitely hit the read link and check this service out – as should Windows users for that matter. A quick note for Windows users: While official support obviously can’t be proclaimed until the OS is officially released, Syncplicity works seamlessly with currently available Windows 7 betas.

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Trojan virus spreads to as many as 20,000 Macs

Mac users who think they’ve stumbled upon greatness in the form of an alleged copy of iLife 09 on torrent sites take note – it contains a nasty trojan known as OSX.Trojan.iServices.A. First identified by Integro Security, the trojan works like so:

When installing iWork 09, the iWorkServices package is installed. The installer for the Trojan horse is launched as soon as a user begins the installation of iWork, following the installer’s request of an administrator password. This software is installed as a startup item (in /System/Library/StartupItems/iWorkServices, a location reserved normally for Apple startup items), where it has read-write-execute permissions for root. The malicious software connects to a remote server over the Internet; this means that a malicious user will be alerted that this Trojan horse is installed on different Macs, and will have the ability to connect to them and perform various actions remotely. The Trojan horse may also download additional components to an infected Mac.

It’s important to note that while this is by no means the first trojan virus outbreak that Mac users have had to deal with, it is of special interest. Unlike trojans of years past, this is the first time hackers have taken the time to concoct a malicious script to be embedded in software that a lot of people are keen to get and actively contact remote severs to cause even more damage to infected systems. If you think your system is infected, there is a simple process to cleaning your system but it does require a complete wipe unfortunately. Open Terminal and enter the following:

  1. sudo su (enter password)
  2. rm -r /System/Library/StartupItems/iWorkServices
  3. rm /private/tmp/.iWorkServices
  4. rm /usr/bin/iWorkServices
  5. rm -r /Library/Receipts/iWorkServices.pkg
  6. killall -9 iWorkServices
  7. Wipe, reformat and reinstall OS X from your master disc

Moral of the story: Buy your software or risk paying the price in other ways.

[Via MacRumors]

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