Sunday, January 27, 2008

Microsoft confirms Office for Mac 2008 security risk

Office for Mac 2008 offers a security headache for many users, Microsoft has confirmed.

Office for Mac 2008 incorrectly assigns ownership of some files, Microsoft has confirmed, creating a potential security problem for businesses installing the new application suite.
[Microsoft] moved to Apple's Package Maker (.pkg) installer files, good news for the enterprise, [but] unfortunately they've created all the packages to install nearly all the files with the owner set to 502." Office 2008's ownership assignment means that a user who wasn't supposed to have complete control over those files actually does. In other words, whoever is assigned user ID 502 has full read/write access to Office's files.

Well this is an installation problem and your ID 502 will not kill the system just because it is has access to some files! LOL! Not to worry to much!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Preliminary MacBook Air Tests By MacWorld

Well some of the Early results are in and it seems that you the Slow 1.6GHz Processor of the MacBook Air and the 4200rpm drive makes this machine THE slowest MacBook Out there. The Standard MacBook seem to be at least 20% faster than the Air and MacBook Pro proves to be closer to 30%-40% faster. So it seems that this is a thinest Mac ever - granted - but no match for it's siblings. As I said in my last post - this is a machine for executives - students and some Mac heads that buy an Apple product that comes to the market, no matter what it is. But damn it! Is it ever sexy. Now that is a laptop that gets you laid. In other words; if Air can't get you laid - you are hopeless! J/K

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Apple’s Macworld Conference & Expo 2008

Conference & Expo

After 3 years absence from the Apple’s Macworld & Expo, this year I had the opportunity to be there and see the whole thing first hand for myself. It was a huge gathering much larger than the years past and it was extremely vibrant! You could feel the electricity in the ‘Air’. Expectations were high and every one was looking forward to the fact that their prediction and or wishes might come true.
At the end of the Keynote event, I must admit that not everyone was satisfied, which is the normal thing. Seems that people expect a Product of the caliber of iPod – iPhone or migration to INTEL, every time that Steve jobs takes the podium! Well no one can do that – not even Steve “the magician” Jobs! So it’s time for a reality check. Products like iPod and iPhone comes once in a career and Steve jobs has had many of them – but we can not expect a new and better one every time that he takes the podium!

Having said that, here is my assessment of the Apple’s Macworld Expo:

Here is a list of new stuff that was announced at the Expo:

• iPhone / iPod touch Software
• Microsoft Office 2008 Universal
• Time Capsule / Airport Extreme 802.1N
• iTunes Movie Rentals
• MacBook Air

1. iPhone / Pod software upgrades:
• iPhone is one step close to the version 2.0. when it will truly ready for “human consumption”. Home screen now can be customized and show what you really use every day and not what Apple thinks that you will be using. Come to think of it, we had this option released with Motorola’s revolutionary T720 nearly 6 years ago which you could customize the menus and screens and from there on, you could find this functionality on just about every phone. Other improvement and bug fixes were also made to the iPhone software. Steve Jobs did mention that the SDK for iPhone will be released very soon – so we can all rest that Jobs Demons are not at work anymore – if they were we would never get an SDK to develop any type of applications for iPhone.
• iPod Touch software upgrade was every more significant, adding 4 new Apps to it’s general functionality. was a great new addition to the iPod Touch, especially for those that use WiFi function of the iPod. I feel that is a better idea than owing an iPhone and use it as PDA / iPod and endanger loss of communication due to lack of power, since we know that we can not change the battery. So it would be great if you have your phone and an iPod Touch 16GB. A good enough PDA - a great iPod and in worse case scenario if it runs out of your battery, your phone is there safe and functioning. I am using a Nokia N95-8G and I am planning to add an iPod-Touch to my arsenal. Like this; I have a PDA - iPod and my Smartphone. A thought that might benefit many of you out there.
• The new software for both iPhone and iPod-Touch will be released with every new iPhone and iPod that is sold from today. The fortunate thing is this the update for the existing iPhones are available free of charge. The owners of the iPod-Touch can download all the updates and the new Apps from Apple for $20.
• Recommended (especially for the iPod-Touch, since the iPhone update will be Automatic)

2. Microsoft Office 2008:
• Microsoft Released Office 2008 with no fanfare and that we very surprising for me. I was really looking forward from some remarks from Mac-BU of MS. Bit no one was there. I have ordered a copy of the Office at the show and I received it this morning and I just installed and it looks good. Same components of the 2004 (I think Microsoft will never port the Access Database to OS-x), but the most important thing is the fact that the entire office now runs in Universal mode and no more Rosetta emulation to run on my MacBook Pro! I am planning to install it on an old PowerBook Titanium and see how it works there. One thing is for sure: It runs much faster now that is running x86 native code on my machine. I think the Standard Edition will be enough for most of us and the Students / Teachers have the opportunity to enjoy their traditional discount. The top package is about $100 more expensive and facilitates Media environments. The update is $299.
• It still remain a mystery as to why Microsoft Mac-BU VP was not present at the MacWorld Expo for the kick off of such an important product.
• Recommended (if you have to use it because of your work, it is a worth update)

3. Time Capsule / Airport Extreme 802.1N:
• Time capsule is basically an update to the software only TimeMachine that was introduced with the release of Leopard (OS X 10.5). Time Capsule makes sense because of a few reasons:
o Set it and forget it back up
o Wireless and now computer necessary to handle the backups
o An upgrade to your existing 802.1 B-A-G.
o Large hard drive backing up DATA only from all your systems
• I certainly am considering one for my home system, as soon as it will be clear if it can back up PCs as well as Macs, since I am using both and a backup solution must cover both.
• Recommended

4. iTune Movie Rentals:
• Well this has been in the pipes for a long time now and Apple tried to get all the partners on-board, before announcing it. Well it seems they have been successful and it is a great idea on the part of Apple. Now if Apple could do what they did with music with movies then they stand to make a lot of money.
• But there is pricing problem. Apple announced the following prices:
o $2.99 for Library titles
o $3.99 for New Titles
o $4.99 for HD
• I’d say this steep and Apple might not sell as much as they think. I suggest that prices should have been:
o $1.99 for Library titles
o $2.99 for New Titles
o $3.99 for HD
• There is also a timeline problem. You have 30 days to start watching the movie that you downloaded – which is great. But when you start watching the movie, you have 24 hours to finish it and after that, just like Mission Impossible, the movie will self destruct. Of course this is the same as Dish Network and Bell Express view as well as old DVD / VHS rentals. But if Apple would have priced it lower and instead of 1 day they would have giver their clients a maximum of 3 days, they it would have brought them much more business than the present setup. I know that most of this has been dictated to Apple by the RIAA and Movie companies. But still…

MacBook Air:
• Well it is “impossibly thin and light”, yet it has a full size screen and Keyboard! It is a huge achievement on part of Apple Computer Inc. No other company have achieved this – at least up to now. Amazing screen – Good speed. But IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! The biggest problems that I see with it are as follows:
o No Ethernet connection. So if you are stuck in an environment that has not Wireless connection, then you have no connection. Of course, Apple will sell you a $30 Dongle thaqt gives you Ethernet capabilities via USB. But as we know, USB take 5%-15% of the CPU time and that in a small Laptop like is indeed a lot. But at least it can prove to be a life saver.
o No Replaceable Batteries. So if you use your laptop a lot, and on the battery, then this is not the laptop for you. The battery is internal and can not be swapped. It reminds you of iPhone / iPod. Foot prints of Mr. Jobs of closed is better mentality all over this machine.
o No Internal Optical Drive. So if you are not close to home base, so you can share their optical drive to Wirelessly installing software from it, then you are up a creek-without-a-paddle! So install ‘everything-that-you-ever-need’ on this machine before leaving your home base. But you have the option to buy an external Optical drive for it (I am not sure if it actually burns CD/DVD) but certainly reads both formats and it’s a USB Device that you can use on a one and only USB port that this machine comes with! Not that great. If you plan to use an external Mouse and Keyboard, make sure that you get them with Bluetooth option, so you can leave this single USB port alone. If not, then think of investing in a Powered USB Hub (4-Port, at least).
• Having said all that – I can also add that the machine is amazingly sexy and unique. Of course, on the first glance, it reminds you of executive machines. But consider this idea: if you are a college student that you run around your campus and need to have a small machine to carry around for your notes and references and class materials, then the small size of this laptop will be a blessing to you. Also Perfect for executives and people that do a lot of presentations.
• All in All a very impressive package that you need to improve with a few essential / optional additions:
o Get a small, but powered USB Dongle (essential)
o Get an USB -> Ethernet dongle (essential)
o Get an Apple USB Modem for Dialup internet and FAX (Optional)
o Get the Apple External SuperDrive that for $99 is a great bargain. Cheapest External DVD burner could be as much as $149. (Essential)
o More to say about the performance of the Air, as soon as we get one in the office. I am sure it will be soon. People want to test the software that we produced on such system too.  Wink wink!

I am looking forward to this years WWDC08.  I am hoping that I am the one that will be going to that conference.  See you there...

Been away in Tinsel Town doing my duty - Not Forgotten My Web-Log!

Well I have been away for the past couple of weeks in Tinsel Town (A.K.A. Los Angeles) and been working hard on the integration of Software Package that we are putting together. I am also working on a Long and detailed report of the Apple's Macworld and Expo which I will shortly post here. Be back soon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Can Microsoft Really Save the Zune?

In late 2006, Microsoft released its first generation Zune, a digital media platform comprised of a portable digital media player, Windows-based software, and an online service. But at least the company had a reason for this inactivity: It was prepping a revolutionary Zune 2.0 release comprised of new players, new software, new online services, and new capabilities all around.

I see it this way: No matter what MS might or might not do about Zune, until this Social thing is there Zune is a dead product! Get rid of the stupid "Social" (as Microsoft should get rid of WOW in Vista) and then allow people to put anything in their Zune - MP3 - AAC, etc. and then may be something would come off of this prodcut! Until then NADA!

Monday, January 07, 2008

'First' iPhone Trojan rolls into town

Hackers have created Trojan horse malware targeted at Apple's much-hyped iPhone device.
The package - more of a prank than a threat - poses as an "important system" upgrade supposedly needed prior to upgrading to version 1.1.3 of Apple's firmware. The "iPhone firmware 1.1.3 prep" seems to lack malicious purpose. Problems kick in when users try to uninstall the package.
Well we were waiting for it and now it is here! Is is a right thing to provide a device like a phone or PDA with a complete and powerful OS like OS X or Windows Mobile? Can you imagine what damage that can be brought about to corporate and governmental Information Systems by a compromised Smartphones and/or PDAs? Is it time to think about Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware on Smartphones - PDAs and Tablets? I can hear more 'cha-chink' in Norton pockets!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Samsung intros Spinpoint M6 500GB standard height laptop drive, Hitachi be damned

Hitachi had to hack it to produce a 500GB 2.5-inch laptop drive, adding another platter (and a few millimeters thickness) that make their new 5K500 impossible to install in most standard laptops and enclosures -- but not Samsung. The Spinpoint M6 500GB drive brings a half terabyte at the standard 9.5mm height, and should land some time in March, meaning your current laptop -- and not just those new Asus machines -- should be able to accommodate one or two of these massive mothers.
This is amazing! 500GB in a 2.5" laptop drive! Are these new advancement in memory and hard drive leaving the desktop in the dust? Is it time to buy Laptops only? The jury is still out on that one. But you can use another 500GB external drive with your laptop and have a cool Tera Byte carrying it in your laptop case. Is anyone thinking about how these huge storage devices has to be backed up? If I owned a hard drive company, I would assign 30% of my workforce to work on the backup devices. Like this, the hard drives are sold and everyone would also buy my backup devices. Does not make sense? If it does - why we don't hear of such devices being developed in conjunction with large hard drives.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

D-Link MediaLounge PC-on-TV DPG-1200 ready to send web content to your TV

Just because media shifting is totally last year doesn't mean D-Link's MediaLounge PC-on-TV DPG-1200 isn't welcome, even if that model number is a bit of a mouthful. The product can ship YouTube, Google Video, Veoh content and plenty more that the internet has to offer over a wired or wireless connection to your regular ol' TV. There's no special player involved, the product just mirrors your PC display, so virtually anything you can see on you PC you can see on your TV, including all sorts of media and even DVDs. The remote includes a trackball for controlling your PC remotely, and the 1280 x 720 resolution and 30 frames per second should offer enough fidelity to keep up with the action. No word on price or availability yet, but we should be finding out more next week when PC-on-TV hits CES.
This is a long time coming! Will they be able to pull it off this time? No one knows! For some reason people do nto accept the intrusion of Web - or internet for that matter - into their TV. If DLink pull this off it will be a miracle!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Microsoft readies Hal 9000

The corporate lie detector!!!!
Judging from a recent patent application, Microsoft hopes to build some sort of "activity monitoring system" that keeps an eye on worker productivity using various "physiological or environmental sensors." These sensors would track everything from heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, facial expressions, and blood pressure to brain signals and galvanic skin response.Redmond sees this system as a way for companies and, um, governments to monitor "group activities." "In particular, the system can monitor user activity, detect when users need assistance with their specific activities, and identify at least one other user that can assist them," the patent application reads, in classic patent speak. "Assistance can be in the form of answering questions, providing guidance to the user as the user completes the activity, or completing the activity such as in the case of taking on an assigned activity."

Microsoft - all the Billions that you make, is not enough and now you have to get on screwing the masses? Stop already! This is another tool that you are providing the Corps to get enough excuses and outsource more and more of their work with the pretense of low productivity and high salaries! NOW YOU REALLY are showing your colors! You are already the most hated Corp out there an now you are getting in worse situation with the Hal-9000?

Apple Creating iMac-like Docking Station

Rumor has it that Apple is working on a iMac Shell that works as a docking station for a Pen based Mac that transforms to a Desktop! Now could this be the hand held device that we were all waiting for? Is this the Son of Newton?what do you think about the concept. You can carry it around, and when you get back to your Home?office you just shove it in a dock station that closely resembles the iMac with a larger HD as well as faster 1Gb networking and also ability to connect external devices (i.e. External Drives - Printers, et al. the Optical drive also is stationed in the Doc. But here is the twist: what if this was a intelligent Dock and the portable unit could be in touch with it's docking stating (hence all devices that are connected to the Doc). WOW! I am just speculating - but would you not love an Mac like that? For that matter - 'A' computer like that?