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27 May, 2004

Mac OS X 10.3.4 available

Mac OS X 10.3.4Mac OS X 10.3.4 (Panther) is now available from Software Update

Apple released the Mac OS X 10.3.4 update. Check your Software Update for the 41MB upgrade from Panther 10.3.3. (81.5MB for the combo version to update 10.3.0)

    This update includes:
  • improved file sharing and directory services for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS), PPTP, and wireless networks
  • improved OpenGL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
  • iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync
    additional FireWire audio and USB device compatibility
  • updated Address Book, Mail, Safari, Stickies, and QuickTime applications
  • improved compatibility for third party applications
    previous standalone security updates

The update moves Safari from v1.2.1 to 1.2.2 adding a fix for downloading hotmail attachments, and takes the Darwin Kernel from 7.3.0 to 7.4.0. The updated build number is shown as 7H63.
(Based on AppleTalk AU's news article, used with permission)

Detail: About Mac OS X 10.3.4 Update technotes.
Update available from Software Update or standalone installer available from Apple Downloads

> more detail

Posted by Antony at 1:44 PM | permanent link

25 May, 2004

URL spoofing?

Profman told us a way to detect if there's any URL spoofing, "phishing". The practice, PHISHING, is where you are sent to page that looks like an official site, but the site really is just designed to steal personal data.

This works in Mozilla based browsers and as well as Safari.

> More detail, see A check for address spoofing

Posted by Antony at 12:56 PM | permanent link

24 May, 2004

Panther security holes

Yes, more bugs discovered in Panther after the release of “Security Update 2004-05-24” (10.3.3) which address the security issue in Help Viewer.

Two more serious holes in OS X have been discovered. The latest Security Update fixes the help-viewer vulnerability and seems to have done the same on one of the newer holes. That just leaves this hole which so far only Paranoid Androd seems to be able to patch so far.

So are you paranoid?

(Based on AppleTalk AU's news article)
Security Update 2004-05-24 for 10.2.8 is also available.

Posted by Antony at 6:04 PM | permanent link

21 May, 2004

compete with Microsoft? will Google be the next Netscape?

Edward showed me this Will Google be the new Netscape? by Antonio Michaelangelo D'souza.

Can you compete with the software giant? We've seen the success of Microsoft, and dominance of Microsoft, and the unavoidable of Windows platform. We know Netscape had their time, but Netscape can't compete with Microsoft. They just don't have enough money and resource.

Google is now the leading searching company in the world, just like Netscape was once the leading browser company. Netscape fought hard, but failed. Google has it's unique technology and its reputation, but Microsoft is not happy, as always. Microsoft is spending millions on its new search technology... will this technology win Google's search engine? Don't forget, Microsoft has its near monopoly desktop operating system - Windows.

Screenshot of Will Google be the new Netscape

> Join our discussion: Compete with Microsoft? Can Google survive? in SillyDog701 Message Centre.

Will Google be the new Netscape? by Antonio Michaelangelo D'souza. (OS news 19th May 2004)

To draw a parallel between Netscape & Google in their fight against Microsoft, it is necessary to examine the various similarities between the two situations and see if the tactics that worked then will work now.

Netscape's business model consisted of selling webservers to organizations. Its legendary web browser hardly brought in any money through direct sales. What it did do, however, was give the fledgling company instant high visibility in the online world. When organizations were shopping for a webserver, the Netscape brand was instantly recognizable. Additionally, their browser's position as de facto standard web browser allowed Netscape to effectively control the development of HTML, giving it an edge over competitors in the nascent market for webservers.

When Microsoft needed to crush Netscape, it went for the jugular. Via a combination of sketchy but effective tactics it was able to unseat Netscape from its comfortable spot atop the web browser heap and place its own IE there instead. This meant that it was now Microsoft who wielded the power to influence the direction of web development. It also tarnished Netscape's image as a leading Internet brand. Between that and Apache's sudden rise to dominance, Netscape saw sales of their webserver decline. Since they had never found a sustainable line of business that was independent of the browser's popularity, they could no longer survive.

There is no doubt that Google will continue to be a top-notch search engine so it is unlikely to be eclipsed by any new search technology that Microsoft can unleash upon the world, no matter how much money they throw at the project. However, Microsoft does not need to compete with Google using the traditional rules when they have an unstoppable weapon at their disposal in the form of the Windows monopoly. They will will change the nature of the game entirely by building search features based upon MSN into Longhorn and gently cajoling users into giving up on the use of a web browser to search the web. By redefining search to encompass local documents as well as the web, it will be able to leverage its desktop muscle in a manner against which Google, having no stranglehold on the desktop market, will find itself unable to compete. After all, nobody has ever taken Microsoft on in the desktop arena and escaped unscathed.

Actions of this nature would violate the antitrust restrictions under which Microsoft is required to operate but those have proven to be ineffective deterrents in the past. For instance, Microsoft intends to stonewall the EU on the matter for long enough that it will no longer matter whether WMP is bundled or not because RealNetworks will have lost its customer base. After that, if they have to pay a half-billion dollar fine, it's just pocket change to them anyway. Unless the government can force Microsoft to stop its antitrust violations before its too late, there's no point. Unfortunately, the appeals process and the red tape it involves make this rather unfeasible.

The critical question for Google is whether or not they could survive if Microsoft managed to coerce the majority of websurfers to switch to using MSN as their default search engine. If Google is sufficiently well insulated against this then they can weather whatever Microsoft throws at them. It seems, however, that they currently make most of their profits from the text ads that appear beside search results. Unless they can branch out from that dependence upon the search engine before MSN is able to usurp Google as the world's most popular search engine, Google will be hard pressed to avoid the same fate as Netscape.

Fortunately, Google does appear to have learned from Netscape's mistakes and has already begun to reduce its dependence upon the search engine via two different strategies. Firstly, it is looking into other ways of drawing traffic to its site: News, Froogle, Groups, Blogs, Webmail. Secondly, it is finding novel applications for AdWords, the profit engine: the AdSense program & ad-supported consumer software (like Opera). Since Microsoft will require at least a couple of years to oust Google as the kingpin of search engines, things don't look too bad for Page & Brin.


Source: Will Google be the new Netscape? by Antonio Michaelangelo D'souza. (OS news 19th May 2004)

Posted by Antony at 10:51 AM | permanent link

19 May, 2004

Key Caps in Panther?

Mac OS X and earlier versions used to include a nice nifty utility, Key Caps. In How to type accented characters we showed you the method of typing special characters as well as two screenshots from Key Caps.

The problem with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, the Key Caps is gone.
(You might still have a copy of it if your Panther is upgraded from previous version.)

Now, there's something called “Keyboard Viewer”, accessible from your Input Menu.
To enable it:
System Preferences | International | Input Menu | Keyboard Viewer
Keyboard Viewer
(Screenshot of the Keyboard Viewer from a PowerBook.)

Posted by Antony at 8:29 PM | permanent link

17 May, 2004

Microsoft is stealing Exposé

exposeIn January, I reported one company charge a software called WinExposé for 9.95(USD) (it later renamed to something else.)

Exposé is one of the most exciting feature introduced in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.

A while back, I reported Sun's Project Looking Glass, featuring 3D desktop work space.

Now, guess who's the biggest thief now?
Microsoft, of course.
Longhorn's Alt + Tab will have it, reported by Apple-X.net. Shame on Microsoft.

> Join our discussion at this thread.

Posted by Antony at 12:15 AM | permanent link and Comments (1)

11 May, 2004

PowerPC emulator for x86

Virtual PC for Mac is a great way to show those PC-loving friends of your how powerful Mac is - but it looks like there is a similar application being developedd for PC: PearPC allows x86 processors to emulate PPC. It's in early stages yet, but there are screenshots for you to gawk at if you feel the need.

> Jarrad brought us in this PPC emulator for x86 (SD701 Forums). Join our discussion!

Posted by Antony at 1:11 AM | permanent link

9 May, 2004

speed up Virtual PC for Mac!

There are quite a few people like me who need to run Windows applications all the time, and don't won't to get a PC. Virtual PC for Mac 6 seems like a perfect solution. It allows Mac users to run most x86 (PC) operating systems under its emulating environment.

The main draw back about that is the speed of Virtual PC.

We all know that we need faster computer to get more satisfactory performance. One of the main thing we want to see is how fast the CPU does Virtual PC emulate? And how well do they perform?

In Windows, under My Computers (or System Properties). There's no indication about the CPU speed.

With 3 machines of different specifications all running Virtual PC 6.1.1 under Mac OS X 10.3.3 (Panther) I run the PCMark 2002 Free to get some results.

From the first generation of G4 (400MHz) to the most powerful PowerMac G4 Apple has ever released - dual 1.42GHz, and a recent release of PowerBook 12 (revC)... results of benchmarking are available ...

for more detail and the results, please read Virtual PC for Mac performance (SillyDog701 Message Centre)

Posted by Antony at 1:59 PM | permanent link

8 May, 2004

does size matter? PowerBook in 12", 15" or even 17"

How important is the size of the laptop? We all want a bigger screen to work with, but bigger isn't necessary better.

There is a nice review by Vincent Laforet, Does size really matter? Debating the 12 - Inch vs. 15 - Inch PowerBook.

In addition to his points, do I need to carry a large screen around? There's comes the considerations.

Basically, PowerBook 15 inch provides better (brighter) display in addition to work space. the ratio is 5:3.
The PowerBook 12 has standard screen ratio 4:3, slightly dimmer, but comes with all the gadgets except the gigabit ethernet, FW800, PCMCIA card slot, smaller maximum RAM size and less memory in video card.

For real professionals, they carry 17" PowerBook with external FireWire drives. They use 22 megapixel digital cameras. (Steve Kalalian - Digital Imagiing on Steroids)

For film makers, they definitely need 15" or 17" PowerBooks.

For rest of us, a laptop should be easy to carry. PowerBook 12" is still the most compact, full feature laptop notebook around. Unless you are able to carry the 17" around, or you want to use it as desktop replacement... I would opt out that option. Between 15" and 12", it's a bit harder to decide, when the weight is not much lighter in 12" (compared to 15").

My recommendation, unless you really need to work in larger screen. Go for 12", make your life easier and you will sure be able to carry it around a lot easier. It's a laptop, make it portable!

> Join our discussion at Size matters. PowerBook 12, 15, or 17? (SillyDog701 Forums)

Posted by Antony at 1:35 PM | permanent link

2 May, 2004

iTunes 4.5 DRM cracked within 24hr?

In less than 24 hours of the release of iTunes 4.5, a 20 year old student, crazney, in Melbourne University (Melbourne, Australia) announced that he has it successfully reverse-engineered.

Apple's new iTunes 4.5, which deliberately broke the 4.2 authentication scheme, which had been successfully reverse-engineered.

It certainly isn't a good thing.

Slashdot has a report

Posted by Antony at 12:51 PM | permanent link and Comments (1)

PiXel Check

There's a nice small application to check dead pixels of your LCD. PiXel Check 1.2
It will turn the monitor (all pixels) to blue, green, red, white (all on), and black (all off).

Best of all, it's free. BTW, Mac only.

Posted by Antony at 2:02 AM | permanent link and Comments (0)

1 May, 2004

modding WinXP to look like OS X?

Wired has an article on people modding their Windows XP interface to look like Mac OS X, XP Users Cop a Feel of OS X.

But, remember, that's just the interface. Windows XP is still Windows XP, is still not as stable as OS X, not as easy to use as OS X, and of course do not have the UNIX strength as OS X has.

Get a Mac, I'd suggest.

Posted by Antony at 12:11 PM | permanent link and Comments (2)

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