Articles and How To's

Apple files patent for magnetic antenna 



It may not sound like much but a patent granted to Apple provides new hints that a 3G version of the MacBook may be in the cards. The new patent outlines a detachable, magnetic antenna possibly for connecting your laptop to the web on the go.
The antenna appears to sit on a hinge located on the top corner when connected, so that it can be adjusted to ensure the best reception and to avoid any internal interference.The antenna is also attached by magnets, so it may come off easily if accidentally hit unless it is firmly set in a recess.

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OSX 10.6.7 update 


Apple has released the OS X 10.6.7 update, after weeks of developer build seeds that were issued with no new features or fixes.
The update versions available are:
Mac OS X v10.6.7 Update (475MB)
Mac OS X v10.6.7 Update Combo (1.12GB)
Mac OS X Server v10.6.7 Update (541.21MB)
Mac OS X Server v10.6.7 Update Combo (1.15GB)
Mac OS X v10.6.7 Update for early 2011 MacBook Pro (368.21MB)
This update is especially important for owners of the new 2011 MacBook Pro systems because it addresses a graphics bug that caused hangs and crashes under heavy graphics load. This update specifically notes that it "improves graphics stability and external display compatibility" in these new systems. Be sure that if you choose to manually install the update for your system, that you choose this one if your MacBook Pro is newly purchased.
In general, the OS update addresses the reliability of Apple's "Back to My Mac" remote connectivity technology, fixes SMB (Windows file sharing) bugs, and fixes minor issues with the Mac App Store that appeared in OS X 10.6.6.
Beyond bugs and features, the update also addresses numerous security concerns and flaws with built-in services, Apple's "Core" technologies, system utilities, and core details such as the kernel and filesystem handling. As with most security concerns, these were for issues where users could gain access to restricted files, cause arbitrary code execution, or otherwise change the system's configuration without proper authorization. Details on these can be found in this knowledge base documentation
Be sure to fully backup your system, ensure you have a full and restorable backup, and have addressed any current issues with your system before applying this update. You can also run a general maintenance routine and unplug peripheral devices before updating your system, but it’s optional.

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Google, Yahoo!, Skype hacked 


It appears as if the Iranian government managed to obtain secure digital certificates that can be used to impersonate Google, Yahoo, Skype, and other major Web sites, said a security company affected by the breach today.
The New Jersey based firm that issues digital certificates Comodo said that nine certificates were fraudulently obtained, including one for Microsoft's Live.com, but the certificates have since been revoked.
The IP addresses used in the attack have been found to be coming directly from Tehran, Iran. Spoofing web sites would allow the Iranian government to use what is known as a “man-in-the-middle attack” and impersonate the legitimate sites, as well as get passwords, read e-mail, and monitor any other network-based actions, even if the connections were protected with SSL.
"Spoofing" only works if the unknown perpetrators also operated the network, allowing them to use the Internet's DNS to redirect users to a fake Gmail.com site. That wouldn't be a problem for a national government such as Iran, which controls the telecommunications infrastructure, but also means that the impact of such a security breach is limited.
Many major browser makers already have revoked the fraudulent SSL certificates. Mozilla said last night, "We have updated Firefox 4.0, 3.6, and 3.5 to recognize these certificates and block them automatically." Google Chrome has been updated, and Microsoft said in a security advisory that they were contacted by Comodo on March 16th and "an update is available for all supported versions of Windows to help address this issue."
"This issue affects any application or service utilizing SSL certificates that attempts to access one of the Web sites with fraudulent keys. We decided to take a holistic approach to protecting users," said Bruce Cowper, group manager for Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, in an e-mail. "We built a mitigation into Microsoft Windows so that any application or version of Internet Explorer could leverage it for protection."
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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AT&T Aquires T-Mobile 


It has been announced that AT&T has acquired T-Mobile USA from Deutsch Telekom for 39 billion dollars, making the phone company the largest wireless carrier. The acquisition brings AT&T's current subscriber base from 95.5 million to about 129 million, far surpassing Verizon with 102 million subscribers. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement, "This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future. It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people.”
Under the new terms, AT&T will pay $25 billion in cash and the remainder in stock, giving Deutsche Telekom an 8 percent stake in AT&T and a seat on its board of directors. One of the main concerns for AT&T are antitrust regulators who will be concerned that the deal between the two largest GSM carriers in the U.S. will give customers only one carrier to choose from if they want to use that wireless standard.

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Apple kills app amidst controversy 



A Well known and critically debated application was launched by Exodus International, a Ministry that encourages gay people to seek "cures" for their homosexuality yesterday among a a huge outcry from Two Wins Out, a nonprofit group with the stated goal of fighting anti-gay religious extremism. Two Wins has claims that the medical community has soundly rejected the idea of idea that one can "cure" their sexual preference. The organization also launched an online petition at Change.org calling on Apple to remove the application. Over the course of a couple of days, the petition received more than 150,000 signatures, while the app itself was strongly condemned by most reviews in the App Store. Shortly after Apple pulled the app from the App Store because "it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people". Apple's decision to pull the app was praised by Two Wins and Wayne Besen, executive director of TWO, said in a statement "Apple made a wise and responsible decision to dump an offensive app that demonized gay and lesbian people,". Apple made the same decision late last year over an app from the Manhattan Declaration that gay rights groups dubbed anti-gay. Following a petition on Change.org condemning the app, Apple removed it from the App Store, citing the same reason of violating guidelines by offending large groups of people.
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