Items tagged with Mac

Bots are taking over, folks. Do you hear us? We said bots are taking over! But don't worry, we're not talking about the inevitable kowtowing of humans to our future robot overlords, these are software bots for Skype that are now available on Mac systems, and they're friendly. They're also useful in certain situations, which is why Microsoft is so keen on pushing out Skype Bots.Microsoft introduced Skype Bots earlier in the month at Microsoft's Build 2016 conference as a way to enhance the Skype experience and also to showcase how these artificial intelligence technologies can bring about new experiences.... Read more...
It’s been a while since we’ve seen direct Windows vs Mac PCs ads make the rounds, but it looks like Microsoft is looking to renew the efforts with its new ‘Do More’ advertising campaign. The first commercial introduces us to Christie and Jess, who call themselves The Bug Chicks. The duo’s mission is to introduce children to and teach them all about insects — and wouldn’t you know it, Windows 10 helps them better achieve that goal. Following a 30-second intro, we’re presented with three additional 15-second spots that showcase why Windows 10 PCs are superior to Macs running OS X. “Windows and Cortana”... Read more...
Apple had good intentions when it rolled out a security update for Mac OS X, but unfortunately for some iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini users the update also caused their Ethernet ports to stop working. Oops! The good news is Apple was quick to issue another update that should restore full functionality. If you find that Ethernet connectivity is no longer working on your Mac, Apple says to check System Information to find out which version of "Incompatible Kernel Extension Configuration Data" is installed, which you can access in System Information under Software. If you have version 3.28.1, you... Read more...
Anyone that has used an iPhone or iPad in the past few years should be pretty familiar with the Siri digital assistant. Siri, which was initially introduced on the iPhone 4S back in 2011, has grown in its capabilities over the course of its 4-year lifespan and has recently been expanded to the Apple Watch and Apple TV platforms. But according to a new report from a man well-connected with the inner workings of Apple, Mark Gurman, Siri will finally make its way to the Mac platform later this year with the introduction of OS X 10.12. The only thing surprising about this revelation is why it has taken... Read more...
Adobe acknowledged that it muffed an update to its Creative Cloud Desktop application last week, one that caused it to delete files on a "small number" of Mac systems. Once it became aware of the issue, Adobe pulled the plug on the update and has since made another one available for both Mac and Windows systems (there's no indication that the issue affects Windows PCs). "In a small number of cases, the updater may incorrectly remove some files from the system root directory with user writeable permissions. We have removed the update from distribution, and are in the process of deploying a new update... Read more...
We guess it’s a bad month for power adapters in the world of tech. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced a recall program to replace defective power cords on the first three generations of its Surface Pro tablets due to a fire risk. Now, Apple is joining the fray by recalling certain power adapters that shipped with a number of Mac and iOS devices around the world. Included in the recall are wall adapters that shipped with Apple notebooks and portable devices, along with the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. And while Microsoft said that it received no reports of injuries related to Surface Pro... Read more...
Mac users unhappy with the problem-riddled launch of Final Fantasy XIV are eligible for a full refund, Square Enix director Naoki Yoshida said today in an official post to gamers. He also announced that the title is being yanked from store shelves until the game performs correctly and the system requirements have been communicated accurately. The concession follows harsh criticism from players who bought the title only to encounter game-crippling problems. Yoshida discussed two major problems that plagued the game’s launch and apologized for both. One issue was that the company provided incorrect... Read more...
Chrome on OS X is a battery hog. It’s been known for a while that compared to Apple’s stock Safari browser, Chrome has a tendency to eat up CPU cycles and use excess amounts of memory. Google took a step earlier this month to combat this problem by reining in the much-hated Adobe Flash Player plugin. Using what Google calls “Intelligent Pause,” Chrome can decide for itself whether a particular Flash element is worth displaying to the user. If isn’t, it will be disabled, thus helping to save your laptop’s battery from prematurel discharging. But Adobe isn’t the only party at fault when it comes... Read more...
After mainboard vendors began adopting EFI en masse in recent years, security researchers all over have dissected the many different implementations out there to find that elusive crippling bug. Sometimes, though, such bugs are not actually elusive at all, like one just discovered by reverse engineering enthusiast fG. fG starts off his report by pointing out two excellent presentations revolving around EFI exploitation, and how this new one relates to one of those. At any point while using your PC, your EFI should never become exposed to write commands, but fG notes that this isn't the case on... Read more...
Swedish hacker Emil Kvarnhammar is reporting that an unpublished OS X API — he dubs it a "backdoor" — can be used by nefarious types to gain root access through local users without Administrator status on Mac computers that have not yet been migrated to the 10.10.3 iteration of OS X, which was released just two days ago. "The admin framework in Apple OS X contains a hidden backdoor API to root privileges [that] can be exploited to escalate privileges to root from any user account in the system," Kvarnhammar says in an advisory. "The intention was probably to serve the System Preferences app and... Read more...
You would think that companies would have learned their lesson after the Superfish debacle, but I guess it should be no surprise that money talks. Windows users that install Java on their machines have attempted to dodge the installation of the Ask.com toolbar for years. Oracle bundles the adware with its Java package and counts on unsuspecting or simply inattentive users to allow the installation of the Ask.com toolbar. Mac users that chose to install Java were immune to such trickery; that it is until now. Unfortunately, Oracle has doubled down on its Ask.com “deliveries” by adding the adware... Read more...
Until the web at large adopts the open HTML5 <video> tag, there will still be some sites that continue to use Adobe's proprietary Flash Player runtime. Assuming you have the Flash Player installed, either on your Windows box or Mac machine, be advised that there's a "critical" vulnerability affecting both platforms. "Successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," Adobe stated in a Security Advisory. "We are aware of reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild via drive-by-download attacks against... Read more...
One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgradeability and flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made upgrading or using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs. We say "effectively" because while third-party SSDs will still work, they'll no longer perform the TRIM garbage collection command.... Read more...
Apple's Siri virtual assistant has been a well-used iOS feature since its introduction in 2011, and it's seemed inevitable that at some point, the company would port it (ahem - her) on over to Mac OS X. Well, according to a patent filed on Thursday, the future does indeed hold that in store. When it's going to happen is anyone's guess, although it seems highly unlikely that we'll see it anytime before OS X 10.11's release (10.10 is due sometime this fall). Nonetheless, like Siri for iOS, this virtual assistant would always keep an ear open for commands, and then take appropriate action. At the... Read more...
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