Items tagged with Mac

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Swedish hacker Emil Kvarnhammar is reporting that an unpublished OS X API — he dubs it a "backdoor" — can be used by nefarious types to gain root access through local users without Administrator status on Mac computers that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...
While no operating system is foolproof, iOS has been relatively exploit-free given the attention that's on it. And with the impending launch of iOS 8 this fall, Apple's ratcheting things up in a bid to add even more user privacy -- something that is becoming more of a foreign concept as advertisements grow and users become the product. With iOS 8, Apple will eliminate the unique device number that marketing clients and app devs have used to track users and their usage. Essentially, iOS 8 will generate a random MAC address while scanning for a Wi-Fi network, which means that companies collecting... Read more...
The latest edition of the Opera browser, Opera 21, is now available for Windows and Mac. Chief among the many changes, tweaks, and updates is hardware acceleration via Aura technology. Aura “allows us to hardware-accelerate the entire browser, including the user interface,” wrote the Opera Desktop team in a blog post. Aura acceleration promises smoother and more responsive animations. The Opera folks spent a great deal of effort simply making Aura work correctly with the browser, and as such they say they’ve just scratched the surface of what the technology can do. Interestingly,... Read more...
Microsoft's been pushing its OneNote app pretty hard in the last few months, first by updating it for Windows 8.1 with new features, and more recently by porting it over to Mac and iOS where users can download and use OneNote for free. Apparently the offer of using OneNote for free was too good to refuse, as it quickly climbed to the top of the freebie chart on Apple's Mac App Store. OneNote had to leapfrog past Apple's OX X 10.9 (Mavericks) to take the top spot, which it did within hours after launching on Monday, ComputerWorld reports. In doing so, OneNote pushed down several popular titles,... Read more...
Microsoft appears close to releasing the cloud-based Office 365 version of its ever-popular suite of Office applications for Mac and iOS devices, according to several reports. For Office 365 subscribers, this news is a huge boon, as it would allow them to use the software on a greater variety of devices. A Microsoft representative admitted to MacWorld that a new Office for Mac, which hasn’t been updated since 2011, was indeed in the works for this year, and Reuters’ sources say that full iPhone and iPad versions are finished and are merely awaiting the greenlight from new Microsoft... Read more...
Want to know what’s trending on Google? Now you can, with a screensaver. Google outed the nifty new tool in a Google+ post, and you can see it in action for yourself here. You can set up the look of the Google Trends screensaver in a couple of different ways. There’s a little 25-square grid in the upper left part of the screen. You can click a single tile so that you see one trending story at a time, which changes to a new topic every few seconds, or you can click and drag to highlight all 25 tiles and see a constantly shifting array of topics filling your screen. Actually, you can... Read more...
There's mounting evidence to suggest that Apple has put Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) out to pasture, thereby leaving users of what's become a legacy operating system to fend for themselves out in the wild. For the second time, Apple rolled out a security patch for present and past OS X builds dating back to OS X 10.7, or Mountain Lion, and stopping just short of supporting of Snow Leopard. According to ComputerWorld, Apple did the same thing back in December when it patched Safari 6 and 7 for newer version of OS X, but neglected to update Safari 5.1.10, which is the latest version available for Snow... Read more...
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