Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.5.3

Apple released the Mac OS X 10.5.3 update today and it's massive 300-500+MB. The latest update to Leopard should appear in your Mac OS X Software Update but don't bother with that one unless you like to live on the edge. If you plan to update to Mac OS X 10.5.3 then download the full combo updater.

The Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update is recommended for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.5.1, and 10.5.2 Leopard. It includes general operating system improvements that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website:
For detailed information on security updates, please visit this website:

If you are nerd and enjoy reading technical documents then check out all of the bug fixes in 10.5.3 here. So here is the Cliff Notes version for the rest of us:

Some highlights include:
* Address book update to synchronize with Google, Yahoo, .Mac and Exchange.
* Includes fixes for Time Machine compatibility with Time Capsule.
* Improves 802.1X (Wifi) behavior and reliability and when using Time Machine.
* Improves Active Directory binding and login.
* Eliminates a delay when logging in as an Active Directory user in a .local domain.
* Fixes reliability issues with iCal syncing.
* Fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.

Apple is working on Mac OS X 10.5.4 Update, which repairs a critical flaw in saving files from Adobe's Creative Suite bundle to your local disk or even on a network server volume. According to AppleInsider Apple is preparing the first beta releases of Mac OS X 10.5.4 to arrive in developers' hands ahead of its annual developers conference next week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wind power could make Norway "Europe's battery"

Norway could become "Europe's battery" by developing huge sea-based wind parks costing up to $44 billion by 2025, Norway's Oil and Energy Minister said on Monday. Norway could be Europe's battery," Oil and Energy Minister Aaslaug Haga told Reuters after she was handed the report, which will be considered by the centre-left government in coming months.

read more | digg story

Sunday, May 25, 2008

XO-2 $100 laptop unveils new sleek design

The wraps have been taken off the new version of the XO-2 laptop designed for schoolchildren in developing countries. "It is a totally new concept for learning devices," said Prof Negroponte.The revamped machine created by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project looks like an e-book and has had its price slashed to $75 per device. The laptops which originally had a target price of $100 now cost $188 each.The new version loses the green rubbery keyboard, sporting instead a single square display hinged at its centre. In mid-May OLPC announced a deal with Microsoft to make Windows & Linux available on the XO machine. OLPC has announced the resumption of the Get-One-Give-One program and this will allow people in wealthy nations to buy two XO laptops and donate one to a child in a developing country. So far with this program OLPC has distributed 30,000 additional laptops to children in Rwanda, Mongolia and Haiti.

read more | digg story

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why PC Coders Avoiding Vista and Mac Coders embracing Leopard

PC World - Business Center: Coders Tell Why They're Avoiding Vista: "Windows developers are confirming the results of a survey released yesterday that found fewer than 1 in 12 programmers currently writing applications targeting Windows Vista."

"None of our customers are saying, 'G******it, we need those WPF controls now!'" said Julian Bucknall, CTO for Windows programming tools maker Developer Express Inc. , referring to one of Vista's most highly-touted features, its new graphical subsystem, Windows Presentation Foundation . Rather, "we find most are still sticking with ASP.Net and Windows Forms applications."

"Microsoft tends to dump ten new technologies on us, but only 2 or 3 really stick," said Michael Krasowski, vice-president of PDSA Inc., a Microsoft-focused 20-developer firm in Tustin Calif., citing the Windows DNA Architecture as an example."

"Vista is too bleeding-edge -- not for us, but for our clients," Krasowski said. PDSA's clients include large, blue-chip customers such as Kaiser Permanente and Boeing Inc. "They're all leery of Vista."

"Contrast this against the following article, published in January over at Theocacao. Cocoa developers are champing at the bit to implement their products using the new libraries available in Leopard and pushing the compatibility envelope along with it. More and more applications are Leopard-only."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Make your Mac's Speech Recognition work for you

"Mac OS X comes with a pretty great Speech Recognition tool built-in, and, although it doesn't do all that much out-of-the-box, it's really easy to create your own speakable actions for virtually any application." Have some fun and try some of the built-in supported programs. If you are an advanced user you can even increase the power of the Mac's built-in Speech Recognition by using AppleScript.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Don't give Microsoft the remote control - fight against DRM

If you put Microsoft at the center of your home entertainment system, be prepared to hand them the remote control, literally. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to restrict users from saving a television program to their computers, we call this kind of functionality an "antifeature". "A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET News, "...Windows Media Center fully adheres to the flags used by broadcasters and content owners to determine how their content is distributed and consumed."Don't be fooled into their claims that they are following regulations by the FCC -- the court ruled that the FCC has no power to make such regulations. This is also claimed as a measure just to stop unauthorized file sharing, yet what Microsoft is doing is trying to make sure that they are on every end of the market, from how it is delivered, to how you watch it. As Ars Technica reporter Jacqui Cheng puts it, this is not about Microsoft preventing people from sharing files without permission, "[i]t's about the ability to strictly control how we consume content"[2].

read more | digg story

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BitLocker Feature in Windows Vista.

The BitLocker Feature of Vista explained. The BitLocker Drive Encryption is a full disk encryption feature included with Microsoft's Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 operating systems designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes. How to recover data from a corrupted disk volume, encrypted with BitLocker, can be had here.

read more | digg story

Firefox 3 On Track To Be Speediest Browser

"Now that Mozilla's locked down Firefox 3's final feature set with Friday's push of release candidate 1, it's official: while Firefox 3 boasts some great new features like a smart address bar and better bookmarks manager." They also claim that Firefox 3 is faster then Apple's Safari web browser. Any Firefox 3 users out there care to comment?

read more | digg story

Monday, May 19, 2008

Microsoft Executives Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer attacked in Europe

Steve ballmer gets egged in Hungary

Bill Gates hit with pie

Warning: Using a mobile phone while pregnant can seriously damage your baby

Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research. A giant study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven. The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection says that use of the phones by both pregnant women and children should be "limited".

read more | digg story

Friday, May 16, 2008

How Apple is changing DRM

As more stores and record labels abandon digital rights management, Apple may have an alternative plan for subscription services, writes Tim Anderson. But what's the real effect of DRM? Last year, EMI began offering songs without it on iTunes. "The industry has finally been able to get some hard data about how removing DRM restrictions from legitimately purchased tracks affects piracy," says Bill Rosenplatt, DRM specialist and president of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. "The statistics show that there's no effect on piracy."

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tiny Essences

This is a very cute short film from the web site

Крошечные Существа (Смотреть всем!!!)
Представьте себе сплав документальных фильмов от канала National Geographic и фильмов о вселенной от канала Tex Avery. Именно это необычное сочетание под названием 'Крошечные существа' погружает вас в мир полевых трав, где вы можете наблюдать ежедневную жизнь насекомых. Симпатичная, забавная и поэтичная анимация, персонажи которой нарисованы в 3Д и помещены в реалистичное окружение.
Милые и незатейливые истории про всевозможных букашек. Рекомендуется для просмотра в семейном кругу.

Imagine an alloy of documentary films from channel National Geographic and films about the Universe from channel Tex Avery. This unusual combination under the name ' Tiny essences ' immerses you in the world of field grasses where you can observe a daily life of insects. Nice, amusing and poetical animation, which characters are drawn in 3ä and placed in a realistic environment. Lovely and simple histories about every possible small insects. It is recommended for viewing in a family circle.

Steve Jobs to showcase OS X, iPhone platforms at WWDC

Apple announced Tuesday that a team of Apple executives, led by CEO Steve Jobs, will kick off the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 9, 2008 at San Francisco's Moscone West. This year's WWDC will showcase two revolutionary development platforms, the ground-breaking innovations of OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone, the company said in a statement.

read more | digg story

Vista Blues Weakens Microsoft's Influence On Software Market

Vista Blues Weakens Microsoft's Influence On Software Market

May 7, 2008 2:08 p.m.

By Jessica Hodgson and Ben Charny

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) wants to stop selling its XP operating system June 30, but a crescendo of complaints about the software giant's replacement is making it nearly impossible.

The world's major computer manufacturers, reacting to gripes about Vista's performance, plan to continue offering the XP software inside their computer for years after Microsoft stops selling it.

The strong response shows how manufacturers can, in essence, veto Microsoft's decision to upgrade its key software product and instead, keep the old one going. It also illustrates how Microsoft is losing its ability to dictate the pace of business software upgrades, which may force the software giant to re-examine such practices.

Chief Executive Steve Ballmer hinted as much when he said XP may live on because of the customer feedback.

"We can always wake-up smarter, but right now, we plan an end-of-life for new XP shipments," Ballmer said recently in Belgium.

Such a move is sure to be welcome by PC makers.

"This a large issue for every personal computer maker," said Bob Rosin, senior vice president of computer maker OQO Inc. "Microsoft's got to adjust to that, and seems to be."

Manufacturers are responding to their customers, who in uncertain economic times and with questions over whether investing in Microsoft's new Vista operating system is worthwhile, want to hold off on Vista entirely. They would rather wait for the next Microsoft operating system's debut, which is at least two years away.

Vista Misunderstood

The unpopularity of Vista isn't likely to present any immediate major risks to Microsoft's earnings profile, analysts say, because the Microsoft Windows operating system is so ubiquitous in most workplaces that, according to Forrester Research analyst Benjamin Gray, there is "no viable alternative" in most large corporations to deploying Vista.

Big companies typically buy a blanket license to use the Windows operating system on a per-seat basis. That means even if that company doesn't deploy Vista but retains Windows XP, it will effectively be paying for Vista, and Microsoft's client unit sales are unlikely to suffer, said Lee Nicholls, global solutions director for Getronics, a $3.4 billion IT services company that counts itself as one of Microsoft's biggest systems integrator partners.

Nonetheless, there is dissatisfaction among Microsoft's key customer base over Vista, which could become a longer-term threat as disgruntled IT managers delay their upgrade cycles as it creates more ill will among the Windows user community.

That was evident in how Microsoft's client division third-quarter sales, which includes the XP and Vista operating system, fell 24% compared with the year earlier period. Although the decline was expected because of a one-off revenue gain of around $1.6 billion in the year-earlier quarter, client revenues were lower than analysts expected.

At the time, Microsoft denied that the lower client revenue was associated with Vista, pinpointing instead issues around piracy management.

Yet InfoWorld, an online magazine aimed at the IT community, launched a campaign designed to persuade Microsoft to halt plans to stop supporting XP, and has more than 175,000 signatures.

"People are consistently saying to us 'We don't understand the benefits of Vista,'" said Galen Gruman, executive editor of InfoWorld.

Even supporters of Vista have concerns. Getronics' Nicholls, who likes Vista, said "the business argument for upgrading to Vista is distinctly lacking."

New Hardware Required

One of the specific charges leveled at Vista is the fact that getting optimum performance requires IT managers to install new hardware. "For a big organization, this means effectively you're faced with buying a new computer for every employee," InfoWorld's Gruman said.

IT research company Gartner noted recently a number of organizations delayed their decision to implement Vista.

"Most users do not see Vista as being better enough than Windows XP to make incurring the cost and pain of migration worthwhile," Gartner analysts Neil MacDonald and Michael Silver wrote.

In addition to the weak Vista response, Microsoft is also seeing increased competition in its core office tools marketplace from competitors such as Inc. (CRM), which makes software targeted primarily at sales executives and sold over the Internet, and Google Inc. (GOOG), the Internet search giant.

In order to kick-start Vista sales, Microsoft last month said it would stop selling Windows XP in June. As it has done since 2001, though, Microsoft lets computer makers obtain "downgrade rights," which let them ship computers with two versions of Microsoft's operating system on board. The rights only pertain to business computer systems, thus limiting their potential impact. Consumers may still be able to buy machines with both operating systems but, in some way, must request the XP downgrade.

Representatives for No. 1 computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), No. 2 Dell Inc. (DELL), Acer Inc.'s (2353.TW) Gateway and Lenovo Group Ltd. (0992.HK) say they will be shipping computers post June 30 with both XP and Vista on board.

"We appreciate Microsoft's flexibility in meeting the needs of customers," a Dell spokeswoman said.

Through at least July 30, 2009, H-P will ship its business desktop computers, notebooks and workstation with XP on board, and the right to upgrade to Vista. More so than any complaints about Vista, H-P's decision was due to the time it takes its customers to transition to Vista, a spokeswoman said.

-By Jessica Hodgson, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-439-6455;

-By Ben Charny, Dow Jones Newswires, 415-765-8230;

Are College Degrees a Waste of Money?

"NPR's Talk of the Nation, May 12, 2008 · Author and career coach Marty Nemko argues that when kids are not adequately prepared for college, they are simply wasting their time and money on four years of college-level course work. "College is a wise choice for far fewer people than are currently encouraged to consider it," he writes in his article, America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree.

The majority of students entering college today are unprepared, Nemko explains, "When you hop into a cab or walk into a restaurant, you're likely to meet workers who spent years and their family's life savings on college, only to end up with a job they could have done as a high-school dropout."

Nemko's article appears this month in The Chronicle of Higher Education."

Fedora 9 Gives Ubuntu a Run For Its Money

" The Fedora Project has released Fedora 9, a significant upgrade for the popular Linux distribution. Fedora 9 packs in a number of new features including an improved package management system, KDE 4 and more. Perhaps the best part of Fedora 9 is the new live USB options. Fedora has always made it easy to go from a live CD to a bootable USB stick, but the new options allow for a non-destructive install and persistent data. The non-destructive part means that, provided your USB stick has space, you can install Fedora 9 and none of your existing files will be lost."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

South Korean Village Runs On 100% Solar Power

The village’s forty houses and the school all have large solar panels covering their roofs. A typical roof will have a two kilowatt solar installation. In 2004, the government subsidized the solar systems in Donggwang, paying 70% of the installation fees.

read more | digg story

Life After the IT Department

If you didn't work in IT, where would you go? What could you do? "Though IT employment is at an all-time high in the U.S.--some 3.8 million employed residents in the U.S. consider themselves IT professionals according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a record high--and is expected to climb even higher--computer and mathematical sciences jobs expected to grow faster than any other professional occupation through 2016, nearly a 25 percent increase--there are those that work in the field that no longer think it's all it's cracked up to be. Salary competition from offshore outsourcing, companies posting ads that expressly favor H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of U.S. workers, the fear for job safety that comes in a recession year and the constant pressure to keep skills up to date have worn some tech professionals out to a point that they would consider alternative careers. "

read more | digg story

Sunday, May 4, 2008

100 E-mail Bouncebacks? You've Been Backscattered

The bounceback e-mail messages come in at a trickle, maybe one or two every hour. Spammers like to put fake information in their e-mail messages in order to sneak them past e-mail filters. Because e-mail filters now just delete messages that come from nonexistent domains, the spammers like to make their messages look like they come from real e-mail addresses. That means, if your e-mail address has been published on the Web somewhere, you're a prime candidate for backscattering.

read more | digg story

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Apple's $199 iPhone Is a Game-Changer

According to reports, AT&T (T) is preparing to subsidize $200 of the cost of Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone. If this is true, watch out. The Apple market share story just entered a new realm of mad growth. Remember what happened when Nike (NKE) hooked up with Michael Jordan? The $199 3G iPhone is Apple's MJ. The world is about to change.

read more | digg story

Eating Fugu, the World's Most Dangerous Meal

Our chief restaurant critic travels to Tokyo to eat the world’s most dangerous meal. So what does fugu taste like? And what’s that funny tingling in his throat?

read more | digg story

Apple Wins Ultimate Mac vs. PC Abusive Lab Test

Hardcore blind tests of new iMac vs Gateway One and Penryn MacBook vs. Asus M51SR (with detailed benchmarks) come out overwhelmingly in favor of Mac --with surprising details in number crunching.

read more | digg story