Friday, July 31, 2009

iPhone Virus: What You Need to Know

"The iPhone's security flaws were laid bare at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas yesterday, and now the smartphone-clutching public has boiled itself into a frenzy. But how serious is this supposed iPhone virus, and what can be done to protect your iPhone from infection? Here is what we know, and why you probably shouldn't worry.

The Attack Comes Through SMS

The iPhone virus exploits a memory corruption bug in the way the iPhone handles SMS messages. If your phone is the target of a hacker, you will receive a text message with only a square in the message -- that's when you know someone is digging his heels into your sand. But according to Eric Everson, founder of security firm MyMobiSafe, it takes a total of 512 text messages to actually get under the hood. The other 511 may float in like ghosts, totally undetectable to the user, but if at least one of them is deleted, the hack is incomplete. Turning your iPhone off or sliding it into Airplane Mode are quick and simple ways to escape the bull's-eye."

Continue Reading reading the full story by Brennon Slattery at PC World

UPDATE: You can now download the fix for this from iTunes

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Microsoft Office 2008 SP2 update kills cross platform file compatibility

Thanks Microsoft don't you guys test your software anymore? Many users are reporting they can't open an Office document after I install Office 2008 SP2 Update.

Cause: This is a known issue with Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 (12.2.0) that prevents some Open XML Format files from opening. To address this issue, we will release an update in August. In the meantime, you can use one of the following possible solutions.

Microsoft whips out Office 2008 patch for Mac lovers

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why Apple's iTouch Tablet Will Become Its Flagship Product

Digital content has been available for years but the right vehicle to consume the content has been lacking. We still cut down trees and hand deliver newspapers to people's homes. That worked in 1900 but 2009? Are you kidding me? The iTouch Tablet is about to change society as we know it. The demand for this product is going to overwhelm Apple (AAPL).

Let’s connect the dots from the latest round of leaks, rumors and inferences regarding the Apple Tablet. In March, Reuters reported that Apple had ordered a substantial batch of 10 inch touchscreens from Taiwan to be delivered in Q3 of 2009. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Steve Jobs was actively involved in the development of the Tablet. In July, the China Times reported that Apple will debut their new product in October for $800 after agreeing to production deals with Foxconn, Wintek, and Dynapack. is reporting that Apple will release a subsidized Tablet through Verizon (VZ). Then, in this week's earnings call, Apple management went out of their way to trash the netbook space but they refused to deny the coming Tablet, saying they will only release products that are ‘innovative and that they are proud of'. These are all reputable sources that seem to unveil the secrecy surrounding the pending product.

Will the tablet have a substantial impact on Apple’s core business? I see this device taking its place at the high end of the iPod family; it will be a larger version of the iPod Touch. This product won’t fall quietly into place however. The iTouch Tablet launch is primed to be the most significant in the history of Apple.

Continue reading the full story Seeking Alpha

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The iPhone's Not the Cause of Apple's Success - It's the Effect

How can a brand like Apple manage to turn out the kind of growth it enjoyed last quarter in this kind of economy, especially considering that its products generally tend to be pricier than its competitors'? It's tempting to credit iPhone sales for Apple's Q3 numbers, but perhaps the secret really lies in the importance placed on quality, durability and longevity during tight times.

o the delight of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Apple Store Discount on Office 2008 for Mac - Home and Student Edition . Click here. More about Apple fans everywhere, the company is kicking butt and taking names. There's really no way around that statement, and Apple's most recent report for its fiscal 2009 third quarter backs it up. The company in Cupertino posted revenue of US$8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, which is up compared to revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion in the year-ago quarter.

That's right, Apple grew revenue and profit in one of the worst economies of the modern tech age.

Better yet, Apple reported that its gross margin was 36.3 percent, up from 34.8 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Apple sold 2.6 million Macintosh More about Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing a 4 percent unit increase over the year-ago period. While its sales Download Free eBook - The Edge of Success: 9 Building Blocks to Double Your Sales of 10.2 million iPods represented a 7 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter, it was hardly unexpected by Apple.

"We have three categories of what we call pocket products," noted Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer in the company's conference call with investors this week. "Traditional MP3players, iPod touch, and iPhone. For traditional MP3 players, which includes shuffle, nano, and classic, we saw a year-over-year decline, which we internally had forecasted to occur. This is one of the original reasons we developed the iPhone and the iPod touch. We expect our traditional MP3 players to decline over time as we cannibalize ourselves with the iPod touch and the iPhone." For details, you can listen to the Apple QuickTime More about QuickTime replay stream or head over to SeekingAlpha for the transcript.

Continue reading the full story by Chris Maxcer at MacNews World

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Crazy Russian Girl's Butt Photo Meme Takes Russia by Storm

According to English Russia, this Russian
whale tailing (where girls take pictures of themselves in the mirror with their heads down and their bottoms up in the air) is taking the country by storm! It all started after a blonde woman posted her photo in Russian social network and then for some reason, countless females are followed up!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Russia selects Nuclear Beauties 2009

Yekaterina Kuts, 22, Atomic Human Resources, rated 5th,
on her knees / Photo:

Miss Atom 2009 beauty pageant has announced the winners on its official website. As usual, all the 350 contestants that competed for the title had one more thing in common, apart from being beautiful: they all work for the Russian nuclear industry.

The beauty contest, held this year for the sixth time, only features employees of nuclear energy agencies and research institutions. This year's participants came from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Lithuania.

Read the full story at

APR 9 2009 Two Chicks Having A Lightsaber Fight

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Japan’s Cellphones Haven’t Gone Global

TOKYO — At first glance, Japanese cellphones are a gadget lover’s dream: ready for Internet and e-mail, they double as credit cards, boarding passes and even body-fat calculators.

But it is hard to find anyone in Chicago or London using a Japanese phone like a Panasonic, a Sharp or an NEC. Despite years of dabbling in overseas markets, Japan’s handset makers have little presence beyond the country’s shores.

“Japan is years ahead in any innovation. But it hasn’t been able to get business out of it,” said Gerhard Fasol, president of the Tokyo-based IT consulting firm, Eurotechnology Japan.

The Japanese have a name for their problem: Galápagos syndrome.

Japan’s cellphones are like the endemic species that Darwin encountered on the Galápagos Islands — fantastically evolved and divergent from their mainland cousins — explains Takeshi Natsuno, who teaches at Tokyo’s Keio University.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Apple's Secret Weapon: Your Mom

Sales of cars and homes are foundering but Apple has found steady customers.

BURLINGAME, CALIF. -- Walk into the local Apple store at 10:35 on a Friday morning and you'll notice something different: normal people.

These are not the mutants you'll find trolling Fry's for a new motherboard, a liter of Mountain Dew and packets of beef jerky. These are not the middle-aged pot-bellied dudes you'll find eyeing the latest big screen television at Best Buy ( BBY -news - people ).

These are people like your mom. Among the 20 customers at the store Friday were several older women. One was getting a quick tutorial on how to download digital movies.

What's up with that? I asked my mother-in-law. "There's always someone there to answer your questions," she said of Apple ( AAPL- news - people )'s stores. "I like that."

A lot of people do. Little wonder analysts expect to see increasing sales--and fat margins--when Apple reports earnings for the quarter ending in June. The report is due out on Tuesday afternoon. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.16 a share, compared to net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.19, during the corresponding period a year ago. Sales are expected to rise to $8.2 billion from $7.5 billion.

Continue reading the full story at Forbes by Brian Caulfield

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 Released today

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 Delivers Top Fixes and New Microsoft Connections for Mac Customers

REDMOND, Wash. — July 20, 2009 — Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) released Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Service Pack 2 (SP2) today — a midcycle free update that is designed to improve the Office 2008 experience where it matters most to customers: speed, stability and compatibility. SP2 delivers highly requested features throughout the suite as well as a new tool, Document Connection for Mac, that helps improve access and browsing to documents on SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office Live Workspace. These new improvements and features are part of Microsoft’s long-standing investment in delivering excellent cross-platform collaboration and compatibility for Mac users, and the commitment has paid off. According to a recent study, customers indicate that the ability to share files while ensuring document fidelity between colleagues and friends on Macs and PCs is a top advantage of Office for Mac.1 This customer confidence in Microsoft Office compatibility is the biggest reason why nine out of 10 Office for Mac users would recommend the software to others.

“There’s never been a better time to try Office 2008 for Mac — with SP2 we are not only delivering on top customer requests midcycle, but also taking a first step in bringing Microsoft software plus services to Mac users,” said Mike Tedesco, senior product manager for MacBU at Microsoft. “This connection unlocks the door for Mac users to Microsoft services for easier collaboration and file sharing with colleagues, customers and classmates.”

SP2: Speedier Performance, More Reliable

SP2 provides several updates across the Microsoft Office 2008 suite for an improved experience. The team incorporated customer feedback received through a variety of channels to prioritize updates and maximize the potential of the suite with increased compatibility and speed. Highlights of the release include the following:

Two new highly requested features in Microsoft PowerPoint 2008 for Mac:

Custom Path Animation adds the ability to author motion-path animations. Users previously could only play back motion paths.

Default Theme lets users define their default theme, including fonts, color scheme and slide layouts.

Increased speed in Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac (launch and scroll times) as well as Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac with features such as calculation performance.

File Access — When, Where and How Users Want It

Many MacBU service packs are typically limited to feature updates, but with Office 2008 SP2, the MacBU team is releasing significant new capabilities that extend the collaboration and file-sharing abilities of Microsoft Office users:

Microsoft Office Live Workspace. Document Connection enables a more seamless experience for Office 2008 users to save and open documents to Microsoft Office Live Workspace from Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, the Microsoft Office Live Workspace today announced expanded Mac browser support to include Safari 4 along with existing support for Firefox 2.0 (required for Mac OS X 10.2.x or later).

SharePoint. Document Connection also improves the SharePoint experience for Mac users, allowing for easier collaboration within a SharePoint environment by simplifying how users can browse, access and manage files online and offline.

Customers Can Try Office 2008 for Mac SP2 Today

Customers can download SP2 for free today at 10 a.m. PDT, and it also will be available from Microsoft AutoUpdate. Mac users also can access a full trial version of Office 2008 for free at

About Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit

The Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) at Microsoft is a leading developer of software and online products for the Macintosh platform. The group is composed of Mac product experts dedicated to creating innovative software for Mac customers worldwide. For 25 years, Microsoft has developed award-winning software for the Mac. In January 2008, the MacBU released Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, a productivity suite that includes the e-mail application and personal information manager Entourage 2008, Word 2008, Excel 2008, PowerPoint 2008 and Messenger for Mac 7.0. More information about the MacBU and Microsoft Macintosh products is available at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Independent study conducted by Kelton Research; respondents consisted of 1,008 Mac users ages 18 and over who have ever used a productivity suite.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Microsoft may have known about critical IE bug for months

Researchers uncovered latest bug in 2007; Microsoft mum on timing

The vulnerability that sent Microsoft scrambling yesterday and is being used by hackers now to attack Internet Explorer (IE) users may have been reported 18 months ago or more.

In the security advisory it issued yesterday, Microsoft credited a pair of researchers -- Ryan Smith and Alex Wheeler -- with reporting the bug. Smith and Wheeler once worked together at IBM's ISS X-Force, although Wheeler now is at Texas-based 3Com's TippingPoint DVLabs.

Wheeler confirmed that he and Smith uncovered the vulnerability, but he gave most of the credit to Smith. Wheeler declined, however, to say when the bug was reported to Microsoft. "I don't feel comfortable talking about that," he said, citing a non-disclosure agreement related to the vulnerability that he signed at the time. Instead, he steered questions to his former employer, ISS X-Force.

Wheeler suggested switching browsers. "Unless they're specially configured, other browsers will face substantially lower risk," said Wheeler. Browsers such as Mozilla's Firefox, Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari don't rely on ActiveX technology to drive add-ons, as does IE.

Read the full Computerworld story by By Gregg Keizer

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cyberattacks hit U.S. and South Korean Web sites

SEOUL, South Korea--Cyberattacks that have crippled the Web sites of several major American and South Korean government agencies since the July 4th holiday weekend appear to have been launched by a hostile group or government, South Korea's main government spy agency said on Wednesday.

Although the National Intelligence Service did not identify whom they believed responsible, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the spy agency had implicated North Korea or pro-North Korea groups.

A spokesman at the intelligence agency said it could not confirm the Yonhap report, which said that the spy agency briefed lawmakers about their suspicions on Wednesday. The opposition Democratic Party accused the spy agency of spreading unsubstantiated rumors to whip up support for a new antiterrorism bill that would give it more power.

Read the full story in The New York Times by Choe Sang-Hun.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Why iPod Touch Owners Shouldn't Upgrade to OS 3.0

With all the hoopla about the iPhone 3GS's speed, what about its little non-cellular brother, the touch? I took a second-generation touch, (reportedly sporting a 533-MHz ARM processor, versus the 3GS's 600-MHz chip).

Read the full story

Sunday, July 5, 2009

IPhone 3GS owners bemoan its battery life

Buyers are finding that the device has trouble making it through a workday without a rest stop at the electrical outlet.

The new, high-octane iPhone 3GS is loaded with features that could light up your life -- but its battery isn't one of them.

Buyers are finding that the device, introduced two weeks ago, has trouble making it through a workday without a rest stop at the electrical outlet. It's proving to be something of an Achilles' heel on Apple Inc.'s flagship device, more than 1 million of which were sold in the first weekend.

Even the company suggests on its website that users disable some of the phone's most vaunted features, including the faster 3G network itself, to keep it from shutting down during the day.

Continue Reading

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Apple prepares iPhone SMS patch

Security experts have discovered a flaw in the way Apple’s iPhone handles text messages, prompting the company to ready a patch to fix the issue.

The flaw could enable a hacker to gain remote control of the device using the iPhone’s text-messaging capabilities. It works by exploiting a weakness in the iPhone’s SMS protocols and could allow cybercriminals to track the phone’s location by tapping in to its GPS features, remotely activate the microphone for eavesdropping, or transform the handset into a botnet used for sending spam or committing online crime, or instigating a distributed denial of service attack that could bring down a website.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Apple patching nasty iPhone SMS vulnerability

Given the hype surrounding Apple's iPhone, we're actually surprised that we haven't seen more holes to plug over the years. In fact, the last major iPhone exploit to take the world by storm happened right around this time two years ago, and now -- thanks to OS X security expert Charlie Miller -- we're seeing yet another come to light.

Read the full story by by Darren Murph at engadget.

According to Miller, the attack "exploits a weakness in the way iPhones handle text messages received via SMS (Short Message Service)," but due to a prearranged agreement with Apple to keep the details out of the press, he refused to say more. In fairness, we're glad that he's passing the evidence onto Apple for it to mend up the problem before it becomes something more serious. For those unfamiliar with the name, Charlie Miller is a renowned expert on Mac OS X security, so while he's credited with finding the gap, he's certainly a "good guy" in all of this.

The only details Miller had were as follows: "The SMS vulnerability allows an attacker to run software code on the phone that is sent by SMS over a mobile operator's network. The malicious code could include commands to monitor the location of the phone using GPS, turn on the phone's microphone to eavesdrop on conversations, or make the phone join a distributed denial of service attack or a botnet."

Read the full story by at

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Apple Issues Heat Advisory for iPhone 3G, 3GS

Whether anecdotal reports of iPhones overheating are true or not, Apple has taken them seriously enough to reveal the presence of a temperature warning screen for the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

Here's the deal: an unknown but probably very small number of iPhones have been affected by overheating, to the point that some white iPhone 3GSes have allegedly turned pink. Sascha Segan, our phone analyst, said he hasn't seen any such problems with his iPhone 3GS, however.

Read the full story

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why Does Bottled Water Have an Expiration Date?

Have you ever wondered why that bottle of Poland Spring has a “drink by” date on it when common sense dictates that water doesn’t go bad? You can thank the great state of New Jersey. A 1987 NJ state law required all food products sold there to display an expiration date of two years or less from the date of manufacture. Labeling, separating and shipping batches of expiration-dated water to the Garden State seemed a little inefficient to bottled water producers, so most of them simply started giving every bottle a two-year expiration date, no matter where it was going.

Read on