apple · mac os x

Briefly Noted: Apple Releases Defense for MacDefender Malware

Apple has released Security Update 2011-003 today with the express purpose of protecting Macs from the MacDefender malware.  If the update is installed on a Mac that is already infected, the update will remove the malware program.

Malware removal
Available for: Mac OS X v10.6.7, Mac OS X Server v10.6.7
Impact: Remove the MacDefender malware if detected
Description: The installation process for this update will search for and remove known variants of the MacDefender malware. If a known variant was detected and removed, the user will be notified via an alert after the update is installed. Additional information is available in this Knowledge Base article:

Security Update 2011-003 is available now from the Software Update control panel or from the Apple Support Downloads page.

apple · ios · mac os x · mobileme

Steve Jobs to Deliver WWDC 2011 Keynote Address

Apple today confirmed that CEO Steve Jobs will be on hand, along with other top executives, for the 2011 World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

I’m really looking forward to what Apple has in store for us with regard to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iCloud.  Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is close to a golden master (GM) release with several pre-release beta builds having already gone out to developers already.  Many are speculating that Lion will go on sale in the next few weeks.  Rumors have also been circulating for a while now that the iCloud service, a potential repackaging of MobileMe, will offer more free services as well as a new option to stream your purchases from Apple’s servers.

iOS 5.0, the next major release of Apple’s mobile operating system, which is based on the same core as Mac OS X, will likely become available in the next 90 days after it is formally introduced at next week’s developer event.


att · ios · ipad

Wait, what? What?! iPad 2 Can Be Used As a Wi-Fi Hotspot?

My wife booked us on a low key, no tech summer vacation.  What? No Internet access for a week?  Clearly, she is trying to kill me for the insurance money.

Ok, that was probably was a little bit over the top, but a week without Internet access for me is like serving a prison sentence of life without parole.

So I started looking at Mi-Fi hot spot access points.  I wanted to buy a cheap one and then slap enough data service on it to last me the week.  While I was looking at the AT&T offerings, I came across a note that suggests that the iPad 2, just like the AT&T iPhone 4, can be used as a Wi-Fi hot spot.

“AT&T offers several convenient billing options, none of which require a long-term contract.  Customers can choose between AT&T’s prepaid billing options, which are charged to a credit card account, or recently announced postpaid plans that can be added to customers’ existing monthly wireless statements.

Customers may choose from the following options.

Monthly statements:  $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB.  Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1 GB of overage on the 2 GB plan.

Credit card billing:  $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB.  Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment may choose to purchase another 250 MB on the $14.99 plan or purchase an additional 2 GB for $25 on the 2 GB plan.

Both options are month-to-month and do not require a long-term commitment.

The Personal Hotspot feature being introduced with iOS 4.3 is also available to customers who choose the $25 plan plus a $20 tethering option that provides an extra 2 GB of data.”

So it looks like you can use an iPad 2 as a Mi-Fi hot spot if you have the $25/month 2GB data plan and then pay an additional $20 for another 2GB data block for a total combined monthly data limit of 4GB.

Unlike a Mi-Fi puck, I know I ‘d be using the iPad 2 all the time and I like the idea of being able to go month-to-month with the iPad 2 service plan and still be able to add the Wi-Fi hot spot connection when I need to.

You can read the full AT&T Wireless press release on the AT&T website.

app store · games · ipad · iphone · itunes · mac os x · popcap · touch

Plants vs. Zombies HD on Sale

PopCap’s popular game Plants vs. Zombies HD for iPad and iPad 2 is on sale right now for $1.99 (iTunes link).  PvZ, as it is often referred to, is normally $6.99.

If you haven’t played before, the premise is that you control a variety of plants and mushrooms to stop the zombie horde that is invading your yard from the cemetery across the street.  Oh, and your neighbor, Crazy Dave shows up every now and again to sell you more seeds and other important upgrades.  The best part of the game, for me anyway, are all of the wonderful plants and things in your zombie busting arsenal.  It’s hard to look cute and slightly irritated all at the same time.

Sounds weird, I know.  Until you play it.  My kids and I started off playing the web version, and I decided that we like the game enough to buy the Mac OS X version.  For a while there, I was super addicted to the game because I wanted to make it all the way to the end of the game and not get stuck on a tough level.

PopCap also has a version of PvZ for the iPhone/iPod touch for $2.99 (iTunes link).  You can also purchase the Mac OS X version from the Mac App Store for $9.99 (App Store link) or, if you’re on a Windows PC, you can purchase the game directly from the PopCap website.

android · google · maps

Google Updates Maps for Android

 Today, Google released Maps 5.5.0 for Android powered smartphones.

According the Android Market web page for Maps, there are only three things included in the update.  They are:

  • Check in and check out directly from Place pages.
  • Change your Latitude work and home addresses.
  • See the redesigned transit station pages.

I find myself using the Maps application, and the Navigation feature, a lot more than I though I would when I was issued a Motorola Droid Pro for work.

For more details, check the Android Market.

android · google · motorola · rumors · verizon

Rumor: Motorola Droid 3 Coming to Verizon in June

The next version of Motorola’s insanely popular Droid smartphone, the Droid 3, is rumored to touchdown on Verizon in June.

If the picture is accurate, we can see that just like the Droid 2, the d-pad is gone because of the 4-inch, 960 x 540 qHD display.  The Droid 3 is also rumored to have an 8MP digital camera, and will not include an LTE cellular radio.  (iPhone fans feel the collective pain from Droid fans.)


android · apple · blackberry · google · ipad · touchpad · web os · windows

Forget the iPad! The HP TouchPad Will Be the #1+ Tablet!

Chalk this one to drinking too much marketing Kool-Aid(tm), but Eric Cador, HP’s senior VP of Personal Systems Group in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said that the HP TouchPad, powered by webOS 3.0, will surpass all of the tablets on the market today; including the Apple iPad.

Mr. Cador, in an interview with The Telegraph, stated:

“In the PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors, we became number one. In the tablet world, we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.”

Are you kidding me?!  I think that it is going to take a little more than HP willing that their new TouchPad will beat out the growing number of tablet devices in the market running Google’s Android, Windows 7, RIM’s QNX, and, well, Apple’s iOS powered iPad 2.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure webOS 3.0 and the TouchPad are going to be a great platform, but with webOS hovering around 3% market share in the smartphone OS category, HP is facing a long hard up hill battle.