Weak spots found in Apple’s Leopard

1 11 2007

Computer owners installing Apple’s new operating system, Mac OS X Leopard, may be making their machines less secure, according to experts.

Features of the new system designed to protect a user’s computer from hostile attack do not work as efficiently as they should, and could lead to hackers being able to install malicious software, according to the security firm Heise.

The default setting for Leopard’s firewall – which is supposed to block unauthorised access to the machine – is to “allow all incoming connections,” a report by Heise said. If a user has upgraded from an existing Mac system which had a firewall activated, the protection is de-activated, the report added.

The weaknesses mean that “system services representing potential access points for malware” are accessible via the internet, and that unauthorised connections to such services could be established “even under the most restrictive setting,” according to Jurgen Schmidt, a researcher who analysed the system.

Mr Schmidt stressed that the “peculiarities” of Leopard were “not security vulnerabilities in the sense that they can be exploited to break into a Mac,” but said Apple would be “well advised to sort them out pronto.”

In a separate development, Apple users were warned about a new ‘trojan horse’ – a type of malware – which masqueraded as a download necessary to view certain video content.

Symantec, the security firm, said that the trojan – which was found a number of pornography sites – was a sign that “the Mac is becoming popular enough that the ‘bad guys’ think it is worth spending time and effort in developing malware for the Mac OS.”

Apple was not immediately available for comment.

Leopard Installer – Case of the disappearing Volumes!

31 10 2007

Discussions boards are filling with reports of odd behavior with the Leopard Installer. I joined that experience yesterday with my first attempt at the upgrade.Since I have some important apps in my workflow that have yet to be declared fully Leopard compatible, I decided to wait on upgrading the primary drive in my MacBook Pro. Instead, I planned to upgrade to an external hard drive; and to begin that journey, I cloned the entire contents of my notebook to a volume on a USB 2.0 HDD.

After rebooting into the Leopard Installer DVD, I began the process of clicking through various screens. Soon, I ran into a serious roadblock: in the “Destination” screen where we choose the volume to be upgraded, no volumes appeared. Nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

New Leopard Drivers Hint for new Macs

30 10 2007

Things are going pretty fast for Apple ever since Leopard came out 3 days ago. The latest of the  rumors to hit the internet is that, Apple is going to launch new Macbooks pretty soon. If you ask me the reason for this, then its pretty much simple, Apple has bundled the drivers for Intel’s GMA X3100 chipset into Leopard, that clearly suggests that Apple definitely has new Macs in the offing with Intel’s GMA X3100 on it.

Apple has included a full set of recent drivers for Intel’s GMA X3100 integrated graphics chipset, which is only built into the semiconductor firm’s motherboards for notebooks based on the Santa Rosa platform. Apple uses Santa Rosa for its most recent MacBook Pro models but equips them exclusively with dedicated graphics cards from non-Intel providers like NVIDIA, that leaves MacBooks with slower Graphics.

No other driver-related clues as to the MacBook and Mac mini upgrades have been found, but interestingly all the drivers are dated from October 11th which means that Apple finalized the current version of the drivers only days before Leopard was sent to manufacturing. Apple in the past has never included non supported drivers into OS X in the past, but this instance clearly shows that we will be seeing new Macbooks very soon..

Intel GMA X3100

Here are some screenshots that suggest the arrival of new Mac’s from Cupertino.. Steve I am dying to look at the new Macbooks!

Intel GMA X3100

If the GMA X3100 chipsets are used in the future Macbooks, its going to provide a tremendous boost to Graphics on the Mac. So I would suggest you hold on for sometime if you are planning to buy a Macbook, because Apple might upgrade them pretty soon. (One week if my guess is correct!)

Credit: Dailyapps

Apple has responded for the Leopard installation issue

30 10 2007

Apple has posted a fix on its Web site for a serious problem that causes its Macintosh computers to seize up when users attempt to upgrade to the company’s new Leopard operating system.”It may be necessary to perform an Archive and Install installation of Leopard,” Apple says in the support bulletin, which appeared over the weekend.

The workaround moves existing files on a user’s computer to a folder named Previous System, over which the new software is installed. “Applications, plug-ins, and other software may have to be reinstalled after an ‘Archive and Install,'” Apple warns.

Apple launched Leopard — officially known as OS X 10.5 — on Friday amid considerable hype. The operating system offers numerous graphical and security enhancements designed to entice computer users away from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)’s Windows Vista. Within hours of the launch, however, users were reporting the so-called ‘Blue Screen of Death’ problem on the company’s online support forums.

“I was so excited to get my hands on this software and momentously disappointed with the results,” said a post from ‘Christian Jones1′ of North Wales, U.K. Jones said his Mac froze up after the Leopard installation process was only 5% complete.

Thousands of similar posts indicate the problem is widespread.

For its part, Apple says software on users’ machines that may not be Leopard-compatible is to blame. “You may have third-party ‘enhancement’ software installed that does not work with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard,” the company said in its support post.

Some on the Apple forum said the problem was due to a glitch in a third-party program called APE (Application Enhancer), created by developer Unsanity. “It looks like Application Enhancer is NOT compatible with Leopard,” wrote poster ‘Jon Thornburg.’

Leopard’s ‘Blue Screen of Death’ troubles could prove particularly embarrassing for Apple, which prides itself on offering a simpler, more user-friendly alternative to Microsoft’s computing environment. Now, as Apple aims for a bigger chunk of the OS market, its customers are encountering a problem all too familiar to Windows users.

Issues on Leopard installation

30 10 2007

Some users have experienced the blue screen of death while installing Mac OS X Leopard. Installation goes fine until your Mac reboots, but then you are stuck with the blue screen, with your mouse pointer being the only thing working.

A cold restart doesn’t help either, you come back to the blue screen again. Some users have contacted Apple and have been told to wait for 2 – 3 hours and the installation will continue (oh, yeah right!), but this seems to be going nowhere.

The problem seems to be a process or an application that loads at start up and then hangs.

Windows Vista is clearly finding its way onto lots and lots of PCs.

29 10 2007

In last week’s earnings announcement, Microsoft reported a 25 percent increase in revenue from the unit that sells Windows for notebook and desktop PCs. Granted, some of that bump came from a crackdown in piracy and because more people are opting for “premium” versions of Vista. Still, the company has now managed to sell 88 million copies of the operating system, a significant tally.

“We have a lot of consumer interest and enthusiasm around it,” CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview with CNET News.com last week.

Vista has picked up momentum in recent months, said Samir Bhavnani, an analyst at Current Analysis West.

“It got off to kind of a rocky start,” he said. “There was a very vocal minority of people that were kind of ripping into Vista.”

On the corporate side, momentum has been harder to come by. Microsoft finally acknowledged that it won’t hit its lofty goal of having Vista in use on twice as many business PCs as were running XP in its first 12 months on the market.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leopard vs Vista? You decide..

29 10 2007

Follow this link which shows the exact features chart of Mas OS X and Vista.

You decide which one is the best