Applelinks Tech Web Reader - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1267
Is a ChromeBook a Real Alternative to a Low-end Mac?
No RAM Upgrades For New iMacs? Is Apple Crazy?
Upgrading RAM On The New 27-inch iMac Is Easy
OSX/Dockster Malware Found on Tibetan Website
An In-Depth Look at iTunes 11
Five Things Apple Can Learn From Windows 8
High Heat Helps 'Heal' Flash Memory Chips
The New iMac: Designed By Apple In California, Assembled In USA
Should You Buy an Ultrabook Now?
Lenovo X1 Carbon: An Ultrabook For Old Pros And Classic-Laptop-Loving Business Users
TenFourFox 17.0.1 PowerPC Firefox Port Released
Dropbox To Establish International Office in Dublin



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Is a ChromeBook a Real Alternative to a Low-end Mac?

Low End Mac's Simon Royal notes that you can now get an Acer ChromeBook laptop for $199, which seems ridiculously cheap. So what exactly do you get for your money?

There are two new models of ChromeBook:

• The Acer C7 has an 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron processor, 11.6" display, 2 GB RAM, WiFi and ethernet, USB 2.0, HD camera, HDMI/VGA ports, memory card slot, a 320 GB hard drive and 100 GB online storage via Google; boots in under 20 seconds with a 4 hour battery life for $199.

The Samsung ChromeBook has an ARM-based 1.75 GHz Exynox processor, 11.6" display, 2 GB RAM, WiFi, USB 2.0, VGA camera, HDMI ports, Bluetooth 3.0, and comes with a 16 GB flash storage and 100 GB online storage via Google; boots in under 10 seconds with a 6.5 hour battery life, for $229.

Royal also notes that the Samsung has a sleek look, similar to the MacBook Air, and for cash-strapped users needing to replace an aging G4 PowerBook - or even early Intel MacBook, the fact we use older Macs in the first place is largely due to financial restrictions, and while 1,199 for a new MacBook Pro is too steep a price obstacle, $200 for a ChromeBook may be doable.

ChromeBook runs the Google Chrome OS, a lightweight custom Linux distro mainly based around the Chrome browser. Everything is done online; the ChromeBook itself is merely a gateway to your Google account and documents (note that If you have a Gmail or Google+ account, you're good to go).

The Chrome operating system boots in 10 seconds from cold and it wakes from sleep instantly, and, being Linux-based and a new OS, there are no security issues to worry about in terms on viruses - so no additional protection software to install or maintain.

However, Royal says he would rather use a PowerBook G4 than a Windows machine - or even possibly a ChromeBook, and that he just can't get on with another OS. OS X just feels like home for him. However, he notes that this could change in the future, and that with Microsoft and Apple pushing towards Cloud computing and dumbing down Windows and OS X, a Cloud computer like a ChromeBook is just an early preview of what will eventually be the norm, and the new ridiculously low price makes it something to be not instantly dismissed.

For the full commentary visit here:
http://bit.ly/XfF1tB






No RAM Upgrades For New iMacs? Is Apple Crazy?

Computerworld's Jonny Evans suggest that Apple is crazy to have made it near impossible to upgrade the RAM inside its new 21.5-inch iMacs, and allows that in all his years reporting on new Macs, this is perhaps Apple's most ludicrous decision yet, and that it doesn't matter how good it is in every other regard, that one decision makes this a computer to avoid, and opting for a 27-inch model (which you can upgrade), or another system altogether a no-brainer.

For the full commentary visit here:
http://goo.gl/cSbPF






Upgrading RAM On The New 27-inch iMac Is Easy

Cult of Mac's Buster Heine says: he new iMacs are lovely, but the smaller model is hard as hell to get into if you want to make some upgrades of your own, noting that the recent iFixit teardown of the 21.5-inch iMac revealed that youll have to unglue your display if you want to swap out your hard drive or add more RAM.

However, he reports that Apple added a new feature for the larger 27-inch iMacs that makes swapping out RAM ultra easy through a memory access port in the back, and explains how to do it.

For the full report visit here:
http://goo.gl/Di0wl





OSX/Dockster Malware Found on Tibetan Website

Intego's Lysa Myers reports:

OSX/Dockster was discovered on VirusTotal on Friday, possibly as part of a test before pushing it to the public. This malware is now known to be in the wild, on a website dedicated to the Dalai Lama that has been compromised to deliver the same exploit code as used by SabPab to push Dockster. (This Java vulnerability was also the same one used by Flashback.) The exploit code is currently detected by VirusBarrier as OSX/SabPab, and up-to-date versions of Java have fixed this vulnerability.

Dockster is a very basic Backdoor trojan that provides a remote connection to an attacker, along with keylogging functionality and the ability to download additional files. The remote address that the backdoor attempts to contact to receive commands is now active. For more information on this threat, please see our previous blog post.

Intego VirusBarrier users with up-to-date virus definitions are protected from this threat, whose components are detected as OSX/SabPab and OSX/Dockster.A.


For more information, visit:
http://goo.gl/iifKZ






An In-Depth Look at iTunes 11

Mac.Tuts+'s Alex Arena says Apple's new iTunes design is nothing like they've ever done before, only mildly resembling its counterparts on iOS, instead creating its own design language, which manages to fit into OS X while still being unique.

For the full report visit here:
http://goo.gl/Zdj7i






Five Things Apple Can Learn From Windows 8

TechCrunch's John Biggs says he's been using Windows 8 off and on for the past few weeks, and thinks Microsoft has done a good (albeit not excellent) job on Win8, and that even Apple could learn a thing or two from Microsoft's new OS.

Biggs notes that Apple has ingrained the idea of touch as a viable interface yet refuses to add it to its own line of laptops and desktops, and that while arguably Windows 8 doesn't exactly hide the file system, in the Metro interface there are fewer reminders that it exists far less than usual.

For some of us that's not a good thing. Biggs acknowledges that while we nerds love deep, branching file systems, the average user is mystified by them.

Other points where Biggs deems Microsoft to be doing better than Apple are setter system-wide social networking integration, smarter icons and acknowledgment that the desktop model is stagnant.

For the full commentary visit here:
http://goo.gl/pEHrd






High Heat Helps 'Heal' Flash Memory Chips

The BBC reports that researchers at the Taiwanese electronics company Macronix have found that a brief jolt of 800C heat can stop flash memory from wearing out, and "healing" materials to make them last 100 million cycles.

For the full report visit here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20579077






The New iMac: Designed By Apple In California, Assembled In USA

TechCrunch's Matt Burns reports that your next Mac could be assembled in America, with Apple assembling at least some of the new, ultra-thin iMacs in the U.S.

For the full report visit here:
http://goo.gl/zWTGg






Should You Buy an Ultrabook Now?

PC Mag's Tim Bajarin notes that there are dozens of beautiful new Ultrabook laptop designs available this holiday season. with more than 60 new models available, priced from $650 to $1,799. But consumers question whether ultrabooks are worth their premium price.

Bajarin is convinced that ultrabooks are the future of laptops, but suggests that if you want the most out of Windows 8, which will be on every PC laptop you buy this fall, you really need to buy an ultrabook with a touch screen. The bad news is that many of the best ultrabooks with touch screens start at around $1,100.

However, Bajarin notes that research shows a device like a $499.99 fourth-generation iPad can handle as much as 80 percent of a person's computing needs, so for tablet owners the tendency is to buy a cheaper laptop or even just opt to extend the life of their current one.

For the full report visit here:
http://goo.gl/gMSil






Lenovo X1 Carbon: An Ultrabook For Old Pros And Classic-Laptop-Loving Business Users

InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp says if Lenovo's X1 Carbon Ultrabook is any indication, professionals are in no hurry to move to Windows 8, since this new iteration of the ThinkPad ships with Windows 7 Professional instead - eschewing a touchscreen and a tablet form factor in favor of design elements and preloaded ingredients that appeal to both business-class users and business-class IT support folks.

Measuring 13.03 x 8.9 x 0.74 inches and and weighing only 3 pounds, the Carbon X1 qualifies as thin and light, and as its name implies, it's clad in the matte carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic common to the ThinkPad line, instead of the brushed metal that encases so many other Ultrabooks, but Yegulalp says it feels rugged, not cheap. Another reviewer observed that the X1 reminds him of none other than Apple's erstwhile G3 PowerBooks in terms of looks and feel. The X1's 14-inch display is also the same pysical size as the old PowerBook's screen, but with1,600 x 900 resolution rather than the PowerBook's 1024 x 768 res.

The Lenovo comes with an Intel Core i5-3427U processor (1.8GHz), 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, which compares favorably with the 13-inch MacBook Air, but starts at a pricey $1,499.

For more information, visit:
http://goo.gl/fXNFQ






Real Wood Skin For Macbook

This real wood Macbook skin backed with 3M Pressure sensitive adhesive for easy application.

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The unique design provides grip and protection to your Macbook cover. Each Macbook wood skin is hand made in BKNY so your order is produced only once purchased

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Three wood species are offered: Ebony, Bamboo, and Wenge.

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The appliques are available for Macbook Air, Macbook Pro 13, Macbook Pro 15, and Macbook Retina.

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Prices start at $25.00

For more information, visit:
http://rawbkny.com/shop/macbook-wood-skin/






TenFourFox 17.0.1 PowerPC Firefox Port Released

TenFourFox 17.0.1 is a Power PC port of Firefox ESR 17 that brings most of the latter's feature set to older Macs. Version 17.0.1 is a security and bug fix and performance update for TenFourFox 17 to keep pace with Firefox 17.0.1.

TenFourFox uses modified Firefox source code, rewritten to remain compatible with Mac OS X v10.4 and the Power Macintosh. It also contains specific optimizations and special features for PowerPC processors. For this reason, it is not exactly the same as Firefox. However, it is intended to be as compatible with it as possible, including most add-ons and most standard features. You can treat 10.4Fx as equivalent with Firefox ESR 17 in most circumstances, with specific exceptions noted below.

TenFourFox is available in optimized versions for G3 processors, two variants of G4 processors: (7400/7450"G4e"), or G5 processors.

Note that TenFourFox no longer supports browser plugins, so if you require using Flash, Java or other plugins, do not use TenFourFox. (However, plugins are not extensions. Most add-ons and extensions will work.) However, add-ons which require an Intel Macintosh will not work with TenFourFox, even if they are otherwise compatible with Firefox 17, and add-ons that require 10.5 Leopard may not be compatible with TenFourFox running on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, even if they are compatible with PowerPC.

Starting with Firefox 10, Mozilla is offering an extended support release version of Firefox ("Firefox ESR") intended for environments where users are unable to use rapid-release versions of Firefox due to policy or technical constraints. 10.4Fox 17.x is based on this extended support release and is intended for users who wish to remain with a stable browser core. The stable branch will continue to receive bugfixes and security updates, but will not receive new Firefox features (although it may receive certain 10.4Fx-specific features judged important for legacy users).

Plugins on PowerPC are of special concern because Mozilla is making updates to their plugin architecture which may require the plugins themselves to be updated, and there are certain difficult-to-correct bugs with them already on Tiger. Most importantly, QuickTime and Adobe Flash for PowerPC are no longer maintained and have known security risks that can crash, perform malicious operations or leak data, and Flash 10.1 is rapidly becoming unsupported by many applications.

For Internet video, Floodgap software now recommend the use of TenFourFox's optional QuickTimeEnabler. This allows many videos to be handled in QuickTime Player directly:
http://code.google.com/p/tenfourfox/wiki/QuickTimeEnabler

<B>System requirements</B>

TenFourFox (hereafter "10.4Fx") requires a G3 Power Macintosh, Mac OS X 10.4.11, 100MB of free disk space and 512MB of RAM. 1GB of RAM and a G4 or G5 processor is recommended. Video playback is likely to be poor on systems slower than 1.25GHz; a G5 is recommended. Mac OS X 10.5.8 is supported.

Release notes:
http://code.google.com/p/tenfourfox/wiki/ReleaseNotes1701

For more information, visit:
http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/






Dropbox To Establish International Office in Dublin

Dropbox has announced that it will establish an office in Dublin, Ireland. The Dublin office will serve as the center of the company's international operations, enabling Dropbox to better provide technical support and product acumen to the millions of people across the world who use Dropbox to simplify their lives.

"Having Dropbox open an office in Europe demonstrates to us their commitment to their European Teams customers and gives us the confidence that we're a priority as they expand.
As part of Ireland's mission to become the best small country in the world for business we have become the European hub for many of the worlds leading digital companies, and the arrival of a top cloud company like Dropbox indicates Dublin's growing capacity to usher in the next generation of internet companies," said An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Mr. Enda Kenny TD. "Ireland has many advantages to offer international companies, including our young, passionate and talented workforce, all of which will be a great asset to Dropbox as they make their new home in Dublin."

The company's new international office is positioned to provide Dropbox users the utmost in service and support in a more geolocated manner. With over 100 million users worldwide, over one-third of them in the European region alone, and availability in eight languages, Dropbox's new office opening comes at an ideal time to support the companys immense growth and expansion.

We're delighted to be closer to millions of our European customers," says Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder of Dropbox. "By opening our international headquarters in Dublin and tapping into the large talent pool that exists there, were better positioned to serve even more people locally while we continue to grow."

The initial goal of Dropbox's Dublin office is to hire for a variety of positions, including multi-lingual sales teams, account management and user operations staff, all of which will provide targeted support to the millions of Dropbox users in Europe, including Teams customers like Thomas Cook.

"Dropbox for Teams is a fundamental tool we use to collaborate and share important business documents as we help our customers enjoy seamless travel planning," says Mariano Albera, CTO at Thomas Cook Online. "Having Dropbox open an office in Europe demonstrates to us their commitment to their European Teams customers and gives us the confidence that were a priority as they expand."

To view a listing of available positions, visit:
http://www.dropbox.com/jobs



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