Flashback botnet

This is probably the most ‘stable’ article I have read on the Mac Flashback malware exploit, ‘stable’ in the sense that there is no hysteria or hyperbole.

The one thing I would add is that you should check all browsers as well as Safari:

defaults read /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
defaults read /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment
defaults read /Applications/Chromium.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

In fact I have removed Flash from the ‘/Library/Internet Plug-Ins’ and ‘~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins’ folders, so Safari and Firefox don’t have flash on my machine, Google Chrome and Chromium have their own Sandboxed versions of Flash. Also while I have Java installed, it is disabled on all browsers.

 

 

 

 

 

Chromium OS X

Came across the Chromium OS X browser for Mac, guess it is an open source version of Google Chrome.

Can’t really much difference between the two, but I will try it out for a while and see.

 

How to speed up an aging MacBook with a solid state drive

About 3 months ago I upgraded the disk drive in my MacBook Pro with an SSD, the interesting thing was how easy it was to do the upgrade with the help of iFixit. Ars does the same to a MacBook:

How to speed up an aging MacBook with a solid state drive: “When we recently detailed how to boost the storage space in a MacBook Air with a replacement solid state drive module, some readers asked what it would be like to swap the hard drive in an older MacBook with a similarly speedy SSD. We decided to investigate, and as it turns out, thanks to a common 2.5″ drive size and widely available external enclosures, the swap is quicker, easier, and cheaper than the one for a MacBook Air.”

The upgrade was a real shot in the arm of my MacBook Pro in terms of performance, even though the previous disk drive was a 7,200rpm model.

 

BBEdit 10.0

BBEdit 10.0 came out last week, I have been a long time user of BBEdit (pretty much since it came out). This release comes with a lot of changes, a lot, and has required me to change some of my work processes. There are a number of rough edges too so it might be an idea to wait for the .1 release. And you will want to make sure not to upgrade unless you have some downtime to work through all the changes.

 

Mac OS X Lion

I upgraded to Mac OS X Lion over the weekend, things went mostly well, backup, install, repeat on the other machine.

There are a number of good reviews out there, notably John Siracusa’s at ArsTechnica, and Robert Mohns’ at MacInTouch.

Some things that are driving me crazy:

  • The way the new scroll bars appear and disappear, I just make them permanent. I tried to make them automatic but they would not always appear and you lose the ability to see what is and is not scrollable.
  • The Address Book and iCal are a train wreck.
  • For some reason my folder/document locations keep getting reset.

That being said, I really like the new Mail, Mission Control is nice (though they have made it more difficult to see minimized windows).

Overall this version is optimized to run on laptops, not desktop machines, but you can turn off all the ‘laptopy’ things.

Lastly I found that John Siracura has a podcast called Hypercritical. Worth listening to.

 

 

 

IOGEAR USB Bluetooth adaptor

Just got my IOGEAR USB Bluetooth adaptor today, plugged it into my keyboard USB port as close to my Apple Magic Mouse as possible and it work GREAT! Finally bluetooth works on my MacPro!

 

Apple Magic Mouse

Finally got sick of erratic mouse movement with my Apple Magic Mouse. I have a MacPro and the bluetooth reception on that machine is notorious in a bad way. A stretch of humid weather here only made that worse. The mouse movement was either epileptic or really slow (so felt like I was dragging a huge weight across the screen), and lets not go into dropped clicks.

So came across this post on Cult of Mac, which pointed me to this discussion on the Apple Support Forums, and decided to just buy an IOGEAR USB Bluetooth adaptor, which I will put into the USB port closest to the mouse which, I am hoping, will take care of the problem.

I think they called it Magic Mouse because you never knew what it was going to do next!

Mac OS X Lion

I have been playing with the Mac OS X Lion Beta, actually I installed it on my laptop and used it for  week, then backed down to Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Mac OS X Lion still needs work, I would get a crash a day with only one hour of use. July release it may be, but I would bet on the end of July.

 

Mac OS X Lion Installer

Just a quick thought about the Mac OS X Lion Installer, Apple plans to make this only available through the Mac App Store  for download. I don’t think this will work for everyone given the pretty draconian bandwidth caps out there.

Macbuntu

Interesting add-on for Ubuntu to transform the user interface to look like Mac OS X. I am going to test it out to see what it looks like.

Not sure how Apple feels about it though.

 

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