Tag: "apple"

The Apple reality distortion field

I came across a perfect example of the reality distortion field yesterday. I was so impressed I saved the comment for later use, I didn't think at the time to save the website it was posted on if anybody knows let me know and I'll add the URL (doesn't seem to be in Google's index yet). Anyway this was what was said:

John W - You might want to review your links before you post erroneous information. The Hack Contest had no winners on Day 1, it was only after the rules were fully relaxed did someone “break into a browser” on Vista and OSX. Gosh, when a hacker has full physical and password access to a Mac, they break in… wow, film at 11, how amazing!

This is in relation to the recent PWN to OWN contest, which I briefly wrote up about here.

He seems to be under the illusion that Windows Vista was also cracked on day two, along with OS X (which was cracked in 2 minutes). This is false.

Day one's rules were you could only remotely carry out an attack. No machines were compromised. On day two you could use user interaction on the machine, for example opening a specific website, or opening an e-mail attachment. At no point were the crackers given "full physical" access to the machine or passwords, the user on the machine could only open e-mails or web pages. Safari was compromised within 2 minutes. Windows Vista and Ubuntu both survived the day, in the end only compromised on day three with the help of 3rd party code, namely Adobe's Flash player.

Fact is, no Mac has ever been broken into from the outside, no viruses, no malware, etc. OSX is the most secure mainstream OS there is

False. I'd say it is the least secure mainstream operating system out there, all of Apple's software is plagued by security issues. Just last year a group of security researches exposed dozens of security issues in Mac OS, so many they were doing one a day for the whole month of the project.

and that’s just another reason why it’s so popular.

I wouldn't define "popular" as 2% market share. Alone it would be funny, but when there are thousands of these trolls running around its just sad.

Mac OS X cracked inside of 2 minutes - Vista & Ubuntu stand firm

I can't say I'm honestly surprised judging on how crappy Apple's record is at patching vulnerabilities over the last few years. Windows Vista has consistently out performed all other major operating systems in this regard and Microsoft have spent a considerable sum on improving their development process in regard to security.

So anyway at the PWN to OWN contest held over the last three days crackers have been competing for a $10,000, and $5,000 prize. Their task was to crack a computer, there were three computers all running different operating systems. One running Mac OS X.5 (Leopard), one running Ubuntu 7.10 and one running Windows Vista SP1.

The first day was limited only to attacks over the network. All three machines survived.

The second day, the participants were allowed to open web pages, or e-mails. Mac OS X was compromised inside of two minutes.

Both Ubuntu and Windows Vista survived the day, and now the crackers can request that the judges allow "popular" 3rd party software onto the machines. As of this moment I believe both machines are still standing.

Both Linux and Windows have their fair share of crappy 3rd software, but I think Linux generally has more privilege escalation exploits, so we'll have to see how it goes.

So anyway, the next time some smug Apple fanboy comes up to you and goes on about security, politely remind them that they are full of it. And also consider reporting Apple to advertising regulators over their utterly misleading and down right false adverts.

False advertising from Apple

So Apple announced 'The world's thinnest laptop' a couple of months ago now. After a few minutes on Google however it looks like it isn't.

The Sony Vaio X505 released back in 2004 comes pretty close at 20.8mm which a lot of people used in comparisons with the Macbook Air, which comes in at 19.4mm.

However both of those are beaten out by the ten year old Pedion, built by Mitsiubishi and Hewlett-Packard which is only 18.4mm thick. Sharp however beat out the Pedion with their Actius PC-MM10, which is only 13.7mm thick. It wouldn't surprise me if there are a dozen other laptops out there that are thinner either.

What makes Apple think they can get away with such blatant false advertising?

But then of course Apple should put their efforts into creating a machine which weighs less and has better battery life, you know, work on the two most important features that a mobile computer needs to have, instead of wasting time trying to save a mm at the expense of functionality and then spinning off plenty of false advertising about it.

Time for the EU to break iPod/iPhone and iTunes apart

Although Apple is already under investigation within the European Union for a number of different issues, I don't think things are moving fast enough in this area.

iTunes is forced upon iPod and iPhone users, often this takes place without the user knowing at the time of purchase they need to install this other program. I suppose what bugs me the most is how poorly written iTunes is, it has got a wide reputation for being one of the worst media players on Windows, probably not as bad as Real Player, but nevertheless something most people, if they had the choice would rather not install.

It's not just a question of bundling iTunes either, iTunes is itself bundled with QuickTime (also known for its poor quality), which gets installed as well. This creates a bad user experience, they install one thing and get something else installed too, and it isn't like the thing runs only when you decide to run it, it is always running on your system, unless you have the knowledge to go and stop it.

The EU needs to act on the iPod issue, as it has the majority share of the market, I'd like to see the iPhone addressed too, but I'm not expecting that to be successful in Europe (people here expect their phone to be able to record video and send picture messages) so I don't think that should be the priority at the moment.

People were quick enough to get Microsoft in court over just an issue of bundling, with Windows you were never forced to use the applications that were also included, you could always install and use your own. That isn't the case with the iPod and iPhone, you not only have to install iTunes, you have to use it to connect with the iPod and iPhones.

Therefore I'd like to see the EU require Apple to unbundle iTunes from iPod (and iPhone), and allow the devices to be controlled by other applications such as Winamp and Windows Media Player.

I'd also like to see the EU either force Apple to remove all Digital Rights Management from songs purchased on iTunes, or require Apple to do this on request. Apple using DRM in this fashion can only be described as locking people into Apple and not letting them leave unless they want to abandon their music collection.

This is a good video (originally posted by Valleywag, hat tip to Long too) showing how Apple deals with these sort of issues with the press, when the journalist mentioned the word monopoly the Apple PR machine spun up a notch, clearly this is something they're concerned about, and they have good reason to be.

Macintosh fanboy nonsense

Well these guys couldn't of picked a better time to unleash their Mac mouth-foam session.

Their article opens up with:

Apple has given Microsoft a lesson in software development with the launch of its new Leopard operating system which is faster, slicker and packed with a lot more practical features compared with the slow, underperforming Windows Vista operating system that is prone to crashing or locking-up systems.

Well that's a lot of claims chucked into a small space. Gish gallop?

Leopard huh? Oh yeah that came out today didn't it, funny I haven't seen much about it on the news. On all the news sites I've read it's all been about Microsoft selling 88 million copies of Windows Vista, Microsoft's biggest quarter growth since 1999, and how they blew away Wall Street's expectations by over a billion dollars.

Faster and slicker? Hmmm not according to Wired's Cult of the Mac blog who installed Windows Vista on their Macintosh and reported the following:

Vista really flies on this beast, and feels like it's faster than OS X - it boots faster, folders burst open and apps launch instantly...I'm especially delighted with Vista's "glass" Aero interface, which works in all its glory on this machine...The OS is dark and handsome. It's really quite exciting...Vista's icons are big and colorful, and frankly, a lot more logical and easy to read than some of OS X's, like the intelligible iWeb icon.

The guy then pulls out the whole crashing and locking up systems line, yawn that is so Windows 95, get something new and fresh please. Windows doesn't crash anymore.

With Vista the "Gadgets" have to be stacked in a frame on the desktop. In the Leopard environment they can be placed anywhere.

In Windows Vista they can be placed anywhere. Maybe if you actually bothered to use the thing you'd know that.

Unfortunately that's the trouble with these sort of people, like David Richards, they rubbish this and that without bothering to actually use them, they don't have a clue and their opinions are therefore worthless.

The bottom line is this, Mac OS X - whichever version is a 6 year old operating system, upgraded as often as Apple can with $130 upgrades, the sort of thing Microsoft do for free with Service Packs and applications on their website. Leopard introduces amazing new features that they copied from Windows 95, like the ability to backup your files, although on the Macintosh it is much more limiting requiring you to have a separate hard drive, you can also preview documents in the shell - like Windows XP. Oh dear, Leopard is a damp squid of a release, it’s a flop and a really late flop, Steve Jobs said this thing would ship before Windows Vista, well they're only a year behind at best, in many areas like Media Center and Tablet PC they haven't even started yet.

Mac OS X is a solid operating system and has been for the last couple of revisions, but I don't believe it is in the same league as Windows Vista. What these fanboys don't understand is that their foaming at the mouths and spending 80% of their time attacking Microsoft isn't winning anybody to their cause. Nor is preaching the lies that Steve Jobs come out with, just the other day he said that Windows Vista came 7 years after Windows XP. It is 5 years Steve, as you well know. I however believe that is a good thing. I'm sure the consumer would rather a big jump every 5 years at £120 a pop, than tiny little jumps every 18 months at £120.

Apple the greediest company on Earth?

I cannot believe what I just read; this goes far beyond Apple charging people money to use a song they already own as a ringtone on the iPhone. Or even beyond making people buy the Pro version of QuickTime just to support full screen video.

The free "beta" version of Boot Camp (a fancy marketing buzzword for a boot loader) has been pulled from Apple's website, and replaced by a not found page (very user-friendly).

People who are already using the beta version of Boot Camp, will have it expire when Apple release the next revision of Mac OS X.

The solution? Buy a slightly modified version of Mac OS X, called "Leopard", which has some new features like a backup program, yes, like Windows has had for a decade. Just so you can carry on using a boot loader.

$129 for a boot loader and a couple of extra basic features which have been commonplace on other operating systems for years. Pathetic.

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