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Happy Thanksgiving from AppleWatch

Happy Thanksgiving from AppleWatch.

As a holiday gift from me to you there will be updated content here.

Better Security Coming to Mac OS X Leopard

Mac OS X Leopard will add a few new layers of security to OS X with memory randomization, application sandboxing, a better firewall, signed applications, and more. Here I have put a few of them together. The memory randomization and application sandboxing are some of the big new ones that will help secure OS X. Because by default it wasn’t very secure. (Pre-order Leopard now at Amazon and save $20!)

Memory Randomization
This security technology, known as ASLR (address space layout randomization), randomly arranges the positions of key data areas on the hard drive to prevent malware authors from predicting target addresses. It means that the bad guys will not know where everything is on your hard drive because each computer will have things moved around randomly. It makes it a lot harder to attack.

Apple plans to add Sandboxing (systrace) in Leopard to limit an application�s access to the system by enforcing access policies for system calls. The feature is aimed at restricting an app�s file access, network access, and ability to launch other applications.

Many Leopard applications � such as Bonjour, Quick Look, and the Spotlight indexer � will be sandboxed so hackers can�t exploit them, Apple said.

Application-Based Firewall
You will gain more control over the built-in firewall in Leopard. You can specify the behavior of specific applications to either allow or block incoming connections for those applications.

Signed Applications
A digital signature on an application verifies its identity and ensures its integrity. All applications shipped with Leopard are signed by Apple, and third-party software developers can also sign their applications. It adds another level of security.

Tagging Downloaded Applications
Protect yourself from potential threats. Any application downloaded to your Mac is tagged. Before it runs for the first time, the system asks for your consent � telling you when it was downloaded, what application was used to download it, and, if applicable, what URL it came from.

Stronger Encryption for Disk Images
Give your data even more security. Disk Utility now allows you to create encrypted disk images using 256-bit AES encryption.

Source: Apple Mac OS X Leopard Features

Apple Mac OS X Version 10.5 Leopard at Amazon for $109 (you save $20!)

Drobo Update Fixes High CPU Load On Mac

I own a Drobo and I found that when connected to my Macbook the Drobo Dashboard would sometimes use up over 90% of the CPU and cause the fan to stay on indefinitely. The only solution was to close the program (Dashboard) that monitors the connected Drobo. The latest Dashboard and firmware for the Drobo fixes this mysterious problem.

Drobo Firmware and Drobo Dashboard 1.0.2 Release Notes

And now you can get a Drobo at a reduced price:
August sees the Drobo discount increased to $50. The discount goes back to $25 after August 31, so hurry. Go to the Drobo Store and use the coupon code EVJASONS

AirPort Extreme Update 2007-004

Apple has released an update for OSX 10.4. This update is recommended for all Intel-based MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini computers and improves the reliability of AirPort connections. It should show up in Software Update.

Source: About AirPort Extreme Update 2007-004

iPhone Stories

The iPhone is now available for sale, and stories abound. Do you have a good or bad story about your experience with the iPhone? Then post a comment here about it.

Posted 06/30/07 by Jason Schramm in:

iPhone Coming June 29th

The iPhone is coming June 29th according to AT&T commercials that have begun airing. You can check out the commercials on Apple’s website here, and the iPhone product page here. The Calamari commercial shows how you can search for places with the built-in map feature, get the restaurant info, and call them with the tap of the screen. The map feature is innovative and uses Google Maps. I would love an iPhone, if only it didn’t use Cingular/AT&T.

My New Macbook

I recently ordered a new Macbook. It came with a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, and a 120GB hard drive. I had been waiting to purchase one until they updated the line. With this minor update I was able to finally order my Mac with little worry of missing out on an upgrade. Sure they will come out with new models toward the end of this year or the beginning of next, but I needed it and couldn’t wait much longer. It is lightning fast and only gets a little warm near the power supply connection. Below are some pictures of it. With this new Macbook I plan to write original reviews for AppleWatch, and update the site a lot more often. A new era of activity begins now.

Macbook Unboxing photo album

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Video From D5

Here’s another video from the D5 conference. In this Steve Jobs and Bill Gates share the stage. Things start out cordially and then there are a few jabs here and there. This will hopefully be the last video I post here about D5, unless you want to see more or I find out important information that relates to Apple. It’s always interesting to find out how things started, and you definitely get some more background info on the Apple/Microsoft connection. This video has excerpts, but you can get all the parts of the full interview from the D5 website here.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates videos from D5

Steve Jobs Talking at D5

Below is a video of Steve Jobs at today’s D5 conference. He talks about the iPhone, AT&T, and why they made the iPhone. He also talks about Apple TV, iTunes Plus, and where the Mac business is, talking about the staggering Mac growth. This is a must watch, and some of the info was incorporated into tonight’s AppleWatch Live show that should be online tonight or tomorrow.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs at D5

Steve Wozniak Interview

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak discusses his new book iWoz as part of the Authors@Google speaker series. A very interesting video if you have an hour to watch it. He talks a bit about the origins of Apple and his experiences growing up with technology. They have a lot of other great visionaries and authors in the series which you can watch here.

iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

Via Google Blogoscoped, who found it at Google Librarian Central

AppleWatch is Alive

I have started posting Apple news again. Things got hectic with my last semester of college but I should have the time now to again update the site. I hope you are all still with me and can accept my apologies for not devoting the time to AppleWatch. I have been using a Mac almost exclusively for the past few weeks so you can expect to find more original content from me.

As I find great programs I will write about them here. I am also planning on starting a weekly show online that will become a podcast when it is no longer live. This will be short, probably around 15 minutes unless listeners want more, and will talk about the latest Apple happenings and cool additions for your Mac. You will be able to login online and talk to me as the show is occurring, and you can even call in.

I am also planning on getting a MacBook within the next few months which will give me some greater mobility. So I hope you have enjoyed reading this site and are ready for many more updates.

Apple Security Update 2007-004

Apple on Thursday released a security update for numerous issues in OSX 10.3 and 10.4. The patches cover: AFP Client, AirPort, CarbonCore, diskdev_cmds, fetchmail, ftpd, GNU Tar, Help Viewer, HID Family, Installer, Kerberos, Libinfo, Login Window, network_cmds, SMB, System Configuration, URLMount, VideoConference, WebDAV, WebFoundation. They generally try to fix arbitrary code execution bugs, privelege escalations, and other such problems.

The patch even fixes an issue where fetchmail could send passwords as plain text even when specified not to. And stops console keyboard events from being exposed to other users on the local system which could have allowed other users to capture keystrokes. The patches generally seem to deal with handling user preferences better and more safely executing tasks. You can find a detailed list of the fixes here. And I would recommend installing this quickly.
Source: AppleInsider

Apple: About Security Update 2007-004

Closer Look at the iPhone

Here’s a video from CBS where they take a closer look at the Apple iPhone and you can to see exactly how it works. Apple Inc’s Phil Schiller shows John Blackstone the many features of the iPhone. I’m especially amazed by how you can scroll through contacts with your finger. The video even shows how things change when you turn the iPhone. I want this baby badly.

Macworld Coming Soon

Macworld is coming soon, and with it there should be some big Apple announcements. The conference is on January 8-12, 2007. I will try to post about new developments as Apple puts up their announcements, but I may also link to other sites that have live coverage. Unfortunately I don’t yet get to go to Apple conventions and keynotes.

Winner Declared in First iAnnoyance Contest

InsanelyMac has started running contests to fix what they see as annoying in OS X. Each contest will over cash to the developer(s) who can finish the fix in a weekend, with the amount of money decreasing each week after. The first contest was to create an application that would allow any Mac user to make the red x always quit an app or always hide an app, make the green zoom button always go full screen, and change these settings on a per application basis.

There are several obvious benefits that this app presents. First, it’ll mean one UI action where there are currently thousands, making the OS easier for children and seniors to understand. Secondly, it will save RAM, processor usage, battery life by closing unused apps in one click. Finally, if you’re a stickler for Apple’s HIG rules, you can tweak to your heart’s delight.

The winning application for the first contest is called Stoplight and is a “SIMBL plug-in that works via a Preference Pane.” It allows you to change the window behavior of any Cocoa based applications. You can get it here for free.

I see this as a great move to allow people to fix issues they feel need to be fixed. Many people are attacking InsanelyMac and saying OS X doesn’t need to be fixed, but if a user wants programs to work a certain way they should be able to make it happen. It also could be a great idea for a new site, allowing people to put up donations toward a specific application that they wish existed. I’m anxious to find out what the next contest will be, and I will let you know when it is announced.