Windows PCs: Now pre-loaded with viruses!

“Cybercriminals have opened a new front in their battle to infect computers with malware – PC production lines,” BBC News reports. “Several new computers have been found carrying malware installed in the factory, suggests a Microsoft study.”
“One virus called Nitol found by Microsoft steals personal details to help criminals plunder online bank accounts.,” The Beeb reports. “In a report detailing its work to disrupt the Nitol botnet, Microsoft said the criminals behind the malicious program had exploited insecure supply chains to get viruses installed as PCs were being built. The viruses were discovered when Microsoft digital crime investigators bought 20 PCs, 10 desktops and 10 laptops from different cities in China.”

The Beeb reports, “Four of the computers were infected with malicious programs even though they were fresh from the factory.”

Richard Lardner reports for The Associate Press, ” customer in Shenzhen, China, took a new laptop out of its box and booted it up for the first time. But as the screen lit up, the computer began taking on a life of its own. The machine, triggered by a virus hidden in its hard drive, began searching across the Internet for another computer.”

“The laptop, supposedly in pristine, super-fast, direct-from-the-factory condition, had instantly become part of an illegal, global network capable of attacking websites, looting bank accounts and stealing personal data,” Lardner reports. “For years, online investigators have warned consumers about the dangers of opening or downloading emailed files from unknown or suspicious sources. Now, they say malicious software and computer code could be lurking on computers before the bubble wrap even comes off.”

Article From: Mac Daily News


Apple releases the iPhone 5

Apple today announced iPhone 5, the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology*—all while delivering even better battery life.** iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: the all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography and turn-by-turn navigation; Facebook integration; Passbook organization; and even more Siri features and languages.
“iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in the press release. “We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.”

iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, with an all-new 7.6 mm anodized aluminum body that is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than iPhone 4S. Designed with an unprecedented level of precision, iPhone 5 combines an anodized aluminum body with diamond cut chamfered edges and glass inlays for a truly incredible fit and finish.

The new 4-inch Retina display on iPhone 5 delivers even more pixels than iPhone 4S, making the already incredible Retina display even better. By making the screen taller, not wider, iPhone 5 is just as easy to use with one hand so you can tap, type and scroll the same way you always have, while enjoying even more of your content including amazing apps optimized for the larger Retina display, widescreen HD video, a full five days of your Calendar and more of every web page.

iPhone 5 supports ultrafast wireless standards including LTE and DC-HSDPA, so you can browse, download and stream content even faster. To support the latest LTE technology, Apple has pioneered a unique single-radio LTE solution that provides blazing fast speeds while fitting perfectly into the new remarkably thin design. iPhone 5 features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi support for a wireless experience up to 150 Mbps.***

The all-new A6 chip was designed by Apple to maximize performance and power efficiency to support all the incredible new features in iPhone 5, including the stunning new 4-inch Retina display—all while delivering even better battery life. With up to twice the CPU and graphics performance, almost everything you do on iPhone 5 is blazing fast for launching apps, loading web pages and downloading email attachments.

The 8 megapixel iSight® camera is the most popular camera in the world and with iPhone 5, it’s even better. The new camera is completely redesigned with incredible optical performance, yet amazingly it’s 25 percent smaller than the camera in iPhone 4S. The new iSight camera in iPhone 5 features a sapphire crystal lens cover that is thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images. The new panorama feature lets you capture jaw-dropping panorama images of up to 28 megapixels by simply moving the camera across a scene in one smooth motion. New video features include improved stabilization, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos as you record. A new FaceTime® HD front facing camera makes FaceTime calls incredibly clear and can also be used for self portraits and recording 720p HD video. iPhone 5 also allows you to share photos with friends and family using iCloud’s Shared Photo Streams.

iPhone 5 features the new Lightning™ connector that is smaller, smarter and more durable than the previous connector. The all-digital Lightning connector features an adaptive interface that uses only the signals that each accessory requires, and it’s reversible so you can instantly connect to your accessories. The Lightning-to-30-pin Adapter is also available to connect iPhone 5 to legacy 30-pin accessories.****

iPhone 5 introduces new enhanced audio features including a new beam-forming, directional microphone system for higher quality sound, while background noise fades away with new noise canceling technology. iPhone 5 now includes support for cellular wideband audio for crisper word clarity and more natural sounding speech. Wideband audio will be supported by over 20 carriers worldwide at launch. iPhone 5 comes with the new Apple EarPods™ featuring a breakthrough design for a more natural fit and increased durability, and an incredible acoustic quality typically reserved for higher-end earphones.

iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new user features including: an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover™ view; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center; Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes in one place; new Siri features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings;***** Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari® and Maps; and Shared Photo Streams via iCloud®.

Pricing & Availability
iPhone 5 comes in either white & silver or black & slate, and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the 64GB model. iPhone 5 will be available from the Apple Online Store (, Apple’s retail stores, and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 5 will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK on Friday, September 21, and customers can pre-order their iPhone 5 beginning Friday, September 14. iPhone 4S will also be available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 4 will be available for free with a two-year contract.****** iOS 6 software will be available on Wednesday, September 19 as a free software update.

iPhone 5 will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Source: Apple Inc.


Engadget reviews Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1: Cheap, inferior, ultimately disposable feel

“For better or worse, Samsung’s sticking to the durability of its signature plastic enclosures. Brushed aluminum backs, it would seem, are for other OEMs. So if premium builds are tops on your checklist, you can safely stop reading now,” Joseph Volpe reports for Engadget. “There’s no two ways about it: the Note 10.1 looks and feels kind of cheap. Starting with our most serious complaint, it’s prone to the squeaks and creaks of inferior budget devices, which is definitely not something you’d associate with a $499 product — let alone a flagship. Despite our protestations, though, this is Samsung’s M.O.”
“For all its girth, the S-Pen still feels as light as a feather — and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Like the tablet itself, the pen conveys an inferior and ultimately disposable feel,” Volpe reports. “Ding, ding, ding. That’s how many times the bell should ring to count out the Note 10.1′s 1,280 x 800 TFT LCD display. Samsung obviously made a compromise to keep costs down, but there’s really no reason for the company to have settled on such a middling display… “

Volpe reports, “What about the iPad? Indeed, Apple’s tidy iOS ecosystem is where most consumers will instinctively want to invest their dollars based on the tab’s nigh-ubiquitous market death grip. And we’d be hard pressed to direct their attention otherwise since Cupertino’s newest tablet iteration lays claim to the best panel available today — a 2,048 x 1,536 Retina display — and bears the same $499 pricing for a 16GB configuration. Laid out plainly as this, the Note 10.1′s case as a compelling tablet alternative is unavoidably weak… Ultimately, no matter how deftly executed and streamlined the S-Pen experience may be, this tab still feels like a niche device, especially since the suite of compatible applications is still pretty small.”

Read the whole story : Engadget

Apple to unveil next generation iPhone on September 12.

“iMore has heard that Apple is planning to debut the new iPhone at a special event on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, with the release date to follow 9 days later on Friday, September 21,” Rene Ritchie reports for iMore. “This information comes from sources who have proven accurate in the past.”
“The iPad mini will be announced at the same September 12 event, as will the new iPod nano,” Ritchie reports. “We haven’t heard a release date for the iPad mini yet, but it could be the same as the iPhone 5. It seems likely the new iPod touch will make an appearance on September 12 as well, though we haven’t heard any specific information about that yet either.”

Ritchie reports, “Unlike last year, when some 16 months separated the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, a September 21 schedule would put the iPhone 5 launch at just over 11 months after the iPhone 4S.”

“Apple Inc. is preparing to introduce the next version of the iPhone on Sept. 12 in what will be a design overhaul of its top-selling product, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s plans,” Adam Satariano reports for Bloomberg. “The planned September debut was reported earlier by iMore, a technology news website.”
Read more in the full article here.

John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD, “iMore was first to report that the company has scheduled a special event for September 12, and now we’ve confirmed it as well. Sources tell AllThingsD that Apple is currently planning an event for the week of September 9th, with Wednesday being the date on which it will likely be held. And while we haven’t yet confirmed the event’s focus, history suggests it will indeed be the new iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

Poornima Gupta reports for Reuters, “Apple Inc. is gearing up to unveil a new product at a major September 12 event, a source familiar with the plan said, presaging the long-awaited launch of the redesigned iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

Dante D’Orazio reports for The Verge, “It looks like we’ll be seeing what Apple has up its sleeves come Wednesday, September 12th. Our own sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that date.”

Read more in the full article here.

Even Nick Wingfiled reports for the lately rather late New York Times tabloid, “Apple will hold an event for the new device on Sept. 12, according to a person with knowledge of its plans who didn’t want to be identified.”

Read more in the full article here.

But, all of it means pretty much diddly squat until The Bearded One hath spoken and spoken he hath: “Yep,” Jim Dalrymple reports for The Loop.

So, there you have it, written in stone, mark your Calendars, bet the house, and take it to the bank: Apple’s next-gen iPhone will be reveled on September 12th with the first wave release happening on September 21st!

Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion offers compelling features for small businesses.

“Apple’s latest OS, Mountain Lion, offers small businesses several features to boost productivity and social networking,” Nathan Eddy reports for eWeek.
“With the release of OS X Mountain Lion, Apple’s latest version of their OS, there are a host of updated features that can serve midmarket companies well,” Eddy reports. “Chief among these are productivity enhancements to the Notification Center, which streamlines the presentation of notifications and provides access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third-party apps, as well as iCloud integration, for the setup of those applications, in addition to keeping everything, including iWork documents, up-to-date across all a company’s devices, including the iPad.”

Eddy reports, “With IT departments growing increasingly concerned about malware disrupting (or shutting down) the network, Apple’s new Gatekeeper platform, which makes downloading software from the Internet safer, could be of interest to small businesses with limited IT resources. On the communications front, Apple’s all-new Messages app, which replaces iChat and brings iMessage to the Mac, allows users to send messages to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or another Mac, a boon for companies that are increasingly reliant on instant collaboration and messaging to run their operations.”

Article from: Mac Daily News

Placing a dollar amount on Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion

A new version of Windows is a big, big deal. Big changes, big price, big installation.

The Mountain Lion version of the OS X software for the Mac. It promises more than 200 new features for $20, many of them intended to help an Apple owner’s home computer, iPad and iPhone work together more smoothly.
Apple takes a different approach with its OS X software for the Mac. It intends to offer a modest new version every year. Installation is a 15-minute, one-click operation, and the price is piddling. For OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion, which came out Wednesday, Apple wants $20 — and you can install one copy on as many Macs as you have, without having to type in serial numbers or deal with copy protection hurdles.

If you’re a Mac owner, then, here’s the question: Is Mountain Lion worth $20? (A note: I have written a how-to manual to Mountain Lion for an independent publisher; it was neither commissioned by nor written in cooperation with Apple.)

There’s only one precise way to answer that, of course: assign a dollar value to each new feature.

Now, Apple claims “over 200 new features.” But some of them are tiny tweaks (Safari checks for software updates every day! Ooh!) or techie-only treats (“Xsan, the high-performance cluster file system”). Fifteen are improvements for Chinese customers, which is great for Apple’s world-domination plans but irrelevant to non-Chinese speakers.

So how many are real steps forward?

Mountain Lion continues to put velvet handcuffs on people who own iPhones, iPads and other Macs. For example, three iPhone/iPad apps are now on the Mac, too: Notes (a yellow pad, now with formatting and graphics), Reminders (a to-do list); and Game Center (lets you play against people on their Macs, iPhones and iPads, although few compatible games exist yet).

All of these sync with other Apple machines wirelessly, courtesy of Apple’s free, increasingly sophisticated iCloud service. The new apps join Mail, Calendar (formerly called iCal) and Contacts (formerly Address Book), which already sync with your iGadgets. Change a phone number on your phone, and it’s instantly updated on your tablet and computer; set up a reminder on your Mac, and your phone will chirp at the appointed time or even place.

It’s all useful and a bit magical — if you own more than one Apple device. Clearly, the company wants to keep you a happy prisoner inside its beautiful walled garden.

So what’s the value for these new syncing apps? Well, if phone apps cost $1 or $2, and computer shareware $20 or $30, then these new apps are probably worth about $7.

The new Notification Center is also modeled on an iPhone/iPad feature. It’s a dark gray panel that slides onto the screen when you drag two fingers onto your trackpad (or click a menu-bar button). Here are all the nags, messages and alerts that your programs have issued, consolidated into one tidy, customizable list: today’s appointments, incoming messages, software updates, Twitter updates and so on.

They tie into Mountain Lion’s new alert system, in which each incoming alert bubble slides quietly into the corner of your screen. It’s like a butler who tiptoes into your room with lunch, sees that you’re busy, and sets the tray down on the side table before quietly withdrawing.

But being bombarded with bubbles would be a big bummer. So the Mail app’s new V.I.P. feature lets you designate certain people whose messages you never want to miss — your spouse, your boss, the cable guy. You can set it up so that alert bubbles appear only when those people write. That’s so smart. Notification Center: easily worth $3.50.

Dictation has come to the Mac, too. When you double-tap the Fn button on your keyboard, you can speak to type.

It’s exactly the same recognition technology as the iPhone’s. So it requires no voice training and no special microphone, but it requires an Internet connection. And the accuracy is not quite what you see in the Martin Scorsese Apple commercials for Siri. Still, dictation fast and useful, to the tune of $5.75.

The new Share button is a keeper, too. It pops up everywhere — in shortcut menus, window edges, programs like Safari and Preview, and so on.

Its pop-up menu lets you transmit whatever you’re looking at: a photo, document, link, video, file. You can post something to Twitter, send it as an e-mail or text message, post a photo or video to Flickr or Vimeo, send a file wirelessly to another Mac and so on. All without having to open a special app or load a certain Web page. (In a free update this fall, Facebook will appear in the Share menu, too.)

This Share menu is a clever step-saver that you’ll use often. It’s easily worth $10.

Maybe the most routine-changing enhancement is Power Nap, a feature for Apple’s latest hard-driveless laptops. It lets the laptop update Internet data even while it’s closed and asleep.

Once an hour, it wakes itself — without activating any fans or lights — long enough to check for mail, download updates, run backups. When you wake the laptop later, you’ll be delighted to find that it’s completely up to date, with new e-mail waiting and all of your iCloud programs (Notes, Reminders, Calendar and so on) freshly synced.

Apple says that the battery hit is very slight. But if you’re concerned, you can tell Power Nap not to kick in except when the laptop is plugged in. Awesome. Worth $11.

Messages, the former iChat chat program, has been enhanced to handle iMessages, which are basically Internet-borne text messages that cost you nothing. Whenever you converse with fellow iCloud members — whether they’re on Macs, iPhones or iPads — the conversation appears simultaneously on all of your gadgets (and theirs). Start a chat on your phone when you’re out and about, and you’ll find its transcript in progress in Messages on your Mac. It’s freaky, somewhat confusing, but worth $3.35.

AirPlay mirroring requires an Apple TV ($100), but lets you perform a real miracle: With one click, you can send whatever is on your Mac’s screen — sound and picture — to your TV. Wirelessly.

AirPlay, already on iPhones and iPads, is even more useful on the Mac. You can send photo slide shows to the big screen. Or present lessons to a class. Or play online videos, including services like Hulu that aren’t available on the Apple TV alone.

And for boardroom PowerPoint pitches, you can carry the tiny Apple TV instead of a $1,500 projector. A great feature, worth $12.87 — probably more to frequent PowerPointers.

Not everything is a step forward, however. Apple has tried to refine last-year’s baffling AutoSave feature. It has restored the “Save As” and “Revert to Save” functions; alas, the result is almost more confusing than before. Worse, only a few programs incorporate this system — so you’re stuck with having to learn two ways to save files. Subtract $3.25.

Apple’s continued push to bring multitouch gestures from the iPad to the Mac’s trackpad isn’t wholly convincing, either. You swipe upward with three fingers to open the Mission Control app, spread four fingers to view the desktop, swipe sideways with four fingers to move between full-screen apps … you’re going to remember all this? I’m deducting $1.77 for that well-intentioned silliness.

Keep in mind, too, that Mountain Lion is available exclusively as a download. This time, Apple isn’t even selling the software on a USB stick as a fallback. That’s a big “tough rocks” to people who don’t have high-speed Internet (yes, they still exist). Subtract $1.20.

Finally, I found the usual assortment of minor first-release bugs. Apple confirmed them and says they’ll be exterminated shortly. That’s a 35-cent penalty.

So by my highly scientific accounting, Mountain Lion costs $20 but nets $46.90 worth of enhancements. And that’s not even counting the other 170 features: the Preview app (now lets you fill in checkboxes and blanks in PDF forms), Gatekeeper (blocks evil software), new screen saver slide shows, the unified address bar/search bar in Safari, the scroll bars that fatten up as your cursor approaches, and so on.

Over all, then, Mountain Lion is a gentle, thoughtful upgrade. All 200 new features? No, not really. But 10 that you’ll use every day? For $20?

Article from: New York Times

Apple releases it’s next operating system, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)

Apple today announced that OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, is available as a download from the Mac App Store. With more than 200 innovative new features, Mountain Lion includes iCloud integration, the all new Messages app, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, Facebook integration*, Dictation, AirPlay Mirroring and Game Center. Mountain Lion is available as an upgrade from Lion or Snow Leopard for only US$19.99.
“People are going to love the new features in Mountain Lion and how easy it is to download and install from the Mac App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in the press release. “With iCloud integration, Mountain Lion is even easier to set up, and your important information stays up to date across all your devices so you can keep editing documents, taking notes, creating reminders, and continue conversations whether you started on a Mac, iPhone or iPad.”

With more than 200 innovative new features, Mountain Lion includes:
• iCloud integration, for easy set up of your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Reminders and Notes, and keeping everything, including iWork documents, up to date across all your devices
• the all new Messages app, which replaces iChat® and brings iMessage™ to the Mac, so you can send messages to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch® or another Mac
• Notification Center, which streamlines the presentation of notifications and provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps
• system-wide Sharing, to make it easy to share links, photos, videos and other files quickly without having to switch to another app, and you just need to sign in once to use third-party services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo
• Facebook integration, so you can post photos, links and comments with locations right from your apps, automatically add your Facebook friends to your Contacts, and even update your • Facebook status from within Notification Center
• Dictation, which allows you to dictate text anywhere you can type, whether you’re using an app from Apple or a third party developer
• AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send an up-to-1080p secure stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV®, or send audio to a receiver or speakers that use AirPlay
• Game Center, which brings the popular social gaming network from iOS to the Mac so you can enjoy live, multiplayer games with friends whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Additional features in Mountain Lion include the revolutionary new Gatekeeper, which makes downloading software from the Internet safer; Power Nap, which automatically updates your apps and system while your Mac is asleep; and a faster Safari® browser. New features for China include significantly improved text input, a new Chinese Dictionary, easy setup with popular email providers, Baidu search in Safari, and built-in sharing to Sina Weibo and popular video websites Youku and Tudou.

Pricing & Availability
OS X Mountain Lion is available from the Mac App Store for US$19.99. Mountain Lion requires Lion or Snow Leopard (OS X v10.6.8 or later), 2GB of memory and 8GB of available space. For a complete list of system requirements and compatible systems, visit: OS X Server requires Mountain Lion and is available from the Mac App Store for $19.99. The OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date upgrade is available at no additional charge from the Mac App Store to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 11, 2012.

*Facebook integration will be available in an upcoming software update to Mountain Lion.

Source: Apple Inc.