Tag: Mac

Mac virus warnings: popularity breeds (temporary) insecurity

Warning – Macs need anti-virus protection.

Now you see it. Now you don’t.

StarOffice late to the Mac game – the rest are pulling punches

I used StarOffice quite a bit when I worked on the Windows platform. When I moved to Mac, I kept a copy of OpenOffice close at hand, cumbersome as the interface might have been. Then came NeoOffice, which essentially got rid of the menu headaches. So the announcement that StarOffice now has native Mac support is non-news to me.

Ask me what I even use NeoOffice for and I’ll tell you. In fact, don’t ask, because I’m going to tell you anyway. Microsoft Office sticks to its guns with outbound file formats, and I do a lot of database work. Getting a file into MySQL, etc. using MS Office’s version of the .csv file is like swimming the English Channel with a couple of concrete blocks tied to your feet – you can separate fields on export with commas, but you’d better make sure your actual data is free of commas first. Data integrity be damned – if you must separate with pipes, etc. you are shit out of luck because MS Office won’t let you change delimiters (albeit on Windows you can change regional settings for list separators, but that’s both a pain in the behind and of no use to the rest of us).

So that’s what I use NeoOffice for – exporting text files with custom delimiters. 375 megabytes of program on my machine because Microsoft can’t add this one simple feature.

CORRECTION: Office 2008 for Mac also fails (temporarily I hope) in the statistics realm – the powers that be failed to include the Data Analysis Tools so many of us dummies used regularly. I’m presently hobbling with a combination of function tumbling and oatbran, and avoiding mention of correlation coefficients whenever possible.

First Look: Microsoft Office for Mac 2008

For those so inclined. Via Ars Technica.

First take here: Entourage gets a bad rap, but it works fine for me (even the 2004/Rosetta flavor). It catches POP and IMAP email, syncs to the Blackberry, and loads fast enough (at least for this human being). Regarding the rest, it looks like there is more glitz and glam on the way. I’m sure I’ll buy, even though I find myself using NeoOffice quite a bit already.

Vista and operating system security debate guidelines

Who should you listen too?

People are debating on the Vista OS, with particular regard to all the new security features purported within. Fair enough, but I don’t see much reason for Mac News being the ones doing it (or at least I’d be paying attention to someone other than Mac enthusiasts if I was contemplating a Vista purchase and was concerned about security).


Your resident Mac user

A solution for .Mac spam

People have noticed more spam coming into their .Mac email accounts, and now a solution presents itself.

All 16 people using an “@mac.com” email address (for a hundred bucks a year) can now feel much less aggravated, particularly when watching their friends free email accounts’ spam buckets fill up like mad.

So much for gray boxes

I wonder what Michael Dell and Kevin Rollins are thinking right about now. I doubt Bill Gates is upset though.

Mac OS X, hacked fast and not really

A Mac was hacked in thirty minutes. This doesn’t seem to bode well for Apple, until you look under the cover of the news, and realize it is just more hype.

A Slashdot reader laid bare the mistake, which included the fact that the hacker had an open SSH connection to work with. I wonder how many designers, illustrators, writers, and (in my case) finance geeks who tinker with open source projects, keep remote access on their machines on all the time? As usual for OS X, it is turned off by default.

As one commenter noted:

I think you can’t “see the forest for the trees.” The original test was equivalent to saying “I’ll let a thief into my house. Let’s see if he can steal anything!” Most houses don’t have everything bolted down to the floor. But how often do you allow someone into your machine? For a desktop, not often, perhaps never.


Conflicting views on Mac insecurity news

The Register reports that the recently discovered threats are largely academic, noting too much interaction is needed on one, and that another was released as a proof of concept out of academia itself. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is all over the topic, quoting a Symantec engineer who is predicting a “gradual erosion” of OS X security as the platform continues its popularity climb.

No matter which way this issue heads, I’ll still be chuckling over one Slashdot commenter’s take on the WSJ position

“A Symantec engineer predicts a ‘gradual erosion’ of the idea that Macs are a safer operating system than Windows.

Now there’s a neutral party with no agenda when it comes to security!

Honestly, the worst Mac malware I’ve seen so far had a Symantec sticker on the box.”

This is what he was referring to.

Rumor of lone OS X Virus will be drowned out or lost

It was only a matter of time, and I suspect there are going to be a whole lotta “I told you so’s” floating around. Someone seems to have finally found a trojan that infects Macs.

In scanning my Norton Anti-Virus definitions, I did notice a few Mac viruses on the list, but they seem to be for the old Mac 9. I am excited as hell for the next Norton update! I can scroll through the list, and finally see “Macintosh” and an “X” on the same line, go flashing by. I hope the fact that it is going to be such a lone soldier doesn’t lead to disappointment – I may miss it in the crowd of “PC.”

And for the cocky Mac user..

I think Mac users are a bit too cocky about security. I use anti-virus protection on mine, and make sure to clean up caches and disk permissions on a regular basis. It just makes good computing sense. Still, I wondered when I might fall victim to some pop-up generator or keylogger, as there is a dearth of products to protect me on that front. In other words, I have been waiting for some decent spyware/adware/malware protection, and maybe it is now here. Of course, I’ll wait for the reviews, as I wouldn’t want to get screwed by installing it.