Archive for April, 2012
My favorite progressive rock band The Flower Kings uploaded a trailer for their forthcoming album, which now has a name: “Banks of Eden”. During the 1 minute and 20 seconds preview we hear snippets of the new album. And I can tell you that I like what I am hearing so far!
The text below the YouTube movie gives away that the album will last for 55 minutes. That’s almost short for the Kings’ standards, considering that they released four double albums in the past and the single disc releases were always filled to the brim with music.
The album is scheduled for release on June 18th.
The Flower Kings – New Album Trailer for “Banks of Eden”
After using the new iPad 3 for a day, I can tell you that I adore the new Retina screen. This improvement alone is well worth the upgrade.
Text is so crisp and clear, even tiny letters on zoomed out webpages are still very easy to read. Because of this, reading for a longer period of time on the new iPad is far less tiring for the eyes. I have also noticed that I haven’t touched the ‘Reader’ button in the address bar of Safari once until now, while I did this all the time on my previous iPad for better readability.
An other improvement that I like very much is the better upscaling of iPhone apps on the new iPad. I still use some iPhone apps on my iPad because there is no (good) iPad alternative. On the new iPad, these apps are a joy to use and very readable, especially when you open a webpage in an inline browser.
Last week the blogosphere nearly exploded (see here, here, here and here for only a few examples) with the news of the Flashback trojan, creating a botnet of nearly 600,000 Apple machines. Getting your machine infected is as easy as surfing to a bogus website containing the malware, which installs itself using an exploit in Java. This technique is called a drive-by download. There is no need for you to enter your admin credentials. It’s even worse: the malware will install itself without you noticing it at all. Pretty scary if I may say so.
If you want to know if your Mac is infected with the Flashback trojan, then check out this page on F-Secure’s website to find out and follow the removal instructions if you do find it on your machine.
To make your Mac less vulnerable for this kind of malware attack, I recommend checking out Khürt Williams’ post who explains how to turn off Java in Safari and on OS X level. This makes very much sense when you are not a software developer who has to deal with Java on a daily basis. If you use an other browser like Google Chrome or Firefox, then check out this page for instructions. Khürt also advises to uninstall Adobe’s Flash plugin. This is one bridge too far for me at the moment, but it certainly is a good idea.
A lot of people consider the outbreak of Flashback as a turning point for the Mac platform. Mac users should face it that they are not ‘forgotten’ anymore by malware writers and should install anti-virus protection, just as the majority of Windows users does nowadays. Check this post on AskDifferent.com for a list of anti-virus solutions for the OS X platform.
Update April 11th, 2012: Apple works on software to release the Flashback malware from infected Macs and is working with ISPs worldwide to bring down the botnet’s command & control servers. Read more about this on arstechnica.com.
Here is a link to a very interesting opinion post on how much money Google makes from Android compared to iOS. Estimation of the earnings from Android have been based on Google’s proposed settlement of the Java patents lawsuit that was started by Oracle. I found the numbers surprising and they are probably not too far from the truth.