A serious “drive-by” Java security exploit has been found in the wild which targets Mac OSX users. Exploiting a logical flaw in the way the Java Runtime Environment handles arrays, a malicious web page bypasses the sandbox and injects executable code into existing Mac OSX programs without triggering a prompt for an administrator password. This is a nasty exploit, which unfortunately is already in the wild.
Since the technique has found its way into various exploit toolkits, it will probably become more widespread. As of this writing, Apple has issued security update fixes only for OSX Snow Leopard and Lion. It is estimated to have infected over 600,000 Mac computers wordlwide. If you run Apple Software Update, it should install the fixes. Or, you may download them directly from Apple using these links:
Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Update 8 support.apple.com/kb/DL1516
Java for OS X Lion 2012-003 support.apple.com/kb/DL1515
This Flashback malware removal tool from Apple is recommended for all OS X Lion users without Java installed: support.apple.com/kb/DL1517
You should quit any web browsers and Java applications before installing this update. If you are not running antiVirus software on your Mac, you should begin doing so. The free Sophos AntiVirus for Mac Home Edition is available here.
We’ve all heard a lot about The Cloud recently, and vendors are scrambling to deliver on the promise in this space. Imagine being able to access your files from any of your devices – PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, whatever – and have them all stay in sync!
If you’re looking for a cloud file storage-and-sharing offering which is dead simple to use and just seems to work without any hitches, look at DropBox.
Here is how it works:
- You create an account, and get 2GB of DropBox for free.
- 50GB, 100GB, and 1TB subscriptions are available if you need more space or workgroup features.
- You install it on each of your devices – PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, and/or Blackberry.
- Files you place or drag/drop there are synced automatically between all of your devices.
- You can decide which files/folders on your PC/Mac are synced to DropBox, which aren’t.
- You can optionally share files you store in DropBox with others, or just keep them private.
- It works even when you are offline – you always have your files, whether or not you have an internet connection.
- DropBox keeps a one-month history of your work – any changes can be undone, and files can be undeleted.
- DropBox uses SSL and AES-256 bit encryption to keep your data secure.
Go here and try DropBox now!
Ever wanted to make a backup copy of your text messages? Have tried several apps to do this, and the one that works best for me on Android is SMS Backup by Christoph Studer. You set it up to either automatically or manually backup your test messages to a folder/label in your Gmail account. I set mine up to backup to a Gmail folder called SMS, and to mark the Gmail messages as “read” as they are stored into Gmail.
It’s free from the Android market, can be downloaded here.
Microsoft is making it a little less expensive for college students to get the right software at the right price to make both the college years and the transition to the working world a success. For only $99 you can get, direct from Microsoft, the full Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Academic package. This package includes the Office 2010 components – Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and OneNote. To qualify, the student needs to have a valid US college email address and be able to provide proof of enrollment upon request.
Don’t blow your budget on expensive software – take advantage of this great offer from Microsoft!
The Official iPhone app for the 2011 Masters Tournament from Augusta National, Inc. This is the live video and live scoring application for the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, April 4–10, 2011. New features this year – 5 channels of live streaming video, live updates of notable events as they occur, push notification alerts of breaking Tournament action and information. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later, available in English only. Available for free in the iTunes app store.
For a limited time, college students can purchase a Windows 7 Professional upgrade directly from Microsoft for only $29. If you have a .edu email address, you can qualify for this promotion. Click here to take advantage of this offer.
Some HP and Dell Windows laptops are plagued by a problem in which the keyboard and possibly trackpad stops working for no evident reason. The keyboard seems to work OK on BIOS screens and other pre-boot screens, but after Windows boots the keyboard is non-responsive. Attaching an external USB laptop will allow you to use the laptop, but it is a clumsy way to address the issue.
Often there is a quick workaround for this that you can try in just a few moments. First, shut down the laptop completely. Then, unplug its power cord. Next, flip it over and remove the battery. Flip the laptop back over, and locate the power-on button. Hold this button down for a good 30 seconds. Let go of this button, reinsert the battery and power cord, and try rebooting the laptop. If luck is on your side, this may have temporarily cleared up the keyboard issue.
If this fix seemed to work temporarily, your laptop manufacturer may have a new version of the BIOS available for download that fixes the issue permanently. After completely backing up your laptop, visit the manufacturer’s support website and see if such new BIOS version is available that lists this symptom and its fix. If so, you may wish to try the BIOS update. Updating the BIOS carries some risk, and should only be done if you are confident that you have a complete backup of the laptop, and are willing to assume the risk that the BIOS update will fail and render your laptop unbootable.
If your 64-bit Windows PC generates this error – “Windows Installer Service cannot be accessed and may not be installed correctly” when trying to install some programs, you should first read this Microsoft article. Following the steps in this article is a good way to fix any real underlying problem with the installer service.
But, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you may have a simple registry problem that is preventing the proper use of the installer service even though the installer service is porperly installed. In that case, a simple registry change may be the last remaining step you need to take to get back on track. Note: the following steps involve editing the registry on your PC. If you make a mistake while editing the registry, your machine may no longer boot properly, so don’t try this unless you have backed up your PC!
- close all running programs
- Bring up the “run” prompt by holding down the “Windows” key and the letter “R” at the same time.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/MSIServer and right-click on WOW64
- select “Modify” and change the Value data from “1″ to “0″
- close regedit and re-boot the computer
Now try and re-install the programs you were having trouble with before.
If your Mac’s fan seems to run constantly, is very very loud, and seems really hot, you should probably have it serviced. However, occasionally some Macs are afflicted with a loud fan noise for no apparent reason. The fan runs and runs very noisily, blowing cool air. This is most probably just a glitch and you may be able to fix it yourself quite easily.
To attempt this quick fix, shut the Mac down, and then unplug it from the wall AC power. If it is a Macbook with a removable battery, remove the battery. Wait five minutes and re-attached everything. If you’re lucky, the fan problem may now be fixed! If that does not work, you may need a firmware update from Apple in order to fix the problem. Go to this Apple page and see if they have an update for you.
Some editions of Trend Micro cannot be easily uninstalled without knowing the Trend Micro administrative password. If you are trying to uninstall Trend Micro and have lost your password, try this procedure.
From an account with local administrator privileges, run REGEDIT by clicking on the Windows key and the letter “R” simultaneously, and then typing REGEDIT followed by the ENTER key. Navigate to:
Double-click on the name
and set the value to 1. You should now be able to uninstall Trend Micro without being prompted for a password.