The home edition of Mathematica 9 is $207 - down from $295. A very nice piece of software for those with natural science, math or engineering backgrounds - or those who wish to learn. The sale is over on December 2.
It turns out there is a small real time operating system in the baseband processor that runs the radio part of your phone. It turns out it may be insecure...
You may have the most secure mobile operating system in the world, but you're still running a second operating system that is poorly understood, poorly documented, proprietary, and all you have to go on are Qualcomm's Infineon's, and others' blue eyes.
The insecurity of baseband software is not by error; it's by design. The standards that govern how these baseband processors and radios work were designed in the '80s, ending up with a complicated codebase written in the '90s - complete with a '90s attitude towards security. For instance, there is barely any exploit mitigation, so exploits are free to run amok. What makes it even worse, is that every baseband processor inherently trusts whatever data it receives from a base station (e.g. in a cell tower). Nothing is checked, everything is automatically trusted. Lastly, the baseband processor is usually the master processor, whereas the application processor (which runs the mobile operating system) is the slave.
So, we have a complete operating system, running on an ARM processor, without any exploit mitigation (or only very little of it), which automatically trusts every instruction, piece of code, or data it receives from the base station you're connected to. What could possibly go wrong?
With this in mind, security researcher Ralf-Philipp Weinmann of the University of Luxembourg set out to reverse engineer the baseband processor software of both Qualcomm and Infineon, and he easily spotted loads and loads of bugs, scattered all over the place, each and every one of which could lead to exploits - crashing the device, and even allowing the attacker to remotely execute code. Remember: all over the air. One of the exploits he found required nothing more but a 73 byte message to get remote code execution. Over the air.
The author seems "open" as being somehow secure -- it isn't, but that doesn't change the problem that the software invovled may be awful.
Apple offers off net dictation as part of Mavericks. Go to System Preferences and download a largish (~700MB) file, set a keyboard shortcut to invoke it and use it anywhere you might type. It works fairly well if you want something quick and dirty. Serious work demands something like Dragon Dictate.
Apple has stashed away some fine high resolution images that you can use as desktop wallpapers. Just go to
/Library/Screen Savers/Default Collections/
if you aren't unix-y, type clover-shift-g and then add the path shown above into the window. You'll find four directories with some beautiful images... National Geographic, Aerial, Cosmos, and Nature Patterns
John Siracusa publishes a dive into what's new for each major OS X release - his Mavericks piece on online at Ars
Running out of cat names, Apple moved to California locations. Mavericks is a place near Half Moon Bay with surfing roots.
We’re indeed in a Post-PC era. PCs aren’t going to disappear any time soon, but the 30-year epoch of year after year double digit growth is over. We’re now a Devices and Services company!
It’s a crisp motto with a built-in logic: Devices create demand for Microsoft services that, in turn, will fuel the market’s appetite for devices. It’s a great circular synergy.
But behind the slick corpospeak lurks a problem that might seriously maim the company: Microsoft wants to continue to license software to hardware makers while it builds a Devices business that competes with these same licensees. They want it both ways.
Real business model transitions are dangerous. By real transition I don’t mean adding a new line of peripherals or accessories, I mean moving to a new way of making money that negatively impacts the old one. The old money flow might dry up before the new one is able to replace it, causing an earnings trough.
For publicly traded companies, this drought is unacceptable. Rather than attempt the transition and face the ire of Wall Street traders, some companies slowly sink into irrelevance. Others take themselves private to allow the blood-letting to take place out of public view. When the curtain lifts some months later, a smaller, healthier outfit is relaunched on the stock market. Dell is a good example of this: Michael Dell gathered investors, himself included, to buy the company back and adapt its business model to a Post-PC world behind closed doors.
Microsoft can’t abandon its current model entirely, it can’t stop selling software licenses to hardware makers. But the company realizes that it also has to get serious about making its own hardware if it wants to stay in the tablets and smartphone race.
I've been running it on my iPhone 5 for awhile and have come to like it. I wouldn't have said that in the first few hours, but after a day of use my iPad 3 felt very clunky and with some jarring inconsistencies. Everyone will have their own preferences and should use what hardware, OS, and ecosystem works best for them. A word of warning -- there are indications you probably need an A5 or newer processor to run iOS7 smoothly. This means anything less than an iPhone 4s or iPad 4 may be a bit sketchy. Performance is better in the recent betas.
Successfully walks the line between “different enough to be unmistakably new” and “familiar enough not to be terrifying.”
Whatever you think of Apple’s aesthetic choices, the new design feels more consistent and cohesive than before.
New features like Control Center, Today View, and sorting options in Mail will quickly prove themselves essential. Most of the functional changes, however small, are for the better.
Well-optimized for the Apple A5 and A6 SoCs that power so much of the company’s current lineup.
Day-one availability for every device on the support list.
Didn’t break any of the apps I used, though some displayed strange visual artifacts. Most developers should be issuing iOS 7-tuned updates in the coming weeks.
Generally, Apple’s services aren’t as robust or as all-encompassing as Google’s—Google Now is often more intelligent than Siri, for example, and the more of your data you have in Google’s cloud, the wider that gap becomes.
Apple still limits customization in the name of simplicity, which is probably the right call for most people but can be frustrating for power users.
Flashy animations with too-long durations are impressive the first time, but frustrating by the hundredth.
Does not always play well with non-Retina displays.
iPhone 4 performance is tolerable but choppy.
“Fragmentation” isn’t the F-word for iOS that it is for Android, but depending on the device you have, you may not be getting all of iOS 7’s features.
Battery life is down across the board compared to iOS 6.
I was asked to list a few useful smartphone apps. While I can't verify how secure it is, Glympse is very useful. I can send your location to someone you specify for a limited (set by you) period. They receive a txt or email and can display your location and ETA on a browser.
NetNewsWire was one of the first rss readers and a beta of a new version has been released - 4.0b. OS X only and bit rough around the edges, but very functional (the caveat is I've only been using it for a day). It will be $20 once the final version is out - $10 if you buy it during the beta period - while happens to alto be a free trial. It is free of Google Reader, but can pull your subscription list from their service if you want.
It is possible to find issues with nearly any company or business model. My feeling is you should be wary of "free" services where your actions are the product being sold to someone else. With the shutdown of Reader I'm nearly Google free now. I rarely use their search engine or other tools. The intersection of my needs and their product space is small.