Mac News Review

Greenpeace Ranks Apple Lower, Microsoft Is Dying, Apple Abandons Flash, iPhoto 11 Issues, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.10.29

One of the week's top Mac stories has to do with iPhoto 11, which is sometimes messing up people's photo libraries or even losing them. iPhoto 11 has also removed the easy email feature for sharing images. We have a special section for iPhoto 11 coverage this week.

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Apple Drops to 9th in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics

Thinq's Stewart Meagher reports:

"Greenpeace has just published its quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics and, on the surface, it looks pretty bad for Apple."

"Apple gets a big green tick when it comes to toxic chemicals with all products now free of PVC and brominated fire retardants (BFR). But the company's refusal to supply information about some of the materials it uses and its supply-chain communications continues to irk Greenpeace which seems to think it has a god-given right to know everything the Cupertino company is planning in the future."

Publisher's note: Despite having the same 4.9 score as last time, Apple moves 5th place to 9th this time. Apple has a lower rating than Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HP, and others not because its electronics are any less green, but because it has not taken a public stance on some subjects dear to Greenpeace. Greenpeace is rating electronics companies (and whether or not they openly advocate for certain policies) more than electronics products; it's misleading to call the report a guide to greener electronics - and it's misleading for Thinq to say that "Apple has got dirtier" when Apple's score remains the same. dk

Microsoft Is a Dying Consumer Brand

CNN Money's David Goldman says consumers have turned their backs on Microsoft, and a company that once symbolized the future is now living in the past. Goldman notes that Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies including mobile, search, media, gaming, and tablets, and it has even fallen behind in Web browsing, a market it once ruled, with all of the major browsing innovations of the past few years (like tabbed browsing and add-ons) coming from outside Microsoft. He includes a rundown of Microsoft's major consumer projects - Zune, Windows Phone 7, Internet Explorer, Bing, Tablet PCs - and finds trouble in almost all of them. Even Windows and Xbox show weaknesses, according to Goldman.

Mac, iPad, and iPhone Invading the Enterprise

Channel Insider's Jessica Davis says:

"Businesses are interested in Apple's iPad, whether as a laptop replacement for busy executives, a tablet for doctors accessing electronic medical records or a customer interaction tool for retailers. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said of iPad's business momentum: 'it's being grabbed out of our hands.'

"iPad for business? Just ten years ago the idea of a significant Apple computer presence in the enterprise would have been scoffed at and quickly brushed aside, but those days seem to be ending. More and more, employees are bringing their iPhones to work, requesting to work with Mac instead of Windows computers, and that is translating to more requests for the iPad as well.

"It's a trend that took even Apple CEO Steve Jobs by surprise."

Apple No Longer Bundling Adobe Flash Player

The Guardian's Charles Arthur reports that as of this week, none of Apple's products will ship with a Flash player plugin. Mac users who want Flash player will be obliged to to download it (link below), a process that Apple has not made easier by including "click to install" links.

Oracle's Java is also tagged as likely to require a user install beginning with OS X 10.7 Lion, and Flash has already been banished from Apple's iOS devices

Arthur asks: "Is it the next step towards the future of the web, or insanity?"

Editor's note: My take is the latter explanation seems more likely. cm

Adobe: Apple's Flash Concerns 'Ridiculous''s Iain Thomson reports that complaints by Apple's Steve Jobs that Adobe Flash is too buggy and power hungry have been dismissed as ridiculous by Adobe's CEO Shantanu Narayen, observing at the Adobe MAX 2010 conference that no-one else has a problem with Flash and demonstrating Flash working on a variety of tablets, including RIM's Playbook and Android devices from Samsung and Malata.

Switching to OS X: Just Use It

AppStorm's Matt Reich says:

"I've been a Mac user now for about a year and a half, give or take. As is common, I'm completely happy I took the plunge and will never look back. There is very little I dislike about my MacBook and OS X. If you're looking to convert yourself I'll tell right now, you won't regret it. The rumors are true. It is a fantastic experience overall.

"But there are certainly some possible areas of frustration. As an advanced Windows user, I found many aspects of OS X to be overly-simplified, and really quite alien. Today, I'll be outlining a few of these examples - and explaining the best way to deal with this source of frustration!"

One of Reich's most interesting observations is that in his estimation it is easier for a novice Windows user to learn Mac OS X than a power Windows user, with the Mac OS appearing just too logical and too easy without there being some sort of catch. The best advice he can offer to someone coming over from the Windows world is to forget everything they've learned and just use the machine.

70 Apps for Advanced Mac Users

AppStorm's Julia Altermann says:

"Early in August, we helped to get you started with your Mac by introducing 50 Essential Apps for OS X Beginners. Today, we will take you to the next level with an incredibly comprehensive list of 70+ apps geared towards advanced users.

"These apps are a mix of free and paid for software, and in order to provide you with as much information as possible, we've included multiple apps for similar tasks if available. This list is by no means complete, but it should help you to unlock some more of your Mac's great potential!"

iLife 11 Leaves PowerPC Macs Behind

ZDNet blogger David Morgenstern observes that the clock keeps running down for PowerPC Macs, with Apple's recently released iLife '11 content-creation suite only supporting Intel. Morgenstern observes that the last PowerPC Mac was discontinued in the summer of 2006 - ancient history in the personal computer context, although many PPC machines are still working away.

Editor's note: Three of them still in active service in your editor's family fleet. cm

Publisher's note: We have three G4 Power Macs in regular service at Low End Mac headquarters. dk

Boonana Trojan Targets Macs

A SecureMac Security Bulletin says:

"SecureMac has discovered a new trojan [sic] horse in the wild that affects Mac OS X, including Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6), the latest version of OS X. The trojan horse, trojan.osx.boonana.a, is spreading through social networking sites, including Facebook, disguised as a video. The trojan is currently appearing as a link in messages on social networking sites with the subject 'Is this you in this video?'

"When a user clicks the infected link, the trojan initially runs as a Java applet, which downloads other files to the computer, including an installer, which launches automatically. When run, the installer modifies system files to bypass the need for passwords, allowing outside access to all files on the system. Additionally, the trojan sets itself to run invisibly in the background at startup, and periodically checks in with command and control servers to report information on the infected system. While running, the trojan horse hijacks user accounts to spread itself further via spam messages. Users have reported the trojan is spreading through e-mail as well as social media sites."

iPhoto 11

In Depth with iPhoto 11

Thinq's Stewart Meagher takes a thorough look at Apple's new iPhoto 11 image organization and editing software, which he notes is all about simplicity on the surface as well as sophistication if you want to dig a little deeper. Meagher observes that there is very little different in iPhoto 11 when compared to the previous 09 iteration, pointing out a few highlights and lowlights.

iPhoto 11 Ate My Library

The Register reports that Apple fans upgrading to the latest version of iPhoto are finding that their photo albums are being reordered, messed up, and in some instances apparently eaten up, either in part or completely.

Apple Working on iPhoto 11 Photo Loss Fix

AppleToolBox says:

"A fix for an issue in which photo libraries are blank or missing after the update to iPhoto 11, and all of the contained images are apparently deleted, is reportedly imminent."

How to Downgrade to iPhoto 09

AppleToolBox says:

"Several users who are dissatisfied with new iPhoto 11 feature changes, or who are experiencing problems with third-party add-ons or other issues may seek to downgrade to iPhoto '09. There are two methods for doing so."

Workaround for iPhoto 11's Loss of Easy Way to Email Photos

AppleToolBox says:

"Several users have lamented a change in functionality under iPhoto 11, in which the ability to easily email photos as attachments is gone."

"There are a few ways to workaround this issue."

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