Mac News Review

No More Security Updates for OS X 10.4, 10.5, PowerPC Macs; 2011 Mac mini Runs Snow Leopard; and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.09.16

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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News & Opinion

Apple Ends Security Updates for OS X 10.4 and 10.5

ZDNet's Ben Woods reports that Apple will not provide a security update for the DigiNotar breach to users running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or older, such as OS X 10.4 Tiger, which have been left unpatched from the vulnerabilities that could potentially lead to a man-in-the-middle attack, whereby an intruder can intercept credentials or other sensitive data.

Woods notes that this is the first time that Apple has not issued core security updates to the Leopard and Tiger versions of OS X, leaving a question mark over whether it will deliver any other security updates for the platforms in the future.

Apple Stops Security Updates for PowerPC Macs

MacFixIt's Topher Kessler reports that Apple's release last week of a security update to address the DigiNotar root certificate vulnerability reveals that the company may no longer support PowerPC-based Macs when it comes to security updates. Unlike previous security updates that have supported Leopard and even Tiger, Apple's latest update requires OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or OS X 10.7 Lion. This means that users running OS X 10.5 will not be able to update their systems against the DigiNotar breach.

Kessler observes that without an official security update, addressing security vulnerabilities that are found may be a bit of a challenge, if possible at all, and discusses the implications for users of older Mac hardware in some detail.

Mid 2011 Mac minis Can Run Snow Leopard

MacBidouille (Hardmac) columnist Lionel cites a reader who got a 2.7 GHz i7 Mid 2011 Mac mini to boot into OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 using a clone of his MacBook Pro's hard drive. He had been under the impression that the latest mini motherboard was finalized before the release of Lion and thus should logically boot Snow Leopard, and this is indeed the case.

Lionel observes that this is news that will delight the many OS X users who are underwhelmed by Lion and want to stay with Snow Leopard.

7 Useful Features Missing from OS X 10.7 Lion (and How to Get Some of Them Back)

The NextWeb's Aayush Arya says that while some of the over 250 new features in Mac OS X Lion - such as the new version of Mail, multitouch gestures, systemwide autosave, versions, and resume - were are almost universally loved (some of us would take issue with a lot of them - cm), others like Launchpad, natural scrolling, and Mission Control have been - how shall we say? - more "controversial."

  1. Erase drive and reinstall Lion from DVD
  2. Save As..., replaced by Duplicate
  3. 3-finger swipe gesture, now reassigned to drag operations
  4. syncing System Preferences with .mac/MobileMe (soon to be lost with transition to iCloud)
  5. Front Row
  6. iPhoto integration with Time Machine, no longer possible to restore individual photos
  7. Safari reliability

Gartner Says PC Shipments to Slow to 3.8% Growth in 2011; to Increase 10.9% in 2012

PR: Worldwide PC unit growth is on pace to total 364 million units in 2011, a 3.8% increase from 2010, according to the latest preliminary forecast by Gartner, Inc. PC shipments are forecast to see better growth by the end 2012, when units are expected to reach 404 million units, a 10.9% increase from 2011.

PC unit growth for both 2011 and 2012 has been reduced from previous projections: from 9.3% growth for 2011 and from 12.8% growth for 2012. The notably lower outlook for 2011 PC growth is largely due to sharply downgraded forecasts for Western Europe and the United States in the second half of the year. The lower outlook for 2012 is the result of a weaker 2011, and also a slower start to 2012 with an expectation for better growth in the second half of next year as economies stabilize and new mobile PC form factors enter the market. Even so, the slowdown in the market is notable: Total unit shipments in 2012 are expected to barely reach 400 million units, which was originally a target for 2011.

"Western Europe is not only struggling through excess PC inventory, but economic upheaval as well," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "U.S. consumer PC shipments were much weaker than expected in the second quarter, and indications are that back-to-school PC sales are disappointing. An increasing pessimistic economic outlook is causing both consumer and business sentiment to deteriorate in both regions. We're expecting consumer spending to tighten in response. Business spending will also tighten, but less than the consumer space."

Gartner analysts said that while PCs remain important to consumers and businesses, purchases can be easily delayed, especially when there are complementary devices that are seen to be more attractive.

"More worrisome for the long term is that Generation Y has an altogether different view of client devices than older generations and are not buying PCs as their first, or necessarily main, device," Mr. Atwal said. "For older buyers, today's PCs are not a particularly compelling product, so they continue to extend lifetimes, as PC shops and IT departments repair rather than replace these systems."

"Media tablets have dramatically changed the dynamic of the PC market and HP's decision to rethink its PC strategy simply highlights the pressure that PC vendors are under to adapt to the new dynamic or abandon the market," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "Vendors' tried and true business models are failing as traditional PC functionality is extended to other devices, and users continue to lengthen PC lifetimes. Vendors only seem to be flailing as they look for quick fixes to their problems. Unfortunately, the resulting chaos is just creating more confusion across the entire PC supply chain, impacting sell-in."

Note: Gartner's PC forecast does not include media tablets, which are forecast separately.

Additional analysis is available in the Gartner on Demand webinar "Gartner PC and Media Tablet Forecast Update, 3Q 2011."

Intel CEO Outlines Company's Plans to Lead Future of Computing

PR: In his Intel Developer Forum keynote at San Francisco, Intel CEO Paul Otellini revealed how advances in silicon technology and platform engineering will reduce idle platform power for the "Haswell" chip in 2013, lowering it by more than 20 times over current technology designs, a development expected to usher in a new class of platform power management for Ultrabooks that will aid in the delivery of always-on-always-connected computing.

"Computing is in a constant state of evolution," said Otellini, describing the opportunities and challenges facing Intel and the industry. "The unprecedented demand for computing from the client devices to the cloud is creating significant opportunity for the industry. Intel is innovating and working with our partners to deliver computing experiences that are more mobile, secure and seamless. I'm excited about the new experiences that will be created across a range of devices, and we're just getting started. "

Otellini also discussed Intel's recent efforts to accelerate its smartphone business and showcased a form factor reference design based on Intel Atom processor, and running the Android platform.

Joining Otellini on the keynote stage was Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, with the two executives outlining plans to enable and optimize future releases of the Android platform for Intel's family of low power Intel Atom processors. The joint effort is designed to speed time-to-market of Intel technology-based smartphones running the Android platform.

"Our collaboration with Google will bring a powerful new capability to market that helps accelerate industry innovation, adoption and choice," said Otellini. "I'm excited by the possibilities of this collaboration. It will enable our customers to bring exciting new products and user experiences to market that harness the combined potential of Intel architecture and the Android platform."

Tuesday's announcement builds on the two companies' recent joint initiatives to enable Intel architecture on Google products. Joint initiatives include Chrome OS, Google TV, and the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and Native Development Kit (NDK).

Pushing the Limits of Low Power for Ultrabooks and Beyond

Otellini also predicted that Intel's Ultrabook subnotebook systems will provide the most satisfying and complete computing experience available, and affirmed that the company is working with industry partners to deliver mainstream-priced products beginning this coming holiday season for this new category of lighter, sleeker computer companions.

Intel's CEO affirmed that the company's engineers will further accelerate Ultrabook innovation with Intel's "Ivy Bridge" 22nm technology early next year with the help of the company's revolutionary 3-D Tri-gate transistors, and highlighted the broad enabling work between Intel and Microsoft, pointing to the future opportunities that Windows 8 will present across tablets, hybrid devices and new form factors such as Ultrabooks.

Otellini also described the new class of platform power management in development for the 2013 "Haswell" CPUs for Ultrabooks. The advances in silicon technology and platform engineering are expected to reduce idle platform power by more than 20 times over current designs without compromising computing performance. Otellini said he expects that this design change, combined with industry collaboration, will lead to more than 10 days of connected standby battery life by 2013. The advancements will aid in delivery of always-on-always-connected computing where Ultrabooks stay connected when in standby mode, keeping the e-mail, social media and digital content up-to-date.

Looking even further into the future, Otellini predicted that platform power innovation will reach levels that are difficult to imagine today, noting that Intel's researchers have created a chip that could allow a computer to power up on a solar cell the size of a postage stamp. Referred to as a "Near Threshold Voltage Core," this Intel architecture research chip pushes the limits of transistor technology to tune power use to extremely low levels.

Another guest joining Otellini on the stage was Candace Worley, senior vice president and general manager, Endpoint Security at McAfee, who discussed how Intel and McAfee have been working together on a range of innovative hardware assisted software security solutions.

Worley introduced McAfee's new DeepSAFE technology platform that works with hardware capabilities found in the Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. DeepSAFE technology provides new levels of security and a different vantage point by operating below the operating system. This technology will launch in a McAfee enterprise product later this year.

Otellini announced that Intel is working with McAfee on a roadmap of security solutions that extend across the spectrum of computing from embedded devices to the cloud.

Seamless, Consistent, Interoperable Experiences

With computing continuing to evolve, Otellini emphasized the need for seamless, consistent and interoperable experiences across a variety of devices. To help support this vision, Intel is now building capabilities into a broad array of devices including Ultrabooks and all-in-one computers. Otellini demonstrated several new capabilities that will be available on Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba systems later this holiday season.

Products & Services

5" Logitech Wireless Touchpad Lets You Point, Scroll, and Swipe with Ease

PR: Logitech has unveiled the Logitech Wireless Touchpad, making it easy to point, scroll, and swipe your way to wherever you go on the Web and beyond.

Logitech Wireless TouchpadThe Logitech Wireless Touchpad is claimed to be ideal for users who want to surf the Web "in a more fun and natural way."

With multitouch navigation and intuitive, gesture-based controls, the Logitech Wireless Touchpad lets you navigate your computer using increasingly popular touchscreen-style techniques. The large touch surface gives you plenty of room to let your fingertips do the clicking. There are no cords, hence no clutter and connection hassles. Just put the touchpad anywhere on your desk or tabletop, insert the plug-and-forget Logitech Unifying receiver into your computer's USB port, and you're good to go. Plus, the receiver stays in your computer and enables you to easily connect up to five other compatible devices.

Point, scroll, swipe "naturally" thanks to the large, multitouch touchpad that makes it easy to go wherever you want to go on the Web and more.

  • Logitech Wireless TouchpadOne-finger control: Touch one finger anywhere on the touchpad to control your cursor. Want to click on a link? Just tap and go.
  • Two-finger scrolling: Scroll up or down with two fingers to easily move through a document or your favorite web page - like your list of friends on your Facebook page.
  • Three-finger swipe: A simple, three-finger horizontal swipe moves you back and forth so you can flip through your wedding photos or move from your Amazon wish list to your Gmail account in a flash. With a three-finger vertical swipe, you can easily move page-up or page-down.
  • Four-finger swipe: Use a four-finger swipe to switch between your favorite applications. Jump from Internet Explorer to Skype with just a swipe.
  • Large touch surface: The large, 5" touchpad offers you more room to point, scroll, and swipe just where you want it.
  • Clutter-free wireless device: Browsing has never been as convenient. Just put the touchpad down and let your fingertips guide you to your favorite websites.
  • Logitech Unifying receiver: The tiny receiver stays in your laptop. Plus, you can easily add a compatible wireless mouse, keyboard or number pad - without the hassle of multiple USB receivers.
  • Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless: Now you can work or play in more places with long-range wireless connection that virtually eliminates delays, dropouts, and interference and gives you a range of up to 25 meters (82 feet).
  • Fewer battery hassles: A 4-month battery life means you can go for months without the hassle of changing batteries. And an LED indicator tells you when the touchpad is on and your batteries are running low.

"The Logitech Wireless Touchpad is perfect for people who want to surf the Web in a more fun and natural way," says Rory Dooley, Logitech's senior vice president and general manager of the Control Devices business unit. "It lets Web surfers flick through websites and effortlessly scan long pages making browsing easier than ever."

The Logitech Wireless Touchpad's multitouch navigation offers up to 4-finger gestures and swipes to scroll pages, jump tabs, and switch applications. Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless virtually eliminates delays, dropouts, and interference. And you can easily stay powered up with up to four months of battery life - and an LED indicator light that tells you when the touchpad is on and your batteries are running low.

The Logitech Wireless Touchpad is expected to be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in September 2011, for a suggested retail price of $49.99. For more information visit:

Publisher's note: The Logitech Wireless Touchpad is almost identical in size to the $69 Apple Magic Trackpad, which is a Bluetooth device and reportedly lasts less than three weeks with freshly charged batteries. dk

G-Technology by Hitachi Showcases Its First 4 TB External Hard Drives

G-DrivePR: Post-production pros know that you can never have enough fast, cool, and reliable storage. Dedicated to serving the Apple Mac and creative professional audio/video (A/V) markets, G-Technology by Hitachi is demoing the industry's first 4 TB hard drives at the International Broadcasters' Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, with its two-drive, RAID 0, G-RAID solution.

The 8 TB G-RAID demo shows how G-Technology is making digital production faster, super-sized and affordable, giving pro users the storage capacity they need in the demanding entertainment and film industries.

G-RAID with Thunderbolt - More than Just High-Speed RAID

G-RAID with ThunderboltNot only does the G-RAID Thunderbolt demo showcase the fastest interface you can find, with data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps, it shows amazing sustained throughput for handling multi-stream compressed HD workflows including REDCODE, DVCPro HD, XDCAM HD and ProRes 422 . At 8 TB it is also claimed to be the highest capacity, two-drive, RAID 0 external storage device in the world for storing hours of clips, composites, digital intermediate (DIs), proofs, effects and more. And that's not all. Connected to an Apple MacBook Pro, the G-RAID solution enables a portable editing workstation to take on the road, in the studio or even use from the comfort of your own home to complete projects after hours. With Thunderbolt's speed and the G-RAID's huge capacity, you can easily transfer, capture, process or edit SD or HD video virtually anywhere.

All G-RAID drives come preconfigured in a RAID-0 for maximum throughput and are specifically designed for video editing with excellent cooling and air flow. Its sleek, all-aluminium enclosure acts as a heat sink, keeping the drives nice and cool, while a super-quiet smart fan makes it a perfect fit in any audio or video post-production environment. For easy set up, the G-RAID solution is ready out of the box for use with Mac OS X systems and appears to the system as a single, big and fast disk drive. The G-RAID solution also supports Windows systems with a simple reformat.

Industry's First 4 TB Hard Drives

4 TB G-DriveLeveraging the high-quality and time-to-market strength of Hitachi GST, G-Technology by Hitachi is the first to incorporate Hitachi's 4 TB 7200 RPM drives into its G-RAID and G-Drive solutions.

Answering increasing capacity needs with the use of high-quality HD video formats, G-Technology's 4 TB-based solutions enable greater return on investment. By using the highest capacity drives, G-Technology customers realize savings by lowering the cost per GB of storage as compared to having the same total capacity using multiple lower capacity external drives. In addition, customers benefit from needing fewer external drives, which take up space and power, and create cable clutter.

How much storage do you need? Since there are substantial differences in storage requirements for the different types of high quality HD video files, G-Technology provides this guide to show how much storage space you may need:

Every 1 TB holds up to:

  • 84 hours of HDV 1080i
  • 17 hours of DVCPRO HD 1080/60i
  • 30 hours of 2K RED
  • 10 hours of ProRes 422 HQ
  • 10 hours of 10 bit SD
  • 2.5 hours of HD 1080/60i

"We understand the process of creation, and today, digital video editing is no longer facility-driven Its driven by the places and lifestyles of the people doing the work," says Steve Pereira, vice president, Hitachi GST, Europe Middle East and Africa. "Our G-RAID Thunderbolt demo connected to a MacBook Pro shows how our customers can get lightning speed and huge capacity in a single RAID 0 storage solution to easily edit anywhere. Built like a tank, our G-RAID solution has been the cornerstone of our business, and we look forward to bringing our Thunderbolt-based family and 4 TB-based solutions to the market. With G-Technology's high quality, high performance commitment, our customers can continue to focus on their work and not on their equipment."

G-Technology will begin shipping its 4 TB-based G-RAID and single-drive G-Drive solutions with eSATA, FireWire 800 (FireWire 400 via cable) and USB 2.0 ports in October. First in a family of solutions, the company's Thunderbolt 4 TB-based G-RAID and G-Drive solutions will ship in Q4.

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