When Logitech announced that it was crowdsourcing a video game using Reddit, I was dubious to say the least. I knew the company could pull it off, but I was fearful that anonymous Internet users would ruin the "Together We Game" experiment.
Luckily, my fears were unfounded, as not only has the game been released, it is actually very fun and normal. In other words, the Internet did not spoil the game. Best of all, the tower defense game is free and available for Windows, OS X and iOS. Will you download PX57?
Those of you who simply want to chat with your Facebook friends can now access Messenger through its own dedicated site. The interface is similar to that of the Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile apps, and there is even support for desktop notifications, so you won't miss any of your friends' important messages.
However, because you have to access Messenger through a site, you have to keep a tab open in your favorite browser. But if you're using a Mac you can also try this new unofficial OS X app, which effectively turns the site into a dedicated client.
Apple today released the third round of major updates for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite. As expected, there are lots and lots of bug fixes in iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite, as well as new features, performance improvements and many other changes.
With regards to performance, iOS 8.3 claims to improve app launch times, responsiveness, messages, Wi-Fi, Control Center, tabs in Safari, and keyboards -- both built-in and third-party. OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite, on the other hand, touts improved Wi-Fi performance. As seen in beta builds, iOS 8.3 also features a refreshed Emoji keyboard with more than 300 new characters, and OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite adds the much-awaited Photos app.
Errors in software, whether operating systems or applications, are usually the root cause of security issues, allowing hackers and cyber criminals a way in to systems.
In 2014, 15,435 vulnerabilities across 3,870 applications were discovered according to a new report from vulnerability intelligence specialist Secunia. That represents an 18 percent increase in vulnerabilities compared to the year before, and a 22 percent increase in the number of vulnerable products.
Two new laptops launched this week, both pioneering USB-C and packing 12-inch displays. The likenesses stop there, and the distinctions can't be overstated. One computer you can buy now, the other comes next month. Should you consider either? My primer will help you decide.
Apple unveiled the new MacBook, which measures 1.31 centimeters at its thickest and weighs less than a kilogram, two days ago. Sales start April 10. This morning, Google launched the second-generation Chromebook Pixel, which is immediately available for purchase. Both laptops adopt USB Type-C for power and, using adapters, hooking up to other devices. USB-C puts both computers at the bleeding edge for charging and connectivity, But their approach to ports couldn't be more different.
Having to type in a password every time to unlock your Mac is recommended practice, but it is also a nuisance. Since ditching the password is a bad idea, from a security standpoint, you are not left with many options to make life easier. But, there is a way you can have your cake and eat it too.
You can set up your Mac to automatically unlock when it detects your iPhone nearby. You still get to enjoy the benefits that come from having a password, but without having to put any effort into it. And you can do that using Tether, touted to be "the wireless leash to your Mac".
Using cloud-based storage is extremely convenient, and arguably safer than traditional hard drive storage. Why? If, God forbid, there is a fire or other disaster in your home or office, your files are safe and secure offsite.
With that said, there are some deficiencies with the cloud, such as a need for an internet connection, and the potential lack of control of your own files. Yes, internet is seemingly ubiquitous nowadays, but do you feel uncomfortable not having access during an outage? If so, a USB solution coupled with offsite storage for redundancy is a smart choice. Today, Silicon power announces the ultra-rugged Armor A65M. Designed for Mac, it should work with Linux and Windows too.
One of the things I -- and I assume a lot of fellow users -- like about using a Mac is that most OS X programs do not try to trick the user into installing adware. In fact, a lot of the programs I use do not even feature a typical setup, as they can be installed simply by copying them to the Applications folder. For someone coming from Windows, it may feel impossible to grasp at first -- yes, you can actually enjoy the install process. Wow!
Of course, there are developers who do not care about the experience their users have during and after the setup, so they bundle adware with their programs. Thankfully, on Macs it's easier to spot, but it's still something to look out for at times, especially if you wish to install Oracle's latest Java release.
It might come as something of a surprise, but Windows is more secure than not only Apple's iOS and OS X, but also Linux. I'll just let that sink in for a moment...
Windows, the operating system ridiculed for its vulnerabilities and susceptibility to viruses is actually more secure than the supposedly Fort Knox-like Linux and OS X. This startling fact comes from the National Vulnerability Database (described as the "US government repository of standards based vulnerability management data") which details security issues detected in different operating systems and software titles.
I'm not easily impressed. Lots of tech products see the light of day each year, but only a few I consider to be truly great. And by that I mean technology that I want to have in my life, that brings value, and, last but not least, that makes me feel good. The subjective factor is just as important, I believe, when it comes to the things that I have to look at and interact with on a daily basis. That's just the way it is, and I'm fine with it.
Because of this, a pretty long list can get really, really short in no time. My colleagues have already shared their favorite tech products of 2014 with you, and now the time has come for me to do the same. It's BetaNews tradition, after all. So, without further ado, here they are.
When it comes to security, Apple can and should do better. It is one of the biggest offenders, after all, making quite a few serious mistakes in this area. One of its most-important services, namely iCloud, has been instrumental in this year's celebrity photo leaks scandal, better known as The Fappening. And, more recently, a weakness in its OS X deployment software for iOS apps has exposed hundreds of thousands of iPads and iPhones to the WireLurker malware. And these are just two examples. Unsurprisingly, as the year draws to an end, security remains a talking point in Apple's case.
Let's start with the good news, first. Apple has pushed an update for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, 10.9.5 Mavericks, and 10.8.5 Mountain Lion, seemingly for the first time, to quickly fix a critical vulnerability discovered in NTP (Network Time Protocol), a protocol which is widely used to synchronize device clocks with dedicated servers. Normally, OS X updates are not applied automatically, but this one is apparently so critical that it is.
In the grand scheme of things, we aren't far removed from a time when most people thought the Earth was flat. Yes, we went from thinking a boat could sail off of the edge of the world, to landing a spacecraft on a comet -- crazy, right?
When Google Earth was first released, it was a mind-boggling program. It allowed users to easily navigate a virtual Earth; a high-tech globe, if you will. While people take it for granted, the search-giant's offering remains wonderful. Unfortunately for developers, Google is killing the Earth API.
The latest monthly report from internet security specialist Doctor Web shows that whilst Windows and Android users have no cause for complacency, November saw substantial numbers of malicious programs aimed at Mac OS X and Linux platforms.
Trojans remain the most popular form of attack making up 8.7 percent of all malware detected. Trojan.InstallCore.12, which installs different adware, toolbars and browser extensions, ranks first. BackDoor.Andromeda.404, which downloads other malicious programs into an infected system when commanded to do so by intruders, ranks second.
It's only a few weeks since Apple launched Yosemite and there's already an update available. Today, Apple pushes out the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update to address issues that had been found in the initial release. This is a fairly minor x.1 update, and there are only ten entries in the changelog for most users, while enterprise users have two more updates and additions.
Described -- of course -- as "recommended for all OS X Yosemite users", the update fixes a problem with Time Machine that made older backups invisible. It also addresses issues with the Notification Center, and problems with entering Japanese text. It "improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac".
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but boy oh boy, don't tell that to Satya Nadella. To many, Microsoft represents a dinosaur in technology, but as the fictional Jurassic Park showed us, dinosaurs can be brought back to life and thrive in modern times. In other words, even though Microsoft never died, its image was in decline, but it has been resurrected by doing and saying all the right things.
Today, Microsoft continues its upwards trajectory by announcing that .NET is going open source. While this isn't Microsoft's first open source rodeo, this is certainly the biggest. Hell, it is even bringing .NET to both Linux and OS X! Competitors beware; Microsoft is a Tyrannosaurus Rex and is showing its teeth.