If you believe common wisdom, it shouldn’t be possible to take over most webcams without alerting users. The indicator LED is supposed to be hack-proof, after all. However, a pair of Johns Hopkins researchers have recently published a research paper showing that it’s possible to control the camera while keeping the indicator dark. Their proof-of-concept app, iSeeYou, reprograms a controller chip on pre-2009 Macs to separate the camera and LED functions; users can flick the light on and off like a switch. Apple is aware of the issue with its own systems, but it hasn’t said whether or not there will be a fix. It’s also unclear how many newer Macs or other PCs are at risk. Regardless of the exact threat, the study isn’t very reassuring in an era of widespread surveillance — if a pair of academics can stealthily record your activity, it’s likely that professional spies can do the same.
Via: The Washington Post
Apple today added three separate models of the current 27-inch iMac to its online store for refurbished products, marking their first appearance in the store since their September launch. The three models, all of which are listed as shipping in 1-5 business days, include:
Microsoft has released a new version of its Windows Phone 7 connector software for the Mac, bringing with it a number of new features and plenty of bug fixes that were no doubt annoying Mac-owning Windows Phone 7 fans.
The new update, which Microsoft describes as “critical” and weighs in at 7.6MB, brings a new device setup experience and the ability to now sync purchased audio content from the device.
Fixes includ performance upgrades, better handling of photos with Apple’s iPhoto 11 and fixing an issue where some AAC or MP4 files wouldn’t play on the phone.
The new update is available via the Microsoft AutoUpdate app and is available now.
Full features and fixes in full:
Purchased audio content is synced from device
New device setup experience
Browse device now supports manual import from device, delete from device and preview.
Improvements and fixes:
Performance improvements in sync process
Photos are now organized by their iPhoto event if present and by album otherwise
Improved video preparation process
Improved support for pin lock and unlock of device
Improved meta data transfer settings (bookmarks, rating and release dates and now transferred)
Fixed issue with remote iTunes installations
Fixed issue with .AAC and certain .MP4 files not playing on device
Apple Lossless encoded files are no longer synced as they are unsupported on device. They will be ignored like protected content. Please convert these files, as necessary.
Improved support for iPhoto 11.
It’s no secret that the Mac App Store is launching soon. Jobs himself said that it would go live “within 90 days” back when the iOS-inspired App Store was announced on October 20th — that’s mid January, if the timeframe is carried to its fullest extent. Now we have AppleTell citing an “inside source” claiming that Apple is trying to launch the Mac App Store before Christmas, specifically targeting December 13th while telling developers to have their software ready by Monday, December 6th. Unfortunately, the Mac App Store also requires an OS update to end users to which MacRumors reminds us that the new OS X 10.6.6 has already been seeded to developers. So yeah, that’s a pretty aggressive timeline if true and could possibly be kicked off by a press event that would also birth Apple’s rumored recurring subscription billing model in support of Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily digital newspaper.
Apple has been sending invites out for an event on 20 October.
So, what has the Cupertino contingent been cooking up over at Infinite Loop that it wants to show off to the world?
A 7-inch iPad? A Verizon iPhone? A touchscreen iMac?
The answer is probably “none of the above” at the invite hints at a Mac-event, and the lion looming at the side of the Apple logo could be a clue.
Chances are that the event could be in aid of the latest Mac OS X incumbent – 10.7. And chances are Apple is going to be continuing the big cat theme with something lion-related.
It’s only been just over a year since Snow Leopard hit the shops, but Apple often announces its new platforms a while before they go live.
So, expect Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to be announced on 20 October.
Every year we run into the same problem: what do you call the update to Apple’s latest device? This is always going to be the case when you keep the name, but change the design and specs of a device. So here we have the Apple iMac 21.5-inch, announced in July 2010, and equipped with the Intel Core i3 3.06GHz processor.
This is currently the cheapest iMac that Apple makes: it’s the entry point for its all-in-one computer at £999. The all-in-one market is rather fragmented, with many manufacturers on the Windows side of things producing low-spec cheap AIOs, as well as a variety of touch and non-touch. The iMac is not touch, but it is powerful: with the Intel Core i3 3.06GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card offering 256MB of dedicated graphics memory; it cuts through most daily tasks with ease. As it is, this iMac handles gaming as it is on the Mac, although it isn’t a powerhouse.
There are step-up options too, with a 3.2GHz Core i3 and 3.6GHz Core i5 processors offered for extra cash. The RAM can be boosted to 8GB at the point of ordering and although this model comes with 500GB hard drive, if you opt for the faster processor models, you’ll get the 1TB drive and 2TB drive options, but at the entry-point your options are limited. Read more
The mid-2010 iMac refresh gives you a solid state drive as a custom option for the 27-inch model, but replacing its 1TB hard drive with a 256MB SSD costs £480, and if you want both, it’s an extra £600.