Heartbleed and Apple

As you may have heard by now, the Heartbleed bug is affecting internet sites around the world. Unlike most notices like this, it’s not a virus or a worm. Heartbleed is security bug in the open-source OpenSSL library, which is widely used on the internet for security protocols. It was fixed on April 7, 2014, at the same time as Heartbleed was publicly disclosed. Unfortunately, many sites using the problematic OpenSSL had not updated yet.

If you are worried about your Mac, OS X has never shipped with the vulnerable version of OpenSSL. If you are worried about your iTunes accounts, its mobile, desktop and Web services weren’t affected but Heartbleed. Going further, Re/code was able to get an official response from Apple:

“Apple takes security very seriously. IOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable software and key Web-based services were not affected,” an Apple spokesperson told Re/code.’

Read more about Heartbleed and Apple on the Re/code blog.

If you were worried about how this affected SMU campus systems, don’t; That being said, OIT still recommends you change your passwords. Here is an update from OIT:

OIT responded quickly to ensure all services were updated and any potential exposure was remediated. The security flaw was announced on Monday April 7. OIT reviewed all systems quickly and addressed each vulnerability as soon as a patch was available from the vendor. Of the systems remediated, there was a limited threat of exposure for SMU account login information. At this time, no compromises or suspicious activity from the vulnerability has been observed. We are encouraging individuals to reset all password (not just SMU) as the threat was widespread across a significant number of internet based services. As an advocate for the customer and a desire to help protect their data (SMU and personal), we felt strongly that it was our responsibility to err on the side of caution.

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Microsoft Office comes to the iPad

Office for iPadAfter holding out for several years, Microsoft has realized that holding out in supporting the iPad may be costing them more than money. In the years since the release of the iPad, users have found a way around the lack of Office support on the popular mobile device with Quickoffice, Apple’s iWork solutions (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and even Google’s Google Docs. The only problem is the users are finding they may not really need Microsoft Office.
Continue reading

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Introducing OneNote for Mac

Microsoft OneNoteOneNote for the Mac is now available. If you are not familiar with OneNote, it’s been a popular app on the Windows side for years.

OneNote is your place to jot down your ideas, capture your collection of web clippings and research, plan your trips and events, check your to-dos and shopping lists and share your notes with friends and co-workers. It’s a single place to collect your thoughts and ideas, as well as an easy and fun way to stay organized.

If you are familiar with Evernote, it’s basically the Microsoft Version of that. Right now, it’s available for free in the AppStore. Continue reading

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Happy 5th Birthday Apple App Store!

With the anniversary of the Apple iTunes App Store, several popular apps have gone on sale for the low price of FREE! The best part of the sale is the variety of apps. It doesn’t matter if you like gaming, cooking, or pretending to be a DJ, there is something for you.

Here are just a few of the apps on sale:

There are some great deals to be had in this special. Just in Traktor DJ for iPad you can save  over 20 bucks (including tax) as the app is normally $19.99. Infinity Blade II is normally $6.99 and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything is $9.99.

There is no telling how long these deals will last, so get them now.

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iOS 6.1 Exchange Bug

Apple has admitted there is a bug with Exchange in the last release of the iOS. Users have reported that the 6.1 update has been draining their batteries quickly and excessively connecting to Exchange servers. Looks like the cause of the problem steams from when a user would respond to a recurring calendar event with a Microsoft Exchange account.

On the plus side, there is a quick fix while you wait for a official patch from Apple:

  1. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  2. Select the Exchange account from your Accounts list.
  3. Turn the switch for Calendars to OFF.
  4. Wait ten seconds.
  5. Turn the switch for Calendars back to ON.

Hopefully this will help users experiencing the problem and Apple should have a patch soon.

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Apple Releases OS X Lion v10.7.5 Update

Yesterday, Apple released a new update to Lion. In an effort to not leave those who haven’t migrated to Mountain Lion behind, the OS X Lion v10.7.5 Update provides the new Gatekeeper security feature, improve Wi-Fi reliability for iMacs (models from late 2009 and newer), fixes an issue using Spotlight to search an SMB server, improve compatibility connecting to Active Directory servers (hopefully no more waiting 15 minutes to authenticate to an AD server) and also updating passwords for AD clients, resolve a video issue with some VGA projectors when connected to certain Mac notebooks, plus several other updates and fixes. You can read the entire list of fixes at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5313?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

The 10.7.5 update is recommended by Apple for all OS X Lion users.

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Anti-Virus for Mac OS X?

Some people would argue that you don’t need anti-virus software for your Mac, but I would disagree. In the past, the Mac OS’s lack of popularity has made it not worth the effort for those writing virus software. As the Mac OS is now more popular than ever on campus, those computers and devices make a much more attractive target.

While there are many good commercial solutions for protecting your Mac, a new freely available anti-virus solution for Mac OS X has been released. ClamXav uses the popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine to assist in it’s virus detection. This allows ClamXav to scan for both Mac and Windows OS based viruses. Even better… It’s FREE.

If you want to try it out, you can download it from the Mac App Store or the developer’s website. Currently the developer is not had any reports of conflicts with current anti-virus software, so if you are currently using another solution, you can try this with minimal risk.


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Apple Announces iPad Event

Coming March 7, 2012 to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco will be the new iPad. With the tagline, “We have something you really have to see. And touch.,” Apple sent out notices to this invitation only event.

Will we be seeing the highly anticipated Retina display iPad? Touch Home button? Faster Dual-core A5X or, even better, Quad-core A6 chip? Siri? We will just have to see on Wednesday, March 7th.

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Safari 5.1.2 Update Available

If you’ve been plagued by memory leaks and stability issues with Safari, this latest update should help. According to the Knowledge Base:

This update contains various improvements, including fixes that:

  • Improve stability
  • Address issues that could cause hangs and excessive memory usage
  • Address issues that could cause webpages to flash white
  • Allow PDFs to be displayed within web content

The latest update can be downloaded at http://www.apple.com/safari/download/ or through your Software Update. A restart is required.

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Steve Jobs (1955–2011)

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Apple has confirmed Steve Jobs has passed away. He had battled pancreatic cancer for several years. He was only 56. Apple is encouraged people to share memories of him by emailing to rememberingsteve@apple.com.

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