Q4 2007 Site Stats Review

As , I’m reviewing the browser and operating system statistics for this site again. All data is from the period 2007-10-04/2007-12-31. So, on to business. First up is the overall browser chart. Firefox leads with 57%, followed by Internet Explorer at 29% and Safari at 10%. I also got some negligible visits (less than 2%) from Mozilla, Opera, Camino, Netscape, and Konqueror, plus a very few hits from what appear to have been mobile browsers, such as HTC_TyTN_II Mozilla and Palm680. Drilling into per-browser version information, Firefox had a pretty good spread of versions, even getting about 80 hits from…

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Apple Discontinuing Boot Camp

If you use Apple Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) with or without Boot Camp, be warned. Apple will be discontinuing support, updates, and new downloads of the dual-boot software on December 31. The installation software will no longer function, though existing users will continue to be able to use their Windows partitions. Apple made the announcement yesterday, saying that they “hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview an exciting new feature of Mac OS X Leopard.” The announcement comes as an apparent marketing move to push users to the OS X 10.5 upgrade, which offers built-in Boot Camp. I call…

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Leopard Mail Another Security Risk

A Mail bug patched in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) has been rediscovered in Leopard’s Mail program. The bug allows malicious code to be executed when opening certain types of email attachments, and was thought to be fixed until now. The problem arises from improper handling of additional file-handling instructions included with file types such as JPEG. Malicious code can be inserted into the information slot, and will be executed when the file is opened. Fortunately, not all file types are affected, and the researchers at Heise Security had difficulties consistently reproducing the problem. Does this mean the end of…

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Businesses Could Skip Vista; XP Remains Biggest Competitor

The largest opponent to Windows Vista in the business market is not Leopard. Nor does its name contain “Hat.” There is no “U” nor “K” in its name. The name is Windows XP, and it is a large force in the enterprise market. Businesses have spent years now standardizing on Windows XP (some places still even use Windows 2000). The hardware and software incompatibilities introduced in Windows Vista, coupled with its enormous hardware requirements (2 GB minimum recommended RAM and so forth) are hampering business adoption, and causing many companies to abandon deployment plans they made before Vista’s release. XP…

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Apple’s OS X Leopard Wi-Fi Problems

Some users who upgraded their Mac OS X Tiger to Leopard (including users of all three upgrade options [upgrade, archive and install, wipe and install]) are reporting that their Wi-Fi connections degrade through use. One example given details the following chain of events: the connection starts at speed 54, then it falls through 11, 3, 1, and finally it drops out. Other users have suggested things ranging from installing a post-Leopard update that fixes some unidentified issues relating to IEEE 802.11 networks, deleting a configuration file, and toggling IPv6 support. It is interesting that Apple’s latest operating system upgrade has…

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Leopard Has Other Problems, Too

Besides of disabling the firewall by default and not updating included software, Apple’s Leopard upgrade even has holes in its security measures — an ironic concept by any other name. For example, the “Library Randomization” feature (similar to Windows Vista’s Address Space Load Randomization) is supposed to keep code from predictably loading in the same memory spaces, making buffer overflow attacks much more difficult, but some parts of the operating system that should have been randomized are still in predictable locations, most notably the Dynamic Link Library. One of the security researchers putting Leopard through its paces notes that he’s…

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Apple’s Spotted Firewall: Tsk Tsk

Apple has been selling the new Leopard OS X upgrade on its improved security, but it’s not as secure as you might think. By default, the firewall is set to off, the opposite of Windows Vista. (Why don’t people talk about XP anymore?) Even with the firewall enabled, incoming connections targeted at certain system services can still succeed; researchers were able to access the NetBIOS Naming Service over a LAN with full blocking enabled. Not the most ideal setup. UDP can’t even be turned off from within the OS controls. Apple also doesn’t include the latest versions of bundled open-source…

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Leopard: 2,000,000 Copies Served

Just in the time since October 26, when Apple’s Leopard OS X upgrade was released, over two million (yes, 2,000,000) copies have been sold, according to Apple. This number would put Tiger, the previous version, in second place when it comes to first-weekend sales. Steve Jobs says that the new upgrade is getting good reviews, and the innovative features are making more people than ever think about switching to the Mac. Personally, I’m not too much of a Mac fan — I find them pricey, and the interface is a little weird to me, a Windows user — but the…

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