Posts Tagged ‘mac’

Apple, where is the touchscreen?

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Apple where is the touchscreenIf you have seen any of the commercials for the new Macbook Pro you probably noticed that Apple has incorporated a new touchbar feature above the keyboard. The touchbar marketing makes this new feature seem sexy sleek and cool by allowing users to interact with certain programs by using the new touchbar. Apple calls this new feature “A touch of genius” and “Light. Years ahead”, but really is this that “genius” or awesome of a feature? This new feature certainly begs the question: Why doesn’t Apple just make a Macbook Pro that is a touchscreen, and how about they call it a Touchbook Pro (duh)?

The Apple team has explained that they just do not think Mac OSX would be effective as a touchscreen operating system. They would like to keep iOS the iPhone and iPad OS the touchscreen operating system and Mac OSX the old point and click version but now with the new touchbar. For the company that claims to create the most intuitive user interfaces for operating system it seems like Apple is missing the boat here since most Windows based laptops now include a touchscreen for ease of use. Windows has recreated the entire Microsoft Windows user interface to accommodate both touchscreen and tradition mouse and keyboard users. So is Windows ahead of the curve here? Has Windows finally taken back the prize for most intuitive operating system interface?

In Windows the computer user is never forced to exclusively use the touchscreen as they can still use the touchpad mouse and keyboard to navigate the operating system as well. It just seems logical to provide Mac OSX users with the same experience to stay competitive. There is nothing wrong with touching the screen every once in a while to launch a program or to move the focus to a search field in the web browser.

Perhaps there is something else holding the Apple company back from making a touchscreen laptop. Maybe it has something to do with the chipset they have created for the Macbook laptop, and they just do not want to re-engineer a touchscreen into the motherboard due to cost and profit margins. While we may never really know what is holding this feature back, it is safe to say that the Macbook Pro laptop and Mac OSX is lagging behind in using the cutting edge features that touchscreen brings to the usability of a laptop.

Apple Ransomware

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apple now targeted by ransomewareApple computers are not immune to malware vulnerabilities. A new form of malware called “ransomware” is targeting Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Ransomeware is a computer virus that encrypts important data such as pictures, videos, music, and documents in order to “hold it for ransom” at an unsuspecting victim’s expense. If the victim pays the ransom then, hopefully, they would receive a key to decrypt their data, known as a decryption key. Unfortunately many times there is no decryption key and the victim loses not only their data but possibly up to $700 USD in ransom payment. The ransom payment transaction occurs using an anonymous payment method in order to conceal the identity of the scammer holding the data ransom so that there is no trace. Ransomware is usually spread via email attachments, peer to peer file sharing, and more recently removable devices such as external hard drives and USB flash drives.

While this is not the first time Apple computers have been vulnerable to malware attacks, such as the FBI virus a few years ago, a recent Reuters report revealed that ransomware was targeting Apple computers for the first time. Ransomware is already rampant on computers running the Windows operating system. Many variants of the trojan horse already exist such as Bitlocker, CryptoWall, Cryptorbit, and CryptoLocker or Crypto-malware. So far the ransomware has infected Apple computers via peer to peer file sharing networks using bit torrent.

There is no easy fix for the data that has been affected by the ransomware. Without the decryption key the data is scrambled to a point that it cannot be deciphered using current technology.

“The best way to protect your data from a ransomware attack is to have an archive backup of the important data on a computer” says South City Computer security expert Nestor Wheelock. “Because the archive is completely disconnected from the live file system the ransomware will not encrypt the data”. While this form of data backup service is complex and daunting to most computer users, South City Computer offers a service package that includes this type of backup service. If you need assistance setting up this type of backup service contact South City Computer or a local computer repair store near you.

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