Two vulnerabilities have been found that attack the Central Processing Units of almost all computers – Windows AND Mac. 

If this vulnerability is exploited, your computer may be subject to ALL of your information being visible to whoever is attacking the machine.

While most individual users are less likely to be targeted, we’re all still open to this problem – and it may never be completely fixable. However, this article from PC World will educate your further, and teach you what you may do to try to partially protect yourself.

On Macs, I’ve been advocating removal of most antiviral software – however now, I’m going to suggest that users on both platforms take advantage of the protection that may be enabled by a good Antivirus/ID Protection package.

In the meantime, please read this article for more information.

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Lately, many of is with Macs and iDevices are finding unsolicited invitations to random events (usually SPAM sales) in our calendars. Needless to say, people have been feeling less than happy about this garbage, and it seems there’s been no way to remove these without hitting “decline” (which lets spammers know they’ve hit a valid spam location).

Although there currently appears to be no way to stop this spam, CNET has come up with some ways to remove them from your calendar without alerting spammers that you exist – and a method of ensuring these don’t get into your calendar in the future.

Check out this article at:
http://download.cnet.com/blog/download-blog/block-apple-calendar-spam-ios-macos/?ttag=e415&ftag=TREf2961de&tag=nl.e415&s_cid=e415&ttag=e415&ftag=TREf2961de

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Techconnect.com has an article that lists all the various adapters necessary to use your peripherals (wired printers, external hard drives, monitors, iDevice connectors, etc.) with the new Thunderbolt 3 technology. Granted, Thunderbolt 3‘s power is amazing – can push up to 100W of power, the data transfer speed is 40Gbps, it can run two 4K monitors, and power tons of devices at once. But this power comes at a cost. Firstly – the only connective technology with which it’s directly compatible is USB-C. If you have ANY older devices, you’ll need to shell out more money for new adapters to suit your varying peripherals.

So, be ready – if you’re preparing to dish out between $2,400-$3400 on a new MacBook Pro – remember to build a few hundred more into your budget if you want to work with all your previous devices.

MacBook Pro Thunderbold 3 Adapter Guide (techconnect.com)

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UPDATE!
You should be informed – I heard back from Parallels today – SAME day I requested their flexibility – and they DID do the right thing! As I’ve been a loyal customer for many years, they honored my purchase, and offered me a new license key for the new version of the software! They ARE trustworthy!

As you all know, I believe in offering both praise an condemnation when appropriate. I praise Parallels today, for doing what’s right!

——————————————

Many of you have seen me teach using Parallels to emulate the Windows environment on my Mac. Overall, I’ve found it to be the most reliable, user friendly emulation software among all the alternatives.

I’d delayed my purchase of their version 11, because I had no need of it until I upgraded my Virtual Machine to Windows 10. That was July 28th. Yesterday, Parallels announced the release of their Version 12. Oddly, their “free upgrade” for recent purchases section only allows free upgrades for software registered between August 1st (25 days prior to the release) and October 30th (when people won’t be able to buy the old version, anyway).

I’ve contacted them about the 2 day discrepancy – almost NO software company declines to offer free upgrades for purchases less than 30 days.

I’ve touted Parallels’ virtues to many of my students and clients over the years. I have my request to extend the free upgrade date on escalation. I’ll keep you updated on the outcome, as I’d never again suggest this software to anybody, if they choose to enforce their unreasonable and draconian rules in this situation.

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One set of my favorite plugin developers, MacPhun, has released an article on their blog about the expected changes in the upcoming MacOS Sierra. While I’m usually quite hesitant to upgrade my OS (I don’t like buying software upgrades for my existing apps – and what happened with Mavericks and it’s lack of video codecs is inexcusable), some of the revelations about the new Mac native photography apps are intriguing.

I skipped Mountain Lion, I’ve skipped El Capitan – but I might consider Sierra (after a good, long, healthy wait to the .2 update version).

Check out their article at: MacPhun

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As a hobbyist photographer, and a professional computer technician and software teacher, I’ve used this company for years. Even did the “pilgrimage” to visit them, last time I was in NY. I was so excited to see the actual PLACE.

This store is very popular online, for computer equipment, photography equipment, video equipment and assorted other, related paraphernalia.

I’m EXTREMELY angered and disappointed to read this about them. I will do my best to find and use good competitor companies to fulfill my needs in the future.

This pains me.
http://nypost.com/2016/02/25/bh-forced-hispanic-workers-to-use-separate-bathroom-feds/

bhphoto

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BACKUP!!!

So, you guys know I’m very neurotic about backing up my files, and I found this service that gives you unlimited space for automatic backups – IN THE CLOUD!

I have dual hard drive backups in my home office, PLUS a separate backup for my startup drive. But living in SoCal, with earthquakes, I’ve always been concerned about earthquake damage hurting my backups, leaving me with nothing.

Recently, I discovered BackBlaze.com. for $50/year, they offer unlimited space for backups, allow the backup of external drives, retain backups for 30 days, and will back up almost everything (system files and Applications won’t get backed up). I have 4 internal drives and several externals. All of my media (photos, videos, and even the files created as temporary files for my video editing), all of my office work files, personal files – and it’s safe and encrypted. All offsite, and all for $50! There isn’t a limit on file size, either – so my largest multi-gig files can be uploaded. It’s not exceptionally speedy, but I can even control the speed of the backups.

I highly recommend checking them out at BackBlaze.com.

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Net Safety on Public WiFi   June 17th, 2015

CNET has published an excellent article on Web Safety when you’re out and about with your laptop or devices and using a public WiFi station. There are some pretty big risks that people might access and steal your data, your private logins and your identity information (including credit card numbers and passwords).

Check out their article at:
http://www.cnet.com/how-to/tips-to-stay-safe-on-public-wi-fi/

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Everything Got Hacked   June 15th, 2015

Hi guys. My entire website got hacked, so I’m recreating everything from the basics (at least, all the stuff that uses WordPress). This is a test of the app that lets my posts go to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Lesson is – if you use WordPress for anything (I use it for blogs only, right now), UPDATE often! Especially plugins!

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The Macworld Help Desk has a really helpful article about what to expect when upgrading to Mac OS 10.8 (currently 10.8.2) Mountain Lion. The article can be seen at http://bit.ly/10n5gNc

Personally, I haven’t performed this upgrade, but there’s really only one reason for this at this point. I HAVE upgraded to Lion (10.7) and do not particularly like it. It’s GREAT for new users, but for those of us who’ve been using the Mac for a long time, we have to jump through too many hoops to do anything with real control. This is the same issue with Mountain Lion, and from what I see, Mountain Lion has some improvements over Lion. So, you ask, WHY have I upgraded to Lion, and skipped Lion?

Well, I NEED my old applications that run in Rosetta. “But” (you say), “Lion doesn’t run Rosetta either, so how can this be a good reason?”

In my efforts to keep my old apps running, I found the ONE version of VMWare Fusion that allowed us to install Snow Leopard as a guest operating system so I can run my old Snow Leopard installation (my favorite OS so far, btw) in emulation – much the same way I run Windows. Now, I need you guys to know that installing Snow Leopard’s Client OS may be breaking the “letter of the law” unless you use the Server version.

The ONE version of VMWare Fusion that will allow the use of Snow Leopard’s Client (means end-user version) will stop working if I upgrade it, and the old version will not run on Mountain Lion – simple as that!

Oh, and I should tell you that I HAVE tried using the Server version of Snow Leopard in Parallels and VMWare. They work fine, but don’t have the same capabilities as they do when emulating Windows – they don’t allow copy/paste to work between environments, and they don’t allow drag and drop of files from the main environment to the virtualized one (a VERY helpful feature between Mac and Windows – non-existent in Mac to Mac emulation – can you believe it?!)

All this, so you can understand the implications of upgrading your Operating System on the Mac. It may not affect you as most of you have been using the Mac for a short enough time that you don’t have any older programs that require Rosetta. But if you do, you may wish to take heed.

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