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November 05, 2011

Macs running OSX Lion have a secret dropbox that automagically syncs with iCloud

I found this helpful. OS X Lion has a hidden 'drop box' for easy file syncing between Macs | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog
Mac OS X Hints has discovered that Macs running OS X Lion and registered with iCloud have a hidden "drop box" in the user's Library folder that allows for easy document and file syncing between Macs. A folder within ~/Library (which Lion hides by default) called "Mobile Documents" contains iWork documents synced with iOS devices via iCloud (something our own Erica Sadun discovered quite a while ago.) "What is of use is that any files put into the ~/Library/Mobile Documents folder will automatically upload to iCloud and push to any other Mac you have that is signed in to the same iCloud account and has the 'Document & Data' iCloud preference checked," says Mac OS X Hints member CHM. "Lion even notifies you of version conflicts and allows you to resolve them when you open the document." This functionality is broadly similar to the third-party file syncing service Dropbox, but having the service buried within a hidden user folder makes it far less useful. Files manually added to the Mobile Documents folder also apparently don't sync to iOS devices, which is another feature Dropbox does provide via its iOS app. . . .

LEGOs in Spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

collectSPACE - news - "LEGO figures flying on NASA Jupiter...

November 03, 2011

Repurposed Stuxnet virus causing havoc in Microsoft systems around the world

Microsoft Struggles Against Duqu Malware ‘Nearly Identical to Stuxnet’ | TPM Idea Lab
Microsoft has a big malware mess on its hands: A piece of malware targeting industrial infrastructure and systems manufacturers overseas, which has been called “nearly identical to Stuxnet,” by CrySyS, the Hungarian computer research lab that discovered the virus, exploits a previously unknown vulnerability in Microsoft Word to install itself, according to an update posted Tuesday by American cybersecurity company Symantec. As Symantec’s Vikram Thakur explained on the company’s blog: “The installer file is a Microsoft Word document (.doc) that exploits a previously unknown kernel vulnerability that allows code execution…When the file is opened, malicious code executes and installs the main Duqu binaries.” The phony Word document is emailed as an attachment to victims’ computers that bypasses antivirus software. Once downloaded, it also installs an “infostealer” that logs a user’s keystrokes and steals other system information, also replicating across secure networks using the passwords obtained by the keystroke logger and installing new copies of Duqu in shared folders. It is even able to penetrate secure networks by having secure servers communicate with infected machines and then out onto the public Internet, where the hacker can obtain all of the data. The malware is programmed to remain active for 30 days after which time it automatically removes itself. But during the time the malware is active on an infected computer, “the attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on various industries, including industrial control system facilities,” Symantec theorizes in a lengthier report on the threat. That approach is similar to the Stuxnet worm, which infected Iranian nuclear plant computers in late 2010, causing centrifuges at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz to spin too fast, ruining up to 1,000 of them. . . .

November 01, 2011

Google degrades Google Reader

Google Reader is one my primary ways of interacting with the Internet. I love RSS feeds. But the redesign--as of this morning--chooses style over actual function. The top third of my screen is a useless, expansive header bar. It looks terrible and cuts off the content that I ACTUALLY WANT TO READ. It's terrible. I hope they fix it ASAP. Read this post for a full breakdown of the crappy rework written by an ex-project manager for Google Reader. Reader redesign: Terrible decision, or worst decision? - >*
In the name of visual consistency, Google has updated the visual style to match Gmail, Calendar and Docs. I have nothing against visual consistency (and in fact, this something that Google should be doing), but it's as if whoever made the update did so without ever actually using the product to, you know, read something. When you log into Reader, what the hell do you think your primary objective is? Did you answer "stare at a giant header bar with no real estate saved for actual reading"? Congrats, here's your prize . . .

October 20, 2011

WordPress to enable bloggers to profit from ads on their blogs

Now WordPress Will Allow You to Profit from Your Posts - Techland - TIME.com
Just a couple of days after Chime.in launched with the promise of allowing users to monetize their own social media, WordPress bloggers are about to get the same ability thanks to a new deal struck between the blogging engine and Federated Media Publishing. The deal will offer WordPress users a chance to opt-in to Federated's advertising representation starting at some point during Q1 2012. WordPress will take a cut of the ad revenue generated as a result, as well as being paid by Federated for the ability to represent its users.