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Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Inside MacOS X Lion's Security & Privacy Featu (

wiredmikey writes: Following yesterday's announcement of record quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion and record quarterly profit of $7.31 billion, Apple today launched Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of its operating system.

While OS X Lion flaunts more than 250 new features, I thought it would be appropriate to run through them and highlight some of the security and privacy related features that would be of interest to a security-minded Mac users.

Some of the security and privacy related features in Mac OS X Lion that stand out most:

  Enhanced runtime protection — Apple has improved Address space layout randomization (ASLR) for all applications and made it available for 32-bit apps (as are heap memory protections), making 64-bit and 32-bit applications more resistant to attack.

  Application sandboxing — Sandboxing protects the system by limiting the kinds of operations an application can perform, such as opening documents or accessing the network. Sandboxing makes it more difficult for a security threat to take advantage of an issue in a specific application to affect the greater system.

  Revamped FileVault Technology: FileVault 2 new provides Full Disk Encryption, Instant wipe and External Drive Support: Built in (but not activated by default) FileVault now allows users to encrypt the entire drive on a Mac, helping to keep data more and uses XTS-AES 128 encryption to secure data. With FileVault 2, an “instant wipe” feature removes the encryption key from the system instantaneously, making the data completely inaccessible.

  Apple ID authentication for file sharing — An Apple ID can now be used to log in to a remote Mac for file sharing. If others need to access a folder on a Mac, users don’t have to create separate user accounts and only need to add their Apple IDs to the list of authorized users, allowing them to log in with their credentials.

  File Sharing Privacy — When users share a document — through email, iChat, or AirDrop, for instance — only the current version is sent; all other versions remain on the system. This should be obvious functionality and not really considered a feature!

  Encrypted Backups — Time Machine backups can be encrypted with FileVault 2.

  Observe Only mode in Screen Sharing — A new “Observe Only” mode lets you watch a remote computer without controlling the mouse or trackpad movements so users don’t have to hand over full control of a system when collaborating on a project or demonstrating something to another user.

  Removing all Web Site Data — Safari makes it simple to remove cookies and Flash plug-in data, as well as information from databases, local storage, and the application cache.

  Private AutoFill in Safari — Designed to help users fill out forms quickly while keeping personal information private. This is great feature, but will it be able to fight off carefully crafted XSS attacks?


Submission + - Backblaze build 137TB server for $7384 (

An anonymous reader writes: Cloud storage is the “in” thing at the moment. Offloading your applications and storing all your data offsite is becoming increasingly cheap to do for the end user, plus it means a theft or fire on-site doesn’t mean all your data is lost.

In order to offer such cloud services data centers need to be packed full of processing and storage equipment which costs money to buy, setup, and run 24 hours a day. One company trying to cut those costs as much as possible is Backblaze. They offer an online backup service with unlimited storage for as little as $3.96/month.

In order to offer this service with unlimited data at such a low price, Backblaze has had to come up with its own data center storage pod. Better yet, they are more than happy to share the design with everyone so they can build their own pods, something institutes like Harvard’s Clean Energy Project are more than happy to take advantage of.

The first Pod Backblaze developed could store 67 terabytes of data, but they’ve recently updated the design to double the storage capacity for a lower overall build price and much faster system. The end result is the Backblaze Storage Pod 2.0 that can store 135 terabytes of data for a build cost of just $7,384.

The Military

Submission + - Top General: Defense Department IT In 'Stone Age' ( 1

CWmike writes: "U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James 'Hoss' Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was sharply critical Tuesday of the the department is pretty much in the Stone Age as far as IT is concerned,' Cartwright said. He cited problems with proprietary systems that aren't connected to anything else and are unable to quickly adapt to changing needs. 'We have huge numbers of data links that move data between proprietary platforms — one point to another point,' he said. The most striking example of an IT failure came during the second Gulf War, where Marines and the Army were dispatched in southern Iraq, he said. 'It's crazy, we buy proprietary [and] we don't understand what it is we're buying into,' he said. 'It works great for an application, and then you come to conflict and you spend the rest of your time trying to modify it to actually do what it should do.'"

Submission + - Willard S. Boyle, Father of the CCD, Dies at 86 (

An anonymous reader writes: Willard S. Boyle co-developer of the Charge Coupled Device (CCD) has died at the age of 86. Boyle was credited with the development of the Charge Coupled Device in collaboration with his colleague at Bell Laboratories George E. Smith. They received the 2009 Nobel Prize for physics for their work.
The Internet

Submission + - Debate swirls over IPv4 resale rules (

netbuzz writes: A bankruptcy court recently approved Nortel’s sale of almost 670,000 IPv4 addresses to Microsoft for $7.5 million. Despite this precedent, there remains great disagreement in Internet policy circles about how future sales of IPv4 addresses – particularly the largest blocks issued during the Internet’s early years – will proceed. Says a broker of the Nortel/Microsoft deal: ``It means that the pejorative term ‘black market’ is a thing of the past, and the creation of an open, legitimate secondary market for the sale of number blocks, under a legal framework, is now undisputed.’’ Yet the details are very much still being disputed.

Submission + - New York Times R&D wants to preserve iOS data (

An anonymous reader writes: In an alternate take on the iOS "location tracking" controversy, The New York Times R&D Lab has started, an initiative which promotes individuals' access to their own data. Via an upload application, participants securely store their iOS data and are given tools for mapping and conversion to common formats for their own use. Ultimately, the goal is to connect datasets to research projects in public health, epidemiology or urban planning on an opt-in basis.

Submission + - Photos from Inside Solar Powered Masdar City (

An anonymous reader writes: You may have already seen photos of the recently opened solar powered Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, but Inhabitat now has exclusive pics taken from inside the walls of the carbon-neutral city. The city is powered by an array of solar panels and also incorporates passive cooling techniques and low-energy solutions for lighting and other systems.

Submission + - 1st International Flight for Solar-powered Plane (

Zothecula writes: Solar Impulse is on standby for its first international flight this week. Brussels has been chosen as the destination for the first venture outside Swiss borders, which follows the solar powered aircraft's maiden flight and first overnight flight last year and will mark another important step towards the goal of flying around the world in 2012.

Comment Re:lacking important path transformation algorithm (Score 1) 91

Good points.

Couple of tips for working with 'pixels' in inkscape:
I usually zoom in quite deep and add a grid (Grids tab in Document Properties); the gridlines mark pixel borders.
You can quickly toggle snap-to-grid with % (shift-5).
The Icon Preview gives you a 1:1 for work<=64x64, or you can hit '1' to jump to 100% zoom.

Comment Re:lacking important path transformation algorithm (Score 1) 91

O - "Round Corners": Inkscape has a lot of ways to achieve this, but they should be easier and more automatic, so I'll agree with you here.
X - There is a Calligraphic Pen tool in the main toolbox. The default behavior is path outline.
X - Path offsets are excellent and consistent using the Dynamic Offset tool
X - Auto-trace is in Path -> Trace Bitmap
X - Pixel Preview mode is in View -> Icon Preview

You aren't expected to be up-to-date on software you don't use, but please get the facts straight before posting :)

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