Adobe updates Flash player for Mac

Adobe has released a critical update to its Flash Player software (the browser plugin) that fixes critical security flaws and gives users a better way of controlling whether they are being tracked on the Web.

The Flash Player 10.3 update, released May 12, lets users manage Flash cookies using their browser’s privacy settings or through a new, native OS control panel.

And at long last, Mac OS users will finally get automatic software update notifications. It has been a disgrace that it took so long for Adobe to provide this, but we’re grateful nonetheless.

Because of this missing update notice functionality, I just found out about it today, May 18.

You can check which version of Flash Player you have installed at Adobe’s site.

Annoyingly, the control panel does not use Sparkle to check for updates, but launches a new browser window.

Apple iPad Subscriptions — Evil?

Insight into the world of iOS developers

CNET ran a story yesterday about BeamItDown Software, the start-up software developer who made the iFlow Reader app for iOS. They condemn Apple for a draconian policy.

And a full interview at CNET of BeamItDown’s co-founder Dennis Morin.

Nowhere in the history of application development has there been rules associated with it, let alone hundreds of rules like there are now. I mean, this extends their [Apple’s] control-freak nature to a whole new level. So yeah I can sell an app on my Web site, that’s fine. But if I have something for sale on my Web site, I have to have a button in the app that allows a user to purchase that item through Apple’s In-App Purchase system for the same price that I sell it at on my Web site.

Now if I’m selling a book for $10 and someone clicks on that button in the app, I lose $1.15 on the sale and Apple makes $3. Let’s face it, the user doesn’t give a s—. They’re going to purchase it from wherever’s easiest to purchase it.

The bottom line is that if you buy a book through iBooks, Apple makes 30 percent on the sale. And if you buy a book through iFlow, Apple makes 30 percent on the sale. And I lose money.

To clarify the outrage these developers feel:

What people don’t understand is that if you’re selling an app on iOS, Apple hosts that app on their server. You upload it, the customer downloads it, it gets downloaded from their servers. OK. With In-App Purchase it doesn’t work that way. You host everything. You ship it directly to the customer. All Apple does in the process is collect the money and basically give you a token that says it was collected and you do everything else. It’s essentially doing exactly the same thing as a credit-card processing company for this 30 percent. Nothing more.

Another article:


Security for Mac

Mac OS X Security — Urgency is Growing for Protection

A client of ours, CHEN PR, handles the PR and social media strategy for Sophos. This is how we came across their free antivirus software for Mac.

As an all-Mac shop since we began in 1996, PDG & Associates has never used or needed antivirus software. For various reasons the Mac was not an easy or viable target for malware writers. But with Apple’s rising dominance in the computer industry perhaps it’s time to batten down the hatches!

Read a blog post by Sophos. Sophos created a free, award-winning antivirus program for Mac OS X.

Another columnist at ZDNET writes persuasively about the urgent need to prepare for the coming tide of malware. Read the article Why malware for Macs is on its way… by Ed Bott on May 5, 2011.

free Sophos Mac Antivirus Software
free Sophos Mac Antivirus Software

Pentalobular screws and your iphone

A reader posed this challenge: did we know what “pentalobular” was without using a search engine. Latin tells us it’s a 5-sided something. If you have an iphone, then you have several pentalobular screws.

Turn to iFixit to work with these type of screws.

They have an iPhone 4 Liberation Kit for $10.

iPhone 4 Liberation Kit
iPhone 4 Liberation Kit

Useful Twitter tools – roundup

There are many desktop programs that make using twitter easier. Whether for managing multiple accounts or tracking comments across many social media sites, these apps and programs can make the experience of using twitter/facebook/tumbleupon etc. more efficient.

Here’s a website that scans your website/tweets for word frequency and creates art in the form of a “word cloud”. While not strictly useful, this site can be used to scan a web page and find the most popular words for SEO keyword purposes.

wordle image

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Another website, Appstorm, gathered together over 50 Mac twitter apps/programs/clients.

An important fuel to this fire is the remarkably open Twitter API which has allowed developers to create a plethora of beautiful and incredibly convenient desktop applications that connect with every facet of the service. This article is dedicated to all you readers who, like me, are completely addicted to two things: Mac applications and Twitter.

iPad or iAd

iPad Mania! But wait… we can sell ads!

Interesting what a blog at Fortune says about the new iAd’s potential:

Jobs pitch: Apple will provide the tools, sell and host the ads, give developers 60% of the revenue and by the time the service debuts this summer, offer a billion impressions a day to one of the world’s most valuable demographics.

Did you see Apple’s presentation? Streamed here.