March 2012 From the Prez

March, 2012

Hi to GMMUG!

First things first – both meetings this month are scheduled to be back in Room 151, which has been our "usual" room over the past few months – our last 2 meetings have been in odd rooms.. Please remember that just inside the main entrance is a board which lists goings-on, along with room numbers, if you’re having a hard time finding us.

Tuesday’s meeting is to be Q&A. On March 19th (our Monday meeting), John Bruce has been kind enough to volunteer to do a Photoshop Elements photo enhancing program. They are always exceptional – be sure to come!

It’s been a somewhat slow month in Apple news. Of course, the big news is what’s to be announced later this week – Apple has invited the press to an event at which it’s expected to announce the next generation iPad – rumored to be called the iPad HD, and sporting twice the screen resolution (4 times the pixels) as the iPad 2, in the same basic form factor. The fun thing will be if there’s "one more thing" – Apparently supplies of the current Apple TV have dried up, which is suggestive of a new model coming out.

The past month has brought news of new malware targeting the Mac OS. It is a JAVA vulnerability, so the way to protect yourself is to run Software Update and make sure JAVA is up to date. Note that if you are running Lion, you probably had to get and install JAVA, as it is not part of the default Lion install.

I am still comfortable NOT recommending antivirus products for the Mac OS, but it does bear repeating, run software update regularly (The Mac OS is set by default to check for updates weekly and inform you if there are updates available – my advice is to go ahead and let the updates take place when they are brought to your attention). That being said, remember to distrust the internet – if an email comes to you that suggests you click on a link, even if it’s from someone you know, be skeptical – maybe call & confirm that they did send you something they want you to check out. Does it appear that eBay, or PayPal, or a bank sent you an email saying you need to do something, click here to take care of it now? Don’t EVER follow those instructions. If you want, you can always open a new web page and go directly to the website in question and see what you see.

One last thing I suggest for everyone that uses Safari – UNCHECK the option to ‘Open "safe" files after downloading’ – this has been exploited by hackers in the past, and will be again, I’m sure. And it is CHECKED by default.

How many of you have noticed the case of the iPad trademark in mainland China? Back before the iPad was introduced, Apple created a company for the express purpose of acquiring the iPad trademark from Proview, a bankrupt computer monitor manufacturer. Now there’s this big go-round between the 2 companies in China, with Proview claiming the iPad trademark in Mainland China wasn’t part of the deal, and they want billions from Apple to allow them to use it. China’s courts are hashing it out now.. I gotta say, I don’t care how cheap labor is there, I wouldn’t do business in that country for anything..

I’ll close this round of rambling by commenting on Apple’s patent litigation – Apple has been granted a bunch more patents for user interface controls that are used on the iPhone and iPad, and they have won some cases recently (although I really don’t know what it means if you win one of these things), although there have been some setbacks too – in Germany, Apple was forced to turn off "push", meaning folks have to check their email instead of having it show up automatically on their phone. What an ugly mess the patent system is in.

Truly rambling this month, and ranting a little too,