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MacBytes
Nov 4, 2004, 08:45 PM
Category: Reviews
Link: Consumer Reports iMac G5 cover story: Macs more reliable than any PC, vs. 60,000 viruses for Windows (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041104214559)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

iMac G5 on Cover of December Consumer Reports Magazine

Mac News Network reports (http://www.macnn.com/news/26856) that the iMac G5 will grace the cover of the December issue of Consumer Reports Magazine (http://www.consumerreports.org), due out this week. According to MacNN, the caption will read "Unspectacular results for Intel's new processor. Plus 59,940 reasons to reconsider Macs." and the article will contain these comments:In this atmosphere of low expectations, Apple Computer has actually raised its support satisfaction for desktop computers over the past three years to levels well above all competitors, while offering the most reliable desktop hardware.

Another factor working in Apple's favor: Macs are vulnerable to few viruses and little spyware because both target mostly Windows-based users. Symantec, maker of Norton AntiVirus, says approximately 60,000 viruses aim at Windows-based PCs, but about 60 target Macs.
Despite not giving Apple and Mac OS X some of the credit for operating system security in comparison with Windows, this type of quotation and the iMac's featured position in the issue being released as the holiday buying season begins are certain to boost Apple's visibility and sales.

Three months ago, in the September 2004 issue, Consumer Reports rated Apple as the #1 manufacturer for both technical support and repair history, for both desktop systems and laptop systems, based on their annual subscriber survey.

Consumer Reports, published by Consumers Union since 1936, has over one million subscribers and is arguably the best known and most trusted independent source of consumer information in the United States.

Mudbug
Nov 4, 2004, 08:46 PM
this is great exposure, regardless...

but one question - 60 viruses target macs? what 60?

jackieonasses
Nov 4, 2004, 08:47 PM
this is great exposure, regardless...

but one question - 60 viruses target macs? what 60? great exposure to make hackers want to rid us of a virus free world...(only kidding)


and as mudbug said....WHAT 60? probably just being safe with numbers, but stilL!

Earendil
Nov 4, 2004, 08:57 PM
great exposure to make hackers want to rid us of a virus free world...(only kidding)


and as mudbug said....WHAT 60? probably just being safe with numbers, but stilL!

Right. Perhaps they are counting trojans and worms in there as well, as is often all too common? In that case give me a few minutes with AppleScript and you can make it 61...

~Tyler

macridah
Nov 4, 2004, 09:40 PM
the vaccine for windows is a mac ... hah

iMeowbot
Nov 4, 2004, 09:49 PM
but one question - 60 viruses target macs? what 60?
That would mostly be the ones that worked on OS 9 and lower, including quite a few that stopped working under System 7. To get the number up to 60 you have to include stuff like Word exploits and the Entourage worm.

bousozoku
Nov 4, 2004, 10:05 PM
The number is 42 for the original Mac OS. (That sounds familiar. :D)

With the MS Office viruses available, Mac OS historically could have over 5000. Whether any of the MS Office viruses do anything on the Macintosh version, I don't know.

iMeowbot
Nov 4, 2004, 10:40 PM
The number is 42 for the original Mac OS. (That sounds familiar. :D)
nVIR could be one, two or 14 viruses depending on how you count, and so on. That's where the biggest count differences come from.

bousozoku
Nov 4, 2004, 11:52 PM
nVIR could be one, two or 14 viruses depending on how you count, and so on. That's where the biggest count differences come from.

Say what you will but until Mac OS 9.x, Virex listed 38 native viruses.

nagromme
Nov 5, 2004, 12:03 AM
60 must be OS 7-9 viruses--few of which could do much or anything even if you DID have Classic installed (not the default) and had it running and accessed the 'net with it. A lot of those really old viruses spread by disk not net!

Anyway, considering how reluctant CR has always been to admit Macs have good points, this is a nice shift. Not long ago at ALL they were complaining that the iMac G4 lacked a floppy drive, forcing you to spend money on one :) When I get my copy I'll see if they say the same about the G5 :rolleyes:

Also, despite seemingly providing basic guidance for NON-techie shoppers, they historically offer NO advice on choosing an OS, and dodge the issue by rating Macs against other Macs, as if the only person who'd buy a Mac is a special type who "you know who you are." In fact, the non-techie types could really benefit from a Mac, and CR ought to point that out instead of siding with the low-quality monopoly. If THAT changes and they offer a fair rundown of Mac vs. Windows, I'll be especially impressed.

Anyone have their copy yet?

bousozoku
Nov 5, 2004, 12:29 AM
I think they should have stayed with rating toasters. They're much better at that. ;) It's nice to see that they've gone out on a limb but it always seems to me that they're a pointless group.

nagromme
Nov 5, 2004, 12:38 AM
I wouldn't say pointless, but I see a lot of errors and odd omissions in tech reviews--and it makes me wonder how many more errors there are that I don't know enough to spot. Examples: a whole big spread on digital home movies, reviewing different software... and never mentioning that you need a computer with Firewire! And big details wrong on some products--like the digital camera I own (Pentax Optio S, S4, and S4i DO have manual controls--great TINY cameras!)

Still, this may be the day people finally BELIEVE me when I say Macs don't have the Windows virus problem :)

virividox
Nov 5, 2004, 02:30 AM
this is good exposure. at least gone are the days of fervent mac bashing!!!

Doctor Q
Nov 5, 2004, 02:37 AM
As a long-time subscriber, I've seen CR become more and more accepting of the Macintosh difference.

I remember when they downrated Macs for "missing" one piece of standard equipment: the floppy drive. The CR reporters couldn't see that letting consumers purchase a low-tech, problem-prone, and soon-to-be-out-of-date component separately (i.e., only if needed) and encouraging networking and higher capacity removable media was a forward-reaching move that benefited consumers more than it inconvenienced them.

These days, CR seems much more in tune with what really matters when evaluating a computer purchase.

paxtonandrew
Nov 5, 2004, 02:56 AM
It is good to see the iMac keep building up popularity, and support from general windoze based magazines. Apple have always had the better product, and today it is time to see the IT world see this too.

The virus issue it an interesting one. As far as I knew there were no known Mac viruses, at least for Max OsX, which is the only version of Mac Os I have really used. I believe the high (is it at 60?) number of viruses to be a number carried over from the classic versions of Mac os. OsX has so far been impenetrable for virus compiler's, or it is because they cant be bothered learning PPC code, and thus the operating system.

coolfactor
Nov 5, 2004, 04:21 AM
OsX has so far been impenetrable for virus compiler's, or it is because they cant be bothered learning PPC code, and thus the operating system.

Yes, it would be a sad day indeed if a true Mac user wrote a nasty virus. We have better things to do than begin the slow erosion of our community.

johnnyjibbs
Nov 5, 2004, 04:21 AM
This is good news. Hopefully the iMacs will now sell very well, but I thought they were still struggling with demand at the moment? Sounds like Apple needs more factories!

The virus thing is probably just a comparison - the 60 figure is probably just plucked from thin air, based on it being that sort of ball park (i.e. that factor of 10). The 60 has a simple relaitionship with the 60 000 or whatever number they gave for the Windows PCs. Granted, a couple of these things are a little misleading - it's probably all classic Mac OS viruses.

Still, good coverage for the US. Now lets get some of this in the UK please. :rolleyes:

AmigoMac
Nov 5, 2004, 04:30 AM
There are some people still who think that Apple never produce a new OS after 9, I've got some critics about the OS GUI and how win 98/ME is far better than X ... Those morons...! Apart of the media, apple should start some real campaign on "how to's" with iLife.

paxtonandrew
Nov 5, 2004, 04:56 AM
Yes, it would be a sad day indeed if a true Mac user wrote a nasty virus. We have better things to do than begin the slow erosion of our community.

That is a variation of my point. I believe the Mac community to be more closely knit than its windoze counterpart. There are a few Mac people out there that actually use Macs only because they have to. I went to high school with a person (name withheld) who bashed Macs on his back-foot, whilst on the front foot needed them for Film and Media at University, and I eventually sold him my Lc2, which limped him through Uni. Recently catching up with him, he has a dual Xenon home computer with an Alpha build of Long Horn as his main Os, using Dual 2.0s at work, and still a Mac hater. He believes he has made a Mac virus in his spare time using believe it or not, Visual Basic. Go figure.

The Mac users are loyal, and when our user base grows, we will become even bigger, and maybe take that lucrative 5% :cool:

mactarkus
Nov 5, 2004, 05:15 AM
I received that issue about three days ago so it's hardly a rumor. I was pleasantly surprised to see the iMac G5 on the cover -- a small picture but there nonetheless. Inside the magazine is the title "COMPUTERS: Shiny Apple". Though CR has been pretty fair to Macs over the years they still point out a few things, which are a little misleading:

When talking about switching, "..you'll likely need new software and spend time converting your existing data files." and "Mac users also have fewer choices in software." They also write, "The computer costs more than a similarly featured Windows PC..."

Yes you *might* need new software but that's highly situation dependent. As for converting files? It's been some time since converting files was necessary with standard file formats being well, standard. Costs more? That's a loaded statement right there, and we all know you get what you pay for. Obviously CR is taking a simplistic view on costs and not factoring in the value of included software, ease-of-use, and TCO.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 5, 2004, 05:17 AM
There are some people still who think that Apple never produce a new OS after 9, I've got some critics about the OS GUI and how win 98/ME is far better than X ... Those morons...! Apart of the media, apple should start some real campaign on "how to's" with iLife.
I think Apple doesn't want to promote the Mac platform themselves - they are relying on their user base and other organizations (such as Consumer Reports) to do this for them. It's a different way to market, fitting of the Apple "Think Different" slogan - how effective this approach is at luring new customers to the Apple Macintosh platform is unknown, due in large part to the fact that the marketing is distributed - thus there is no central body to collect marketing numbers.

mactarkus
Nov 5, 2004, 05:19 AM
If someone can quote a source, I'd be happy to submit a letter to the editor at CR to clear up their numbers and set the record straight. However, Mac users being true to their machines will probably beat me to it.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 5, 2004, 05:23 AM
If someone can quote a source, I'd be happy to submit a letter to the editor at CR to clear up their numbers and set the record straight. However, Mac users being true to their machines will probably beat me to it.
There are currently 0 viruses and 2 exploits/trojan horses for Mac OS X. One of the trojan horses is Opener (http://www.macintouch.com/opener.html). The other one is older, and I can't find any links nor do I remember its name.

rdowns
Nov 5, 2004, 05:23 AM
This is certainly good news but will probably produce nothing other than some bragging rights for us.

CR has a pretty small readership. That being said, unless the review does anything to dispel the fallacies about the Mac that exist (no software, can't connect to the Internet, too expensive, not compatible in a Windows world) I don't see it doing much good to help increase market share.

Edit: Oh well, after seeing the quotes posted a few posts up, there goes that.

We won't even get into the fact that people can't see, feel, use or buy Macs where they buy PCs. There are too few Apple stores and even with the min store concept, having Mac only stores feed the fallacies. Look at the software selection at the Apple Store, anemic at best. Why not have Windows boxes set up to show people how nice Macs play in the sandbox with them?

Note to Apple, please take this excellent press and start SHOUTING your advantages from the rooftops. At least that would be a start.

mactarkus
Nov 5, 2004, 05:31 AM
Where did you get this?

There are currently 0 viruses and 2 exploits/trojan horses for Mac OS X. One of the trojan horses is Opener (http://www.macintouch.com/opener.html). The other one is older, and I can't find any links nor do I remember its name.

A quick Google got me this great article. It's a bit old, but someone could do the same process today and see where we stand:

The Mac Observer (http://www.macobserver.com/editorial/2003/08/29.1.shtml)

mactarkus
Nov 5, 2004, 05:37 AM
While we're on the topic, I thought I'd share my one and only Macintosh virus. I've been using Macs for about 18 years and back around 1991, a fellow Mac user at college gave me a copy of MacPlaymate. That little bit a fun wiped out most of the files on the 40MB hard drive connected to my Mac SE. I guess that virus would have been better labeled as an STD.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 5, 2004, 05:50 AM
Where did you get this?



A quick Google got me this great article. It's a bit old, but someone could do the same process today and see where we stand:

The Mac Observer (http://www.macobserver.com/editorial/2003/08/29.1.shtml)
Neither of the two exploits I know about qualify as viruses. I just can't remember what the second one is called. The article on Opener link I got from Google.

johnnyjibbs
Nov 5, 2004, 05:56 AM
They are probably talking a general ball park figure about classic Mac OS viruses - ones which could still pose threats today due to being able to execute and run while in Mac OS X Classic mode. In other words, still possibly a threat but unlikely to ever be one. Either that, or the more likely scenario that the reporter/editor doesn't really know the difference between Mac OS 9/X and hasn't really got a concrete source on those details.

BornAgainMac
Nov 5, 2004, 05:56 AM
Will CS say the iMac has the new Intel G5 supercomputer chip inside?

szark
Nov 5, 2004, 05:56 AM
Neither of the two exploits I know about qualify as viruses. I just can't remember what the second one is called. The article on Opener link I got from Google.

I assume you're talking about the Fake Microsoft Word 2004 Demo (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/05/20040512171116.shtml)?

wrldwzrd89
Nov 5, 2004, 06:03 AM
I assume you're talking about the Fake Microsoft Word 2004 Demo (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/05/20040512171116.shtml)?
Nope, I'm thinking of that proof-of-concept virus for the masquerade exploit in Mac OS X and Classic - the one where you can make a Classic application look and behave like something else, such as an MP3 file.

Chappers
Nov 5, 2004, 06:20 AM
At least it's some publicity which is good, if only Apple advertised more.

zelmo
Nov 5, 2004, 06:41 AM
At least it's some publicity which is good, if only Apple advertised more.

It is kind of curious that you really only ever see ads for the iPod, with the occasional print ad for the new iMac thrown in. Maybe it's time for Steve to do a Sunday morning infomercial on the glories of iLife! Can you imagine? :eek:

kotovasii
Nov 5, 2004, 06:56 AM
There are some people still who think that Apple never produce a new OS after 9... Those morons....

Well, unfortunately this is true – I spoke to many people regarding my switching to a Mac and even our sysadmin at the university told me that Mac OS 9 is bad etc…. I honestly was shocked, but at the same time – this *is* perhaps the biggest problem – most of the consumers and windoze users simply do not know much about Apple. This is what Apple should do then – carry across the message that things have changed! Question is How?! :confused:

kparvez
Nov 5, 2004, 07:01 AM
Mac News Network reports that the iMac G5 will grace the cover of the December issue of Consumer Reports Magazine, due out this week. According to MacNN, the caption will read "Unspectacular results for Intel's new processor.

-----

Is it just me or does the fact that the caption reads 'unspectacular results' imply that the iMac G5 is substandard or failed to meet expectations due to its intel processor? Therefore, another example of mac bashing?

MikeBike
Nov 5, 2004, 07:28 AM
Recently catching up with him, he has a dual Xenon home computer with an Alpha build of Long Horn as his main Os, using Dual 2.0s at work, and still a Mac hater. He believes he has made a Mac virus in his spare time using believe it or not, Visual Basic. Go figure.

The Mac users are loyal, and when our user base grows, we will become even bigger, and maybe take that lucrative 5% :cool:

Anyone using Alpha software on his main machine is definitely not a candidate for a Mac. I'd still be on Windows Me if I was happy with That Kind of Quality.

sushi
Nov 5, 2004, 07:28 AM
While we're on the topic, I thought I'd share my one and only Macintosh virus. I've been using Macs for about 18 years and back around 1991, a fellow Mac user at college gave me a copy of MacPlaymate. That little bit a fun wiped out most of the files on the 40MB hard drive connected to my Mac SE. I guess that virus would have been better labeled as an STD.
MacPlaymate was not a virus.

Used/Played with it all the time with no problem.

What probably happened, is the floppy that he gave it on was infected with a virus.

Sushi

MikeBike
Nov 5, 2004, 07:37 AM
Hopefully, these readers of CU, will buy the current lineup including the IBook and the IMac, and Power Mac. I don't want a horde of buyers waiting, with me, for the Freescale DualCore G4 Extreme Powerbook!!! :eek: Six Month Wait period!!!

The great thing for me is with the mac you can learn Unix if and when you want. And this knowledge pretty much translates to Linux or HP-UX for example. An excellent machine.

Plus, you may have to buy new software, but, If it's Dreamweaver for web development, this is another huge plus.

~Shard~
Nov 5, 2004, 07:38 AM
This is excellent news! And it couldn't have come at a better time with Christmas around the corner! Consumer Reports has a decent subscription base, and many other non-subscribers really trust and put a lot of weight in what CR has to say, so this is nothing but good news for Apple!

I love seeing things like this, it makes me want to buy a copy and show it to all the people I've been talking to about Macs and say, "Told ya so!" ;)

Nice to see the rest of the world slowly finding out what us Mac users have known for a long time... :cool:

~Shard~
Nov 5, 2004, 07:45 AM
Is it just me or does the fact that the caption reads 'unspectacular results' imply that the iMac G5 is substandard or failed to meet expectations due to its intel processor? Therefore, another example of mac bashing?

I guess we'll have to wait until the cover comes out and we can see exactly how things are laid out. That was my first impression too - does Joe Public even realize Macs don't use Intel processors?! I'm sure that regardless, this will be very favorable for Apple.

~Shard~
Nov 5, 2004, 07:47 AM
Will CS say the iMac has the new Intel G5 supercomputer chip inside?

Who's CS? Adobe Creative Suite? At any rate CR (Consumer Reports) won't. :p They pride themselves on accurate, well-researched information, which will help bring more credibility to the iMac, and Apple in general I'm thinking. :cool:

iNetwork
Nov 5, 2004, 08:03 AM
Wow, I am beginning to think that MacRumors has become MacFacts. Anyone can report that something came out on the front of a magazine: FACT. We want more reliable rumors about what's going on at Apple Computer, Inc and when we'll see new Powerbooks, etc. If anyone else is in the same boat, let's not lower our expectations. :eek:

Chomolungma
Nov 5, 2004, 08:13 AM
After thinking long and hard about spywares and viruses, I've come to the conclusion that I'll be happy to pay several hundred dollars more for a mac. I don't think I have the courage to check my bank account on a window PC.

-chomo

virus1
Nov 5, 2004, 08:13 AM
wow... go apple! lot of reasons there... 59,940... sheesh..

Lord Blackadder
Nov 5, 2004, 08:46 AM
I often disagree with CR's assements of products, but publicity for the iMac is good. I just hope they don't say anything that is false or misleading to Wintel users or potential first time PC buyers.

Macmaniac
Nov 5, 2004, 08:49 AM
As a long time reader, I can't wait to get my copy of CR:)
CR in the past used to look down on Macs, but more recently they have improved. Although I have noticed some very stupid tech errors in their reporting. Like saying the iBook has DVI out.

Le Big Mac
Nov 5, 2004, 08:56 AM
Already received the issue. It's pretty fair. I don't recall the exact specifics, but generally it was very positive about the iMac. The two big negs were 1) price and 2) lack of expandability. Both seem a bit silly.

On price, the new iMacs seem to be as fairly priced a product as Apple has had in a while, particularly at the low end, considering what you get. Sure, we all know you can buy a dell for less, but that just ignores what you don't get and what you have to buy.

On expandability, that's always been an iMac problem, but I'm more convinced it shouldn't be an issue to people buying on CR recs. How many people upgrade more than the memory? Not many. Gamers maybe, but they're buying on something other than a CR rec.

Anyway, it's nice to see the Mac getting favorable reviews (see also Walter Mossberg in the Wall St. J., who generally loves macs).

anthonymoody
Nov 5, 2004, 08:57 AM
The reason that Apple and OSX were not given props for the lack of spyware and virus problems on Macs is because Apple and OSX have essentially zero to do with this. The reason is market share, plain and simple. Trust me - if Macs had a materially large market share, the more malevolent coders out there would exploit it. To think otherwise is naive. Remember the prime motives behind viruses, spyware and the like: inflicting damage, causing chaos, and showing ones prowess by getting ones 'children' (i.e. the virus) out as widely as possible. Can't do that on a Mac.

Just as there is no encryption that can't be cracked with enough computational horsepower, there is no OS that is immune from viruses, spyware and the like given enough smart people plyng their trade against a given OS. It's simply a matter of resources against whatever protections exist.

Please note that I'm not flaming Apple or OSX in any way here. Nor am I disagreeing that viruses and the like are non (or nearly non) existant problems on today's Macs. And I think that at the margin it's a perfectly valid (and wonderful) reason to buy a Mac - or even better, switch to one. But some day, at some point when Apple's market share (currently 2.5%) is "big enough" we'll see more and more of the problems PC users do... Again, to think otherwise is simply naive.

TM

gmanrique
Nov 5, 2004, 09:01 AM
Enjoy it.

http://linuxinsider.com/story/37806.html

narco
Nov 5, 2004, 09:24 AM
As a long-time subscriber, I've seen CR become more and more accepting of the Macintosh difference.

I remember when they downrated Macs for "missing" one piece of standard equipment: the floppy drive. The CR reporters couldn't see that letting consumers purchase a low-tech, problem-prone, and soon-to-be-out-of-date component separately (i.e., only if needed) and encouraging networking and higher capacity removable media was a forward-reaching move that benefited consumers more than it inconvenienced them.

These days, CR seems much more in tune with what really matters when evaluating a computer purchase.

I understood why Apple took out the floppy, and I do agree that it was soon-to-be outdated, but there really was no other option to easily transfer data. Now that combo drives are so common, it makes sense NOW, but being a student when I purchased the first iMac, it was kind of disappointing. Especially since the external floppy drives cost well over $100 then.

.narco

MikeBike
Nov 5, 2004, 09:40 AM
The reason that Apple and OSX were not given props for the lack of spyware and virus problems on Macs is because Apple and OSX have essentially zero to do with this. The reason is market share, plain and simple. Trust me - if Macs had a materially large market share, the more malevolent coders out there would exploit it. To think otherwise is naive. Remember the prime motives behind viruses, spyware and the like: inflicting damage, causing chaos, and showing ones prowess by getting ones 'children' (i.e. the virus) out as widely as possible. Can't do that on a Mac.

Just as there is no encryption that can't be cracked with enough computational horsepower, there is no OS that is immune from viruses, spyware and the like given enough smart people plyng their trade against a given OS. It's simply a matter of resources against whatever protections exist.

Please note that I'm not flaming Apple or OSX in any way here. Nor am I disagreeing that viruses and the like are non (or nearly non) existant problems on today's Macs. And I think that at the margin it's a perfectly valid (and wonderful) reason to buy a Mac - or even better, switch to one. But some day, at some point when Apple's market share (currently 2.5%) is "big enough" we'll see more and more of the problems PC users do... Again, to think otherwise is simply naive.

TM

I think you're ignoring a few things:
- There's no Big Win on the Mac side:
- Almost all ports are OFF, except for the ones you turn on.
So you infect one machine, and guess what, you're stuck there on 1 machine.
- It's not an easy target, being based upon a BSD OS.
- You get an exe( or app ) on the target machine, but, you don't land in ADMIN Heaven like you do on Windows. Now, you have to try and crack the Admin password...
- If you encrypt your data, you've got a "guest" on your machine who can't do anything but delete some files, can't read those files to get your Credit Card info, etc... So, the Mac makes a very Poor Target.

I think the Mac is a POOR target for the Kiddies, it takes too much work.
However, a concerted attack by an expert might work, but again, against just 1 machine. Even the exports probably would prefer the Easy and Rich target Windows provides.

Photorun
Nov 5, 2004, 09:58 AM
Wow, this is GREAT press for the holiday buying season for an iMac under one's tree. The problem being is if you read around iMacs are far outstripping demand. Typical Apple... good press, bad stock control.

And why in the heck are people rating this topic negative?!? Would these same people vote "Mac crushes Microsoft into tiny bits, takes over top selling computer" is a negative too? Geesh?!? :confused:

Yvan256
Nov 5, 2004, 10:09 AM
The reason that Apple and OSX were not given props for the lack of spyware and virus problems on Macs is because Apple and OSX have essentially zero to do with this. The reason is market share, plain and simple. Trust me - if Macs had a materially large market share, the more malevolent coders out there would exploit it. To think otherwise is naive.

Yeah, sure. And to think that all operating systems are as fragile and insecure as Windows is also naive.

Sure, all operating systems are open to trojans, but worms and viruses? I really don't think so. Especially not something Unix-based.

See what MikeBike said above.

anthonymoody
Nov 5, 2004, 10:17 AM
I think you're ignoring a few things:
- There's no Big Win on the Mac side:
- Almost all ports are OFF, except for the ones you turn on.
So you infect one machine, and guess what, you're stuck there on 1 machine.
- It's not an easy target, being based upon a BSD OS.
- You get an exe( or app ) on the target machine, but, you don't land in ADMIN Heaven like you do on Windows. Now, you have to try and crack the Admin password...
- If you encrypt your data, you've got a "guest" on your machine who can't do anything but delete some files, can't read those files to get your Credit Card info, etc... So, the Mac makes a very Poor Target.

I think the Mac is a POOR target for the Kiddies, it takes too much work.
However, a concerted attack by an expert might work, but again, against just 1 machine. Even the exports probably would prefer the Easy and Rich target Windows provides.



I'm not ignoring anything, including the issues you cite. However, you said it yourself: "a concerted attack by an expert might work" and I would argue vociferously that the word 'might' be struck. There is no doubt whatsoever that a concerted effort by the community we're talking about (which is absolutely NOT script kiddies btw) about could reveal OSX (BSD core and all) to be far more vulnerable than every day usage would suggest.

As to being limited to a single machine, again, the above applies. Getting root access, for someone who really wants to do so, is not remotely impossible. All it takes is time, resources, and motivation. It's the last that's lacking in this case. Why bother targetting a platform to show off your prowess when even if you infected 100% of the targets you'd barely have registered a blip on the overall desktop computer radar?

TM

anthonymoody
Nov 5, 2004, 10:28 AM
Yeah, sure. And to think that all operating systems are as fragile and insecure as Windows is also naive.

Sure, all operating systems are open to trojans, but worms and viruses? I really don't think so. Especially not something Unix-based.

See what MikeBike said above.


Not once did I suggest that any particular OS, including OSX, was "as fragile and insecure as Windows." Perhaps you should read more carefully next time instead of getting so defensive.

OSX's BSD core is undoubtedly more secure than XP's NT code base. However, to assume that it's unassailable is folly - and naive.

TM

MikeBike
Nov 5, 2004, 10:33 AM
As to being limited to a single machine, again, the above applies. Getting root access, for someone who really wants to do so, is not remotely impossible. All it takes is time, resources, and motivation. It's the last that's lacking in this case. Why bother targetting a market to show off your prowess when even if you infected 100% of the targets you'd barely have registered a blip on the overall desktop computer radar?

TM

I think time is an important consideration.
- New Windows machines can be hacked in the first 20 minutes they go online, while they download service packs from the Windows Update site.

- Cracking passwords is not impossible but it will take Days, not minutes.
- Cracking encrypted data is not a trivial task either, and probably takes Weeks.

Again, all that time and work for just my 1 credit card number,
if they are lucky? Actually, I hope my credit card info is No Where on my machine. My account numbers and password info may be in Keychain.
An Encrypted store. Which will take significant time and effort to break.

A Hacker should get a Real Job that pays More then attacking Macs.


:)

shamino
Nov 5, 2004, 10:34 AM
Nope, I'm thinking of that proof-of-concept virus for the masquerade exploit in Mac OS X and Classic - the one where you can make a Classic application look and behave like something else, such as an MP3 file.
IMO, I don't consider that a virus at all.

The fact that you can use a document's icon for an application is not a security hole. It's a fact of life that exists on every operating system with a GUI.

There are possible solutions to this problem, but all of them involve preventing applications from using their own custom icons. IMO, the cure would be worse than the disease.

anthonymoody
Nov 5, 2004, 10:41 AM
I think time is an important consideration.

- Cracking passwords is not impossible but it will take Days, not minutes.
- Cracking encrypted data is not a trivial task either, and probably takes Weeks. :)


I couldn't agree more that time is a key consideration - it's what I meant when I mentioned 'resources' as one of the things being faced here. Another way of looking at time is computational horsepower. A supercomputer (or a distributed cluster) could do in a fraction of a second what a desktop machine (even a speedy one) would take weeks to do.

But that's just a resource issue, not a "protection" issue. Think about encryption - the reason we've gone from x-bit to 128-bit and now for 'crucial' protection up to say 4096-bit is b/c the every day processing power needed to crack a given level of encryption gets cheaper every day. So sure, you can always take the encryption up a notch, but it can still - always - be cracked. Like you said - it's only a matter of time.

TM

shamino
Nov 5, 2004, 10:45 AM
I think you're ignoring a few things:

<<snip out description of why Macs are less vulnerable>>
I think the Mac is a POOR target for the Kiddies, it takes too much work.
However, a concerted attack by an expert might work, but again, against just 1 machine. Even the exports probably would prefer the Easy and Rich target Windows provides.
This would be true if virusses only spread through open ports and software bugs. But that was a few years ago.

First off, an e-mail worm can spread itself to everybody in your address book without having admin privs. It can install as a startup application in your account without admin privs. Maybe it can't trash your system software (which is good) but it can still trash your home directory where all your documents are (which is bad).

Second, the worm can ask you for your admin password. If you provide it, you're just as hosed as someone on Windows 95. And don't think people won't do it. The Beagle virus e-mails itself in an encrypted zip file attached to a mail message telling people how to decrypt/expand the zip file and run the contents. Given the fact that thousands of people actually followed the worm's instructions, I see no reason to believe that they wouldn't also type in their admin password if a Mac worm asked for it.

Macs have a lot of good security measures out of the box, but no piece of software can protect us from clueless users. And no platform has a monopoly on them.

zelet
Nov 5, 2004, 10:52 AM
I couldn't agree more that time is a key consideration - it's what I meant when I mentioned 'resources' as one of the things being faced here. Another way of looking at time is computational horsepower. A supercomputer (or a distributed cluster) could do in a fraction of a second what a desktop machine (even a speedy one) would take weeks to do.

But that's just a resource issue, not a "protection" issue. Think about encryption - the reason we've gone from x-bit to 128-bit and now for 'crucial' protection up to say 4096-bit is b/c the every day processing power needed to crack a given level of encryption gets cheaper every day. So sure, you can always take the encryption up a notch, but it can still - always - be cracked. Like you said - it's only a matter of time.

TM
Apache has a much greater market share than IIS yet it has fewer cracks and expoites than IIS. How do you explain that? It isn't always about market share. Sure, no OS is unbeatable but you can't have the virus issues you do on a PC by default. On a PC ports and services are turned on by default. Programs can be run by the (default) administrator without permission and can spread through the net with no problems.

Now a default OS X box doesn't have "root" on by default. It has all ports and services closed by default. It doesn't allow any program to run without the administrator aproving it. If a malicious program is authorized by accident then it "only" destroys the home directory and not the entire system.

On one case you are right - if a box is rooted it falls just like any other box - but shouldn't they be able to stand against simple scripts and other "no-labor" attacks? It makes the difference between loosing a single web server in your corp to loosing all of them.

Later,
John

EDIT: I forgot one thing - email viruses can't spread on a Mac the same way as MS Outlook because activeX and VB Script isn't enable and doesn't have control of the machine. Also, on OS X and every Mail app out there besides MS stuff - attachments are NEVER auto-run.

Doctor Q
Nov 5, 2004, 11:01 AM
Enjoy it.

http://linuxinsider.com/story/37806.htmlI did. Excellent, thoughtful article. Thanks for pointing it out, gmanrique.

gmail1
Nov 5, 2004, 11:43 AM
:rolleyes: its funny...macs are more reliable than pcs..

what did they do? survey mac people and ask them if their computer's were reliabe? :rolleyes:

of course mac users will lie...oh yea everything's great with my mac...while some, some people would point to ...hrm...other issues not known

logic board, white spot screen, the list goes on and on and on

superfunkomatic
Nov 5, 2004, 11:44 AM
i always new mac users were early adopters - i'm just a bit surprised that it's taken nearly 20 years for the rest of the world, and especially the media to start writing about why it's just plain easier to be a mac owner.

it was worth the wait. :)

swissmann
Nov 5, 2004, 11:53 AM
I have always been a fan of Consumer Reports. I think this is very good for Apple.

daveL
Nov 5, 2004, 11:55 AM
I received that issue about three days ago so it's hardly a rumor.
Who said it was a rumor? This thread comes from the news (MacBytes) page.

Stewie
Nov 5, 2004, 12:07 PM
And why in the heck are people rating this topic negative?!? Would these same people vote "Mac crushes Microsoft into tiny bits, takes over top selling computer" is a negative too? Geesh?!? :confused:

Voting negative is my silent protest to a very unclear voting system. Positive vs Negative is just to vauge and can mean many different things to many different people. Mabye I voted negative since I hate consumer reports (I personaly think CR sucks), maybe I voted negative because I don't get that magazine in my country (it is available, but I would never buy it), maybe I voted negative because I hate apple (I switched 2 years ago and got rid of all MS boxes in my house then and haven't looked back). Too many things that are just to unclear to too many people.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 5, 2004, 12:09 PM
IMO, I don't consider that a virus at all.

The fact that you can use a document's icon for an application is not a security hole. It's a fact of life that exists on every operating system with a GUI.

There are possible solutions to this problem, but all of them involve preventing applications from using their own custom icons. IMO, the cure would be worse than the disease.
I agree with you there - the problem is one of improper validation. The OS core should check to make sure the MP3 is really an MP3 and not a Classic app in disguise (MP3 files don't have resource forks, for one). It's pretty easy to fix - I've had this issue before in my own programs, and I've found that fixing this particular issue isn't too hard at all.

Yvan256
Nov 5, 2004, 12:16 PM
i always new mac users were early adopters - i'm just a bit surprised that it's taken nearly 20 years for the rest of the world, and especially the media to start writing about why it's just plain easier to be a mac owner.

it was worth the wait. :)

Depends. If you ask me to choose between Windows 98 or Mac OS 9, I'll take Windows 98. Having an OS that requires you to tell the applications how much memory they can use seems backward to "user-friendly" to me.

If you ask me to choose between Windows XP or Mac OS X, I'll take OS X. Having an OS that can't even be safe to simply connect to the internet without being infected/"0wned" seems backward to "user-friendly" to me.

wordmunger
Nov 5, 2004, 12:33 PM
:rolleyes: its funny...macs are more reliable than pcs..

what did they do? survey mac people and ask them if their computer's were reliabe? :rolleyes:

of course mac users will lie...oh yea everything's great with my mac...while some, some people would point to ...hrm...other issues not known

logic board, white spot screen, the list goes on and on and on

Actually, they lab test all products they recommend. In addition, they survey thousands of subscribers: from the Web site:

"To supplement laboratory testing, the survey research department gathers the experiences that hundreds of thousands of our subscribers have had with products and services through an annual questionnaire. Those results are the basis of our well-known auto Frequency-of-Repair index and other product-reliability reports."

Yep, sounds like a pretty rinky-dink operation, if you ask me. What a bunch of biased lunatics :rolleyes:

Some_Big_Spoon
Nov 5, 2004, 12:38 PM
From what I understand, they're grouping the security exploits that have been discovered in all software that share the open source underpinnings of OS X/BSD into the "virus" catagory.

From a technical standpoint, it's completely dead wrong, but for your average Joe, they only know "virus". While WE know that unused security exploit (found early and never actually exploited) is NOT a virus and is NOT a threat, the average user, and non-technical peeps at CR, don't know that, and can't be expected to know that.
It's a toss up.

You have to look at the number "60" next to the number "60,000". That's good, if not a little misleading, press.

this is great exposure, regardless...

but one question - 60 viruses target macs? what 60?

markie
Nov 5, 2004, 01:41 PM
I voted this negative because my general attitude is "CR recommends it, it must be bad". I read consumer reports sometimes for a good laugh. There's nothing more hilarious than their incompetancy in EVERY area of product they attempt to review.

Therefore, I don't really consider this good. Let's get PC Magazine running a similar type of article instead...

nagromme
Nov 5, 2004, 01:42 PM
:rolleyes: its funny...macs are more reliable than pcs..

what did they do? survey mac people and ask them if their computer's were reliabe? :rolleyes:

of course mac users will lie...
Actually, they asked THOUSANDS of users of Macs and PCs alike--repeatedly over the course of recent years--for hard data: how many failures had occurred, both minor ones and ones big enough to need repair.

Yes, Macs fail--but other PC brands fail MORE. This has been fact in both laptops and desktops, even during the time when a fraction of a batch of bad PowerBook screens got a lot of "press" (if, by press, you mean forum postings). CR's large-scale surveys have shown Apple on top in BOTH reliability AND support AND the subcategories within those, every time they've done the survey for as long as I've gotten the magazine (a gift subscription BTW).


...the every day processing power needed to crack a given level of encryption gets cheaper every day. So sure, you can always take the encryption up a notch, but it can still - always - be cracked...
Actually, it can't always be cracked--not by processing power, maybe by getting someone drunk and asking for the password :) Today's toughest encryption--including OS X's military-level FileVault (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/filevault/)--would take longer than the lifetime of the universe to crack. SOME day (quantum computing?) that may change to 10 years or 10 weeks, but I don't think we're there yet, that would have been huge news :D

From Apple.com:

Assuming that one could build a machine that could recover a DES key in a second, it would take that machine approximately 149 trillion years to crack a 128-bit AES key.

(To put that into perspective, the universe is believed to be less than 20 billion years old.)

dukhat
Nov 5, 2004, 02:32 PM
this is great exposure, regardless...

but one question - 60 viruses target macs? what 60?

CERT tracks software security vulnerabilities. This is obviously different than the list Norton provided Consumer Reports. Interestingly, quite a few of the vulnerabilities are due to MS Office, Outlook, and IE.

http://search.cert.org/query.html?col=certadv&qt=mac&charset=iso-8859-1

ricebag
Nov 5, 2004, 02:46 PM
I just wish they'd give more publicity to the iBook! Under 1000??? And even less for education.
How incredible is that?

nagromme
Nov 5, 2004, 02:53 PM
Got my copy. Decent exposure, and plugging Apple reliability and support is good--and they rightly explain that Macs are less troublesome in part because they are an integrated system of hardware and OS designed by the a single company.

But much of the old bias remains, and not just from the 60 non-OS X viruses. For instance, they have a bold caption bemoaning the fact that you "must pay $99" for a cordless keyboard/mouse in order to avoid "draping numerous cables from the rear." Yes, they said "numerous" :)

Ummm... the regular mouse and keyboard "drape" just ONE cable from the rear--while most computers drape two! So what's the problem? (And there's a big guide hole that can hide ALL your cables behind the stand anyway.)

I'm emailing them--a little more politely than that :)

They also rate laptops listing lots of specs--but not screen size! And they imply that the cheapest Mac laptop is $1300, which wasn't close to true even BEFORE the recent price drops.

As usual, they pick out one or two Mac models, and then rate a whole range of types of PCs. People would think Apple doesn't MAKE a "workhorse" laptop or a compact one, nor an expandable tower.

OK, here's what I sent them:
A correction to your recent look at the iMac G5:

The bold caption on p. 41 states that "To avoid draping numerous cables from the rear, you must pay $99 for a cordless keyboard and mouse."

In fact, that $99 Bluetooth option won't save you numerous cables from the rear, only one. The standard keyboard connects by a single USB cable, and the mouse in turn has a short USB cord linking to the keyboard.

The way to avoid the most cables is actually not Bluetooth, but rather a $79 AirPort card and your choice of Wi-Fi base stations.

That lets you do away with up to four more cables: Ethernet, printer, audio-out (via AirTunes), and modem. It depends on what Apple or non-Apple Wi-Fi products you choose.

All told, the iMac's concealed wireless antennas let you eliminate up to six cables. But note that the iMac hides all the cables anyway: there's a big guide hole that bundles ALL your cables behind the iMac's stand.

chanoc
Nov 5, 2004, 02:54 PM
Hopefully this will bring newcomers to the Mac! :D

aswitcher
Nov 5, 2004, 04:56 PM
Could those virus vulnerabilities refer to Mac users using MS Office, IE and Outlook?

MikeBike
Nov 5, 2004, 07:21 PM
Actually, it can't always be cracked--not by processing power, maybe by getting someone drunk and asking for the password :) Today's toughest encryption--including OS X's military-level FileVault (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/filevault/)--would take longer than the lifetime of the universe to crack. SOME day (quantum computing?) that may change to 10 years or 10 weeks, but I don't think we're there yet, that would have been huge news :D

From Apple.com:

Assuming that one could build a machine that could recover a DES key in a second, it would take that machine approximately 149 trillion years to crack a 128-bit AES key.

(To put that into perspective, the universe is believed to be less than 20 billion years old.)


Thanks, that's great news.
So, the more mac users using Filevault, takes the Honey out of the Honey Pot. Macs are a poor target.

winmacguy
Nov 6, 2004, 02:58 AM
There are currently 0 viruses and 2 exploits/trojan horses for Mac OS X. One of the trojan horses is Opener (http://www.macintouch.com/opener.html). The other one is older, and I can't find any links nor do I remember its name.


I had a talk to our head Unix Admin at work who is a OSX fan/guru. His opinion of the Opener Trojan/Virus/what ever you want to class it as.... considering you have to MANUALLY install the application and need an admin pass work to do that it is hardly classed as a virus more of an App like Photoshop. For Opener to be a trojan it would have to be directly transmitting itself through email and self installing with out any promptiing from the user much like sasser or slammer. It would then have to copy and spread itself though the system and onwards through your email. As the Opener does none of these things it is hardly classed as a virus or trojan.

fatbarstard
Nov 6, 2004, 03:06 AM
I caught up with a vc guy I know last week and we got to talking about computers... he said he had jsut changed to Apple after a lifetime on Windoze... he is in his late 50s and has been in the tech game all his working life.. I bet he had Windoze 1.0.

Anyway he said he was 'just sick and tired' of the viruses, worms and whatever and Microsoft's el crappo attempts to improve security. And he is a happy camper - never used a PB before he bought but he is well happy and will never go back...

And that's it - its not just about how many viruses per se... it about the hassle they cause people with all the updating and security alerts - OX people at least get to sleep at night...

Entropy wins again.....

Now back to Jimmy Neutron!!
:D

winmacguy
Nov 6, 2004, 03:08 AM
The reason that Apple and OSX were not given props for the lack of spyware and virus problems on Macs is because Apple and OSX have essentially zero to do with this. The reason is market share, plain and simple. Trust me - if Macs had a materially large market share, the more malevolent coders out there would exploit it. To think otherwise is naive. Remember the prime motives behind viruses, spyware and the like: inflicting damage, causing chaos, and showing ones prowess by getting ones 'children' (i.e. the virus) out as widely as possible. Can't do that on a Mac.

Just as there is no encryption that can't be cracked with enough computational horsepower, there is no OS that is immune from viruses, spyware and the like given enough smart people plyng their trade against a given OS. It's simply a matter of resources against whatever protections exist.

Please note that I'm not flaming Apple or OSX in any way here. Nor am I disagreeing that viruses and the like are non (or nearly non) existant problems on today's Macs. And I think that at the margin it's a perfectly valid (and wonderful) reason to buy a Mac - or even better, switch to one. But some day, at some point when Apple's market share (currently 2.5%) is "big enough" we'll see more and more of the problems PC users do... Again, to think otherwise is simply naive.

TM


Very old myth the security through obscurity. It is much harder to hack FREE BSD Unix than it is to hack Windows although not impossible. it is therefor more sense to write viruses for Windows than to bother trying to write viruses for a system which is open to public scrutiny (other software coders) there are also far less places in OSX that a virus can be installed.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 6, 2004, 04:27 AM
I had a talk to our head Unix Admin at work who is a OSX fan/guru. His opinion of the Opener Trojan/Virus/what ever you want to class it as.... considering you have to MANUALLY install the application and need an admin pass work to do that it is hardly classed as a virus more of an App like Photoshop. For Opener to be a trojan it would have to be directly transmitting itself through email and self installing with out any promptiing from the user much like sasser or slammer. It would then have to copy and spread itself though the system and onwards through your email. As the Opener does none of these things it is hardly classed as a virus or trojan.
You're right. How would you classify Opener? As an exploit? Root Kit?? something else???

killmoms
Nov 6, 2004, 08:30 AM
You're right. How would you classify Opener? As an exploit? Root Kit?? something else???
It's more of a trojan in the social-engineering sense, in that it'd have to fool you to be installed (since it needs admin permission). Yes, it does "spread itself" by attempting to copy itself to network-attached volumes, but once it does, it just sits there like any other file, unable to do anything until it is run and gets the admin password. So it's sort of like a trojan worm with its balls cut off. In a manner of speaking.

sushi
Nov 6, 2004, 08:39 AM
How would you classify Opener?
Stupid user virus...maybe? :D

Sushi

asterizk
Nov 6, 2004, 09:21 AM
It's more of a trojan in the social-engineering sense, in that it'd have to fool you to be installed (since it needs admin permission). Yes, it does "spread itself" by attempting to copy itself to network-attached volumes, but once it does, it just sits there like any other file, unable to do anything until it is run and gets the admin password. So it's sort of like a trojan worm with its balls cut off. In a manner of speaking.

Haha, that's the best description I've heard of it yet. :) I'm seriously floored by how many members of the mainstream press jumped on Opener and called it a virus. Even that publication from MIT (can't recall what it's called right now). Amazing.

macnulty
Nov 6, 2004, 05:24 PM
Though any good PR for Apple is, well, good. CR has always struck me as being stuck in their own preconceived notions of how a product should work. They are not agreat fan of inovation. The hit against the original iMac for not having a floppy is great example of this.

~Shard~
Nov 6, 2004, 07:44 PM
Though any good PR for Apple is, well, good. CR has always struck me as being stuck in their own preconceived notions of how a product should work. They are not agreat fan of inovation. The hit against the original iMac for not having a floppy is great example of this.

Well, I guess we'll have to see what they say when the article comes out and we can read all the details. (Is it actually out yet?)

ASP272
Nov 6, 2004, 07:46 PM
A few points:

1. There are absolutely NO viruses for Mac OS X (that have been released anyway).
2. If Apple starts marketing just how awesome our systems are compared to the Personal Confusers out there and we gain market share, the likelyhood of viruses and spyware will greatly increase.
3. I don't have a single friend or family member with a PC that LOVES their computer. In fact, most of them HATE their computer. We are talking about 15 or so people here, and that's just the people I know. I could ask them all to make the switch, but that would mean spending money, and that's just out of the question. If they only knew the joy a Mac brings. The eternal bliss of rock solid OS X and the simplicity of iLife. The functionality of the Macromedia and Adobe suites, right along side my easily installed hardware and high speed internet setup in seconds. Add the fact that it doesn't take my Mac 10 minutes to start up because of all the spyware and rogue apps that automatically add themselves to the startup cycle. You all know where I am coming from. If the only knew . . .

;)

aafuss1
Nov 7, 2004, 08:04 AM
It is good to see the iMac keep building up popularity, and support from general windoze based magazines. Apple have always had the better product, and today it is time to see the IT world see this too.

The virus issue it an interesting one. As far as I knew there were no known Mac viruses, at least for Max OsX, which is the only version of Mac Os I have really used. I believe the high (is it at 60?) number of viruses to be a number carried over from the classic versions of Mac os. OsX has so far been impenetrable for virus compiler's, or it is because they cant be bothered learning PPC code, and thus the operating system.

This might be of more interest to Australian users-I was reading Computer CHOICE (a publication from the Australian Consumers Association who also publishes their own consumer magazine) in their latest reliability survery , Apple desktops and notebooks are also highly reliable in their opinion (at the top percentage of not needing repair and how likely a user would buy the same brand again).

Doctor Q
Nov 7, 2004, 11:11 AM
I assume that Consumer Reports Magazine does not publish editions in countries other than the U.S., since product selection and testing is so particular to the U.S. market. Most likely, each country has its own set of consumer testing magazines, even though commerce is international. I wonder if there is a multi-country European equivalent.

~Shard~
Nov 7, 2004, 11:15 AM
I assume that Consumer Reports Magazine does not publish editions in countries other than the U.S., since product selection and testing is so particular to the U.S. market. Most likely, each country has its own set of consumer testing magazines, even though commerce is international. I wonder if there is a multi-country European equivalent.

We receive Consumer Reports here in Canada, but I believe it's the American version, not a Canadian-specific edition....

shamino
Nov 7, 2004, 12:16 PM
EDIT: I forgot one thing - email viruses can't spread on a Mac the same way as MS Outlook because activeX and VB Script isn't enable and doesn't have control of the machine. Also, on OS X and every Mail app out there besides MS stuff - attachments are NEVER auto-run.
To be fair, this an application issues, not an OS issue.

If you don't run Outlook/OE on Windows, e-mail can be perfectly secure over there. I've been using Thunderbird (and Mozilla before that and Netscape Communicator before that) and the kinds of virusses that plague Outlook users don't do anything there.

Something about not having any support for VPScript and refusing to execute attachments (you have to explicitly save them to the hard drive and manually run them.)

shamino
Nov 7, 2004, 12:24 PM
:rolleyes: its funny...macs are more reliable than pcs..

what did they do? survey mac people and ask them if their computer's were reliabe? :rolleyes:

of course mac users will lie...oh yea everything's great with my mac...while some, some people would point to ...hrm...other issues not known

logic board, white spot screen, the list goes on and on and on
They conduct surveys. They don't ask "do you think it's reliable". They ask questions like "how many times have you called tech support in the past year", "did they solve your problem?" Did you have to send the computer in for servicing, etc.

And if you think Apple's highly-publicized problems are bad, you should see the problems that plague a typical Sony or HP/Compaq user. Things like bundled software not running at all, monthly system crashes that require a full software re-install to fix, .

And if you think PC's have never had bad motherboards or bad monitors, you simply haven't been looking. I have personally diagnosed fried motherboards on three Gateway machines. Fried to the point of needing a complete computer replacement (because the problem caused the power supply to blow out, and all the bundled peripherals are built-in to that board.) And when you call Gateway for help, they charge you more than the price of a new computer to fix it.

But when Gateway sells trash, it doesn't make headlines in the newspapers, because everybody expects them to sell crap. When Apple equipment has a problem (even when these problems are not typical of the product line) everybody in the world (yourself included, apparently) makes a point of loudly declaring it to the world.

But media reporting doesn't change the actual reliability of the computer. And CU's surveys reflect this.

shamino
Nov 7, 2004, 12:28 PM
I agree with you there - the problem is one of improper validation. The OS core should check to make sure the MP3 is really an MP3 and not a Classic app in disguise (MP3 files don't have resource forks, for one). It's pretty easy to fix - I've had this issue before in my own programs, and I've found that fixing this particular issue isn't too hard at all.
How is the system supposed to know it's supposed to be an MP3? Because of the icon?

Is it supposed to do a fuzzy-logic search of the entire icon database and set off alarms if a near-match to something doesn't have the expected file format?

MacOS does not (and has not, istorically, and should not in the future) require you to use file-naming conventions to identify a file's content. I, for one, would hate to be forced to slap extensions on every file I create. One of the reasons I've admired MacOS since the 80's was because it doesn't force users into that kind of nonsense.

shamino
Nov 7, 2004, 12:32 PM
I voted this negative because my general attitude is "CR recommends it, it must be bad". I read consumer reports sometimes for a good laugh. There's nothing more hilarious than their incompetancy in EVERY area of product they attempt to review.

Therefore, I don't really consider this good. Let's get PC Magazine running a similar type of article instead...
ROTFLMAO!!!!

You think CR is biassed and wrong, but you consider Ziff Davis publications to be honest and accurate? The same magazine that writes reviews based on press releases in proportion to the amount of advertising revenue they get from the manufacturer?

Thanks for making me laugh this morning. I needed it.

shamino
Nov 7, 2004, 12:38 PM
I had a talk to our head Unix Admin at work who is a OSX fan/guru. His opinion of the Opener Trojan/Virus/what ever you want to class it as.... considering you have to MANUALLY install the application and need an admin pass work to do that it is hardly classed as a virus more of an App like Photoshop. For Opener to be a trojan it would have to be directly transmitting itself through email and self installing with out any promptiing from the user much like sasser or slammer. It would then have to copy and spread itself though the system and onwards through your email. As the Opener does none of these things it is hardly classed as a virus or trojan.
Actually, that is the definition of a Trojan Horse program. Any app that deliberately causes damage and misleads users into thinking it is something else is a trojan.

It doesn't have to automatically spread itself to be a trojan. That's the definition of a virus or a worm. (Virusses spread from file-to-file within a computer and worms spread from computer-to-computer over a network.)

asterizk
Nov 7, 2004, 01:40 PM
How is the system supposed to know it's supposed to be an MP3? Because of the icon?

Is it supposed to do a fuzzy-logic search of the entire icon database and set off alarms if a near-match to something doesn't have the expected file format?

MacOS does not (and has not, istorically, and should not in the future) require you to use file-naming conventions to identify a file's content. I, for one, would hate to be forced to slap extensions on every file I create. One of the reasons I've admired MacOS since the 80's was because it doesn't force users into that kind of nonsense.

Hate to have to call you out on this, since I'm pretty new here, but you're wrong on this count. Apple now recommends all developers use file extensions for the sake of compatibility with the rest of the world:

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/MacOSX/Conceptual/BPFileSystem/Concepts/FilenameExtensions.html

This was also discussed extensively by John Siracusa over at Ars Technica in 2001, when the decision was made:

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/01q3/metadata/metadata-1.html

It was a highly controversial topic at the time. I was very much against it. But since then, I think Apple (and Apple developers) have done a pretty good job of making sure the user never needs to deal with it, so it's become much less of an issue. Practically, there is no issue. The only time I type a file extension is when I purposefully need something other than the default (e.g. creating an HTML file from a text editor). Otherwise, the application supplies the correct one for me.

asterizk
Nov 7, 2004, 01:47 PM
How is the system supposed to know it's supposed to be an MP3? Because of the icon?

Is it supposed to do a fuzzy-logic search of the entire icon database and set off alarms if a near-match to something doesn't have the expected file format?


To answer your question, developers (or the OS) could read the first few bytes of a file and compare it against a list of known file type specifications. This is what the Linux "file" command does:

http://www.garykessler.net/library/magic.html

CalfCanuck
Nov 7, 2004, 02:15 PM
I think Apple doesn't want to promote the Mac platform themselves - they are relying on their user base and other organizations (such as Consumer Reports) to do this for them. It's a different way to market, fitting of the Apple "Think Different" slogan - how effective this approach is at luring new customers to the Apple Macintosh platform is unknown, due in large part to the fact that the marketing is distributed - thus there is no central body to collect marketing numbers.

This isn't entirely true. The Oct. 16-22 edition of the Economist (a general interest weekly) had an Apple color spread on pages 2-3 :

"From the creators of iPod - The new iMac G5

"iPod puts all your music in your pocket. The new iMac G5 outs an entire computer in an ultra-slim 17- or 20-inch display. From $1,299."

It was the first thing yousaw when you opened the magazine, and I was pleasantly surprised. Of course Apple has a long way to go, but besides all the "switchers" there must be millions of ex-Mac users out there, who might consider "coming back" as they struggle with viruses and plug-and-play issues.

And yes, the CR report is a step in the right direction, as general non-tech magazines continue to tell people that Macs are a viable choice.

wdlove
Nov 7, 2004, 03:09 PM
I have been a subscriber to Consumer Reports for a long time. They have generally been positive toward Apple. A negative article can really hurt. So I have never been steered wrong by their recommendations. As mentioned before publicity is generally helpful.

kingtj
Nov 7, 2004, 09:00 PM
I *used* to be a "long time subscriber" to Consumer Reports, but I haven't picked up one of their magazines in well over 3 years now. Quite frankly, I feel like I get much better information on my potential product purchases by doing research on the Internet. Web sites like epinions.com give anyone the opportunity to speak up (good or bad) about any product they like, and you can get endless information by doing Usenet searches or even simply Googling for keywords.

Even back when I did get CR magazine, I often found it frustrating because their reviews would list products that were already going out of production by the time the magazine hit the shelves. With most consumer electronics items, it seems like the manufacturers revise the models on at least a 6 month basis, and usually make several variants at the same time just to discourage "price matching" between different superstores and retail chains they sell to.

The complaints they gave about Macs lacking a floppy drive seemed more valid to me than some.... Sure, Apple claimed the floppy was "dead", but that didn't stop Sony from producing a great line of Mavica cameras that used them as their "film", nor did it really force anyone on the PC side of the fence to give up their floppy disks. (If you wanted to exchange documents between a PC and a Mac user, the floppy disk was often the most sensible way to do it. Sure, the IOMega zip drive was a contender for a while, but the price of the media was WAY too high - and the drives weren't so hot either, with the "click of death" problems and all.)


As a long-time subscriber, I've seen CR become more and more accepting of the Macintosh difference.

I remember when they downrated Macs for "missing" one piece of standard equipment: the floppy drive. The CR reporters couldn't see that letting consumers purchase a low-tech, problem-prone, and soon-to-be-out-of-date component separately (i.e., only if needed) and encouraging networking and higher capacity removable media was a forward-reaching move that benefited consumers more than it inconvenienced them.

These days, CR seems much more in tune with what really matters when evaluating a computer purchase.

Doctor Q
Nov 7, 2004, 09:32 PM
Even back when I did get CR magazine, I often found it frustrating because their reviews would list products that were already going out of production by the time the magazine hit the shelves. With most consumer electronics items, it seems like the manufacturers revise the models on at least a 6 month basis, and usually make several variants at the same time just to discourage "price matching" between different superstores and retail chains they sell to.They have made an attempt to solve this problem by providing updates on their web site, particularly for electronics. Still, there is lots of "free" advice online, and it's cheaper(!) and more up-to-the-minute than anything Consumers could put together. The tradeoff is that Consumers uses consistent testing standards and doesn't have any stake in the outcome, which you don't always know when you read personal reviews online. That's why I read their reviews and then also check online reviews and feedback. The more information, the better.

shamino
Nov 8, 2004, 09:22 AM
[QUOTE=asterizk]Hate to have to call you out on this, since I'm pretty new here, but you're wrong on this count. Apple now recommends all developers use file extensions for the sake of compatibility with the rest of the world.
[QUOTE=asterizk]And the system works just fine if you go and rename your files to get rid of them. The TYPE/CREATOR codes are still what the OS uses.

I can slap any extension I want onto any executable and it will run as long as the type code is still APPL. Which is as it should be.

Making them mandatory (so that the system can do some kind of type-validation mechanism) would be a serious change to the way things currently work. And it would seriously tick me off. We'll wind up putting up with the same nonsense Windows people do - where dozens of apps all register for the same file type and the system always launches the wrong one when you try to open documents.

Santaduck
Nov 23, 2004, 02:37 AM
Almost the entire subscribing population (and subscription used to be the only way to get this mag, might still be) are, by definition, fanatic about the recommendations the magazine gives.

This will be a big boost, as it will finally persuade a whole segment of the market to really and truly seriously consider an Apple.

remingtonhill
Nov 24, 2004, 12:01 AM
Enjoy it.

http://linuxinsider.com/story/37806.html

In the article, the author said:
*********
At a gross level, software availability provides a measure of that market. So, remember Clinton's argument that his claim -- "I did not sleep with that woman" -- wasn't a lie, because he was awake the whole time? Well, in that same vein, you could. . .
***********

I believe President Clinton said: I did not have *sex* with that woman.
:confused: