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ATPM 7.12
December 2001



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About This Particular Web Site

by Paul Fatula,

Mac OS X Security Essentials

Due in large part to its Unix roots, there are a lot more security vulnerabilities to worry about in Mac OS X than there were in Classic versions of the operating system. Though not updated for OS X 10.1, this page offers considerable discussion of X’s security weaknesses, with suggestions for fixes where available. The site also links to relevant software products and provides an extensive list of references. It’s long, technical, and decidedly not “fun” reading, but certainly worth checking out if you want to make sure your system is as secure as it can be.

The Damage Done

This site isn’t much fun either, in fact it can be downright painful. But it’s some food for thought if you’re thinking of shipping your Mac with UPS—or, to be fair, anyone else. The pictures show the result of insufficient padding combined with what appears to be some serious mishandling by a shipping company.

iPod Hacks

This site, whose user poll reveals that about half its readers either have an iPod or are definitely going to get one, is a one-stop source for all sorts of information about the iPod. While there’s little news here that I haven’t seen on more generalized Mac news sites, it offers everything from the famous Breakout “easter egg” to links to pictures of a disassembled iPod, to a review of a PDA case that is a nice fit for an iPod.

The Brick Testament

This site offers a very nicely done, sometimes comical, always cute, rendition of a number of Bible stories in Lego. That’s right, scenes are recreated on Lego-built stages and parts are acted by little Lego men, sometimes with speech bubbles over their heads, and always with a short caption below.

Fun With Spammers

This lucky fellow, by his own admission, only gets about one piece of spam per piece of legitimate e-mail; for me the ratio is somewhere around three or four to one. Anyway, this page, and its follow-up, More Fun With Spammers, make for an amusing read: the author picks a few spammers and informs them that they will be invoiced for his trouble if they continue to spam him. One did, and he posted this page about it. Being contacted later by the spammer’s lawyer led to more fun. Reader comments on each page also make for an interesting read.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (2)

Paul Fatula (ATPM Staff) · December 5, 2001 - 11:25 EST #1
Late addition to this month's ATPW, since I feel this is too important to wait a month for the next issue. There is a Mac OS X Metadata Petition intended to (I'm massively summarizing here) get Apple to bring the metadata capabilities of OS 9.x to OS X, and then to extend/enhance those capabilities. For those not up on the issue, metadata includes, for example, the file type and creator codes that, in pre-X versions of the Mac OS, let the computer know what kind of file a given document was and with which application it should be opened. In OS X, this functionality is rather primatively replaced with a three letter extension required in the filename, sacrificing both functionality and user control of file names. You can read more about metadata at Ars Technica.
J Hinds · December 18, 2001 - 16:16 EST #2
I've given Fun w/Spammers to my lawyer just to see if she is interested in playing. Wheee!

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