Articles from August 2010



#027–Apptastic iGame Review – 8/18/10 www.ApptasticReviewers.com with TechJives.net

8/18/10 “Justin is away so Amy and Chris take the lead on this episode!”

Apple says it has patch for remote attack on iPhone, iPad

Apple is quietly wrestling with a security conundrum. How the company handles it could dictate the pace at which cybercriminals accelerate attacks on iPhones and iPads. Apple is hustling to issue a patch for a milestone security flaw that makes it possible to remotely hack —or jailbreak — iOS, the operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch.

The patch is completed, Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said in an interview. But Kerris said on Friday that she was not able to give a time frame for its public release. Jailbreaking refers to hacking iOS to download Web apps not approved by Apple. This used to be difficult. This spring, a website came along called JailbreakMe.com that made it trivial to jailbreak your own iPhone or iPad. Last week, a technique for remote jailbreaking appeared on the site. It’s now possible to access the operating system of an iPhone or iPad owned by someone else.

An attacker would get “fairly complete control of affected devices,” says Michael Price, an operations manager for McAfee Labs. No such attacks are known to have happened yet, he says. For the moment, the most visible concern for Apple has been pranksters going into Apple and Best Buy retail stores and jailbreaking display models, according to tech blog Engadget. Yet, the security and privacy issues are serious.

Security experts expect the pattern that has come to dominate the PC world to begin to permeate smartphones. Bad guys continually flush out new security flaws in PCs, then tap into them to launch malicious attacks. Good guys, meanwhile, scramble to patch and block.

Now, cybercriminals are rapidly adapting PC hacking techniques to all smartphone platforms, including Symbian, Google Android, Windows Mobile, RIM BlackBerry and Apple iOS.

“It’s a brand new game with new rules,” says Dror Shalev, chief technology officer of DroidSecurity, which supplies protection for Google Android phones. “We’re seeing rapid growth in threats as a side effect of the mobile Web app revolution.”

IPhones, in particular, have become a pop culture icon in the U.S., and now the iPad has grabbed the spotlight. “The more popular these devices become, the more likely they are to get the attention of attackers,” says Joshua Talbot, intelligence manager at Symantec Security Response.

Apple’s problem is singular. The company has made a big deal about hiding technical details of iOS, allowing only approved Web apps to tie in. This tight control initially made it easier to keep iOS secure. But now Apple may have to share iOS coding with anti-virus firms, says Sorin Mustaca, development manager for anti-virus firm Avira.

Read more here…

Tech Jives is proudly sponsored by the worlds leader in IT certification training, CED Solutions!

Microsoft Launches PC v. Mac Website And Talks Some Serious Smack

By Alex Wilhelm Follow Alex Wilhelm on twitter on August 9th, 2010

It may be long overdue, but Microsoft is finally coming out swinging against the rise of OS X. Apple has long played the underdog against the giant, writing Microsoft off as stodgy, technologically backward, and problematic. Microsoft let them do it, focusing more on promoting their efforts than denigrating Apple’s products.

This stance confused some, why didn’t they bite back? It was on a long past episode of Diggnation that Alex Albrecht summed it up, saying in short that Microsoft didn’t even want to acknowledge Apple as a competitor. Doing that would give Cupertino market credibility. Now it seems that enough is enough, and Microsoft is finally fighting back.

Redmond has launched a website to discuss Mac versus PC that deals some serious blows to Apple, whether or not they are valid is up to you. Roughly broken into large sections, Microsoft says this

Having Fun: Macs Might Spoil Your Fun

Simplicity: Macs Can Take Time To Learn

Working Hard: Macs Dont Work As Well At Work Or At School

Sharing: Macs Don’t Like To Share

Compatibility: Macs Might Not Like Your PC Stuff

Choice: Macs Don’t Let You Choose

Read further here…

Tech Jives is proudly sponsored by CED Solutions!

#000 Sierra’s Legacy “Their Story” – 8/6/10 – SierrasLegacy.com – Featuring Chris Pope

8-6-10 Guest: Al Lowe creator of Leisure Suit Larry joins us for an absolute unforgetable show about all his games and the history of Sierra On-Line!” produced by TechJives.net and Sponsored by www.CEDSolutions.com

023-WinFITTS.com 08-09-10 Windows Fast IT Tips

8-09-10 “Windows 7 password recovery bonanza!” This podcast is provided by TechJives.net and sponsored by: www.CEDSolutions.com

#026-Tech Barbarians – 8/6/10 – TechBarbarians.com – TechJives.net – Chris Pope & Mark Eoff

8-6-10 Guest: Al Lowe creator of the original Leisure Suit Larry games joins us for an absolute unforgetable show about all his games and the history of Sierra On-Line!” Check out TechBarbarians.com for show notes! This episode is part of the TechJives.net network and is hosted by: Chris Pope and Mark Eoff

Game designer legend Al Lowe creator of Leisure Suit Larry and many other hit games will be LIVE on Tech Barbarians TONIGHT 6pm PST / 9pm EST!

Come join Chris Pope and Mark Eoff this Saturday LIVE for what is sure to be an exciting episode of Tech Barbarians!

When? 9PM(Eastern Time) / 6PM (Pacific Time)

Where? http://watch.techjives.net

Prizes? OH HECK YES!!

1. $25 Best Buy Gift Certificate courtesy of the world leading computer certification training company CED Solutions

2. Multiple autographed 5.25 inch original Leisure Suit Larry 5 floppy disks!

3. A signed Sierra On-Line game manual

4. Possibly even more to be announced signed items! (Keep an eye on Chris Pope’s Twitter feed to find out more about prizes!)

Check out this recent interview with Al!

“In-Depth: Al Lowe Talks Early-Days Adventure Genre Challenges In New Book”

Winner of the lifetime Achievement Apple Moofie Awards!

Want to know more about Al Lowe?

“I was born a poor black child in Gumbo, Missouri…” –that’s how Al Lowe usually opens his résumé. And although it is not true (say what?), it’s an excellent introduction for a man whose passion is humour. “The world’s oldest computer games designer” (Lowe on Lowe) not only spent well over a decade writing funny games, he might well have introduced humour to computer games at all — with the creation of Leisure Suit Larry.

Not that Al Lowe wouldn’t have tried to practise an honest profession. He worked as High School Music Teacher for 15 years. During that time, he got his hands on an Apple II, taught himself to program, and figured that it was time for a career change. So a very talented (and yet unspoiled) Al Lowe spent his nights on creating his first programs — educational software for children. When the publisher Sierra bought the rights to these titles in 1982, it took the man as well.

Lowe was employed as to his qualifications, and humour was not yet considered one of them. Instead, Lowe continued to work on edutainment titles. When Sierra acquired a license to some Disney characters, he helped create programs like “Winnie Pooh in the Hundred-Acre Woods,” “Mickey’s Space Adventure” and “Donald Duck’s Playground.” Being something of a jack-of-all-trades, he filled in various positions on various projects: lead programmer (King’s Quest III and IV, Police Quest I), composer (King’s Quest II, Space Quest II), even interface designer on Sierra’s very own database program “HomeWord Filer.” He is also one of the fathers of The Sierra Network (1991). By 1984, Lowe got the chance to write, design and program his own graphic adventure game, “The Black Cauldron.”Target audience: still kids. But that was to change in 1987.

In 1987, Al Lowe gave birth to the most notorious, single-minded game character there is: Larry Laffer. A born loser constantly on the look-out for women, Larry instantly conquered the hearts (and certain other organs) of gamers everywhere. Besides being daringly explicit for its time, “Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards” was also full of humour. These two major innovations–being the first adult graphic adventure and the first comedy game–made LSL 1 a classic and (probably more important for Al) a best-seller. See the trivia section of the game entry for an extensive quote on the development of Leisure Suit Larry.

After that, Al Lowe spent most of his years continuing the saga of Larry Laffer. He created five additional games for a total of six, ending with episode seven. Puzzled? Check out the trivia section for Leisure Suit Larry 5 to unravel the mystery of the missing adventure. Between episodes, he managed to design the western comedy“Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist” (1993) and the parents-plus-children fantasy adventure, “Torin’s Passage” (1995). By 1999, plans were made to send Larry Laffer into his eighth game. Puzzled again? “Larry’s Casino,” a hybrid of Larry’s humour and Hoyle’s games, came out in 1998. But “Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space” was not meant to be.

As the 90s were nearing their end, so were traditional “flat” adventure games. If there was to be a Leisure Suit Larry 8, it had thus to be in 3D. Games like “Grim Fandango” had already taken the first step into the new dimension. Al Lowe was ready to go, too; however, Sierra was not. The company had just suffered through a year of bad sales. As the costs for each project were growing in the millions, the meagre earnings were far from sufficient to cover the expenses — even for the titles already in production. Without the necessary money, the decision to fund a Larry 8 was delayed several times. Finally, the debts grew too high. The costs had to be cut — severely. In February 1999, Sierra not only closed its Yosemite Studios, it laid off Al Lowe. After 16 years of working for one company, Lowe was ready for retirement.

Al Lowe is since enjoying his private life. Completely unlike his creation, the ever-searching Larry Laffer, Lowe is a family man; he’s living in Seattle with his wife Margaret and his two children, Brian and Megan. He is known to be an excellent saxophonist; he regularly plays in several Seattle jazz bands. For a sample of his skill, listen to the title theme of Leisure Suit Larry 7 (see also Larry 1 trivia on the origin of the song). Lowe is also known to be an enthusiastic golf player. In his free time (i.e. most of the day), he tends to his own website, www.allowe.com, which you should definitely pay a visit if you’re interested in the history of Leisure Suit Larry. Lowe also tries to make the world a happier place by managing the mailing list CyberJoke 3000™. That he’s qualified for this job should be proven by the following excerpt from an interview with “The Armchair Empire,” which I just can’t help to quote:

Q: If you knew you had ten minutes to live, how would you use the time?

A: Borrowing money.

Q: How would you want your obituary to read?

A: “That guy owed everybody!”

#026–Apptastic iGame Review – 8/4/10 www.ApptasticReviewers.com with TechJives.net

8/4/10 “Amy Elk joins us as the 3rd seat full time!” Reviews: Chain Link,
Gravity Hook, Beat Wave, Plunderland, Tiki Towers, Al lowes comedy club

#025-Tech Barbarians – 8/2/10 – TechBarbarians.com – TechJives.net – Chris Pope & Mark Eoff

8-2-10 “Guest: Kate from SheGeekShow.com, lotsa fun game talk and buttered biscuits!” This episode is part of the TechJives.net network and is hosted by: Chris Pope and Mark Eoff

Kate from “She Geek Show” will be on Tech Barbarians tonight around 10:45pm EST / 7:45pm PST LIVE!

Tech Barbarians would like to welcome Kate from the She Geek Show to join us LIVE tonight! Check out more information on Kate by going to her website http://SheGeekShow.com or her youtube channel at http://youtube.com/shegeekshow

To listen LIVE when the show starts, go to http://watch.techjives.net

We will be giving away a $25 best buy gift certification courtesy of CED Solutions!