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Week in review: Apple unleashes Snow Leopard

Apple releases its latest operating system, as Microsoft looks ahead to the big day for Windows 7. Also: Is Pirate Bay going to stay afloat?


Apple released its Snow Leopard into the wild a little early, while Microsoft revealed its release plans for Windows 7 this week.

Apple began shipping its newest operating system to customers on Friday, a little earlier than expected. Mac OS X Snow Leopard is not as much about adding new features as it is about refining the code in the operating system. For instance, according to Apple, 90 percent of the Mac OS X code has been worked on for the Snow Leopard release.

The CNET Reviews team took the new OS for a spin and :

Interface enhancements like Expose in the Dock and better file and folder viewing in Stacks make finding apps and files much easier. A completely overhauled QuickTime X now sports a cleaner interface and recording tools. The much-anticipated Exchange support across Mail, the Address Book, and iCal is huge for those who take their Macs to work.

However, the team notes that Snow Leopard will work only on Intel-powered Macs; PowerPC users are out of luck.

Snow Leopard could include some features that would make it secure, or at least push it closer to the level of security that Vista and Windows 7 have, experts said this week.

Contrary to popular belief, Macintosh is not more secure from a software standpoint than modern Windows; it's merely safer to use because malware writers prefer to target the platform with the biggest install base, according to Charlie Miller and Dino Dai Zovi, co-authors of The Mac Hacker's Handbook, which came out this spring.

"Apple hasn't implemented all the security features that Vista has," Miller said. "They made some improvements in Leopard, but they are still behind."
•  Researchers who hack the Mac OS

Mac OS X Snow Leopard will cost $29 as an upgrade for Leopard users. For Mac OS X Tiger users, the Mac Box Set, which includes Mac OS X Snow Leopard, iLife '09 and iWork '09, will cost $169.
•  Beware fake Snow Leopard sites
•  Apple, Amazon offering Snow Leopard discounts
•  Mac OS X Snow Leopard resource guide

More headlines

Windows 7 to get New York launch

Microsoft is planning two Big Apple events, including the October 22 launch for Windows 7 as well as a consumer "open house" earlier in the month.
•  Free Software Foundation trashes Windows 7
•  Browserless Windows 7 refuses to go gracefully
•  Measuring Windows 7 appeal to businesses

Facebook ratchets up privacy controls (again)

This time the social network is responding to advocacy groups' and policymakers' concerns about the amount of user data exposed to third-party developers.
•  ACLU chapter flags Facebook app privacy
•  Survey: Users of social networks take risks despite concerns
•  Facebook's hiring like crazy again

Swedish court orders shutdown of The Pirate Bay

Swedish ISP says it was ordered to shut down the BitTorrent tracking site or face penalties. It's unclear when the site will, if ever, come back online.
•  Is Pirate Bay sold? Don't believe it
•  File sharers hold vigil for Pirate Bay

Signs strengthen that iPod is becoming shutterbug

Rumors grow stronger that Apple may add cameras to the iPod Nano and iPod Touch, and introduce a new digital-album format called Cocktail.
•  Apple readying MacBook makeover?

iPhone app issue shows mobile Net growing pains

Useful applications such as Google Voice won't be blocked from the iPhone as competition, Apple changes, or Web apps will break today's logjam.
•  Apple: Technical issues holding up Vonage app
•  Behind 10 eyebrow-raising App Store rejections

Microsoft files appeal in Word injunction case

Company finds faults with rulings that led to jury's patent infringement ruling. Microsoft also facing injunction that threatens to halt sales of current form of Word.

Microsoft swaps race in Web site photo

A photo on its U.S. site features three people--one white, one black, one Asian. Same shot on Polish site shows a white head superimposed on the black man's body.
•  Microsoft apologizes for race-swap photo incident
•  Poles on Microsoft gaffe: Isn't that a Mac in the shot?

U.S. lags other nations in Internet speed

Average download speed in U.S. is slower than that in 27 other countries, says report from the Communications Workers of America. South Korea lands top spot with fastest Internet speeds.

Wikipedia to add editing safeguard for the living

New feature to be deployed soon on a test wiki assigns an experienced editor to sign off on changes to articles on those who are alive and well.
•  Wikipedia community grapples with changes

Also of note
•  Microsoft drops price of Xbox 360 Elite, kills Pro
•  Jessica Biel most 'dangerous' celeb in cyberspace
•  Loch Ness Monster surfaces on Google Earth?