QuickLock Is The Quickest & Most Convenient Way To Lock Your Mac

QuickLock is a terrific little tool from ThinkDev that makes it quick and convenient to lock your Mac when you leave your desk. It sits in your menubar out of your way, and a click (or a keyboard shortcut) is all it takes to keep your Mac safe.

With the latest version of QuickLock, users can enjoy a brand new interface and a number of new features. Best of all, it’s completely free.

QuickLock is a must-have if you use your Mac in an office, a classroom, a library, or another public place where you might leave it unattended for a while. You probably already use a password to ensure no one can gain access to your computer while you’re away from it, and the quickest and easiest way to activate that password and lock your Mac is with QuickLock.

“QuickLock is the absolute best way to lock your Mac,” ThinkDev says. “Unlike OSX’s hot corners, QuickLock works with a simple keyboard shortcut or menubar click, and never gets in the way of your workflow.”

And here’s what’s new in its latest update:

– Completely redesigned user interface
– Revamped user experience
– New icon
– Great new animations for locking/unlocking
– An awesome screen bounce or lock animation when typing
– Upgraded security features
– New display features
– Major bug fixes and improvements

Because QuickLock’s new features are currently in beta testing, you can get a copy of the app and try them out completely free. Just visit the QuickLock website and download it to get started.

ThinkDev has another awesome app that called QuickRes, which has been developed to make it super simply to switch between display resolutions on a Retina MacBook Pro. Like QuickLock, it sits in your menubar.

QuickRes is the best way to switch between screen resolutions on your Mac. With the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, you can set your resolution all the way up to an extreme 3840 x 2400! With other Macs, you can set your resolutions to things you’ve never seen before, including a HiDPI mode, which is as close as you can get to a Retina Display on a standard display.

A free version of QuickRes can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, but due to Apple’s restrictions, it only allows you to switch to one resolution — and you have to go into System Preferences to switch back. The paid version, however, let’s you switch between resolution as much as you like.

It’s just $1.99, but Cult of Mac readers can get 50% off for a limited time.

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Apple’s iOS Devices Receive Pentagon Approval

Apple’s iOS devices have today been cleared for use on United States military networks by the Defense Department, Bloomberg reports. The move comes after Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 and the latest devices from BlackBerry gained government clearance earlier this month.

The Defense Department said in a statement today that it has approved iOS devices — including the iPhone and the iPad — running Apple’s latest iOS 6 operating system. These will join the 41,000 Apple products already in use by the Defense Department.

The Pentagon has traditionally relied on BlackBerry devices, which are famous for their security, and it has more than 470,000 of them in its network. But BlackBerry’s latest smartphones will now face competition from the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone when it comes to government use.

The military wants its employees to have the freedom to use commercial products on its networks, and it even plans to create its own mobile app store by hiring contractors to build a system capable of handling as many as 8 million devices.

Source: Bloomberg

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A Harry Potter Spell Can Be Used To Hack Your Mac!

Inside every Mac — the one I’m writing this one, the one you’re reading this on, the one next to you at the cafe — is a little chip called the SMC, or system management controller. If you’ve ever had a problem related to your Mac’s performance or power supply, resetting the SMC is usually the first thing people suggest.

For most of us, worrying about the ‘security’ of our SMC is pretty harmless. While your SMC can be hacked, it’s a Mission Impossible style process that is only really likely to occur if you’re so important that the techno-elite of another country’s government decides they want to know what’s on your laptop.

Here’s where it gets funny, though. Let’s say China did want to hack your Mac’s SMC… how might they start? By entering the name of a Harry Potter spell!

According to a fascinating write-up by Dan Goodin over at Ars Technica, ever Mac SMC has secret settings that can be accessed by entering the word “SpecialisRevelio.”

If you’ve read the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling, those words might seem familiar: it’s the name of a spell that reveals hidden charms and hexes.

It’s nothing for you to worry about. Any Harry Potter style attacker would have to have physical access to your Mac, and an incredible degree of sophisticated computer knowledge to compromise your machine through your SMC. Besides, you can always thwart an attack by pulling out your wand and shouting “Expelliarmus!” at your Mac during boot-up to neutralize the attack.

Source: Ars Technica

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Use Siri To Generate A Super Secure Random Password [iOS Tips]

As you may know, Siri is backed by the seriously amazing knowledge web site, Wolfram Alpha, which makes dynamic computations about your search terms based on a its own collection of built-in data, special algorithms, and other secret fancy methods. Or, to put it another way: magic.

Anyway, Siri taps into Wolfram Alpha and can come up with some great stuff, like calculating tips for you, for example. Siri’s connection to Wolfram can do even more than that, like generating a secure password for you. Here’s how.

Click and hold the Home button on your Siri-enabled iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and say, “Wolfram password.” You can also say, “WolframAlpha password,” if that floats your boat. Either way, you’ll get a screen that will show your input to WolframAlpha as, “generate a random password.”

Below that, you’ll see the default password length of eight characters, followed your random password, along with the Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot way of expressing it. YOu’ll then see an additional six other passwords you can use, along with some really cool info about the properties of the given password, along with a measure of your password entropy, a measure of how tricky it will be to guess the password, even with modern computing force.

Interesting tidbit: the eight character password I generated to try this out would take about 229 years to guess, if a brute force attack generated 100,000 passwords per second. Sweet! That’s got to be more secure than the one I have now! And no, I didn’t use the one in the screenshot above for anything. Sheesh.

Via: Everything iCafe

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