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Monday Recap: MobileMe Email, Leopard Updates, Photo Sharing, DigiTimes Rumors

Mac OS X Leopard boxIt has been quite the manic Monday around MacLife.com, with widespread rumors of new Macs swirling fast and furious throughout the internet. As always, we try to take them with a grain of salt — and speaking of which, now is a good time to take a long, hard look at DigiTimes, a frequently cited source for said rumors. Read on and find out all about that and everything else making news for this Monday, May 14, 2012.

Don’t Want iCloud? You Can Still Keep That MobileMe Email Address

The end is nigh for MobileMe, which will close its doors for good on June 30. But what if you don’t want to move your email to iCloud? As discovered by TidBits.com, Apple is quietly allowing MobileMe users who have yet to make the switch to keep that old email address — and even use it on older systems where iCloud can’t be used, such as a Mac running 10.5 Leopard, for example. “As of May 1, you can choose to keep using your mail after MobileMe ends, even on devices that don’t meet the iCloud system requirements,” the revised MobileMe transition web page now reads. “Just go to me.com/move and select the option to keep using your email after MobileMe ends. Once you have completed this short process, your mail will continue to work on devices that don’t meet the iCloud requirements after MobileMe ends on June 30th, 2012.” Handy, but given that the rest of MobileMe is waving goodbye, it might be a good time to take Apple up on that free iCloud offer, just the same…

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Users Receive Security Updates

MacRumors is reporting that Apple has pushed out two updates aimed at Mac user still running 10.5 Leopard. No, there aren’t any cool features like iCloud support — instead the updates feature a pair of security updates which are far less exciting but certainly welcome to those still rocking an older Mac. Leopard Flashback Removal Security Update promises to eradicate any “common variants” of the Flashback malware which recently made headlines, a mere 1.23MB download. The second is Leopard Security Update 2012-003, a 1.11MB download that includes the same ability to disable older versions of Adobe Flash Player, instead providing the option to download the latest version from Adobe’s website. Both updates require Mac OS X 10.5.8 and mark “the first significant software updates for the operating system since the debut of OS X Lion in mid-2011.”

Rumor: New Apple Photo Sharing Service May Debut at WWDC

9to5Mac is on a roll today, jumping from 15-inch MacBook Pro rumors we reported on this morning to word that Apple may use WWDC 2012 next month to introduce an upgraded iCloud with new photo sharing abilities. The rumor was first reported earlier today by The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required), who likens the service to Instagram. “The new features, expected to be announced at Apple’s world-wide developer conference beginning June 11, will allow iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them,” the paper’s sources have revealed. “Apple is trying to better compete in the red-hot market for photo sharing, dominated by fast-growing online services such as Facebook Inc. and mobile apps like Instagram — which Facebook has agreed to acquire for billion.” If true, it would make a whole lot more sense why Apple chose to kill the MobileMe Gallery feature, since it likely had larger ambitions than simply sprucing up that paid feature.

Antivirus Expert Kaspersky Claims Apple’s Mac OS X “Really Vulnerable”

Computing.co.uk is reporting that Mac OS X isn’t quite as secure as Apple might let on, according to Kaspersky Labs CTO Nikolay Grebennikov, whose company has recently started analyzing the operating system in the wake of recent malware scares. “Mac OS is really vulnerable… we’ve begun an analysis of its vulnerabilities, and the malware targeting it,” explains Grebennikov. “Our first investigations show Apple doesn’t pay enough attention to security. For example, Oracle closed a vulnerability in Java, which was a target for a major botnet several months ago. Apple blocked Oracle from updating Java on Mac OS, and they perform all the updates themselves. They only released the patch a few weeks ago — two or three months after the Oracle patch. That’s far too long.” An earlier version of the report incorrectly claimed that Kaspersky was examining Mac OS X at Apple’s request, but has since been corrected to explain that the testing is being conducted independently of Cupertino.

Fact-Checking DigiTimes on Apple Rumors

We all love Apple rumors,  and the months leading up to a new product launch can feature a dizzying amount of them. A big chunk of these often come from DigiTimes, a Taiwanese tech website who tends to throw most every Apple-related whisper they catch wind of against the wall to see which ones stick. As such, those of us writing up Apple news frequently include a disclaimer so readers don’t get their hopes up too much. Time Techland went one step further today, publishing a rumor scorecard on DigiTimes that collects a number of Apple rumors dating back to 2006 and views them under the microscope to see which ones actually came to fruition. Let’s just say DigiTimes’ track record is so-so: “It doesn’t seem to matter whether the prognostications it publishes come true or not, and no amount of being wrong is enough to ruin its reputation,” the report notes.

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