27 December 2008

Orbicule at MacWorld

Orbicule will have its own booth at Macworld Expo 2009 in San Francisco. We will be there to answer all your questions about Undercover and Macnification. Please feel free to drop by at our booth # 1438, even if you don't have any questions. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Oh, there is one more thing: we will make a major announcement at Macworld. If you can't make it to the city by the bay, please keep an eye on this weblog!

11 December 2008

Undercover and the iPhone

On a daily basis, we are getting requests for an iPhone version of Undercover. Until now, we have been intentionally vague about our iPhone plans, as we did not want to give away too much information before we actually ship the software.

In the meantime, however, some other people and companies have created anti-theft software for the iPhone. No problem with that, we love some competition. Unfortunately, though, all these solutions rely on the fact that the thief himself should launch the theft-recovery application.

I don't know about you, but here at Orbicule we think that this is totally useless and that you could as well ask the thief to turn himself in at the nearest police station. Relying on the fact that a thief should disclose his own location, is not our definition of a secure theft-recovery software. We know most thieves are not that smart, but this is really pushing it. Moreover, a thief could easily remove the software from the iPhone, just like he can uninstall any other third party application. We could have shipped similar software on the AppStore several months ago, but we decided not to: this solution simply does not meet our standards.

Time has come to announce that we have been working for many months on a highly advanced theft-recovery system for the iPhone. As soon as Undercover is released, it will blow anything else out of the water. The system is 95% ready and we are currently testing beta builds. Its release has been a moving target, as we are dependent upon Apple for some of its aspects. But now at least you know that we have been working relentlessly on an iPhone solution and that you will have a decent theft recovery solution to choose from once Undercover iPhone is released.

This is all the information we can share right now, as the Apple NDA keeps developers from disclosing details about unreleased applications.
Please keep an eye on this blog, we will release information as it becomes available. Or follow our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/orbicule.

11 November 2008

FindMySoft gives Undercover 5-star rating

The reviewers at FindMySoft have assigned the highest rating (excellent) to Undercover:
We are pleased to inform you that your software Undercover 2.5 has been tested on 06-Oct-2008 by one of our software engineers. We would like to congratulate you for the quality of your product. We have updated Undercover details on findmysoft.com. Since Undercover exceeds the quality standards of many other software products in its category it has been granted the "EXCELLENT" software certificate.
More information is available from their website.

07 October 2008

Registration window fix

Some of our users have reported that the registration window does not appear after installing the newly released Undercover 2.5. As a temporary fix, we recommended users that experienced this issue to manually start the registration application.

We now fixed this issue, however. The version number remains at 2.5 since only the registration application has been updated, not Undercover itself. If you already upgraded to version 2.5 over the past few days and you had to manually start the registration process, there is no reason to download and install again. The fact that you had to manually start the registration application did not affect Undercover's functionality.

We sincerely apologize to the handful of users who experienced this inconvenience.

29 September 2008

Undercover 2.5 has landed

We are proud to release Undercover 2.5, the only theft-recovery solution that has been designed exclusively for Mac OS X.
The update is free for all registered Undercover users

Changes since Undercover 2.0
- We removed the dead-Mac feature in which a Mac would start plan B if offline for more than two months, even if it's not listed as stolen. We hoped that this feature would have helped us recover stolen Macs that are never connected. In reality, the feature did not help at all, not even in one case.
- Memory footprint and CPU usage have been dramatically reduced. In most cases, memory footprint is down 75%.
- In addition, Undercover 2.5 sports dozens of under-the-hood improvements and fixes.
- Undercover 2.5 now automatically replaces all previous versions. Simply run the installer and you are all set.

How to upgrade from any previous Undercover version
- Download Undercover 2.5 from the Undercover website and run the installer.
- Undercover automatically recognizes older Undercover versions and removes them.
- Restart your Mac when prompted by the installer
- Undercover 2.5 does not recognize your previous registration: you will need to enter your email address and license key again. You can find your license key in the email that has been sent by Kagi after your purchase. This email has been sent by admin@kagi.com, you may use Spotlight to find it.
- You will then receive the Undercover ID for the Mac you installed Undercover on.

Check whether Undercover is running on your Mac
Undercover will require you to re-enter your Kagi license key. After registration, you will receive an email containing the Undercover ID for the Mac you have registered Undercover on. The fact that you are receiving the email with the UC ID means that Undercover has been successfully installed and is working properly on your Mac.
Important note: The Undercover ID is unique for a particular Mac. This is unlike the Kagi license key, which may be used on a number of Macs if you have a household or site license.

Over the coming days, registered users will be notified of this update by email.

22 August 2008

Looking for beta testers [Updated]

As a major Undercover update nears the beta testing stage, we are looking for testers.
If you would like to participate, please send us an email with the following information:

- The Mac model you can test on
- The Mac OS X version you are running (we need both Tiger and Leopard testers)
- Previous beta-testing work you have done on other software

Testers should prepare to spend about 3 hours over the next weeks to test the newest Undercover release.
Needless to say, participating testers will receive a free Undercover license if they complete the testing procedure.
We only need a few testers, so you need to act quickly

Thanks for the huge number of responses we received. We now have plenty of beta testers for the upcoming Undercover update, so we are no longer looking for candidates

21 August 2008

Become a fan of Orbicule

If you have a Facebook account - and who doesn't these days - you may become a fan of Orbicule. Point your browser to the Orbicule page. We will use this page - in addition to this blog - to post company news, job openings, ...

03 July 2008

Remote wipe

On a weekly basis, users are suggesting a remote wipe functionality for Undercover. In short, this means that we can remotely wipe all files on a Mac if it has been reported stolen. At first, this sounds like a great feature, as laptops are increasingly used as a desktop replacement, often containing sensitive data.

We have thought a lot about remote wipe and there is one major problem with it: the wipe is postponed until the stolen Mac is connected to the internet. There is no way to tell a Mac to delete all its files if you can't talk to it. This means that a thief has access to all data on the Mac until he goes online with the stolen Mac. On average, it takes about ten (10!) days for a stolen Mac to be connected to the internet for the first time, giving thieves plenty of time to view all files and copy them if they are after specific sensitive files. If the information is really confidential, this is totally unacceptable.

Remote wipe is only useful when executed immediately after the theft. This would require a permanent network connection, such as with a cell phone, which is almost continuously connected to its carrier's network. In such a scenario, remote wipe does make sense. However, if the connection isn't permanent as it is on a Mac, remote wipe is just a marketing trick that does not offer any real value. If your Mac contains sensitive data, we highly recommend other security measures, such as encryption (e.g. using FileVault).

13 May 2008

No news is good news

It has been a long time since our last blog post. Somewhere on a web forum, I even read that Orbicule might be out of business. This could not be further from the truth: Undercover is doing better than ever and we are working on the next generation of theft recovery software as we speak. I have to admit that our blog remained silent for quite a while, but that's only because we have been hard at work on several projects.

Many (prospective) customers have inquired about the projects we have been working on. Although we do not comment on unannounced products, you can be quite sure that we will be where Apple's focus is at the moment. At least, if technically and legally feasible. How much clearer can we be? ;-)

I also wanted to let our users and blog readers know that we are taking feedback and blog comments very seriously. We do listen to you! For example, we are currently looking into ways to improve the dead Mac functionality [the feature in which plan B is started automatically if the Mac has not been connected for more than 60 days].

Expect to see some fruits of our labour by the end of September.

10 January 2008

Recovery in Surfers Paradise

Prospective customers are continuously inquiring for new Undercover recovery stories, and rightly so. We already posted two fully illustrated recovery stories on our recovery page. Writing up these stories, illustrating them and making sure these stories are not hindering police and/or court investigations is harder than it seems.

Therefore, we were delighted to receive an email from Dean Katsiris, a client we helped to recover his stolen MacBook: he wrote a detailed recovery report, including iSight images captured by Undercover. Please note that this recovery has taken unusually long, but thanks to the perseverance of Dean and the efficacy of Undercover, the story has a happy end. Enjoy...

05 January 2008

Have a great 2008

We at Orbicule wish you a joyful and healthy new year! May all your dreams come true (or at least some of them).
We also wish you a safe year for yourself, your family and of course for your precious Mac.

After launching Undercover 2, we took some time off to relax and recover as 2008 is shaping up to become an exciting year with a major new product scheduled to be released in Q3 2008. To be continued...