MacCast 03.08.2006 - Show #125
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Video iPod Rumors get "Bigger"
* According to Think Secret Apples next video iPod is still on the way and will feature a " touchscreen, not a 3.5" one as previously rumored.
* They expect the announcement to be made in late March or April, but note the date may be pushed back due to delays with pending Movie deals.
V Apple movie store research uncovered
* AppleInsider claims to have proof that Apple is in development of an iTunes Movie store.
* A survey from Coyote Insight, a Fullerton, Calif.-based market research firm, asked that participants answer a series of questions related to a potential "iTunes movie service".
V The survey asks people to rate their options on different types of services.
* 1,000 movie library
* $9.99/mo subscription or $12.99/mo with or without burning
* Even though AppleInsider eludes that Apple could have commissioned the research, there is no proof it was Apple.
* Apple did recently acquire a 107,000-square-foot data center in Newark, CA. which I guess could be used for movies, iTunes or .Mac
V Falls in line with my last view that Apple would want to sell content rather than add DVR capabilities to Macs.
* "Adding video recording functionality would have made the Mac Mini too complicated..." Phil Schiller
V UK Retailer to add "Apple Zones" and Apple Retail Germany
* IncentiveBulletin reports that UK-based retailer Tesco is set to roll out standalone areas for Apple in 300 of its biggest stores by the end of the year.
* They are starting with a 6 store trial before the do the full roll-out
* The report says they will use same point-of-sale materials as its retail stores and sells Macs, printers, and iPods.
* There are also reports that Apple may open as many as 20 retails stores in the UK this year
* Reports that Apple will be expanding into Germany with stores in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin. No confirmation or opening dates given.
V Rumor of UK iTunes TV Downloads soon?
* C21 Magazine is reporting Apple and NBC are close to closing a deal for TV content in the UK.
* The first focus is on Sci-fi with Battlestar Galactica, Surface and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
* No news on a specific date
V Apple Retail Store in Dallas opens this weekend
* Apple Retail store at the NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas, will open 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 4
* This is Apple's seventh store in Texas
V Apple releases software and security updates
V Security Update 2006-001. Fixes for Safari security issues including the "zero-day-exploit" (Leap-A), as well as 3 other exploits
* There is now a checkpoint in Safari, Mail and iChat, but it does not stop the code from running if a Trojan file is then opened. The checkpoints also don't work if you disabled the "Open safe files after downloading" option.
* Files do "unzip" after warning, but do not run like before.
* The message you now see is: "The safety of this file cannot be determined. Are you sure you want to download “filename.jpg?"
* iTunes 6.04, Front Row 1.2.1 and iPhoto 6.0.2 were also released.
V Mac Mini Hacked in 30 Minutes
* A website called "rm-my-mac" set up the Mac Mini and invited hackers to try and exploit it.
* The hacker claims to have used an unpublished unpatched exploit, but does not identify the vulnerability he used.
V The hacker also says he gained root access. That implies that root was enabled on this Mini. Root access in OS X is disabled by default and must be enabled by the owner.
* How secure was the root password that was assigned?
* The owner of the site also gave SSH account to anyone who wanted them. It also has Apache, MySQL and PHP running.
* So this is not, as the site author claims, a default install of OS 10.4.5.
* They have received a TON of press for the site, so you have to wonder if this isn't a huge scam.
V A senior systems engineer at the University of Wisconsin, David Schroeder, offered a counter challenge.
* Set up a Mac Mini running OS X 10.4.5 with the latest security updates and has SSH and HTTP open. And asked hackers to deface the web page served there.
* In 38 hours and under hevy attack there was no compromise of the system.
V Pope gets a Nano
* Pope Benedict the XVI was given a 2GB iPod Nano from the Vatican Radio Crew
* It was engraved, "To His Holiness, Benedict XVI" and had mostly classical music along with the Vatican Radio Podcasts loaded on it.
V Apple does another firmware update for 1.8 G5s
* Apple has released another update to the Late 2004 1.8GHz single-processor Power Mac G5 for Tiger Users (10.4.3 and later)
* Fixes issues where the machine stops responding randomly and improves the reliability of your Power Mac G5, especially after it has been inactive for two hours.
* "After installing the firmware update, there will be a residual folder installed on your hard drive called "AppleInternal". Inside that folder is another folder called 'PackageDataTools'. Inside that folder is an application called 'Lurk-n-Launch'. You can safely delete the folder and its contents."
V Apple files trademark for 'MacBook'
* Well this is the shocker of the year, NOT.
* The filing was made on February 22nd, 2006
* Of course assumption this is the name for the re-branded iBook.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Intel Mac Mini Benchmarks and Integrated graphics
* Macintouch has a great roundup of benchmark scores for the new Mac Minis
Intel Mac Mini Benchmarks
* The Mini scores very well in almost all categories except the Cinebench Hardware Open GL score. Most likely due to the Integrated Intel graphics chip. The software Open GL sore looks great though.
* The GMA950 does support Tiger Core Image (the 9200 didn't).
* On PCs shared memory the GMA950 can use up as much as 224MB of main memory in frame buffering. On the Mac Mini it is locked at 64MB, but 16MB is also set up for general system setup so it's 80MB total.
* Basically 2D performance for Quicktime, DVD playback and 1080i HD should be great. 3D performance is likely to suffer as early real-world benchmarks are beginning to show.
V A lot being made in the media over Apples marketing switch
* The G4 Mac Mini site said, "Go ahead, just try to play Halo on a budget PC. Most say they're good for 2D games only. That's because an 'integrated Intel graphics' chip steals power from the CPU and siphons off memory from system-level RAM."
* The new site says, "Mac mini features a graphics processor integrated into the system, and one that's no slouch, to boot. The Intel GMA950 graphics supports Tiger Core Graphics and the latest 3D games. It shares fast 667MHz memory with the Intel Core processor, for an incredible value proposition."
* This is marketing people.
* A post on a forum shows that at least one person claims to have upgraded their MacMini Solo with a 2.16GHz Core Duo processor.
Mac Mini 2.16GHz Upgrade
V Review of Crystal Film CoverSets
* Play review from Kevin of the Frat Pack Podcast
* iPod Crystal Film Sets from Power Support USA
iPod Crystal Film Set
V Open Firmware correction and follow-up
V You CAN boot OS X if you forget your OF password
* If you cannot access the Open Firmware Password application and need to troubleshoot your PowerPC-based computer by:
Resetting the PRAM
Starting up in Single-user mode
Starting up in Verbose mode
Starting from CD-ROM or other optical disc
then follow these steps:

1) Start up into Open Firmware by pressing and holding the Command-Option-O-F key combination during startup.
At the Open Firmware prompt, type: reset-nvram
Press Return.
When prompted for your password, enter it and press the Return key.
It responds OK.
At the Open Firmware prompt, type: reset-all
Press Return.
V Countering the "Macs are more expensive" argument
V In light of the $100 Mac Mini price increase here is some good ammunition from listener Mack
* [1] The software that comes free with a Mac, like iLife '06, alone would cost you several hundred on a PC. The PC "crapware" the give you is throw away. Apple gives you quality apps.
* [2] There are free options, but most PC users buy an Anti-virus package to protect their PCs.
V [3] Consider the cost of having your WinTel fixed once or twice a year
because of spyware, adware, malware, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc. $50 to $65 an hour for computer repair. This argument can be tough to back up. For the most part (and there are studies to prove it) Macs are more stable and cause less maintenance, but some still do need repair and maintenance. I also recommend AppleCare on any Mac with an LCD another added expense.
* A recent article in Network World looked at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Mac and PC in an business setting and concluded that, "owning a WinTel box for three years costs twice as much as owning a MacTel"
Mac vs PC Cost of Ownership
* [4] Longevity. An Apple computer has a longer life-span than your typical Windows system. Most PC users I know get 2 to 4 years from a
WinTel. Conversely you can typically get 3 to 6 years out of a Mac. Newer versions of OS X actually perform better on older hardware.
* [5] These cheap $300 boxes or $600 laptops you can get are nothing near the quality of a Mac. Generally true, but again you can get into debates on this one.
* [6] Lastly, the time it takes to get work done. Getting work (or play) done
on a Mac is typically more efficient and easier not to mention simply more enjoyable. Less time spent on work means less expense. Time is money. Ask a PC user to create a DVD from their home movies and you can prove this.
V Getting Better FrontRow Performance
* Play comment from Dale
* I just used FrontRow Enabler to install the new 1.2.1 update. Besides new features, Bonjour support, resumable video playback, supporting your iPhoto slideshow preferences (music, Ken Burns effects, transitions, etc) and blue listened/watched dots, I saw a BIG performance boost
V Closing
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V "Not on the Radio" by Geoff Smith
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