MacCast 03.18.2007 - Show #180
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Apple releases Airport Extreme update
* AirPort Extreme Update 2007-02 improves compatibility with AirPort Extreme base stations and networks.
* Also fixes WEP issues on MacBook and MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo systems using some 3rd party routers.
* Addresses a security issue on Mac mini, MacBook, and MacBook Pro systems where an attacker could cause system crashes.
V Apple releases 10.4.9 update
* The update offers fixes, improvements, and patches for .Mac, Bluetooth, iChat, iCal, and iSync, Networking and modem support, Aperture, Third-party software, and more. A complete list of all updated items can be found in the support documentation on Apple's support web site.
10.4.9 Update (delta)
* The update also addresses 30 security issues.
10.4.9 Security fixes
* For those still on 10.3.9 Apple has released Security Update 2007-003, which offers the security fixes and updates in the 10.4.9 update
V Apple releases iTunes 7.1.1 update
* 7.1.1 a stability issue and minor compatibility problems in the iTunes 7.1 that came out just 2 weeks ago.
V Apple issues iPhoto 6.0.6 update
* Fixes problems associated with Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) data compatibility and Photocasting.
V Updating tip, don't mess with optimization
* John Gruber has a nice warning about OS X updates based on a post over at Unsanity (makes of APE).
* Optimizing really is a step where the OS is updating the prebindings and according to the Unsanity piece this process in OS X has a "nasty bug".
* If multiple processes are updating prebinding at the same time, then it is possible for a system file to be completely zero'd out. Basically, all data in the file is deleted and it is replaced with nothing.
* Most machines that incur issues after software update have probably been bit by this bug.
* Gruber recommends, waiting a full day until after the update is released (check sites like Mac Fixit to see if there are any major bug reports), then installing the update clean (with no other applications running), letting it finish, and then rebooting.
V Are you the next Trent Reznor?
* The single “Survivalism” from the new NIN album "Year Zero" is of course on iTunes, but you can also get the track for free in GarageBand format from the NIN site
NIN Year Zero
* Fans are encouraged to grab the multitrack file and remix, blend, puree, and generally explore and experiment.
* Reznor has done the same thing with past projects, “The Hand that Feeds” and “Only.”
V Apple options recipients may opt for tax relief
* In an SEC filing Apple admitted that 114,695 options, issued between 1997 and 2002, were backdated
* That means that employees who exercised those option after 2005 are subject to federal income tax plus a 20 percent penalty and interest charges.
* Apple is offering to let employees (other than directors and top executives) avoid the penalty by having their options re-priced at the higher price. Apple will then issue employees a cash payment to make up for the difference between the original and the new price.
* Disney cleared Jobs of any wrongdoing of options backdating at Pixar and is using IRS and California programs to make payments on behalf of employees who received backdated grants for their additional income tax liability.
* The feds will still have the final say on Jobs and other Pixar/Apple execs as their investigation into backdating at both companies is on-going.
V Apple TVs might be shipping
* Customers reporting that their cards are being charged which is generally do when the item ships.
V Cringley says H.264 for all!
* Robert X. Cringley (cringe-ly) is saying that he believes Apple will soon incorporate hardware H.264 decoding and encoding chips across the Mac line.
* He says Apple is doing this to support iTunes video distribution efforts and real support 1080p (HDTV) decoding.
* But the bigger deal here for me is encoding, could also allow for DVR capabilities.
* Cringley is historically inaccurate with his predictions, but I hope this one is right.
V Apple is America's top retailer
* So all those who said Apple was crazy to open their own retail stores can now officially eat Crow
* Fortune is reporting that Apple's retail stores perform at and amazingly high sales to square footage ratio of $4,032. For comparison the offer Tiffany's number of $2,666/sq. ft. and Best Buy which only has a ratio of $930/sq. ft.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V iTunes has fixed "blue dot" syncing issues
* I am not sure when it changed, but in helping listener Jeff with an iPod Podcast syncing issue, I discovered a subtle change to the "blue dots" in iTunes.
* When they originally appeared the blue dots meant that a podcast had not been played. The problem was listening to just a few seconds registered the track as "played" which never made sense to me.
* Now it means it's a "new" show. You can Control+Click (Right+Click) and change the status. If you set it to "new" it will reset the playhead (bookmark) to the beginning.
V In the iPod Device settings iPod preferences tab, your sync options are now 'recent', 'recent unplayed', 'recent new'
* recent = the most recent shows regardless of playcount or new status
* recent unplayed = most recent shows with no play count
* recent new = most recent shows where no portion of the show has been played ("blue dot")
* For TV shows and movies your only options are 'recent' and 'recent unwatched'. Where 'unwatched means no play count.
* In my mind this makes sense and is the right way for it to work.
* Reminder that play count will not be increased unless the file sis allowed to play all the way to the end.
V Tip for browsing photos outside of iPhoto
* Lukas adds keywords and comments on his photos. That way they are searchable in spotlight (iPhoto 5+). You can then also click the "slide show" button.
V Get an iPhoto browser anywhere with an Automator action
* 1. Open Automator, and click iPhoto.
2. From the list of actions, select Ask for Photos, and drag it to the right-hand pane.
3. Save this as a plug-in, and select Script Menu or Finder (the script menu that displays in the menu bar, the Finder adds it to the Automator contextual menu in the Finder) so it is accessible anywhere. (If the menu is not visible, launch the AppleScript Utility in /Applications/Applescript, and check 'Show Script Menu in menu bar.')
* Now when you launch this it will bring up the iPhoto browser and you can search, browse, and find photos. Drag them out to copy them where you need them
V Review: Marware USB Travel Dock for iPod Shuffle
* Designed for 2G Shuffle
V Likes
* Very cool design, looks great connected to your Mac
* Blue power on light.
* Doesn't have extra cable that Apple dock has, but base is just slightly larger than Apple's
* Doesn't block adjacent ports
V Dislikes
* Literature advertises "rubberized base" as a feature, yet when plugged to a MacBook and iBook it "floats".
* 1/8" mini plug sticks up. Seems very sturdy but I still have concerns about breakage. Would be nice if it could somehow fold down for storage and transportation.
* Plastic covers for 1/8" and USB plug are nice, but could get easily lost.
* Not really any more compact than Apple's Dock. Kinda defeats the "Travel" aspect. Other more compact products on the market
* Price and more info: USB$19.95 and available at Dr. Bott.
iPod Shuffle Travel Dock
V Exploring the Print PDF dropdown options
* This came about because of something Chris noticed recently in OS X Tiger's Print... PDF options. There is a pretty large list of options now available
V 'Save as PDF...', 'Save as PDF Postscript...', 'Fax PDF...'. Then under that these options which are actually Automator workflows which can be found in '/Library/PDF Services/'.
* Compress PDF, Encrypt PDF, Mail PDF, Save as PDF-X, Save PDF to iPhoto, PDF to Web Receipts
* PDF-X is an ISO defined subset of the PDF standard designed to facilitate graphics exchange. For printing and must have embedded fonts, use CMYK graphics, etc.
* Save to iPhoto might be a nice option for managing PDF using iPhoto
* DPF to Web Receipts, creates a 'Web Receipts' folder in your '~/Documents' folder and places the PDF in there. Great for going paperless with your on-line printouts.
V Great tools for managing paperless documents.
* K.I.T. (Keep it Together) from Reinvented Software
* Yojimbo from Bare Bones
* DEVON Think from Devon Technologies
V Latest Stuffit Expander may crash Finder on Intel
* Listener Jose discovered this.
* Stuffit Expander 11.0.2 seems to be crashing the Finder on Intel based Macs after about 5 right-click. Crash reporter logs show an issue with the contextual menus as the cause
* Reverting back to 11.0.1 corrects the issue.
V 'Right' delete on the Mac
* Many Windows users, most recently David, and Steve Webb from Lifespring Podcast, want to know how to do the delete where it erases character to the right of the cursor on the Mac.
* On the delete item. It is 'Delete' on the Mac, but you need to use the delete key, NOT the backspace key (extended keyboard). On a laptop you need to use the 'fn'+delete key. If you press Option+delete it will left delete to the end of the word.
V New Quicktime updates provides Apple TV HD clues?
* Listener Jeff works in video production and noticed something interesting about the new "Movie to Apple TV" option that was added in the latest Quicktime update.
* Exporting a 1080p video he was working on yielded a file in 960 x 540 resolution and a 4mps bit-rate. 540p basically equates to 1080i
* A converted 480p video clip yielded a 480p video, but with w 3mps bit rate. Current iTunes Store 480p videos are offered in a 1.6 mbs bit rate.
* Could it mean that Apple is looking at distributing iTunes video at that resolution?
* Jeff sent me the sample video and I have to say it look very nice. In some side by side still comparison with the 1080p original there was only slight detail loss. Jeff did say the 480p converted clip appeared to hold more detail in the conversion.
V Providing "proof" can get you better AppleCare results
* Play comment from Dave
* Apple+Shift+4 and spacebar trick to capture single elements
V May also want to try capturing movies with a tool like iShowU.
* Make sure to enable the 'Use high quality video settings when available' option in the General tab of the Quicktime Player preferences to get best quality with iShowU.
V Adding International characters to your text.
* A couple people have asked recently about typing international characters on the Mac.
* Use the International System Preferences, access the Input Menu tab and turn on the Character Palette. This is now available in the menubar items (flag icon). You can bring it up and then brows and insert character with accents, etc. Also greek characters, symbols, etc.
V Use keyboard shortcuts
* Option+e then character for accent. Option+n then character for tilde n. Option+u then character for umlaut.
* Penn state page with International keyboard shortcuts for Mac
Mac Accent Shortcuts
V Coverflow is "fuzzy" and not like the warm and kind
* Myself and listener Curtis have noticed that since the iTunes update, when you first load iTunes CoverFlow view (at least on an intel Mac) the scroll bars are blurry.
* Resizing the iTunes window brings things into focus.
V Closing
V Maccast Loop
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V New music,"Weila Walia" by The Young Dubliners
* Great band who just released an all Irish covers album
* Available on iTunes
Buy on iTunes
* Bands site