MacCast 06.28.2008 - Show #231
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Audible
* Free audiobook with 14-day Listener Gold trial—maccast
* Book recommendation, "JPod" by Douglas Coupland
V News
V iTunes hits 5 billion mark
* Last week Apple announced that they had sold over 5 billion songs to date via the iTunes Store
* More surprisingly according to Apple they are selling or renting more than 50,000 movies every day (yearly rate of 18.25 million) to customers, making iTunes the world’s most popular online movie store.
* Apple claims to now have over 8 million songs in their catalog, over 20,000 TV episodes, and over 2,000 movies (350 HD). Steve is finally ahead of the 1,000 (100 HD) by February goal.
* I counted almost 3,000 movies.
V Canadian iPhones won't have unlimited data
* A report on the National Post says that during a recent keynote while discussing preparations for releasing newer "data heavy" mobile devices, Rogers President and COO Nadir Mohamed said, "We're looking at pricing changes that will be more flexible, easy to understand and most importantly, drive the adoption of mobile broadband."
* Well the details are here and they are Ok, but not as good as in the US.
* The plans start at $60/mo for 150 minutes, 400 MB of data, 75 Text messages and go up to $115 for 800 minutes of talk, 2GB of data, 300 texts. All plans include unlimited incoming text and unlimited access to Visual Voicemail
* They also all include unlimited Wi-Fi access at all Rogers and Fido Hotspots.
V Japanese iPhone pricing also announced
V According to iLounge Softbank has announced details on iPhone 3G pricing and plans in Japan.
* 8GB iPhone 3G for 23,040 yen (USD $215)
* 16GB model will be sold for 34,560 yen (USD $322), both subsidized prices.
* Calling plans will be around 7,280 yen (USD $68) and including unlimited data.
* iPhone 3G will be on sale in Japan on July 11th.
V O2 offers pay as you go 3G iPhone plans
* If you want to buy an iPhone 3G outright and pay as you go it will run you £299 (~ USD $590) for the 8GB model and £359 (~ USD $710) for the 16GB
* The price will include 6 months unlimited browsing (no details on what that entails). After that you can pay an additional £10 per month on top of the Pay & Go plan rate to continue unlimited browsing.
* Pay & Go rates will range from £10 to £30, offering from 500 to unlimited minutes, and 300 to unlimited in-country text messages
V Orange will launch 3G July 17th
* Not sure why 6 days late, but prices with a qualified plan will be 149 euro ($233) for the 8GB model and 199 euro for the 16GB
* Orange will also have a pay-as-you-go option, but that will jump prices to 199 euro for 8Gb and 249 euro for the 16Gb model
* Plans start at 49 euro for just 4 hours of talk time and 50 SMS and go up to 149 euro for 24 hours of talk and 1000 SMS.
* All plans include Visual Voicemail, up to 500MB of monthly data usage, and at least 10 hours of access on Orange WiFi
V Apple also expands iPhone 3G channels in other countries
* Macworld UK reports that Apple has signed distribution deals in Germany and Italy that will add resellers to the consumers list of possible buying locations. This of course in addition to Apple's own store and the carrier stores.
* In Germany customer will reportedly be able to buy and activate the iPhone 3G at Gravis stores and in Italy Apple will allow Apple Premium Resellers to sell and activate the device.
* This is a big change from how Apple launched the 1st gen iPhone and should ensure buyers will have options for the most convenient location to purchase their iPhone.
* Apple is also rumored to be working on similar distribution arrangements in other markets.
V What about the iPod Touch?
* Ars Technica sites an AppleInsider piece that speculates a new iPod Touch will be arriving around September
* The report is based on a note to investors from Lehman Brothers analyst Ben Reitzes, who noticed a recent shipping delay of 1-2 business days for the Touch on Apple's site and reduced supplies of 16GB models at Best Buy locations
* Adding to the fire is Apple's recent Back to School initiative which offers a free 8GB iPod Touch with a qualifying Mac purchase. Apple has used the Back to School programs in the past to clear old stock in advance of new iPod releases.
* With the iPhone's new subsidized price well below the iPod Touch, seems like Apple will need to do something. Larger sizes of 32 or even 64 GB are being suggested along with speculation of a new reduced price.
V Apple still making "bank" from At&T iPhone sales
* According to a Barron's online piece Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner says AT&T is paying Apple a $325 subsidy for each iPhone sold.
* Reiner also claims that AT&T is paying Apple an extra $100 for subscribers signed up in Apple stores for a total subsidy of $425
* Recent numbers from iSuppli suggest the iPhone 3G costs Apple about $173 to assemble and manufacture.
* If the numbers turn out to be accurate, that means Apple still makes up to $252 for each new 8GB iPhone 3G when they sign up with AT&T. It's just now they get paid up front.
* Someone had asked me if that changes the accounting model and if we will now have to pay for future iPhone software updates like iPod Touch owners do. Apple accounts for iPhone’s revenue over a subscription-style 24-month period rather than all at the time of sale. They do something similar for the Apple TV which has no subscription service, so I think this practice can continue even without the revenue sharing from AT&T.
V Remote Desktop Trojan surfaces
* A piece on Slashdot earlier this week has security firm Intego warning of an OS X security vulnerability that could allow a remote user to use a malicious Applescript or application running locally to gain control of your system
* The exploit takes advantage of a hole found in the Apple Remote Desktop Agent which when active is running as root allowing it to issue Applescript commands at that security level. This means that a trojan app running locally could use ARDAgent to install and run bad stuff without the system ever prompting the user for a password
* There are several things you can do to protect yourself. Turning on Remote Management but disabling all access permissions won't prevent attack but may limit the access a rouge app has. You can also archive (zip) and remove the bundle from /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement directory or change it's permissions using the Terminal. Just remember to change put it back or change it back before running System Update.
V The Unofficial Apple Weblog reports on another trojan already in the wild. The OSX.Trojan.PokerStealer. A disguised Poker app that when run activates SSH, and transmits the username, password hash, and IP address of the computer to a server.
* The "PokerGame" application is 159,843 bytes, and includes the text "Copyright 2008 Andrew" in the version information (visible in Get Info).
* As always the best protection is to ensure you only download a run applications from know trusted sources.
V Not to be outdone Drew Yao of the Apple Product Security team has discovered his own vulnerability in Ruby (which is included in Leopard)
* He actually has discovered multiple arbitrary code vulnerabilities, which could be used to run a denial-of-service attacks.
* The issue effect specific versions of Ruby 1.8.4 through 1.8.7, and 1.9.
* There are patches available from the Ruby website which also address address a WEBrick vulnerability.
* I checked my system running Leopard 10.5.3 and I have Ruby 1.8.6 patch level 111, which is vulnerable.
V Snow Leopard to bring ZFS, finally?
* Apple's OS X server pages for OS 10.6 Snow Leopard list ZFS support as one of the new features
* ZFS a 128-bit filesystem technology developed at Sun brings storage pooling, data redundancy, automatic error correction, dynamic volume expansion, and snapshot.
* For all the technical details, advantages, disadvantages, and comparisons of ZFS to RAID listen to Episode 2 of Macbreak Tech
Mac Break Tech ZFS
V Apple adds TV to iTunes Australia
* On Tuesday Apple quietly launched TV shows on iTunes Australia
* The launch consisted of offerings from 5 studios, ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corp., the Disney Channel, Nine Network, and MTV.
* Pricing for iTunes telly down under is set at $2.99 AUD per episode and customers will find popular US shows and Ozzie offerings like "Lost" and "Sleek Geeks".
V iPhone 2.0 update, SDK beta8, and iTunes 7.7 pre-release sent to developers
* As predicted by Gizmodo and others iPhone 2.0 5A345 did arrive Thursday night.
* Rumor sites have already pick-up on the article and speculating on a possible early release of the iPhone software to hit the originally promised June release.
* As Ars Technica points out, this is highly unlikely since Steve Jobs and others stated several times in the WWDC keynote the software would ship in July around the time of the iPhone 3G launch on July 11th.
* Logic dictates they need to have the 2.0 updated GM'd and in the hands of manufacturing so they can get the OS pre-installed and ready on new 3G units.
* Along with it SDK beta 8 and most interestingly iTunes 7.7
V iTunes 7.7 includes:
* - MobileMe Support - "Use MobileMe to have push email, push calendars, push contacts, and bookmarks delivered over the air to your iPhone."
* - "Applications" in iTunes Sync with the option to sync "All" or "selected" applications.
* According to MacRumors, documentation included with the updates also indicates Apple will ship an iPod Touch and iPhone remote control app to allow you to control iTunes remotely.
* Apple also now appears to be accepting application submissions to the AppStore.
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
* Great for planning and taking a summer trip.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Application for batch MP3 tagging and renaming
* Play follow-up from Joe
* Media Rage from Chaotic Software
V Several others recommended apps for batch renaming filenames
* Branden likes Name Mangler
* Others also recommended Renamer 4 Mac
* Also, A Better Finder Rename
V Emailing attachments trick
* Several listeners pointed out that when you want to quickly attach a file to an email from almost any app you can simply click on the icon in the center of the app window and drag it to Mail or the Mail icon in your Dock (need to be saved first).
* Of course you can also drag files directly from iPhoto, the Finder, etc in much the same way.
* Adding attachments by dragging them to Mail first starts a new message and ensures you won't forget the attachment.
* Dragging that icon out to the Finder will create an alias to the original, or hold the option key while dragging to make a copy
* Control+clicking that same little icon will also show you it's full path and selecting a item from the path list will open that folder in the Finder
V Apple defines new market segments
* Either creating new markets or jump starting ones. Apple makes people want what they didn't want before.
V And seems to be doing it more and more over the past couple years
* Mini PC, yes they existed before, but more and more appearing after the Mini.
* All in one PCs, Dell, Gateway and HP have all gone after this segment in the past couple years.
* Media Center appliance (note I didn't say PC), the recent addition of the Roku NetFlix player for example.
* SuperThin mobile PC, Toshiba, HP, and Dell have all upped the Ultra Mobile offerings targeting the MacBook Air.
* Touchscreen smartphones. HTC, Samsung, Blackberry are all trying to play catchup.
* Some of these products are priced better, offer more features, and have decent styling.
V They don't have "IT" and that is the difference.
* They are focused on the product, on cloning and improving the feature set.
* Apple defines the market and user experience and lets the products develop and evolve to that goal.
* Can clone and improve technology, but can't reproduce innovation.
* Apple bring the new, they don't always get it right, but when they do (and that is often), that is when the magic happens.
V Clearing out Mail recent recipients
* Covered this on the show in the past, but re-discovered it in MacLife
* You can manage and clear out the list of know addresses that pops down whne you are composing an email
* Typically this is made up of, people who have sent you mail, people you have mailed, and people in your Address Book
* Coose Window-->Previous Recipients. From here you can search delete and add people to your Address Book.
* Another useful item in this menu are the Photo Browser. Add other locations beyond iPhoto by dragging in folders from the Finder.
V Review: Sapiens
* A gesture based application launcher from Donelleschi Software
* For those of us who use a mouse more than the keyboard.
V Use gesture to bring up a launcher wheel
* Uses an AI that learns to guess the apps you will need and you can increase, decrease or ignore apps.
* Second circle will show running apps.
* Can also type to narrow app choices and use arrow keys to flip through apps.
* Supports drag and drop, so you can do the gesture while holding a file and then choose app to launch with.
* Multiple app layout options, 3 quadrants, 4, 5, etc.
* They also have another Leopard compatible app "Sticky Windows" which minimizes windows to tabs you can place on the sides of the screen.
V Bluetooth keyboard knocking out Wi-fi
* Play comment from Jeff
* The two both do operate in the same 2.4 GHz bandwidth range, but use the frequency differntly to minimize interference.
* Bluetooth employs Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) to transmit data packets across a comparatively narrow bandwidth of 1 MHz.
* Could it be another device? Phone, microwave, etc.?
* Check the signal strength of the Wi-fi and try to boost it if weak. MOve Mac closer to basestation or boost signal.
* Use RF or wired keybord instead of BT
V Creating your own Audiobooks
* Listener Spencer points out a great app called Audiobook Builder from Splasm Software
* Sets up projects and you can drop in a series of audio files or import direct from CD. You can join or split segments, add author and title info, and album art.
* When you are done it will package it all up and add the right tags to place it in the Audiobook section of iTunes for syncing to your iPod. Your new audiobook will support all the features, like bookmarking and adjustable playback speeds on Ipod and iPhone
* Runs just USD $9.95
* If you are more of a do it yourself, try the Aldoblog on Audiobooks.
V Share iPhoto Library amound multiple user accounts
* Play question from Just Brian
* All about permissions and access.
V In Leopard with iLife '08
* Quit iPhoto. Back-up existing Libraries and then select the one account to be the main Library you will merge the rest into. Copy all of the photos from the other account into this one to make it the "master".
* Copy that new merged library to the /Users/Shared/ directory.
* In the Finder select the iPhoto Library in the Shared directory and choose Get Info... In the Sharing & Permissions section click the lock and enter the admin username and passsword to allow you to change the permissions. Change the permissions for "Everyone" to Read & Write. If there is Wheel group also change those permissions to Read and Write. Close the get info Window.
* Re-launch iPhoto holding down the option key. You will get a dialog to create a new library or select an existing one. Choose select existing one and navigate and select the new master library in the Shared directory.
* iPhoto will open connect to the new shared Library. Now quit iPhoto and repeat the steps for launching iPhoto while holding sdown the option key and selecting the shared Library for each user account.
* Now all accounts should see the same library and be able to add, edit, and manage photos from it.
* I think you could also place the shared Library on an external drive if you choose Get Info on the drive and tell it to ignore permissions.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
* Smile on my Mac, Textexpander
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
V "A Little Sign" by Derek Clegg
* A 5 time Maccast Audio Artist! Guess I like this guy.
* Artists website
* Buy on iTunes
V EOL: Obamapod
Buy on iTunes
* What's on Obama's iPod?
Obama's iPod