MacCast 10.09.2008 - Show #240
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Faronics
* Deep Freeze and Power Save Mac
* Power Save Mac allows you to precisely control your power management and energy saving options.
* Define what "inactive" means and set specific running apps to override energy saving modes. Prevent energy save from kicking in when iDVD is encoding.
* Provides benefits to a single user and even more to a large organization.
V News
V Royalty rate unchanged, iTunes saved.
* The National Music Publishers Association's push to raise the per song royalty rate paid by record labels to music publishers and songwriters on digital downloads from 9 cents to 15 cents was shut down.
* The Copyright Royalty Board, a panel of three federal judges who set the rates, decided Thursday to leave the rates unchanged, although they did set a 24 cent royalty on ringtone sales. Ringtones were previously uncovered by the Copyright Royalty Board.
* Needless to say Apple was not supportive of the potential royalty increase and last year told the Board if such an increase occurred it would likely shut down iTunes.
* Probably an idle threat, but with Apple now the #1 music reseller in the US, the thought of Apple closing up shop likely sends shudders any music execs spine.
V Replacement iPhone 3G Adapters Shipping
* Apple announced a voluntary recall of the iPhone 3G wall adapters on September 19th.
* Replacements have started shipping and I already have reports of some Maccaster's getting them.
* For all intents and purposes they look identical except for a green dot under one of the prongs on the plug side.
* If you haven't requested your replacement you can do so from Apple's support web site or bring your old adapter to an Apple Retail Store.
V Apple invites press to notebook event
* As predicted Apple will be holding a special event next Tuesday October 14th at 10:00 AM PDT at Apple's campus in Cupertino, CA.
* Apple sent invites to select members of the media with an image of the top of an aluminum Apple notebook with a beam of light diagonally across the surface and the words “The spotlight turns to notebooks”.
V LED displays for new Mac Books
* A report on Electronista says that one of Apple's key suppliers for LED backlights, Kenmos, is ramping up production.
* The report claims they will be upping production from the 80,000 notebook lights they have been producing over the summer to about 200,000 in the fall.
* Rumors have been heavy that Apple is planning a new notebook launch of some type in October. The assumption is an Aluminum redesign of the MacBook, but this is the first rumor of LED backlit displays.
* Apple is not Kenmos' only customer so it is possible the display could be for other notebooks, although the article does note that Apple is one of the few manufacturers who have made LED backlights standard in many models including the 15" Macbook Pro and the Mac Book Air, as well as an option in the 17" Macbook.
* LED backlights are one way Apple is "greening" it's line and making it's way to all mercury-free displays.
V More Macbook spec speculation
* TUAW says we might see new Nvidia powered graphics, no details on specific chips, but an early AppleInsider piece claimed Nvidia was working on a MCP79 family of chipsets that is specifically designed to work well with Intel's latest mobile processors.
* The "brick". 9 to 5 Mac has spun a rumor of an Apple brick. Speculation has been it's anything from a wireless USB hub, to a new Mac Mini Pro, to a Tablet Mac.
V Then 9 to 5 Mac said the "brick" is the new case for the Macbook which will be laser carved from a solid block of aluminum making it lightweight, solid, and seamless.
* Several industrial designers point put Apple already uses these processes in different models and doubt the benefits vs. potential cost increases.
* Other reports and images seem to indicate there are some new processes involved and the Macbook Pro 15" will have a lower top case and sides as a single piece with screws on the bottom (inverted from today).
V Leaked case images also indicate for the Macbook pro
* dropping full DVI for mini-DVI. Some sites reporting HDMI, but I think that's unlikely.
* FireWire 800 (or possibly a FW 3200) port
* MacBook, MacBook Air style recessed keyboard.
* Larger battery
* Easy MacBook-like access to the internal hard drive.
* No physical latch
V Lower prices looking likely
* The website The Inquisitr says the have what they would characterize as a "reliable" source telling them that Apple retail stores have been given price sheets listing 12 price points for a new range of Mac notebooks, with prices between $800-$3100.
* Currently there are 8 price points. 3 Macbook, 3 Macbook Pro, and 2 Macbook Air.
* The site claims retail stores typically get new price sheets 10 days before new models are release , so if true it would seem to jive the announced special event. (Ars Technica says not true)
* Gene Munster seems to think lower priced notebooks are critical to Apple's success in the last quarter of the year.
* Lower prices for Apple mean lower margins, but likely not lower quality. Apple has room to wiggle.
* Apple margins on computers are generally believed to be much higher then the rest of the computer industry.
V iTunes 8.0.1 Update
V iTunes 8.0.1 improves stability and performance and provides a number of important bug fixes, including:
* Seamlessly plays the current song when creating a new Genius playlist.
* Improves syncing spoken menus to iPod nano.
* Addresses an issue of deleting HD TV episodes when downloading.
* Improves checking for updates from the App Store
* Improves accessibility with VoiceOver.
* Addresses problems syncing Genius results to iPod.
V Apple TV 2.2 released
* Security fixes fixing potential issues resulting from maliciously crafted movie or PICT files.
V New features
* Genius, which is accessed by clicking and holding down the play/pause button while a track is playing.
* Support for HD TV purchases from the Apple TV iTunes Store
* Browse iTunes movies by actor and director by selecting “more” on the movie page
* Advanced features on supported movies. Chapter selection, alternate audio tracks, and subtitle displays can be accessed by pressing and holding the play/pause button while the movie is playing.
* Fixed my thumbnail issue, but not with Flickr.
* Apple TV typically auto updates on a weekly basis, but you can manually update by going to Settings -> General -> About , and clicking Update Software in your Apple TV menus.
V Reports of issues for some users after the update.
* Not re-booting or rebooting over and over again
* Factory restore. You can force a reboot by holding down the Menu and down/scroll (-) buttons on the remote for approximately 3 to 5 seconds, until the LED on Apple TV flashes yellow.
* According to a report on O'Grady's Power Page, the reboot loop issues might have been a server issue at Apple and are unrelated to the 2.2 software update.
V Steve Jobs has died, again.
* This time done in by a citizen journalist using CNN's iReport service which lets anyone post raw unfiltered "news" reports and according to the CNN site, "the most compelling, important, and urgent ones may get seen on CNN"
* Last Friday, the report on Jobs was added to the site and in it the reporter claimed having inside knowledge that Jobs was rushed to the hospital by paramedics after suffering a "major heart attack".
* Apple's stock dropped 10 points after the story surfaced, but recovered almost immediately after an Apple spokesman denied the claims. CNN also promptly pulled the story.
* In the aftermath several reports surfaced claiming the SEC might be investigating the incident.
* Not that it takes a Jobs death to tank the stock price. The failing economy and slightly reduced analyst expectations seem to work as well. Apple's stock price hit a 52-week low of $85.68 per share. It has recovered a bit with the current price hovering around 88 bucks as of Thursday.
V Apple's sales position
* So how is Apple doing?
* A recent Changewave Research survey showed that a 1-2% drop in Mac purchases from August to September.
* The same survey also showed a 5-6% decrease in those planning to purchase a Mac in the next 90 days.
V A Piper Jaffray survey of teens shows some positive numbers
* 22 percent planned on buying an iPhone in the next six month. Eight percent already own an iPhone.
* 33 percent of students who plan to buy a phone want an iPhone
* iPod market share among teens is up 2% from 82% last year to 84% this year.
* iTunes is the preferred choice among teens for legal music downloads. 93% use iTunes, up from 79% last year.
V The iPhone factor
* A project by the Mac Observer's AFB is tracking iPhones by collecting IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number and estimates that Apple has made between 7 to 7.5 million iPhones in the 4th Quarter.
* Gene Muster and Ben Reitzes by Q4 estimates at between 5 and 6 million phones.
* Either way Apple is expected to surpass it's 2009 goal of selling 10 million iPhones.
* The NPD group reports that a third of iPhone customers switched from other carriers with about 47% coming from Verizion, 24% from T-Mobile, and 19% from Sprint.
* The iPhone was the bestselling smartphone in July and August with a 17% share of the US smartphone market, beating the Blackberry and the Treo.
* The iPhone was also the 2nd best selling mobile phone of all phones in the US losing out the top spot to the Motorola RAZR V3.
V iPhone 2.2 software shaping up
* I already told you that the latest seeds show the return of directional GPS and notification server support
V Other new features surfacing are:
* Support for Japanese emoji icons
* Support for Google Street View for the Google Maps application.
* Ability to disable the iPhone's text auto-correction feature.
V iPhone eBooks burn the Kindle
* The Mac Observer notes a Forbes piece that puts the iPhone at the top of the eBook reader heap beating out even Amazon's own Kindle.
V Now the numbers might be a bit disingenuous since they are based on the downloads of the free iPhone app Stanza vs. projected Kindle sales. Usage may be something entirely different.
* Stanza has been downloaded 395,000 times and the Kindle is expected to sell 380,000 units this year.
* Quick Stanza thoughts.
V EU rules might for removable iPod/iPhone batteries
* The EU already has a 2006 Battery Directive that states that it must be easy for consumers to remove batteries from electronic products.
* They are now working on a new directive which will be developed over the next year and would require that electrical equipment must be designed to allow that batteries be 'readily removed' for replacement or removal at the end of product's life.
* The initiative is still in drafts and it's vague. Apple already offers a free iPod and iPhone recycling program as well as battery replacement services.
* Apple did discontinue the external iSight and integrate it, many feel a move to meet the EU's 2006 Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.
V Apple wins 5 British Technology Awards
* Four for the iPhone, Best Mobile Technology: Apple iPhone, Gadget of the Year, Most Stylish Technology, and Technological Innovation of the Year.
* One for iTunes, Best Music Technology.
V The Dock is now patented
* Apple can now say they have patented the Dock
* Patent number 7,434,177 titled "User interface for providing consolidation and access." was awarded to Steve Jobs, and Apple interface designers Bas Ording and Donald Lindsay.
* The original filing was made in 1999, so it only took 9 years.
* The dock was originally developed back in 1989 as part of the NextStep operating system and Apple acquired NextStep in 1996 marking Jobs return to Apple.
* The patent specifically pertains to the unique features of the OS X dock, including the magnification and ability to display application names as a user cycles through its icons.
V Apple Security Update 2008-007
* Apple has posted Security Update 2008-007 for the client and server versions of Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” and Mac OS X 10.4.11.
* Security and version updates to to the LAMP stack, really the AMP part (Apache, MySQL, and PHP)
* There are a total of 20 fixes in the update in areas like Certificates, Color Sync, CUPS, the Finder, QuickLook and the ScriptEditor.
* The update is available now via Software Update or from Apple's support web site.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V 2.5" Drive sizes
* Looks like they are available in sizes at least up to 500GB.
V Review: NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter
* 3.5" and 2.5" SATA, ATA, and EIDE drives and ATAPI (DVD, CD-ROM, etc)
* external powered and bus powered
* Drive lights for power and data read write activity.
* $35 bucks.
V Also ProtectaDrive 3.5" and 2.5" drive covers
* silicone rubber sleeve protects the drive board.
* Open at the top to allow for cooling when connected.
* Flap in back to access connectors.
V The difference between 'new' and 'unplayed' in iTunes
* If you are using iTunes to manage syncing of podcasts and tv shows this can be confusing.
V New means you have not started listening or watching at all. Play 1 second and it's not "new" anymore.
* You can reset the "newness" by control+clicking the track or show and selecting "Mark as new".
* Unplayed (or unwatched) means not played all the way to the end.
V Why don't we know Automator?
* Lionel listens to a number of Mac podcasts and noticed nobody really talks about Automator and Folder Actions. A powerful combo.
V Folder actions are scripts that are attached to folders that will run when a folder has items added or removed from it. Events can also be triggered when the folder is opened, closed or moved.
* When you put images in a certain folder, they’re automatically converted to JPG
V To enable folder actions:
* Control+click the folder you want to assign an action to and choose Enable Folder Actions (under the More sub-menu in Leopard).
* Control+click that same folder and this time select Attach a Folder Action…
* You’ll find some scripts in /Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts/. Including the Duplicate as JPEG script. You can also create your own using Automator or Applescript.
* Select the desired script and click Choose and your done.
V Learning automator
V Open Applications/Automator and just play.
* Start with a custom project and drag in actions. They are designed to be "chained" together. On an added action you can click he 'Description' link to see it's input, result, and related actions.
* You can use record button to record a series of actions. Also use the play button to test and preview your Automator workflow.
* Be careful as there is a lot of power here. You might want to create a new user account with copies of your files and libraries (iTunes, iPhoto, etc) to play around in until you get comfortable.
* Save as workflows if you plan to keep working with them, Save as application to have run-only. Save a plug-in-->Folder Action to attach to a folder. You can also have iCal plug-ins that can be kicked off from iCal alarms.
V Quick System Wide Photo Browser
* Open Automator, and click iPhoto.
* From the list of actions, select Ask for Photos, and drag it to the right-hand pane.
* Save this as a plug-in, name it something like 'Photo Browser', and select Script Menu (the script menu that displays in the menu bar) so it is accessible anywhere. (If this menu is not visible, launch the AppleScript Utility in /Applications/Applescript, and check ‘Show Script Menu in menu bar.’)
* Click the Script icon in the menubar and choose 'Photo Browser'. Now you can browse, search, and drag and drop images into any app from anywhere in the OS.
V Automator resources
* MacApper Automator Tutorial
* Mac Dev Center, What is Automator?
* Apple downloadable automator actions
* Automator World - Downloadable workflows and new actions
V Making iTunes purchases away from home
* Rick wondered if he could use his iTunes account on a friends computer (when away from home) to buy music an still sync it to his iPod.
V Yes, but there are some tricks
* You can log-in to your iTunes account from their computer.
* You will need to authorize your account on that machine, so you must have 1 available (5 computer limit). Authorize before connecting your iPod/iPhone.
* If you auto sync music at home... connect the iPod, select it from the devices list in iTunes, and check the box for Manually manage music and videos. This will allow you to copy your purchases to the iPod and avoid auto syncing music from your friends library. It will leave any existing files on your iPod in place.
* Before you leave your purchases from your friends library (leaving them on your iPod) and de-authorize your account on your friends iTunes.
* When you get home connect your iPod, select it from the Devices and choose File-->Transfer Purchases. You can also control+click the devices and choose Transfer Purchases.
* Now you can also uncheck the Manually manage music and videos' option to return to auto syncing with your home library.
V Buying a 2nd hand Mac
* Chris wants a new Macbook, but new for him and is looking for a deal.
* Apple clearance and refurbs. Look on Apple online store website down in the "Special Deals" section. (scroll down on lower left in US store). Typically save between 10-30% off new. Carry Apple stock warranty.
V Private sales, online (Ebay, Craigslist)
* All the same warning apply. Email, ask a lot of questions. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.
* Use an escrow service for payments or a credit card. Pay Pal has limited coverage. You can pay via credit card using Pay Pal.
V Checking warranty
* For most Mac models, upgrading RAM or hard drive is OK, other mods will void Applecare.
* Applecare is only good for 1 year from date of purchase unless an extended plan was bought.
* Applecare is transferable.
* Get the serial number to check coverage. Go to, scroll down to 'Support & Services' (lower right) and choose 'Check My Warranty and Repair Options'.
V Webcams for non-iSight Macs
* Play comment from Ron
* Logitech QuickCam® Vision Pro USD$129.00
* eCamm iMage USD $49.95
* Any web cam that says it's "USB Video Class (UVC)" compatible should work with iChat and most Mac video apps, like iMovie, etc
* You can also use a firewire DV cam if you have that around, just make sure you can disable any auto-off or auto low power mode.
* Note the OS and processor requirements for iChat screen sharing and video chat. Some older Mac will only work at lower resolutions or not at all. Also some can't do multi-user video chat.
V Managing preferred wi-fi networks
* Britt is having trouble with his Mac occasionally joining an unsecured wi-fi network (wi-fi) instead of his own home network.
* Make sure your home network SSID is different then the other network. 'linksys' is a bad name.
V Manage the preferred networks
* In the Airport Network Preferences click the "Advanced..." button.
* In the Airport tab you will see the list of "Preferred Networks".
* Remove the unsecured "linksys" network from the list by selecting it and clicking the "-" button. You can also manage the connect order by dragging the entries up and down.
* Click OK and then click Apply.
* You can also uncheck the "Ask to join new networks" if you want to avoid being asked to automatically rejoin that network if one of your preferred networks is unavailable.
V Backups vs archives
* There is another strategy of backup that is for data that you never want to lose and solutions like Time Machine and Super Duper won't cut it.
* This is data that you will rarely need access to, but might from time to time. Or data that is just so important that you want to ensure it's always around (photos, financial and legal docs, etc).
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
* Smile on my Mac, PDFPen 4
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
V "Good Days" by Joe Purdy
* He doesn't know it, but Drew a new media comrade and friend of the show turned me on to this artist from a link on his personal blog
* Luckily a track was on the Podsafe Music Network
* Artist's site
V EOL: Microsoft's "I'm a PC" Clone Behind the Scenes
* Cruch Gear's interview with Sean Siler aka Microsoft's “I’m a PC” guy