MacCast 12.01.2008 - Show #246
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Zarra Studios
* iWeb Buddy, iWeb post processor.
* Extend the blogging features. Add RSS links to "All" blog entries (not just the top page) and redirect to a service of your choice like Feedburner (so you can get stats).
* Add social bookmarking links to blog entries.
V News
V Safari 3.2.1 Update
* Apple simply states, "This update includes stability improvements and is recommended for all Safari users."
* Came just a week after the 3.2 update which offered phishing protection.
* MacNN says some 3.2 users reported crashing after the 3.2 update, but wasn't sure if the issues were related to the 3.2 updates to Web Kit or possible issue with 3rd party plug-ins.
V Beatles are not coming to iTunes, yet.
* Paul McCartney told Billboard in November of last year that he expected the Beatles catalog to go digital in 2008. Looks like that is unlikely to happen.
* McCartney was asked about the Beatles catalog coming to iTunes during a press conference for his new album, Electric Arguments.
* According to the Associated Press, he said talks were "stalled" and the issue is between Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI.
* While not naming names a spokesman for EMI (who owns the Beatles recordings) said, "...the various parties involved have been unable to reach agreement."
* EMI needs Apple Corps' permission to release the music in new formats.
V New Macbooks Ads are "green"
* Apple has released new TV ads for the Macbooks and Macbook Pros focusing on their environmental benefits.
* The ads focus on the new lines use of recyclable materials, their low power usage, and their reduction of harmful toxins. Ending in the tag-line, "the world's greenest family of notebooks".
V Despite the ads according to Electonista Apple scored lower then many of it's competitors on Greenpeace's latest Greener Electronics ratings.
* Apple did gain slightly in the rankings due to the new notebooks
* Still ranked 14th out of 18 companies. Nintendo, Microsoft, Lonovo, and Phillips are ranked lower.
* To score higher Apple needs to completely phase-out PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and commit to timelines detailing the elimination of other hazardous materials
V Munster flames Mac netbook fire
* MacNN reports that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster claims Apple will produce a Netbook, you just might have a long wait.
* Munster says it should happen within 2 years. That's a pretty large window.
V Munster's Specs
* 11" screen, $800 to $1100 USD, and looking like a slimmed down form of a Macbook Air.
V Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. thinks we might see it sooner.
* He says expect an Apple netbook in the first 6 months of 2009 according to a Comptuerworld piece.
* His specs: 7" screen, USD $599.00, and looking more like a Macbook then a Macbook Air.
* The funny thing is Ezra thinks Apple's lust for market share will be the driving force. Ahhh... has he seen Apple's market share?
V iPhone 2.2 update packs hidden TV out features
* Erica Sadun has highlighted a new class in the iPhone 2.2 SDK
* The MPTVOutWindow class allows the iPhone to send its video to a connected TV rather than to the built-in screen.
* When connected to video out all iPhone screen interaction is disabled
V Despite that there are some cool examples
* Sending camera video to TV and controlling orientation with tilt
* Game developers have made a game, but runs only at 15 FPS and video out uses a lot of CPU/GPU
V Price matching a go at Apple Stores
* After a report on ifoAppleStore, Ars technica confirmed with 2 Apple Stores that they will now price match competitors
* Looks like almost all hardware and accessories are covered including macs, iPods, and iPhones.
* Apple will match the price of any authorized reseller (Amazon, BestBuy, etc) and will match online prices too.
* The only limitations seem to be that the item must be in stock and having the same model number.
V Quicktime 7.5.7 update addresses DPCP complaints
* Only for owners of new Macbook, Macbook Pros, and 3rd gen Airs
* "addresses an issue where some standard definition purchases from the iTunes Store do not play on some external displays".
* So now using a Display port to VGA adapter to display Standard Definition (SD) content will not cause the Copy Protection error to trigger.
* Just another reason to avoid HD iTunes content all together.
* Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation thinks the DRM on HD will push customers to the easily available pirated content on the web. I agree.
V 17 people push UK Apple Ad off the air
* According to iPodNN, the Advertising Standard Authority in the UK has banned Apple's 3G iPhone ad that claims the new device is "really fast".
* The people complaining said the video in the ad shows web browsing speeds that no where near match reality (this is completely true).
* Apple defended the ads saying the claims are relative to the prior gen's EDGE performance and that the ads have the disclaimer, "network performance will vary by location".
V Display issues sour new Macbooks for some
* AppleInsider claims Apple is investigating claims of display and graphics issues
V "the black screen of death," on Macbook Pros. In games the screen goes black, the system locks up and the audio enters an infinite loop requiring a hard reset.
* Speculation is a driver or cooling issue as using an app to tweak the fans to a constant cooling seems to resolve the issue.
* Other say a logic board swap is the only remedy.
* 2nd issue is reportedly with the Macs NVidia drivers causing wavy distorted video when playing back web video and scrolling web content. The issue doesn't occur when running under Windows.
V Apple support says, "Use antivirus"
* Cnet has mentioned a post by Brian Krebs of the Washington Post to his blog, Security Fix.
* In the post Krebs points out that Apple posted a Support article on November 21st in which they recommend Mac users install and use anti-virus.
* In the article titled "Mac OS: Antivirus utilities" says, "Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult"
* They recommend 3 apps, Intego VirusBarrier X5, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, and McAfee VirusScan for Mac.
* This post is possibly in response to the recent rash of web based malware targeting the Mac platform.
* The Cnet piece cites numbers from a Microsoft report that show a 300% increase in Trojans. Today 90% of attacks are targeting applications while roughly 6% of attacks are against the OS.
* Quicktime and Safari seem to be frequently patched and have been targeted recently both by live malware and proof of concept hacks.
* Most malware is now designed to quietly install itself and steal data (passwords, credit cards, etc) or designed to steal resources (spam bots).
V Some users can't buy iTunes after update
* According to O'Grady's Power Page a bug in the recent iTunes 8.0.2 update seems to be preventing some customers from making purchases on the iTunes Store
* Effected users get an error message stating, error message that '...due to a problem with the iTunes store I have no available store credit for purchasing...' . This is whether or not they have had credits.
V The fix is simple:
* In iTunes sign out of the store account, and then quit the program.
* Relaunch iTunes, sign back in, and then try the account again.
* If the issues persist you can contact Apple at 1-800-MY-APPLE or via online support.
V Apple offers Mini Display Port no-fee license
* ArsTechnica point out that Apple may be driving adoption of the Mini Display Port connector by making it cheap for developers to create and distribute products with the new connector.
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
* Happy Holidays offer for Maccast listeners. Save 20% on a standard or 3-user family pack license of NoteBook 3.0 at the Circus Ponies Online Store. Use the code 'MACCAST' (all-caps) between now and December 24th.
* Checked lists are perfect to keep track of holiday wish-lists and purchases. Throw in pictures to make sure you get the right item.
* Clip favorite Holiday recipes you find online and organize them by category.
* And if you already own a copy buy one as a gift.
* Free 30-day trial.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Follow-up: Bookmark syncing
* Alan pointed out out that my pick, Bookit. Hasn't been updated for a while and doesn't support Firefox 3.
* He and others recommended Bookdog. $19.95 USD for up to 2 Macs.
* Can migrate, merge, sync bookmarks
* Supports Safari, Firefox 1.5-3.0, Camino, Google Bookmarks,, OmniWeb, Opera, Shiira 2.x and Netscape Navigator
* Can be scheduled using Automator actions
* Also allows sorting of bookmarks, a topic we discussed on a prior show
V Address Book Sharing and Editing
* Dean wanted assistant to be able to access and edit his Mobile Me contacts, but not other aspects of his account.
V If his assistant has a Mobile Me account and Leopard then he can use Address Book sharing.
* Under Address Book --> Preferences, click Sharing.
* Select the "Share your Address Book" checkbox.
* Click the Add (+) button. From the list that appears, select the email address of a person (with a Mobile Me account) you want to have access to your address book. Repeat for all the people with whom you want to share your address book.
* Select Allow Editing if you want the person to be able to make changes to your address book.
* You can send an invitation to the user by clicking the send invitation button.
* The person you are sharing with can now subscribe to your address book by opening Address Book and choosing File --> "Subscribe to Address Book." and entering your .me email address.
* Get a .Me Family plan for USD$149.00. Give you 4 additional .me emails addresses and you can upgrade an existing account.
V Extracting embedded images from Word
* Cool little tip from Terry
V If you are a designer and are dealing with client files sent in Word format with embedded images it can be tricky to extract good originals from .doc.
* Copy paste can work, but sometimes has funky results
* If you have iWork '08, open the document in Pages and save it out in Pages format
* Then in the Finder, locate the pages version and Control+click and choose 'Show package contents...'. Then you will see all the embedded images in the original size and format.
* Copy those and you can use them for your new layouts. Saves a lot of back and forth with the client.
V Review: Mac Speech Dictate
* Bringing the promise of "You talk, it types" to the Mac.
* Dictate - USD$199.00 (includes headset with USB dongle).
* Requires an Intel based Mac, but ran great on my 1.66 Intel Core Duo Mac Mini
* Open it up install the software and language dictionary (2-discs) and start training (10 -15 minutes).
V What is immediately impressive is that you can speak naturally and it is surprisingly accurate right out of the box (Dragon Naturally Speaking). It should also get better the more you use it.
* Create multiple profiles for different users.
* Can navigate your documents, make edits, all using built-in voice commands.
* Spelling mode (great for proper names), Phrase Training (add camel case words).
* Does take some getting used to. Need to speak all your punctuation.
* Select and navigate menus, run scripts, launch apps, etc.
* It can feel a bit weird talking to your computer, but if you prefer talking to typing the learning curve is going to pay off.
V IPhone files eating up space
* Bill pointed out the large number of files in a couple places
V ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/[iPhone name]
* Crash logs for different apps. Baseband are dropped calls and those do get sent "home" (.submitted). Mine go back about 3 months.
V ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone (iPod) Software Updates
* Contains all the software updates you have downloaded on that Machine.
* Mine take up almost a Gig, Bill's are almost 2GB.
* Is it safe to delete? Probably, but you may want to keep the most recent one. On my home Mac I didn't even have the 2.2 update even though it is on my iPhone, since I did the 2.2 update on my office Mac.
V Better iPhone macro photos on the cheap
* Keith found that a simple plastic fresnel magnifying lenses from a drug store could improve the quality of Macro shots taken with the iPhone
* These are credit card sized magnifiers typically sold to seniors of reading small type on prescription bottles.
* I had to play around a bit and it can be tricky to hold the lens, the iPhone, and press the shutter.
* Also need to make sure the center of the fresnel rings is as close to the center of the iPhone lens as possible to avoid distortion.
* Works surprisingly well. Can clear up bar codes and small type. Useful for some iPhone apps.
V Trouble sending email away from home
* Joe was having trouble sending email from Apple Mail when staying at a hotel.
* Problem was that the Hotel was blocking port 25 which is used to send out SMTP email.
* See if your mail provider offers using a different port.
V Use your Gmail account to relay
* (use authentication)
Use Authentication: Yes
Use STARTTLS: Yes (some clients call this SSL)
Port: 465 or 587
* Be careful as one site claims Gmail will ignore the reply to in your message and insert your gmail address.
V Use a 3rd party SMTP relay service that offers alternate ports
* I use DynDNS's Mailhop Outbound, USD$15.00/yr with 150 relays a day.
* Offers ports 25, 465, 2525, 10025, and 10465, plus SSL
* Set up that as my one for Cox, since they only allow SMTP from their own network. Wouldn't work with my iPhone.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Merlin 2, Project Wizards - Project management, Gantt Charts, MS Project import/export
* Circus Ponies, Notebook
* Smile on my Mac, DiscLabel - Great for your holiday projects
* Zarra Studios, iWeb Buddy - iWeb post-processor, Add Google analytics, and work with multiple domain files.
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* Audible, free audio book with Audible Listener Gold
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
V "Computer Friends" by Sniper Twins
* Music from a great video done as a Seagate promotion
* Video on the bands site
* Buy in iTunes
V EOL: Photo Booth Fairey
* A Photo Booth plug-in to make it look like you are in an Obama style poster designed by street artist Shepard Fairey.