MacCast 07.29.2009 - Show #273
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
* Band's MySpace page
V Sponsor
V Smile on My Mac
* PDFpen, recently updated to 4.1.4 which allows for faster performance when opening large PDFs and has added an AppleScript document property, "performing OCR," which makes it easier to use Applescript to write paperless document workflows.
* I personally use it to fill out PDF document forms and sign PDFs electronically. I have scanned in TIFF version of my signature with alpha channels.
* Free trails available and checkout their other great products while your there.
V News
V Apple looking good in Q3
* CFO, Peter Oppenheimer and COO, Tim Cook had almost nothing but great news to report in Apple's Q3 earnings conference call.
V Apple sold 2.6 million Macs in the quarter beating many analysts estimates and resulting in a 15% gain in 3rd quarter profits.
* While desktops saw a slight drop in year over year sales, notebooks shined. Apple sold 1.75 million in the quarter a yearly gain of about 13%
* Computerworld with help of data from NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker, notes that June Mac notebook sales likely saw a 25% jump due to the model refresh and price drops.
* The NPD Group this week also reported that Apple P0wns the premium north of $1000 notebook market commanding a 91% market share.
* The take was 1.23 billion on sales of $8.34 billion with Apple having it's best ever June quarter Mac sales.
V iPhones in the quarter didn't due to shabby either. In the PR announcement Steve Jobs is quoted saying Apple sold over 5.2 million iPhones in the quarter.
* 1 million of those being 3GS which were only released on June 19th. The quarter ended June 27th.
V Ipods marked the black spot on the call
* Unit sales down 7% from the prior year with 10.2 million units sold.
* "Traditional" iPods (Classic, Nano, Shuffle) seemed to be the slow movers while Apple noted the iPod Touch saw 130% growth year over year.
V Details of Microsoft's retail plans emerge
V AppleInsider reports that former Apple VP of real estate, George Blankenship is consulting with Microsoft. He was charge of selecting some of Apple's retail locations which makes it an easy consulting gig.
* Earlier Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said they locate some of their retail stores right next to Apple's
V Microsoft announce the first two locations to open this Fall
* The Shops at Mission Viejo, CA, where there is already an Apple Store
* Scottsdale Fashion Square, AZ, no Apple Store.
V The also seem to plan to borrow heavily from Apple on store layouts and design too
* AppleInsider has links supposed leaked PowerPoint document on Gizmodo. It shows an open design with tables displaying Microsoft solutions, parter products, and peripherals.
* Complete with Guru "Answer" Bars which has screens showing product ads and tips and where you can make appointment to get personal training and help with your Windows based
V Volleys in the Ad battle
* COO Kevin Turner, at the 2009 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009, joked that he got call from Apple legal asking them to stop running the ads.
* Ad Age confirmed that Apple legal did contact Microsoft alleging that price claims in the ads were no longer valid.
* Ad Age reporter later in the week that the "Lauren" add had been modified to remove a Macbook Pro cost $2000, which is not true since the price drop.
V Apple's own retail store news
V Apple announced plans to open a retail location in Paris, France by the end of the year.
* No official location was specified
* Hardmac claimed to have photos of 2 locations. 1 at Le Louvre and the other at Rue Halévy
V Some retail store numbers from Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer in the Q3 call:
V Apple now has 258 retail locations world wide with plans to open another 25 by the end of 2009.
* Apple also has renovated 27 stores this year with plans to update another 100 locations.
* 1.5 billion in revenue, up from 1.45 billion last year. Per store revenue was down however to 5.9 million from 6.8 million last year.
* Stores saw a 22% increase in visitors year over year with 38.6 million stopping by to checkout the iWares.
* and 492,000 of those visitors left with a new Mac and 50% of those buying new Macs are new to the Mac themselves.
V Netbook, iPad/big phone, tablety thingy watch
V COO Tim Cook continues the Netbook bashing in the Q3 call and holds the line that Netbooks as we know them aren't Apple's style
* Underpowered, slow, old technology, cramped, not innovative
V Several reports seems to be pointing at a "media pad" device due out by the Holidays
* Ars Technica cites The Street who sources say Apple has been working on the device for 2 years.
* Rumors that Apple has lined up Chinese suppliers and that Verizon is on board to provide 3G wireless service and to possibly subsidize the ~USD $800 price.
V MacNN cites sources and says the device has been worked for the last 4 years and that the project was "reset" by Jobs a couple times
* Form factor will be a 10-in touchscreen tablet
* Quanta was said to have been tapped a few months ago to provide the touchscreens for the device.
* Another rumor this week from Apple Daily in Taiwan says Wintek will make the displays, Dynapack will provide batteries and Foxconn Hon Hai Precision Industry will do the assembly.
* AppleInsider thinks there may be confusion of the tablets and next gen iPod touches with the latter appearing in September and the tablet arriving sometime in early 2010
V Apple brewing "Cocktail" to spur album sales
* Apple has already brought back the concept of the 45 with the D45.
* Now they may be working on a way to move iTunes al la cart singles buys back to the album.
* Referring to a piece on the Financial Times, Cult of Mac says that "Cocktail" is codenamed project for a digital entertainment bundle that would include albums and other content in a sort of interactive booklet.
* The project is being lead by Apple along with EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal and would deliver a kind of app with liner notes, separate lyrics, photos and other material that your could interact with outside of iTunes or on a device like the rumored next iPod Touch due out in September?
V Apple updates it's Studio suites
V For musicians, Logic Studio which includes Logic Pro 9, MainStage 2, Soundtrack Pro 3, Compressor 3.5, and WaveBurner 1.6, plus 6 Apple Jam Packs.
* New features include, guitar Amp Designer with Pedalboard plug-ins, Flex Time tools to manipulate recording tempo and timing, a new Playback plug-in allowing for real-time performances with pre-recorded audio, an improved File Editor with frequency-level control over volume levels, and more.
* Logic Studio is USD $499 with upgrade options at USD $199 and USD $299
V For videophiles, Final Cut Studio with Final Cut Pro 7, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5, DVD Studio Pro 4.
* Over 100 new features across the suite including expanded ProRes codecs, iChat Theater real-time collaboration support, voice level matching, a new Advanced Time Stretch feature, 4K support with native RED ONE camera support, and more.
* Also a price drop, USD $999 with upgrades at $299
V Ping Pong Palm battle
* After Apple updated iTunes to 8.2.1 removing the Palm Pre syncing feature Palm is back
* They updated the WebOS and now iTunes sees the Pre again as an iPod.
* Apple had apparently blocked the first Palm hack by disallowing any iPod USB device that didn't have an Apple USB vendor ID.
* The new Palm OS spoofs the Apple USB vendor ID and has complained to the USB Implementers Forum about Apple's USB filtering block which they feel is improper use of a vendor ID.
* Funny, using someone else's vendor ID definitely violates the USB Implementers Forum terms which state, "Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited."
V New iPhone Beta and SDK released
* iLounge reports that Apple has iPhone OS 3.1 and the next version of the SDK to developers.
* iPhone 3.1 beta 3 is labeled as build 7C116 and SDK is build 9M2808. As usual the details of new features are shrouded in secrecy.
* The SDK is being said to open up additional video APIs that should allow developers to build "augmented reality" apps.
* On the iPhone, reports of improved speed.
* Failover support for HTTP streaming. Meaning the app can jump from 1 playlist to another should the primary stream fail.
* Previously been leaked that Voice Control will now support Bluetooth headsets. Now seems there's is support for Bluetooth audio recording in 3rd party apps.
* Also the ability to do offline audio conversion to AAC.
V Apple (AT&T) voice block Google
* Two apps that have been available on the App Store for accessing and using Google Voice accounts, GV Mobile and Voice Central have received notice from Apple and been pulled according to TUAW.
V The app developers are being told the reason is that the apps duplicate iPhone functionality like the Dialer and SMS.
* What about Skype, is that next? What about other texting apps?
* TechCrunch is also reporting that a Google spokesperson told them that they submitted the official Google Voice app to the App Store 6 weeks ago and it has not been
V There is a lot of speculation that AT&T may also have had a hand in getting Apple to block these apps.
V If this is true, and it likely is, it's really annoying. Here is the At&T blame tally:
* No MMS in the US
* No tethering in the US
* No Slingbox player over 3G
* No Skype over 3G.
* No Qik.
* No Google Voice.
* Why aren't these apps allowed outside the US then?
V BlackHat to reveal serious SMS iPhone bug
* In a piece by Elinor Miller from CNet, she lays out how hackers used an SMS message to take down her iPhone.
* Thursday security researchers Charlie Miller and Collin Mulliner will demonstrate a serious SMS bug at the BlackHat conference in Las Vegas
* The exploit takes advantage of a serious memory corruption bug and allows the attacker kill the iPhone, make calls, steal data, send text messages.
* It works by sending hundreds of SMS control messages, but only the first message is seen by the user.
* The exploit and it's variants can effect phones from Apple, Google Android, and HTC (Windows mobile). Google supposedly patched the bug last week, but Apple hasn't despite know ing about it for 6 weeks.
* Once in an iPhone the attacker could use the SMS and address book on that iPhone like a worm to send additional SMS messages to the contact in the hacked users address book.
V Apple says Jailbreaking could destroy the cellular networks
* Responding to the US Copyright Office review for a DMCA exemption request issued by the EFF Apple listed several reason why the USCO shouldn't issue an exemption.
* In addition to saying the DRM on the iPhone was critical to protecting Apple's trade secrets and technology they also suggested that legalizing Jailbreaking could be harmful to the cel networks and allow for other illegal activity.
V Basically once an iPhone is opened up by Jailbreak nefarious hackers could start tweaking the baseband chips, change the device's Exclusive Chip Identification (ECID) number and open up all kinds of other nasties
* Make free phone calls
* Get around carrier data limits
* Stop the phone from being able to connect to the network
* Allow drug dealers to make anonymous phone calls.
* So to make sure bad guys don't do bad things which their are already laws to protect us from. Apple wants to make sure that those who want to run Qik or have custom icon on their phone have to become criminals themselves.
V Apple asking App developers to keyword their apps.
* AppleInsider says they have inside info that App developers have been asked by Apple to add keyword to their App listing via iTunes Connect.
* The keywords will supposedly be used to help with App store search and is the first sign that Apple is doing what it said it would do during it's Q3 call.
* During the call COO Tim Cook said Apple was looking for ways to improve App listing in iTunes.
* In recent months App developers and industry analysts have been critical of the App Store, saying the categorization and promotion of apps is difficult in the iTunes music store model. Relies on "top" lists, etc. Their are also criticisms that this has driven the low price and "sale" model of promotion making it hard for developers to earn a living making Apps.
V Apple finally releases Mobile Me IDiskApp
* For iPhone and iPod Touch
* View files on your iDisk, can also delete
Access Public folders
* Share files from your iPhone, sending integrated email links. Uses iDisk sharing feature.
Quickly access recently viewed files
* View iPhone-supported file types-including iWork, Office, PDF, QuickTime and more. (Files larger than 20MB may not be viewable.)
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
V The UI gives you the feel of a paper notebook without the papercuts or smeared ink and you don't have to kill trees.
* Paper Styles like Ruled, Legal, Graph, Ledger, also custom with own backgrounds, rule colors, etc.. Different bindings like spiral, 3-ring and perfect.
* Add sticky notes, flags, notations, etc.
* if you have a tablet you can handwrite notes, diagrams, etc.
* tear-off pages (open in new window).
* Free 30-day trial.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Getting jealous of unlocked iPhones
* I may need to plan a trip to Italy
* One UK listener, Caroline, and one Canadian, Luigi were able to score factory unlocked iPhones from Italy.
* Pricing based on Tuesday's exchange rate: 16GB -$851.93 (USD) or 32GB $994.15 (USD) or 3G for $709.70 (USD)
V Sure more expensive up front, but you can stick in any SIM from any carrier
* Caroline was able to score a plan from Orange in the UK (who has better local coverage in her area) with 400 minutes, unlimited TXT, unlimited data, for 20 pounds ~$33 (USD)
* Both Caroline and Luigi and roam without getting excessive data charges, just pop in a new SIM with data plan.
* No contract, so they can upgrade when they want.
V Review: Kensington SlimBlade Mouse with Nano Receiver
V 2-buttons + Scrollwheel. Perfect size for traveling with your notebook
* ribbed rubberized edge that is easy to hold on to
* Buttons are a little loud (clicky) and scrollwheel is standard "rachet-y" kind that locks in for each scroll step.
* A bit small for people with large hands
V Self-contained with a "nano" USB receiver that stores magnetically inside the battery compartment.
* Can be a little hard to remove from tighter USB ports. Might get lost.
* On/Off switch that covers laser so it doesn't drain batter while in your bag.
* 2-double A batteries.
* There is a Slimblade driver, but I didn't use it.
V Sleep, restart, and shutdown from the keyboard
* Press Control-Eject to show shutdown dialog
* Press Option-Command-Eject to quickly put the your Mac to sleep
* Type Control-Command-Eject to quit all applications (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then restart the computer
* Press Control Option-Command-Eject to quit all applications (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then shut down the computer
* What is missing is quit all open applications and sleep, but of course an automator app with an assigned keyboard shortcut would do the trick.
V Why no iPod up-to date program?
* Craig recently bought an iPod Touch for his wife and upon plugging it into iTunes it asked him if he wanted to buy the $9.95 3.0 upgrade.
* Thing is he bought the Touch after 3.0 was out. What I can't figure out is do the new iPod Touches come with 3.0 or do you have to buy it?
* Apple's site is unclear, but makes it seem like you have to buy it.
* They told Craig it is because the iPhone 3.0 OS Update for ipod Touch is mainly an iPhone update.
* Accounting issue. The hardware is not new, so it's possible they have to charge for it until a new model comes out?
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies
* Smile on my Mac
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
V MacCast Forum
* Stuart asked me to thank forum member UK Graham for helping him with his iTunes/Permissions/AppleTV tech question. Couldn't get an answer on Google, Mac Fixit, or other sites and turned to the Maccast community for help and they answered.
* Follow me on Twitter
V "Hurricane" by Town Crier
* From band member and Maccast listener Tony
* From their recently released E.P. "Parade" and recorded exclusively in Logic 8 on a 20" iMac
* Artist's web site
V EOL: Apple Homepage gone Retro
* Dave Lawrence over at Newton Poetry had some fun with Photoshop making this retro-future homepage for Apple products. (via Cult of Mac).