MacCast 12.02.2009 - Show #286
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is "Say Anything" by Manda and the Marbles
* Band's MySpace page
V Maccast turns 5
* First Maccast went out on December 13th, 2005
V Thanks for a great Movember
* Huge thanks to all who donated.
* Thank to you, I raised $576.64 and my team (team Nik) earned $1,076.38 to fight prostate and testicular cancer.
* In the US almost 3 million was raised and the money will be split between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Globally the effort raised over $30 million.
V Podcast Award voting ended
* Thank you to all who nominated and voted
* Winners will be announced 8pm Eastern on December 12th
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
V Add "context" to items
* Say you have an outline and you clip a section from a webpage, then attach a file, or add a web link.
* Free 30-day trial
V News
V Apple Black Friday Cyber Monday numbers
V Gene Munster crunched the numbers from ComScore from the big holiday weekend
* Online sales were up 39% year over year
* And AppleInsider notes an Experian Hitwise poll that indicates Apple's online traffic was up 71% on Cyber monday.
V In going to a sample of retail stores Munster's crew found retail sales down. Selling 8.3 macs per hour vs. 13 per hour last year.
* There are more retail stores for people to choose from and they didn't cover all of them
* Munster is still predicting about 2.8 million Macs sold in the quarter.
* Other analysts noted traffic in Apple Stores looked brisk. Isn't it always?
V Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf reports September worldwide Mac sales were up 16.4% while the PC market sales only rose 2.3%.
* Growth for Apple was mostly driven by Europe (38.7%) and Asia (27.1%). US was up 9.8% in September.
V Apple opens up iTunes LP spec
* Ars Technicia reports that, true to their word, Apple has posted details of the iTunes LP Spec
* Artists and labels can use the templates, guides, and TuneKit framework from Apple to build iTunes Extras and iTunes LPs
* Submissions will be reviewed by Apple for "appropriateness of content and for technical quality".
V For now submissions are manual and limited and you will need to have an existing iTunes contract, so artists will go through their studio or label.
* Apple says they are planning to have an automatic electronic submission process in place in early 2010.
* I had already told you about iTunes
* Boy Genius Reports is now saying their contacts have info on a revamp of iDVD that will include iTunes LP creation.
* This is great news and should hopefully push the iTunes LP format forward like the iPhone SDK did for apps
* I'm sure will will also start to see more Apple hardware support, like they added for the AppleTV.
V Mac Pro revamp in early 2010?
* The buzz on 27" iMac i7 numbers is that the new all in one consumer powerhouse might be creeping into the Mac Pros territory
V Now rumors that Intel's new 6-core i9 "Gulftown" processor might put the "pro" back in the desktop machines
* The i9 reportedly uses a new 32nm manufacturing process bringing a 50% performance boost and lower power consumption over todays existing quad core Xeons.
* Also features 12MB of L3 cache and can run 12 virtual cores. With 2 processors in a box that would be 12 physical and 24 virtual cores of bit crunching awesome.
V Apple Insider and TMO are hearing rumors of an early 2010 mac Pro refresh, but the Gulftowns debut might be delayed according to the latest Intel roadmap seen by Engadget.
* It shows revamps of the i5s and i7s in early 2010 along with the addition of a Core i3 to meet the budget market, but no mention of i( which leads the Gadgetheads to think the i9 is set for launch in the second quarter of 2010
V Cult of Macs also expects the usual Macbook Pro bump in January
* Intel will reportedly also have their new Core i5 and Core i7 Arrandale-based, 32nm processors ready for that release too, although the piece notes the chips maybe a bit too power hunger for Apple's liking.
V Rumor of new iPhone in the wild
* Saw a post on TUAW that the developer of the iPhone app iBart noticed an iPhone labeled 3,1 in their PinchMedia analytics logs
* The iPhone 3GS has the designation 2,1
* If true, this is the first "in the wild" siting, but a while back several sites noticed 3,1 references in betas of the iPhone 3.0 OS.
V New phone and the next OS could have upgraded maps
* Placebase acquisition and Apple now hiring for a iPhone and iPod touch Maps developer
* Improved GPS and Compass features
* Some speculate Apple may be looking to replace Google Maps, but the Placebase tech could also layer on top of the existing Google map functionality.
V Apple accused of ordering too much NAND
* Cnet cites a piece out of the Korean Times that alleges Apple is trying tweak NAND flash prices buy placing large orders from manufacturers but then not buying it all from Samsung Electronics and Hynix.
* An analyst Cnet spoke to says the practice is not uncommon.
* I seem to remember stories of Apple doing this to IBM and Mototrolla in the PowerPC days.
V The CNet piece also points out that contracts on orders also usually have cancellation clauses.
* It shouldn't be Apple fault if suppliers don't cover themselves in contracts.
* Consumers are benefiting.
V Reports of some 27" iMac issues
* Arriving with cracked screens according to Macworld and confirmed by Greg Homyak (Apple Media Center Podcast) and from Crywolf, our local AAR
V Macworld also notes a discussion thread of some video issues
* Screen flickering, tearing (in which the image on the screen looks like a sheet of torn or ripped paper), and shutoff problems
* Greg also says they had a DOA model.
V Pystar settles with Apple, a little
* They agreed to pay Apple a settlement totaling $2.675 million for copyright infringement, breach of contract, and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
* This settlement is in CA, but the company still another suit where they want to be able to continue to sell their Rebel EFI software which allows 3rd parties to install OS X Snow Leopard on non-Apple hardware.
* Even with the settlement Apple will likely not see the money. Pystar had filed bankruptcy earlier this year and reportedly has assets of less than $50,000.
* I think Apple just cares that the company is gone.
V iPod Payment System might pay out
* ifoAppleStore says Apple is getting a lot of interest surrounding it's new iPod Touch based in store payments system, but not just from customers and Mac geeks like us. Other retailers are apparently wanting in on the systems.
V The system is an hardware shell that the iPod slides into. It adds a barcode scanner, credit card reader and battery
* The folks at my Apple store were loving it. Less crashing, multi code scanning, and no more dirty looks. Also uses a Pogo Stylus to capture signatures right on screen.
* Apple's not calling their manufacturing partners yet, but they are definitely keeping their options open.
V Apple might already have competition in the space
* Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has a new product and startup company called Square.
* A payment swiper and software for the iPodTouch and iPhone.
* The hardware connects via the headphone Jack. So would be available on devices other than Apple's
V MacTablet name and rumors
V MacRumors uncovered that Axiotron, makers of the ModBook, had a trademark on the term MacTablet, but transferred the mark to Apple back in November of 2008.
* A name doesn't mean Apple will make the device, but heck if you have a trademark you might as well use it, right?
V Kevin Rose, who is generally 50/50 on Apple rumors, prodded his co-host Alex Albrecht whom Rose said "knew something" about the upcoming Apple tablet. After cajoling Albrecht would only say that he "was shocked at how cheap the price point is going to be".
* Keep in mind with some recent rumors putting the price around 1,200 to 1,500. A $800 price tag could seem low.
V Sponsor
V Faronics
* Power Save Mac
V It's like Energy Saver on steroids
* Fine tune what inactive means. CPU usage, memory usage, hard disk usage
* Specify apps that stop power management. Great for iTunes sharing, AppleTV, Front Row, DVD Player, etc.
* Advanced scheduling. What if you want to power on and power off at different times on different days?
* Only $14.40 USD
* Free trial available
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Ellipses shortcut
* I mentioned just typing a dot dot dot when adding keyboard shortcuts for menu command that have an ellipses. Mr. Cat has another, and more typographically correct, way.
V Curly commas and curly quotes
* Commas: Option + Close Square Bracket (open) and Option+ Shift + Close Square Bracket (close)
* Quotes: Option + Open Square Bracket (open) and Option+ Shift + Open Square Bracket
V Upgrading cable modems
* John is curious about troubleshooting Internet and how to upgrade the firmware in cable modems
V I have a Motorola SurfBoard SB5101 and looked into it.
* The cable providers are the only ones who can upgrade your modems firmware
* Some sites seem to indicate that this sometimes takes a reboot, which I think normally is triggered when they do an update, but manually powering off and on can help.
* Your cable provider should have a list of supported modems on their support site, if not contact them before buying a modem.
V General troubleshooting tips.
* Reboot. Work from connection back (Modem, router, Mac). Wait each time for a successful connection, usually indicated by lights on the device. Check manual.
* Go Wired.
* Check cables if already wired.
V Check for wireless channel interference.
* AirRadar. USD $19.95
* KisMac, Free
* Eliminate variables. Work backward to connection.
V Flash draining batteries
* Mark noticed he was getting reduced battery life on his Macboook while web surfing.
* Flash was eating up lots of processor and memory cycles as it's oft to do.
V Click-to-Flash Safari Plugin
* Blocks all flash until you click it
* Has a little "cog" icon for settings. Load all flash on a page, whitelist sites, etc.
V Review: TVClean
* I am super cautious about using any kind of chemical cleaning product on my TVs or Macs
* The coatings on new displays are sensitive. Layers also can suck up pooling liquids in a display and ruin it.
* I was not expecting to like the Tv Clean, but it works great and is quick and easy.
V Pros
* Lifts away particle debris before wiping
* Cloth dries streak free
* No liquids or sprays
* Affordable
V Cons
* Rubber roller detached a couple times, but I got used to the proper method
* Cleaning roller loses tackiness fairly quick which could lead to added cost in the long run
* If you don't go for the TV Clean, try the Eco Wipes
V Running an iTunes DJ robot
* Scott wanted to set up a Mac as a kiosk for a party, but wanted to keep people out of anything but iTunes.
V Setting up Opera browser as a kiosk
* Run Kava Tunes, sets up a web interface for iTunes you can access locally or over the net.
V Set up a limited user account with restricted Finder and only access to Opera.
* Login to the account.
* Open Opera and set homepage to be the Kava Tunes local page
* Enable Full Finder to access Terminal and launch Opera into kiosk mode
* I could launch into kiosk mode, but couldn't get the filter to work
V Use a limited user account and FrontRow
* Allow account to run iTunes and FrontRow
* Load music into iTunes on that account
* Launch FrontRow. Command+Esc
* I couldn't get FrontRow to see a local shared iTunes Library from another account using fast user switching.
* Other options? Email.
V One size fits all Itunes video encoding
* Phil has a DVD collection he want to put into iTunes, but want to have 1 file for playback on his TV, iPod, and I'll add iPhone or iPod Touch
V Dilemma is you will have to give up some large screen quality to get 1 encode
* Apple now delivers it's purchased content with a Tv and and iPod version.
V iLounge has a great article from 2007 that goes deep
V Basics are, Format (H.264 or MPEG-4), Resolution, and bit rate
* iPods and iPhone will do H.264 at 640x480 and 1.5mbps or MPEG-4 at 640x480 and 2.5mbps. Not the iPhone and iPod Touch screens have a maximum display of 480x320
* AppleTV will do H.264 at resolutions up to 1280x720 at 5mbps or MPEG-4 at 720x432 and 3mbps
V Tools
* Handbrake
* RipIt
* ElGato Turbo.264 HD
V Of course you can always buy or rent content from iTunes
* Play an Apple TV tip from Doug
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies
* Smile on my Mac
* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* Cocoatech, Pathfinder 5
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
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V "Walk A Thousand Miles" by Matthew Ebel
* From Mevio's Music Alley
* It's time for holiday tunes and this one is from a great Podsafe artist who's been around the "Pod thing" as long as I have I think.
* Artist's website
* Buy on iTunes
V EOL: OS Xbox Pro
* An amazing hackintosh case mod by Will Urbina. Check the pics on his site. Cool video of the build too, but the audio is NSFW.