MacCast 02.28.2010 - Show #292
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is "Say Anything" by Manda and the Marbles
* Band's MySpace page
V Sponsor
V Cocotech
* Path Finder 5, It's the Finder re-invented.
* Name a feature that you wish was in the Finder and I'll bet you Path Finder has it.
V I'll give you 3 to start
* Tabbed browsing
* Dual-pane file browser. No more layered window juggling,
* Drop Stacks. Need to move multiple files, from multiple folders, from one place to the next? This will save you time. No more bouncing back and forth.
* Free 30-day demo
V News
V Apple takes some heat on supplier responsibility
* AppleInsider mentions a report in the UK Telegraph that they felt used Apple's recent publishing of their supplier responsibility report to "make it sound like Apple had been caught violating the law".
* Actually the report is making transparent the results of a recent Apple Supplier audit and showing how Apple is working to correct the issues
V Examples
* At least 11 employees were found to have been hired at the age of 15 in places where 16 is the minimum working age.
* Several factories are violating Apple's limits of a maximum of 60 work hours per week and requiring at least one day of rest per seven days of work.
* When Apple identifies the violation they have a process for working with suppliers and management to create corrective measures, change management policies, provide training, etc. this is followed up with auditing.
V Recent coverage has been critical of Apple due to their findings.
* For some requirements suppliers in China suppliers were in violation more the 50% of the time.
* Foxcon, Hon Hai, Quanta Computers, etc. are suppliers to a bunch of companies.
* Dell, HP, and other companies have similar policies, use many of the same suppliers, and have similar findings.
* Competitor like HTC have a Supplier Responsibility Code, but don't seem to disclose any auditing findings, at least not publicly on their site.
V Frankly seems like Apple is behind many other manufacturers in terms of having a supplier responsibility program (at least publicly). First indication i can find of a program seems to be 2007.
* They are catching up quickly
* Their findings seem to be in line with the rest of the industry.
V The REAL solution seems to be an almost impossible one
* Stop doing business in places like China?
* We have a insatiable hunger for cheap tech products.
* Apple and others can threaten terminating contracts, but we all know (especially the manufacturers) that won't happen.
* What Apple and others are doing is the next best thing, but change will be slow.
V The great Flash war of 2010
* Apple and Adobe are at a seemingly endless battle of wills over Flash on the iPhone
V Apple arguments against
V Flash is a CPU hog.
* I tend to agree with this. One of the main issues is that Adobe doesn't keep feature parity or optimize Flash on the Mac like they do on Windows. This is supposed to change in future versions, likely to be Intel only.
V Flash is buggy and a security risk
* Adobe just released security fixes this week.
* Apple has had it's share of issues with Quicktime security holes.
V Flash is a dying technology
* This may be a bit pre-mature, but Apple has long been a leader in obsoleting declining technologies (e.g. the floppy) before others.
V Flash isn't an open standard
* True, but Apple doesn't embrace open standards everywhere either.
* For Apple it can't be just about "open standards". iTunes vs. Hulu, Netflix, etc.
V Flash "is" the web?
V Adobe says on the web 70% of games and 75% of video use Flash. Also that 70% of "high traffic" sites use Flash.
* Often this functionality could be replaced by other technologies (ads, roll overs, video playback).
V An interesting piece on RoughlyDrafted by a Flash developer points out a dilemma with Flash on a touch screen device, mouseover and right click.
* Flash wasn't designed for Touchscreens
* Flash Lite, flash on many current mobile devices, only supports Actionscript 2.0. Flash 10.1 (i.e Flash Mobile) will supposedly change that (Android 2.1 and Web OS 4.1?).
V Why I hate Flash, or rather "lazy" programming/technologies.
V Mostly because it's a lazy web technology. Notice I say web technology (leaving AIR out for now).
* Defacto standard, but really still requires a plug-in so NOT a standard.
V It's over used because it's easy to implement and develop for.
* Don't need Flash for roll overs, interactive sites, forms and validation, video playback, etc.
* being fair this argument is thin as it's the developers choice and not all developers use it in lazy ways.
* Having robust and easy to use tools, doesn't make a technology bad. People do.
V In many cases it adds layers of complexity on top of standards
* H.264 video wrapped in Flash just for playback
* This is where the argument for HTML 5 comes into play. HTML is not expected to reach W3C Candidate Recommendation stage until 2012, and possible a lot longer to get fully ratified.
* Parts of HTML 5 are already in use, YouTube video for example, but it's far from perfect
V Adobe has let it languish on the Mac.
* Doing the same for Photoshop, Acrobat, etc.
* Apple isn't helping. Competing technologies (Preview, Aperture, FinalCut).
V More reports of iPad's impending doom
V The Macalope over on MacUser points out that VentureBeat’s Paul Boutin and CoolTechZone’s Gundeep Hora are pontificating that the iPad will be a sales flop on launch based on a recent AdMob survey of 963 mobile device owners.
* 16% of iPhone users said they intend to purchase an iPad, compared to 11% of webOS users and only 6% of Android use.
* Guess what? If those numbers are right (and statistically they wouldn't be), then Apple would sell over 5.5 million iPad's.
* As Macalope astutely points out, this is from people who already own a mobile web device.
* Keep in mind these are "intend to buy" numbers and not all will, but what about all the folks who don't have a phone?
V The intend to buy pre-iPhone numbers were also "low" and look what happened there.
* Plus it was $600 with a 2-year contract.
* The iPad should see a lower barrier to the in-store impulse buy.
V iPad's A4 custom, but not PA Semi custom?
* Jon Stokes over at Ars Technica says he's been hearing details from his sources and according to them P.A. Semi may not have had as large a role in Apple's A4 designed iPad chip as many think.
V In the article Stokes claims that the A4 is a 1GHz custom SoC with a single Cortex A8 core and a PowerVR SGX GPU.
* It's also likely been stripped of a number of i/O and controllers it doesn't need. Like extra USB port and Serial controllers along with dedicated image processing blocks for still and video camera support.
* He postulates that since Apple just acquired P.A. Semi in April of 2007 that they didn't have near enough time to do new core design around the ARMv7 architecture, like Qualcomm's Scorpion core (the basis for the SnapDragon).
* P.A. likely did contribute to the low power performance in the A4's design. Sharing their PWRficient chip deign tech that they developed starting in 2005.
V He claims this lack of "wow" factor is probably why Apple hasn't tooted it's own custom silicon horn and that the first real P.A. Semi design powered chips are probably destined for a future iPhone.
* Giving the next gen iPhone a big leg up in battery life and performance over the competition.
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
V Web export features
* To FTP, or SFTP, to disk, to .Mac
* Noticed one user on the forum used Notebook with Cornell page layouts and inline tables to create his web site.
* Free 30-day trial
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V A video player that remember you spot
* Finlay on the forum was looking for a Mac video player that he could stop playback, quit, come back to later, and then it would pick up where he left off.
V He was using VLC, a great alternative video player, but it didn't seem to offer that feature.
* I tired using the "Bookmarks" feature, which the documentation says will work if you bookmark, add to playlist, save the playlist. But apparently that feature doesn't work on the Mac.
V Luckily there is also 'Movist'. It does have a preference setting for "Remember Last play position when quit".
* Also has a full screen nav mode to browse Movies folder like Front Row.
* Apple remote support
* Doesn't support playing a VIDEO_TS directory, like VLC.
V These are in a whole class of alternative video players. VLC and Movist in part leverage the open source FFMPEG video project.
* The big advantage of these apps over Quicktime is that they will play practically ANY video file you throw at them.
* Another one is Mplayer Extended
V Sending an attachment from the iPhone
* Phil is in the process of job hunting and wanted an easy way to be able to send a resume as an email attachment from the iPhone.
V Could storage apps
* Mobile Me iDisk app, Dropbox both allow to attach links to shared files in the cloud.
* With MobileMe you have options to set the expiration on the shared link and use a password.
V Use a "Files" app.
* 'Files', 'AirSharing', etc.
V Connect typically as a Web DAV and copy over your file
* 1) Launch app and start the server
* 2) In Finder, Go-->Connect to server.
* 3) Enter the address displayed in the app and hit 'Connect'
* 4) Server should mount in the 'Shared' section of the Finder sidebar. You can then copy over your file(s)
V Review: OWLE Bubo
V OWLE, is a camera mount for your iPhone 3G or 3GS
* Milled aluminum housing. unibody
* Dual "pistol" grip with 4-post that have standard tripod mounting points.
* Cold shoe accessory mount. Add light.
* Comes with macro and .45x wide angle lens. 37mm threaded mount for additional lenses, filters, etc.
* USD $129.00
* Wide angle and macro lens work well to enhance the functionality of the built-in lens
* The dual grips really help stabilize your shouts
* Mounting points are great for unattended recording and self portraits. Also can get creative shots with a mono-pod
* included mic is nice with swivel to pick up subjects or your own voice (voice-over).
V All the glass and cause some issues
* Lens flare, if your J.J. Abrams it might not be a plus.
* I found it hard to get the lens lined up when inserting it into the OWLE because the rubber case required to hold the iPhone in place slides covering the iPhone lens.
V It add a fair amount of weight and bulk to the iPhone. Good for stability, not for portability. (OWLE vs. second video recorder).
* Still stuck with iPhone video specs.
* Might be hard to justify the costs for some. Again compared with buying an HD flash pocket recorder.
V Running a Mac "sandbox"
* Alan on the forum is a switcher and hearing about some of the more recent "phishing" style exploits on the Mac was wondering about setting up a "sandbox" environment to be able to switch into. Similar to "Sandboxie" on Windows.
V Our forum admin so graciously mention one of our sponsors apps, Deep Freeze.
* With that you could normally run "unfrozen", but then turn freezing on to access a potentially unsafe link, do some terminal hacking, etc.
* If you got into trouble you could then simply re-boot and your Mac would be restored.
V Another option I thought of would be to use Virtualization
* For free you can get SUn Virtualbox
* Install Ubuntu, or Windows and browse away. If you got hit, simply burn your virtualized environment and build a new one.
V Parallels and VMWare Fusion are also options
* VMWare makes setting up new environments easy with Virtual Appliances
* Another possible solution is to run a separate User account, but depending on the attack that might not protect you as well as the other options.
* Of course it's also important to note that none of these options are as safe as simply just completely avoiding potentially unsafe computing behavior.
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies
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* Faronics, Deep Freeze
* Cocoatech, Pathfinder 5
* Citrix
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V "Booty Voodoo" by Lee Coulter
* From Musicalley
* Artist's web site
* Buy on iTunes
V EOL: The TiPhone
* A modder built this incredibly cool Titanium back plate for his iPhone innards. (via Cult of Mac)