Maccast 02.20.2011 - Show #385
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
* Great for planning a trip or an event
* Can make lists, take notes, adding in links, clippings, photos, sticky notes.
* You can create lists with action items, assign dates, and even sync those items to iCal. They will show up as events and to-dos.
* Changes to items in either place will be sync'd
* Great and very versatile app. Free trials available.
V News
V OS X Mountain Lion
* The upcoming update to OS X, 10.8 Mountain Lion was quietly announced last week.
V In a surprising move Apple actually help private pre-brief meetings with select members of the media, like John Gruber.
* Guber noted that it was like a Keynote for one, with the standard flow and polish.
* Apple is dropping Mac from the OS naming
* Apple said it's committing to a yearly release schedule for OS updates. Let's hope those updates continue their existing $29.99 USD upgrade pricing.
V Standardizing apps and functionality between OS X and iOS
* Notes, out of Mail. New Notes app
* ToDos, out of iCal. New reminders app for OS X
* iCal renamed Calendar to match iOS
* Address Book becomes Contacts
* iChat becomes Messages and adds iMessage Support and integrates FaceTime.
V Other additions include: Notification Center, Twitter integration, Game Center, and AirPlay Mirroring.
* Notifications can be banners or alerts. Banners appear and fade away. Alerts have to be dismissed
* New Notifications pane in the System Preferences app. Swipe gesture and menubar item to access Notification Center side bar sheet.
V More iCloud support.
V Documents in the Cloud integrated into the Open Save dialog
* Tabs to switch between "iCloud" and "On My Mac"
* Sharing/Actions button. Similar to iOS, you'll find sharing options for different apps. Services like Twitter, Messages, Reading List, YouTube, etc will appear here depending on app and features.
V Gatekeeper
* Allows better protection from launching malicious apps downloaded from the internet
* Developers get an Apple ID and can sign their apps
V Users can set preferences on which apps to run
* Anywhere, Mac Store Only,
* At launch the OS then check the ID of the app and stops the launch if it's outside the limits you set or if the code has been tampered with since the App has been signed. It also checks the ID against a signature blacklist that is maintained by Apple and updated once a day by the OS
V new ‘CoreRecognition’ framework and a ‘CRCodeRedeemer’ class, both of which appear to be built for turning barcodes into app licenses.
* would make it possible to have a card with a barcode that scanned on the Mac with the FaceTime camera would download and install and app or media from iTunes.
* could replace redemption codes making it even easier to market and redeem.
V X11 is no longer an optional install but you will be prompted if needed and taken to an Apple Knowledge-base article on how to install X11.
* Apple will continue to support XQuartz, the open source project that develops the software Apple’s own X11 package currently uses.
V Who can run Mountain Lion
* Developer preview requires latest version of Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.8) to install Mountain Lion.
V Models supported by Developer Preview version are: iMac: 2007 and later, Mac mini: 2009 and later, Mac Pro: 2008 and later, MacBook: Late 2008 and later, MacBook Air: Late 2008 and later, MacBook Pro: 2007 and later, Xserve: 2009.
* So most Macs mad within the last 4 to 5 years, with some exceptions.
* Not all machines that currently run Lion will be able to run Mountain Lion
V Mac App Store only and available “late summer 2012.” (could mean as late as September 22nd.)
* OS X updates will also be pushed through the App Store after Mountain Lion consolidating the place where you'll get OS updates.
* Hit Software Update, the Mac App Store loads and all of the integral software updates are found under a drop-down box under OS X Update.
V Messages on OS X
* With the announcement of Mountain Lion Apple also released a public BETA of Messages for Lion
* A French blog, Consomac, reported finding strings that look like only the Beta will work on Lion and after the Beta to continue using it you’ll need to upgrade.
* The Messages beta also appears to have some @2x resolution graphics assets. This fact continues to fuel speculation that Apple might be planning hiDPI resolution Mac or Macbook Pro displays in the future.
V Apple TV rumors continue
V Digitimes that Genesis Photonics was expected to supply the LED backlighting circuitry for a Sharp-made panel.
* The early Genesis deal seems to be very early stages and puts a production schedule
V Reports of Apple TV 2 supplies dwindling
* TUAW reports that and are no longer listing the Apple TV on their sites, and the only Apple TVs available on are used devices.
* Speculating that an updated Apple TV, or "real" Apple TV may be surfacing soon.
V Antennagate Settlement
* Apple settled the lawsuit where some customers will get a $15 payout or a free bumper case.
* Settlement applies to 18 separate lawsuits that were drawn together into one class-action complaint.
* Apple was accused of “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sales and servicing of its iPhone 4.”
* Apple released a statement, “This settlement relates to a small number of customers who indicated that they experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4 and didn’t want to take advantage of a free case from Apple while it was being offered in 2010,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said in a statement to The Loop.
V iPad 3 Rumor Updates
* MacRumors reportedly got hold of an iPad 3 display and verified the QXVGA 2048x1536 ppi resolution under a microscope.
V A chinese web site reportedly has pictures of the iPad 3 logic board and it shows a processor label A5X, not A6
* There had been rumors that the iPad 3 may feature a dual-core and not quad core processor.
* If the naming turns out to be accurate it would seem to indicate an incremental update to the A5 processor and not a whole new chip
* The board pictured is labeled as having been produced in November 2011, so it could be a prototype and the chip label could simply be placeholder
* Also shows two 16GB Hynix flash memory chips for storage.
* Even if the CPU only gets a dual core speed bump, most agree the graphics will get a nice boost. Maybe to a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4. I imaging the GOU bump world make games and the new display really shine on the iPad 3.
V New rear shell images from NextMedia see to show a larger camera opening and more gradual taper on the back case
* The larger camera lens would seem to support rumors of an improved back camera. 5 to 8 MP.
* The lens also seems to sit on the tapered edge of the case which looks to support rumors of a slightly thicker (0.7mm) design to accommodate the new Retina display.
V In iPhone rumor news Japanese blog Macotakara claims Apple will release the next iPhone in the Fall
* They say Apple will launch the iPhone 5 in September or October and stick to a yearly release cycle for "years".
* It makes sense given the waining in iPod sales as new models of the iPod traditionally were announced the fall and carried the holiday sales.
* This year the iPhone 4S carried that torch quite nicely and I imagine Apple would want that trend to continue for the future.
V Apple's green data center
* Apple added updates to it's Apple and the Environment web page
* Specifically they added details about the green nature of it's 500,000 square foot, $1 Billion dollar data center in Maiden, North Carolina.
* The facility has earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification and Apple already has plans to enhance the facilities environmentally friendly footprint.
* Apple already received approval from the County and is prepping 171 acres of land next to the data center for the installation of a solar array. Apple says it it will be the nation’s largest end user-owned solar array.
* They also plan to build the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the United States.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Extracting photo from Contact app
* Play follow-up from Chris
* I don't I didn't think of this, but a it does work. Still seems silly to have to email a file from your device back to your device so you can save it on your device.
V Sandboxing coming, but broken.
* At least according to some developers. Daniel Jalkut of Red-Sweater Software wrote a great piece on the issues
* Sandboxing uses an "entitlements" list of actions that are clear descriptions of things the App would like to do on your Mac. For example, "access the Internet", "read information form Address Book","access your iTunes Library", "Print".
* Apps need to indicate which entitlements they plan to use and then the OS, and hopefully the user, decides which they would allow.
* Currently all apps in the Mac App Store are required to implement sandboxing by March 1, 2012.
* The big issue is that Apple's list of entitlements is far too small and many apps on the App Store would be rendered useless or severely limited from their non-sandbox forms.
* In looking at Gatekeepers more open and user-centric control there is some hope from developers, like Jalkut, that Apple may modify the current Sandboxing strategy to allow for more options.
* The two biggest improvements would be significantly increasing the list of entitlements to allow all the things that we want to do with Apps on our Macs
* And, more importantly, opening Sandboxing to apps outside the Mac App Store and creating OS X level controls and setting to allow the user to et and enforce what kind and how much Sandboxing they want.
V Imaging a similar set of Gatekeeper like controls, but for Sandbox entitlements
* Mac App Store Only (most restrictive), App Store and Controlled Entitlements, Anything.
* The second setting would provide a complete list of Entitlements and the user could decide the access on a entitlement by entitlement basis.
* I think these types of controls strike a nice balance between ease of use, reasonable security, and still allow users the ultimate control. It also actively encourages developers to support technologies like Sandboxing without forcing them into a system that will cripple or in some cases completely destroy the functionality of their apps.
V Path Contacts Controversy shouldn't have happened
* In case you didn't hear about this, the social sharing app and service Path was exposed recently for uploading your entire contact database to it's servers if you used the Apps, locate friends feature.
* The think is that they aren't the only app that was doing this.
* Immediately after the exposure dozens of apps updated their software and now implicitly ask before uploading your contact data to their servers.
* Apple responded to questions from congress saying, “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.”
* Here is the thing… there is NO reason app developers need access to your entire Contacts list and all of it's data to do "matching"
* I spoke about this on WHC and it's just lazy and irresponsible and developers need to stop. This is exactly one of those areas where technology like sandboxing in the right way could help.
* Even without that though developers should know better. They could use a system to generate a hashed and salted GUID to perform the matching without uploading any private data. They could achieve the same functionality without invading your privacy and without putting themselves at risk of a lawsuit.
V Your privacy in the Clouds
* Benjamin asks, "Do you think that people are becoming too trustworthy with Apple with their information because at the end of the day they are just another company or do you think becoming comfortable with Apple is not a bad thing and they actually do have our best interests at heart?"
* I think that trusting ANYONE else with the security of your personal information is a bad idea. Your privacy is something that you are solely responsible for.
* I think companies like Apple also need to be responsible when they build out cloud services, but even with the best intentions they make mistakes and when personal information is involved that can be bad.
V I also think these responsibilities are nothing new
* We have always shared personal information in one way or another, but now with cloud and social services it's getting more prolific.
* Also, digital makes it easier to share and for more types of information to be accessible and shareable.
V Stop and think
V Most applications (at least the good ones) ask before sharing information.
* Also some don't ask, so research and ask questions. Email the provider if you have concerns before you use the service.
* Don't blindly click yes.
* Fiasco with Path and the Contact data is a great case in point.
V Really consider what that means and what information is being shared.
* If you say yes to share your location, then assume they are tracking you. They may not be, but they could and clicking yes allows the to do so.
* If uploading files, what information is in those documents
* Don't forget about metadata. GPS location in iOS photos for example.
V Double check that the info isn't there, even if they say it isn't.
* Load and download the photo on the service
* Visit the pages when you aren't logged in
V Protect yourself, assume they don't care even if they do.
* Put sensitive data in encrypted formats before you upload.
* Use tools that strip meta data before sharing.
V iTunes Match Mismatch
* Bruce noticed that using iTunes Match has been a mixed bag of good and bad experiences. I agree. Here is what he's noticed.
V Scrolling through my library is no longer smooth, it's jittery
* I have noticed that when you load the library on iOS there is a lot of network activity
* You can see the network progress "pinwheel" in the menu bar
* Since its progressively downloading as you play and pulling down album art and meta data updates in the background this seems to effect scrolling.
V When I listen to a song on my iPod 5G and sync sometimes the Last Played field will be updated but the Play Count will not be updated
* I assume you mean in iTunes, this may be a syncing bug in iTunes?
* When I listen to a song on my iPhone, many times there is no reflection of that play (Play Count or Last Played) in iTunes on the Mac
V It seems some Last Played Dates are over a year off
* I can confirm that for me no data is updated.
* May be an iTunes 10.5.3 bug?
V Changes made to ID tags in iTunes are reversed the next time the app is opened
* Some customized artwork has been replaced
* Album ratings have disappeared on a significant number of my albums
* A few songs still have a status of "waiting" after activating the service over a month ago
V Replacing Keychain Sync
* Play question from Laurin
V I use 1Password combined with Dropbox, but it's not quite the same as the OS X keychain.
* Allows me to quickly access and recall my passwords, but I still need to configure and save passwords for the keychain on each machine.
V Virtual Keyboard hidden keys
* iLounge pointed out something that makes sense, but I didn't notice with iOS's split keyboard.
* If you are thumb typing and go too far past the last key in the row on either side it will type the adjacent key even though it's on the other side of the screen.
* It's like the key are still there to the left or right of the visible ones, but just invisible.
* So, for a US keyboard, the TGV on the left have invisible mates on the right and the YHB on the right have similar ghostly partners on the left.
* This allows you to mistakenly use the wrong thumb (side) and still get the desired result.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Faronics, Deep Freeze. 5.0 released with Lion compatibility
* Circus Ponies
* Smile
* Gazelle
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