Maccast 04.12.2012 - Show #392
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
V News
V Apple update expunges Flashback
* Apple released two additional Java updates for OS X. One for OS X Lion and one for Snow Leopard and this time they mean business
* Java for OS X 2012-003 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 8 not only patch up the OS, but will remove the Trojan if you're infected and disable Java in Safari on OS X Lion
* if a Flashback malware variant is found and removed; otherwise, the installation proceeds without comment
* On Lion the update immediately disables the Java browser plug-in and Java Web Start. This disables web sites in Safari and other embedded app browsers from running Java
* To re-activate Java to use with Web pages, you have to use the Java Preferences program, found in Applications > Utilities
* If Java is reenabled, but you don't use Java in the browser for 35 days Lion disables it again.
* Apple also released a stand alone removal tool for Lion system that don't have Java installed.
* The awareness and removal tools seemed to be making an impact. Norton came out around the middle of the week and had already reduced the number of infected Mac systems estimates by about half.
V Designer Starck's "revolutionary" new project with Apple
* Based on some translations from a recent radio interview it came out this week that renowned French designer Philippe Starck has been working on a project with Apple.
* Starck says the project will be unveiled in the next 8 months and many began to speculate that his design could be a new upcoming product like the iTV (iPanel) or the next iPhone
* Starck has done product designs for technology companies like LaCie
* Sebastien Page of iDownloadBlog however says the design is for a future Apple retail store.
* Cult of Mac points out an excerpt in the Steve Jobs bio that says he was working with a Dutch shipmarker designing a 40-foot yacht and that might be what Starck was referring to. I think unlikely
* It could be anything, but my guess is that Page and his sources are right and will probably see the design in some new retail location in France.
V iCloud push email still blocked in Germany
* A German judge extended and injunction against Apple preventing them from rolling out push email services to iCloud and Mobile Me account users
* The injunction is part of a patent dispute with Motorola who claims the service violates a patent they hold relating to syncing messages to pagers
* Apple of course has been appealing the decision but obviously without luck
* The decision was upheld and it was ruled that Apple is liable for damages, but an amount wasn't given.
* Hopefully at this point Apple will now just for on a licensing deal so German users can get push based email on their accounts.
* There are actually two patents in dispute and luckily this ruling also served to separate the two claims meaning they will be tried and ruled on separately.
* The second one is the bigger one for Apple to be concerned about since it would block their 3G devices from being sold in Germany
* Apple is arguing that since Qualcomm has a licensing deal with Motorola they are covered by fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
* Even if Motorola is successful in getting a ban on Apple's sales of 3G equipped devices in the region they may run into trouble with the European Commission. The commission has begun a formal investigation to see if Motorola is using FRAND-encumbered 3G wireless patents to stifle competition.
V Apple improving iTunes account security
* Some iOS users have noticed a new security prompt began popping up on their iOS devices
* The prompt says, "Security Info Required." and then asks users to select from a number of security questions and provide personal answers. They are also asked to provide a backup e-mail address in case the primary address associated with their Apple ID is compromised.
* At first some thought the prompt may be part of a phishing scam, but Apple reps confirmed its part of an ongoing strategy to bolster iTunes and Apple ID account security.
V iTunes 11 in the works
* 9to5 Mac has rumors of Apple's planned changes in iTunes 11
* Claim Apple is focused on under-the-hood changes to improve performance
* Also adding more centralized iCloud integration in the preferences to control iTunes Match, iTunes in the Cloud, iCloud iOS device backups and more.
V Apple sneaks new A5 into the iPad 2
* According to Anandtech not all iPad 2s are created equal
* The new lower priced 16 GB 2,4 iPad models appear to sport a new A5 chip built upon a 32 nanometer process.
* The new silicon doesn't seem to make a difference in terms of raw CPU performance, but should be a tad more energy efficient, so the new iPad 2 may get slightly better battery life.
V Poking around inside Apple’s third-generation Apple TV units also show some interesting stuff.
* Turns out there's actually a dual-core A5 silicon inside even though the specs list a single-core CPU.
* Don't get too excited though, it’s very likely Apple’s just reusing iPad 2 parts that have a bad core, and are simply disabling the bad half to make a single core CPU which is a very common practice.
* The new A5 in the Apple TV is using the 32nm version of the A5 though allowing it to be 41% smaller.
V Apple 3rd in US PC Shipments
* Gartner released its quarterly shipment estimates for the PC market in Q1 2012
* Gartner calculates that Apple shipped 1.6 million Macs in Q1 2012, which is a 3.8 percent increase from the same quarter in 2011.
* HP which increased 6.6 percent year over year, but it is better than the overall US PC industry which declined 3.5 percent.
* The Gartner numbers include mini-notebooks, but not tablets.
V Piper-Jeffray's Gene Munster is throwing up his iPad and iPhone predictions ahead of Apple's April 24th Q2 2012 financial earnings call
* He predicts Apple will announce sales of 33 million iPhones and 12 million iPads
* Munster also still maintains that Apple shares will hit $1,000 per share by 2014
* Munster also predicts Mac sales of 4.3 million for the quarter.
V The big number predictions aren't too surprising.
* Despite being out for 6 months a Changewave survey shows that 56 percent of future smartphone buyers still say they plan on purchasing an iPhone. That's up 2 percent from a poll taken in December
V DOJ files antitrust lawsuit against Apple
* The DOJ claims that Apple colluded with publishers to artificially raise the prices of eBooks by forcing the adoption of an "agency" style of pricing.
* Under the "agency" model publishers control the prices of eBooks not the reseller.
* Another issue is that to sell books on the iBookstore Apple employs a "favored nations" clause that says publishers cannot sell eBooks on other stores for prices lower than what they do on the iBookstore.
* All of this was said to be done to break Amazon's $9.99 pricing that they had set on many of their eBook and to raise revenue's for publishers.
V Apple released a statement denying the allegations
* "The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry."
* Amazon had a deal where it would buy titles at a percentage of the cover price and then re-sell them at whatever price they wanted which was often at a loss.
V DOJ also named Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Penguin, and Hachette in the suit.
* Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster immediately announced a settlement with the DOJ allowing them to escape the pending litigation.
* The details of the agreement weren't disclosed, but the result is that Amazon to return to a wholesale pricing model of their titles if it chooses to do so.
* While the Amazon model is great for consumers it does make it hard for others to compete. With Apple's model the publishers are making more money and able to control prices.
* I think the irony is that in the end Apple will win either way because I still believe their intent is to cut out the publishers completely and work directly with authors like they do with App developers today. At that point the author will set and control the pricing with Apple taking their standard 30%.
V New Mac spec rumors heat up
V Sharp has announced they are staring production on 32" Hi-DPI LCD displays.
* The panels will use IGZO (iridium gallium zinc oxide) technology and will also offered in 10" and 7" sizes for ultranotebooks and tablets
* The 32" panels might seem ideal for the rumored iPanel (Apple TV). The resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 (16:9)
* or, they could be used in new iMacs, although 32" iMacs seem a bit extreme
* There have been many reports of Hi-DPI assets surfacing in versions of OS X and strong rumors of Apple bring Hi-PDI screens to 15" and 13" Macbook products in the near future
V Earlier in the week their were reports of "out of stock" messages and shrinking inventories on 15" Macbook Pros at 3rd party resellers
* J&R and Best Buy online both reportedly had low supplies
* Apple's online store however still show next day availability
* Might be too soon, as many rumors are predicting a June update for the Macbook Pros
V Sponsor
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Accessing PhotoStream from the Finder
* This was an awesome trick I saw this week posted on The Iconmaster site and pointed out by 9to5 Mac
* Allows you to access your iCloud PhotoStream images without having to use iPhoto or Aperture
* It uses a Saved Search, search tokens, and the fact that the images are stored in your Library folder.
* First make sure that you are using PhotoStream and have it turned on on your Mac and devices
V In the Finder go to the PhotoStream Folder
* Option+Click the 'Go' menu and select the Library
* Navigate down to Application Support > iLifeAssetManagement > assets and then select the 'sub' folder
* You'll notice inside that folder a bunch of sub folders with cryptic names and inside those each photo. There could be up to 1,000 folder and 1,000 images (for some reason mine had 1,005)
* So you could just put this folder in your Dock and call it a day, but it's be hard to get to each image since it's inside that messed up folder. This is where Spotlight and a Saved Search can come to the rescue
* With the 'sub' folder still selected in the Finder window use the search box and enter the token 'kind:image' and hit enter
* Now make sure the "sub" folder is the selected item in the bar at the top of the search results window. Change from "This Mac". This will filter the results to just the "sub" folder.
V In the results window you should now just see up to 1,000 image files.
* You can adjust the view and icon size, etc.
* If you change the token you can filter to just JPGs (Photos) or PNGs (screen shots)
* Now click the 'Save' button and give the search a name to save it. I called mine 'Photo Stream' and left the location set to the default (~/Library/Saved Searches) and keep the "Add to Sidebar" checkbox checked
* Click 'Save'
* Now you should have the Saved Search in your sidebar and selecting to will display all the images in your PhotoStream
* You can drag the Saved search from the sidebar into the Dock if you'd like. Control + Click and select 'Remove from Sidebar' if you want to remove it from the sidebar. You can always find it again in ~/Library/Saved Searches.
* When viewing the Saved Search you can click the "cog" in the toolbar and choose 'Show Search Criteria' to view and edit the saved search criteria.
V My AT&T iPhone unlocking experience
* So after AT&T agreed to unlock off contract iPhones on the 8th I figured I'd give it a try.
V The web is full of stories that describe the process like this:
* Locate your iPhone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This can be found by going to Settings > General > About. Copy this number for later.
* Log into your myAT&T account.
* Head over to the Wireless Support Chat section of the site and click on Technical Support chat.
* Inform the AT&T representative that you’d like to unlock your iPhone and provide them with the IMEI number from Step 1.
* AT&T will verify that your phone’s contract has been completed and that your account is in good standing. It will then send this information off to Apple, which will contact you via email within 72 hours (although many users are reporting a much faster response).
* Once you receive the code from Apple, you’ll need to connect your iPhone to a Mac or PC running iTunes. Follow these steps to perform a backup and restore of the phone. Doing so will unlock the phone once it’s restored.
* I decided to call AT&T instead of use the chat system, but you'd think the experience wouldn't be much different.
* I had to punch a few buttons to get a live agent, but in a minute or two I was getting help.
* She said she thought only iPhones purchased directly through AT&T were unlockable by AT&T and that since I bought mine at Apple I would have to go to Apple. I explained otherwise and she agreed to take my info and open a ticket.
* The process was it went to their technical department and then on to Apple who would contact me with instructions.
* After she was done taking all my info, about 15 mins or so, she said I was all set but that my contact date was April 18th. What?! 8 days is hardly the 72 hours others were reporting.
* She did say it might be sooner. As of today I got the notice, so it was 72 hours.
* The email did come from AT&T and not Apple however. And the process went very smoothly.
V As a follow up I was hoping to use an AT&T Go plan with the unlocked device, but I was informed by a listener that they were told AT&T doesn't support the iPhone on Go plans.
* Frankly I don't know technically how they could prevent it on an unlocked device, so i will try anyway. If you want data you still need to get a month to month data plan I believe.
* T-Mobile is welcoming unlocked iPhones and have plans with data for $59.99/mo with 2GB of data Unlimited talk and text. But T-mobile data coverage is mostly at 2G speeds, so hardly a deal. They offer no pre-paid with data.
V Disable iPhone Bluetooth A2DP
* Play question from Patrick
V Turn off Bluetooth
* Settings > General > Bluetooth and slide the switch to off
* You could also simply disable the pairing with the head unit, finding it in the devices list, clicking the blue arrow and then pressing the 'Forget this Device' button
* Maybe you only want to turn off A2DP and not block Bluetooth completely
* Looks like there is an app for that. A2DPblocker
* You need to be running the App for it to work, but once launched you use the standard in car controls or iPod app controls. The notes do also say that if you are running iOS 4/5 to use the "Playback Queue" feature in the app to ensure A2DP will be blocked.
V iCloud Syncing shared Address Book group
* Derek and his wife have been sharing an Address Book and syncing through iTunes since he wants the full Address Book, but they have set up just a group with the shared contacts she needs and they only sync that group to her device
* This all works great through direct USB sync in iTunes, but Derek's wife doesn't connect often enough to keep the contacts in the main Address Book on the Mac up to date.
* He wanted to know if there was a way to do this though iCloud syncing or Gmail.
* I sure their is likely a way to set this up with Google, but I will focus on iCloud
* Unfortunately Derek is running 10.6, so this may not ultimately work if Apple doesn't do something to make iClod work with Snow Leopard, but with iCloud here's how I would do it.
* Set up 3 iCloud accounts. One for you, one for your wife, and a 3rd "family" account
* For each of the personal accounts set them on on the respective Macs and devices as the primary iCloud accounts and configure syncing and everything the way you want it.
V Now, also set up the "family" iCloud account on each Mac and device where you want to share and sync data.
* In iOS Settings > Mail, Contacts, and Calendars > Add Account… Select Cloud
* IN OS X Lion System Preferences> Mail, Contacts, and Calendars > Add Account… Select Cloud
* Then enable the services you want to share/sync Mail & Notes, Contacts, Calendar
V Once the shared account is added move the contacts you want to share into the Family account. You can just drag them in from the address book.
* This will create a copy (duplicate), so if you'd like once you confirm it's moved and correct in the family account you may wish to remove it from the main account on each Mac.
V The Calendar and Address Book/ Contact apps will list the different accounts in the main lists
* Selecting All Contacts will show everything together from all accounts registered on the Mac or Device
* You can select just your account or just the family account from the main list if you want to drill in on just those contacts
* You can even create groups under the family account and those will be sync'd and shared
* Just remember that each Mac and device connected to the shared family account will have full access to view and edit those records.
V iPhone 4S videos won't play on iPad 1
* Samuel was wondering why the videos taken with his new iPhone 4S won't sync or playback on his original iPad
* The issue is the resolution of the iPhone 4S video and the maximum data rate and resolution that the iPad 1 can handle for playback. Also differences in the h.264 encoding.
V iPad 1 supports:
* H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
V The iPhone 4S supports playback of:
* H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats;
* The iPhone 4S is 1080p and uses the High profile level 4.1 H.264 which the original iPad can't playback. The new iPad supports the same format though.
V To make the videos compatible with the old iPad unfortunately they will need to be converted.
* Use Handbrake and then just use the iPad or Apple TV 2 preset
* Select the video in iTunes and choose Advanced > Create iPad or Apple TV version (not 100% sure it will be iPad 1 compatible), if not try the Create iPhone or iPod version setting.
V Closing
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