Maccast 06.30.2012 - Show #401
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Circus Ponies
* Notebook
* Free trial available
V News
V iOS 6 Apple TV beta lets you move apps
* Putting the cursor over an icon and pressing and holding the select button gives you the ability to shift the icons around on the home screen using the remote.
* Slide icons, left, right, up, or down.
* Some speculate this is Apple getting ready to bring more apps to the Apple TV
* Could also just be a way to simple offer users a bit more customization on the device.
V Ghosts in the Retina Machine
* Sounds like some users are seeing ghosting issues in the new Retina MacBook Pro displays
* The latent images can reportedly show up for some users after as little as 20 minutes of use
V Some report that the problem may be related to the IPS technology in the panels, but Ray Soneira of Display Mate says its not just IPS panels that can have ghosting.
* electrostatic build up, a chemical impurity build up, a thermal imbalance, or an electronic levels issue can all cause the issue in a display
* He also notes that in this day in age seeing these defects in a panel are rare.
* The good news is that the issue seems to be isolated and it's likely Apple has already corrected the issue in manufacturing.
* Users who do have effected displays are reportedly having their units replaced by Apple.
* A temporary fix can be to leave the display on with a uniformly bright or dark image up, to reset the pixels. That or turn the display off completely for a while.
* Retina MacBook pros continue to be in high demand. This week there were reports of some customers who ordered on launch day receiving notice that their shipments are delayed. In some cases up to a month.
V Tweaks to App Store Search Mojo
* Seems like Apple has been trying to adjust their app Store search on rhythms to avoid any funny business.
* Some developers noticed the changes and alerted TechCrunch who confirmed the tweaks
V It seems Apple has made a few basic changes over the past week or so.
* One change puts less emphasis on the app names and uses application descriptions as well as user ratings to rank apps
* Another change puts more emphasis on keywords plus names rather than just the names themselves
* App discovery has always been an issue on the app store and with 600,000 to 650,000 apps it's definitely something Apple needs to work on.
* As the number of apps on the store becomes large, it's harder to stand out and it's clear that many developers are looking to game the system. Some these changes are obviously being enacted to try and stop that sort of behavior.
* Apple recently acquired the company Chomp, which had an app focused on better App search and discovery, although it's unclear if Apple is incorporating that technology into these new App store search algorithms. It does seem likely though.
V New Pre-paid iPhones in US
* The iPhone is now available in the US from two pre-paid carriers. Virgin mobile and Cricket wireless.
* The devices themselves are unsubsidized, so prices are high, cut the phones are unlocked and off contract.
* Plans also offer more call, text, and data at lower prices than the big three.
V Virgin Mobile will carry the iPhone 4 and 4S
* iPhone 4 8GB for $549 and the iPhone 4S 16GB for $649.
* 3 plans varying talk minutes ranging from $30-50/ mo.
* All include unlimited SMS messaging and unlimited data with a fair usage allowance set at 2.5 GB
V Cricket Wireless is also offering the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S
* iPhone 4 8GB for $399.99 and the iPhone 4S 16GB for $499.99.
* Cricket has just one plan offered a $55 a month that includes unlimited text unlimited data. The data is also restricted by a 2.3 GB fair-use policy.
V Reno sets stage for Apple facilities
* The city council in Reno, Nevada approved a plan to give Apple a US$89 million abatement in city, county and state taxes for building 2 new facilities in the region
* In exchange Apple will invest $1 billion on a data center and on a business and purchasing center in downtown Reno over the next 10 years
* The proposed data center will be near Sparks. It is expected to take up over 350 acres and will reportedly employ 41 full-time employees, 200 long-term contract employees, and create 580 construction jobs.
* Over the 10 years the projects are expected to generate $343 million in economic activity and would produce $105 million in tax revenue, but due to the incentives the local governments will see just $16 million of that.
* Of course the impact of the new jobs created and the addition ancillary revenue effects of the projects aren't considered in those numbers.
V Apple release iOS Podcast app
* I did an extensive review for members, but overall I have mixed feelings about the app.
* It's great to have an app from Apple that puts podcasts front and center on the home screen
V The UI is nice
* Gallery view, missing titles
* List view
* Episode details, show notes, but seemed inconsistent
* Play back reel to reel looks nice, but is it all that useful?
V Top Stations are a cool concept, but seem limited to just the top 6 shows in a category
* I like the "radio station" concept
* Plays through each recent episode of the 6 top shows
* Seems top shows change based on daily or weekly stats
* Still has the catalog, but I think show discovery still hasn't been addressed.
* No chapter selection.
* No support for protected or subscription content.
V Can manually add feeds by putting the URL into the search box. (Pull down to reveal)
* If you put the username and password in the URL you CAN directly subscribe to a protected feed.
* No manual refresh? Does offer auto-download, but no notifications.
* Supposed to sync playback position, but didn't seem to work reliably.
V Apple wins injunction bans Galaxy Tab
* After winning a preliminary injunction against the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Apple posted the 2.6 billion dollar bond to make the ban a reality
* Apple has been pushing to stop the sale of the device since, in Apple's opinion, many of the products features and design are stolen from the iPad
* Tuesday Judge Lucy Koh, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, agreed with Apple and awarded Apple a preliminary injunctions against the tablet
* The bond is set to compensate Samsung for lost sales should Apple ultimately lose their case
* Samsung immediately applied for a stay the injunction pending an appeal to the Federal Circuit court.
* The same judge also awarded Apple an injunction against the Samsung Nexus phone, but the bond in that case is set much higher at $96 billion and so far it looks like Apple hasn't moved to put up the payment for that one.
V Apple hardware chief retires
* Apple’s senior vice president of Mac and devices hardware engineering Bob Mansfield told the company he plans to retire in the next couple months
* He didn't give a firm exit date and plans to be around to help transition his replacement
* Since joining Apple in 1999 Mansfield has overseen hardware engineering for the Mac, iPod, iPhone, and most recently the iPad
* Mansfield will be replaced by Dan Riccio, a vice president in charge of iPad hardware engineering.
V Mansfield's leaving is a bit surprising and could be significant since he plays a pretty big role in the executive management team that was assembled by Steve Jobs
* Tim Cook called him instrumental to the management team, but wished him the best in retirement and said that Apple would "not miss a beat" in transitioning the hardware team to a new leader
V At age 55 Mansfield seems a bit young to retire and typically driven people like that don't.
* Granted with his stock options I'm sure he's set for life
* Still I would assume we will see him resurface at some new start up or a competitor.
V Apple Principal Accounting Officer Betsy Rafael also announced that she would be retiring this year.
* While maybe not a high profile as Mansfields departure it is worth noting that Betsy oversaw Apple's financial over their most massive period of growth
* She plans to exit in October and there was no word yet on her suspected successor
V Apple brand loyalty extends iOS
* Historically we Apple fans have had a reputation of being loyal to the brand, sometimes to a fault.
* There are also been many studies to indicate that iOS owners tend to be very satisfied with their devices.
* It may not be surprising then that a recent Goldman Sachs study indicated that 21 percent of iOS owners would not buy a non-iOS device at any price
* The study also showed that 88 percent of current iOS owners were likely or very likely to make their next device purchase be an iOS device.
* If the respondent already owned more than 1 iOS device that likelihood went up to 96 percent.
* The value of those loyal customers is huge according to the Goldman analysts. They estimated each customer was worth around $1,053 to Apple.
* Doing the math, that equates to around 295 billion for those 21 percent of customers
V The study also revealed some interesting things about iCloud.
* According to Apple the service has 120 million users
* 30 percent of iOS users have signed up for iTunes Match
V Mobile Me shuts down
V If you haven't transitioned to iCloud and your still running Snow Leopard or earlier you will probably notice that Mobile Me is officially dead.
* there is an animated "Closed" sign if you visit
* Apple shut down the service on June 30th.
V Even if you transitioned that means, iDisk, Mobile Me Galleries, and iWeb hosting are gone.
* If you didn't back up the site will still let you log in to download your Galleries and iDisk files.
* Single button at the top zips up albums and downloads them all one after the other. I had one gallery with a video and than one had to be downloaded manually.
* iDisk didn't seem to mount in the finder for me, but you can access it via the web interface.
* Do it now.
* When I launched iPhoto
V If you aren't running Lion and can't move to iCloud and still need Mac and iOS calendar and contact sync you might consider moving to Google Services.
* You can keep using your Mobile Me email on non-supported systems. Calendar and Contact sync will not work though.
* If you need a replacement for iDisk, then Dropbox or might be good options.
* For galleries, Flickr or Facebook are nice options because their iPhoto integration. Also YouTube or Vimeo for videos.
* For iWeb sites you'll need to find a hosting service and use FTP publishing. You could also transition to a hosted platform like or SquareSpace.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V A little Siri Feedback
* Play comment from Scott
V I was on a podcast with Scott recently, Not Another Mac Podcast - Episode 61
* Scott hosts and produces the Pocket Sized Podcast
* I keep defending Siri and it works for me frequently and fairly well, but I can understand it doesn't work for everyone.
* One thing I should say is that often when dictating in public i hold the iPhone to my ear and dictate directly with helps with accuracy and most people think your just talking on the phone, so you don't feel like a dork.
* Also, Scott sent me this before the iOS WWDC announcements, so obviously he knows now that in the fall Siri will be able to launch apps.
V At Google IO Google showed off the new voice stuff in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and it's impressive
* Two edges they might have are speed and how the information is delivered with the app.
* Siri often need to just to mobile Safari for more complex searches and results, say image searches for example.
* The info Siri does present in the interface is debatably prettier, but it's be nice if more results stayed inline
* Bottom line is Google upped the game and did it quickly with is impressive and should force Apple to stay in their toes in voice.
V "Save As…" workaround for Lion
* Cult of Mac had this cool little trick.
* Use the Duplicate and Revert option after making a change to the original document
* Duplicate and Revert will create a duplicate file with the word “copy” appended to the file name, but revert the original document you opened and started editing back to it's original state.
* Open the document you want to work with and start editing.
* When you would be at the point where you want to do a "Save As…" then choose File > Duplicate
V In the dialog press the "Duplicate and Revert" option
* This will create the duplicate document appending "copy" to the filename and revert the original document back.
* Now in the duplicated file do a Command-S and give it a new name and you'll have essentially done a Save As…
* I played around with this and I think the "Revert" goes back to the last save point of the original document, so if auto save has kicked in before you do the revert it might not work as expected.
V Storage and backup of sensitive data
* Eric wanted to know my thoughts regarding handling sensitive data and its security.
* Specifically he was looking for solutions that balance security with availability, but even he admits to knowing that those two things are often mutually exclusive
V His tall order was:
* protection against device failures (achieved via backups, preferably automatic)
* physical theft (mitigated with backups and encryption)
* fire (mitigated with backups offsite)
* Most importantly Trojan horses (mitigated by good computing practices and ACTIVE encryption (like a passworded folder) or data separation via removable media).
V The solutions he has looked at are:
* File Vault (solid local control but any idle data remains susceptible to Trojan threats)
* Dropbox (solid backups offsite but requires FULL faith in Dropbox. They revealed a chink in their armor back in June of 2011.)
* Encrypted USB flash drives via Mac OS Extended or 3rd party encryption (protects dormant data from Trojan attacks but since it's removable, the auto backing up is not there)
* I'm not sure there is a single solution that addresses everything that you're looking for, but i'll share what i do and the community can possibly offer other solutions
V Sensitive local document storage
V For this I use encrypted sparse disk images that I create using Disk Utility
* I use this to store my Neat Works library, sensitive data and files, like tax returns
* These mount automatically when I launch the NeatWorks app and since the password is in my keychain I don't have top authenticate every time
* As pointed out, if the image is mounted it may not offer protection from Trojans
* The image files are protected when backed up to online services and if on an external volume that might get stolen.
V Online Backups
* I use Crashplan
* I have the encrypt data options turned on so that data is encrypted on their servers using 448-bit Blowfish encryption.The keys are further protected by a private password and keys can't be accessed without the private password which only I have
V Passwords, product keys, etc.
* For these I use 1Password
V Whole disk encryption is another option and a very good idea if you are concerned with all the data on your drives and physical loss or theft. File Vault is a great option for that, but does bring it's own challenges.
* To use Crash Plan with File Vault for example you either have to backup and restore the entire FileVault image, or set it up to only backup when you are authenticated and logged into your account.
* I don't trust Dropbox with sensitive data. If I want to store that there I encrypt it in a disk image before adding it to my Dropbox.
V Better volume keyboard control
* I have this problem where I learn cool keyboard shortcuts and then when I don't use them I lose them
* A recent Cult of Mac tip reminded me a cool and handy one for more finely controlling volume and brightness levels using the special function keys on the Apple keyboard.
* Normally pressing these up or down will adjust the brightness or volume up or down 1 tick on the HUD
* If you add in the Option+Shift key they will move in quarter ticks giving you much finer control of the settings.
* Another neat trick is that if you hold down just the Shift key when accessing the keyboard volume button it will raise or lower the volume silently without making the feedback ticking sound.
* Finally, to get quick keyboard access to any of the preference panes associated the those specialized keys, hold down Option and press the key and it will open System Preferences right to that panel.
V Manually moving an App between devices
* This came up for a listener this week because they had an App on their iPod Touch that had been removed from the App Store.
* They wanted to move the app to another family members device and they share an Apple ID for purchases
* Normally you could just re-download the App on the other Mac or device from the "purchases" section, but in this case the App is no longer available in the App Store.
* Luckily Apps are just files on your Mac and you can copy and move them manually if need be.
V On the Mac that has the App in it's iTunes library, go to ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications.
* In there you'll find all the .ipa (iPhone Application) files.
* From there you can copy the file to a network drive, an external drive, use AirDrop or even email it to get it over to the other computer
* To make apps easier to find you can also go into the Apps library in iTunes and simply drag the icon out to your desktop, network volume, or drive.
* Once you have the IPA file on the Mac or in the user account you want to move it to, simply drag the IPA file into the iTunes library
* It will be added to the App library and then you can set it up to sync under the Applications tab of the device in iTunes
* As long as the app is authorized under the Apple ID that made the original purchase it should sync and backup just fine on the new Mac
V Fixing HTML 5 playback in YouTube
* I hate Flash and on YouTube I'm trying to use the HTML 5 player, but in the latest Safari it sucks
* You can check if you are in the HTML 5 trial
* You can click "leave the trial" if you are in it and that will push the default back to using Flash. This did fix my issues, but then i needed to be running Flash
* To get HTML 5 playback working (or non-Flash) rather I had to resort to another trick.
V I used Click to Flash
* Go to that YouTube page and leave the trial
* Now your videos will load in Flash, but id you have Click to Flash they will be blocked
* Unfortunately Safari 5.1 doesn't allow WebKit Plugins and you need a Safari Extension, luckily someone did the conversion
* Once installed, go to the settings (Safari > Preferences > Extensions)
* The key about ClickToFlash is it has plug-in "killers" Little JS machines that convert the plug-in data to media (HTML 5) data.
* You can tell it's working because when you play a YouTube video you will see a more standard OS X (QuickTime) looking player and controls
* Basically its the default OS X HTML 5 player vs. the custom YouTube one and the good news is that it doesn't stutter. Yeah!
V Some Macs Assembled in the USA
* During his interview at the last D Conference Apple CEO Tim Cook said he hopes someday that Apple products may have a label that says "Designed by Apple in California" "Assembled in the the USA"
* Well Dan sent me an interesting image from the box of a 27" iMac that Apple gave him as an Applecare replacement and it had a label that said exactly that.
* In doing some quick digging it looks like Apple has been doing assembly of a least some Mac in the US for years.
* I couldn't get hard details, but the general theory is that build to order and refurbished models (which are what they generally use for system replacements like the one like Dan got) are assembled in the US. The reason being is that it is cheaper for Apple to ship the individual component parts over here and do BTO assembly on the more individualized orders.
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