Maccast 08.13.2012 - Show #406
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Apalon
* Pimp Your Screen
* Allows you to add cool customized desktops to your iOS device lock screen and home screen
* All the designs are done my their own artists and are updated frequently. You get them automatically in the app.
V Standard backgrounds, but gets cooler when you add in shelves and icon screens
* These add effect of your icons sitting on shelves or having edge effects like glows or drop shadows
* The have Lock and Home screen makers where you can mix and match backgrounds, icon skins, and shelves
* Just added new categories where you can browse Abstract, Cartoon, Holidays and Sci-Fi images. And there are additional categories accessible through in-app purchase.
* $0.99 on the App Store, there is also a version available for the Mac.
V News
V The Honan Hack
* While many of you no doubt have already heard much of this it's worth mentioning because it made such headlines i the blogosphere
* Hackers used numerous holes in the password and account security policies to gain access to the accounts of a Wired reporter Mat Honan
* According to reports the ultimate goal was to get access to his short @mat Twitter account, but the path to get there was a long and winding one leaving destruction and data loss in it's wake
V It went like this:
* From his Twitter profile --> found his personal website
* From his website they found his gmail email address
* Needing access to his gmail account they went to Gmail's password recovery page which displayed a partial version of his alternate email address (an address in his case) which is where Apple comes into play
* Now they know if they can access .Mac (iCloud) they can get access to his Gmail
* To get Apple reps to reset the password on his accounts they need an street Address, iCloud email, and last 4 of a credit card.
* To get the address they do a WHOIS on his domain, wasn't using domain registration privacy, but they may have also got it from a white pages look up.
* To get the last 4 of a credit card they turned to Amazon. There they used a hole in their policy that allowed a customer to add a credit card to the account over the phone by just providing a name, email address, billing address and a technically valid, but not necessarily working, credit card number.
* Once the "fake" card was on the account they could use that to have a rep reset his password.
* Once in the Amazon account they had access to the last 4-digits of his credit card.
* Now they could rest his iCloud password by calling Apple.
* Then they had Google send a password reset to this iCould address and the rest is internet hacking legend.
* For some reason one of the hackers was particularly malicious and sent wipe commands to his iOS devices and Mac and he lost a years worth of photos.
V Simple protections that could have been used
* 2-factor authentication on his GMail
* A separate non-related password re-set email account
* Private domain registration
* But really any of this could happen to us.
* Policies will be changed, Apple already suspended any over the phone password resets, but there will be new exploits.
* And note it was policy and humans that allowed this hack. It was only aided by technology.
* Will cover more in depth on a future Member episode with George Starcher.
V Mountain Lion references new Mac models
* AppleInsider reports that the plist files for Bootcamp in Mountain Lion seem to reference new iMac and Mac Pro models
* The plist is designed to tell BootCamp which models of Macs can boot legacy operating system via USB
* According to the report this is mostly for USB bootable Windows 7 volumes on Machines that don't have optical drives. Currently systems like the Macbook Air, although there are some Mac models that do have optical drives listed.
* The opinion is that these models are being added to support USB booting because they will be released without optical drives.
* The important thing though is that the new plist in Mountain Lion indicates and iMac 13,0 and a MacPro 6,0
* The current generation of MacPros are internally referred to as 5,1 and the current iMacs are 12s
* Geekbench score have also show up indicating an iMac 13,2 model
* The Geekbench numbers show an Intel Core i7 3770 quad-core processor running at 3.4GHz
V Geekbench has also reported seeing scores for what appears to be a 13" retina Macbook Pro model
* Macbook Pro 10,2
* Intel Core i7-3520M Ivy Bridge processor clocked at 2.9 gigahertz
* 8GB of RAM
* Running OS X 10.8.1 (which was just released to developers for testing)
V Apple and Android still top smartphones
* IDCs latest numbers show Android continuing to dominate as the smartphone OS of the masses
* In Q2 android OS was on 68.1% of all smart phones with iOS powering 16.9%.
* Within Android devices Samsung had the most share coming in at 44% of all Android phones
* BlackBerry OS and Symbian saw 40.9 and 62.9 percent drops in market share, respectively.
* Windows Phone may be a contender. While just at 5.4% they had 115% year over year growth and Windows * should be here in the Fall.
V Next gen iPhone internals shape up
* Thanks to the crew over at FixYouri
* 9to5 reported on a supposedly leaked image of the new motherboard and the FixYour crew took that along with all the other leaked parts images to try and see how things matched up
* Turns out surprisingly well leading to the belief that many of the parts we've seen are likely to be what will be in the device come September
V What the new motherboard leaks supposedly tells us
* More antenna connections, supporting LTE rumors
* New digitizer connector, possibly supporting rumors of a new display using in-plane technology to marry the digitizer and LCD into a single unit.
* The SIM card tray seems to look like a standard micro-SIM. Thought is Apple has designs for new nano-SIMs and more traditional designs. We had been hearing heavy rumors that carrier were stocking up on nano-SIMs though.
* Comparisons of the new motherboard against the leaked backplate images also seem to indicate mount point lining up.
V 9 to 5 also had rumors of the next battery and it seems only slightly larger in capacity
* 1,440 mAh, 3.8 volts and 5.45 watts-per-hour. Just 10 mAh bigger than the iPhone 4S.
* Concerns is that with larger display and LTE that doesn't seem like much juice
* Galaxy S3 has 2,100 mAh and the Droid has 3,300 mAh
* Apple may gain energy performance from the tweaked dual core processor or by using new Gobi LTE chips from Qualcomm
V Other rumors so far
V Announcement date on September 12th
* BGR claims to have a trusted AT&T source that says they are preparing for a release date in the 3rd of 4th week of September.
* 4" taller display, same width, with a 640 x 1136 resolution
* In-plane thinner LCD panel
* 4G LTE and possibly NFC (doubtful IMHO)
* Variation of the A5X chip that is in the new iPad with 1GB of RAM
* Thinner design with smaller 9-pin dock connector. Although recent leaked photos show a connector with 8-pins by my count, but I would be wrong. You can see 8-pins, but as Apple Insider points out the shell of the connector could form the "9th" pin. Also reportedly orientation free, like the MagSafe, but not magnetic.
V Sponsor
V Gazelle
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Another reason to backup
* As if you really needed one, but Sebastian makes a good point
* Play voicemail from Sebastian
V My ill fated iOS devices
* Brief story of my iPhone and iPad being left on top of the car
V AppleCare Out of Warranty (OOW) service.
* $199 for iPhone 4S
* $299 for new iPad and $249 for iPad 2
* Like for Like swaps
* Certain damage is ineligible for out-of-warranty service, including catastrophic damage, such as the device separating into multiple pieces, and inoperability caused by unauthorized modifications. However, an iPad that has failed due to contact with liquid may be eligible for out-of-warranty service.
* Apple reserves the right to determine whether or not your iPad is eligible for Out-of-Warranty service.
V Mountain Lion Feedback
* There have been very few reported issues with Mountain Lion and most people I talk to are happy with the upgrade.
V The most complaints seem to be from those whom were eligible for the free upgrade
* The issues were not the OS itself, but the process
V One listener reported back he had to "apply" for the update (that's normal actually), but then also provide a JPG of his purchase receipt.
* Apple should actually have the purchase record on file if bought through Apple (which it was)
* Also if the Mac was registered with an Apple Store ID, couldn't they have recognized that and just had the update available when you launched the App Store?
V Had to get a code, and while his code worked it was confusing how to redeem it if you've never done so on the Apple Store before.
* Most system let you enter a code during checkout, but Apple of course uses the enter code get app model
* This was not readily apparent to this listener, so he accidentally purchased instead of redeeming.
V Also seen some complaints online about battery life being reduced.
* I think it may be related to bugs in the new PowerNap features or related to notifications, but that's just a personal guess. No evidence to support it.
V If you want to see how Mac Game Center works Richard pointed out that 'Chess' is Game Center enabled
* Logs in on starting up
* Has achievements. Moves > Achievements
V You can launch Game Center app and then challenge friends
* Go to Games tab
* Select Chess (after you've launched it once)
* Click the Players tab
* Select a player under the Friends section
* Click the 'Chess' game again (not sure why this is)
* Click Play Game. Game will launch and in the 'Multi-Player' window choose 'Invite Friend'
* Select the Friend you wish to play and it will send them a game notification.
V Using 'Save As' more correctly
* As Mark points out, while Mountain Lion brought Save As… back it has a fatal flaw due to the AutoSave feature.
* To use Save As, you hold the option key down while accessing the File menu
* The issue is that doing a "Save As..." will automatically close the original document and leave the new document in its place. That would be OK except closing a document triggers an auto-save feature, meaning the next time you open the original document, those changes will still be there too.
* You could use Versions, by clicking the title, next time you open the original document, choose Previous Save, and go back. But that's a hassle and who's going to remember that.
* Luckily there is a setting. System Preferences > General. Check Ask to Keep Changes When Closing Documents (it's off by default).
* This brings back the black dot in the "stoplight" close icons to indicate a modification to a document that hasn't been saved.
* In testing though for me the behavior though just seems to stop any autosave that might happen when manually closing a document. When using auto save it never prompted me, so I still ended up with the same change being saved to the original document and the Save As'ed document.
* So Save As has to be used somewhat in reverse. Need to open the document and immediately, before making any changes, do a Save As. Then you can start working forward.
* To me not much different than opening the document and choosing Duplicate, but it does save the step of closing the original document.
V Your voice, Apple's data
V Rogier pointed out a Sophos piece about privacy and the Dictation feature
* "When you use the keyboard dictation feature on your computer, the things you dictate will be recorded and sent to Apple to convert what you say into text."
* "Your computer will also send Apple other information, such as your first name and nickname; and the names, nicknames, and relationship with you (for example, 'my dad') of your address book contacts."
* According to Apple, your contact data is "used to help the dictation feature understand you better and recognize what you say."
V Turning off dictation after using it will not remove your data from Apple's servers
* "Apple will delete your User Data, as well as your recent voice input data. Older voice input data that has been disassociated from you may be retained for a period of time to generally improve Dictation and other Apple products and services. This voice input data may include audio files and transcripts of what you said."
* So know what you are giving Apple and decide if you are OK with it.
V There doesn't seem to be any direct download links for Safari 6
* Thread about it on Apple Discussion Board
* Direct download link for Lion version
V Rolling back to Lion
* Typically rolling back can be a complex process especially if you didn't make a USB Lion recovery disk.
* You could restore back from a cloned backup if you have one.
V Listener Ben discovered something interesting if you have a Mac that supports the Lion Internet Recovery partition.
* He had an issue durning the install of Mountain Lion and had to boot to recovery
* Because the internal drive had no OS and there was no recovery partition, he was doing a clean install, it booted to the Internet recovery partition
* That partition was Lion, not Mountain Lion. So even though he purchased Mountain Lion it seems the Internet Recovery partition boots to the OS that shipped with your Mac.
V Separating iPhoto Libraries
* Like many of us Zach has and ever growing iPhoto Library and ever shrinking available hard drive space
* As we move to smaller solid state drives and flash storage this is becoming even more of an issue.
* Zach wanted some ideas on how to split up his large iPhoto Library between and internal and external drive.
V Typically what most of us do is simply move our iPhoto Library to an external drive. This is a fairly easy and straight forward process
* 1) Quit iPhoto, if it's running
* 2) Go to ~/Pictures/ and locate your iPhoto Library file (technically a package). Now would be a good time to also make an archive backup just in case (you already have your regular backups too, right?)
* 3) Copy the entire iPhoto Library file to your external drive
* 4) Launch iPhoto while holding down the 'Option' key
* 5) In the dialog select the 'Choose…' option and then navigate, find, and select the iPhoto Library that you just moved to the external drive.
* As a final check you may wish to quit iPhoto, move the original iPhoto Library file ( say to your Documents folder), and relaunch iPhoto. If the Library loads with out prompting you to find a missing Library that's good.
V Moving your Library to an external though means that you will always need to have the drive available and mounted to access the photos. A small bus powered external portable hard drive makes this easier, but still means you always need to carry an extra drive around.
* Also if you do this make sure your external drive is included in your backup strategy.
V Leaving files in place
* Another option is to not have iPhoto manage the location of your photos and only have pointers to the original files.
* iPhoto > Preferences > Advanced
* For the "Importing" setting uncheck the option to 'Copy items to the iPhoto Library'
* Now when you add images they will not be copied to the Library
* If you move the originals you can break the references, but OS X is pretty good about keeping track of them.
* Obviously if you delete the originals outside iPhoto it will be lost in iPhoto
* Any edited photos are still copied into and saved in the iPhoto Library
V Create a second Library
* You could set up a second iPhoto Library on the external and move some Photos into that
* Hold down the option key when launching iPhoto and choose 'Create New…'
* Choose the location on the external dive and create the new Library
* You will have a blank Library and you can start adding images
V If you want to move images you'll need to open the old Library, export out the photos (drag them out), switch back to the Library on the external, add the images
* Note that when you export the images they will be the most recently edited copies that are in iPhoto
* You can use the 'Export' feature or simply drag the images out to a folder.
* Switch libraries by doing the option key trick or by choosing File > Switch to Library… in iPhoto 9
* If the external is not available when launching iPhoto it will prompt you to find a location or create a new Library.
* Remember that if you switch to a local Library it will always try to use that, you'll need to manually switch back when the external Library is available again.
V Splitting up Libraries
* Unfortunately as you can see splitting up an existing library using the tools iPhoto provides is less than ideal
* You lose meta data and if you want the originals of edited photos you'll have to select the images one at a time and choose File > Reveal in Finder > Original File.
* If you use a CD or DVD and use iPhoto's burn option it creates an iPhoto Library with just the selected items. You could then copy that off the CD to your external, but that is time consuming
V Luckily there is a 3rd party tool that can help
* Fatcat Software iPhoto Library Manager, $19.99 USD
* You can use it to manage multiple libraries, easily seeing their location in the Finder
* Copy albums and events between Libraries retaining their originals and data
* Split Libraries by creating new ones and using iPhoto Library Manager to move albums
* Option to auto-mount a drive when you switch to a Library that is on an external volume.
* Updated for Mountain Lion
V Mac Streaming Media Server
* Play question from Antonio and his cousin
V Use the iMac and iTunes Home Sharing
* On Mac: iTunes > Advanced > Turn On Home Sharing…
* On iOS: Settings > Music > Home Sharing (near bottom)
* On Apple TV: Choose Computers > Turn On Home Sharing
* Use the same Apple ID on all devices and computers you want to share media with
* If you want to use iTunes to set up a dedicated server this is an ideal job for an old Mac. Basically just needs networking, storage, and the ability to run the latest iTunes
V Synology Disk Station
* This is like a NAS storage device and has a music server, so wouldn't require a Mac
* Limited to music from what I can tell and of course it would need to be DRM free
* Also has a web interface music player and supports AirPlay
V Cleaner desktop, faster Mac
* Stan had a frustrating thing happen that I wanted to warn users about, but that also leads to Mac maintenance performance tip.
* He was pulling a backup of some photos down from Crash Plan, several albums with hundreds of photos per album, and in the middle of it accidentally trashed the target folder the backups were going to.
* This caused CrashPlan's recovery to start saving hundreds of image files to the Desktop which locked up his Mac and he had to do a hard reboot.
* On startup the Mac still locked up due to the several hundred images on the Desktop.
V Stan ended yo rebooting to his Lion recovery partition and re-installing and restoring to get things back
* Good that he had backups
* Might have been easier and less time consuming to boot to a cloned backup and just clean up the Desktop folder on the internal drive after it mounted.
V So why did it lock up?
* The running theory in the Mac community is that a cluttered desktop can lead to poor performance, beach balls, and in extreme cases lockups of the Finder
* To me this has always been a bit on Mac myth and legend, but one that enough people believe to probably be true. It seems even more true given Stan's recent experience.
* The running theory, I say theory because I could find not "official" evidence, is that the slow performance was introduced by a feature added in Leopard which let icons be rendered on the fly with special icons that show previews of their contents.
* The trouble with this seems to be that the way these previews work is that OS X renders each one as a window. So in essence it's like having hundreds of windows own on your Mac all at once.
* These "windows" all have to me maintained and manage by the OS's Window Server process
V I tried testing this theory on my Macbook Air, by placing several hundred images on the desktop and watching the WindowsServer process with Activity Monitor
* I saw an increase while copying the files, but not much if any after they were copied and my system was running
* Maybe this issue was addressed in Mountain Lion, or maybe I need thousands of files?
* Either way based on Stan's experience and the numerous reports and tips about a cluttered desktop slowing down the Mac, seems like an easy enough fix.
* If it doesn't increase performance you'll at least have a neat and organized desktop and that is still a good thing.
V Closing
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