Maccast 08.31.2012 - Show #409
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Squaretrade
* Drop and water damage coverage for your iDevices
* Being someone who has now been through this I know the value of this kind of coverage.
* The replacement cost on your iPhone is many times more than the subsidized price you paid. $650 to $850.
* Even if you can get Apple to agree to the OWC coverage, it's still several hundred dollars.
* The carriers charge you $10/mo for they coverage, so over a 2-year contract you'd pay $240
* Squaretrade is offering 2-years of full coverage now at just $99, even lower than the normal $124 price.
V And don't worry about convoluted repairs and long waits.
* you can take it to your local Apple Store or repair shop, get it fixed.
* Then just scan and send the receipt and they’ll mail you a check asap.
* Or you can send it overnight free to Squaretrade and they'll take care of it.
* Plus it's not just iPhones, but iPads, laptops, cameras, tvs, appliances. Check them out today.
V News
V Photo of new iPhone A6 chip
* A researcher from 9to5Mac, Sonny Dickson, posted a photo this week of a possible next gen iPhone main board.
* Prominently positioned is an A6 processor
* The rumors have been bouncing back and forth that Apple might use an A5X dual core or possibly a new quad-core A6
* The photos legitimacy is unknown, but its likely that Apple would be testing and have designs to cover both scenarios
* What ends up in the device probably will have a lot to do with the power/performance vs. battery life trade off.
* With a 4G chip and updates to the screen, GPU and a thinner design my bet is on the tweaked A5X, but maybe Apple will surprise us.
* Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone at a special event to be held September 12th
V At that event we should see the final details of iOS 6 and this week we got mention of Airplay Direct.
* A version that would let you use Airplay direct from device to device over wi-fi without the need for a base station.
* Not clear if it would support video.
V iPad Mini spotted on Instapaper
* Instapaper developer Marco Armant says their developer logs show 2 previously unseen iPad models which could be Apple engineers testing the new devices ahead of launch
* The models identified were iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 and while those could be spoofed Armant notes that they have seen products show up in there before that turned out to be legit
V he speculates that the two models they have seen are a Wi-fi and a GSM model and that they have yet to see a CDMA one which might logically be model 2,7
* 9to5Mac seems to think that Apple wouldn't go 3G, but 4G LTE on the Mini, but tack on a $100 premium to the price.
* As for specs, the thought is it would largely mirror the iPad 2 with an A5, 512Mb or RAM, and a slightly improved GPU to run the 7.85-inch 1024x768 display
* The beauty of that screen size is that it the same pixel dimensions of the iPad 2 shrunk down, so existing apps would run at that resolution without any tweaks
* Bloomberg claims to have confirmed that AU Optronics and LG Display will manufacturer the displays
* It's still believed that pricing of the new tablet might fall in the $249.00 to $300.00 price range.
* A lunch event for the iPad Mini is believed by most sources to be happening in October
V Rumors of iMac refresh
* Availability of 27" iMacs at 3rd party retailers is apparently dwindling with some locations being sold out according to check done by Mac Rumors and Apple Insider
* The belief is that Apple is getting set to update the models with Intel Ivy Bride processors
* Remember a few weeks ago it was noted that Mountain Lion seems to contain references to an as yet unreleased iMac 13,0 model. It also notes a potentially new Mac Pro 6,0 model.
* There have also been reports of 13,X model iMacs showing up in scores on the performance testing site Geekbench
* One analyst claims the release of the iMac is happening in the crowded schedule of the new iPhone and iPad Mini releases due to production delays.
* The belief is that Apple may also release the new 13" Retina Macbook Pro in the September timeframe along with the iMac.
V We also heard rumors this week that Sharp might be having a hard time producing iPhone 5 screens as costs of making the new in-plane panels are supposedly ending up being higher than projected.
* I guess they are warning Apple of potential shortages unless they can get more money to beef up production.
* Sounds a bit like a seedy business strategy to me. Come in low to get the contract and then when productions starts, "hey Apple sure would be a shame if anything happened to slow down new iPhone shipments, think we can get some more money?".
* As I've said before it's going to be an exciting, busy, and expensive Fall for Apple fans
V Apple org chat get reorganized
* Two of Apple's vice presidents have been promoted to senior VP positions
* Craig Federighi, Apple’s vice president of Mac Software Engineering was promoted to Senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering
* And Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering, will be promoted to Senior vice president of Hardware Engineering
* Both men will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook
* Riccio is moving into the position formerly held by Bob Mansfield who had announced in June that he would be retiring from Apple
* Surprisingly along with the promotion announcements it was revealed that Mansfield would be staying on at Apple and indeed his photo has returned to Apple's executives page.
* Mansfield's listing simply lists him as a Senior Vice President, but doesn't reveal a division.
* It's being reported that we will be will working on future projects under the guidance of Tim Cook.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Patent war follow-up
* Play comment from Bob
* I would tend to agree if the patents were being used to protect innovations
* In the current scenario though that is rarely the case. It's individuals and companies building up large patent war chests so that they can gain licensing.
* I think in Apple's case they truly want to protect their innovations because they are one of the companies who truly innovates, but they are also being forced to play in and participate in this other side of patents and that to me is what may ultimately stifle innovation.
* This is especially true if you are the small guy with a truly innovative idea, but end up blocked by a broad patent that is in a massive patent portfolio from a large corporation like Google, Microsoft, or Apple for that matter.
V Finder list view doesn't sort
* A friend an my iOS User group meeting pointed out a puzzling thing that he noticed when using list views in the Finder in OS X Lion
* In some windows he was able to click the column headers and sort the results, but in others those column headers were un-clickable
* I had not noticed this before, but sure enough after he pointed it out I saw the same thing on my Mac.
* I was puzzled. At first I thought it might be search results and smart folder windows that weren't sortable, but that wasn't it
* The answer? Turns out it's related to the 'Arrange By' feature, which actually I know goes at least as far back as Snow Leopard.
* If the view is currently being sorted using one of the 'View' > 'Arrange By' options then those column headers are not sortable, which makes sense.
* If you go to that menu and change the Arrange By option to 'None' (Command + Control + 0) then the sorting will come back
* I actually love the Arrange by feature and use that most of the time. I've use the icon in my toolbar for switching it. I know in Lion it's there by default, but if you don't see it you can go to 'View' > 'Customize Toolbar…' and enable it.
V Java exploits, Mac users may not worry
* This week we saw a second high profile exploit targeting holes in Oracle's Java code.
* The big story here is that this latest exploit is for a known security hole that was reported in April. Apparently Oracle plans to patch it with their October security release, but looks like they pushed the schedule up. A update came out Thursday on Oracle's site.
* The vulnerability is on Java Runtime Environment (Java 7, version 1.7), which for Mac users turn out to be a good thing.
* Very few Mac users have Java installed, and those of us who do likely have version 1.6. Why? Because Apple stopped sellingout Java updates as part of their software updates, instead deferring to Oracle to supply updates and security patches.
* The other thing that helps Mac user is that even if you have Java Installed the ability for applets to run in the browser is disabled by default. A malicious website running a Java applet would be the most common way you may get infected.
V All this said, some of us do need to run Java, or may have installed it some point, so there are some things to know here.
* If you don't need Java double check that it's turned off.
V Disable it in each browser you use
* In Safari, go to Safari > Preferences and uncheck Enable Java on the Security pane
* In Firefox go to Tools > Add Ons > Plugins and uncheck Java Plug-In.
* In Google Chrome type chrome://plugins in the address bar and click the link to disable Java.
V Disable it in Applications > Utilities > Java Preferences
* Uncheck the 'Enable Applet plug-in and Web Start Applications'
* Uncheck the 'On' options for any installed versions of Java
* Also note in here you can see which versions of Java you have installed. Mine shows 1.6.0_33-b03-424
V Applications for Java
* Crash Plan, my online backup service, uses Java
* Web based FTP uploaders used by some ISPs
* Remote troubleshooting and control apps from some vendors
V A safer way to run Applets recommended in a Macworld piece by Rich Mogull
* Disable it in all browsers
* Enable it in the the Applications > Utilities > Java Preferences
* Go back and enable it in an alternate browser from your main browser.
V Battery swelling a "feature"?
* Listener Mike sent me an interesting email about an experience he had at the Genius Bar related to the battery in his 2008 Macbook Pro.
* He says the machine has been in use since summer 2008 and has seen light daily use fro about 20 hours a week
* He has taken care to keep the battery cycling and doesn't leave it always connected to power.
* The unit has also always reported "Normal" battery status.
* Imagine the surprise when about a month ago he went to start it up on battery power to find that it had no juice.
* He took it into the Apple store and they declared it dead and offered the standard $129.00 new or $99.00 reconditioned battery replacement options
* Mike decided to wait and investigate 3rd party options for a possible better deal. In the meantime he removed the battery and use the laptop at home plugged in,
* Fast forward a month and he was taking the laptop on the road, but when he went to grab the battery it was swollen like a balloon.
* Back to the Genius Bar. This time they told him again that he could buy a replacement battery and that the swelling was actually a feature.
* Mike felt he was owed a replacement battery because of the swelling shows defect not a feature, so who is right and what happened?
* Apple's batteries are at set of lithium Ion (Li-Ion) cells (the metal covered envelopes) inside the battery case, along with circuits and a logic board.
* The swelling is caused by 2 different effects. Extreme heat or extreme discharge. The heat is usually caused by faulty regulation circuitry causing heat from over charging. The extreme discharging is cause by storing a battery with no charge
* The reason is that Li-Ion batteries will continue to discharge on their own.
* In either extreme the chemistry in the battery starts to react and gas builds up from the reaction causing the swelling.
* The "feature" the genius may be eluding to is that Apple's cells seem to generally be able to handle the amount of gas generated up to the point where all the reacting material is used up. The alternative is generally a violent explosion and or fire.
* So in Mike's case the battery had reached the end of useful life and the reaction was caused by storing a fully discharged battery on the shelf.
* The useful life of a Li-Ion battery seems to be around 2.5-3.5 years or so.
* Be careful with 3rd party or cheap off brand batteries because they might not have good circuitry.
V Photo stream without iPhoto
* Kyran had an interesting question about using iCloud's Photostream feature with iOS devices, but what happens when you don't use Aperture or iPhoto on your Mac. Can you still get to the Photostream images
* You can enable Photo Stream in the System Preferences > iCloud settings
* When you turn it on it will access your Photostream and automatically download (sync) the photos in the stream from the last 30 days up to 1,000 images
* If actually puts them in the ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub/ folder. It has really cryptic folder names and there seems to be 1 image per folder.
* Now, I tested this on my Mac which does have iPhoto, so I'm only guessing here, but iPhoto wasn't running, so I assume this would still work on a Mac without iPhoto installed.
V Also interesting is that this folder seems to be a receiving location only and doesn't seem to clear out automatically even if you import photos and even if you delete them from iPhoto (if your using iPhoto)
* So users concerned about space may want to watch this folder
* I had 1,001 images in there (so I assume it does start removing images when it hits 1,000), but it leaves the image there after you import it into iPhoto.
* Cleaning images out of this folder also will NOT remove them from your Photostream. So you can manually clear the local copy out of here and not have it removed from iPhoto.
* Turning off PhotoStream from the iCloud system preferences will clean out this folder, but will not remove photos from your devices or iCloud.
* You can also log into and click your account and click 'Advanced'. From there you can 'Reset Photo Stream' which will clean out all the Photostream photos on iCloud's servers, but will not remove them from your Mac or devices.
* If you want to delete a photo from Photo Stream itself you have to do that from the Photostream album on your Mac (iPhoto) or a device.
V So I think you could use Photostream on your Mac without iPhoto, but you'd have a number of limitations
* You would have to access images from the cryptic ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub/ folder
* I was able to write a quick simple Automator script to pull JPG files out of that folder and move them to a folder in your Pictures folder
* You will not be able to add photos to the Photo Stream from your Mac
* You cannot remove Photos from the Photo Stream on your Mac
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
* Follow me on Twitter