Maccast 12.19.2012 - Show #423
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Crash Plan
V Crash plan
* We store a ton of data. According to Gartner, 464 gigabytes per household in 2011.
* Most people don't backup. Maccast listeners do more than others.
V Critical piece that is often left out or left until last is offsite backup
* You need to have protection from theft and disaster too.
V That's where Crash Plan comes in
* Backup across Code 42’s multiple global data centers, to external devices or to a friend’s computer
* Provides continuous backup, with most recent files backed up first.
* Users can decide CrashPlan’s CPU and network usage while computer is in use or the user is away, including, battery life and more.
* Saves versions of your files. Sophisticated byte pattern analysis and data de-duplication detects changes in files, allowing preservation of multiple versions of files using less CPU, bandwidth and storage.
* Free mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows allow entire backup and file version access.
V Some of my other favorite features
* Set up backups for both internal and external drives.
* Selectively define volumes, folders, and files you want backed up.
* Security. Your data ever leaves your machine. Backup data is encrypted with a 128-bit (CrashPlan) or 448-bit (CrashPlan+) data key before being transmitted using 128-bit encrypted communication
* Realistic and affordable plans, including a Family plan with unlimited storage. Will cost you less than buying on external hard drive.
* If you want to backup locally or to another Crash Plan users computer online it's free.
* Free 30-day trail is available, but I've been using it for years and it just works.
V News
V Apple HDTV, maybe someday
* Just not now according to rumors this week
* The Wall Street Journal reported that supposedly Apple is currently testing multiple designs for TV sets with its Asian suppliers.
* But don't get too excited, they say it's not yet an official project.
It's likely these are just early prototypes and the Wall Street Journal rightly point out that Apple often tests designs with its Asian partners without committing to manufacturing.
* Hon Hai is reportedly that partner and is working with Sharp to design the new TV set.
* Tim Cook in his NBC interview did "upgrade" Apple's TV efforts from a "hobby" to "an area of intense interest".
* While Apple may working out some firm ideas about the hardware, software, and functionality it's just half the battle. It's probably more likely the content that is slowing a launch.
* Apple has reportedly been trying to hammer out deals with content producers, creators, and distributors but is supposedly not even close to sealing any deals.
V Mini set to be most popular iPad
* When Apple launched the iPad mini it was believed to have requested 6 million units from suppliers for 2012.
* A recent comment by an NPD Display Research analyst says Apple may plan to ship twice as many.
* The success of the mini has apparently outweighed even Apple's expectations.
* NPD Display Research says Apple is now asking panel makers to double that number during the fourth quarter.
* So far Apple has sold 42.8 million iPads in the first three quarters of 2012 and is estimated to ship as many as 26 million iPads during the holiday quarter. That would be a record setting 68.8 million units this year.
* For 2013 NPD DisplaySearch expects iPad shipments to reach 100 million units and the iPad mini to account for half, 50 million, of those units.
* That volume may prove challenging especially for Apple's display suppliers AU Optronics and LG Display who are struggling to meet demand.
* Apple recently pulled their display business from rival Samsung, gut could be forced to rethink that decision if consumer continue to scoop up iPads.
* DisplaySearch estimates that more than 170 million tablets will ship in 2013 and Apple’s iPad will account for 60% of the market.
V The good news is that many of those new iPad minis are going to new customers
* Morgan Stanley and AlphaWise did a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers and found 34% of tablet purchasers plan to get an iPad mini and of those about half were new customers
* 47% of those planning to purchase a mini were new to the iPad and 56% of 9.7" iPad buyers would be new to the iPad
V Sources are already rumoring about updates to the next generation iPads
* The mini is expected to get a retina update, but apple will need to work out how to cram more pixels and processing in without decreasing battery performance.
* The retina iPad will reportedly get thinner and lighter by reducing the LED backlight from 2 bars to one.
* Will the updates come this Spring? In the past I'd have said no, but with the mid-term 4th gen iPad upgrade I'd say anything Apple would do wouldn't be surprising. The report claims the retina mini update would happen in the fall.
V Google Maps for iOS Released
* Vector maps, 3D buildings, turn by turn directions, transit maps, and street view.
* Google announced that the app was downloaded over 10 million times in the opening weekend.
V When you first start it requests to collect personal location based information from you activity. The option is defaulted to ON, of course
* To turn off Location Data Collection in the new Google Maps app
* Go into the application’s settings by tapping the person icon in the top-right corner of the main screen
* Then tap the gear icon on the user profile screen.
* Now go into About, terms & privacy and then into Terms & privacy,
* The Location data collection option will be there and you can turn it off.
* Google admits its better than the Android version and says an iPad version is coming soon.
V Another cool trick from MobileNations
* If you want to get Siri to take you to directions in Google Maps (or another app that supports transit routing, like Navigon) just add the phrase "via transit
* You'll have to tap the 'Routing' application (in this case Google Maps.
* It will present you with a list of routes and times.
* Tap the one you want and it will display in Google Maps.
* The kind of route (car, transit, or walking) seems to default to what you had selected the last time you accessed Google Maps.
V Next gen Intel "Haswell" processors
* Details on the new chips were leaked this week.
* Codenamed, "Haswell" all but one of the Core i5 and Core i7 chips are quad-core running as many as 8 threads
* The new chips also feature Intel's updated HD 4600 integrated graphics processor.
* On the upper end there is the Core i7-4770K processor will running at a 3.5 gigahertz with 8 megabytes of cache. With Intel Turbo Boost Technology, it will max out at 3.9 gigahertz.
* The lineup has 6 different desktop processors two of which are i7 designs.
V There are also 8 low power chips in the "Haswell" line up. The most powerful being a core i7 running at 3.1 GHz, surging up to 3.9 GHz with TurboBoost.
* On the lower end there is a Core i5 at 2.7 gigahertz base with 6 megabytes of cache, 4 cores and 4 threads.
* The chips should be out in 2013 and will likely show up in Apple's iMac and MacBook lines.
* The Mac Pro is still believed due for a significant update in early 2013, but for the pro models Apple uses Intel's server grade processors like the Xeons.
V Interest in iPhone rebounds
* Despite a recent comment from UBS analyst Steve Milunovich's comment that "Some of our Chinese sources do not expect the iPhone 5 to do as well as the iPhone 4S". The iPhone 5 seems to be contrdicting that statement, at least among US consumers, where it's popularity has continued to increase since it's launch.
* Gene Munster recently surveyed 800 prospective US smartphone purchasers and found 53% of respondents saying they plan to buy an iPhone 5
* That number is up from 48% in a similar survey conducted prior to the launch of the iPhone 5.
* The study also noted that interest in Android dropped from 39% to 35.2% over the same period.
* Munster also noted that demand for the iPhone 5 is up about 36% compared with demand for the iPhone 4S at this same time last year.
* Apple launched the iPhone 5 in China (and 32 addition countries) last week and announced Monday that they sold over 2 million in the opening weekend of sales. A new record for an iPhone launch in China.
V iTunes 11.0.1 update
* Show duplicates has row returned, although it's now found under the View menu. Previously it was under the File menu.
* Search performance should be improved when searching large libraries
* Fixes a bug where new purchases in iCloud wouldn’t show up in libraries with iTunes Match turned on
* Fixes another bug where the AirPlay button didn’t appear as expected
V The UI changes, things like the one-window interface, were a big change for some users, but I got an email from a visually impaired Maccast listener who pointed out that these kinds of changes can be even more impactful on users who rely on the accessibility features in these apps
* He mentioned that he had to "grope" his way around to find how to re-enable the sidebar and table (list) views.
* Similar issues arose with the changes to Messages and Contacts.
* When Apple changes UI like this it can have even more significant impact and changes no how keyboard navigation works.
* Interesting perspective and not something sighted users like myself would normally think of.
V Apple also released an Mac Wi-Fi Update 1.0 for all late 2012 Macs. The update is supposed to improve compatibility when using the 5GHz band.
* Must be running OS X 10.8.2
V Also the MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update Version 1.1
* Recommended for all late 2012 models of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
* Improves sleep performance
* Enhances support for the Thunderbolt router
* Fixes an HDMI display issue
* Improves compatibility when using the 5GHz band in Wi-Fi
* Must be running OS X 10.8.1 or newer
V Will Intel make Apple designed chips?
V I got some great feedback from a former Intel executive who speculates that it may make a lot more sense than we think for Apple to use Intel as a fab partner
* He says that semi conductor manufacturing is a high fixed cost business with most of it tied up in the cost of the plant and equipment.
* If there is extra capacity, and he suspects that Intel has extra capacity, it is mostly profit to use it.
* Apple has a LOT of leverage with Intel since they are currently the source of Apple's Mac processors
* With Apple looking to move away from Samsung they are in a position to play Intel and TSMC off each other for the AX fab business
V As my source points out, Apple has a history of doing this kind of thing.
* They had OS X running on x86 processors for years and it's now pretty well known that they used the threat of switching to Intel as leverage against IBM in the PPC days.
* Intel would love Apple to switch to Intel's mobile chips, but that probably isn't going to happen.
* More likely Apple will use the threat of moving the Macs off Intel to Apple's own chips fab'ed by say TSMC as leverage to get Intel to produce AX iOS processors and get a good deal.
* It's believe Apple likely already has at least some Mac prototype designs that may be running on AX processors.
* Intel could still come out a big winner because they can sell their extra manufacturing capacity to Apple.
* Bob Cringley has a nice piece that follows this same logic.
* Reality is will all the demand Apple has both Intel and TSMC may end up with contacts for Apple's AX production.
V In recent weeks there has been buzz that Apple's planning to build it's own chip fabrication facility
* A project called "Azalea"
* A reported asked NY governor Cuomo if Apple was the company they were pitching for building a 3.2 million square foot chip fab in the state. He said they were shopping lots of companies an that Apple had lots of other competition for the location. NOT a definitive answer.
* Then the next week the business economic development agency in Oregon announced they were recruiting a company codenamed "Azalea" to build a chip facility in the state. The Oregonian says it may be a contract facility to build Apple's iOS processors.
* The likely scenario is that Apple isn;t getting into the fab business, but may be helping a partner build a new US factory and that that partner is shopping different locations for the best deal.
* Texas, when Samsung currently makes chips for Apple, has also been a rumored location
V The big question is who is the partner?
* Intel already has fab facilities in Oregon
* TSMC has a facility, through subsidiary company WaferTech, in Washington state, but that location is just 20 miles from Oregon
* GlobalFoundries Inc, ( the world's second largest independent semiconductor foundry (after TSMC)) has a facility in New York
* Freescale Semiconductor has facilities in Texas. Apple purchased right to 200 Freescale's patents in 2011
* Since Intel and TSMC are already Apple partners they seem like the likely candidates.
* I think without a doubt Apple has been using it's influence, bank roll, and big contract deals to pit Intel and TSMC both to see who will give Apple the best deal.
V Sponsor: Circus Ponies
V Notebook
* Great app for taking notes, doing research, creating outlines
V Also great for lists
* Gift lists
* Thank you lists
* Christmas card lists
* You can drop in contacts and you'll have full access to all their contact details from the "sticker" in Notebook. No need to launch the Contact app.
* And that's just one small feature out of dozens of great features in Notebook.
* It's a versatile app and you will for sure get your money's worth.
* Get a free 30-day trial
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V iTunes 11 comments and questions
* The download list is only visible when their are active downloads. A little cloud icon will appear with a drop down list. There also is no download or sync status in the mini player that I'm aware of. Bob wants to know if there is a trick to re-enable it.
V I have had a few people email to tell me that they can't seem to change the Music Kind on some files in iTunes 11
V Bob uses this feature on files he records from Internet radio streams and turn them into podcasts to sync with the iPod
* He used to use the Griffin Radio Shark. A USB device that would capture and record terrestrial radio
* Now he uses RadioShift from rogue amoeba, which is unfortunately no longer in development
* AudioHijack Pro and Piezo both are and offer the ability to capture and record streams. Audio Hijack can even schedule recordings.
V The option is just greyed out in the Get Info window
* Select the track
* Choose File > Get Info…
* Go to the 'Options' tab and change the Media Kind
V At least part of the issue seems to be iTunes Match being enabled. When I turn it off the option comes back for many tracks, but not all of them.
* Also some people note being able to change the Media Kinds only to 'Audiobook'
* And sometimes it will let you change the Media Kind, but it doesn't stick
* Some users report success in converting AAC (.m4a) files to MP3 files and then getting the Media Kind option to work.
V Ty was having an issue with previously authorized Digital copies of some movies not showing up in his "purchased" list.
* He found that re-entering the codes, even though they had already been used, cause the copies to then show up. Digital copy codes do have a time limit to redeem, so you may want to check yours.
* I don't think ALL studios allow re-download of digital copy.
V iTunes won't sync. Not authorized.
V Joe had an issue where his iOS device wouldn't cable sync and he kept getting an error message saying it wasn't working because the it wasn't authorized
V Typically in these instances I recommend deauthorizing iTunes and the authorizing again
* Store > Deauthorize this computer. The Store > Authorize this Computer
* Go into the Store, click on your email address (account) in the tool bar and log out and then log back in
* Restart iTunes and restart your device
* Try a new cable or a different port
* None of that did the trick for Joe.
V He ended up getting it fixed my removing his iTunes PLIST (preferences files)
* ~/Library/ Preferences
* You may also notice a bunch of iTunes plist files with a strange alphanumeric string on the end of the filename (0 bytes) or a .lockfile at the end.
* Interestingly the ones with the cryptic sting on the end are Apple's attempt to avoid PLIST corruption
* These files can be safely removed.
V App Store apps don't appear to update
* Last time we had someone who was having issues with the iPhoto update in the App Store. His iTunes was up to date yet it kept showing up in the updates list.
* I mentioned that the Spotlight database can be a source of the problem and recommended rebuilding it.
V Another thing to check is the hidden App Store Cache
* You could use a cache cleaning tool like Onyx or Cocktail
V There is also a terminal command.
* 'open $TMPDIR../C/'
* Then look for and delete the folder
V But, Michael reminded me of another source that could cause the issue. Your backups. Particularly if you have an external cloned backup and if Spotlight is indexing that volume.
* Add the volume or at least the Applications folder of that volume to Spotlights ignore list
* Launch System Preferences (or you can open the Spotlight preferences from the Spotlight dropdown menu).
* Click on the 'Privacy' tab.
* click the little plus icon
* Choose your disk (or folder)
* You may also want to do this for Time Machine volumes, but note if you do that you will not be able to search Spotlight in the Time Machine interface.
V Track Changes on the iPad
* John uses track changes in MSWord 2011 for the Mac and did some quick testing for us.
V On open there was some Font substitution
* ’The font Times New Roman isn’t available on iOS. It was replaced with TimesNewRomanPSMT.’
* He did not the document looked good on the iPad though.
* He said changes are noted inline (vs. off to the side on Pages for Mac), and that is helpful, but…
* It doesn’t tell you when the changes were made or who made them.
* Pages on the iPad doesn’t distinguish between Comments, Insertions and Deletions, and Formatting changes, which both Pages and Word do on the Mac.
* So, for the moment it looks like it's a good start, but there is room for improvement.
* John said it's likely good for view a document and it's changes, but for actually editing Pages or Word on the desktop will be a better experience.
V Is more processor GHz worth it?
* I get this question a lot, especially when new systems are released.
* Is it worth it to spend a couple extra hundred bucks to get a bit faster CPU. Say a 2.5 GHz vs a 2.7 GHz one?
* The answer is it depends on what the processor is.
* A great example is the upgrade on the new Mac mini. The $599 base model is a 2.5GHz Core i5 and the $799 model is a 2.3GHz Core i7. The big difference though is that i5 is a dual-core and the i7 is a quad core.
* More cores are going to yield a better performance bump in some cases even when running at a lower clock speed. The trick is know that you have apps that can use and take advantage of those cores.
* The new iMacs in contract ALL come with quad-core i5 processors ranging from 2.7GHz to 3.2GHz. There is a $200 price difference between the 2.7GHz 21.5" model and the 2.9GHz one.
* In that case the extra 0.2GHz on the processor probably won't mean much to most people
* In my opinion your money would be better spent doubling your RAM to 16GB on the base model.
* Putting the money toward an SSD or Fusion Drive model would also probably get you more performance for your buck.
V Extract assets out of iWork docs
* Here is a cool trick that I was reminded about via email from Andrew.
* iWork "documents" in Pages, Keynote, and I assume Numbers look like single files, but are actually packages (kind of like special folders) and they contain all bit's and pieces that make up that document.
* Now some of you might be aware that Applications have a similar kind of package structure. You can Control+Right click on an App and choose 'Show Package Contents" and then browse all the stuff contained inside. (Do this on copies, not originals).
* So inside you'll find resources, plists, images, icons, sounds, all kinds of things.
* The difference with iWork documents is that you can't just right+click and choose 'show package contents".
* There is a trick though at getting at the stuff inside. Change the extension to .ZIP and then decompress into a folder (agin make a copy first).
* This is great to get a embedded media, like images, video, and audio.
* This trick also works on .ipa App files for iOS apps. After they are extracted you can find the core .app file and then use the right+click > Show Package Contents technique to get at the Apps goodies.
V Closing
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