Maccast 12.31.2012 - Show #425
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Circus Ponies
V Notebook
* Notebook
* Looking to get better organized in the new year? Notebook can help.
* Keep all you project notes, files, and information in a single note book.
* Add lists and to-do items that sync with your calendar
* Link in emails and contacts
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* Try it for free for 30-days or better yet just buy a copy over at
V News
V Apple working on iWatch
* The redesign of Apple's iPod Nano took away a popular aftermarket hack, using the tiny music player as a watch.
* Apple even championed the idea in the keynote and with customizable watch faces for the device.
* Now according to Chinese blogs it seems that Apple and Intel might be working on an actual smart watch device.
* The rumors claim it will be a Bluetooth device with a 1.5-inch OLED screen
V Not a lot if details on functionality were given
* The report does mention Siri support and tight integration with the iPhone allowing you to take phone calls with the watch.
* Dick Tracy fantasies aside, I'm not sure I see the appeal?
V Now, as a sort of mini notification center on your wrist I think it's a neat concept
* News, weather, text and email updates, twitter and Facebook notifications, etc.
* The source claims the device would be released in the first part of the year.
* Reality could also be that Apple is just mulling over the concept considering similar type devices from Sony and the announced, but not shipping, Pebble eink smart watch.
V More speculation on next gen iPads
* Speculation that Apple is looking to partner more closely with Sharp for it's next generation iPad displays
* Two possible, and good, reasons are that Apple wants to further distance themselves from Samsung and that Sharp has their IGZO (indium-gallium-zinc oxide) display technology that would require less backlighting allowing for thinner and more power efficient designs.
* A bonus for Apple could also be that Sharp has been struggling lately meaning Apple could get a good deal and Sharp a big contract. A potential win for both companies.
* Sharp has supposedly licensed Innolux Corporation and also be looking to license to AU Optronics, both of who have operated as suppliers for Apple.
V The use of IGZO in next generation Apple displays doesn't appear to be certain.
* The licenses show the possibility, but at this point Apple is probably testing the waters to see if the technology fit their needs and demands.
* They are also probably looking to make sure that Sharp, the other licensees and the IGZO displays can meet standards and yields for future products.
* For sure Apple wants to ,continue to cut Samsung out of the picture and this may be a big step in that direction.
V Pre-holiday iPads are most used tablets
* According to the ad firm Chitika despite Android tablet continuing to gain tracktion against the iPad it looks like many of those Android tablet are still sitting idle.
* The firm looked at usage numbers between December 8th and December 14th this year and found that iPads accounted for 87% of US tablet web traffic.
* The next closet tablet was the Kindle Fire with 4.25% followed by Samsung’s Galaxy tablets with 2.65%, and then the Google Nexus 7 tablets with 1.06%.
* My guess is that over the holidays more cheap Android tablets flooded into the market and Android tablets may have even moved into having a majority market share, but it's intersting to also think about why people don;t seem to be using them as much, or at least not in the same way, as iPads.
* I can honestly say I have never set up a tablet other than the iPad, but I know of at least two Apple owners I trust who helped relatives set up Nexus and other Android tablet and said the processes was not a user friendly experience.
* I'm just speculating, but to a casual or non-technical user I imaging a poor out of the box experience could be a big turn off. I also have to wonder if a number of Android tablets are being purchased by geeks for their non-technical relatives who just don't have much interest in using the devices.
* To be fair I think the Chitika numbers only look at web surfing, so many Andorid devices are likely used as dedicated video players, book readers, and game machines.
V US produced Mac may be mini
* Despite some early predictions that Tim Cook's US produced 2013 Mac might be the anticipated new Pro machine, some reports now believe it might be the Mac mini that gets the Made in America label.
* The speculation comes from DigiTimes and the point to Foxconn and Quanta Computer who both have US facilities as potential partners
V As a starting point for moving to some US production the Mac Mini makes sense in the same ways the Pro did
* It's a lower volume machine
* It's believed that Apple shipped 1.4 million Mac Minis in 2012 a figure that was up about 40% and Apple hopes to increase shipments another 30% in 2013
* With the simpler design of the mini many manufacturing steps could be automated requiring fewer workers
* The Mini could provide a good platform to test US production and give Apple and its manufacturing partners time to develop procedures and techniques for successful US operations on one of the lower demand product lines.
* The process would allow Apple to see the feasibility of moving other production operations back to the US or even adding US facilities to supplement their production operations in China and Brazil.
V Is TV next battlefield for Apple and Samsung?
V Samsung is teasing a big change in TV they will announce at CES next week
* The info came via one of its Korean blogs
* There was a surreal image of a panel in portrait mode with the image of a tree on a desolate landscape ( beach or desert?)
* Text simply read, "A true innovation of TV design is coming up with an unprecedented new TV shape and timeless design"
* No other info.
V TechCrunch is also reporting that Intel plans to get into the TV game since they can't seem to get manufacturers to put Intel chips into their smart TV products.
* Intel is also reportedly not impressed with how Google TVs are going either.
* Intel's plans would not only include a set top box, but also a companion virtual cable TV service
* The report says that to get over content licensing hurdles by rolling out city by city rather than nationwide.
* The service would reportedly provide both broadcast channels along with streaming content
* It also would allow you to rewatch any subscribed broadcast programs aired in the past month at any time reducing or eliminating the need for DVR like functions.
V Of course we know there have been rumors for years that Apple may introduce their own TV and many feel this might be he year they do it.
* The interesting thing here is to think if Apple and Intel may partner to make it happen
* Seems unlikely since Apple has been doing it's own chip designs and Intel seems to want that piece of the TV set pie.
* But Apple also has reportedly been struggling getting deals done on the content side, so if Intel makes headway on that front then a partnership could make sense on a few levels.
V NPD reports that Smart TV makers might be barking up the wrong tree though
* They found consumers don't want many if the features offered by Smart TVs.
* Apps, social networking, and voice control only add complexity for most consumers.
* What they want is simpler access to content and more of it. More on-demand streaming services with better content.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Easier Saving of Instagram Photos
* A couple of follow ups from last show where I had a listener ask how to easily save photos from other Instagram users.
V First, a little comment on why Instagram makes it so hard to save off images from other members.
* Listener Steve, who makes his living shooting photos, brought up the excellent reminder that photos are owned by the person who shot them.
* So, in a way, Instagram is protecting the copyrights of the owner by not allowing those to be copied easily
* The tips I'm providing aren't meant for you to grab anyone's photos and start stealing their images and using them re-printing or posting without their permission.
* Saving an image should be for personal use only and even then technically you could be breaking copyright. I'm not a copyright lawyer nor do i play on online.
* In a more safe for work version of a Wil Wheaton saying, "Don't be a jerk".
V Donald sent me a great alternative tip for easily saving Instagram images you like, but it does require you have a Dropbox and an If This Then That account.
* If This Then That
* Create a new IFTTT recipe and choose Instagram as the "if" and select the "New liked photo" as the trigger and click create trigger.
* Then for the "that" choose Dropbox and choose the "Add file from URL" action
* Then you can set the path in your Dropbox you want to save the image in and choose Create Action
* Once it's set then any photo you like on Instagram will then be added right to your Dropbox.
* What I love about Donald's solution beyond how simple it is, is that you can have it work entirely from your iOS device.
V Amazon sells Lightning cables
* Through its Amazon Basics line Amazon is selling 3 meter Lighting Charge and Sync cables for USD $14.99
V Why I hound you about backups
* Play segment with George Starcher
V Choosing a UPS
V A UPS can help protect you system in a power outage or during an electrical event when the power goes out.
* Surge protectors are meant for over-voltage scenarios, when there's suddenly a surplus of power from a lightning strike or surge from your electric grid. But Surge protectors are bad at under-voltage scenarios, when the voltage level from a power outlet sags. That's where a UPS comes in.
* Many UPS's also offer surge protection.
* It's not going to necessarily protect against a direct hit, but can ensure consistent power and gives you time to shut down your electronics gracefully.
* To determine how much battery backup you need to will use either the wattage output or the VA rating. One or the other, but not both.
V Wattage is probably easiest.
* Add up the maximum number of watts that all devices you want to connect will draw.
* This might be higher than the rating, so check the specs. Your Mac may only draw 50 watts, but if the power supply is 85 count that.
* VA (Volt-Amps) is a bit trickier, take the voltage in volts and current in amps, and multiply them together.
* Again add up the values from either method, but not both, and get a UPS that is bigger than that number by at least 20% to give you a buffer.
* The more you are over the number you need the longer you'll have on battery power, but don't get hung up on trying to get a ton of battery power. 10-15 minutes should be sufficient as most outages don't last that long.
* Remember this is just enough time to get you shut down gracefully and protect your equipment from temporary dip.
* Not all outlets will provide battery backup. About half are usually surge protected only.
* Your Mac and external drives that connect directly should be connected to the battery protected power outlets.
* Likely things like printers, speakers, and maybe even routers could be fine without battery backup.
V USB 3.0 can interfere with wireless signals
* I mentioned this at the end of November, but maccast listener Greg got first hand experience with his new Mac mini
* He ordered a USB 3 4T MiniStack from Other World Computing, an external drive designed to go under the Mac Mini
* The trouble is that caused his wi-fi to disconnect and the Bluetooth to drop killing the mouse and keyboard.
* Intel has a white paper on this issue and OWC even has a video showing how to hack the mini to add extra shielding. Ack!
* The solution is to simply move external drives further away from the computer, but with a product like the mini stack that kind of defeats the purpose.
* Sounds like both hard drive makers and Apple may need to design in better shielding.
* Also a reason to consider doing with an alternative connector like USB 2, Thunderbolt, or even FireWire in the case of the Mac mini.
V Do Not Disturb bug
* I and many other users woke up on January 1st to find that our scheduled Do Not Disturb feature in iOS 6 was still on despite the scheduled settings.
* It could be a feature for letting us sleep off any New Years party hangover, but more likely it's a bug.
* Not sure if it will persist in the days to come, but I did have to go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and manually turn off the switch this morning.
* You'll know if the bug hit you if you have a DND schedule and you still see the moon icon in your menubar after the time DND should be disabled.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Circus Ponies
* Smile
* Gazelle
V Mac Geek Disneyland Day
* If you watch my Instagram you likely know I'm a bit of a Disneyland fan and as it turns out so are a lot of Mac Geeks it seems.
* David Sparks (MacSparky) is too and he and I thought it would be fun to have Mac and Disneyland fans get together and do an informal meetup
* We set a date of Saturday January 26th, which is the weekend before Macworld.
* We'll have more details posted soon, but it's really just a chance for a bunch of us to be in the same general area at the same time.r
* You can let us know if you're coming on the Google+ event page
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
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