Maccast 03.20.2013 - Show #436
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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* PDFPen 6 from Smile another great update to an already great line up of products.
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V News
V Rumors predict A7 chip production
* Digitimes is reporting that TSMC is set to "tape out" Apple's new A7 processor in preparation for future production
* The report came via cnet who said the step is a move by TSMC to prep for pilot A7 production to begin sometime this summer.
* "Tape out" is supposedly the final stage of the design cycle when the artwork for the photomask of a circuit is sent for manufacture.
* This is likely just a first "tape out" for the first pilot chips which will be tested and tweaked.
* According to the report the A7 will use a new 20-nanometer manufacturing process vs. TSMCs current 28-nm process
* Apple has long been rumored to move their A-series manufacturing to TSMC, but to date Samsung has remained the sole supplier of A-series chip manufacturing for Apple.
* Last week I reported that it seemed as if the latest A5 ships in the Apple TV might have come from TSMC because they has a smaller form factor, but it was later revealed by Chipworks to be a newly designed chip, still made by Samsung and using their 32-nm process. Amazing considering it's 50% smaller the the previous gen A5 design
* It's still believed that the next gen devices from Apple could have A-series chips from TSMC using their current 28nm process, but that will remain to be seen.
* As for the A7, if it does end up being a 28-nm TSMC chip the reports say that won't get here until next year. TSMC is expected to have it's 20-nm process ready for chip production sometime in early 2014.
V Apple spreading out iPhone assembly
* Along with possibly expanding it chip fabrication among suppliers at least one analyst predicts Apple will expand assembly efforts of one of it iPhone vendors as well
* KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will expand the role that their supplier Pegatron has had in iPhone production
* To date most iPhone production has been handled by Hon Hai (Foxconn) and Pegatron has taken on a smaller role, at least with iPhone's. Pegatron has a long history of supplying Apple products like Macbooks, iPads, and iPhones
* Since the belief, at least by Kuo and other industry watchers, is that Apple will have new low cost iPhone to introduce along side the rumored iPhone 5S. It makes sense that Apple would want to spread out production to meet demand.
* The thought is that Pegatron would be responsible for 75 percent of low-cost the (FDD-LTE) iPhone orders and 55 percent of iPhone 4 and 4S production.
V HonHai would then process 100% of iPhone 5S orders, the 25% of the low-cost (FDD-LTE) iPhone 5 and 100% of the low cost (TDD-LTE) iPhone 5. Hon Hai would also continue to handle 100% of current iPhone 5 production
* FDD-LTE apparently is the kind used by US carriers like Verizon and AT&T. TDD-LTE is backed by companies like Clearwire and China Mobile
* According to Kuo the increased orders from Apple would raise Pegaton's share of Apple's ODM/OEM business up 9 percent in from 18 percent in 2012 to 27 percent in 2013
* Kup still see the iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone arriving this Summer and predicts Apple will sell 35.8 million iPhone 5S models and 53.4 million low-cost iPhone 5s by the end of 2013.
* Over-all if you add in the current iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 the analyst sees Apple shipping 110 million units in the second half of the year which would be an increase of 83% over the first part of the year.
V The latest on the low cost iPhone 5
* Same 4-inch Retina display as Apple’s current-generation iPhone 5
* A plastic case between 0.4 and 0.6 millimeters thick
* Available in four to six new colors along with the traditional black and white
V Apple quietly introduce new iMac model
* But, it's probably not as big an update as you might think
* No new processor, not a better GPU, not bigger nor cheaper flash storage options.
* What it does update is something lost in the new thin redesign done last year. VESA mounting.
* In November and December when the new iMacs started shipping those who relied on wall mounts and desk arms or their iMacs found they were out of luck.
* That changed this week when Apple added the new $40 USD build to order option on their site.
* Their is even a new page on the store explaining things
* This is a whole different casing, so if you order one you need to already have a VESA mount. Their is no built-in stand.
* If you change your mind, I'm sure there is likely no shortage of VESA compatible desktop stands you could get and if not I bet there will be some 3rd parties who jump at the chance to make one worthy of the iMac. Or at least there will be a Kickstarter
* The VESA iMacs are now shipping in 7 to 10 days in the U.S., a small delay over the 24-hour ship times of the standard "stand" models
V Apple releases 10.8.3 update
V The OS X Mountain Lion Update v10.8.3 came out last week and includes features and fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac according to Apple.
* The ability to redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using your Mac's built-in camera
* Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8
* Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3TB hard drive
* A fix for an issue that could cause a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly
* A fix for an issue that may cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive when using certain plug-ins
* A fix for an issue that may cause audio to stutter on 2011 iMacs
* Includes Safari 6.0.3
V Several site seemed to mis-understand the iSight gift card feature saying that that was already a feature that was released in iTunes 11
* While correct iTunes 11 did gain that feature it was in iTunes
* The 10.8.3 update brings that functionality to the Mac App Store, which until now still required manually typing in the gift card number.
V As a possible side benefit to Macbook Pro owners it's possible you might see slightly increased battery life.
* Jim Taneous over at the Mac Observer has been doing extensive battery test on each realease of Mountain Lion since users reported a significant battery life drop after upgrading to 10.8.0
* 10.8.2 restored most people battery life to normal and on this round TMO found their test system gained about 23 minutes of battery life.
* It's not huge and your results may vary depending on the model, but at least it looks like things in the battery department have stayed the same or possibly got better
V Safari 6.0.3 bring the following fixes according to Apple
* Improves scrolling on
* Improves scrolling while zoomed in on a webpage
* Improves performance on webpages with plug-in content
* A fix for an issue that could cause the inaccurate appearance of an alert that bookmarks can't be changed
* A fix for an issue that could cause duplicate bookmarks to appear on an iOS device after editing bookmarks with Safari in OS X
* A fix for an issue that permitted users to access unfiltered search results when searching from when Parental Controls are enabled
* A fix for an issue that could prevent Safari from restoring the last position on a webpage a user navigated back to
* Now if they'd just fix the forced tab refresh thing I'd be happy.
V MacBook Pro Retina SMC Update v1.1
* Resolves a rare issue where users could experience slow frame-rates when playing graphics-intensive games on the 15-inch system.
* Fixes bugs related to Power Nap and wake from sleep functions
* According to AppleInsider this update may also address a fan control issue discovered about a week ago. Some users reported an issue where the fan speed would unexpectedly spike. It was believed to possibly be related to flash storage in units that had SanDisk flash, although some users with Samsung flash also reported having trouble.
V Retina iPad mini may come this Fall
* Echoing rumors from KGI Securities and iMore an analyst from DisplaySearch says he expects Apple to ship a Retina iPad in the third or fourth quarter of this year
* According to supply chain checks the analyst believes the panel will likely be produced by LG Display, but doesn't rule out AU Optronics, Sharp, or Japan Display as potential partners either.
* The belief is that the display would be 2048 x 1536 pixels which would maintain the aspect ration and resolution of the full size iPad.
* Good news for developers and it brings the 7" displays pixel density to 324 pixels per inch. Right above Apple mythical 300 ppi "retina" range, but still below some of the retina busting resolutions of some of their competitors
* The challenge for Apple's display partners will be packing in all those pixel and still keeping the iPad mini's extremely slim profile
* As a matter of fact the report points out that Apple may have to sacrifice a little thinness for the sake of resolution, something they were willing to do when the moved from the non-retina iPad to the current one, so we don't expect a millimeter or two to stop them from releasing the Retina iPad mini update.
* There is still some belief that Apple will have an update for the 9.7" iPad with Retina display soon. As to why they won;t also update the mini to retina at the same time? I still say it's about volume. The current model is still growing in sales, so why kill a good thing?
V Apple international warranties
* Apple recently extended their standard warranty on Macs in Australia, but they are not really advertising it to consumers
* The change came not by choice, but because Apple was not conforming to regional consumer law
* The law in Australia states that statutory warranties should stand for a “reasonable” period of time, even after the manufacturer’s standard warranty has expired.
* They don't necessarily specify what a “reasonable” period of time is, but apparently Apple now has apparently translated that as 2-years
* Apple reportedly notified their Apple store employees and staff by email and their authorized re-sellers through their web-portal
* The Australian Apple blog MacTalk, claims they obtained internal emails from at least one Apple Retail store though telling associates to not talk to customers about the new policy.
* Speculation is that Apple worries it might hinder sales of AppleCare warranties which extend the standard coverage, now 2-years, only by one more year.
V Apple has been accused before of not being forthcoming about customers warranty right in different countries.
* Just this week the European Union's Justice Commissioner has asked member states to review whether Apple has properly advertised buyers' rights to a two-year warranty on their products.
* Apple was actually fined almost €900,000 (US$1.2 million) in December of 2011 for allegedly informing consumers they only had a one-year warranty from Apple.
* Apparently Apple still just advertises their Apple One-Year Limited Warranty, but on their EU web sites have a page outline the customers EU Statutory Warranty rights. Which is probably enough to comply with the law, but good luck finding it.
V Mac sales improve with iMac supplies
* Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster took a look at the latest NPD Mac sales numbers an noted things are looking up for Apple
* Looks like US Mac sales for the January-February timeframe are up 14% year over year
* The 14% aggregate for the two month period is still down from the 31% growth seen in January alone, but still looking like good growth for the quarter if things continue
* Worldwide though the quarter looks like it will end down slightly for Mac sales. munster says Apple will likely report an overall 5% decline in Mac sales
V iOS 6.1.3 and Apple TV 5.2.1 updates
V iOS 6.1.3
* Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the lock screen and access the Phone app
V Improves Apple Maps in Japan
* Many of these were recently released over the air in a non-iOS update, but this likely adds more.
* Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation
* Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads
* Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation
* Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections
* Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights
* Updated freeway color to green
* Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices
* Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower
V Apple TV 5.2.1
* Brings a number of bug fixes and enhancements
* An entirely new Hulu app which has been redesigned with improved discovery tools and some simple UI enhancements.
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Follow up: Share files between Users
* I got some great feedback on this.
V Mike suggested that you might be able to use the "sticky bit" on the folder to get OS X to inherit the permissions
* I tried this, but either my UNIX foo is not up to snuff or OS X is doing something non-standard
* I couldn't get it to work
* I read someplace that the Sticky bit doesn't work for inheriting POSIX permissions, so maybe it doesn't get around having to use ACLs
V Alan gave a great suggestion too.
* Why not use an AppleScript and assign it to the folder you want to share using a Folder Action?
* He even provided instructions and a sample script I posted in the Show Follow-up section of the Maccast forum
* Basically, open up AppleSctipt Editor (Applications > Utilities > AppleScript Editor)
* Copy and paste in the example, tweak it if you'd like, but I tested it an it works.
* Save the script to ~/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts. If the 'Scripts' and/or 'Folder Action Scripts' folders aren't there create them
* Name it something relevant. I used "Share with all Users.scpt"
* Now create a folder in the Finder that you'll use to share. A good place would be in your ~/Public folder.
* Then Control+ Click (Right+Click) on that folder and choose 'Folder Actions Setup'.
* Select your Script as the action in the Sheet that appears and click 'Attach'
* Then in the Setup window check 'Enable Folder Actions' and make sure your script is checked 'On'.
* Close the Setup window and that's it.
* Now if you save or copy a file to that folder it should update the permissions so that the 'group' has write access.
V Note that you'll need to create the script under each User account and assign it if you want the permissions changed for files originally created or copied into the shared folder by that user.
* If you save the script originally into the /Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts folder (root Library instead of User Library folder) it should be available to ALL users on your system, so you'll just have to assign the folder action for each user using the same AppleScript.
* The other thing is when a user makes a change and save it on the shared document they become the Documents new "owner".
V Time Capsule Alternatives
* Brian is looking to upgrade his AirPort Base station and had a question that I commonly get when someone is in the market for a new Apple router. Should I get a Time Capsule instead?
V What most folks want is:
* A network Time Machine backup solution for all their Macs that doesn't require connecting a USB hard drive to each one
* Reliability and always on wireless support without a Mac attached.
V The Time Capsule in my opinion is limited
* It couples the AirPort and hard drive into a single closed solution.
* 2TB of storage at $299.00 is likely not enough Time Machine backup for multiple Macs. My rule of thumb is 2x your storage needs. If you have movie, music, and photo libraries changes are you've got 500-1TB or more per Mac in just that.
V What about using AirPort Disk on an AirPort Extreme?
* This would be an awesome solution if Apple supported it, but they don't.
V So what are your options?
V If you don't mind spending a bit more, look into "true" NAS products that support Time Machine.
* A popular solution that claims to have Time Machine support is the Synology Disk Stations
* This is can be a more expensive solution, but is much more flexible. Have a diskless 2-bay solution for around $299.00 (same price as Time Capsule). Can get 2TB bare drives for around $100 ea.
* Can hard wire to your network using Gigabit Ethernet, which will be faster, at least for hard wired Macs on the network.
* If you want wireless support in the Disk Station they have a few models with it built-in or you can add a wireless dongle to most models.
* Easily expand the storage as your needs grow.
* Can RAID the drives for added redundancy in your backups.
* Use for all kinds of other things. Media sharing, file sharing, print server, AirPlay streaming to Apple TV (with latest update)
* I think the Drobo FS (and possibly some other models) also support Time Machine, but I've heard mixed reviews of how that works.
V Netgear also now has the Centria, has a bay for a 3.5" SATA drive and according to 9 to 5 Mac works with both wired and wireless Time Machine backups
* 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band, 4 port Gigbit router
* Also offers USB printer sharing with AirPrint support.
* USD $185.00 on Amazon w/o drive. $349.99 w/ 2TB HDD
V If you're on a budget?
* I still think the most cost effective solution for Time Machine backup is a USB connected drive on each Mac.
* Yes, for Macs like the Macbook Air it requires hard wiring it to a USB cable once in a while, but is that really that hard?
V Add custom alert sounds. Change Notification Center
* There was great tip by Eric Sadun over at TUAW a couple weeks ago on how to change the default alert sound in Notification Center in Mountain Lion
* The default sound is the System sound Basso
V Many people don't know that it's fairly easy to add your own custom system alert sounds to OS X
* The key is finding short one to five second long AIFF files
* There are a few sources or you can create your own with Quicktime Pro or Garageband
* MacUpdate has a Classic Mac sound pack including "Quack", "Wild Eep" and more.
V Once you have your sounds you just need to add them to ~/Library/Sounds
* Remember hold the Option key down while accessing the 'Go' menu in the Finder and select the 'Library' from the menu to get to your hidden ~/Library folder.
V After adding the sounds you can seem them in System Preferences > Sounds under the 'Sound Effects' tab.
* Your sounds will be labeled 'Custom' in the 'Type' column
* The Name will be the filename of the AIFF file you added to the ~/Library/Sounds folder
V To change the default Notification Center alert sound you will override the default System sound 'Basso' by adding an AIFF file with the same name to your ~/Library/Sounds folder
* Open the ~/Library/Sounds folder
* Add a short sound file named 'Basso.aiff' to the folder.
V Now you'll need to re-start the Notification Center process. A Reboot should work or you can kill the process in the Terminal
* Issue the Terminal command 'killall NotificationCenter'
* The process should restart automatically
* You can verify with the command: 'ps -ax | grep -i notification'
V Test your new sound by setting a Reminder in the reminders app and setting it as a timed to-do to happen in a minute or two.
* Be sure you have Reminders set to give you sound and display in Notification Center.
* System Preferences > Notifications
* If all went well you should hear your new sound.
* The sound is only for Default alerts. Some apps, like Mail or Tweetbot, etc. have their own custom alert sounds.
V Trusting Apple with purchased backups
* I have mentioned several times I think that I am now buying more of my Movies and TV shows from iTunes rather than buying DVDs because I now have the ability to re-download form the iTunes Store.
* I really don't want to have to constantly backup large volumes of data and have to maintain that over time.
* Well Rick rightly points out a potential flaw of me putting too much faith in Apple always having that data there for me to re-download.
* Apple doesn't always control the access to the data.
* Movie and TV show licensing deals can be terminated or re-negotiated. A studio might choose at some point to pull content from iTunes.
* The same actually goes for Apps. A developer might pull an App or Apple could due to App Store rule violations.
V Apple's own Knowledgebase article on re-downloading past purchases from the App Store, iBookstore, and iTunes Store says this:
* "It is recommended that you always back up your iTunes library in the event that a purchased item is no longer available on the iTunes Store. For more information about backing up your library"
* So I guess I'll at least be setting up a Chrono Sync task to copy my iTunes files over to my Drobo and to not remove copies when I remove them from iTunes.
* I may also get a second drive just to backup my purchased files from iTunes.
V Mac Mini HDMI issue
* Play comment from Lisa
* I know the the Laste 2012 Mac mini came out there were HDMI issues.
* Those were supposedly addressed by the X.X Firmware updated
* I can see you aren't alone as there is a 74 page Apple Discussion thread that is still being posted to. Also a few other threads.
V The issues seem to be HDMI to HDMI related from what I understand.
* Some report HDMI to DVU looks great and that HDMI to HDMI under Bootcamp is fine.
* Seems to indicate an OS issue? Seems odd.
* Anyone with similar experiences, thoughts, or workarounds let us know. The obvious solutions have been tried. Different cables, monitors, etc.
V Closing
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