Maccast 12.23.2013 - Show #472
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Drobo
V Drobo
V What is a Drobo?
* "Smart storage to protect what matters"
* A family of hardware storage arrays that are expandable and can protect against hard drive failure
* They come in four and five drive model options and have a choice of interfaces Thunderbolt+USB3 or Gigabit Ethernet
V Depending on your workflow there is a Drobo for you
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* It has a multicore CPU and Thunderbolt or USB 3 for connectivity
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V Drobo Mini
* Designed for portability
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* Also has a multicore CPU and Thunderbolt or USB 3 connectivity
* Takes up to 4 2.5" drives and also has the mSATA/SSD slot
V Drobo 5N
* Network Storage
* Gigabit Ethernet and a quad core CPU it was built with high performance for media editing in mind
V And they just announced new Drobo Apps
* a Plex App to stream video to you TV, Mac, or iOS devices.
* Elephant Drive, for secure automated clod backup
* And other community apps, like CrashPlan, Transmission (BitTorrent client), Apache web server, PHP, and MySQL.
V mSATA/SSD makes them all faster
* Has a slot for a mSATA/SSD card that will accelerate caching
* Designed for image libraries or any applications where your accessing lots of small files from the drive
* Perfect for iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom
* Or your iTunes Library where you have lots of Album art images.
* The cache can make opening these apps up to 12x faster.
V Best of all because you're a Maccast listener you can get 10% the Drobo of your choice.
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V News
V iPhone 5S still tops carrier sales
* Since Apple updated their iPhone line up the iPhone 5S has remained the top selling device at all of the big four US carrier stores
* Canaccord Genuity has been keeping track and over the past three months Apple's has mostly held the number one and number three positions at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile stores, with the 5s on top and the iPhone 5c in third
* The Samsung Galaxy S4 held the second place spot, except for in September at AT&T and Sprint, where the iPhone 5c had a brief time in the number two slot.
* Outside the US in specific markets Canacord also notes that the iPhone is doing well. In Japan it's leading smartphone sales and last month the iPhone tripled it's marketshare in China, jumping from 4 percent in September to almost 13 percent in October according to market research firm Counterpoint.
V Typically after updating devices you'd expect the numbers to be up like this, but at least one analyst thinks there may be a steady climb up for a while
* Asymco analyst Horace Dediu thinks Apple's iPhone might have 68% of the US marketshare by 2017.
* The basis is on historical growth rates from October '09 to October 2013.
* Apple's rate has matched the markets steady logistic growth, but all the others have not.
* Assuming the trend continues then Dediu would be right, but we are talking about a very volatile market.
V The iPad also looks to be a BIG winner with holiday tablet shoppers
* Changewave's latest poll asked holiday tablet buyer which tablet they would be buying and 72 percent said it would be an iPad
* That's up 17 percent from the last time they checked back in August
* In terms of which iPads: 55% said it would be an iPad Air, 16% a mini with Retina display, 5% a non-retina mini, and surprisingly 7% and iPad 2. 17 percent said they weren't sure yet.
V And despite some of the visual backlash it got, iOS 7 looks to be installed on more US Apple devices than any other version of iOS
* The web analytics firm Chitika has been keeping track of the adoption rate since iOS launch.
* Their latest checks show iOS 7 is on almost 70 percent of all US iOS devices.
* People seem to prefer it on their iPhones a bit more than on their iPads
* 74.1 percent of iPhones seem to be running iOS 7, while the iPads running iOS 7 are just at 63.8 percent
* The theory about why is that the older versions of the iPad, like the iPad 2, don't get all the bells and whistles, like AirDrop, so folks are less incentives to update.
V Macs also doing well this holiday season
* The NPD Group says that Mac sales are up 29 percent so far this holiday season
* They do note though that the number, which marks growth compared to the same period last year, might be a bit misleading
* If you remember last year, Apple had new iMacs, but they came very late in the holiday quarter and the supplies were incredibly constrained.
* As a matter of fact, later in a financial conference call Time Cook even admitted that it would have been better if Apple had waited and launched the iMac in 2013 when supplies would have been better.
* Still it's good news for Mac sales and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks Mac will see overall growth of 13 percent year over year in the December quarter.
V MacPro finally on sale, sorta
* We know that they are being manufactured in Austin, TX. Tim Cook tweeted a picture, so we could see that they have made some.
* But when Apple finally started taking orders last Thursday it became really clear that supply was not going to be even close to meeting demand
* When it went on sale the ship date wasn't until December 30th in the US and January elsewhere
* US in-store pickup was also an option, but not until the end of December
* Also very quickly, within hours, the ship times dropped to February with some reports saying that their orders aren't due to arrive until March.
V For configurations and pricing:
* A base 3.7 GHz quad core model with 256GB of flash storage and 12GB of RAM will set you back $2,999.00
* The next step up is the the six-core 3.5GHz model with 256GB of flash storage and 16GB of RAM for $3,999.00
* From there you can config to order like crazy, but the maxed out system, a 2.7GHz 12-core with 1TB of Flash and 64 GB of RAM will set you back USD $9,599.00
* Before you say that top of the line model is ridiculous let me remind you that in 1992 Apple released the Macintosh IIfx with a one-core 40Mhz processor, 40MB of storage, and no built-in RAM (had 8 slots and maxed out at 128MB) for USD $10,000.00
V But don't worry, Apple already has a firmware update out for the machine you don't have . You can still have it ready and waiting in your downloads folder.
* Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.0
* Improves system reliability during the rebooting process
* Resolve an issue related to memory self-test
* Improves graphics power management when using Boot Cam
V Once you get it though you're not going to be disappointed by the performance
* There are units in the wild in the hands of reviewers and so far the reports are positive and impressive
* One site,, posted a 24-hour hands on review. Macworld also had some nice things to say
* The flash drive performance is smoking. Write speeds in the 952.8MB/s to 985.5MB/s range. Read speeds of 80MB/s to 920.5MB/s
* reported being able to get 16 simultaneous streams of 4K video to play without a hitch
V They also took a RedRAW 4K clip and progressively applied realtime video filters to it in attempt to get the system to drop frames. They reached 18 realtime effects before just giving up.
* And not wimpy effects and filters. They threw things like Gaussian blur and Bleach Bypass at it and it trucked along with out blinking.
* Macworld's eight-core Mac Pro got a single-core Geekbench score of 3599 and a multi-core score of 25997
V The reviews say the thermal core cooling system is quiet and keeps the heat down, but does create a nice thermal updraft above the unit
* I see a mac Pro toy hanglider accessory in it's future
* One report I read says if you block the top vents, say by placing a book on top, it will shut the system off before it overheats.
V Apple has also updated and optimized many of it's Pro Apps for the new trash can 'o power
* Final Cut Pro 10.1 with a bunch of of optimizations, performance enhancements. Things like tweaks for the new dual-GPU configuration and support for 4K video monitoring
V OS X Mavericks 9.0.1 update
* Last week Apple released OS X Update 10.9.1
V The update brings, according to Apple:
* Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings
* Improved reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail
* Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail
* Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji
* Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar
V Just days later developers received OS X 10.9.2
* The big news out the the next Mavericks update is that it brings FaceTime audio to the Mac desktop
* Apple is asking developers to pay attention to Mail, Messages, virtual private network features, graphics drivers and VoiceOver.
V Let the 2014 rumors commence
* We already have a front runner as it started months ago. The new larger iPad.
* BGR notes that this one has already been heard from may of the more reliable sources, including the Wall Street Journal
* The general belief is that Apple is working on a 12.9" iPad that could be called the "iPad Pro"
* The latest source to leak details is the International Business Times and they say, among other things, that their sources have confirmed the iPad Pro name
* The site also says Apple will release two 12.9" models in 2014. The first this April will have a quad HD (2K) display, but that will be followed in October by an Ultra HD (4K) version.
V Then Digitimes weighed in
* They say the 12.9 inch model will be out in October and that Apple is considering it as a replacement for the 11-inch Macbook Air and targeted at education
V The rumor sites are also lining up a few other products for Apple's October 2014 event already
* An "iWatch", Apple wearable or fitness product
* Two new iPhone models. Basically version with larger displays. How large? Anything from 4.7inch to 5.7-inch according to sources.
* In the same Digitimes piece as their 12.9 iPad Pro rumor they say Apple will have a larger iPhone using a TSMC 20-nm processor out in May.
* Interesting that we are hearing May and October dates for both potential new iPhones and new iPads.
* Apple Television set.
* Cook wrote an email to employees reflecting on 2013 and mentioned "some big plans that we think customers are going to love" for 2014
V And actually we are already rumor mongering for 2015
* Digitimes apparently can predict the future saying that Apple has signed up Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to products their A9 series mobile processors sometime in 2015
* The chips will reportedly be based on a 14-nanometer process node with Samsung producing 30 to 40 percent of Apple's supplies and TSMC producing the rest.
* Both companies are also reported to be doing A8 series production this year using 20-nanometer technology.
V Apple's deal with China Mobile
* Last week it seemed like a sure thing, this week it was iffy, now it's a done deal.
* I think I read reports last week that said it was a done deal, but that turned out not to be the case
* December 18th was the day that the Chinese government said the new 4G service would begin, China mobile had a planned announcement of a "new brand", and the Wall Street Journal said Chine Mobile would have the iPhone that day.
* It didn't happen.
* The deal is a BIG one because China Mobile has over 700 million subscribers. If Apple gets just 10% on iPhones that's 70 million new iPhone owners. Some estimates say that 42 million iPhones are already on China Mobile and that's without a partnership deal.
V KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wasn't quite as positive on how many new iDevices China Mobile customers might buy and also thought poor iPhone 5c sales were slowing the deal
* "We believe that weak sales of iPhone 5C may trigger a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile partnership"
* Kuo's thinking the deal would bring 15 to 20 million iPhone unit shipments in 2014 and another 20 to 30 million in 2015
* Whatever happened earlier in the week, it looks like now it is really official
* China Mobile announced that the iPhone 5S and 5C are coming to its new 4G network.
V Older iSights hacked to hide spying
* Two researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a paper describing how they were able to remotely control a Macs iSight camera, but do so without triggering the green light to come on.
* The security community and mac blogs promptly blew up with the story of how we are all now going to be the targets of video cyberspying without our knowledge
* The paper notes that Macs and OS X are specifically designed to not allow the camera to be active without the light being lit.
* The workaround the researchers used was to write and compile their spying app to run on the the cameras CPU, bypassing the Macs hardware and software controls.
* It's a brilliant hack, but there are some details left out of many of the stories that might help you sleep easier at night.
* The hack was only accomplished on 2008 and older Macs. That's not to say a similar technique couldn't be used to exploit newer Macs, but as of now that hasn't been done.
* The researchers published source code for a fix and have been in contact with Apple
* It would take running a malicious program or someone gaining physical access to your Mac and installing something to target you.
* Unless you changed it's setting Gatekeeper would likely alert you to any non-signed software attempting to be installed on your Mac.
* If you're still worried, a Post-it note over your iSight camera lens solves the issue completely.
V Sponsor: Smile
V PDFpen Scan+, PDFpen for iOS, TextExpander Touch
* It's the holidays and either you or someone you love is probably getting a shiny new iThing
* Why not help them be more productive right out if the gate by gifting them a Smile app.
* For example, PDFpen Scan+ would be perfect to scan, OCR, and archive all those holiday purchase receipts.
* You can go into the iTunes App Store, pull up PDFpen Scan+, PDFpen for iPhone or iPad, and TextExpander Touch. Click the drop down next to the Buy (or Download) button, and choose 'Gift this App'.
* You can even delay the sending of the email so it shows up Christmas morning.
* Pick the Smile app you'd think the'd like or, just give them the whole bundle.
* And if you don't have any or all of the Smile iOS apps, then slip in a copy or two for yourself.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V iPod Father didn't get the RED Mac Pro
* Despite the fact that there were pictures of him with the two products that surfaced on Twitter, Tony Fadell made a statement, also on Twitter, that he was not the owner of the RED Mac Pro or gold EarPods.
* The two items sold combined for more than 1.4 million dollars and were designed by Jony Ive and Marc Newson for a Sotheby's auction to raise money for RED charity which fights AIDs.
V Simple tips to protect your privacy
V Put a password on all of your devices and Macs
* Simple, complex, TouchID something
* And set your Mac and devices to auto lock. The shorter the time delay the better.
* Sign out of social media and email accounts when you finish using them. Actually any accounts on websites that you'd be worried about if someone got into your machine.
* Don't let Keychain save your passwords, or if you do have a dang good secure password loking access to your device. Really don't let your browser save your passwords.
V Turn on multi-step authentication for services that offer the added protection.
* Yes 2-factor and be a bit more hassle, but affords better protection
* Relies on having something you have (like your iPhone) and something you know (your password).
* Clear your browser history or use 'Private-mode'
* Put a sticker over your webcam when it’s not in use.
V iPad Air Smart Case alternatives
* I received a really nice voicemail from Scott, unfortunately the audio came through a bit rough on the voicemail line.
* Scott recently replaced his 32GB iPad 2 with a new 64GB iPad Air during Apple's Black Friday Deals
* Had a great experience ordering in Apple's Store App and using in store pickup.
* What was cool was that since the Black Friday deal was a $75.00 Apple Store gift card and he ordered online, he received the gift card via email before he went in for pick-up.
* He had the $75 to use when he picked up his new Air, so he opted to get the iPad Air Smart Case, which is also what he had for the iPad 2 and really liked.
V He is extremely happy with the iPad Air. size, speed, increased storage, great screen. Not so happy with the re-designed Smart Case
* The biggest issue being it's three fold cover design vs. four fold
V I have not had any issues with the Smart Cover and the three fold design on my iPad Air
* I didn't really like the three fold design on the iPad mini
* I mostly use it in the "stand" mode and not the typing mode
* Sounds like Scott uses it both ways.
V I don't do a lot of case reviews and so I can't vouch for any of these alternatives, but because Apple has a huge accessory ecosystem around the iPad it was easy to find some options.
* A word of warning, the second two are brands I have never even heard of and appear to be cheap cases out of the Asian region, but they seem to have many good reviews on Amazon.
V Case Crown Omni, USD $35.00
* This is one of iLounge's highest rate iPad Air cases (A-), it has a four fold cover and is just USD $35.00. iLounge review,
* looks just like Apple's old Smart Case to me.
V rooCase, Origami SlimShell, USD $9.98
* Three panel fold
* Also folds into various triangular like shapes that seem like they would over more versatility and options.
V INVELLOP, Case Cover, USD $24.95

* Leatherette with a four fold cover
V The main reason I don't do a lot of "reviews" on the Maccast is two fold
* Volume, too many products and I'm only one person. You really need a dedicated staff.
* Time, it's easy to spend a few minutes or days with a case and to form a quick opinion, but my experience has shown that the case you love the first week might turn out to have issues or show flaws much later.
V That's why I think we should leverage the power of the Maccast community, especially when i comes to cases
* So let's maybe start some conversations, maybe based on case styles.
* Online you can use the Facebook page, Google+, or better yet the Maccast forum
V Send in your reviews of your favorite cases
* Keep 'em as brief as possible, 3 mins or less for audio reviews
* Just highlight the stand out features
* Why does this case work best for you?
* Categories might be things like, best slim case, best rugged case, best case stand, best keyboard case etc.
* I'll try and gather up the best reviews, categorize them and share them on future episodes.
* We'll have the best option of tried and true field tested cases.
V Google contact address and Apple ID problem
* Ben had an unusual problem and a frustrating experience with Apple support, but it's something that could have easily happened to any of us so I wanted to share his story with you.
* Recently he received an email from apple saying that he had attempted to change some of my Apple ID information, but he hadn't.
* Shortly after he received 13 "verify email address” emails within the span of 10 minutes. The emails were addressed to another person though, using a GMail account
* At first glance you might think your account was under a brute force hacking attempt or something, but as Ben noted in his email to me, this was more a innocent user error.
* It was all triggered when the person who the emails were actually meant for apparently decided to change their Apple ID contact email address using a Gmail address.
* The trouble is, that they unknowingly used Ben's Gmail address and not their own.
V GMail doesn't recognize dots in an email address
* They will all be sent to Jane Doe
* So this woman changed her email to be the same as Ben's gmail, but with dots.
* So now Ben is suddenly getting all her Apple Store order orders and wants to stop it.
V Needless to say he contacted Apple for help and didn't have good results
* First they suggested he change the contact address on his Apple ID, and suggested he get a Yahoo or MSN email? Huh? It also wouldn't stop here emails from going to Ben's account.
V Second they suggested he just filter them as Spam and ignore them
* OK, but they would still be going to the wrong address, so she wouldn't get them and he would.
* Also the filter might start making legitimate email as SPAM too
* When Ben pressed the support rep for a better solution they spoke with a supervisor, but then told him it was really a Google issue and suggested he contact them and have them change Gmail to recognize addresses with dots and unique.
V Lastly they suggested he just email the woman directly and let her know about her mistake
* This is probably the best answer, but as Ben points out this might look like a phishing email to some people
* He felt that Apple contacting her would have better results
* What finally worked was Ben mentioning that he was getting her iTunes account purchases emails and it was a security issue. That escalated the call to the security team who said they deactivated her account and that she would be required to change the info the next time she tried to log in.
V At that point Ben thought the ordeal was over, but nope.
* A bit later Apple send an email, to that dotted gmail address, which was meant for her explaining that they were trying to contact her, but just getting her voicemail
* The message included her phone number.
* So now Ben has her name, phone number, prior email address, mailing address, and buying habits.
* So stepping back, while I completely get that this is frustrating for Ben and a potential security risk for the Gmail user. As the Apple rep pointed out, it's not exactly Apple's fault.
* It's this perfect storm of several good ideas in theory going horribly wrong in a specific scenario.
* I can't imagine this issue is new for Apple, and they should have better policies in place for handing it.
V The advantage of the "Google" alias
* The feature that caused all this trouble can actually be useful in a way if you use Gmail
* You can use the dots to set up emails that you could filter. With dots for business communication and without for personal.
* GMail also has another feature. Automatic address aliases.
* You can use a '+' after your gmail username and before the '@' to create an on the fly email alias.
* This is a great way to set up unique emails for services you sign up for. janedoe+instagram, janedow+facebook, janedoe+maccast, etc.
* Then you can filter and track where your emails ate coming from.
V Mac CPU upgrades
* There are a lot of upgrades you can do, RAM, SSD, to add life to your aging Macs, but Vincent is wondering about the merits of one of the lesser talks about ones
* Play voicemail from Vincent
* For something like a Mac Pro you've laid out a large investment, especially if you've loaded in lots of extra PCI cards and internal drives
V Moving to a new Mac Pro:
* The cost of the Mac Pro, min USD $3,000.00
* Sonnet's Echo Express III-R, three full height PCIe slots, USD $1,199.00
* SATA Pro PCIe card to connect Drive Kit that supports 3 SATA drives. USD $299.95 for the card and USD $99.00 for the drive kit.
* So min $4,600 USD to migrate your old Mac Pro as is to a new one.
V Still it might be worth it vs. a CPU upgrade.
* Jim Taneous over at TekRevue, upgraded his 2006 iMac with a newer Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
* The upgrade process in many desktop Macs is fairly straight forward because a number of Models, iMacs, Mac minis, and Mac Pros use "socketed" CPUs.
* Getting at the CPU is a different story, but luckily we have iFixit.
* You'll also need to wade through upgrade sites and forums to find the right CPU to support your system and pay attention to cooling requirements, etc. In some case you'll need to upgrade fans, etc. if you want the fasters CPUs you can stuff in your old box.
* You'll also need to apply thermal paste which can be tricky.
V And even if you do all that right you still have some challenges
* The firmware on your system will probably need to be upgraded to recognize the newer processor
* You'll still be limited by the system architecture. The bus won't be upgraded and the RAM may still be constrained at least by physical slots and speed.
* You'll also now be running an odd and unsupported system. It likely shouldn't be an issue, but some software could be finicky.
V So is it worth it?
* Hard to say and it will be a result of how much you are willing to fiddle to get another year or two of life out of an aging system.
* Most benchmarks I've seen on updated old system show a 20-50% bump up in various benchmarks.
* Single CPUs, depending on the model you choose, can run $200 used on eBay, and finding news ones would be trick and possibly expensive.
* If you're adventurous, a modder type, and want a project that could result in a faster system then go for it.
* Otherwise I'd personally save my pennies and eek by with what I have until I can afford the new hotness.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Smile
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