Maccast 2013.03.01 - #477
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor:
* is a site that offers high-quality video courses to help anyone learn creative, software, and business skills.
* There's over 2,000 different courses, with new courses added daily.
V I'm a web developer and I love using to help keep up to date on my skills and to learn new techniques and tricks.
* I can search quickly for a new skill I want to learn, say "Sass" and boom there are the courses I need
V But it can also go beyond just learning something new too. I just discovered this great section of "documentaries" and "Creative Inspiration" stories
* Some great creative people like Bert Monroy, Rick Smolan, and Von Glitschka
* Von is a great Illustrator who I worked with at Upper Deck and who actually designed the Mac Roundtable logo
* Best of all these are also instructors at Lynda so you can get inspired from them and then learn from them as well.
* I really want you to check it out, so we have a deal for you. You can get free trial access to the entire library just by going to
V So you can check out everything and when you're ready to sign up they have full access plans starting as low as just $25/mo.
* The also offer gift subscriptions. Great gift for a student or family member looking to extend their skills.
V Just go to
* There you'll find out out all the details about the service and the various services and plans they offer.
* That's L-Y-N-D-A dot com forward slash MacCast
V News
V iPhone 6 not just about size
* Probably the most prevalent rumor on the next iPhone is that it will have a larger display. Somewhere between 5 and 6-inches depending on who’s story you read.
V Followed next only by Apple moving from Gorilla to Sapphire glass that will be produced at a new plant run by GT-Advanced in Mesa, AZ.
* One Smartphone manufacturer even claimed recently that they couldn’t get Sapphire displays they wanted for their phone because Apple had locked up all the supply.
V But a report from Forbes says Apple is also making the displays more accurate and have more colors by using Quantum Dot (QD) technology similar to what Amazon used in their Kindle Fire HDX 7 displays which beat Apple’s Retina iPad mini displays in recent DisplayMate tests.
* Apple’s new QD displays will reportedly one up the Amazon ones because while Amazon focused solely on color reproduction accuracy Apple is also pushing to have a display that meats their strict color gamut standards.
* The new display technology is said to be coming from Nanosys, who has Samsung as a major investor, and who holds over 300 patents related to QD technology
* The company would not confirm they are working with Apple, but the CEO said recently that their technology could be used in Smartphone displays, something some said was possible to do yet.
V The CEO also said the first smartphone with their QD display would launch by mid-year.
* Some recent rumors have claimed Apple could launch a new iPhone this June, the thinking being that Apple wants a longer lead time to ramp up supplies to meet holiday demand.
* Forbes also points out that Apple has four recent patent applications dealing with improvements on QD technology that focus on at eliminating some of the compromise between color saturation and accuracy in the technology.
* Broadcom announced a new 5G Wi-Fi Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed for smartphones, bringing 802.11ac connectivity with 2x2 MIMO which could find it’s way into the iPhone 6.
V Possible fix soon for "Authentec Fade" Touch ID issue
* Many of you with iPhone 5s’s have reported this problem to me
* AppleInsider reports that Apple might be looking to issue a fix for the problem soon
* Until them two work arounds are, 1) Re-do the fingerprint set up for thos digits that are causing you trouble. 2) Set up the same finger in multiple slots, increasing the chance of getting a good recognition.
V Also, listener Josh says this fixed the issue for him:
* Turn off the animations and reduce motion.
* Go to Settings>General> Accessibility>Reduce Motion, and turn it on.
* He’s says after he did that his TouchID accuracy increased to about 99%.
* You won’t have as many cool animations and such in the UI, but iOS will actually feel a bit "snappier" too.
V Apple’s Goto Fail bug
* The past week or two was consumed with stories of a serious security flaw in Apple’s SSL. The issue impacted both iOS and OS X and any app, like Mail or Safari, that uses SSL
V The problem was simply a line in the SSL code that read "goto fail;" and was duplicated. Thus the name. It was that second line that opens the door for hackers to exploit the bug.
* There were some conspiracy theories flying around, but this looks purely like a develop copy paste error to me.
* Probably the bigger cause for concern is how this got past Apple’s QA process in so many places.
* That meant that the SSL could be tricked by a hacker on the same network as you, say at a public hotspot, and they could hijack and monitor your traffic.
V Apple quickly patched up iOS 7, but waited until the release of OS 10.9.2 to patch the Mac.
* Apple also has issued updates for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion.
V Unfortunately Apple doesn’t seem to be updating Snow Leopard and Computer World says that roughly 19% of Mac users.
* Peter Cohen says, BS.
* No, Apple hasn't "retired" Snow Leopard. In fact, Snow Leopard is alive and well and still available for sale in the Apple Store.
* What’s more likely the real deal? Snow Leopard didn’t have the bug.
V Another iOS bug has been reported by network security firm FireEye
* They claim that a maliciously crafted app can run in the background on an iOS device and log touch events and button presses in the background.
* These can then be sent back to a remote server all behind the scenes
V The app would have to get past the App Store review process, but FireEye claims to have developed "approaches" to do just that.
* ArsTechnica claimed to have discovered a blog post from FireEye claimed the firm had "successfully delivered a proof-of-concept monitoring app through the App Store that records user activity and sends it to a remote server. We have been collaborating with Apple on this issue."
* That blog post has been removed though.
V OS X 10.9.2 update
* Fixes the critical SSL bug I just mentioned
* Brings FaceTime audio support to the Mac.
* Messages now lets you block iMessages from specific senders.
V OS X Mail fixes
* More accurate unread counts
* Fix for a bug that prevented Mail from receiving new messages from certain email providers.
* Better compatibility with Gmail Archive mailboxes
* Improvements to Gmail labels
* General improvements to the stability and compatibility of Mail
V Fixes an issue that may cause audio distortion on certain Macs
* Specifically seems to fix the USB audio bug on Fusion Drive Macs that we discussed on a past show
* Fixes an issue that could prevent certain preference panes from opening in System Preferences
V Despite the release notes and all the fixes some Mail users are still reporting troubles.
* Issues include, hanging when checking Gmail accounts, issues with management of messages in Smart Folders, crashing and other problems.
* Some people claim that deleting and recreating IMAP accounts, can resolve the problems, but that doesn’t appear to work for everyone.
V There are also some reports of AirPlay issues after the update
* The issues seem to be varied, but all related to the Airplay mirroring functionality
* In some cases the functionality has gone missing, but others are reporting scaling issues on both the Mac and Apple TV, low frame rates, sporadic mouse freezing and video failures.
* It’s not clear exactly what causes the issues or which Macs are impacted, but early reports seem to indicate that the issues are more likely to surface with older Mac hardware.
V iTunes 11.1.5 update
* Fixes a problem that may cause iTunes to quit unexpectedly when a device is connected and improves compatibility with iBooks for Mac on OS X Mavericks.
V Apple TV no longer a hobby
V A couple of recent events are leading some to believe Apple may give us a new Apple TV set top box update soon
* We’ve already discussed the rumors of possible bluetooth game controller and game support being added to the next version.
V At Apple’s shareholder meeting this week Tim Cook pointed out that the Apple Tv made $1 billion in revenue in 2013 and said, "It’s a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days".
* analyst Horace Dediu did some quick math and estimated that makes Apple TV Apple’s fastest growing product in terms of sales, up 80 percent year over year.
* Apple recently started offering a $25 Apple Gift card with the purchase of a new Apple TV at Apple Retail Stores.
* Bloomberg has suggested Apple could put out a new Apple TV by April, but the Loop’s bearded one Jim Dalrymple gave that rumor a "Nope".
* A new Apple TV will drop this year I think, when for now I think only Apple has any clue and they aren’t sayin.
V Apple TV users in the U.S also recently got the WWE’s new 24/7 streaming channel.
* There is a one week free trial, but a subscription it will cost $59.99 for six months of access which includes includes live pay-per-view events, reality shows, documentaries, and classic matches.
V And right after the USA got WWE, Apple TV owners in Sweden got a TV4 channel. TV4 is one of Sweden’s largest television networks with both live and scheduled programming.
* Full episodes of TV4 content are available for seven days following the original air date and certain older content will always be available
* HD content is currently limited, but more will be rolled out in the coming months
V Disney Movies Anywhere
* Free in the App Store, offers exclusive content, including original programming and never-before-seen videos.
* New App that can pull in Disney and Marvel iTunes Purchased content or push purchases back to iTunes
* You can stream movies, or download them for offline viewing.
* If you get the app and link it to iTunes you get a free copy of the Pixar film, "The Incredibles".
V iBeacon certification
* The term iBeacon is being applied to a lot of LE Bluetooth notification systems, but it is an Apple term
* Looks like Apple is now trying to bring that a bit more under control.
* Developers making devices and products supporting Apple’s iBeacon technology can now get official iBeacon certification from Apple under their "Made for i" program.
* Apple is requiring companies to sign an NDA to see specifications for iBeacon certification, but applying for the program is free.
* Typically to get and use the Made for i logo developers need to pay a per unit fee, it’s not clear at this point if Apple will be requiring a royalty for iBeacon certification.
V iOS in the Car for iElites
* Sources tell the Financial Times that Apple will launch an "in-car operating system" at next week's Geneva Motor Show
* The first models with the feature though will carry heavy price tags.
* Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz are rumored as the initiative's first partners.
* The report claims drivers will be granted access to Apple Maps, music, videos, Siri, voice calls, text dictation and more via the partners' infotainment systems.
* Hopefully the program and integration works well enough that it’s quickly adopted by other car makers that have offerings more in my budget range.
* Reports that Ford is dropping Microsoft Sync for Blackberry.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Mac database follow up
V Bart Busschots made some great comments and recommendations
* SQLite is good because it’s "server-less", just a file and you can use the Navicat Essentials for SQLite ($6.99) from the MacApp Store to create and manage the database files.
* I already mentioned MySQL. I use Navicat for MySQl to manage that, but it will set you back $99.00 USD. Bart recommends the free app Sequel Pro
V He also points out that I ignored his favorite DB, PostgreSQL. Probably because I don’t know how the heck you pronounce it.
* You don’t even need to set up and run a big complex server app. will do it in a menubar item.
V There were also many that said why even bother with a DB at all for just maintaining a group. They prefer to just use a spreadsheet like Excel or Numbers
* For that I guess it depends on your needs
* Bento and relational databases are nice because you can create different forms and views and link things together.
V I guess another option would be to just use a dedicated site that manages the type of group you have.
* or Shutterfly or eTeamz
V Keeping Trash off a Flash drive
* I covered a way to quickly have a Flash drive on the Mac behave like a flash drive on Windows. Meaning when you put a file from the drive into the trash it deletes immediately.
* I covered how to make an Automator service that would delete the files using the UNIX 'rm' command
V Jill wrote in with another trick.
* The key here is to "prep" the USB stick so that it thinks it has a .Trashes folder when it doesn't
* Insert the flash stick. Then, in Finder, copy a dummy file onto the flash stick, and then move it to trash.
V Remove the flash stick and insert it into a Windows PC
* On the PC you’ll see all the hidden files on the drive
* If you are handy with the Terminal on the Mac or use an app that will show the hidden files I’m sure you could do this on the Mac too.
* Now here's the sneaky bit - delete every file and replace it with an empty folder with the same name, and delete every folder and replace it with a zero-byte file of the same name.
* After that you’re good to go. The "Move to Trash" menu item will still be there, but when you select it, your Mac will warn you that it is unable to move to trash, and would you like to delete instead.
* The trick works because you’ve removed the .Trashes that OS X creates from the disk, but put a file of the same name in it’s place so the system can’t recreate it.
V A little extra windows switcher tip. Danial recently moved over to the Mac and wanted to know how to check X number of files on a disk to show the total space they use up.
* Selecting them all and choosing 'Get Info…' (Command+I) opens watch one in a in a window.
* How can you group all and show the total?
* If you hold down the 'Option' ket when choosing 'File' > 'Get Info…' you’ll see 'Get Info' turn to 'Show Inspector' (Command+Option+I). Use that and you’ll get just one Get Info dialog with the aggregate info for all the selected files.
* In OS X Mavericks this can be a handy way to add tags to a group of various files and folders all at once.
V Firewire drives keep spinning
* Justin emailed me after the OS X 10.9.2 update to make me aware that a standing OS X Mavericks bug still exists if you use Firewire drives
V Apparently since the release of OS X 10.9 the drives will not spin down, even when your Mac goes to sleep.
* This is despite any setting you have for "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" in the 'System Preferences' > 'Energy Saver' settings
* Indeed, I see this behavior in 10.9.2 with an external FW800 Seagate drive I’m using for my Super Duper backup.
* The only workarounds I can think of are to power off your Mac or eject and disconnect the FW drives when not in use. Of course this defeats any scheduled backups.
V I also wondered how bad it is, or isn’t, to let your drives never spin down
* The debate seems to be split with both sides saying their way is better.
* Feels similar to the do I shutdown my computer or not debate.
V I’ll spare you the arguments and just highlight the advantages/disadvantages and let you decide.
* Spinning up and spinning down the drive does add wear and tear to the motor (just like in your car). But most drives are built to take it and you are unlikely to wear it out in normal use that allows the drive to spin up and spin down.
* Not spinning down the drive puts wear and tear on the drive bearings ( again they are rated for being in use).
* Drives that need to wake and spin up will be slower the first time you try to access them after waking them up. Just the facts.
* Drives that are spun down use less energy. How much less is up for debate.
* Not spinning down the drive will cause it to run hotter.
* The experts don’t even agree, but Steve Gibson told PC Magazine recently, "Cycling the drive [turning it off and on] is definitely worse for it".
V App Store rhymes with Flappy
* MacRumors reported that over a 24-hour period (Wednesday to Thursday last week) one-third of new games submitted to the App Store were Flappy Bird clones.
* This is just symptomatic of a bigger problem that the popularity of apps and the App Store are breeding
* It also proves the old adage, "Careful what you wish for".
V I’ve been around long enough to remember the Mac days when we’d have the software quality vs. quantity debate
* Windows users always claimed superiority because they had more app choices
* We always argued that it was quality, not quantity that mattered
* I still believe in a few great apps vs. hundreds of mediocre/ crappy ones.
V One could argue that a vibrant App Store with more developers wanting to develop for the platform will bring more quality apps, but personally I don’t feel like were seeing it.
* The app numbers rise, but the proportion of quality apps doesn’t seem to rise with it.
V More and more it seems what we get are developers looking to make a quick buck by lying, cheating, or downright stealing.
V TechCrunch had a report of a developer who made Tens of thousands a day from a $10 App Template
* The template is called “Red Bouncing Ball Spikes.”
* It became the #2 paid iPhone app on Apple’s App Store at one point, how?
* Scam the system.
* The developer, who reportedly has a reputation for ripping off developers, stealing games and source code, created thousands of fake iTunes accounts and bought 20,000 copies of his own $0.99 app
* Apparently that is the magic number to push and app into the top 10.
V Once there the app naturally gets tens of thousands of purchases a day
* Bonus is he gets 70 percent of the original $20,000 investment back too.
* As long as Apple’s devices and AppStore remains popular I think this is the new world we live in, I’m just not so sure how much I like it.
* Hopefully as Apple becomes more aware of the scams and gaming they will work harder to shut t down, but so far it seem they aren’t.
* My gut tells me they are just woefully understaffed and overwhelmed, but I think it would be a good area to invest just a few of those hundreds of billion in cash on had that they have.
V Junk Mail not marked
* Katie wrote me with an OS X Mavericks Mail bug I had not heard of, but one that I also see in my Mail
* Messages are getting moved by the built in Junk Mail filter, but when you look they are not tagged with the "brown" color and junk mail icon
* This means that you can’t select false positives and "thumbs up" them so they return to the inbox.
V The workaround I use is to just drag then to the in-box. You can even drag to the in-box bar in the Mailbox List bar
* There was a universal in-box bug, but that is supposedly fixed in 10.9.2
* You could also, thumbs down them in the Junk folder and then Thumbs up them.
V Can’t Time Machine in iPhoto
* I think I was was aware of this issue at one time, but forgot about it. A listener reminded me this week, so I thought we could all use a reminder.
* Back in the day, pre- iPhoto 9.2, there was a 'Browse Backups' option that would activate Time Machine and allow you to go back and restore items within the iPhoto interface.
* After iPhoto 9.2 Apple moved to a single iPhoto "Library file" and that functionality no longer works
V In a Support article they say you now will be taken to the Finder and will need to restore the entire iPhoto Library file
* I assume it will ask if you want to overwrite or keep both
* What if you don;t have the space to keep both?
* Many folks will likely inadvertently overwrite their existing Library and lose all their new photos from the restore point forward.
V The thing is that the iPhoto Library file is really a "Package file" (folder). You can right+click and choose 'Show Package Contents'
* 1) Go to ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library
* 2) Right+Click the iPhoto Library and choose 'Show Package Contents'
* 3) Click the 'Originals' alias
* 4) Now you should see a bunch of folders organized by year
* 5) Activate Time Machine
* 6) Browse back to find the image you want to restore. The folders go by year > month > day. After that the folder and image names are cryptic, but you can use the previews to find the image you want to restore.
* 7) Select it and restore it with Time Machine.
* 8) I would then move the image out of the ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library package folder and re-add it manually to iPhoto.
* That should work. As always make sure you have a full backup of the iPhoto Library just in case.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Smile
V Gazelle
* Gazelle. The fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets! Find out what your used iPhone, iPad and other Apple products are worth at
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
* Follow me on Twitter
* Checkout the page on Facebook