Maccast 2014.06.21 - Show #492
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Handoff Bluetooth LE only
* Seems like the new Handoff feature in OS X Yosemite may be limited to only Macs and iOS devices that have Bluetooth LE support
* If true that means many Macs that can run OS X Mavericks will not get to use Handoff. That would be a bummer
V Apple started introducing Bluetooth LE into Macs with the Mid-2011 Macbook Air models. The Mac Pro was the last Mac model in the lineup to get the feature with it arriving in the new Mac Pro.
* Luckily all iOS 8 supported iOS devices offer Bluetooth LE, except the iPad 2
V For Macs
* Mid-2011 MacBook Air
* Mid-2012 MacBook Pro, including Retina MacBook Pros
* Late-2012 iMac
* Mid-2011 Mac mini
* 2013 Mac Pro
V To determine your Mac's Bluetooth version (thanks to iMore)
* Click the  menu.
* Select About This Mac.
* Click on the More Info... button.
* Click on the System Report... button.
V Select Bluetooth from the sidebar on the left, underneath "Hardware."
* Scan down the list of information until you find "LMP Version."
* If your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, LMP Version will say 0x6. Anything lower than that is an older version of Bluetooth.
V If you have a non supported Mac, all hope might not be lost
* 9to5 Macs claims to have sources "with knowledge of the matter" who say Apple is "still testing the feature" and has not yet finalized which models will be supported at launch.
* Even if things remain as they are, it may still be possible to use a Bluetooth LE adapter to gain compatibility on an older Mac. One tester already clims to have been able to do so with the current beta.
V Samsung zombies want Siri’s brains
* The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Samsung is in talks with Nuance about a possible acquisition.
* If that’s true it could be really frightening for Apple who uses Nuance technology to drive the speech and dictation recognition algorithms for Siri.
V If Nuance were to be aquired it’s not certian what it would mean for Apple and Siri
* At the very best Apple would be reliant on Samung for another core bit of their technology. Not a position Apple want to be in.
* At worst they would need to find another provider for speech recognition technology, or be forced to developer their own in house.
V Apple did reportedly attempt to aquire Nuance back in 2011, but a deal never happened
* At that time it was thought the deal would be worth 5 to 6 billion
* Obviously now it would be a lot more.
V If Apple did have to go the in-house route they could already be prepared
* In 2013, a report suggested that Apple may already be working to move Siri development in-house.
* There was supposedly a dedicated Siri team in Boston working on a voice recognition solution
V Also, in April it was discovered by TechCrunch, that Apple aquired a company called Novauris almost a year ago.
* A company founded with many of the members of the team from Dragon Systems R&D U.K. Ltd.
* Dragon Systems R&D was a research subsidiary of Dragon Systems, makers of the “DragonDictate” and “Dragon NaturallySpeaking" software and an early pioneer of modern voice recognition systems.
* Novauris had been developing its own large-vocabulary, automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology and has systems that work in both the embedded and server space, and they also own the core engine.
V So, Nuance obviously isn’t the only technology driving Siri
* Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, Bing, Yahoo! and other data services, like Shazam in iOS 8, also make up Siri’s "intelligence"
* But, Siri uses Nuance technology, at least for now, to be able to understand us.
* If these rumors are true, my first thoight was, "I hope Apple is willing to shell out a big chunk of that multi billion dollar war chest to keep Siri from falling into enemy hands"
V After learning more I’m not so sure
* Apple tried to aquire Nuance, but for some reason it didn’t work out
* Apple likes to own the whole widget, it didn’t work out, they started building out their own team.
* It may be that their secret in-house team is strong enough and has mature enough technology that Apple is no longer so dependent on Nuance
* That could be why Nuance is shopping themselves around, because if Apple leaves, their value might go way down since a big part of what they do is about licensing these days.
V Recent rumors on the iWatch
* The iWatch will be introduced at the end of Q3 2014
* Component and production from Largan, Foxconn, Pegatron, Quanta, Inventec and F-TPK
* An OLED display, but current prototypes may be having power issues.
V The display is reportedly 2.5-inches and lates rumors say slightly rectangular, with the watch face will protrude slightly from the band creating an arched shape.
* Previous reports had indicated a "round" display
* They also speculated a size of 1.3 to 1.7-inches
* We’d also heard there may be multiple sizes to appeal to both men and women.
* A MacRumors forum member, Lewis Dorigo, points out that a 2.45-inch display at 480x640 would have a (326 ppi) pixel density.
* It’s also said the iWatch will have wireless charging and that Apple is stuggling with battery life, which it want to be "days".
V The Wall Street Journal has published a new report claiming that Apple’s upcoming entry to the smartwatch market will sport as many as ten or more sensors for collecting health data
* Capable of measuring heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose and even sweat.
* The also claim, as we’ve heard before, that Apple is working on multiple versions of the device
V Apple has supposedly been inviting athletes from the MLB, NHL, and NBA to Cupertino to help test out the new device.
* Recently there were leaked photos of Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant on Apple’s campus
* Between the Beats purchase and this rumor, it seems Apple is looking to really up it’s relationship with celebrities, something that would have a big marketing impact especailly with the younger demographic.
* The iWatch is likely to be as much about brand, fashion, and image as it is about the health and fitness applications.
V A Chinese website also claims the iWatch is taking longer to get to market because Apple is seeking FDA approval of the device.
* Apple would need such approval if they wanted to integrate things like a glucose meter.
V Jony Ive hinted at working with "new materials" for seveal years that will show up in "future products"
* Liquid metal
* Sapphire glass
V Expected price point around $349 with 10 million units at launch.
* Some reports say Apple is hoping to ship 50 million units in its first year of sales.
* Announced in October and ship in the 4th quarter
V Recent rumors on the iPhone 6
* 4.7-inch model will use displays from LG Display and Japan Display
V The glass on the 4.7-inch model will be Gorilla glass and not Sapphire
* I don’t believe this one.
V A filing submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, shows there may be a second GT Advanced apphire manufacturing facility in Salem, Massachusetts
* The 50,000-square-foot facility already existed as an R&D facility
* The company reportedly has used some of Apple’s investment money to retrofit it with furnaces like the primary sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona
* Speculation is Apple and GT could use the facility now to supplement Mesa production, although it’s not 100% clear what the intentions are.
* Analyst Matt Margolis says the facility can supply up to 20 million additional sapphire screens each year.
* The Mesa plant is said to be able to produce 200 million sapphire display a year (more than enough for all Apple’s current device needs).
* 60 million 4.7-inch units available at launch
V The 5.5-inch model will use a sapphire crystal screen, but they are having yield issues and supplies will be low through the end of 2014
* Again, not sure I’m buying the sapphire crystal screen issues
* I think supplies will be constrained, but likely due to other factors, including HUGE demand
V Code references in the latest iOS betas seem to indicate it may get a barometer sensor
* Used for altitude and weather pressure sensing
* Would be useful with indoor mapping and iBeacon technology for determing which floor of a building a user is on
V New iOS and OS X betas out to developers
V iOS 8 Beta 2
* QuickType keyboard for iPad
V Podcast app now installed as a default app that cannot be removed
* iBooks was made native and non-removable in iOS 8 beta 1
* Safari now blocks ads that automatically redirect users to the App Store without any interaction.
* Safri, Pinch to tabs on iPad.
* Add a site to Shared Links or save a bookmark by tapping and holding on the Bookmarks button in the browser.
* The camera and voice buttons in the iOS 8 Messages app have been changed from blue to gray.
* Easily toggle off ALL an apps Ntoifications. Settings > Notifications > Select app > flip the Allow Notifications toggle to 'Off'
* Fixes a bug with the screen brightness slider in Settings and prevents crashes when adding a third-party keyboards.
V Flyover city tours
* One of the "feature cloud" features announced at WWDC
* A devloper has used hidden debug menus in the latest iOS 8 beta release to activate them.
* There’s a video of a Paris city tour published by Mac4Ever.
* Automatically takes you from point of interest to point of interest in Flyover view
* In addition to Paris the developer has uncovered tours for Barcelona, Rome, Stockholm, New York, Glasgow, Cape Town, Perth, Bordeaux, and San Francisco.
* To begin a City Tour, find a city with a yellow label in Hybrid view. Tap precisely on the city name and select City Tour.
V OS X Yoesmite
V Dark mode can be enabled via the Terminal
* `sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences AppleInterfaceTheme Dark`
* Then logout and log back in to see the effect.
* Change 'Dark' to 'Light' to switch back.
* The feature is not fully baked and still has display issues, for example menubar icon borders. Why Apple hasn;t included Dark mode settings in the GUI yet.
V Apple has added a new field for Continuity Support in the System Information under the Bluetooth category
* Bluetooth Low Energy Supported, Continuity Supported, AirDrop Supported
V Macs with the new Yosemite beta and on the same network with Apple TV’s running the latest iOS beta saw a "Apple TV is now available for Continuity" pop up notification.
* It’s not clear what features would be supported
* Possibly Handoff of video and audio content, so if you’re playing media on your Mac or device it could give you an icon to pick that content up on the Apple TV
* Could also display incoming phone call data and possibly even allow you to pick up a call with a future Apple TV.
V New "low end" iMac released
* Apple added a new 21.5-inch model on the bottom end with a new lower price as expected
V The new model comes with a 1.4-gigahertz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU, a 500-gigabyte hard drive, and 8 gigabytes of RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 5000 priced at USD $1099.00
* Basically a Macbook Air with a 21.5-inch screen and 500 GB HDD.
V OWC discovered, like the Macbook Air, the 8GB of RAM is soldered on and non-user upgradeable.
* RAM in the new model is also not a configurable option
* Single core benchmarks are slightly higher than the Macbook Air’s, by about 12 percent, and just slightly lower than the next model up, the 2.7GHz quad-core i5 iMac. But the new iMac is 40 percent slower than it’s 2.7GHz sibling in multi-core tests according to MacNN
* The new model is a bit puzzeling and seems to be a "psychological" and marketing pice point more than a practical one.
* You can get the much more powerful 2.7-gigahertz Core i5 model with a 1-terabyte hard drive and dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics for $200 more from Apple and as low as $999.00 with rebates from some Apple Authorized resellers.
V Apple also lower pricing on the iMacs, Mac minis and Apple TV in the UK and Europe
* The cost of standard-model iMacs has been cut by between €100 ($169) and €200 ($339), depending on the configuration
* Mac mini’s saw up to a €60 ($81) price drop.
* An Apple TV now costs just €79 ($134), a €20 ($34) drop fro the previous €99 ($168) price point.
V Your cheap cable is killing your iPhone
* According to UK repair company mendmyi
* They say they have seen an influx of devices that won’t charge past 1% or boot up at all anymore after the battery was completely depleted and say the issue could be connected cheap chargers and USB cables.
* The theory is that cheap chargers and cables are damaging the U2 IC chip that sits on the logic board of the iPhone 5.
* Mendmyi says using a third party charger or USB cable that does not regulate well allows for larger variables in voltage and current which can then damage the U2 IC chip.
* A replacement battery will re-invigorate the iPhone, but only until you delplete the battery again. After that it’s back to the same issue.
V So far the issue has been seen on the iPhone 5, it’s not clear if the issue impacts other model iPhones or iPads
* The iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5 do use different U2 IC components
V The site claims that even using auto-chargers can cause the issue because they don’t regulate the current and voltage.
* I and my wife have used car chargers ans third party (MFi certified) chargers without issue with the iPhone 5
* They say you should consider a quality inverter and the Apple supplied charger and cable for charging in the car.
* They also say that most customers are unaware of the issue until they let the battery in their device completely drain to zero. It’s at that point when it will no longer charge or power up.
* They also point out that the can and do offer repairs for this issue. I have no doubt that they believe this issue to exist, but also recognize that they have something to gain from the findings.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V The case of the stolen hard drive, continued
V First off, I made HUGE mistake in what I said about the drive being "protected" by the account passwords
V Part of my mistake was made because I knew that Apple had "removed" the reset password options from the Recovery Partition GUI
* The trouble is that it’s only gone from the GUI, but it’s still easily accessed if you know how.
* 1. Restart the Mac.
* 2. Press and hold the Command and the R keys while booting to access the Recovery partiton
* 3. You'll see a window for "OS X Utilities." From the Menu bar at the top and select Utilities > Terminal.
* 4. At the Terminal prompt type 'resetpassword' and hit 'Return'
* 5. The 'Reset Password' window should now open.
* 6. Enter a new admin password and verify it, then click 'Save'
* 7. Choose OS X Utilities > Quit OS X Utilities from the Apple Menu and the Mac shoudl restart.
* Now you can use the new login to access the data on the drive.
V But there’s an even easier way to access the data
* If you put the hard drive into a USB enclosure or use a USB drive adapter you can connect it as an external.
* Then in the Finder select it, go to 'File' > 'Get Info…', and check the 'Ignore permissions on this volume'
* You’ll then have access to any unencrypted files and data on the drive.
V The best way to protect your data from this kind of attach is to use File Vault 2
* First, back up your drive. You’ll want an unencrypted copy just in case.
* Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault
V Click the padlock in the lower left of the window and enter your admin password in order to make changes, and then press Turn On FileVault.
* It will use your account credentails to do the encryption so you’ll use the same login you use to log in to your Mac.
V You will then be show a recovery key, make sure to put a copy of that in a safe place (say 1Password). It can be used just in case you ever forget your password.
* After you’ll also be asked if you’d like to store the key with Apple
* If you do you’ll set up a series of security questions
V You’ll then need to restart your Mac to begin the encryption process.
* The process will take some time depending on the size of your volume
* You can follow the progress of this process from the same FileVault tab of the Security & Privacy preference pan
* If you ever forget your user login AND the recovery key (and you didn’t store it with Apple) you will be sunk.
V When your Mac is "unlocked", your data is "unlocked"
* Require a password when waking from sleep, System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General
* Turn off auto login, from the same panel System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General
* Also be aware that backup drives, like CCC or Super Duper, are not encypted.
* Time Machine backups can be encrypted, System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Disk and checking the box Encrypt Backups.
V Justin reminds us that relying on Keychain can also be risky if an attacker has physical access to the drive.
* There are know hacks against Keychain and if you aren’t good password practices you are vulnerable. Even if you are given enough time and resources you may be.
* Also, avoid storing encypted disk image passwords in Keychain.
V As for the why?
* Many of you point out this is actually a commion thing.
* The victim often doesn’t realize the theft until later delaying the time that they report the crime.
* Some have also said they have heard of dives being cloned and swapped with once that contain or install spyware and maleware. (all the more reason to lock it up in a romm safe).
V Split Screen tablet users
* Well I did get one response back from Jason
* "I am one of those rare Surface RT users and I make heavy usage of the split screen functionality. I will admit upfront that I don't really use the Surface as a production device, except for taking notes in OneNote during meetings. For the most part I use the device as a research and media consumption device, and for that the split screen feature sees a lot of use. One of the main reasons I switched to the Surface RT from the iPad (aside from the ridiculous educational deal I got on it) was that I multitask a lot when watching any kind of video. I found myself constantly using my iPhone to check IRC, Twitter, etc and switching to the Surface allowed me to just split the window at 50% for IRC or 25% for Twitter and save my iPhone battery. I also do a lot of research and will have the browser on one side and a video playing on the other. "
* I don’ft think I would like the distraction on such a small screen. Even on my 15" MacBook Pro screen I tend to run my apps in a "maximized" window and use Command+Tab to switch between them.
V Timezone Timer Bug
* Carlos got back to me and I had his timezone reminder bug issue wrong.
* The issue was with the Clock’s "timer" and not the Reminders app.
* I had tested this, but didn;t get my time for a long enough duration, over an hour.
* To see the bug set a timer in the Clock app, say for "3:00:00".
* Now go to Settings > General > Date & Time and change your timezone.
* Now put your device to sleep and when you wake it the timer on the lock screen will display and adjusted time, not the actual countdown.
* This does seem to be limited to the lock screen. If you unlock your device and go to the Clock it the timer should still be correct.
* Don’t forget to change your timezone back 😉
V iTunes displaying Chinese
* Kevin is suddenly having an issue were iTunes is displaying his artist information in Chinese, despite his Mac being in English.
V I would first double check the language settings.
* From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
* Choose View > Language & Region.
* Drag your language of choice to the top of the list.
* Quit System Preferences.
* Quit and reopen iTunes.
V Secondly you may have a font issue.
* 1. Open Applications > Font Book.
* 2. See if you seen any conflicts in the font list (will have a warning icon)
V 3. Also choose 'Edit' > 'Look for enabled duplicates', to see if you have conflicts.
* If you do select and disable the duplicate fonts
* 4. You can also choose 'Edit' > 'Disable User' to temporarily disable all user installed fonts.
V If you see this only in the "Store", make sure your on the right store
* Click the 'iTunes Store' button
* Scroll to the bottom and look at the flag icon in the lower right. That should be the flag for your country.
* If it’s not, click it.
* Now find the correct country (flag) from the ones displayed and click it to switch to the approprite iTunes Store.
V CalDigit Thunderbolt Station review
V Play review from Ty.
* 1. Thunderbolt Monitor and HDMI Monitor - Yes
* 2. Mini-Display Port Monitor and HDMI Monitor - No
* 3. Mini-display port adapter to DVI Monitor and HDMI monitor - No
* 4. Thunderbolt Display and HDMI adapter to DVI Monitor - Yes
* You can typically only have one MiniDisplay Port (or mini display port adapted) display on a Thunderbolt chain. If your Mac had two Thunderbolt ports, that were indpendant, then you could have two displays.
* Also, your display needs to be the last device in the chain.
* Often times the HDMI is on a shared bus with the Thunderbolt, not sure if this is why the CalDigit is limited?
* Frankly I’m not sure why you can only mix HDMi with an Apple Thunderbolt display vs. a Mini Display Port one.
V Get a 2D "Yosemite" dock in OS X Mavericks
* Ian really liked the new look of the OS X Yosemite and wanted to achieve the 2D effct in the current OS
* Some resourceful Googling turned up cDock
V First, some warnings.
* Backup
* This is an unsigned app, I generally don’t advise running unsigned apps.
* I did try it and it seems OK, but I’m not a security expert
* I ran into an issue when I first ran the app and had it swap the dock. Probably beacuse I run my dock on the side?
V I think basically what the app does is tweat the PNG resource images of the dock for you.
* They are found at '/System/Library/CoreServices/'
* It seems to make a backup and there is a "restore" option that seemed to work.
* You can get a "transparent" dock. "customized" lets to tweak values in a TXT file. They also have preset "TXT" configurations you can load. Like "full screen" which extends the dock all the way across the bottom of your display.
V If you get stuck this Terminal command can be helpful
* ' killall -kill Dock'
V Closing
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