Maccast 2014.10.06 - Show #502
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Gazelle
V Gazelle
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V News
V Mac.BackDoor.iWorm
* Over 18,000 Macs were hit by the worm which creates a botnet
V The exploit also used Reddit as part of it's network though Reddit was not been hacked.
* The site has a list that the bonnet hits to get servers that can issue it commands.
* For their part Reddit shut down the forum that had the IPs, but it could be set up elsewhere.
V At first it was unknown how the worm was infecting systems, but this week the anti-malware company who first reported the iWorm, Dr. Web, discovered the payload in a pirated Photoshop installer.
* It’s likely other pirated OS X app installers could cary the iWorm as well.
* Luckily the worm appears to only be installed via the App installer trojan and doesn’t appear to be self-replicating.
V The malware stores files in a directory in Application Support called 'JavaW'
* You can look in ~/Library/Application Support to check if you've been exploited.
V Apple updated their Xprotect definitions to protect against the iWorm
* This will not clean you if you've been hit, only prevent the attack.
V Next Apple Event this Month
* Re/Code says Apple will hold it's next event in their Town Hall on October 16th.
* We'd also heard October 21st as a possible date.
* The event is expected to focus on new iPads and iMacs
V The belief is we'll get a Retina resolution iMac
* Recently there had been rumors of a 5K version. 27-inch only at 5120 x 2880 resolution.
* An Intel i7-4790K processor clocked at 4.0 gigahertz
* Moving back to AMD graphics, current iMacs use Nvidia GPUs
V iPads should get new A8 processors and TouchID
* There have also been rumors of a Gold iPad Air.
V Some feel, though I don't, that the rumored 12.9-inch iPad "Pro" could make an appearance.
* Rumored to have an improved A8X processor (Apple had stopped doing this last year)
* 2GB of RAM
* I still don’t see what space this fills.
* Rumors of a staggered iPad release with the Airs getting their update this year, but the iPad mini release being pushed back to 2015 (highly unlikely in my opinion).
V Some are also hoping for a Retina MacBook Air, though I think that may not come to be.
* 12-inch Macbook Air
* Noticeably thinner design with smaller bezel to make it more compact.
* Fan-less clamshell like design. Likely powered by the new Intel Broadwell "Core-M" processor.
* Reversible USB Type C connector.
V Lose the MagSafe connector in favor or a new battery charging technology.
* No Details
* Guess: Lightning or possibly induction charging?
* In iPhone colors. Space Grey, Silver, and Gold
V Possible new Mac mini
* This would be a long time coming
* Production could be moved to the US
* Expect a mini spec bump if anything at all, still I love the mini and I hope Apple gives it some love back.
* One would also assume that Apple would give OS X Yosemite a release date. It recently entered GM status.
* Apple Pay is also due this month, so it may get a firm launch date too.
* The date for Apple Pay, iOS 8.1, and OS X Yosemite is likely to be October 20th.
V Apple Watch production rumored to start in January
* Quanta Computer is said to be the sole manufacturing partner
* One rumor said Apple was targeting a February 14, Valentine's Day launch
* If production is just beginning in January that date would be hard to make. Expect late March or early April.
V Details on the iPhone 6
* iFixit and Chipworks teardown
V A8 chips still use just 1GB of RAM, but that hasn’t hampered performance in tests
* Seems to be a 20-nanometer design manufactured by TSMC, not Samsung. It is believed that Samsung might be handling 30 percent of A8 production.
* Interestingly ZDNet says Samsung president claimed they would be producing Apple’s A9 chips likely using a 14-nanometer process
* 13 percent increase in SunSpider browser performance
V In most GPU tests the new iPhones bested the competition, but the iPhone 6 often beat out the 6 plus in on screen FPS test. Likely due to the higher 2208x1242 resolution that is ten downscaled. Offscreen rendering it did much better.
* The iPhones also showed low performance in the "Physics" benchmark.
* In real world test of multi-tasking done by the site PhoneBuff the iPhone 6 beating the HTC One (M8) which was the previous champ. Bested the Samsung Galaxy S5 by over a minute.
V Batteries are 1,810 mAh for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 2,915 mAh for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (1.6X larger than the iPhone 6)
* In tests Apple is getting more life with less battery than the competition
* The charger that comes with the new iPhone’s is a 5w 1A charger, but the devices do support faster 2.1A charging. So use your iPad chargers to get faster re-charge times.
* Camera’s extra "Focus Pixels" allow for fast auto-focus
* The NFC chip for Apple Pay is NXP made, but seems to be custom designed for Apple.
V Couldn’t seem to locate the compass chip on the iPhone 6, but noted two separate accelerometer chips. One from InvenSense and Bosch.
* Any ideas why the phone might need two accelerometers?
* The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units have received a 7 out of 10 repairability score, 1 point better than the iPhone 5s.
V With Apple selling 10 million in the opening weekend sales have been brisk to say the least
* The phone has yet to go on sale in India and China
* Chinese carriers have recorded more than 2 million reservations of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the first six hours and double to 4 million in the first day.
* The iPhone 6 is scheduled to launch in India on October 17th.
V Digitimes claimed that 60% of iPhone 6’s being sold are iPhone 6 Pluses
* Web analytics contradict that
* Mixpanel says that the iPhone 6 currently represents 5% of total iPhone usage on the web. Although the share of 6 Plus has been climbing, it remains below 1.2%.
V Apple’s plans for Beats
* The plans seem to be changing according to recent rumors
* Last May Apple said that Beats Music was a key part of their Beats purchase, but TechCrunch is citing five sources who say Apple plans to eventually shut down the service.
* There is no timetable, but sources say that many people working on Betas have been moved into other projects like iTunes
V Apple isn’t exactly planning on closing the service, but rather may be looking to integrate it into an Apple/iTunes branded music subscription service.
* They gave a statement to Re/code and confirmed that , "(the) Beats brand may go away," but they plan to stay in the streaming music space.
* Re/code also reported that Apple is in very early stages of pushing for licensing fees that would allow Beats to charge less than the current $10 per month going rate.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Case for a $15K Apple Watch
* Play comment from Kirit
* You are not the first person who has told me they are a high end watch collector and who has thrown out the theory of Apple having a way to upgrade the innards of the Apple Watch in the future
* It’s an interesting theory, but one that is hard for a technology geek to understand.
* It does make sense and since I’ve heard the theory from the fashion and watch geeks who think differently than us tech geeks I take it with some faith.
* Typically we want devices that get thinner or are different in some way physically.
* The idea of a heirloom technology gadget is just foreign. My kids have no interest in my Mac Plus or my eMate 300.
V Explaining the "Shellshock" vulnerability
* The "shell" is the core processor in Linux and Unix that interprets command typed into the Terminal
* Bash, or Bourne-Again Shell, is the default on the Mac and has been around for 25 years
* Bash is used by many servers, including web servers, DHCP servers, etc.
* The exploit impacts all versions of Bash through 4.3, basically all released in the last 25 years
V The exploit is triggered when something issues a command line code to bash
* The vulnerability allows extra code to be passed into the command that sets environment variables and that code gets executed. This is know as "Arbitrary code execution" and it’s bad.
* This could allow a lot of nefarious things because often these commands can be executed by the OS with heightened permissions
* The good news is that to be exploited you’d need to run software that is accessible to the outside world and invokes Bash when it is run.
V The bigger issue for this exploit is all the embedded systems that may not be capable of being patched
* Many DHCP servers in the handshake can set environment variables
* If those get compromised, say in a open wi-fi hotspot, then your unpatched system could be vulnerable
V Apple has issued a patch, but it didn’t come through Software Update for me
* Get it from Apple’s support site.
* There are patches for OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, and Lion
V Managing iOS 8 bugs
V Probably the most bug riddled update to iOS, at least that I can remember
* The frustrating part is many of the issues seem to be random in terms of the groups of users they impact making it hard to pin point or troubleshoot the cause
* Just heard of a direct connect to iTunes Music syncing issue, but I’ve had no trouble.
* The iOS 8.0.2 update still seemed to kill some customers cellular data connections.
* Good news is that iOS 8.1 is out to developers and may address a number of existing issues, and hopefully won’t bring too many new ones. 8.2 and 8.3 are also supposedly already under way.
V Stuck Notification Banners
* I haven't had this issue, but iMore noted it
* Instead of swiping away the notification, tap the home button once to dismiss
V Wi-Fi not responding
* Open Settings
* Toggle Airplane Mode
V Avoid "Rest All" if using iCloud Drive
* Reports that going to Settings > General > Reset and tapping 'Reset All Settings' is erasing all iCloud Drive data for users.
* Then syncs deletes to all devices set up for iCloud Drive.
V Bluetooth Audio Connectivity
* Breaking for a number of folks
* No real work around beyond "reset settings" which may or may not work and could erase your iCloud Drive
V Peer-to-Peer Airplay Apple TV 3 only
* Need to be running OS X 10.10 or iOS 8 and have a 3rd gen Apple TV running AppleTV 7.0
* Apple TV 7.0 firmware was a 3rd gen only update.
* Family Sharing and Beats Music are also only in the 7.0 update.
V Why 'Full Access' on some 3rd party keyboards
* They need this to have any kind of communication back to the host app
* They would need this to keep the size profile of the keyboard light
* Still giving full access does remove many iOS sandboxing restrictions. Specifically the ability to keep key presses (keylogging) data away from the host app.
V Twitter developer Craig Hockenberry, discovered that in-app browsers can record key-presses even on secure SSL connections.
* The AT&T app for example is just a sophisticated WebView app.
* The issue seems to be in the core of WebKit and the UIView
* Using OAuth would be a way around it.
* The native Safari browser doesn’t suffer from this issue.
V Send Last Location
* New in Find My iPhone
* Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone
* Toggle on Send Last Location
* Will send when the battery gets critically low
V Apple added new tool to check for Activation Lock
* The utility is on Apple’s website
* Enter the device IMEI or Serial Number
* Disable 'Find My iPhone' on your device to remove an activation lock.
V Removing photos from 'Recently Added'
* Play question from Phil
* I might be missing something here, but the process is more or less the same.
V Maybe the confusion is that 'Photo Stream' is now "Recently Added"
* Go into 'Photos' and then tap on 'Albums'
* Tap on the photo you want to remove and then tap the 'Trash can' delete button.
* In the confirmation dialog notice it says, "This photo will also be deleted from Photo Stream on all your devices"
* Tap 'Delete Photo' to remove it.
V On the Apple TV
* Open the iCloud Photos app
* Select the Photo you want to remove
* Press and hold the select button on the remote
* In the pop-up dialog select 'Delete'
* There is no confirmation or warning on the Apple TV
V The images seems to be removed from Photo Stream in iPhoto, but were still visible in the 'Recently Added' library on my device.
* Seems to be because when you delete in this way the device still retains it’s local, formerly "Camera Roll" copy.
V An option to not show photos locally on the device would be to use the new 'Hide' option. This has no impact on Photo Stream though.
* Tap and hold on a photo
* In the pop-up menu tap 'Hide'
* The dialog says, "This photo will be hidden from Moments, Collections, and Year but will still be visible in Albums"
* Tap, 'Hide Photo' to confirm
* You’ll find hidden photos in the special 'Hidden' Album.
V Use Speak Screen in iOS 8
* This new accessibility feature reads the contents of the screen
* It's different than VoiceOver as it doesn't read back UI elements, but actually finds text on the screen and just reads that
V To enable it
* settings > General > Accessibility
* Tap on Speech
* Turn on Speak Screen
V You might also want to tap on Voices and adjust your voices
* There are now many 'enhanced' version
* Also Alex is available as a high quality voice. 800+ MB download
V To use the Speak Screen
* Make sure your on a screen that mostly contains text
* If you're on a website you'll want to be in Reader mode.
* Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen
* The it will start speaking and you'll get an overlay with player controls
* Play/pause and next/previous buttons.
* Also rabbit and turtle to adjust playback speed.
* Words will highlight as the text is being read.
* Tap the close arrow to minimize the controls. This can be drug around the screen.
* Playback continues even if you switch apps.
* Tap the "X" on the controller to cancel and stop playback.
V Limiting Apple Mail storage
* Play question from Brian
* Unfortunately I don’t have a great answer for you. You can’t limit the about of local cache storage Apple mail uses.
V The good news is I think it does some clever things for say, Gmail accounts.
* My GMail has 2.7GB used, but locally I only have 1.6GB and that is all in the GMail "Archive" inbox, basically "All Mail".
V My workaround for years has been using Mail Steward
* This app watches your email and creates a local archive as a MySQL or SQLite database
* You tell it which mailboxes you want archived. For example I leave out junk and spam folders
* You can archive manually or on a schedule
* Each year I export the last years worth of email to a separate Mail Steward archive. Then I delete those messages from Mail and the server.
* I of course have several backups, including off site at Crash Plan, of my Mail Steward email archives.
V Closing
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