Happy Holidays! See you back here on January 4. --mam
A group of disgruntled iPhone owners filed a lawsuit against Apple on Thursday for allegedly concealing a defect that caused iPhone 5 and 5s models to switch away from Wi-Fi to cellular data without users' knowledge, resulting in high cellular bills. -- AppleInsider.
Charlie Rose is going deep inside Apple to interview the company's top brass in a special set to include a sneak peek at Apple's "store of the future" with retail chief Angela Ahrendts and a segment featuring Chief Design Officer Jony Ive in his famously secret design studio. -- AppleInsider.
Apple's decision to split its App Stores out of Eddy Cue's iTunes and iCloud oversight and instead assign them to Phil Schiller, its head of worldwide marketing, appears to based on an effort to differentiate platform management of developers' interactive apps from the reselling of static content from media holders, and to handle each appropriately. -- AppleInsider.
We're just a few days from the 10th anniversary of Kitzmiller v Dover, the case that declared teaching intelligent design in science classrooms an unconstitutional imposition of religion. The sound legal defeat at Dover, however, hasn't convinced people who dislike evolution from trying to limit its use in public education. Instead, they've simply adapted to the new legal environment by developing new tactics. -- Ars Technica.
One of a heaping collection of critical bug fixes pushed out by Microsoft on December 8 as part of the company's monthly "Patch Tuesday" was an update to the Microsoft Office suite designed to close a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to sneak past Outlook's security features. While the patch addressed multiple vulnerabilities in the way Office manages objects in memory, the most severe of them allows for remote code execution through a "specially crafted Microsoft Office file," Microsoft reported. -- Ars Technica.
Like iOS, OS X has its own Notifications Center to keep you abreast of all the stuff going on in your world, from calendar events to reminders.
Unlike iOS, OS X El Capitan defaults to a date sorting system that groups all your Notifications together by the date they were triggered. That's super handy if you're searching for a notification you got today, but don't remember what app it came from. If, however, you want to sort by the app the notification is coming from, or--better yet--sort by date and app, you're in luck.
Here's how to choose a different option. -- Cult of Mac.
If you have an iCloud account, your iPhone and iPads back-up their contents there. However, to be doubly safe, you should make an iTunes backup of your device on your Mac. Here's how: -- Apple World Today.
The Threat Insight team from Proofpoint looked at thousands of iOS and Android apps, and found that a disturbing percentage of seemingly innocent apps pose a threat to users. Apps were found to include secret tracking components, as well as data-stealing elements and the ability to make unauthorized calls. The figures make for frightening reading.
Adobe is on a tear as we near the end of 2015, releasing a slew of new apps designed to help you be more creative in your photo- and video-editing projects. Its latest iOS app, Adobe Post, is an easy way to design Instagram-worthy graphics.
For small business owners, bloggers, and other folks who need to promote themselves on social media, Post is a free, easy-to-use tool to create graphics. -- Macworld.
Most people who've endured a terrible PowerPoint presentation will have experienced boredom, followed by frustration, then anger that it took up an hour - or possibly even more - of their lives that they will never get back. -- BBC.
What would the Galactic Economy look like following the destruction of two Death Stars? This is the informed Star Wars debate taking shape between to people who know their economics.
Elliot Williams, a Ph.D. in Econometrics, has just debunked the work of Zachary Feinstein who claimed that the Rebel Alliance would have been better off had they not destroyed the two Death Stars because what they're left with is a Galactic Economy in ruin.
Feinstein, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, published a scholarly paper early this month saying it was financial suicide to destroy both of the giant construction projects. Williams' take on things is that the project was a sunk cost; destroyed or whole the Death Star expenditures already made are gone and not likely to further cost or benefit the new government. Perhaps most interesting in the discussion is how you estimate the cost of the Death Star projects and the GGP -- the Galactic Gross Product of the fictional universe. -- Hackaday.
Apple on Wednesday provided members of its registered developer community with the first pre-release beta of iOS 9.2.1, a forthcoming maintenance and security update for the mobile operating system. -- AppleInsider.
Following today's iOS 9.2.1 beta release, Apple issued the first version of OS X 10.11.3 El Capitan to developers with minor improvements and bug fixes. -- AppleInsider.
Apple launched a redesigned Mac in Business webpage on Wednesday to better target its growing presence in enterprise, highlighting corporate success stories, a special section detailing its partnership with IBM and reworked marketing literature focusing on individual productivity apps. -- AppleInsider.
When you're a Fortune 500 company that's a favorite target of sophisticated hackers, it often makes sense to install security appliances at the outer edges of your network to stop attacks before they get far. Now, researchers say they have uncovered a vulnerability in such a product from security firm FireEye that can give attackers full network access. -- Ars Technica.
I was on vacation last week when Apple's new first-party Smart Battery Case arrived on my doorstep, which was actually kind of nice--freed from the pressures of having to write something about it as soon as humanly possible, I could just use it for a few days and worry about writing everything down at a later date.
The ease with which you can "just use" the battery case is probably the best thing about it; you slide your phone into it and go about your business. But it's not for everyone, and when I send it back to Apple I probably won't end up buying one of my own. -- Ars Technica.
George Hotz made a name for himself at 17 years-old as the first person to hack the iPhone, but his next project could be headed on a collision course with Apple's self-driving car.
Using affordable electronics that any nerd on the street can purchase, Hotz revealed that he hacked an Acura ILX to become a self-driving car. The hack uses a lidar system on the roof with cameras mounted on the front and back that plug into a computer in the glove box. To top it off, Hotz added a 21.5-inch touch screen to the dash, and replaced the gear shift with a joy stick controller. -- Cult of Mac.
Mathematician Katie Steckles takes you through some mathematically satisfying ways to wrap presents using paper.
Have you ever plugged your iPhone into the charger and found, to your dismay, no reassuring "doink" and lighting bolt indicator in the top right menu bar? A trip to the Apple store may not be necessary if a rather amusing thing has happened. John Martellaro has the quick fix. -- The Mac Observer.
Most smartphone plans either charge for overages or constrict data flow when limits are reached. So knowing how much one is consuming is crucial. -- New York Times.
I'm a big fan of pushing emoji to their limits in weird places, but this guy learnt the hard way when he took it too far and used one as his password.
Turns out, OS X doesn't like it if you use an emoji password, as you're banned from entering an emoji password on the login screen so the poor guy was locked out of his computer. -- The Next Web.
If you follow my writings, you know that I don't use Apple Music for my main music library, but do use it on a test library on my MacBook, as well as on an iPod touch. I recently added it to my iPad as well, to be able to use it more around the house.
I don't trust my main library to Apple Music because of the many problems that iCloud Music Library causes.
As I've been adding music to my library, I'm realizing just how bad Apple Music's metadata is. Here's an example. -- Kirkville.
MacKeeper probably does nothing genuinely harmful to your computer -- other than conning customers with alarming pop-up ads and tricking people out of money -- but neither does it do any good. Most of its functions are just dressed-up versions of built-in (legitimate) utilities that would cost nothing to operate manually (or with a legitimate utility such as the donationware OnyX), but it is notorious for "selling" itself by scaring typical users with pop-up proclamations that there are "problems" or potentially a "virus" or other malware on users' Macs -- though it is MacKeeper itself that is widely considered to be a form of malware. -- MacNN.
Here's the problem. FaceTime calls on your Mac are great. Some are so great they demand to be recorded. Here's the easiest way to record both sides of a FaceTime video or audio call. -- Mac 360.
This isn't an investment column, and I am not an investment adviser. But here's a free financial tip: if any company actually mass-produces a new, safe, practical, affordable, reliable, proven, much longer-lasting type of battery for digital devices, buy stock. Buy a lot of it. Because batteries are the key to every electronic device we now depend upon -- especially smartphones and laptops -- and they are the weak link in the system. -- The Verge.
Home automation gadgets are everywhere, and include devices such as smart lightbulbs, electrical switches, thermostats, surveillance cameras, smart locks, garage door openers, smoke alarms, kitchen devices and much more.
They're taking over our homes.
Regular readers may have noticed that I've not written much about home automation devices. This is not for not being exposed to them. I'm surrounded by them. I can see several from where I'm sitting right now.
So what's the problem? -- ZDNet.
When you think about Google, Bing, and the future of search, you have to wonder if the mechanism can really survive much longer. Search is ridiculous.
A search system like Google essentially caches the entire Internet, every Web page and sub-page, into massive server farms around the world where they are indexed and used as targets for finding specific information. While this seemed like a good idea a decade ago, the enormity of the stored data now strains entire power grids. Server farms are ideally built next to massive hydro-electric plants just to operate.
All this so I can find a needle in a haystack reference. -- PC Magazine.
Ars Technica has taken pains not to reveal major and even minor spoilers in our review of The Force Awakens. Still, please note that our review does touch upon a few basic and previously revealed plot points and details -- Ars Technica.
Notification Center on OS X seems like a great idea, most of the time, until you get a ton of notifications about things you really don't care about all at once. You've got to click all the little "close" boxes, or click and drag the Notification banners to the right. It can be downright disconcerting. -- Cult of Mac.
Today's article by Melissa Holt is about iOS 9.2's new Mail Drop ability. Since Yosemite, we've been able to use this fine feature on the Mac, but with the latest version of iOS, we can now send large attachments through email quickly and simply from our mobile devices, too. Come find out how in this Quick Tip. -- The Mac Observer.
Apple's OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) software includes a Split View feature that lets you quickly and evenly divide the screen between two programs. When you use the Split View feature, you don't have to fuss with window sizes or placement, or have other open windows distract you. (A similar version of the multitasking feature is also available for some iPad models running iOS 9.) -- New York Times.
Over the weekend a good friend of mine shared a screenshot of a really scary error message from Photos for Mac. Every photo and video taken over the last two weeks failed to open, saying instead that 'An error occurred while downloading a larger version of this video for editing.' The solution? 'Please try again later.' and press OK. What's worse is he was relying on the app's Optimize Mac Storage setting to fit the library on his local storage and trusting iCloud not to screw things up along the way. And he didn't have local copies backed up, a mistake he for obvious reasons regretted. -- 9to5Mac.
Things may be about to get tough for some Apple partners as the company invests in top secret display technology development labs and increases its control over the primary technologies used in its products. -- Computerworld.
MacKeeper, the anti-virus software for Macs that has been described as a "scam," accidentally exposed the details of over 13 million users, according to a researcher. -- Business Insider.
On the Internet, ads are a real problem.
They're a problem for us, the people, and not just because they clutter up our Web pages; they also cost us money (in mobile data charges), battery life and time. As much as 79 percent of the time it takes for a news Web site to load on your phone is waiting for the ads to arrive, according to a New York Times analysis. -- Scientific American.
Creating custom vibrations on your iPhone makes it easy to separate your notifications and ensures you don't miss a notification, even when your phone is on vibrate. Whether you just got an iPhone or have had one for a while, today's tip is awesome. -- AppAdvice.
Lots of professional photographers say the best camera is the one you're carrying. If that's true, then millions of iPhone users are packing some excellent videography gear everywhere they go.
But carrying around your iPhone and actually capturing great imagery with it are two different things entirely. Want to be the next J.J. Abrams? Cut some scenes using these five iPhone movie-making tips. -- Time.
Apple is now operating a top secret production laboratory in Longtan, Taiwan, formerly run by Qualcomm to develop a unique, low-power display technology known as IMOD, or Interferometric Modulator Display. -- AppleInsider.
With Star Wars The Force Awakens only days away we're running out of time to catch up on rewatching the original trilogy, and if you're feeling especially ambitious, the follow up "first three" movies, too. That said, episodes I, II, and III can be a little... well... painful to watch. Thanks to the valiant efforts of JeremyMWest-Esquire you can watch the first three episodes in a much more enjoyable way. He re-edited the films to take out the lame jokes, most of Jar Jar, the stupid voices, and midichlorians.Turns out the movies aren't so bad when they're anti-cheesed. The videos are on YouTube-at least for now-so check them out before Disney catches on and has them blocked. -- Polygon.
Did you know Apple offered a service where you can check the settings on an email account? I didn't either, but I stumbled on it this past weekend when fiddling with email issues on a new iMac. It's called simply "Mail Settings Lookup," and it can greatly help when setting up an account in Mail.app (or other email clients). -- The Mac Observer.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's Apple Watch with link bracelet design. -- Patently Apple.
While it undoubtedly drives the rest of my family crazy, I sure love Christmas music and don't mind one bit that it takes over radio stations on November 1st. FM radio is okay in the car and I've used Pandora and iHeartRadio the last few years to find a variety of Christmas music, but ads and skip limits are no good when you've got access to a streaming music catalog everywhere you go. This year I'm all in with Apple Music and finding it terrific as my own personal Christmas music station. -- 9to5Mac.
Microsoft today has released an update for its Outlook app on iOS that brings the app to version 2.0.8. The update makes Outlook join the growing list of apps that support the new 3D Touch feature of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. -- 9to5Mac.
Earlier this month, Apple made good on its promise and made its Swift programming language open source. Following the announcement, Apple's senior vice president of software Craig Federighi did a pair of interviews to discuss the motivation behind open sourcing the platform and what the future holds. Now, Federighi has joined John Gruber on his podcast The Talk Show to further discuss Swift.
Federighi opened the interview by discussing what kind of things Apple has noticed during the first week of Swift being open source. The Apple exec noted that Swift is more active than any other language on Github and that because of this, the Swift team within Apple is more engaged with developers than any other team in the company. -- 9to5Mac.
After going open source, Swift's popularity seemed to grow exponentially overnight. A new video posted to Vimeo visualizes how Swift came to be, and walks us through the language taking shape leading into it hitting GitHub.
If you know a bit about programming, the video shines. From .cpp files down to Swift mastermind Chris Lattner bouncing around the map early on, it's a hard look at just how Swift was founded. It doesn't walk through Swift going open source, but gets us from August 2010 to December 3, 2015.
Those who know little or nothing about programming will still enjoy the video, I think. If you're at all interested in how a programming language takes form before it's used to make apps, this video is awesome.
Craig Federighi thinks Swift will be the programming language du jour for the next 20 years. Now we know how much hard work was poured into Swift before we even got our hands on it. -- vimeo.
In my history, I see apps I did not install nor do I think are on any device we own. Can I know which device they were supposedly installed on and how can I erase them on my purchases? -- MacWorld.
What do I remember most about 2015? I'll tell you what it is; it's the incessant nagging by Windows, OS X and iOS to upgrade to the latest version, try new services, and buy more stuff. -- ZDNet.
While browsing the bookstore to buy a gift for that special someone (or yourself), you may be faced with a tough decision: e-books or the old-fashioned kind? Each one has its pros and cons, and choosing the best option depends on a number of factors. -- CBS News.
If your HomeKit house disappears or is having trouble syncing, here's what you can do to fix it. -- iMore.
The iPad can serve productively for many work tasks, especially when paired with a keyboard. We've field tested dozens of keyboards for all iPad models and present the best of the lot. -- ZDNet.
What runs the engine at Apple has changed dramatically over the last few years. In the beginning Apple's prime market and where it had a lead was the education market. Now Chromebooks lead in this area. Now Apple is all about consumers and business.-- Applepeels.
As we move further into the 21st century a number of trends have become obvious. First, we live in the mobile device era. There are more smartphones and tablets than personal computers sold every year and Google's Android OS tops Microsoft's Windows in total market share.
Second, traditional personal computers, those with Windows installed, continue to experience a prolonged sales drop which is not likely to change. Yet, Apple's Mac line of notebooks and desktops continues to achieve record sales every quarter. Why the disparity? -- Mac 360.
CNET's Michael Franco recently sat down and watched "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" again in preparation for the release of "The Force Awakens" later this week. His advice to anyone who's thinking of doing the same is to save your childhood memories and skip watching it again. Unlike wine, Franco doesn't think the movie gets better with age. He writes: " Since that first viewing, Luke, Vader and company have loomed large in my imagination, and clearly in the imaginations of many other adults introduced to the sci-fi franchise as kids. So have the rest of the characters, as well as the sounds of a lightsaber, a Wookiee and a TIE fighter and the idea that someday I would learn to control people through the power of suggestion and a wave of my hand. But it now seems that maybe all that got a little gilded in my memory. -- CNET.
I'm back. It seems I under estimated how long it would take to get ambulatory after my knee replacement. All went well and I get better every day. Thank you to those who sent notes of concern. -mam
As you may remember from my post on 11/20, I was having massive trouble with Apple's best vacum cleaner in history, Migration Assistant.
I went home Friday and decided my only hope was to get some connectors to allow me to use the only ports that made any sense on the new iMac, "Thunderbolt."
So at 5:00 p.m. on Friday 11/20 I go to Apple's site and order an Ethernet/Thunderbolt connector, a firewire/thunderbolt connector and a thunderbolt/thunderbolt cable. They sent me an email almost at once saying they got my order. You know, the usual stuff. I continued trying and I did get my new iMac to connect to the Internet using its Ethernet port connected directly to my modem, just to prove the port wasn't dead. Then I hooked it up Ethernet/Ethernet again but got the same result, NADA. I kept trying different things until midnight, so to bed. :-(
Up Saturday morning. Drinking my coffee and I check my email to see when my cables will arrive. I click on the tracking links and it said it was delivered at 9:45 a.m. and was on my fornt porch. They were right! Now that is customer service! And I did not pay for special shipping.
So, once more into the office dear friends, once more.
I first I try Ethernet/Thunderbolt. Nothing. Migration Assistant still can't see anything out its Ethernet port. Heavy sigh. :-(
So it is time to try the solution behind door number two, using firewire/thunderbolt and the backup on my external HD.
I should tell something about my old iMac setup.
I have a 5TB LaCie external I use for Time Machine. But when I saw the iMac having problems a few weeks back, I downloaded the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner. I then made a clone of my old iMac with a startup/recovery partition on the external HD. It has plenty of space which why a bought it. I had no idea how good an idea that was.
I use the firewire/thunderbolt to connect the 5TB to the new iMac. It mounts! Then I make it the Startup disk and reboot. My new iMac boots up no problem. All my stuff is there! With Carbon Copy Cloner I Clone all of my old iMac, which I had made an image of on the 5TB, to the new iMac. Thereby erasing everything on new iMac. It works! Takes about 2 hours as there was .8TB of stuff to move.
I then change the startup disk back to new iMac and reboot. Black kernel Panic screen! Oh no!
The Black kernel Panic screen hardly ever happens and when it does your HD has a "serious" problem. I reboot to the external HD and run Disk Utility on the new iMac's internal HD. I have used El Capitan's new Disk Utility a few times and don't have much respect for its capabilities, but what other choice to I have? Watching it process my HD everything looks OK. All of a sudden it pops up and says it cannot find any boot sectors on the iMac's HD and then goes about creating some. I get hopeful.
When Disk Utility is finished I change the Startup Disk setting back to the internal HD and reboot. This reboot takes much longer than any other time when I have rebooted the new iMac. I hold my breath....
The doves come out, the sun shines, music plays, Steve Jobs smiles at me from above and all is right with the world! My new iMac is up and running with every item and setting in place, even my old password! [Bottom line: Migration Assistant did not work at all.]
I then spend 2 hours going crazy about getting ethernet to work on the new iMac. It is the same modem and router i have used along with the same cables on my old iMac. The only thing new and shiny wants to use was WIFI. I did get it to work by plugging it directly in to the modem but of course then no one else could access it. Not an option.
I open my browser and got online with Apple Support. Just took less than a minute for someone to contact me. Christopher and I spent a profitable 30-45 minutes online. Did a screen share and worked though plugging and unplugging with different dongles, etc., which I had done before calling. screen sharing was very helpful in this situation because Christopher could see settings, etc. while I was working on it. I recommend it. During this process all of sudden after replugging my ethernet cable firmly into a different port on the router, BINGO! The modem's port light came on! I then plugged the ethernet cable into Shiny and we had ethernet and no longer were we limited to WIFI. So time well spend with Apple Support. I can not say enough about the quality of the Apple support.
So then it erased and removed my old iMac. Set new shiny iMac in old iMac's space. Hooked all the accruements. The external Time Machine drive has not stopped since I hooked it up and started up the iMac.
Now to setup my new small, skinny and light blu-ray DVD reader (Samsung SE-506CB/RSBDM Portable Blu-ray Writer External Drive.) Plug-And-Play. DONE! It came with its own (correct) connector. God Bless Samsung. Only easy thing I did the last 2 days. Works great! Let me read some DVD's I have not been able to read or play for a long time. El Capitan loves it. No software to install. I love it.
Last but not least, my new Canon MG3520 printer/scanner. My old printer had to be 10 years old and it was more than ready to go. it was printing more like dot-matrix than inkjet. Like every printer/sanner it was not hard to setup. You just have to remove all the tape and stops holding all the moving parts in place.
But it seems that the interface gods thought I had not suffered enough. Indeed my sins must have been grievous indeed for this to be laid upon me.
There is no OS X software in the box with the printer. There is however, Windows software. This is a wireless only printer. LIAR. If it didn't cost only $50 bucks and I had not gone to all the trouble of unpacking and setting it up I would trash it or ask for my money back from the UT Computer Store.
They sold me the printer knowing what I was going to hook it to (I got the iMac there) but did not warn me or sell me a cable. Heavy sigh. So I have just ordered cables and dongles that I hope will allow me to connect, that cost more than the damn printer. And I don't even know if it WORKS or not. All the lights come on and it looks pretty. Over the last three weeks off and on as I had time and ability I tried to get this to work. IT DOESN'T. For my money all Canon printers should be exiled to a landfill if the connection procedures are as described and as I experienced. My personal printer is fit to be a door stop. I am glad printers are so cheap but $60 is $60. What ever happend to plug-and-play?
Anyway, that's one man's opinion.
p.s. After my new system was installed it took almost 12 hours for the first backup to finish.
MacGuru Mike Stanley asks:
Had a discussion about this over on LANMAN but wanted to get the Mac user's perspective since that's what I am.
Specifically, I'm wondering if anyone on this list can speak to the ergonomics and how well, if at all, the Apple Magic Trackpad does to help you deal with RSI/Carpal Tunnel.
I am currently using 3 trackballs across both hands. I tried using a Logitech trackpad, but it's made for the PC and this model (as opposed to their Mac model) has no OS X driver, so all it can do is single click, and it requires a ton of force to do so.
Based on this article.
I'm thinking I may have a good experience with the new Magic Trackpad 2, but at $129 each, I'm reluctant to purchase one to try it out (even if returning it wouldn't be a problem) without a strong "real human being I know" recommendation.
I have changed benchmark software again. The others were not being updated or no longer worked. In order to give you the best information I can it will be GeekBench from now on.GeekBench 3.3.2(711) benchmarking of my Intel iMac (2.9 GHz Intel Core i5, 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 512 MB, 1TB Fusion Drive). To see more benchmarks vist Geekbench Browser. Your mileage may vary.
Apple has officially released the open-source components behind OS X El Capitan, making good on the licensing requirements of the code. -- AppleInsider.
Installing the iOS 9.2 update should solve a problem with the iPad Pro causing the tablet to suddenly go black and fail to respond to touch or button input, Apple said in an updated support document. -- AppleInsider.
Apple is at work on a new iOS remote app that will fully replicate the functions of the Siri Remote bundled with the fourth-generation Apple TV, according to the company's senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue. -- AppleInsider.
An Apple patent application on Thursday suggests a method of portable device weatherproofing that buries sensitive electrical device contacts beneath a layer of self-healing elastomer, allowing connectors to penetrate without leaving lasting aesthetic or structural damage. -- AppleInsider.
Apple's new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and 6s uses a relatively simple construction, centered around a 1,877 milliamp-hour battery sitting behind an aluminum plate, according to a teardown published on Thursday. -- AppleInsider.
Apple is beginning to push fullscreen pop-up ads for the iPhone 6s to people opening the App Store app on some older iPhone models, according to a rush of user complaints. -- AppleInsider.
Security firm Symantec expects cyber attacks against Apple products to rise in 2016, after malware attacks against iOS and Mac OS X spiked sharply this year. -- AppleInsider.
Apple's Smart Battery Case will certainly get the job done, but it includes some baffling design decisions, and just isn't a great value compared to third-party products. -- AppleInsider.
Apple Watch was released April 10th 2015. Eight months later we are holding the first Apple Watch conference. To kick off the discussion, here are my favorite myths about this new product: -- Asymco.
Unlike any other consumer electronics company, Apple has been nailing product design for decades. Jony Ive and his incredibly talented team have produced countless iconic gadgets that rivals can only dream of, and it's the biggest reason why the company is so successful today. But there are suggestions that Apple's design prowess is beginning to slip. -- Cult of Mac.
It seems oddly fitting that this week -- a week scarred by the bizarre and violent mass murder in San Bernardino -- that I received a LinkedIn invitation to connect with someone who listed this as their job description: -- I, Cringely.
Apple's product line has greatly expanded in the last five years to be, as one might say, grand. In fact, the explanation for Apple's Grand Unified Theory of Products has now been analyzed with the clarity of a physics presentation and in a way that's not been approached before. John Martellaro explores a remarkable analysis article that sheds great light in how Apple executives view their present and future products. -- The Mac Observer.
Groups in OS X are special account entries that act as umbrellas under which user accounts may exist, allowing single adjustments of access permissions to immediately apply to numerous users. As a result, the use of groups when setting up a multi-user Mac can be exceptionally useful, but then again may also leave open security holes if not done correctly. -- MacIssues.
If you wish to have a user account on your Mac that is discrete so others using your Mac cannot see that user, then you can do so by the classic methods of changing the user ID for the account and then adjusting some hidden system settings to manage those accounts at the login window. While these approaches are the most compatible across different OS X versions and still work for the latest ones, if you have OS X Yosemite or later on your Mac, then there is an easy two-step approach for hiding user accounts. -- MacIssues.
In most instances you may want to have as much desktop space on your Mac as possible to get your work done. While you can organizing windows on your screen and streamline your workflow to reduce clutter, nothing beats having a large workspace on which to open apps and view numerous windows of your files. For any Mac there are several approaches you can take to increase this and get more work done, or at least have more area on which to put your clutter. -- MacIssues.
Gatekeeper is an execution prevention technology in OS X that will block apps from running if they have not been properly certified. It combines with similar technologies in OS X such as quarantining of downloaded files, to give you ample warning that a program you are running may be suspicious if it has not come from vetted sources, such as the App Store. -- MacIssues.
The Dock in OS X is meant to be easily configurable, where you can simply drag items to and from it, or resize and position it to organize and manage it according to your needs. However, there may be times when you need to set up a Dock for another user, which may be more significant for a Mac being used in a school, business, or other multi-user environment, and especially true for one which you are managing remotely. -- MacIssues.
Formatting an external drive to work with your Mac can be done in several ways. While for the most part drives ship in formats that are universally recognized among operating systems so data can at least be read, there are times when you may wish to wipe a drive and set it up to be most compatible with your Mac. On the other hand, you may have a drive you have primarily used with your Mac, but now wish to use it with a Windows system. In these cases, it helps to know how best to format your drive. -- MacIssues.
If you have a need to catalog items, be they for inventory of a store, or for assets of a business, you might find yourself needing to create some sort of barcode option for your items. Granted there are a number of well-established software packages for doing so, but at times you may create custom scripts, out of which you might want a QR or data matrix code to be generated. -- MacIssues.
THERE are plenty of reasons to put our cellphones down now and then, not least the fact that incessantly checking them takes us out of the present moment and disrupts family dinners around the globe. But here's one you might not have considered: Smartphones are ruining our posture. And bad posture doesn't just mean a stiff neck. It can hurt us in insidious psychological ways. -- New York Times.
Millions of people are refusing to let intrusive, distracting, or irrelevant ads load on our devices. Consumers should seize the opportunity to demand a more mutually beneficial relationship with online advertisers.
My sister, a retired U.S. Navy commander, has a perfect military expression for what she does with her Sunday newspaper when it arrives: she "field-strips" it. Out go advertising inserts and other unwanted sections, sometimes before the paper even gets inside her house. Same goes for junk mail. The wheat gets in the door; the chaff goes in the bin. -- MIT Technology Review.
After years of featuring the same, arguably stale design, Apple has redesigned the Apple ID web portal with a friendlier, modern look. The updated website now features product imagery including a girl wearing an Apple Watch Sport while using an iPhone and a MacBook can be seen with the logo illuminated in the background. The previous landing page featured app icons for iCloud, the App Store, iBooks, and other services that use Apple IDs, which were updated from iOS 6 to iOS 7 while the layout remained the same. -- 9to5Mac.