Why Apple is Winning: Innovation, Opportunity and Execution

Apple is building one of the most stunning financial runs in the history of corporate America, as Tuesday’s blowout showing affirmed. The company says it’s sold over 365 million digital devices over the last five years — 50 million last quarter alone — and is currently averaging nearly $4 billion in monthly profit. It has amassed $110 billion in cash. Most insanely, this could just be the beginning: Apple is exceedingly well-positioned to take advantage of several major trends in the new digital economy.

Thanks to a combination of anticipation and luck, Apple — which nearly went bankrupt before the last tech boom — is poised for even greater heights if it can continue to out-think, out-innovate and out-execute its competitors. Here are three major forces buoying Apple’s growth and pushing the company forward.

The Obsession that drives Apple's Success

Ken Segall worked closely with Steve Jobs as ad agency creative director for NeXT and Apple. He was a member of the team that created Apple’s legendary Think different campaign, and he’s responsible for that little “i” that’s a part of Apple’s most popular products. Segall has also served as creative director for IBM, Intel, Dell, and BMW. He blogs about technology and marketing at kensegall.com/blog,

I spoke to Ken about his new book, Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, which comes out this Thursday. He talked about the impact Apple has had on our lives, what inspired the famous “Think Different” campaign, and more.

WWDC, Apple Earnings and "Insanely Simple"!

This week on Your Mac Life: "WWDC, Apple Earnings and "Insanely Simple"!

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Seven Instagram alternatives for iOS

Instagram users unsure about a Facebook future have plenty of options, especially on the iOS platform. Several iOS apps promised mobility, social features, and filters and effects of their own. Consider these apps as possible ways to fill the Instagram void.

How to determine if a Flash Update Notification is Legitimate

Adobe Flash Player and Reader are some of the most popular Web plug-ins, and as a result malware developers commonly use them as a disguise for their programs. The recent Flashback malware is one example of this, where it originally was released as a fake update to Adobe Flash, and thereby confused a number of Mac users who installed it thinking it was a legitimate update they needed.

In order to notify Flash and Reader users of available updates, Adobe's software will display a notice regarding the availability of the new software; however, if you see such a notice then how will you know the update is legitimate or an attempt to install malware?

Ian Schray of WellRedApps on DropKey

Regular YML listeners know that one of our co-hosts, Ian Schray, is also one of the founders of WellRedApps. You also know he's been teasing us with an announcement for months now. Well, it's finally here.

Today, WellRedApps announced DropKey - a new utility for Mac OS X Lion that allows users to quickly and easily encrypt sensitive documents. Ian and Shawn talked about what Public-Key Cryptography is and how you can use DropKey to take advantage of it.

Click here to listen to the interview.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Sly's Website of the Week - April 18th, 2012

Our winner this week said he'd win if Shawn was picking WotW this week. Well Shawn doesn't pick WotW winners, now does he?!? I'll show you!

Um...ya. Okay, so I enjoy mindless penguin websites too. ;-)

Mindless Penguin Cursor Fun

:-)

~ Sly

Rumors and "Modern Antiques"

This week on Your Mac Life: "Rumors and "Modern Antiques""

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Archives for April 18th, 2012

This week's show "Rumors and "Modern Antiques""

Why Apple should launch a Smaller iPad

There are numerous reasons put forward against Apple launching a smaller iPad. For one thing, Steve Jobs didn't like the idea, saying that the 10in form factor was the "minimum" required for tablet apps.

"The 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps. Seven-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad," he said back in October 2010.

But Jobs' comments, made more than 18 months ago, shouldn't be considered the definitive word on the subject. Just because it didn't make sense then doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense to launch an iPad mini now.

FileMaker Pro 12

Pros: Enhanced design capabilities. Embed multimedia files in databases. New script styles. Over 40 new themes. Great charting improvements.

Cons: Existing databases upgraded to new format with no user control. Clients on legacy version can't connect to new database format.

Why e-books cost so much

Here's something that tends to get lost in the debate over e-book prices: Paper doesn't cost very much.

There's a perception among consumers that an e-book should cost very little or next to nothing because there is no paper, printing, and shipping involved.

But in fact, for a new best-selling hardcover, all of the costs associated with print, from the printing to the shipping to the distribution to the warehousing to returns, amount to a mere few dollars per copy, depending on the size of the print run.
The vast majority of a publisher's costs come from expenses that still exist in an e-book world: Author advances, design, marketing, publicity, office space, and staff.

You can therefore imagine the fear that e-book prices instill in publishing executives' hearts. They're only saving a few dollars per copy in the switch to the e-book world, but the prices of books were slashed more than half: from $24.99 to $9.99 and even lower.

That begins to explain why publishers are trying to keep e-book prices high. But it doesn't tell the whole story.

Archives for April 11th, 2012

This week's show "Instagram, the DOJ sues Apple and Tim Cook at the D Conference"

Instagram, the DOJ sues Apple and Tim Cook at the D Conference

This week on Your Mac Life: "Instagram, the DOJ sues Apple and Tim Cook at the D Conference"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

The Myth of the Security-Smug Mac User

I still consider myself a relative newcomer to the Mac community. Despite being the Security Editor at TidBITS and an occasional contributor to Macworld (print and online), and having spoken at Macworld Expo a couple times, I only really switched to Macs back in 2005. To keep this in perspective, TidBITS has been published electronically since 1990.
Coming from the security world I had certain expectations of the Mac community. I thought they were naive and smug about security, and living in their own isolated world.

That couldn’t have been further from the truth.

iTunes: Time to right the Syncing Ship

When Apple introduced iTunes in 2001, it served one purpose: As a music jukebox app. Later that year, it added its most important feature: The ability to sync tracks with the just-introduced iPod. Originally, you could just drag tracks onto your iPod and they’d copy over. iTunes had automatic music-sync features that were rudimentary, but they did the job.

That was a long time ago. These days, iTunes is simultaneously Apple’s most important and problematic product. It’s a music and video player. It’s a store, the gateway to buying music, videos, ringtones, and iOS apps. And of course, it’s a syncing system, connecting to Apple devices from iPhone to iPod to Apple TV.

Apple has packed almost everything involving media (and app) management, purchase, and playback into this single app. It’s bursting at the seams. It’s a complete mess. And it’s time for an overhaul.

Want to Ditch Instagram? Here are the 5 Best Alternative Apps

Now that Mark Zuckerberg controls your hipster, vintage-inspired photos that you took with Instagram, you might be feeling weighed down with the fear that your favorite photography app will see some major changes. I cried for a few minutes, then I realized that I never used Instagram to edit photos because its filters were actually very limited and pretty crappy.

There’s tons of better apps out there. If for whatever reason you’re scared to stick with the new Instagram controlled by Facebook, there are plenty of alternatives to Instagram… and in many ways most of them are better. Take a look at these five awesome Instagram alternatives.

10 Waterproof Smartphone Cases to prevent Disaster

The weather is warming up, which means you’re ready to take on the elements. In preparation for summer swimming, cycling and singing in the rain, make sure to keep your smartphone well-protected.

We’ve gathered 10 waterproof smartphone cases that’ll help prevent many an accident. Looking for an everyday waterproof iPhone cover? Or maybe a kooky dry bag for a number of smartphone devices? We’ve got you covered — literally.

Apple should Keep the Jobs in China

An article published by VentureBeat earlier today made the claim that Apple should move its manufacturing jobs back to the United States from China. Normally, if one site made this claim, it’d be natural to let it slide. However, this is an attitude that has steadily encroached upon the public mindset in the last year, especially following the increased scrutiny that Apple and Foxconn have faced in the last few months.

In light of this increase of attention, it’s apparent that the record needs correcting and that someone needs to show that while jingoistic posts may be enticing, they aren’t based in reality.

Interview with Rich Mogull discussing the Flashback Trojan

Rich Mogull is the foremost security expert in the Mac community and writes for TidBITS and Macworld. He has just penned an article, "What you need to know about the Flashback trojan" that we encourage you to read.

We talk to Rich about what the trojan is, where it comes from and how to protect yourself now and in the future.

Click here to listen to the interview. It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

What You need to Know about the Flashback Trojan

On April 4, Russian antivirus vendor Dr. Web published strong evidence that more than 500,000 Macs have been infected by the latest variant of the Flashback trojan. As Mikko Hyppnen, Chief Researcher at F-Secure pointed out via Twitter, if there are roughly 45 million Macs out there, Flashback would now have infected more than 1 percent of them, making Flashback roughly as common for Mac as Conficker was for Windows. Flashback appears to be the most widespread Mac malware we’ve seen since the days when viruses were spread on infected floppy disks; it could be the single most significant malware infection to ever hit the Mac community.

Here’s what you need to know about Flashback, what you can do about it, and what it means for the future of Mac security.

Interview with Jake Harms, iMac Aquariums

We've all had aquariums in our lives but I bet you've never seen one as cool-geeky as this one!

Jake Harms rescues old iMacs destined for the scrap heap and expertly turns them into fish tanks that would look good in any room or office. I talked to Jake about the idea, how he turns the iMacs into aquariums and how you can back him on Kickstarter and get your very own!

Click here to listen and it is posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section. It's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Sly's Website of the Week - April 4th, 2012

Far too technical for my pea brain, so I'll just let the YouTube description speak for itself.

House of The Rising Sun played on Steve Caton's and Eric Goodchild's (me) 7 foot tall Musical Tesla Coils.

This was the first time the coils have ever been run together. It was a marvelous first test.

These are two gigantic solid state musical Tesla Coils. A Tesla Coil is a special type of transformer invented by Nikola Tesla that is able to generating extremely large voltages using a phenomenon known as electrical resonance. Each coil in this video is capable of generating a 13 foot spark. This equates to about 500,000 volts of electricity.

The primary drive system for the coils consists of high power semiconductors arranged into an H-Bridge switching configuration. During a spark event, the coil is pulsed on for a few hundred millionths of a second. During this short time, thousands of amps circulate within the primary tank circuit and the energy is coupled into the secondary resonator through magnetism.

So what appears to be a continuous burst of sparks is actually a specific number of sparks generated per second. By modulating the number of sparks that emit from the coil each second, different tones can be produced by the coils.

I may not understand technically, but I do understand that it's very cool and for that, it's my pick for Website of the Week this week. ;-)

~ Sly

Archives for April 4th, 2012

This week's show "Security and the iPad's 2nd Anniversary"

Security and the iPad's 2nd Anniversary

This week on Your Mac Life: "Security and the iPad's 2nd Anniversary"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

How to check for and disable Java in OS X

There's some concern over the use of Java in OS X following a recent finding that Flashback malware variants are now taking advantage of currently unpatched vulnerabilities in the Java runtime.

Even though this malware development should not affect the majority of Mac users running OS X 10.7 or later since Apple no longer includes Java with the OS, some people may nonetheless be wondering what the Java runtime is, and how they can go about checking for and removing it from their systems to ensure they are safe.

Apple holds the master decryption key when it comes to iCloud security, privacy

Ars recently attempted to delve into the inner workings of the security built into Apple's iCloud service. Though we came away reasonably certain that iCloud uses industry best practices that Apple claims it uses to protect data and privacy, we warned that your information isn't entirely protected from prying eyes. At the heart of the issue is the fact that Apple can, at any time, review the data synced with iCloud, and under certain circumstances might share that information with legal authorities.

We consulted several sources to understand the implications of iCloud's security and encryption model, and to understand what types of best practices could maximize the security and privacy of user data stored in increasingly popular cloud services like iCloud. In short, Apple is taking measures to prevent access to user data from unauthorized third parties or hackers. However, iCloud isn't recommended for the more stringent security requirements of enterprise users, or those paranoid about their data being accessed by authorities.

The Best Online Backup App for OS X

You should back up your hard drive. You've heard it a million times, but most people don't do it. So we're going to make it easy: CrashPlan is the best backup tool. It's what you should use to back up your data, both on-site and off-site.

Adobe Lightroom 4 reviewed

Pros: Half the price of Lightroom 3, GPS and mapping features, Tonal recovery updates are very good, More localized adjustments, Book layouts are easy and sleek, Basic video editing

Cons: New chromatic aberration filter is not that great, Some minor bugs like import thumbnails not updating, No improvements to the weak Grain effect introduced in Lightroom 3 and no film-like grading profiles, Online video and photo service support limited without additional plug-ins

Interview with Andrew Allen of FiftyThree talking about Paper

Last week, the folks at FiftyThree released their first app called Paper. Today, I spoke to Andrew Allen of FiftyThree about the app.

Click here to listen and it is posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section. It's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!