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!

How to set up Time Machine on Your Mac

There are many ways to back up your files, including using external hard disks, Internet-based storage, or CDs and DVDs, so the approaches you choose for backing up are up to you; however, whichever route you choose, one important thing about backing up is that you do so regularly.
If you have not already have a backup plan for your Mac, then perhaps in light of World Backup Day you might take a look at doing so.

Configuring an Old iPad for Your Child

With three-generations of iPads under Apple’s belt, it’s becoming more usual to find multiple iPads in a home. And some of them are being passed along to kids. What can you do to make such an iPad useful (and safe) for your child? Read on to find out.

Free Up Space on Your iOS Device

The latest tablet out of Cupertino boasts a 2048-by1536 pixel display. To take full advantage of the graphics allowed by this Retina display, apps need new versions of their graphical assets—and that means bigger file sizes as apps get updated to add Retina display support for the latest iPad.

But those updates affect owners of older iOS devices as well. After all, you’re downloading the same app that runs on a new iPad, even if you’re using an iPad 2 or (in the case of universal apps) an iPhone. As a result, your 16GB iPhone or iPad may soon start complaining that it’s out of storage space.

When that happens—or when your iPhone refuses to update your apps because it says there’s not enough room to do so—resist the urge to start deleting apps willy-nilly. There are better ways to free up room on your app- and data-packed iPhone.

Friends of YML Contest!

Every week, we will choose from this list of companies and offer software and hardware to lucky listeners. Entering our contests is easy - simply send an email to "contest at yourmaclifeshow dot com" with the subject line being the month of entry. We'll make it even easier for you - just FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW. No purchase necessary!


For those of you who are supporting Your Mac Life not just by listening but also by subscribing to the show, we are making it even easier. Your subscription email serves as your entry form each month. And, even better, for every $2 of monthly subscription, you get an *additional* automatic entry form!

That means that every subscriber automatically gets two entries in each weekly contest drawing per month, even at the $2/month level. $5/month gets three entries, $10/month 6 entries, etc.

There's no guarantee that subscribers will win any given contest but your odds certainly get better!

We think this is a great way to reward all of our listeners but to really show our appreciation for those who make an extra effort to help us keep the show on the air and getting better.

Printer Ink: Tired of Feeding the Cash Cow?

Human blood costs about $17.27 an ounce, silver about $34 an ounce. But both are bargains compared to the ink sold to the owners of inkjet printers, which can exceed $80 an ounce. Meanwhile, the ink used to print newspapers costs about 16 cents an ounce.

Today, color inkjet technology offers essentially photo-realistic output from consumer or home-office printers that cost less than $100. But even those who print out as few as 20 pages a week will probably have to buy several ink refills a year, at minimum, costing way more than the original price of the printer. Those who understand the issues can avoid the worst shocks.

Archives for March 28th, 2012

This week's show "Jumping the Gun, Tim Cook in China and FOYML"

Jumping the Gun, Tim Cook in China and FOYML

This week on Your Mac Life: "Jumping the Gun, Tim Cook in China and FOYML"

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

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:

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 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.

Eight tips for iOS's Maps app

When it comes to getting from Point A to Point B, the Maps app that comes with your iOS device can keep you heading in the right direction. From telling you where you are to showing you where to go, Maps is an incredibly full-featured offering, especially for a built-in app.

Easy as Maps may be to use, sometimes you can lose sight of the details. Here are some tips for mastering Maps—some basic, some you might not know about—that can help you spend less time fumbling with the app and more time getting to where you want to go.

Sly's Website of the Week - March 21st, 2012


So dad, how do you like your new iPad?


Tonight's winner is eligible to win great software from Smile Software - maybe it's YOU! :-)

Archives for March 21st, 2012

This week's show "Ian's iPad, Daisey's Lies and Siegler's Piracy"

Ian's iPad, Daisey's Lies and Siegler's Piracy

This week on Your Mac Life: "Ian's iPad, Daisey's Lies and Siegler's Piracy"

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

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:

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 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.

What Apple's Dividend and Buybacks mean to You

It's official: Apple has finally decided to do something with its growing mountain of cash. The result is not a splashy acquisition in tech, nor is Apple CEO Tim Cook buying a collection of private islands in the South Seas. Rather, the company is acting like a grown-up: Apple expects to spend about $15 billion a year on share buybacks and dividends.

None of that sounds very exciting unless you own Apple stock.

iPhoto's Mystery Meat Gestures

Back in 1998, websites would often force visitors to aimlessly move their mouse around, trying to reveal hidden icons or pieces of text that would explain where to click. Frustrated with these hidden, obscure navigation elements, web designer Vincent Flanders coined the term "Mystery Meat Navigation".

After downloading and playing around with Apple’s new iPhoto for iOS, I felt like I was teleported back to 1998.

The New iPad, FOYML, and the Death of Books

This week on Your Mac Life: "The New iPad, FOYML, and the Death of Books"

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

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:

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 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 March 14th, 2012

This week's show "The New iPad, FOYML, and the Death of Books"

Camera+ 3.0 Review

Few iPhone apps have managed to substantially improve on the functionalities offered by Apple in its core system apps. Tap tap tap’s Camera+, a popular alternative to Apple’s Camera app, is one of them, and the 3.0 version released today takes a major leap in turning Camera+ into a more powerful solution to shoot, edit, and share photos online, as well as providing a solid foundation other developers can integrate their apps with.

Understanding the aim of Apple TV

Last week Apple introduced the latest Apple TV, and if you hang with the glass-half-empty crowd, that update was an utter disappointment. No DVR capabilities. No additional content sources. And, worst of all, no Apple TV App Store. What you got instead was an unfamiliar interface, support for 1080p streaming, and a faster processor that will do heaven knows what.

To those teeth gnashers unhappy with anything other than an iPad, TiVo, Mac, and Xbox rolled into an Apple-branded HDTV, allow me to suggest that you’ve grabbed the wrong end of the stick. In the grand scheme of things, the Apple TV is neither source nor destination.

It’s a portal.

Sir Jonathan Ive: The iMan cometh

Sir Jonathan Ive, Jony to his friends, is arguably one of the world’s most influential Londoners. The 45-year-old was born in Chingford — and went to the same school as David Beckham. He met his wife, Heather Pegg, while in secondary school. They married in 1987, have twin sons and now live in San Francisco.

As Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, he is the driving force behind the firm’s products, from the Mac computer to the iPod, iPhone and, most recently the iPad. He spoke exclusively to the Evening Standard at the firm’s Cupertino headquarters.

Photoshop Lightroom 4

Pros: Develop module is better organized, Added brushing tools, New video management tools, New Map module includes reverse geotagging, Book module with Blurb integration and PDF output, Email capability for sending photos from the app, Lower price compared to previous versions, New DNG conversion options, New soft proofing capability

Cons: Can't stitch video snippets together, No Mac Address Book integration for email

Nike+ FuelBand

Good Stuff: Simple, elegant design, Feels good on the wrist, Wireless syncing is a breeze, Fuel encourages participation and follow-through

Bad Stuff: Rubber coating is easily marred, Limited social network integration, Only recognizes activities where you move your wrists, No sleep monitoring

The Real Significance of the New iPad

The reactions to the New iPad announcement this week were all over the map.

Some places said it was basically a yawner, while others bought into the "end of the PC" rhetoric. Some people even warned all developers to stop programming for the keyboard and mouse, even for complex applications like computer-assisted design.

My take: I think the announcement was both more and less important than people are saying. Here's why.

The 1Password Emergency Kit

Imagine if something was to happen to you. Something that would keep you from accessing stuff on your computer that has passwords associated with it. It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but we’d be foolhardy not to. I mean, we all keep an updated will2, and most other pertinent documents are kept in a fire safe or safe deposit box so that your next of kin can move through anything tragic that may befall you with as little resistance as possible.

But now that we spend so much time online – whether with online banking, email or earning a living – that having a failsafe in place isn’t just a good idea anymore. It’s mandatory.

That’s why I came up with the 1Password Emergency Kit.

The iPad Is Unbeatable

Imagine you run a large technology company not named Apple.

How are you feeling today, a day after Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new iPad? Are you discounting the device as just an incremental improvement, the same shiny tablet with a better screen and faster cellular access? Or is it possible you had trouble sleeping last night? Did you toss and turn, worrying that Apple’s new device represents a potential knockout punch, a move that will cement its place as the undisputed leader of the biggest, most disruptive new tech market since the advent of the Web browser? Maybe your last few hours have been even worse than that. Perhaps you’re now paralyzed with confusion, fearful that you might be completely boxed in by the iPad—that there seems no good way to beat it.

For your sake, my hypothetical CEO friend, I hope you’re frightened.

What LTE means for Apple's New iPad

Cellular versions of the new iPad come with support for the latest and greatest wireless networking technology, LTE (Long Term Evolution). In the U.S., both AT&T and Verizon have LTE networks. You’d think this would be a recipe for network simplicity for Apple’s iPads at long last… but you’d be wrong.

Apple will sell two different LTE-equipped iPads—one for AT&T’s network and one for Verizon’s. That means that in the U.S. the third-generation iPad comes in 18 versions, like the iPad 2: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi plus Verizon 3G/4G, and Wi-Fi plus AT&T 2G/3G/4G multiplied by three memory sizes and two colors. (The Verizon 4G iPad also includes worldwide support for 2G and 3G using GSM standards when used outside the United States, just like the iPhone 4S.)

The joy of iPad

When at home, I did a FaceTime call with my siblings who also live overseas. I handed over the iPad to my mom. She had this look of amazement, one of pure unadulterated joy as she chatted with her grandson.

Apple, clearly, is not for everyone. But for me that moment of joy experienced by my mother is enough of a reason why there will be no other computer company. Apple’s competitors will do their own thing. Some, like Samsung, will do spectacularly well. But for me, Apple finds ways to delight people, pushing technology into the background.