The Cube: Apple's Daftest, Strangest Romance

Ten years ago on Sunday, Apple called it quits on one of its oddest products ever, the G4 Cube. The Cube was a strange and wonderful machine that continues to fascinate today - but it was widely perceived to have failed. Some people thoroughly enjoyed the failure, thinking it served Apple right.

But the Cube was different. The Cube looked like Buckminster Fuller talked; the Cube looked like it might have fallen to earth from an advanced civilisation, eager to escape orbit and looking to throw some ballast overboard. Or like a millionaire had given a mad bloke on a bus an unlimited budget.

10 Good Minutes on "Being Social"

With this week's announcement of Google+, yet another "social media" tool, we take a look at what "being social" means in the 21st century and how each of the boys views their social media lives.

Why Apple built Final Cut Pro X

I worked on Final Cut Pro from 2002 to 2008. It was an amazing experience. The Final Cut Pro X project was just getting started when I left Apple. It was an ambitious and controversial move, but it made sense for Apple. Here's why....

Apple doesn't care about the pro space....

Apple responds on Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X is a breakthrough in nonlinear video editing. The application has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community. We know people have questions about the new features in Final Cut Pro X and how it compares with previous versions of Final Cut Pro.

Here are the answers to the most common questions we’ve heard.

Archives for June 29th, 2011

This week's show "iPhone, FCPX and Yet More Social!"

iPhone, FCPX and "Yet More Social"!

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: "iPhone, FCPX and "Yet More Social"!"

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.

Publish your iWeb Site on Dropbox

Now that MobileMe is on the way out, Hints reader vincent860524 wanted to be prepared for its eventual demise. Specifically, he wanted to figure out an alternative way to publish his iWeb projects online.

His solution: Store his sites Dropbox.

Know Your Rights!

Your computer, your phone, and your other digital devices hold vast amounts of personal information about you and your family. This is sensitive data that's worth protecting from prying eyes - including those of the government.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable government searches and seizures, and this protection extends to your computer and portable devices. But how does this work in the real world? What should you do if the police or other law enforcement officers show up at your door and want to search your computer?

EFF has designed this guide to help you understand your rights if officers try to search the data stored on your computer or portable electronic device, or seize it for further examination somewhere else.

Control Your PC from Your iPad With Remote Desktop Apps

For all its great apps, the iPad has quite a ways to go before it'll be ready to replace a desktop PC. But that doesn't mean you can't leave your laptop at the office and travel light. Given a sufficiently stable Internet connection, your iPad can control your PC from anywhere.

There's no shortage of remote desktop apps to choose from in the Apple App Store. Dozens of apps promise you the power to drive your PC from a distance. We rounded up four of the leading downloads--Citrix GoToMyPC, LogMeIn Ignition, Splashtop Remote Desktop, and Wyse PocketCloud Pro--to see which one delivers the best blend of control, performance, and convenience. Here's what we found.

Last Word on Lion and Application Compatibility

At the risk of beating a dead chestnut, I’ve received several inquiries regarding applications and their likely (or assured) compatibility with Lion. Rather than chew up precious email bits and forum threads, let’s wrap up this “Will my applications run under Lion or not?” package with a colorful bow.

What does the guy who led the original Final Cut Pro revolution think of the Final Cut Pro X release?

"Everything just changed in Post."

Yes it did!

In case anyone is interested in my take on the release of Final Cut Pro X, here it is.

First, let me say this first article is just about the release, and not about the software itself. I promise that henceforth I will focus on the actual FCPX software and forget all the hullabaloo.

But this article is about Apple’s business strategy (or lack thereof), my industry perceptions, and looking back a bit to see if we can predict the future.

All about MobileMe Box Refunds and Subscription Cancelations

This article explains the process for MobileMe box refunds and subscription cancelations, including how you know if you are eligible, what documentation is required, and refund processing time.

Bill and Ian Mock Shawn

Sometimes, bits on the show take on a life of their own. Last Wednesday was one of those instances.

During a discussion about syncing, Bill and Ian....well....GO OFF....on Shawn for his backwardness when it comes to syncing and the Address Book. To get the full effect, you have to watch the video feed and scroll forward to 1:36:20, then sit back and watch as hilarity ensues...At one point, it looks like Ian is trying to smother himself...

But, as a tease, here is the audio only version of the segment. ENJOY!

What’s happening to MobileMe?

The core services provided by MobileMe have been rewritten to work seamlessly with iCloud. MobileMe will no longer be available as a paid sync service. If you had an active MobileMe account as of June 6, 2011, your service has been extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, the MobileMe service will no longer be available.

Following is a list of MobileMe services and whether they will be available or not in iCloud this fall:

New YML Segment: "10 Good Minutes"

On last Wednesday's YML show, we debuted a new segment called "10 Good Minutes" where Ian, Shawn and Bill will discuss one topic for 10 minutes. These will get posted to the iTunes Store as a separate podcast and are available here on the YML site. You can even subscribe to the RSS feed of "10 Good Minutes"! We'll let you know once the podcast gets approved on the iTunes Store.

We hope you enjoy them and, as always, we'd love to hear what you think - email us at onair at

"10 Good Minutes: Segment 1 - iPhone 5 Rumors"

"10 Good Minutes: Segment 2 - Time Capsule"

"10 Good Minutes: Segment 3 - Final Cut Pro X"

Patents don’t Equal Products

Last week, The Loop had a story titled Apple patent could prevent you from filming in some venues”. I commented on the story, as I have on other web sites and on several mailing lists, that people should relax.

I said, “Patents don’t equal products. This ‘technology’ is easily circumvented by your average point and shoot camera. Non-issue. Non-story.”

My friend Mike Rose over at TUAW picked up the smoldering embers of this torch and wrote “Apple’s infrared ‘camera kill switch’ patent application hits a nerve”.

But I’ll repeat myself — “patents don’t equal products.”

CNBC Biography of Steve Jobs

Irrepressible, irascible, and iconic, Steve Jobs has reigned as the undisputed king of Silicon Valley for the better part of three decades. From his parents’ California garage he launched the personal computer revolution and built Apple into the most envied, and valuable, technology company in the world. From the Macintosh and the iPod, to iTunes and the iPhone, Jobs has personally presided over the creation of dozens of transformational devices, battling hostile corporate boards, cutthroat competitors, and serious illness while securing his legacy as one of the few who dared to “Think Different.”

Apple awarded Patent for iPhone Interface

When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone at Macworld Expo 2007, he lauded its multitouch interface. “And boy, have we patented it,” he added. It seems that now, four and a half years after Jobs declared the iPhone’s innovations worth protecting, that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has agreed.

On Tuesday, Apple was awarded U.S. Patent 7,966,578, for a “Portable multifunction device, method, and graphical user interface for translating displayed content.” In other words, Apple received a patent on the basic behaviors of the iPhone.

Via an email to Macworld, patent expert Florian Muller—a vocal critic of software patents—described Patent 7,966,578 to as “excessively broad.” Though Muller acknowledged “that Apple is a truly innovative company,” he suggested that Apple—like other large companies—“understand[s] the name of the patent game,” and thus aimed for a broader patent that could theoretically give it more legal muscle to exert over potential competitors.

Toward Better Master Passwords

1Password is great for generating strong random passwords for sites without you ever having to memorize (or even see) those passwords. But there are a few passwords that we all do need to remember. I have a small number (I wish I could say just one) high security passwords that I need to remember. One, of course, is my 1Password master password.

We’ve all been told to change passwords on a regular basis, and there are still some circumstances under which that remains reasonable advice. But it is not a good idea with 1Password master passwords. Ideally you should pick a good master password at the outset and never change it.

10 Good Minutes: Rumors, Patents and New Products

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by TabGrip, Smile, Circus Ponies and PowerMax: "10 Good Minutes: Rumors, Patents and New Products"

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 June 22nd, 2011

This week's show "10 Good Minutes: Rumors, Patents and New Products"

How to encrypt Your Dropbox Files

With the news that Dropbox managed to leave every single user account open for four hours, perhaps it’s time to review our encryption options.

We’re fans of Dropbox here at Securosis. We haven’t found any other tools that so effectively enable us to access my data on all my systems. I personally use two primary computers, plus an iPad and iPhone, and with my travel I really need seamless synchronization of all that content.

That said, I’m having serious doubts about my continued use of the service.

First Look: Final Cut Pro X

With the release of its hotly anticipated Final Cut Pro X (FCP X), Apple breaks new ground—not just with its flagship video editor's interface and underlying infrastructure—but with the whole mindset of what it means to be a working professional video editor.

Apple has revamped Final Cut Pro's hands-on user experience in three major areas: Editing, media organization, and post-production workflow. New tools such as the Magnetic Timeline, Clip Connections, Compound Clips, and Auditions provide a smooth, intuitive editing experience.

With this new application, video pros can no longer follow traditional ways of working.

“Why should Somebody Buy this instead of an iPad?”

It’s been fifteen months since the first iPad shipped. Nearly every sizable company that makes anything that looks even sort of like a computer or a phone has rushed into the market that Apple created. Many of these companies haven’t yet shipped the tablets they’ve announced. Still, a critical mass of major iPad alternatives are now here–tablets such as Motorola’s Xoom, RIM’s PlayBook, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.

And yet no Apple competitor has started selling anything that clearly answers a fundamental question: “Why should somebody buy this instead of an iPad?”

Why Apple isn't in the Dow

Since 1896, when the Wall Street Journal's first editor and co-founder, Charles Dow, compiled a portfolio of bellwether industrial stocks, the Dow Jones industrial average has sought to reflect the changing U.S. economy. The benchmark has sometimes been slow to keep up with the times.

Today the Dow is notable for one giant omission: Apple, the world's leading tech stock. With a market value of $307 billion as of June 14, the maker of iPhones and Macs is the second largest company in the U.S., behind ExxonMobil, a Dow component, and almost as large as Microsoft and Intel combined. "Apple should be in the Dow," says Paul Hickey, of Bespoke Investment Group in Harrison, N.Y. "Just as there used to be a General Motors vehicle in nearly every American driveway, there's now an Apple product in practically every American household."

Apple debuts ‘Now’ iPad 2 Commercial

Interview with Rob Griffiths of Many Tricks

I'm a big fan of little apps that do one or two things that solve a problem I may have with the way OS X works. I "discovered" Many Tricks after using their Witch app and I follow their "Master of Ceremonies", Rob Griffiths on Twitter.

Rob was kind enough to give me some of his time to talk about the company, how they work across continents and times zones, what he thinks about "competing" with Apple and a wide range of other topics. I hope you enjoy it.

Click this link to listen to the interview directly but, even better, subscribe to Your Mac Life on iTunes and get all of our interviews downloaded automagically.

Testing for Rosetta Use in OS X

With speculation and rumor suggesting (possibly accurately) that OS X Lion will be issued without the "Rosetta" dynamic translator that allows PowerPC code to run on Intel-based Macs, a number of people are undoubtedly concerned about their readiness to use a platform without any form of PowerPC support.

If a program does require PowerPC and you install OS X without Rosetta, you will see the program's icon appear with a white "no entry" slash through it, and you will not be able to open the program. To avoid chancing that this will happen with any of your current programs, it will help to check whether any that you use or have installed are PowerPC-only applications.

There are several ways to do this in OS X.

Unlocked iPhones: What are They Good For?

Since the launch of the very first iPhone, customers in the U.S. could only get their hands on the device if they were willing to ink a two-year contract with a cell phone carrier. iPhone users in other parts of the world had it different, though—they could buy an iPhone that wasn’t locked into any one carrier, provided they were willing to pay up for the privilege.

That changed on Tuesday, when Apple announced it would sell an unlocked version of the iPhone 4 in the U.S. You’re responsible for procuring your own micro-SIM—that’s the card that identifies you to mobile networks and lets you make calls—and you’ve got to line up a cellular contract. But other than that—and a modest payment of $649 or $749 to buy the device—an unlocked iPhone 4 capable of connecting to any GSM-based network is all yours.

The question is, why pay up for an unlocked phone?

Secrets From Apple's Genius Bar: Full Loyalty, No Negativity

Steve Jobs turned Apple Inc. into the world's most valuable technology company with high-tech products like the iPad and iPhone. But one anchor of Apple's success is surprisingly low tech: its chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores.

A look at confidential training manuals, a recording of a store meeting and interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees reveal some of Apple's store secrets. They include: intensive control of how employees interact with customers, scripted training for on-site tech support and consideration of every store detail down to the pre-loaded photos and music on demo devices.