Ping: What went Wrong

In his recent appearance at the All Things Digital conference, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, had this to say about the company’s music-centric social networking service, Ping:

We tried Ping and the customer voted and said, this isn’t something I want to put a lot of energy into. Some customers love it, but there’s not a huge number that do, so will we kill it? I don’t know. I’ll look at it.

Given that this is the kind of lukewarm endorsement generally reserved for a hospitable but unwelcome plague of roof rats, we can safely assume that when Tim and crew find the time, in come the exterminators and out goes Ping.

While I could let Ping go quietly into the night, Apple provides us with so few failures that it’s impossible to pass up the opportunity to give Ping’s corpse a poke or two to determine what led to its demise. And, fortunately, it doesn’t take a forensic genius to sleuth that out. Let the list begin.

Apple TV as an iOS Gaming Platform? Not Likely.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, long-time Apple TV proponent, believes that it is it’s not a case of “if” but “when” Apple will release a television.

I’ve talked at length about how I just don’t see how a TV fits into Apple’s future, so rather than cover that same old ground I want to pick up on a specific point made by Munster.

Munster believes that Apple’s television will allow users to download games, music and other content to their TV. He believes that gaming in particular will be of particular interest to the large group of iOS game developers.

Immediate, I can see several problems with this idea.

Sandboxing Deadline arrives: What it means for Apple, Developers, and You

Depending upon whom you ask, Friday, June 1 is the best or worst thing to come to the Mac App Store since it opened its doors in 2011. As of now, new and significantly updated apps submitted to Apple’s Mac App Store must implement sandboxing.

Sandboxing refers to compartmentalizing what data and features a specific app is granted access to; apps each can metaphorically play exclusively in their own sandbox, accessing only that data which Apple has granted that app entitlements to see.

The plus side of sandboxing is that it means, in theory, that your apps will become safer and more trustworthy: Your Mac prevents them from accessing files they shouldn’t access. But that security comes with a price, at least in some cases.

Three Things to Back Up before MobileMe goes Dark on June 30

It's officially June, and hopefully you know what that means. Yes, Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference will take place in just a week and a half, but June also marks the month when Apple's MobileMe service (previously called .Mac, and before that, iTools) will finally go dark. That's right: Apple is finalizing its transition over to yet another version of its online services, iCloud, and whatever's left of MobileMe will be left behind.

Even if you're already using iCloud after transitioning your account over from MobileMe, certain parts of MobileMe simply aren't available as part of iCloud. This is why it's important to make sure you grab all your remaining data, back it up, and potentially port it over to a new service.

MobileMe will go dark on June 30, 2012. That's less than a month away at this point, so what are you waiting for? Here are four things you should check up on and back up before that day rolls around.

Archives for May 30th, 2012

This week's show "Tim Cook at D10 and Listener Email!"

Tim Cook at D10 and Listener Email!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Tim Cook at D10 and Listener Email!"

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 Tim Cook is changing Apple

A 14-year veteran of the company, Cook is maintaining, by words and actions, most of Apple's unique corporate culture. But shifts of behavior and tone are absolutely apparent; some of them affect the core of Apple's critical product-development process. In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate. In some cases Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted. It's almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long-overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy.

What's clear is that Cook is behaving like his own man, putting his stamp on Apple -- including some moves that will court controversy with the Apple faithful, watchful as they are for the slightest deviation from their perception of the Steve Jobs playbook.

Archives for May 23rd, 2012

This week's show "LifeProof and Geek-ercise!"

Sly's Website of the Week - May 23rd, 2012

This week's winner writes:

A British gameshow called "Golden Balls" invites contestants to play a version of the Prisoner's Dilemma, wherein the two contestants have to decide whether they're going to "split" or "steal" a pot of money.

If they both opt to split, they split the money. If one opts to split, and one opts to steal, the one who steals it gets the whole pot. And if they both opt to steal it, then neither get the money.

You have to watch this video to appreciate the raw game theory power move that one contestant pulled.

What a great ending! LOL

~ Sly

LifeProof and Geek-ercise!

This week on Your Mac Life: "LifeProof and Geek-ercise!"

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.

Inside the Mysteries of Mission Control

OS X's Mission Control lets you manage the screen clutter that accompanies today’s advanced computing environment by providing a bird’s-eye view of all your open applications and windows. You’re the one really in control when you learn how to manage Mission Control’s features.

Interview with Tom Negrino, author of "iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide"

Tom Negrino has written over 40 books. His latest, "iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide", will help you understand, configure and use Apple's iCloud service.

The book walks you through how to share iTunes songs, photos, books, apps, files, email, contacts, and calendars across your PC, Mac, and iOS devices and you'll learn how to create documents in Apple's iWork apps - Pages, Keynote, and Numbers -and edit them on any device, with iCloud keeping the files up to date. You'll also learn how to back up important information via iCloud.

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!

A User’s Guide to finding Storage Space in the Cloud

A number of companies store your data free and make it accessible to whatever device you are using, wherever you are, as long as you have Internet connection. For those using thumb drives and external hard drives, think of cloud storage as just another way to back up data, but on a remote server. Add in the ability to synchronize and the service becomes even more appealing.

What is different now is the ability to synchronize seamlessly across multiple devices: computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. And of course, as Google, Microsoft, Dropbox and others compete for your business, the sheer amount of data to be shared and stored continues to expand.

Here is how to start using it right now.

More Movies, More Mac Tips and Lots of Rumors!

This week on Your Mac Life: "More Movies, More Mac Tips and Lots of Rumors!"

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 May 16th, 2012

This week's show "More Movies, More Mac Tips and Lots of Rumors!"

CrashPlan CrashPlan+

Pros: Customizable membership plans, Desktop and iOS app work seamlessly together, Multiple ways to restore your data

Cons: Size limit when restoring files from Web Restore, Initial backup can be slow.

How to Surf safely with a VPN-for-Hire

“When your data passes through a public network—such as the Wi-Fi at the coffee shop or airport—it is at risk.” I’ve been writing variations on that sentence for 10 years now, and I expect I’ll be writing it for many more. That’s because it’s easy to snoop on such networks, and the data on them isn’t safeguarded against those prying eyes. You have to take action to keep your data safe. Fortunately, doing so doesn’t have to be hard.

You could encrypt networked data one service at a time, by securing your email sessions or configuring your Twitter and Facebook accounts to use HTTPS. (Actually, I recommend both steps regardless of whatever other security measures you take.) But that means adjusting settings in lots of different apps, one at a time. There’s a more comprehensive solution: a virtual private network (VPN).

Hands-on with 5 Antivirus Apps for the Mac

So Mac invulnerability to malware is a myth, at least according to security researchers from Kaspersky Lab. And although such a blunt statement may be a blow to the ego of some Mac users, it remains true. Security researchers from all walks have long argued that it was only a matter of time before the Mac became popular enough that virus, malware, and spyware makers would come calling, and the recent Flashback scare has only served as a reminder that overconfidence precedes carelessness. Especially when it comes to technology.

Is it time to begin installing antivirus software on our Macs? We leave that up to you to decide for yourself, but given the spike in questions we've been receiving about which antivirus software is the best, we thought we'd take a look at a handful of the most well-known apps out there for Mac users. Your mileage may vary, but here are our impressions of five different antivirus packages after installing and using each one. In no particular order:

Archives for May 9th, 2012

This week's show "Summer Movies, Mac Tips and Lots of FOYML!"

Ink-onomics: Can You save Money by spending more on Your Printer?

Buying the inkjet printer or inkjet MFP (multifunction printer) that is best suited to your budget should be simple. It's not--and the complication is the ink. Replenishing this vital fluid costs much more over time than the printer itself costs initially, yet unwary buyers often overlook that expense. To find the most economical printer over the long haul, you need to pay attention to ink-onomics--how much your printer's inks cost and how much ink you'll use.

The first law of ink-onomics: The cheaper the printer, the more expensive its inks. We've tracked the prices of 56 inkjet MFPs over the past two years, and the average cost per page for inks destined for a cheap printer (which we define as one costing less than $200) has consistently been higher than that for an expensive printer (one costing $200 or more).

But does that mean you should avoid cheap printers like the plague?

Summer Movies, Mac Tips and Lots of FOYML!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Summer Movies, Mac Tips and Lots of FOYML!

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.

Interview with Ensley Eikenburg of Frommer's Travel Guides

Frommer's is an acknowledged expert in the field of travel guides. They are now taking their expertise and creating stunning "Day by Day" guides for the iPad and iPhone that will be essentials for travelers at every level.

We had a wonderful chat with Ensley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, Frommer's Travel Guides, about the guides, what you'll find in them and how you can get the most out of your travel experience.

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 - May 2nd, 2012

Let's face it, I'm going to be useless on today's show after my incredible week off that first started in Portland, visiting Shawn, Michel, Hannamarie and seeing Bill (getting to meet Scotty!), Ian (and his lovely wife Darci) and 2nd Mom (and Mr. 2nd Mom), getting a new iPad (can you say BEAUTIFUL?!?), not to mention the incredible week of Springsteen shows I had, culminating in being elbows on stage at the center catwalk, front row with my favourite musician a mere 20 feet away (and closer at times) for LA Night 2.

Still can't get the stupid-assed grin off my face. ;-)

I haven't even thought of Website of the Week or looked at entries, so I'm picking my own - you can get a glimpse of what my view was through my friend Joanne's video that she shot of Springsteen and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine and The Nightwatchman) singing The Ghost of Tom Joad. What Morello does with a guitar should really be illegal. LOL (I was dead center of Springsteen.)

My recap of my Springsteen week focusing on that incredible LA Night 2 show and experience is also below in case you're interested (photos included):

http://slymarton.wordpress.com/

Still on a contact high. :-) See ya tonight!

Switch your iWeb Site to a Mac Friendly Web Host

With the demise of MobileMe, many Mac users are looking for new homes for their websites, particularly those created in iWeb. Deciding among the thousands of hosting companies can be bewildering. Don’t panic. Here are a few tips to help you choose a new provider and move your sites to their new home.

Archives for May 2nd, 2012

This week's show "Taxes, Frommer's and Travel!"

Taxes, Frommer's and Travel!

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.

Lab Tested: The new iPad 2 and old iPad 2

As reported by sites like AnandTech, the folks at Chipworks discovered that Apple is using a different production process for its A5 processors. The company switched from using Samsung Semiconductor’s 45nm process to Samsung’s 32nm process, reducing the size of the chip by 41 percent.

The smaller size could mean better performance or lower power consumption. To see if we could find any measurable performance differences between the two versions of the iPad 2, we purchased a brand new model and ran our standard set of tests on them.

In our performance tests, we found the two iPad 2s to be nearly as identical as their outside appearances.

Apple and Taxes: What the New York Times Missed

As the person who six years ago this month revealed in BusinessWeek that Apple had incorporated in Nevada where the corporate tax rate is zero, I found the New York Times account by Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski of the many financial tricks that Apple employs to minimize its tax exposure fascinating. Who couldn’t love phrases like “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich” to describe arcane accounting and legal tricks?

But the implication the story leaves you with that Apple is somehow doing society a disservice by not paying its fair share of corporate taxes is simply wrong on many levels.

Interview with Anne Geddes about "My First Five Years"

While you may not be familair with her name, you are certainly familiar with her iconic photography of babies in unusual yet compelling situations. She has a new Mac app out called "My First Five Years" and she was kind enough to spend some time talking about it and her photography with with YML this week.

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!

Interview with Ken Segall, author of "Insanely Simple"

As an ad agency creative director, Ken Segall was a key player in Apple’s resurrection. He helped create marketing campaigns such as "Think Different" and was the guy who "named the iMac".

His new book, Insanely Simple, "explains the ten elements of Simplicity that drive Apple’s success, illustrating each with previously untold stories. It takes you inside Steve Jobs’s world to show you how he enforced the rules of Simplicity—sometimes with humor, sometimes with brutality, but always with amazing success."

He was kind enough to spend an extended period of time with YML this week. 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!