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"

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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"

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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!

Archives for April 25th, 2012

This week's show "WWDC, Apple Earnings and "Insanely Simple"!"

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

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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

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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.

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

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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

Book publishers are being sued by the Justice Department for allegedly colluding to raise e-book prices. This isn't a case of simple greed.

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

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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

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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

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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