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July 18 Friday's News

 

Web users urged to re-use old passwords

Web users urged to re-use old passwords

The conventional wisdom that web users should always use strong passwords that are never repeated has been challenged in a new report.

Researchers at Microsoft claim that many web users struggle to remember a long list of complex passwords. They therefore recommend that users only use strong passwords for websites that hold sensitive information, such as banking sites. -- The Telegraph.

Apple expands availability of two-step verification for Apple IDs to 59 countries

Apple expands availability of two-step verification for Apple IDs to 59 countries

Just over a year after first enabling two-step verification for its pervasive Apple ID account system, Apple on Thursday revealed the feature's expansion to nearly 50 additional countries around the world in an updated technical support document. -- AppleInsider.

First look: Using Passbook at an Apple Store to buy iTunes & App Store credit

First look: Using Passbook at an Apple Store to buy iTunes & App Store credit

Apple on Thursday began offering customers in the U.S. and elsewhere the ability to replenish their iTunes Store credit through its Passbook digital wallet application for iPhone when visiting an Apple Store. AppleInsider offers a first look at how it works. -- AppleInsider.

Outgoing Apple board member Bill Campbell offers insight into company, Steve Jobs in interview

Outgoing Apple board member Bill Campbell offers insight into company, Steve Jobs in interview

Following a Thursday announcement that Bill Campbell would retire as a member of Apple's board of directors, Fortune published an interview in which the Intuit chairman describes his time in Cupertino, relationship with cofounder Steve Jobs and "coach" to silicon valley elite. -- AppleInsider.

5 powerful apps that blow away Apple's stock iOS tools

5 powerful apps that blow away Apple's stock iOS tools

The iPhone comes preloaded with many stock applications, but not all are as powerful as you wish they'd be. Luckily there are tons of developers pushing new apps into the App Store, and many of their creations upstage the stock iOS applications.

In today's video we take a look at five iOS apps that can easily replace baked-in Apple apps and enhance your iPhone experience. Look at weather in more detail, refresh your music player and more with these powerful apps. -- Cult of Mac.

iPhone or Canon? A veteran photographer debates digital versus analog

iPhone or Canon? A veteran photographer debates digital versus analog

During his 25-year career as a photographer, Dan Marcolina has captured moments of everyday despair and delight, from beaches and backyards to bus stations and wedding celebrations. Longtime photographer Dan Marcolina tells why an Apple smartphone can be the ultimate tool of his trade. -- Cult of Mac.

OS X: Move Jobs Between Printers

OS X: Move Jobs Between Printers

For today's Quick Tip, Melissa Holt is going to teach us how to move a job that we've sent to the wrong printer to a different one. No more walking through the steps to reprint a document just because the printer you tried to use is at home, folks! -- The Mac Observer.

Easily schedule tasks with Calendar in OS X

Easily schedule tasks with Calendar in OS X

Managing documents and opening applications in OS X is relatively straightforward; however, there might be times when you would like to schedule specific files to open. These might be an application or two, or perhaps a document such as a PDF that you might access at a given time every day, or perhaps only use on Mondays or Fridays. Additionally, if you have scripted routines, including those made with Automator, then you might want your scripts to run at specific dates and times. -- MacIssues.

Apple's New Infrared Sensor Revelations May Support iWatch

Apple's New Infrared Sensor Revelations May Support iWatch

On July 17, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Infrared Sensors for Electronic Devices." This is a new application and not one that is a continuation patent. I say this because the iPhone having infrared sensors really isn't new. The feature that shuts off the iPhone's touchscreen when a user's ear touches the display isn't new. So what is new? What's new in this filing is that Apple wants to combine sensors and add new ones like a bolometer and a new dimension to their existing infrared sensor so that it could measure blackbody light. This will better measure the temperature of external objects such as a user's head or hand. This will provide consumers with the ability to use new "motion commands" that don't require touching the display. And considering that the invention could be used in conjunction with "portable devices such as wrist-watch devices, pendant devices, or other wearable or miniature devices," motion commands to control various features on an iWatch would be rather cool. -- Patently Apple.

EU accuses Apple of dragging its feet on protections for 'misleading' IAP-driven free apps

EU accuses Apple of dragging its feet on protections for 'misleading' IAP-driven free apps

The European Commission has complained that Apple is taking too long to implement protections for freemium games in the App Store, reports BBC News. The Commission has decreed that both Apple and Google, the two biggest app store vendors, must make the "true cost of apps" clear before purchase. However, officials are upset that Apple has not yet committed to any such measures.

OS X Yosemite, iOS 8: Continuity -- what you need to know

OS X Yosemite, iOS 8: Continuity --what you need to know

Apple's promised Continuity feature will bind OS X Yosemite with iOS 8, enabling integration between Macs and mobile devices for compatible apps. So what is Continuity and what can you expect? -- Computerworld.

Move Over Keynote: Flowboard For Mac Thinks Different

Move Over Keynote: Flowboard For Mac Thinks Different

When it comes to apps for your Mac the old adage 'Different strokes for different folks' definitely applies. And it explains why we have so many different Mac word processors, notes apps, photo enhancement apps. Almost every Mac user needs an app in those categories. Less popular are presentation apps on the order of Keynote, which is free for Mac users.

If necessity is the mother of invention, someone decided Keynote could be improved and developed Flowboard, arguably the most unique Mac (and iOS) presentation app you've never used, and probably won't. -- McSolo.

How To Test Your Mac's Display

How To Test Your Mac's Display

Apple loves color. Not just color, but accurate color. Color on a Mac is only as good as the Mac's display.

How do you know your Mac display is, well, displaying the proper colors and working as it should? If color is important to you, and you want to test and tuneup your Mac's display, what can you do? I came across a Mac utility that might just answer the question. -- Mac 360.

NeoOffice for Mac 2014.1: It's Ready

NeoOffice for Mac 2014.1: It's Ready

NeoOffice 2014 shipped a week or so ago and, rather than write it up then, I thought better of it -- wait for the first point release. Well, Neoffice 2014.1 has indeed arrived, an unambiguous signal that it's time to belly up to the bar. -- FairerPlatform.

Derrick Story On Aperture, Lightroom and the Future of Image Management

Derrick Story On Aperture, Lightroom and the Future of Image Management

Digital photography expert Derrick Story shares his thoughts on the discontinuance of Aperture and what we should all do next. Is Adobe Lightroom in your future? Or the successor photo app from Apple, Photos? Is building a new photography app from the ground up a good idea? Derrick discusses the options, the costs associated with each, and his rationale for his personal choice. -- MacVoices.

Hip to be square: How to take great cropped photos on your iPhone

Hip to be square: How to take great cropped photos on your iPhone

We're in a square-photographed world: Square images fill our Twitter streams, Facebook dashboards, and just about everywhere else. If you're a photographer shooting on your iPhone, it's hip to shoot square--especially if you know the right tricks to make your images look fabulous. -- Macworld.

PowerPC Macs most definitely still have game

PowerPC Macs most definitely still have game

We PowerPC Mac users can take glee at a lot of things in this day and age of mobile, on-the-go, modern computing. We all have need for desktop computers. I don't know anyone who can type a story or blog post of substance on their tablet or phone. Sure, you can hook up a keyboard to your iPad or your iPhone but if you're going to go to that length you might as well save your notes to the cloud and pull down that kind of work for completion on your trusty desktop Mac. -- hittingthesweetspot.

MIT May Have Just Solved All Your Data Center Network Lag Issues

MIT May Have Just Solved All Your Data Center Network Lag Issues

A group of MIT researchers say they've invented a new technology that should all but eliminate queue length in data center networking. The technology will be fully described in a paper presented at the annual conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication. According to MIT, the paper will detail a system -- dubbed Fastpass -- that uses a centralized arbiter to analyze network traffic holistically and make routing decisions based on that analysis, in contrast to the more decentralized protocols common today. Experimentation done in Facebook data centers shows that a Fastpass arbiter with just eight cores can be used to manage a network transmitting 2.2 terabits of data per second, according to the researchers.

July 17 Thursday's News

 

What Apple, Inc. gets from its new iOS partnership with IBM

What Apple, Inc. gets from its new iOS partnership with IBM

Apple's newly announced mobile partnership with IBM has been greeted by a number of analysts and pundits as being both "not that big a deal," or conversely, the dramatic reversal of a long standing rivalry. Both are wrong, here's why. -- AppleInsider.

Future iPhones may use behavior recognition and learning tools to protect against theft

Future iPhones may use behavior recognition and learning tools to protect against theft

An Apple invention published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on Thursday describes a method by which an iPhone can set off an alert or automatically lock the device based on detected changes in user behavior. -- AppleInsider.

Mathematics makes strong case that "snoopy2" can be just fine as a password

Mathematics makes strong case that

By now, most readers know the advice cold. Use long, randomly generated passwords to lock down your digital assets. Never use the same password across two or more accounts. In abstract terms, the dictates are some of the best ways to protect against breaches suffered by one site--say, the one that hit Gawker in 2010 that exposed poorly cryptographically scrambled passwords for 1.3 million users--that spread like wildfire. Once hackers cracked weak passwords found in the Gawker database, they were able to compromise accounts across a variety of other websites when victims used the same passcode. -- Ars Technica.

Air Force research: How to use social media to control people like drones

Air Force research: How to use social media to control people like drones

Facebook isn't the only organization conducting research into how attitudes are affected by social media. The Department of Defense has invested millions of dollars over the past few years investigating social media, social networks, and how information spreads across them. While Facebook and Cornell University researchers manipulated what individuals saw in their social media streams, military-funded research--including projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Social Media in Strategic Communications (SMISC) program--has looked primarily into how messages from influential members of social networks propagate. -- Ars Technica.

Apple prepared to pay $450 million for e-book price fixing case

Apple prepared to pay $450 million for e-book price fixing case

One year after being found guilty of e-book price fixing, Apple has reached a conditional settlement with the U.S. State to pay $450 million for its role in the price fixing conspiracy that involved five major publishers. -- Cult of Mac.

Apple brings iTunes Pass to the United States for storing money in Passbook

Apple brings iTunes Pass to the United States for storing money in Passbook

After launching first in Japan on July 15th, Apple has brought its iTunes Pass functionality to the United States. The feature allows you to store iTunes Store credit on a digital gift card in Passbook that can reloaded by an Apple retail employee in-store. -- Cult of Mac.

How to set up and use Folder Actions on your Mac

How to set up and use Folder Actions on your Mac

One of the hidden gems in OS X is a scripting service called Folder Actions, where you can bind an AppleScript to run whenever the contents of a specified folder are changed. This feature can be exceptionally useful, not only for helping you organize files and folders, but also for helping you monitor aspects of your system.

Unfortunately Apple does not promote Folder Actions, and perhaps they might someday go the wayside and be gone from OS X, but for now while they are still around you might be able to make good use of them. -- MacIssues.

Apple Invents Wildly Advanced Bumping Technology

Apple Invents Wildly Advanced Bumping Technology

On July 17, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Bump or Close Proximity Triggered Wireless Technology." Although Apple's Sr. VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi made light of Samsung's bumping technology during his 2013 WWDC keynote segment introducing "AirDrop" by saying that there was no need to wander around the room bumping your phone with others in order to share photos and so forth, the fact is that bumping technology was long established in previous Apple inventions going back to 2009. Today, Apple takes bumping technology to newly advanced levels. Although Apple notes that it does use peer-to-peer Wi-Fi Direct like with AirDrop in some cases, they also note that they use many other communication standards that could be applied to a wide range of future applications such as e-Commerce, in-vehicle applications and into wild new areas involving vehicle collisions, theft and beyond. -- Patently Apple.

Apple May Advance their "Find My iPhone" Security Feature

Apple May Advance their

On July 17, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a possible future "Find My iPhone" security feature. The invention is intended to allow the finder of a lost iDevice to initiate a communication with a particular contact stored in the device by bypassing the device's security scheme. -- Patently Apple.

Nine things everyone should know how to do with a presentation app

Nine things everyone should know how to do with a presentation app

Whether you're a student preparing a class assignment or a rising executive trying to impress your CEO, you'll have to go beyond the basics if you want your computer-based slideshows to stand out. While teaching people how to use presentation software over the years, I've identified nine techniques that I think everyone should have in their arsenal--but which even some experienced presenters often seem to miss. Here's how those techniques work in Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac 2011, Apple's Keynote 6.2, and Google Docs. -- Macworld.

Using AppleScript To Automate In Numbers

Using AppleScript To Automate In Numbers

The latest version of Numbers restores our ability to use AppleScript to automate some actions in your spreadsheets. You can use AppleScript to create new commands in Numbers and do things that could be difficult or impossible to do otherwise. Take a look at some simple examples that populate cells with random numbers and modify the values of checkboxes. -- MacMost.

Access OS X's Secret Terminal Hidden in the Login Screen

Access OS X's Secret Terminal Hidden in the Login Screen

If you ever need to enter console commands without logging all the way into the desktop, Macworld has an old tip that shows you how to get access to the Terminal without going through the whole login process. -- Lifehacker.

How to Open a .Pages Format File in Windows & Microsoft Word

How to Open a .Pages Format File in Windows & Microsoft Word

The Pages app is the Mac word processor similar to Microsoft Word on the Windows side of things, and by default any Pages document is saved as a Pages format file with with a ".pages" file extension. Typically that's invisible to Mac users, but if you send a Pages file to someone on a Windows computer, the .pages extension is visible and the file format is unreadable by default by most Windows apps and by Microsoft Office. At first glance that may seem like Windows can't use the file, but that's not the case. -- OS X Daily.

Closer look: iOS 8 preview

Closer look: iOS 8 preview

Last year Apple delivered iOS 7, which was a massive upgrade. Not only did it bring an all-new look as well as add several new dimensions to the user interface, it also brought full compatibility with Apple's industry-leading 64-bit chip technology. This year, Apple used its WWDC 2014 to unveil iOS 8, its next-gen mobile OS. A lot of foundational work was laid in iOS 7 and iOS 8 looks to build on this adding several new and powerful features to the front end and back end. Apple is calling iOS 8 its biggest release to date, which is some statement when set against the backdrop of what it achieved with iOS 7. But when you factor in over 4,000 additional APIs and an all-new in-house developed programming language in Swift, plus some potentially revolutionary new frameworks in HealthKit and HomeKit, iOS 8 could well be the most significant iteration of iOS yet. -- Electronista.

Is iTunes About to Start Selling Hi-Res Music, or Is a Record Label Confused?

Is iTunes About to Start Selling Hi-Res Music, or Is a Record Label Confused?

I came across a curious announcement from Warner Classics this morning. They say that they will be releasing some music in high definition on iTunes. Talking about some remastered albums by Herbert van Karajan, they say:

This treasure trove has been painstakingly remastered at London's Abbey Road Studios in 24-bit/96kHz from the original tapes, available for the first time as digital, high-definition releases via iTunes. -- Kirkville.

15+ reasons Apple is best for accessibility

15+ reasons Apple is best for accessibility

You may have read the selective fantasy peddled as fact by Christina Farr, which claimed blind and deaf users want Apple to do more to make its systems accessible. Her inherent bias was clearly confirmed when those advocates also said Google has done far less to make Android devices accessible.

Contrast Apple's success with Chris Hofstader's review of Nexus 7's claimed accessibility features: "Google insults the community of people with print impairments by claiming that this device is accessible," he wrote.

Apple engineers "go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness to various muscular disorders," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. -- Computerworld.

July 16 Wednesday's News

 

Google now warns iPhone users when search results contain Adobe Flash

Google now warns iPhone users when search results contain Adobe Flash

Search giant Google added another board to Flash's coffin on Tuesday with the announcement that it would warn users searching from mobile devices -- like Apple's iPhone or Android handsets -- when the contents of a search result were "mostly Flash." -- AppleInsider.

Apple and IBM join forces in landmark push for iOS in enterprise

Apple and IBM join forces in landmark push for iOS in enterprise

Tech giants Apple and IBM on Tuesday announced a new partnership that looks to revolutionize mobile device use in enterprise with customized apps and services for iPhone and iPad. -- AppleInsider.

Call to cancel Comcast service descends into desperate, hysterical fireworks

Call to cancel Comcast service descends into desperate, hysterical fireworks

A Comcast customer service representative tried to retain a customer over the weekend in a stunning display of hysteria and desperation, and his failure was recorded for all to enjoy. Gdgt founder and AOL Vice President of Product Ryan Block posted a recording of his attempt to cancel his Comcast cable service over the phone Monday night, showing remarkable patience and reserve in the face of adversity. -- Ars Technica.

We don't need new image formats: Mozilla works to build a better JPEG

We don't need new image formats: Mozilla works to build a better JPEG

Though streaming video is a bigger user of bandwidth overall, it's images, not video, that are the big bandwidth user during regular browsing. A big proportion of this bandwidth is taken by lossy image formats, specifically JPEG, used to shrink photographic pictures to a more download-friendly size. The desire to make these images smaller--and hence faster to download--has inspired a lot of investigation to determine if some other format might do the job better. -- Ars Technica.

Apple and IBM want you to use an iPhone at work, please

pple and IBM want you to use an iPhone at work, please

Apple and IBM are working together again. No, it's not a revival of PowerPC Macs--the two companies have entered into an agreement to strengthen Apple's position in large businesses using IBM's software, services, and partnerships. -- Ars Technica.

IBM and Apple: Catharsis

IBM and Apple: Catharsis

IBM did not invent personal computing but their "PC" became synonymous with the category. Having entered the market in 1981, the IBM PC quickly became the top selling brand. From 1984 to 1993 IBM sold more PCs than any other vendor, conceding the spot to Compaq which remained on top only until 2000. No PC vendor remained at the top of the sales leagues longer than IBM. HP had the second longest run but that run was broken last year as Lenovo (who acquired IBM's PC business) surged. -- Asymco.

Apple and old arch rival IBM "fit like a puzzle," says Tim Cook

Apple and old archrival IBM

IBM and Apple used to be sworn enemies, but a lot has changed since the early days of the Macintosh and the PC race. Both companies have committed to making Apple software and hardware a one-stop shop for businesses in what some consider one of the "most important and powerful tech partnerships" ever. -- Cult of Mac.

Turn your favorite tunes into ringtones with quick iTunes tip

Turn your favorite tunes into ringtones with quick iTunes tip

With so many people in the world having iPhones with the same ringtones, hearing a ringer go off can be irritating and confusing. The iTunes Store sells ringtones, but they can become quite expensive if you like switching things up a lot.

In today's video, we show you how to solve this annoying problem by creating your own free ringtones in iTunes. Just follow these simple steps to separate yourself from the crowd instantly. -- Cult of Mac.

How to create special photo effects with a light stencil

How to create special photo effects with a light stencil

Photography is all about light, and photographers are all about light painting. There are many tricks to try, from isolating objects with incandescence outside the frame to shining light directly at the camera as in Janelle Pietrzak's Bambi series, created using light stencils. -- Cult of Mac.

IBM and Apple just not that big a deal

IBM and Apple just not that big a deal

Given that I used to work for Apple and have lately been quite critical of IBM, readers are wondering what I think of Tuesday's announcement of an iOS partnership of sorts between Apple and IBM. I think it makes good sense for both companies but isn't a slam dunk for either. -- I, Cringely.

OS X: Use Any Color on Your Screen

OS X: Use Any Color on Your Screen

In today's Quick Tip, Melissa Holt's going to cover a feature that not many people use, despite it having been around since approximately the dawn of time. OS X's Color Picker can grab any color on your screen, so you can apply the exact shade of a logo, a t-shirt you took a picture of, or pretty much anything else to your objects and text. Handy! -- The Mac Observer.

Tackle Web pages not loading in OS X

Tackle Web pages not loading in OS X

Arguably Safari, Firefox, Chrome and other Web browsers are perhaps the most commonly used applications on your Mac, so when browsing various sites, you might be frustrated if pages suddenly stop updating with content you know is new, or stop loading at all.

At times these can be server-based issues that you simply have to deal with, but at other times it can be a hiccup in your Mac's configuration that causes the problems. -- MacIssues.

Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers

Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers

Last month Apple confirmed that it would soon beef up encryption for iCloud email following a report detailing security flaws in major email services. While Apple previously encrypted emails sent between its own iCloud customers, now the company has enabled encryption for emails in transit between iCloud and third-party services for me.com and mac.com email addresses. -- 9to5Mac.

With iPhoto's demise, writing may be on the wall for iLife

With iPhoto's demise, writing may be on the wall for iLife

Apple's iLife consumer-level suite of apps has changed dramatically over the years. It has contained as few as three apps and as many as six. It's cost as much as $79 and as little as zero. It's been packaged both as an integrated software collection and as a loose confederacy of disparate apps. And now, in its latest evolutionary shift, it's been placed on the endangered software list, with a reasonable probability that it will, in the not too distant future, go extinct altogether. -- Macworld.

3 tips to improve the performance of your Mac

3 tips to improve the performance of your Mac

We all know that Macs offer fantastic performance and that the Mac OS is the most secure and efficient operating system out there, however there may come a time when you notice your Mac is running a little slowly, or not performing as well as it once did.

Let us take you through a few simple steps that can help improve performance and keep your Mac in tip top healthy condition. -- Amsys.

Using Finder tags to help with importing media into Final Cut Pro X

Using Finder tags to help with importing media into Final Cut Pro X

So did you ever think you could organise your footage for FCPX without using folders, before importing ? You can and here's how... (Plus an extra tip!) -- fcp.co.

The Complete Guide to Using Custom Icons in OS X

The Complete Guide to Using Custom Icons in OS X

Use a Mac long enough and you'll eventually stumble upon forums like the "Post Your Desktop" threads at sites like MacRumors. Mac users love to customize the look and feel of OS X, and one of the easiest ways to do it is by using custom icons for your apps and utilities.

Apps like CandyBar have long offered a quick solution to managing your Mac's application icons, but it's just as simple to change most icons yourself. Here's an overview on how to use custom icons in OS X. -- TekRevue.

Ten things everyone should know how to do with a word processor

Ten things everyone should know how to do with a word processor

Admit it: You don't use half the tools in your word processing app--whether it's Microsoft Word, Apple's own Pages, or Google Docs--maybe even less than half. But without all those bells and whistles you've been ignoring, that app is little more than a glorified text editor. (Not that there's anything wrong with that: I use my favorite text editor, BBEdit, as a glorified word processor.)

But a big part of owning a tool is knowing how to use it effectively. So if you ever use Word, Pages, or Google Docs, you owe it to yourself to know how to do a few essential things with it. Here are the ten of the most essential. -- Macworld.

Applescript in the future

Applescript in the future

Applescript has had to take a bit of a back seat in recent years but there have been a couple of posts recently that will be of significant interest to all scripters. -- Macs in Chemistry.

How to auto-enhance photos on your iPhone and iPad

How to auto-enhance photos on your iPhone and iPad

If you take a photo with your iPhone or iPad and feel like the composition is great but that the colors and tones could be a little better, the Photos app comes with a few handy tools to help. iOS 8 promises a lot more control, but even with iOS 7, If you either aren't familiar with photo editing or just aren't sure where to start, the auto-enhance feature is a great place to start! -- iMore.

July 15 Tuesday's News

 

Top Mac apps for business

Top Mac apps for business

It wasn't all that long ago that the IT world divided the world into two groups of people -- those who used their computers for work and those that owned Macs. A lot has changed over the last five years or so, with Macs making the move out of art departments and schools into the mainstream.

While the Mac has long enjoyed a reputation for great usability it has had to build a new reputation in the office. Part of the challenge for IT managers has been ensuring that Mac users can work seamlessly with their PC-using colleagues and that they can collaborate with the entire business.

So what does that take? It means looking for applications that allow Mac users to work effectively in the business and with clients. It means ensuring that all the devices on the network are correctly configured and kept up to date. And it means ensuring that staff is well educated in how to get the most from the applications and hardware. -- Macworld AU.

Email to Tim Cook prompted change of Apple's 'on hold' music quality

Email to Tim Cook prompted change of Apple's 'on hold' music quality

In a recent thread on Reddit, one Apple customer describes an experience in which he effected change in Apple's daily operations, specifically as it pertains to "on hold" music, after contacting CEO Tim Cook via email. -- AppleInsider.

Though "barely an operating system," DOS still matters (to some people)

Though

Earlier this month, I spent a day working in the throwback world of DOS. More specifically, it was FreeDOS version 1.1, the open source version of the long-defunct Microsoft MS-DOS operating system. It's a platform that in the minds of many should've died a long time ago. But after 20 years, a few dozen core developers and a broader, much larger contributor community continue furthering the FreeDOS project by gradually adding utilities, accessories, compilers, and open-source applications.

All this labor of love begs one question: why? What is it about a single-tasking command-line driven operating system--one that is barely up to the most basic of network-driven tasks--that has kept people's talents engaged for two decades? Haven't most developers abandoned it for Windows (or, tragically, for IBM OS/2)? Who still uses DOS, and for what?

To find out, Ars reached out to two members of the FreeDOS core development team to learn more about who was behind this seemingly quixotic quest. These devs choose to keep an open-source DOS alive rather than working on something similar but more modern--like Linux. So, needless to say, the answers we got weren't necessarily expected. -- Ars Technica.

FCC filings reveal Apple-designed iBeacon hardware

FCC filings reveal Apple-designed iBeacon hardware

Apple may be looking to boost usage of the iBeacon feature it introduced in iOS 7. Late last week, router manufacturer Securifi spotted FCC documents certifying a new "Apple iBeacon" device, suggesting that Apple wants to offer beacon hardware alongside a list of smaller third-party manufacturers. -- Ars Technica.

5 ways iCloud Drive will upgrade your life

5 ways iCloud Drive will upgrade your life

While iCloud has been a trusty storage companion for photos and documents, Apple's recently announced iCloud Drive upgrades what we already know and love about the service. In today's video, we take a look at five ways iCloud Drive will upgrade your life when Apple rolls out the enhanced service alongside iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. -- Cult of Mac.

10.9: Update OS without creating a user on a new Mac

0.9: Update OS without creating a user on a new Mac

This is my take/an update on las_vegas' hint I found here awhile back for running OS updates without creating a user on a Mac. It is applicable to any system 10.5 and up.

This can be helpful if you have a Time Machine backup that's on a newer OS than your install media, or if you're selling/donating your Mac as it saves the new user having to update things. -- Mac OS X Hints.

Apple seeking 'photography enthusiast' retail employees to test OS X Photos app

Apple seeking 'photography enthusiast' retail employees to test OS X Photos app

Apple is seeking employees from its own retail stores who have shown in enthusiasm for photography to test the upcoming OS X Photos application and iCloud Photos feature. Apple, last week, reached out to retail employees offering such a "career experience," and here is the message to retail staff as provided by multiple retail employees. -- 9to5Mac.

The only 'required' maintenance for your Mac

The only 'required' maintenance for your Mac

You may have heard that in order to keep your Mac running in tip top shape, you need to perform regular maintenance routines on it to clear out caches and other temporary items. These can be useful at times, especially if your system is showing problems with specific applications or services; however, clearing caches, log files, and other so-called "maintenance" routines regularly will often have no effect on the system and may sometimes be entirely unnecessary steps to take. -- MacIssues.

Apple Granted a Second 3D Imaging & Display System Patent

Apple Granted a Second 3D Imaging & Display System Patent

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's wild 3D imaging and display apparatus. Just last month Apple was granted a patent for different aspects of the same invention. The differences between the patents could easily be found in the finer details of Apple's patent claims. Whether the recent activity regarding this invention means Apple is any closer to delivering such a device is unknown at this time. -- Patently Apple.

Bonnaroo festival used iBeacons to collect valuable data about concertgoers

Bonnaroo festival used iBeacons to collect valuable data about concertgoers

While iPhone users have enjoyed new location-based experiences thanks to early implementations of Apple's iBeacon technology, companies deploying the bluetooth beacons are also collecting some valuable data on users. We reported previously how some are experiencing huge jumps in app usage and ad engagement since deploying beacons in grocery and retail stores, and today we get some insight into how event planners are using beacons to collect valuable data on attendees. Aloompa, the company behind the iBeacons deployed at the recent Bonnaroo music festival, shared some numbers it gathered on concertgoers that it wouldn't have had without its iBeacon deployment. While users of the Bonnaroo app benefited from proximity based notifications for happenings around the event, Aloompa and event organizers gained new insight into how to improve the festival next year. -- 9to5Mac.

Google now flags Flash content in search results on iOS/Android devices, saving clicks

Google now flags Flash content in search results on iOS/Android devices, saving clicks

If you've ever been frustrated by visiting a website on your iPhone or iPad and finding it won't work because it uses Flash, you'll welcome the latest Google initiative: it is now flagging Flash content in its search results, warning that the site may not work on your device. -- 9to5Mac.

Apple Granted 46 Patents Today Covering a Major 3D Camera Development & Future Wild Haptics

Apple Granted 46 Patents Today Covering a Major 3D Camera Development & Future Wild Haptics

The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 46 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two key patents. The first covers an advanced haptics system for iDevices. The second is for a new 3D camera system that could apply to future iDevices and/or a standalone camera. In April we posted a report titled "Future High-End Android Smartphones with 3D Cameras will be using Apple's PrimeSense Technology." It now appears that Apple has their own surprise in the works. -- Patently Apple.

Apple's Swift climbs quickly in language popularity

Apple's Swift climbs quickly in language popularity

Both the Tiobe and PyPL indexes see the new programming platform drawing plenty of attention. Swift, Apple's new programming language for iOS and OS X applications, has rocketed up the charts in two monthly tabulations of programming language popularity. -- InfoWorld.

How to restore deleted Safari bookmarks

How to restore deleted Safari bookmarks

"I recently went on a cleaning binge and as part of it I wiped out what I thought were unnecessary Safari bookmarks. A couple of days later I realized that I need some of them. I have a Time Machine backup but don't know where to find the old bookmarks. Help!!" -- Macworld.

Mac OS X Yosemite preview: a first look review of the features coming in OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Mac OS X Yosemite preview: a first look review of the features coming in OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Apple showed off OS X Yosemite in its WWDC 2014 keynote in June. Over the past few weeks Macworld's Jason Snell has been testing a beta version of Yosemite, so we've put together a preview of OS X 10.10 based on his findings, so that you'll know what to expect when OS X Yosemite is launched this year. -- Macworld UK.

Researchers have discovered the craziest way yet to make smartphone batteries better

Researchers have discovered the craziest way yet to make smartphone batteries better

Could future smartphone batteries be made even better using plain old beach sand? A new study published at Nature.com that shows using beach sand as the primary ingredient for a smartphone battery's anode could yield considerable improvements in terms of power efficiency. -- BGR.

How to remove redeye from photos on your iPhone or iPad

How to remove redeye from photos on your iPhone or iPad

No camera is perfect and that includes the one in your iPhone and iPad. One of the most common issues most people experience is redeye, which can be caused from flash or a bad glare. Luckily, instead of letting it ruin what would have been a great photo, just use the editing tools the Photos app provides to remove the redeye in just a few taps! -- iMore.

Caller ID looks up FileMaker Client Record with VOIP Telephone

Caller ID looks up FileMaker Client Record with VOIP Telephone

A few weeks back, we had a meeting of the BC FileMaker Developer Association. Joshua Paul of Neo Code Software, was talking about the benefits of the Voice Over Internet phone system his company had installed. His phone costs were way down, the voice quality was reliable and crystal clear (because the system uses better more modern 'high definition' codecs than the standard phone lines). Best of all, he could create a virtual office scenario with developers in widely diverse locations, yet it felt like everyone was in the next room. -- HomeBase Software.

How to access the chapter menu on the Apple TV

How to access the chapter menu on the Apple TV

When watching movies on the Apple TV, you may come across a time where you want to jump back or forward several minutes and scenes. While you can always scrub by rewinding and fast forwarding, it's much easier to use the chapter menu to jump right to where you need to be. The best part is you can even see preview frames so you know exactly where to skip to. -- iMore.

Why Academic conferences need to change, and why Powerpoint is a dead technology walking

Why Academic conferences need to change, and why Powerpoint is a dead technology walking

I've been travelling around Australia giving workshops to teachers about presentation skills as well as technologies and mental health. Few teachers have ever heard of Apple's Keynote presentation software, as I discovered when many came put to me after my presentations to ask how I did what I did -- the why was pretty obvious! -- Les Posen's Presentation Magic.

July 14 Monday's News

 

Apple launches developer blog for new Swift programming language

Apple launches developer blog for new Swift programming language

Apple's march toward transparency continued on Friday with the launch of the Swift Blog, a new developer-focused blog covering the Swift programming language introduced by the company at WWDC. -- AppleInsider.

Apple's secret plans for PrimeSense 3D tech hinted at by new itSeez3D iPad app

Apple's secret plans for PrimeSense 3D tech hinted at by new itSeez3D iPad app

Apple has remained silent on its plans for PrimeSense, the 3D scanning firm it acquired last November. But a new iPad app based on some of the same underlying technology--which allows users to quickly capture three dimensional models for use in CAD and 3D printing via a third party peripheral--indicates that Apple may be planning to integrate the tech into future iPads as a differentiating feature. -- AppleInsider.

Apple's Maps team calling businesses to resolve user-reported address issues

Apple's Maps team calling businesses to resolve user-reported address issues

As Apple continues to refine its in-house mapping and navigation services, business owners are reportedly receiving phone calls from Maps team representatives looking to resolve user-submitted data discrepancies. -- AppleInsider.

National Federation of the Blind says 'Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company'

National Federation of the Blind says 'Apple has done more for accessibility than any other company'

On Friday, the president of the National Federation of the Blind clarified the group's recent resolution calling on Apple to collaborate with the group's efforts to expand accessibility among third party apps, noting a "good relationship" despite a "provocative and poorly reported article" on the subject released by Reuters. -- AppleInsider.

AT&T and Verizon accused of using data roaming fees to overcharge everyone

AT&T and Verizon accused of using data roaming fees to overcharge everyone

AT&T and Verizon Wireless are extracting "monopoly rents" from competitors who pay them for data roaming, forcing smaller carriers to charge higher prices to their own subscribers, four public interest groups wrote in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission yesterday. -- Ars Technica.

The software design trends that we love to hate

The software design trends that we love to hate

"Flat" has become very popular.

This particular design trend found its footing in Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 design. It was all big, buttons and bright colors with no extraneous texture or ornamentation--ideas that later spread to Windows 8, iOS 7, OS X Yosemite, the Android L release, and many apps running on those platforms. Software is no longer focused on making onscreen content look like real-world objects. Our screens aren't made of felt or paper, so why should they look that way? -- Ars Technica.

How to Filter Email Messages Using Sub-Addresses

How to Filter Email Messages Using Sub-Addresses

Yesterday we talked about spam, today we'll talk about some easy ways to filter some of the other mail you regularly receive, and how to automate some basic filtering. -- The Mac Observer.

Parallels Desktop 9.0.24237

Parallels Desktop 9.0.24237

Parallels Desktop has been updated to version 9.0.24237 with some fixes for issues related to the upcoming OS X Yosemite. The release fixes a crash that occurred when starting up Parallels Desktop 9 when running Yosemite, and it squashes a bug related to dragging and dropping files between Macs with Yosemite and virtual machines. It also removes a black screen that appeared on startup when running Mavericks 10.9.3 and 10.9.4 virtual machines, resolves an issue with Parallels Desktop 9 failing to update, and ensures that network connectivity remains after resuming a virtual machine. ($79.99 new, $49.99 upgrade, $39.99 educational, 361 MB, release notes.)

iTunes Inconsistent buttons and faulty gapless playback

iTunes Inconsistent buttons and faulty gapless playback

iTunes has many quirks and inconstancies. In this week's column, I look at a few of them. Why do Next and Previous buttons display only sometimes when you view track tags? Why does iTunes funnel videos into the Home Videos category? And why isn't gapless playback working on iOS devices running iTunes Match? -- Macworld.

Getting High-Quality iTunes Album Art

Getting High-Quality iTunes Album Art

In this week's installment of Ask, we'll explain how you can get high-quality album art for your iTunes music. -- Mac|Life.

Yosemite hands-on: Mail, Messages, and Calendar

Yosemite hands-on: Mail, Messages, and Calendar

A major update to OS X generally means that many of the apps included with the operating system also get major updates--or at least the biggest updates they're likely to get until the next major operating-system release. In OS X Yosemite, due this fall, several major Apple apps have received upgrades both big and small. I've been using a pre-release version of Yosemite (on an Apple-supplied MacBook Pro) for the past month and have had a chance to spend a little time with Mail, Messages, and Calendar. Here's a look at what's new. -- Macworld.

Apple's New Blog Doesn't Impress Me Much

Apple's New Blog Doesn't Impress Me Much

We can be pretty sure that hell has frozen over. Apple has launched a blog and the Wall Street Journal is falling all over itself talking about the kinder, gentler Apple.

I continue to use my MacMini daily but it is far from my only computer. If asked about Tim Cook and Apple products, I would be more likely to subscribe to this view, Tim Cook's Apple: Middling Products Designed to Pad the Bottom Line While Gouging Loyal Customers. -- Applepeels.

Winners From the iPhone Photography Awards: Who needs a fancy camera?

Winners From the iPhone Photography Awards: Who needs a fancy camera?

Who needs a fancy camera? Today's smartphone pictures can rival professional shots. Last month, the iPhone Photography Awards announced its 2014 contest winners in 17 categories, including travel, animals and architecture. Founded seven years ago by photographer Kenan Aktulun, the contest allows entrants to use iPhones, iPods and iPads and any apps, but no desktop editing programs. Out of thousands of submissions, judges chose 54 winning images from photographers in 76 countries. An M.F.A. isn't required. "The awards are celebrating the creativity of iPhone users," Mr. Aktulun says. "It's not about being a great photographer." -- Wall Street Journal.

Getting dumber by the day online

Getting dumber by the day online

Countless hours spent online could be making us dumber, a new study has found. Victoria University researchers examined online reading habits, and have suggested changes may be needed in how the tech savvy generation is taught.

In general, online reading was found to have a negative impact on understanding. Skim reading and scanning was the most common online reading behavior. -- Fairfax NZ News.

Every step you take, every coffee you drink

Every step you take, every coffee you drink

Apple's iPhone 6 will monitor exactly how far its owner walks each day - and even how much caffeine they drink.

The latest test version of Apple's new Health app adds to the blood pressure, temperature and pulse monitoring features shown off by Apple earlier this year.

The app called HealthKit even offers the ability to send data to your family doctor. -- Daily Mail (UK).

Apple granted patent for an audio jack with optical connectivity

Apple granted patent for an audio jack with optical connectivity

Apple has been granted a patent (number 8,772,654) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for an audio jack that enables electrical and optical connectivity, lending some credence to talk that it plans to use Lightning ports in future earbuds and headphones. -- Apple Daily Report.

iOS: iPhone, iPad earphones 13 tips

iOS: How to use iPhone, iPad earphones in 13 tips

There's thirteen handy functions available from the earphones you get as standard in iOS devices -- you can even speak to Siri. Not only this but many third party headsets offer the same functionality. It makes sense to know what you can do. -- Computerworld.

Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

A British company is developing a new material that's so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created. Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel. "The nanotube material, named Vantablack, has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil by the Newhaven-based company. While the sheets may be crumpled into miniature hills and valleys, this landscape disappears on areas covered by it. 'You expect to see the hills and all you can see it's like black, like a hole, like there's nothing there. It just looks so strange,' said Ben Jensen, the firm's chief technical officer. -- The Independent (UK).