New MacOS Catalina Screensaver

This is one of the new attractions coming in the next release of MacOS. Catalina reminds me of the Mountain Lion upgrade where mostly everything broke for me as a podcaster. Audio is the life blood of an audio podcast. I remember having to boot off an external drive with Lion on it just so I could continue to produce shows. The audio problem was corrected at almost the .3 release. Good times, indeed. Not. 🙁

New Screensaver Drift

MacWorld UK

Is entertaining to say the least…

via Macworld UK

The folks in the UK are no more knowledgable about what Apple is doing than silicon valley itself.

I do love their headlines however.

Ok…wait a tick…

Let’s take a tangent for a second. My sentence as it’s written above demonstrates the correct use of “their” as a possessive pronoun. The grammar/spell checker is highlighting it and saying that the use is incorrect. However, the grammar/spell checker is incorrect.

I do love they’re headlines however. <– NOT CORRECT

I do love there headlines however. <– also NOT CORRECT.

correct use of “their” as a possessive pronoun. Suck it grammar/spell checker!

As for Macworld UK, you are still entertaining.

Shazam!

Apple bought Shazam and I am very happy about this acquisition. Apple just announced that the deal has been finalized. Shazam identifies a song by listening to what you are listening to and then shows you what the name of the song is and who sings it. It even has a component to it that will show you the lyrics in real time as the song plays.

Shazam Logo

I’ve been using Shazam since it was first introduced. I can’t tell you how many songs I’ve identified with it. I’ve used it in a car, at the movies, in bars, and in restaurants.

For example, yesterday while I was playing Forza Horizon 3 on my xBox and there was a song playing that I was semi interested in. I used Shazam to find out it was a song called Bury It.

Shazam is a piece of AI that is absolutely useful and shows the true potential of the iOS platform.

Apple Announcements

Apple will be announcing new things today. I’ve tried to avoid other folks expectations and guesses because I want Apple to tell me what they are doing and not some scrub on a fan boy website.

Phil Schiller (Apple) has said that when leaks occur it really hurts the design team and steals their thunder in a rather unjust manner. 

If I worked on something for over a year then I’d want to be the one who announces it. Not some hack who is trying to get click bait.

Looking at you Apple Insider. No. I’m not posting a link so you can get even more click bait.

It is YOU

I’m happy that the author of this article is annoyed and my only regret is that I can make her MORE annoyed. Her annoyance is annoying to me.

Poor…poor…snowflake.

And for the record, I’m pretty sure that it isn’t driving EVERYONE crazy. I am not. Therefore, the EVERYONE argument is null and void.

Apple’s iOS 12 beta is driving everyone crazy
We would if we could, Apple.

It’s not the end of the world, of course — a quick tap on “close” and the notification disappears — but it sure is annoying, and doesn’t really fill anyone with great hopes for a smooth roll out when the update becomes available generally.

via Engadget

New iMac 27″ and HomePod

This morning I ordered a new iMac 27″ to replace my aging 2011 iMac. The reason I wanted to upgrade the old one was simply because of software upgrades. I cannot upgrade my iMac to Mojave and for me — being able to upgrade your OS is of paramount importance, especially for a developer.

2018 iMac 27″

In addition to that, I also added a HomePod. The reasoning is that since I am already spending a gazillion dollars (actually $3000) on a new computer, I might as well go ahead and make it worse by adding a HomePod for a Gajillion more dollars (actually $350). Neither of these two things are as important as what my old iMac will do.

Update: I’m adding a snapshot of what the configuration consists of.

via Apple

I am selling it to someone with a computer that is five years older than my old iMac. For him, this will be an upgrade and since he is an older gentleman — the bigger screen will help his vision problems. That is what makes all of this worth it to me. I do like helping folks when it comes to computers.

If history is any indication, my review will probably be something like “Wow. This is cool.” I know. I am a deep person. Don’t judge me.

Update: 08.21.2018 – HomePod arrived today. Sounds incredible!

Congratulations Apple!

Apple reached a 1 trillion dollar market valuation yesterday which makes them the first company to do so. Ever. Below is Tim Cook’s letter to his employees via MacRumors.

Team,

Today Apple passed a significant milestone. At our closing share price of $207.39, the stock market now values Apple at more than $1 trillion. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it’s not the most important measure of our success. Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.

It’s you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it’s the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the late hours and extra trips, all the times you refuse to settle for anything less than excellence in our work together.

Let’s take this moment to thank our customers, our suppliers and business partners, the Apple developer community, our coworkers and all those who came before us at this remarkable company.

Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges — and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. In today’s world, our mission is more important than ever. Our products not only create moments of surprise and delight, they empower people all around the globe to enrich their lives and the lives of others.

Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.

Tim

Data Port Lock Down in 3..2..1

Apple. You brilliant bastard.

Let’s see you get around that one GrayKey.

Yes. I have written about this before. It just keeps getting better. Apple initially reduced the time that the data port could be active without a passcode to about a week. In iOS 12, the port was locked down after an hour. In the latest Beta (version 4), well…it is off unless you unlock it with a passcode which is what GrayKey can produce if only it had access to the data port…which it now — does not.

<insert hysterical laughter here>

iPhone Survives 1000 ft Drop

via Apple Insider

According to WHO TV in Iowa the woman, Sarvinder Naberhaus, assumed the phone was gone, but upon landing she tried the Find My iPhone feature in an attempt to locate it. It didn’t work the first time, but before going to buy a new phone, she tried once more.

That second try, it turned out, was successful. After following the trail for a while, Naberhaus spotted the phone in tall grass in a residential neighborhood, without a scratch, while displaying a notification about an upcoming meeting.

“I literally went into shock,” said the second passenger Donna Johnson. “‘I asked this is this for real? Is that the same phone?'” and I said ‘this is a miracle phone, you can’t drop a phone 1000 feet and have it still work!'”

Naberhouse, the author of multiple books, told the TV station that incident is proof that “God has a sense of humor.”

I’m not sure about the last sentence. I would chalk this up to great engineering which actually, could have been influenced by the almighty.

News App Fail

The biggest (and if I’m honest) only complaint about the Apple News App has always been the inability to remove politics from the news. I hate politics and I do NOT want to see ANY politics in the news feed. I see various promises that claim that they only populate your news feed with the items you say you are interested in but sadly, that is just not true.

 

MacOS Mojave

Well, this is the only part of the new software that has given me any issues. The iOS 12 installs on my iPhone X and iPad Pro went extremely well and the operating system seems pretty solid out of the gate.

I’ll admit that sometimes I get impatient on software installs and may not have waited until everything was finished before restarting the MacBook Pro. After booting into Mojave, I couldn’t do anything. My guess is that I just didn’t wait long enough on the install.

I rebooted in recovery mode and am currently re-installing Mojave.

I’ll keep you posted.

Update: iOS 12 Prediction has come true. Apple has “by default” limited the USB data port activity to one hour. If you do not use the data port in a one hour period, the port is turned OFF. Well played, Apple.

Update: I’ve had many problems trying to load Mojave onto my 2017 MacBook Pro. Several reboots/reloads/praying…etc. I am actually still waiting for the 3rd or 4th try.

Update: (06.06.2018)I tried an update last evening after I finally restored my old system. This morning it was locked up so I tried a different approach. I wiped out the SSD and instead of trying a complete restore of my user data — I just restored the OS using the recovery tool. The good news is that I was successful. The bad news is that I have to manually restore some of my files. It will be well worth it. I like Mojave so far.

Apple WWDC Predictions

This is the biggest software conference that matters. Well, it matters to all of us Apple people anyway.

In light of the whole GrayBox thing, I am going to predict that either Apple will allow you to turn off your lightning data port for everything except charging or they will turn it off by default.

So far, that’s all I got.

I look forward to spending next week in Swift/XCode land.

Cracking iPhones?

As an Apple iPhone user, I am grateful that Apple takes security and privacy seriously. So much so, that they’ve been to court many times over it.

A story from Engadget this morning sounds troubling. Apparantly, there is a hardware device on the market that can crack iPhone security. From the article…

Based on an earlier report by Malwarebytes, GrayKey is a small box that can unlock two iPhones at a time. (See the two connectors in the image of the device below?) It was developed by Atlanta company Grayshift, which is run by long-time US intelligence agency contractors and a former Apple security engineer, according to Forbes. To use GrayKey, all cops need to do is connect a phone to it for two minutes. They simply have to wait a bit after it’s unplugged to see a black screen pop up with the passcode — how long they’d have to wait depends on how complex the passcode/passphrase is.

Hopefully, Apple will release a patch that will negate this device.

Misunderstanding Apple Pay

Gruber at Daring Fireball has some good points about a poorly written/researched Wall Street Journal article about Apple Pay.

My take away is that Apple has been doing a poor job of marketing Apple Pay. I still have friends and co-workers who — when I mention Apple Pay — have a “deer in the headlights” look on their face.

There should have been enough commercials running everywhere by now that everyone knows what Apple Pay is and what it is used for. But, alas — there is not.

Update: 04.04.2018 – Apple released some new Apple Pay ads.

New MacBook Pro

I am expecting a new laptop to arrive soon. The last time I bought a new Apple laptop was all the back in 2009.

I think the touch bar is what did it for me. The laptop I am using right now was given to me in exchange for a Mac mini. It is a good and solid laptop but I felt it was time for a new one.

I’ll post more about it when I actually have it.

Update: MacBook Pro arrived yesterday. I ran into a hiccup as a result of me using High Sierra to make my Time Machine backups. The new computer was using Sierra and thus, would not recognize the Time Machine backup for Migration Assistant. I upgraded the laptop to High Sierra and proceeded from there. The restore ran overnight and the only issue I have now is that I have two accounts under my name on this computer. Not bad overall. My old laptop is going to a good home. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The Apple Developer website was down for a couple of hours so I had to wait for a while before I could install High Sierra.

Removing My iPhone Rumors Page

I’ve decided to remove my rumors page for a very good reason.

Phil Schiller.

He was talking to John Gruber of Daring Fireball out why product leaks are so disappointing to Apple and I couldn’t agree more.

I do not want to participate in making a bad experience for those folks who spend years on a project just to have some schmuck ruin it by posting “leaks” online. It may not seem like a big deal to you. To me, that is huge.

If Apple comes out with a new product and new technology, I want Apple to tell me about it and not some jackass production line worker who just wants to get paid for his information and could care less about the people it hurts.

My two cents anyway.

The Case of the Activation Unlock Tool

I’ve seen many pundits crying this weekend about Apple’s decision to remove the website that checks to see if an iOS device has been unlocked before you buy one from a 3rd party. I mean…crying. Like, “what do I do now?” and “How am I supposed to verify that Activation Lock has been turned off before I buy something online from a stranger?” Gee, let me think…

In one quick move, Apple has put a damper on 3rd party selling of Apple iOS devices. Quite brilliant when you think about it. This must have been an incredible tool for folks who steal iOS devices too. Pundits don’t seem to see the world beyond their keyboards unfortunately so most of the articles I’ve read this weekend where all about how this negatively impacts them.

My guess would be that a lot of the serial numbers that were used on the Activation Check site were actually reported stolen. I have to believe that Apple has a database of those serial numbers. Does Apple have a legal right to report the IP addresses of those lookups if they are linked to a stolen device? I have to believe they do. Lets assume for a second that as of this post, they do not.

Perhaps, they took the site down to add functionality that does just that.

In any event, Apple is always striving to expand the customer experience so if you think they are doing something to purposely adversely affect you, the user, then you are probably only fooling yourself.

I’m betting they are working on something that will make the experience better and help catch a few thieves along the way.

(image from macrumors.com)

Update: It seems that there was a pretty good reason for taking this down. Damn, I’m good.

iPhone 8 Rumor Page Added

The link is up above but I’ve started collecting rumors about the next iPhone. Why?

Because, it is so damn fun.

I have a friend who calls this type of thing “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.”

She has a way with words. Perhaps, she should write for this site?

I may not catch all of the iPhone 8 rumors but I’ll try to get most of them.

In the end, the next phone may not even be called iPhone 8. If I were Apple, and wow! I am sure not. I wouldn’t call it iPhone 8 but something completely different like iPhone Sugar Biscuit.

Sure, when I say it you laugh.

If Apple actually called it that, it would be the most awesome name ever!

I know how this works.

P.S. Don’t think the 30 pin connector on the likeness above is lost on me. That makes this rendering particularly funny.

Windows 8 Versus Mac OS X Thought

Macintosh OS 9

The Mac operating system has changed over the years but not in very dramatic ways. In fact, anyone who has used OS 9 will know exactly how to use OS X. If you have used Tiger (10.4) then you can use Mountain Lion (10.8) without much todo or fanfare.

Steve Jobs knew that tablets were the future of computing and built the entire Mac eco-system around that idea. The features you find in iOS are readily becoming available in Mac OS X. This is deliberate.

What Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 is try to bridge a gap that has been building over a period of years. They are trying to jump ahead to a point that they were not preparing for. While Windows dabbled in touch screen interfaces, they saw something that was really “cool” but didn't really know how to apply it and use it to their advantage. I remember seeing Vista for the first time and listening to Microsoft tell me how awesome it was and was going to become. I also remember yawning and noting that all of those “cool new features” had been in Mac OS X for months or even years.

I am willing to bet (without having read the entire Steve Jobs biography) that Steve saw an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation's use of the PADD and snapped his fingers. I don't doubt that for a second because after watching the show, I myself wanted such a device. Man, the things you could do with a tablet computer! Steve Jobs did the same thing with the Xerox interface. While Xerox may not have fully understood what they had, Steve Jobs did. That is vision.

That is what Microsoft doesn't have.

This version of Windows is such a big jump from Windows 7 and so confusing to such a large base of users that this whole thing simply “smells” bad. Big jumps in OS are usually bad for consumers. I haven't even mentioned IT folks that may end up abandoning Windows in the workplace all together. They will have to weigh training hours, troubleshooting time, and costs against other alternatives that are much cheaper and offer less of a shock to their users. Let's face it. Windows in the workplace is expensive.

Windows 8 is such a big jump that it would be like paying someone to shoot you in the face if you are an IT guy.

Just. Sayin'

 

Photoshop JPG Problem Between Platforms

I recently downloaded a batch of pictures from the internet. The iMac refused to read those files as JPG so I did a little digging (actually Command-I on one of the files) and found that these particular files were saved with Photoshop CS5.1 for Windows. The following graphic shows what the files look like on OS X 10.8

 

Incorrect JPG Files on OS X 10.8

The next question you're probably asking is “how to I fix this?” The solution is rather simple but will require a 3rd party program unless you like renaming multiple files by hand. Great, if you only have a couple of pictures to fix but if you have a whole bunch then I recommend Name Mangler. I'll explain why.

Simply changing the name of the file to say “waterfall.jpg” won't fix the problem or at least, it didn't for me. What we need to do is change the extension as well. So, instead of JPG we need it to be JPEG. Name Mangler will allow you to make that change. Once, you rename the files with an extension of JPEG..boom! You have your files in a completely readable format by OS X 10.8.

Note - Append file extension is unchecked

 

How about Adobe Bridge CS6? I've tried converting with Adobe Bridge and it just wouldn't cooperate. Sure, you could actually view the photos and see how they were saved originally but that's it. If anyone knows of a method that works in Adobe Bridge, please let me know (me at smpmike dot com)