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Excel Software ships FileMaker, Xojo, Xcode plug-ins

Excel Software (www.excelsoftware.com) has released new runtime plugins for FileMaker and Xojo developers of Mac and Windows desktop apps and a new library file for Xcode developers creating Mac OS apps.

The new runtime files give developers the latest QuickLicense 8 protection and licensing features plus updates for the latest Mac and Windows OS. App developers can access QuickLicense runtime commands with a function call.

PluginFMQLRT 2.0 adds a 64-bit FileMaker Windows plugin. It also supports 32-bit FileMaker Windows and a 64-bit Cocoa plugin for Mac OS computers. PluginXojoQLRT 2.1 supports both 32-bit and 64-bit Mac and Windows apps created with Xojo. QLRT Xcode 3.1 is a static library that can be compiled into any Xcode desktop application.

FileMaker, Xojo and Xcode developers can add offline, Serial Number online or USB dongle activation to protect and license any Mac or Windows...

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Apple introduces new Apple Watch bands

Apple has debuted a spring collection of bands that include Woven Nylon bands with a fresh stripe that alternates white with color, exclusive Nike bands that color-match with the latest Nike running shoes, and a new edge paint color for Apple Watch Hermès bands.

Later this month, all new bands will be available to order from apple.com and for purchase at select Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers and carriers.
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will include new 38mm and 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Loop models.

The Nike Sport Loop will now be sold separately, joining new Nike Sport Band colors. Apple Watch Nike+ (GPS + Cellular) will include new 38mm and 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Midnight Fog Nike Sport Loop models. The Single Tour Rallye and Double Tour bands now display contrasting paint details.

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Azpen announces new line of wireless chargers

Azpen Innovation (www.azpeninnovation.com) has announced four new Qi wireless chargers: the Azpen Qi Wireless Charging Pad (C100), the Azpen Dual-Power Wireless Charging Pad (C200), the Azpen Power Bank with Wireless Charging (C300), and the Azpen Car Vent Magnetic Wireless Charger (C400).

The $29.99 Azpen Qi Wireless Charging Pad (C100) provides 10 watts of standard charging power and has an ambient glow charging indicator light. For twice the charging fun, the $59.99 Azpen Dual-Power Qi Wireless Charging Pad (C200) can charge two devices at the same time. It too has 20 watts (two sets of 10 watts) of power and can fully charge two devices simultaneously.

The $59.99 Azpen Power Bank with Wireless Charging (C300) is a 2-in-1 charger that provides standard wireless charging power and an 8000mAh capacity battery. The device also features two variably powered USB ports.

The $39.99...

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Mar 20
Apple releases sixth developer beta of tvOS 11.3

Apple has released the sixth developer beta of tvOS 11.3. Registered developers can download it from Apple's Developer Center — or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

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Mar 20
Keep It 1.3 adds iCloud folder sharing, PDF annotation and more

Reinvented Software has announced Keep It 1.3 (http://reinventedsoftware.com/keepit/), an update to their notebook, scrapbook and organizer for macOS.

Designed for writing notes, saving web links, organizing documents, and finding them again. Version 1.3 adds iCloud folder sharing, PDF annotation, and more.

Keep It for Mac 1.3 requires macOS 10.12 Sierra or later, and is available as a 15-day trial. A license for Keep It for Mac costs $49.99 and includes all Keep It Version 1.x updates.

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Mar 20
Twocanoes Software releases Certificate Request for macOS

Twocanoes Software has introduced Certificate Request, a utility for the Mac that’s used to request and install digital X.509 certificates directly from Active Directory.

It automatically discovers all the required information from Active Directory. Once authenticated, requesting a digital certificate is reportedly as simple as clicking a single button. The digital certificate can be used for configuring wireless, Mail, VPN, or many other services on macOS.

Certificate Request requires macOS 10.12 or later. It costs $29.99 for a single user license and $299.99 for 30 users. A 14-day trial is available at the product webpage (https://tinyurl.com/yap5ddc9).

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Mar 20
QNAP rolls out new NAS series

QNAP Systems has launched its 4-bay ( TS-473), 6-bay ( TS-673), and 8-bay ( TS-873) TS-x73 series NAS featuring an AMD RX-421ND quad-core CPU with Turbo Core up to 3.4GHz and two PCIe slots for installing a QNAP QM2 card, wireless network card or a graphics card to extend NAS functionalities.

The TS-x73 series provides small and medium businesses with a NAS solution to build a private cloud for applications including high-speed data transfer, backup/recovery, virtualization, media playback and graphics display, according to Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP.

The TS-x73 series is powered by an AMD RX-421ND quad-core 2.1 GHz CPU (Turbo Core up to 3.4 GHz) and 4GB/8GB DDR4 RAM (up to 64GB). With an optional 10GbE network card installed, it delivers up to 1661 MB/s throughput and up to 1575 MB/s with AES-NI hardware-accelerated encryption.

With two built-in M.2 SATA SSD slots and SSD caching (M.2 SSD sold separately), coupled with Qtier auto-tiering technology,...

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Mar 19
Apple releases new developer beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13

Apple has released the sixth developer beta for macOS High Sierra 10.13. Registered developers can download it from Apple's Developer Center — or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

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Mar 19
Mellel 4.1 introduces DOCX support, Tracking, Word Spacing, and more

Mellel has released Mellel 4.1 (https://www.mellel.com/mellel/), an update to its word processor. The upgrade offers a host of new export capabilities and features for both its Mac and iPad versions.

Mellel can now import Microsoft Word DOCX documents. Users can now set letter-spacing easily. A Minimum Word Spacing feature gives a way to squeeze and maximize spacing. Users can now change the color of items in an outline, can truncate outline items so they don’t wrap and more.

You can now set the indent for continuing paragraphs within the Auto-title setup, allowing you to set auto-indent faster and with less clutter. With the new Story Feature, writers can create or draw story points on a line of their own. This makes the points more apparent when displayed, and unobtrusive when hidden. The Auto-title palette now shows the flow level of selected auto-titles in the text or in the...

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Mar 19
QNAP ships its first 3-bay TS-328 RAID 5 NAS

QNAP Systems has rolled out the TS-328, its first quad-core 3-bay NAS that allows for building a RAID 5 array using only three drives. Compared with 2-bay NAS that only allow for building RAID 1 arrays, the TS-328 provides the choice of RAID 5 and can optimize available space while providing high data protection.

The TS-328 provides multimedia applications and video transcoding capabilities, and is an ideal solution for home users to centrally store, backup and manage files and data, according to Dan Lin, product manager of QNAP. He says that 30% of QNAP NAS users prefer using RAID 5 arrays to benefit from optimized storage capacity, higher performance, and data protection.

QNAP’s first 3-bay NAS allows entry-level users to build a RAID 5 array on their NAS for a more cost-effective private cloud storage solution. The TS-328 also supports snapshots, allowing for users to quickly recover data in the event of accidental deletion/modification or ransomware attack....

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Mar 19
Dejal Time Out 2.4 for macOS Adds Statistics and More Options

Dejal has announced Time Out 2.4, an update to their break reminder app for macOS.

Using a computer for hours on end can lead to eye, back, and neck strain. Time Out 2 offers users gentle reminders to take breaks, allowing them to stretch and relax. Version 2.4 adds the ability to get statistics about the number of times a break has been postponed, skipped, and done, disable the postpone/skip buttons briefly, and more.

Time Out 2.4 requires macOS 10.10 or later. It’s free and is available through the Mac App Store in the Health and Fitness category, as well as the Dejal website (http://www.dejal.com/timeout/).

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Mar 16
Apple releases new developer beta of watchOS 4.3

Apple has released the sixth developer beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.3 update. Registered developers can download it from Apple's Developer Center — or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

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Mar 16
Apple releases new developer beta of iOS 11.3

Apple has released the sixth developer beta of an upcoming iOS 11.3 update. Registered developers can download it from Apple's Developer Center — or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

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Mar 16
Syncro Soft Announces Version 20 of the Oxygen XML Editor Suite of...

Syncro Soft has announced version 20 of its Oxygen XML suite of products that include Oxygen XML Editor, Author, Developer, Web Author, WebHelp, as well as the new Oxygen PDF Chemistry.

For the complete list of new features and detailed information, go to https://tinyurl.com/58mkop . A demo of Oxygen 20.0 can be downloaded at https://tinyurl.com/34bhvw, and a demo of Oxygen XML Web Author can found at https://tinyurl.com/ybnyzxld . You can purchase licenses by going to https://www.oxygenxml.com/buy.html .

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Mar 15
Logitech G unveils new gaming speaker, mechanical keyboard

Logitech G, a brand of Logitech, has announced a Mac compatible addition to its family of gaming gear. The Logitech G560 PC Gaming Speaker (https://tinyurl.com/yall2qof) is the first dedicated gaming speaker system with the company’s LIGHTSYNC, a technology that synchronizes both light and sounds to gameplay.

It provides 240 Watts Peak/120 Watts RMS power and 3D audio with DTS:X Ultra 1.0 for in-game positional audio. Together this improves accuracy, and heightens intensity and realism, giving gamers a more immersive and fun experience, according to Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech Gaming.

Powered by advanced LIGHTSYNC technology, the Logitech G560 synchronizes RGB lighting and audio in real time to match on-screen gameplay action, he adds. Light and animation effects can be customized across approximately 16.8 million colors, with four lighting zones. The...

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Mar 15
StarTech debuts new Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station 

StarTech.com has released the $405 Thunderbolt 3 Dual-4K Docking Station with SD Card Slot that provides 85W of USB power delivery, support for two 4K DisplayPort displays, a SD card slot, and six USB 3.0 ports. 
The docking station comes equipped with a DisplayPort video output and USB-C to DisplayPort cable for connecting the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port to an additional DisplayPort display. Users can also connect to more devices and peripherals with the dock’s five USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and card reader slot.

The dock allows MacBook Pro and Windows PC users direct access to the content on their SD or microSD Flash cards. The SD card slot could also be used for additional storage and backup through macOS X Time Machine or Windows File History. 

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Mar 15
Paragon Software debuts new version of Hard Disk Manager for Mac

Paragon Software, has released a new version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac, software to protect and manage your macOS system. It now provides macOS High Sierra 10.13 and APFS (Apple File System) support.

This utility covers all aspects of Mac’s life cycle from drive partitioning and regular backup to system migration, flexible disaster recovery options, and secure wiping of recycled storage. The new edition allows users to bypass System Integrity Protection (SIP) limitations, so Hard Disk Manager operations are no longer inhibited by it.

Any operation with a system disk can be performed, even when SIP is enabled. The current release doesn’t yet include APFS backup functionality, which is anticipated in the next product update.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac requires macOS 10.7 or later. It costs $39.95. A demo is available for download at https://tinyurl.com/y929vxbp ....

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Mar 15
IK Multimedia announces Total Studio 2 MAX

IK Multimedia (www.ikmultimedia.com) has released the Total Studio 2 MAX bundle, a studio collection of software instruments and FX. It brings together 94 products in one single suite for macOS and Windows systems.

Total Studio 2 MAX is designed for composers as well as engineers, creative sound designers, producers, performers, multimedia artists, broadcast professionals, and others. Features include full orchestral arrangements for TV, cinema and video games, as well as full-blown tracks in any style and genre.

Total Studio 2 MAX and its entry-level version, Total Studio 2 DELUXE, are now available. They cost $999.99 and $499.99, respectively.

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Mar 15
Art Institutes, Woz U to offer tech curriculum

The Art Institutes system of schools (Ai) and technology-based education start-up, Woz U, have announced a new partnership “that serves as the intersection of technology and creativity in education.”

The Art Institutes is a system of non-profit schools through the U.S. Inspired by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Woz U specializes in technology and career-based programs designed to get people into the workforce quickly and affordably.

“For more than 80 years, The Art Institutes have served as an important source for design, culinary, fashion and media arts professionals,” said Claude Brown, president of the non-profit Art Institutes system of schools. “Traditionally, our programs focused on the intersection of technology and creativity. With careers combining creativity and technology growing in demand, we are excited to meet the need for qualified technology professionals with The Art Institutes’ Woz U Academy.”

The Art Institutes’ Woz U Academy is...

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Mar 14
Xojo Pi licenses are now free 

Xojo, Inc. (www.xojo.com) — the company that makes Xojo, a cross-platform development tool for developing native apps for the desktop, web, iOS and Raspberry Pi — has announced that in honor of Pi Day 2018, Xojo Pi licenses will be free, today and every day. Xojo Pi licenses allow you to build console apps for Linux ARM for use with Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3.

"Back in 2015 at the Xojo Developer Conference when we announced Xojo would be adding support for the Raspberry Pi, we thought it was a fun extra for Xojo users," says Geoff Perlman, Xojo founder and CEO. "We were not expecting the overwhelming excitement and interest from the Xojo community and makers around the world! To celebrate Pi Day we're making Xojo Pi licenses free from Pi Day forward!"

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MacTech Blog

Mar 21
IDC: spending on mobile solutions to top $1.6 trillion

Worldwide spending on mobility solutions is forecast to grow 3.2% year over year in 2018, reaching more than $1.6 trillion, according to a new Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC).

This growth is expected to continue through 2021 with spending on mobility-related hardware, software, and services surpassing $1.7 trillion as the market achieves a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8%.

"The new mobility use cases and technology adoption in enterprises is driving growth in all three facets of the market, from devices to software and services," said Phil Hochmuth, program director, Enterprise Mobility, IDC (www.idc.com) "As device capabilities continue to evolve with augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), and with 5G networks on the near horizon, technology choices for mobile technology buyers will become increasingly complex and critical...

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Mar 21
Gartner: enterprise software spending increasing...

Enterprise application software spending in India is projected to reach $2.5 billion in 2018, an 19.8% increase from 2017, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). In China, 2018 enterprise application software spending is expected to reach $ 5.1 billion, an 18.9% rise from 2017, adds the research group.

While both countries are poised for continued growth, organizations have different criteria for selecting the vendors they use. For example, a recent end-user survey by Gartner showed that corporate branding is an important software selection criterion in China, while organizations in India focus more on pricing and contract flexibility.

"China's and India's enterprise application software spending has grown at double-digit rates historically, and they will continue to be hot spots," said Keith Guttridge, research director at Garner. "To be competitive in those countries,...

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Mar 20
Smart applicants market poised for growth

A new report from Navigant Research (www.navigantresearch.com) looks at the shift in the smart appliances market as a subset of the smart home Internet of Things (IoT) trend, examining factors behind the market growth cycle and providing recommendations to key stakeholders.

While a variety of smart home products like smart thermostats, connected lighting, and smart locks are experiencing a wave of adoption, smart appliances haven’t found the same success. Consumers have mostly avoided smart appliances due to higher price points and a lack of perceived value, but this is starting to change, according to Navigant Research.

“The growing smart home IoT market is helping drive new interest in the typically sluggish smart appliances subsegment,” said Neil Strother, principal research analyst with the research group. “The smart appliance market segment is now ready for a healthy growth spurt over...

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Mar 20
Toxins return in electronics and electrics

There is a flood of new electronic and electrical devices reintroducing toxins very similar to those in tobacco smoke, diesel fumes, asbestos and other killers, according to IDTechEx.

Some of these devices will sell in up to billions yearly but there has been no tracking of the big picture of imminent toxic threat from the balance of virulence, morphology and likely prevalence of these toxins. Something only moderately toxic is a threat if it is widely deployed in millions yearly and has uncontrolled disposal.

Small particles are more reactive and penetrating and researchers suspect that some can magnify the toxicity of others: small volume, big danger? The IDTechEx report, “Toxic Materials and Alternatives in Electronics/ Electrics 2018-2028” looks at all of this.

This report has a timeline of planned introduction of “toxins of concern” into electronics and electrics 2018-2028 and analyses those deployed today and those being researched in new devices....

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Mar 19
Full-screen smartphones will rule this year

According to WitsView, a division of the TrendForce (www.trendforce) research group, full-screen smartphones will become the trend in market this year. The pursuit of narrower bezels and notch designs has emerged, bringing about solutions of under-display fingerprint sensor and applications combining camera modules and facial recognition.

According to Boyce Fan, research director of WitsView, full-screen smartphones have become the focus of market since 2017. The new models launched by Apple and Samsung have led to designs of higher screen-to-body ratio. Smartphone brands will be changing the overall appearance of their devices as a way to upgrade hardware specifications, especially in the situation that smartphone market goes saturated and replacement purchases decrease.

In addition to Samsung, LG Electronic and many Chinese brands who already have active layout, even Sony, who tends to be more conservative...

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Mar 19
Worldwide server revenue grew 25.7% in quarter four of...

The worldwide server market continued to grow through 2017 as worldwide server revenue increased 25.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017, while shipments grew 8.8 percent year over year, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). In all of 2017, worldwide server shipments grew 3.1% and server revenue increased 10.4% compared with full-year 2016, adds the research group.

"Server growth was driven by relatively strong economies for the quarter across the globe," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "This was a somewhat surprising quarter because the strength was exhibited in a variety of positive server shipment and revenue mixes in almost all geographies.”

Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) were neck-and-neck in the worldwide server market based on revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017. Dell EMC ended the year in the No. 1 spot with 19.4% market share, followed closely by HPE...

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Mar 16
Facebook loses favorite brand connectivity with...

Moosylvania (https://moosylvania.com/), a brand building agency, recently asked consumers from 18-38, how they’re relating to their favorite brands – and on which channels they connect.

“We know they are on the channels talking with their friends. What we want to know is how and where they are connecting with their favorite brands,” said CEO Norty Cohen.

The average millennial checks their phone more than 150 times per day – but how often and where are they checking in with their favorite brands? Moosylvania asked consumers, via a mobile-only survey, in January of 2018 was, “You’ve just told us your favorite brand – how do you connect with them on your smartphone?”
The survey compared reactions from 2017 to 2018 and saw significant changes within just 12 months.

“The big news is the change on Facebook – down from 52% to 40% with younger millennials (17-27) and from 48% to 33% (28-38)...

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Mar 16
By 2020, 50% of workers will be working remotely

Per Amr Ibrahim, CEO of ULTATEL (https://www.ultatel.com), which makes telecom solutions for businesses and service providers, says that, by 2020, 50% of all workers will be working remotely.
Currently, 3.7 million employees work from home at least 50% of the time. Since 2005, the remote worker population has increased by 115%, almost 10x more than the rest of the workforce. Up to 90% of the workforce reports that working remotely 2-3 days a week is ideal, with most believing remote work to be the right balance for concentrative work away from the office, as well as collaborative work at the office. Ibrahim says a vital component to making remote work possible is the Cloud.
"Cloud-based technology is allowing workers to access their information and customer base from anywhere at any time and is imperative for working remotely both now and in the future,” he says.

However, he...

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Mar 15
Global video revenue hit $70 billion in 2017

Online services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have transformed the video business in recent years, but according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com), revenue increases will be even higher in the next four years than in the previous four years.

The research group concludes that global video revenues, including online, physical media and advertising, reached $70.2 billion in 2017, an increase of $29.4 billion since 2013. Over the next four years the increase in dollars, $36.3 billion, will be even greater, taking total industry revenues to $106.5 billion in 2021.
Other key findings from the research include:

° In 2017 online revenues, including consumer spending and advertising, accounted for 84% of the total video market, compared to 52% in 2013.

° Subscription VOD revenues rose by more than a third in 2017 and are forecast to...

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Mar 15
Citizen engagement crucial to smart cities’ success

Citizen engagement is critical to the success of smart cities, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Smart city initiatives are no longer about optimized traffic patterns, parking management, efficient lighting and improvements to public works, says the research group.

"The way forward today is a community-driven, bottom-up approach where citizens are an integral part of designing and developing smart cities, and not a top-down policy with city leaders focusing on technology platforms alone," said Bettina Tratz-Ryan research vice president at Gartner.

For smart citizens the focus is not just about the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machines, but the enhancement of services and experience. Therefore, citizen-government dialogue is a key component that will ensure that the right issues are tackled.

To keep pace with the changing needs of citizens, and the...

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Reviews and Kool Tools

The new Brother QL-1100 series of wide-format, professional label printers features the Brother QL-1100 and QL-1110NWB, both high-speed thermal label printers designed to reliably print high-quality, cost-effective... Read more »
QNAP’s $139 QXG-10GIT is a 5-speed PCI Express 10GBASE-T/NBASE-T NIC that supports 10GBASE-T/1000BASE-T/100BASE-TX and also 5GBASE-T/2.5GBASE-T (IEEE 802.3bz; NBASE-T) speeds. When used with Cat 6a cables, the QXG-10G1T... Read more »
Studio 19’s Solo E600X-EQ is built using Advanced Wave Sound Method (AWSM) with Adaptive Intelligence Audio, patented Dual Pressure Air Compression (DPAC) super-bass technology and Enhanced 360° Optimized Sound. It’s... Read more »
QNAP Systems’ REXP-1610U-RP and REXP-1210U-RP expansion enclosures support 6 Gbps SATA hard drives and SSDs. Designed for expanding the storage space of a QNAP NAS, the new expansion enclosures provide a flexible and... Read more »

News Scanner

Wednesday March 21

Apple is an exception to nearly every rule

It’s good to be the king. Apple makes design and engineering choices that other companies wouldn’t even imagine doing.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple's Joswiak says iOS gaming catching up to...

Gaming on iPhone and iPad is reaching a threshold where it's on par with consoles, which have typically outpaced mobile devices, Apple's VP of product marketing claimed in a recent interview.

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Study: Apple Watch highly accurate at detecting...

A new study from University of California, San Francisco, researchers shows that the Apple Watch can detect atrial fibrillation with high accuracy at least when wearers were at rest.  

In the test of 1,620 people, researchers used a Cardiogram app to access heart-rate sensor data using the heart-rate sensor and step counter built into the Apple smartwatch. A deep neural network analyzed the heart rate data and step-count data, which was used to determine whether a person was active (explaining a sudden heart rate spike) or at rest.

The resulting algorithm was able to tell the difference between atrial fibrillation and normal heartbeats with about 97% compared to electrocardiograms. This data came from about 50 patients with atrial fibrillation who were undergoing procedures to restore their heart rates to normal....

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[Sponsor] Ultra Fractal

Ultra Fractal makes it easy to create your own visual fractal art. You might be familiar with fractals like the Mandelbrot set that offer endless zooming possibilities. Ultra Fractal turns these fractals into art with gradients to add color, Photoshop-like layering, coloring algorithms that introduce intricate ornaments, and even extensive animation support. Start with the included tutorials and you will soon be creating your first fractals.

There’s a free trial version for macOS and Windows. Act quickly because until March 28, Daring Fireball readers get 25% discount on all editions of Ultra Fractal 6 with coupon code ‘FIREBALL’.


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How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account

If you’re done with Facebook and want to completely delete your account here’s what to do.

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How to Delete Facebook Content in Bulk Using a...

Facebook is a vast surveillance network that makes the NSA look like amateurs.

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John’s Crazy Apple TV 4K Dolby Vision Adventure –...

Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about what it took to get 4K Dolby Vision working with John’s Apple TV and entertainment center, plus they look at the confusing options for streaming HD and 4K content.

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macOS: How to Download Files From the Web Using...

Andrew Orr shows us how to download files from the web using Terminal.

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iPhone-in-the-Car Dilemma? Solved!  

Dr. Mac had tried air-vent iPhone mounts in the past, but they always felt less stable to him than the good, old CD-slot mounts—now he’s found a solution to his iPhone car mount he loves.

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Save $200 on new iMacs at Best Buy today

On Tuesday, Best Buy was all about the number 300, as it cut the price on MacBook Airs by 300 bucks. For Wednesday, it’s cutting $200 off of a wide range of the most recent iMac models. That means you can pick up one of Apple’s all-in-one desktop units for as little as $899.99, which is a number we rarely see paired with the words "new iMac."

We consider the $900 iMac the star of the show. For that price you get a superb silver 21.5-inch iMac with a 1TB hard drive and 8GB of memory, all of which is powered by a 2.3GHz Intel i5 chip. Want more processor speed? You can also buy a...

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News: Apple reveals new Apple Watch bands for spring

Apple has released a series of Apple Watch bands in new colors and styles just in time for spring. A release from Apple showcases the new looks, which start at $49 and include exclusive Nike bands that color-match with the latest Nike running shoes. Apple has also added new high-end Hermès bands and sportier woven nylon bands for those more interested in using the device as an exercise tool than a fashion statement....

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News: Siri bug allows access to hidden messages on...

A bug discovered by Mac Magazine allows users to access hidden messages on an iPhone just by asking Siri to read them aloud. Apple has long allowed users to hide their notification previews in Messages — displaying only that a new message was received and keeping the contents private until the device was unlocked, and more recently extended this capability to third-party apps. The bug — spotted in both iOS 11.2.6 and the beta of iOS 11.3 — doesn’t…

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Affinity Photo for iPad: 25+ getting started tips [...

Outside of perhaps LumaFusion, Affinity Photo ($19.99 on App Store) is the most impressive app that I’ve ever used on the iPad. It continues to awe me with its sheer amount of depth, and the way that it’s able to closely mirror a full desktop experience on a tablet.

The problem with Affinity Photo is that it can be downright daunting for new users. As I’ll show you in this hands-on video, the app isn’t all that difficult to use once you understand a few basic features and mechanics. Join me as I walk through 25+ must-know tips for Affinity Photo beginners. more…

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News: Technogym, Life Fitness add support for Apple’...

After last year’s showcase of Apple’s GymKit syncing the Apple Watch to Technogym equipment in a Fitness First gym in Australia, Technogym has announced a much wider rollout to make more than 5,000 of its machines in hundreds of fitness clubs all over the world. Users simply tap their Apple Watch on the compatible equipment to track active and total calories burned, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace, resulting in the most…

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Apple’s annual spring Apple Watch band refresh...

Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, Apple is ready for spring with a new slate of Watch bands in bright new colors and designs to chase away the winter blues. Some two dozen new bands will be available later this month either as part of a new Apple Watch purchase or as an add-on accessory.

Apple hasn’t said whether any colors will be retired as a result of the new models, but several of the new colors seem to be variations on ones that are already available. For example, there’s a new Lemonade Sport Band, which looks very much like the current...

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News: Iovine’s expected exit from Apple Music leaves...

Apple executive Jimmy Iovine is expected to transition to a consulting role in August, stepping back from daily involvement with the Apple Music streaming service he helped create and brand, The Wall Street Journal reports. Of all the celebrity names who migrated over to Apple when Beats was acquired by the company in 2014, Iovine is the last one still actively involved with Apple’s growth of that brand. Iovine is expected to jump ship when…

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Collection of quick takes on the Facebook /...

Michael Tsai has pulled together a set of stories and tweets on this evolving story. Worth a scan, lots of links.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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How to manage and interact with your contacts using...

This post is full of useful tips, including several different ways to set contact relationships (Ryan is my son, or Jim is my boss, that sort of thing). Really good.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple climbs LinkedIn's 2018 top companies to...

LinkedIn has released their annual list of the most sought-after employers, with Apple coming in at number six, up one position from last year.

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Apple announces new wave of Apple Watch bands

Just in time for Spring (it is snowing like crazy as I write this, but still), Apple has announced a new wave of Apple Watch bands featuring Spring colors and styles.

Follow the link, look at the images. Some nice looking bands.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Apple Pay collection plate being considered by the...

Looking to modernize, over 16,000 churches belonging to the Church of England are beginning to accept Apple Pay and Google Pay from congregations.

| Read more »
Jimmy Iovine will step back, move into consulting...

The music industry luminary, part of Apple since the Beats purchase in 2014, plans to give up day-to-day involvement but will stay with the company.

| Read more »

Rumor Scanner

Wednesday March 21

The First Class Action against Facebook over the Cambrid...

Earlier today the BBC posted a report on the Facebook disaster. The report notes that "It's a sensational story containing allegations of sleaze, psychological manipulation and data misuse that has provoked an internationally furious response. Tech giant Facebook and data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica are at the center of a dispute over the harvesting and use of personal data." With such an explosive story it shouldn't surprise anyone that the first Class Action was filed against Facebook in California and our report covers the lawsuit extensively in addition to providing you with 2 video reports on Zuckerberg's statement delivered late this afternoon.

| Read more »
Apple's Greg Joswiak Talks Mobile Gaming

In a piece covering growing consumer interest in mobile gaming, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino spoke to Apple's vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, and several prominent game developers to get opinions on the state gaming on iOS.

According to Joswiak, with developers now able to bring full multiplayer console-style experiences to iOS devices, like the recently released Fortnite and PUBG mobile games, mobile gaming is at a tipping point. Platforms like iOS are able to offer unique combinations of hardware and software that see regular updates and improvements, which has led to impressive new gaming technology over the course of the last few years.

"Every year we are able to amp up the tech that we bring to developers," he says, comparing it to the 4-5 year cycle in console gaming hardware. "Before the industry knew it, we were blowing people...

| Read more »
Study Confirms Apple Watch Can Detect Abnormal Heart Rhy...

The heart rate monitors built into the Apple Watch and other wearable devices can detect abnormal heart rhythms with 97 percent accuracy, according to a new study conducted by the team behind the Cardiogram app for Apple Watch in conjunction with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

More than 139 million heart rate and step count measurements were collected from 9,750 users of the Cardiogram app who also enrolled in the UC San Francisco Health eHeart Study, with the data used to train DeepHeart, Cardiogram's deep neural network.

Once trained, DeepHeart was able to read heart rate data collected by wearables, distinguishing between normal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation with a 97 percent accuracy rate, both when testing UCSF patients with known heart issues and Cardiogram participants.

At a 97 percent accuracy rate, Cardiogram's study suggests the Apple Watch alone does a better job of detecting...

| Read more »
New Report Looks Into Apple's Growing Promotional P...

Over the years, Apple has included its products in well-known television shows and movies as a way to spread awareness and promote recent launches of its iPhones, iPads, and more. Variety today reported that the company is appearing to increase the presence of these promotional campaigns, with some TV shows including direct connections to the Cupertino company in the closing credits.

Fox's cop drama 9-1-1 includes multiple instances of Apple's iPhone as the main smartphone for its characters, and each episode ends with a "promotional consideration sponsored by Apple" message. According to the report, Apple has recently moved from simple "surprising cameos" to taking directly credited roles in popular TV shows as it does in 9-1-1.

Image from 9-1-1 via YouTube


| Read more »
Google has reportedly acquired Lytro, the Leader in Ligh...

In November Patently Apple posted a report about Apple acquiring InVisage with well over 100 patents on quantum dot technology. At the end of that report I had noted: "Here's to hoping that Lytro is on Apple's shopping list for camera technology." We're learning today that Google acquired Lytro and their technology will give Google's Pixel camera a boost and help them introduce ground breaking 3D VR content for Android based VR headsets.

| Read more »
Apple Watch Gets New Spring Collection of Bands, Availab...

Apple today debuted a new Spring Collection of Apple Watch bands, available to order from Apple.com and at select Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers across the United States and other countries later this month.

Woven Nylon bands now include an updated stripe pattern, and there's new colors of the Sport Band, Sport Loop, and Classic Buckle.

  • Sport Band in Denim Blue, Lemonade, and Red Raspberry
  • Woven Nylon in Black Stripe, Blue Stripe, Gray Stripe, and Pink Stripe
  • Sport Loop in Flash Light, Hot Pink, Marine Green, and Tahoe Blue
  • Classic Buckle in Spring Yellow, Electric Blue, and Soft Pink

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will include new 38mm and 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Loop models....

| Read more »
Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine Transitioning Into...

Following rumors of his plans to leave Apple earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal today reported that Jimmy Iovine will transition into a "consulting role" with Apple Music this August. Iovine won't completely leave Apple and his involvement with Apple Music behind, but will step back from daily involvement, people familiar with his plans stated.

At the time of the original rumor, Iovine denied he would leave the company: "I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band." As of now, it's unclear what exactly he will be doing in his consulting role with the...

| Read more »
UN Human Rights Report Expresses Concern over Samsung th...

It's being reported today that UN human rights experts have voiced concern about reports that female workers and labour activists had been subjected to 'intimidation and harassment' in Vietnam after speaking out about working conditions at Samsung’s two huge manufacturing plants ...

| Read more »
Apple Rises to Sixth in LinkedIn's 2018 List of Top...

Apple is ranked sixth on LinkedIn's annual list of the top 50 companies where professionals most want to work in the United States.

Apple moved up one spot after ranking seventh in 2017. The top five spots belong to Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Salesforce, and Tesla, while NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, Oracle, and Netflix round off the top ten.

LinkedIn says the list is based on billions of data points generated by over 546 million users on the site, with four areas of focus: interest in the company, engagement with the company's employees, job demand, and employee retention.

  • Job demand: At what rate are people viewing and applying to job postings, including paid listings, unpaid ones and those linked from...
| Read more »
Rumor suggests that Apple's 5.8" OLED iPhone X...

Apple plans to launch a new 5.85-inch OLED iPhone this year as an upgrade to the existing iPhone X, but the vendor has managed to reduce the new device's initial manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) to a level much lower than that of its present flagship model.

| Read more »
Second-Generation iPhone X Estimated to Cost Apple Up to...

Apple has managed to reduce the manufacturing cost of its iPhone X successor to a level much lower than the current flagship model, according to DigiTimes' research analyst Luke Lin.

Lin cited information from Apple's upstream supply chain as indicating that the new device's MBOM [manufacturing bill of materials] will be more than 10% lower than that for iPhone X. He added that the MBOM of the iPhone X was more than US$400 in 2017.Apple is rumored to be introducing three iPhones in 2018: The first is said to be a second-generation version of the iPhone X, with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, while the second can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus" with a larger 6.5-inch OLED display.

Apple is also reportedly planning to introduce...

| Read more »

Tuesday March 20

Today Apple was Granted Patents for MagSafe 2 & Beyo...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 49 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's "Robust Magnetic Connector" for MagSafe 2 and beyond, along with an invention for nickel-based metallic glass that may be used for future devices and/or device parts.

| Read more »
Quick Takes: Smartwatches to Have More Than Just 15 Minu...

In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Tuesday, March 20


1. IDC forecasts that smartwatch shipments will nearly double within four years: IDC believes smartwatches will account for almost two out of every five wearable devices shipped in 2022, with an estimated 84.1 million shipments that year, compared to an estimated 43.6 million units in 2018.

Commentary: Apple Watch is the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin, having outsold all competing smartwatches combined in 2017, and there's no sign that...

| Read more »
Apple Won 49 Patents Today Covering an iPhone with a Liq...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 49 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we briefly cover Apple's patent wins for a possible future iPhone with a wraparound display made from liquid metal glass, another one for an advanced Apple Pencil along with a few design patents covering MacBook and more. We wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.

| Read more »
Apple's Fleet of Self-Driving Vehicles Has Almost D...

Apple's fleet of self-driving vehicles has almost doubled over the past two months, according to the Financial Times, as the iPhone maker continues to accelerate its research and development of autonomous technologies.

The report claims Apple now has permits for 45 autonomous vehicles, up from 27 in January, based on figures provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Apple has been expanding its fleet rapidly since receiving permits to test just three autonomous vehicles in California last April.

$AAPL scooplet: Apple now has 45 cars testing autonomous systems in California, up from 27 in Jan...

| Read more »
Apple Granted another Augment Reality Patent that suppor...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 49 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we specifically cover Apple's latest patent win relating to Augmented Reality. It's an invention that may have been incorporated into Apple's ARKit being that Apple acquired Metaio's intellectual property and engineering for their leadership in augmented reality. Today's patent is about a method of creating AR for use with devices like Apple's iPhone, iPad and future smartglasses which this patent describes.

| Read more »
Apple Granted a Patent for the MacBook Pro's Touch...

Apple's fourth generation MacBook Pro was announced on October 27, 2016. It replaced the function keys with an interactive, multi-touch "Touch Bar" and a Touch ID sensor integrated into the Power button as noted in our cover graphic. Today the U.S. Patent Office granted Apple a patent for the Touch ID button built-into Apple's Touch Bar

| Read more »
Apple and IBM expand their Business Relationship by addi...

In July 2014 Patently Apple posted a report titled "A New Landmark Partnership between Apple and IBM is about to transform the Way Work gets done." The Apple-IBM MobileFirst program has been growing over the past four years and we've covered their partnership in various reports. We're now learning that Apple and IBM have teamed up on an artificial intelligence service that is intended to make it easier for business customers to create apps.

| Read more »
Apple's Focus on Securing VCSEL Lasers for iPhones...

As a technology leader, Apple thinks about new technologies years ahead of time as Apple's SVP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji confirmed back in November. Scrouji noted that "Apple is about focus. We focus on the things where we're going to just double-down and deliver." One of the technologies that Apple focused on is 3D sensing and their ability to secure sufficient supply of VCSEL lasers has given them at least a 2 year lead over their competitors.

| Read more »
Apple Has Two-Year Lead Over Smartphone Rivals in 3D Sen...

Apple has gained a two-year lead over its rivals in the smartphone industry in the area of 3D sensing technology, according to a new report on Tuesday.

Following talks with three major parts suppliers, Reuters estimates that Android phone makers will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple's Face ID security, which debuted last year in the iPhone X.

According to parts manufacturers Viavi Solutions Inc, Finisar Corp and Ams AG, bottlenecks on key parts will mean mass adoption of 3D sensing will not happen until next year, disappointing earlier expectations.

That means that China's Huawei, Xiaomi and others could be a total of almost two years behind Apple, which launched Face ID with its iPhone X anniversary phone last September.Android producers are reportedly struggling to source...

| Read more »

Documentation Scanner

Wednesday March 21

Move DHCP Services from macOS Server to Synology

The first step to moving services from macOS Server for pretty much all services is to check out the old settings. The second step is to probably ask if where you’re going to put the service is a good idea. For example, these days I prefer to run DHCP services on a network appliance such as a Synology. And so let’s look at how to do that. Here, we’ll use the serveradmin command to view the settings of the DHCP service:

/Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/sbin/serveradmin settings dhcp

The output is an array of subnets with different settings per subnet.

dhcp:static_maps = _empty_array
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:WINS_primary_server = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:dhcp_router = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:WINS_secondary_server = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:net_range_start = "

| Read more »

Tuesday March 20

Introducing IBM Watson Services for Core ML

Discover new ways to build intelligence into your iOS apps. With IBM Watson Services for Core ML, it’s easy to build apps that access powerful Watson capabilities right from iPhone and iPad, so you can provide dynamic, intelligent insights that improve over time. Your apps can quickly analyze images, accurately classify visual content, and easily train models using Watson Services.

Learn about IBM Watson Services for Core ML.

| Read more »
Introducing IBM Watson Services for Core ML

Discover new ways to build intelligence into your iOS apps. With IBM Watson Services for Core ML, it’s easy to build apps that access powerful Watson capabilities right from iPhone and iPad, so you can provide dynamic, intelligent insights that improve over time. Your apps can quickly analyze images, accurately classify visual content, and easily train models using Watson Services.

Learn about IBM Watson Services for Core ML.

| Read more »
Replace the macOS Server DHCP Service with bootp

View Your Old SettingsThe first step to moving services from macOS Server for pretty much all services is to check out the old settings. The second step is to probably ask if where you’re going to put the service is a good idea. For example, these days I prefer to run DHCP services on a network appliance. But it can absolutely be run on a Mac. And so let’s look at how to do that. Here, we’ll use the serveradmin command to view the settings of the DHCP service:

/Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/sbin/serveradmin settings dhcp

The output is an array of subnets with different settings per subnet.

dhcp:static_maps = _empty_array
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:WINS_primary_server = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:dhcp_router = ""
dhcp:subnets:_array_id:22217FF5-4DDB-4841-A731-EF5DA080E672:WINS_secondary_server = ""

| Read more »

Monday March 19

Configure Access To File Shares On WD MyCloud

The WD MyCloud is a pretty single-purpose device. It’s a disk with a network interface, and as with Direct Attached Storage, the MyCloud Network Attached Storage is pretty easy to connect to.

First, let’s look at connecting to the web interface via the menu item, where you can drag and drop files to the device. Once the device is configured, use the WD menu item to see your device. From there, click on the name of your device.

Alternatively, you could visit mycloud.com and sign into the web interface there. 

In both cases, you’ll see a list of files and then in the sidebar, you’ll see those options to configure settings, add integrations, view active its, and view photos that are on the device. 

| Read more »

Sunday March 18

Install mySQL on macOS

macOS might be the easiest platform to install MySQL on. To do so, simply download the MySQL installation package from the MySQL Download site. I like to use the third link (the DMG).

Once downloaded, run the package. The package will ask you a few questions and you can easily just select the default choice during the installation process.

Once installed, you’ll be prompted that a temporary password has been used for your MySQL instance.

The password will get you in the first time, so you can change it. Once you have documented the...

| Read more »

Thursday March 15

Basic Synology NAS Setup

Over the years, I’ve setup dozens of Synology Network Appliances for customers and friends. But I never thought of doing much writing in the NAS space, be it for ReadyNAS, Thecus, Buffalo, etc. The interfaces seemed to change too fast and my focus was always on the management and connectivity of Apple devices. Slowly, over the years, small business servers have gone from being something you could make a decent living to something that should probably be hosted in the cloud.

Unless you have a design requirement that just can’t work in the cloud. And for that, there are a ton of options. Today we’ll cover the basic setup of a Synology to fill one of those options. Synology has a number of models. There are those that have multiple drive bays that allow you to run a RAID 50 and there are those with just two drive bays, that allow you to run RAID 1, or 0. But most have a similar, and sleek setup process. Start by putting all the drives in the bays and then powering up your...

| Read more »
TA18-074A: Russian Government Cyber Activity...

Original release date: March 15, 2018
Systems Affected

  • Domain Controllers
  • File Servers
  • Email Servers


This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This alert provides information on Russian government actions targeting U.S. Government entities as well as organizations in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. It also contains indicators of compromise (IOCs) and technical details on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by Russian government cyber actors on compromised victim networks. DHS and FBI produced this alert to educate network defenders to enhance their ability to identify and reduce exposure to malicious activity.

DHS and FBI characterize this activity as a multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian...

| Read more »

Wednesday March 14

About the security content of iTunes 12.7.2 for...

This document describes the security content of iTunes 12.7.2 for Windows.

| Read more »
About the security content of macOS High Sierra 10....

This document describes the security content of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, Security Update 2017-002 Sierra, and Security Update 2017-005 El Capitan.

| Read more »
Replace the VPN Server from macOS Server

Export macOS Server Data
We’re not going to import this, as it only takes a few seconds to configure new settings. Additionally, if you have outstanding services built on macOS Server, you might be able to pull this off without touching client systems. First, let’s grab  which protocols are enabled, running the following from Terminal:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:enabled

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:enabled

Next, we’ll get the the IP ranges used so we can mimic those (or change them) in the new service:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:IPv4:DestAddressRanges

Now let’s grab the DNS servers handed out so those can be recreated:

sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.pptp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index
sudo serveradmin settings vpn:Servers:com.apple.ppp.l2tp:DNS:OfferedServerAddresses:_array_index

Finally, if...

| Read more »

Tuesday March 13

WWDC18 Registration Now Open

Register by Thursday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT for your chance to join us and thousands of talented minds from around the world in San Jose, June 4-8.

Learn more about the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

| Read more »
WWDC18 Registration Now Open

Register by Thursday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. PDT for your chance to join us and thousands of talented minds from around the world in San Jose, June 4-8.

Learn more about the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

| Read more »
Using Managed App Config with Jamf Pro

Hey look, there’s a new category on the Jamf Marketplace, available at https://marketplace.jamf.com/apps/#category=AppConfig! The new AppConfig category gives administrators of any MDM that supports AppConfig access to a set of apps that support AppConfig. If you have an app that isn’t listed here, feel free to let me know. 

What does this mean? Well, AppConfig is a way of sending data into an app. App config allows a customer to deploy settings into applications on iOS devices in much the same way that settings can be sent into a Mac app via the defaults command. This means an end user could get an app installed on their device from the iOS App Store, a custom app, or a B2B app and that app would have any settings the user might need to connect to servers or configure...

| Read more »

Monday March 12

Replace Time Machine Server on macOS Server with WD’...

The past couple of years has forced me to rethink many of my recommendations for how you backup computers in small office and home environments. Previously, I would have said that you could use a disk attached to an Apple AirPort. But the AirPort Base Station is no longer being made. Previously, I would have said you could use Time Machine Server, a service built into macOS Server in 5.4 and below. But that service is no longer being made by Apple. Previously, I might have even said to use the home edition of CrashPlan, which could have backed up to their cloud and/or a home server. But that plan is no longer being offered by Code 42.

So what are we to do? Well, luckily now the offerings out there are just endless. One of those offerings is so easy, you can run out to Best Buy, return home with a WD (Western Digital) MyCloud.com drive, and be up and running in about 5 minutes. I’ll cover other options when I cover file services and Synology. But in the meantime, let’s look...

| Read more »

Sunday March 11

Embracing (and managing) tech for your iGen child

I have a new article for Thrive Global (another Arianna Huffington property) available at https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/22889-embracing-and-managing-tech-for-your-igen-child. This one is on “Tools and best practices on monitoring and teaching your kids responsible mobile device use.” It starts out like this:
My world changed when I awoke one day to find my 4-year-old daughter with a tablet in her hands, watching Transformers. The sight unleashed a handful of worries I hadn’t before experienced. Prior to that morning, I knew her to be fan of Star Wars figures, Legos and stuffed animals. And while I wasn’t displeased by her choice to watch a Michael Bay movie, I did start thinking about what else she could access on the device.Click here to read more…


| Read more »

Saturday March 10

Replace the Web Services in macOS Server with MAMP...

In an earlier article, I mentioned that MAMP Pro was still the best native GUI for managing web services on the Mac, now that macOS Server will no longer serve up those patchy services. After we cover the management in this article, you’ll likely understand why it comes it at $59. 

So you’ve installed MAMP. And you need more than the few basic buttons available there. So MAMP Pro came with it and you can try it for a couple of weeks for free. When you open MAMP Pro, you’ll see a screen where you can perform a number of management tasks. This is a more traditional side-bar-driven screen that will look like what Server Admin might have looked like before the web services screen got simplified in macOS Server.

The Hosts item in SETTINGS will show you each host installed on the server. Think of a host as a site. Each web server can serve up a virtually unlimited number of websites. You can configure an IP binding to the site, or hav

| Read more »

Friday March 9

Install the ask command-line interface for Alexa on...

You’ve written an Alexa skill. Now you want to upload it to Alexa and submit for certification. Before you do anything, you’ll want to make sure you have a developer account setup and that you’ve accepted the EULA for the Alexa developer program at https://developer.amazon.com/alexa. To do so, simply go there and click sign in and it’ll take you through the prompts. You’ll need this as when you init your session, you’ll be prompted to link an account through the Amazon website.

Once done, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. First, install the latest version of node from https://nodejs.org/dist/v6.10.0/node-v6.10.0.pkg (it’s a package so follow the defaults to install the package). Once that’s done, verify that the version of node.js is modern using the –...

| Read more »

Thursday March 8

Replace macOS Server Web Services with MAMP

The most customizable way to replace web services for macOS with another solution is to custom-build your own Apache or nginx. You can even get a GUI for Apache on the Mac. If you want a one-button installation, the closest thing is likely to be IIS running on a Windows Server. But there are other alternatives that let you keep the Mac hardware and run sites on a Mac without the macOS Server GUI. In this article we’ll look at moving forward with a tool that’s been around long enough for me to mention it in about a dozen books: MAMP. Before writing this article, I tried out all of the tools available on the App Store and a few others. I still prefer running sites from cloud services, especially if it’s just going to need to run a single portal like WordPress or Drupal. But if you want a simple Apache install with a GUI, MAMP seems to still be...

| Read more »

Monday March 5

Stuck in the past? Your time may get warped, too

If the recent kerfluffle among autopkg folks (over GitHub shutting off TLS less-than 1.2) is any indication, a lot of people are still on 10.12.6. If I may editorialize for a second, this is probably contributed to by Apple’s less-than-ideal planning, execution, and communication around the High Sierra release.

What makes me come out of an unintentional blogging sabbatical to talk about 10.12? Well, a pretty widespread issue we saw is time went out of sync all of a sudden recently, across a bunch of networks and even with a known-good image. NTP as a protocol is supposed to be lossy and expensive, so it should be resilient to failure to the point that you may not notice it skewing for quite some time, and querying it even shows a ‘resolution’ or tolerance that is measured across the various command line tools in 5+ digits/decimal places. Some implementations can’t even correct themselves if you’re off by greater...

| Read more »

Sunday March 4

Bash: if, then, else, and expressions

One of the most important skills in any language is to know how a basic if then statement works. You set a variable, you say if that variable matches a given pattern (or doesn’t) then do something or else do something different. If/then/else. Other than that, it’s just syntax, and the annoyance of figuring out the operators and syntax. 

So let’s go through the below script (which checks a Mac to see if grayscale is enabled in Universal Access), line-by-line:

  • Line 1: we’re first going to create a variable called grayscale. We’ll fill it with a 0 or 1, the output of a simple “defaults read com.apple.universalaccess grayscale” command
  • If that grayscale variable matches 0 execute whatever is after the then
  • One line just for then followed by the command in the next line (which will optionally allow for an else)
  • Use echo to display the text on the screen that indicates Grayscale is disabled to stdout (which could be redirected if you want to do...

| Read more »

Friday March 2

Get The Title Of An App From Apple App Store URLs

When you’re building and manipulating apps in the Apple App Stores, it helps to be able to pull and parse pieces of data. Here, we’ll look at two strategies that you can use to do so. It’s worth noting that the purpose of this was to use the URL of an app from an MDM and then be able to script updating metadata about the app, given that vendors often change names of the display name of an app (e.g. Yelp is actually called “Yelp: Discover Local Favorites on the App Store”).

First, we’ll grab a URL. This one is for Self Service:


If you don’t know the URL then you can get it based on the ID by parsing the json from:

curl ...

| Read more »

Community Search:
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Software Updates via MacUpdate

BetterTouchTool 2.417 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Mellel 4.1.0 - The word processor for sc...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard for long form documents since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical... Read more
ScreenFlow 7.3 - Create screen recording...
ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your... Read more
Dashlane 5.9.0 - Password manager and se...
Dashlane is an award-winning service that revolutionizes the online experience by replacing the drudgery of everyday transactional processes with convenient, automated simplicity - in other words,... Read more
ForkLift 3.2 - Powerful file manager: FT...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
Cocktail 11.5 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Hazel 4.2.4 - Create rules for organizin...
Hazel is your personal housekeeper, organizing and cleaning folders based on rules you define. Hazel can also manage your trash and uninstall your applications. Organize your files using a familiar... Read more
Skype - Voice-over-internet pho...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family, and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Backup and Sync 3.40.8921.5350 - File ba...
Backup and Sync (was Google Drive) is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a... Read more
Dashlane 5.9.0 - Password manager and se...
Dashlane is an award-winning service that revolutionizes the online experience by replacing the drudgery of everyday transactional processes with convenient, automated simplicity - in other words,... Read more

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Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Oh hi nice reader, and thanks for popping in to check out our weekly round-up of all the stuff that you might have missed across the Steel Media network. Yeah, that's right, it's a big ol' network. Obviously 148Apps is the best, but there are some... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
It might not have been the greatest week for new releases on the App Store, but don't let that get you down, because there are some truly incredible games on sale for iPhone and iPad right now. Seriously, you could buy anything on this list and I... | Read more »
Everything You Need to Know About The Fo...
In just over a week, Epic Games has made a flurry of announcements. First, they revealed that Fortnite—their ultra-popular PUBG competitor—is coming to mobile. This was followed by brief sign-up period for interested beta testers before sending out... | Read more »
The best games that came out for iPhone...
It's not been the best week for games on the App Store. There are a few decent ones here and there, but nothing that's really going to make you throw down what you're doing and run to the nearest WiFi hotspot in order to download it. That's not to... | Read more »
Death Coming (Games)
Death Coming Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: (iTunes) Description: --- Background Story ---You Died. Pure and simple, but death was not the end. You have become an agent of Death: a... | Read more »
Hints, tips, and tricks for Empires and...
Empires and Puzzles is a slick match-stuff RPG that mixes in a bunch of city-building aspects to keep things fresh. And it's currently the Game of the Day over on the App Store. So, if you're picking it up for the first time today, we thought it'd... | Read more »
What You Need to Know About Sam Barlow’s...
Sam Barlow’s follow up to Her Story is #WarGames, an interactive video series that reimagines the 1983 film WarGames in a more present day context. It’s not exactly a game, but it’s definitely still interesting. Here are the top things you should... | Read more »
Pixel Plex Guide - How to Build Better T...
Pixel Plex is the latest city builder that has come to the App Store, and it takes a pretty different tact than the ones that came before it. Instead of being in charge of your own city by yourself, you have to work together with other players to... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Back in stock! Apple’s full line of Certified...
Save $300-$300 on the purchase of a 2017 13″ MacBook Pro today with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any reseller. A... Read more
Back in stock: 13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Ce...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (MD101LL/A) available for $829, or $270 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: – 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished 2017 13″...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.8GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air (... Read more
8-Core iMac Pro on sale for $4699, save $300
Amazon has the 8-core iMac Pro on sale for $4699 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. For the latest up-to-date prices... Read more
10″ 512GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $849, sa...
B&H Photo has Space Gray and Rose Gold 10.5″ 512GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale for $849. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for these models, new, from any Apple... Read more
MacBook Pro sale! B&H drops prices on new...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on new 2017 13″ MacBook Pros, with models now on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their... Read more
13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$150 off MS...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $... Read more
Huge iMac sale! Apple reseller now offering 2...
B&H Photo has new 2017 21″ & 27″ iMacs on sale today for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $... Read more
Sale! 1.4GHz Mac mini for $399, $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $399 for a limited time. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a mini from any Apple reseller: – 1.4GHz Mac mini (... Read more
Sale of the year continues as Apple resellers...
Adorama has new 2017 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $250-$300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NJ and NY only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail Sales Associate / Service Wri...
Job DescriptioniStore is the premier retailer of Apple products and solutions. We're looking for dedicated individuals with a passion to simplify and enhance the Read more
Integration Technician, *Apple* - Zones, In...
…adapted, and grown for over 30 years. Position Overview The Apple Integration Technician will be responsible for performing customer specific configuration Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Part Time Reseller Specialist - *Ap...
…in a reseller store, you help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers' hands. You Read more
*Apple* Technical Specialist - Apple, Inc. (...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
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