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Archive for September, 2014

by Tom Nelson

Apple today released the OS X Yosemite GM (Golden Master) candidate to developers after eight previous versions of the beta were made available to the Mac developer community.

YosemiteGM

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

While it’s tempting to say the public release is imminent, it’s important to remember that this may not be the only GM candidate that Apple makes available. In past OS X development, Apple has gone through multiple golden master candidates before completely wrapping up the development phase.

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by Tom Nelson

Rumor has it that Apple will announce a 27-inch iMac with a Retina display sometime in October. This new display would have twice the current 27-inch iMac’s resolution, which would place it at exactly the same resolution as the recently announced (although not yet available) Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K display, which comes in at 5120×2880 pixels. The Dell monitor is expected to retail for $2,500, which leads me to the question:

How much would you pay for a 27-inch iMac with Retina Display?

imac2014hero

Image courtesy of Apple

I’ve mentioned several times that Apple would like to bring a higher resolution display to the iMac lineup. A 27-inch 5120×2880 display would double the current resolution, and make the big iMac an amazing system for graphics and video professionals.

The recent rumors, coming from 9to5Mac and Jack March, all indicate an unnamed source, likely an insider who has at least seen, if not worked with, the new iMac. This insider information suggests that Apple is in the closing stages of getting ready to roll out a new high-resolution iMac.

The implication is that Apple will use an October press event to announce new iPads, OS X Yosemite, and new 27-inch iMacs.

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by Tom Nelson

It’s taken a long time but those of you who have been waiting on refurbished 2013 Mac Pros will be glad to learn the wait is over. This week, the Apple refurb store is flooded with 2013 Mac Pros of just about every configuration; quad-core, 6-core, 8-core, and 12-core are all in stock. So, there’s no excuse to wait any longer if you’ve been pining for the most powerful Mac in the diminutive little cylinder.

If you’re looking for another Mac model, the store is pretty well stocked, except for the Mac mini, which is absent this week.

AppleRefurb

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Deals of the Week

Our deals of the week include all of the 2013 Mac Pro models in the store, not because they’re hugely discounted, but because it’s been a long wait for these models to show up. We’re also including a 15-inch MacBook Pro in this week’s deals; hopefully, there’s a deal for everyone.

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by Tom Nelson

Photo Batcher from OSXBytes has to be one of the handiest photo batch processing apps I’ve come across; it’s also one of the easiest to use. With its wide range of image editing and conversion processes, Photo Batcher can process a large quantity of photos in a short amount of time.

PhotoBatcher

Image courtesy of OSXBytes

Photo Batcher uses a simple drag-and-drop method for adding images to the pool of photos that will be batch processed. Once you have the images loaded into Photo Batcher, you can either create image settings to apply to all of the photos, or use a preset that you previously saved.

Creating image settings is as simple as picking and choosing from a list of capabilities the app supports. I’ve been using Photo Batcher to scale images to fit a predefined image width, while maintaining the correct aspect ratio. You can also crop images, as well as change the DPI.

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by Tom Nelson

Weekly Mac news roundup for the week of September 26, 2014.

terminal500x500

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

The big news for the week was the revelation of a new security issue, dubbed Shellshock, that could affect the Bash shell in just about all Unix variants, including OS X.

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by Tom Nelson

Regular readers have likely already seen my take on what Apple will be doing in the fall and early winter, as far as Mac updates. If you haven’t read the piece, stop by and take a look:

2014 Fall and Winter Mac Preview: Which Macs Will Be Getting Updates

MacRumors is reporting that Apple may announce a 2014 Mac mini at an anticipated October media event for the iPad and OS X Yosemite. This is in line with what I’ve been expecting, but just like me, the folks at MacRumors are hard pressed to come up with what a 2014 Mac mini basic configuration would be.

MacMini2011

Image courtesy of Apple

The problem is Intel, and the long-delayed Broadwell processor that we expected Apple to use in new Macs. With Intel’s production delays, it’s difficult for Apple to bring a new or updated Mac to market. This makes me think that Apple could do one of three things when it comes to a Mac mini and an October announcement.

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by Tom Nelson

Across my desk this morning came word of a vast new security vulnerability dubbed Shellshock (CVE-2014-6271) that can easily allow ne’er-do-wells the opportunity to have Terminal execute code when launched.

terminal500x500

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

On the surface, and as shouted to high heaven by the security group that issued the report, this vulnerability is huge, perhaps bigger than Heartbleed, which made the security rounds last April. In essence, Shellshock would allow any device running one of the many forms of Unix, including OS X and Linux, to have code executed whenever a user invokes the Bash shell, or in the case of OS X, launches Terminal.

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by Tom Nelson

The back-to-school shopping period, which runs from July 4th through Labor Day, is watched very closely by the computer and technology industry, with all tech companies hoping to make inroads among students returning to school.

MacBookAir2013

Image courtesy of Apple

This year, according to the NPD Group, Macs and Chromebooks led the computer market segment, with each picking up significant shares at the expense of Microsoft, which saw overall declines in the PC market.

Devices running the Chrome OS saw the biggest uptick, with a 37 percent growth year-over-year, moving from 3.3 percent of the market last year to 4.5 percent this year. Devices running OS X saw a 14 percent uptick year-over-year, with 24.3 percent of the market in 2013 and 26.8 percent in 2014.

Devices running Windows saw an overall decline once again, dropping from 72.3 percent in 2013 to 68.4 percent in 2014.

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by Tom Nelson

There has always been a trade-off in allowing web sites and third-party advertisers to store cookies in Safari, or for that matter, any browser. Most of us are already aware of the security and tracking implications that come with accepting cookies, but there’s a third issue to be aware of: the overall performance of your web browser, including how it interacts with some of your favorite web sites.

SafariPreferencePrivacy

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Cookie Corruption Leads to a Poor Safari Experience

If you let your web browser store cookies over a long period of time, a number of bad things can happen. A large collection of cookies can take up more hard drive space than you might think. Cookies eventually get out of date, so they’re not only taking up drive space but also wasting it, because they’re no longer serving any purpose. Last but not least, cookies can become corrupt from Safari lockups, power outages, unplanned Mac shutdowns, and other events. Eventually, you’re likely to find that Safari and some web sites no longer work well together, or work together at all.

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by Tom Nelson

Jack March report points to the much-anticipated 12-inch MacBook Air being available in Space Grey, Silver, and Gold, but not making an appearance until mid-2015.

2012macbookair

Image courtesy of Apple

More interesting to me was his comment that the current MacBook Air ports would be replaced with USB Type-C connectors. The new USB connector, which was just recently approved by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, is much smaller than current USB 2 or USB 3 ports. It also supports reversible cable connections, letting you plug devices together without worrying about connection orientation.

One of the many speculations about the 12-inch MacBook Air is that it will have a thinner body than either of the current Air models. If this is true – and I have to think that with Apple’s drive to slim things down, the new Air will indeed be skinny – then the current USB 3, MagSafe, and Thunderbolt ports may all be too big to fit.

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