Fave company, next quarter, antivirus, Kaby Lake, iStumbler, All about Sierra, hacker, Typinator


Intel's latest CPU is heading for manufacturers, but will it appear in the next MacBook Pro?
Intel’s latest CPU is heading for manufacturers, but will it appear in the next MacBook Pro?

Apple reclaims its title as the ‘world’s favourite company’— Last year Apple lost the top position of the “world’s favourite company” to Google, but has now reclaimed the top spot this year. Also, in the top 10 were Microsoft, Samsung, Walt Disney, Abbie (a health care company), Facebook, Toyota, Amazon, Celgene Corp. (a health care company), and Gilead Sciences (a health care company).

Apple to Announce Earnings July 26th — Apple announced Friday that it will hold its quarterly call with analysts on [US] Tuesday, July 26th. Investors will be keenly watching results and guidance looking for signs in renewed growth for Apple. In the March quarter, Apple reported year-over-year declines in revenue and iPhone sales.

Avira launches Mac Antivirus Pro, which is optimized for channel resellers — Avira, a security software company, has launched Mac Antivirus Pro, a channel-optimised version of its AV security software for OS X devices. It’s available through Avira’s partner network and on Avira.com for US$44.99(about NZ$72) for a one-year license.

Intel’s 7th-gen ‘Kaby Lake’ processors delivered to manufacturers — Intel’s seventh-generation Core processor was recently delivered to unspecified companies in sufficient quantities for manufacturing, although Apple Insider thinks the first run of chips is not likely destined for Apple’s MacBook Pro. [Gah!]
The Kaby Lake processor has integrated support for the 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3, which uses the same connector as USB 3.1 type C, as well as the ability to use ‘passive’ cabling for 10Gbps speeds. Thunderbolt 3 has sufficient bandwidth to drive a pair of 4K displays at 60Hz, and contains HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. Also expected are integrated graphics speed improvements.

iStumbler on Sale for US$10 — iStumbler is a great WiFi network monitoring and troubleshooting utility for the Mac. You can use it to see what networks are nearby, track which channels and frequencies each network uses, view encryption status, and even get the coordinates for nearby base stations. As if that’s not enough, it also tracks Bonjour and Bluetooth devices. iStumbler is a handy tool that usually costs US$25, but right now it’s on sale for $10 (about NZ$14.22) – that’s over 50% off. You can pick up a copy at the iStumbler website. [I use this.]

All about Sierra — The Macworld Digital Edition comes in two forms: Enhanced and PDF replica. The Enhanced Edition has all the news, analysis, product reviews, and how-to’s, along with interactive features, and videos customised for consumption on iPad. The PDF replica Edition is designed for your mobile device’s touchscreen to allow pinch and zoom.

Hacker who targeted celebrity Apple and Google accounts sentenced six months in prison — An Oregon man who earlier this year pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple and Google email accounts, including a number owned by unnamed celebrities, was sentenced to six months in prison this week. Andrew Helton pleaded guilty to stealing some 161 personal photos from 13 people after waging a two-year phishing campaign for user credentials. Victims received account verification emails they believed were from Apple and Google. [I’ll say it again: if you get a ‘Please verify your –– account’ and the From email address is __@gmail.com, IT’S NOT APPLE.]

Typinator still makes life easier for Mac users — Last year Ergonis Software celebrated the 10th anniversary of Typinator, the Mac text expander. Though the tool for auto-typing text and auto-correcting typos systemwide across all Mac OS X application has been around awhile, it’s as vital as ever.

 

Venus surface, Dark Matter, record ice melt, atomic hard drive, 10x future techs, drought crops, tasting a time capsule


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Clouds reveal the surface of Venus — Venus’s unusually thick atmosphere is typically regarded as a barrier that prevents us from gazing upon its tortured surface. But by studying subtle shifts in weather patterns, scientists have learned that these clouds also offer important clues as to what lies beneath.
~ I’m way ahead of them, because I had already worked out what lies beneath: the planet Venus. OK, I’m being facetious – naturally – but actually the surface is pretty weird, like very hot at 450°C for a start. 

Dark Matter remains maddeningly elusive — The hunt for the elusive dark matter received yet another blow at an international conference in Sheffield, England. Scientists with the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment announced that they found no hints of dark matter particles in their latest analysis, despite increasing the sensitivity of the experiment fourfold for its final run.
~ Does Dark Matter matter if it’s not really there? 

Record Arctic ice melt — By late September, Arctic sea ice may reach its lowest extent since satellite record-keeping began.
And that has scientists in a tiz, because if there’s one thing geologic history has taught us, it’s that sudden drops in Arctic ice cover are often the tip of the proverbial iceberg for a whole slew of planetary feedbacks.
~ And we all dread that slew. Except those with their heads still in the sand. 

Dutch atomic hard drive — Researchers in the Netherlands have created a microscopic storage system that encodes every bit with a single atom, allowing them to fit a kilobyte in a space under 100 nanometers across. That translates to a storage density of about 500 terabits per square inch. A 4-terabyte hard drive you can buy today are about 1 terabit per square inch.
~ Dense.

10 future technologies by the 2030s — Owing to accelerating change we can expect to see the emergence of some fairly disruptive technological innovations in the coming years. Here are 10 mindblowingly futuristic technologies that should appear by the 2030s.
~ What about a Microsoft Word dictionary that stays on British English? No, I didn’t think so … 

Australian drought crop breakthrough — Researchers at the Australian National University have just identified the enzyme — phosphatase SAL1 — responsible in a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Now, they want to use it to push plants into drought-mode early.
~ They’re going to really need this breakthrough. 

Librarians find time capsule, taste contents — Librarians at the University of Montana recently discovered a hidden closet at the school, filled with hundreds of Cold War-era boxes. The boxes contained food rations from cans of blackberries and peaches to graham crackers. And for some reason they decided to taste some of the foods.
~ Librarians are stale lovers?

Five Tip Friday ~ iOS shortcuts and colour casts


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1/ Triple-click for accessibility shortcuts — iOS has many accessibility features available in Settings, but there’s a faster way to access them.  Tap Settings > General > Accessibility, then scroll all the way down and tap Accessibility Shortcut. Next go ahead and tap the accessibility features you use the most—you can tap one, all, or just a few of them. Features include VoiceOver (which will read aloud aloud anything on the screen), Zoom (lets you zoom in or out on the display by pinching the screen), Grayscale (renders all the colors on the display in shades of grey) and Invert Colors (reverses all the colours on the screen, making for a de facto ‘dark mode’, for example, while browsing in Safari. There’s also Assistive Touch and Switch Control, a pair of features for those who need help tapping and swiping a touchscreen.
Now when you go back to the home screen and triple-click the Home button, if you selected more than one accessibility shortcut, a pop-up listing all your selected shortcuts will appear; just tap the one you want.
If you only selected one shortcut, that accessibility feature will immediately switch on. Triple-click the Home button again to turn off the accessibility option or to return to the shortcut menu.

2/ Change the double-click speed —  If you’re having a tough time double-clicking your iPhone or iPad’s Home button fast enough, why don’t you slow things down?
Tap Settings>General>Accessibility>Home Button, then pick a speed: Default is the fastest, but you can also choose Slow, or Slowest. The three options blink as you tap them, giving you an idea of how fast you’ll have to double-click.

3/ Turn off Reachability — Older iPhone models look puny now, compared to the bigger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus versions, but the smaller 3.5- and 4-inch iPhone screens have one advantage over their bigger brothers: you can access the entire thing with your thumb while holding the device in one hand. So iOS has a Reachability feature making the screen contents all reachable, and this can can be summoned by accident. Reachability moves the entire screen down to about the midpoint of the display, making it easier to reach the top of the interface with your thumb. You can activate Reachability by double-tapping, but not pressing, the Home button.
Tap Settings>General>Accessibility, then switch off the Reachability setting you don’t want it activating by mistake.

4/ Summon Siri from the lock screen (or not) — Helpful though she can be, Siri has a bad habit of appearing on my iPhone screen when I need her the least. Maybe something’s up with the Home button on my iPhone 6, but Siri frequently pops up on my screen when I’m unlocking my iPhone, or when I’m trying to double-click.
You can’t change the default method of summoning Siri—pressing and holding the Home key – but you can keep it from appearing on your iPhone or iPad’s lock screen. Tap Settings>Touch ID & Passcode, then switch off the Siri option under the Allow Access When Locked setting. [These tips came from Macworld.]

5/ Easily remove a colour cast from an image snapped on your iPhone or iPad — There’s an editing tool in iOS 9+ that lets you remove a colour cast (when white areas don’t look white, for example) in a couple of seconds. Find the photo you’d like to change, and tap the Edit button.
When you see the tools appear, touch the Adjust button which brings up the tools for adjusting Light, Color, and B&W.
Tap the arrow next to any of those sections, and you’ll see more advanced options; to get to Cast, tap the arrow beside ‘Color.’
Then tap Cast to make changes, and you’ll see a little bar you can move back and forth. Dragging it to the right will make the image cooler (as below), and dragging it to the left will make it warmer.
Remember that edits to your pictures in Photos (on Mac and in iOS) are nondestructive, meaning that if you click on Edit again after you’ve made changes, you always have the option to revert to your original.

Edward Snowden’s iPhone case, iPad Air vs Pro, iOS devs make more $, new iPhone glass


iPhodarhEdward Snowden has developed an iPhone case meant to kill surveillance — The concept device is designed to protect journalists from governments spying their locations, for smartphones, while incredibly useful, are also the “perfect tracking device,” Snowden wrote in a co-authored paper that covers his research.

iPad Pro 9.7-inch vs. iPad Air 2 — Bob LeVitus writes that if you don’t look too closely you could easily mistake the new iPad Pro 9.7–inch (released last March) for an iPad Air 2 (released December 2014). They are exactly the same size and weight, and both sport 9.7-inch Retina displays. The iPad Pro 9.7-inch is available in rose gold; the iPad Air is not. Beyond that, it’s hard to tell them apart without a very close inspection until you get to the price tag. Then, it’s very clear that you’ll pay significantly more for an iPad Pro than an iPad Air 2. So what’s the difference?

Android may have more apps and more users, but iOS makes developers more money — Google’s Android mobile software accounted for an 82% share of mobile games downloaded during the second quarter of 2016, development company Unity3D says in a new report. That compares to 17% of game downloads for iOS. But Google is still trailing far behind when it comes to making money for iOS developers.

Corning unveils Gorilla Glass 5, evolutionary successor for iPhone screens — A new version of the Corning Gorilla Glass used in iPhone screens since launch promises better impact resistance for equipped devices, with the improved glass panels surviving falls from greater heights than previous versions.

See your every Mac, Seal for Final Cut Pro, Sierra notes


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How to see every Mac, iPad, and iPhone associated with your Apple ID — Apple’s device authorisation and management tools are a little hidden. Jason Snell explains more about  ‘Account>View my Account’ in iTunes.

It may be a one-trick pony, but it’s a nifty one-trick pony for Final Cut Pro X users — Conner Productions’s Seal is a one trick pony, but it’s a pretty nifty trick. It’s a professional template to make introductory ‘seal titles’ for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (FCP X). And it’s free.
Seal is customisable and lets you create introduction seals for your videos: a spinning seal that comes into focus. Its easy to customise text colour, background colour, and other elements to craft the template to fit within a video.

Some notes and features for Sierra early-adopters — Here are instructions for making an external drive you can use to install macOS Sierra. How to configure a software RAID in macOS Sierra’s Disk Utility; then how to deconstruct a software RAID made with macOS Sierra’s Disk Utility.

Taylor Swift and the Notes app, augmented reality, tracking stolen devices, smashing iPhones, Apple Pay expanding, Scrivener, Pokémon Go, WhatsApp Brazilian


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Famous people love sharing from the Notes app, though Apple has made it a struggle — The last time Taylor Swift held a strong opinion about an Apple product, Tim Cook made instant changes. So, hopefully Taylor will convince Apple to take the Notes app to the next level.
In the last year or so, a bunch of celebrities have made public statements by sharing from the Notes app on their iPhones. Taylor Swift did it most recently, but previously other young stars like Ariana Grande, Amy Schumer, and Demi Lovato gave us a piece of their mind by posting a screenshot of one of their Notes on Twitter or Instagram (or both simultaneously because they’re that social-savvy). [The Notes app from Yosemite onwards  is terrific – I organised a trip and a book easily just by using Notes.]

Pokémon Go and Snapchat prove the iPhone is perfect for augmented reality — We’re now spending more time in AR than on Facebook, thanks to Pokémon Go. [This is true – the last time AR was the buzz was in 2010.]

LogMeOnce introduces new features for tracking, managing lost or stolen devices — LogMeOnce, which specialises in identity and password management in cloud and mobile enterprise, has announced three new features designed to make it simpler to manage, track and wipe personal and business data from the LogMeOnce app on lost or stolen devices.

Chinese protesters smashing Apple iPhones over UN’s South China Sea decision — Chinese nationalists are reportedly taking to boycotts and destruction of emblematic US consumer goods, like the iPhone, to protest an unfavourable UN decision over disputed territory in the South and East China Sea. The slightly more independent China Daily called the device smashing “jingoism that does a disservice to the spirit of devotion to the nation.” [Hah, they’re all made in China anyway, you twits.] 

Apple Pay adds support for 13 new US banks and credit unions, France and Hong Kong — Piling on to what has already been a big day for Apple Pay, Apple on Tuesday announced a US expansion of payment services that includes support from 13 new banks and credit unions, bringing the total up to nearly 1375 financial institutions. It has also become available in France and Hong Kong.

Scrivener for iOS review: A sophisticated writing and research app for on-the-go — Like its desktop counterpart, Scrivener has the features you need for research and writing projects. Macworld has reviewed it [I am still working on mine – it’s really impressive].

Pokémon Go tips — Macworld has put together some insider tips that will help you on your quest to catching ‘em all.

Apple’s iOS App Store now generating 4x revenues per app vs Android Google Play — A new report examining mobile app revenues shows strong growth for Apple in China and from music and video streaming titles, and another big jump in the revenue lead that its iOS App Store maintains over Android’s Google Play. And despite 9% growth, Microsoft Surface sales remain stuck at around 1M units.

Brazilian Supreme Court overturns WhatsApp ban within hours — Just hours after it was issued, a ban on WhatsApp in Brazil was reportedly overturned by the country’s Supreme Court, which argued that the measure may not have been reasonable or proportionate.

Second macOS Beta, get smarter with iTunes U, how to disable Music Match auto-renew


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Apple has released the second public beta of macOS Sierra — Apple has released the second public beta of macOS Sierra (and of iOS 10) to public beta testers. The finished versions of the operating system updates are due this fall. If you’re not already signed up for the public beta program, you can do so here. The public beta program is free, but remember: beta software is unfinished software so use with care (Apple recommends using it on a secondary Mac.)

iTunes U: Free education to make you smarter — Apple’s learning centre is filled with FREE content to expand your mind. iTunes U has been part of the iTunes Store for nearly ten years, and it remains one of the unsung heroes of Apple’s content offering. It features courses in hundreds of subjects, for nearly every age, from educational institutions around the world. Where else can you follow free courses from Harvard, MIT, Oxford, and La Sorbonne? [I’ve said this many times, but you don’t get much free from Apple. When you do, it can be pretty incredible – like this.]

How to disable iTunes Match subscription auto-renew — Apple is taking some of the confusion out of its subscription services by bringing iTunes Match’s song matching system to Apple Music. That means Apple Music users will have get a much better matching algorithm, they get DRM-free versions of matched songs, and they don’t need their iTunes Match subscriptions any more. If that sounds like a winning combo to you, it’s time to disable auto-renew for your iTunes Match account. Read on to learn how.

Pixelmator for iOS, Pokémon Go don’ts, free CarPlay for some Kia models, Brazil, Iran, Apple Watch


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Pixelmator 2.3 Speeds-up iOS photo editing with new selection tools — Pixelmator, the powerful-and-inexpensive image editor for both Mac and iOS, also got a free update on iOS to version 2.3. It brings the new Quick Selection Tool and Magnetic Selection Tool over from the Mac.

Seven things you shouldn’t do while playing Pokémon Go — Most mobile games can be played quietly and anonymously in the privacy of your own home, cubicle, train seat, or bathroom stall – but Pokémon Go isn’t that kind of game. With physical movement as a primary gameplay mechanic, the Nintendo favourite is getting millions of people out and about and exploring their neighbourhoods. Be safe out there!

Kia to offer free Apple CarPlay upgrades on select models — Kia has announced plans to update some of its fleet with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, marking a rare instance in which older vehicles will get access to the phone link technology.

Brazilian judge orders indefinite block of WhatsApp, affecting millions of users — A Brazilian judge on Tuesday ordered the country’s five cellular carriers to block access to Facebook’s WhatsApp indefinitely, disrupting access to the popular chat/VoIP app for tens of millions of people. WhatsApp is believed to have 100 million or more users in Brazil, many of whom use it to circumvent the steep fees local cellular carriers charge. [Just in time for the Olympics, duh.]

Iran ready to ban and confiscate iPhones — The Iranian government has given Apple an ultimatum: register with the country’s anti-smuggling office now, or all iPhones will be banned and confiscated. The demand comes as part of Iran’s plans to create a database of every cell phone in the country under the guise of blocking smuggling. [Hrrmphdictatorshipphhh.]

Apple sold 1.7 million Apple Watches in the June quarter — Swiss bank UBS has issued a research note that projects Apple Watch sales totalled 1.7 million units in the June quarter, an increase of 100,000 units compared to its estimate of 1.6 million sales in the March quarter, reports MacRumors.com. Here’s how to use Notification Privacy on the Watch, and how to use Siri on it.

Apple brand power, iTunes 12.4.2, Pixelmator 3.5


Pixelmator 3.5 adds even more power to the well-priced Mac photo editor
Pixelmator 3.5 adds even more power to the well-priced Mac photo editor

Apple brand power climbing, holds lead over all tech firms, survey finds — Apple is standing fast for a second consecutive year as the fifth most powerful brand in the US and the top ranked technology company, beating rivals Microsoft, Google and Sony.

Apple releases iTunes 12.4.2 with fix for Apple Music short song playback issues — Apple has released a minor update to the iTunes application to address bugs, including Apple Music “up next” problems with songs less than a minute long.

Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon review: Better selective editing and a new Apple Photos extension — The improvements cement Pixelmator’s position as the top affordable alternative to Photoshop. Pixelmator 3.5 adds an extension to Photos for additional editing in the Apple image app, and costs NZ$44.99/US$30and it’s in the Mac App Store.

Tuesday Talk ~ numbers


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Apple’s Mac has finally joined the slowdown in desktop computer sales. While PC sales declined over the last few years, Mac sales – bizarrely – kept rising, but that’s no longer true. Apple needs to release some very good new models of Macs to gain back some ground, but even if it does, the worldwide decline in desktop sales may mitigate against Apple ever regaining the market share it developed over the last five years.

Model-wise, the MacBook Pro could do with a refresh. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the little MacBook is overpriced and underpowered, but it did debut great new tech that should be put into the MacBook Pro.

A new MacBook Pro I am happy to speculate on. Partly as I need one: my 2012 MacBook Pro is still a speed demon but its battery has dropped to 85% capacity over the years (it’s a hard worker) and, if Apple follows form, a new model with be lighter, slimmer, more powerful and better all round. I’m not sure it will have an OLED touch-bar, as some hope, partly as every rendering I’ve seen of this idea looks butt-ugly to me, and doesn’t seem to fit in with Apple’s aesthetic, but I’m happy to be swayed to the contrary. Filed Apple patents have outlined illuminated touch controls embedded within a MacBook’s chassis, while others protect rights to switchless keyboards and illuminated trackpads. We’ll see.

As for other models, it has been widely speculated that Apple may even drop the little-loved Mac mini completely (I have no opinion on this) and maybe even the Mac Pro. And that idea concerns me.

The real professional users in the Apple world are the people everyone else looks up to. If a really heavy-hitting Mac user advises you on which Mac to buy, you listen. But pros are disenchanted with the round Mac Pro as it’s hard to expand and could do with much better video cards (the PC world is way ahead of Apple here: you can get much better video cards in much cheaper PCs, and that’s actually been tempting pro users to switch to PC).The Mac Pro was a grand machine in its own right – or at least, it was on release in 2014 – but now it needs some love, sure. But deletion? The idea fills me with disquiet.

As for actual Mac sales numbers, Apple Insider has pointed out that Apple’s share of the global PC market took a hit during the challenging second quarter of this year. Apple went down to fifth place among the world’s top computer manufacturers. Analyst firm Gartner put Apple’s worldwide marketshare at 7.1% (this is a lot higher in some markets – here, Australia, the US, Germany …) during the second quarter. That means year-over-year shipments dropped by 200,000 units, down from 4.8 million in 2015. This 4.9% sales contraction may have been the worst performance put in by a top-five vendor, but it’s in line with the 5.2% decline in overall PC shipments. Some of these drops have come from price hikes against the stronger US dollar; that’s certainly the case in New Zealand.

Apple’s iPhone numbers seem solid, still, though, and an iPhone 7 will give sales a boost. I’ve mentioned before that we have a confusion of models these days, and that presents a muddy picture to consumers. Apple could wave a Jobsian clarification wand here to its benefit. I imagine the 5SE will remain in the lineup, and the 6 will disappear while the 6s drops in price, but that doesn’t help the confusion much, does it? Especially if, as one rumour claims, there will be three models of 7 …

We will know in September. Hopefully. It seems a long way away.

US Special Ops dropping Android, iOS 9.3.3, why iPhone 7, ARM buyer, Rodeo Stampede, RunGo


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(Graphic made in Art Text 3)

US Army Special Operations Command dumping Android for the iPhone — US Army Special Operations Command is dumping its Android tactical smartphone for iPhone, according to DoD Buzz. The iPhone is “faster; smoother. Android freezes up” and has to be restarted too often, the source said. The problem with Android is particularly noticeable when viewing live feed from an unmanned aerial system such as Instant Eye.

Apple releases iOS 9.3.3, El Capitan 10.11.6, watchOS 2.2.2, and tvOS 9.2.1 updates — The company released several bug fixes and security improvements for its products.

Why this year’s iPhone might be a must-have upgrade — OLED probably isn’t coming until next year. But this year’s iPhone could be a sleeper hit. [And this is pure speculation at this stage as we know nothing about it.]

SoftBank to buy ARM, designer of Apple chips — Apple chip designer ARM Holdings is about to get bought by Japan’s SoftBank in a £24.3 billion (about US$32.16 billion) deal. SoftBank plans to keep ARM in the UK while using the deal to make itself the preeminent mobile chip designer and cash in on the growing “internet of things” product market.

Rodeo Stampede is a rollicking romp with a fine freemium model —  Can you keep up with this rapid animal runner… and build the sky zoo of your dreams?

RunGo, which existed before Pokémon Go, just debuted Pokémon-focused routes in the app — Now players can sprint along paths claimed to loop through “high density” Pokémon areas and hit gyms and PokéStops in the process.

macOS, Apple Music, VideoTweet, disposing of printers, CloudMounter, MacKeeper harassment


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See all the best new features in Apple’s macOS Sierra in this AppleInsider video — Apple’s forthcoming macOS Sierra update will focus on continuity and iCloud, further blurring the lines between the company’s Mac lineup and its portable devices, like iPhone and iPad. AppleInsider offers a closer look at what’s new in macOS Sierra.

Apple improves iCloud Music Library matching, ditches copy-protected matched files for Apple Music users — With both services now using the same matching method, your iTunes library should be less cloudy. In other music news, Apple’s song royalty rate proposal would hit Spotify right in the wallet and Katy Perry has released an iTunes exclusive. [What do you reckon she got paid for that?]

VideoTweet review: sharing Mac videos on Twitter just got a whole lot easier — VideoTweet takes the drudgery out of sharing QuickTime videos on Twitter from an easy-to-use app, Final Cut Pro X, or your favourite OS X sharing extension-friendly software.

How to dispose of a printer securely — You might think printers have no private data. But some may retain vestiges.

CloudMounter simplifies managing cloud accounts on your Mac — In these days of high-speed Internet connections and low-capacity SSD drives in laptops, cloud storage services are becoming more and more popular. Like me, you may have several different cloud accounts. This is where Eltima’s US$29 CloudMounter app for Mac OS X (Yosemite or El Capitan) comes in handy.

MacKeeper threatens 14-year-old YouTube video maker with harassment suit — Infamous software developer MacKeeper has demanded that four videos critical of its much maligned tune-up utility suite [which is completely unneccessary] be removed from the internet, threatening the teenager behind the videos with $60,000 in court costs and legal fees. [MacKeeper being the expert on harassment.]

Review ~ Gemini 2


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Gemini 2 by MacPaw promises to locate and remove duplicate files on your Mac, wherever they may be. This can become a real problem, especially if the duplicate files are big to begin with, like movie files, and somehow files seem to replicate almost by themselves somehow. Gemini 2 scans your whole disk fairly quickly, even if it’s over a Terabyte. My 41.1GB documents folder took just 42 seconds (but mind you, this was on a fast SSD drive). Once it has achieved the scan, the software displays the scan results and you can hand-pick the files to erase, or let a feature called Smart Select do all the work, which you might consider of you have regular backups and indeed, your last backup was very recent.
You may have some files that have duplicates you want to keep. In Preferences, you can set Gemini 2 to just scan for duplicates or for ‘similar’ files as well, and you can set a file size for it to scan for too, up to 200MB, or leave it on Automatic (under General>Minimum File Size).
There’s an Ignore List tab if you want to add folders you don’t want scanned at all, and you can also choose certain file extensions for it to ignore if you wish. There are parameters for Smart Selections here, and you can select options for removal, too – straight to the Finder’s Trash, or move to a folder, or remove permanently (into the Trash then empties automatically).
Gemini 2 finds files that look alike, see how they differ, and lets you delete those you decide you don’t need.

iTunes
Going deeper — Gemini scans your iTunes Library to find multiple copies of songs, too – it can tell copies from originals. Perhaps the best thing is that it learns to select duplicates the way you do. Gemini’s algorithm remembers what you delete and what you choose to keep as you go through the list of duplicates it throws up.
Gemini 2 asks permission to open Photos’ Library to look for duplicates there, too – you can turn this on as a default behaviour (called ‘Always Open’).

FoundFiles
Once you start selecting, say, every second file, Gemini figures out whether you’re selecting the newest or oldest version and asks if you with this to be the default behaviour. Affirm and it selects the rest for you on this pattern, which saves a lot of scrolling and clicking.
It works in English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, Polish, Dutch, the Portuguese of Brazil, Chinese and Japanese.
Conclusion — Once upon a time, utility software may have been good but it could be obtuse to use – and almost worse, it was often difficult to look at. Programs like Gemini 2 and stablemate Clean My Drive 2 look fantastic, work well and don’t require much manual reading, if any, to use effectively.
Here’s to that.

What’s great — Fast. Looks fantastic, too, so Gemini does what it promises in fine style.
What’s not — If you don’t have a backup, don’t use this software or anything like it. Deleting duplicates is always a little terrifying.
Needs — Anyone worried about their drives filling up unnecessarily, fans of good housekeeping, those worried about space (Macs run better with some ‘head-room’ of

Gemini 2 by MacPaw, US$19.95 (about NZ$28 but depends on the exchange rate), license for 2 Macs NZ$42/US$29.95, 5 Macs NZ$62/US$44.95. (Free trial available.) Also look in the Mac App Store (where it’s NZ$29.99)

Contact — MacPaw.