Cook and Rose, Yosemite Betas, U2 banish button, Microsoft scores Minecraft

Get rid of the new 'free' U2 album with a couple of clicks from Apple's new link
Get rid of the new ‘free’ U2 album with a couple of clicks from Apple’s new link

First hour of Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose — If you haven’t seen enough of Apple’s Tim Cook over the past few days, you’re in luck. The soft-spoken CEO sat down for a two-hour interview with PBS anchor Charlie Rose. The first part of that conversation is streaming via the Hulu service; the second part of the interview will air on Monday.

Apple releases new OS X Yosemite betas for developers, public beta participants — With the next version of Apple’s flagship desktop operating system nearing release, new preview versions of OS X Yosemite were seeded to both registered Mac developers as well as participants of the public beta program.

Apple makes it super simple to get rid of its U2 gift to you — Apple’s giveaway of the band’s new album, Songs of Innocence, is causing such a backlash that the company is making it easy to get rid of its gift. So Apple on Monday launched a support page (pictured above – I added the red) with a direct link that lets you banish the existence of Songs of Innocence from your devices. [I’m using it – some people like sanctimonious faux-socialists dripping with money preaching how everyone else should live, but I’m not among them.]

Microsoft buys Minecraft studio Mojang, but promises to continue iOS, Mac development — Minecraft is now officially owned by Microsoft thanks to a $2.5 billion deal the company made to purchase developer Mojang. The buy will see Microsoft take control of a game that is published – and extremely popular – across many of the platforms of its competitors, including PlayStation, Android … and iOS and OS X.

Every Apple Watch face, iPhone 6 H.265 and preorder records, Instagram apps, Scot Siri

WatchFacesEvery watch face shown during the Apple Watch announcement — With all the attention given to the Apple Watch’s functionality during this week’s announcement event, it’s little wonder that the device’s customisable watch face was barely reported on. However, the sheer number of options demonstrated during the event gave a brief idea of what’s to come.

Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus use H.265 codec for FaceTime over cellular — Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have drawn attention for their new form factors and flashy Retina HD displays, the handsets boast substantial under-the-hood advancements, including support for the highly efficient H.265 video codec.

Apple Says iPhone 6 Pre-orders hit record numbers — Despite getting off to a rocky start, pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit record numbers on Friday [in the US – not available in NZ yet]. The company isn’t saying just how many smartphones it sold, but anyone wanting the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will see shipping delays of about a week, and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is showing even longer delays.

7 apps to give your amateur Instagrams professional gloss — If you want to boost your follower and like counts, Caitlon McGarry shows you the apps that will help.

Siri’s struggles with the Scottish accent — Enjoy this man’s humorous quest to have Siri help him find a jam sandwich. It features some not safe for work language, so consider plugging in your headphones before viewing in an office. [‘Jammy dodger’ all right!]

‘Unrumoured’ Apple products to come, new Mac rumours, Macworld ends print

Could Apple release a 27-inch Retina iMac before Christmas?
Could Apple release a 27-inch Retina iMac before Christmas?

Cook says Apple working on products that ‘haven’t been rumored about yet’ [sic] — In an upcoming PBS interview with Charlie Rose, set to air Friday night, Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the company’s current product lineup, Beats, Apple TV, Steve Jobs’ legacy and hints at new product categories that “no one knows about.”

But here are two rumours that are, um, rumoured — A sketchy rumour on Thursday claims Apple’s rumoured 12-inch MacBook Air will debut in the middle of 2015, to be available in gold, space grey and silver colours identical to those offered with the iPhone. Another says Apple could launch new 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display this [northern] fall.

End of an era for Macworld — One of the mainstays in Mac publishing is no more. Macworld magazine will cease publishing the print version of its magazine after the November edition. It says the web version will continue publication. The company also laid off most of its staff. Luckily the excellent site is still going.

Futurology 08 ~ Space apps, ozone, Atom sound, Retina, Info Theory, bikes speed traffic, smart rescue, bone armour, Stonehenge revelations

The area around Stonehenge was busier than previously guessed
The area around Stonehenge was busier than previously guessed (click to enlarge)

10 apps that are the next best thing to being in space — Most of us won’t ever visit space. But space has been brought to us, in the form of images and data collected for years by spacecraft, satellites and telescopes. Here are the 10 best online, interactive apps that allow you to explore space from your computer. Grab your mouse, Ensign — you have the helm.
~ And all without the vacuum.

Political hot air helps ozone — Finally, some good news about our troubled atmosphere: A UN study shows that the ozone layer is displaying early signs of thickening after years of depletion. It’s on the road to recovery — an achievement scientists say is due to political will.
~ Someone tell National. 

Scientists capture the sound made by a single atom — Researchers at Columbia University and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology say that they have, for the first time, “captured” the sound a single atom makes when it is excited — a single “phonon,” as it were.
~ And there’s me thinking ‘Kanyé West for some reason’.

CERN tests first artificial retina capable of looking for high energy particles — Pattern recognition is one of the few areas where humans regularly outperform even the most powerful computers. But surprisingly, our brains only do part of the work. The most basic pattern recognition — edge detection, line detection and the detection of certain shapes — is performed by the complex circuitry of neurones in the retina. Now a team at CERN has built and tested an artificial retina capable of identifying particle tracks in the debris from particle collisions.
~ Every home should have one. 

Information Theory places new limits on origin of life — Most research into the origin of life focuses on the messy business of chemistry, on the nature of self-replicating molecules and on the behavior of autocatalytic reactions. Now one theorist says the properties of information also place important limits on how life must have evolved, without getting bogged down in the biochemical details.
~ I always figured death was a fairly incontrovertible limit.

Bike lanes speed New York traffic — Although narrower streets can slow traffic, that doesn’t seem to have happened here — perhaps because traffic in this area was crawling at around 20kph to begin with. Just one major improvement to intersection design helped them handle more, while also letting bikes travel more safely: a pocket lane for left-hand turns: a devoted turning lane at most intersections that takes the place of the parking lane, which gets cars out of the way of moving traffic when they’re making a left.
~ Left turn helps society. Now there’s a surprise.

Rural areas in the US may soon get high-speed wi-fi over unused tv bands —If you live out in the less densely inhabited regions, chances are good that high-speed internet in your area is pretty hard — if not impossible — to come by. That could soon change thanks to a team from Rice University who hacked currently unused, Ultra High Frequency (UHF) TV spectrum into a high-speed, wireless internet pipeline.
~ Listen up, Kiwi farmers, there is hope.

Australians design smart rescue boat — A new ‘smart’ search and rescue boat could soon be patrolling your local shores, all by itself. ‘Bruce’ was developed by a team of six students from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology for Google’s upcoming Maritime RobotX Challenge, which will be held in Singapore late next month.
~ That is smart.

US Army’s laser war truck can now see (and shoot) through fog — The problem with the current iterations of combat laser prototypes is they can easily be foiled by suspended condensation: smoke, fog and other obscurants deflect and diffract the beam as it’s en-route to its target. The HEL MD, however, proved earlier this year that the solution is simple: Just increase the power of the laser enough to burn through everything — including incoming mortar rounds.
~ That’s progress, right?

Bone armour — Archaeologists working near Omsk in Siberia have discovered a complete suit of bone armour. Found in near perfect condition, the unique armour dates back to the Bronze Age.
A suit of armour like this, which was buried at a depth of 1.5 meters and found without its unknown owner, has never been seen before in the Omsk region. Further analysis is required, but preliminary estimates place it between 3500 to 3900 years old. The artefact was found near the Irtysh River at a site of a sanatorium where there are plans to build a five star hotel.
~ That’s rather GoT.

Unreal Stonehenge finds — Using powerful ground-penetrating radar, investigators working around Stonehenge have detected a trove of previously unknown burial mounds, chapels, shrines, pits — and most remarkable of all — a massive megalithic monument made up of more than 50 giant stones buried along a 1082-foot-long c-shaped enclosure by using a magnetometer, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and a 3D laser scanner (main picture).
~ And guess what they were used for? You may as well, that’s what everyone else is doing. 

Five Tip Friday — Safari on iOS for iPhone and iPad

Searching inside web pages in Safari for iOS on iPhone
Searching inside web pages in Safari for iOS on iPhone

1/ Finding specific text on a lengthy web page — To search a webpage for some specific text (which you can do on the Mac with Command F any time you are on a web page), tap on the location bar and enter the term you want to find, then scroll down to the bottom to find the On This Page heading. Safari will tell you how many matches there are for that text. Tap the entry and it will even let you quickly jump through them, highlighting each instance in yellow.

2/ Reopen tabs you’ve closed — Just tap and hold on the New Tab button in the toolbar and you get a pop-up menu listing all of your recently closed tabs — it’s way faster than trying to get to Safari’s History listing. Tap any of the tabs in this list to load them once again.

3/ Coping with tab proliferation — If you’ve ever had tab proliferation strike, you know it’s a pain to go through and close all those sites one by one. There’s an easier way: tap on the location bar and then tap the Private button just above the keyboard. You will be prompted to either keep your current tabs or close them all. Tap Close All and then tap Private again to return to normal browsing.

4/ Make hidden text visible — If half the text is hidden in caption text (also called “alt text”), from iOS 7 onwards, you can simply tap-and-hold on any image to bring up a popup that includes that extra text.

5/ Privacy and security — To modify the security settings of Safari on your iOS device, tap Settings and choose Safari.
To enable or disable Anti-phishing, turn Fraudulent Website Warning on or off. (Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to steal your personal information, such as passwords, account information or user names. A fraudulent website masquerades as a legitimate one, such as a bank, financial institution, or email service provider.)
When on, the Anti-phishing feature in Safari shows an alert if the site you’re visiting is suspected as a phishing site.
To visit sites without making history, turn Private on or off in Safari: tap Safari, then tap in the lower-right corner on the multiple-tabs icon (2 superimposed rectangles).
The word ‘Private’ appears at bottom left – just tap it. When Safari for iOS is in Private mode, the bar along the top of Safari turns black. This mode protects your private information and blocks some websites from tracking your behaviour. Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.

iPhone 6 screen sizes, competitors react, trading in, Joswiak, Apple Watch

What size for you? To me it comes down to pocketable compared to not pocketable
What size for you? To me it comes down to pocketable compared to not pocketable

Shedding light on iPhone 6 screen sizes and one-handed use — Steve Sande works it all out for you. [Image, left, from Apple online.]

How easy it is to mine Apple services, devices for data — Digital safety is on everyone’s mind after the massive iCloud breach that resulted in many celebrity nude photos leaking across the Internet. While the company has promised fixes to both its mobile operating system and cloud storage service in the coming weeks, the perception of Apple’s current security feels iffy at best. Ars Technica demonstrates the dangers.

Infographic hilariously compares two-year-old Nexus 4 with iPhone 6 — Android fan and Ars Technica Reviews Editor Ron Amadeo created an amusing infographic comparing Apple’s latest iPhone 6 with the Nexus 4. It not-so-subtly implies Apple’s hardware is years behind Google’s cutting edge technology.

Samsung ads attack Apple’s Watch, iPhone 6, live stream blunder — Samsung is being quick to the punch: barely a day after Apple’s iPhone and Watch media event, Samsung Mobile began posting a series of web ads mocking Apple’s recent product announcements from all angles. [It’s the John Key Method – but both these instances discount the most important thing to me: it’s not about the specs, it’s about a better iPhone for my Apple ecosystem.]

So why are people trading in their Samsungs? The unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 6 handsets has unsurprisingly fuelled a flood of trade-in requests from previous-generation iPhone owners lured by the new devices’ larger displays and bonus features. But they’re not the only ones preparing to make the jump — many owners of smartphones from Apple’s chief rival Samsung are also eager to upgrade their experience.

Apple exec Greg Joswiak to be interviewed at Code/Mobile conference in October — In a rare public interview, Apple Vice President Greg Joswiak will appear onstage at the Code/Mobile conference in late October, where he will discuss his company’s fall 2014 lineup, set to include the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple Watch tidbits: One-day battery life, but a smart anti-theft trick — Some extra details on the Apple Watch have trickled out over the past couple days, filling in a couple of the blanks in Apple’s big announcement.
One of the bigger lingering questions was what to expect for battery life, as Apple made no mention of it during the press event. But speaking to Re/code, Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris confirm that users should get used to a nightly charge. [Expect lots of third-party nightstand accessories shortly.]

EA announces upcoming SimCity BuildIt for iOS — EA has announced that it will bring a new version of its popular SimCity franchise to iOS. The SimCity BuildIt game keeps the same city planner theme of earlier titles, but is designed from the ground up for gaming on the go.

Coming shortly — Five new tips.

Tim Cook underestimated, iCloud storage refunds, U2 whether you want 2 or not

You got U2 for free, but do you want it?
You got U2 for free, but do you want it?

The real reason Apple’s Tim Cook has been underestimated — John Martellaro at the Mac Observer reckons “The influence of the entertainment industry is underappreciated. Strong leaders, for the sake of drama, are always depicted as extroverts — gregarious and flamboyant. Regrettably, that may have led the media to incorrectly diagnose Tim Cook in the comparison to Steve Jobs. Here’s why observers got Tim Cook all wrong. Very wrong.”

Apple refunds new iCloud price difference to current subscribers — Current iCloud customers received a welcome email from Apple Wednesday evening telling them the rates they’re paying for extra storage have been adjusted to be in line with the new lower prices. Apple also said customers are receiving refunds for the difference in what they already paid for their annual subscription.

How to hide the free U2 album from your iTunes library — It was either mighty nice of Apple, or a big marketing gamble, to give everyone in the world a copy of the new U2 album. But not everyone likes U2. [I, for example, HATE U2! Just because they’re buddies with Jony Ive doesn’t mean they’re any good.]
Macworld tells you how to deal with this.

Lots more information about iPhone 6, Apple Watch; Apple Pay, Lightning headphones, picTrove

Apple expects Watch users will need to charge it nightly
Apple expects Watch users will need to charge it nightly

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: what you need to know — Macworld has a good overview, TUAW explains about how many more pixels they have, the Mac Observer has a hands on to help you choose, AppleInsider explains how the bigger phones have been designed to be used one-handed, and has also created a printable iPhone 6 pre-order picker can help you choose the right size model.

Apple Watch users will need to recharge nightly — Apple is still working to improve uptime before launch. But Apple expects people to charge it nightly, suggesting the battery life will offer about one day of operation. Macworld has three Apple Watch features that will make you think differently about smartwatches, and also has a What you need to know, plus 5 things the Apple Watch can do, and 5 things it can’t.
And the Apple Watch isn’t waterproof. All the Apple Watch promotional videos are now viewable online. There’s more on battery life plus the important fact (for me anyway) that Apple Watch does support left-handed use. Apple didn’t offer specifics, but it appears as if left-handed use will be supported via a setting.

Parody Apple Watch vid — A parody video at YouTube details Apple’s ‘Pleasantly Plump Little Electronic Watch‘.

Apple to collect swipe fees from banks for Apple Pay transactions – report — [No real surprise but] Apple’s new Apple Pay system has the potential to become a huge revenue driver, as the iPhone maker has reportedly reached agreements with its partner banks to take a cut of the revenue earned from so-called “swipe fees” when consumers make purchases through the platform.

Philips announces Fidelo M2L, the first-ever Apple Lightning headphones with 24-bit DAC audio — The first-ever Lightning-connected headphones for iOS devices are coming from Philips, offering 24-bit digital to analog conversion thanks to the use of Apple’s proprietary connector. [Sound quality promises to be excellent over Lightning.]

picTrove free — picTrove Pro 1.8.14 (US$9.99, iOS Universal) is free this weekend (Sat 12 – Sun 13 September) to promote the launch of TraversienT Inc’s new app picTrove 2 Pro ($4.99, iOS Universal).

iTunes 11.4 supports iOS 8, OK Go accuses Apple, iCloud storage now much cheaper

OK Go now has a jaundiced Perspective
OK Go now has a jaundiced Perspective

iTunes 11.4 has iOS 8 Support — Apple released iTunes 11.4 for the Mac and Windows on Tuesday with support for next week’s release of iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The update will let users sync movies, music, and other content with devices running iOS 8, which will be available free from our Thursday September 18th (which is the 17th in the US). Choose Software Update from your Apple Menu to get it.
[The iTunes update is partly because OS 10.10 Yosemite will not be ready before iOS 8.]

Band accuses Apple of ripping off their music video concept — There was a lot to see during yesterday’s epic Apple event, and it all started with a very cool video called Perspective. The 2-minute clip is a pretty standard event-opening video for Apple, stating some principles the company believes in and patting users on the back for being part of it.
It was shot using an age-old visual trick that exploits the viewer’s limited two-dimensional perspective to line up words and phrases that exist only when viewed from a particular angle.
But popular rock group OK Go didn’t enjoy it, and they’re now claiming Apple ripped off the concept from their video for the song The Writing’s On The Wall. [But, if it’s an ‘age-old concept’…] You can see the Apple video & OK Go’s, and read more, at TUAW. (A frame from each is pictured above.)

Apple launches new iCloud pricing with 1TB storage option — Apple announced new iCloud storage pricing was coming during its WWDC keynote presentation earlier this year, and for the first time we get to see just how much the company thinks a terabyte of online storage is worth. Users who need a full TB of iCloud storage will be paying US$19.99 a month, which is twice what Dropbox users pay for that amount.
[See for yourself: open System Preferences, click on iCloud, click Manage, click Buy More Storage – 20GB more is now only $1.99 a  month!]

Apple Mac, iPhone & iPad news for New Zealanders

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