Mac Pro update in 2015, iPad tips and more
The updated Mac Pro has now been available for purchase for a little over a year, and one Fresh-Faced Recruit started a discussion this week in the MacNN forums, asking when we might expect an update, as he is considering buying one. Today, the conversation continues in the thread titled "signs your iMac is on its last legs".
Third exploit may have already been patched
OS X 10.10.2, still in beta, fixes a pair of zero-day exploits uncovered by Google's Project Zero, reports say. The Project Zero team has newly-published data relating to three OS X vulnerabilities, in accordance with a 90-day disclosure policy; Apple was informed of them in October. One is believed to have already been fixed in OS X Yosemite as of January 8, but in theory the remaining two could be used to attack v10.10.1 users.
Bluetooth drops from testing focus
Apple is now seeding a sixth beta of OS X 10.10.2,, listed as build 14C106a. It follows just less than a week after the fifth release, 14C99d. As before, testing efforts are being directed toward Wi-Fi, Mail, and VoiceOver, though Bluetooth has apparently been dropped from the list. A version of the latest beta has also been made available to public testers who previously signed up for the Yosemite beta.
iPhoto still slow on 27-inch 5K iMac
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Professional Poster was wondering why iPhoto is still running slow even after they upgraded their computer to a new Retina iMac -- so far there has been no input from fellow members. Forum-goers assist "Thorzdad" in troubleshooting an unresponsive 13-inch MBP, so far a solution has yet to be found.
Signs your iMac is on its last leg
This week in the MacNN Forums, Games Meister "The Final Dakar" pointed out strange things that his iMac is doing, and believes that these are signs that his iMac will soon not be operational. Dedicated MacNNer "krx" is looking for a way to do a clean install and use Migration Assistant.
Increasing focus on FCC in ongoing struggle to codify access to broadband
February might not shape up to be such a great month if you're a large national Internet provider in the US. Not only will the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) be voting on the adoption of net neutrality rules FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, all but confirmed would be Title II-based in an interview at CES last week, but it's also possible the commission will be voting on petitions supported by President Obama to overturn laws in several states that are purported to block the build-out of broadband Internet access on the municipal level.
Six states, Puerto Rico added; lawfirm claims firmware update slowed GPU
The class action suit alleging poor quality of Apple's 2011 MacBook Pro line has expanded. An email by the law firm driving the suit sent out last week informed class members that the complaint has now grown to users in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Puerto Rico, and Vermont. Additionally, the suit now claims that Apple actively and deliberately hid the problem from affected users.
Users can lose ability to ask for refunds if requested too often
A new policy implemented at the very end of 2014 that allows European Union app buyers a 14-day window to request a refund has been clarified by Apple with some anti-abuse measures. While users do not have to give a reason when requesting a refund on an app they purchased, those who too frequently request refunds will received warnings that by buying, they are now waiving their return rights.
Public release may run parallel with Apple Watch availability
Apple is now seeding a fourth beta of iOS 8.2 via the company's developer portal, and as an over-the-air update for existing beta users. The build is listed as 12D5461b, and follows a little less than a month after beta 3, which was issued December 18. That build was 12D5452a. Accompanying the beta is a new version of WatchKit, the SDK and framework needed to build Apple Watch support into iOS apps.
Tracking data points to spike in Apple testing
Apple's upcoming iOS 8.1.3 update should arrive next week, reports suggest. Sources say that some sort of iOS 8 update, whether beta or public, will go live on Tuesday or Wednesday. Web tracking data at MacRumors, however, shows a sudden spike this week in iOS 8.1.3 devices visiting from Apple's internal networks.
iOS 8 autocorrect has gone mad
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss the latest changes to auto-correct in iOS 8 after Clinically Insane member "subego" pointed out that it just doesn't "feel coherent like all the previous iterations," going on to say that it has the feeling of different algorithms competing with each other. Forum Regular "Harvey" has some questions about playing music from the cloud.
Fix problems and set dates for any of your files
It's probably a sign that we are just one bad decision away from being evil crime lords, but we looked at this and all thought exactly the same thing: you could use this software to change the dates on contracts to 90 years ago and claim to have invented Boeing. Or, on a slightly smaller scale, we could've told our college professors that of course we started this report at the start of the semester. That really is the kind of thing we can do with A Better Finder Attributes 5 -- ABFA for short -- but it's intended more for the kind of fine and morally upstanding person that you are.
Yosemite Install problems, Broadwell chips and poop emojis
Today in the MacNN Forums, one distressed Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for help resolving a problem with installing Yosemite after something went wrong and the external hard drive they were trying to install it on died. Yesterday, Moderator "P" started a discussion about the release timeline for Intel's latest Broadwell chips that were just announced at CES.
two operating systems, one Mac
Today in the MacNN forums, one Dedicated MacNNer was asking if it was possible to run two different versions of OS X on the same Mac, as they are planning on replacing their original drive with a solid state drive. Grizzled Veteran "PHoynak" is looking for a way to use their old white MacBook as a second display with a 27-inch iMac, and wonders if anyone has any advice on how this could be accomplished.
Affected people forced to get replacement devices
A number of iPhone 6 owners are complaining that they have been unable to add their cards back to Apple Pay after restoring iOS. The problem -- described in Apple's support forums -- can manifest whether restoring from a backup or starting fresh, and so far the only solution involves getting a replacement phone from Apple. Genius Bar technicians appear to be offering replacements to most affected people, whether in the form of a refurbished or genuinely new device.
battery swapping, problems with Notes and more
Today in the MacNN Forums, Fresh-Faced Recruit "Ryan700" was asking if it was possible to move a battery from one 13-inch MBP to another 13-inch MBP, after the battery in his wife's computer needed to be replaced. A frustrated "jeff k" has turned to the forums hoping someone will be able to help him figure out why it is that the Notes app on his new iPhone keeps deleting notes at the end of the day.
Lingering DDoS attacks, or normal post-holiday update traffic issues?
Over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Xbox Live (XBL) and Playstation Network (PSN) experienced a DDoS assault from a group claiming to be the Lizard Squad. After the group claiming credit was bribed by Kim Dotcom to end the attack, many PSN users are still experiencing poor or non-existent service, with no clear cause now evident. While the attack officially ended Friday morning, many PSN users have been complaining on twitter of continued poor service.
Speed up working on your Mac with this powerful application launcher
Hand on heart, we were not certain what the point of Application Wizard was when we got started testing it. Ostensibly, the app is meant to make it quicker for you to open applications, which is fine -- except we have Apple's own Spotlight to do that. It's intended to make it very fast switching between apps, but if you've not yet discovered what happens when you hold down the Apple key and press Tab, do that now and you'll never forget how useful it is. Application Wizard, by developer Mabasoft, seems to duplicate many features we have on our Macs or in some of the most popular utilities. However, with use, we were won over by how much it does, and what annoyances it solves.
Immensely powerful utility for troubleshooting Macs
This is a Mac troubleshooting app that once you've used it to track down one problem, you'll simply leave it running all the time. It gives you at-a-glance access to details about your Mac that vary from a little bit geeky to very geeky -- but always useful. This is not something every user will need, and it's not something that should come supplied on every Mac, but you'll wish it were. The latest iStat Menus is one utility that gives you immediate and constantly-updated details of what your Mac is doing.
27-inch iMac problems and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one Dedicated MacNNer started having problems booting their 27-inch iMac. After trying a variety of methods to get it to boot, they turned to the forums for some advice. On his quest to fix a problem with an unresponsive 13-inch MacBook Pro, "Thorzdad" asked fellow forum-goers for some advice.
Claims not yet verified by authorities, LG; Reddit user offers photo evidence
A Reddit user's younger sister had her LG G3 battery explode as it sat charging on her bed, according to photos and a report from Reddit Android group contributor "s-blade." The heat from the explosion appears to have been so intense that it caused the phone to melt through the mattress, only lightly scorching the sheets as it sank into the bed. The report mentions that the battery and charger involved were original equipment, and not cheap knock-offs or counterfeit low-cost replacements that have a track record of serious problems.
songs won't erase, trackpad troubles and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members are plagued with songs that won't erase from their iPods, trackpad problems and more. "I can't erase songs from my iPod touch" says one frustrated Mac Elite, who is also baffled as to why there are random U2 songs on there that he never downloaded. After doing an update on an iPad 2, one Mac Enthusiast found that the unit is stuck on "searching" for cellular service.
Know exactly how much talk time you have left at a glance
Anyone who has been caught without a charger, or with no storage space left to download pictures, music, or apps when away from their computer, is aware of how frustrating that situation can be. It's not always easy to tell how much RAM, free space, or talk time a user has left on their beloved iPhone or iPad. However, System Monitor by Tekton Technologies, is a very useful app that keys users in to the inner workings of their devices.
Compromised servers isolated and replaced, says project developers
Last Friday, the Tor Project blog posted about a possible threat that some of its servers would be seized in an attempt to incapacitate or hijack the Tor network. Over the weekend, a group of "exit node" servers in a Dutch datacenter went down, and then came back online. The service, a volunteer network of relays aiming to provide anonymity and security, says it was warned of suspicious activity that may have been instigated by law enforcement.
Follows third developer beta
Over the weekend, Apple published a new public beta version of OS X 10.10.2 to pre-registered Yosemite testers. The code is identified as build 14C81h, and follows the third developer beta of the update, which was build 14C81f. For that, Apple asked developers to concentrate testing on areas such as Mail, VoiceOver, and Wi-Fi connections.
Campaign add-on to Halo paced differently, highly regarded by fans
Microsoft game studio 343 Industries has spelled out a compensation package for users affected by the matchmaking flaws that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been plagued with since launch. The package includes Halo 3 adjunct title ODST, which was not expected to be released, a remastered multiplayer map, a month of Xbox Live service, and a character nameplate for use in-game.
temp sensors, old iMacs and Yosemite chats
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss temperature sensor issues, hard drive compatibility and more. After a temperature sensor blew on the logic board of a Xserve that is run by "Waragainstsleep," he turned to the forums hoping someone would have some advice on how to repair this, so he doesn't have to replace the whole board. Today, a Dedicated MacNNer was looking for help with moving addresses from Leopard to Yosemite.
Spreads through networks, can re-infect if a single file is overlooked
Earlier this month the official blog of security firm KnowBe4 revealed information about a new strain of Ransomware. On top of the usual encryption of files on a computer and demanding payment in Bitcoin currency to regain access, VirRansom can replicate itself like a virus, infecting any and all files on a computer before spreading through a network.
AutoFill, HTML5 video, notifications among testing areas
Apple is distributing three new Safari betas to OS X developers. Yosemite users are getting v8.0.3; v7.1.3 is available for Mavericks, while v6.2.3 is the equivalent for Mountain Lion. Some testing focus areas include AutoFill, web notifications, website and extension compatibility, HTML5 video playback on "popular video sites," and debugging sites via Web Inspector. Apple is also concerned with bookmark editing, and the read/unread state of Reading List items.
13-inch MBP unresponsive
This week in the MacNN Forums Moderator "Thorzdad" and fellow forum-members have been trying to determine why a 13-inch MacBook Pro has suddenly gone unresponsive. It won't boot, light up or make any sounds after failing to recharge two nights ago. With the holidays fast approaching, the debate continues about which phone is a better choice, the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6+ in a thread started shortly after the phone was released.
May not reach public until January
Although it recently released iOS 8.1.2, and is well into development on iOS 8.2, Apple is also working on an interim v8.1.3 update, web traffic shows. The first hits from v8.1.3 devices appear to have come around December 8, a day before v8.1.2 went live. Since then, the number has increased, but just a "few dozen" have reportedly come from Apple's networks.
May complicate troubleshooting in affected locations
As they have in the past, some Apple Stores are repurposing their Genius Bars to accommodate holiday sales, a report notes. The spaces may be used for things such as pick-up service, or extra room for products. Conversions are only happening as dictated by individual stores' needs and shopping traffic, and Geniuses should still be around, whether walking the floor or at tables in front of the Bars.
Apple Support Community members' exhaustive testing rules out 1Password as cause
On November 1, a thread was started on the Apple Support Community regarding an intermittent and troublesome lag when using Apple's Mail, the default email program, in Yosemite. User 'Andrew-StL' kicked off the discussion, reporting the issue while composing messages after updating from Mavericks to the then newly-released Yosemite, noting that the lag was not experienced while entering text in any other application.
Timeline for final update up in the air
Apple has issued a third beta of OS X 10.10.2 to developers. The code is listed as build 14C81f, and follows 14C78c, released on the 4th. One significant change is that Mail and VoiceOver have been added as new areas for testing focus, suggesting an expanded scope for Apple's bugfixes.
Faulty soldering once again blamed
A second class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over the 2011 MacBook Pro. The new case originates in Canada, specifically from a Montreal-based lawfirm, Lex Group Attorneys. Like the original US case, the new suit states that Apple shipped MacBooks with bad soldering of an AMD graphics chip to the logic board, and that this led to a variety of graphics problems. To get it fixed, some customers were forced to pay out-of-warranty repair costs that could scale up to $600, despite Apple apparently being at fault.
alleged iPhone instability
While this week has been relatively quiet in the MacNN forums, members discuss topics such as iPhone instability, software compatibility and more. After having his first iPhone for a short while, Mac Elite "jeff k" turned to the forums looking for explanations to problems he is experiencing. Yesterday one Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums to ask if Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 and Yosemite work nicely together.
8.0.2 update replaces botched 8.0.1
Apple has released Safari 8.0.2 for users of OS X Yosemite. Unlike most updates to the browser, v8.0.2 is virtually identical to its predecessor. It instead patches over the broken v8.0.1 release, which was found to cause some copies of Safari to become completely non-functional, and later pulled.
Can be run from Recovery Partition, offers partition table repair, more
A once-essential utility for Mac owners has returned after several years of only minor updates with a major new version that offers significant changes and improvements. DiskWarrior 5.0 by Alsoft is something of a one-trick pony, in that it primarily repairs and optimizes OS X directories -- but this can often be used to save data from failing hard drives, prevent failures in the first place, or rescue data from flash drives where directory corruption is a common problem, among other instances. The new 5.0 version supports Apple Fusion and CoreStorage homebrew "Fusion" drives, repairs partition table damage (especially vital for multi-system boot users) and much more.
My gripes with Safari
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss gripes with Safari, iPad battery drainage issues, and more. One long-time forum-goer, "l008com," took to the forums this week to voice their complaints about Safari, and some users agreed with his criticisms. Yesterday, Mac Enthusiast "TribeLeader" took to the forums to bump a thread he had started last week about his wife's iPad battery draining while it is in sleep mode, and a solution has yet to be found.
Users directed to URL to restore missing files
Apple has released iOS 8.1.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners. The firmware is a minor update, dealing mainly with a glitch which removed ringtones bought through the iTunes Store. People wanting to get those files back are being pointed to a special URL, which in turn redirects visitors to a new page at the Store.
Mac OS X 11
OS X 10.10 has only been officially available for a month now, but MacNN forum goers are already looking to the future and discussing what they would like to see in the next major update, which presumably would be known as Mac OS X 10.11. Earlier today, when Forum Regular "michael180" ran into a puzzling problem with Apple Mail not being able to send an image file that was 31MB in size, he turned to the forums looking for some advice.
Developers asked to focus on Wi-Fi speeds and related issues
On Thursday - exactly two weeks after the first OS X 10.10.2 beta - Apple updated developers with a second beta, build 14C78c. The primary focus from the previous beta, Wi-Fi stability and connectivity, continues to be the requested center of testing. Specifically, Apple is asking developers to test recent changes made to Wi-Fi interaction. While the first update, 10.10.1, fixed a number of issues users were having with Wi-Fi and Mail issues, some users continue to report problems with Wi-Fi stability.
Bugfix updates add Firefox import, improves WebGL on Retina displays
On Wednesday, Apple released minor updates to Safari for the current and two most recent OS X versions. Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.5) users will see an update to Safari v6.2.1, Mavericks (10.9.x) users will see Safari 7.1.1 available for update, and Yosemite users (10.10) will get Safari 8.0.1. The releases share a variety of bug and security fixes, and add the ability to import usernames and passwords from Firefox.
iMac useless after setting login password
One Fresh-Faced Recruit reported some troubling news about his iMac recently in the MacNN Forums. He said that after changing security preferences to "require log-in upon start-up" he was unable to log into his system, and a solution has yet to be found. Yesterday, another Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums looking for help trying to figure out why the tab, caps lock and eject keys stopped working on their keyboard.
Profiles still suffering from CPU issues
Microsoft has released a minor update to Skype for Mac, v7.2. The software mainly copes with several bugs, including crashes caused by changing a profile picture, playing the test sound in the Welcome tour, and/or launching Skype with Ecamm Call Recorder 2.5.11 installed. It also deals with Call and SMS buttons not working on a contact's profile page.
Testing on Nexus 6 shows dramatic decrease in NAND read and write performance
While initial reviews of the anticipated Google Nexus 6 device were decent, a few reviewers pointed out some confusing performance metrics. Initial examiners of the device are reporting that implementation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) cuts NAND random read speeds dramatically, from over 16.6MB/s with encryption off, to 6.18MB/s with the feature active.
Workaround: Use Firefox or Chrome, switch Safari ID to other browser
Users are starting to chime in on Google and Apple's support forums about a sudden incompatibility with video hosting service YouTube. Some users of OS X 10.10.1 are complaining that YouTube videos with leading advertisements either fail to load, play a discordant sound with no video, or crash Safari itself. Firefox and Chrome are not affected by whatever is causing the problem.
Siri fails and iOS 8.1.1 comments
This week in the MacNN forums, members share amusing tales of times that Siri has failed them, providing examples of how Siri doesn't always understand what is really going on. Comments are piling up faster than the snow in Buffalo about the latest update to iOS 8, with some saying it made things better while others aren't so sure it has helped much at all.
First beta comes with known problem, but no focus areas for testing
Just days after issuing the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update that has reportedly fixed a raft of Wi-Fi and Mail issues (but not all of them), the company has seeded the first beta of 10.10.2 for developer. The new build, 14C68k, is now available through the Yosemite Software Update mechanism or Apple's developer portal. The release notes for the beta curiously do not mention any focus areas, but do warn testers of a known flaw in opening documents from iCloud Drive.
Joined by Camera Raw 8.7
Adobe has released the final incarnation of Lightroom 5.7, an update to its photography workflow software. The most important addition is a promised migration tool for people switching from Aperture or iPhoto, though it does not bring in all data. Apple is slowly discontinuing Aperture and iPhoto in favor of a new Photos app for OS X Yosemite and iOS in 2015, and while Photos will be able to import Aperture libraries more fully, the program may not provide the professional-level features of something like Lightroom.