Pebble Time Steel smartwatch goes up for pre-order as early reviews roll in

August 15th, 2015 | Edited by | hardware


Pebble is now taking pre-orders for its high-end Pebble Time Steel smartwatch, though it won’t ship until late September at the earliest.


The $250 timepiece includes a leather band and stainless steel chassis, either in gunmetal black with a black band, silver with stone leather, or gold with red leather. For $50 more, you can get a matching stainless steel link band instead.
Pebble is currently estimating a six- to eight-week shipping window for the Pebble Time Steel with either band. Those who already backed the Pebble Time Steel on Kickstarter will be getting their watches this month (though Pebble has delayed the shipment of metal bands, which are included for Kickstarter backers.)
Aside from premium design, the Pebble Time Steel is 1 mm thicker than the Pebble Time, and advertises 10 days of battery life instead of seven days. Otherwise, it’s identical to the Pebble Time—at least on paper. According to some early reviews at Gizmodo and The Verge, the Pebble Time Steel’s display is brighter and closer to the surface glass, making it much easier to read indoors. Having used the Pebble Time myself, I believe this alone could be reason enough to buy the Steel instead.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Pebble Time, think of it as a low-maintenance alternative to the Apple Watch and Android Wear watches, compatible with either operating system. It’s not as powerful, it lacks a touch screen, and its display isn’t as vivid, but you don’t have to worry as much about charging it or keeping it dry, and the always-on display means you don’t have master a wrist flick gesture to check the time.
Why this matters: While Pebble is already selling the Pebble Time in retail stores, the company hadn’t previously said when it would start selling the Steel version to the general public. If you recently bought a Time and are having second-thoughts about the display readability, sending it back and sticking it out for another couple months wouldn’t be a bad call at this point.

Source: www.macworld

Update Firefox now! Fix rushed out for an exploit that steals files off your hard drive

August 13th, 2015 | Edited by | software


Late Thursday night, Mozilla released a security patch for the Firefox browser after finding a  serious vulnerability being exploited in the wild. The vulnerability allows malicious attackers to use some JavaScript magic to “search for and upload potentially sensitive” from your hard drive to their servers.
Mozilla is asking all Firefox users to upgrade immediately to version 39.0.3. Anyone on the Firefox Extended Support release via their school or business should upgrade to version 38.1.1.


The security issue only affects PCs since the flaw relies on an interaction between Firefox’s PDF Viewer and other parts of the browser. Firefox for Android does not have the PDF Viewer and therefore not vulnerable, according to a blog post by Mozilla’s security lead, Daniel Veditz.
Mozilla first became aware of the flaw after a Firefox user noticed that an ad embedded on a Russian news site was using an exploit to search for sensitive files. The malware would then upload the sensitive files to a server in the Ukraine. This all appears to happen in the background with the user none the wiser. The malware also leaves no trace it was ever on your machine.
The specific exploit found in the wild was only targeting Windows and Linux PCs; however, Veditz warns that Mac users would be vulnerable if the malware had been crafted differently.
On Windows, the malware was looking for some very specific data, including configuration files for several different FTP upload programs including Filezilla, the subversion version control system, S3 Browser, and the PSI Plus and Pidgin chat clients that are popular choices for encrypted, off-the-record messaging.
The impact on you at home: If you use any of the programs mentioned above, Mozilla advises you to change your passwords and any keys associated with them. If not, you should still update your browser as soon as possible in case other, as-yet-unknown exploits are looking for sensitive files you do have on your system.
Firefox will update automatically in time, but to do it manually right now, click on the “hamburger” settings menu on the upper right hand side and select the question mark icon at the bottom of the drop-down window. Next, select About Firefox and the browser will check for updates. This is also the screen where you can see your Firefox version number. If you are running 39.0.3 you’re good to go.


The real Apple Watch party starts this fall

August 8th, 2015 | Edited by | hardware


“The Apple Watch is available on April 24,” Apple CEO Tim Cook declared on stage during Apple’s March media event, officially setting the launch date for Apple’s highly anticipated new product. And yet when you consider all the facts, it’s hard not to conclude that the Apple Watch truly arrives this fall, and its first six months have been merely a prologue.
I wear my Apple Watch every day, and I enjoy it. The fitness features have made me more active, and I enjoy being able seeing notifications from my iPhone and responding quickly when I feel the need. But as with so many new Apple products, the early users are on the shakedown cruise, before all the regular passengers come aboard. This was true with the iPod and the iPhone, and it feels true about the Apple Watch, too.
“Now, our objective for the quarter wasn’t primarily sales,” Cook said during hisconference call with financial analysts last week. If not sales, then what?
First, consider that most entirely new Apple product suffer from shortages, and not just because of pent-up demand. Building a new piece of high technology in large numbers, especially with Apple’s specifications, can be fraught with difficulties. So part of the objective of the first few months of Apple Watch production was to increase manufacturing volume. First came fulfilling demand in the Apple Watch launch countries; then as the initial demand has been met, Apple has added in new countries with their own initial demand and rolled the watch out to Apple’s retail stores. The goal is to reach the holiday season with an ability to accept every Apple Watch order that’s made, and to have enough watches to sell at Apple Stores (and other retail establishments).
Then there’s watchOS itself. The version on the Apple Watch today is so new, it doesn’t really even have a name. It’s an impressive piece of work, but software–unlike hardware–is a constant work in progress. Apple needed the Apple Watch hardware to be rock solid on the launch date, because once that watch hardware is out in the world, it’s never going to get any better. But the software, that’s a continuing story.


Getting to version 2

With the announcement at WWDC 2015 of watchOS 2–finally, a name!–we can see how the Apple Watch will function beginning this fall, and how holiday watch buyers will experience it. The big story is support for standalone watch apps, but there will be plenty of other feature tweaks as well, exactly what you’d expect after six months of continued development of a brand-new product. (Not to mention, watchOS 2 will benefit from what Apple has learned from the first users of the Apple Watch outside Apple. The company tested the product extensively in house, but there’s nothing better than hearing from real customers about what they desire and what disappoints them.)
This fall’s Apple Watch will also benefit from six months more consideration and experimentation from third-party app developers. The first wave of Apple Watch apps were created largely on spec, without much idea of how the Apple Watch would really be used by regular people day to day. The second wave came whendevelopers used their apps on real Apple Watches and realized that their initial approaches weren’t appropriate for the actual product. This fall we’ll see a third wave of apps: Some will take great advantage of the new features of native apps on watchOS 2, some will be improved versions of existing watch apps, and still others will be first releases from app developers who have been watching the mistakes and successes of other developers and waiting for the right moment.
“We’re more excited about how the [Apple Watch] is positioned for the long term,” Cook said in that analyst call. “We’re convinced that the watch is going to be one of the top gifts of the holiday season.”
I’m enjoying my time with the Apple Watch, but it seems clear to me that the real starting gun for this product will be fired this fall with the release of watchOS 2. Its success as a product won’t be measured this summer, but after all the tinsel and ornaments have been taken down and Apple’s reviewing its numbers from the holiday quarter, which is traditionally its best quarter by far.
The Apple Watch: Coming this September.


Report: Apple and BMW started talking about an iCar collaboration last year

August 6th, 2015 | Edited by | hardware


Tim Cook and company have shown interest in how BMW manufactures its i3 electric car, but want to go at it alone.


The Apple Car is taking another lap on the rumor circuit, with a new report from Reuters that Apple execs visited BMW last year to find out more about how BMW makes the (very cool) i3 electric car.
“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,” an unnamed source at BMW told Reuters.
According to the report, Tim Cook visited BMW’s headquarters in 2014 and asked the carmaker’s board members very detailed questions about production of its i3 electric vehicles, which BMW manufactures using lightweight carbon fiber. BMW execs were willing to provide the parts for the Apple Car, according to Reuters.
Talks about a potential collaboration between Apple and BMW, however, ended shortly after that. Sources told Reuters that the reason was because Apple decided to try to build a car on its own. As for BMW, the carmaker started getting worried about revealing its manufacturing secrets and becoming just a mere supplier of car parts for the tech company. BMW denied the claims of a potential collaboration, and Apple declined to comment.
”We need to get away from the idea that it will be either us or them. We cannot offer clients the perfect experience without help from one of these technology companies.”
“We do not collaborate to open our ecosystems but we find ways, because we respect each other,” BMW’s head of research and development Klaus Froehlich told Reuters.
When it came to speculating about Apple’s plans for a future car, the Reuters report referenced Steve Jobs’s infamous a-ha moment after visiting a Xerox research center in 1979 and getting the ideas for the first Macintosh. Could Tim Cook have gathered enough insight from visiting BMW last year to have a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles on the road by 2020 without help from a major carmaker? Doubtful. But this year alone Cupertino has hired a lot of talent from the automotive industry, including Tesla.
Why this matters: With over $200 billion in cash as of its last earnings call, Apple certainly has the resources to take a few risks and enter the auto industry. These deep pockets could be why the Cupertino thinks it can go it alone. As for automakers like BMW, they seem to understand their need to partner with a tech company to develop next-gen vehicles. Building cars from scratch is hard, yes, but so is creating the mapping software that recalibrates in real time.
“We need to get away from the idea that it will be either us or them,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s management board member in charge of digital services. “We cannot offer clients the perfect experience without help from one of these technology companies.”


Make the most of your Mac by adding NAS

August 4th, 2015 | Edited by | software


Your beloved Mac sits at the center of your tech universe, but it falls short when it comes to managing and securing the scores of data you count on each day. NAS (network attached storage) fills in the gaps, acting as a central hub for all your photos, videos, music, and other files. A proper NAS-Mac setup can save time and reduce stress through easier downloads, improved organization, smoother backups, and more. Here are some great ways you can use NAS to make the most of your Mac.


Centralize your files

Storing files in the public cloud is a great way to ensure they’re always attainable, but it’s easy to fail to sync the latest version or lose track of which ones you keep where, especially if you use multiple cloud providers to avoid hitting your storage limit. NAS can coordinate all those accounts, keeping tabs on your data whether it’s stored in iCloud, Amazon S3, Dropbox, or on your Mac. NAS can also automatically import and store data from mobile devices, including photos from your iPhone or iPad. This gives you a fully connected, completely organized — and most importantly — centralized system for your data, regardless of where it’s acquired or stored.

Share files quickly and easily

Sharing files typically means emailing them or sending them through a public cloud provider. With NAS, you can create personal cloud accounts for your friends, family, and coworkers. These accounts cost nothing and give others access to whatever files they need without requiring you to send them or upload them. Account holders can also upload their own files to the NAS, allowing for easy collaboration. To share files without requiring a login, programs like QNAP’sFile Station can send a unique URL which, when clicked by the recipient, automatically downloads files from your NAS device.

Don’t waste time waiting for downloads

Downloading large files sometimes entails leaving your Mac running for hours while you wait for the download to finish. NAS devices allow you to download even when your computer is off or isn’t connected to the Internet. Set a download before heading to work, and it loads directly onto your personal cloud. Once it finishes, access the downloaded file from any connected device. For videos, QNAP’s TS-x51 model optimizes the file and format dynamically with on-the-fly transcoding, so it looks its best no matter where you watch it.

Protect your data, your equipment, and yourself

Apple’s Time Machine helps you back up your data, but it requires you to connect your Mac to an external storage device to keep it up to date. Hook up to a NAS and you can schedule automatic daily or weekly backups without having to hook up any extra hardware. QNAP’s TS-120 can also work directly with Time Machine, backing up files any time you’re connected to the home network. And if you’re concerned about security on your network, some NAS devices can be configured to operate as a VPN client, adding a layer of encryption to your web browsing. Mobile Devices can also take advantage of the VPN, as long as they can connect to WiFi.

Open Windows

If you’re like most Mac users, your computer acts as a conduit for all the data that makes your professional life run. At the office, that often requires you to work in concert with other operating systems. Some NAS devices can create a virtualized Windows environment like the TS-x53 Pro series’ Virtualization Station, running applications and files that you couldn’t otherwise open. This can be handy when collaborating with coworkers who can’t agree on which OS is superior (they’ll convert eventually).Empower your Mac to do what it does best: expedite your personal and professional advancement with awesome performance and intuitive controls. Letting NAS shoulder the burden of data management helps you and your Mac operate at the highest possible level.


Page 8 of 29« First...678910...20...Last »