How to Disable IPv6 in Mac OS X

Apr 18, 2014 - 6 Comments

IPv6 Mac Some Mac users may wish to disable IPv6 networking support on their machines. This may be desirable to avoid certain networking conflicts, or to increase security for users in higher threat environments, since IPv6 has been found by researchers to be potentially vulnerable to man-in-the-middle and other network attacks.

Though most users don’t use IPv6 directly, disabling IPv6 is not without consequences, and thus should only be done by users who know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Some of the core OS X system services, like the discovery service Bonjour, use IPv6. Accordingly, disabling IPv6 may render AirDrop sharing unusable, certain print services will become unavailable, and some other convenient Mac features may turn inoperable as well. This makes it impractical to disable for many.

OS X offers a few ways to turn off IPv6, and we’ll cover a simple method using the command line, as well as demonstrating how to turn IPv6 back on if you decide you need to. Users can also check to see if IPv6 is actively used through System Preferences, which Mac OS X defaults to putting into an automatic state.

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Play & Manage iTunes Radio Stations with Siri

Apr 17, 2014 - 2 Comments

Siri Many users know that Siri can interact with the standard iOS music app, but did you know that Siri can also play and manage iTunes Radio stations for you? That’s right, among the huge variety of Siri abilities, the virtual assistance can also command your iTunes Radio music stations.

This is particularly helpful with Siri’s largely handsfree experience, and if you’re walking, jogging, biking, or driving, simply issuing commands to start to play, pause, and adjust iTunes Radio stations is often much easier (and safer) than fumbling around with the digital touch controls on the iPhone or iPad.

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By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 2 Comments

Search the Web for Selected Words & Phrases from Almost Anywhere in iOS

Apr 16, 2014 - 1 Comment

Search the web for a phrase, word, or term, anywhere in iOS

On the Mac, you may know that a right-click on just about anything can bring up a “Search the web” feature. When chosen, the selected term or phrase, whether from an app or from another web browser, gets quickly searched for using your default browser. This is great if you’re reading something and you want more information about a mentioned subject or topic, but the iPhone and iPad don’t have this ability… or so many thought!

It turns out there is a way to perform a “Search the web” function within iOS on just about anything, it’s just a bit indirect and somewhat hidden in a place where many users just wouldn’t look. Beliee it or not, the term search feature is accessible from the popular tap-to-define bundled dictionary, native to iOS. If you’re confused, don’t be, it’s super easy to use.

Grab your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and give this a try yourself:
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By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 1 Comment

3 Super Simple Finder Keystroke Tips Every Mac User Must Know

Apr 16, 2014 - 8 Comments

Mac Finder

The Finder offers the primary means of navigating the file system of Mac OS X, and though most users will rely entirely on clicking, dragging, and dropping, there are no shortage of keyboard shortcuts to make things even better. If you’re not going to learn them all (and let’s face it, just about nobody does), then at least take the time to learn these three super simple keyboard shortcuts that will make your Mac life much easier when working within the file system.

Sure, advanced users may find these simple Finder keystroke tips to be basic, but and if you already know these tips, that’s fantastic, send the list along to someone who could use it instead! Otherwise, head to your Mac Finder and try them out yourself, and memorize them!

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 8 Comments

Make iOS Settings Toggles a Bit More Obvious (and Geeky) with Binary On & Off Labels

Apr 15, 2014 - 2 Comments

iOS Settings indicators on vs off

Earlier versions of iOS used to make it very obvious when a Settings toggle was enabled or disabled by showing “ON” and “OFF” text within the button switch itself. While new versions of iOS have removed those word based cues in favor of color indicators (green for on, white for off), there remains an option to make the settings toggle switches a bit more obvious by using binary indicators of a 1 or 0 added atop the color change.

This setting can be helpful for accessibility reasons on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but it’s also nice to have turned on if you use color inversion as a ‘night mode’ for reading, and even if you’re like me and just prefer obvious visual cues for settings and appreciate the hint of geekiness added by the binary switch indicators.
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By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 2 Comments

How to Disable iMessage on the iPhone Completely

Apr 15, 2014 - 2 Comments

Disable iMessage in iOS Completely iMessage is the fantastic free messaging service from Apple that lets iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac users send each other endless free text messages, pictures, and videos. Because iMessage skips the standard SMS/text protocol from cellular carriers and relies on data transmission instead, it can often help you reduce your phone bill by cutting out the text message plan fee, or at least reducing it to a lower cost.

All the benefits to using iMessage hardly matters if you need to turn off the iMessaging service for another reason, so long as you are clear as to why you are disabling it in the first place. No, we don’t mean temporarily sending an SMS text on a one-off basis, though that can be a workaround for some situations. The fact is there may be times where turning off iMessage in it’s entirety is necessary, whether due to cell reception problems, sporadically inadequate cell service, not having a data plan with the iPhone, hitting a data cap, or even switching from an iPhone to an Android or Windows device, be it temporary or permanent. With the latter situation of switching, disabling iMessage while on the iPhone is essential, otherwise inbound messages can sometimes be caught up in a mystery no-mans land, never delivering the intended recipient.

We’ll go a bit more in-depth about some of the common reasons why you’d want to turn off the universally loved service below, but first let’s show how to disable iMessage on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in iOS.
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By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 2 Comments

How to Turn Off the Frequent Locations Feature on iPhone

Apr 14, 2014 - Leave a Comment

Frequent Locations on the iPhone showing drive time

Frequent Locations is an intelligent feature on the iPhone that allows the device to track where you go and learn what places are frequently visited. Once the iPhone has determined some locations that are most common, say your home or work, the iPhone will then report to you some personalized data about that location, like how long it will take you to get home, or how long your anticipated commute to work will be.

Most users will see this represented within Notification Center, accessible via a swipe down from the top of the iPhone, and the associated Frequent Location text will usually say something like “Right now, it would take you xx minutes to drive to (work / home / school)”. If you’ve never noticed this yourself, here’s where to look on your device to see it:

Frequent Locations on the iPhone

While this feature is undeniably convenient, there are several possible issues with Frequent Locations. Most obvious is that Frequent Locations requires the usage of GPS to determine location data, meaning it can lead to unnecessary battery drain on iOS 7+ devices, particularly among users who don’t bother to pay attention to the service let alone use it. Additionally, some users just may not like the idea of iOS and their iPhone keeping track of places you’ve been to and frequently go to, so some users may just want to turn Frequent Locations off for privacy purposes.
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By Paul Horowitz - iPhone, Tips & Tricks - Leave a Comment

Get More Usable Screen Space on a Retina MacBook Pro by Adjusting Resolution

Apr 14, 2014 - 3 Comments

Change the Retina Display resolutions in Mac

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display takes an ultra-high resolution display and scales onscreen elements down to effectively double the pixel count, providing for ultra crisp images and text on the screen. While the default resolution settings are undeniably gorgeous, you can also choose to manually adjust the screen resolution to either show more space on screen, effectively adding to your available screen real estate and desktop workspace, or choose a smaller resolution that will offer larger crisper text.

Each Retina MacBook Pro model offers these display settings, though the display panel size ultimately determines how many options you’ll get, with the larger 15″ screen having an additional selection available than the 13″ model.

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 3 Comments

Spill Water on a MacBook Pro / Air? Here’s How You Might Be Able to Prevent Liquid Damage

Apr 13, 2014 - 19 Comments

Save a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air from Water Contact

Spilling water or another liquid onto a one to two thousand dollar plus MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is a horrible feeling, but before you completely panic, you can take a few proactive steps which may help to preserve the Mac or your data. There is never a guarantee that the Mac will be saved from permanent water damage, but sometimes you can recover a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro from spills and liquid encounters by taking some very quick actions, or perhaps just mitigate the water damage to the keyboard rather than the entire computer.
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Mac Setup: The Desk of an Information Security Professional

Apr 12, 2014 - 18 Comments

Mac desk setup of an Information Security professional

This weeks featured Mac workstation is that of InfoSec professional Eric W., who uses a great Mac and iOS setup to secure networks and conquer system vulnerabilities for clients. Eric’s got a great Apple setup, uses a ton of interesting apps, and also offers some excellent tips and general advice too (don’t miss the complex password tip, it’s excellent)… read on to learn more!
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By OSXDaily - Mac Setups - 18 Comments

Messed Up Hosts? How to Restore the Original Default /etc/hosts File in Mac OS X

Apr 12, 2014 - 5 Comments

The Original, unmodified hosts file in Mac OS X is easy to restore if need be

The hosts file is included on every computer and used by Mac OS to map IP addresses to host names. Because users may choose to adjust, change, or otherwise edit the hosts file for a variety of reasons, it can be easily subjected to user error, leading to a variety of undesirable network problems ranging from inaccessible network locations, network failures, web sites blocked or otherwise unable to load, even to failed iOS updates and various iTunes errors like the frequently encountered 17 and 3194 errors because the Apple servers have been blocked.

Fortunately, restoring the original default /etc/hosts file back to normal is pretty easy, and the best way to get back the original untouched default file is to simply overwrite the existing damaged hosts file with a new clean version that is a copy of what comes default in Mac OS X. An example of that has been included below for convenience, but you can retrieve it from another Mac if need be as well. No additional entries or modifications are included in the version below, which is a direct replica from that found in OS X Mavericks, making it safe to return to if you accidentally messed up the important hosts document during a change or adjustment.
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Fixing a Scratched iPhone or iPad? Find Device Model Numbers in Settings

Apr 11, 2014 - 1 Comment

Scratched back of an iPhone

If you ever need to identify what model number an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is, typically the easiest thing to do is just flip the device over and look on the lower back panel. Alongside the trampstamp of regulatory details, FCC ID, IC, and the various symbols, you’ll find the devices model number. But what if the back of the iOS device is so scratched and damaged, that the model and other identifying details is completely obscured?

If you’re unable to read the model number off the back of a scratched iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, there’s another option available through iOS. It’s buried fairly deep in some obscure settings panel along with some sleep inducing incredibly interesting other documents and regulatory details, but nonetheless the important number remains easily accessible if you need it from a damaged device:
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