OS X 10.7.3 Beta Build 11D46 Pushed to Developers

Jan 18, 2012 - 1 Comment

OS X Lion 10.7.3 Build 11D46

Apple has provided another beta build of OS X Lion 10.7.3 to developers, just a week after the last build 11D42. The areas of focus remain the same, iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight and Safari, but has no known issues and the quick turnaround for a new build suggests the final release is imminent.

11D46 weighs in around 1GB for the delta update, and 1.3GB for the combo. Both can be downloaded by registered Mac developers from the Dev Center.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the OS X 10.7.3 public release showed up sometime this week, maybe even tomorrow after Apple holds their education event in NYC.

By Matt Chan - Mac OS X, News - 1 Comment

Set a User Agreement Policy to Appear Before Login in Mac OS X

Jan 18, 2012 - 27 Comments

User Agreement on Login in Mac OS X

All versions of Mac OS X from Lion onward (meaning Mountain Lion, Mavericks, etc) can display messages that require acknowledgement prior to the standard login screen appearing on a Mac. For administrators, this allows a user agreement or acceptable use policy to be displayed before users can login, and for personal use it lets users include a customized message before logging into a Mac.
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How to Access Wikipedia During the SOPA Blackout

Jan 18, 2012 - 18 Comments

Use Wikipedia during SOPA blackout

SOPA and PIPA are two terrible internet censorship bills that are dangerously close to passage in the USA, and Wikipedia has blacked out their web site in protest.

…but what if you really need to use Wikipedia today? What if you’re a student and your paper was due yesterday and you need to do research? What if you just want to go on a Wikipedia binge?

There are several methods to use and access Wikipedia during the SOPA blackout:

  1. Google for a wikipedia page and then quickly hit the “Stop” button to prevent the blackout javascript loading
  2. Use Mac OS X’s built-in Dictionary app
  3. Disabling Javascript

The first method is self explanatory and is all about speed, just quickly hitting the “X” in any modern browser should cease the javascript from loading at all. The other option is to simply disable javascript for en.wikipedia.org:

For Safari:

  • Open Safari Preferences
  • Click on “Advanced” and check the box next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar”
  • Pull down the “Develop” menu and select “Disable Javascript”
  • Load Wikipedia and browse as usual

For Google Chrome:

  • Open Google Chrome’s Preferences
  • Click on “Under the Hood” and then “Content Settings”
  • Find Javascript then click “Manage Exceptions”
  • Type “en.wikipedia.org” into the box and pull down the contextual menu, selecting “Block”
  • Load Wikipedia as usual

Mac only: Use Dictionary App
Open Dictionary.app, found in /Applications/ folder, and you can use Wikipedia freely. Thanks for pointing this out Karl!

Wikipedia in Dictionary app

Remember to reenable Javascript when you’re done, and to join the fight against SOPA to stop internet censorship.

Rebuild the Spotlight Index

Jan 17, 2012 - 21 Comments

Rebuild the Spotlight Index

Do you need to rebuild the entire Spotlight index on a Mac? It’s easy to do, but can take a while. Here’s how to start the reindexing process of an entire drive using the Spotlight control panel:
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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 21 Comments

How to Take Screenshots of Screen Savers in Mac OS X

Jan 17, 2012 - 1 Comment

Screenshot of Screen Saver

If you’ve tried to take a screenshot of a screen saver before, you’ve noticed that the keyboard shortcuts disturb the screensaver and wake the Mac up. The secret to taking screen shots of a running screen saver is to use the “Test” button while holding down half of the key sequence, here’s how:

  • Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and click on “Desktop and Screen Saver”
  • Click the “Screen Saver” tab, and select the screen saver you want to capture a picture of
  • Hold down the Command+Shift keys, then click on “Test”
  • While still holding Command+Shift, press the “3” key to complete the sequence, then let go of all keys

Take a screenshot of a screen saver

The screenshot will appear on the desktop as usual.

Another approach is to take a timed screen shot using Grab or the command line, but the “test” method is usually quicker.

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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 1 Comment

AT&T Data Throttling Shown on Video

Jan 17, 2012 - 8 Comments

You’ve probably heard the talk of AT&T throttling heavy data users, but now we can see it’s effects ourselves and it’s probably worse than you thought. AppAdviceDaily put together the video up top, skip in about a minute ahead and you’ll see a side-by-side comparison of download speeds on a throttled vs non-throttled iPhone 4S. The speed difference is gigantic, as low as 0.07mbps on the throttled account vs 1.8mbps on the normal account.

Throttling is only supposed to impact the top 5% of data consumers and unofficial tetherers on AT&T on Verizon. These users typically get a warning text message notifying they are using too much of the data they paid for:

Throttled Data message

The threshold for being throttled is alleged to vary widely, with some reports saying it’s as low as 1GB and others suggesting it’s over 4GB. Once you’re throttled, you’re basically kicked off the 3G network and stuck on the painfully sluggish 2G EDGE network.

If you’re concerned about this, check data use on AT&T and Verizon by logging into your account. For those close to their allotted data limit, it may be a good idea to disable data or at least turn off 3G until the next billing cycle.

By Paul Horowitz - iPhone, News - 8 Comments

Get DropBox Public Links Easier with Bloodrop for Mac OS X

Jan 17, 2012 - 5 Comments

Dropbox public links made easy

Retrieving public URL’s from Dropbox takes several steps, but Bloodrop makes it easy. Just drag a file onto the app and it will automatically upload to Dropbox and then copy the public link to your clipboard. It’s that simple.

Before grabbing Bloodrop, you’ll want to have Growl (or the free Growl Fork) installed so you can be notified when a file is shared and the URL is ready.

Unzip Bloodrop and copy it to the Applications folder, then launch it to configure with your Dropbox ID and destination folder for shared files. Now put the Bloodrop.app into the Dock and it’s ready to accept files.
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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 5 Comments

Reset iPhone to Factory Settings

Jan 17, 2012 - 51 Comments

Reset an iPhone to factory default settings If you want an iPhone to appear as brand new from a software standpoint, you need to reset the device to it’s factory settings. This is ideal if you plan on selling an iPhone or are going to transfer ownership of the device to another individual, and it can also be a very helpful troubleshooting technique for some persistent iOS based software problems. After you have reset the iPhone, it will reboot as if it was brand new and go through the standard new setup procedure that all new iOS devices go through, and can then either be set up as new or restored from a backup.
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Use FaceTime Over 3G Without a Jailbreak via Personal Hotspot

Jan 16, 2012 - 10 Comments


FaceTime has long been expected to support video calls over 3G networks, but thus far it hasn’t happened without a jailbreak. Blame it on the carriers, Apple, the rain, maybe 3G is too slow, or maybe it will be a feature for upcoming 4G LTE iPad and iPhone hardware… who knows, but regardless you can use a little loophole to initiate FaceTime video chat over 3G connections without the need for jailbreaking.

  • Enable Personal Hotspot on an iPhone
  • Connect to that Wi-Fi hotspot with another FaceTime capable iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

Suddenly you can make video calls over 3G.

iPhone Personal Hotspot

Not the best solution because it requires additional hardware, but apparently it works.

Thanks to Av for the tip

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks - 10 Comments

How to Enable the Video & Audio Encoder Tools in Mac OS X

Jan 16, 2012 - 16 Comments

An excellent new feature in Mac OS X introduced in modern versions of the OS are several built-in media encoding abilities, allowing anyone to encode and convert video and audio files to other formats right on the desktop or from any Finder window. Having covered a tip on how to convert video to audio using these media encoders, we discovered the feature isn’t enabled by default for all Mac users. If your Mac is missing the “Encode” menu options, or you want to adjust them, toggling the menu encoder is very simple.

Media Encoding in Mac OS X Lion
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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 16 Comments

Convert Video to an Audio Track Directly in Mac OS X

Jan 16, 2012 - 17 Comments

Convert Video to Audio

Converting a video file to an audio track is made extremely easy with the help of the media encoding abilities of Mac OS X that are built directly into the Finder. With this, you can convert many popular movie formats into audio tracks, including video files of .mov, .m4v, .mpg, and mp4 format. The resulting converted audio track is a 256kbps m4a file, which can be further adjusted if desired.

Using the video to audio conversion tools in OS X are very easy:
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By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks - 17 Comments

Fix iBooks Crashing on iOS 5.0.1 Jailbreak with Redsn0w 0.9.10b4 [Download Links]

Jan 16, 2012 - 25 Comments

Redsnow An updated version of the redsn0w jailbreak utility has been made available to resolve a prominent bug with iBooks and also includes other minor bugfixes that could cause crashing. Versioned as Redsn0w 0.9.10b4, the new release continues to be an untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.0.1 for the iPhone 4 & 3GS, iPod touch 3rd & 4th gen, and iPad 1, and does not provide support to any other devices.

Fixing the iBooks problem for already jailbroken devices is simple enough, all that is required is to download and run Redsn0w 0.9.10b4 over an existing iOS 5.0.1 jailbreak to apply the fix.

Download Redsn0w 0.9.10b4

Alternatively, the Corona untether has also been updated which applies the same iBooks patch without the need for using redsn0w again. Corona can be downloaded on any jailbroken device for free through Cydia.

By Matt Chan - iPhone - 25 Comments

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