Apple’s data centers to be powered by water?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014, 09:44
Category: Apple, Business, Environment, News

green-energy-plugI don’t think Greenpeace can say that Apple isn’t trying. Apple’s huge data center in North Carolina, which powers iCloud, uses huge amounts of power, and until recently has been utilizing available sources of energy which are primarily coal-burning sources such as those supplied by companies such as North Carolina’s Duke Energy. This is something about which Apple has been catching flak from environmentalists, but late last year, Apple took control of a project built by Earth By Design (EBD), a Oregon-based developer of green energy, that uses small Kaplan turbines built adjacent to a local irrigation canal. According to WIRED;

“[...] a regulatory filing [says that] the project will generate 5 megawatts of power, enough electricity to power a small town, but a fraction of what Apple’s Prineville, Oregon, data center will ultimately require. As users increasingly store their data and photos in the iCloud, Apple has been forced to rapidly ramp up the number of servers it runs in the iCloud. In the past few years, the company has developed new data centers in Prineville, Maiden, North Carolina, and Reno, Nevada.”

Greenpeace has lauded this as a groundbreaking move by Apple. According to Greenpeace analyst Gary Cook, “This is certainly the first time I’ve seen this being this done by a private company and not a utility.”. Meanwhile, other companies have turned to solar and wind to power their data centers which is just as important in the move towards more responsible power usage by major technology companies.

 

 

Apple TV finally gets some respect

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, 03:06
Category: Accessory, Apple, Apple TV, Rumor, Television, wireless

appletv_2ndgenDidn’t I just call Apple out on this? Congratulations Apple TV, you’ve hung in there and now made it to the big times! Early Tuesday, Apple’s online store went offline for some updates and when it came back, the Apple TV finally had its own section to call home. Rather than being relegated to the Accessories section of the Apple Store, now it’s listed alongside the sections for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod and even has its own accessory section that lists some products for the Apple TV that I had never seen before. It appears that the Airport Extreme and Airport Express have found a home here as well. In addition, you now have the option to buy refurbished Apple TVs at $25 less than standard retail.

(more…)

Will the next NSA satellite have an Apple logo?

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 08:24
Category: Apple, Consumer Electronics, iOS, iPhone, Legal, Mobile, Mobile Phone, News, privacy, security, Services, Software

geoeye-1-satellite-apple-460Well, perhaps that is a stretch, but Apple’s possible connection with the NSA was revealed in a report dating back to 2008. Reuters explains that the report outlined a system that the NSA was developing, called DROPOUTJEEP, which would be software implanted into an iPhone that allows infiltrators to push and pull and retrieve data from iPhones such as contact lists. The report didn’t actually specify any involvement by or with Apple, although the iPhone is referenced in the report.

(more…)

12 Days: Day 6 gift

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 09:17
Category: App Store, Apple, Holiday, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, music

Day6ApplegiveawayThe watch for free gifts from Apple continues. For day six of its 12 Days promotion, Apple is offering one song and one video from Avicii’s New Years Eve Mix. With less than 24 hours to go until New Years, this seems like an appropriate choice. Keep watching the PowerPage as we run-down each giveaway until the last on January 6th. Maybe I’ll listen to it while I’m working NYE.

Dropbox offers 1 GB of space for linking to Mailbox app

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 18th, 2013, 08:13
Category: iCloud, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Software

07-mailbox_icon-300x300Dropbox sent out an email to users with an offer for more space. In celebration of their addition of iCloud and Yahoo email accounts, linking your Dropbox account with the Mailbox app for iPhone and iPad will award you an additional 1 GB of storage space on your Dropbox account. Here is the text from the Dropbox email;

“Great news! In case you haven’t heard, we’re offering 1GB of additional space to users who link their Dropbox account to Mailbox.

What’s Mailbox?
Mailbox is the newest member of the Dropbox family. It’s a redesigned email inbox for a world on the go. Mailbox uses swipe gestures and “snoozes” to help you focus on the messages that need your attention now. And today Mailbox added support for Yahoo and iCloud email accounts!

How do I get more space?
Download Mailbox here if you haven’t already, then go into Mailbox Settings and select Dropbox to link your Dropbox account. Voilà — 1GB of space will be added to your account.”

Until now, Mailbox was a Gmail-only client, which may have turned off users of other email systems, iCloud in particular. Now it remains to be seen if Mailbox can compete with the likes of Molto and Boxer, who have attempted to fill the gap while Mailbox has lagged behind in it’s support for iCloud.

1Password for Mac updated to version 4.1 with new features

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, 09:18
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac, Mavericks, privacy, security, Software

product-1password-4-for-macEveryone’s favorite password keeper (well mine anyway), 1Password, has been updated to version 4.1 and includes some great feature updates. The Agilebits blog introduces the update and gives a quick rundown of some of the key updates;

“1Password 4.1 for Mac is now available for our website customers, and it is waiting for review for Mac App Store customers. “4.1″ may look like a small update, but it packs some great big stuff [...]“

(more…)

Apple adds 2 more channels to Apple TV

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013, 09:03
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Consumer Electronics, Features, iTunes Radio, News, Software, Television

appletv2Apple hasn’t done much with the Apple TV hardware lately, although an update is rumored to be coming soon, and a beta of the next major software update has been seeded to developers. However, Apple has been updating features pretty regularly. At the beginning of the year, we discovered that Apple could sneakily add channels to the Apple TV in the background, without a major software update. The first channels added allowed users to access Hulu Plus and HBO Go services, and later, other channels including sports, Disney content, and recently iTunes Radio. The most recent additions are channels for PBS and Yahoo Screen, which offers content from “Saturday Night Live,” Comedy Central, as well as Yahoo Originals. It also features live news, events, and music. I love that all this content is being made available, but honestly, I only have interest in maybe half of the channels. My fingers are crossed that Apple adds a way to let users hide channels we don’t use. That Apple TV front page is getting a little crowded.

Apple TV 6.0.1 update goes live, now available for download

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 23:48
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There’ve been updates galore this week…and this is one of them.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Thursday released a new Apple TV software update, bringing the set-top streamer’s firmware up to version 6.0.1.

Apple’s latest Apple TV version 6.0.1, dubbed build 11B511d, comes one day after the company rolled out a dedicated channel for iMovie Theater, the new video sharing feature that debuted with iMovie for iOS and Mac on Tuesday.

As the update has yet to hit Apple’s Support Downloads webpage, it is unknown what changes were made to the software. A quick look reveals no major user interface or content additions, suggesting version 6.0.1 is a point update that deals with backend fixes and performance improvements.

In September, a major release added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlay over iCloud.

Apple TV version 6.0.1 is available now as an over-the-air download for second- and third-generation devices.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.5.3

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:21
Category: News, Software

carboncopycloner

On Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.5.3. The new version, an 11.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- This update is fully qualified on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and now OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

- CCC now offers volume-specific advice about how to enable full disk encryption. Enabling encryption on an OS X backup volume, for example, involves several steps that must be executed in the correct order. If full disk encryption is not supported on a particular volume, CCC indicates exactly why not. We have also added answers to some frequently asked questions about full disk encryption to our documentation.

- Fixed an odd edge case in OS X in which you can mount a network volume using a short user name, such as “johnny”, but the remote host will place the long name in the filesystem URL that is returned, e.g. “Johnny Appleseed”. Previously, this difference would cause CCC to believe that the network volume was mounted with other credentials altogether, and CCC would refuse to use the network volume under the assumption that permissions issues would ensue. This update addresses that issue, CCC will now immediately evaluate the filesystem URL of the network volume that is returned in reponse to its mount request and update its own internal reference to the user account as appropriate.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC may refuse to allow the user to schedule a backup task to a disk image that resides on a FUSE volume.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task could load in a hung state if the task configuration file was corrupted.

- Changed to accommodate some Drobo devices having a problem storing extended attributes larger than 1KB. Rather than reporting that the Drobo device is unable to accommodate the extended attribute, these devices report that the destination volume is full, even when there is adequate space available. This update catches this edge case and reports it in a more meaningful way.

- Changed to explicitly refuse to create a Recovery HD partition if it can positively identify the selected volume as a Drobo device. Drobo’s proprietary data moving techniques do not play well with dynamic partition changes, and Drobo specifically does not support the modification of partitioning outside of the Drobo Dashboard.

- Fixed an OS X 10.9 Mavericks-specific display anomaly in the list of items to be copied.

- Fixed an issue in which the OS rarely, but occasionally, does not send an “application finished launching” notification to the scheduled task helper tool, causing task initialization to fail.

- Fixed an issue in which the OS rarely, but occasionally, does not send a distributed notification that a task has finished, resulting in the task appearing to hang at the end despite the fact that it had actually finished.

- Fixed the option to “Silently skip if the source or destination is missing”, CCC will no longer proceed with that backup task if the missing volume reappears before the next scheduled run time. The task will instead run on its normal schedule.

- Fixed the “LOGIN” SMTP authentication mechanism for Apple’s iCloud SMTP service which recently started to return invalid challenge responses to SMTP clients, causing some CCC email notifications to fail (for users that use iCloud SMTP accounts with CCC). This version of CCC works around this problem by preferring the
“PLAIN” authentication mechanism instead.

- Fixed an issue related to Google’s recent changes to its Gmail SMTP service that introduced a problem with sending email notifications to multiple recipients. This update resolves that problem.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5.3 retails for a US$39.95 shareware registration fee. The application requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple TV update hits, adds iMovie Theater feature

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:29
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

This could prove nifty.

Per AppleInsider, following Apple’s announcement that its new iMovie apps for OS X and iOS would support a new sharing feature called iMovie Theater, the company activated an Apple TV channel dedicated to the service.

In an over-the-air update to its set-top streaming device on Tuesday, Apple is now pushing from its servers a new iMovie Theater channel to support the new iMovie apps released alongside OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Along with a graphical overhaul, iMovie for both Mac and iOS offer new features rooted in iCloud. With iMovie Theater, users can create clips, trailers or movies and share them across devices with friends and family.

The content served up by the service can be created in iOS or OS X and stored in one location for easy access.

iMovie for iOS can be purchased for US$4.99 via the App Store, while the Mac version retails for US$14.99. Both versions come pre-installed on new devices and those who purchased the software through the App Store are eligible for free upgrades.

If you’ve tried the new feature and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.