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ExtraBITS for 13 August 2012

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HyperCard was released 25 years ago, so we point at Twitter-linked reminiscences this week in ExtraBITS, along with Dan Frakes’s explanation of Mountain Lion’s new Power Nap feature and more on how Mat Honan’s iCloud account was hacked (the specifics of which should no longer be possible).

HyperCard’s 25th Anniversary Reminiscences -- On 11 August 1987, Apple released the “software erector set” HyperCard at Macworld Expo in Boston, and while it hasn’t been with us for many years now, back then it made a huge difference in the lives of Mac users, enabling many to give life to ideas that would otherwise never have seen the light of day. That might include even TidBITS, since we published our first 99 issues in HyperCard format, in a stack that could import its content into a searchable archive. Without the thrill of publishing in an entirely new format, it’s possible that TidBITS might have fallen by the wayside. Scroll through what others have posted in this Twitter search, and be sure to check out Infinite Canvas on the iPad too!

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Dan Frakes Explains Power Nap -- Mountain Lion offers a new feature called Power Nap, but since it’s limited to only a few recent laptop Mac models, most people probably haven’t seen it. In short, Power Nap enables supported Macs to wake up briefly to back up via Time Machine, check for email via Mail, receive new messages in Messages, and update iCloud-related data, including calendar events, contacts, reminders, notes, iCloud documents, and photos in Photo Stream. Over at Macworld, our friend Dan Frakes explains just what Power Nap can do, how you use it, why it works on so few models, and more.

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How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to Mat Honan Being Hacked -- Gizmodo writer Mat Honan has penned an article for Wired that explains exactly how security flaws at Amazon (revealing part of a credit card number) and Apple (verifying identity using the Amazon details and other public information) led to much of his digital life being hacked. It’s a fascinating read, and our initial takeaway is that you absolutely must have local backups of all your data, whether on your Mac, your iPhone, or your cloud-storage accounts. Mat didn’t, and while the online disruption of his life may be temporary, the data he lost from having his Mac wiped remotely is irreplaceable.

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Apple and Amazon Change Security Practices -- Details are still coming in, but Wired reports that the relatively simple hack that made it possible for Mat Honan’s digital life to be taken over remotely should not be possible anymore, with Amazon and Apple both changing account-related security practices, at least temporarily. What these policies will evolve to remains unknown, but both companies clearly needed to do something.

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