Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations

You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.

 
 

While all the articles in each mailed edition of TidBITS are available as individual articles, we also archive each edition in three forms (substitute an issue number for number):

Previous 25 issues | Next 25 issues
 

TidBITS #1044 on 2010-09-13

We're all about digital photography and iOS this week. Tonya Engst leads off with a look at iOS 4.1, what it provides, and how well it works; and Adam Engst examines Apple's loosening of iOS development restrictions and more-transparent App Store review guidelines. Guest writer Jeff Lynch explains how photographers can ensure that digital portfolios look their best on an iPad. Finally, Charles Maurer contributes a detailed editorial - okay, a detailed rant - about what's wrong with today's digital cameras (hint, it's not a lack of features). We're also pleased to welcome our latest sponsor, The Data Rescue Center, and announce a discount on Raskin for those who didn't win in last week's DealBITS drawing. Notable software releases this week include Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.4, Firefox 3.6.9, PDFpen/PDFpenPro 5.0.1, Safari 5.0.2/4.1.2, iWeb 3.0.2, and Cyberduck 3.6.1.

TidBITS #1043 on 2010-09-06

Apple's media event last week provided most of the fodder for this week's issue, since Steve Jobs introduced a revised set of iPods (including a new iPod touch and a multi-touch iPod nano), previewed the upcoming iOS 4.1 and 4.2, pulled back the curtain on the second-generation Apple TV, and launched iTunes 10 with its integrated Ping social networking service. We have complete coverage, along with a DealBITS drawing for Raskin, an alternative computer interface based on the pioneering work of the late Jef Raskin. Notable software releases this week include Radioshift 1.6, Audio Hijack Pro 2.9.7, Fission 1.6.9, Things 1.4.1, BLT 1.0.4, Lightroom 3.2, SpamSieve 2.8.3, and Dreamweaver CS5 11.0.3.

TidBITS #1042 on 2010-08-30

No trends this week - just a lot of interesting news, starting off with Lex Friedman's coverage of the Netflix iPad app's newfound capability to stream Watch Instantly movies to the iPhone and iPod touch too. Glenn Fleishman looks at how you can now place calls using Google Voice in Gmail and how Virgin Mobile has upped the mobile broadband ante with an unlimited cellular data plan that works with the popular MiFi portable Wi-Fi gateway. Glenn also gives the blow-by-blow description of how we were forced to move all our Web services to a Rackspace Cloud Server last week. Then Adam examines the iWork 9.0.4 update, which isn't interesting other than the way it adds EPUB export to Pages, and Tonya runs through all the things you can try doing to speed up an iPhone 3G under iOS 4. Notable software releases this week include MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.9, Camino 2.0.4, Security Update 2010-005, GraphicConverter 6.7.4, and Freeway 5.5.

TidBITS #1041 on 2010-08-23

On the Mac side this week, Adam reviews the Matias Tactile Pro 3 keyboard and offers some old but little-known tips for finding files more easily in Mac OS X. We're also joined by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, who shares why he so enjoys recording TV to his Mac with EyeTV tuners from Elgato. Meanwhile, in iOS land, Glenn Fleishman covers the renaming of the Barnes & Noble eReader iOS app to Nook, and Adam explains why we had to leave iPad users out in the cold with our recent iOS 4-savvy update to the TidBITS News app. Notable software releases this week include Adobe Acrobat/Reader 9.3.4 and 8.2.4, Pear Note 2.0.1, TextExpander 3.1.1, Typinator 4.1, Interarchy 10.0.2, Snow Leopard Graphics Update, and Keyboard Maestro 4.3.2.

TidBITS #1040 on 2010-08-16

iOS security reigns in this issue, with Glenn Fleishman covering Apple's security-related iOS updates, describing how using encrypted iOS backups actually reduces security slightly, and explaining how to update a changed Wi-Fi network password in an iOS device. Beyond that, security editor Rich Mogull runs down the security challenges that Apple faces with iOS and the advantages that the company enjoys. For a change of pace, Lex Friedman looks at some essential Safari Extensions, we announce the release of Sharon Zardetto's authoritative "Take Control of Fonts in Snow Leopard" ebook, and Adam describes how we've moved some legacy services. Notable software releases this week include VMware Fusion 3.1.1, Things 1.3.5, and Office 2004/2008 Security Updates.

TidBITS #1039 on 2010-08-09

For those overwhelmed by the industry's focus on the iPhone and iPad, this week's issue should be a refreshing dose of Web- and Mac-oriented content. To start, iCal looms large, with Matt Neuburg making the switch from Remember? with the help of two geeky freeware tools, and Mark Anbinder covering another iCal-related utility, Today, which shows upcoming events in a floating window. Plus, Lex Friedman reviews the GadgetTrak 3 theft-recovery software, and we welcome as sponsors the Mac-focused Useful Fruit Software and Econ Technologies. On the Web side of things, Glenn Fleishman covers the shuttering of Google Wave and Adam examines Smith Micro's new SendStuffNow file-sharing service. Notable software releases this week include Pear Note 2.0, ScreenFlow 2.1.2, Interarchy 10.0.1, and Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.3.

TidBITS #1038 on 2010-08-02

The big news this week is Apple's release of new models of the iMac and Mac Pro, a new 27-inch Cinema Display, the new Magic Trackpad, and the new Apple Battery Charger. Jeff Carlson and Doug McLean run down the details of all of these new devices for you. Doug also covers Safari 5.0.1 and the new Safari Extension Gallery; Jeff explains how a bad battery in a Magic Trackpad is cause for... well, not much; and Glenn Fleishman examines how the latest DMCA exemption ruling from the Librarian of Congress renders iPhone jailbreaking legal (but not easy). Most notably, Joe Kissell contributes a detailed review and comparison of a pair of portable document scanners: the ScanSnap S1300 and the Doxie. Finally, don't forget that the Take Control 50-percent-off sale ends Tuesday! Notable software releases this week include Snapz Pro X 2.2.3, Retrospect 8.2, and BBEdit 9.5.1.

TidBITS #1037 on 2010-07-26

Our big news this week is a 50-percent-off Take Control ebook sale to celebrate the unveiling of the new Take Control account management system. In between dealing with technical issues related to that launch, we found time to examine the noteworthy releases of Skype 2.0.1 and iBooks 1.1.2 for iOS. Also this week, Glenn Fleishman wrote about Apple donating the MacPaint and QuickDraw source code to the Computer History Museum, Chris Pepper contributed a warning about how using a Bluetooth keyboard with an iOS device can have unexpected results, and a punchy Jeff Carlson turned Apple's record-setting Q3 2010 financial results into a quiz. The issue is anchored by a pair of articles by Matt Neuburg and Adam, looking first at how iOS handles document mapping and how this causes headaches for people trying to serve Internet-based files to iOS device users. Finally, don't miss the DealBITS discount on PDF Shrink! Other notable software releases this week include 1Password 3.3, Wiki Server Update 1.0, Firefox 3.6.8, and iTunes 9.2.1.

TidBITS #1036 on 2010-07-19

Apple's iPhone 4 antenna troubles dominated the news this week, and Jeff Carlson did yeoman's duty in covering both the iOS 4.0.1 update that fixes the iPhone's signal strength algorithm and Apple's press conference about the issue. Also, Rich Mogull delves into his past in the rescue and emergency services community to explain why the iPhone 4 antenna has two separate problems, one common to all mobile phones and the other unique to the iPhone. Changing gears, Adam warns about how the iOS caches iTunes account passwords, which could result in inadvertent purchases, and also relays news of the upcoming MacTech Conference for IT professionals and developers - register soon while there's still space! Lastly, we're giving away copies of Apago's PDF Shrink in DealBITS this week, so be sure to enter if you need to compress PDFs for more efficient transmission. Notable software releases this week include ChronoSync 4.1 and ChronoAgent 1.1, Panorama 6.0.0 build 92277, and AppleJack 1.6.

TidBITS #1035 on 2010-07-12

It was a thankfully slow summer week here, and this issue's articles revolve around a variety of electronic devices, anchored by Charles Maurer's illuminating discussion of how not to buy a digital camera. Glenn Fleishman compares the costs of Virgin Mobile's new contract-free MiFi with the approaches of Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, and with AT&T's iPhone tethering and iPad plans. Doug McLean examines the results of a Princeton University study testing the usability of the Kindle in academia. And Adam reviews the iPad Recliner, an adjustable stand for the iPad. Notable software releases this week include BusyCal 1.3.2 and PDFpen/PDFpenPro 4.7.

TidBITS #1034 on 2010-07-05

If you want to understand why Apple used the words "totally wrong" in a statement, read on for Glenn Fleishman's examination of the whole iPhone 4 signal strength and antenna kerfuffle. Glenn also looks how Hulu Plus will bring subscription TV to the iOS, and both he and Adam contribute articles that ponder what friendship means in the online world. Adam goes on to cover the release of the new Kindle DX and how it will compete with the iPad, and he looks in depth at how members of a household can share titles purchased from the iBookstore. Finally, Matt Neuburg explains just how fast app switching in the iOS works and what it means in the context of multitasking. Notable software releases this week include HoudahSpot 3.0, Adobe Acrobat and Reader 9.3.3, WireTap Studio 1.1.1, and HP/Epson Printer Drivers 2.4.1/2.4 for Mac OS X 10.6.

TidBITS #1033 on 2010-06-28

The iPhone 4 and iOS 4 are now available! For our feature articles this week, Adam warns that email account hacking appears to be on the rise, and Adam and Glenn join forces to look deeply at iBooks 1.1. Adam also shares a video of an "inside look" at an iPhone 4, along with tips on how to delete lots of photos from an iPhone. Plus, Glenn explains how to transfer iPhone 4 eligibility within a family plan, looks at the new HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox, and covers the opening of Google Voice to U.S. residents. Also, Doug McLean rounds up the main iPhone 4 reviews and the most useful articles about iOS 4. Finally, check out the 20 percent DealBITS discount on SmileOnMyMac's TextExpander 3! Notable software releases this week include Firefox 3.6.6, Default Folder X 4.3.9, Things 1.3.4, and Mailplane 2.1.9.

TidBITS #1032 on 2010-06-21

Apple has been wildly busy this last week, releasing iOS 4, taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4, shipping iTunes 9.2, releasing a new Mac mini, pushing Mac OS X 10.6.4 out the door, significantly updating MobileMe Mail, and finally providing a Find My iPhone app. Thanks to various members of the staff, we have all the details on those events. Also this week, Matt Neuburg looks at the Witch 3.5 window-management utility, Jeff Carlson explains how to email files to Dropbox from an iPad, and Adam can't resist pointing to the ultimate retro keyboard. We're also starting a new DealBITS drawing for SmileOnMyMac's TextExpander 3, and for those who didn't win a Drobo in last week's drawing, we have some fabulous discounts. Notable software releases this week include Waveboard 1.1, DEVONthink and DEVONnote 2.0.3, Cocktail 4.7.5, PopChar X 5.0, Coda 1.6.11, and Security Update 2010-004 (Leopard and Leopard Server).

TidBITS #1031 on 2010-06-14

The big news that didn't surface during Steve Jobs's WWDC keynote last week was the release of Safari 5, and Adam takes a hard look at the Web browser's new features. For more from Steve Jobs, also read Doug McLean's summary of Jobs's unscripted discussion with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the D8 conference shortly before WWDC. In other news, AT&T will allow eligibility transfers for iPhone 4 upgrades in family plans, Adobe has released an essential update to Flash Player, we've uncovered some details about the forthcoming iMovie for iPhone, and Retrospect has been acquired by Sonic Solutions. Also, be sure to enter this week's drawing for a Drobo, and if you didn't win in last week's drawing for Boinx's iStopMotion, you can save 20 percent on new orders. Notable software releases this week include PasswordWallet 4.5.3, MacSpeech Scribe 1.1, 1Password 3.2.1, Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.5 Update, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.5.9 Update, Cyberduck 3.5, and Photoshop Lightroom 3.0.

TidBITS #1030 on 2010-06-07

Today's WWDC keynote drew back the curtains on the much-anticipated iPhone 4, and Glenn Fleishman runs through the features so lovingly described by Steve Jobs. The rest of the keynote covered the new iOS 4 (formerly known as iPhone OS 4), a PDF-capable iBooks app, a new FaceTime video chatting app, and more - read on for the details! But plenty more has happened since our last issue, with a number of troubling security-related events that Rich Mogull and Adam explain, AT&T ending its unlimited data plans for iPhone and iPad users, Apple's market cap catching up with Microsoft's, and more. We're particularly pleased to announce four new Take Control ebooks about the iPad, one of which - Tonya's "Take Control of iPad Basics" - is completely free! Notable software releases in the last two weeks include Yojimbo 2.2, BusyCal 1.3, Camino 2.0.3, TweetDeck 0.34.2, Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.2, VMware Fusion 3.1, Boot Camp Update for MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010).

TidBITS #1029 on 2010-05-24

Our focus this week is on the Mac and the Web, with Joe Kissell contributing an in-depth look at PGP Whole Disk Encryption 10.0 and Matt Neuburg reviewing the MacSpeech Scribe transcription program. Adam also runs down Apple's changes to the MacBook and Glenn Fleishman passes along news of Google's secure search beta and Adobe's HTML5 and CSS3 plug-in for Dreamweaver CS5. And just so you don't think we've gone totally off the iPad, Glenn covers the MaxRoam micro-SIM that provides not-very-cheap European data roaming for 3G iPads. Notable software releases this week include QuickTime Player 7.6.6 for Mac OS X 10.6.3, Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 2, Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 7, and Keyboard Maestro 4.3.1. Finally, we're taking next week's email issue off for Memorial Day - see you in June!

TidBITS #1028 on 2010-05-17

We have two feature articles for you this week: security expert Rich Mogull's extensive look at how to protect your privacy from Facebook, and guest contributor Robyn Weisman's discussions about iPhone apps with executives from some of the largest news and entertainment companies. Also this week, Doug McLean examines Google's search results page makeover, Adam relays the news that Apple has acknowledged iPad Wi-Fi problems, and Glenn Fleishman shares details about how our TidBITS Commenting System avoids the sort of problems that have afflicted other comment systems. Notable software releases this week include Waveboard 1.0, ShareTool 2.0, and Keyboard Maestro 4.3.

TidBITS #1027 on 2010-05-10

Books, email, and iPads, oh my! Our articles cover the gamut this week, starting with Apple's announcement of iPad availability and pricing in a variety of countries. We're also pleased to announce the release of ebooks about Apple Mail on the Mac, managing spam with Apple Mail, and the Mail app on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Elsewhere in this issue, Glenn Fleishman takes a long look at reading books on the iPad and covers the new Eye-Fi Geo X2 Wi-Fi SD card, Mark Anbinder examines Bento for iPad, and Adam reports on a new plug-in for Gmail that provides social networking details for email correspondents. Finally, if you want to peruse the past, we note the reappearance of nearly all the old Info-Mac Digests from yesteryear. Notable software releases this week include MarsEdit 3.0, Aperture 3.0.3, Typinator 4.0, Mac Pro Audio Update 1.1, Epson Printer Drivers 2.3.1 for Mac OS X 10.6, and Phone Amego 1.1.20.

TidBITS #1026 on 2010-05-03

We've got a lot of explaining to do this week, and Glenn Fleishman is primarily responsible. First he looks deeply at the 3G iPad's service plans from AT&T, and after that, he examines the whole Apple/Adobe tiff over Flash, explaining just what the fuss is all about. And if that weren't enough, he shares a simple solution to your iPad's screen going dark outside. Not to be left out, Adam weighs in to announce the new TidBITS Facebook page and our latest ebook, the essential "Take Control of Permissions in Snow Leopard." Adam also looks at BBEdit 9.5 and interviews the winner of our 20th anniversary drawing. Notable software releases this week include Fetch 5.6, TypeIt4Me 5.0, iStat Menus 3.0.1, Transmit 4.0, iTunes 9.1.1, PDFpen 4.6.2 and PDFpenPro 4.6.2, and Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.2.

TidBITS #1025 on 2010-04-26

It may cost only $29, but Apple's new iPad Camera Connection Kit features heavily this week, with Glenn Fleishman reviewing it for its primary purpose (transferring photos from your camera to your iPad) and also discovering that it works for audio headsets as well. And then Jeff Carlson found that you can use it to expand your iPad's media storage capacity, too! On the Mac side of the fence, Glenn covers Orbicule's Undercover theft-recovery software and Joe Kissell contributes an introduction to file encryption in Mac OS X. We also run down Apple's stellar second quarter financial results and congratulate the four (!) TidBITS staffers included in the 2010 MacTech 25 list of most influential people in the Macintosh technical community. Notable software releases this week include Nisus Writer Express 3.3.2 and Nisus Writer Pro 1.4.1, HoudahGeo 2.5, Default Folder X 4.3.7, and PageSender 4.6.

TidBITS #1024 on 2010-04-19

TidBITS turns 20 years old today! We're celebrating with a double elephant folio issue containing Adam's thoughts about what makes TidBITS special, stories about how our staff members got started with TidBITS, and an extensive collection of memories from numerous Macintosh-industry friends. Oh, and don't miss our drawing for $200 worth of an iPhone, iPod touch, or iTunes Gift Card! But rest assured that this issue isn't all navel gazing, as Adam explains the iPad's DHCP-related problems on large networks, Doug McLean summarizes what's new in Adobe Creative Suite 5, and we cover last week's solid update to the MacBook Pro line. All our notable software releases this week are from Apple, including Mac OS X 10.6.3 Combo Update 1.1, Mac OS X Server 10.6.3 Combo Update 1.1, Security Update 2010-003 (Snow Leopard), Security Update 2010-003 (Leopard), Server Admin Tools 10.6.3, 27-inch iMac EFI FW Update 1.0, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3, and MobileMe Backup 3.2.

TidBITS #1023 on 2010-04-12

The iPad continues to feature heavily this week, as Adam looks at Apple's early sales numbers for iPads, books, and apps, Glenn Fleishman covers the early Wi-Fi problems some iPad users are experiencing, and Jeff Carlson shares a slew of iPad tips. But the big news is iPhone OS 4, and we have a detailed look at what Apple has said about it, as well as some thoughts about the changes to the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement that ban the use of a Flash-to-iPhone compiler. Elsewhere, Matt Neuburg points a spotlight at Google Groups problems, Adam can't resist sharing a tremendously clever video that shows classic video game characters bitmapping Manhattan, and we give away three copies of the $149 FotoMagico Pro photo presentation software. Notable software releases this week include KeyCue 5.0, The Missing Sync for Android 1.3, Photoshop Lightroom 2.7, and PDF Enhancer 3.5.

TidBITS #1022 on 2010-04-05

The iPad has generated a nearly unimaginable level of interest, and not just among the technology press. Following the iPad's release in the United States over the weekend, we all have iPads (made possible by a generous TidBITS reader!) and we've been immersed in using them. If you're still wondering if an iPad is for you, Tonya runs down the options and considerations to make before placing an order. Adam takes a broader perspective, explaining why the iPad is a blank slate upon which Apple will build its - and our - digital future. And Matt Neuburg looks at the iPad from the developer's view. This issue isn't entirely devoted to the iPad: we also cover the release of iTunes 9.1... which brings iPad compatibility and some new twists. But really, all of this could be old news: Apple announced that it will preview iPhone OS 4 at an invitation-only event this week! Please can we have some sleep now? Notable software releases this week include Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac 12.2.4 Update, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.5.8 Update, Firefox 3.6.3, iPhoto '09 8.1.2, AirPort Utility 5.5.1, PDFpen 4.6.1 and PDFpenPro 4.6.1, QuickTime 7.6.6 for Leopard, and Keyboard Maestro 4.2.

TidBITS #1021 on 2010-04-01

As Apple fans wait for Saturday's release of the iPad, we have a variety of articles to help you pass the time. Adam examines rumors of Apple's plan to resolve App Store criticisms by allowing franchisees to run stores with different acceptance criteria, and - more interestingly - how Apple will start selling Mac applications in the App Store. He also reports on the return of the popular email client Eudora, not to the Mac, but to the iPad, and ponders just what Apple could do with its $40 billion in cash. In other news, Rich Mogull runs down Apple's answer to critics who consider the iPad just a big iPod touch and Jeff Carlson examines a new MobileMe service aimed at increasing the security of iPhone OS device passcodes.

TidBITS #1020 on 2010-03-29

As we wait for the iPad with bated breath, Simon Spence explains just how Apple can entice so many people to pre-order a totally new device. From the Mac perspective, Jeff Carlson covers what's new in the just-released Mac OS X 10.6.3. Much of the rest of the news this week revolves around the iPad and cellular communications, with Glenn Fleishman covering the possibility of a Verizon-compatible iPhone, AT&T's 3G MicroCell device for improving 3G connectivity in the home or office, and how you'll be able to extend a 250 MB 3G data plan for the iPad if you use up your allotted bits. At long last, Apple has made it possible to give apps as gifts, just in time for the iPad's release. Finally, we're pleased to announce both the release of our latest ebook, Joe Kissell's "Take Control of Getting Started with DEVONthink 2," and our latest long-term sponsor, SmileOnMyMac. Notable software releases this week include Security Update 2010-002, Mailplane 2.1.6, Aperture 3.0.2, iMovie 8.0.6, SpamSieve 2.8.1, and Panorama 6 Preview.

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