Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

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):

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TidBITS #1135 on 2012-07-23

With July fast coming to a close without Mountain Lion having shipped, we continue our push to publish practical articles that aren’t specific to any particular version of Mac OS X. Jeff Carlson shares the story about how he replaced the optical drive in his MacBook Pro with a speedy SSD, leaving the 500 GB hard drive in place for large files. And Glenn Fleishman examines the problem of dealing with low-bandwidth situations while traveling or being tethered to an expensive mobile broadband connection. Also this week, Google buys the Sparrow email client, and Michael Cohen points to some nagging problems with iCloud as indication that Apple needs to improve the reliability of the cloud-based service. Notable software releases this week include Quicksilver β69, GraphicConverter 8.2, Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5, ChronoSync 4.3.4 and ChronoAgent 1.3.4, SpamSieve 2.9.3, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0, Alfred 1.3, CloudPull 2.1.2, Mellel 3.0, and SOHO Organizer 9.2.8.

TidBITS #1134 on 2012-07-16

While we all wait for Apple to release Mountain Lion, we have a slew of practical articles for you this week. Adam Engst explains how you can control your Apple TV with the same remote you use for your TV, and how to make sure you’re getting the bandwidth from your ISP that you’re paying for. Also, Agen Schmitz delves into the dark world of MPAA ratings and iTunes metadata to figure out how to apply them to videos he would prefer his five-year-old didn’t run across on the iPad. Plus, Adam covers the story about how Dropbox’s Public folder will be going away (but can be re-enabled) for new accounts, and we’re looking to find out which day of the week would be best for our upcoming TidBITS Presents: “Upgrading to and Using Mountain Lion.” Notable software releases this week include Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.3, iPhoto ’11 9.3.1, and Audio Hijack Pro 2.10.4.

TidBITS #1133 on 2012-07-09

We were heads-down last week, working to release Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion” and the pre-order version of Matt Neuburg’s “Take Control of Using Mountain Lion,” so those announcements feature prominently in this issue. Also this week, Glenn Fleishman proposes a simple tweak to the iOS Camera app that could put QR Codes into the mainstream, and Adam Engst looks in depth at the fascinating collaboration tool Trello, which has become a core part of how we run TidBITS and Take Control. Notable software releases this week include Keyboard Maestro 5.3.1, SpamSieve 2.9.2, Hazel 3.0.9, and ClamXav 2.3.1.

TidBITS #1132 on 2012-07-02

The big news this week, which indicates it’s a bit of a slow time, was Apple’s release of the new Podcasts app, which lets you subscribe to and listen to podcasts on iOS devices. Podcaster Andy Affleck takes a look. Also this week, Bob Mansfield retires from Apple, we cover the closings of ZangZing and QOOP, the Dropbox-driven Calepin blogging platform goes open source, and Steve McCabe contributes a story of how he got the runaround from Apple both on an international iPhone replacement and on getting technical details about why the replacement wasn’t possible. Notable software releases this week include Aperture 3.3.1, CloudPull 2.1.1, and KeyCue 6.2.

TidBITS #1131 on 2012-06-25

It’s a potpourri of topics this week, anchored by Security Editor Rich Mogull’s extensive Q&A about sandboxing, the Mac App Store, and Gatekeeper. Also timely are Adam Engst’s explanation of how to sync iCloud contacts on pre-Lion Macs using SOHO Organizer, his followup on Apple’s fix to the damaging Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2, and Agen Schmitz’s roundup of reviews of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Tossing timeliness to the winds, Michael Cohen contributes a look back at a 1982 New York Times article summarizing a remarkably prescient NSF-commissioned report on the future of communications and computing. Notable software releases this week include TextExpander 4.0, Skype, and Bento 4.1.1.

TidBITS #1130 on 2012-06-18

Most of this week’s issue takes inspiration from one of two places — Apple’s WWDC announcements and the impending demise of MobileMe. For the former, Glenn Fleishman looks in detail at the IPv6 updates to AirPort Utility and at the revised AirPort Express Base Station. Plus, Adam Engst warns about installing the (now-pulled) Thunderbolt Software Update 1.2, which caused boot failures for many users. On the MobileMe side of things, Joe Kissell and Adam Engst gave a live TidBITS Presents: Adieu MobileMe presentation last week that you can now watch for free. Adam also looks at Sandvox 2.6, which extracts content from iWeb-generated Web sites so you can more easily move away from the obsolete iWeb. Rounding out the issue, we have guest articles from Andrew Laurence about how Mac OS X 10.7.4 radically improves WebDAV performance and from Steve McCabe on PDF support in current Web browsers. Notable software releases this week include iMovie ’11 9.0.6, MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0, MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0, MacBook Pro (Retina) Trackpad Update 1.0, Java for OS X Lion 2012-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 9, Aperture 3.3, iPhoto ’11 9.3, and iTunes 10.6.3.

TidBITS #1129 on 2012-06-11

Kudos to the TidBITS staff for their dedicated work covering (and providing color commentary on) Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote today. We have articles about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion shipping in July with a few previously unannounced features, the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models (including the MacBook Pro with Retina Display), the minimal speed bump to the Mac Pro, and Apple’s extensive preview of iOS 6. We’re also pleased to announce “Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion” (with a free upgrade to “Take Control of Apple Mail in Mountain Lion”) and an upcoming live online presentation on what to do when MobileMe is shut off in a few weeks. Also, don’t miss the news about LinkedIn passwords being stolen and the latest shot in the DRM wars. Notable software releases this week include CloudPull 2.1, Script Debugger 5.0, Coda 2.0.1, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.8.3, and Firefox 13.0.

TidBITS #1128 on 2012-06-04

We didn’t plan to have two articles with “Zombie” in their titles this week, but that’s just how it worked out, as Matt Neuburg explains how you can prevent unwanted documents being reopened by Lion’s Resume feature, and Glenn Fleishman shares our experience dealing with server-crushing Web traffic generated by compromised computers. Also this week, Glenn looks at the Let’s Sing iOS app, Jeff Carlson reviews the Hammerhead Capo Case for the iPad, and Steve McCabe shares what it’s like to be able to test Facebook’s new “Highlight” feature in New Zealand. We also have two new Take Control ebooks: “Take Control of Your 802.11n AirPort Network, Third Edition” and “Take Control of iBooks Author.” Notable software releases during the last two weeks include QuarkXPress 9.3, OmniFocus 1.10.2, App Tamer 1.3, Fantastical 1.3, Typinator 5.1, Aperture 3.2.4, Coda 2.0, Cobook 1.0, Screenflow 3.0.6, and Keyboard Maestro 5.3.

TidBITS #1127 on 2012-05-21

We’re taking the next email issue off for the Memorial Day holiday, but we have an excellent slate of articles for you this week, including coverage of Apple’s security-related updates for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and the forthcoming demise of Perian, which provides QuickTime Player with support for many more video formats. Feature articles this week include Glenn Fleishman’s explanation of how you can use the free OpenDNS service to help protect your Mac from malware like Flashback, Tonya Engst’s look at how to deal with overly cluttered iOS Home screens, and Steve McCabe’s review of FileMaker Pro 12. Notable software releases this week include GraphicConverter 8.0 and TextWrangler 4.0.1.

TidBITS #1126 on 2012-05-14

Security news continues this week, with Apple releasing Mac OS X 10.7.4, Safari 5.1.7, and Security Update 2012-002, all largely to address security-related issues. Plus, Adobe fixes a security vulnerability in Photoshop, initially requiring a paid upgrade to Photoshop CS6 but later announcing that the fix would also be made available to users of Photoshop CS5.x. Moving to the practical, Joe Kissell explains how you can keep your MobileMe email address without upgrading to iCloud, and Adam Engst looks into what can happen if zooming is turned on accidentally in iOS and Mac OS X. Finally, Andy Affleck joins us with coverage of the genealogical program Reunion 10, and Joe shines a harsh light on Apple’s abundance of alerts. Notable software releases this week include Security Update 2012-002 (Snow Leopard), EasyFind 4.9, BBEdit 10.1.2, CloudPull 2.0.3 and 1.5.7, Microsoft Office 2011 14.2.2 and 2008 12.3.3, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.8.1, and Evernote 3.1.

TidBITS #1125 on 2012-05-07

What would you do if your Apple ID-backed accounts became inaccessible? That’s what Chris Owen ran into when Apple seemingly corrupted his account — read on for his entire story and think about how you’d work around such a problem. Also this week, Jeff Carlson covers iOS 5.1.1’s fixes quickly, and Glenn Fleishman looks at both Amazon’s weak Cloud Drive desktop app and the new connection between Tweetbot and Storify. Finally, Adam points to a new worldwide photography project that everyone can contribute to and describes a new internal tool that’s possible only because of Mac OS X’s inter-application communication. Notable software releases this week include Alfred 1.2, Transmit 4.1.9, SpamSieve 2.9.1, and Hazel 3.0.5.

TidBITS #1124 on 2012-04-30

We have a wide-ranging issue for you once again, starting with Apple’s stunning (if not surprising) $11.6 billion profit for Q2 2012 — Jeff Carlson runs down the details of where it all comes from. Continuing with Apple news, Adam covers the recent iTunes account security enhancement, which has caused no end of consternation for users. Glenn Fleishman looks the release of Airfoil Speakers Touch 3, which turns any iOS device into an AirPlay receiver, and the near-tandem releases of Google Drive and a major update to Microsoft’s SkyDrive, both of which are aiming at Dropbox. Lastly, Kirk McElhearn shares the story of French telecom provider Free, which has radically reduced the price of cell phone, Internet, TV, and landline connectivity in France. Notable software releases this week include Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.1, Pear Note 3.0, Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.5, Send to Kindle for Mac 1.0, Firefox 12.0, PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.8, and Bookle 1.0.5.

TidBITS #1123 on 2012-04-23

Security continues to weigh heavily on our minds, as Mark Anbinder encourages Java and Word updates to protect against the SabPub malware, and Glenn Fleishman explains how to report text message spam to AT&T. Glenn also reviews DropKey 1.0, a new utility for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion that simplifies exchanging encrypted files. In other news, Jeff Carlson notes Adobe’s just-announced Creative Suite 6 and the new Creative Cloud, a subscription service for using Adobe applications. And Instagram may be happy about being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, but not all Instagram users are as excited, so Agen Schmitz looks at how you can back up your Instagram photo portfolio, in case you decide to jump ship. Lastly, Adam Engst delves deeply into Android to share the best ways — Amazon doesn’t make it easy! — to download and read EPUB and PDF ebooks on a Kindle Fire. Notable software releases this week include Quicksilver ß67, LaunchBar 5.2, and Suitcase Fusion 4.

TidBITS #1122 on 2012-04-16

One thousand one hundred and twenty-two issues of TidBITS can mean only one thing: it’s our 22nd birthday! To help us celebrate, would you consider becoming a TidBITS member so we can continue to do what we’ve done weekly for a score and two years: bring you important, interesting Mac and Apple news? The Flashback malware infestation tops our coverage this week: Glenn Fleishman and Rich Mogull dig into Apple’s critical Java updates that remove the Flashback malware, and Glenn works around an annoying related problem in Firefox. Also prompted by the Flashback problem, Jeff Carlson tells how he uses Dropbox to troubleshoot family members’ Macs. In non-malware news, Michael Cohen examines issues with making notes and using quotes in ebooks, and Steve McCabe gives in to Hype, a Mac utility for generating code for HTML5 animations and interactivity. Notable software releases this week include Acrobat X Pro and Adobe Reader X 10.1.3, Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.0, Final Cut Pro X 10.0.4, KeyCue 6.1, and TextWrangler 4.0.

TidBITS #1121 on 2012-04-09

In the news this week, we report on Dropbox doubling their referral bonuses — even retroactively! — and the notable release of FileMaker 12. Also, Adam looks in depth at the fast-moving Flashback malware, which has reportedly infected 600,000 Mac users, and he describes how to determine if you’re infected and how to avoid falling prey to Flashback. Continuing on the security kick, Rich Mogull explains just how the security of cloud-based services works and how you can tell if employees of your cloud provider can read your data. Notable software releases this week include TinkerTool 4.8, Hazel 3.0.4, SpamSieve 2.9, and App Tamer 1.2.1.

TidBITS #1120 on 2012-04-02

No April Fools issue this year, sorry! But we do share some of our favorite April Fools jokes, products, and services in case you were offline on Sunday. On the serious side, Adam explains how you can get up to 3 GB more storage space on Dropbox by beta testing the new Camera Upload feature, Jeff Carlson discusses how to use the PhotoSync app to transfer images back and forth between Macs and iOS devices, and Glenn Fleishman explains just why Apple’s strategy of making incremental changes to its products is confounding the rest of the technology industry. We’re also pleased to announce our latest ebook by Joe Kissell, “Take Control of CrashPlan Backups,” and, if you’re near New York City on 18 April 2012, invite you to come hear Adam and other industry figures talk about the Apple media world at MacTech Boot Camp New York. Notable software releases this week include Audio Hijack Pro 2.10.3, iPhoto ’11 9.2.3, Logic Pro 9.1.7 and Logic Express 9.1.7, iTunes 10.6.1, Airfoil 4.7, and Safari 5.1.5.

TidBITS #1119 on 2012-03-26

Apple’s third-generation iPad features strongly this week, as Adam reports on its impressive first-weekend sales, Sharon Zardetto explores selling her old iPad 2 to Amazon, and Matt Neuburg solves the mystery of why his books failed to transfer to iBooks on his new iPad. Matt also explains how you should hold your iPhone 4 or 4S for best performance with different types of calls, based on which of the phone’s two microphones will be used. For those who wish it were possible to sketch on paper and have the drawing automatically transferred to the Mac, Steve McCabe contributes a review of Wacom’s Inkling, an interesting device that is neither a graphics tablet nor a digital note-taker. And if you’re looking for an app to store your Inkling sketches, consider DEVONthink, coupled with Joe Kissell’s just-updated “Take Control of Getting Started with DEVONthink 2, Second Edition.” Notable software releases this week include CrashPlan and CrashPlan PRO 3.2, Skype, Keyboard Maestro 5.1, Fantastical 1.2.2, and Apple Software Installer Update 1.0.

TidBITS #1118 on 2012-03-19

We don’t focus on financial news much, but Adam found some fascinating details in Apple’s announcement that it would start using some of its cash to pay quarterly dividends and to repurchase stock. Other articles in this wide-ranging issue include Jeff Carlson’s explanation of how to use iTunes Match to get higher-quality, DRM-free copies of your music; Adam’s review of the CloudPull utility for backing up your Google Docs, Gmail, and other Google data locally; and Glenn Fleishman’s analysis of a recent Elcomsoft white paper criticizing the security of iOS password-keeping apps. Finally, we’re pleased to welcome as a long-term sponsor Fujitsu, makers of the ScanSnap family of document scanners. Notable software releases this week include Aperture 3.2.3, Sandvox 2.5.3, and Firefox 11.0.

TidBITS #1117 on 2012-03-12

Apple news once again drives our coverage, with Apple’s announcement last week of the third-generation iPad, the third-generation Apple TV, iOS 5.1, iPhoto for iOS, and various updated iOS apps. Less emphasized was Apple’s cancellation of, a stillborn collaboration service that never made it out of beta. In other news, Intuit has released Quicken Mac 2007 Lion Compatible, and we’re pleased to bring you our latest ebook, “Take Control of BBEdit.” Finally, Adam takes you on a hypertextual tour of some delightfully interconnected blog posts about how big media companies suffer from unauthorized copying largely because they’re not meeting the needs of their customers. Notable software releases this week include Safari 5.1.4; iTunes 10.6; iBooks Author 1.1; GarageBand ’11 6.0.5; iPhoto ’11 9.2.2; DEVONagent Lite, Express, and Pro 3.1.2; Adobe Lightroom 4.0; and Parallels Desktop 7.0.15055.

TidBITS #1116 on 2012-03-05

We’re busy preparing for Apple’s iPad announcement on Wednesday, but we have some great articles for you to read in the meantime. Adam leads with a look at how AT&T is now throttling unlimited plan users (their bandwidth, not them personally) when they hit 3 GB of usage and how affected users might be able to fight back. Then Jeff Carlson reviews Reflection, a Mac OS X application that acts as an AirPlay receiver, so you can mirror your iPad 2 or iPhone 4S display on the Mac, which is a boon to speakers, educators, and anyone who needs to demo iOS apps to a group. Finally, we look into Apple’s twice-delayed requirement that apps in the Mac App Store be sandboxed to see how it impacts developers and users alike. Notable software releases this week include Mac OS X 10.7.3 Supplemental Update; Hazel 3.0; GraphicConverter 7.6.2; DEVONthink Personal, Pro, and Pro Office 2.3.3; Firmware Update for MacBook Pro (15-inch, late 2008 models); HandBrake 0.9.6; Fetch 5.7.1; TextExpander 3.4.1; and iMac Wi-Fi Update 1.0.

TidBITS #1115 on 2012-02-27

In the category of articles we hate to have to write, Adam leads off this week’s issue with a detailed look at the Flashback malware, which has morphed from masquerading as a Flash Player installer to exploiting Java vulnerabilities and suckering users with a fake self-signed certificate prompt. For the rest of the issue, put your feet up and read along with Michael Cohen as he shares his story of getting Find My Mac to work, and with Steve McCabe as he ponders how best to replace a dying iMac — it’s an interesting thought experiment to imagine how you might solve a similar problem. Notable software releases this week include iMac Wi-Fi Update 1.0; Firmware Updates for iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro; ScreenFlow 3.0.5; Camino 2.1.1; and PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.7.2.

TidBITS #1114 on 2012-02-20

The big news this week — and nearly our entire issue — revolves around OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which Apple has released in developer preview form. Rich Mogull, who was briefed early by Apple due to his position in the Macintosh security world, explains what’s new and interesting about Mountain Lion and then goes into more depth about Gatekeeper, the new security technology in Mountain Lion that promises to eliminate the possibility of a malware epidemic. For those still living in the present, Adam explains how he tracked down and eliminated a troubling performance problem in 10.7 Lion. Notable software releases this week include Default Folder X 4.4.9, VLC 2.0, Bookle 1.0.4, and Airfoil 4.6.5.

TidBITS #1113 on 2012-02-13

Finally, a breather from non-stop breaking news! This week we step back a bit to share some useful evergreen content from a variety of contributors. Glenn Fleishman leads with a short article pointing to a 15-minute screencast he has created to walk users through the new AirPort Utility 6.0, and Marshall Clow joins us with a review of the improbably named iSesamo (it’s a spudger, and if that doesn’t help, you’ll really have to read the article). While trudging through an hour-long installation process to get a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner working, Michael Cohen points out that hardware companies need to devote just as much attention to their software. Steve McCabe contributes a look at FileMaker Go for the iPhone, which lets you use FileMaker Pro databases while out and about. Finally, Tonya anchors the issue with a detailed look at some of the real-world strategies she has developed for switching from Microsoft Word to Apple’s Pages. Notable software releases this week include Bookle 1.0.3; Piezo 1.1.2; Firmware Updates for iMac, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air; Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.4; and ChronoSync 4.3 and ChronoAgent 1.3.

TidBITS #1112 on 2012-02-06

We have two big pieces of our own news this week: the release of the Bookle EPUB reader for Mac OS X and a 50-percent-off Take Control sale to celebrate. Apple’s news isn’t as good — last week’s release of Mac OS X 10.7.3 and Security Update 2012-001 for Snow Leopard were both marred by significant problems; Apple had to update the security update and pull the delta updater for 10.7.3. More interesting was the release of AirPort Utility 6.0, which provides a whizzy new graphical view of your wireless network, but removes advanced features from the previous version — wireless expert Glenn Fleishman has all the details. Glenn also continues our Macworld | iWorld coverage with a piece about using Find My Friends and a list of our video appearances at the show. Notable software releases this week include Audio Hijack Pro 2.10.1, Sandvox 2.5, Firefox 10.0, and Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3.

TidBITS #1111 on 2012-01-30

We’re back from Macworld | iWorld with oodles of coverage for your enjoyment. Adam provides an overview of what the show was like, Jeff Carlson focuses on iOS-related photo and video highlights, Glenn ponders the preponderance of booth babes, and we all contribute to a lengthy list of cool products we saw at the show. Also this week, Michael Cohen reports on Apple’s Q1 2012 financial results, which were surprisingly strong, even for Apple. Notable software releases this week include firmware updates for the Mac mini, MacBook, and 13-inch MacBook Pro; PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.7; Fantastical 1.2; Yojimbo 3.0.3; and BusyCal 1.6.2.

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