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.
In a conference call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced that Apple would not indeed be purchasing a troubled European country with excess cash, but would instead be instituting a quarterly dividend and stock repurchase program.
Please welcome our latest TidBITS sponsor, Fujitsu, makers of the ScanSnap family of scanners!
If you own a Sonos speaker system, or another non-Apple device that reads your iTunes library, you may be missing something: songs you purchased prior to 2009 that are still encumbered by Apple’s FairPlay DRM. But with iTunes Match, you can download DRM-free, higher-quality versions.
If you use Google Docs heavily or don’t already have a good IMAP-based backup of your Gmail account, look into Golden Hill Software’s CloudPull, which makes local backups of the important data in your Google account.
Security firm Elcomsoft has released a white paper detailing weaknesses when short passwords with mixed characters or longer ones solely made up of numbers are used with many iOS password-keeping apps, including 1Password, LastPass, and mSecure. The impact of these weaknesses is limited to start with, and not a risk unless someone is out to get your passwords in particular.
Notable software releases this week include Aperture 3.2.3, Sandvox 2.5.3, and Firefox 11.0.
We have a lovely collection of ExtraBITS links for you this week, including a hint that we may someday see more lenient electronics usage policies on airplanes, Glenn Fleishman’s thoughts on the Mike Daisey controversy, answers to oodles of iPad questions via a MUG meeting on MacVoicesTV, and a cool demonstration of the scale of the universe.