Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015 Google Doodle

Google has once again has made a Google Doodle for the coming 2016 year on their homepage. This year, it shows several birds making up the Gs, Os, and the E of the Google Logo. As for the L, it is represented by an egg with "2016" on it. And to represent the coming new year, it is ready to hatch. The birds anxiously await its hatching. Anyways, I will see all of you guys on the other side of the new year. Have a happy 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Google Glass 2.0

Google Glass 2
Image Credit: CNET
Remember Google Glass? It's finally back, but for enterprise. What? Well, while it is nice to see Glass getting some practical application, what about all the consumers who want to get their hands-- I mean faces on this product? And what about the "explorers" who paid $1500 for it? Do they get an upgrade? It doesn't seem like it, which is a shame because leaks show the device with a better processor and better battery. Not only that, but it only has half of a frame instead of a full frame (shown to the right). Probably the number one complaint from the device was that it would overheat and the battery was too small. Hopefully, these groups will get their chance. If you want to hear my impressions of the original Google Glass, check out my (really old) review below.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Batch Rename Files in OS X

If you need to rename multiple files in Mac OS X, then just follow this simple trick. First, open the folder containing the files. They must be in the same folder and it helps if they are already in some order. If they are already in the order you'd like them to be in, select the first one, hold the shift key, and select the last one. If they are scrambled throughout the folder, hold the command key, and select each one. Now that you've selected your files, right click on any one of them and select "Rename [Number Selected] Items..." You can now choose how you want to rename them. If you want to have them be named "IMG_[Index]" you would select "Format" from the first dropdown menu, select "Name and Index" for the name format, select "After Name" for where the number should be, type "IMG_" for custom format, and finally use either 0 or 1 for the "Start Numbers At" field. I hope this helps!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Apple Had Majority of Device Activations This Holiday Season

According to Flurry, Apple held the majority of device activations this holiday season. They held it at a whopping 49.1%. For scale, the second best, Samsung, had only 19.8% of device activations this holiday season. Nokia devices held a mere 2%. It should be noted that last year, Apple device activations were at 51.3%

Sunday, December 27, 2015

One Minute For Steve Jobs

It's been four years since the death of Steve Jobs, however people still honor him in various ways. The Apple Museum I mentioned yesterday created a site that allows you to dedicate a minute of silence in remembrance of Steve Jobs and other cancer victims. Just go to the website, start the timer, do your minute of silence, and watch the amount of minutes contributed go up by one. Their goal is to reach 29,774,880 minutes, which is about how many minutes Steve lived. Please help reach the goal. They ask of no money, just a minute of your time. Not just for Steve, but for anyone suffering from cancer.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Apple Museum

An unofficial Apple Museum has been opened and it features the world's largest collection of Apple products. It's in Prague. It contains almost every Apple product from 1976 to 2012. There are 472 private exhibits, it is 767 square meters of exhibition space, and it has a vegan restaurant (in honor of Steve Jobs). If you'd like to learn more, check out their website.

Image Credit: Apple Museum

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas! (2015)

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a great day today. I know I did. I also hope that everyone who received a tech gift will know all the tips and tricks of it. Be sure to activate any warranties. You never know... Anyways, I hope you all have enjoyed this special day.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Santa Tracker 2015

Once again, Google is letting you track Santa on his journey throughout the world, delivering toys to children. If you'd like to track him, go to the Google Santa Tracker. In addition, if you search something along the lines of "Google Santa Tracker," Google will give you his location (shown below). You can also play a variety of holiday themed games by going to the Google-sponsored Santa's Village! There's a lot of fun to be had here. Anyways, happy holidays and merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Beatles Are Coming To Apple Music

If you are a Beatles fan, then you're in for a treat. The Beatles are coming to Apple Music on Christmas Eve (tomorrow). That means you can stream their full music collection with an Apple Music subscription for just $9.99/month. They will also be available on Google Play, Spotify, and more (not Pandora; Sorry Dad).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

iTunes Connect Winter Shutdown

Today marks the beginning of the annual iTunes Connect Winter Shutdown. What does that mean for us consumers? Well, that means whatever content on the App Store will have the same price until the shutdown is over on December 29th. If an app went on sale, that price won't go back to its normal price at least until the shutdown is over. The iTunes Connect Winter Shutdown is to allow the App Store Team, including the team that reviews each app requesting for approval on the App Store, to have a break.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Siri and Christmas

Siri has some witty responses for Christmas. If you're looking to give your favorite personal-assistant on your iPhone a gift, don't get your hopes up. Siri will respectfully decline with a variety of responses. If you ask about Christmas, Siri will remind you what day it is: December 25th. Oh. Looks like it's early this year. Or at least it feels like it's starting sooner every year. Anyways, happy holidays!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Apple On 60 Minutes

Tonight, CBS aired a new edition of 60 Minutes. This week, a segment was dedicated to Apple. There were many topics discussed in the interview with Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and others. Some included the Apple Watch sales, Steve Jobs, and Apple Campus 2. Not only that, but there are some shots within some of the most elusive spots in the current Apple Campus. Please check it out below.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Apple Music's First Six Months

Apple has been advertising Apple Music pretty vigorously, and for good reason. When Apple wants to make their product synonymous with the market it's in, that's what they do. It's been about six months (June 30th, 2015) since Apple Music was released to the public. They are expected to have 8 million paying customers by the year's end. In addition, they should have 20 million customers by the end of 2016, according to Mark Mulligan. Apple Music subscriptions are $9.99/month for individual plans and $14.99/month for family plans for up to six people.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Target Working On QR Code Mobile Wallet

If you remember, Target had this security problem with their REDcard credit card line that put many people's information at risk. This gave a lot of bad press toward the company, but you may have noticed that Target stores now use the EMV chip in credit cards to improve the security. In fact, Target REDcard members are required to use this method. Target said that they delayed Apple Pay support in-store for this reason, to implement EMV chips in their point-of-sale system. However, now they're working on a QR code based mobile wallet. What? Why? That's the exact opposite of more secure! That's less secure. The vulnerability and inconvenience of a QR code is an awful idea, which is one of the reasons why I have little respect for CurrentC and any of its retail partners. I hope they implement Apple Pay into their system soon, but at the same time, I really don't want them to create this QR code wallet. They already have Cartwheel, a similar concept that requires scanning the screen of a phone, so why make things more complicated?!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Apple Offers For Procrastinators

If you wait until December 23rd, you can get free next day shipping. Please note, that you'll have until 2:00 PM to place your order on that day. If you miss that order window, Apple still has you covered. In-store pickup orders can be made and picked up for any Apple Retail Store two hours before closing on Christmas Eve (December 24th). Be sure to check your local Apple Retail Store's holiday hours before waiting.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cortana's Origin

You may know Cortana, Microsoft Window's Siri-like assistant. Although she isn't everyone's preferred assistant, she does have an interesting backstory. Anyone who has played Halo knows where I'm going with this. Cortana is actually a character in Halo. Not only that, but she is also an AI in the games. Cortana was also the codename for the assistant's final product. Since Halo is published by Microsoft, it wouldn't be hard to believe that some developers of Cortana for Windows had some inspiration from the game team... But hey, that's just a theory... A Tech Theory! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

MacKeeper Information Data Breach

MacKeeper is anti-virus software for OS X. You may remember it from many pop-up ads. What remotely professional company resorts to pop-up ads these days?! Well, MacKeeper might not be so professional. Chris Vickery, a white-hat hacker, was able to download the personal information of 13 million customers... without a password. That's right. This database had no password and used MD5 hashes, one of the most vulnerable security algorithms today. He just used an IP address. Lucky for MacKeeper, Vickery was a white-hat. Vickery immediately alerted MacKeeper to secure the database. He was luckily the only person who accessed this information.
"Here are some details (now that it's secured): The search engine at had indexed their IPs as running publicly accessible MongoDB instances (as some have already guessed). I had never even heard of MacKeeper or Kromtech until last night. I just happened upon it after being bored and doing a random "port:27017" search on Shodan."
- Chris Vickery 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Samsung Galaxy S7 Will Feature 3D Touch-Like Display

The iPhone 6s introduced a new feature called 3D Touch. It's a very handy feature that I often find myself using. According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung is going to "implement" the same technology in their next flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S7, which hasn't been announced yet. If you remember, the Samsung Galaxy S5 (5s backwards), "implemented" the iPhone 5s' Touch ID feature. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is expected to be announced in February, so we'll see how this plays out then.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mercedes-Benz CarPlay Lineup 2016

I don't usually talk about lineups for CarPlay, but Apple and Mercedes-Benz have an interesting relationship. For one, Steve Jobs drove around a Mercedes-Benz without any license plates. Also, Apple is also often called the Mercedes-Benz of technology. Now with Apple CarPlay coming to Mercedes-Benz, there's sure to be a very refined in-car system that bridges the gap between your car's computer and your iPhone. As you can see in the picture below, CarPlay in a Mercedes-Benz looks reminiscent of an iPhone. The screen looks awesome, as if it's being levitated in midair. So, here's the lineup for which cars are compatible.

December 1, 2015 and later
  • 2016 B-Class 
  • 2016 CLA 
  • 2016 CLS400 
  • 2016 CLS550 
  • 2016 CLS63 S 
  • 2016 E400 Coupe 
  • 2016 E550 Coupe 
  • 2016 E400 Cabriolet 
  • 2016 E550 Cabriolet 
  • 2016 GLA

  • January 8, 2016 and later
  • 2016 GLE300d 
  • 2016 GLE350 
  • 2016 GLE400 
  • 2016 GLE450 
  • 2016 GLE63 
  • 2016 GLE63 S

  • Saturday, December 12, 2015

    BOGO Free AT&T iPhone 6s

    AT&T is currently offering until the end of the year a buy one get one free promotion for the iPhone 6s. This is only for AT&T Next customers. So, if you get an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus on AT&T Next, you'll receive a second iPhone 6s with 16 GB of storage. To learn more, go to the official AT&T site (Note: The link goes to the Samsung S6 Promotion, but it works with iPhone 6s as well.).

    Friday, December 11, 2015

    Apple SIM Now Supports AlwaysOnline Wireless

    For those with a cellular iPad Air 2 with Apple SIM, you can now use AlwaysOnline Wireless as a carrier option. AlwaysOnline Wireless is a carrier that sells short-term data plans. Like, really short. As in, why would you use this little data in 2015? Plans start a $0.99 an hour for 15 MB. Wow. I mean, hey, whatever works for you. If you want to learn more about Apple SIM, check out the official website.

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    tvOS App Stats After One Month

    After about a month since tvOS launched with the new Apple TV, we have some tvOS App Store statistics. As of December 6, these stats are accurate. There are 2,621 tvOS apps available on the App Store. Paid apps most often cost $0.99 and least often cost $59.99. Most interestingly, the most amount of apps on the tvOS App Store are games, however the most popular apps are entertainment apps, like Netflix. At the 6-month mark, we'll probably have a better idea of how Apple TV is doing and how it is doing against the iOS App Store, which launched in 2008, during its first 6 months.

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015

    iPhone 6s Battery Case

    Yesterday, Apple quietly debuted their new iPhone 6s Battery Case. It's a silicone case that has a built in battery to charge iPhone 6s. It is charged with a Lightning cable. It also can also show you the case's battery life in Notification Center and in the lock screen. Unfortunately, you can't actually choose when it charges your phone, it just charges your phone when you plug it in. It comes in White and Charcoal Gray and costs $99 [Direct Link].

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015

    'The Simpsons' Apple TV Billboard Ad

    A new Apple TV billboard ad was spotted recently. In previous advertisements, the new Apple TV is advertised with a SMPTE test pattern with the Apple TV logo and usually some popular TV or movie icon. This time, that icon is none other than Homer Simpson. The Simpsons is definitely one of my (and Steve Jobs') favorite shows with over 500 episodes and 27 seasons and counting. You can stream any of those episodes with the FXNOW app for Apple TV. You can also stream more recent episodes of The Simpsons with the FOX NOW app for Apple TV.

    Image Credit: Jordan Schau

    Monday, December 7, 2015

    Apple Maps Is 3x As Popular As Google Maps On iOS

    Although criticized at its launch, Apple Maps has put its awkward past behind it. It was plagued with some bad directions for some people which gave it a bad impression on users, caused Scott Forstall to lose his job, and spawned a joke on the HBO tech-comedy, Silicon Valley. Google Maps even poked fun at Apple by making as big a deal as possible about their Google Maps app for iOS. Now, these issues have been worked out and Apple had a good talk with their data providers in the back room of their headquarters where many people seem to go into, but few come out. Apple Maps is now used three times as much as Google Maps on iOS devices. It should be noted that there is no Apple Maps for Android and there is no Apple Maps user base for Android devices, but there is a Mac app.
    "Apple says its mapping service is now used more than three times as often as its next leading competitor on iPhones and iPads, with more than 5 billion map-related requests each week. Research firm comScore says Apple has a modest lead over Google on iPhones in the U.S., though comScore measures how many people use a service in a given month rather than how often."

    Sunday, December 6, 2015

    Verizon's WiFi Calling Will Hit iPhone In Early 2016

    A while back, I wrote about how Verizon announced how they will implement WiFi calling. Verizon now has a clear game plan on how they will role this out to customers. Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones will get WiFi calling next week. However, iOS devices and other Android phones will get it early next year. Unfortunately, it looks like most of us are in for the long-haul, but at least people using their phones as actual phones isn't really a thing anymore.

    Saturday, December 5, 2015

    iTunes Match Increases Song Limit

    Since the launch of iTunes Match in 2011, iTunes Match had a song matching limit of 25,000. What does that mean? iTunes Match is a paid service that lets you take your CDs and have them in iTunes and iCloud. Instead of just importing them, these songs are converted to 256 kbps audio quality and sent to iCloud. Anyways, previously you could only do this with up to 25,000 songs. Now, you can do it with 100,000 songs. I think that's pretty impressive, but some people still complain because they have, somehow, over 100,000 songs on CD. I think the real issue is how long that's going to take to put in that many CDs into a computer, especially considering most computers in 2015 don't have CD drives anymore...

    Friday, December 4, 2015

    Google Will Fix Incorrect Rating System for App Store Results

    Recently, a bug has appeared in Google Search that cause iOS and OS X apps to display erroneous one-star ratings. Obviously, this is bad for app developers as Google is a popular search engine and is a popular alternative to looking up an app using the native App Store. Google has stated that they will fix this problem in the next week. This bug only seems to affect apps with less than 5 reviews (the amount to display an average on the App Store). Unfortunately, this means it's more likely to affect small and indie developers.

    Image Credit: MacRumors

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

    iPhone: Still Flickr's Most Popular Camera

    Flickr released their Year in Review page for 2015 and on it are the most popular cameras used. In third, the Nikon D DSLR. Second, the Canon EOS series of DSLR cameras, which I actually used to use to make videos on. My dark past in a nutshell. And of course in first place, we have the iPhone as the most popular camera that posts photos on Flickr at 42% of photos. iPhone has been first place for a number of years. It just shows how a quality camera doesn't have to be bulky.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    Apple Celebrates World AIDS Day With Red Logo

    The other day, I talked about how Supercell and Apple teamed up for World AIDS Day. Yesterday, Apple also, once again, changed the color of their logo at Apple Retail Stores to red to celebrate the day. I saw it at my local Apple Store yesterday, but I'm not sure if it will still be there today. If you get a chance, be sure to check out the logo change. It will probably change today or in the coming days.

    Image Credit: WJPM

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    Microsoft Ad Celebrates Holiday Peace

    Microsoft has released an ad that calls for peace between them and Apple. In the ad, Microsoft employees from the Microsoft Fifth Avenue store go to the Apple Fifth Avenue store and sing "Let There Be Peace On Earth." A longer 2 minute version will be available on December 3rd.