Tips to Erasing Everything in a Mac

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Erasing Mac
Ordinarily, losing absolutely everything unique on a Mac would be cause for concern, and possibly thrown keyboards. But there are scenarios where a full wipe and restore session can prove valuable. The most common is when the owner wants to sell the computer as a used device through someplace like eBay or Craigslist. No buyer is going to want a computer with a hard drive full of someone else’s data, so resellers typically work to reset the computer.

Part of this includes de-authorizing the computer in iTunes, removing any personalized login information, removing firmware passwords, and generally cutting off all connections to the cloud. But another important part is restoring factory settings.

So if anybody is planning on selling or gifting their Mac to someone else, they go the extra mile and take the time (really not much time at all) to wipe it first.

Factory settings: Erase your Mac
Take one last look around, and double check to make sure the Mac is currently connected to the Internet, preferably through a hard line connection. Erasing the hard drive is pretty simple, but users need a way to access factory settings once again when they are done. Users need Internet connectivity for the restoration process to work successfully on modern Macs. If they are erasing data on a MacBook of any kind, plug in the power adapter first, so there’s no danger of running out of battery power.

Now, they must go to the Apple menu (the one that has the Apple logo on it) and select the Restart option. They should wait patiently for their Mac to shut down and then begin the startup procedure. During the restart process, before moving onto the login screen, the computer will show a gray slate screen. This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes: Users should hold down both the Command key and the R key when they see gray.

This should pop them over to the MacOS Utilities, where they can make various important and potentially dangerous changes.

Users should select Disk Utility. Now, this process is going to be a little different based on what version of MacOS they are using, but users will want to look for their startup disk or other startup-related information. Select it and then click on the Erase tab. Next, head over to the Format option and set it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Again select Erase. This may take some time. Once finished, go to the Disk Utility menu and select Quit Disk Utility.

Factory settings: Reinstalling the OS
Now that the users have erased everything that made their Mac special, just like a mad brain scientist, but wiping their system is only half the way there to going back to factory settings. Once they have Igor quit out of Disk Utility, they should see an option to Reinstall their current MacOS. They should select that reinstall option, confirm that they really want to do it, and proceed. They may have to click through a few confirmations before the installation is ready to begin.

This is where users need to have their computer connected to the Internet. Apple keeps all the factory setting data on its own servers these days. With a net connection, the Mac can look for its original source material and download a new, off-the-assembly-line version of all its settings.

Note: This online download solution works only for the newer versions of MacOS. This shouldn’t be a problem with most of today’s Macs as long as the users are running something like Lion, Mountain Lion, or newer operating systems, which all download factory settings from the Web. But if they are working with Snow Leopard or an earlier version of MacOS software for whatever reason, these cannot reinstall online. Users will need the original MacOS installation disc that came with their computer, so get ready to dig it out if necessary.

Also, when users reinstall MacOS, they will see a setup assistant start with basic questions about region and so on. If they are selling or giving their Mac away, they will want to leave the setup assistant untouched. Instead, hold down the Command and Q keys, and they select Shut Down to turn the Mac off but leave the setup assistant waiting for next time.

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Grand Visions and Novel Ideas About iPhone 8

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, October 18, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Apple Office
When Apple celebrates the 10th year anniversary of iPhone next year, many expects it to be grand enough to compel them them from purchasing the latest iPhone version. The expectation was so high that some were already speculating about the features of Apple's next-gen iPhone. Impressive as they were, many of these novel specs are just, well ... novel.

A few weeks ago, Brian Roemmele penned widely circulated post on Quora articulating the reasons why the iPhone 8 will be made out of "stunning ceramic." While specifically touting the mechanical strength and toughness of zirconium ceramics, Roemmele simultaneously relied upon a number of loosely connected patent filings from Apple to further justify his rather bold prediction.

"Zirconia ceramics exhibits the highest mechanical strength and toughness at room temperature," Roemmele explained. "Zirconium ceramics have the highest fracture toughness of any advanced technical ceramic. Its toughness, mechanical properties and corrosion resistance make it ideal for high pressure applications."

On the surface, Roemmele's explanation is certainly compelling, especially since the last three iterations of the iPhone all, more or less, look and feel the same. That said, the idea of a new iPhone model made out of a completely novel and advanced material with space-age characteristics understandably got the Apple masses excited.

For anyone out there who got excited about Apple's iPhone 8 being made out of ceramics, well, it's time to jump back to reality. In fact, everyone can probably bet good money that the iPhone 8 will assuredly not be made out of zirconia ceramics.

Earlier, product designer Greg Koenig of Atomic Delights penned an incredibly detailed and straight-forward post explaining why the iPhone 8 will likely be made out of familiar materials. In short, any grand visions of a ceramic iPhone will have to be put on hold.

Based on the manufacturing process Apple utilizes to produce the white ceramic Apple Watch - as detailed in a booklet included within the wearable's packaging - Koenig explains that it would be highly impractical if not downright foolish to assume that Apple could scale this same process over to the iPhone without anyone noticing.

"The process they describe is meticulously executed, and because of the nature of the design - wherein ceramics are mimicking the engineering layout of far more easily produced materials - probably the most laboriously produced ceramic watch on the market. In fact, if we scale the numbers used in the booklet up to iPhone size devices and cycle times, Apple would need 2 football field's worth of kiln space for each ceramic iPhone to sinter for the requisite 36 hours. For the 2 hours of hard ceramic machining to finish the case details, Apple would need to go from 20,000 CNC machines, to 250,000. They would need another 200,000 employees to perform the 2 hours of hand polishing to "bring out the strength and luster.

More bluntly, not only is Apple not using any new ceramics manufacturing technology in the new Watch Edition, they are not even utilizing the primary patent the original Quora article pins most of it's extrapolations on - that patent described a vacuum liquid slurry casting process for ceramics. The Edition watch uses a very common pressed powder forming method."
Additionally, the logistics involved in acquiring the requisite machinery in sufficient volume to mass produce tens of millions of ceramic iPhones would seemingly preclude the plan from getting off the ground in time for the iPhone 8.

"To do this," Koenig writes, "Apple would need to essentially flip the switch on an investment of roughly the same size of the current, machining footprint. Not only would this be a logistical nightmare, but finding a company to produce that much machinery without 3-4 years of lead time would be almost impossible."

With Apple reportedly "manufacturing roughly 1 million iPhones per day" during peak production times, it's important to remember that any new process or material Apple wants to incorporate into the iPhone has to be able to scale. All told, iPhone fanatics should definitely read Koenig's full explanation, especially if these fans are the least bit interested in the advanced manufacturing processes and logistical considerations that go into mass producing a device as popular and widely distributed as the iPhone.

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A Strong Dampener For iPhone 8

Posted by Kirhat | Friday, October 14, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Samsung Galaxy S8
There is no denying that Samsung and Apple are in a race to reinvent the face of the modern smartphone, with Google trying to closely keep in pace. New rumors revealed that even suggest that next year's iPhone 8 will feature a bold new design overhaul to keep everyone in an arms' length.

Apple is working toward a future iPhone with a face that is taken up entirely by the phone's display, from rounded corner to rounded corner. Next year's tenth-anniversary model isn't quite expected to achieve that vision, but mounting evidence suggests that the device will no longer have a home button, instead embedding the Touch ID fingerprint scanner into the screen itself. The new iPhone models may also have light and proximity sensors embedded in the display, cutting down on even more space needed around the screen.

The bad news for Apple is that it is not the only smartphone maker working to eliminate the empty space around your smartphone's screen. In fact, Samsung is already much further along on this quest, and reports suggest next year's Galaxy S8 will push things even further.

Recently, a new video imagines what next year's Galaxy S8 might look like if Samsung somehow manages to overcome all of the technological barriers currently standing between what consumer's desire and the all-screen smartphones everyone want.

Samsung is still in the early stages of trying to overcome what is nothing short of an absolute disaster in terms of image and public relations. As everyone knows all too well at this point, the company's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, has been discontinued just two months after having been released. Some early units were found to have a defect that caused the batteries to explode, and Samsung was forced to recall all 2.5 million phones that had been shipped. Unfortunately, several "safe" replacement Note 7 handsets also exploded while the recall was underway, so Samsung had to pull the plug.

This debacle is obviously going to cost Samsung. Big time. The company has to pay to reimburse or replace every Note 7 sold. It also won't have a new flagship smartphone model on sale this holiday season. Finally, Samsung now must overcome a massive image problem that will get worse before it gets better — for the time being, people think of exploding smartphones whenever they think of Samsung.

In time, the company will recover. There is no question. Of course, if Samsung were able to release a smartphone that's anything like the Galaxy S8 render in the online video, that recovery would happen far more quickly.

Android blog Techdroider created a Galaxy S8 concept based loosely on recent rumors. Reports have suggested that Samsung plans to remove the home button from beneath the new Galaxy S8's display and reduce the amount of empty space under the screen, just as Apple is expected to do next year. Samsung is also believed to be following Apple's lead around back, where the Galaxy S8 may feature a new dual-lens camera design.

The end result won't be quite as crazy as the render this gadget blog came up with, but there's no question that the Note 7 debacle would be quickly forgotten if Samsung did somehow pull this off.

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Apple Can't Seem To Get The iPhone Battery Right

Posted by Kirhat | Thursday, October 13, 2016 | | 0 comments »

iPhone 7 Battery
After they were released more than two weeks ago, Apple's new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus had undergone some serious scrutiny from its avid users and followers. One of the things they want to know is what are the phones' strengths and weaknesses? And as it turns out, it was observed that the latest variant of iPhones have far more strengths than weaknesses.

Apple's next-gen iPhones could be the most powerful smartphones on the planet right now, and they've been improved in nearly every way compared to last year's iPhone models. However, there's one key area where the latest iPhone models aren't class leaders though, and unfortunately it's an area where Apple's iPhone lineup is in desperate need of improvement: Battery life.

A recent test performed by UK-based gadget testing firm Which? confirmed what Apple fans all already knew but have tried their hardest to forget — the iPhone 7 has terrible battery life.

Apple claimed on stage that the new 4.7-inch iPhone 7 offers up to two additional hours of battery life compared to last year's iPhone 6s, and tests have definitely shown an improvement in this key area. But even with improvements over last year's iPhone, the iPhone 7 still falls embarrassingly short of rival handsets where battery performance is concerned.

Which? ran tests that compared Apple's iPhone 7 to the latest flagship phones from three of Apple's top rivals, and the results weren't pretty.

The firm's testing sought to determine exactly how long each phone's battery would last while making voice calls and while browsing the web, both using 3G. Apple's iPhone 7 came in dead last in both tests. The web browsing test was at least close but the voice call testing was ridiculous, with Apple's handset lasting less than half as long as any other phone.

Battery Test
Many observers believed that Apple has actually valued design and thinness far more than it values battery longevity. It may be strategic on their part, but it's getting to the point where Apple's love affair with thin iPhones goes against the company's tendency to put users' needs first.

Next year, Apple is expected to release completely redesigned iPhones. Details surrounding Apple's iPhone 8 have already begun to trickle in, and some of the new features everyone is expecting sound fantastic.

But many are hoping that the tenth year anniversary of Apple will finally compel the company to catch up to rivals where battery life is concerned, because Apple's current solution to the problem is a hideous battery case. What's the point of designing thin, gorgeous smartphones if the market offers an atrocious battery case.

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Apple iPad Suffers From Stiff Competition

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Apple iPad
The Apple iPad is known as the pioneer device in the tablet market after it was introduced to the consumer market in 2010. The device was aimed at filling a gap between smartphones and laptop computers, offering another mobile device option for consumers. The iPad is closely related to Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, as it uses the same operating system and multi-touch user interface.

Since its introduction in 2010, Apple has released six versions of the iPad, and has sold more than 300 million units worldwide. In 2015 alone, Apple sold nearly 50 million iPads, generating 21.33 billion U.S. dollars in revenues. Sales of the iPad, in that particular year, accounted for about nine percent of Apple’s total global revenue.

After the introduction of the iPad, competitors rushed into the market with their own tablets, and Apple saw its global market share decrease from about 60 percent in the beginning of 2011 to around 25 percent by the end 2015. Apple continues to be the leading tablet vendor in the world though, with Samsung as its closest competitor.

Apple is particularly strong in the North American tablet market, accounting for about 70 percent of the market share in the region. Emerging brands such as Lenovo and Huawei have been gaining market share in the tablet market.

Even though Apple is still the leading tablet vendor, the company no longer has the most popular operating system for tablets. Apple’s iOS market share dropped from about 95 percent in the beginning of 2010 to 24 percent in the beginning of 2015, while Android slowly gained market presence. Google’s Android accounted for 70 percent of all global tablet shipments in the beginning of 2015.

The figures for the coming years show a similar trend for the tablet OS market with Apple’s iOS forecast to account for around 25 percent of global tablet shipments, Google’s Android forecast to hold about 60 percent of the share, and Windows’ operating system, 10 to 17 percent of the market share.

Apple offers one million native iPad apps. Native apps only run on iPad’s operating system, therefore, they must be downloaded from the iTunes App Store. Game is the most popular app category amongst iPad users, followed by entertainment and education.

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A.I. Tech Slowly Inches Its Way Inside Modern Gadgets

Posted by Kirhat | Tuesday, October 11, 2016 | | 0 comments »

Artificial Intelligence
After several launches and pronouncements this year, one major trend is slowly emerging. Major technology firms are desperately trying to infuse smartphones and other internet-linked devices with software smarts that help them think like people.

The effort is seen as an evolution in computing that allows users to interact with machines in natural conversation style, telling devices to tend to tasks such as ordering goods, checking traffic, making restaurant reservations or searching for information.

The artificial intelligence (AI) component in these programs aims to make create a world in which everyone can have a virtual aide that gets to know them better with each interaction.

Here are some of the offerings available:

Google is making a high-profile push into AI, with the internet titan's chief referring to it as a force for change as powerful as powerful as smartphones.

Google Assistant software is being built into new Pixel handsets - aiming to outdo Apple's Siri - enabling users to organize and use information on the devices and in the cloud -- to check emails, stay up to date on calendar appointments, news or ask for traffic and weather data.

Google also offers AI through its Allo messaging application which can be installed on smartphones, and its Google Home hub, a standalone device similar to Amazon's Echo which responds to voice commands to manage tasks and fetch information where people live.

The South Korean electronics giant moved to jumpstart its AI efforts by purchasing the US startup Viv Labs, launched by the creators of Apple's Siri.

Samsung says the acquisition announced this month is part of its effort o provide AI-based voice assistance services its customers can use across all Samsung devices and products, from smartphones to televisions to washing machines.

Samsung is world's leading maker of smartphones powered by Google's free Android software, but also has its own Tizen mobile operating system, so how it may field its own virtual assistant technology remains to be seen.

Amazon in 2014 unveiled its Echo home assistant, a voice-activated speaker, powered by its "Alexa" artificial intelligence program.

Users can ask for news or information updates, as well as ordering goods from the online retail giant.

Echo also serves as a connected-home hub which can control compatible appliances, lightbulbs and other devices.

Since introducing Echo, Amazon has launched a smaller version called "Dot" and integrated Alexa into its Fire TV devices.

Microsoft's personal assistant uses the name Cortana and is available on Windows devices and its Xbox console and as an application on Apple iOS and Android devices.

Unveiled in 2014, Cortana - a name based on a character in its blockbuster game "Halo" - responds to conversationally spoken requests or commands, using insights gleaned from calendars, contact lists, online searches and other smartphone sources to respond in a manner akin to a real-life aide.

Facebook, heavily investing in artificial intelligence, is widely believed to be working on a personal assistant with the codename "M."

The social network's founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to create a real-life version of "Jarvis," the assistant in the assistant in the Marvel Comics series "Iron Man."

For now, Facebook is enabling AI-powered "bots" on its Messenger mobile application that allows users to get answers to questions and engage in text exchanges as though chatting with the social network itself.

Apple was the first to offer its personal assistant, introducing Siri for the iPhone in 2011, and has been working to improve it over the years.

Recently, Siri was upgraded to interact with non-Apple applications, so users can book a ride with Lyft or make payments using Square Cash.

Apple has also introduced a Home application that can connect with smart appliances and other devices, and is reportedly working on a standalone speaker similar to Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Technology stalwart IBM made headlines nearly 20 years ago with "Deep Blue" software that beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov at his own game, and more recently with "Watson" artificial intelligence that triumphed over top human players in a Jeopardy television game show.

IBM has put Watson to work making business systems and services smarter with data and customers. Thousands of people are expected to attend a World of Watson conference later this month in Las Vegas.

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