An obvious problem with today’s Apple hardware

I wrote to Tim Cook a year or two ago about a problem with Apple hardware, but he didn’t respond.  Perhaps if thousands of Apple customers write e-mails and flood the support forums we can get an answer.

Take a look at the following Apple pictures.

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ports_15in

Now take a look at these pictures, taken from Apple’s website today.  Can you spot the difference?

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 8.19.16 AMScreen Shot 2014-01-18 at 8.19.44 AM

Did you spot the problem?  Can you see what’s missing from today’s Apple hardware? The industry standard Kensington security slot!

Your first thought will probably be that MacBooks are simply too thin to accommodate a security slot.  The design simply won’t allow for it.  Yet take a look at the latest Thinkpad X1 Carbon released this month.  It has a security slot and the device weighs only 2.83lbs with a height of 0.53 inches (front) – 0.77 inches (back) which is MacBook Air sized territory.

lenovo-laptop-thinkpad-x1-carbon-2-side-ports-9

Indeed, this is nothing new, as one of the very first Ultrabooks to be released, the Toshiba Portege Z830, also had a Kensington lock slot.

z830_5

So why has Apple removed the security slot?  It’s unlikely to be a ‘Unibody’ engineering issue as MacBook Pros, including Unibody models, have featured a security slot right up until the Retina model was released. One might argue it’s a space issue but Ultrabook manufacturers have shown it’s possible.

I think if we look away from laptops for a minute, we might just get a clue into Apple’s thinking. The Mac Mini used to have a security slot, but that has also now been removed, despite there being plenty of room for one.  Perhaps the removal of security slots across Apple’s hardware range is intentional, by design and not necessity?

apple-mac_mini-schematic

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 8.20.13 AM

One could argue that physical security is no longer needed if you use FileVault for full-disk encryption, Time Machine for local back-ups and iCloud for remote backup of important data.  In the event of theft, you can use Find My Mac and Remote Wipe, or third party solutions such as LoJack. If you’re lucky you can erase any data before thieves start poking around.  If you’re really lucky you might even get a location ping to pass onto the police.

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A lock costs less than $20 at Amazon

Yet no matter how clever the software, unless you have insurance, you’re still going to be out of pocket by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Not to mention the time wasted in setting up a new computer and restoring back-up data.  Don’t forget to cross your fingers and Hail Mary if you’ve never tried or verified your restore process before!

Sure, a $20 Kensington lock isn’t going to stop a determined thief who has specifically targeted you and your data, but it should prevent opportunistic thefts in cafes, offices and other shared spaces. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 7.34.44 PM

How to secure the new Mac Pro?

Form over function? Beauty over security? An insurmountable engineering problem?  If you write to tcook@apple.com perhaps we’ll find out the answer.

 

Posted in apple, general, mac | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Farewell PandoraJam

445px-Lawrence_Alma-Tadema_10Sadly, with immediate effect as of November 5th, PandoraJam will no longer be available.

Representatives of Pandora Media contacted us recently and after some deliberation and without prejudice, we have decided to halt development of PandoraJam in order to ensure our time and resources are focused on productive endeavours.

What does this mean for existing PandoraJam users?

  • There will no longer be any updates or fixes to PandoraJam, so at some point in the future the software will probably cease to function due to bugs and incompatibilities.  We are sorry for any inconvenience.
  • If you purchased PandoraJam recently, please e-mail support@bitcartel.com or contact FastSpring (our payment processor) for a refund.  Normally refunds are only good for 30 days but given the circumstances, if you purchased any time from August 1st onwards, we will issue a refund. UPDATE 1/1/2014 – It’s a new year, and refund window has now closed.
  • For reference, if you come across files archived by software search engines or encyclopedias, the final release was v2.1 beta (build 650) in zip file format with a SHA1 digest of  d1de35e7773bc549af186e8c12603c867db6805d.
  • If you require your registration code or have any other queries, please e-mail support@bitcartel.com.
Theoi_PandoraThe story of Πανδώρα (Pandora) has passed between generations for more than 2,500 years

To all our users, farewell and thanks for rocking out with PandoraJam.

χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά

Posted in mac, pandora, pandorajam | Tagged , | 20 Comments

ComicBookLover for Mac updated: Mavericks compatibility

ComicBookLover 1.7 (download link) is a 64-bit Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks friendly release.

Improvements include:

  • Snappier performance
  • ARC memory management
  • Bug fixes

For those running older Macs, ComicBookLover 1.6 (download link) requires Snow Leopard and runs in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode.

Posted in apple, comicbooklover, mac | Tagged , | 4 Comments

PandoraJam advisory – Do not update your AppleTV!!! (Resolved)

Update 28 Sep 2013: This issue has now been resolved with the latest PandoraJam 2.1 beta (build 650), so this note is only for historical reference.  Hat tip to Joseph in the comments and thanks to Quentin over at RogueAmoeba and Jason at Industrious One for the workaround.

***

If you stream audio to your Apple TV from PandoraJam or other non-Apple software applications, we recommend that you do not update to Apple TV version 6.0.

Apple’s latest update appears to stop third party applications from streaming audio.  Further investigation is required to determine the exact cause and potential solutions.  Thank you.

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ComicBookLover is not ready yet for iOS 7

iOS 7 will be available for download tomorrow.  However, running the current version of ComicBookLover on iOS 7 will result in visual artifacts making it not possible to operate the app or read comics properly.

We recommend users thinking of upgrading to iOS 7 to wait until most of their favourite applications have been updated and operate correctly.

If you choose to stay with iOS 6, the current version of the app will be the last one for iOS 6.  All future development will focus on iOS 7.

Today, Apple updated their app store so that you will still be able to download the iOS 6 version of the app, even if in future the only listed version in the App Store is for iOS 7. http://9to5mac.com/2013/09/17/ios-app-store-now-allows-legacy-app-downloads-to-support-older-hardware-and-software/

Since we now have access to the final release version of iOS 7 and the Xcode 5 development tools are out of beta, we hope to have an iOS 7 compatible version of ComicBookLover in the App Store within a few weeks.  Thanks for your patience!

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CameraSafe is not yet compatible with iOS 7

iOS 7 will be available for download tomorrow.  However, the current version of CameraSafe is not compatible with iOS 7 and running it will result in unpredictable behaviour.

We recommend users thinking of upgrading to iOS 7 to wait until most of their favourite applications have been updated and operate correctly.

If you choose to stay with iOS 6, the current version of the app will be the last one for iOS 6.  Any future development will focus on iOS 7.

If you decide to update to iOS 7, before doing so, please make sure you export your photos from CameraSafe and transfer them to your computer via iTunes for safe-keeping.  It is recommended you export both encrypted and unencrypted versions of your photos.  If you have forgotten your security pin or pattern, there is no way to retrieve the photos, so it is recommended you do not update to iOS 7 until you remember.  Third-party tools such as iExplorer can be used to back up the CameraSafe app and document folder on your iPhone to your computer for emergency purposes, where you could use tools to decrypt the files at a later date, should you remember your security pin or pattern.

Today, Apple updated their app store so that you will still be able to download the iOS 6 version of the app, even if in future the only listed version in the App Store is for iOS 7. http://9to5mac.com/2013/09/17/ios-app-store-now-allows-legacy-app-downloads-to-support-older-hardware-and-software/

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Apocalypse? Keep Calm and Carry On!

Carvings at Xunantunich, Belize

Use coupon MAYANAPOCALYPSE in the Bitcartel Online Store for 50% OFF everything! (Valid 14-25 Dec)

To give a gift, simply use the web store as normal, entering your payment details, but under ‘License Options’ enter the recipients name. You can then print out and glue the registration code into their Christmas card!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments