TechVirtuoso

iOS 5 AirPlay Streaming to Apple TV demo

October 13th, 2011 at 8:39 AM  1 Comment

One of the features I was pleased to see baked into iOS 5 is AirPlay Streaming. This allows iPad 2 owners, and starting tomorrow iPhone 4S owners, to mirror the contents of their iOS device on an Apple TV running the latest and greatest firmware.

My understanding is some apps will also have special features to allow more than just mirroring, such as allowing the iPad or iPhone to be a controller and the remote screen to be the display. The combination of the two are going to make these devices an excellent hybrid of console gaming platforms and mobile, all without wires.

OS X 10.7.2 and Lync for Mac 2011, crash on start (how to fix it)

October 12th, 2011 at 6:28 PM  8 Comments

This isn’t exactly “news” but I figured I’d post it here anyway. There are probably only going to be a handful of people this problem and fix applies to, but those people will appreciate this.

My company uses Microsoft Lync for IM, presence, soft phone, etc. Most of the company runs it on Windows, but I had to be different and use a Mac. After installing the Lion update that was rolled out today, 10.7.2, the recently released Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011 client would not work, it simply crashed at login. Oddly enough the rather crash happy Office Communicator for Mac worked fine. A quick Bing around the net (thought I’d say Google, eh?) showed that I was not the only person suffering from this problem, and that 10.7.2 beta testers have been complaining about this for the last two weeks. After poking around, I noticed a certificate in my keychain marked as “Unknown” … removing it fixed my Lync issue.

So, go to Keychain Access and search for Unknown, delete it, enjoy Lync again.

Apple sells more than one million iPhone 4S devices in 24 hours

October 10th, 2011 at 8:46 AM  1 Comment

Apple today announced pre-orders of its iPhone 4S have topped one million in a single day, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4.

“We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do.”

Source: Apple.com

Pretty good for a “disappointing” upgrade. What’s up now, haters?

New ‘banned’ iPhone 4S promo

October 7th, 2011 at 8:48 AM  1 Comment

With another Apple product release comes another ooJLEoo banned Apple promo. These guys always have the best fake Apple device promo videos and this one doesn’t disappoint. For those who follow their regular videos, you will know of course that Rob Mansfield, VP of Cameras is going to love the iPhone 4S. You can just tell by the look on his face.

If you’ve never seen their previous ones check out their YouTube channel.

One more thing… here’s to the crazy ones

October 6th, 2011 at 9:37 AM  1 Comment

I think Steve may have said it better about himself, when speaking of all his colleagues.

Steve Jobs, the real tech virtuoso

October 6th, 2011 at 9:13 AM  3 Comments

One hundred years from now, people will talk about Steve Jobs the same way we do of Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and the Wright brothers. Perhaps, as my friend Chris helped pointed out, he was a mix of Edison and John Lennon. Maybe he was a bit like Walt Disney, or Jim Hensen, a man who was personally tied to the brand he created.

Regardless, he was an an inventor, a visionary, a man full of ideas. He was more than just any businessman, CEO to Apple, he personally held patents for many of the technologies used in their products. He was the perfect mix of creative genius and salesman. In the tech world, Steve Jobs was elevated to near deity-like status, but as cancer proved, he was still just a man.

Every CEO of every company on the planet should pay attention to this right now and ask themselves, “why won’t this happen when I die?” (@jayfanelli)

I tried to sit down and put together my thoughts on his passing last night, but couldn’t. I was too overcome with the emotions pouring out from people across the world on Twitter. I shared some of my own but it was interesting to watch the wake for a man happen in real time from people all across the world. People who loved and hated him all had emotions to share.

Even President Obama had something to say:

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

But I’m not sure those outside of the technology community could really feel the impact the way we all did. My wife didn’t understand last night why I was grieving for a man I’d never met, the founder of a company that now rivals ExxonMobil as the world’s largest. Without meeting him, Steve Jobs had a profound impact on my life. I credit him (and Bill Gates) for sparking my interest in technology… for making me what I am today.

The first computer I ever used was an Apple II when I was in kindergarden. Later, I learned how to do amazing things on some of the first Macintosh systems. I used to skip recess to go down to the elementary school library so that I could learn on devices that he helped create. And while my family can attest to later holding Apple and their products in contempt through much of the mid-90s, while pounding the drum of Microsoft, I later came back to the “distortion field” as Steve brought real innovation back to the industry.

The Apple II, the Macintosh, Pixar (who doesn’t love Toy Story), iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes. Disruptions to the status-quo. Disruptions that are all because of the leadership and creative mind of Steve Jobs. I don’t remember much about what computers were like before the Apple II or the Mac, but I know what movies were like before Pixar. I know what buying music was like before iTunes and the iPod. I know what phones were like before the iPhone, and I love my iPad. I wouldn’t want to go back to a world before the things Steve created, existed. Even if you’re a hardened Android fan, you have to remember what smartphones were like before the iPhone and thank Apple and Steve Jobs for setting a new trend. Even if you’re a Microsoft fanatic, you have to thank him for keeping Bill on his toes for all those years, and forcing each other to continue to innovate.

In my article last week, prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S, I said this:

I still maintain that Steve Jobs will be present at the announcement, even after his recent retirement as Apple CEO. I think he will be there to hand it off to Tim Cook in some way, or perhaps participate in some FaceTime chat to highlight a new iOS 5 feature. At the very least, his presence will be felt.

There was an empty chair, in the front row of the hall, with a cloth wrapped around it marked Reserved. That was no doubt a chair for Steve, one he wouldn’t be in because of what we all now know. I think Apple knew this was coming soon, and probably played the announcement a bit low-key as to not attempt to overshadow what could have probably happened any day. That said, I have no doubt that Steve wanted to see one last keynote, one last product launch, before he passed on. His presence was felt. His presence will continue to be felt with every future Apple product.

At 56, Steve Jobs did more than most people do in 90 years. He was the original Apple genius, a master showman, and the original tech virtuoso. He will be missed.

Why the iPhone 4S wasn’t really that hard to predict

October 4th, 2011 at 4:41 PM  4 Comments

Listening to people talk, a lot of them seem let down by the iPhone 4S. They have no logical reason to be. Looking at it, the iPhone 4S wasn’t that hard to predict. Let’s think about it for a second. When thinking about Apple product launches, ignore what “analysts” are constantly spinning, trying to manipulate stock prices for short term gain, and realize that Apple is generally pretty predicable.

In my head, you really have two major versions of the iPhone.

  • iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4, iPhone 4S
I group the first three together, because the 3G was basically the same thing internally as the original, except for an upgraded radio allowing 3G. The 3GS had all new guts, but the same shell as the 3G. Therefore, I tend to lump them together into “generation one” devices, even though they were all released a year apart.
Then you look at the iPhone 4. Brand new (fantastic) design, powerful internals and the super clear retina display. Even against brand new Android and Windows Phone devices, the iPhone 4 holds it own. The way I look at it, Apple pretty much locked themselves into one upgrade path.
  1. Cost wise, there are a going to be a lot of physical parts that will be retained between the iPhone 4 (CDMA) and the iPhone 4S. Antenna, radio, front panel, back panel. This means they’re going to make more profit through economy of scale especially by continuing to sell the iPhone 4.
  2. They were obviously going to put the A5 dual core processor into it. It’s in the iPad 2 already, it’s the same path they have chosen with the iPad 1 to iPhone 4. This signals a predictable upgrade path. If the iPad 3 comes out in A6 processor that is a tri or quad-core, then you can almost be assured that it’ll make its way into the iPhone 5 in 2012.
  3. Looking at past performance, they always upgrade the camera. That pretty much goes without saying at this point.
The time was not right for a brand new design. There is no need for it. All these blow hards railing against Apple, Tim Cook, etc, saying that this product will be a failure are not looking at it logically. They’re looking at it emotionally, they want some fancy looking new device to show off. Again, Apple will bring that to you in the future, but the fact that they didn’t do it this time was the right move for them.
Those people who are still on a 3GS, should get a 4S. If you’re still on an original or a 3G, you should have upgraded to the 4, but I forgive you. Don’t bother waiting for the hypothetical 5, and get yourself in the pre-order queue for the 4S. If you have a 4, the choice is yours.
Oh yeah, those of you complaining that the 4S still has a 3.5″ screen, I don’t care. I’ve used devices larger, and they honestly are uncomfortable to me. Even 3.7″ is pushing it. If I want to look at something on a screen any larger than that and I’ll use my iPad.
One thing to note, and another reason I didn’t consider before as to why they’re not making this upgrade a major release, is that Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 3GS fully subsidized. $0. This is really pretty huge. If you’re someone looking at a feature phone, vs an iPhone at 0$ (even if you have to pay for a $15 data plan) it starts to become very attractive. Apple would not have continued to sell the 3GS along with the 4 and a hypothetical all new device. It starts to become to complex and doesn’t allow them to scale based on the current supply chain.

Doubling down on my previous next-iPhone predictions

September 27th, 2011 at 3:42 PM  No Comments

Back in February I wrote an article outlining my predictions for the next version of the iPhone. (For my purposes hereby referred to as iPhone X.) Rumors have run like crazy for the last few months about what the iPhone X will be. Thinner, lighter, the same as the current, faster, curved, larger, two versions. You name it, some knucklehead with a blog has come out and said it. With the announcement that Apple will be hosting a talk about iPhone X on October 4, now seems like as good of a time as any to double down on my predictions.

For the record, I make no serious attempt to back these predictions up with any hard facts. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Prediction #1 — Steve Jobs Will Introduce the iPhone 5

Unless his cancer reaches a point which seriously prohibits him from doing so, I believe that he will do everything in his power to be the one on stage to show off the new iPhone. Rumors of his impending doom are being greatly exaggerated

I still maintain that Steve Jobs will be present at the announcement, even after his recent retirement as Apple CEO. I think he will be there to hand it off to Tim Cook in some way, or perhaps participate in some FaceTime chat to highlight a new iOS 5 feature. At the very least, his presence will be felt.

Prediction #2 — Hardware Updates

I’m going to go on record by saying that the iPhone 5 isn’t going to look drastically different than the iPhone 4. While the antenna design my be altered slightly, the dimensions are going to be the same. In my opinion the market isn’t ready for something drastically different, yet. That will probably come with next years version. Aside from the well documented attenuation problems, the design of the iPhone 4 is solid. My best guess is, Apple won’t alter it much except to correct that flaw.

On this I will 100% totally double down.

The iPhone X will be what most are calling the iPhone 4S. An upgraded version of the current device. There will be only one device announced, but it will not be a revolutionary new device. The larger, thinner version will come in 2012. What you will see next Tuesday will be an evolutionary upgrade, along the lines of the iPhone 3G to 3GS. Same form factor, better guts.

Expect the A5 dual-core processor, upgraded camera, more memory, and possibly NFC integration, reworked antenna. Don’t expect a lot more than that.

Prediction #3 – Networks

  1. No LTE. It’s not needed, the chips that are out to support it are not mature, and suck a lot of battery life. Besides that, cellular networks around the world are not deploying it at the level where it’s even going to be utilized except by a few lucky few.
  2. Support for fake-4G also known as “HSPA+” — although I really hope that Apple doesn’t ever call it 4G. Enhanced 3G is all it is.
Again, 100% double down. There will be no LTE iPhone X this year. Save it for 2012 when the revolutionary device is released and when all three of the US carriers have a more robust LTE network. AT&T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. Yes, I believe there will be a Sprint iPhone X, and it’ll be the same phone that AT&T and Verizon get. The iPhone X is going to have the same radio as the current Verizon iPhone 4, because it supports GSM/CDMA, therefore, as I’ve said before, it’s going to be essentially the same device on all three networks.

Prediction #4 – Software

Obviously with the release of a new iPhone comes updates to iOS, in this case bringing us to version 5.0.

We’ve seen from the already released iOS 5 betas that I was correct about most of this. We’ve got iCloud now, we’ve got wireless sync, we’ve got over the air updates on WiFi (that rock) — I’m going to add onto all of that and say there will be some at present unreleased features that will be exposed. Along with Twitter I expect to see Facebook integration into the core of the OS. Most importantly though, I expect to see voice commands take off and become a mainstream, front and center feature.

Prediction #5 – Most of this will be wrong

In all five of these areas, I’m probably going to be wrong more than I’m right. Predicting what Apple will do is like predicting the weather in Kansas on the day they announce the iPhone 5.

Actually, I think I’m going to be right about most of this stuff. But Apple is free to prove me wrong. However, I’m not making any plans to dump my current iPhone 4, once the “X” is released. I’ll be saving my money for the revolutionary upgrade in 2012.

Have HTC and AT&T gone nuts?

September 6th, 2011 at 9:35 AM  2 Comments

I do not understand the thinking behind this.  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  $849.00 for a Android Dual Core tablet?  $149.00 subsidy from AT&T?  What were they thinking?!  I realize that these decisions were made long before the HP TouchPad firesale started, but don’t you think someone should have said “wait a second, we should look at this again” and postpone the launch?

The HTC Jetstream is no low end tablet, but it is nothing unique. 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, 10.1-inch display, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. In today’s world, the majority of tablets (including this one) is a add-on device.  Why are they charging the price of a low to mid-range laptop?  At this price point I can almost buy a Lenovo Thinkpad and a lower end Android Tablet.

The other piece that is puzzling to me is why is AT&T only offering a $149.00 discount for a 2 year contract?  Who would sign up for that deal?  With Sprint’s recently announced ETF Change is this a new pattern?  Low subsidies and high ETF’s?  Lets hope not.

Hopefully this is just a case of “too late to change” and doesn’t show a trend to things to come from HTC.  If it does, I don’t see the once great smart device manufacturer continuing on with their legacy.

Can you have too much security?

August 29th, 2011 at 8:35 AM  No Comments

I started a new position this year and have many challenges to overcome.  There are a lot of things that have been neglected and many changes to be made.  One of the changes I was looking at implementing is enabling Windows Firewall locally.  I started on a few new servers that I was rolling out and the regional IT staff that support some of our internal systems started to disable these firewalls.  When I brought this up they thought I was nuts.  Just wait until I start restricting services by IP.

Fast Forward to today and the “Morto” internet worm is spreading via RDP.  We don’t have any RDP hosts local that are open to the dangerous world we know as the internet but I can’t vouch for the other dozen sites that are connected at the other end of our MPLS.  Now, most of our PC’s don’t have RDP enabled, but PC’s used by management and more importantly the majority of our servers may be susceptible if one PC out of thousands are infected.

I realize more security means more administrative overhead and makes admin jobs harder, but what happens when something like this hits and all of these machines are infected?  how much work is that going to take to remedy?

So, what are your thoughts?  How far do you go to keep your infrastructure safe?

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