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Past Episodes

#493 – Move Mouse, Security of old Mac, Chronicle, POODLE Vulnerability, and Security from a Mac User’s Point of View with George Starcher

Bart Busschots is guest-hosting the show this week. Allison tells the story of Move Mouse – a Mac app written for a Nosillacastaway by a Nosillacastaway! Bart answers a great dumb question from listener Lynda on the security of old Macs, Ken Wolf from the Manhattan Repertory Theatre reviews Chronicle, Bart fills us in about the POODLE vulnerability that’s been in the news this week, Allison describes how you can become a hero with Clarify, and in Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart talk to George Starcher about security from a Mac user’s point of view.


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How Can You Move the Mouse on a Mac a Precise Distance?

A little while ago, good friend of the show Slau wrote to the Mac Geek Gab boys, Dave Hamilton and John F Braun with a very interesting request. Dave included me on distribution thinking I might have some ideas. Here’s Slau’s original question:

MoveMouseIcon that I spent 2 hours creating for people who can't see.Hi Dave and John,

I have an issue that I’ve been trying to solve for quite some time. In fact, it would help a great deal of blind Mac users such as me.

I’m trying to find a way to move the mouse pointer in fixed increments (pixels or inches, whatever) using only the keyboard or preferably the numeric key pad. While there’s a way to move the pointer using Mouse Keys (within the Accessibility pane of System Preferences), the result is based on factors like delay and speed and vary according to how long you hold down the key so results aren’t exactly repeatable or translatable from user to user.

With VoiceOver, it’s possible to read the mouse coordinates in inches relative to screen or window but it’s not possible to enter coordinates manually. An example of where moving the pointer manually would be helpful and even necessary is when there are invisible elements on screen that are not recognized by voiceOver but need to be clicked. One can navigate to the closest recognizable element and then manually move the pointer from there. I’m thinking there might be an AppleScript or something that could perform the mouse pointer movement and it could be triggered by a keyboard shortcut. What do you think?

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#492.5 What Macworld Meant to Me

By now you’ve probably heard that Macworld Expo has officially been put on hiatus and that there will be no show in 2015. I have to say that I was, like many of you, terribly saddened to find out that such a big part of my life will cease to exist. Paul Kent, General Manager of IDC World Expo and the man behind Macworld Expo wrote in a Facebook post that he’s looking back with fondness and looking forward to what the future will bring. Rather than wallowing in sadness about it, I’d like to take his approach and instead talk about the good times and what Macworld Expo meant to me.


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On Ada Lovelace Day I Honor Kirschen Seah

kirschenAda Lovelace was an English mathematician who lived in the 1800s. She is often described as the world’s first computer programmer because of the work she did on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer. Her notes include what is recognized as the first algorithm to be carried out by a machine.

I only know about Ada Lovelace because Kirschen Seah of freerangecoder.com told me about her last year on Ada Lovelace day. Kirschen explained that this day was created to encourage people to write about those women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math who have inspired us. The hope is by celebrating Ada Lovelace’s accomplishments along with other outstanding women in STEM, we will be able to encourage more girls to go into these scientific fields.

I’ve worked with a lot of brilliant scientific women over my 35 year career but I’ve chosen Kirschen Seah herself to honor on Ada Lovelace day. Kirschen is a computer scientist, a bicycle mechanic, a photographer, and a pilot. I’m inspired by her not just for her accomplishments in industry but because of her relentless enthusiasm towards encouraging more girls to join the technical disciplines. For example, she works like a mad woman on Take Your Daughter to Work Day to help develop experiments and design contests to stimulate young minds. When you hear her talk about how much fun she has helping them you cannot help but feel the thrill she gets from stirring young minds to show them what they can do.

I got to see her excitement first hand this year. During Macworld Expo, App Camp For Girls was looking for volunteers to help young women in the program to get a taste for programming. You could not have kept Kirschen from volunteering to help if you’d had an army to help you. When she came out of the session she was so invigorated by the amazing young minds she’d met and clearly she had gained energy by being allowed to help them reach their goal to become programmers.

Kirschen brings such excitement for engineering and computer science that her presentations are positively infectious and she’s done more to encourage young female minds than anyone I know. Thank you Kirschen for being a role model for so many young women and for being a role model to me.

If you want to learn about more incredible women inspiring young women to join the STEM fields, check out findingada.com.

#492 Ada Lovelace Day, Sennheiser PMX 685i Headphones, Facebook Ruining My Life, TTT Part 22 Tips and Tricks

Correction on editing widgets on iOS (hint, unlock your iPhone). Kirschen Seah challenges us to write blog posts in honor of Ada Lovelace on Tuesday October 14th talking about a woman in the STEM field that you admire. Learn more at FindingAda.com. Sennheiser PMX 685I In-Ear Neckband Headphones are a winner at $50. How Facebook is ruining real life for me. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart gives us some really fun tips and tricks in Taming the Terminal Part 22 of n.


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Digital Disaster – Life After Death – for Dallas Apple Corps

On Saturday 11 October, I had the pleasure of presenting to the Dallas Apple Corps on the subject “Digital Disaster – Life After Death”. This was original presented at Macworld in early 2014 but I took the show on the road after I got such a great reception for the topic.

The audio got weird at the beginning so I had to change microphones partway through. If you’d like to jump past the nasty audio, go to around 7 minutes in and you actually won’t miss much of the presentation!

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Slides available here: http://www.slideshare.net/nosillacast/2014-macworld-death-pdf.

Daily Tech News Show – Oct. 6, 2014

Tom Merritt and I discuss they daily news, along with the HP breakup and what it means.

Great $50 Sports Headphones from Sennheiser

Sennheiser lmx 635i headphonesYou’ve been hearing me review Bluetooth headsets for the last few months, and while the Jabra Sport+ Wireless Bluetooth headphones work great for Steve, no matter what ones I try work just fine UNLESS I put them in my Spibelt which is how I carry my phone to jog, wash the car, or walk the dog. I still like the Avantree Jogger Sports Bluetooth Headphones when I’m watching podcasts on my iPad at the gym, but the instant they touch my body they start to cut out.

I decided that after testing so many Bluetooth headsets, wired was the only way to go. I guess I should mention the problem to be solved here – it’s not high audio quality I’ve been looking for, it’s simply that the wires bang around hitting my hands when I’m jogging, or get caught on a rear view window when washing a car, or get pulled when two adorable white labs jump up and yank my brand new iPod Nano off my shirt and crack it. Of course those are theoretical examples that could have happened wearing my iPhone headphones. Read More

#491 Guided Access, 1Password vs LastPass, Rene Ritchie from iMore

Jonathan Quinlan tells us how Guided Access helps him save battery and protects his data. After a couple of months with 1Password I now feel qualified to compare it to LastPass that I used for a few years. Maybe my experiences will help you decide which password manager is right for you. I walk you through Steve and my scientific process to figure out why our Internet stops when our phone rings (and our solution). In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Rene Ritchie, Editor-in-Chief of iMore joins us to talk about some of the less obvious features of iOS 8 like widgets, manual control of the iPhone’s camera, and he even explains what Dual IPS Displays mean to us.


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LastPass vs 1Password – Which One is Right for You?

1p_vs_lpWe’ve talked before about the importance of using a password manager in this age of constantly hacked services. There’s no perfect solution yet, but we’ve been able to prove time and time again that letting a human pick passwords is pretty much the most flawed approach you can take. We can’t remember passwords, and we can’t even invent random ones, so we fail from both sides. We cannot be trusted. If you use a password manager, can choose to have it create random passwords your brain would never think of, and which you can never type. We’ve also talked about using Bart’s awesome xkpasswd tool to generate random and yet typable passwords.

I’m betting that many of you are in the camp of “yeah, I know I should use a password manager, and I’m really really going to get around to that soon.” Sort of like the old days when we all knew we should be doing backups but it was just too darn hard, so we didn’t start doing them until it got as easy as plugging in a backup drive. Now there’s really no excuse not to use LastPass or 1Password.

You may recall that I have been a LastPass user for a few years, but I’ve been frustrated because they were never able to fix the problem I had that it would stop logging me out when I was idle, which was enough to push me to 1Password. Now that I’ve used both for a while I’d like to walk through each one and give you some pros and cons so you can make your own decision. Remember, they’re both GREAT services, and you will not go wrong either way. I remember when Dorothy was trying to decide and she made a big pro/cons chart for herself, and in the end flipped a coin. She ended up choosing 1Password and so did Bart, which might be all you need to help you decide.

1Password is available from agilebits.com, while LastPass is available from lastpass.com. Let’s dig into each of them, pros and cons: Read More