The MacValley blog


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Tom Briant

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Editor: Tom Briant


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Zorro Macsk-touch screen for the iMac

I got an e-mail from TMDTouch. They are marketing a simple to install touchscreen adaptor for the 21.5” (27” to follow) iMac.

Here is their advertising pitch:

Dear Editor,

Sorry to bother you. I'm Nicole from TMDTouch. I would like to recommend a newly-released accessory: Zorro Macsk, the touchscreen for iMac. Firstly, Please read this introduction below:

Apple is firmly on board with touchscreen and multi touch to drive the interface of the devices like iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but it hasn't done the same for the iMac. Now it's time for Change. TMDTouch, a Chinese based company, excitedly announce that a touchscreen--Zorro Macsk designed for iMac has been released. You can add touch functionality to your iMac within 10 seconds.

The Zorro Macsk uses infrared technology to sense touch input so users can use input such as natural finger gestures or stylus to swipe, scroll, click, zoom, and more. A free protective film offered by TMDTouch protects your iMac from scratches and dust. Now it is available on Amazon for $199 with various colors like pink, silver and black.

Add Touch Capability to iMac in 4 steps

The Zorro Macsk doesn't require any additional software to run. You can install it in just 4 steps:

Step 1: Attach the protective film to the iMac screen.

Step 2: Hold the Zorro Macsk with an angle greater than 45 degree and let it attach the iMac completely.

Step 3: Plug the USB cable into the back of the iMac.

Step 4: Wait 10 seconds. And you get a Touchscreen iMac.

Support Mac OS & Windows 7

The Zorro Macsk supports both Mac OS & Windows 7. So if you installed both window 7 and Mac OS, when you switch OS form Mac to win7, Zorro Macsk also would change the touch mode to Win 7. Vice versa.

Since the Zorro Macsk integrates the gesture recognition function of Apple trackpad, you can easily switch screens, hide tasks, invoke tasks and so on.

According to the designers, there are three main differences between the Zorro Macsk and the Magic Trackpad. Firstly, Zorro Macsk doesn't replace the traditional keyboard and mouse. It just provides a new way to operate the iMac. Secondly, the Zorro Macsk is attached to the iMac and it brings real touching experience. It supplements the iMac's touch experience. Last but not least, it's not ergonomic to use the mouse and the keyboard when you stand.  

Touch screens are great for children with learning problems or old people. Interactivity is less disjointed. With the fact that iMacs are so widely accepted as the standard in graphic design, touch enabled iMac is definitely a great idea. Smaller operators are making use of iPads, but those who have larger operations (more items, more need for data collection, etc.) really need a larger screen. They would like a touch screen iMac for restaurant use. In the retail business, Touch Screen capabilities provide quick and easy sales transactions and more. It's hard to point and click with a mouse for every transaction, during high volume seasons at the shop. All the business-end users (restaurants, retailers, designers) that would love to buy Macs for their businesses, but won't, because they rely on Touch Screen functions that iMacs do not provide.

What's more, Zorro Macsk makes the appearance of iMac more diversified. You can decorate your iMac with different colors as you like. They will offer DIY service in the future and there are full of possibilities.

At present, only 21.5'' model is available and 27'' model has entered production. After being tested, 27'' model can be preordered. TMDTouch will bring more surprises. Zorro Macsk is born to change the iMac World.

Thank you very much. There are photos of this accessory:


TMDTouch’s official site is here

YouTube demonstration video is here

Amazon storefront is here

Facebook page is here

Neil Armstrong has died-the editor thoughts

Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has died at the age of 82. I still remember that summer night where we sat before the black and white TV set. We watched man set forth on another heavenly body.

We will miss you, Neil Armstrong, and never forget you and your fellow astronaut’s accomplishments.

(Picture courtesy of Fox News)


More on Apple's Big Win over Samsung in the patent suit

Jury says

   1)  Samsung infringed Apple patents

   2)  Apple did NOT infringe Samsung patents

   3)  Apple wins $1.05 Billion

No company - not even Apple - can remain at the head of the pack in perpetuity.

The average company that rises to the top of the market-cap rankings proceeds thereafter to lag the overall market.

Companies at the top of the market-cap rankings are, by definition, those that are riding a wave of popularity among investors.  There's therefore a good chance that they are overvalued.

Slide show from Marketwatch about the year since Steve Jobs died

Thank you Arnold Woodworth for sharing this with us. If you, fellow MacValley member, have something you want to share with us, e-mail me.

Now here’s an interesting article I found on Marketwatch. What happens to your digital libraries of music and books when you die?

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

Friday, August 24, 2012

Just in! Apple wins over Samsung in the big patent suit

This just in. Apple has won the civil trial against Samsung. Full details hereat Macworld.

Apple didn’t get all the money they asked for, though. They only got $1.05 billion in damages. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Samsung will write Apple a check for $1.05 billion.

Does this mean that Samsung phones will leave the market? No, most of the products mentioned in the case aren’t sold any more. Samsung has made changes to its phones to steer clear of suits like this. Read analysis at Macworld.

I’m sure Samsung and Apple will continue to do business. They may not invite each other over for dinner, but Samsung will provide parts for Apple’s devices.

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

Blog It And They Will Come! 

Here’s a report on MacValley Followers on Twitter: On August 14 we had 67 Followers. As of August 23, we had 109 Followers. That means that over the past nine days there has been an increase of 42 new Followers. That's an average of 4.67 new followers every day.. 

The biggest reason they’re following us? Seems to be Tom Briant and all his hard work on our Blog. 

Here’s what readers out there in the great big social networking world are saying about our MacValley Blog: 

* Good Information, nice post. Thanks for sharing. 

* I have been intelligent for hours and I haven't gone through such awesome stuff.

* This post was inspired by a long weekend I spent browsing your blog! So thanks for what you do, and thanks for your comments here.

* Your writings, articles, blogs, all must read matter.

* Great job you people are doing with this website.

* Howdy dudes! Wonderful stuff.

* PC Backup in this era is so necessary and many people don’t realize how         important it is until all of their data is gone. my favorite system is                      MY PC backup. Does mostly all the work itself!! 

* Nice posting. Thanks for sharing.  

* Data backup is treated very much as an afterthought.

* Backup is not difficult and can save a lot of heartache and wasted time

* Interesting article and an interesting read. I have always been interested in establishing an office with paperless processing, this might be                           the push I needed. 

* And finally, one blog reader said -- “Thanks for this!!” 


Cristael Bengtson

President, MacValley UG

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple? is that going to stop Apple? And other things

Arnold Woodworth, our Vice-President, brought these articles to my (and your) attention:

1. An article in the Harvard Business Review argues that Apple will not stop innovating if it loses to Samsung. Similarly, if Apple wins, will that make things better for us consumers?

2. Facebook has to decide whether toplease its customers or make as much money from them as possible to drive up its stock price? Remember, you bought this stock from a hoodie-wearing kid.

3.Four theoriesas to why Facebook has lost so many customers.

  1. 4.Some analysts feel that Dell Computer (yes, that Dell Computer) should get out of making personal computersand move into more comfortable areas. That’s a bit ironic, considering that Michael Dell, who’s still worth a healthy chunk of change, famously remarked that Apple should be liquidated and the cash turned back to the shareholders.

My (Tom Briant) opinion is that the PC market will differentiate into 3 categories:

One, House-brand or contract PCs. Costco, for instance, has ZT Systems. I bought a ZT Systems PC and I like it.

Two, Gaming systems. Computers for playing high-end computer games cost several thousand dollars and that slice of the market will pay. (Or they’ll build their own, but that’s another story)

Three, Tablets. Eventually, Microsoft will figure out how to write an operating system for tablets with a touch interface. They may stumble and fall a few times, but they’ll eventually get it. How this market will break down between tablets running Windows/RT for the ARM processor (which is what the iPad runs, albeit in heavily modified form) and the tablets running the Intel/AMD chips and full-blown Windows 8/9/?. I don’t know. We’ve had tablets from Fujitsu that run full-blown Windows for years. They’ve only proved popular with firms doing midnight inventory work. The iPad and its Android step-cousins, by contrast, have proved quite popular running on the ARM chips.

And I worry that a tablet running an Intel CPU and a Retina display might run hot enough to melt on the tabletop!

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG (With thanks to Arnold Woodworth, VP of Macvalley, for highlighted articles).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Leap Motion-a new peripheral for interacting with your computer. Wave with your hands!

The startup LeapMotion has a very interesting peripheral for interacting with your computer.

You’ve seen touch computing with the iPad and with the Magic Trackpad. You’ve seen touch-screen all-in-one computers for Windows. Well, you’ve seen ads for them.

Now imagine waving your hands in the air and seeing the results on the screen. That’s what the Leap device can do for you. Go check out their Web site here.

After you’ve checked out the device, check out their list of investors. Leapmotion may be two guys in a garage, but that’s one well-financed garage!

Leap states that they do not intend to stop with a stand-alone USB peripheral. No, they intend to collaborate with other companies to integrate their device into computers.

I hope and pray that these guys have talked to Apple about including the Leap into some future generation of Macs. As for Microsoft, they should embrace this.


Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Frank Zappa in iTunes and a low, low price for the Surface RT from Microsoft

Frank Zappa on iTunes! Oh, we’ve had covers of his songs (I have a cover of Valley Girl) in iTunes, but not the man himself. It’s a crying shame that Frank died too soon to see the possibility of direct digital distribution to his fans. Maybe Frank would have written a song about Steve Jobs…but I digress.


Anyway, in other news, the possibility that Microsoft may adopt Amazon’s strategy of selling the hardware at a loss, making it up on music, video, and games. According to this report in Engadget, Microsoft will sell the Surface RT tablet with 32 Gb of memory for $199. That’s with Windows RT, the version for the ARM processor.

The full-blown Windows 8 for Intel/AMD processors comes out later. I would presume tablets running Windows 8 will cost more. How much, I dunno. Probably at least as much as an iPad. microsoftsurfacewindowsrtlead01-2012-08-14-22-04.jpg

I’ll let PC Magazine and PC World do the heavy lifting here. Can M$ beat the iPad? Is Steve Ballmer shiny and a little bit crazy?

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, Macvalley UG

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aftter Mat Honan's epic hacking, what can you do to protect yourself?

By now, you should have read about Wired and Gizmodo’s writer’s Mat Honan’s epic hacking. He lost a lot of data, including photos of his baby daughter he did not back up. Ever.

Mat has found out how the hackers got into his account. These kids (one hacker identified himself as only 19 years old!) used social engineering to get the information from Apple and Amazon. Along the way, they picked up other data that enabled them to wreak havoc.

I won’t go into a detailed description of how it occurred. Go here to read Mat’s harrowing account.

So, what can you do to prevent this from happening to you?

First, BACKUP YOUR DATA! Mat feels most upset that he did not backup his Mac laptop with his daughter’s pictures. Folks, use Time Machine. If you don’t use Time Machine and Frys or Best Buy or Costco or Sam’s Club is open, get your butt there and buy a big USB hard drive. A 2 TB is available for $150 or less. What are you waiting for? Go, go.

If you use Windows or Linux, use the built-in backup tools. You might want to look at, too. I noticed they placed a banner ad above Mat’s story on

Second, enable two-factor authorization for Gmail. Mat says that if he had set up two-factor authorization for his G-mail account. that would have stopped the hack attack.

Third, dedicate an e-mail account just to password recovery. Don’t link to this account. Don’t even use it for private messages. This account strictly handles recovery in case of e-mail problems.

Fourth, don’t use the same sequence for each of your e-mail accounts. Mat Honan used and to the extent that the hackers could easily guess the e-mail address for other accounts. Mix it up a bit.

Let me reiterate. This is an excerpt from a story on about this whole incident.

Most of us aren't such an attractive target, but our risk is not zero either. Five defensive measures come to mind, which Honan endorsed when I talked with him by phone on Tuesday:

Keep a local backup of your data. (On a Mac, use Time Machine; in Windows, use Microsoft's built-in utility; CrashPlan can work too.)

Until Apple fixes a security policy that can be defeated without advanced social engineering, don't store a heavily used credit card at the iTunes Store.

Disable Find My Mac on your computers, in the System Preferences app's iCloud section. Find My iPhone/iPad remains useful; Honan said it recently helped recover his wife's phone.

Whatever e-mail you set for password recovery should be obscure, certainly not an iCloud .me or .mac address.

If you use Gmail for anything vital, enable "two-step verification" to ensure people can't take it over with just a password.

Be careful out there, everyone.”

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

Monday, August 6, 2012

More on getting Hacked by Matt Honan

Matt Honan wrote:

....what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s.  Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account.  Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information.  In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification.  The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices

More from Matt Honan at

thanks again to Arnold Woodworth, who’s on top of this unfolding story.

The Horrible Feelings that you've been hacked…and what to do about it

These articles concern ex-Gizmodo writer Matt Honan, whose Twitter account got hacked. And then the rest of his computers. Maybe you should have a local backup that you can unplug.

Read All About it here, here, and here.

tip of the hat to Arnold Woodworth for alerting me to these articles.

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

Apple's Top-Secret Marketing Strategy Revealed!

Apple's Biggest Marketing Secret Just Got Revealed In Federal Court

Read aboutit here in Business Insider.

Tip of the hat to arnold woodworth

Tom Briant

Editor and Media Manager, MacValley UG

Saturday, August 4, 2012

David Pogue gets his iPhone back

Hi All, This article was brought to my attention by fellow MacValleyite Arnold Woodworth. If you see an article you think the rest of us would enjoy, please bring it to my attention and I’ll post it right away!

New York Times technology columnist David Pogue lost his iPhone on an Amtrak train earlier this week but recovered it yesterday after police found it in the backyard of a house in suburban Maryland. Pogue used Find My iPhone, an application that uses GPS signaling to allow users to view the location of their iPhone from a computer or other device, to pinpoint the location of his phone.

Find My iPhone …. won’t work if the phone is turned off or the battery is dead, but it will tell you where your phone is if it’s powered on. It will also let you cause the phone to emit a loud noise for a couple of minutes, to help you find the phone if you are in earshot but not sure exactly where it is. Finally, an app like this can let you erase all of the phone’s data remotely, in case you resign yourself to the likelihood that the phone is gone forever and want to protect your private data. article on what to do if your iPhone goes missing.



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