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Tom Briant

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

World Backup Day is TOMORROW! Backup your most precious files NOW!

Attention all of you using computers and reading this blog while eating the last of your Girl Scout cooked!




Sorry to shout, but too many of us put off backing up until that day…when…the hard drive makes awful noises. 

I’m not asking you to install anything complicated. This is simple., which has lots of great ideas, has a recent post about backing up. Read it.

Tomorrow is World Backup Day. You Don’t Want To Be An April Fool with a dead hard drive and a case of the “If only I had known”.

Now you know. So Get On It.

Now this blog is aimed at the OS X user over 40. You there, sipping a cold one; This is part of the deal with getting a Mac. You need to back it up.

It’s so simple to back up your Mac. Just get an external hard drive that has more capacity than your Mac’s hard drive/SSD/Fusion Drive. 

You can get an external hard drive at these retailers:

1. Apple Store

2. Fry’s Electronics

3. BestBuy

4. Staples

5. Office Depot

6. OfficeMAX

7. Costco

8. Sam’s Club


You can purchase them on-line at:







Now to determine how big your hard drive/SSD is:

1. Go to the Menu Bark which is the stripe running across the top of your screen.

2. Click on the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner. The menu shown in the picture below will drop down. You want to click on the “About This Mac” item.


Click on the  Apple icon in the menu bar

3. You will see this screen in the middle of your screen:


OS X  MOre Info


4. Now click on the “More info…” button that I have circled in red.

5. You will get this screen:




You want to know about your storage. So let’s look at mine. So click on the storage item that I have circled in red.


6.  You will see your own Mac’s hard drive/SSD displayed at the top. Mine has 500 GB on it, and I have used 1/2 of it.



 7. Now if I wanted to buy a backup drive, I would want a drive of at least 1 TB (1000 GB) in size. I got a 1.5 TB backup drive some years back.


8. Now get the drive, read the instructions that came with it, and set it up. Your Mac will walk you through the process of setting up the drive to backup your Mac.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



Why did Microsoft put MS Office on the iPad and not Android?

AppleInsider published an editorial which delves into the market share of Apple iPads versus the market share of Android tablets. Apple, according to Gartner, Apple has just 36% of the market while Android devices enjoy over 61% of the market. Windows and other OSs make up the remaining market share slice of the pie chart. 


So why has Microsoft decided to port Word, Excel, and Powerpoint over to the iOS platform? Especially since Microsoft recently scoffed at the iPad as inferior to its Surface tablet? Why not port Word, Excel, and Powerpoint over to the market share leading Android? Lots of questions. Here are some answers.


Android does have 61.9% of the market. The whole market. Not just the Android tablets comparable to the iPad in terms of price and performance, but the low-price models most suitable for playing games and viewing videos. (emphasis added)


To quote Apple insider, “…These sort of "tablets" make up an incredible two thirds of the global tablet numbers reported by market research firms, clarifying that it's the recent recognition of these devices as "tablets" that has affected Apple's iPad "market share," not competition from tablet makers like Samsung and Microsoft, both of whom continue to struggle far behind Apple in their tablet sales. 


These low-price Android tablets have their place, such as in front of children on a cross-country trip. If it gets destroyed, it’s no big loss. 


Microsoft wants to go after the premium tablet market. Right now, Apple’s 36% of the market is all premium tablets that can run MS Office and that run the latest version of their mobile OS for the most part. 


What about Microsoft’s scoffing at the iPad? Well, that was then, when Microsoft wanted to promote its Surface tablet. Now they want to promote Office 365, which is software as a service (SAS), a term  you will hear a lot of in the forthcoming weeks and months.  


That’s why Microsoft gives away the software for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. You can only read existing documents with what you download. You have to sign  up for a Office 365 subscription in order to create new documents


Cha-ching! That’s how Microsoft will make money in the future. They don’t care if Microsoft Office 365 runs on tablets using Intel, ARM, PowerPC, or Doritos chips. Just so long as you pay that subscription, they will happily provide you with MS Office 365.  


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has your Weekend Wrapup

Sapphire screens have three short comings. Innovation at Apple seems to have overcome all of these short comings.

A sapphire screen in future iPhones would be revolutionary because sapphire is a very hard substance and thatwill dramatically reduce incidents of broken phone screens.

Why Microsoft Is Charging You $99 A Year To Use Office For iPad

By giving the app away for free, Microsoft gets a shot at completely side-stepping revenue-sharing with Apple.

Apple confirmed to take 30% cut of Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions purchased in Office for iPad apps

Microsoft: We'll No Longer Search Your Personal Email, Even If We Think You Stole Our Secrets

IRS defines bitcoin as property, not currency
This has BIG tax implications when it comes to dealing in Bitcoins.

Cybercrime Black Markets Grow Up

Forget script kiddies and website taggers: Cybercrime forums have become the domain of well-organized criminal enterprises and even some nation states.

The availability of on-demand cybercrime services gives attackers the edge over their targets.

Cybersecurity Expert and CIO: Internet of Things is 'Scary as Hell'

manufacturers of "Internetable" home devices are making unintelligent, insecure pieces of equipment that are designed to do one or two things with very little security measures put in place.

I do really appreciate the idea of having an alarm system that will remotely allow me to check my environments. You hear about people on vacation, they get an alert, they see somebody robbing their house, and they're able to call the police. 

That's exciting. That's a real opportunity for individuals to protect themselves. The problem is doing it in an insecure manner. 

Most likely [hackers] are going to steal your information.

I do not personally use "internet of things" (IoT) gadgets, because I don't trust them.

don't have your alarm system, your heating and air conditioning system, on the same internal network as your PCs.

Why we need strong net neutrality rules now

Time to invest in the death of Net neutrality

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The iPad soars on an a cappella duet on the Tonight Show Meanwhile, Redmond still fumbling around with the expiring Windows XP

Well, I’m back after a while. My thanks to  Arnold Woodworth for his weekend updates. (Francisco Franco! Still dead after 30 years!) 

Let’s get back to the topic at hand, namely, Apple getting free publicity while Microsoft still fumbles around trying to get people to give up Windows XP. 

When Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show got Billy Joel to join him on a duet of The Lion Sleeps Tonight; the star of the bit turned out to be the iPad Mini running the Loopy HD app. Jimmy and Billy recorded their backing tracks with Loopy in real time, then segued into the song. The crowd went wild. 

As Appleinsider reported, they did have professional help. Their music arranger used a $1,400 pro-level four-track mixer to add the vocals captured by wireless mikes to the iPad’s tracks. And Jimmy’s house band, The Roots, added a bit of percussion. Check out the story at Appleinsider for all the details

Tim Cook loved the bit. He tweeted a link to his 425,000 followers. Loopy announced it would go on sale for 1/2 price for a limited time. 

Now we wait for the inevitable onslaught of cute kids with their iPads doing The Lion Sleeps Tonight on YouTube. 

In other news, a Chinese source with a past record of accuracy reports that Apple will refresh the MacBook Air with a 12-inch model without a cooling fan. Coolness!, as my friend at JPL would say. 


 Meanwhilie, there’s Microsoft, still trying to convince the users of Windows XP to give up the old comfortable operating system for Windows 8.1-described as a bag of hurt by many. Their latest bit? We’ll give you $100-to buy a Microsoft Surface tablet with.

For all of you Windows XP people. I say, “Come on over to the Mac. Comfortable interface, top-notch programs, and much less vulnerable to malware. Not impervious, no. No one is. But a lot less worry"

“The Mac will give you what you got used to with Windows XP at its best. It just works."

“And feel free to try out an iPad when  you step into the Apple retailer of your choice. 


Tom Briant

Edtior, Macvalley Voice









Sunday, March 23, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth with the weekend wrapup

My Mac Pro: 10 Reasons It Was a Smart Purchase Decision

First Apple Reseller Finally Closes After 37 Years

Here's a newsletter from the second oldest Apple dealer in the U.S.

BUYER'S GUIDE: How To Choose The Right iPad

How I Moved Away From The Mac After Leaving Apple

Apple Rejects Tank Battle 1942, Then Approves; Shows How Stupid The iOS Approval Process Is

Mac education sales have grown in US since iPad debut

"Since U.S. education sales have been virtually flat over the past seven years, we find the Mac's performance to be nothing less than outstanding," Charlie Wolf said.

Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim right to read user emails

This Is What Happens To Your Files When You Stop Paying For A Microsoft Office Subscription

Why Yelp-Like Websites for the Enterprise Products Don't Work

a large percentage of the reviews are from people who aren't legitimate.

too many reviewers fall into three categories.

1)  Company shills, which range from employees to paid contributors who say nice things about the product or service but have never actually used it 
2)  Company enemies, which can include disgruntled employees, employees of competitors or unreasonable customers 
3)  Trolls, or people who just love to go on the Web and cause folks pain because they can

real reviewers don't have the writing skills of the fake ones, so often the best "read" is from a person who isn't honest.

Nearly half of identity thefts involve medical data

hackers are getting access to your health care data ("protected health information," or "PHI" in regulatory speak), and the real world consequences of that are far more devastating.

If an impostor uses your insurance to gain access to health care, it can also affect your own ability to access care: many insurance plans have yearly caps on certain types of care - and no insurance company is going to pay for "one person" to have an appendectomy twice. An identity thief with access to your insurance could drain your coverage before you even know it's happened - and leave you in the lurch when you need it.

An identity thief could very well use their access to your medical records to get the prescription drugs you need for your own health and well-being - leaving you both without your meds and with a suspicious doctor or pharmacist wondering why you maxed out all your refills so quickly and are coming back for more.

Digital Coup: Twitter Use Jumps to New High in Turkey

Recent events in Turkey, and prior events in Egypt and Libya got me thinking about the amazing power of social media.

The Law of Social Media: Arrogant fools who think they can control social media quickly discover social media controls them.

This Guy Makes Millions Playing Video Games on YouTube

Difficult as it may be to believe that online audiences throng to watch strangers play video games, Let's Plays have surged in popularity.

In This Video, a Singer Shows How Much Photoshop Is Actually Used In Music Videos

Mt. Gox finds 200,000 lost bitcoins

Meet The Company That's Trying To Offer All The Benefits Of Bitcoin But Without All Of The Headaches

it was only a matter of time before someone carved out all the meaty parts of Bitcoin while leaving the gristle for others:  Enter Ripple.

A key distinction between Bitcoin and Ripple:  While the former is based on a community, the latter is designed to solve problems of commerce.

all Ripple coins have been 'pre-mined,' meaning all the coins that will ever come into existence have been created, by Ripple itself.

"If you look at the cryptocoin universe available now, you see whole families of cryptocurrencies derived from Bitcion — they use the same technology," Denis Kiselev said. "Ripple is the only one that's substantially different, with a different mechanism of transaction confirmation, that allows you to do instant transactions across currencies, and only cryptocurrencies. I see it as a major step forward, a major advancement."

it's still early, but definitely something to watch.

The problem with data journalism

Michael Mandel said:
"I applaud the increased use of data in journalism. But they can't just hire graphic designers to make pretty pictures. Making sense out of raw data requires more analytic firepower and more willingness to do independent research than journalists have traditionally been comfortable with. But it also requires a new set of ethics about how to responsibly use data. That conversation hasn't started yet."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Microsoft OneNote for Mac-you got what you paid for

Microsoft OneNote for  Windows has caused a lot of envy on the part of Mac owners. Many notebook & organizer applications for the Mac have been marketed as “we’re like OneNote for the Mac-only better!” 

Of course, these products never offered binary file compatibility with OneNote, which is what a lot of people wanted. So if you wanted OneNote on your Mac, you had to break down, set up a virtual Windows machine with a retail copy of  Windows, and install Microsoft Office. It cost a lot, but you achieved the goal of opening  and editing OneNote notebooks on your Mac.

That all changed this morning, 3/17/2014. Microsoft dropped OneNote for Mac into the Mac App Store. It’s free. So how good is it? Will it kick Evernote’s rear end? Will it bring despair to the developers of Mac-specific products like Circusponies Notebook?

After an hour’s testing, this is what I’ve found out.

First, it’s pretty good for a first version. The app never crashed on me, never gave me a funky Microsoft error message. Some of the documentation still refers to the Windows version 

Second, it’s not going to kick anyone’s rear end. Microsoft clearly designed to serve as the Mac client for a Windows server. By “server,” I mean the full-featured version of OneNote featured in Office 2010 and 2013. 

Third, you can exchange OneNote notebooks between the Windows and Mac versions. This screenshot shows OneNote 2010 open in a Windows 8 virtual machine on my Mac opening the OneNote for Mac notebook with no problems.


Parallels Picture


So what are the problems?

The problems with OneNote for Mac are:

1. No local file access. All files go through your Microsoft OneDrive account, which you either set up as a new user or sign into using your Microsoft account username and password. You can access your files through The file dialog box only provides access to your OneDrive account and not local hard drives. 

2. No printing. You can send a PDF of a page from the notebook to someone in an e-mail or share a link to the notebook on your OneDrive account. But no downloading to your local hard drive. You have to e-mail to yourself.

3. No drop and drag of files into OneNote from the Finder at least not at this stage. You can copy and paste using Command+C and Command+V. You can install a free Web clipper to your browser if you go to



At this point, Microsoft OneNote for Mac works best for people working with users of OneNote for Windows. You can exchange notebooks back and forth through accounts. 

Microsoft has promised a new version of Office for Mac this fall. Will it include a version of OneNote as full-featured as its Windows cousin? We’ll have to wait and see

I’m not tempted, at least at first look, to dump Circusponies Notebook or OmniOutliner Professional in favor of this newcomer. But it is free without ads, safe to download, and well-written so that it doesn’t crash. So download it from the App Store, play with it, and tell me what you think of it in the comments. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog





Sunday, March 16, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has the weekend roundup

Apple is Now Offering Refurbished iPad Airs Starting at $419

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak says National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is a hero.

Earlier this week, Microsoft's Bill Gates told Rolling Stone of Edward Snowden: "I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero."
Just in case you didn't quite get what he was saying, he added: "You won't find much admiration from me."

However, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak seemed brimming with admiration.

Facebook can build a billion-dollar business by exploiting the fact that the app store duopoly (Apple's App Store and Google Play store) is basically incompetent at telling people about apps.

He Used To Work In A Gas Station — Now He's Making Millions Off Facebook Traffic

Basically, he was gaming Facebook's News Feed algorithm and business was great. But then disaster struck.

Facebook had changed its News Feed algorithm for the express purpose of reducing the reach of posts like Cardwell's.

He reluctantly began to buy "conversion" ads.  And that's when his business exploded with growth.

Businesses are actually better off paying for Facebook ads than trying to game the system.

Scam of scams: Stay off the sucker lists
Con artists fleece previous victims

New "refund-and-recovery" scams are the fastest-growing non-Internet fraud.

Con artists share lists of victims to target consumers who have already fallen victim to a scam.

Fraudsters claim they can help recover their lost money for a fee. In reality, says, the sales pitch is just another scam designed to get even more money from these folks.

Scammers have become more networked and organized buying, selling and trading these lists.  If you've been defrauded once, chances are you'll be getting phone calls from more scammers.

Telemarketers often trick Caller IDs into showing the calls are made by legitimate concerns.  You've probably heard of this tactic, called "spoofing."  You can't trust your Caller ID anymore.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Neil Young's PonoPlayer gets its initial funding from a very successful Kickstarter campaisn

Neil Young’s Ponoplaye, a high-end portable music player, received twice its goal on Kickstarter. It sought $800,000 and got $1.6 million. 

I’m not going into the merits of bitrates and such. The PonoPlayer will obviously play music at a higher fidelity than most of the audio equipment available today, including the various iPods. The question, though, is when would you want to listen to high-fidelity sound through this device? Jogging? At work through your computer speakers? 

No, I’m interested in the funding for this device. It’s new and different and appeals to a niche of consumers. Obviously well-heeled consumers are the first market. 

 But as Apple and Microsoft mature and bad bureaucratic habits set in to block new ideas for, oh, user interfaces and such; direct appeals to the public can go over the heads of corporations and individuals heavily invested in the current state-of-the-art. I’m  not imaginative enough to predict what those new and different ways will look like. I’m saying that you won’t have to push through committee after committee to get it on the market.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog 

OneNote for Mac is on its way, EverNote not quaking in its boots

The Web site the reports that Microsoft will release OneNote for Mac. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that this is part of a broader effort to expand the features and functionality of OneNote. 

This is in response to people telling Microsoft “Why should I pay for your program when I’ve got Evernote that does more than your OneNote program and works cross-platform, too?” 

This new version of OneNote on both Windows and Macs will feature the ability to clip parts of Webpages directly into a One Note file. Hmn, this is something that CircusPonies Notebook has had since it came out. 

I will download and test OneNote for Mac if and when it comes out. I will compare it against OneNote for Windows 2010, which I have installed in a virtual Windows 8 machine on my Mac. 

MIcrosoft has also said it will bring out new and improved versions of the Office for Mac apps suite. It is also expected to bring out Office for iPad. 




Saturday, March 8, 2014

From, here's a list of 85 programs for designers. Take a look! - Mac Tricks and Tips, Wallpapers and Applications for Mac Users - StumbleUpon: ""



Tom Briant 

Editor, MacValley Blog

Saving a message in Apple Mail as an RTF or PDF file for later reference

Apple Mail offers you at least two ways to save a mail message in a format you can refer to later. You would want to save the activation codes for purchased apps on your own Mac rather than rely on cloud storage. 

But how can  you do this, other than copy and paste the message into a word processor or take a screenshot? Well, Apple Mail has this capability baked right in.

In Snow Leopard 10.6.2 and in later versions, you can save a message in Rich Text Format (.rtf), plain text format (.txt), or in the raw message format of .eml. 

You start with Mail’s File Menu and go to Save  As...


Save Options in Mail for Snow Leopard

You also have the options through the Print menu of printing a hardcopy of the message or saving it as a PDF.


But back to the Save As… command.  When you select the Save As…command, you get a File Dialogue box with these options:


Save As Options in Mail In Snow Leopard



The default format is Rich Text Format, which preserves the style and format of the message, along with any links. Plain text would just save the message as, well, plain text. Saving the message in its Raw Message Source is when you want to archive the message to open with another mail program.

In the example above, clicking on Save puts the message about using  Google Forms in Rich Text Format in my /User/thomasbriant folder

As for saving in PDF format, in Snow Leopard 10.6, you would use the Print command or hit Command + P to bring it up. You have several options available.


Print to PDF in Mail In Snow Leopard



As I have written before, you can edit the PDF menu to add your own folders. You might want to add one for activations codes for purchased apps.

What about Mavericks?

in 10.9 Mavericks, you don’t have to go through the Print menu to reach PDFs. Now you can select Export to PDF… directly from the File menu. 

Save Mail as PDF in Mavericks

 Of course, you still have the Save As… option and you can still go through the Print… menu to save in PDF format or create a hardcopy. 


 Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog






Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has your Weekend Roundup

he Best Smartphone In The World is Apple's iPhone 5S

How iPhones could end credit-card fraud

MasterCard is experimenting with a new technology to change that by using your smartphone's geolocation to verify that you are in the same location as your credit card at the time of sale.

Cryptocat Wins Apple Approval

Cryptocat, an open-source app for encrypted online chat sessions, is now available for free through Apple's iOS App Store

Review: Apple’s New Mac Pro

The Internet Is Actually Controlled By 14 People Who Hold 7 Secret Keys

ICANN is responsible for assigning numerical Internet addresses to websites and computers and translating them into the normal web addresses that people type into their browsers.

If someone were to gain control of ICANN's database, that person would control the Internet. For instance, the person could send people to fake bank websites instead of real bank websites.

On the other hand, if a calamity happened, the ICANN database could need to be rebuilt. So ICANN came up with a way to do that without entrusting too much control to any one person. It selected seven people as key holders and gave each one an actual key to Internet. It selected seven more people to be backup keyholders: 14 people in all.

The Fight Over Who Controls the Internet
There’s a battle afoot over who will control the web—and its profits. At issue is a slippery concept called Net Neutrality. Sam Schechner explains what it is and how it could change the Internet.!59B35935-B128-4974-A81D-0DA0D6E9A043

Experts say we now spend an average of 10 hours a day with our eyes glued to some sort of screen, roughly split between digital and TV.
What have we disengaged with in order to become more engaged with our gadgets?

What about our souls and our society?

Zuckerberg wants to own your mental space.  So does Twitter.  So does Instagram.

Miami Teenager's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,0000

A Miami teenager is in big trouble.  As the Miami Herald reports, an appeals court just tossed out her father’s $80,000 age-discrimination settlement because she violated the confidentiality agreement by bragging about it on Facebook.

Do not overshare on social media.

How To Set It Up So That Facebook Will Warn You When You're Being Hacked

Study Links Frequent Facebook Use to Eating Disorders Among College Women

overall, social media platforms like Facebook have a negative impact on their body image

The Tech Utopian Dream Died Again On Mt. Gox

It appears that only now have many people woken up and realized that Bitcoin rests entirely on software, with all that that entails.

Yes, most of the money that we have (including bank accounts) also depends on software.

all software design requires implementation. All implementation requires human beings. And human beings make mistakes.

Andreesen and Co. are clinging to the idea that Mt. Gox was just a bad implementation, and the rest of the Bitcoin infrastructure is sound. That may be true. But ...... how do you know it is sound?

How are people supposed to verify the soundness of the Bitcoin infrastructure they are using without some trusted third party?

Part of the underlying problem is an unwritten law of software competition: Security, performance, and reliability all cost money, but features are cheap and popular. So in the short term, it's a rational strategy to race ahead with feature development, skimp on security, and hope that you don't get caught with your pants down. This is why it's hard to expect high quality software when you're in the middle of a technological land grab, which is exactly what's going on with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin as a monetary concept is potentially a work of genius, and even if Bitcoin were to fail in its present incarnation – a scenario that I cannot exclude but that I consider exceedingly unlikely – the concept itself is too powerful to be ignored or even suppressed in the long run. While scepticism towards anything so fundamentally new is maybe understandable, most of the tirades against Bitcoin as a form of money are ill-conceived, terribly confused, and frequently factually wrong. Central bankers of the world, be afraid, be very afraid!

It is to be expected that a new technology will be subject to setbacks.

Those who are lamenting the new – and yet tiny – currency’s volatility and occasional hic-ups are either na├»ve or malicious. Do they expect a new currency to spring up fully formed, liquid, stable, with a fully developed infrastructure overnight?

Recent events surrounding Mt Gox and stories of raids by hackers would, in my opinion, only pose a meaningful long-term challenge for Bitcoin if it could be shown that they were linked to irreparable flaws in the core Bitcoin technology itself. There were indeed some allegations that this was the case but so far they do not sound very convincing.

Mark T. Williams, a finance professor, wrote:
“Trust and faith that a sovereign is firmly standing behind its currency is critical.”

He seems to not have heard of Zimbabwe, or of any of the other, 30-odd hyperinflations that occurred over the past 100 years, all of which, of course, in state-managed fiat money systems.

through most of history – up to very recently – money was gold and silver, and the supply of money thus practically outside the control of the sovereign.

Flexcoin, which calls itself the bitcoin bank, said Tuesday 896 bitcoins were stolen from its wallet and the company will be shutting down.

How Bitcoin Bank Flexcoin Was Robbed Of Every Single Coin It Held Online

Despite the triumphalism of bitcoin’s naysayers this past week, cryptocurrencies aren’t doomed. You can’t suppress an innovation that permits global, low-cost peer-to-peer transactions and which renders obsolete the rent-seeking intermediaries of a cumbersome international payments system.

the end game could be the digitalization of fiat currencies, those creaky government-backed forms of paper money that bitcoin vows to disrupt.  the real game-changer would be a digital U.S. dollar.

If digital currencies were to fully replace their paper equivalents, he adds, central banks could tax bank accounts — effectively setting a negative rate — since depositors could no longer flee the taxman by storing dollars under the mattress.

the idea of an all-powerful central bank literally cutting your savings is horrendous for those who trumpet bitcoin’s independence. But it is arguably preferable to endless “quantitative easing” programs, which have lined the pockets of financiers but failed to create jobs for tens of millions.

Bitcoin’s recent problems have enlivened its critics. But the revolution it unleashed is only just beginning.

Why it’s easier to rob bitcoins than banks

Friday, March 7, 2014

OS X Mavericks: 6 useful Mac tricks | Computerworld Blogs

Some useful tricks for OS X. The ability to record your screen in QuickTime goes back to 10.6.



OS X Mavericks: 6 useful Mac tricks | Computerworld Blogs: ""



Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

An Apple A Day: Getting The Most Out Of Older MacBooks

Great article from, which is a great Web site.


An Apple A Day: Getting The Most Out Of Older MacBooks: ""



Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks

Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks: "the"



Need I say more? Maybe you should consider upgrading. 

I’m waiting to hear from other sources whether OS X 10.9.2 is ready for prime-time, or whether you need to wait until 10.9.3. 

Of course, whether you could upgrade with your current hardware is not the same whether you should. You may still depend on PowerPC software, such as older versions of Quicken. And Sibelius 7 didn’t support OS X 10.9. 

Now I just checked and Sibelius 7.5 does support OS X 10.9. Have to check with  The Tech Daddy about this.

Tom Briant

MacValley Blog

MacWindows: Reader says OS X 10.9.2 update still can't connect to NAS

The OS X 10.9.2 update still hasn’t solved this reader’s problem.

For what it’s worth, I’m connecting to a MyBookLive unit through 10.9.2 with no problems.

If you’ve had a problem, let’s share questions and answers.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

MacWindows: Reader says OS X 10.9.2 update still can't connect to NAS: ""


You There with the Messy Desktop eating Girl Scout cookies-This Is For You

Jill Duffy of PCMag and has written columns on Getting Organized. Whether you use a Mac, PC, or Linux, or even something weirder; this book is for you if you can’t stop putting folders on your desktop or your e-mail inbox has grown out of control. 

You Need This Book.

And now you can get it for free! In several formats. All Brother, the Japanese peripheral maker, wants is your e-mail address and your name. 


Download it in Kobo .epub format if you don’t know if you can read .epub book. If you can run the Amazon Kindle reader, use that format.  If you have a Mac, use iBooks if you run 10.9. Otherwise, use Calibre for .epub books or Amazon. 




Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog




Jill Duffy — Get Organized: How to Clean Up Your Messy Digital Life: ""


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has articles for you this rainy weekend

Apple released an important update for Mavericks, or OS X 10.9, plus security updates for its two predecessors, Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was nothing for Snow Leopard or any other previously-released versions of OS X. All of the updates included a critical patch that resolved a major security exploit.

Snow Leopard hasn't been issued an update since September 2013, which has led many to believe that the four-year-old operating system is being retired.

Apple acknowledged a major security flaw in its software for mobile devices on Friday but did so in such a low-key way that most users likely aren’t aware of just how at risk they might be if they fail to update their software.

So what is the problem? A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) vulnerability allowing hackers to intercept information that was supposed to encrypted.

Remember how the NSA was saying they had "unfettered" access to IOS communications -- and Apple claimed they had never given it to them?

They didn't have to.  The NSA exploited an Apple security flaw -- a bug preventing checking of the certificates.

Everything We Know About The Huge Security Flaw That Affects (Nearly) All iPhones, iPads, And Apple Computers

What you need to know about Apple's SSL bug

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and Transport Layer Security are a pair of networking technologies that establish an encrypted link between your computer and servers.

this bug, which has apparently gone unpatched since iOS 6's release in 2012, could be what the NSA was referring to when it claimed it could conduct surveillance on Apple products under the PRISM program.

OS X 10.9.2 arrives to fix SSL vulnerability, Mail problems, and more

Highlight of Apple shareholder meeting turned out to be a joke

Social Media Mastermind Gary Vaynerchuk Explains The Biggest Thing Marketers Are Getting Wrong In 2014

Those who don't learn to tell their stories on today's platforms (e.g., Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) are the ones who will go out of business.

Psychopath pro tip: Abusing a puppy? Don't post it on Facebook

How To Erase Everything You Search For On Facebook

Couples could see that their significant others are searching for old flames.  Don't let this happen to you.

10 Things You Should Know Before You Start Using WhatsApp

WhatsApp is Hugely Popular Among The Syrian Opposition

the Syrian government banned the free and safely encrypted messaging application WhatsApp, primarily to disrupt the rebel opposition’s cellular privacy. The ban isn’t working. It’s doing the opposite of working.

The 6 Types Of Twitter Conversation

The Tech Job Market Is So Insane Right Now This Guy Got 7 Job Offers From An Anonymous Post On Secret

Turns out that tech companies are so desperate for staff who can create and design mobile apps for iPhones that they will hire people sight unseen, name unseen and resume unseen.

Verizon CEO Wants To Charge Video Gamers More Money For Internet Access

6 Lessons Learned About the Scariest Security Threats

Debit card skimming is on the rise, and much of it originates from a trusted source: bank-owned ATMs.

Data from the FICO Card Alert Service shows a 48% increase in ATM fraud as a result of skimming from 2012 to 2013 (ATM fraud meaning the thief used the stolen PIN and card information to fraudulently withdraw funds from an ATM). The bulk of those fraudulent withdrawals used information skimmed from bank-owned ATMs.

A $629 Ultrasecure Phone Aims to Protect Personal Data

The $629 Blackphone will strongly encrypt all communications and block the tracking of your Web browsing and search terms. It even blocks extraneous Wi-Fi beacons from your phone, as they tend to leave a detailed record of your phone’s movements.

“The entire reason for the phone to exist is to protect your privacy,” says Phil Zimmermann, a Blackphone cofounder who invented a widely used encryption system known as PGP for “pretty good privacy.” “We are not a phone company adding a privacy feature; we are a privacy company selling a phone.”

Microsoft Told A Room Full Of Journalists That Windows Phone Is Beating BlackBerry And They All Laughed

MtGox, once the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, has gone offline.

Sites tracking trading on the Bitcoin exchange are reporting no trading activity there.

A document unearthed by Bitcoin enthusiast Ryan Selkis that's been widely circulated estimated at least 744,408 BTC — about 6% of all coins in existence — are now out of circulation.

Regulator sounds alarm on bitcoin

Joseph Borg, state securities administrator in Alabama, plans to issue a consumer alert Tuesday ...... stop trading bitcoins—or adding holdings on account—until issues are resolved.

More than a dozen regulators ...... felt that bitcoin exchanges were out of their purview ...... largely because most of the operators are located offshore.

Mt. Gox says all transactions closed ‘for time being’ 
Japanese regulators say they can’t help

“Pony” botnet pilfers digital coins worth $220,000 in sustained attack

The malicious application known as Pony stole the digital loot from 85 wallets from September through January.

Malware that steals digital wallets relies on end users who fail to take oft-repeated advice from security experts. Chief among the recommendations is to avoid storing wallets on Internet-connected computers when possible. The wallets contain the private cryptographic keys needed to transfer ownership of bitcoins and other forms of digital currency. Once someone gains access to the private key, he or she takes ownership of the corresponding coins. The decentralized structure of the digital currencies makes it impossible to reverse the transaction.

Mt. Gox Leaked Financials Show It Was Profitable (Before Being Robbed Of $300 Million)

Bitcoin Proves The Libertarian Idea Of Paradise Would Be Hell On Earth

Senator Manchin calls for federal ban on bitcoin

Mt. Gox loses customers' bitcoins, files for bankruptcy

Mt. Gox said it was filing for bankruptcy protection and that 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins and 100,000 of its own had been lost.

The only known regulatory action involving Mt. Gox has come from U.S. authorities.

Bitcoin exchange BTC-e, a Mt. Gox alternative, is an Internet black hole

who runs it, and from where?
BTC-e's legitimacy questioned in a post on Reddit that has nearly 300 comments.

How history explains bitcoin, Mt. Gox bankruptcy

the intrinsic value for these virtual monies was unchanged; they were-and are-worth whatever someone will pay for them or give in return for them at any given moment.

The reason that tulip bulb prices are important is that they, too, are worth what someone will pay for them.

people should be looking toward the past as they consider how the story of bitcoin could play out.

during tulip-mania in Holland in the 1630s ...... the rarest bulbs grew to be worth thousands of florin, the equivalent of more than $750,000 today for just one flower.

There's a new word you need to know:  Goxed

ANDREESSEN: MtGox Is Like MF Global And Not An Existential Threat

He wrote:
"MtGox has been obviously broken and possibly outright crooked for months.  As seen in trading spreads.  This is like MF Global.  Not some huge breakdown of the underlying technology or other exchanges.  Bitcoin protocol is unchanged and other bit coin exchanges and companies are doing fine."

"MtGox had to die for Bitcoin to thrive. Its former role from early Bitcoin days has been supplanted by better, stronger entities."

Mt Gox exchange problems have not changed my stance on bitcoin.

Getting rid of a bad player is a very good thing for the good players who remain. There will be other companies, exchanges and bitcoin scams if/as bitcoin continues to grow in acceptance as an exchange of value.

Do you think those who had bitcoins $BTC at MtGox will get a bigger percentage of their deposits back than:

1.  Farmers who had millions plundered from their custodial accounts at MFGlobal?
2.  Savings and checking account holders at the Cyprus Banks last year?
3.  People who hold one of the 150 promised paper claims per each physical ounce of gold
    at the Comex when the music stops playing there someday?

Answer: If you are not holding your asset in hand - stock certificate, bitcoin (good article on this topic - To keep your bitcoins safe, just print them out - really), gold, or dollar, your money's at risk. Just sayin'.

TSA Harasses Traveler After 'Seeing Bitcoin' In His Bag



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