TechFan #226 – Flatulence

On October 2, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Amazon sends Tim the new Fire TV for review, but he only just got it so too early for that yet. Amazon also refuses to sell either the Apple TV or the Chrome Stick for not supporting Amazon Prime Video, and David thinks it is anti-competitive, while Tim is just confused by it. Will there be a PS Vita successor? What happened with iFixIt? And Tim gets a free breakfast!

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FLAC on the Mac — A brief summary of digital audio/music file formats/types
This article covers the most common digital audio file types. I discuss why they were developed, how they’re used, and their advantages and disadvantages. Then I explain how best to preserve and protect a music collection from physical loss, or loss of compatibility with current hardware and music players.

High resolution, or hi-res, music files, also called tracks, are big news these days. Since most Mac users play their music tracks on the default iTunes music player included with the Mac’s operating system, those users will be curious about the advantages of hi-res music. Is it worth the effort to download a new music player that will play those hi-res tracks?

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OnHub Router – Review

On October 2, 2015, in Review, by Curt Blanchard

OnHub Router
Manufacturer: Google
MSRP: $199.99 (Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy)

I’d rather walk barefoot over hot coals than set up and configure a home Wi-Fi network. The terminology is geeky, the wiring is confusing, the hardware is ugly, and crawling around under my desk is a pain. Google’s new OnHub router addresses all of these complaints.


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MyMac Podcast 576: So…two iPhones walk into a bar

On September 28, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

So many wonderful things we COULD have talked about…but didn’t. Instead we get a potpourri of odd things that struck the GMen as worth talking about, so there’s that. Gaz gets paid for a photo, Guy finishes up his latest tech projects, and for some reason they talk about a Windows Phone. What the heck?

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Guy’s App Pick: Half-Life 2 from Steam. $9.99
Gaz’s App Pick: ActionSwing Jump from a swing timely and land on a SAFE platform! Tap the screen anywhere to jump.
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TechFan #225 – Digital Download Shock

On September 25, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Tim and David go on a one-topic rant about digital downloads. David has a chat with Apple about getting a refund for BioShock, and they act out the transcript. If you have ever wanted to hear Tim do a falsetto, and who hasn’t?, this is the episode for you. Plus, Tim finds an inexpensive arcade, David is getting an iPhone 6s, and more.

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MiGO Selfie Stick – Review

On September 23, 2015, in iPhone, Photography, Review, by Curt Blanchard

MiGO Selfie Stick
Price: $39.95 ($29.99 Amazon Prime)

When selfie-sticks first appeared, they were an overnight sensation. As they proliferated, they became an annoyance and are now restricted in many locations for safety concerns. The new MiGO Selfie Stick demonstrates that this category has finally matured. This selfie stick has gone pro with innovative features and connections at a reasonable price


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MyMac Podcast 575: iOS 9…Vuja De?

On September 22, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

iOS 9 is here! Woo! Let the whining and complaining begin! Yes, it caused some problems for some people as pretty much any release of any major operating system will, but over all it seemed to go much smoother than iOS 8 did. We have feedback that tells us we laugh too much so of course we laughed a lot.

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Other stuff:
Guy’s App Pick: Handbrake by Handbrake! FREE!
Gaz’s App Pick: Mactracker provides detailed information on every Apple Macintosh computer ever made, including items such as processor speed, memory, optical drives, graphic cards, supported OS versions, and expansion options. Also included is information on early Apple systems, Apple mice, keyboards, displays, printers, scanners, speakers, cameras, iPod, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Wi-Fi products, Newton, iOS, Mac OS, and OS X versions.
People’s Pick: From Seranak Assassin indulge Your Creativity with an Abundance of Royalty-Free Typefaces
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TechFan #224 – Pluto Fire

On September 18, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

New Amazon Fire tablets and Fire TVs, upgrading to a new iPhones,  iOS 9 upgrades, and Pluto is discussed.

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Cinder – The World’s First Curved Glass Screen Protector
Price: £25.50 (UK), €34.99 (EU), $39.50 (US)

One of the biggest tech fails I’ve had in recent years, aside from my shocking lack of backups, was not to protect my iPhone 6 with a screen protector. Now every time I look down, I know the scratches are there no matter how small they might be.

With something so expensive why put a cheap eBay type screen protector on it when you could give it the protection it deserves, the Cinder Glass Screen Protector? What makes this protector different, other than being glass?? It’s curved for full protection.

The Science Bit

Just like the iPhone’s own screen, Cinder is made from Corning Gorilla Glass, and as it’s a minuscule .2mm thick there is no need to worry about bulk being added to the iPhone 6.

Putting this into relative figures, the iPhone 5 has a depth of 7.6 mm (0.30 inches) vs the iPhone 6 at 6.9 mm (0.27 inches). Even with the  Cinder on the iPhone 6 it is still substantially thinner than the iPhone 5.Cupert Screen Protector Installed 1

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Macally 3000 mAh Battery Case – Review

On September 16, 2015, in Battery, Cases, iPhone, iPhone Cases, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Macally 3000 mAh Battery Case
Company: Macally
Price: $69.99
Model: MPCP6M30
Made for iPhone 6


We use our iPhones all day long listening to music, texting, following driving directions. After a few hours we realize the battery is almost depleted and there’s nowhere to charge the phone, or we don’t have a Lightning connector or spare battery. Yikes! What to do? The Macally 3000 mAh Battery Case is the perfect solution.

The Macally 3000 mAh Battery Case is made for the iPhone 6. It has a smooth rubberized finish that’s easy to grip and hold. The Macally web site claims the battery case is lightweight, but I have to disagree on that point. It definitely felt heavier at first, but I got used to it quickly. It’s incredibly simple to put on the iPhone and remove in just a matter of seconds.

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MyMac Podcast 574: Apple event? What Apple event?

On September 15, 2015, in Podcast, by The MyMac Podcast

So that big thing happened that everyone is talking about except the GMen…except when they’re talking about it. Guy’s birthday happens and as a gift to himself he’s going to get an iPad Pro which would REALLY put the lead in his pencil but he’s not getting one, a pencil that is. Overflowing toilets and a love for the Queen of England tops out the episode. Which means it’s going to be odd.

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Guy’s App Pick: Apple’s Screen Sharing app. Easy to set up and keep track of any Mac on your local network.
Gaz’s App Pick: Trials Frontier, riding a trials bike in cowboy country :) It’s morning in America say Ronald Reagan
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[Updated on September 21, 2015 – Editor]


When you keep your software up to date, back your data up regularly, and maintain constant vigilance, the next big security challenge is passwords. There are two distinct problems to be solved: how to create good passwords, and how to store them. I’m going to tackle these two problems separately, one per article, starting with the thorny question of what makes a good password.

There are a-million-and-one possible schemes and strategies for generating passwords, and everyone has their favourites. My aim isn’t to tell you what you should do, but to arm you with the knowledge to be able to tell the difference between a good strategy and a bad one. Only then will I suggest one possible approach you might consider trying.

We need to start by defining what we mean by a good password. Well, I hear you say, a good password is a strong password. Okay, then what does strong mean? What matters is how hard your password is to guess. If attackers starts with no knowledge, how long is it likely to take them to guess your password?

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MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L – review

On September 15, 2015, in Back Pack, Bag, Photography, Review, by Steve Hammond

MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L
Price: $279.99
Company: MindShift

For outdoor photographers and frequent plane travelers who prefer to keep their gear nearby in flight, it is not always easy to find the right travel bag. I recently had the chance to test out the FirstLight 30L by MindShift Gear, which can fulfill both tasks.


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ATH-AD900X Over-Ear Air Dynamic Headphones
Audio Technica
$300 MSRP (Internet prices are much lower)

Audio Technica


Photo credit: Terrence Moore

These moderately-priced over-ear headphones are large, comfortable, lightweight, and bizarre in appearance. Sound performance is good to very good, depending upon your listening settings and personal audio standards. They do not have the claimed extraordinary sound quality to satisfy the most discriminating listeners, despite the company’s statements. But keep reading; it gets better.

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Deezer Elite on Sonos High Definition Worldwide Music Service


Mark Chappell assisted with this Nemo Memo.

Deezer Elite and Deezer Premium Plus are the best streaming music services you have never heard or seen. Deezer Elite’s tracks are higher audio quality than on Tidal. Deezer is available in more countries than Spotify. Deezer’s user interface experience is superior to Rhapsody. Deezer has a more comprehensive range of listening and sharing options than does RDIO. Deezer Premium Plus’s like/dislike customization is better than Pandora. And Deezer is way more stable and mature than Apple Music.

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TechFan #223 – Bad Transmissions

On September 11, 2015, in TechFan, by Tim Robertson

Tim and David start off with a regular show, but things go off the rails when they both have technical problems. Still and all, topics include the latest product announcements from Apple, Android vs iOS, and EA removing a bunch of games from the App Store.

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IOGEAR KeyShair – Review

On September 11, 2015, in Adapter, Bluetooth, iPad, iPhone, Keyboard, Mouse, Review, by Jason Kube

Price: $49.95

KeyShair 3


Let’s start at the beginning. The keyshair is a tiny Bluetooth device by which you can share your PC or Mac keyboard and, theoretically, mouse. The software to activate and run the KeyShair is included on built in flash memory.

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Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro – Review

On September 10, 2015, in Mac, Review, by Vicki Stokes

Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro Edition
Parallels Inc.
Subscription: $99.99/year
Upgrade: $49.99/year



Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac is a recent update from Parallels Desktop 10. See the MyMac review of this product. This update comes closely behind the release of Windows 10 and just before the soon to be released Mac OS X El Capitan. Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac Pro retains all of the product features included in Parallels Desktop 10; additionally adding more Mac features to Windows, as well as, for the first time, adding a Windows feature to OS X. In addition, Parallels fully supports Windows 10 as a guest OS, runs the widest array of OS virtual machines (VM) and supports large VMs up to 64GB of vRAM and 16 vCPUs per virtual machine.

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MyMac Podcast 573: You’re touching it wrong

On September 9, 2015, in Podcast, by Tim Robertson

The week before the big Apple event and the GMen ask Karl Madden from the Mac & Forth podcast ( to talk about…well the new iPhone as they’ve already heard the keynote. Even though it hasn’t happened yet. A Skype call and an iTunes review. It’s like they died and went to heaven. Lots of laughs as they fill space with nothing at all! WOO!

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Guy’s App Pick: NoteBurner M4V Converter Plus. Easy way to convert DRMed iTunes video content to a DRM-free version with little to no loss of quality. Currently $45 down from the regular price of $70.
Gaz’s App Pick: Real Racing 2 Yes I said TWO! £3-99
Karl’s Pick: Score! Hero  – BE A HERO! Pass, Shoot & Score your way to legendary status, as you explore the dramatic career of your HERO player over 240 challenging levels!
People’s Pick: Erick Diaz (Macnaticopr)
Angry Birds 2, the relentless pursuit of in-app purchases and annoying advertising. Cool graphics, music, sound effects, gameplay, all smeared in Candy Crush social network harassment and artificial time limits to extort money. Other than that, great game.
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My Mac Apple Event Predictions

On September 8, 2015, in Apple, iMac, iPhone, by Mark Chappell

With the Apple event just a few days away I’ve gathered up the collective brain trust of the writers and asked them for their predictions for September 9th. After the event I’ll rundown the responses and see who had the most correct predictions.

In no particular order:

Michael Breed.

  • New Apple TV with app integration and better remote.
  • iPhone 6s – force touch, 12 megapixel camera with bigger CCD, better front camera, very slightly thicker body and better battery life, A9 processor, 3 models (6s, 6s+, 6c).
  • iPad Pro.
  • New iPads – force touch (maybe… not sure if it can be done on larger screen size), camera upgrades, processor upgrade. Upgrades will depend on model.
  • I WANT the glass phone/PDA Tony Stark uses in the Avengers movie. LOL.

Steve Hammond.

  • Same as Michael, except that there will be no iPad announcement at this event. Only iPhones and Apple TV.
  • An iPad event will be set later this fall, maybe at the end of October, where Apple will also announce the launch of El Capitan and probably an update to the Mac line as well.

David Acklam

  • iPhone 6s, 6s plus, 6c.
  • Apple TV.
  • iOS 9, and OS X El Capitan at September 9 event.
  • New iPad, Mini iPad and iPad Pro in October.

Vicki Stokes

  • If the new iPad doesn’t have multitasking, USB, and microSD ports it will remain a cute but expensive tablet for kids to play with. I hate Microsoft but their Surface 3 makes the iPad look like a toy.

Richard Lefko

  • I’d toss in a new Airport Extreme, simply because I just had to replace one.  : – )

Owen Rubin

  • No iPads this time. Both S phones with Force touch.
  • Better camera, better processor, and the biggest change for me will be the expected RAM upgrade to 2GB in the phones which will help support better multi-tasking.
  • I’m also not sure about Apple TV. This may need more time.
  • Who cares about a Retina TV? And Roku, Chrome Stick and FireStick have all pushed my AppleTV to the side lines. I hardly ever use it any more. It really needs to support ALL standards.
  • Would love to see an Echo like product from Apple, but that’s not going to happen.

Simon Parnell

  • iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are givens
  • A9 increased RAM. Not that Apple will say as they don’t usually mention RAM.
  • 12MP camera and improved FaceTime camera.
  • Possibly 4K Video on the iSight.
  • Force Touch.
  • Maybe a new colour – not sure on that one.
  • iOS 9.
  • iPads will be held back for October.
  • Apple TV IF it features HomeKit.
  • More watch stuff – wOS 2 probably and maybe even hints about the watch 2 itself.
  • External 5K monitor and retina 4K 21″ iMac.
  • Updated iMacs.
  • Force touch Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse?

Mark Chappell

  • New keyboards and force touch track pad available as peripherals.
  • HomeKit released – Available this fall ;-).
  • iPads to be big part of HomeKit.
  • New iPhones, increased Ram, slightly smaller.
  • Apple TV released. Two versions but limited to only the USA for streaming services to start with.
  • Expect much more emphasis to be placed on Metal for gaming.

Apple’s event can be watched on almost any device. OS X, iOS and Apple TV users can watch via the website. Windows 10 users can also watch via the site using the Edge browser. Or install VLC and go here 

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