• Powering Your iPad Costs $1.50 Per Year - Household Power Consumption Costs Compared
• The Future Of Handwriting - Does It Have One On Electronic Devices?
• Lenovo Expands Multimode Hybrid Laptop Family with New Yoga Convertibles and Flex Dual Mode Devices" />

Applelinks Tech Web Reader - Monday, September 9, 2013

Apple's OS X Mavericks Release Planned For End Of October - Report
Mac Security - How The NSA Hack-Proofs Its Macs
MacBook Air 13" vs Sony Vaio Pro 13"
Powering Your iPad Costs $1.50 Per Year - Household Power Consumption Costs Compared
The Future Of Handwriting - Does It Have One On Electronic Devices?
Lenovo Expands Multimode Hybrid Laptop Family with New Yoga Convertibles and Flex Dual Mode Devices


Apple's OS X Mavericks Release Planned For End Of October - Report

9To5Mac's Mark Gurman reports that Apple plans to release its next Mac operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, at the end of October, according to sources with knowledge of the launch plans. Gurman notes that for the launch of both OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion, Apple released the new operating systems the day following an earning results release. Apple traditionally shares its Q4 earnings numbers during the second half of October, so perhaps Apple will release Mavericks the day following its Q4 results announcement.

For the full report visit here:

Mac Security - How The NSA Hack-Proofs Its Macs

If you're really concerned about online security on your Mac, you can find some high-impact tips in a factsheet from the National Security Agency designed for use by administrative users of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Suggestions, ranked by the NSA in order of importance, include:

Don't Surf or Read Mail Using Admin Account

Use Software Update or on systems not connected to the Internet retrieve updates regularly from:

Account Settings:
- Disable Automatic Login and User List
- Disable guest account and sharing

Security Pane Settings in the General tab, ensure that the following are checked:
- Require password "5 seconds" after sleep or screen saver begins
- Disable automatic login
- Use secure virtual memory
- Disable Location Services (if present)
- Disable remote control infrared receiver (if present)

In the FileVault tab, read the warnings and consider activating FileVault.

Secure Users' Home Folder Permissions

Set A Firmware Password That Will Prevent Unauthorized Users From Changing The Boot Device Or Making Other Changes.

Disable IPv6 and AirPort when Not Needed

Disable Unnecessary Services

Disable Setuid and Setgid Binaries

Disable Integrated iSight and Sound Input

Safari Preferences
-Safari will automatically open some files by default. This behavior could be leveraged to perform attacks. To disable, uncheck "Open safe files after downloading" in the General tab.
-Unless specifically required, Safari's Java should be disabled to reduce the browser's attack surface. On the Security tab, uncheck "Enable Java."

Au Revoir, Bonjour! - from the security perspective Bonjour! makes the computer unnecessarily visible and generates unwanted network traffic.

Configure and Use Both Firewalls

Disable Bluetooth and AirPort Devices

You can download the NSA factsheet at:

You can also find Apple's official Security Guides for OS X 10.3 through 10.6 at:

MacBook Air 13" vs Sony Vaio Pro 13"

Keoskea.net's MaddiRuhl notes that both Apple's Macbook Air and Sony's Vaio Pro 13 are worthy competitors in the ultrabook market, but many consider the Vaio Pro the superior ultrabook.

The Vaio Pro 13 weighs in at 2.34 lbs, features a 13.3" touchscreen, and when closed is less than an inch thick - half an inch at one end and 0.68" on the other. It can fit on an airline tray table, is made of lightweight, rugged carbon fiber, and comes in two colors: carbon black and silver. Panel resolution with Sony's Full HD Triluminos Display is 1920x1090 pixels, and the Vaio Pro is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor and has a PCIe SSD storage drive with a starting price of $1149.99.

The Macbook Air has a 13.3" LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with no touchscreen capabilities, weighs in 2.96 lbs and is 0.68" thick when closed. The Apple ultrabook competitor features aluminum unibody construction which adds to its durability, and features an Intel HD Graphics 5000 integrated graphics processor unit and 1440x900 panel resolution. The MacBook Air is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with 3MB shared L3 cache and 4GB of 1600MHz DDRL3L SDRM in addition to 128GB of PCI Express Flash storage on its base model which sells for $1099 (upgrade to 256 GB storage for $200).

You can check it out at:

Powering Your iPad Costs $1.50 Per Year - Household Power Consumption Costs Compared

Forbes has posted an interesting photo essay on the cost of power consumption for various electronic devices, appliances, and utilities in homes.

Not surprisingly, environmental heating/cooling, water heating (especially for laundry), clothes-drying, and refrigeration are the major consumers of energy in the home. By comparison, computing devices, especially mobile ones, are relative energy-sippers. For example, according to the Electric Power Research Institute:

• If you fully drain and charge your iPad every other day it will use about 12 kWh of electricity per year, or about $1.50 worth annually. An iPhone will only eat 25 cents worth of juice annually.

• A typical laptop computer uses about 72 kWh, which will cost roughly $8 a year.

Consequently, Forbes notes that you can run your phone, iPad and laptop for a whole year for about $10 -- less than the cost of three gallons of gasoline.

• Desktop Computers are relative energy hogs, with the average desktop computer, including display, using about 300 kWh of electricity a year, costing $36 assuming a price of 12 cents per kWh. Your wireless modem and router will consume another 90 kWh per year, or about $10 worth according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

For the full report, visit:

The Future Of Handwriting - Does It Have One On Electronic Devices?

TheNextWeb notes that from the ancient scripts of Sumerian 3,000 years before Christ, through the dawn of the Greek alphabet and onto the ballpoint-toting, crossword-puzzling of the 20th century, handwriting has played a massive part in the development of the human race, and that even after the proliferation of print begining in the 15th-Century, the humble pen continued to flourish.

However, they note thatover the past couple of decades, there has been a tangible shift away from ink and lead-based inscription, into digital representations of language with more and more everythinh being keyboard- or touchscreen-based. So is handwriting a dying art?

Maybe not so much. The article notes that handwriting is actually arriving back on the syllabus in some UK secondary schools to combat the scourge of text messaging, and few classrooms have computers for children because there's just not enough money, the standard IT provision in primary schools being thirty minutes in total per week for computing skills, and touch-typing is not taught.

Additionally, we're seeing many vestiges of the old analogue world being kept alive in various digital guises, from apps to physical hardware, such as:

Inkly - which lets you buy and send handwritten greeting cards directly from your iPhone, simply by snapping a photograph of your scribbles from a blank sheet of paper and transposing it onto the card.

Lettrs - which turns your PC and iPhone into a personal writing desk, transcriber and post office, serving up a virtual writing desk, with a slew of handwriting-esque fonts, typewriter-style lettering and various paper-types to choose from.

Penultimate - a popular iPad app (it was the 4th most downloaded iPad app as of March 2012) that lets users write (or draw) directly on their tablets screen with a stylus, and save for posterity.

Livescribe's Echo Smartpen, which transforms your handiwork into digital form such as notes from a meeting, or sketches and doodles. It works with special paper, incorporating an array of tiny dots, as well as command icons at the foot of each page. The device comes with a notebook featuring this special paper, while the built-in mic lets you upload audio to correspond with the notes youve taken.

Livescribe's Sky WiFi Smartpen which, as its name suggests, requires no cables to sync your work to the cloud, and digitizes everything you write and hear and automatically sends it to your Evernote account, from where you can play it back and associate your handwritten notes with the actual sounds you heard the second you took a specific note.

Google's Translate app for Android supports handwriting in 45 languages, on Android AND the Web.

The article concludes that with smartphones, PCs and tablets proliferating society, there's no doubt that handwriting will become less and less essential in everyday life, but that doesn't mean the age-old skill of being able to put pen to paper shouldnt and wont survive. And theres clear evidence that this is broadly recognized.

For the full report visit here:

Lenovo Expands Multimode Hybrid Laptop Family with New Yoga Convertibles and Flex Dual Mode Devices

Lenovo announced at the 2013 IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, a broad expansion to its portfolio of multimode devices. The new lineup starts with two new Yoga convertibles: the Yoga 2 Pro, successor to the original 360 flip and fold 13.3-inch Yoga, and the new ThinkPad Yoga, built to introduce business users to multimode design with business-heavy features. Additionally, Lenovo is bringing multimode computing to mainstream laptops and desktops with the new dual mode Lenovo Flex 14 and 15-inch laptops and Flex 20 all-in-one (AIO) desktop. These machines give consumers all the productivity of a PC plus one extra mode, essentially giving them two powerful devices at one price.

Yoga 2 Pro

Users will instantly notice the Yoga 2 Pro's 13.3-inch display. This QHD+ super high resolution 10-finger touchscreen displays images in 3200 x 1800 resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio, equivalent to four times the visual clarity of the original Yoga's HD+ (1600 x 900) screen and claimed to be the highest screen resolution on the market today. The 350-nit screen features IPS 178 wide angle viewing for views from nearly any line of sight.

Thinner and lighter than before at 15.5 mm thin and 1.39 kg, the extra mobile Yoga 2 Pro lets users opt for computing in each of its four modes: laptop, tablet, stand and tent. Yoga 2 Pro also features advanced technologies including choices of up to Intel 4th generation Core i7 ULT processors, Windows 8.1, up to 512 GB SSD, Intel WiDi for streaming content wirelessly to a TV, Dolby Home Theatre v4 and up to nine hours of battery life(1). It also features a new backlit keyboard and comes in its signature Grey or Clementine Orange color. The recently introduced Yoga 11S will also be adding choices of up to 4th generation Intel Core i7 processors.

A full-function laptop and tablet, Yoga 2 Pro infuses new smart features including Yoga Picks, a concierge-like tool that suggests suitable apps based upon the devices mode, custom apps and voice control. For example, in tablet mode, Yoga Picks suggests apps like Birizzle, a popular touch game, and Zinio, an e-reader. In tent mode, it offers the painting app, Fresh Paint and Rara music streaming. Additionally, Yoga 2 Pro comes with apps created especially for its four modes. In laptop mode, Phone Companion lets users copy content from documents or websites/pages and send the information to their phones as a text message. Yoga Photo Touch allows users in tablet mode to edit or retouch photos using their fingers on the 10-point multitouch screen. Built for stand mode, Yoga Camera Man lets users take photos with effects like lomo, 4-in-1, macro, GIF and more to photos, and Yoga Chef in tent mode taps into Yoga 2 Pros motion control and voice control to advance recipes from cooking apps. Also available for Yoga 2 Pro is the N700 multimode wireless mouse, sold separately, that rotates 180 to double as a pointer so users can switch between desktop work and presentations.

ThinkPad Yoga Dons Black and Business-Ready Features

While borrowing Yoga's flip and fold, four mode design, the ThinkPad Yoga creates its own space for business users with its performance, security and productivity features as well as customization options. The 12.5-inch magnesium alloy ThinkPad Yoga offers a visual and intensive multimedia experience starting with choices of a Corning Gorilla Glass HD IPS or a FHD IPS display (optional digitizer and pen available for the FHD display) running Windows 8.1. For a responsive touch experience, use its 10-finger touchscreen running Windows 8.1 or its oversized five-button glass trackpad optimized for gestures.


Designed for comfort in all modes, the ThinkPad Yoga features a unique lift and lock system created for tablet mode. The system automatically lifts and locks the keys on the machines keyboard in place for a streamlined feel. Additionally, ThinkPad Yoga features the celebrated ThinkPad keyboard with optional backlit models and models with Near Field Communications (NFC) to easily share data between devices.


The ThinkPad Yoga has key performance technologies business users need: choices of up to Intel 4th generation Core i7 processors, up to 1 TB of storage equivalent to the size of storing 500 DVD movies as well as all-day battery life. The ThinkPad Yoga also responds to voice input so users can chat on Instant Messaging programs, play their music, search the web and more without lifting a finger. And for an expanded workspace, Lenovo's One Link dock, purchased separately, provides USB ports, a mini-HDMI connection, Gigabit Ethernet and more.

Flex 14 and 15: For Lifes Different Modes

More than a thin and light laptop, the dual-mode Flex 14.1-inch and 15.6-inch laptops creatively flip 300 for stand mode, a new way to interact with a PC and positions the device closer to the user for more natural, comfortable touch experience. Users can open Lenovo's custom YouCam program, say 1,2,3 cheese to snap a webcam photo and then send it to a friend using Flexs voice commands1. Or they can enjoy cinematic quality sound to the latest NetFlix movie with Flex's Dolby Advanced Audio v2 without a keyboard in the way or even watch high definition content on another screen via Flexs HDMI-out connection.

Beyond Flex's extra value with its dual mode, flip functionality, its soft-touch black cover trimmed with silver or Clementine Orange also attracts attention. The interior contains a clean keyboard design with optional backlighting.(2) Images are vividly rich thanks to Flexs HD 1366X768 or optional Full HD 1920X1080 displays.(2) With 10-point multitouch, Flex makes using Windows 8 and collaboration easy. With up to nine hours(1), Flex 14 and 15 are extremely mobile and are primed for productivity with up to Intel 4th generation Core ULT i7 processors, up to Nvidia discrete GT 740M graphics3, up to 1 TB of storage and optional SSD or NAND flash on Ultrabook models.

Flex 20 Transforms AIO Into Multi-Person Play Machine

Framed in an attractive 20.5mm thin aluminum shell, the compact Flex 20 fits neatly into virtually any home or office yet surpasses expectations for an everyday AIO with its grand 19.5-inch frameless HD (1600X900) IPS 90 tilt display, 500 GB HD or SSHD storage and up to Intel Core i7 processors.

Flex 20 can convert from stand to table mode. When flat in table mode, the Aura interface, first pioneered on the Lenovo Horizon Table PC, opens for a multi-game, multi-player experience like no other. In this mode, users can challenge others to play games, including preloaded ones like Ubisoft's Raiding Company, those available for purchase from the Lenovo App Store powered by Intel App Up and newly created custom Lenovo games including Omnitapps Media Puzzle Pack for making fun video puzzles and Omnitapps Educational Suite with a series of memory and learning games along with other Lenovo games like Fishing Joy, Air Hockey and Roulette.

The dual mode Flex 20 provides more entertainment value with its special physical accessories (sold separately) - joysticks, strikers and e-dice that allow up to four players to interact directly with the digital games, or players can use the 10-point multitouch screen. The Aura interface functions as a highly collaborative tool for multi-media content enhanced with its Dolby Home Theatre v4 audio. Unlike most AIOs, Flex 20 has mobility in mind with built-in WiFi for easy moving around the home or office, and users can pick up and go for up to three hours without charging.

Lenovo Services offers a host of integrated solutions to meet the needs of business customers and consumers who purchase a Lenovo convertible device, including warranty extensions/upgrades, accidental damage protection, keep your drive, priority tech support and a set of factory and automated deployment services.

For more on the latest multimode products go to:

MSRP for the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, ThinkPad Yoga, Flex 14/15 and Flex 20 AIO is $1,099.99, $949, $629.99 and $899.99, respectively. The Yoga 2 Pro will be available beginning in October while the Flex products will be available starting in late September. The ThinkPad Yoga will be available beginning in November. The N700 multimode wireless mouse will be available beginning in September at $59.99.

For more information see:

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