The 3rd Wednesday of the month. 19 August, 2015 this Month
Unitarian Universal Congregation of Whidbey Island (see map.)
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. with the first hour dedicated to new users and their questions.
• Q & A with Robert
• "Tech Trekers use MAGIC iPads" with Hannah Weirich-Benway
• "iPhoto and Photos, a comparison" with Robert
$2 to offset room rental.
More About Photos will be the featured presentation at MAGIC's regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 19. Robert Elphick will address the differences between "iPhoto" and "Photos" and the improvements Apple plans to add to "Photos".
The program will also include special guest, Hannah Weirich-Benway, one of three 8th grade island girls who were awarded AAUW scholarships to attend the Tech Trek camp held at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma during the summer of 2014. Tech Trek is a week long program during which girls who have demonstrated an aptitude and interest in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) participate in projects and labs designed to encourage girls to seek professional and academic careers in the sciences.
Learning of Tech Trek, MAGIC presented each of the girls an iPad and appropriate apps to support her continued study in the STEM field of her choice. Hannah will speak of her experience at the Tech Trek camp and how she has used her iPad in subsequent STEM work. The Keynote presentation includes hyperlinks to games some of which are on apps that Hannah created. The other two scholarship recipients, Emily Stringer and Amara Fulton, have been invited to join Hannah.
The regular meetings of MAGIC are held the third Wednesday of each month from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 20103 State Route 525, about a mile north of Freeland. The public is welcome and membership is free. However a donation of $2 per meeting or $24 per year is helpful.
Photo: Surprised and very excited middle school students Emily Stringer, Hannah Weirich-Benway and Amara Fulton accept their iPads and Apple Gift Cards from MAGIC. A similar award is being developed for the 2015 AAUW Tech Trek scholarship winners.
Do not forget to bring your used ink cartridges.
MAGIC will dispose of them for you and make some change for the group.
Minutes of the July 15, 2015 Meeting, and Presentation Notes
President Robert Elphick called the meeting to order at 4:03 PM. Meeting was held at Freeland's Unitarian Congregational Meeting House. Approximately 35 people attended.
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
Q: I get a pop up saying I need an update for Adobe Flash Player. Do I need to act on this?
A: It's probably a good idea to do this, but instead of clicking on the button given to you, it's best to find Adobe's website (adobe.com) and download the flash player from there. If they are giving an update, it's probably because there is some sort of security update that is helpful. Be sure the website you go to begins with https (more secure) rather than http.
One member heard recently that both Firefox and Bing have disabled Adobe Flash because of security problems. We have no specific info on this in our MAGIC group.
Q: I am here for the first time after reading about your meeting in the paper. Who are you?
A: Questioner was given a MAGIC business card and Robert explained that membership is free, with a $2 donation at each meeting. Robert also mentioned that occasion- ally MAGIC emails its members about security problems.
Q: When/how often do you turn OFF your Mac?
A: I turn mine off anytime I'm going to be away for two hours or more. Go to the top Apple menu to SHUT DOWN.
Q: When you view a financial site, do you always shut down your browser afterwards for security reasons?
A: One thing you can do is go to the top menu under WiFi symbol and shut off Wifi there. Also, quitting the browser is another way to do it.
Q: When I print something out, how do I change the size of the print? Sometimes my printed work comes out WAY too small.
A: The font size is inside many of the applications. Use Command-T or go to Format->Fonts to choose a larger size font.
Q: Sometimes my printer only prints half the page, the left side, or right side, but not all of it.
A: It sounds as if you've gotten into an application that doesn't do a wrap around, but I need to know what application you are in to be more specific. You may have gotten into a Text Editor that is designed for programmers, so look for a command for "Soft Wrap Text." OR you can SELECT ALL of the text you want to print, then COPY and open your own word processor, such as Text Edit, and PASTE it into a new page. It should then print out properly on one sheet.
Q: I never used Text Edit, only Pages. What is the difference?
A: Text Edit is free, and has fewer features than Pages. If you have Pages and are used to it, just use Pages. Pages provides more features that allow you to do desktop publishing.
Q: When I hook my camera up to download pictures onto my computer I don't see an EJECT device command.
A: Usually in iPhoto on the left column the camera should show up under DEVICES and if so you should be able to EJECT from there.
Q: I just had work done on my older iMac at the Genius bar. It was terribly show running Safari. They said they removed all the old network settings, but I can't remember for sure what they did. Do you have any idea what they did?
A: This isn't something for amateurs, it requires going into the LIBRARIES. Not something anyone but a geek should be doing. Start getting rid of some of the Safari plist files. If you remove them, all your Safari preferences will be deleted, but you can reset them. This might be a problem to take to Joel Kennedy at his business ATech in Free- land.
Joel advised: Go to the network icon at the top menu bar and "open network preferences." Click on Advanced at the bottom. This brings up a window of all the networks you've ever been connected to. You might see a long list of old networks. Clear out the unneeded networks by selecting them and then hitting the MINUS button at the bottom. If you delete these you can still go back to these networks, but you'll have to input the password next time. It's just a little slower to open networks, but if you have a lot of these in your list they could slow down your computer.
Q: I have a 17" MacBookPro that was getting very slow, and I kept every thing on my desktop. If anybody has that same bad habit, I recommend you stop doing that because it really slows down the computer.
A: Robert says if you need help cleaning up your desktop, we'll help you organize. (He once had a student with over 7,000 items on his desktop.)
Q: Does every Mac have this WI-FI symbol in the menu bar even if you aren't on WiFi?
Q: If your screen no longer shows everything possible, how do you get the proper screen size back?
A: Go to SystemPreferences, and look under ACCESSIBILITY. You may have ZOOM turned on. If you turn off ZOOM you will get back to normal screen size.
(Turns out this question was regarding an iPad. But the solution is similar.)
Q: What's the difference between iPhoto and Photos?
A: IPhoto is what we had for the last ten years or more. The best version to use is 9.6.1. If you use Photos, a newer program, it will grab hold of the old iPhotos library but you won't be able to edit any longer with iPhoto. In Photos some things have gone missing: you can only organize by date, not by title; there are no more Events, so instead you have to use Albums; and you can no longer use an external editor. I am told that you WILL be able to use an external editor and you will be able to sort by title, date, etc. in the newer version of Photos coming up this fall. If you don't have iPhoto version 9.6.1, you can get a copy of it from Robert. (This matters only to people who have Yosemite. Photos only runs under Yosemite.)
Q: My iTunes went to a red and blue icon. Any idea why?
A: It is an upgrade, with a few small differences. They give you a radio feature for one free month, and then Apple will be charging you after that. (NOTE: Joel further clarified by saying, "Apple is including access to their new service, called Apple Music, which is LIKE Pandora (actually more like Spotify), but requires a subscription after the first month."
Q: iCloud, Dropbox...what are the advantages of one over the other?
A: The whole question of clouds is up for debate because of security. I use Dropbox if something is too big to email, but I'm careful of what I put there. No server or cloud is secure. Assume somebody can get into them. Dropbox is more universal for sharing with other kinds of computers. iCloud is for Macs. Recommended Dropbox for non-confidential information.
Q: I bought an iPad hoping to transfer all my recipes and files from my Mac onto my new device. My recipe files are in Word.
A: An app called FILES PRO allows you to share any Mac files including Word files via iTunes. The files can be organized into folders within the app. To demonstrate a Word file in Files Pro, Robert showed a recipe for Christmas Cookies using an entire bottle of Tequila brought down the house.
Treasurer Report: Gary McIntyre announced we have $8304.22 in our account as of July 2.
Robert had numerous Items to auction: Magellan GPS -- went for $25; Sony digital videocamera works, has zoom, but not so good in low light; no takers. Two LaCie backup drives with 80 gigs; Firewire. Incl. 400 cable -- went for $10. Two speakers for iPad/computer speakers in bag -- went for $10; DVD cases, set of ten -- went for $5; Router, repeater to allow for wider range -- went for $10; USB keyboard for Mac went to Joel; iPad case, iPhone cases, and various ink cartridges -- no takers; Power supply for a Mac, no takers.
Program Chairman Prescott introduced our program tonight: Bethany and Joel Kennedy who own The A-Tech Technical Solutions in Freeland. They have just started selling computers in addition to fixing them.
Computer Security PRESENTATION
For his presentation, Joel was using an app called Doceri on his iPad to control the Mac computer screen and annotate it as desired.
A question people frequently ask is, "How secure is my Mac?" A lot of people as- sume that Macs are immune to viruses, which is technically correct. But there are a lot of other bad things that fall under the general umbrella of viruses. A better term might be 'MALWARE.' (Trojans and popups are a kind of malware that you can get on your Mac.) One example of Malware is MacKeeper? It is everywhere. If you ever see it, run the other way. It's a scam that slows down your computer. MacKeeper asks "Is your computer slow?" It's a program you install on your computer that actually slows down your computer. People have been out hundreds of dollars with these types of scams. This one was developed in Czechoslovakia where our laws don't apply to them. They want to take control of your computer, and eventually get money from you. Avoid these guys like the plague. Don't just delete it, but use AppCleaner to get rid of all of it. You can't just drag MacKeeper into the trash. You have to invite it in. But a lot of people have it on their computers and don't even realize that they've downloaded it. You can find its advertisements on many websites. If you have it, there is an icon that looks like a little robot face on the top menu bar of your computer. It resides in the Applications folder but dragging it into the trash doesn't get rid of all of it.
Is Safari is more vulnerable than other browsers? Some people think so. One of Joel's suggestions is to switch to Firefox. You can download it for free. Have it as a backup ,even if you don't use it, in case Safari gets hijacked.
There is software that will take adware off your computer. Search on the MAGIC website for ADWARE and learn how to get rid of it. Adware gives irritating popups. It's not a virus, but it can cause annoying problems. Compare Adware with Phishing. An Adware popup will prey on your fears, popping up to say "'we've found you have prob- lems on your computer." and ask you to call a number. You now have connected with an non-reputable company, asking for your credit card or for control of your computer. BE- WARE and know who you are calling and who you are giving your money to There are reputable companies or people who might ask to take control of your computer, but be very careful.
A lot of times you get adverts in your email inbox. Some of them may be legitimate, but many are getting trickier to figure out if they are who you think they are. Realize, as soon as you get online, that you are on the WORLDwide web. There is no difference between the US, Russia, China, etc online. There are people very desperate, and who will go to great lengths to get a little bit (or a lot) of money from you.
Every once in a while you'll see a headline saying that some security firm has found a vulnerability. What does that mean? Vulnerability means there is a hole in the security fence that somebody could take advantage of it. This happens constantly, but we have to be concerned about times when we are exploited. An example was Sony was hacked, which left Sony's corporate records open until the hole was plugged. There is nothing we can do individually about these kinds of exploits, but the main thing that we can do is to use strong passwords. Think of your password as your bike lock. We now have so many passwords. We've talked about password management. The stronger your passwords are, the better off you will be.
One thing is to use Anti-virus programs for the Mac, which are also Anti-malware programs. Some of these can really slow down your computer. One that Joel recom- mends that doesn't slow you down is called bitdefender for Mac. Price is $60/year for up to 3 Macs, and is well worth the price. If you purchase this and put it on your computer it will also detect malware that was already on your computer. Find this program at bitdefender.com. Joel strongly does not recommend Sophos. Use the AppCleaner application to get rid of old anti-virus programs unless one has an uninstall command to get rid of all of it. (Note: You first have to quit all instances of it before getting rid of it.)
Another new malware that's bad is Premier Opinion. Watch out and avoid that one, too.
Besides keeping two browsers at the ready, another good way to keep yourself safe is to set up 2 users: an admin and a standard account. When you use a Standard user you'll get a message asking you to enter a password to proceed. A lot of people use only an admin account, which more easily allows malware to get in. A standard account will ask you for passwords before you do something, which causes you to think before you act, and also won't allow a hacker to get very far.
Having a standard account means I can't do some of the things that can be done using an administrator account. Any time I can't do something in my standard account I log in to the administrator account. If I use the standard account, and somebody hacks in to that account, they can't perform any administrator actions. (If you have automatic login when you start up the computer, it makes it easier for people to get in to the . If you do this with a standard account you are safer than if you had an administrative account with an automatic account.)
Strong passwords are another way of keeping your computer safe.computer How long should passwords be? The longer one is, the harder it is to crack. Think of a phrase instead of a word. Use something that is memorable to you and that you can type out quickly. Consider getting a password manager, such as PWSafe, which will track passwords, and also will make them up for you. It runs on Macs and i-devices. (Note: Cyphsafe no longer is being supported.)
The meeting was adjourned around 6:05. Penny Holland, Secretary
The board of directors held a meeting 18 July. Discussions included:
Approval to reimburse the cost of a new projector
Participation in the Central Whidbey Nonprofit Fair. Anyone wishing help organize and/or participate should contact Gary McIntyre at
Application from AAUW for contribution to STEM training program. After the meeting and some additional research the board voted to approve this application
A contract to teach schools and participate in profits
A Feedback page on MAGIC website.
A Sound system purchase proposal.
Financial policy overview.
Politics at Meetings
At the July meeting an attender sought for signatures on a political petition. We deeply regret that this occurred and apologize to those who were present. The by-laws of MAGIC, particularly article 8.02 (a), expressly forbids such activities and could also put our 501(c)(3) status in jeopardy.
Central Whidbey Nonprofit Fair
The fair will be held at Coupeville Farmers' Market, Saturday, September 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair is coordinator by Molly Hughes. The board reviewed last year's activity and agreed to do similar activities this year:
a raffle for a prize of one free class of the winner's choice, a member signup list
sign up new members on the spot or have a list ready if we are mobbed
prepare a poster with list of classes and program schedule
a donation jar, canopy, MAGIC banner, tables, chairs and computers.
There is a strong wifi signal from the library and no need to bring a battery supply and adapter for a four hour presence. Bonnie can help for an hour either 11 a.m. or noon. Prescott, Robert, Joel and Gary all thought they could participate. Gary McIntyre (contact at
) will do overall coordination and supply a table. Prescott will supply a canopy, chairs, raffle tickets, sign up list and signs.
Note: This Software Update section of the newsletter lists the most relevant Apple updates. Not all updates are listed for all products. Additionally, I'll add other pertinent updates on occasion.
Apple releases firmware update for new MacBook Pro
by Roman Loyola, Macworld
Apply it now and save your data.
Bought a new MacBook Pro recently? There might be a firmware update waiting for you.
Apple on July 22, 2015 released the MacBook Pro Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0, which, according to Apple's website, is for mid-2015 MacBook Pro models. The website also states that the firmware update fixes an issue that "may cause data corruption."
In case you're wondering, about the "mid-2015" part: When Apple releases new Macs, it uses identifies when the model was released with "early-," "mid-," or "late-," labels. The 15-inch MacBook Pro currently for sale by Apple is labeled mid-2015. So if you have a MacBook Pro from mid-2014, you do not need to install the firmware update.
The release period label isn't marked on the MacBook Pro product box or on the MacBook Pro itself. But you can find it if you look up About This Mac.
This update is recommended for Mac mini (late 2012) models. This update addresses an issue that may prevent a USB keyboard from being recognized after the system wakes from sleep.
Post Date: Jul 15, 2015
File Size: 4.8 MB
Update Firefox now! Fix rushed out for an exploit that steals files off your hard drive
by Ian Paul, macworld.com
If you haven't got the update yet, you should get it right now.
Mozilla is asking all Firefox users to upgrade immediately to version 39.0.3. Anyone on the Firefox Extended Support release via their school or business should upgrade to version 38.1.1.
The security issue only affects PCs since the flaw relies on an interaction between Firefox's PDF Viewer and other parts of the browser. Firefox for Android does not have the PDF Viewer and therefore not vulnerable, according to a blog post by Mozilla's security lead, Daniel Veditz.
Mozilla first became aware of the flaw after a Firefox user noticed that an ad embedded on a Russian news site was using an exploit to search for sensitive files. The malware would then upload the sensitive files to a server in the Ukraine. This all appears to happen in the background with the user none the wiser. The malware also leaves no trace it was ever on your machine.
The specific exploit found in the wild was only targeting Windows and Linux PCs; however, Veditz warns that Mac users would be vulnerable if the malware had been crafted differently.
On Windows, the malware was looking for some very specific data, including configuration files for several different FTP upload programs including Filezilla, the subversion version control system, S3 Browser, and the PSI Plus and Pidgin chat clients that are popular choices for encrypted, off-the-record messaging.
The impact on you at home: If you use any of the programs mentioned above, Mozilla advises you to change your passwords and any keys associated with them. If not, you should still update your browser as soon as possible in case other, as-yet-unknown exploits are looking for sensitive files you do have on your system.
How to update
Firefox will update automatically in time, but to do it manually right now, click on the "hamburger" settings menu on the upper right hand side and select the question mark icon at the bottom of the drop-down window. Next, select About Firefox and the browser will check for updates. This is also the screen where you can see your Firefox version number. If you are running 39.0.3 you're good to go.
Java for OS X 2015-001 (If you require Java for older software)
Java for OS X 2015-001 installs the legacy Java 6 runtime for OS X 10.11 El Capitan, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and OS X 10.7 Lion.
This package is exclusively intended for support of legacy software and installs the same deprecated version of Java 6 included in the 2014-001 and 2013-005 releases. Quit any Java applications before installing this update.
Please quit any Java applications before installing this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6133 for more details about this update.
See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 for information about the security content of this update.
Keep your software up to date. If you need Java, download the latest version of Java for OS X directly from Oracle https://www.java.com
NOTE: Older versions may be found at: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1829
Wizard Note: Most of us do not need Java. It is an obsolete programming language. It can cause security problems and so is mostly avoided now. If you really need it - be careful.
Macintosh News, Information and Stories
Troubleshooting Photos: Syncing, deleting, organizing albums, and more
by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld
We're back with more answers to a seemingly endless number of Photos questions, including deleting, syncing, and organizing albums.
With the release of El Capitan's public beta, those with the desire to engage in a bit of risk have gotten a glimpse of Photos 1.1, a release that isn't just an extension of the original version, but also seems to fix bugs. We still don't know if 1.1 will be made available for Yosemite—it seems unlikely. But it's also extremely likely most Yosemite users will migrate to El Capitan, rendering it moot for most, since Photos is exclusive to Yosemite anyhow.
In this week's Mac 911, I revisit iCloud Photo Library's new way of thinking about where photos reside, solve a problem for syncing RAW images from an iPad to Mac without using Photos, and examine some issues with organizing albums and photos.
It's a little bigger, and that may make it more useful to more people.
Apple's Notes is reportedly one of the most popular apps on the Mac. Makes sense, since it comes with every Mac and it syncs between your Macs and iOS devices. It's a lightweight app good for jotting things down.
I stopped using Notes a long time ago in favor of Evernote. I don't think I'm going to drop Evernote anytime soon; I have too many notes saved in Evernote to completely abandon it. But I am interested in the new features in Notes 4 to see how it can fit into my workflow.
Jason Snell took a look at Notes 4 in his first look of the El Capitan public beta. Here, I'll take a closer look at the changes and new features. This is beta software, so things in Notes 4 can change between now and the final release. This article will be updated to reflect any changes.
Keeping Up with Ever-changing Browser & Internet Security Standards
by Morgan Aldridge, smalldog.com
Encryption is used to keep your private information safe on the Internet, whether it's credit card numbers and contact info, your search queries, or iMessages to loved ones, by making them unreadable by anyone other than the sender and the intended recipient. The last year or so has been crazy in the realm of Internet security, with a number of vulnerabilities and weaknesses being found in various encryption methods & software. It seems to have been further snowballing lately as security professionals scrutinize all the pieces of the puzzle, but it's all with the goal of keeping everyone's personal information safe.
While security professionals are improving encryption methods & software, companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla are working to make sure that they're including those improvements in their operating systems and web browsers. The Payment Cardholder Industry (i.e. credit card companies) have data security standards (PCI DSS) which everyone from merchants (including us) to banks need to comply with to ensure that personal information and credit card data is handled securely from end-to-end. Other industries have similar requirements and many tech companies also strive for the greatest in security. Naturally, with the ever changing Internet security landscape, those standards are changing as well. Some of the most recent changes will mean that a lot of older computers, devices, and browsers will no longer be able to access some secure websites.
So, how can you ensure that your data is secure and that your devices will be able to connect to all the secure websites you frequent on your Macs and iOS devices?
First, it's important to run the newest major version of OS X on your Macs and iOS on your iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) that your devices will run. Fortunately, OS X 10.10 Yosemite is a free download and will run on Macs released as far back as 2009 (or earlier, depending on the model). iOS 8 is also a free download and will run on iPhones & iPads released back to 2011. Of course, it's always best to verify your software and peripherals are compatible with the latest operating system version prior to upgrading to new major version (e.g. OS X 10.9 Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite or iOS 7 to iOS 8).
Second, make sure you're applying the latest OS & security updates. This is relatively straightforward as the App Store on iOS & OS X (or Software Update on Mac OS X 10.6.8 and earlier) will show you available updates. In OS X 10.9 Mavericks & OS X 10.10 Yosemite you can make sure important system & security updates are installed automatically (this is best if you have high speed Internet) by checking the "Automatically check for updates", "Download newly available updates in the background", and "Install system data files & security updates" checkboxes in the App Store pane in System Preferences. That way, you won't even need to remember to check. Similarly, on iOS you can automatically download updates & apps by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store and turning on the "Apps" and "Updates" switches.
Third, and most important, is to run the most modern & secure web browser you can. Apple's own Safari browser (which is included with OS X and iOS) is fast, efficient, and has excellent integration features, but it is only kept up-to-date for the current & previous version of OS X and the current version of iOS. Fortunately, there are other good alternatives which you can run on older, and current, versions of OS X (listed below by OS X version):
OS X 10.9 Mavericks - OS X 10.10 Yosemite (Intel):
OS X 10.7 Lion - OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (Intel):
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (Intel):
Mac OS X Tiger 10.4 - Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (PowerPC G3/G4/G5):
Safari will be updated automatically along with other OS X updates, but Chrome, Firefox, and TenFourFox will need to be kept up-to-date separately. Fortunately, they each offer an option to automatically check for updates, so you're alerted when a new version is available. By doing this, you can rest assured that you're taking full advantage of all the hard work that the security industry is putting in to keep everyone safe.
Additionally, for those who are running an old PowerPC Mac with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or 10.5 Leopard, the team behind TenFourFox have done an amazing job producing a custom version of Firefox to keep your Mac compatible with new websites and recent security improvements. Other parts of a version of Mac OS X that old are going to be inherently less secure than the latest version of OS X, but a browser can help keep your old Mac useful a little longer.
Naturally, there are still phishing attempts, insecure websites, and malicious software that you'll want to keep an eye out for, but by keeping your OS and browser up-to-date, you're greatly reducing risks from invisible, undetectable theft of your information.
Keyboard shortcuts are handy ways of using simple keyboard commands to handle tasks that might require multiple clicks of your mouse or trackpad. Sometimes using these shortcuts can save time and make your work flow easier. As an example, from time to time I grab screen shots to include in Kibbles or to send to customers. I can launch the Grab app to capture these screen shots but I can also hit [shift][command]-3 to capture the screen. Easier yet, if I frequently use that key combination I can customize the keys I use or make one of my function keys do the screen grab. Here's how you would do that:
Choose System Preferences -> Keyboard->Shortcuts
You will see a bunch of shortcuts that are already there
Select Screen Shots
Pick the one you want - i.e. Save Picture of screen as a file and select it
Enter your new key combination
You will get a warning triangle if you choose a key combination (or function key) that is already in use.
You can also add key combination shortcuts that are specific to an App. Selecting the App Shortcuts will take you there. Unless you have already set up some shortcuts, you will see only the key combination for "Show Help Menu" for all applications. To add a new shortcut to your favorite application you hit the + sign and a dialog box will pop up to allow you to select an app. From there you can set up the new shortcut:
Choose your App - or select all Apps if you want to set the key combination for the same menu command that appears in many Apps.
Type in the menu command for which you want to create a shortcut. VERY IMPORTANT - You must type the command exactly as it appears in the Application menu, including ellipses and any other punctuation. To type an ellipse, use three periods without spaces.
Click in the Keyboard Shortcut box and type the key combination or function key you wish to use and click "Add".
Quit and restart any Apps that are open for the new keyboard command to take effect.
If you assign a shortcut that already exists for another command or another App, your new shortcut will not work and you will have to find the menu command that is using that shortcut and change it.
Using Automator's Dictation Commands, new in Yosemite
by Christopher Breen, MacWorld
Over the past few years we've grown accustomed to using our voice to interact with Siri-enabled iOS devices. So why not expect a similar experience with our computers? While not the hoped-for "Siri for the Mac," use of the new Dictation Commands feature in Yosemite can deliver a powerful and personalized interactive experience in OS X.
Speakable Items no more
Speech Recognition has been an element of the Mac experience since the pre-OS X days and lives on in the current Mac OS. While the Speakable Items interface has provided the means to control such standard computer interactions as switching applications and launching websites, it's remained separated from the Dictation abilities in Mavericks.
In Yosemite, Speakable Items are gone. Their functionality has been merged with the Dictation architecture of the OS and morphed into a new feature called Dictation Commands. But unlike Speakable Items, Dictation Commands are not separate from the rest of the speech architecture. Turn on Dictation and you automatically gain access to Dictation Commands. At any time—even during a dictation session—you can speak the title of a command to have it recognized and executed. Also gone is Mavericks' round floating Speech Feedback palette, replaced instead by Yosemite's simple Dictation Response HUD.
Say and do what you want
The best part of the new speech-related abilities of Yosemite is how easy Apple has made it to extend and customize Dictation Commands, courtesy of a new Automator template.
When you launch the Automator application in Yosemite, the workflow template chooser offers a new option: Dictation Command. Using this new workflow template you can create a system Dictation Command that automates any process or task that Automator is capable of performing.
Let's give it a try by constructing a workflow that ejects your favorite USB thumb drive. To begin, launch System Preferences, select the Dictation & Speech preference, switch on Dictation, and then enable the Use Enhanced Dictation option. Do this and your Mac will download an approximately 800MB file, which allows it to use Dictation without having to connect to Apple's servers.
Begin by enabling advanced commands in the Dictation accessibility preference.
While still using System Preferences choose View > Accessibility. Select the Dictation entry at the very bottom of the list and click Dictation Commands to the right. In the resulting sheet click the box next to Enable advanced commands and click Done.
Now launch Automator, select Dictation Command from the workflow chooser (see image at top), click Choose, and construct this simple workflow.
The completed workflow.
Plug in your USB thumb drive. From the Files & Folders library drag Get Specified Finder Items into the workflow area. Drag the mounted USB drive into this action to add it.
From this same Files & Folder library drag in the Eject Disk action.
Select the Text library and drag the Get Specified Text action into the workflow area. Enter text that reads "Boy was I glad to spit that out!" (Or other words of your choosing.)
rag in the Speak Text action from the Text library and choose the voice you'd like to use (Alex is the default).
At the top of the workflow enter the command you'll speak to trigger the workflow. I like "Spit that out." Then click on the Command Enabled checkbox. Save and name your workflow and quit Automator.
The Dictation Response HUD will respond to your command.
To use the workflow, just press the key command that initiates dictation (pressing the Fn key twice is the default). The Dictation Response HUD will appear. Speak your command and, after a second or two, you'll see that command written out above the HUD and the workflow will be triggered. Your USB thumb drive will unmount and to confirm it, Alex will tell you of his relief.
And that's it, a simple job performed with a simple spoken command. And it doesn't stop here. Within Accessibility's Dictation component you can also trigger AppleScripts with a voice command, making your Mac all that much more powerful. If you'd like more information about this and other Automator workflows, visit This Apple website.
Apple takes its mobile payment service worldwide, but there are a few missing pieces.
Apple is finally taking its mobile payment service worldwide, starting with the British rollout of Apple Pay on Tuesday.
Apple announced its UK expansion plans at June's Worldwide Developers Conference. Seven financial institutions are supporting Apple Pay at launch, including American Express, MBNA, Nationwide, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, and Ulster Bank. Notable holdouts include Barclays and, surprisingly, HSBC. HSBC was expected to be one of Apple Pay's launch partners, but the bank announced that it won't support the service until the end of July. Barclays has its own contactless payment service, bPay, but reversed its opposition to Apple Pay on Tuesday with a supportive tweet.
Aside from HSBC, six more banks will sign on with Apple Pay in the near future. Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, M&S Bank, Lloyds Bank, and TSB are listed on Apple Pay's UK site as "coming soon."
Why this matters: Apple Pay's worldwide rollout is a huge leap forward in terms of gaining mainstream acceptance, but the fact that Apple couldn't line up all of Britain's major banks in time to launch could hinder its appeal.
How and where it works
The service works the same in Britain as it does in the States: Owners of Apple Watches or iPhone 6 and 6 plus models will be able to tap to pay in-store, while iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 users will be able to use Apple Pay in apps.
But there's a limit on how much you can spend with Apple Pay in Britain at most retail stores. Right now, buyers can make purchases up to £20 using the service, with that limit rising to £30 in September. The same applies to all contactless payments in the region, not just Apple Pay.
British shoppers will be able to use Apple Pay at more than 250,000 retail locations, including popular chains like Boots, Marks & Spencer, and Waitrose. London's public transit system, which already supports other forms of contactless payments, will also support Apple Pay.
How to Stop iPhone Crash Scammers From Stealing Your Money
Most people couldn't imagine their iOS device being held for ransom, but recently we have been witnessing just that. While the total number of people affected is unknown, the problem has not gone unnoticed around the world.
iPhone and iPad users in the United States and the United Kingdom have reported a strange message appearing on their device while browsing the internet. This particular pop-up displays a threatening message stating"
"Warning IOS - Crash report. Due to a third party application in yourphone. iOS crashed. Contact Support for an immediate fix +1-800-556-2901 (Toll Free) immediately!"ioscrash_3377246b
The message, as well as the scammer's grammar, is particularly frightening. The message allegedly leaves Safari in a frozen state until the owner of the iOS device calls the ransom number in attempt to "fix" the problem. Unknowing iPhone and iPad users have called the phone number only to find out it will cost between $19 and $80 dollars to return your iOS device back to normal from its hostage state.
Luckily, the iPhone and iPad owners have ultimate control over the issue and can bring their devices back to normal by following a few instructions. If the con artist attempts to hold your iPhone or iPad for ransom, do not call the phone number and follow these steps.
Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access the Control Panel.airplane
Turn on Airplane Mode by pressing the airplane button on the top left of the Control Panel.
Exit Control Panel and open the Settings app.
Scroll down to Safari and tap it.
Find "Clear History and Website Data" and tap it. Tap Clear History and Data one more time
Go back to Safari and turn off Airplane Mode.
Advice from the London Police repeat that the message is a definitely a scam, do not call the phone number listed on the message. They go on to say never give your iCloud username and password or your bank information to someone over the phone.
As much as we all love our iPhones, they don't always cooperate with us the way we want them to. From frozen screens to low batteries, our iPhones and iPads can frequently cause frustration and headaches. Fear not! There are easy solutions for remedying these troublesome errors. Here we review five common issues with iOS devices and the ways users can quickly solve them.
Many iOS users have the issue of poor battery life. One way to improve battery life is to make some changes to your background apps. There is an option on all iOS devices called Background App Refresh, which is automatically enabled. In order to turn this feature off, go to:
Select Background App Refresh
You can also turn it off for just the apps that you don't need to be refreshed as frequently. Another way to improve battery life is by turning off Location Services. To disable this feature go to:
click on Location Services
Switch off Location Services
Although this feature is meant to improve the iOS experience, it will drastically drain your battery life. Another way to check which apps are draining your battery life is to:
Analyze which apps you want to keep, and which ones could stand to go.
Sometimes it's hard to connect to Bluetooth, your Wi-Fi, or your cellular network. One quick and easy way to fix this is to enable Airplane mode for 30 seconds, turn it off, and try connecting again. Another way to solve connectivity issue is to turn the specific connection on and off again. If you are still having issues you can try setting up your Bluetooth device or Wi-Fi network again. To repair this go to:
Select Reset Network Settings
These simple steps should ensure a faster and stronger connectivity with your iOS device.
Sometimes our iPhone or iPad runs slow or on rare occasions, completely freezes. Sometimes our devices run slower when the internal storage is full. If you want to remedy this go to:
Old photos and apps you no longer use can either be deleted or moved to iCloud. In order to delete an iOS app just press down on the icon, found on the home screen, for a few moments.
It is also a good idea to disable the parallax feature in hopes it could speed up your phone. The parallax feature is the nifty visual enhancement that makes it appear as if your background is moving when you tilt your phone. It is pretty, but unnecessary. In order to disable the parallax wallpaper, go to
Turn on the Reduce Motion feature
If you want to sync your device and it isn't cooperating, it can be more than frustrating. The first thing to check before trying to solve this issue though is to make sure you are connected to the internet through your network or Wi-Fi. Make sure your connection is working by going to your Web Brower or your Facebook app and try to load information. If you are sure that the connectivity is there but the syncing is still a problem, you may want to update your iOS firmware to the latest version. To check and update this go to
Select Software update
There should be an option to update to the newest iOS version or a notification letting you know that you are up to date. If you STILL have syncing issues after this, you may want to remove the specific account from your device and re-add it. You accounts can be accessed in the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars options in the device settings menu.
Apps That Crash
There is nothing more frustrating than when you are using an app and it crashes. One way to make sure that your apps stay where you want them is to keep your apps up-to-date in the App Store. An easy way to ensure that this always happens is to turn on Automatic Updates. To do this go to
iTunes & App Store
Turn on the "Updates" switch
If an app is unresponsive or crashes, double tap on the Home Button on your device, and close the app by swiping it up and away. Then try re-opening the app. You should also always make sure that your iOS device is updated to the latest version. This will help your iOS device to run at optimal speeds.
iOS 9 to add Wi-Fi Calling for AT&T users and Wi-Fi Assist in case Wi-Fi sucks
by Oscar Raymundo, Macworld
Latest iOS 9 beta adds options to enable new Wi-Fi features.
At its best, Wi-Fi can make voice calls without relying on a cell signal, but at its worst, Wi-Fi is frustrating enough to want to rip your hair out.
If the latest iOS 9 developer beta is any indication, Apple's newest mobile software update will make the most out of your Wi-Fi connection at all times—even when the Wi-Fi signal sucks. 9to5Mac has uncovered that iOS 9 will introduce Wi-Fi Calling to AT&T users. iOS 9 will also include Wi-Fi Assist, a feature that automatically boosts your connection by relying on a cell signal when your Wi-Fi is weak.
Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make a call using a Wi-Fi connection instead of a cell signal. Even though the option to enable Wi-Fi Calling shows up in the Settings of iPhones running the beta, once you toggle it on you get an error message. "Oops! Wi-Fi Calling isn't yet available in your area, but check back soon."
T-Mobile was the first carrier to support Wi-Fi Calling in iOS 8. Sprint quickly followed suit in iOS 8.3. AT&T, which promised to support Wi-Fi Calling in 2015, seems to be keeping its promise in iOS 9. It might be interesting to see if Wi-Fi Calling will be included for Verizon, the one holdout, once Apple seeds the final iOS 9 release this fall.
Unfortunately, Wi-Fi connectivity is not as ample nor as stable as cell signal coverage, so that's where Wi-Fi Assist comes in. This feature will automatically detect whenever your Wi-Fi signal is weak and switch instantly to using a cellular connection. It's for all those times when you manage to sign on to Wi-Fi, but the connection is barely just strong enough to keep you on without loading anything. iOS 9 will catch that this Wi-Fi is not delivering anything and drop you back to using your cell signal.
Why this matters: These new features expected in the forthcoming iOS 9 prove that we still rely heavily on both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity to make our mobile devices work in different situations and locations, whether at home, driving through a rural area or traveling abroad. In iOS 9, Apple is giving us the option to choose which connection is best to make a call (Wi-Fi Calling), as well as making iPhones able to switch back and forth in a way that's both automatic and seamless (Wi-Fi Assist).
The moment we have all been waiting for! We will officially be able to put all of the iPhone 6S rumors to rest, as we will find out for sure what gossip was true and what wasn't on September 9th, 2015.
The iPhone launch event is planned for the beginning of September, and there is a great chance some other new products will be unveiled as well.
We might see a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as well as the new Apple TV. All of which will assumingly be upgraded with better memory and faster processors. The latter is much more likely, with more concrete rumors stating that the new Apple TV will be released with a new remote, an ultra-fast A8 processor, and support for third-party apps.
You Can Now Secure Your Home with Just an Apple Watch
Smartphone technology is finally coming to your home! Adjusting the temperature, dimming lights, security cameras, and more can now be controlled by our iPhones thanks to Apple's HomeKit. But did you know that we can now use our iPhones and Apple watch to both unlock and monitor our locks?
Mac computers are generally free from viruses that attack from outside. However, there are several forms of malware that try and fool you into downloading malware onto your computer. So, we all need to be careful what we click on when cruising the internet.
Here are some examples of junk e-mails that have recently found their way onto a MAGIC member's Mac. They are making fraudulent claims. When you find anything like this DO NOT CLICK ANY BUTTONS OR LINKS!
You have to be old enough to remember ABBOTT and COSTELLO and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on.
If Bud ABBOTT and Lou COSTELLO were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?' might have turned out something like this:
COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'W' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? Do you have anything I can track my money with?
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. At no extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on 'START.'
Penny Holland has volunteered to be the newsletter's humor editor. We hope to tickle your funny bone on a regular basis. If you have any pictures, cartoons, or jokes that might be appropriate for this august publication, please send them to Penny at
I know I offered iPhone (iOS) tips a couple months ago, but I have a couple more for you. I'm eager to tell you what I've learned because it's so satisfying to discover them. For instance, I've always thought there should be an app for searching data on your iPhone or iPad. If you've known about this feature, then just act surprised anyway as you read on.
I've read about the search feature but it said to swipe down the screen. When I did that I only got the Notifications list. But the trick is to swipe down from the middle of the screen. So there is swipe down from the top of the screen for Notifications, swipe up from the bottom of the screen for Controls, and swipe down from the center of the screen for Spotlight Search.
You can set your search criteria in Settings, General, Spotlight Search. In those settings you can choose whether to have Spotlight search your query on the internet as well as for data on your phone. Of course you can always use a browser to search the internet.
Another tip is to set keyboard shortcuts, similar to OSX. You can find that setting on your iPhone, or iPad, in Settings, General, Keyboard, Shortcuts.
One of the improvements I hope will make it's way to the iOS 9 software, maybe with the interactive assistant, is to give Siri the ability to open and quit apps. Recently when I used the GPS for driving directions, I turned the screen off but kept getting voice directions. So instead of fumbling around while driving and trying to figure out how to quit the app, I just asked Siri to quit the Maps app. However, he said he cannot exit apps.
And yes, you can set Siri's voice to be Male or Female. You can also turn voice off for directions and you can set Siri to respond by just saying "Hey Siri." Although the "Hey Siri" feature only works when plugged into power, but there is a somewhat useful work around. Press and hold the home button to activate Siri, but don't say anything, just let it time out. Then it will respond to "Hey Siri" as long as the your screen is still on.
Refresher course on Mac Maintenance, or what to delete
by Ron Sharp, MAGIC*
Regular computer maintenance is already taken care of automatically by your Mac. Isn't that the best thing you could have read? But while that is basically true, there are a lot of things you can clean up on your computer, particularly if you are running out of hard drive space. Granted, if you're using an iMac you'll probably not have a space problem. But with many of the newer laptops, such as the MacBook Air with small SSD storage drives, it could very well be a concern.
Now I'm sure I don't need to mention cleaning out your email if you use Mail or other email app on your computer But one thing for sure to sort through is your Downloads folder. Trash anything in there that you no longer need and anything that you don't recognize. If you don't recognize it you're obviously not using it. This advice only applies to the Downloads folder. Other folders may have files in them that the computer uses.
Check also for .dmg files. You know whenever you install an app or do some updates, many of the files are downloaded as a compressed digital image. The suffix is .dmg and once those apps or updates are installed, the .dmg files can be trashed. An easy way to check for those is to use the Finder search. Then glance through the list to make sure there isn't a file that you want to save or that you've created for yourself. If you've ever created an encrypted folder for yourself, it may be a digital image file, .dmg. Then delete the rest.
To check how much storage space you have you can use Disk Utility found in the Utilities folder of the Applications folder. Select your hard drive in the column on the left. Then you'll see your storage drive info at the bottom right side of the window.
If you are still baffled by what is using all your storage space, try looking for "Old User Files" by selecting your hard drive from the Finder window, the click Users. You can delete old user files. And while you're there at the Users Folder, see if you have other user accounts that you don't need. You should have at least two user accounts, your own and a guest user. Or if not a guest user then another Administrator user. It's good to have a second User account in case your main user account gets totally whacked out, then you can log in to the other account to try to straighten things out. Okay, maybe you wouldn't use it for that but a tech might. You can add and delete User accounts using System Preferences -> Users & Groups.
If you have old applications that you don't use you can delete them. However, I recommend only deleting apps that you've installed. I don't think it's a good idea to remove any of the apps that come with the operating system, regardless if you use them or not. Also, many applications store files in several places on your computer. Check that the app in question doesn't have it's own app un-install program to use.
So, you've got some checking to do.
MAGIC, the Macintosh Appreciation Group of Island County, serves people who use Macintosh computers, software and peripherals. Our goal is to share information and get answers to questions to make us more productive with our use of technology. Our monthly meetings give us a chance to discuss computer problems and share ideas with other Mac users, feature speakers on specific topics, and to keep apprised of Apple news.