Alex Kaloostian

Apple Certified Master Trainer | Systems Integrator | Video Editor | Motion Graphics Artist


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iOS and security

Theres a lot of talk about security and iPhones lately. Well, there always is, but even more lately. Here are a couple articles that should be required reading.

Parallax primer: why is Android less secure than iOS?

Cops can force you to unlock your phone with a thumbprint but not your passcode: 5 things to know.

Tim Cook says Apple will fight FBI’s order to unlock Farook’s iPhone


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Better web browsing on your Mac

So, there are a lot of opinions out there, and they change every time a new browser is updated, but I happen to think that Apple’s own Safari is a pretty darned good browser. Its fast, its efficient, its kind to my battery, it finally supports pinned tabs and muting audio from the tab bar, and I love Reader view. But it doesn’t play nice with Flash. You can download the Flash plugin, of course, but that thing is going to cause you problems of its own, even when you don’t need it. no, I really wish to keep Safari pure and unmolested by the likes of Flash.

Now Google Chrome comes with Flash built in, but it has other problems of its own. I used to be a BIG Chrome supporter, but it has kind of sucked in the last few years. Its getting better, but its still not there. And being an Apple fanboy, I like Safari’s ability to sync to my iPhone and iPad. So what to do?

Heres what you do. Download Chrome, but use Safari day-today. When you encounter a page with Flash or another page that doesn’t play well with Safari, open it in Chrome. And to do THAT even easier, download this extension to open the current page in Chrome with a single click.


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Endless fun

Open the Network system preference on your coworker’s Mac. Re-name the Ethernet interface to “Wi-fi”. When they can’t get online, and express confusion that it says their cable is unplugged, tell them, “Oh yeah, thats a well known bug in El Capitan. You need to go to IT and ask them for a wi-fi cable”.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.31.44 PM


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Apple’s Laptop Problem

Let’s face it, I’m a shameless Apple fanboy with an impulse control problem and a high credit card limit. And if *I* can’t find a laptop I want to buy, Apple has a problem.

Okay, I know the problems of a guy like me doesn’t amount to a hill of beans as far as Apple is concerned, I just wanted to try out a click-baity headline to try to get my viewership into the double digits. Apple’s laptops are, basically, as good as ever, but you can’t deny we are in the middle of a shakeup; a transitionary period. Where Apple goes next will be interesting and even critical to a lot of my colleagues. I am hopeful for the next step, but I cant help also being really, really nervous.

First, let’s have a look at Apple’s portable offerings as of October 2015: Continue reading


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AppleTV: Apple needs to put the horse before the cart.

If Apple had talked to app developers back in 2009, asked them to develop apps for a new mobile platform, which would be severely locked down and restricted from accessing the OS in any way, and oh yeah, they would only be allowed to distribute these apps via Apple’s locked-down storefront, which would take a 35% cut of all profits, and not allow volume pricing, upgrade pricing or bundle pricing… they most certainly would have been laughed off the planet, maybe stoned for good measure.

I’d like to give Apple the benefit of the doubt, and assume they knew this. So what they did instead was, they released a phone with no apps… a phone which was so far ahead of the competition, it quickly dominated the entire market. A year later, when the app store was proposed, developers really had no choice… it was go along with Apple’s rules, or become irrelevant.

Perhaps it would be good for Apple to remember this lesson as it struggles (allegedly) to get its (alleged) streaming TV service off of the (hypothetical) ground. Quit sitting on the new AppleTV and put it out there. Give it an app store. Give it 4k streaming. Give it gaming. Give it HomeKit control. And price it attractively for a change. (If the rumors are saying $150-$200, you know it’ll be $299. Which is stupid. And I’ll still pay. Which is stupid).

A year from now, there will be 10 million of them out there, and THEN you can go back to the TV networks and cut a deal.


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What is Apple doing with their hardware??

Apple has gotten a lot of criticism, especially as of late, and I suppose they deserved some of it- iOS8 and Yosemite has some pretty major bugs that took far too long to squash, Apple Music wasn’t perfect, but I really dont think it was as bad at the tech blogs made it out to be. Heck, even iCloud isn’t really that terrible- it’s no DropBox, but I’ve been using it daily and had no trouble since Mountain Lion. And even if you’re one of the unlucky ones who have been suffering data loss or other major issues, I’m happy to say that the betas of iOS9 and El Capitan are surprisingly solid and excellent, and I think we have a good year coming on the software front.

But what the heck is Apple doing on the hardware side? They have always frustrated me with their lightweight lineup of products and irritating tendency to hold back and hold back till the competition has almost finished their first lap. But lately it has been downright ridiculous. Continue reading


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It’s (still) always DNS.

I’m not going to sugar coat it: Networking has been a mess in Yosemite. If you’ve been noticing wifi drops, slow DNS, failing DNS, mystery devices in the network browser, and more, all I can say is, its not your fault.

It’s not your fault.

It all comes down to Apple’s ditching the long-lived and hard-working mDNSresponder and replacing it with a brand-new creature called discoveryd. Unfortunately, it seems Apple didnt follow the high-altitude baking instructions on the box, because discoveryd is SO not done.

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