Stream Media From Your Mac to Almost Any Media Receiver with Plex

MacTuts:

More and more media receivers capable of playing music or video are making their way into our living rooms. Whether it’s a dedicated device such as the Apple TV or a hybrid device like the Xbox 360, chances are you have a device that will allow you to stream content to your TV. Let’s make the most of your connected device and stream the media you have on your Mac to almost any media receiver – for free!

My latest article over at Mactuts+ about media sharing from your Mac using Plex Media Server.

Apple TV update brings profile support

AFP548:

Apple released Apple TV Software Update 5.1 yesterday which includes several new enterprise friendly features, including support for 802.1X and the use of a proxy server. Both are configured via configuration profiles. Details are at the links below.

Awesome stuff. If you’ve been considering rolling out Apple TVs for presentation use then managing them up until now was tricky at best.

Wipe a Samsung Galaxy S3 simply by visiting a web page

xda-developers:

Apparently the USSD code to wipe a S3 can be trigged in a browser iframe. Obviously this is bad bad BAD. Until there is a fix for this please keep your wits about you and avoid any hyperlinks to pages from untrusted sources.

Well this is pretty stupid. In fact, that’s a monumental fuck-up. The Galaxy S3 can be wiped by entering *2767*3855# on the keypad. As phone numbers can be embedded as a hyperlink using tel: in place of http:, setting the source of an iframe to this enters it automatically. It doesn’t need to be dialled, just entered.

What’s even more concerning is the number of S3s that probably run carrier versions of Android which means a critical update may not be seen anytime soon.

Remember, kids. Open is good.

RIM experienced service outage across EMEA earlier today

TechCrunch:

RIM confirmed the outage in a tweet this morning, noting: “Some users in Europe, Middle East & Africa are experiencing issues with their BlackBerry service”. A follow up tweet added: “We are investigating and apologise for any inconvenience.”

Service has supposedly resumed so it wasn’t as much as a problem as last year where millions of users couldn’t access email or messaging. But still, great job RIM.

It’s a good job this didn’t happen on a day where a competitor was launching a new product and operating system…

Oh wait.

IFTTT removing all Twitter triggers

IFTTT via an email newsletter that went out a few minutes ago:

In recent weeks, Twitter announced policy changes* that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter’s data. As a result of these changes, on September 27th we will be removing all Twitter Triggers, disabling your ability to push tweets to places like email, Evernote and Facebook. All Personal and Shared Recipes using a Twitter Trigger will also be removed. Recipes using Twitter Actions and your ability to post new tweets via IFTTT will continue to work just fine.

Twitter won’t be happy until the only way you’re interacting with their service is via their website or 1st party apps.

For now, only Twitter triggers is getting canned. Sending something to Twitter remains. For those relying on IFTTT to simultaneously post to app.net with a Twitter post, create a new recipe that reads posts from app.net and forwards them to Twitter.

Doing your homework

As you no doubt know, iOS 6 came out last night. This has lead to reviews, opinions and tutorials aimed towards Apple’s latest iOS release. A lot of readers rely on these types of reviews and opinions to discover more about the software, what works well – and what doesn’t. It’s through these reviews that a lot of users may base their deciison on upgrading or purchasing the next big thing™. As such, anyone writing about a topic such as iOS or Apple in general will be expected to have a good degree of knowledge on the matter.

However, I’ve been pretty surprised by the seemingly lack of research when writing about iOS 6 and iOS / Apple in general. I’ll give you a couple of examples:

Ars Technica reviews iOS 6:

This review originally said autofocus and autoexposure lock was new in iOS 6. It’s not; it was introduced in iOS 5, so that part has been removed

Whoops. Granted, it’s a rarely used feature that I bet most people didn’t know about. But still, if you’re living is made writing about Apple products, you’re kind of expected to know. This wasn’t a hidden feature but it got announced along with the volume shutter control which is what most of the focus was on.

Dr. Richard Gaywood of TUAW blogs his pretty poor experience about turn-by-turn in iOS 6:

Brian Klug nudged me to point out that this is on an iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S and 5 get a different interface, Flyover, with more features. I believe this addresses some of my complaints (the redirection, the countdowns), though not the data quality ones (the closed road, the misunderstood roundabouts).

Yeah, it’s safe to say that Apple’s new Maps app isn’t well received. But more importantly, Dr. Gaywood originally wrote this piece to complain that turn-by-turn was woeful. Except, the iPhone 4 doesn’t get turn-by-turn. Driving directions in Maps and turn-by-turn are completely different things, hence the demand for turn-by-turn and apps like Waze or TomTom.

Not quite on the subject of iOS 6 specifically but more of a general Apple post, Myles Tanzer at Betabeat wrote an article about an update to Instapaper that introduced a dyslexia-friendly font face.

But other similar apps, like the Android version of Pocket, have taken a bigger leap forward and given their products text-to-speech capabilities. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t have a text-to-speech API in their operating system, so it’s going to be a long time coming until Instapaper can really be as friendly for the nearly blind and dyslexics as it says it is.

Again, wrong. iOS has had text-to-speech available for as long as I can remember. Now, the writer may be an Android or Blackberry phone user. Fair enough, he may not know about iOS’ text-to-speech functionality. I didn’t know Android had it to be honest… which is why I won’t ever write about it.

Everyone makes mistakes and anyone who says otherwise is making a mistake. The problem isn’t that they didn’t know – it’s that if you don’t have a deep understanding about what you’re writing about, don’t write about it. You will only end up providing the wrong information to readers who expect you to know what you’re talking about. Worse, if you have to retract something you’ve written or add a block of text that writes “Actually, most of this article is incorrect” then you risk losing your reputation as an informed writer.

I’d rather be known for writing about a small number of areas really well than be someone who is regarded as a jack of all trades.