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Apple investing ‘over $100 million’ to bring back some Mac production to the US in 2013


Following our readers finding several of their new iMacs labeled as assembled in the United States, Tim Cook revealed in a Bloomberg Business Week profile that Apple plans to bring back some Mac production to the US in 2013 and is planning to spend a lot of money to do so.

"Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We've been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We're really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it's broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we'll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn't mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we'll be working with people, and we'll be investing our money."

Last night we discovered iMacs shipping from Fremont, California in what looks to be early testing by the company. Cook confirms that Apple won't necessarily be putting macs together themselves, but will spend "over $100 million" to make it happen.

Remember NBC anchor Brian Williams interviewing Cook at the Grand Central Apple Store? NBC confirms today's news is the subject matter, and the interview will air on NBC tonight at 10PM EST.

Source: Bloomberg

How To Use iOS & OS X Sharing & Highlighting Features For Special People In Your Life

os x sharingThe Apple ecosystem is not only about synchronizing data and using multiple Mac accounts, it also includes features and apps useful for those special people and VIPs in your life – people for whom you don't ignore their emails or phone calls, and for those you probably share photos with.

There are several iOS and OS X features and apps that you can use to highlight those special people in our life without needing to buy more apps or hardware. You can set up Mail notifications and ringtones, and share Photo Stream albums, Calendar dates, and Reminder lists, and even purchased apps with family members or a really close friend or two.

Special Ringtones & Text Tones

The default ringtone for the iPhone is called Marimba, which comes from the musical instrument of its name. But if you're new to the iPhone, you may not know that the iPhone includes two dozen other ringtones you can choose from to assign to special people on your Contact list. So for example, you could assign the Harp ringtone to your spouse or a relative, so you know specifically when he or she is calling you.

os x sharing

To assign a special ringtone, tap the Contacts button in the Phone app, select your contact's name, and then select the Edit button on the upper-right. Next, scroll down to the "ringtone" section and tap on it. From there you can preview different ringtones and assign one to your Contact.

os x highlight

Notice also you can do the same thing with Text message tones and vibrations. I actually use these special tones to ignore calls and text messages with the default sounds.

You can also roll your own ringtones using Garageband (Jeffry explains how here, or you can purchase ringtones via the iTunes app > More > Tones. I've made ringtones out of the favorite songs of my family members, so I'll definitely know when they are calling.

os x highlight

There are also iPhone apps that allow you to download free tones, such as Ringtones 500,000+ (free).

VIP Mail List & Rules

You can add special people to your VIP Mail list. This way, all the emails from that person will show up in a single folder. To add a contact to your VIP list on your iPhone, select the person's email message; then tap on their name in the From address field, and from there tap "Add to VIP."

os x highlight

Your VIPs will show up on all your Mac and iOS devices connected through your iCloud account. Likewise, to add a VIP to your list in the Mail application of Mountain Lion, select the contact's name in the From field of an email, and then move your cursor to the left side of their name. Select the Star icon that appears, which will add that email address to your VIP list.

Mail Rule For Special People

You can also use a Mail rule to highlight special people, which will cause the Mail icon in your Mac's dock to bounce up and down when you receive an email from a selected person or someone in a Group in your Contact list.

sharing on os x

To set this up, select a contact's email and then open the Preferences window for Mail. Next, click the "Rule" button, and then the "Add Rule" button. Type the person's name in the Description, and make sure their email address is in the "Any Recipient > contains" text field. You can also instead use "From" in the drop-down list of parameters.

Next, click on the "Move Message" button and select "Bounce Icon in Dock." Click OK, and whenever an email from your selected person arrives, this rule will activate.

Share Calendar Appointments

You can share calendar appointments with significant others. Say you schedule a dentist appoint for your child on your Calendar app. You can use the "Add invitees…" feature to share the calendar date with your spouse. This feature will send the invitee an email with the calendar date attached. When the invitee accepts the calendar date, it will be added to their supporting Calendar app.

sharing on os x

Share Reminders List

The Reminders app which is now included in both iOS 6 and Mountain Lion can also be used to share selected lists with others. However, setting up list sharing can only be done by logging into your iCloud account via a web browser.

After you log in, select the Reminders app on the home page.

sharing on os x

Next select or create a new list, and then hover your mouse to the right side of that highlighted list. Click on the Share icon that pops up and type in the email address of the person you want to share the list with. If the person's name is in your Contact list, their email should show up. After the recipient approves your list, whatever you add to that list will automatically show up in their Reminders app.

Share Apps

If you have apps that you purchased from the iTunes App Store or the Mac App Store that you to want to share with a family member, this can also be done. On the iOS device that you want to share apps to, launch the Settings app, and then tap on "iTunes & App Stores." From there tap on the Apple ID at the top. In the pop-up window, select Sign Out, and then sign back in using your account information.

os x sharing

Locate the app you've already purchased, and tap the "Install" button for that app. You will get a notice that you have already purchased the item. Click OK and download. After the downloads are made, the person should go back to the Settings app and sign back into their account.

The only caveat with this approach is that the person may need to sign into your account again for future updates of apps you've shared.

A few other sharing features you might be interested in include sharing your iOS and iPhoto photos via Photo Stream, and using the Find My Friends app for knowing where your family members are.

For other iOS and OS X related ideas, check out these articles :

Let us know what you think of these sharing and highlighting features on iOS and OS X devices. Are there any other ways you share with family and friends, or specifically recognize them on your devices? Share your tips.

QuickLock – A Free App That Locks Your Mac, Quickly

lock your macLock your Mac so you can get up and grab a coffee without fear of some prank derailing your day. QuickLock can be launched from a keyboard shortcut or the notification icon, and is a great way to keep annoyance or worse at bay.

In Windows you can press the Windows button and L to lock the screen. You can do this on a Mac, but only if you've set your computer to lock every time your screen or computer goes to sleep. Do you want to use the keyboard shortcut occasionally but don't want to type a password every time you wake up your machine? Too bad, Macs do not work that way.

Unless, that is, you install QuickLock. This simple app lets you lock your Mac's screen using a keyboard shortcut or a single click. You can even customize how your lockscreen looks, if you want.

Enter Lockdown Mode!

Like I said, the concept is simple. The lockscreen shows up when you use a keyboard shortcut. There's no password box, but you still need to type your password. When you do, everything will unlock.

lock your mac

Clicking the menubar locks the screen, but if you hold the control key while clicking it, you can access options. You can even set the program to lock the screen at a set time in the future, potentially making this useful for the Pomodoro technique:

lock your mac screen

You can customize basically everything about the lockscreen, if that's important to you. Custom background, custom lock icon; you can make things look almost however you like.

lock your mac screen

Whether this is worth doing is completely up to you, but it's nice to have the option. I added a picture of a shipwreck from northern Michigan:

lock your mac screen

Other settings include:

  • Dimming the display.
  • Opening the software when you start your computer.
  • Lock the screen at a set time, every day.
  • Your keyboard shortcut (set as whatever you like).
  • Your password (not necessarily the same as your system password).

So there are many ways in which you can tweak QuickLock to work exactly as you like.

Download QuickLock

Are you ready to give this a shot? Download QuickLockApp now. It's not in the Mac App Store, so get ready to do the drag-the-icon-to-the-Applications-folder dance.

Locking Without The App

Do you want to lock your Mac, but don't want to install a dedicated program for the task? There's a keyboard shortcut for turning the Mac display off – Control, Shift and Eject. For this to lock the screen, however, you'll need to set your computer to lock whenever the display turns off. Open up the Software Preferences, then click "Security". Check "Require Password" and you're set.

If you prefer locking from the menu bar that's also possible. Open KeyChain access (in Utilities), open the program's preferences and check the "add keychain status to menu bar" box. You'll now have a quick way to lock your screen from the menu bar:

lock your mac

QuickLock gives you a quick way to do both of these things, and allows you to customize your keyboard shortcut and the look of the lock screen. Even better, you can use it without the need to unlock your computer every time you start it. Which method you use is entirely up to you, of course.

Do you lock your Mac's screen when you leave the room? Why? Let us know in the comments below, along with your preferred method of locking.

9 Command Line Tricks for Mac OS X You Should Know

Command line tricks for OS X you should know

The command line is often considered the realm of advanced users, but that doesn't mean every usage of Terminal has to involve rocket science. This collection of terminal tips should apply to a wide variety of Mac users, and everyone from beginners to advanced users should find something worthwhile here.

Some of these tricks may require Xcode to be installed on the Mac, Xcode is a free download from the App Store.

Prevent Screen Savers and Sleep with "caffeinate"

New to OS X Mountain Lion, caffeinate is like a command line version of everyones favorite Caffeine utility. Usage is simple, with caffeinate running the Mac will not sleep, and screen savers will not activate. At it's simplest, it can be run alone, but it's probably best used with a time limit attached to it like so:

caffeinate -t 3600

The -t flag specifies the time in seconds, the example above runs caffeinate for an hour.

Extract PKG Files with "pkgutil"

Need to grab a file out of a .pkg file? Maybe you want to see what's inside of a pkg without installing it? No sweat, pkgutil does the job:

pkgutil --expand sample.pkg ~/Desktop/

This will dump the entire pkg contents into the specified directory, without installing it.

Use "purge" to Free Up Memory

The purge command forcibly flushes the disk and memory caches, having an effect similar to when you reboot a Mac. Though some say that purge only offers a placebo effect, it absolutely does work to send system memory from the "Inactive" category back to the freely available RAM, and in situations where you are running low on real memory, it can provide a speed boost.

Using purge is simple, type the following at a command prompt:


Wait a minute or so for changes to take effect, the process is usually much faster on Macs with SSD drives.

Launch Multiple Instances of Apps with "open"

You may already know that you can open applications in the OS X GUI from the command line with the 'open' command, but did you know that you can run multiple instances of apps by attaching the -n flag to the open command? It's easy to use, here's all you have to do:

open -n /Applications/

The example runs another instance of Safari. Change the app name accordingly, and don't forget to include the .app extension.

Updating OS X without the App Store

Want to install system software and updates without bothering with the Mac App Store? You can do that directly from the command line instead with the help of the softwareupdate command. To install every update that is available, just run the following:

sudo softwareupdate -i -a

You can read more about softwareupdate command here, it has been bundled in OS X for years and works the same regardless of which version you're using.

List Everything You've Ever Downloaded

We've all been there; you downloaded something a while ago from a domain you sort of remember, but you can't quite remember what or from where. You're in luck, because Quarantine Services keeps a database of everything that has ever been downloaded, and you can query that database to find what you were looking for. Use the sqlite3 command as follows to see everything:

sqlite3 ~/Library/Preferences/* 'select LSQuarantineDataURLString from LSQuarantineEvent' |more

Of course you can also delete that list if the existence bothers you.

Hide Files or Folders from Finder with "chflags"

Got a secret file or folder you want to keep hidden from the Finder? Use chflags to turn any file invisible from the OS X GUI file system, it works the same whether you're pointing it at a file or a directory:

chflags hidden /path/to/file/or/folder/

Lucky (or unlucky) for us command line folks, the file will still be visible with ls, but it will remain hidden in the Finder until the "nohidden" flag is attached like so:

chflags nohidden /path/to/unhide/

Changes are immediate in either event.

Automatically Type Long Paths with a Drag & Drop

Did you know you can drag and drop any file from the Finder into the command line and the entire path to that file will be automatically printed? This isn't exclusively a command line tip, but it's so useful that it has to be included. This is probably best used in conjunction with a command to prefix the path, like so:

sudo vi (drag file here to print the full path)

This works anywhere in the command line, even when you're already in an app.

Create a Password Protected Zip Archive

If you're sending a file through an unsecured medium or hosting it publicly, yet want to provide some level of protection, you can create a password protected zip archive with the -e flag:

zip -e /file/to/protect/

Without the -e flag you'll just be creating a standard zip file without a password.