Author Archives: Seth Weintraub

Much of Tesla’s UI design team comes from Apple (Video)

Javier Verdura, Director of Product Design and Project Management for Tesla Motors pulls back the curtain on Tesla design during a recent RKS Sessions design talk. While the talk and Q&A is mostly focused on the physical design of the vehicles,Verdura answers a question about the GUI design briefly at 29:14, queued above, in which he notes that Tesla’s UI design team is largely made up of Apple alumni.

Verdura next talks about the design process and how everything goes through CEO Elon Musk at the end – something that should remind people of how Steve Jobs’ Apple worked.

Whole talk here.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, design, Elon Musk, Product design, Project Management, Steve Jobs, Tesla, Tesla Motors

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Review: Transcend’s JetDrives add whopping 240-960GB SSD to MacBook Air at a great price

IMG_1652

See that little $190 daughter card up there^? It houses 240GB of Transcend SSD and it could replace the 64GB or 128GB SSD that came in your MacBook Air in as little as 5 minutes. Even better, Transcend just released larger versions in 480GB and 960GB sizes to blow your SATA III MacBook Air or Pro into new worlds of space. Keep in mind these are SATA-based SSDs and Apple’s latest round of MacBook Pro/Airs came with speedier PCIe SSDs so you can’t use these on Apple’s late 2013/2014 models (see bottom of the article for compatibility list).

I got my hands on a demo unit and took it for a test drive…

My wife’s 128GB MacBook Air from 2011 has been “full” for about a year now and every few months I have to run Cocktail to remove some caches, etc. and keep it going for a few more months. Luckily, it is a Samsung drive and not the slower Toshiba drives that came with these MacBook Airs.

Spoiler alert: here’s Transcend’s video which makes it all look incredibly easy:

The Transcend packaging is extremely nice. The first level you’ll see your new SSD on top. Remove that and you’ll see the enclosure you’ll use to transfer data and which can eventually turn your old SSD into a big fast USB3 stick. One more level down, you’ll see the Torx screwdrivers you’ll need, the “paltry” instructions and cable for the enclosure.

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The first step is hooking up the Transcend SSD to the USB3 cable with the enclosed adapter.

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A quick BlackMagic speed test to set a baseline for the upgrade.

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Then reboot the computer from the recovery partition. From there, go into Disk Utility.

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The cloning of the drive actually takes some serious time because the 2011 MacBook Air is USB 2.  A very full 128GB SSD took about 1:45 to transfer to the new Transcend SSD with the USB 2 being the big bottleneck. USB 3 shouldn’t take much more than 10 minutes for the same amount of data.

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The instructions provided are pretty sparse (just the way I like them). These 2 pages of a small world language book are it!

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Now comes the hardware part of the journey. You’ll want to remove all of the screws on the bottom of the MacBook Air with the provided Torx screwdriver. Pro Tip – the longer screws are the ones in the top middle near the hinge. Don’t forget that like I did.
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The inside of the MBA was surprisingly dusty. I’ve heard that this is mostly dead skin which gives me the willies. Power through this and locate the SSD on the bottom. It will either be Samsung or Toshiba and will have a Black Torx Screw holding it in. Remove the screw and remove the card. Then pop in your new cloned Transcend SSD and replace that screw.

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Compare the two SSDs, Samsung above, Transcend below:

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At this point, you might as well pop your old SSD into the enclosure and secure it with the enclosed 3 screws. Then put the back of your MacBook Air back on and power it up!

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The first boot up will take a few minutes longer than you are used to. The EFI Firmware has to find the new drive and all kinds of other small things are happening. Also it will be slow at first while spotlight indexes itself again. From there, everything should behave like normal. My wife’s reaction was that the MacBook was much much faster.  However that speed was likely due to having some free space rather than actually read/write speed.  A BlackMagic test shows that its raw speeds were actually significantly slower than the default Samsung.

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However, if you download Transcend Toolbox you’ll get speeds much closer to the theoretical limit of SATA3. JetDrive Toolbox monitoring software leverages S.M.A.R.T. technology to analyze its health status. Additionally, it can enable TRIM support for your JetDrive in OS X, maintaining optimum write speeds and maximizing the lifetime of your SSD.

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Obviously this is a great update for those running out of space in MacBook Airs and almost a no-brainer recommendation for those running out of SSD space in our Apple laptops. OWC and others have offered this kind of update for quite some time but the price points never seemed quite so competitive.

 

Transcend-SSD-SATA-Macbook

Everything you need.

The package includes all the tools you need:

  • MacBook-compliant SSD
  • Enclosure Case with USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter
  • Screwdrivers (T5 & P5)
  • Screws for Enclosure Case x3
  • USB Cable
  • Rubber Feet
  • Travel Pouch
  • Quick Installation Guide & Warranty Card

Match it up.

Find the right model for your Mac below1.

Model Mac Identifier JetDrive Model
MacBook Air 11″ & 13″ Late 2010
Mid 2011
MacBook Air 3,1 / 3,2 / 4,1 / 4,2
*480/960GB JDM500 does not support 3,1
JetDrive 500
(240GB / 480GB / 960GB)2
MacBook Air 11″ & 13″ Mid 2012 MacBook Air 5,1 / 5,2 JetDrive 520
(240GB / 480GB / 960GB)
MacBook Pro (Retina®) 13″ Late 2012
Early 2013
MacBook Pro 10,2 JetDrive 720
(240GB / 480GB / 960GB)
MacBook Pro (Retina®) 15″ Mid 2012
Early 2013
MacBook Pro 10,1 JetDrive 725
(240GB / 480GB / 960GB)
MacBook Pro Late 2008 – Mid 2012 MacBook Pro 5,1 / 5,2 / 5,3 / 5,5 / 6,1 / 6,2 / 7,1 / 8,1 / 8,2 / 8,3 / 9,1 / 9,2 JetDrive 420
(120GB / 240GB / 480GB / 960GB)
MacBook Late 2008 – Mid 2010 MacBook 4,1 / 5,1 / 5,2 / 6,1 / 7,1
Mac mini Mid 2010 – Late 2012 Mac mini 4,1 / 5,1 / 5,2 / 6,1 / 6,2
  • The JetDrive series is specific for certain Mac computer models. Please identify your Mac model here.
  • 480GB / 960GB JetDrive 500 does not support 11-inch MacBook Air Late 2010 due to a mechanical limitation.
  • MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Retina, Mac, Time Machine, and Aperture are trademarks of Apple Inc.

Specifications

JetDrive™ 500

SSD
Interface SATA III 6Gb/s
Capacity 240GB/480GB/960GB
Flash Type Synchronous MLC
Max Performance
(Varies by capacity)
Seq. Read: 570MB/s
Seq. Write: 460MB/s
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
Warranty 5 years (The 5 years warranty does not apply when JetDrive Toolbox’s wear-out indicator shows 0% within 5 years)
Enclosure Case
External Dimension 130mm x 28.2mm x 10.8mm
Weight 60g
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
Connection Bandwidth USB 3.0: Up to 5Gb/s
USB 2.0: Up to 480Mb/s
Power Supply 5V DC from USB2.0/3.0 port
Warranty 2 years

JetDrive™ 520

SSD
Interface SATA III 6Gb/s
Capacity 240GB/480GB/960GB
Flash Type Synchronous MLC
Max Performance
(Varies by capacity)
Max Seq. Read: 570MB/s
Max Seq. Write: 460MB/s
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
Warranty 5 years (The 5 years warranty does not apply when JetDrive Toolbox’s wear-out indicator shows 0% within 5 years)
Enclosure Case
External Dimension 130mm x 28.2mm x 10.8mm
Weight 60g
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
LED Indicator Power, Data Transfer, USB 2.0/3.0
Connection Bandwidth USB 3.0: Up to 5Gb/s
USB 2.0: Up to 480Mb/s
Power Supply 5V DC from USB 2.0/3.0 port
Warranty 2 years

JetDrive™ 720

SSD
Interface SATA III 6Gb/s
Capacity 240GB/480GB/960GB
Flash Type Synchronous MLC
Max Performance
(Varies by capacity)
Max Seq. Read: 570MB/s
Max Seq. Write: 460MB/s
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
Warranty 5 years (The 5 years warranty does not apply when JetDrive Toolbox’s wear-out indicator shows 0% within 5 years)
Enclosure Case
External Dimension 110.9mm x 37.2mm x 10.8mm
Weight 65g
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
LED Indicator Power, Data Transfer, USB 2.0/3.0
Connection Bandwidth USB 3.0: Up to 5Gb/s
USB 2.0: Up to 480Mb/s
Power Supply 5V DC from USB 2.0/3.0 port
Warranty 2 years

JetDrive™ 725

SSD
Interface SATA III 6Gb/s
Capacity 240GB/480GB/960GB
Flash Type Synchronous MLC
Max Performance (Varies by capacity) Max Seq. Read: 570MB/s
Max Seq. Write: 460MB/s
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
Warranty 5 years (The 5 years warranty does not apply when JetDrive Toolbox’s wear-out indicator shows 0% within 5 years)
Enclosure Case
External Dimension 110.9mm x 37.2mm x 10.8mm
Weight 65g
Operating Temperature 0°C (32°F) to 70°C (158°F)
LED Indicator Power, Data Transfer, USB 2.0/3.0
Connection Bandwidth USB 3.0: Up to 5Gb/s
USB 2.0: Up to 480Mb/s
Power Supply 5V DC from USB 2.0/3.0 port
Warranty 2 years

Filed under: Reviews, Tips and Tricks Tagged: Apple, BlackJack, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Serial ATA, Solid-state drive, Transcend, TRIM, USB 3.0

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T-Mobile gets socked with an FTC complaint alleging the Uncarrier ‘Crammed Bogus Charges onto Customers’ Phone Bills’

9to5-image 2014-07-01 at 2.41.46 PM

It feels like just last month, TMobile CEO John Legere accused Verizon and AT&T of “raping” (ugh) its customers and that “the fuckers hate you”.

In a complaint filed today, the Federal Trade Commission is charging mobile phone service provider T-Mobile USA, Inc., with making hundreds of millions of dollars by placing charges on mobile phone bills for purported “premium” SMS subscriptions that, in many cases, were bogus charges that were never authorized by its customers…

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile received anywhere from 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged to consumers for subscriptions for content such as flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip that typically cost $9.99 per month. According to the FTC’s complaint, T-Mobile in some cases continued to bill its customers for these services offered by scammers years after becoming aware of signs that the charges were fraudulent.

More in the PDF

Update: T-Mobile has responded publicly to the complaint saying it is being singled out…

We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit.  In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want.  T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors.

Full response here.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: billing, chargers, complaint, Federal Trade Commission, FTC, John Legere, overages, SMS charges, T-Mobile

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Tim Cook and Apple celebrate #ApplePride in San Francisco today

Apple is out in full force including CEO Tim Cook for the Pride Parade in San Francisco today. Apple’s CEO hasn’t ever been ambiguous about his support for GLBT issues and he was joined by Apple Environment Director Lisa Jackson and what looks like thousands of other Apple employees on Market St. in San Francisco today.  Employees are also giving out $1 iTunes gift cards in celebration.  A ton of Tweets and instagrams below and you can follow with hashtags #pride, #applePride and #SFPride:

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

 

 

 


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Tim Cook and Apple celebrate #ApplePride in San Francisco today

Apple is out in full force including CEO Tim Cook for the Pride Parade in San Francisco today. Apple’s CEO hasn’t ever been ambiguous about his support for LGBT issues and he was joined by Apple Environment Director Lisa Jackson and what looks like thousands of other Apple employees on Market St. in San Francisco today.  Employees are also giving out $1 iTunes gift cards in celebration.  A ton of Tweets and instagrams below and you can follow with hashtags #pride, #applePride and #SFPride:

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

 

 

 


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Add days of battery life to iOS devices with these powerful USB portable batteries from Lumsing and RAVPower

lumsing-2300mah

Let’s keep it real here folks. Apple’s iPhones and iPads have amazing battery life but it is also fairly easy to kill the battery with a few hours of heavy use. That includes gaming, tethering, watching videos and just plain old-fashioned “usage”. Since Apple (thankfully) doesn’t have a removeable battery, the best way to extend your devices’ useful power life is with a portable USB battery. Normally I’d recommend a $10 Lipstick form factor flashlight pack but you only get a single extra charge with something like this. For multiple charges and/or multiple devices, you are going to need something a little burlier.

Two of the better big chargers I’ve been using are the Lumsing 10400mAh Harmonica Style Portable Power Bank External Battery Pack Backup Charger (above, $25) and the monster RAVPower Xtreme 23000mAh Multi-Voltage 3-Port Portable External Battery Charger (below, $100).

RAVPOWER-

Let’s take a closer look:

First up, the Lumsing Harmonica 10400mAh will fit most external battery needs. As the name implies, it is about the size of a harmonica which is a little longer and narrower than a typical iPhone 5s (product comparison shots in the gallery below). It weighs 12.5oz and fits easily in the hand, purse or larger pockets. The build is a very high quality with piano black and aluminum accents. The front and sides are where the action is with 2 USB ports (one 1A for phones and one 2.1A for tablets) sitting next to a 4 LED battery indicator/charge button and a Micro-USB power input port.

The MicroUSB input is 5V/1.5A which is enough to charge 2 iOS devices and still move the storage needle. In my testing I was able to charge an iPhone and an iPad simultaneously and fairly quickly.

A typical use case: In about an hour, the iPhone went from about 20% to over 80% while the iPad Air went from just above 50% to almost 90%. At the end of the hour, 1 out of the 4 LEDs was still lit.

71S7hmrHCfL._SL1500_ 61TPlfeJxRL._SL1000_ 51FqZWD6ArL._SL1000_ 61XooMGAjhL._SL1000_ lumsing-harmonica Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 11.23.39 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 11.24.16 AM lumsing

If you are only charging one  iPhone, you can go from almost dead to fully charged at least 3 times and probably more.

One thing I really like about the Lumsing is that it turns off when the item is charged or unplugged rather than just running dry. Turning on the charge or checking the storage only requires pushing the charge button. It also doesn’t get hot even under extreme circumstances and the enclosure is strong and stays in nice shape.

One unconventional use I use it for is in the car. I plug it into the lighter and the phones into the Lumsing. When I turn off the car, the Lumsing is still charging which is nice. IT also helps power the car Mifi on trips.

My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t come with an AC USB adapter. I typically use my MacBook Pro or the USB adapter that came with my iPad to charge it up – Micro-USB means you can charge it just about anywhere. It comes in 3 colors and is available at Amazon for $25.

Not enough power for you? RAVPower is stepping into HyperJuice’s territory with the Xtreme 23000mAh Multi-Voltage 3-Port Portable External Battery Charger:

719usQ0dBsL._SL1500_-1We’re talking about 10 or so iPhone charges and a few full charges for your iPad on this one which is pretty insane for soemthing the size of a small paperback book. It is actually built to power some PC laptop computers and comes with tons of heads to fit what must be just about every kind. As Apple users, you probably know Apple has locked down the Magsafe adapter so you’re screwed on that front unless battery splicing is your thing.

Other features which push this into the Hyper-range is a very visible OLED display which gives you a % of charge left and information on the USB port draw.

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I used the RAVPower a few times at picnics to backup power the wireless speakers and to give a few people a portable charging station. At the end of the day I had nearly 80% of the charge I started with. this is the battery pack you buy if you want to go camping for a week or want to power big devices. I love it.

If you want to get adventurous, charge it with solar panels and put it somewhere like a shed/barn without power and you have an always available USB charger. A great buy for $100. 


Filed under: AAPL Company

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Mac $400 Bundle for $1: Fantastical, Gemini, Flux 4, PathFinder 6, Tunes cleaner, DVD Ripper,

From 9to5Toys.com Specials

name-your-own-price-bundle

Stacksocial is offering an impressive array of apps at a “name your own price” starting at just over $1 and growing quickly (so get in quick!).

One of our favorite calendar apps, Fantastical from Flexibits ($20) headlines the group this time around with 10 solid apps total:

Path Finder 6: Access & Manage Your Files In A Flash
Fantastical: The Mac Calendar You’ll Actually Enjoy Using
Flux 4: Powerful Mac Web Design Made Easy
Gemini: The Duplicate Finder – Mac App Store Best of 2012
Logoist: Develop Professional Quality Images With Ease
Tunes Cleaner: Delete Duplicate Songs & Revitalize Your iTunes Music Library
MacX iPhone DVD Ripper: Rip Any DVD to Your iPhone, iPad & Other Apple Devices
DiscLabel: One Step To Professional-Looking Labels
SyncMate Expert 5: Sync All of Your Devices & Online Accounts Right to Your Mac
Tangerine! Create Amazing Playlists For Any Situation Or Activity

Some proceeds from the bundle go to charity of your choice and high bidders are entered to win a free MacBook Air.

Again, for a buck or two, this is a no brainer. Get there soon, the prices rise the longer you wait


Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: Apple, DVD, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Mac App Store, Path Finder, StackSocial

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