October 1st, 2011 Meeting

ByMUG Meeting Information for Saturday the 1st of October, 2011

October’s meeting took place a day early due to conflicts of interest happening on its regular Sunday of the month.

This month’s meeting dealt about Internet privacy, a review of Amplitude and iRig, as well as a preview of the October 4th’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” Apple event.

Internet Privacy

First up, Tom discussed Internet privacy via the Safari web browser and its web extensions

For those who don’t know whenever you get on the Internet, you are automatically tracked by dozens, if not hundreds of web sites, some of which are more nefarious than others.  Whether it’s Google, AdSense, or any other organization, if you don’t like people knowing where you browse, how you browse, or who you are online, there are certain ways to prevent “them” from knowing this information.

Tom started by going to the Electronista news site and showed what was being called up, such as ads, photos, plugins, videos, etc.

For those wishing to protect yourselves, here are the key ones which were covered:

ClickToFlash.  Blocks Flash from the web sites you visit.  It is fully customizable, meaning you can exempt sites.

AdBlock For Safari.  Blocks all ads from the web sites you visit.  It is also fully customizable.

Ghostery.  Stops hidden traffic from the sites you visit.  It too is fully customizable.

JavaScript Blocklist.  Blocks all unwanted JavaScript scripts.  It is also fully customizable.

Mindful Browsing (editor’s addition).  Allows you to block unwanted web sites from popping up.  Places like Party Poker.  A page will pop up with a warning that you have blocked the site, and you will have the option to view it this one time, or close the window.

Recommended Sites:

Panopticlick.  This site will tell you how unique and identifiable are you on the Internet, based on your privacy settings in your web browser.

How Big Is Your Haystack?”.  This site will help you identify how likely your desired password will be to figure out.

Segue to 1Password, a utility that remembers all your passwords for you.  The utility has been reviewed at our meeting in the past.  With the use of one password, 1Password will remember what user name and password to use on what site.  Whether it’s bank account information, credit cards, names.  If there’s a password involved, it will remember it.  Just make sure to not forget your one password for 1Password, because if you do, and you don’t remember what 1Password is storing for you, you’re 100% out of luck.

Upon installation, a Safari extension will be added for 1Password, fully integrating it into the Safari web browser.

Honourable mention goes to DropBox which can also be used with 1Password to allow you to safely store your database of passwords.

October 2011 Apple Event

Jonathan followed up the privacy talk with a few words about the “Let’s Talk iPhone” Apple event that takes place on Tuesday the 4th of October, 2011.  Nothing concrete as nobody on the outside truly knows what Apple is going to announce, but based on the murmurs on the Internet, there are a lot of possibilities.  Things like the A5 chip.  An 8 megapixel camera.  A thinner iPhone.  More RAM.  More storage space.  iOS 5 which is slated for autumn release.  Siri-based audio assistant.  None of these are 100% certain.  They’re just murmurs.  You can read about the iOS 5 features at http://www.apple.com/ios/ios5

AmpliTube and iRig

Mark Bell closed the meeting with a demonstration of AmpliTube

Available for all iOS devices, AmpliTube is a full-featured music studio that allows you, with the addition of the iRig hardware, to connect headphones, microphones, and even musical instruments, and create music.  Mark says that the iRig microphone is of excellent quality, and can be set up for anyone.

Individually, AmpliTube is available for #19.99 CDN for the iPad and iPhone, but there is a free version available as well.  The hardware is sold separately, and if you check out their web site, ever once in a while, the company has a package deal going which includes both hardware and software for under $100.  If you’re serious about music, this is a good way to go, and based on what I (the editor) got to hear, it’s very impressive.

AmpliTube is from IK Multimedia.

And that wrapped up the October meeting.

September 4th, 2011 Meeting

With so few of us owning up-to-date Macs to install MacOS X.7 (Lion), Jon has agreed to demo Lion on his shiny new MacBook Air, which I’m sure he’ll gladly talk about as well.  We will also go over the latest Mac news, and answer Mac-related questions as best as we can.

The meeting takes place on Sunday the 4th of September, 2011, at 1 p.m. at Patty Bolands, located at 101 Clarence Street.

We hope to see you all there!