Time Machine Stories March 15

AAPL: 104.58

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I’ve recently been testing the brand new Synology DS-216+ NAS ($299), a network-attached-storage product meant for consumers. Although Synology products include a variety of features, I will be focusing on two primary functions that I consider most essential and most useful to people today: Mac backup and home media management (TV shows and movies).

With Apple no longer shipping optical drives in most of their products, I think now is a great time to convert your home movie collection of DVDs and Blu-rays to digital files, which a NAS is great for storing. The Apple TV 4 was another big factor: with an app, I can now view all the TV shows and movies, stored on my NAS, from my TV.

Before I owned a NAS, I was worried about two things: whether the features would be useful and how much hassle would be necessary to get everything up and running. Hence, my review starts with an explanation of the setup steps involved …

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Time Machine Stories December 15, 2015

AAPL: 110.49

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Over the weekend a good friend of mine shared a screenshot of a really scary error message from Photos for Mac. Every photo and video taken over the last two weeks failed to open, saying instead that ‘An error occurred while downloading a larger version of this video for editing.’ The solution? ‘Please try again later.’ and press OK. What’s worse is he was relying on the app’s Optimize Mac Storage setting to fit the library on his local storage and trusting iCloud not to screw things up along the way. And he didn’t have local copies backed up, a mistake he for obvious reasons regretted.

Stories like these aren’t rare, which is why my colleague Jeremy wrote earlier this year that “iCloud Photo Library still isn’t worth the hassles,” despite Apple lowering iCloud storage costs. But I still recommend Photos and iCloud Photo Library, new features that topped my “favorite new Apple things from 2015 that will last for years” list, just not with the default setup. As with any cloud service, the one major caveat is ensure you have a reliable local backup (followed by plenty of patience at the start).

While there’s no turning back data loss, I shared my personal Photos plus iCloud Photo Library setup with my friend, which he’s moving to now for a hopefully better experience. Below I’ll detail each step, which required a little research before I figured it all out, so you can hopefully have a positive experience with Photos and iCloud Photo Library as well.

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Time Machine Stories November 27, 2015

AAPL: 117.81

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Time Machine Stories August 14, 2015

AAPL: 115.96

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Apple has quietly added a new data restore feature to iCloud.com, enabling users to rollback accidentally deleted documents, calendar changes and contacts. The new ‘Restore Files’, ‘Restore Contacts’ and ‘Restore Calendars’ features are hidden in iCloud.com Advanced Settings pane.

Seemingly unrelated to iCloud backup, Apple shows snapshots of your recently deleted documents and lets you put them back onto iCloud Drive. This means there is now a way to recover accidentally deleted iCloud documents for the first time, because there is no equivalent to the Trash folder in iCloud.

Similarly, Contacts restoration shows timestamped snapshots of  your iCloud contacts database. Restoring to an earlier version reverts all changes made since the backup date. Unlike with files, you cannot individually restore single contacts. The same is true for Calendars.

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Time Machine Stories August 6, 2015

AAPL: 115.13

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It appears it’s not just governments who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near technology – it’s also courts. The UK’s High Court recently overturned legislation permitting citizens to duplicate copyrighted material for their own private use, and TorrentFreak confirmed with the UK Intellectual Property Office that the ruling really is as dumb as it sounds.

“It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another,” a spokesperson informed us.

The IPO specifically notes that copying a CD to an MP3 player is not permitted. This means that iTunes’ popular ripping feature, which Apple actively promotes during the software’s installation, is illegal.

The ruling would also effectively outlaw Time Machine (as it copies music files), and the current behaviour of both iTunes Match and Apple Music, each of which copies music to a cloud server. And it’s not just citizens who fall foul of this law – Apple does too …  expand full story

Time Machine Stories January 27, 2015

In line with our report from earlier this week, Apple has released OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 via the Mac App Store. The update brings the changes that we detailed in our previous report:

  • Resolves an issue that may cause WiFi to disconnect
  • Resolves an issue that may cause web pages to load slowly
  • Fixes an issue that caused Spotlight to load remote email content when the preference was disabled in Mail
  • Improves audio and video sync when using Bluetooth headphones
  • Adds the ability to browse iCloud Drive in Time Machine
  • Improves VoiceOver speech performance
  • Resolves an issue that causes VoiceOver to echo characters when entering text on a web page
  • Addresses an issue that may cause the input method to switch languages unexpectedly
  • Improves stability and security in Safari

Apple also released iOS 8.1.3 with various bug fixes today.

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