Apple Campus 2 Aerial Video

Expected to finish construction in 2016, the new Apple campus seems to finally be taking shape. You can see the main “spaceship” building coming together in this awesome aerial video.

As a reminder to our customers, we here at TechRestore will be closing shop at noon on December 31 for New Years and will resume normal business hours Friday, January 2.

Happy holidays!

Behind The Scenes VFX Shots From TV And Film

Great VFX (visual effects) in TV and movies helps to create a setting and atmosphere that draws you in and helps to better connect you to the characters and story. When done properly it’s nearly impossible to tell when VFX are being used.

Boredpanda.com compiled  some of the best behind the scene photos from around the web showing us just how shows and movies like Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, and The Walking Dead do it.  It’s mostly green screen (which doesn’t actually need to be green).I found it interesting  to see how much in each scene isn’t actually there while shooting, it makes some of the films even more impressive to me.

Game of Thrones

green screen scene game of thrones

egret game of thrones falling from wall green screen

 

Ugly Betty 

ugly betty green screen

 

The Dark Night 

scarface the dark night green screen

 

The Hobbit

the hobbit green screen

For a gallery of more shots like these you follow the link here.

 

Critical Security Update Fixes Vulnerability In OS X

On Monday, December 22, Apple released a critical security update designed to a address a vulnerability in the  Network Time Protocol daemon (ntpd) of OS X. All Yosemite, Mavericks, and Mountain Lion users are urgedsecurity and privacy settings apple by Apple to install the update as soon as possible.

The update fixes an issue that was addressed by the US Government Friday and originally discovered by the Google Research Team. From a Department of Homeland Security website:

Google Security Team researchers Neel Mehta and Stephen Roettger have coordinated multiple vulnerabilities with CERT/CC concerning the Network Time Protocol (NTP). As NTP is widely used within operational Industrial Control Systems deployments, NCCIC/ICS-CERT is providing this information for US Critical Infrastructure asset owners and operators for awareness and to identify mitigations for affected devices. ICS-CERT may release updates as additional information becomes available.
These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely. Exploits that target these vulnerabilities are publicly available.
Products using NTP service prior to NTP-4.2.8 are affected. No specific vendor is specified because this is an open source protocol.

This vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the ntpd process. This vulnerability is not exclusive to OS X machines. The Network Time Protocol  is one of the oldest internet protocols and is widely used by networked devices around the world today. You can download this update from the App Store from your Mac.

Where Apple’s Money Comes From

Here is an infographic from BusinessInsider that visually displays how the different products from Apple’s lineup contributed to its revenue for this year, all $220 billion of it. The iPhone being the front runner of the line up with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales pushing  records. Analyst suspect Apple will sell nearly 70 million iPhones for this year by the start of the new year.

info graphic of apples 2014 earnings

 

How much Storage Is Enough?

16GB of storage for a device just doesn’t seem like enough any more. A  new survey taken by the developers of the camera app IceCream polled users about their storage usage. 91% of people questioned admitted to using a device with 16GB or less of storage capacity, and 22% of the entire group claimed that they ran out of space at least once per week.

chart detailing how often smartphone users run out of space

 

That 16GB of storage isn’t entirely usable either. My 16GB iPad 2 shows that it actually has a capacity of 12.8GB when I connect it to iTunes. That’s 3GB that I can’t use that is reserved for the OS.

Macworld published an article where they crunched some numbers to figure out how much storage each  Apple device actually has and how much of each type of data that amounts to.

Some examples:

  • iPad Air – 16GB (12.5GB available – estimated): 3,125 songs OR 15.6 hours of film OR 8 Hollywood movies OR 417 apps/games OR a combination of these
  • iPad Air – 32GB (28.3GB available – estimated): 7,075 songs OR 35.4 hours of film OR 19 Hollywood movies OR 943 apps/games OR a combination of these
  • iPad Air – 64GB (56.6GB available – estimated): 14,150 songs OR 70.8 hours of film OR 38 Hollywood movies OR 1,887 apps/games OR a combination of these
  • iPad Air – 128GB (114GB available – confirmed): 28,500 songs OR 142.5 hours of film OR 76 Hollywood movies OR 3,800 apps/games OR a combination of these

From these numbers 16GB may seem like a lot. On my 16GB iPad I have about 400 songs, 15 downloaded apps, and a few episodes of Game of Thrones but only about 3GB of free space. It would be even less if I didn’t use my Mac and Dropbox to store all my photos.

I feel that buying a 16GB device won’t be viable for much longer as the need for more storage grows with the average user. We’ll probably see this storage option phased out, just as 8GB devices were (Apple hasn’t had an 8GB storage option since its iPhone 5C).

How It Works: Refurbished iPads

A large part of our business consist of, aside from our wholesale and customer repair services, buying and selling refurbished electronics. We’ve done it all, TVs, gaming systems, smartphones, mobile devices, and computers. In recent years we’ve primarily focused on supporting Apple products, namely the iPad.

We do everything in house with a small but dedicated team of fantastic people. Our success depends on everyone in every department working together as cohesively as we do.

From the moment we receive it, each iPad takes a multistep journey. It usually arrives on a pallet along side hundreds of its buddies.

pallet of iPads

shipment of iPads ready to be checked in

First, it gets its own record (serial number, specs) in our system so that we can keep track of it. After it’s accounted for, the iPad is inspected to evaluate its condition and functionality. Anything that needs to be fixed or repaired is noted. The condition of the iPads range from “hardly looks used” to “I can’t believe somebody managed to do that to an iPad”.

really broken and bent iPad

I don’t think it can be saved

After the initial inspection, it becomes the job of our Apple Certified Technicians to get it ready to use. Our Techs repair anything that is out of order. These issues can include broken touch screens, muffled speakers, and wifi issues among other things. They make sure everything functions properly and that the device functions as close to new as possible (even if it doesn’t look new!). These guys really work wonders.

black iPad air cracked digi

before

ipad air after repair

after

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the iPad has been repaired, it’s ready for purchase from our eBay and Amazon stores. And once it’s purchased, the iPad is ready to be shipped out to you. Our shipping department handles this. Their role is critical because this is the last person that will see the iPad before you do, so its up to them to catch any flaws or imperfections that someone further down the line may have missed. They pull the iPad to match the order, clean it up and package it. They add all the accessories, company literature, and a couple of ninja (Why? Because it’s fun!). We ship all orders same day or next business day from the day we receive it to ensure each package arrives in a timely manner.

toy ninjas positon on ipad packaged in box

ninjas protecting an iPad as its being shipped

Audi: A Car Sharing Company

white audi r8 in motion

Audi’s R8 Sports Car

Audi, the company that brought you the beauty in the picture at the right, is trying something new with car sharing. Audi is developing a car sharing program in Sweden that aims to make car sharing simpler. From an article on fastcoexist.com:

It aims to eliminate the annoyance of owning a car—the service takes care of things like insurance, maintenance, a monthly car wash, and, since it’s in Sweden, winter tires.

Their “microsharing” plan would allow three or four friends or coworkers to all use the same car as a group, aided by an app and technology that automatically recognizes who’s driving. The drivers would choose the car to share for a year or two. Drivers can check the gas tank, reserve the car, track their usage, and split the bill right from their phones.

Audi plans to launch this program in other countries eventually. With air pollution and traffic congestion becoming more of a concern in metropolitan areas around the globe, it’s likely well soon see similar programs here.

Holiday eBay Store

The holiday season can be a hectic time, even more so the closer that you get to Christmas. It’s a pretty busy time for our team here as well. But let us shoulder some of that burden for you. Skip the lines and beat the crowd, shop from home at our eBay store.

black iPad 4

We just got in a huge deal of refurbished 4th generation iPads and they look great! We also have 2nd generation, 3rd generation and, iPad minis. Don’t wait, mail services like USPS, UPS, and FedEx become limited closer to the holiday. You can visit our store here.

Gadget: Henge Dock

Still searching for that perfect gift for your Mac fanatic? Check out the Henge Dock.

large_Henge-Docks-thumbs

Its a sleek and stylish vertical docking station for your MacBook. The Henge Dock makes cable management a breeze. With pre-installed mini Displayport, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt connections, this gadget is ready to support your peripherals and dual monitor setup. The Henge Dock would be a great addition to any workstation. I wouldn’t mind finding one of these in my stocking. You can take a look at the Henge Dock website.