Ultimate XBOX ONE Summary

This video basically sums up everything you need to know about the new XBOX ONE and provides an extremely sublime explanation of why Microsoft remains behind everyone else.

Just imagine if the word TV in this video were replaced with “mobile” half the time, and “wearable” sometimes and “cord cutting” at others. One might think there’s someone at Microsoft younger than 40!

Gaming.

I’ve killed evil women and evil children in games. I’ve killed zombies, zombies, zombies. I’ve killed everything that walks, slithers, crawls, floats, flies, inter dimensionally transports, hobbles, or rolls at one time or another, and I’m bored.

I’ve saved the world more times than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think the gaming gods owe me a new experience, and that new experience is not, ( give me a fucking break ) TELEVISION.

Television Microsoft?

Ok. I admit I’m all over the idea of a live action HALO series, but like all the rest of it, I don’t want it tied to some box in the living room. I want it when I want it, where I want it, how I want it, on the device of my choice.   Entertainment mobility guys.

Say it with me.

Television is dying.

Attempted Mac Malware Infection

Today while while reading one of my favorite websites, MacDailyNews.com, I somehow clicked on some ad that attempted to infect my iMac with malicious software, often referred to as “Malware.” I breezed by it but then decided to go back and let it try again so that I could take a few screenshots to share with clients and associates how this kind of thing works and how systems are compromised.

As I’ve indicated in previous posts, these days it is not the computer that gets hacked so much as the human being using the computer. Malicious software pretends to be something else in order to get you to open the gates. Ala “Trojan Horse” attacks. It’s a social engineering attack and this is the sort of thing that gets places like The New York Times, Apple, and others infected.

In this particular case a strange web page popped up and told me that I needed to install  Flash. I immediately noticed that this didn’t look anything like the normal Adobe upgrade/installation requests, (something you should always watch for), and I also know that my computer has the most current version of Flash.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 10.24.58 AM

Note the address bar in the browser window. It points to some place I’ve never heard of. Note the look of the browser window. There is no Adobe branding whatsoever (though you can’t trust that alone either.) Branding is easy to spoof. So just for the sake of seeing how this works, I went ahead and clicked OK. Normally, I would advise you to close the browser Windows. Don’t click on any buttons the suspected malware is offering.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 10.25.18 AM

The next thing I got was a window that looks sort of like an Adobe Flash update but it’s clearly not from Adobe. It is still coming from someplace entirely unrelated to Adobe. At this point it was clear that this was hostile software so I decided not to go any further and I just closed the browser window. At this point the malware made one more attempt to get me to install something.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 10.25.34 AM

It attempted to get me to install a disk image called “InstallGenieo.” I looked up Genieo and found out that it is a well known browser hijacker. Interestingly enough Genieo claims they’re innocent of these malicious tactics but clearly they are not. Once this browser hijacker is installed, they are capable of redirecting your browsers as they see fit.

The bottom line, you have to pay attention to what is going on with your computer. No anti-virus can protect you from this sort of thing. When working on the Internet these days, you need to acquire “situational awareness.” Remember, you are the weakest link in your security and simultaneously your own first line of defense.

The X-Factor: Why Apple Succeeds where Others Fail

I’ve spent the weekend with Apple’s new MacBook Pro Retina, as well as the newly updated MacBook Air. While working on these remarkable devices, I had an epiphany. Apple doesn’t engineer extraordinary technology to make money. No. Apple makes money so they can build extraordinary technology. Therein lies the essence of the difference.

Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Microsoft, Asus, GOOGLE, you need to figure this out. You’re focused on bottom lines, pleasing shareholders, etc., and it shows in your product offerings. Your most interesting products are copies of Apple products. Even when done exceptionally well, they are still just copies. From so called “UltraBooks” to Microsoft’s “Surface,” to pick your flavor of Android phone, you are following the leader and you need to look past the leader. That doesn’t just mean tacking on a kickstand, a keyboard cover, and growing the screen.

You need to stop where you are, and go out and look for new engineers. During the interview process you need to probe. If that person does not at some point say, “I don’t work to live, I live to work,” he or she isn’t the person you’re looking for. You want people who find non-traditional solutions to traditionally daunting problems. If you don’t find such people, Apple will go on eating your lunch forever, because this intangible attitude, this innate “Jobsian” pattern of behavior, now seems to be part of Apple’s DNA. Think of it. You might be dealing with thousands of people, at every level,  conditioned to think like Steve Jobs.

I was dead set against it. I wasn’t going to sell my existing MacBook Pro and opt for the new MacBook Pro Retina. Hereinafter “MBPR,” but the minute I got my hands on one, it was love at first sight. Or was it touch? I don’t know. It’s all a blur.  After spending some time with it, I started calling around looking for one. I finally located one at the Pasadena Apple Store . Why did I have this reaction? It is because I viscerally sense the intangible factor I just described above.

Call it Apple’s X-Factor if you will, but know that you cannot copy it. You must evolve your own. When you mimic Apple, it’s obvious. When a Japanese auto maker produces a BMW or Mercedes look alike, it’s obvious and it is understood to be a knock off, a cheaper copy of the actual object of desire.

I know that it is difficult. I know that you ask yourselves, “Gee, what else can we do but try to make our devices thinner, or prettier than Apple’s, after all a computer is a computer.” This is the mindset you need to root out. Find the Howard Roarks of hardware engineering. Find the Hank Reardens of software engineering. If you know those names, you’re probably ahead of your competitors. Start off by telling your engineers, “There is no Apple. Start from here with the technology we have. Ask yourself what should this technology evolve into? Stay away from news about Apple, Inc. Indulge yourselves.”

When I started typing, this was not the message I intended to deliver. I was going to write my own review of the MBPR, but it was the silence from the computer, the phenomenal Retina Display, the feel of the keyboard, the essence, the incorporeal vibe of the machine, that took over my thoughts. I was starting to wonder if I held my hands just above the keyboard and closed my eyes, could I feel the minds of those who collaborated to create yet another masterpiece from Apple.

I was also working on configuring a few Lenovo notebooks for a client. Each was a decent computer that you could get your work done on. Each cost literally less than $600. Each was as inspiring as a box of cat litter. Then I would return to working on my client’s MacBook Air, or the MBPR, and it was such a striking contrast that I began to comprehend more than ever why Apple succeeds and others do not. It’s the X-Factor.

It’s the thing that makes me chuckle when I hear that CISCO, a router company, thinks they’re going to move into consumer technology, make a tablet or something. You know almost instinctively that they are going to fail because they aren’t doing it out of pure love of the opportunity. They aren’t doing it because this is the reason they exist. They’re doing it because they think they can make some money.

Charles F. Kettering said, “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” I submit that Apple’s competitors simply don’t expect much of themselves.

What Will Mac Pro 2013 Look Like

So Tim Cook, (Apple CEO) promised so called “pro” users something to look forward to later in 2013. I’ve been thinking about why that might be and my guess is that it won’t be the box pro users are thinking of. The old Mac Pro is a throwback to the past when you needed a big box with expansion ports, memory slots, giant fans, monstrous and monstrous power supplies.

Those days are over.

To get an idea what the new Mac Pro might be like you don’t have to look any further than the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

I believe that rather than create something that is just the opposite of their direction everywhere else, Apple will stick with their new modus operandi. A new Mac Pro will be a box, but a much, much smaller one. It will come in configurations of 32, 64, or 128GB of RAM. That RAM will be soldered to the system board. It will have an option of one, maybe two internal SSD drives for a little over 1.5 Terabytes of internal storage. No SATA. It will have the most current graphics card available. The graphics card on the new iMac is already better than anything in the existing MacPro line. It will have the fastest multicore Intel Xeon processors available. It will also have lots of ThunderBolt ports probably 4 and at least one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet Port. There won’t be any PCI slots internal to the machine, the clear message being Thunderbolt, ThunderBolt, Thunderbolt.

I expect this all to fit in something the size of an XBOX 360. Or better year, I like it to be in a glistening black cube, with a hologram of Steve Jobs on the side.

The Pro “community” will react poorly, creating petitions, and whining, etc., instead of thinking about how to use the new machines. ( Just as they have this time. )

They will whine about storage:
Answer – 12Terabytes of RAID storage as fast and faster than their existing RAID systems can be had for around $1500.

They will whine about memory being soldered on the system board.
Answer – The amount of RAM on my imaginary Mac Pro in increments of 32, 64 and 128GB is more than enough. All they have now is 64GB.

They will whine about what to do with their existing RAID systems.
Answer – If you don’t want to go to Thunderbolt, you can get a Magma ExpressBox 3T allowing you to connect your PCI cards to an external chassis, and then to Thunderbolt of course.

http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp

Some will ask about being in an Xsan.
Answer – Both ATTO and Promise make Fibrechannel to Thunderbolt devices allowing you to connect not just my imaginary Mac Pro to fibrechannel sans, but current iMacs and yes, MacBook Pros.

So be prepared for a REALLY all new Mac Pro. One that is as closed as the new MacBook Pro Retina. Expect the most whining to come from the “pros” who need the big box mostly to feel like pros.

WWDC Aftermath

I’ve been thinking about all of the announcements at WWDC last week. Basically Apple has told pro users to quit yer whining and get on board. I.e. it isn’t the Mac that needs to be opened, it’s some older minds out there. As I think about it, there isn’t a damn thing the MacPro could do that I can’t duplicate on a MacBook Pro, let alone an iMac. Not a damn thing.

If there is a new MacPro next year, that puppy will be as locked down as the new MacBook. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a glistening black cube with a faint holographic image of Steve Jobs on one side.  Essentially Apple is giving “pro” users some time to figure it out. The world is changing. Hell I can slap together an Xsan with shared multi gigabit storage on a table. No more Xsan engineers needed. Thunderbolt is huge.
Couple that with many of the features and changes mentioned for iOS and OS X and wow, the mothership has adopted a predatory stance.
The Mind Boggles

Fly Orville Fly!

In the second time in as many days the people of Earth are demonstrating their severe inability to think rationally and their complete and utter lack of a sense of humor.

Monday the Fascist Feminists went insane over an attractive woman’s bottom being complimented on Twitter and yesterday (as well as today) it’s the Radical Orthodox Animal Rights (ROAR) Denomination of the Greater Church of Kooky Belief Systems.

First of all, if you love your pet you or have had pets die, you know as I do that this can be more than a bit traumatic. I’ve had 3 cats die and I don’t particularly want to go through it again. I feel my last two cats were the most perfect and intelligent cats that ever walked the Earth, and none can replace them. When they died, the vet handled it. Translation: They were cremated.

Dutch artist Bart Jansen also had his cat Orville die. Instead of burning the carcass though, he took his DEAD cat to a taxidermist. Then he attached it to a quad-copter and made a remote control flying cat. It’s pretty darned cool actually. The cat looks like super cat flying along.

If you know cats, you know that they stare up at the birds in the trees and they dream of flying. They understand gravity much better than we do, and dream of nothing more than escaping it. To finally show those obnoxious self important birds a thing or two would be like winning the lottery to a cat. Well Bart made Orville’s dream come true. Posthumously. It’s actually a wonderful tribute. His name is Orville for crying out loud. His name says flight.

Unfortunately it didn’t take long for the ROAR people to go ballistic. The Los Angeles Times says the Orvillecopter sparked “Global Outrage.”

Global Outrage?

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-stuffed-coptercat-sparks-global-outrage-20120605,0,6797956.story

Seriously?

I noted one post on Google Plus where the ROAR KOOKS were going on and on about being kind to animals, and how horrible Mr. Jansen is.

Sigh.

To these people I say:

1. Bend over

2. Spread your ass cheeks as far apart as you possibly can. You might need a hydraulic ass cheek spreader.

3. Remove head.

ORVILLE WAS ALREADY DEAD.

If Jansen is guilty of any actionable animal abuse, it is allow his cat to run around outside where he can be hit by a car.

What he does with the body afterwards?  Not an issue.

Fly on Orville.

Say hello to Ray Bradbury for me.

Sexual Fascism

Earlier today someone from ASUS (pronounced “A-seuss”), the Taiwanese computer maker, tweeted a photograph showing a woman demonstrating their new Transformer AIO tablet/all-in-one computer, which is an interesting device, but not the subject of this post. The subject of the post is the reaction to the ASUS tweet.

The woman in the photograph happens to have a very attractive, particularly feminine physique. She’s shapely and presumably has a lovely countenance as well. I say presumably because her back is turned to the camera. The person at ASUS who tweeted the photograph commented, “The rear looks pretty nice. So does the new Transformer AIO.”

That simple statement had the effect of a call to arms for the Fascist Feminist Twitter Community. I say “fascist”  because these people reflect an extreme authoritarianism in their sexual politics and ideology. Although I’d be willing to bet that the these purveyors of centralized, suprapersonal thought control and strict egalitarianism would swear that it is the ASUS tweeter who is the fascist, down to the last one.

It would never occur to them that the ASUS employee expressed an individual idea, something that people in the United  States are still free to do, thank goodness, and that while he probably could not possibly care less about who agrees, they on the other hand are prepared to forcibly suppress him or her, because they collectively do not like his comment. If that isn’t radical belligerent authoritarianism, I don’t know what is.

The photograph is innocent. It does not disrespect women. It does not disrespect the particular woman in the photograph. She is probably and actress and or model. She probably works extremely hard to maintain her attractiveness because this is how SHE CHOOSES to earn a living. She is idealistically attractive, and guess what. This is not a crime. Nor is it a crime to to notice. She is wearing a dress that accentuates her figure, and simply because someone took a moment to observe, and sheepishly compliment her, we are deluged with this sort of claptrap from Huffington Post. Please see: “ASUS’ ‘Rear’ Tweet Puts Sexism Front And Center.

If they think “booth babes” are bad, I wonder what the fascists think of this site I often see advertised on my FaceBook Wall: EliteandModel. It is essentially a website featuring extremely beautiful women advertising their looks for sale to discriminating gentlemen of means. They are not sexual prostitutes, they are simply women who recognize that they have lucked out on the genetic scale for hotness and are looking to cash in. They know that their looks are valuable. Are they sexists? How are they different from athletes who are born with a predisposition towards certain sports? The answer is they aren’t. The same as the gifted athlete wouldn’t join just any old team, these women wouldn’t get into a relationship with just any old guy. They are looking for A list guys only.

The site states: “…The women in our database offer special qualities that not only make them attractive for our clients to select, but they also help to place our site among the elite dating sites in the nation. Our women are well above average in every way. They are attractive women with a true sense of style. Since our clients are looking for a quality relationship, we search for quality woman, who are physically fit, emotionally stable, highly educated, generous, attractive, and searching for a lasting relationship….”

Once again, thank goodness that these women are free to do as they please and are not forced to adhere to the ideology of others. Looking at the site I can say, without a single iota of hatred toward women, that they are all terribly attractive. Does that make me a woman hater? Hell no. It just makes me a guy.

Within an hour of the original tweet, the image of the woman’s derriere became a symbol for sexism, misogyny, the need for more women engineers, and equal pay for equal work. As it all unfolded I wondered about the people who were upset. I wondered what sort of world were they truly looking for, which led me to my sexual fascism epiphany. I imagine that they will not be satisfied until we are all, men and women, wearing the same grey unisex coveralls, while saluting Big Sister on our Telescreens.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this, but many people for all sorts of different reasons seek to eliminate diversity. Ironically these people would normally claim to be champions of diversity, freedom of expression, and freedom of speech. When it comes down to it though what their definition of diversity says is that diversity is good, unless WE don’t like YOU. Then you have to go.

As a society we value beauty, natural or otherwise. As a species we are attracted to certain aspects of beauty for different anthropological reasons. We are human beings and I do hope we are allowed to remain so. Even though the fascists would turn us all into robots, one largely indistinguishable from the other, I prefer to live in a world with attractive people. I like looking at them. Male or female.

So I for one say ASUS,  you have no reason to apologize. No harm, no foul. Please take no action against the naive person who made the tweet in the shark infested waters of Twitter. The reaction was overboard, stupid, and silly. The woman truly does have a nice ass.

Oh, and by the way, nice computer also.

Memorial Day 2012: Freedom

Today I find myself thinking about Freedom.

All too often we take our Freedom for granted. We forget that in some places the Freedom to choose even the most minute aspects of a private life are not afforded to the people. We forget that we are free to choose almost every facet of our lives based on what pleases us, from religion, to vocation, to where we live, what we read, think, and say, to whom we love.

We are free to be brilliant and free to be asinine. We are free to agree and disagree. We are free to succeed and free to fail. Yet we take our Freedom so much for granted that we often willingly hand it over to others because Freedom is as much a responsibility and burden as it is a treasure.

We should ALWAYS remember the incomprehensibly high cost we’ve paid for our Freedom, especially when someone offers to take it off our hands. Always remember the blood and anguish of our fallen heroes and their loved ones, because that is what we paid. There is no higher cost. LIVES are the only currency with which Freedom can be bought, so when you give up bits of Freedom, for whatever reason, you are being cheated.

Cherish it. Covet it. It is precious, it is the core and essence of the American Value System. It is who we are, and what makes us different. It is why we have warriors and a vast military second to none, because Freedom is the soul of America. Always know that the opposite of even a small amount of Freedom is an equal amount of Slavery.

To those who have fallen, so that I can express these thoughts publicly, without fear of reprisal, I thank you. I can never repay you.

The Withering of the Mac Pro

There is good reason to doubt whether or not Apple will continue to create so called “Mac Pros.” The market for Macs has changed dramatically and the technology has changed drastically.

Consider the market. When Apple sells a few million Macs in a quarter, 75% of those are portable. The iMac is the easy majority of desktop sales, leaving the “Pro” machine to account  for numbers in the very low hundreds of thousands. The MacBook Air accounts for the lion’s share of Mac sales. Right there it doesn’t make much sense for Apple to continue building Mac Pros from a financial standpoint. Very few people would miss them. If these people did move to Windows, I’d be shocked because all to often they won’t be able to do what they need to do and we all know that what makes a Mac isn’t the box. It’s OS X.

Face it, the big market for Macs has shifted from the relatively minute PRO market to the massively lucrative “mobile knowledge worker” market. Apple isn’t only serving the artistically creative, they are serving the world of information management and consumption. People who are just as demanding and creative in different ways.

Consider the the technology. People who buy Mac Pros typically buy them because they have more powerful CPUs, greater RAM capacity, more storage capacity and the best graphics card that Apple supports, or the only graphics card that Apple supports. Now an iMac with Thunderbolt, maxed out on RAM delivers the performance that rivals the Mac Pro. Thunderbolt provides extraordinary data throughput, as high as 10Gbps compared to 6 with SATA or USB 3. Apple is providing fast GPU chipsets on the system boards of high end iMacs (not like you could upgrade on a Mac Pro anyway), and you can put a great deal of RAM into the iMac. You can connect multiple 27” Thunderbolt monitors if you like also.

Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, USB 3, 32-64GB Memory, legacy FireWire port, and your iMac Pro is ready.

Editors, designers, animators often work on 17” MacBook Pros  these days. Obviously if they can do that, they can move to a beefed up iMac if need be.

All of this sort of makes the MacPro line look more like an affectation for a small community of users rather than a necessity. Even in the small business server space, MacMinis with ThunderBolt have taken over and serve small businesses well. Not to mention that many small businesses are shifting their server requirements to the cloud. More than anything else, the “idea” that there is something or someone called a “PRO” who needs something outside what the average Mac can deliver is changing.

Consider that Apple is also re-defining who and what the “PRO” is. Is the professional the editor sitting in some dark room somewhere trying to get colors right on “Mike And Molly,” or is the “PRO” the editor/designer/animator working on the MacBook Pro from his boutique firm out of his spare bedroom in his home? Or is the PRO the person quickly cranking out episodes of their new webseries for Youtube, Vimeo, etc.?

Consequently the question isn’t just whether or not Apple will make a Mac Pro, it’s whether or not the MacPro is really needed anymore. Apple stopped making the Xserve. It just withered. The same seems to be happening with the Mac Pro.

Apple could let the Mac Pro decline all together and Pro lovers would grumble and adapt. Each subsequent iMac generation that came out would be faster and faster and eventually the MacPro would be nothing more than a fond memory. Apple could also create a beefy iMac Pro with Xeon processors, a high end graphics subsystem, maxed out on RAM etc. Possibly a sexy miniTower with 4 to 16 core chipset options, and some slots for fast SATA drives and/or SSDs could be in the works.

Ultimately though, it appears the MacPro’s days are numbered. So don’t get your hopes too high. Think about new ways of doing your work, and the advantages of being mobile as opposed to being stuck in the dark room. Consider that the new Pros are people like Felicia Day now, as opposed the Hank the good old dependable animator.

It should also be relatively obvious that the long range ideas indicate “PROs” working on iPads. Many people will say that can’t happen but while they’re saying this, Apple and others continue to crank out more imaginative iPad based video editing, photo editing, and audio editing. Don’t be surprised if in a few years you’re reading how this Academy Award winning movie or that Emmy Winning Television Series was edited on an iPad. Use your imagination. Imagine working on low res video, making your edits, and uploading an edit file to the cloud where the actual high res render takes place. Same for massive photos.

Computer programmers like to think that they will always need the biggest machines possible for compiling massive programs but I can easily see engineering being done on the iPad then sent to the cloud for compiling and testing. You could be sitting on an iPad and writing Windows software. Your compiles take place in the cloud, and you actually manipulate a virtual test machine in the cloud when you’re running the software. All on your iPad without Windows installed.

Change hits everyone.

Don’t give the Mac Pro a funeral just yet, it’s conceivable there might be one more Mac Pro, but if Apple does discontinue it, see it as an opportunity to upgrade your workflows over time. Your existing Mac Pros will continue to work, until you evolve.

NEW PRODUCT TERROR ALERT! CONDITION RED!

ImageWatching for new products from Apple is often like gathering and analyzing intelligence for one of the clandestine services. First of all, Apple is highly secretive and closed about their plans. They have to be. If the PC box making rabble get wind of exactly what Apple is planning, they will rush to get their own versions out ahead of time. Apple’s business is built upon creativity and originality.

Often this doesn’t mean actually inventing anything, but coming up with a better way of integrating existing technologies. Consider the mobile phone. Mobile phones existed and hand held computers existed. Apple developed a hand held computer, that happened to have a phone included, and when it became clear that Apple was indeed about to introduce a mobile phone, nothing on the market looked like the iPhone. Once the iPhone was introduced, suddenly copies started churning out left and right. Had people seen demos of the iPhone before hand, competitors could have beaten Apple to market.

Even with the concepts and design of the iPhone clearly leading the market by many months, Apple has still had to go to court defending their intellectual property. Imagine if they had shared their intentions openly before the iPhone was ready to ship.

Consequently, in order to get a feel for product announcements, you have to approach Apple like you would gathering intelligence on an enemy. You have to watch troop movements and supply chains, or who is Apple hiring and how many MacBooks are left to purchase? What’s going on with their allies? Are there any conspicuous sales of existing product? In particular you have to pay attention to the chatter.

The best chatter for monitoring Apple comes from Apple bloggers, news sites, and Twitter. Web server logs are important also. Apple bloggers are all watching everything and each other, so they tend to report when something is up. News sites will claim to have inside information (some do and some don’t).  Supply chain websites monitor what manufacturers like FOXCONN say. Twitter is a constant stream of information from which to cherry pick. Web server logs are fantastic because once they start reporting a new mysterious device, you can be pretty sure that the new device is in the hands of actual Apple employees. At this point, a new product introduction is extremely likely. You also start to get reports from MSM (Mainstream Media) such as FOX, FOX Business, WSJ, and CNBC. These guys start giving actual product announcement dates. At this point the Internet chatter reaches a feverous pitch. You can be fairly sure something is about to go down. You can dispatch a seal team to a nearby Apple Store to hold a place in line for you.

For this reason I developed my copyrighted StrategicMac Apple Advisory System, that looks a bit like our old terrorist advisory system only its cooler, and it’s just as accurate. Take a look at the scale. We are currently in RED LEVEL! PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT(S) EXTREMELY LIKELY!

Internet Chatter indicates that at WWDC (June) a new MacBook Pro 15″ will be announced. This new MacBook will likely have a slimmer form factor. It will not taper like the MacBook Air. It will probably get rid of legacy technology like the optical drive. (Who uses that anymore anyway except slow to adapt to the always-on-connected-world College professors.) It will likely be built around new Intel Ivy Bridge Processors. It will probably have USB3.0, as well as multiple (2) Thunderbolt ports. Chatter indicates NVIDIA graphics (possibly the GeForce GT650M), and a good but not certain possibility of a Retina display. Chatter concerning a liquid metal enclosure does not appear to be true at this time.

It is also EXTREMELY LIKELY that OS X Mountain Lion’s shipment date will be announced in June at the WWDC (World Wide Developer’s Conference).

YELLOW ELEVATED Level chatter indicates a new iPhone, probably called the iPhone 5 around October of this year as well as the probability of updated iMacs before end of year.   iOS 6 is likely to appear along with the iPhone 5.

There are those who say that Apple does controlled rumor leaks. I don’t buy it. I can’t figure out why. It isn’t as if we aren’t all beating our heads on the wall trying to figure out what Apple is going to do next anyway. What do they have to gain unless its to squelch ridiculous rumors that start to float on occasion. I believe long time professional sites like 9to5Mac have informants and do a good job of sifting through chatter to create streamlined more accurate chatter, but I don’t believe Apple is creating their own rumors.

One thing is for certain. NO ONE outside of Apple knows anything for sure until the day that Apple announces a new product. Even people who work for Apple, like the retail store people, don’t know anything until the last minute, and usually by that time we all know. Most chatter  from most sources, up until the last minute usually contain more hot air than a presidential campaign speech.

I hope Apple keeps their air of mystery and secrecy. I worry that CEO Tim Cook in his apparent zeal to create a kinder, friendlier Apple might open things up a bit too much. Stay mean Tim. Make’em beg.