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Move a Dropbox Sub-Folder to an External Hard Drive

Since I now have 1 TB storage with Dropbox, I can’t use all that storage on the startup drive of my Mac Pro, which is only 256 GB. So I was looking for a way to move one of my sub-folders – a Backup folder – to another disk.

Jeff Carlson, over at TidBITS, explained how to do this in an article from last year, How to Relocate a Dropbox Subfolder to Another Disk.

I’d recommend quitting Dropbox first, then moving the folder as Jeff explains. You can do this with Terminal: mv [folder-path] [new-enclosing-folder], where folder-path is the current path of the sub-folder in Dropbox, and new-enclosing-folder is the folder in which you want to move it.

This freed up a Backups folder which, currently, was about 12 GB, but which will get a lot larger, as I can now back up so much more data to Dropbox. Since it’s all backups, I don’t need access to it in the Dropbox folder itself; I’ll only need to access it if I every lose any of the files locally.

Dropbox Ups Storage Space in Pro Account to 1 TB

Finder001.pngDropbox has announced new features in its Dropbox Pro accounts, including an increase from 100 GB to 1 TB storage, passwords for shared links, expirations for shared links, and permissions for shared folders to make them read-only. Another great feature is a remote wipe tool, that lets you wipe a lost or stolen device that has a Dropbox folder on it.

Finder002.pngFor $10 – or £8 – a month, this is a bargain. I’d long resisted upgrading for the free Dropbox plan to the pro, since I had earned so much bonus space. But I found myself recently needing to cull some of the stuff in my Dropbox folder because space was getting tight. I’m happy to now have more room, and to be able to back up more files to Dropbox as well. (I use it to back up some of my documents nightly.) If I had more bandwidth, I’d even back up my music collection there…

So, if you’ve been on the fence, this new price drop might make you change your mind, as it did me.

Why I Stopped Reading Magazines with Newsstand

2014-08-14 08.11.17.png

When the iPad first came out, I was really excited about its potential as a replacement for paper magazines. Back in 2010, shortly before the iPad was announced, I wrote that “the most important feature it may contain will be the ability to save the press from its demise.” I was bullish about the future of publishing on tablets. But while I still feel that tablets will come to change the way we consume “print” media, the current solution for magazines on the iPad—Apple’s Newsstand app—simply doesn’t work.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

iWant: App Folders in iTunes

As of today, I’ve got 349 apps in my iTunes library. I only have a few dozen on each of my iOS devices, but since I review apps, and write a lot of articles about apps, I’ve accumulated quite a lot. I delete some of them every now and then, but there’s still a lot.

There are a few ways to view apps in iTunes. You can view in a list, or see only those apps that work on an iPhone or iPad. But that’s it; you can’t view them grouped by genre (though you can sort them by name, date, genre, etc.), or by any other way. You just get one big grid of apps.

iTunes001.png

Wouldn’t it be great if iTunes let you create folders for apps? So you could store all your games in one folder; your productivity apps in another; and your news apps in a different folder. This would also make it much easier to sync apps. If, instead of there being one long list on the sync screen, there were a series of folders with sub-folders, it would be a lot easier to sort your apps and choose what to sync. For example, you could uncheck an entire folder of games or social media apps if you want.

And, while I’m at it, how about smart playlists for apps? You could have a playlist of apps you’ve downloaded in the past month; another for games; another for apps that you’ve rated with a certain star rating (because, hey, while I’m at it, star ratings, as for other types of media in iTunes, would be useful too), and more.

As our app collections grow, Apple needs to come up with some way to help us rein them in. Folders would be a good start. Smart playlists would be a big help. Anything would be an improvement.

Amazon has sold no more than 35,000 Fire phones, data suggests

“Amazon’s Fire Phone was launched in July, after many teaser videos and an expansive unveiling by chief executive Jeff Bezos, who showed off features like its 3D-effect maps and multiple front-facing cameras.

But since then, how many Amazon Fire Phones have actually been sold? How many are in use?”

After a lot of math, Charles Arthur of The Guardian concludes, based on web usage, that about 35,000 Amazon Fire phones have been sold. That’s not much. Amazon doesn’t release sales data for its hardware devices, so we don’t even know how many Kindles they sell.

I kind of liked the idea of the Fire Phone when I saw the first video, but seeing reviews shows me that it’s more gadget than useful device. And such a narrowly-branded phone – being tied to Amazon, just one carrier (AT&T), and it can’t access the broader Android app store – makes it a tough sell. Amazon fans might be interested, but other than that, what’s the point?

All this shows that it’s going to be very hard to unseat the two dominant players in the smartphone sector: Apple and Google (via Android). Platform is just as important as hardware manufacturer; perhaps if the Fire phone were a more standard Android fork, where people could use apps they’d already bought on another Android phone, it would be more enticing.

via Amazon has sold no more than 35,000 Fire phones, data suggests | Technology | theguardian.com.

LaunchBar 6.1 Released with a Sixth Superpower

LaunchBar is the first tool I install on a new Mac. I like it so much, I wrote a book about it: Take Control of LaunchBar.

As I say in my book:

“I’ve been using LaunchBar for nearly as long as it has been around on the Mac. It’s the first utility that I install on every new Mac; with LaunchBar installed, I can get on with everything else I need to do.”

In this book, I outline LaunchBar’s five superpowers: Abbreviation Search, Browsing, Sub-search, Send To and Instant Send.

Today, Objective Development has released LaunchBar 6.1, and, with it, a sixth superpower: the Staging Area.

As Objective Development points out, “Staging is a technique that allows you to create multiple selections in LaunchBar and to act on all of these items at once.” Instead of just acting on a single file in LaunchBar, you can select multiple items from any location. And then you can do things like:

  • Select multiple files and send them via email.
  • Or archive them into a ZIP file.
  • Or move them to the Trash.
  • Select a couple of songs or albums and play them in iTunes.
  • Select a series of emoji, and insert all of them in one go.
  • Send one or more files to multiple email recipients.
  • Launch a bunch of apps at once.
  • Open a number of web bookmarks.
  • Perform a web search on multiple search engines simultaneously.
  • And more.

Here’s an example. I’ve used LaunchBar to search in my iTunes library, finding a few Miles Davis songs I want to listen to. They’re each in different locations, and searching in iTunes would have taken a lot longer. Here, I just sub-searched all my Miles Davis songs; each time I found one I wanted, I pressed Shift-Down-arrow to add them to the staging area. I then pressed Shift-Right-arrow to view the staging area’s contents:

Finder001.png

I can now press Return, and send these items to iTunes, which will add them to my LaunchBar playlist.

But, as you can see in the list above, there’s so much more you can do. Grab the latest update to LaunchBar – if you already use LaunchBar, invoke the bar (most often this is by pressing Command-Space), click on the rightmost part of the bar to view the LaunchBar menu and choose Check for Updates.

If you haven’t yet used LaunchBar, grab a 30-day demo from the LaunchBar web page.

And to learn more, check out my Take Control of LaunchBar.

If you already have a copy of the book, the update for LaunchBar 6 is just about finished. We were waiting for the release of LaunchBar 6.1 to be able to finalize it.

The Next Bob Dylan Bootleg Series Release: The Complete Basement Tapes

91ZxXcnHIIL._SL1500_.jpgBack in 1967, Bob Dylan, after his motorcycle accident, holed up in Woodstock, NY, with the members of The Band, and recorded lots of music. In the basement of “Big Pink,” the house where they lived, they recorded and recorded.

In 1975, a double-album was released: The Basement Tapes. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) With only 24 songs, eight by The Band, this was only the tip of the iceberg. Bootlegs of this music have circulated for years.

Now, in the next release in the Bootleg Series, Dylan is letting us hear all 138 songs from those sessions in The Basement Tapes Complete. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

The price is a bit steep: $150 in the US and £110 in the UK, but it’s a six-disc set, with extensive liner notes. There’s a cheaper download version available as well: $60, the standard price for six albums. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

I’ve heard the bootlegs, and I’m looking forward to this official release. If you’re a Dylan fan, you won’t want to miss this.

Now, maybe the next Bootleg Series release could cover the Blood on the Tracks period…

Corporations Are People, Except When it Comes to Paying Taxes

A CNN Breaking News email informed me of this tidbit:

“Burger King and Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons have announced they are merging, a deal that would allow the burger seller to move out of the U.S. and possibly cut its tax bill.

The merged company will be based in Canada and have 18,000 restaurants worldwide.

By moving north of the border, Burger King would be completing what is called an “inversion” — a strategy that allows U.S. firms to lower their tax bills by merging with a foreign company, and then relocating to the new country.”

Interesting; corporations, which the US Supreme Court have ruled are “people,” can avoid paying US income tax by moving abroad. Why can’t US citizens benefit from this? The United States is one of only two countries – the other is Eritrea – that taxes its citizens who aren’t living in the country. Not only is the compliance complex and expensive, but because of FACTA – the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – banks overseas have to report on US citizens’ accounts to the US. This is leading many banks to start asking their American customers to find other places to keep their funds.

So, businesses can just move their headquarters and not pay US income tax on money they’ve earned in the US; other companies, like Apple, can store their money in the Cayman Islands and avoid taxes; but individuals get taxed without representation…

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