10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Security and Privacy on Your Mac, iPhone, or iPad

So much information about you is stored digitally: your identity, your finances, your health, and much more. And all of this information is either stored on or accessible from your computing devices: your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

There are many threats to your security and privacy when using these devices, and, fortunately, there are many features built into these devices and their operating systems to help keep your data private. But it’s important to know about these features, how to enable them, and how to use them.

In this article, I’ll look at ten things you can do to improve your security and privacy on your Apple devices.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

PhotoActive Podcast, Episode 132: The Best Focal Length

Perhaps you’ve heard that there’s an ideal focal length that is the closest approximation to the human eye. Or perhaps you’re a purist who can’t imagine shooting anything but a 50mm prime. In this episode, Jeff and Kirk dig into these preconceptions and talk about how focal length affects your photography.

Find out more, and subscribe to the podcast, at the PhotoActive website. You can follow The PhotoActive on Twitter at @PhotoActiveCast to keep up to date with new episodes, and join our Facebook group to chat with other listeners and participate in photo challenges and more.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #271: Stalkerware, Gatekeeper Vulnerabilities, and No Mac Pro for Christmas

Commercial stalkerware can record everything on a victim’s iPhone; yet another Gatekeeper bypass shows that even Lockdown Mode isn’t impermeable; and Apple hasn’t transitioned all its Macs to its own processors: the Mac Pro still hasn’t made the change.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

The Next Track, Episode #245: Christmas Gift Guide

Doug and Kirk look at some Christmas gifts for music lovers.

Help support The Next Track by making regular donations via Patreon. We’re ad-free and self-sustaining so your support is what keeps us going. Thanks!

Support The Next Track.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

How To Reserve a Domain Name for Your Author Platform

The most important part of your author platform is your website, and the most important element of your website is its branding. The domain name you choose is both your address on the internet and your brand. It is important because it is how readers find you and return to your site, and you may also want to use it as your social media handle.

In this article, I’ll discuss choosing and registering a domain name, and why this is the first thing you need to do when you set up your author platform.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.

Adobe’s Speech Enhancement Tool Is a Game-Changer for Podcasters

As a podcaster, I go to great lengths to get the best possible audio quality for my recordings, and, within the limits of practicality, for my guests. I work in a quiet room, with quality hardware, but it’s not a recording studio, so there is always a hint of echo. This can be reduced with an adroit use of compression, but with guests, who may be in noisy rooms with poor microphones, this is pretty much impossible. There are expensive plug-ins for audio editing tools that can reduce room noise, but I can’t afford to pay what they cost.

Adobe has just released a beta of their Adobe Podcast tool, which includes a voice enhancement feature. You upload an audio file, and Adobe’s AI cleans up the file. And it works.

I recorded a podcast episode this morning, and my co-host is not in a great room, and doesn’t have a great microphone, and he always sounded, well, like someone on a podcast, not someone in a recording studio. The quality of the audio after running it through Adobe’s tool was impressive, and sounds like a studio recording.

Here are two examples. The first was recorded using the internal microphone of my MacBook Air:

Here’s the same file after Adobe did its magic:

And here’s another test, using my normal podcasting setup (a Rode Procaster, going through a Focusrite Vocaster Two, with some effects applied in Audio Hijack during recording). Even here, there’s a difference. At first, the microphone is about six inches from my mouth, to reduce room noise, then it’s about a foot away.

Un-enhanced:

Enhanced:

While the files that Adobe produced are a bit too bass-heavy for my taste, it’s easy to apply some EQ when producing podcast episodes. It seems like Adobe wants to reproduce the proximity effect, which you get when speaking with your mouth very close to a microphone; many podcasters like this, but I don’t.

This really is a game-changer. It is simple now to improve any audio recordings to use with podcasts and make all my podcasts sound much better.

Apple Freeform Lets You Brainstorm and Collaborate on Mac, iPad, and iPhone

Apple hasn’t launched a totally new type of app in a long time. This week’s operating system updates – iOS and iPadOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1 – include Freeform, Apple’s app “designed for creative brainstorming and collaboration.” Here’s how you can use Freeform to brainstorm, develop projects, and collaborate with others.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode #270: Apple’s Advanced Data Protection

Apple has released a slew of updates and new features for most of its operating systems. We’ll take a look at some of the highlights including Apple’s Advanced Data Protection.

Follow the The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

How to Build an Author Platform to Showcase and Market Your Writing

Back in the day, publishers would market books, sending review copies, setting up author tours, organizing interviews, and more. Now, except for the most popular authors, it’s up to you to do much of this yourself. Your publisher may have a publicist who can do some of the promotion for you, but if you want to ensure that you get the most exposure, you need to create a platform so potential readers and journalists can find out about you and your books, and so your fans can keep up with what’s new.

Building a platform to highlight your work is essential for any author. The goal of an author platform is to allow readers to learn more about you and your books, provide information for fans, and present yourself to influencers (those on social media, as well as editors commissioning book reviews). In some cases, if you self publish, your author platform could be your storefront, and could be a stepping stone toward finding an agent or a traditional publisher.

In this article, I’m going to discuss the type of author platforms you can use, and in future articles, I’ll look more closely at some of these, and discuss how you can set them up and manage them.

Read the rest of the article on The L&L Blog.

To learn how to use Scrivener for Mac, Windows, and iOS, check out my book Take Control of Scrivener 3.