macOS New app Release – 360Works Filemaker Plug-ins

Product Announcements 360Works of Atlanta, Georgia, a leading FileMaker product developer and innovator, is now additionally an AWS (Amazon Web Services) Consulting Partner. The AWS Partner Network (APN) is comprised of technology experts that are focused on helping customers take full advantage of all the benefits in the AWS universe of services. As an APN Consulting Partner, 360Works will provide services that help customers design, architect, build, migrate, and manage their workloads and applications on AWS.

360Works develops plug-ins and add-ons for FileMaker frequently with services from AWS and believes that the AWS platform provides tremendous resources for extending the FileMaker platform (beyond only cloud hosting). Jesse Barnum, President of 360Works, presented the following at the 2018 FileMaker Developer Conference: “Beyond Virtual Machines – Tapping into the AWS Universe of Services.”

Currently, several of the existing 360Works plug-ins and add-ons for FileMaker leverage AWS technology in their functionality:

  • 360Works CloudMail: Send and track formatted email marketing campaigns in FileMaker. Uses many different AWS services, including Simple Email Service (SES), Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2).
  • 360Works Email Plug-in: Send and receive text and HTML emails in FileMaker; send SMS. Supports SES.
  • 360Works SafetyNet: FileMaker Server offsite backup, uses AWS Simple Storage Service (S3).
  • 360Works FTPeek: FTP upload and download from your FileMaker database, supports S3.
  • 360Works MirrorSync: Automated tool for synchronizing FileMaker databases. Supports AWS DynamoDB and RedShift.

As an example of custom development work, 360Works worked with Thorsen Consulting to create a high volume web application for Chicago Public Schools, which supported up to 40,000 users within a one hour period (5,000 simultaneously).

“By leveraging AWS Lambda, API Gateway, S3, and DynamoDB, along with MirrorSync to sync DynamoDB with FileMaker Server, we were able to achieve user workloads much higher than what FileMaker Server would be able to handle” says Jesse Barnum, President of 360Works.

360Works has AWS expertise in the following services:

  • Amazon Lambda: run code without provisioning or managing servers
  • Amazon DynamoDB: key-value and document database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale
  • Amazon Aurora MySQL- compatible edition: relational database built for the cloud; it is up to five times faster than standard MySQL databases
  • Amazon Kinesis: makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze real-time, streaming data so you can get timely insights and react quickly to new information
  • Amazon S3 / CloudFront: fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency and high transfer speeds
  • Amazon Simple Email Service: reliable, cost-effective service for businesses of all sizes that use email or SMS to keep in contact with their customers.

The developers at 360Works are always excited to work on integrating any of the above AWS offerings into your FileMaker solution or business workflow.

If you are low on time, or you’d like help setting up an AWS integration in your own solution, our developers can help by providing our consulting services.

360Works can help with any AWS and FileMaker consulting questions by visiting the 360Works website.

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Book Review: “Sugar”

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Book Reviews – “Sugar” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Monique X.

I received an ARC of this novel both through the publisher and through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Mature Situations and Mature Language. This is the autobiography of Monique.

Monique is recently divorced, the mother of two young girls, around 40, and having financial problems. To have some much-needed fun and to help her through her hard financial times she turns to ‘Sugar Dating’. That is, she begins dating wealthy older gentlemen with an expectation of their financial ‘assistance’.

She meets several different men and travels around the world to ‘date’ them. Some of her experiences are better than others. She very definitely distinguishes what she is doing as different from being a Call Girl. They simply take the money and ‘perform’, while she as a ‘sugar babe’ establishes a personal relationship with her ‘dates’.

I found the 7 hours I spent reading this 328-page biography were interesting. This is not the normal kind of book I would choose to read, but when I was approached by the publisher I decided to give it a try. I found Monique’s trips abroad to be interesting as I have been to many of the places she visits. This is not going to be a book for everyone as she does go into mild details of her sexual experiences with her ‘dates’. I did find the book on the whole to be a bit of a slow read. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.6 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

macOS New App Release – Cisdem Video Converter for Mac 3.11.0

Product Announcements – Cisdem of Madelia, Minnesota has upgraded Cisdem Video Converter for Mac to version 3.11.0. This Mac video converter can already download videos from more than 1000 websites including YouTube, and this upgrade adds more supported sites to the download function.

The main functions of Cisdem Video Converter for Mac include video conversion, video download, video compression, DVD ripping, and basic video editing. Users can use it to download SD, 1080p HD and 4K Ultra HD videos from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Reddit, Dailymotion, and more than 1000 other sites. It is compatible with OS X 10.10 Yosemite and later, including macOS 10.14 Mojave.

“Cisdem Video Converter is more than just an excellent video converter,” said Edward Riley, Cisdem’s project manager. “The powerful video download function is what makes it stand out among a sea of similar software. The older versions can already download videos from over 1000 sites, including all popular video sites and social media sites. This upgrade adds even more supported sites. Users can also convert the downloaded videos to any video or audio formats they need. It’s convenient. ”

What’s New in Version 3.11.0

1. Add support for more websites

2. Fix the download failure of partial YouTube videos

3. Fix the download failure of partial online videos

Main Functions

1. Quickly download videos with high quality from YouTube and 1000 other sites

This video conversion software allows users to rip SD, 1080p and 4K videos from a large number of sites with high speed.

2. Convert videos and audios to all common formats without quality loss

It is able to convert video and audio files, individually or in batch, to any common formats they may need, allowing users to convert files to play on iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices, game consoles, Android devices, portable players and more.

3. Rip DVD to MP4, ISO, MKV, AVI, etc.

Users can also use it to convert DVD and DVD folder to all popular of video or audio formats.

4. Shrink video file size and keep the quality

Cisdem Video Converter for Mac can compress video files for WhatsApp, email, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. It also helps save disk space on Mac. 

5. Do basic video editing tasks

Before or after video conversion, users can also edit videos by cropping, trimming, watermarking, adding subtitles, etc.

Price and Availability

Cisdem Video Converter for Mac 3.11.0 is available for download and purchase on Cisdem’s official website. You can get a lifetime license with $49.99 with lifetime free upgrades. Free trial is provided and available for download from the Cisdem Video Converter for Mac website. To get more information about Cisdem Video Converter for Mac, please visit the Cisdem Video Converter for Mac website.

WWII Movie Nostalgia

WWII – Over the past two nights, I have watched a pair of movies set in WWII. The first is one of my favorite WWII movies, “The Longest Day” which premiered in 1962. I think I saw that one in the theater as a kid. It is full of stars from the early ’60s and tells the story of D-Day from both the Allied and German perspective. It is one of my favorite WWII era movies and I try to watch it once a year. IMDB rates it at 7.8/10.

The other is not as good but was interesting. The 1943 “Aerial Gunner”. The IMDB synopsis:

Old rivals are pitted against each other in basic training and fight for the same woman.

It is not nearly as good (rating only a 5.7/10 on IMDB).

Both of these films are shot in Black & White.


If you are interested in the World War II era of history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.

Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day

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Food – Who knew there was a day dedicated to those who love cheese? I didn’t until I saw this today.

Thinking about it now I am not surprised. There are so many different and tasty varieties of cheese! On the National Day Calendar site they say:

The earliest record of cheese making dates back to 5,500 BCE in what is now Poland.  Today there are over 1,400 varieties of cheese.

The basic principles behind making cheese are quite simple. Let the milk sour (or scientifically, coagulating the casein protein). Then separate the curds (solids) from the whey (liquid). The curds are then salted and left to age.

For cheese lovers who think one day is just not enough to celebrate cheese, National Day Calendar has you covered for the entire year. There are 18 other cheese specific holidays on the calendar from National Cheese Doodle Day (March 5) and National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12) to Cheese Souffle Day (May 18), National Cheese Day (June 4), National String Cheese Day (September 20) and Moldy Cheese Day (October 9).  Let’s also not forget; cheese makes excellent desserts.  National Cheesecake Day is July 30, and there are three other flavors on the calendar along with National Cream Cheese Brownie Day just around the corner on February 10.    

I haven’t enjoyed any cheese yet today, but I am sure I will. I eat some kind of cheese almost every day. Mostly it is Cheddar, Muenster, or Swiss, but I will slip in some good Bleu cheese from time to time . . . I think I will go slice myself a few slivers of Cheddar and Muenster right now!

macOS New App Release – Phone Breaker 9.0

Product Announcements ElcomSoft Co. Ltd. of Moscow is pleased to announce the release of Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 9.0, the update to the company’s forensic extraction tool for macOS and Windows. Version 9.0 gains the ability to remotely access Apple Health data stored in Apple iCloud, becoming the first forensic tool on the market to extract Health information from the cloud. Health data is added to the long list of extractable information, which includes call logs, photo libraries, passwords, messages and multiple other types of data. Elcomsoft Phone Viewer received an update to support the new data category.

Background:

Apple makes active use of cloud sync, and is continuously expanding the amount of information synchronized with iCloud. Synchronized information is removed from iCloud backups. Starting with iOS 11, Apple began synchronizing Health data with iCloud, making Health information available on all devices registered on the same Apple ID.

Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 9.0 can automatically extract Apple Health data from the user’s iCloud account just moments after they arrive. To access that data, experts must use a combination of Apple ID and password. Entering the user’s lock screen password allows Elcomsoft Phone Breaker to retrieve significantly more Health information than available without a passcode.

Health data is a vital piece of evidence. Heartrate, sleeping habits, location points, workouts, steps and walking routines are just a few things that come to mind speaking of Apple Health. Introduced in September 2014 with iOS 8, the Apple Health app is pre-installed on all iPhones. The app makes use of low-energy sensors, constantly collecting information about the user’s physical activities. With optional extra hardware (e.g. Apple Watch or Bluetooth fitness trackers), the Health app can aggregate significantly more information. Additional information can be manually added by the user or imported via CDA documents.

Accessing Apple Health Data:

In many cases, Apple Health can be only extracted through the cloud. End-to-end encryption makes it impossible for Apple to release most of Health data when serving law enforcement or GDPR requests, while extracting Health data from the device may not be possible if the device is damaged or unavailable.

Extracting Apple Health data from iCloud is possible with Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 9.0 Forensic Edition. Apple ID and password are required as well as access to the secondary authentication factor as well as the user’s screen lock password. In some configurations, Health data may not employ any additional encryption; therefore, a device passcode is not always required to access Health information. However, entering the user’s screen lock password helps retrieve significantly more information than available without a passcode. More information about Health data protection and acquisition in ElcomSoft Blog: Apple Health Is the Next Big Thing: Health, Cloud and Security.

Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 9.0 is available for Windows and macOS.

More Interesting Music on YouTube

Music – Last Monday on the Aethereal Engineer website he posted “Epic Music: Graham Plowman — Of Elder Things and Shoggoths“.

Now I am not a big music fan generally, but I liked this as it is all instrumental. I will often play instrumental music while I am working or reading. The music in this post fits well with that use case.

In fact, you might want to check out all of the posts that the composer of the above-mentioned music, Graham Plowman, has. He has many (more than 80 at the time I write this) videos there of his music. All of his titles are based on horror, fantasy, or science fiction themes. If you want some interesting instrumental music, you might want to try them all.

macOS New App Release – DataOrganizer 1.0

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Product Announcements Bayhoff Software of Huntington, New York has released the public beta of DataOrganizer 1.0, the first public release of their new personal database app for Mac. DataOrganizer is designed to be a powerful yet easy to use personal database. Prior versions of the DataOrganizer beta have been available for readers of the Bayhoff Software blog for a few months. Starting with the present release, the beta is now available for everyone to download.

Main Features:

  • Imports data from Bento 4; DataOrganizer supports 20 of the 23 Bento field types
  • Includes eight ready-made templates; Clients, Inventory, Issues, Journal, Membership List, Party Planner, Recipes, and Serial Numbers.
  • Creates custom libraries in minutes
  • Links to Contacts, Calendar, Mail, and the Finder using the contacts list fields, calendar events list fields, messages list fields, and files list fields, respectively
  • Stores collections of photos using media collection fields
  • Libraries can link to other libraries using relationship fields
  • Supports Mojave’s Dark Mode

System Requirements: macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later

Pricing and Availability:
The DataOrganizer 1.0 beta is available now and is free to use throughout the beta period. Pricing and availability for the final version will be announced at a later date.

Weather at Your Terminal Command Line

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Web Tools – There are lots of way of getting the weather on your computer. Most of those will open in your browser with lots of content, animations, and probably advertisements. But wttr.in is different. It is text only. What is wttr.in? From their website:

wttr.in is a console-oriented weather forecast service that supports various information representation methods like terminal-oriented ANSI-sequences for console HTTP clients (curl, httpie, or wget), HTML for web browsers, or PNG for graphical viewers

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I used curl wttr.in from the terminal command line to get the image shown at the top of this page. This should work on any Linux or macOS system. When I enter http://wttr.in into my Safari browser I get similar output as shown in the image immediately above.

This site provides many options to choose from in their weather report. While it takes your current location as the default, other locations around the world can be specified. Queries from the US appear in USCS units, while most of the rest of the world get values in the Metric System. Optionally you can specify the units.

Reports can be returned in ANSI for the terminal, HTML for the browser, or as a .PNG image. All of the options are explained on their GitHub site.

I like this minimalist weather report and have added the URL to my Safari Favorites.

macOS New App Release – Once upon a Dungeon 1.9

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Product Announcements Koto Games of Rzeszów, Podkarpackie is pleased to announce the anniversary edition of Once upon a Dungeon 1.9 for macOS and Windows, a roguelike game with a dense atmosphere and challenging gameplay. Explore dark dungeons full of dreadful foes. Defeat them using physical power or mighty spells. Meet Slavic gods, discover how to awake them and unleash their power. Craft magic items, collect unique ones, enhance your attributes and face the main antagonist – Fallen One.

The most important features of the game include:

  • Turn Based – each entity in the game level performs its move one after another
  • Procedurally generated – each time you play the game, the layout of dungeons will be slightly different. Loot collected from monsters, as well as chests, will also be random
  • Hack oriented – the goal is to kill monsters and find powerful treasures in order to kill stronger ones and then repeat the process
  • Classic quests such as cleaning up an old cemetery, and game specific ones like defeating the Wawel Dragon
  • Permanent death – it’s an optional feature

If you played it on its release date, new features shall make it worth a second look. If you did not, and you enjoy old school dungeon crawlers, you might give it a try – especially if it’s going to be part of an anniversary sale Jan 19-21, 2019. It can be purchased through Steam.