App icons in Spotlight all replaced by C file icon after installing OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and Xcode 4.4

Spotlight - C Application Icons

Several of my colleagues and I noticed that after installing OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and updating Xcode to 4.4, all of our application icons in Spotlight are showing up as Xcode C files.

Anyone have any idea what’s going on or how to fix it?

Update: Issue Resolved

I just installed the MacBook Pro Retina SMC Update 1.0 and it looks like it has fixed my icons issue.

MacBook Pro Retina SMC Update 1.0

Spotlight Icons Fixed

You should be able to see the update when you run Software Updates.

Is blocking USA? Redirecting users to

Anyone else have the issue where when trying to download from a URL, they get redirected to which then displays an ad and redirects you to

Just wondering if this is an US-only problem… similar to how certain file sharing sites are now blocking the US.

Don’t see much mention of this on the web, but I did find this thread where someone else was hitting the same issue and he was able to bypass it using a proxy outside the US.

My Thoughts on the MacBook Pro Retina

About This Mac

So Ryan IMs me this morning letting me know that our MacBook Pros had arrived. I wasn’t even expecting them to arrive today and became super excited! I’m not going to post any photos of the MacBook Pro, as if you want to look at nice shiny photos of the laptop, there’s tons of good sources online, include Apple’s own website.

I was torn between getting the new MacBook Air or the new MacBook Pro Retina. I really liked the 13″ MacBook Air that I currently have and ever since using my ThinkPad X31 in college, I’ve always been a fan of small light portable laptops. But the retina screen and the lowered 4.5lb weight finally sold me on the MacBook Pro Retina. I really wished they would’ve released a MacBook Air Retina. Next year maybe?

Retina Display

It’s so PRETTY!

At first I wasn’t very impressed. It was very pretty and very sharp, but it’s similar to seeing a movie in 720p and then upgrading to 1080p. I just wasn’t blown away. It wasn’t until I switched back to my cinema display that I realized how awesome the retina display is. The cinema display just wasn’t very pretty nor very sharp anymore. Hopefully they’ll release the Cinema Display Retina soon!

What you’ll realize soon with the Retina display is any app that doesn’t support HiDPI looks horrible. Using Firefox and Chrome on the retina screen literally hurts your eyes. I know Chrome nightly builds have already begun supporting HiDPI, but I was sad to find out that Firefox doesn’t have plans to support HiDPI any time soon. I might very well switch to Safari because of this. Maybe that was Apple’s plan all along. Those evil geniuses!

The screenshot above was taken from the retina screen and measures less than 3″ on the retina screen and almost 6″ on my cinema display.


The second most noticeable thing for me is the spinning fan or lack thereof. I don’t think my fan has turned on once ever since I finished my migration, and I’ve ran tests and watched HD trailers simultaneously. When the fan does spin on (I was listening to Ryan’s), it’s still very quiet. I can’t really tell you what the decibel measurement is, but let’s just say Ryan’s old laptop used to sound like a jet engine and now it sounds like a summer breeze.

Update: A quick clarification. Ryan’s old laptop was a last gen 15″ MacBook Pro. He was powering 3 displays (2x 27″ Cinema Displays + Retina display), so that may be why his fan was spinning up. Even when compared to my MacBook Air, the new MacBook Pro Retina’s fan noise is still a lot quieter.


Coming from a MacBook Air, I can’t really say I appreciate the extra 1.5lbs. However, I do have to say the 4.5lbs is rather manageable. The laptop is almost as thin as my MacBook Air and the screen is 2″ bigger.

Battery Life

At full charge, my battery indicator reports that I have 5.5hrs of usage left. I can’t really comment on battery life yet as I haven’t had a chance to run it on just batteries, but for comparisons sake, my old 13″ MacBook Air usually reported 2-3hrs of battery life at full charge.


Coming from a Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz with 8GB of RAM to Core i7 2.6GHz with 16GB of RAM, this machine is significantly faster. But it doesn’t really take much to beat my 2-generations-old MacBook Air. This would probably explain why my fan hasn’t really spun up yet.

Thoughts about the Nest

So Derek had convinced me to get a Nest, but honestly it doesn’t take much these days to convince me to get a new toy. Ooooh shiny! This isn’t a cheap thermostat as it sells for $250 and for someone like me, it’s probably not going to save me much money in the short run given that my previous thermostat was already fined tune. I could probably save more money if I changed those darn filters more regularly. ;p

So I’ve had the Nest for a month and it’s been pretty cool so far (no pun intended). The auto-learn feature is pretty neat as it was able to guess my schedule pretty closely after the 1st week. I did end up tinkering with the schedule a bit, but it’s still learning.

One cool feature is that you can change the temperature from your phone or computer. You might think that I should just probably get off my lazy ass and just go turn up the thermostat, but the real benefit is when you’re not home. I set my thermostat to turn on rather late at night, but on the evenings when I’m going to be home unexpectedly early, I can turn on the heater before leaving work or while I’m in my car, so I return to a nice and warm house.

Have you ever left your house on vacation and wondered if you remember to set your thermostat to vacation mode? Well, now you never have to worry because you can always check and even turn it off from any computer.

They recently updated their software to display energy usage and it’s pretty cool:


One thing I’d like to see is location based learning. My thermostat already connects to the internet and pulls in local weather or data. What if it also knew where its cohabitants were currently located? If they detect that people are on their way home, turn on the heater. If they detect that everyone just left, set auto-away on.

How to delete a profile picture or cover photo from Facebook

So last week, I uploaded 2 cover photos to my Facebook page so I could see which one looked better. After deciding which cover photo I wanted to use, I couldn’t figure out how to delete the one I didn’t want to use. I understand cover photos are suppose to be public, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to delete cover photos that aren’t active. I searched around a bit and no one had a really good answer that showed me how to delete a cover photo.

So I decided to see if I can get around this by seeing how photos are normally deleted. To delete a photo these days, it appears you have to click on Edit Album > Edit Photos and underneath each photo is a Delete checkbox.

On my Cover Photos album, I was missing the Edit Albums link.

Turns out if you can get to your Edit Photos page for your Cover Photos, you CAN delete your cover photos!

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Find a working Edit Photos link by going into any photo album (other than your Cover Photos), click on Edit Album and right click Edit Photos and copy the link. It should look something like:

Edit Photos link

Edit Photos link

2. Next go to your Cover Photos album and take note of the URL. It should look something like:

3. What you need to do now is modify the Edit Photos link you got from step 1 and with data you got in step 2. Notice the string of numbers in the middle of the URL from step 2. Break them apart at each dot so they look something like:

Take the 2nd # (815154 in my case) and replace the # after aid= in the link from step 1.

The resulting URL you would get should look like:

4. Enter that URL into your browser and you should now be able to delete photos from your Cover Photos album.

To delete a profile picture, you would do the same thing, but instead of using the URL from your Cover Photos album, you would use the URL from your Profile Pictures album.


Yahoo! IM Links broken in Messages Beta

Messages So I’ve been playing with the Messages Beta and it’s pretty neat.

Messages is touted as the replacement for iChat for its upcoming OSX release. Not only will it support existing IM networks, but you will now be able to chat with people on its iMessage network, where anyone using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 5.0 is already on.

I’m currently attempting to switch completely from Adium to Messages and see how that’ll work out. Messages currently supports AIM, Yahoo! IM, and Google Talk. The only obvious missing network is MSN/Live Messenger.

It obviously doesn’t have all the plugin support such as OTR (Off-the-Record Message), but for a beta, it’s actually working pretty well. I understand this is still in beta and any of the problems I see will probably be fixed by the time Mountain Lion comes out.

One annoying thing is there’s no way to disable all sounds. If you’re a fan of the beeps and boops you get with text messaging on the iPhone, you’ll probably enjoy it. The preferences allows me to disable sounds for each event individually, but I can’t seem to find a way to disable sounds globally.

An issue that my only friend on Yahoo! keeps reminding me is that they appear to have broken the Yahoo! IM protocol for links. Whatever it’s doing, the links are showing up multiple times on their end. I’ve confirmed this by doing a test with my dad’s Yahoo! account also. Here’s what happens when I send a simple link:

Yahoo! IM Links broken on Messages Beta

One rather cool thing is that you can link up your IM contacts with your address book entries. Took me quite some time, but I’ve finally mapped out most of my IM contacts. Previously I would attach a note/comment on the user in case I forgot who they were (which happens to people I don’t talk to frequently).

I had hoped that conversations would be synced to the cloud, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like it’s happening yet. Something I was hoping to see was if I was having a conversation on my laptop, I would be able to see the full conversation in Messages on my desktop (and vice versa).

All in all, I’m enjoying Messages and looking forward to see it in its final form when Mountain Lion is released.


drawing courtesy of Nsponge200

Today is officially SOPA Resistance Day. If you haven’t heard about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect IP Act), don’t let their names fool you as they’re anything but.

Learn why Wikipedia, Google and many other sites are protesting against these 2 bills.

I had emailed my 3 congressmen sometime in December:

I understand that a similar proposal to the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act called Protect-IP will be up for voting in the Senate early next year.

Given the huge opposition from the people against SOPA, I implore that you understand the implications of Protect-IP and not only vote against it, but convince your peers to do so too.

Thank you.

Of course my email to my House rep was worded a bit differently since SOPA is the House bill and PIPA is the Senate bill. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy of that email.

So far I’ve received 2 responses and all I got out of it was “Thanks for your expressing your view. Please sign up for my newsletter.”

So contact your representatives TODAY. Don’t wait till tomorrow or when you think you’ll have some spare time.

Hopefully as more and more people contact them, we’ll be able to stop the destruction of what made the internet great.

Here’s Rep. David Reichert’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the protection of intellectual property on the Internet. I appreciate hearing your views on this matter and welcome the opportunity to respond.

U.S. law enforcement agencies may protect against violations of intellectual property rights when perpetrators are acting within the United States. However, the Internet provides a way for businesses to expand across borders, and poses a challenge for the enforcement of intellectual property rights when violators are acting outside the U.S. Currently, U.S. authorities cannot reach foreign websites offering pirated or counterfeit goods to U.S. citizens.

In response to these concerns, Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) introduced the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) on May 12, 2011. This legislation would authorize the Justice Department or an intellectual property rights owner harmed by an Internet site “dedicated to infringing activities” to pursue a cause of action against either the registrant of an infringing domain name or an owner or operator of one. Moreover, the bill allows the Justice Department to pursue such actions against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign domain names as well. The bill has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar for consideration. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. This legislation would also authorize an action by the Justice Department against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign infringing sites. Though both bills would increase the criminal penalties for those that sell counterfeit goods of certain categories, like counterfeit medicine, the House legislation includes military equipment as a special category.

Promoting and protecting innovation is critical to U.S. businesses remaining competitive in the global economy. Many industries, from pharmaceutical companies to recording studios, depend on intellectual property protections. These industries contribute greatly to the U.S. economy and serve as significant job-creators. At the same time, some have expressed concern that this legislation goes too far, and would lead to government overreach resulting in the chilling of free speech online and the stifling of innovation. As a result of these concerns, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) have released an alternative proposal, called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, which would authorize the International Trade Commission to investigate, and if necessary, take action against foreign websites involved in the advertising or selling of counterfeit products. This proposal is based on the premise that the International Trade Commission would be better suited to investigate such issues because of its current investigative role in determining whether certain imports into the U.S. violate U.S. property rights. Rest assured, should this legislation come to the House floor vote a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me. Your interest and input are valued and I hope to hear from you in the future regarding other matters of importance. I encourage you to visit my website and sign-up for my monthly e-newsletter at to learn more about other issues impacting the 8th Congressional District and our nation. You can also follow my work online and receive frequent updates on legislation being considered in Congress by visiting me on Twitter ( and Facebook (


David G. Reichert
Member of Congress

Here’s Sen. Patty Murray’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act , which is currently pending in the United States House of Representatives. I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

In the Senate, this legislation would fall under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. While I am not a member of that Committee, I want to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill and will keep your views in mind if this or related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration.

If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Patty Murray
United States Senator

Update: At least we know Sen. Maria Cantwell is on our side: Internet Censorship Bill Coming Up in Senate in Three Weeks

Nevertheless, Wyden has at least three colleagues from both parties opposed to cloture – Jerry Moran, Maria Cantwell and Rand Paul. They will need a lot of help to block the 60 votes needed to clear cloture and get PIPA to the floor.

iPod nano Replacement Got Upgraded!

iPod Nano Replacement

I sent in my first gen iPod nano I purchased on launch day because of the battery defect issue. Apparently due to supply constraints, we are getting upgraded to the current gen with twice as much storage!

Dear Apple Customer:

Thank you for participating in the iPod nano (1st generation) Replacement Program. Please find your replacement iPod enclosed.

Serial Number
Please note that your replacement iPod has a serial number different to that of your original iPod nano. In some case due to limited availability of replacement stock of iPod nano (1st generation) Apple may have replaced your iPod with a more recent iPod model of equivalent or better specification. Always retain a record of your serial number(s) for future reference.

Your replacement iPod product is warranted to be free from defects for 90 days from the date of service.

To ensure that your iPod software is up to date, download the latest iTunes from Apple’s website at Questions regarding the operation of your iPod can be answered at Apple’s online support site at

Exclude WordPress Categories from your Main Page or Feed

So for a long time, I’ve gotten tired of having my Twitter logs fill my blog’s main page, and since I’ve winded down the blog (moved everything to the main site), I didn’t want that to fill the blog up with Twitter spam either. But I love the archive ability of having my Twitter messages saved into my blog. It makes it a lot easier to search for stuff I’ve tweeted about.

After a bit of searching, I found this WordPress plugin: Ultimate Category Excluder. It allows you to exclude any category from your main page, feed, and archives.

As of now, I’ve excluded the Twitter category from the main page and feed, so it’ll still show up in the archives.

Pretty neat!

You are too awesome for Ping-o-matic.

If you’re trying to automate pinging Ping-o-Matic! via PHP/cURL, you may have hit into an issue where the response you get is:

You are too awesome for Ping-o-matic.

To fix this, all you have to do is add a user-agent to your curl options, e.g.
curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "Mozilla/5.0" );

Once you set a user-agent, you should be able to get a valid response and have the Ping-o-Matic service ping all the services for you. Of course if you run that script too often, they’ll probably reject your request and tell you to slow down.