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#865: How To Disable Notification Center In Mountain Lion, The Next Big Thing 5S or 6?, iMessage and Phone Numbers


Hello readers,

As some of you may have heard, fraud charges against Punxsutawney Phil for his incorrect prediction of Spring have been dropped. He’s being let off the hook as it turns out there was a communications problem between Phil and his handler, which isn’t hard to believe since Phil is a groundhog and his handler is a human. Spring wasn’t exactly rolling in like a lion, but this weekend, I saw a sure sign: Beansie’s bus has returned to Battery Park.

Beansie’s bus has been operating in Battery Park every year in some form since the ’40s serving up just what you’d expect exactly how you want it…burgers, handmade fries, Michigans and creemees from morning til’ night, April to October. I sat in the freezing cold with hot food and my kids and it was great. The one drawback is that I can see this oasis of greasy hot goodness from my living room window.

This week we welcome back an old tech to our ranks, Mikhael Cohen. We are happy to have him back on a bench and writing for us. We also talk about some features of OS X and speculate on the next big thing.

Thanks for reading,


  How To Disable Notification Center In Mountain Lion  

I like Mountain Lion a lot, but have to say that I’m not a fan of Notification Center. I see the benefit of this feature for some users, as it tells you when things are available to be done.

At the same time, it can be a nuisance, as messages reappear until you complete them, such as a software update to the system. Because it’s built into 10.8 Mountain Lion, you only have the option to temporarily disable it. It will automatically turn itself back on after 24 hours.

After some research I have found a way to deactivate the notification center through Terminal. Remember, Terminal is an application that gives you, the user, access to the code that runs the machine. There are lots of useful things that can be done with it, but only experienced users should use it, as you can cause sometimes irreversible damage to your system. Before anything is done, I always recommend a full system backup.

Now to the fun stuff…first you are going to want to open up Terminal. Terminal is located in the ~/Applications/Utilities folder. If you are a fan of keyboard shortcuts, you can go directly to the folder with the easy shortcut of command+shift+U. Once terminal is open, type in:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ KeepAlive -bool false

A “sudo” command requires admin access, and will ask for the administrative password for the machine.

After entering your admin password, enter:

killall NotificationCenter

Once that has been entered, you will need to log out and back into your account, and you will have disabled Notification Center. If you ever change your mind on this, the whole process can be reversed by entering the following code:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchAgents/ KeepAlive -bool true

killall NotificationCenter

  The Next Big Thing 5S or 6?  

The iPhone 6 should be coming soon enough…what do you think the next iPhone will be? There are many concepts on YouTube these days, from holographic projectors to clear phones that you can see through.

Will the next phone actually be the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 5S? The way trends have been going, the 5S would most likely be the next model, with improved features, better battery life, a better camera and some new features.

Expecting something ground breaking to happen on the next iPhone model while the current competition doesn’t have any of these expected improvements isn’t logical, nor is it practical. Samsung’s new phone, the S4, has a few new features that are pretty cool, but according to reviews, they don’t make the phone.

One feature that Samsung has that Apple doesn’t is ‘bump.’ This feature gives the ability to share information through the act of bumping two phones together.* There are innovations from other manufacturers that Apple could implement into its next phone to help out with your everyday tasks, but the real question would be: What task isn’t your iPhone doing for you that you wish it did (besides the dishes and laundry)?

I saw this video scrolling through my Facebook feed which is what originally sparked this article:

There have been advertisements and concepts out there since the launch of the 3GS about the what the next model would have — Holographic, projected keyboards, completely clear displays, to name a few. There are many concept videos on YouTube where people have compiled their favorite concepts or created a new one. What feature can you not live without or would prefer to not live without?

*Note that the Bump app can be downloaded for iPhone that assimilates some of these native features.

  iMessage and Phone Numbers  

Switching carriers, phone numbers, devices, and Apple IDs can certainly cause some confusion with iMessage. I switched service providers recently, and gave up my old phone number. In doing so, not only was my current number unlinked from my iMessages, but after some time, I was receiving someone else’s iMessages due to the old number being linked to my Apple ID!

Feeling lazy about it, I left it for quite a while and stopped using iMessage, and used my email address for it when I did. I eventually was too frustrated with the situation to let it go. A quick web search provided the result I needed.

(Special Note: You must be running a Mac with Messages installed, which comes standard in OS X Mountain Lion. If this isn’t the case, you can easily use someone else’s computer which meets these requirements.)

To change the Phone Number or Email Address associated with your Apple ID:

  • Open Messages on the Mac and visit Messages > Preferences (command+comma).
  • Click on the Accounts tab, and select the iMessage account.
  • Click Add Email. (This step is not intuitive, as nothing about phone numbers is stated. Here you can also disable any email messages or mobile numbers you don’t want to use.)
  • Enter the phone number you want tied to your Apple ID for iMessages. Make sure to include the hyphens.
  • It will state, Validating next to your phone number, and then this will change to Email Sent. Your phone should receive a message with a link to confirm.

After confirming, your new number should now be tied to your Apple ID! Your iOS devices most likely will not recognize the change until you turn iMessage off and on in Settings on the iOS device.

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