Mac 911 grab-bag: Phone-less two-factor authentication, iTunes and "Other"

Plenty of great questions slip through Mac 911’s mail slot, but the reply to some of them is so brief that they don’t merit a full-page entry. From time to time I issue a burst of answers to these very questions. Today is one of those days. Follow along as I address phone-less two-factor authentication, HipChat interface issues, iTunes’ “other” entry, and exported iPhoto metadata.

Two-factor authentication without an iPhone

After the celebrity photo scandal I’m more concerned about security. I understand that using two-factor authentication can make my data a bit more secure, but I don’t have an iPhone. Do I need one?
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What exactly is "Other" hard drive storage?

Reader Kevin Loy would like some details on how storage is being consumed on a relative’s hard drive. He writes:

I read your article about freeing up space on a hard drive and had a follow-up question. My niece was running out of space on her MacBook Air. I did some digging using About This Mac under storage and found she has 78GB of “Other” storage. What kind of files does this “Other” entry reflect?

If you choose About This Mac, click on the More Info button, and then click the Storage tab you will indeed see a very general graphical layout of the file allocation for each volume connected to your Mac. This representation lists Audio, Movies, Photos, Apps, Backups, and the Other entry you mention.

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How to prevent your naughty pictures from appearing on the Internet

A reader who wished to remain really, really anonymous has failed in this regard. She writes:

Recently some pictures and movies stored in my iCloud account have found their way onto the Internet and they’re, well… embarrassing. Is there some way I could have prevented this from happening?

Yes. If you’d disabled photo sharing from your iPhone to your iCloud account those pictures would have remained on your phone. Although the horse has left the barn, here’s what you might have done.

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When search fails in Outlook

Reader Abby Conrad has a problem with a forgetful email client. She writes:

In the last week or so I’ve been trying to search for messages in Microsoft Outlook and it shows no results, even when I can scroll through my inbox and find a message from the sender I’ve searched for. What’s wrong?

Outlook, like the Mac OS and some other apps, uses OS X’s Spotlight feature to catalog its messages. When you search for a sender, recipient, or word within a message, Outlook turns to Spotlight’s index to find it. Given that, my first thought is that the index of your Microsoft User Data folder is corrupt in some way.

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How to free up space on a packed hard drive

Reader Donna Vincent has a lot of files and little remaining storage space. She writes:

I’ve been a Mac user for a long time and am accustomed to having space for a lot of files. That’s changed now that my MacBook Air uses an SSD drive. I find that I’m running low on storage but don’t have a plan on how to free up space. Any advice?

There are tried and true means for going about this. These techniques should help.

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How to use a game controller with your Mac

Reader Bruce Harris would like to get double-duty from a gaming device. He writes:

I purchased a PlayStation 4 and an extra DualShock 4 controller for two-player games. I rarely use the second controller and wondered if I could use it to play games on my Mac.

You can, though with some games you’ll need extra help. Before we get to that let’s start with the hardware configuration.

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