Bad News, FBI: Apple Hires Security Pro Jon Callas

7:41 PM EDT, May. 24th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Jon Callas brings his security expertise back to Apple

If the FBI was hoping Apple CEO Tim Cook was all talk when he said his company is digging in its heels to protect user privacy, it's time to put on the disappointed face because Jon Callas is back on Apple's payroll. His credentials in the security and privacy world make him a strong asset for Apple—just as he was when he previously worked for the company—and should have the FBI very worried about how far it'll be able to hack into future iPhones and Macs.

Writing the ‘Apple Music Letter’ Was Taylor Swift’s Bravest Thing She’s Done

5:09 PM EDT, May. 24th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Have you seen Vogue's 73 Questions series? They send a production team into the home of a celebrity and ask them 73 questions in one take. It's fun, if you're into that sort of thing, but I just watched Taylor Swift's episode from April. At the very end, she's asked what the bravest thing she's ever done. She answered, "Writing the Apple Music letter," referring to an open letter she wrote to Apple criticizing the company's payment structure for artists on Apple Music. That was followed by answering it was also the most spontaneous thing she's ever done. With great risk comes great rewards, and that open letter has seemingly led to a collaborative partnership with Apple involving multiple commercials, a tour movie that opened exclusively on Apple Music, and unknown things in the future.

ZeroLemon 64GB iMemStick: $79.99

4:46 PM EDT, May. 24th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

ZeroLemon 64GB iMemStick

Check out the ZeroLemon 64GB iMemStick, a flash drive with USB on one end and a Lightning jack on the other. That means you can use it to transfer files between your Mac, iOS device, or Windows PC. It comes with caps to protect both ends, and we have a deal on a 64GB model for $79.99.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-05-24: New MacBook Pros this Fall, Spotify’s New Pricing

1:31 PM EDT, May. 24th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

It looks like we won't see new MacBook Pro models until this fall, but at least they'll be loaded with new features. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to talk about Apple's laptop upgrade cycle, what they're looking forward to in new models, and the mystery that is Ming-Chi Kuo. Turns out Dave is right about streaming music pricing, so he gets a few minutes to bask in his rightness.

No New MacBook Pro Until Fall, but it’ll be Really Cool

11:41 AM EDT, May. 24th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

No new MacBook Pro until fall

If you're holding out expecting Apple to introduce a redesigned Retina MacBook Pro at Worldwide Developer Conference in June, get ready for some disappointment. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we'll have to wait until this fall, and what we'll get is a thinner, faster laptop with an OLED touch surface instead of traditional function keys and Touch ID.

Star Wars as an Infographic is Fantastically Awesome

10:25 AM EDT, May. 24th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

What happens when you mash up Star Wars and infographics? Only the most graphically awesome retelling of the movie ever. That's exactly what Martin Panchaud did with his retelling of the original Star Wars movie. You'll need to check it out in a Web browser. It's brilliant, it's beautiful, and Han shoots first.

Dubious Study Says Fitbit Sucks at Heart Rate Tracking

8:40 PM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Questionable study says Fitbit fails at heart rate tracking

A new study claims Fitbit's fitness trackers don't accurately measure user's heart rate. That shouldn't come as a big surprise considering Fitbit's products don't undergo FDA approval, but the study itself is dubious first because of its questionable methods and second because it was commissioned by a law firm that's currently suing Fitbit.

CyberGhost VPN Premium Plan 3-Year Subscription: $39.99

5:27 PM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

CyberGhost VPN Premium Plan 3-Year Subscription

We have a deal for you today on a 3-year subscription on VPN service through CyberGhost. This packages includes AES 256-bit encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and several other security features. Check out the details on the deal listing—our price on this 30-year subscription is $39.99.

4K UHD TV: Samsung and Sony Are Passing on Dolby Vision - Why It Matters

5:00 PM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · John Martellaro · Link

Competing HDR standards

Page two of last Friday's Particle Debris explores an important CNET article about how, with the latest in HDR technology, Samsung and Sony have elected to pass on Dolby Vision. However, their current 4K UHD TVs still support the HDR10 standard. Why they're doing that and why you should be aware of it is showcased, and an important summary chart from CNET is shown. "But with two rival [HDR] formats, some TVs will have a leg up -- and the brand you buy could make all the difference."  You've been warned.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With AquaMinds Co-founder Scott Love

3:45 PM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Scott Love is the co-founder of AquaMinds, famous for its NoteTaker software. Like many successful developers, Scott got an early start with Steve Jobs at NeXT. One genesis of NoteTaker was their early fascination with thinking tools. A well designed notebook is not just a scrapbook—it's powerful personal software. Another inspiration was how Steve Jobs had a strong desire for visual fidelity on the display and an immersive experience with text. Finally, add the emergence of the Internet and more information to manage, and NoteTaker became the obvious, elegant solution. Later in the show we cover the tough decisions faced by a modern developer, betting on certain Apple technologies, being in Mac App store and dealing with yearly updates to OS X. Scott closes with an interesting prediction about future data storage.

Patent Lawsuit Targets iPhone for Making Phone Calls

2:37 PM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple hit with patent lawsuit over iPhone phone call support

Apple is facing the most stunningly amazing patent infringement lawsuit ever: the iPhone's ability to be used as a phone. The patent holding company Corydoras Technologies filed its lawsuit in the Texas Eastern District Federal Court, which is known for favoring patent trolls.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-05-23: iPhone Calling Patent Lawsuit, Fitbit Heart Rate Accuracy

1:51 PM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple is getting sued for patent infringement because the iPhone can make phone calls. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the Corydoras Technologies lawsuit and the plight of patent troll cases in general, plus they have some thoughts on a lawsuit claiming Fitbit's heart rate tracking feature is wildly inaccurate.

Apple May Turn its Stores into Car Showrooms

9:50 AM EDT, May. 23rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple Store doors are big enough for a car

The massive sliding doors on Apple's redesigned Union Square San Francisco retail store create a 40-foot opening that's more than big enough to drive a car through. Sure, it makes for a great open air experience when shopping, but maybe it's a hint that Apple plans to use its new store design to show off its own car.

MGG 606: The Palindrome Reviver

12:50 PM EDT, May. 22nd, 2016 · John F. Braun & Dave Hamilton · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Logic Pro X, Hackintoshes and ghost calls are a few brand new topics for the show this week. Of course, some of your old favorites are here, too and, yes, OK, we'll talk a little bit about routers again, as well. All that plus a few Cool Stuff Found entries rounds out the show, brought to you by your two favorite geeks.

Purism Laptops to Protect You from Surveillance Capitalism

10:23 PM EDT, May. 20th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Librem 11 Laptop

SAN FRANCISCO - There's a new hardware company on the scene called Purism, and the name is a significant clue as to what the company is all about: pure software. At its heart, Purism is dedicated to providing computer hardware driven entirely by open source software so that users can "trust, but verify." Purism is putting itself in direct opposition to what it considers "surveillance capitalism." Bryan Chaffin has the low-down.