‘IPHONE’ Trademark Fight Illustrates Apple’s Headwinds in China

6:29 PM EDT, May. 3rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

IPHONE Sleeves?

As if cued to prove Carl Icahn's worries about Apple's business in China, the company lost a trademark battle with a bag maker over "IPHONE" in that country. A Chinese court ruled that even though Apple filed its trademark several years before Chinese company Xintong Tiandi did, Apple didn't start selling its iPhone until later, so whatevs. Bryan Chaffin explains.

Drone Ballet Show at Mt. Fuji - Beautiful Performance and Music

5:25 PM EDT, May. 3rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out this wonderful video of a "drone ballet show" performed in Japan with Mt. Fuji as a backdrop. The drone ballet is made visible by some 16,500 LED lights configured in cages surrounding the drones made by SkyMagic. They're amazing and cool and all, but I like the music even more. Written and performed with drums and a group of tsugaru shamisen players, I watched it multiple times just to hear the song they play. The whole thing is beautiful. What do you think?

Last Chance for Scrivener 2 at $22.50

5:16 PM EDT, May. 3rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Scrivener 2 on a MacBook

Scrivener from Literature & Latte is an amazing piece of software for writers. I've been using it for years for several fiction projects, including a novel—I can't imagine trying to organize any large writing project without it. John Martellaro reviewed it for TMO, and he loves it, too. The best thing, though, is that our friends at Stack Social have brought it back it back as a deal for $22.50, but that deal will soon be ending. If you've ever even thought about writing, you should get Scrivener today. This deal is good for OS X or Windows—there's a pulldown menu on the deal listing for you to choose which version you want, but our link goes straight to the Mac version.

Apple’s Tim Cook is Playing a Very Smart Game With Apple Watch

3:30 PM EDT, May. 3rd, 2016 · John Martellaro · Analysis

Apple's Watch Strategy

The scuttlebutt on the internet is that the Apple Watch isn't selling very well. Add to that the voices of some people who haven't taken a liking to the Apple Watch, and one might fall into the trap of thinking that it's a failure.  But it isn't, and Apple's wise choice to not reveal sales numbers and roll it out slowly is turning out to be incredibly clever. John Martellaro explains.

Apple’s Failure to Scale

8:00 AM EDT, May. 3rd, 2016 · John Kheit · The Devil's Advocate

Steve Jobs at WWDC 1997

Apple's work force has quadrupled in the last few years, but John Kheit says we're seeing fewer product updates, rather than more. Nowhere is this more true than Apple's Mac product line, and John argues Apple needs the Mac—and Mac power users—because they're tastemakers that have an outsized impact on the way the rest of the world looks at Apple's other products.

TMO’s Guide to Buying Discounted iTunes Cards

6:42 PM EDT, May. 2nd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · How-To

iTunes Gift Cards

Did you know you can buy discounted iTunes Gift Cards? They allow you to buy apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books at a discount. I've seen discounts between 5 and 25 percent, which means you get that same discount on the stuff you buy from the iTunes Store, the App Store, and the Mac App Store. We even found a place to buy discounted iTunes cards with Bitcoin.

Comcast Talks About Terabyte Data Caps & More

5:45 PM EDT, May. 2nd, 2016 · John Martellaro · Link

Comcast Talks Data Caps

Comcast Executive Vice President of Consumer Services Marcien Jenckes has posted a note about the emerging company philosophy regarding data caps. In a company announcement, he wrote: "We have learned that our customers want the peace of mind to stream, surf, game, download, or do whatever they want online. So, we have created a new data plan that is so high that most of our customers will never have to think about how much data they use...."  That turns out to be a trial one terabyte in selected cities, and no promises were made about the future. But it appears the company is ready to put onerous data caps in the past. It's all on page 2 of Particle Debris.

Blumoo Bluetooth Universal Remote: $52.99

4:27 PM EDT, May. 2nd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Blumoo Bluetooth Universal Remote

Check out the Blumoo Bluetooth Universal Remote, a device that connects your iPhone or iPad (or Android device) to your other electronic devices. That means you can control them directly from your mobile device, or even from your Apple Watch. We have a deal on Blumoo for $52.99, which is 47 percent off retail.

iPhone Controlled Air Conditioner Looks, and is, Cool

4:18 PM EDT, May. 2nd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

As long as your window air conditioner does its job and keeps your place cool, that's pretty much all that matters—until you see the Noria. The diminutive air conditioner is 18.25-inches wide and just under 6-inches tall, but cools a room as effectively as many larger units, and it looks so much better. It's programmable, includes an iPhone app for remote control, works with single- and double-hung window frames, and is surprisingly easy to install. It's a Kickstarter that's already met its minimum pledge goal with a month left to go, which means you won't have one in time for this summer's heat. But by next summer you'll good to go—and pretty chill.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Intel Fellow Dr. Bruce Horn

3:00 PM EDT, May. 2nd, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Bruce Horn started his career at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center working with the Smalltalk language and Alan Kay. That's where he was in the early 1980s when Steve Jobs visited PARC to take a look at their Xerox Star, and Bruce was there watching Mr. Jobs react to the demo of this magical research computer with revolutionary new features: a mouse, windows and file icons. Soon after, Mr. Jobs recruited Bruce to work on the original Macintosh team along with Andy Hertzfeld and others. I asked Bruce to talk about the challenges of designing the original Mac operating system. Later in the show, we talk about some exciting projects that Bruce is working on at Intel. Take a trip down Macintosh memory lane with me in this interview.

FBI Shows Fingerprints and Touch ID Aren’t Warrant-proof

10:53 AM EDT, May. 2nd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Warrant let FBI use suspect's finger to unlock iPhone

Touch ID is more of a convenience than a security feature, and the FBI made that perfectly clear by obtaining a court order forcing a suspect to put their finger on the touch sensor and unlock their iPhone. The order shows courts still view our finger prints as physical evidence even when they serve as biometric keys to unlock devices and decrypt data.

MGG 603: Pronunciation, Rants and The Joy of a Smaller Phone

12:15 PM EDT, May. 1st, 2016 · John F. Braun & Dave Hamilton · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Sound is a funny thing, so are pronunciations and ringtones, and yet your two favorite geeks have some great tips for you about both of those. Need to replace the Finder? Need to diagnose a malfunctioning port on your Mac? How about restoring your magically disappearing printers? Your geeks have you covered there, too. Plus, Dave talks about his experience with an iPhone SE. All of this and more for you today on MGG!

Nomad Pod Portable Apple Watch Battery Pack: $33.95

4:42 PM EDT, Apr. 29th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Nomad Pod Portable Apple Watch Battery Pack

Check out the Nomad Pod, a portable battery pack for your Apple Watch. It works like this: charge the internal battery through the micro-USB port. Inside the Nomad Pod is a port for your Apple Watch charging cable. Plug it in, wrap it around, and the charging surface will rest in a hole in the lid. You can then take the Nomad Pod anywhere you need to and charge your Apple Watch. We have a deal on this device for $33.95, more than 40 percent off retail.

FBI Director in the Dark on iPhone Hack Details

4:40 PM EDT, Apr. 29th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

FBI Director Comey doesn't know much about San Bernardino iPhone hack

FBI Director James Comey may have overstated how much the agency paid for the hack to get into San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone 5c. Instead of the US$1.3 million he implied, the figure is reportedly actually less than a million dollars. Director Comey may not even know who the FBI paid, but that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't know what's going on under his command.