Apple Overtakes Google/Alphabet as Most Valuable Company

8:17 PM EST, Feb. 4th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

AAPL vs. GOOGL Comparison Chart

Apple retook the title of world's    most valuable company, a title briefly lost to Alphabet—the holding company that owns Google—earlier in the week. At the market's close on Thursday, Apple's market cap stood at $534.4 billion, while Alphabet's rose to $503.3 billion.

Why Apple’s Time Machine Utterly Fails User Needs

5:30 PM EST, Feb. 4th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple's Time Machine languishes

Apple's Time Machine backup system was born in a time when Apple realized that customers weren't routinely backing up their Macs. So a simple, stopgap system, with some novel features, was devised for the novice user. Unfortunately, over the years, the app hasn't progressed and kept pace with modern user needs. Today, most every tech writer says: Use it, but don't trust it completely. This is unfortunate.

Pay What You Want: Leawo Media-Pro Mac Bundle

5:17 PM EST, Feb. 4th, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Media-Pro Mac Bundle

Check out the Leawo Media-Pro Mac Bundle, a collection of five Mac apps to help you manage your media. Clean up your song files, rip DVDs, convert DVDs, and more. This is one of our pay-what-you-want deals, too. Pay anything, and you'll get Music Recorder for Mac. Beat the average price—$9.18 as of this writing—and you'll get all five apps. Make the leaderboard at any time during the deal's run, and you'll get an entry into a drawing, and 10 percent of the profit goes to Save the Children. Cool, eh?

Sharp Ready for Foxconn Buyout

2:35 PM EST, Feb. 4th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Foxconn's bid for Sharp won out over INCJ

Sharp is about to have a new owner, and instead of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, it's going to be Foxconn—the same company that builds iPhones for Apple. Taiwan-based Foxconn's US$5.3 billion bid was about double what INCJ was offering, and seems to have been enough to overcome Japan's stigma of foreign investors.

Apple Pay Now in 2 Million Retailers

9:23 AM EST, Feb. 4th, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple Pay retail partners hits 2 million

The number of retailers accepting Apple Pay is still climbing and has hit the 2 million mark. Au Bon Pain, Chick-fil-A, Create & Barrel, and Zappos are among the latest to get on board with Apple's wireless mobile payment system, and more are on the way.

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More retailers on board means more opportunities for iPhone and Apple Watch owners to use Apple Pay. It's easy to use, and far more secure than the magnetic stripes on credit cards. It's a little frustrating that more stores aren't supporting NFC payment systems.

How to Save and Autofill Arbitrary Online Forms with 1Password

7:50 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Jochen Wolters · TMO Quick Tip

1Password can save online forms you need to fill out again and again

Modern web browsers can save usernames and passwords for online logins. Most of them also support "auto-fill" for data like contacts or credit cards. But what do you do if you regularly have to fill out complex online forms that contain arbitrary text fields, menus, and checkboxes? Your Password manager, like 1Password, can handle it for you.

The Beatles Performing ‘Two of Us’ Video

6:34 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

On Tuesday I wrote about Bill gates choosing the song "Two of Us" by The Beatles as symbolic of his relationship with Steve Jobs—something Mr. Jobs himself suggested in a joint interview the two gave. That sparked a friend of mine to point me to this performance video of the song by The Beatles from 1970. It's a straight ahead promo video, recorded more than a decade before the launch of MTV, but I always enjoy seeing The Beatles. 

Lynktec ReelJuice Portable USB Battery is Unique: Capable, Flexible & Includes a Take Up Reel

5:30 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

Lynktec ReelJuice Portable Battery

There are many ho-hum and many good portable battery chargers for our iDevices. Most are just little boxes with a battery, LED lights and USB ports. However, the new Lynktec (5,300 or 8,000 mAh) charger has a multitude of thoughtful features, expansion options and usage profiles. John Martellaro has been putting one though its paces and files this review.

MacTech Pro Dates Announced, Plus TMO Discount

3:19 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

MacTech Pro 2016 event dates

MacTech Pro 2016 is ramping up for its tour around the United States with events in seven cities. The one-day training events are always a hit with the professional Apple support crowd, and The Mac Observer has a special discount you can use through Friday, February 5th.

Python Programming Bootcamp: $39

2:44 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Python Programming Bootcamp

Check out the Python Programming Bootcamp, a collection of six tutorials designed to teach you Python. All told it has more than 54 hours of content with hundreds of lectures. The courses range from the basics to building apps to machine learning, and more. You can get this bundle through our deal for $39.

Living with an iPad Pro

2:40 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants and Raves

Drawing made on iPad Pro

As Dr. Mac told you last week, he's been testing a 128GB iPad Pro with a new Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard and while it won’t replace his laptop, it has quickly become his iPad of choice for a variety of reasons (which you'll only discover if you read Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves Episode #161: Living with an iPad Pro.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-02-03: Apple’s Proximity Sensor Tech, Fitness Tracker Security

1:10 PM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple has a patent for no-touch proximity-based gesture sensing, which sounds pretty impressive, and it could find its way into our iPhones and Macs. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about how they'd like to see this technology used, plus they look at the state of security for the fitness trackers we're wearing every day.

Apple Beefs Up Security Efforts, Buys Company Behind Thunderstrike 2 Exploit

10:44 AM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple buys security company LegbaCore

One way to beef up security is by hiring the people who find the flaws in your products, and that's exactly what Apple did with LegbaCore—the company that detailed the Thunderstrike 2 Mac firmware exploit. The Mac and iPhone maker bought the security research company in November 2015, and founders Xeno Kovah and Corey Kallenberg became full time Apple employees.

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It's pretty clear Apple isn't taking the "security through obscurity" approach with the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Hiring the people who know how to find—and fix—security exploits makes for safer and more hack-resistent products.

OS X: Watching Your Kid’s Screen (from Across the House!)

9:10 AM EST, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

How to monitor what your kids are doing on their Macs

Today's Quick Tip is not about Parental Controls, exactly, but you could use it in conjunction with that feature if you need to go a step farther in keeping your kid safe online. With Remote Management, you can see what your child is doing from the comfort of your own computer screen, and if you set it up properly, he'll never even know that you're watching. The approach may be a bit draconian, but we guess sometimes you've gotta come down hard.

We're sorry, kids. 

Steve Jobs Keynote Introducing the NeXT Computer in 1988

6:21 PM EST, Feb. 2nd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Man, do I love the Internet. The ReDiscovered Future project has posted a video of the introduction of It took place on October 12, 1988, in the the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. According to the introductory credits, it was tracked down as part of preproduction research for the Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs movie, and was assembled (and restored) from two VHS tapes. This media event was Steve Jobs's first public presentation after his departure from Apple. The quality is terrible, despite the restoration, but considering the source material came from VHS tapes that are decades old, it's astounding we have anything to see at all. Check it out.