Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

iRig Mic Field, a Digital Stereo Mic for Lightning iPhone and iPad

5:58 PM, Sep. 4th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

IK Multimedia announced on Thursday iRig Mic Field, a digital stereo microphone for Lightning-equipped iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.  This device is designed to capture high-quality audio using two high-quality cardioid electret condenser capsules, a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter (with 44.1/48kHz sample rate), a 115 dB maximum SPL rating, and a built in low-noise, high-definition preamp. Because it uses the Lightning port, it can be used for either standalone audio or for capturing audio for a video, too. It works in conjunction with iRig Recorder, the company's audio recording app for iOS, but it's also compatible with Core Audio and Core Video-enabled apps, including Apple's GarageBand, Voice Memo, Camera, and iMovie. iRig Mic Field is US$99.99/€79.99, and it ships in October.

TextExpander 4 for Mac: $16.99

5:41 PM, Sep. 4th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

TextExpander 4 for Mac: $16.99

If you have been reading The Mac Observer or listening to our podcasts for any length of time, you probably know how much we love everything Smile Software does. That's particularly true for TextExpander, the company's killer utility for automating any kind of text string you frequently use. Your signature, a URL, your phone number, boilerplate language...anything. Thanks to our friends at Stack Social, we can offer you a deal on TextExpander 4 for US$16.99, less than half the retail price. Note that version 5 is in beta, and that this deal is only for version 4, but if you need it now, this is the discount you've been looking for.

WSJ Claims iWatch Will Have NFC for Mobile Payment System

4:43 PM, Sep. 4th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

The Apple iWatch Crystal Ball

Apple's iWatch will come with NFC to be used with a mobile payment system, according to unnamed source cited by The Wall Street Journal. This will be an extension of the rumored mobile payment system that Apple will also be unveiling with the iPhone 6 during the company's September 9th media event.

Line Forms at NYC Apple Store One Week Before Media Event

2:39 PM, Sep. 3rd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · News

iPhone 6 Lines

Apple hasn't even had its media event, and yet people are already lining up at the company's 5th Ave. Apple Store in New York City. Dan Benton (@dcbandor) posted photos to Twitter of four people who were bundled up in portable chairs on the sidewalk a week ahead of Apple's September 9th media event.

DJI Phantom FC40 Drone: $499

1:29 PM, Sep. 3rd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

DJI Phantom FC40 Drone: $499

Speaking of drones, check out today's deal on the DJI Phantom FC40. This thing has an onboard camera that will send your iPhone a live feed of what it's shooting over a 2.4G Wi-Fi connection from up to 328 feet away. The drone also has an auto-hover feature, an auto-pilot, and the remote control unit works up to 1,640 feet away. It's a lot of drone, and it retails for $649. Through our deal, you can get it for $499. Use coupon code PHANTOM35 at checkout, and take another $35 off. There are five days left on this deal as of this writing.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-09-03

1:09 PM, Sep. 3rd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Daily Observations Podcast

Dave Hamilton, John Martellaro, and substitute host Bryan Chaffin talk about Apple's potential with credit card transactions and how that plays into security. Speaking of security, they also look at Apple's efforts to manage the fallout from the celebrity photo theft in advance of the September 9th media event.

ACM 270: Apple iCloud Reputation, iPhone NFC, and Drones

11:40 AM, Sep. 3rd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple has its hands full with managing the fallout from the theft of celebrity photos, and the company is being aggressive to get ahead of the story. Then there's the September 9th media event and growing reports that Apple will—at long last—embrace NFC. Lastly, drones are ever-more capable and ever-more affordable—what will that mean for companies like Apple who work so hard to protect their secrets.

Last Chance for 8 Award-Winning Mac Apps for $39.99

5:12 PM, Sep. 2nd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

8 Award-Winning Mac Apps for $39.99

It's the last day for the Award-Winning MacLovin' Bundle, eight award-winning Mac apps with a retail price of $861 that you can get for $39.99. Those apps are: Cinemagraph Pro, djay, NetSpot Pro, Keyboard Maestro, Hype 2, Dropzone 3, Moom, and Boom. Those are all high quality pieces of software, and they have all earned at least one award from magazine. If that's not enough, this bundle deal also includes a developer training course called The OS X App Masterclass. There's a lot of value in this bundle, but there's just six hours left as of this writing. Get on it!

Samsung Taps David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider, and K.I.T.T. for Smart Home Ad

3:34 PM, Sep. 2nd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Samsung released on Tuesday a rather entertaining commercial for its (lolbecauseapplehomekit) smart home effort. I'm not sure what exactly the commercial is pushing, but it features David Hasselhoff and his Knight Rider legacy, as well as William Daniels, reprising his role as the voice of K.I.T.T., Mr. Hasselhoff's "smart car." Of particular enjoyment is Mr. Hasselhoff's attempt to smooth talk a hot young member of the crew, who is plainly unimpressed and mentions her father might have talked about Knight Rider. Maybe. As I said above, it's very entertaining. One other note: that this commercial is devoid of specifics could suggest that Samsung has at last learned it lesson, and will wait to copy what Apple unveils after the unveiling rather than release a sad, pathetic excuse of a "FIRST POST!" product beforehand that it then has to apologize for later. We'll see. [Via Mashable]

Apple: Celebrity Photo Theft Due to Compromised Passwords, Not iCloud Security

3:19 PM, Sep. 2nd, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Cloud Security

Apple released a statement Tuesday claiming that stolen celebrity photo thefts released over the holiday weekend were the result of targeted attacks on individual accounts, rather than a breach of iCloud security or Find My iPhone. The company said in an "Apple Media Advisory" that it was continuing to investigate and was working with law enforcement to identify the thieves.

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That statement was an uncharacteristically quick response for Apple—it's also a sign that the company wants to get out in front of this issue. This is precisely the kind of issue where Apple is best served by being open, transparent, and aggressive.