Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

It Could Happen - Universally Autonomous Cars Could Fail in the Marketplace

5:45 PM, May. 27th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Future of Autonomous cars

Companies that must employ drivers and pay them, even without customary benefits, would like to replace them with computers that can drive autonomously. This makes such vehicles candidates for taxis, buses, and trucks.  But what about customers who actually enjoy being in control of a car that they own?  Is that an enduring or dying part of American culture? John Martellaro looks at the issues.

The Display You’ve Always Wanted For Your Mac: HP Z34c

1:00 PM, May. 26th, 2016 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

HP Z34c Display review

The Hewlett-Packard Z34c is a 34-inch (diagonal) VA LCD display that is attractively curved.  It has a native resolution of 3440 x 1440 and sits firmly on a sturdy, detachable metal stand. It's drop-dead gorgeous, has an anti-reflective coating, stereo speakers, has a built-in USB 3 hub and multiple video inputs. It is a glorious display to behold, and will work with any modern Mac or PC. John Martellaro fawns over this display in his in-depth review.

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

5:00 PM, 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, 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.

The Real Reason Apple Retail Stores Flourish

7:45 PM, May. 20th, 2016 · John Martellaro · John Martellaro's Blog

Apple Retails Store Success

One of the classic Steve Jobs videos is his introduction to the first Apple retail store in Tyson's Corner, Virgina in 2001. In that legendary video, Mr. Jobs lays out his vision for what those stores would do for customers. Because other similar stores had failed, pundits assumed the Apple store would as well. Here are some observations by John Martellaro why Apple flourished.

iTunes is Still Apple’s Worst Software, But Now It’s Much Better

5:40 PM, May. 17th, 2016 · John Martellaro · John Martellaro's Blog

iTunes 12.4 tweaks

Apple has been taking a lot of heat lately for iTunes. The user interface, which was stellar when it first launched, has become complex, confusing and opaque. Plus, many small problems have plagued its robustness over the years as it tried to do too much. iTunes 12.4 takes two steps forward after many backwards steps, and restores some interface sanity. This is in itself notable.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With MacVoices Producer & Host Chuck Joiner

2:45 PM, May. 16th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Chuck Joiner is an insurance company executive. But you probably know him as the producer and host of his video podcasts. It all started with MacVoices, individual interviews. Then came MacNotables with a distinguished cast of Apple subject experts. From 2008 to 2013 Chuck also produced MacJury panel discussions. Now, it's all under the umbrella of MacVoices. Chuck talks about how his experience in the insurance claims industry taught him how to genuinely listen. We hear about his early interest in the Apple II, then Macs, which led to involvement with a local user group, then MUG leadership, then an Apple Advisory Board. All that led to learning video production, and ever since Chuck has gone on to become one of the premiere video podcasters (and listeners) in the industry. This is his personal story.