Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Symply Co-founder and President Alex Grossman

5:04 PM, Jun. 27th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Alex Grossman is the co-founder and president of Symply, Inc. His new company makes high-performance storage devices for content creators. I asked Alex about his start in storage technology, and it goes back to his EE degree in college and his first job with the Digital Equipment Corp (DEC). Early on, he developed a passion to build great hardware and understand how data got stored. Years later, Alex ended up at Apple focusing on the small and medium business needs for easy to manage mass storage. He tells a great story about Apple giving him the go ahead to change the world with Xserve RAID. Today, Alex carries his years of experience with elegant, easy to manage storage into his new company, Symply, Inc. Alex told me one amazing story after another.

iPhone 7 Sans Headphone Jack: The Debate Continues

3:20 PM, Jun. 27th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Link

The iPhone 7 headphone jack debate

Reliable sources are suggesting that Apple really will remove the 3.5 mm audio headphone jack from the iPhone 7 this fall. The community seems evenly split about the prospect, with some shrugging and one notable author declaring that this is a hostile and stupid idea. The notion that this isn't really a worthwhile technical advance seems balanced with the prospect of better and enabling digital technology moving forward. Plus: a more waterproof iPhone. Particle Debris page 2 asks the question: has Apple gone too far?

Apple Forms a Subsidiary to Sell Electricity

5:45 PM, Jun. 20th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Apple is publicly moral in many ways. Apple's products are highly recyclable and Apple works to be good stewards of the planet's resources. To that end, Apple has formed a subsidiary, called Apple Energy. The goal, with approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is to sell excess solar energy to consumers and businesses via Renewable Energy Certificates. Not only is Apple setting the example for how to be green and also make money at it, but the company positioning itself for its own technical future. Of course, there are implications for Apple's (rumored) electric car as well. Forbes has a great story on this. "Why Apple Energy Is A Wake-Up Call For Businesses."

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Flexibits Founder Michael Simmons

3:05 PM, Jun. 20th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Michael Simmons is the founder of Flexibits, famous for the award winning Fantastical apps for Mac and iOS. In his youth, Michael got his start as a fan of video games on the Commodore 64 and the Amiga. He was intrigued by what was different, better, surprising and delightful. In college, it was communication and film school, and he became interested in something closely related: story telling. That resulted in his first job in the video game industry. After that, there was a series of programming jobs culminating in his authorship of Data Rescue at ProSoft. His acquired expertise eventually resulted in the founding of Flexibits some 20 years after it all began. It's a classic case of inspiration and talent leading to starting his own software company. Michael, a great speaker, tells how it all happened.

Apple is Taking a Different Stand on Artificial Intelligence Agents

1:15 PM, Jun. 20th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Link

Apple & AI Agents

In the science fiction of yesteryear, artificial agents were presented as helpful, local companions. The scope of the internet and its ability to drill into our private lives wasn't a pervasive theme. Nowadays, we have AI agents built by giant technology companies that want to build AI agents to learn about us, store that data, and sell things instead of simply make us smarter or more efficient. Except Apple. Apple's public morality goes in another direction. Thank goodness. It's all on page two of Friday's Particle Debris column.

Many Apple Pay Customers Confuse Simplicity with Vulnerability

6:05 PM, Jun. 17th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Particle Debris

The iPhone and Apple Watch contain sophisticated security and encryption protocols for use with Apple Pay. To make it very easy for customers, Apple has brilliantly made the setup and use incredibly simple. Has that simplicity fooled customers into thinking that the Apple Pay process is risky and makes them vulnerable? A Pew study suggests that potential customers mistake the simplicity for various kinds of vulnerabilities, and they shy away.

Lynktec Takes its Apex Fusion Electronic Stylus to the Next Level

5:25 PM, Jun. 16th, 2016 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

Lynktec Apex Fusion review

Lynktec has continued to evolve the Apex line of electronic styluses. In late May, the company released a sleek, new version called the Apex Fusion. It's slimmer, better looking, and is available in black, silver, gold and rose gold. It's drop-dead gorgeous and features a fine point for accurate drawing and a rechargeable battery. John takes a close look and reports.