Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode: Interview With App Camp for Girls Founder Jean MacDonald

2:00 PM, Dec. 21st, 2015 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Like many in the high tech field, Jean MacDonald's career started out with an academic bent as she worked on a Ph.D. in Russian history at Princeton University. Her experience with foreign language literature naturally led to work in the book publishing world, which in turn led to considerable web development work. And then, as many know her, her nine years with Smile Software. But one day, at WWDC, she noted the dearth of young women writing commercial software. The idea for App Camp for Girls was born and launched in 2013 in Portland, OR. Today, App Camp for Girls has been so successful, it's expanding into Canada and other countries. Listen in as Jean tells her fascinating story.

You May Be Buying a New 5th Gen Apple TV Sooner Than You Planned

4:45 PM, Dec. 18th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

The Next Apple TV

The 4K UHD TV industry is a mess right now. Consumers are faced with treacherous technical decisions. Amidst the chaos, Apple is trying to improve and simplify the TV watching experience. Because the TV technology is changing so fast, it may be necessary to buy a new Apple TV every year, from now on, just to keep up.  Don't blame Apple for this.

Simulation Curriculum’s SkySafari 5 for iOS: Impressive New Features

4:25 PM, Dec. 16th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Quick Look Review

SkySafari 5 for iOS

SkySafari is an excellent sky simulation and charting app for iOS. With it, you can view the sky at any date and time, identify objects in the sky, read about celestial objects, learn the constellations and even control an amateur telescope. On December 15, SkySafari 5 Pro was released, with the Basic and Plus versions to follow soon. The suite of apps has impressive list of new features.

How Netflix is Delivering Better Video with Less Bandwidth

3:30 PM, Dec. 15th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Analysis

Netflix's New Video Processing Technique

In the Netflix Tech Blog, the new per-title encoding optimization has been explained in some technical detail. What they're doing is very smart, and doesn't involve any new compression standards. Rather it's an adaptive bitrate that optimizes the video stream based on the kind of content and the customer's available bandwith.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With The Mac Observer’s Kelly Guimont

2:15 PM, Dec. 14th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Kelly Guimont is a Contributing Editor for The Mac Observer and Social Media Manager for Smile Software. In this episode, I asked Kelly about her career path and her recent tour at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. But long before Kelly became a force on the Internet, we chatted about how she grew up as, basically, a gifted computer expert, inspired by her mother who was a teacher. Kelly described how she has thrived in a world typically dominated by males and, later, fell in with TMO at the Macworld Expos. In the second segment of the show, we talked about how early computer magazines inspired her to learn programming and that eventually led to an amazing stint as a tech support agent for LaCie. Kelly sparkles in this interview.

Apple’s Grand Unified Theory of Products Has a Beautiful Explanation

3:30 PM, Dec. 11th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple's Grand Unified Product Line

Apple's product line has greatly expanded in the last five years to be, as one might say, grand. In fact, the explanation for Apple's Grand Unified Theory of Products has now been analyzed with the clarity of a physics presentation and in a way that's not been approached before. John Martellaro explores a remarkable analysis article that sheds great light in how Apple executives view their present and future products.

Need a Case for iPad Pro? UAG Has Thought of Everything

5:00 PM, Dec. 10th, 2015 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

UAG Composite case for iPad Pro

The Apple iPad Pro is a larger iPad than most users are accustomed to and, therefore, requires special handling. Any case for it should fit in with the intended use and be compatible with Apple's Apple Smart Keyboard and pencil. This iPad's extra weight and size make drop protection critical. John Martellaro reviews the Urban Armor Gear Composite Case for the iPad Pro to see how it measures up.

3 Reasons Apple’s TV Subscription Service Failed

6:00 PM, Dec. 9th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple's subscription TV service: a threat

We now know that Apple has likely suspended its efforts, for the time being, to offer a TV subscription service. We don't know the intimate details of the negotiations, but it's possible to make some good guesses as to why Apple has come away empty handed. John Martellaro explains.