Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]
Standard home and business electrical outlets are just not designed for the modern smartphone and tablet user. But the thingCHARGER, a very successful Indiegogo project, changes all that. It fits nicely over a standard double outlet and features an interchangeable connector on the top (including Apple's Lightning) plus two standard USB outlets on the bottom. Inside are stored the interchangeable plugs, and you have options there at purchase. You can buy one for US$39.90 or buy a 4-pack or 7-pack and save money. This looks like one of those very cool, 'gotta have' home accessories. The video tells all.
One of the modern concepts in American business is that every technical decision should be made in such a ways as to maximize revenue, leaving nothing on the table for the often dangerous competition. Apple, however, has not, in general, thought that way and has left money and market share to others. Yet Apple has flourished. How has the company done that?
With all the different cables and power adapters we use these days, it's likely they all end up mixed together in a box. What a rat's nest it can be. But the Cable Hive (Kickstarter) aims to help you organize all those cables in a simple, modular system. From the developer: "The 330 x 330 x 220 mm crate comes with either a 39 hexagonal compartment core, suitably sized for most consumer computer style cables. Or alternatively a larger core size with 20 hex compartments, for the musicians needing to organise their longer and thicker guitar, microphone or other audio leads." Pledges start at US$44, and first deliveries are expected in December. This is just what you'd expect to see in Lt. Commander Data's quarters.
There are plenty of things to like about OS X El Capitan, due out this fall. Apple has focused on performance and experience, and that means some welcome new refinements of the user interface. Amongst the many improvements, John Martellaro has four in mind that he especially likes.
In the early 1980s, expert computer users worked (struggled) with their PCs and workstations on the command line. Back then, Steve Jobs instinctively knew that in order for ordinary people to use a computer at home and school, a revolutionary graphical user interface would be required. But now, 30 years later, vastly more powerful computers connected on the Internet have dramatically changed how we can interact with them and each other. How has the classic Mac GUI both stood up and also changed with the times?
One of the new features in OS X El Capitan is Split View.
It could come in handy at times, but John Martellaro thinks it's just a silly addition and not really necessary. It'll soon be forgotten.
A charging stand for an Apple Watch should be handsome, well thought out in that it hides the charging cable, presents the Apple Watch nicely, is convenient to use, and has additional uses. The Griffin WatchStand does all that.
Competitors to Apple's iPhone spend billions in development and advertising. Sometimes a competing smartphone will actually have a nifty operational or design feature the iPhone lacks. Then why is it so fundamentally difficult to compete with Apple for mindshare and profits amongst those highly desirable, affluent customers? John Martellaro delves into the Apple not-so-secret sauce.
Occasionally, when one is under severe time pressure, many crucial things have to be done, say, just before a meeting or big event. While one could change faces on the Apple Watch and bring up the chronometer and a timer, there's a much faster and more convenient way. Siri comes to the rescue.
Cusby has launched an Indiegogo project to deliver a modular and expandable USB-C dock system. As the developper describes it: "It starts by connecting a Cusby unit to any USB-C port.... From there, multiple Cusbys can be linked together like Lego blocks to create their own combination of ports for any situation. Every time a new Cusby is added, a new USB-C port is created, so there is always a free port available. We've lined up 3 models at launch: Power charger, USB-A and HDMI. Other ports in the pipeline are Thunderbolt, Display Port and Ethernet" Various contribution levels are available that include 1,2 or more Cusby blocks. Delivery is expected in October 2015.