Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Astrophysicist Dr. Gaurav Khanna

3:10 PM, Nov. 9th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Gaurav Khanna is a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a huge Apple fan. His specialty is the computational study of gravitational phenomena in the vicinity of black holes. John first got to know Dr. Khanna when Apple was pursuing supercomputing hardware and software in the early 2000s, and Dr. Khanna's technical support for scientific computing on Macs made him a hero in the community. In this interview, John asks Dr. Khanna about his current day research using his 2013 Mac Pros, his use of Apple's OpenCL for parallel computing and thoughts on Apple's support for the scientist.

Major Tech Companies Are Being Crushed By Their Own OS Strategies

5:40 PM, Nov. 6th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

The Proliferation of OSes & Security Challenges

After the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft has worked hard to arrive at Windows 10 everywhere. Apple has stuck to a purely mobile OS and a traditional desktop OS. Google concocted Chrome OS to solve one problem but now seems to want to merge it with Android.  Apple has launched watchOS and tvOS and may be on the verge of carOS.  What's going on here? How can these companies possibly cope with the massive technical demands of new/merged/derivative OSes and the agggressive security threats on each new OS?  John Martellaro ponders the dilemma.

Belkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone Makes Compromises

5:00 PM, Nov. 5th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Quick Look Review

Belkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch & iPhone

There is now a pretty good selection of charging docks for the Apple Watch. Some provide a place on the base plate to rest a charging iPhone, but the Belkin Charge Dock goes one step farther and provides a vertical support and Lightning connector for the iPhone in addition to a pre-installed Apple Watch charge disk. The design, while good, introduces compromises. Find out more in John Martellaro's review.

Watch Jeremy Clarkson’s Hilarious Amazon Fire TV Stick Ad (and Shot at the BBC)

5:30 PM, Nov. 4th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Fact: Jeremy Clarkson is part of the beloved (former) Top Gear trio that includes James May and Richard Hammond. Fact: In May, Mr. Clarkson's contract was not renewed by the BBC. (We all know why.) Fact: Amazon has acquired the the talent of this trio, and they'll star in a new car-related show on Amazon Prime in the fall of 2016. Fact: Mr. Clarkson is now doing a TV ad for the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Cool part: Watch how Mr. Clarkson handles the appearance of the BBC in this hilarious TV ad.

Crazy Mix: a New Star Trek Series, CBS, Apple TV and the Cord Cutter

4:10 PM, Nov. 4th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Analysis

Muddling through the Internet TV transition

Modern TV viewers are faced with the need to mix and match services to get the content they want, control costs, and make good use of the DVR to skip ads and/or use ad-free services like Netflix. It's all part of the transition to 100 percent Internet TV. Unfortunately, as the TV industry tries to optimize profits, the viewer is often caught in the middle. The New Star Trek series highlights the dilemma Apple wants to solve. 

iPad Pro Will Stop Decline in Apple’s iPad Sales - Maybe

3:45 PM, Nov. 3rd, 2015 · John Martellaro · Analysis

iPad Pro's prospects

The larger display of Apple's new iPad Pro invites new ways of doing things, new markets, new iOS capabilities and new kinds of apps. Will that be enough to reverse the decline in sales of the iPad line? No one knows for sure, but John Martellaro's hunch is that the sales decline of the product line will be reversed. However, he doesn't expect a major turnaround.

The Future iPhone: Making Suggestions We No Longer Understand

6:15 PM, Nov. 2nd, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Superintelligence in iPhones?

More and more, computational devices are making suggestions, even making decisions for us. As the algorithms get more and more sophisticated, human beings could start to lose the ability to evaluate and call into question those suggestions and decisions. Worse, machines have the potential to learn and self-improve much faster than humans, leaving us even further behind. What happens next?

TMO Background Mode: Interview with the Mac Observer’s Jeff Gamet

2:20 PM, Nov. 2nd, 2015 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

In this show, I take an inward turn and interview Jeff Gamet, the Mac Observer's managing editor and host of the TMO Daily Observations podcast. I asked Jeff about his career path and how he came to become our managing editor. Jeff's background in design, fonts, and color have served him well in his current job. What's interesting is that Jeff already knew Dave Hamilton from Macworld Expo visits long before he was hired. So if you've been itching to know more about the life of the amazing Mr. Gamet, this is the podcast for you.

The iPad is Our Vision of the Future - It’s Not Going Away - Ever

4:15 PM, Oct. 28th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Editorial

The Future of the iPad not yet written

For the seventh quarter in a row, iPad sales have declined. Does this mean the iPad is a failed product? Does this mean Apple will give up on it? Is the iPad Pro the last stand? Is beating up on Apple for this decline a productive thing to do?  John Martellaro says the answer to all these questions is a resounding "No!" You'll see why in a few minutes.