Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Freelance Journalist and Macworld Sr. Contributor Kirk McElhearn

2:30 PM, Jan. 11th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Kirk McElhearn is an expert technical journalist for all things Apple. He's known as "The iTunes Guy" and has a regular column at Macworld. His career started in France as a translator of technical material, and that led to his career as a writer. Kirk has written many books about the Mac as well as several "Take Control Books," including tutorials on iTunes, Audio Hijack and Scrivener. Kirk lives in the UK, and he loves Shakespearean plays and classical music. Clearly this is a man after my own heart. We've followed each other for years, and so I was eager to interview him. In the second half of the show, we both have some rather sharp observations about iTunes that you won't want to miss.

9 New, Cool USB-C Devices Shown at CES

3:00 PM, Jan. 7th, 2016 · John Martellaro · CES

USB-C Products at CES

Accessory makers have kept their USB-C powder dry until CES and have announced a flurry of new devices.  Here's a visual roundup of many of the notable USB-C devices seen this week. The spectrum ranges from simple cable adapters to hubs, displays and storage.

Toyota Announces Leadership for $1 Billon AI and Robotics Team

4:45 PM, Jan. 5th, 2016 · John Martellaro · CES

Toyota's AI & Robotics team

LAS VEGAS - CES 2016. A decade ago, who would have thought that car companies would be leaders and big spenders in artificial intelligence and robotics? But here we are in 2016, and Toyota is announcing its all-star leadership team for its massive artificial intelligence and robotics research.

Can You Build a “Toy” Top That Spins Forever?

5:45 PM, Jan. 4th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Recently, I ran across a video from NHK World about a competition between two Japanese teams to see who could build a small top that could spin the longest. In the competition, the top must spin on a pedestal just 2 cm in diameter. The physics, mathematics, engineering, machining and material research are phenomenal to watch. Each top must have a diameter of 5 cm or less and weigh 500 grams or less. Each team was allowed one month to design and fabricate. While the translation from Japanese into English is stilted, the engineering itself is not. Amazing stuff.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Bare Bones Software’s Rich Siegel

2:20 PM, Jan. 4th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Back on the Classic Mac OS, I was one of the early users of The Bare Bones Software text editor called BBEdit. It's been my go to editor for at least 20 years, and so I've been wanting to interview the mind behind BBEdit, Rich Siegel, for a long time. Rich tells the story about how in the late 80's, he was working for Think Technologies, a company that made its living building development tools for the Mac. During that gig, Rich, realized that there was a need for a standalone text editor for the Mac. In April 1992, a freeware version of BBEdit was released, and its success led to that always tense developer decision: quit the day job? Listen in to hear how it all turned out. Hint. Fabulous.