Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]
The legal case between the FBI and Apple is very complex, both legally and technically. Yet, the impact of the court's decision and appeals could have a major impact on the rights and freedoms of every American. Here's a simple FAQ that explains the basics at hand in plain English.
Flying cars have been an unfulfilled fantasy for many decades. On the other hand, small jet-powered helicopters, the kind TV stations use for traffic monitoring, are still fairly expensive to buy and retain a trained pilot. But what if one could super-size an electric drone, make it large enough to seat two humans, and take advantage of the flight stability and easy of flying of a drone? Then you'd have the Volocopter. Here's an article and embedded video that shows the flight tests from late last year. I can think of all kinds of things one could do with such a machine, assuming it's not outrageously expensive. Farmers could monitor and treat remote crops. Emergency services could deliver food and medicine to places cut off by floods. You name it. It's not the classic flying car, but a whole new kind of thinking ... with zero emissions.
The current legal conflict between Apple and the FBI has proponents on each side. The issue seems almost impossible to resolve. However, John Martellaro has been pondering the larger problem and casts the current arguments in a broader perspective. The real question is not fighting terrorism; rather it's an issue of how much authority a modern American government has to grant itself absolute power.
Leader Kahney is the editor and publisher of the website Cult of Mac. He's also famous for a series of books about Apple, including the recent "Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products." We talked about Leander's early career as a newspaper reporter in the UK. Right out of college, Leander got a job with a local newspaper which sent to write about the war in (the former) Yugoslavia. That wasn't for him, and so, via some friends, he moved to San Francisco and started freelancing for tech magazines, and that brought him into the Apple world. Soon, Leander realized the Apple followers were really a kind of cult, and that led to a blog called the Cult of Mac. Fans of Leander's books will want to hear all the details from this lively, personable author.
Apple's OS X, derived from the legacy BSD UNIX, was born in the mind of Steve Jobs and engineers at NeXT more than 20 years ago. It came to fruition at Apple in March 2001. It was a product of its time. iOS was launched for the iPhone in 2007 and designed for hardware that was one percent the speed of Apple's modern A9(X) SoC. Perhaps it's finally time to move on to a hybrid OS that can run both with a high security AI wrapper. John speculates.
You have probably seen suggestions on how to construct a more secure password. But times are changing, and those bad guys who would break into your device now have advanced algorithms and so much computing power, they can easily outsmart your most devious passwords. Nevertheless, there is one thing you can do to ensure the quality of, if you must, your human chosen password. John Martellaro explains.
There are now small, unpowered USB-C hubs or docks that are good for travel with a MacBook. They have extra USB-A ports and, typically, not much more. However, there's a real need for a full-featured dock that has it all: high-power USB-A ports for charging, SD Card, Ethernet, HDMI video, and audio. This OWC dock has all those ports, all combined into a beautiful piece of hardware.
The Apple Pencil is a great device, and one could write may words about it. But that's already happened. How about a visual review of it actually drawn with an Apple Pencil? That's exactly what Serenity Caldwell at iMore has just done, and we loved it. Take a look for yourself to see what this new breed of Apple stylus can do. By the way, Serenity was recently a guest on our TMO Background Mode podcast. Check out both very cool links.
Asteroid mining! When you think about that, science fiction stories placed many years in the future come to mind. But Dr. Joel Sercel, Founder and Principal Engineer at TransAstra Corp., has other ideas. And he knows what he's doing. Dr. Sercel earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology while working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in advanced propulsion systems. Today, he's at TransAstra developing the technologies and vehicles (space tugs) to mine asteroids and create refueling stations in space. It turns out that with specialized spacecraft, propellant can be extracted, via optical mining, from certains kinds of asteroids. Things are moving fast in this industry, boosted by the high technology and funding available in Silicon Valley. Joel presents a fascinating glimpse of SciFi turning into reality. Today.
Take this easy true/false quiz to figure out what's going on with the Apple, the FBI and smartphone encryption.