TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-30: Samsung’s Smartphone Numbers, Congress Wants More Corporate Cash

24 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple and Samsung shipped the same number of smartphones last quarter, and that doesn't bode well for Samsung. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at what Samsung's smartphone numbers mean for the market and Apple, plus they take a look at a new bill that hopes to convince big corporations to bring offshore money into the United States.

FiftyThree’s Pencil Stylus for iPad goes Gold

2 hours, 24 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

FiftyThree, the company behind the popular Paper drawing app for the iPad and the Pencil pressure sensitive stylus, is adding gold to its lineup. The Pencil is already available with a walnut finish (my favorite) or graphite, and come February 3 it'll be available in gold, too. The color matches Apple's gold iPad Air 3, and it offers the same pressure sensitivity and blending features as the other models. The gold version is priced the same as the walnut model at US$59.95, and you can pre-order yours now. The Pencil is one of my favorite styluses, and it's pretty cool to see it now in gold.

iTunes gets OS X Yosemite Notification Widget

4 hours, 28 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Apple rolled out iTunes 12.1 on Thursday with a new feature just for OS X Yosemite users: a Notification Center widget. The widget lets iTunes users play and pause songs from their personal music library or from iTunes Radio, skip ahead, and purchase streaming songs from the iTunes Store.

Apple Tied Samsung for Global Smartphone Units in Q4

6:59 PM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis


Apple is running neck and neck with Samsung in global smartphone sales. Though Samsung was once the king of smartphone numbers—though never the king of smartphone profits—Apple closed the gap in the December quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.

ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20,000mAh Portable Charger: $49.99

5:34 PM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20,000mAh Battery: $49.99

Here's a deal on a killer gadget called ZeroLemon SolarJuice—it's a 20,000mAh portable charger for your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices, and you can charge it using the on-board 1.2W solar panels. That's totally cool. 20,000mAh is a ton of power, enough to charge your iPhone 6 more than seven times. If that's not enough, it has a built-in LED flashlight. This thing retails for $100, which is a good price, but through our deal you can get it for $49.99. 

China Demands Back Door into Computers, Software

2:13 PM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Tech companies hoping to sell computers, smartphones, tablets, and software in China are facing some serious hurdles now that the country is demanding they build back doors into their products, comply with invasive audits, and hand over proprietary and secret source code. The Chinese government is justifying the move by saying it's necessary to ensure western countries aren't spying through technology, but it may also be a ploy to push those companies out in favor of in-country tech makers.

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China wants hardware and software back doors to access our private and encrypted data, as does the United States and United Kingdom. This is bad for consumers, and won't likely end well.

FCC Says Hotels Can’t Block Personal Hotspots

11:09 AM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Hotels were handed a bucket of disappointment this week when the Federal Communications Commission made it clear that blocking personal hotspots is against the law, and doing so could lead to hefty fines. The FCC also said its warning extends beyond hotels to other businesses, too, which should cut down on places intentionally interfering with hotspot signals.

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Intentionally blocking our hotspots is a sleazy act for hotels, and then telling us it's for our own good is just salt in the wound. Seeing a very clear and strong statement from the FCC saying that's against the law is great.

Apple Remembers Remote Desktop Exists, Releases Yosemite Update

9:27 AM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Apple released Apple Remote Desktop 3.8 on Wednesday, the first update for the remote Mac administration app in more than a year. The update improved OS X Yosemite compatibility, refreshed the user interface, and more.

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Apple still supports ARD? We thought they forgot about it since its last update was pretty much just an OS X Mavericks compatibility release.

Pages 5: Using Borders and Rules

8:51 AM EST, Jan. 29th, 2015 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

Let's talk about Pages! Specifically, let's talk about using Pages to add borders and rules to your text, which is an easy way to make your documents look professional. As a bonus, these elements will move with the paragraphs you add them to, making them much simpler to work with than drawn lines or shapes. Come on in and check it out!

ACM 291: Apple’s Massive Numbers and the Rosetta Stone for Apple Timing

7:40 PM EST, Jan. 28th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin & Jeff Gamet · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple turned in some big numbers on Tuesday—really big. Jeff and Bryan talk about the Macs and the iPhones and the fact that we won't hear about iPods any more.They also delve into the billion iOS devices Apple has sold and speculate on whether Tim Cook gave himself a prize for getting that billionth unit. One of the most interesting things from Apple's conference call, however, had to be when Mr. Cook revealed the Rosetta Stone for understanding Apple's timing.