Spring is almost here for the northern hemisphere, and that means it’s almost lightning season. It’s time to talk UPS’s and battery backups. Listen as John and Dave talk through all the permutations you’ll need to know to choose the right UPS for your setup. On top of that, a few things in Cool Stuff Found, solving mailbox syncing problems, and a deep discussion about how to rip movies and then to get them onto your iPhone or iPad!
We’ve upgraded our Bitcoin Faucet Guide with 11 faucets that still pay out. Bryan Chaffin explains how they work and shows you which faucets you can trust to pay when they say they will. [Updated with two new faucets I’m testing]
I love this! Drummer Richy Ramirez posted a video to Instagram where he used Siri as his metronome. Really, he used her as both metronome and backing track. It’s clever and entertaining, both, and I love the beat he lays down on top. Check it out.
iTunes U pushed a version of Developing iOS 10 Apps with Swift. The free iOS tutorial series from the Stanford School of Engineering has been updated for iOS 10 and the current version of Swift. Reader Rick Allen turned me onto this release, calling it, “a great and free resource,” which seems like a great reason to pass it on. Reviews on iTunes are overwhelmingly good, too. The description says the 14-part course covers UI design, memory management, a model-view-controller paradigm, object-oriented databases, animation, power management, multi-threading, networking, and performance. And it’s free through iTunes U.
Apple recently decided iPhone screen repairs by third-parties don’t fully void your warranty anymore. Affected iPhone will also qualify for warranty coverage as long as the repair isn’t related to the third-party display itself. Before, iPhones with third-party displays weren’t eligible for authorized repair under warranty from an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
Amazon filed a motion to block a search warrant demanding recordings from an Echo in its ongoing fight to protect user privacy. The warrant is part of a Bentonville, Arkansas homicide investigation, and Amazon says communication with the Echo and its Alexa voice interface are protected as free speech by the First Amendment.
I had an interesting app cross my desk this week called I’m Coming. It’s a GPS-based app that will automatically send updates to people letting them know how far away you are. For instance, you’re driving across country to visit your family. I’m Coming will notify the people you designate on your progress. No texts to and from you while you’re driving. And your family doesn’t have to bug you or wait for you to let them know where you are. Or, you’re driving across town for an important meeting. Same thing, rather than (illegal) texts in the middle of city driving, I’m Coming will notify your peers. [Edit: Or the kids you’re going to pick up. Think—be ready when I show up.] It’s an interesting idea that I haven’t seen in an app. It lets you save both your contacts and trips, and users can customize their messages, notification intervals, and profile. This app was developed by Don Kimenker—long-term Mac fans might remember him as the publisher of MacAddict magazine. The app is a free download—some features require an in-app purchase of $2.99.
In the weeks since his inauguration, there has been much discussion about President Trump’s relationship with the media. Rightly so. Media is not alone in feeling the affects of the chaotic political climate that we are currently experiencing. The ramifications are also clear in tech, where companies have struggled with balancing politics and business, even as the two intersect one another like never before.
Siri started out with a female voice exclusively, but now it can be changed to male. Alexa uses only a female voice. Cortana’s voice, for now, is strictly female. Why is that? Is it sexism? Is it for better intelligibility? John looks into the matter.
If you’re like Jeff Butts, spring fever is starting to hit. Maybe it’s the unseasonably warm weather much of the country has been enjoying. Whatever the cause, it’s time to start thinking about enjoying outdoors activities. So, Jeff has brought together his curated list of the top five apps for those outdoors excursions.
Amazon thinks smart home devices shouldn’t be used for government surveillance, and is going to court to keep Echo Alexa requests out of police hands. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at Amazon’s argument and the impact in-home listening products are having on freedom of speech and privacy.
Apple released a new update for the iPhone and iPad iTunes Remote app on Thursday that adds two-factor authentication support when signing in to Home Sharing. The 4.3.1 update enhances security when remote controlling iTunes on our Macs because who decides which songs we listen to is seriously important.
We have a deal today on Disk Drill PRO 3, a data recovery utility for the Mac. According to the company, you can “scan and recover data from virtually any storage device with just the click of a button.” Our deal is for a lifetime license—which includes all minor and major upgrades to the app— for $34.99. You can find more information about the software on the deal listing.
Recently, John Martellaro took a philosophical tour of the idea that Apple might well want to discontinue some products that we’ve become fond of. The pros and cons. One reader asked what the pros would be to sending the Mac Pro into extinction. John tries to answer that question.
When you’re looking for an iTunes replacement, you want something that can do just about everything Apple’s software can do, but better. WALTR has been a good contender in this arena, and WALTR 2 offers functionality that iTunes doesn’t. The question is, does it work as designed? Come along with Jeff Butts as he reviews WALTR 2 and uncovers how well it performs.
Mac users hoping to score Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Microsoft Office for free through BitTorrent sites are in for an ugly surprise thanks to a new ransomware making the rounds. The ransomware, called OSX/Filecoder.E, encrypts the contents of victim’s hard drives and demands payment in Bitcoin, but there isn’t any way to actually decrypt and recover files.