TMO Background Mode: Interview with Innovation Fellow for the TechCongress Dr. Chris Soghoian

· · The Mac Observer's Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Chris Soghoian is an expert on the technology and politics of privacy. Most recently he’s been the Principal Technologist with the ACLU. In 2017, he’s one of three Innovation Fellows for the TechCongress where he’ll assist in federal policymaking. Chris earned his Ph.D. with a research focus on the role internet and telephone companies play in enabling government surveillance, and he’s also known for his work with the FTC and the Do Not Track initiative. Chris started life as a tech geek, and computers were always a part of his life. That led to an undergraduate degree in computer science. Then he interned at Apple and IBM. But a significant event changed his direction in life, and he gained a newfound appreciation for attorneys. Chris makes some interesting observations about today’s assaults on our privacy.

Apple’s ‘Practically Magic’ Commercials Take Dancing Stroll with AirPods

· · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has new spots out with the tagline “practically magic.” The spots focus on a young dancer taking a Stroll through a city scape using AirPods to enjoy “Down” by Marian Hill. There are four spots in the series, the longer one below and three short ones. Two of the short ones focus on Siri and Pairing, while the third one is called Notes, and uses AirPods to represent notes on a staff. Stroll takes a whimsical look at the power of music by showing the dancer defy gravity. I think the imagery is compelling and the message simple and straightforward. Check it out.

Apple Music Wants to be Pop Culture Central with Music and TV Shows

· · News

Original TV shows coming to Apple Music in 2017

Apple Music front man Jimmy Iovine all but confirmed last week’s report that Apple is on the hunt for original scripted TV shows for the subscription service. He said Apple is looking for ways to set the streaming music service apart from Spotify, and that Apple Music is going to be a big part of the pop culture experience.

Next FlipBook Maker Pro for Mac: $39.99

· · TMO Deals

Next FlipBook Maker Pro for Mac

We have a deal today on Next Flipbook Maker Pro for Mac. This software helps you make PDFs and images into HTML5 flipbooks. It does Flash, too, but seriously, HTML5. You can embed YouTube, local video, music, images, buttons, charts, and hyperlinks, and it has batch conversion abilities, too. It’s priced at $39.99, which is 86% off retail. Check out the details on the deal listing.

ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion Coming to iPad in March

· · Cool Stuff Found

Feral Interactive announced Friday that ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion would be coming to iPad in March! This was originally an expansion for ROME: Total War on Mac and PC—Feral ported that game to iPad late last year. I’ve played ROME: Total War on iPad, and it’s an amazing conversion to a touch interface. Feral and its developers did a remarkable job. Barbarian Invasion was a terrific expansion of the original game, too, and I can’t wait for the iPad launch to suck ever more hours out of my life. 😂 Barbarian Invasion is set three centuries after the campaigns of the original game, and players can play either a barbarian commander out to bring Rome down, or a Roman general defending the empire. The game will be exclusively in the App Store in March at £3.99/US$4.99/€4.99.

ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion Coming to iPad in March

Chris Lattner Refutes Claim He Left Apple Over ‘Openness’

· · Analysis

Chris Lattner

Chris Lattner, Apple’s outgoing head of developer tools, has refuted claims published by BusinessInsider that he left the company because of Apple’s focus on secrecy and closed systems. Mr. Lattner left Apple, where he was credited with heading development of Swift, for Tesla, where he will be working on self-driving cars.

Apple’s Underappreciated Technical Evolution

· · Particle Debris

TextExpander 6.1.3 with MacBook Pro Touch Bar support

Apple periodically comes out with The Next Big Thing. Along the way, however, the company makes incremental changes that also make our lives better. How those many advancements accumulate to positively affect our lives depends on how often we upgrade. Meanwhile, the punctuation of big product events keeps us coming back for more. It’s all in a delicate balance, perceived in our flow of time.

DONKEY.APP for iPhone and Apple Watch Recreates Bill Gates’s DOS Classic

· · Cool Stuff Found

Can you kick it old school enough to remember DONKEY.BAS? It was one of the first racing games on DOS, and it was coded by a young tech exec named Bill Gates. Maybe you’ve heard of him. In any event, XVision has recreated this game on iPhone and Apple Watch, and they call it DONKEY.APP. It’s a, “super simple but frustratingly hard retro arcade game, inspired by Bill Gates’ one-and-only DOS game.” The player is a old-fashioned race car, only there are beasts of burden standing on the road. The player taps to change lanes to avoid the beasts, making it a game all about precise timing. It’s not particularly easy, either. Retro gaming is all the rage, and you can revisit this slice of tech history for US$0.99. I’d love to know your thoughts.

DONKEY.APP for iPhone and Apple Watch Recreates Bill Gates’s DOS Classic

Control Your Devices with Screens 3 for Mac: $12.99

· · TMO Deals

Screens 3 for Mac

We have a deal today on Screens 3 for Mac, a virtual network client (VNC) that lets you control all of your computers from your Mac. You can connect to a Mac, Windows or Linux PC from anywhere in the world. Run apps on any of your computers’ displays, send and receive content, and get work done while traveling light. You can get this software through us for $12.99, more than half off retail.

Cellebrite Hacked, Reaffirming Apple’s iOS No-backdoor Stance

· · Analysis

Cellebrite's servers hit with data breach

A year ago the FBI was pushing to force Apple into making a hackable version of iOS for a terrorist investigation while claiming the code would stay secure. Now Cellebrite—the company the FBI reportedly hired to break through the iPhone’s encryption—has been hacked, validating Apple’s concerns the tools would eventually leak.

Opera Reinvents the Web Browser with Neon for Mac and Windows

· · Cool Stuff Found

Opera thinks the current state of web browsers kind of sucks, and they’re pretty much right. Instead of just complaining, however, they developed a now browser concept where they can experiment with different interface ideas. They’re calling the browser Opera Neon, and it’s available for Mac and Windows users to try out. Neon does away with familiar elements like tabs in favor of bubbles that float at the edge of your display. Performance is a little slow right now, but it’s a concept platform and not a finished product. You can download Neon for free at the Opera website.

macOS Tip: Option-Click Wi-Fi Icon For Details

· · Tips

Screenshot of W-Fi Option Menu with Labels

Here’s a handy tip so you can quickly access information about your router, and see if your network is performing well. See your BSSID, signal-to-noise ratio, and even the transmit rate between your router and computer. All it takes is a press of a button and a click of your trackpad/mouse.