Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

Apple at Cannes, Essential Reality, 2nd HomePod and AirPlay 2 vs. Soundbar - ACM 464

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Apple Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts is going to be interviewed at Cannes Lions, but the person interviewing her is an Apple employee. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet think that’s a little weird. In hindsight, they also think it’s weird that Andy Rubin thought he could make money making Android hardware, an Essential(ly) bad idea. In the third segment, Jeff helps Bryan spend money when picking between a 2nd HomePod and a soundbar now that AirPlay 2 is here.

Adjustable Pet Selfie Smartphone Attachment: $12.99

· · TMO Deals

Adjustable Pet Selfie Smartphone Attachment

Check out today’s deal, the Adjustable Pet Selfie Smartphone Attachment. It’s designed to hold a treat for your dog. You clip it onto your iPhone, where it holds the treat at an angle where your pet is then staring right at your camera lens for some next-level pet selfies. Well, you’re taking the photograph, so it’s not a selfie, per se, but heck yeah pet pics!

Oh Yeah, Sure. Time Crystals. Duh.

· · Link

Abstract Quantum Computer

A funny thing happened on the way to the quantum computer: someone looked at the qubit. No, seriously. They looked at the qubit, and the data that had been stored there changed (and was thus lost) because [quantum computing]. TheNextWeb has a super cool piece on “time crystals,” a real thing that might be what quantum computing needs to be more reliable and not stored near absolute zero. If you’re interested in quantum computing, definitely check out this article. Here’s a snippet:

One of the strangest things about qubits is they act differently when observed. Without a certain amount of coherency, any data transmitted, created, or stored in a quantum system could simply vanish the moment we try to look at it. According to the research, the solution might be the generation of time crystals in quantum bits, so that they’ll “want” to be coherent.

Check Out What 1999 Was Supposed to Look Like in 1967

· · Cool Stuff Found

Check out this great video called (rather ominously) 1999 AD. This was a promo film by the Philco-Ford corporation. Philco was a once-great electronics giant purchased by Ford in 1960, hence Philco-Ford. I’ve posted a couple of these videos, where 1960s companies predicted what the future would be like. This one is interesting, in part, because as far off as it is, it gets a lot of things surprisingly close. I mean, sure, 1999 wasn’t made up of remote workers living in honeycomb modular houses, but check out some of the networked computing ideas, health data being collected and analyzed, flat screens where a computer tells the lady of the house what she can fix and whether that meets their daily nutritional needs. Amara’s Law states, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” That’s certainly on display in this video, but you can glean so much about life in the past from looking at how they saw the future. Oh, and check out that super awesome Ford concept car in the opening minutes, right after the scary intro music and dystopian walk along the water’s edge. And remember this was released a year before The Planet of the Apes was released.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI: $29.99

· · TMO Deals

Screenshot from Civilization VI

We have a deal today on one of my favorite games: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI! This is a turn-based strategy/sim game where you guide your civilization from a city-state to the dominant power on Earth. The deal is for Civ VI on Mac or Linux on the Steam platform. It’s $29.99 through us. Check out the trailer.

Lovepop Has Star Wars Pop Up Greeting Cards, and They're Way Cool

· · Cool Stuff Found

Are you familiar with Lovepop? They make these amazing greeting cards with pop-up designs in the middle. Trees, bridges, hearts, flowers…there’s some amazing design and engineering going on. I’ve sent a few (with wax seals, because [Bryan]), and they get oohs and ahhs from the people I’ve sent them to. They’re just that good. Anyhoo, the company announced a new line of Star Wars designs on Friday, and they are also way cool. Chewy, an X-Wing fighter, a Stormtrooper, the Millennium Falcon, and Darth Vader and Obi Wan’s showdown. They’re super awesome, but you’re going to pay for that super awesome at $15 a Lovepop (see what I did there?). There’s a discount for buying several cards at once. Click through to the individual cards, and you can see images from different angles to give you an idea of just how amazing they are.

Lovepop Has Star Wars Pop Up Greeting Cards, and They’re Way Cool

Pay What You Want for the Coding 101 Bundle

· · TMO Deals

Pay What You Want: The Coding 101 Bundle

We have a new Pay What You Want deal for the Coding 101 Bundle, a package of training courses for developers wanting to start learning Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Java, HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Python, JQuery, and the GitHub repository. Pay anything, even a penny, and you’ll get one of the courses. Beat the average, and you’ll get all 10. Beat the leader, and you’ll be entered into a giveaway for $500 worth of Ethereum.

Leaked 2018 iPhone Images Begin

· · Cool Stuff Found

Mr. White's Leaked iPhone Image

It’s that time of year, time for leaked images of iPhone to appear on the Interwebs. Twitter user Mr. White posted a photograph (via BGR) of what he called “iPhone X 6.1 OLED,” though it’s frankly unclear if it’s actually an iPhone, actually OLED, or actually 6.1-inches. The next iPhone X is expected to be 5.8-inches, with a Plus model that’s 6.5-inches. That information is not from Apple, so keep a salt lick on hand when considering it. What is the case, however, is that this is about when Apple’s chain starts leaking photographs like this. It could be a real iPhone, it could be test-components for something Apple is messing about with in its labs, it could be a deliberate leak (maybe to flush out leakers), it could be Android device components, or it could be some kind of Apple knock-off component/device being hacked together in the back of a warehouse in China. It could be a prank, joke, lie, or image from 2015. Take your pick!

Mighty, the First On-The-Go Spotify Music Player: $79.99

· · TMO Deals

Mighty Spotify Player

We have a deal on Mighty, which bills itself as the first on-the-go Spotify music player. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled, Mighty can stream music without a smartphone. It also stores up to 1,000 songs for offline listening, and you can pair to Bluetooth speakers and headphones. It’s $79.99 through our deal.

A Typographer Excavates Original Mac Fonts and Finds Hidden Characters

· · Link

Chicago Bitmap

Check out this great piece by Ben Zotto at Medium. It’s about how he used an original Mac to study Susan Kare’s Chicago, Geneva, New York, and San Francisco fonts. He was looking to better understand the magic that was Chicago, the original proportional font on the Mac. What he found, though were sheep. I don’t want to give it away because it’s a good read, but here’s a snippet:

So what was that thing about the hidden sheep, anyway, you ask? Well, the deconstruction of the original Mac font resources revealed something puzzling: in several of the fonts — though not all of them — there is an unexpected secret character hidden alongside all the normal ones.

On Consumer Reports' Approach to Apple

· · Link

Consumer Reports

AppleInsider‘s Stephen Silver took a trip to Consumer Reports to talk about that magazine’s approach to Apple. It’s a very good read, full of direct information about some of CR’s high-profile criticisms of Apple’s report. Here’s a snippet:

This all said, there are a few things we conclude from our visit to Consumer Reports. Having viewed their testing process and met with their team, we are confident that they do not harbor a purposeful anti-Apple agenda, nor is there any sort of conspiracy against Apple afoot behind the CR walls. Their complete testing and evaluation process is conducted with integrity and in good faith.

However, there may very well be something about CR’s analytical, numbers-driven process that clashes with the design-heavy Apple ethos, and makes their conclusions about Apple products different from those of more traditional reviewers. Even so, this hasn’t stopped them from recommending most of Apple’s lineup.

Twitter Insanity, Apple's AI Showdown, FBI Exaggeration, Apple's HQ Hunt - ACM 463

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Twitter has lost its corporate mind, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet argue in this episode of ACM. They also weigh the importance of WWDC 2018 in terms of Siri, and discuss whether or not Apple has to announce significant improvements to remain competitive in AI. Then there’s the revelation that the FBI exaggerated the number of locked iPhones it couldn’t get into, and they squeeze in a fourth topic, too: Apple’s hunt for a new campus, and how it contrasts with Amazon.