Apple shipped macOS Sierra 10.12.3 on Monday. The update includes some relatively minor bug fixes, an issue with Adobe Premiere Pro on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, a PDF encryption fix, and more. The update also includes fixes for eight security flaws.
Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
Apple released iOS 10.2.1 Monday, as well as watchOS 3.1.3. The patch notes for both updates say they include, “bug fixes and improves the security” of your devices. There are no other features or improvements specified.
We have a deal for you today on MailButler Professional, a collection of plugins for Apple’s Mail.app. With these plugins, you can mark your emails as to-do items, snooze emails, track emails to find out if recipients have actually opened them, schedule emails to be sent at specific dates and times, and more. You can get a one year subscription to MailButler Professional through our deal for $14.99.
Have you been having issues with your AirPods battery indicator or pairing issues? Some users have reported that doing a factory reset helps with both. Bryan Chaffin walks us through how to do it.
We have a deal for you on Roxio Toast Titanium for $49. This software lets you capture video directly from your screen, portable devices, or the web. It also has video editing tools and the ability to create a DVD. It will convert videos, rip DVDs and CDs, and much more. Check out the details on the deal listing.
I’m all about how Apple ditches legacy technologies. Headphone jack? Haven’t missed it on my iPhone? Floppy disks? LOL. FireWire? OK, I miss that one (or the 5th generation we should have had by now), but I get it. Besides USB-C is pretty nifty. Magsafe, though, is a bit harder to understand. It has saved my MacBook Air uncounted times, and it’s so easy to plug it in. But, MagSafe is gone. So be it. There’ve been a few third party magnetic USB-C adapters, and I saw one on Kickstarter that’s getting some traction. It’s called MagNeo, a magnetic USB-C adapter that allows charging, data, and video, too. That makes it useful for applications beyond charging-only, which may be why it’s already raised $115,000. It’s a two-piece device machined from a solid piece of aluminum. One half goes in your MacBook or MacBook Pro, and the other half goes on the end of the cable you want to use it with. Watch the short video for more. Funding options start at $59 as of this writing.
Curious what the planet would look like if all the world’s ice melted? Let’s just say the topic has been on my mind lately. National Geographic did the math, with pictures to help us wrap our heads around it. If all the world’s ice melted—an extreme eventuality that would require thousands of years—sea levels would rise an estimated 216 feet. Unsurprisingly, what we know as “coast” today would become “offshore.” In North America, the Atlantic seaboard is gone, as is Florida. In my novel (set in 2139), the Philly Bay is a thing, but that was based on a model of just 22 meters (72 feet) in sea levels rising. In Nat Geo‘s more extreme model, the Central Valley in California becomes a giant bay. San Diego goes bye, bye, as does a little town in Texas called “Houston.” Nat Geo has detailed maps of all the continents, including the desert formerly known as North Africa, the desert formerly known as Australia, and parts of China that are currently home to some 600 million people. As noted above, this map represents the ultimate extreme of global warming, including melted Antartica ice sheets that have survived previous warming periods. The point, though, is that it’s fascinating to see what it might look like.
Check out Kult of Ktulu: Olympic. It’s a textual narrative game, but what hit me were the gorgeous graphics backing up the narrative. Players take on the avatar of a young girl named Elena on a ship crossing the Atlantic in the early 20th century. Elena is investigating the Kult in a world built from H.P. Lovecraft imagery. I haven’t played it yet, but it looks lush and delicious. It’s currently in the App Store as a free download with in-app purchases. It’s in Google Play, too, if that’s your poison.
Check out the FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth Earbuds. They’re water and sweat resistant, and automatically pair to your phone when pulled apart so you don’t have to go through any setup. They fully charge in 90 minutes, and offer up to 10 hours of playback. You can get them for $29.95 through our deal.
Civilization Vi got its first expansions Wednesday with the release of the Poland Civilization & Scenario Pack and Vikings Scenario Pack. The Polish pack includes the full Poland civilization, which includes the ability to take over tiles by fortifying their borders. The Poland scenario is a 60-Turn game where you defend Poland, Prague, and Vienna from Teutonic Knights and Ottoman Turks! Sounds awesome. The Viking Scenario includes new City-States with new benefits, and a 100-Turn game where you invade England, take Paris, find Vinland, or raid the Mediterranean. I’m slacking off from work just thinking about it. Each pack is $4.99, and is available through both Steam and the Mac App Store version of the game. Civilization VI itself was released in October for $59.99, and Wednesday’s update includes a variety of bug fixes, balance changes, AI tuning, and a new Earth map (standard size).
Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a plea for the incoming administration to protect Net Neutrality. Bryan and Jeff discuss whether that plea is likely to fall on deaf ears [spoiler: yes, it will]. They also discuss the implications of the Cellebrite hack, and the fact that Apple released two product updates this week.
Apple announced “major updates” to GarageBand for iOS and Logic Pro X on Wednesday (for NAMM), going so far as to issue a press release for the updates. The consumer-oriented GarageBand is getting the Alchemy synthesizer and a new browser for finding and using sounds. Apple’s professional DAW—Logic Pro X—gets support for Touch Bar, Track Alternatives, an updated interface, and other changes. Both updates are free.
Our friends at Stack Commerce have put together a deal on a one-year subscription to SelectTV. This internet-streaming service gives you browser access to some 300,000 TV episodes, 200,000 movies, 50,000 radio stations, and 5,000 live channels. The price for a one-year subscription through our deal is $24. There are more details on the deal listing.
Former Apple engineer Bob Burrough has been arguing that CEO Tim Cook has made Apple boring. In a combination of tweet storm and an interview with CNBC stemming from said tweetstorm, the engineer said Mr. Cook has eliminated conflict within Apple, sapping its vitality in the process. Mr. Burrough argued that Steve Jobs ruled with ever-shifting chaos, where product triumphed over hierarchy. Under Tim Cook, he said, Apple is siloed, smooth, and essentially complacent. Former Apple wunderkind Tony Fadell coincidentally tweeted just last week that Steve Jobs did not manage through conflict, and others have taken issue with Mr. Burrough, too. The reality is that any one person’s perspective never tells the whole tale, but his opinions make for an interesting read. You can see the whole tweetstorm in this tweet and in the CNBC story.
— ᴮᵒᵇ ᴮᵘʳʳᵒᵘᵍʰ (@bob_burrough) January 16, 2017
You folks probably know how much I love clever devices—we have a deal on one called Kinkoo 3-Outlet Surge Protecting Smart Power Strip. It’s a power strip with three AC outlets, but it also has four USB charging ports. That’s three standard USB charging ports and one USB-C charging port, making it good for new and legacy USB charging. It’s $24.99 through us.
The Daily Telegraph of London published a scathing condemnation of the European Union’s accusation that Ireland is giving Apple illegal state aid. The editorial breaks down the case against Ireland and Apple, characterizing the legal principles to be in violation of the EU’s own principles. Bryan Chaffin explains the whats and whos.
Hey, guess what? Your passwords probably suck. Most of our passwords suck, as shown in an analysis of 10 million passwords released in security breaches from 2016. Bryan Chaffin has some basic tips for improving your password security, and stern words for those who slack on this!
Samson announced Monday the QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier. It’s built to support four headphones at the same time, each with its own volume control. Desktop musicians and bands recording in a practice space or a garage should check it out because it offers a compact way for four musicians to monitor themselves. It also has a master volume and can flip between stereo and mono. It’s powered by an included power supply, and has two 1/4” balanced and one stereo 1/8” unbalanced input. The QH4 is priced at $69.99 and is available now.
You may have heard of the Mother of All Demos, especially if you’ve studied, or even read up on, computing history. But have you seen it? There is a video of this legendary event (via Reviewed.com), and I personally find it fascinating. Here’s why this is a thing. The demo was given by Doug Engelbart in 1968, when punch cards were how you interfaced with a computer. But in this demo, the world was shown (list via Wikipedia) windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, a collaborative real-time editor, and the computer mouse. The freaking computer mouse! None of these things existed outside the circle of people involved in the demo. It was huge. No, it was enormous. And many of the people in the demo went on to be involved in the Xerox PARC, which played a major role inspiring Jef Raskin and Steve Jobs for the Mac. The Mother of All Demos resonated through tech culture for decades, and it took decades to make most of that list above mainstream. If you like tech history, you should book some time to watch this. And if you do, think about the context of the times and be amazed. One last note, the typed story at the beginning explains how the movie itself was made.