August 13th is International Left Handers Day, which means it’s time to celebrate those the southpaws among us. Check out the tips, apps, and other products we rounded up to mark the occasion.
Recent Articles By Jeff Gamet [RSS]
Apple CEO Tim Cook had dinner with Donald Trump last Friday and there’s a good chance they discussed the the tariffs the White House is imposing on China.
Security researchers found a way to compromise a Mac out of the box before the user even logs in for the first time, but it’s hard to do, and has already been patched.
Dave Hamilton and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple’s ongoing problems with the 2018 Touch Bar MacBook Pro, and Pandora’s plan to improve podcast discoverability. John also inspires Jeff to coin the term “hackindog.”
Finding podcasts you’ll like is still mostly a word of mouth process and Pandora wants to change that. The streaming music service is working on what it calls the podcast genome project to help find shows you’ll like and enjoy, much like it already did for music. Pandora CEO Roger Lynch told The Verge, “We’re building for podcasts what we did for music, which is the podcast genome. So that we can present to you, as a Pandora listener, a personalized experience that will delight you just like we do with music.” Considering how poor podcast discoverability is right now, there’s a good chance anything Pandora comes up with will be better. You can check out more of Lynch’s comments on The Verge’s Converge podcast.
Apple addressed the processor throttling issue in the 2018 Touch Bar MacBook Pro, so now engineers can move on to the next problem: crackling speakers. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models seem to suffer a problem where buzzing or crackling sounds randomly happen when audio is playing on the laptop’s built-in speakers. From TNW:
It’s unclear at this time what’s causing the issue, although a source familiar with the matter tells TNW the company is aware of the issue, and looking into it. Finding the cause, though, could be troublesome. User reports, so far, are all over the map.
It could be a hardware problem, or it could be software. Regardless, it seems like Apple’s headaches with the new MacBook Pro models aren’t over yet. And all I got with my 2016 Touch Bar MacBook Pro was a defective keyboard design.
Some AV receivers from Denon and Marantz now support AirPlay 2 thanks to new firmware updates.
Doug Field left Tesla and is returning to Apple to work on Project Titan, Apple’s self-driving car, with Bob Mansfield.
Here’s a partnership I didn’t see coming: LEGO and Overwatch. Turns out that’s exactly what happened, and some time soon-ish we’ll be seeing Overwatch-themed LEGO kits on store shelves. Overwatch is a popular first-person shooter game, so it’ll be interesting to see exactly what path this takes. LEGO kits are pretty much a given, but it could also include a LEGO-themed Overwatch TV show, too. There isn’t any word on when we’ll see any products, but the fact that there’s a teaser webpage now tells me it’ll likely be late this year or early 2019.
Adam Christianson from the Maccast and Andrew Orr join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on whether or not Apple is doing enough to protect our privacy, plus they have some first impressions on Anki’s new Vector robot.
A design flaw in Comcast’s online payment portal exposed partial home addresses and social security numbers for 26.5 million customers. The flaw displayed the first number and street name for addresses, and the last four digits in social security numbers. Buzzfeed broke the news, and Comcast quickly patched the flaw. Comcast says no one exploited the flaw, and they had it patched within hours of learning about it. Still, the fact that nearly anyone had access to the information is pretty creepy.
Anki’s Cozmo is a fun fist-size robot for education and play, and now the company is taking its compact robots to the next level with Vector. Unlike Cozmo, Vector doesn’t need your smartphone to supplement its brain, and it uses artificial intelligence to learn. It’s also designed to be more of an assistant and can learn names and faces, as well as link to the internet to find answers to your questions. The idea is to make Vector your companion instead of just a robot toy. There’s a Kickstarter so you can get a Vector for US$199.99 on October 9th, and it’ll be available to the general public for $249.99 on October 12th.
Apple removed the Infowars podcasts from its iTunes listings citing hate speech violations, but is letting the Infowars Official app stay on its iPhone and iPad App Store. Why remove the podcasts, but not the app, since they all offer the same content? Even though the podcasts violate Apple’s guidelines, the app doesn’t. In a statement to Buzzfeed, Apple said,
We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all. We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously.
The problem here is that Apple’s App Store guidelines aren’t clear on this point, and they’re apparently different than the iTunes Store guidelines for podcasts. It’s confusing for content creators and consumers. Apple is well within its rights to block podcasts and apps for any reason, even if they’re arbitrary. I’d prefer, however, if Apple’s guidelines were clear and consistently enforced.
Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at Apple delisting the Infowars podcasts while leaving the app on the App Store, plus they share their thoughts on Apple’s deal for the Pachinko TV series and diversity in programming.
Apple’s latest addition to its original television lineup is a series based on Min Jin Lee’s best selling book Pachinko. The book chronicles the lives of a Korean that immigrated to the U.S., and Apple signed it into what Hollywood Reporter calls “a sizable script-to-series commitment.” HR adds,
Soo Hugh (who oversaw on season one of AMC’s The Terror) will pen the script for Apple as well as executive produce and serve as showrunner on the likely series. Pachinko hails from Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res, which is behind Apple’s upcoming Reese Witherspoon-Jennifer Aniston morning show drama and was the tech giant’s entry into the scripted space. Author Lee will also be credited as an executive producer on the Apple take.
I love how Apple is bringing diversity to its original TV show programming and is turning its back on the old-school white male-dominated television world.
Ariana Grande and Carpool Karaoke fans can rejoice because she just finished spending the day in the car with James Cordoe. Grande tweeted about how much fun she had and said she can’t wait for everyone to see what they recorded. She didn’t say if they recorded a segment for the Late Late Show, or if this was for Apple’s Carpool Karaoke series. I’m guessing it’s the former, which means we’ll get to see it pretty soon.
that was the best day ever @JKCorden thank you so much to you and your incredible crew and band and writers ! sm fun. can’t wait for y’all to seeeee what we been up to.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 8, 2018
CloudMagic is discontinuing its Newton email app on September 25th and refunding subscriptions to users.
Apple banned Alex Jones’s Infowars podcasts from the iTunes Store over hate speech violations, yet his Infowars app is still available on the App Store.
The website tagging service Instapaper is back up and running in the European Union after temporarily shutting down in May for General Data Protection Regulation compliance.
John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on Facebook asking banks for account information, plus the explore TSMC’s temporary chip production shut down for the WannaCry virus.