Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Some Very Cool Images from Space

· · Cool Stuff Found

Here’s a nice collection, “The Week’s Coolest Space Images.” From spectacular dunes on Mars to the Guatemala volcano eruption. photos like these help us visualize and tell a story that can’t be appreciated with just words. And they also punctuate the importance of satellites that can observe the surface of planets. Not to mention the science. Check it out.

Some Very Cool Images from Space

macOS Mojave: the Complete Reference

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macOS Mojave

Particle Debris page 2 highlights two articles that provide a detailed review of macOS Mojave features. Afterwards, it’ll be clear that Apple has done an amazing job with this new version of macOS. I call it the “wow-factor.”

TMO Background Mode Interview with Georgia Tech Roboticist Dr. Ayanna Howard

· · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Ayanna Howard is a professor of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology. She’s also in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Ayanna received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. I asked Ayanna how she became inspired by robot technology. Like many of us, it was via science fiction on TV. In graduate school, robotics was still immature, so she wisely elected to pursue electrical engineering. Her first job was at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) working on vision, fuzzy logic, and neural network methodologies. Today, she leads her students in the areas of assistive robots in the home, therapy gaming apps and remote robotic exploration of extreme environments. Our discussion covered the whole field of robotics, so tune in and hear all about the state-of-the-art from an accomplished roboticist.

iPhone X Shipments Continue to Dominate

· · Cool Stuff Found

Was there ever any doubt? Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has been maintaining all along, since it shipped, that the iPhone X is the best selling iPhone. But it’s also killing the competition as well. Business insider reports: “Thanks to the iPhone X and the iPhone 8, recent estimates show that Apple once again holds the top two spots for the most-shipped smartphone models in the world, debunking reports that demand for the iPhone X was lacking.” And here are the numbers. Oh, and by the way, the iPhone 8 was #2 for 1Q 2018.  Not bad.

iPhone X Shipments Continue to Dominate

macOS Mojave Has a 64-bit DVD Player App

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One of the things we’re doing lately is identifying our 32-bit apps in macOS High Sierra. Apple has said that High Sierra is the last macOS that will run 32-bit apps without compromise. Mojave is the last version of macOS that will run 32-bit apps at all.   And so, as we check our systems, (here’s how) planning ahead and identifying our 32-bit apps, the first thing we often notice is a 32-bit DVD player. Oh, no! What will we do?  Jonny Evans has the scoop in the link below. By the way, this all refers to watching video content on DVDs with the player. It as nothing to do, so far as I know, with the Finder’s ability to mount and read data DVDs.

Sizing Up Ron Johnson's Work, After Apple, at JCPenney

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Ron Johnson

Ken Segall, at The Observatory, takes retrospective look at Ron Johnson’s tenure as CEO of JCPenney. Recall Ron Johnson was Apple’s SVP of Retail Operations at Apple from roughly 2000 to 2011 and is believed to have been a major force in the success of Apple’s retail stores. In 2011, he was enticed to take the CEO position at JCPenney. Author Segall looks at how two CEOs did after Johnson was forced out in 2013. It’s a sparkling, fascinating look, in hindsight, about what Johnson tried to achieve, why he failed and why his successors also failed.

Fastest Supercomputer on Earth Now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

· · Cool Stuff Found

For several years now, Chinese supercomputers have been the fastest in the world. The list of the fastest supercomputers, at Top500.org, had been showing the U.S. falling behind. Recently the Oak RIdge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee announced that the new, IBM-built “Summit” supercomputer is capable of 200 petaflops. By comparison, a modern, fast desktop PC is in the teraflop class, making Summit about 200,000 times faster. ORNL’s release noted that uses for the machine include: “machine learning and deep learning to problems in human health, high-energy physics, [and] materials discovery. Summit allows [the Dept. of Energy] DOE and ORNL to respond to the White House Artificial Intelligence for America initiative.”

Fastest Supercomputer on Earth Now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

TMO Background Mode Interview with IDA Astronomer Dr. John Barentine

· · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. John Barentine on Background Mode.

Dr. John C. Barentine is an astronomer, historian, author and science communicator. He is currently the Director of Conservation for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) in Tucson, Arizona. He earned his master’s degree in physics at Colorado State University and his Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. Throughout his career, he’s been involved in education efforts to help increase the public understanding of science. We started with a brief segment on his early career as a observing specialist at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. In the second segment, we chatted about his work at the IDA in Tucson, the organization, its goals, and why it’s so important for all of us who live on planet Earth to be able to look up on a clear night and see stars.

TMO Background Mode Interview with Freelance Tech Journalist Rob Pegoraro

· · Background Mode Podcast

Rob Pegoraro is a freelance technical journalist who writes about interesting problems and possibilities in consumer technology. Previously, he was a technical columnist for the Washington Post from 1999 to 2011. Lately he has written for Yahoo Finance, USA Today and The Wirecutter. Rob graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1993 with a degree in international relations without taking a single course in journalism or computer science. But along the way he discovered his real talent: learning new things about computer tech and then explaining it to readers. Rob told me how his time with the Washington Post was both rewarding but also prepared him for a better family life as a freelancer. We chatted about Google I/O 2018, the Android platform, his writings about the FTC, the GDPR, 8KTV, and his recent DIY update of his 2009 iMac.

TMO Background Mode Interview with Mobile Nations Editor Russell Holly

· · Background Mode Podcast

Russell Holly on Background Mode.

Russell Holly is a Contributing and Managing Editor at Android Central, under the Mobile Nations umbrella. Formerly, he was with geek.com. Over the years Russell has become an Android expert with focus on mobility, smartphones, tablets … and iOS as well. He also writes about Virtual and Augmented Reality. I took the opportunity to ask Russell about the security aspects of Android, and he had some unexpected answers that will be of interest to Apple-centric listeners. (Get the scoop on Android from a genuine expert.) We also discussed Android’s “notch envy.” Moving on to Chrome OS, Russell explained what Google is doing with Android app integration and how that fits in with Google’s education initiatives. We finished with a revealing discussion of Virtual Reality and the future of Oculus Rift and the less expensive, stand alone Oculus Go.