Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

The High Cost of Being Loyal to Apple

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple iPhone XS

This week’s Particle Debris leads with an interesting aspect of being loyal to Apple and how much that costs.

The Marvel Series Cancelled by Netflix Won't Be on Disney+ Anytime Soon

· John Martellaro · Link

Iron Fist (Marvel).

Here’s the opening of a detailed story from Variety.

Fans of the Marvel Television series recently canceled by Netflix who hope to see the shows revived on Disney+ may be out of luck.

Sources tell Variety that the deal for the original four Marvel shows includes a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation. That means that “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” and “Iron Fist” — which were all canceled this year at Netflix — could not come to the Disney streaming service until 2020 at the earliest.

Iron Fist image credit: Marvel.

Predictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2019

· John Martellaro · Link

AI concept

If you think AI technology is amazing and revolutionary, this article may well make your head spin. At Forbes, Lauren deLisa Coleman writes: “Fasten your seatbelts. Here’s what a few influencers in the arena say is on tap for 2019.” One that caught my eye is the open sourcing of AI code. (What could go wrong?)

Disney's Millennium Falcon Attraction Launches in 2019

· John Martellaro · Link

Disney Millennium Falcon ride.

Digital Trends writes: “The Millennium Falcon has arrived. After two years of construction, Han Solo’s ride is all set for takeoff at Disneyland’s upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction, revealed in a behind-the-scenes image posted on the official Disneyland Instagram account.” I have a good feeling about this.

Review: Lynktec TruGlide Duo Stylus Pen

· John Martellaro · Quick Look Review

Lynktec TruGlide Duo Stylus Pen

The Lynktec TruGlide Duo Stylus Pen has been redesigned. It’s elegant in design, built well, and features both a ballpoint pen and a microfiber stylus.

AI Will Lead to Self-Designing Machines

· John Martellaro · Link

Mars probe InSight on Mars

At ars tecnnica: “Manufacturing is in the early stages of a state of disruption brought on by technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing.” This fascinating discussion lays out a future in which humans and AIs partner to design machines which, in turn, redesign themselves on the job.  Amongst all the other possibilities, this would come in very handy for remote space probes and landers.

For example, a robot on Mars might detect very loose sand and determine it cannot move about efficiently to complete its mission,” explains Ben Schrauwen, co-founder and CTO of Oqton, an autonomous manufacturing platform.”The robot could learn to suggest different modalities on how to move in that environment, and, with 3D printing technology and some local robotics, it’s very conceivable that the robot could reconfigure itself at a distance to continue its mission unimpeded.”

Could Siri, someday, rewrite parts of iOS on the fly?

TMO Background Mode Special Edition #5 With Former Apple Executive Michael Gartenberg

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Michael Gartenberg

Michael Gartenberg spent three years as Apple’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, reporting directly to Senior VP Phil Schiller. In his fifth encore appearance on Background Mode, Michael and I chat about Apple’s 2018 fall lineup of products. We talked about the Apple AirPower, still MIA. We examined the new 2018 MacBook Air and how the 2015 McBook was supposed to be the MBA successor—and failed. We looked at the new iPad Pros and how they may have broken through a computational barrier that will allow new capabilities. Finally, we looked at Apple’s 2018 iPhone product strategy as well as the corporate decision to suppress unit sales numbers. Michael is well versed in Apple marketing strategies and is always a delight to have on the show.

Microsoft's Edge Browser Coming to macOS

· John Martellaro · Link

Microsoft Edge browser

Ever since Satya Nadella took over Microsoft as CEO, the company’s mantra has been to bring its tools and solutions to all popular platforms, not just Windows. This will be the case in 2019 with Microsoft’s Edge browser coming to macOS. It’s going with the Chromium flow. TechCrunch explains.

10 Things We Wish Apple Would Do in 2019

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Making a list. Checking it twice.

Just because a focus of Apple is making metric boatloads of money doesn’t mean that worthy projects that surprise and delight the customer must remain off the table.

Mixpanel: Numerous Insights Into iPhone Customer Behavior

· John Martellaro · Link

Apple iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max

Jonny Evans at Apple Must reports on the recent findings of Mixpanel. The results are interesting. Quoting author Evans:

1. Apple’s iPhone 7 series smartphones remain the most widely used model of the company’s smartphones even as iOS 12 adoption across the iPhone user base is around 75 percent, according to the latest Mixpanel data.

2. A cursory glance at the company’s iPhone model data seems to prove what I’ve been hearing anecdotally myself: Apple’s iPhone users are navigating to a 2-3-year upgrade cycle.

3. Mixpanel claims around 1/20 iPhone users are now on an iPhone XS/Max with around one-third of that number now on the recently-released iPhone XR.

Item #3 appears to contradict Apple’s assertion about the relative sales of iPhone XR. Fascinating.

HDR For 4K/UHD TV: These Cool Diagrams Walk Us Through It

· John Martellaro · Analysis

HDR Tracker logo

If you’re in the market for a new 4K/UHD TV, an understanding of High Dynamic Range (HDR) is essential to make sure all your equipment is compatible. John points us to a very helpful resource.

TMO Background Mode Interview with Smile Software Evangelist Jeff Gamet

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Jeff Gamet on Background Mode

Jeff Gamet is the former Managing Editor of The Mac Observer (TMO), a position he held for 13 years. He’s also a book author and noted podcaster. Recently, he left TMO to become the Smile Software TextExpander Evangelist.

I asked Jeff to tell the TextExpander story, what it does, why it’s essential, and how to get it. Then we chatted at length about his job transition process. That meant new tools, new logins, a new daily routine, a new team and new boss. I asked Jeff about the biggest challenge he faced as well as how what he learned at TMO carried over to his new job. I also asked Jeff how he felt about the change in his “voice” and change in public profile. We closed with some things Jeff will be doing in his new position at Smile.

Former World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov is Upbeat About AI

· John Martellaro · Link

Gary Kasparov

Gary Kasparov, former world chess champion (1985-2000), is upbeat about the future of AI in this article at ZDNet. He says:

AI is a tool, it’s a technology it’s not a harbinger of utopia or dystopia, it’s not a magic wand it’s not the terminator, it’s a tool. And at the end of the day how you use a tool will determine our future.”

This is a thoughtful, well-written article. Mr. Kasparov does much to bring a steady frame of mind to the technical issues and natural human fears.

Kasparov prefers the term ‘augmented intelligence’ because he sees that as a more precise way to describe human-machine collaboration, and also that ‘artificial’ sounds a bit too scary. He says he is an optimist by nature and sees the fear of AI as a psychological obstacle we need to overcome.

What Apple Has in Store For Us in 2019

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Starting the future:2019

Apple has delivered a great product lineup for the 2018 holidays. Now, it’s time to look forward to 2019.

Apple Heads Into the Holidays With a Particularly Strong Lineup

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple and a Big Pile of Cash

After what looked to be a rather bleak year in terms of new Apple products, the company came out swinging this fall with a strong overall lineup of Macs, iPads and iPhones. John sizes up Apple’s prospects.

What Comes After Wearables? Hearables

· John Martellaro · Link

iPhone X and AirPods

“Gartner, Inc. forecasts that worldwide shipments of wearable devices will reach 225 million in 2019, an increase of 25.8 percent from 2018. End-user spending on wearable devices is forecast to reach $42 billion in 2019. Of that, $16.2 billion will be on smartwatches.” Most of that will likely be earned by Apple as its Apple Watch emerges as a very strong health and fitness monitor.

But what comes next? Gartner prognosticates. “However, Gartner predicts that by 2022, ear-worn devices (“hearables”) shipments will take over as the top wearables segment with 158 million units shipped compared with 115 million smartwatch shipments in 2022.” This kind of makes sense as, more and more, we’ll be chatting with smarter, more intuitive AIs.  The link has a table of sales predictions for the out years.

Elon Musk Might Move to Mars. You Could Join Him

· John Martellaro · Link

The planet Mars.

For an estimated US$200,000 you could pack up and move to Mars some time after 2024 via SpaceX. Elon Musk might even join you. “Musk told Axios there’s a ’70 percent’ [chance] he’ll make the voyage to the red planet. When asked why he’d [go] in light of the dangers, Musk said, “There’s lots of people that climb mountains. You know, why do they climb mountains? Because people die on Mount Everest all the time. They like doing it for the challenge.”