Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Apple’s Mac Lineup: Judge, Jury and Execution

· · Particle Debris

A woman using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

This week, there has been a boatload of commentary about Apple’s October 27 “hello again” event. And then Apple SVP Phil Schiller responded in an interview. John takes a look at the most persuasive arguments both for (defendants) and against (prosecutions) of Apple’s approach to the Mac and the event presentation itself. Finally, he offers his verdict.

The Delightful Physics of 100,000 Rolling Marbles

· · Cool Stuff Found

According to Digg, “Jelle Bakker devotes his life to creating awesome marble runs and races to satisfy our craving for… marbles. His latest offering — 100,000 dang marbles rolling down a course at the same time — is as satisfying as ever.” For those who like to think about the physics of entropy, this is a must see. Anyone want to write the equations of motion?

The Secret Future for Apple's Touch Bar

· · Link

Touch Bar Retina MacBook Pro with USB-C ports

Apple’s revolutionary Touch Bar on the new, 2016 MacBook Pros required a lot of engineering development. It uses an ARM sub-processor and a variation of watchOS. But most importantly, it forms the basis for a new system architecture, according to Apple SVP Phil Schiller. It could create things heretofore not even envisioned. Particle Debris page 2 points to an exclusive C|NET interview with Mr. Schiller who explains why it took four years to develop.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Serial Entrepreneur Mark Fuccio

· · Background Mode Podcast

Mark Fuccio 600sq

Mark Fuccio has had a distinguished career in tech. He started with an B.S. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. After graduation, he joined Philips Labs in Briarcliff, NY. He’s been a marketing manager at Silicon Graphics, Inc. and a senior director at Drobo, Inc. for Products and Markets. We chatted about the evolution of Unix workstations, the early days of Unix GUIs, how CPU and GPU technology advanced, how Apple moved to (BSD) Unix and Intel and turned the tables on the workstation industry (along with Microsoft). We also chatted about the philosophy of marketing as well as technical issues related to storage—and how Drobo solved those problems. Mark tells the story about a career in which he followed his vision, worked with startups, and created his own path to this day. Geekfest!

Hitler is Outraged by Apple's 'hello again' Event

· · Cool Stuff Found

Hitler has a long history of responding with outrage to various tech industry events. But this time, he’s particularly acid in his response to Apple’s October 27 “hello again” event. “OK. OK. They always start with the small stuff. What were the big announcements?” When his staff has to to tell him that all we got was a new pair of MacBook Pros with a Touch Bar, Hitler goes on a rampage that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. Check it out.

Hitler is Outraged by Apple’s ‘hello again’ Event

Microsoft Takes Apple by Surprise, Pours on the Heat

· · Columns & Opinions

The contrast between Microsoft’s October 26 event and Apple’s October 27 event has the PC industry in a buzz. Observers who have been diehard Apple fans are casting jealous eyes towards the new Microsoft products. Meanwhile, some observers who have been against Apple for political reasons are making some solid observations that don’t have the traditional earmarks of being self-serving and misinformed. John explores.

Apple's 'Hello Again' Event Wasn't About the Mac After All

· · Editorial

2016 MacBook Pro

During Apple’s “Hello Again” event, Apple spent an hour and 25 minutes talking about several cool things. The new MacBook Pros are very nice—but they were the only major Mac announcement.  In contrast, the event tagline suggested that Apple would say something important about the “Mac” as a product. Instead, the vacuum persisted and Apple elected to take a stand, instead. on how it sees the MacBook Pro catering to the pro market with the Touch Bar.

Tim Cook: Giving Up Privacy with Siri and AI is a False Choice

· · Analysis

Apple logo and really smart tin robot

The best analyst questions during Apple’s Q4 2016 Financial Results came from Simona Jankowski with Goldman Sachs. She asked Tim Cook about his perspective on home vs. mobile artificial intelligence agents and then the issue of privacy. Tim Cook took a solid stand on both questions that reveal the future direction of Apple.

Anticipation and Joy: Abusing Autonomous Cars For Fun

· · Particle Debris

Autonomous car concept

We tend to think of robots and AI agents as potentially threatening. But when they’re specifically charged with protecting the human passengers in autonomous cars, there could be some serious shenanigans by aggressive drivers. Even abuse. What if one of those autonomous cars, in turn, does something unexpected? John looks at a mind-numbing scenario.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Author and Podcaster David Sparks

· · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode: David Sparks

David Sparks is a business attorney, Macworld author, podcaster and all around Apple product expert. He’s one of those people who started on one path—an aerospace engineering student—then changed gears to become a law student at Pepperdine University. David tells the story of his law school years and how people often think of law school as more onerous than it really is. His original plan was to be a prosecutor, but then he found that business law for small companies was much more satisfying. We chatted about his interest in all things Mac and the dawn of his Mac Power Users podcast with Katie Floyd in 2009. Today, David is a popular speaker and a fixture in the Mac Community with 346 podcasts and several books. Come take a career journey with me and David.

Apple and IBM Partnership: Macs, iOS and Watson Are The Glue

· · Particle Debris

IBM's Watson supercomputer

IBM and Apple have been partnering with each other for some time now. The action continues with Macs finding great favor within IBM. Also, education initiatives continue. Finally, IBM’s Watson has to be giving Apple some big ideas. This has the signs of becoming one of the most productive partnerships ever, amongst former rivals, in the tech industry.

Apple Will Likely Let the 2013 Mac Pro Quietly Die

· · Editorial

There was a time when Apple was into powerful headless Macs for technical professionals. Those who wanted their own multiple displays and great expandability. Lately, Apple seems to have lost interest in that market and focussed on mobility. There is a smattering of hopeful signs, but John Martellaro thinks the Mac Pro is headed for the annals of Apple history.

Performance Tests: Every iPhone Ever Made

· · Cool Stuff Found

“The iPhone 7 is said to be 120 times faster than the original 2G, which came out a whopping nine years ago—that’s a lot of progress in less than a decade.” So begins a terrific suite of tests on every iPhone Apple has shipped: boot time, speed benchmarks, camera quality (and low light performance), Touch ID response, camera launch times, operating temperature, sound output, and more.  What a nifty video—and nicely narrated. Nine years of iPhone development before our eyes.

The Apple and Intel Affair. An Excedrin Headache

· · Link

Concept of Macintosh, MacBook Pro with OLED strip

History will probably record that the delay in Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro/Air involved the development of some new Apple technologies getting out of sync with Intel’s CPU/GPU roadmap. First, we know that Apple elected to skip a CPU generation, waiting for Skylake with Thunderbolt 3 support. Recently, a leaked Intel roadmap and some analysis of the integrated GPU cycle explains why Apple may have to wait again until 2018 for it’s next major refresh. Particle Debris page 2 explores Apple’s Intel headache.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Developer Community Manager Chuq Von Rospach

· · Background Mode Podcast

Chuq Von Rospach worked for Apple for nearly 20 years, starting in 1989. In the mid-1980s, he landed first at Sun Microsystems and worked on the launch of early Sun workstations. Thanks to that work, and his boss going over to Apple, Chuq followed. At Apple, they developed Apple’s first paid technical support organization for Apple’s A/UX (Unix) system for the Motorola 68K Macs. Chuq has great stories to tell about Apple’s ill-fated but legendary Network Server, Mac executive Jean-Louis Gassée, the disastrous Apple CEO Michael Spindler, the failed attempt to sell Apple to Sun in 1996, the acquisition of NeXT and return of Steve Jobs. You want Apple stories? Chuq has ’em!

What Will We Do When Siri Picks Our Pocket?

· · Particle Debris

Hal9000 eye

A major problem with Artificial Intelligence (AI) development is that a time might come when AI’s are able to learn and teach themselves faster than humans can manage them. Recently, President Obama suggested AI’s that aren’t properly constrained and regulated could be unleashed on unsuspecting citizens and severely disadvantage them. Figuring out when to step in will be the great 21st century challenge for governments.