Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Thoughts on the Productivity of Apple Employees

· · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, Fast Company published an article on “Why Employees At Apple And Google Are More Productive.” It’s probably true. John Martellaro dug into the article and found things to like as well as things to expand on based on his own experiences.

The Future of the MacBooks Looks Good. Mac Pro Not So Much

· · Link

2016 macbook pro minidisplayport

Lately, whenever a discussion of the Mac’s future comes up, there are two common themes. Apple remains enthusiastic about mobility and MacBooks/Pros. Likely the iMac as well. But concerns about the desktops, specifically the headless Mac Pro and Mac mini, have gone from dire to hopeless. Particle Debris page 2 points to two very good articles that explore the situation with the Mac line in general and also the Mac Pro’s fate in particular.

TMO Background Mode Encore: Former Apple Senior Director Michael Gartenberg

· · Background Mode Podcast

Michael Gartenberg

Michael Gartenberg is currently the analyst in residence for iMore.com. Before that, he spent three years as Apple’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, reporting directly to Senior VP Phil Schiller. In his second appearance on Background Mode, we caught up on the latest news and things we couldn’t get to last summer. Michael told me about the nuances of being an Apple marketing manager and Apple’s different marketing groups. He explained how one just has to already know what to do as an Apple employee. Then he discussed his fondness for the iPhone SE and delved into its sales numbers and merits. Finally, we moved on Apple’s October 2016 “Hello Again” event, explored the new MacBook Pro, computer touch philosophy and the Microsoft Surface Studio impact. Michael tells a joke.

An Ingenious Flying Car Concept From Airbus

· · Cool Stuff Found

When we think about flying cars, an idea that goes back more than 50 years, we often think of awkward technical concepts. Where does one stow the wings when driving? How does the designer efficient.y handle the propulsion for both roads and air? Airbus has come up with an ingenious solution, brilliant in fact. The autonomous drone comes and lifts the passenger module away. Digital Trends has the story and the demo video. It’s still just a concept, and a real product is 7 to 10 years away, according to Airbus. And then there’s the issue of FAA regulations even if it’s autonomous in all modes. Could be very cool. And no more sitting idle in rush hour traffic.

An Ingenious Flying Car Concept From Airbus

HP Caters to Creative/Tech Pros with Z2 Mini PC

· · In-Depth Review

HP Z2 Mini

Hewlett-Packard’s new Z2 Mini is a next generation PC. With an option for a fast Xeon CPU, strong M620 graphics than can drive four 4K displays, 32 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD on the M.2 bus and room for an additional internal hard disk, it’s a small, beautiful, powerhouse that’s aimed at creative professionals. And it won’t make your credit card melt. John Martellaro offers his perspectives in this occasionally geeky and unconventional review.

Award Winning Science Visualizations for 2017

· · Cool Stuff Found

These days, it’s easy to collect a lot of data in the course of a research project. And, often, that big data collection is hard to interpret and glean new insights from by data analysis alone. That’s where scientific visualization comes in. Here’s a site that celebrates those images which are frequently just plain beautiful as well. From the website: “The Wellcome Image Awards are Wellcome’s most eye-catching celebration of science, medicine and life. Now in their 20th year, the Awards recognise the creators of informative, striking and technically excellent images that communicate significant aspects of healthcare and biomedical science.” Check it out.

Award Winning Science Visualizations for 2017

Lack of Products Means Absence of Product Vision by Apple

· · Link

MacBook-iPad side by side

Soon after the first iPhone was launched, it was fairly easy to see that it would, by its design, eventually subsume the iPod. We watched it coming and expected iPod sales to wither. But in the case of the iPad and the Mac, the progression isn’t so clear. In these uncertain times, Apple could do a lot, with marketing and product rollouts, to provide warmer fuzzies about the roadmap (without spilling any secrets). Page one of Particle Debris set up the discussion, and page two cataloged some cases about how Apple’s lack of messaging, via product design, is creating customer angst.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Six Colors Editor-in-Chief Jason Snell

· · Background Mode Podcast

Jason Snell

Jason Snell is one of the best known Apple technical journalists. He’s the Editor-in-Chief of the Apple focused website Six Colors, and he told me the intriguing story about how that name came to be. Previously he was Senior VP and editorial director at IDG, publishers of Macworld, PCWorld, and TechHive. Jason always knew he wanted to be a journalist, and he told me the story about, as a kid, standing on his back porch in a rainstorm and pretending to do a live TV weather report. In 1991, he created InterText, one of the first online fiction magazines. Today, Jason writes and podcasts about everything Apple. In our show, Jason shared his thoughts about many of the most timely and pressing topics related to Apple today: the Mac and iPad futures and the Apple TV.

Apollo 11 Space Capsule Goes on a New Mission

· · Cool Stuff Found

NASA’s Apollo 11 space capsule “Columbia” took astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to lunar orbit and safely back home in July 1969. The fiftieth anniversary of that trip is coming up soon, so the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is going to put the 13,600 pound capsule on display in four major U.S. cities starting late this year and continuing into 2019. This article at NPR has the story, the cities and the dates. (Image credit: Smithsonian.)

Apollo 11 Space Capsule Goes on a New Mission

Apple, Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney and the Future

· · Link

Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson was the Apple VP of retail sales, and sales were booming. Then, in 2011, he took the offer to be the CEO of J.C. Penney. He tried to bring the modern concepts he learned at Apple to JCP, but “people there were entrenched and resist[ed] him.” He was let go in 2013. Now, J.C. Penney is going to close 140 stores. Did Mr. Johnson push JCP too hard, too fast? Can the company ever commit the resources it needs to go toe-to-toe with modern online retailers? Will JCP survive? It’s all in Particle Debris page 2.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with CNET Senior Editor & TV Reviewer David Katzmaier

· · Background Mode Podcast

David Katzmaier

David Katzmaier is a CNET Senior Editor and TV reviewer, something he’s been doing for most of his career. He started at a small review website in New York and, later, a friend went to CNET and brought David on board where he’s been since about 2000. David is an expert on TV technology, and so we delved into the Retina effect, generic High Dynamic Range (HDR), Dolby Vision, 10-bit color, TV brightness levels, color gamuts, Hybrid Log Gamma, edge lighting (with light guides) vs. local dimming, the pros and cons of OLED vs. LCD, H.265 compression, 120 Hz refresh sample and hold, 4K streaming standards and the best time of year to buy a new TV. Phew! If you’re into UHD/TV tech, you’ll love this grand tour of today’s state-of the-art.

7 Reasons For Apple to Discontinue the Mac Pro

· · Editorial

2013 Mac Pro.

Recently, John Martellaro took a philosophical tour of the idea that Apple might well want to discontinue some products that we’ve become fond of. The pros and cons. One reader asked what the pros would be to sending the Mac Pro into extinction. John tries to answer that question.

The Pros and Cons of Legacy Apple Products Going Extinct

· · Editorial

Apple Store - Aspen Grove

It seems that there is just as much fuss about Apple products that seem to be on the verge of extinction as there is about exciting new products. John looks at the economics and psychology of Apple dropping beloved products like certain Macs, Airport base stations, displays and other devices that we’ve come to depend on. Are we on the verge of a new age of Apple?

Here’s the TV Set-Top Box Apple Could Have Built: Caavo

· · Editorial

Caavo

There are exciting new technologies coming with 4K/UHD TVs. But the basic problems persist in the connection, operation and content selection amongst all the different kinds of sources and boxes. The TV industry and parochial interests, even Apple’s, haven’t made things better. It’s going to require an independent company, deep thinking and brillant engineering to solve the problem. Caavo may be it.

Returning to U.S. With iPhone? What Are Your Rights?

· · Link

Border/Customs inspection

When returning to the U.S. from travel, border agents may select you for various reasons for a more detailed questioning. Your smartphone may be requested. You may be asked to unlock it for agents to inspect. What are your rights in this case?  Two interesting articles at The New York Times and ars technica go into considerable legal detail about what might happen if you refuse to cooperate. The links and more are on page 2 of Friday’s Particle Debris.