Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Forget Foldable iPhones. How About Foldable MacBooks?

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Dennis Sellers at AppleWorld.Today offers an intriguimg proposition.

We hear rumors about upcoming iPhones with foldable screen. But what about Macs with bendable displays. Imagine a MacBook Pro with a screen that measured 13-inches when you’re, for example, on an airplane. Get to your hotel room, however, and you can unfold it to 17 inches or bigger.

Author Sellers makes a good case.

Robotics Video: Evan Rachael Wood Meets Sophia

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Westworld robot (HBO)

Mashable writes about an upcoming short film featuring two famous robots, one of whom is an actress and one is real.

Unless you live under a rock, you might know of the world’s most famous real-life humanoid, Sophia, the robot…

An enticing trailer for has recently come out for a short film called SophiaWorld starring HBO’s Westworld actress Evan Rachael Wood…

Television’s most famous Robot, actress Evan Rachel Wood, and arguably the world’s most famous real-life humanoid, Sophia the Robot, have a chance encounter in a swanky NY hotel bar…

The short film will premiere on September 4 on Futurism.com.

Facebook's Digital Currency, Libra, in Trouble

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Facebook in a big pile of money

The pushback against Libra is increasing. BBC News writes:

Financial bigwigs are upset because Facebook, a corporation, appears to want to take on a government-like role, creating a currency and perhaps even setting monetary policy.

Big Money is power. Facebook is trying to seize power at a governmental level. Sparks are gonna fly.

TMO Contributor Kelly Guimont - TMO Background Mode Interview

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Kelly Guimont on Background Mode.

Kelly Guimont is a long-time podcaster, Contributing Editor for The Mac Observer, the host of the Mac Observer’s Daily Observations podcast, a tech support guru, and a Founding Volunteer of App Camp for Girls.

Kelly first appeared here in December, 2015 to tell her career story and has returned many times for interesting technical and media discussions. In her 7th appearance, we chat about our favorite TV shows of late. John: Anne With an “E” (Netflix) and Outlander (Netflix). Kelly: Good Omens (Amazon), Stranger Things S3 (Netflix), and Battestar Galactica (SyFy). Join us as we explore together what’s great about these shows. We also put in a good word for Chuck Joiner’s new podcast Trek Favorites.

All About Apps Phoning Home. And Firewalls

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macOS Sierra firewall and Stealth mode protect your Mac from local network hackers

The Eclectic Light Company writes:

A few years ago, most Mac users had firewalls in their routers which blocked all incoming connections, and that was all they wanted. Over those years, we’ve increasingly installed software firewalls on our Macs to block outgoing connections. This article looks at some of the issues that arise from doing that.

The rules of the game keep changing, and this article brings us up-to-date.

After Bashing Apple, Samsung Caves, Deletes Headphone Jack

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The Verge writes:

… today’s just-announced Samsung Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t include the 3.5mm socket, even though it’s the phone that would have been most likely to keep it around….

Now, like some of its competitors, Samsung just has to pretend it never made fun of Apple for doing the same damn thing. Because even if you try to delete these videos, Samsung, the internet has a long memory.

The excuses explanations Samsung makes are hilarious.

The Cloud is Good for Mac Backups - Except Time Machine Files

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Many Mac users also back up everything to a cloud service. Glenn Fleishman at Macworld explains why Time Machine files should not be on your list.

Now you might think that on top of that … Time Machine or a local copy plus cloud archives … you should back up your Time Machine volume to an online cloud service too.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t play out in practice.

Glenn explains, in detail, why you shouln’t even think about that practice.

ZDNet Sr. Technical Editor Jason Perlow - TMO Background Mode Interview

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Jason Perlow is a a well-known technical journalist. He is also also a technologist with over two decades of experience in cloud computing, IoT, mobility, security, open source, enterprise systems architecture, Microsoft technology, and Software as a Service. Today, he is a Senior Technical Editor at ZDNet and an Information Security Threat Writer at Proofpoint.

Jason started his tech life at age 12 with an Apple II Plus thanks to a very technical father. But after college, Jason was hired by IBM and years later by Microsoft. The result was a standoffish approach to Apple. Today, however, Jason is all in with Apple, and he told me the story of how that happened. In fact, Jason thinks Apple and Microsoft should be working more closely together, and we explored his recent article about that.

What to Know About RTF vs. RTFD Files on a Mac

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The Eclectic Light Company writes:

Macs and iOS devices have the benefit of not one variety of Rich Text documents, but two: RTF and RTFD. This article explores some of their features and limitations, and considers the problems of working with them alongside one another.

This is a very readable and helpful article that explains the nature of RTFD files and their history going back to the origins with NeXT Corp.

With This New Contact Lens: Blink Twice to Zoom

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Would you believe? The Next Web writes:

Scientists from the University of California, San Diego, have created a new robotic soft contact lens that lets you zoom by blinking twice. The lens can be controlled by your eye movements.

Of course, it’s a long way from the lab to commercial production. For now, it’s probably destined for use by spies. Or pilots.

Future Historian Steve Carper - TMO Background Mode Interview

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Steve Carper is a Future Historian, researching how the dazzling future that dominated the Golden Age of science fiction was created—starting with the technological frenzy of the late 19th century.

Steve writes a bi-weekly robot column at BlackGate.com and his latest book, published in June 2019, is Robots in American Popular Culture. This book examines society’s reactions to robots and androids such as Robby, Rosie, Elektro, Sparko, Data, WALL-E, C-3PO and the Terminator in popular culture.

Steve and I discussed his new book, covering some of the most famous robots of fiction and then all aspects of robot technology in our culture: robots as servants, enemies, lovers, children, successors and doubles. Where will the evolution of robots take our society next? Klaatu barada nikto.