Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Productivity Coach Brittany Smith - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Brittany Smith on Background Mode.

Brittany Smith is a productivity coach who provides a variety of consulting services through her business, Devise and Conquer, that includes ADD/ADHD coaching, technology coaching, productivity consulting, and more. She is a self-designated “well-rounded geek.” She holds an M.S. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience.

In our chat, Brittany told me about her adventures with homemade videos, with a PC, as a youth. Her father was a podiatrist and her mother was a programmer, so there were always computers in the house. But the Vista version of Windows drove her into the arms of the Mac. In the second half of the show we delved into just what cognitive neuroscience is, her productivity and Apple tech coaching. Along the way we chatted about the influence of Star Trek (and Disneyland) on her career. Brittany sparkles in this interview.

Doing it Wrong With iOS Screen Time Limits

· · Link

Activity Report in iOS 12 Screen Time

According to USA Today,

Some screen time is worse than others when it comes to kids and academic performance, according to a new analysis published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Television viewing, followed by video games, were the two activities most tied to poor school performance, researchers showed in a review of 58 studies published over the decades.”

Other activities: not so much. This is a helpful article for parents.

Astrophysicist Dr. Brian Keating (#2) - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Brian Keating on Background Mode.

Dr. Brian Keating is an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. His specialty is cosmology, and he is the father of the original BICEP project (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization). Last year, Brian published a terrific, courageous book about his team’s research, some life lessons, and the challenges of scientific research: Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor. It’s now out in paperback.

This time, we expanded on the discussion in his book about his quest for the Nobel prize. At the core: what the polarization of the cosmic background radiation tells us about the Big Bang. We also delved into the theory of the multiverse and its relationship to the anthropic principle. Finally, find out how you could win a piece of a 4.5 billion year old asteroid.

NASA Chair, Lib. of Congress Dr. Susan Schneider - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Susan Schneider on Background Mode

Dr. Susan Schneider is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at The University of Connecticut. She writes about issues in philosophy, AI, cognitive science and astrobiology. Within philosophy, she works on both the computational nature of the brain and the metaphysical nature of the mind. The topics she has written about most recently include radical brain enhancement, machine intelligence, consciousness, and the nature of persons. Her new book is Artificial You – AI And The Future Of Your Mind.

In our chat we covered many of the major issues of AI: the computational nature of the mind, consciousness, the question of whether consciousness is restricted to humans, extraterrestrial post-biological intelligence, AI implants in humans, and the ethical and cybersecurity issues of AI. Susan talks to AI issues you may have never thought about before. Join me in this awesome 30 minute virtual seminar on AI.

Thriller Novelist Carter Wilson - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Carter Wilson on Background Mode

Carter Wilson is the USA Today and #1 Denver Post bestselling author of six critically acclaimed, standalone psychological thrillers, as well as numerous short stories. He is an ITW Thriller Award finalist, a three-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, and his novels have received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. His latest novel, The Dead Girl in 2A, was released in July 2019.

Carter didn’t plan to become a novelist. It was really quite by accident. He got his bachelor’s degree from Cornell and planned to work in hotel services. Then, on a spring day in 2003, an exercise to ward off boredom during a continuing-education class evolved into a 400-page manuscript. Since that day, Carter has been constantly writing. We chatted about the craft of thrillers, his writing technique, killing off characters, and how he plans his storylines. It’s been an amazing journey.

Why The iPhone 11 Pro Has 3 Cameras

· · Link

Just what are the two cameras on the iPhone 11 doing? What’s different about the three cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro? TechCrunch explains.

On the back of the iPhone 11 Pro can be found three cameras. Why? Because the more light you collect, the better your picture can be. And we pretty much reached the limit of what one camera can do a little while back. Two, three, even a dozen cameras can be put to work creating a single photo — the only limitation is the code that makes them work.

The Most Memorable Apple Ads Over the Years 1984-2019

· · Link

Apple ad campaign: Here's to the crazy ones.

Business Insider has collected in one place all the most memorable Apple ads over the years.

  • We looked at the ads that have aired in the years since [1984] and highlighted the most memorable one each year, from dancing iPod silhouettes to the “Get a Mac” ad campaign.

This trip down memory lane is great to mull over as we’ve watched Apple grow and change.

Journalist & TMO Contributor Charlotte Henry (#2) - TMO Background Mode Interview

· · Background Mode Podcast

Charlotte Henry on Background Mode

Charlotte is a London-based technical journalist. A self described media junkie, she writes about Apple—and now for the Mac Observer as well. She has also written for City A.M. (London’s daily business tabloid,) Computer Business Review, and the Independent on Sunday. Her new book is: Not Buying It.

In this special edition of BGM, Charlotte chats about her reactions to Apple’s September 10 iPhone event. She noted how Apple is in a new balancing act, promoting hardware to sell services—and vice versa. Charlotte told me about how pleased she is with the new iPad and plans to buy one. Then we took a closer look at the value proposition comparing the iPhone Xr to the iPhone 11. Charlotte also filled us in on her experience watching the event in the Apple London flagship store.

Former Apple Senior Director Michael Gartenberg (#7) - Background Mode Interview

· · 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 seventh appearance on Background Mode, Michael and I analyze Apple’s September 10, 2019 iPhone event: “By Innovation Only.”

We started with a discussion of the overall content and tenor of the event. Was the scripting more evident than usual? Is the format wearing thin? Why were there no success numbers touted as is customary? In the second segment, we looked at some of the new products announced. Michael and I also pondered whether some of the traditional inspirational and aspirational elements were in too short supply. And, crucially, why was Phil Schiller’s shirt tucked in? Michael is well versed in Apple marketing strategies and is always a delight to have on the show.

iPhone Naming Conventions Are a Mess

· · Link

Ken Segall writes (Sep. 9) that it’s time to dump both the “i” in iPhone as well as the alphabet soup.

I think it’s amazingly cool that the i-thing happened, but everything has a beginning and an end. The trick is knowing when to end.

Smarts and forward-thinking always beats clinging to the past.

The truth is, Apple has already made the i-decision. It’s been years since a new i-product appeared. Apple Watch, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Card—all would be i-things under the old rules.

Apple dropped the alphabet soup on Sep. 10 along with the bizarre “X” vs. “ten.” Will the “i” be next?