Page 2 – The Tech News Debris for the Week of August 29th
What You Need to Know About 4K/HDR

There’s been a lot of discussion about 4K UHD TVs with High Dynamic Range (HDR). This is something the next Apple TV will have to deal with, and so it’s time to read up. Here’s a pretty good introduction to HDR and why it’s important. “Here’s why HDR, not 4K, is the most important upgrade for your next TV.

There are two levels of HDR, HDR10 (10-bit) and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is superior but requires extra hardware that not all TV makers may want to include. But to get a general idea of what HDR can do, check out Dolby’s demo page.

Demo of Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision on left. Plain 4K on right.

The upshot right now is that when you read about other set top boxes that support 4K streaming, (while the Apple TV does not) don’t forget to checkout their HDR capabilities. “Leak points to refreshed Roku devices sporting new names, HDR support.

Other companies like Amazon and Roku were out early with 4K set-top boxes and made Apple look bad. But now there will have to be next generation models with HDR. When Apple finally catches up, look for the kind of HDR that’s supported. Since HDR is fairly common now in new 4K sets, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple announced a 5th generation Apple TV just in time for the holiday season in December.


You’ve probably read that Apple is dropping the name “store” from its retail stores. It seems rather odd at first until one ponders the notion of what people really want from brick & mortar locations. Forbes explains Apple’s motivation nicely. “Why The Apple Store Is Changing Its Name.

When the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, Apple introduced us to emails that ended in “Sent from my iPhone.” For some, it made them proud to announced their mobility skills. Other seemed less inclined to brag.
Over the years, its use has seemed to wear thin. But The Guardian has a fresh take on this usage. See: “Sent From My iPhone: how a humblebrag became a key piece of net etiquette.

Amidst all the discussion of the EU and Apple corporate taxes paid in Ireland, it’s interesting to see how Apple’s cash (and securities) has evolved over the years. Business Insider’s Chart of the Day comes to the rescue.

Apple's cash on hand

Apple’s cash & securities accrual. Image credit: Business Insider.

Personal computer technology emerged in the mid 1970s, a time when Baby Boomers were in their youth. But not every Baby Boomer got on board early and grew with the technology. Today, there are millions of Baby Boomer who got left behind and are struggling. Over at Tech.pinions Mark Lowenstein asks: “Has Tech Forgotten Boomers?” A good read.

It’s been said that Apple builds amazing hardware but hasn’t quite mastered, for years now, cloud services. Dan Moren at Macworld has noticed that, “For something that’s supposed to give customers a little peace of mind, iCloud seems to cause an undue amount of stress instead.” Why does that have to be? Check out Dan’s analysis. “Hey, Apple: It’s time to rethink iCloud.

Finally, in late 2014, I wrote about a very credible and sophisticated flying car from AeroMobil. Here’s the original link: “The Next Generation Flying Car from AeroMobil.” I thought this project had a good chance of success. Now, it looks like success is assured. Here’s an update with a great video. “This flying car is real and it can fly 430 miles on a full tank.” You’ll need a pilot’s license, but hey. It’ll be worth it to soar above all those autonomous cars on the road below.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: There’s a lot of material here worthy, of discussion, so let’s get to it. First, regarding the complexity and the fracturing of the computer market place, to the extent that there is greater distribution of devices for the same use cases, this is a story less about the devices than about users, and their experimentation and exercise of greater choice, in finding that right balance between functional capacity and access (particularly portability). In that heady mix, you then have the manufacturers, who, like Google and MS, have seen Apple’s success with an ultra portable (the iPad), and have leveraged… Read more »


You’re honestly telling us that people are too stupid to understand unit prefixes? That’s your argument for what makes computers too complex?

John, your contempt for the general public is sickening. Why don’t you tell us about how girls women just don’t have the mental fortitude required to understand how a water pump works. /s


This is all really interesting to me. I find that my best-case use scenarios are very similar, I use a combination of several devices side by side, and I can’t imagine them all being integrated without it being incredibly awkward or compromising somewhere along the line. I expect Apple is aware of this too, and as Macs, tablets, and phones are all fairly mature at this point, it’ll be interesting to see what direction they take with their stuff.

Paul Goodwin

I find that a regular iPad (I have an iPad Air 2) fills the bill for a lot of work. As an engineer consulting with other engineers online using things like Webex, Box and others, the iPad is an almost ideal tool. I never really want for a keyboard, it wouldn’t add that much to my personal work experience, however, I can see where others would value it. The only negative to using an iPad for work in a web based environment is that there are still a lot of web page designs that aren’t very iOS friendly. Many time… Read more »


I really dig Particle Debris and the links to germane articles. I find your viewpoints interesting but I’ll have to disagree with some of these. I somewhat agree with your thoughts on the iPad but slowing growth is a long way from ‘dying.’ You still make a fair point though. Nadella is certainly an improvement over Ballmer but a company that loses it’s ‘golden key’ (or whatever it is) is not what I’d call ‘a very smart company.’ Not so sure about the flying car. I mean, $300K and oh yeah, it just crashed. You need years of training for… Read more »