In episode 16 of Pop.0, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss the pros and cons of “toasterfridges” in light of advancements from Apple and Microsoft. They also ask whether anyone at Apple is still paying attention to details. Venturing into the pop part of the show, they talk about Orville and Star Trek Discovery. If you enjoy it, please subscribe. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
LEGO is celebrating women’s contributions to modern science and space flight with a new set called Women of NASA. The kit was designed by science writer and editor Maia Weinstock, and chosen from LEGO’s Ideas fan-submitted projects. It includes Margaret Hamilton and Apollo Guidance Computer code books, Nancy Grace Roman and the Hubble space telescope, along with Sally Ride and Mae Jemison and the Space Shuttle Challenger. The vital role women play in scientific discovery and space flight is horribly underrepresented so it was awesome seeing this kit get the thumbs up in the Ideas program, and now get an official launch date. Woman of NASA includes 231 pieces and will be available on November 1st for US$24.99.
During this week’s Mac Geek Gab 679 we discussed how many people have emailed us asking for a macOS Sierra 10.12 installer download link… and no one can seem to find one. Searching the Mac App Store yields nothing and, thus far, there’s no Apple knowledgebase article with a link to it (Update: that KB article now exists). MGG Listener “Kirk van” came to the rescue with this Mac App Store download link to the macOS Sierra 10.12.6 Installer.
Twelve South has a new candle in its Inspire line. Called Mac Candle N°2, the candle’s scent profile was developed to help, “clear your mind of clutter and stimulate creativity.” Which may be better than the first generation candle, which was supposed to smell like a new Mac. The Verge noted that last year’s candle got blind sniff test results ranging from “old grass” to “urinal cake,” which makes me wish I had bought one just to
see smell for myself. The new candle, though, has a brand new “vessel,” which is quite lovely to look at, and, “strong notes of bergamot, lemon, and tarragon.” At $29.99, it might also help to know that an unspecified portion of the proceeds are going to FIRST, a STEM-oriented charity. In any event, I love Twelve South Mac and iOS accessories, and am tickled by the new candle.
Sylvania announced two lighting products for Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem. The Sylvania Smart+ A19 Soft White LED Bulb puts out 800 lumens, the equivalent of a 60 watt incandescent lightbulb. It’s dimmable, and joins the full color A19 already on the market. The Sylvania Smart+ Full Color LED Flex Strip supports both full color and dimming. It puts out 400 lumens, or roughly the equivalent of a 30 watt incandescent bulb. Neither light requires a hub for on-off functionality, but work in Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem with hubs like an Apple TV, HomePod, or an iPad. Using a hub, users can automate the lights and access them remotely. I’m stoked to see new HomeKit products hit the market, and these ship on October 23rd. They’re on Amazon now, listed as out-of-stock. The Smart+ A19 Soft White LED Bulb is $25.99, while the Smart+ Full Color LED Flex Strip is $59.99.
I’m newly obsessed with the Moon Light. It’s a 3D printed lamp that looks like the Moon when it’s lit up. Interestingly, it doesn’t look much like the Moon when it’s not lit. There are tons of videos on YouTube from folks, and those videos look pretty much like the company’s promotion pics. It has a warm light and cool light mode, and you can the light and intensity with a touch. It recharges via a USB port, too. It comes in multiple sizes, with the smallest—3.5-inches—coming with a ceramic hand for a base. The larger sizes, up to 7.3-inches in diameter, come on a wooden base. That largest model is $79.99 on TheApolloBox, but I found it on Amazon for $45.99. The 5.7-inch model is $29.99 on Amazon. It’s pretty cool!
Apple has already patched against the KRACK hack in iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS. iMore publisher Rene Ritchie tweeted that Apple confirmed all four OSes have been patched against the threat. In a separate piece, the site noted that Apple’s AirPort base stations have also been patched against KRACK. The flaw, called Key Reinstallation attack (KRACK) takes advantage of a flaw in the WPA2 standard that lets an attacker decrypt the data flowing through the wireless network. As noted in TMO’s Daily Observations on Monday, Aruba and Ubiquiti enterprise servers have also been patched. TMO‘s Dave Hamilton explained in that episode how router makers are very motivated to get this issue patched, and that firmware updates are in the works at most major manufacturers.
Check out this video of the Hoversurf in action. It’s a promo video Hoversurf produced with the Dubai police department to show off the Star Wars-like hoverbikes being produced for the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. These things can travel at 70 kilometers per hour (43.5MPH), according to ABC, with a range of 6 clicks (3.7 miles) and flight time of 25 minutes. It’s intensely awesome, except for the part where it’s obviously difficult to control. And keep in mind that this video is a carefully edited promotional video produced under what are theoretically optimum conditions. But whatevs, because [hoverbike]!
Stranger Things Season 1 was amazing, and if the final trailer for Season 2 is any indication we’re in for an awesome ride. It looks like the Upside Down isn’t done with Will yet, everyone in Hawkins is in danger, and Eleven is even more bad-ass than before. Stranger Things Season 2 is a Netflix original series premiering on October 27th, just in time for Halloween. How appropriate.
In episode 15 of Pop.0, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit debate whether or not Apple—or anyone else—is working on any kind of next generation operating system. They also discuss what’s good and bad about Apple TV, and how Apple’s lack of feature parity across its product lines is dooming new technologies like 3D Touch, Touch Bar, and more. If you enjoy it, please subscribe. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
Apple and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Universal Television have struck a deal for a reboot of Mr. Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will pay “significantly” more than $5 million per episode for the series in a deal for 10 episodes. The show, which was created by Steven Spielberg and originally ran in the 1980s, will include Mr. Spielberg as executive producer. It’s a significant investment for Apple, which is looking to develop a stable of high-end flagship programming that will bring viewers to its Apple Music service. The Wall Street Journal noted that Apple hired Sony Corp.’s top Hollywood television executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht earlier this year.
App Camp for Girls is looking for help in its next big stage of growth to become App Camp 2020. Working to address the gender inequity in tech, App Camp holds intensive developer training for middle school-aged girls, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth. Part of that growth for App Camp 2020 includes expansion to three new cities. To do this, the organization wants to raise $75,000 through a campaign on Indiegogo. App Camp is a great organization, and it’s lead by Jean McDonald, formerly of Smile Software, and counts our own Kelly Guimont as Founding Volunteer. They do important work, and we hope this fundraising campaign is hugely successful. Kick in if you can, and help spread the word, too. In the video, Ms. Guimont tells it like it is.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is getting closer every day, and with a new trailer out December 15th can’t get here quick enough. We get some BB-8, Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo, Chewie and his pet Pikachu, plus Luke and Leia. We also get new AT-AT and TIE Fighters, plus epic space battles and light sabers. That’s all in two and a half minutes. Check out the trailer and get ready to be inappropriately excited for the movie.
Blade Runner was an amazing interpretation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and the the best way we’ve found to read the book is in graphic novel format. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Omnibus collects the 24 issues that made up the series, and it’s absolutely beautiful. This interpretation includes the book’s full text with art that feels like it’s from the movie plus essays from Warren Ellis, Matt Fraction, and more. It costs US$ $35.99 on Amazon and is a great way to read the original story that inspired Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049.
If you’ve been thinking “What my smart home really needs is a flying robot,” then you’re in luck because that’s exactly what Aevena is making. The company has a Kickstarter for its Aire, which is an Alexa-controlled robot that flies around your house monitoring for trouble or just snapping photos and video when you ask. It’s essentially a cross between a security cam and drone that uses multiple sensors and cameras to detect intruders and let you remotely see what’s happening. They say the Aire is quiet so it won’t distract by sounding like a swarm of angry flying machines. You can check out the Aevena Aire on Kickstarter and sign up to get your own flying robot to watch over your home.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a command line cowboy or a total newbie to Terminal. There’s an awesome tool called XikiHub looking for funding on Kickstarter. The founder of XikiHub says it is the social command line, and the project looks really cool. It’s based on Xiki, a command line platform. XikiHub will give you a friendlier and more powerful Terminal. What’s more, the platform will get even better over time. Users can contribute commands for high-level interfaces like git and changing the desktop background. XikiHub will also support repeating recent commands and searching the community for help to remember which commands do what. This social repository for commands is also open source. The developer uses a multi-pronged security approach, and will have a low tolerance for abuse, spam, or social media marketing. This will be one of my rare backings on Kickstarter. Hopefully, you’ll back it, too.