Late Show With Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at Apple's New Book

Apple new coffee table book: Designed by Apple in California comes in two sizes, 13-inch at US$199 and 16-inch at $299, and both contain some 450 photographs of Apple products that look back over the years. What’s not to like? Still, these days, Apple’s self-conscious celebration of its past does open it up to some playful parody. Watch this glorious send up of the Apple book by the Late Show. All in good fun, of course.

Apple's MacBook Pro Commercial: 'Bulbs'

Apple rolled out a new commercial for MacBook Pro with Touch Bar called Bulbs. The 1 minute, 37 second spot features flashes of some big (and small) inventions using exploding lightbulbs as a metaphor. In fact, MacBook Pro doesn’t appear until the final 10 seconds, accompanied by the tag line, “Introducing a tool for all the ideas to come.” We’re then shown a finger sliding back and forth on the Touch Bar to scrub through a video of another exploding lightbulb. The imagery is compelling, and seems likely to catch people’s attention, with the Apple message pounding home at the end. It’s one of my favorite spots in recent months.

Is the New 15-inch MacBook Pro THAT Much Faster than the 13-inch?

Bare Feats writes: “Both with the best processor, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB flash storage, but different GPU. Is the 15-inch with Quad-Core processor and discrete GPU really that much faster? Is it worth the extra $$$, size, and weight?” Their test results show that for “21% more, the extra $$$ buys you a bigger screen, an average of 40% faster performance running CPU intensive pro apps, and an average of 110% faster running GPU intensive pro apps.” Quad-Core and discrete graphics always wins. But if you had any doubts, check out these performance tests.

Bryan Chaffin Discusses Macintosh Refreshes, Tim Cook, and Touching Things

Chuck Joiner interviewed me on MacVoices a few days ago, and the video went up today. According to him, we talked about Mac refreshes, Tim Cook as Apple CEO, and “touching things.” Now, to be honest, I don’t remember that last bit, but I’m sure it’s somehow Mac related. Right? In any event, it was a fun discussion, and I hope you enjoy it.

Mahri Case for iPhone (Kickstarter) with 2 Lightning Ports, Battery, Wireless Charging

There’s an ambition product on Kickstarter called Mahri. It’s a case for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (with versions for iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus/6s Plus). It features two Lightning ports for charging and using headphones. It also has a slim battery with an extra 100% capacity, and it will charge wirelessly. Which, really, seems like overkill with the two Lightning ports, but hey, let’s do it all! The two Lightning ports are handled through circuitry embedded in the case. Wireless charging is done through a Qi charger (not included). There’s a goofy (fun) video on the product page, as well as details about the product. The company is looking to raise $36,000 to manufacture this device—they’ve raised $3,000 in a couple of days with 35 days left to go. $100 funding options that net a case are still available as of this writing.

There's a Contest Where You Could Win a Jetpack Test Flight

Remember that jetpack video I showed you a couple of months ago? The people who made that jetpack—JetPack Aviation—are running a contest where you could win a jetpack test flight. 😍 We aren’t involved in this contest, but come on, jetpack! The winner gets a test flight in Los Angeles with the JetPack Aviation JB-10, dinner with the founders, and $1,000 in travel vouchers. If you win, you gotta tell us all about it. Below is a video of some demo flights the company did in New York City.

How to Talk to Extraterrestrials: The Linguist Behind the Movie 'Arrival'

Extraterrestrials arrive. They don’t appear hostile, but the DoD has no idea what they want or how to communicate with them. That’s the premise behind the intelligent, highly praised movie Arrival. Amy Adams plays an expert linguist who’s called upon to assist with communication with the visitors.  In this interview, Dr. Kiki Sanford (who was recently on TMO’s Background Mode), chats with the actual linguist/consultant to the movie, Dr. Jessica Coon, an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at McGill University. You’ll want to see the movie, and this interview sets the stage.

Apple's Intelligent Storage Management to iOS Updates [Updated]

Check this out: Apple has apparently added some intelligent storage management to the iOS update process. Mac Geek Gab listener Paul sent in this screenshot of his 16GB iPhone upgrading from iOS 10.1 to iOS 10.1.1. It’s a message telling him that he doesn’t have enough room to run the update. Once upon a time, he’d have been on his own to do something about that. But, iOS is offering to delete Excel from his iPhone, run the iOS update, and then reinstall Excel for him. All automatically. That is seriously cool. [Update: David Nelson pointed me to an article at MacRumors showing this feature was introduced in iOS 9. I missed it back then, and I’m guessing others did, too. One way or another, I like it.]

The Story of Breaking the Sound Barrier, First Time

Until October 14, 1947, no human had piloted an aircraft faster than the speed of sound in level flight. At the time, some believed that it was a true barrier, hence the name, making it technically impossible. Others thought it might be possible, but aerodynamic forces would quickly break up the aircraft. And then, Chuck Yeager proved them wrong in the rocket propelled Bell X-1 on that glorious October day. (Jet engines were not yet powerful enough.) We learned a lot about supersonic flight in the coming years: the “area rule” concept, the advantages of a swept wing, and the all-flying tail. Here’s a very cool story of how it all happened by Popular Mechanics, a reprint from a 40th anniversary article. (Image credit: NASA)

Alyssa Carson, 15, is Ready To Go To Mars

Are you ready to go to Mars? Alyssa Carson, 15, is, She’s just the right age, born into the Mars generation. She’s completely focused and has already started training for the mission. She’s been to every NASA Space Camp, obtained her scuba diving license, is taking college college level courses in high school, and speaks four languages. This video introduces us to a young woman with so much drive and talent, she’ll probably be the first human being to walk on the Red Planet.