I had the pleasure of being on MacVoices 18067 with Chuck Joiner this week. He interviewed me about Bitcoin faucets and my take on the HomePod. We also had a rip-roaring argument on Throttlegate, and how it was a self-inflicted communication error on Apple’s part, but it’s cool because in the end Chuck admitted I was right. OK, he didn’t exactly do that, but it’s always good talking with Chuck. Check it out.
A psychological test once used by NASA on astronauts calculates Tim Cook as “Advisor.” It’s called the Process Communication Model, and it categorizes people under six categories: Advisors, Connectors, Doers, Dreamers, Originals, and Organizers. According to one website, Advisors make up 10% of the population, and curiously this trait skews 75% male. Tim Cook is well known for his careful, articulate way of speaking in interviews and keynotes, and when you look at Advisor traits, it makes sense. Or, it could be a cognitive bias. You see, I personally find this whole thing a bit concerning. Online personality tests are fun to take, but they definitely aren’t valid medical advice. That requires seeing a therapist. So it’s easy to cast yourself as one personality or another by comparing and contrasting traits you think you have, versus the traits that the personality has. However, unless Mr. Cook has seen a psychologist, the news that Tim is this trait is probably bunk. But I still think it’s Cool Stuff.
In this TMO video podcast, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss Apple’s new HomePod after 10 days of use, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s FastCompany interview, Wyoming wanting to become a Crypto Tax Haven, and how music influences really are in the ear of the beholder. They also offer a couple of app picks. (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
Tony Fadell, former Apple executive and the father of the iPod, recently did an interview with Benoît Mintiens, a watch guy and the founder of Watch company Ressence. You might have seen the totally crazy looking Ressence Type 2 watch. Gorgeous and very, very different looking, the Ressence Type 2 is a mechanical watch married to your smartphone through what they call an “e-Crown.” Bloomberg published a piece with Hodinkee on the Type 2, and it included the video interview below. In it, Messrs. Fadell and Mintiens talk about working together and the early development of the Type 2, but they also talk about the e-Crown. You also get to see the Type 2 in action. It’s interesting, but note at the end where Mr. Mintiens notes that the watch crown has been around for 176 years. “So it’s about time to think about something else.” That sure sounds like a pot shot at Apple, whose Digital Crown is effectively rooted in that same 176 year history. It’s an interesting watch, an interesting article, and an interesting video.
Ben Pearson, an electrical engineer by training, has put together a website that tracks the Tesla Roadster that the SpaceX Falcon Heavy put into orbit around the sun. His website scripts extract data from from JPL Horizons to provide continuous updates on the position of Roadster’s passenger Starman. Check it out.
Behold the passing of an era, as Apple changed its official corporate address away from 1 Infinite Loop to One Apple Park Way. Spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple changed the address on its corporate contact page to its new headquarters after the company’s shareholder meeting last Tuesday. Infinite Loop still houses thousands of Apple employees—and will for the foreseeable future—but the center of the Apple universe has shifted to Apple Park. It’s a wee strange, at least to someone who’s been covering Apple for so long, but Apple Park is something special. So out with the old and in with the new and never look back.
MGG listener Bill turned us on to a copy of Gordon Moore’s original paper discussing the trend of integrated circuit component density increasing at a rate of roughly two per year. This is the paper that gave rise to what is commonly, though improperly, called Moore’s Law. It’s improper because in that it’s not a scientific law—like gravity—but rather more of an observation of a human-driven trend that was remarkably accurate for a very long time. Regardless, it’s a fun read, and thanks to Bill for alerting us to this! In the pic below, Gordon Moore is on the left, and his Intel cofounder Robert Noyce is to the right.
If you’re on the hunt for a new Twitter client app now that the official Mac app has been killed off, The Iconfactory has a deal they’re hoping you can’t pass up. Twitterrific 5 is on sale for US$7.99 instead of its usual $19.99. The recently reintroduced Mac Twitter client app supports multiple accounts, sharing posts through other services, threaded conversations, color-coded tweets, timeline syncing with the iOS version, and more. It’s a great to see Twitterrific back on the Mac now that Twitter has decided it’s a platform they aren’t natively supporting.
Apple Music has a trailer out for Amy Shark Live in Sydney, a new concert film. Ms. Shark is a singer-songwriter out of the Gold Coast, Queensland, an are near Brisbane. According to Apple Music’s description, “With support from a small band, Amy Shark performs ‘Adore,’ ‘Weekends,’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ inside an industrial Queensland warehouse.” You can check out her official music video for “Adore,” from 2016. The full 14 minute concern film is available now on Apple Music.
Are you worried about HomePod leaving a ring on your table? Pad & Quill has a HomePod coaster for that. Talk about a timely product: complaints about HomePod leaving rings have arisen in the last couple of days. If that’s a serious concern for you, the Leather Coaster for HomePod may be just what you’re looking for. I am, in general, a huge fan of Pad & Quill’s products. They do leather and stitching right. This Coaster is made from full-grain leather with Marine Grade stitching. The bottom is an “ultra-soft leather backing because the only rings you should see in your home this season are of the Olympic variety on TV.” Timely, indeed. It’s $19.95, comes in Whiskey (lighter) and Chestnut (darker), and ships in 3-5 days.
Feral Interactive is bringing Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration to the Mac and Linux. Players will become Lara Croft, as she “seeks the lost city of Kitezh to recover the Divine Source, an ancient artifact with the power to grant immortality.” Like other titles in the franchise, players solve puzzles, avoid traps, and generally adventure through gorgeous maps. This game is being bundled with all the original downloadable content , including add-on adventures, different player modes, additional outfits for Lara Croft, and Expedition Cards. Pricing and availability haven’t been released, but Feral’s announcements tend to presage release by a few months. Screenshots for the game look amazing, as does the trailer, below.
Stars come in all sizes, from white dwarfs to average stars like our Sun. But stars can be oh, so much bigger than our G-class sun. Like blue giants. How much bigger? If our sun were placed next to Rigel, it would be barely visible. This excellent video puts it all in perspective. Check it out.
AT&T is offering a limited-time deal for Next customers. Buy an eligible iPhone and get US$1000 in credit that you can use to buy an iPhone X. The credit will be spread out over the course of your service agreement up to 30 months. Eligible AT&T iPhone models include iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. You have to buy it on either an AT&T Next plan (30 mos. up to $38.34/mo. for iPhone X, $31.67/mo. for iPhone 8 Plus, $28.34/mo. for iPhone 8) or AT&T Next Every Year (24 mos. of $47.92/mo. for iPhone X, $39.59/mo. for iPhone 8Plus, $35.42/mo. for iPhone 8). Further details can be found here.
Apple published a new video to YouTube showing you how to create a Bouncing Live Photo. Fans of Instagram and other social media services might be familiar with the idea under the name of Boomerang. Check it out.
iHeartRadio announced Monday that its written editorial content is now available on Apple News. Current articles include celebrity gossips and news, music news, tips, sports, and more. There’s also a story about terrifyingly large giant boars doing some dumpster diving, as shown in the screenshot below. Yikes.
How does Apple’s HomePod Siri voice control stack up? We pitted it against Alexa on an Amazon Echo and Google Assistant on a Google Home, and you might be surprised how they compare.
John Kheit put together a HomePod unboxing video for me. It includes not only the unwrapping and unboxing, and his set up process, too. It stops shy of him foaming at the mouth about how much he doesn’t like the sound, but we’ll get to that next Wednesday on Pop.0. Until then, check out the unboxing experience with HomePod!
Sprint and T-Mobile are both planning to dial back their aggressive discounting in 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both carriers—the #4 and #3 carriers in the U.S.—are prime pushers of cheaper plans, and their tactics have served as checks on pricing from Verizon and AT&T (#1 and #2, respectively). In other words, there’s a chance we’ll see higher prices across the board this year. So yay?
SpaceX posted the four hour stream of Starman’s initial voyage into space, and it’s super cool. Starman is the name of the dummy SpaceX plopped into the driver’s seat of the Tesla Roadster it sent to Mars. Because [Elon Musk]. This was all part of the maiden launch of Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket earlier this week. According to Space.com, SpaceX expected the battery on the streaming camera to work for 12 hours, but it crapped out after four. And those four hours are pretty darned cool—Flat Earthers may find the whole thing particularly enlightening. Check it out!