How Tribal Warfare Caused Apple’s Loss of Gloss

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Tribal flames.

Modern tribes are groups formed of one mind held together by their beliefs and easy, fast communication. They work to obtain a voice in the community and are often at war with each other or Apple over some technical topic. Apple tends to dismiss these tribes and focus on the customer, but tribes can have an influence too. Understanding Apple’s intentions and vision against the torch of the tribes is a tricky process. John explains.

That Time Apple Patched 3 Zero Day Exploits in Just 10 Days [Update]

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

The Spying Eye Waiting in Every Device

Vanity Fair has a great piece about zero day exploits, the black market for selling them (to mostly governments, including repressive regimes), how they’re used to spy, and how the whole thing came to be. The story, which is quite long, is built around a particular piece of sophisticated spyware discovered by a couple of researchers, and Apple’s “engineering feat” that patched against the exploits in just ten days.

Jony Ive Designs Christmas Tree with No Decorations

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Claridge's Christmas Tree by Jony Ive and Marc Newson, Courtesy of Wallpaper

Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive worked with Marc Newson to design Claridge’s Christmas tree in London. The result is a minimalist installation with no Christmas ornaments or decorations.

Apple's Tradition of Always Building the Best Doesn't Fit with Current Apple TV

· John Martellaro · Editorial

4th gen Apple TV with Siri

Apple was, it seemed, somewhat late with the 4th generation 1080p Apple TV that shipped in October of 2015. Not delivering at 4K device at that time could be forgiven because High Dynamic Range (HDR) specs hadn’t been formalized during its development. But for the holidays of 2016, most all the 4K/UHD TVs have HDR. The new Roku has HDR. So what is Apple thinking?  John, as always, ponders the situation.

PSA: Please Vote

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

People in voting booths

Howdy folks. We haven’t messed about too much with the election at TMO, but today is Election Day. That means you should vote. Whomever you support, whatever you think of the choices, you should vote. From local elections to state-level positions, to the Congress, to the President—the ability to vote is one of the greatest gifts we have. Exercise your right to do so. Please.

The Benefits of a 32GB Mac For Average Users

· Dave Hamilton · Editorial

I didn’t think the difference between 16GB and 32GB would matter for my every day use. Sure, I’m a geek, but I’m not involved in graphic design or video editing. In the course of a normal day I don’t really run any pro apps. When I upgraded my 2014 27″ Retina iMac from 16GB to 32GB a few months ago, however, I experienced a dramatic shift in my computing life. No longer was my Mac paging out to swap all the time, no longer were apps slow to launch, and no longer was I regularly pushing against the limits of my Mac’s RAM.

Turning up the Volume with Apple Music

· Charlotte Henry · Editorial

Britney Spears playing Apple Music Festival

Steve Jobs revolutionized the music industry. Twice. But then Apple went a bit off key. The new Apple Music has it back on song though…Charlotte Henry explains why.

Dear Apple: Your Products Are Thin Enough Already. Stop it

· David Chartier · Editorial

Phil Schiller comparing MacBook Pro Thinness at

It is possible to obsess too much over a single tree at the expense of the forest. David Chartier argues Apple has done this when it comes to making devices thinner, and that it’s time for that to stop.

Apple's 'Hello Again' Event Wasn't About the Mac After All

· John Martellaro · Editorial

2016 MacBook Pro

During Apple’s “Hello Again” event, Apple spent an hour and 25 minutes talking about several cool things. The new MacBook Pros are very nice—but they were the only major Mac announcement.  In contrast, the event tagline suggested that Apple would say something important about the “Mac” as a product. Instead, the vacuum persisted and Apple elected to take a stand, instead. on how it sees the MacBook Pro catering to the pro market with the Touch Bar.

Microsoft Just Announced the iPad I Always Wanted - Surface Studio

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Microsoft Surface Studio PC

Microsoft has just announced the Surface Studio, a 28-inch All-in-One computer with a Skylake Processor and a touch sensitive display that tilts. The design, operation and concept of this computer, is basically a giant iPad, the iPad John always dreamed of. His first reaction follows.

Apple Will Likely Let the 2013 Mac Pro Quietly Die

· John Martellaro · Editorial

There was a time when Apple was into powerful headless Macs for technical professionals. Those who wanted their own multiple displays and great expandability. Lately, Apple seems to have lost interest in that market and focussed on mobility. There is a smattering of hopeful signs, but John Martellaro thinks the Mac Pro is headed for the annals of Apple history.

Thoughts About Apple's Secret iPhone 7 Chip

· John Martellaro · Editorial

FPGA

An intriguing chip has been discovered in the teardown of the iPhone 7. We know that it’s a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), but we don’t know what it’s intended to do. Speculation abounds. John has a SWAG.

Petition Asks Apple to Bring iTunes Song Ratings Back to iOS [Update]

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

iOS 10 Screen for

Duncan Lockard started a petition at Change.org asking Apple to “Put song ratings back on iOS.” I signed it, and if you like song ratings, I’d encourage you to sign it, too. [Updated with additional information on displaying Star Ratings in Songs view.]

Technical Professionals Are Hanging on, Hoping For The Best from Apple

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Soon, we think, there will be fall Apple event that launches new Macs. The nature of this event and the kinds of Macs that Apple updates and those that are left to quietly die will tell us a lot about where Apple is heading with technical professionals. Many of those former Apple customers have already switched to Linux. Those who remain are dismayed and are not very hopeful.  Some readers weigh in.

Yo Samsung: Give It Up, Bro

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Samsung ArtPC Pulse

Samsung…Samsung. Yo, dudes. We gotta talk, like, for reals. Listen and Ima give it to you straight. You have a problem, Samsung. And it’s time for some change.

Samsung Discontinues Galaxy Note 7 Manufacturing and Sales

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Burned Galaxy Note 7 on Tombstone

This just in: Samsung has officially discontinued manufacturing and sales of the Galaxy Note 7. With repeated incidents of the devices—and replacement devices—catching fire, the company announced on Tuesday it would cease making and selling them.

USB Kill: The $55 Gadget That Will Fry Most Devices

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

USB Kill 2.0 Insides

There’s a device out there called USB Kill 2.0 that can fry an electronic device with a USB port. While it looks like an every day USB flash drive, rather than memory, these devices have capacitors that can store up juice being transmitted over the USB bus and then discharge at once. The result is a high-voltage attack on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or other device that can fry the electronics.

Samsung Tweet Suggests Note 7 Stalling Tactics, Suspends Note 7 Sales

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Galaxy Note 7 Allegedly Caught Fire

Over the weekend, Samsung accidentally tweeted a callous message to a Note 7 victim, a message that reveals just how hated and cynical the IP-stealing, politican-bribing company can be. That was followed by reports Samsung was finally suspending sales of the Note 7.

The Most Important Reason to Upgrade to macOS Sierra: Security

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Cyber security graphic.

When Apple launches a new version of one of its OSes, say, macOS Sierra, the first thing users think about is the features. If they’re a bit more methodical, they’ll look at their mission critical apps and monitor for updates from those developers. But, above all, a decision to not upgrade (or do it soon) must be balanced against the security updates folded into the new version.  John explains.

Apple TV is Too App-Focused

· Dave Hamilton · Editorial

A view of the Apple TV home screen with apps

Lately I’ve found myself gravitating away from using the Apple TV to watch content, and it’s due entirely to the device’s user interface: Apps get higher billing than they deserve. An app-centric interface makes perfect sense on the iPhone where there are so many things I might do. On the Apple TV, though, it’s safe to make the assumption that I’m launching the device to consume content. I just want my home screen to be a list of that content, thank you very much.