Ken Segall: What Has Apple Been Doing All These Years?

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Time in the Apple Trash

“That’s it? You could have done this one day after our last meeting. What have you been doing for the past two weeks?” That’s Steve Jobs after many presentations from his employees, according to Ken Segall, an ad exec who worked with Apple and Steve Jobs. In a blog post, Mr. Segall used that to succinctly and accurately (to me) capture the frustrations many Mac fans have about Apple.

A Fascinating, Realistic Glimpse: What Would Steve Jobs Have Done?

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Steve Jobs

It’s seldom convincing to pretend to know what Steve Jobs would have done in any situation were he alive today. We have general ideas, but invoking him as a cloak of authority is fraught with problems. On the other hand, when someone intimately familiar with Steve Jobs makes an astute observation, it’s worth a read. John Martellaro found one of those insights and highlights it.

The NHTSA May Have Required Apple to Open Up Its AI Research

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Autonomous car concept

Right after Apple revealed more of its plans to the U.S. Government regarding its autonomous car project, we learn that Apple is going to break with tradition and start publishing its AI research.  This is an interesting sequence of events.  John speculates on what may have been the cause of Apple’s more open approach.

Why Some High-Profile Hires Don’t Thrive at Apple

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, a high profile executive, Yoky Matsuoka, left Apple for unknown reasons. Often, the temptation is to surmise that a departure of any given executive at Apple is a sign that Apple is losing interest in a particular technology. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, certain high-powered people have to leave for personal reasons. Or perhaps they just didn’t realize what they got themselves into and decide that the Apple culture isn’t for them. John explores the various scenarios based on his experience.

Great Gifts for Groovy Geeks: 2016 Edition

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Bob LeVitus's Geek Gifts for 2016

It’s that time again and, as always, Dr. Mac has discovered a bevy of superb-yet-inexpensive tech gifts guaranteed to bring big smiles to the faces of the geeks you love.

Apple's Computing Future Could Be the Reverse ToasterFridge

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

iPhone and MacBook

Jean-Louis Gassée has an excellent piece on the future of desktop and mobile operating systems. It includes some lore—including that time Apple tried to buy a a code dump of BeOS from Palm—and some interesting speculation on the future. Both are well worth your time, and it got me thinking about an old interview of Steve Jobs from the mid-1990s. Think: the Reverse ToasterFridge.

How Apple Might be Our Last Hope Before the Internet Dies

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Censorship

Companies exist to make money. But when wealth beyond dreams, at any cost, is the driving force behind internet business, chaos results. Big tech companies have great power. How they use that power and their own sense of what constitutes ethical, disciplined behavior might all that’s left before the free internet and its free people are no more. Apple is leading the way, but cannot do it all.

Social Networks Can Learn from Apple to Solve 'Fake News'

· Charlotte Henry · Editorial

Social media apps on an iPhone

The proliferation of “fake news” has been blamed in part on social media companies’ hands-off approach to curation. Charlotte Henry argues this is one area where social media can take its cues from Apple and its heavily curated approach to Apple News.

Playing Catch-up on macOS Sierra, Printer Wars, Knockoff Apple Watch Straps

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Epson EcoTank

Dr. Mac follows up on whether or not it’s safe to upgrade to macOS Sierra; a longer-term report on his EcoTank vs. Instant Ink printer comparison; and a lower price on the leather loop Apple Watch bands he bought in July and August (and still loves).

Give the Gift of Music… Apple Music

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Apple Music makes a great gift

This week’s episode explores why Dr. Mac and his family love Apple Music so much and why it’s a great gift to give any music lover.

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.

When Your Mac Acts Up, Try This First

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

If you see Safe Boot in the upper right corner of your screen, it worked; if not, try again.

Dr. Mac prescribes a pair of painless, safe, and relatively quick procedures that can often fix whatever’s ailing your Mac and save you a trip to the Genius Bar. His experience is that these two techniques fix many types of wonkiness in ten minutes or less.

Apple Has the Experience to Make an AR Bombshell Come True

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Augmented Reality (AR)

From time to time, we get really excited about some new gadget from Google. But then we discover later that there’s long way to go to make it a successful consumer product. On the other hand, Apple is the kind of company that can productize a great new technology. Perhaps the Apple Watch has given Apple new confidence that it can do the same for AR.

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.

Considering Rumors of Apple AR Glasses with Tim Cook's Comments on Google Glass

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

(Silly) Mockup of AR/VR Goggles

A new report says Apple is working on AR glasses. That’s all well and good, but how should we consider such reports in light of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s past comments about Google Glass, wearable computing, and the face? Bryan Chaffin walks us through the permutations.

Why Is There So Much Pain Extracting Truth From Apple?

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple Media Invitation

Astonishingly, Apple creates unnecessary problems for itself. Locked in the old era, modern Apple executive thinking continues to focus on drama while excising important elements of its vision. That leads to pain, criticism, and disaffection with Apple.  It wouldn’t be hard to avoid all that these days. John explains.

Stick It In (or On) Your Ear

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

The Klipsch S4i is still my favorite reasonably-priced headset.

Dr. Mac doesn’t care much for Apple’s EarPods, so, he’s always testing alternatives—both earphones (in-the-ear) and headphones (on-the-ear and over-the-ear)—looking for standouts. After testing more than a dozen different brands and models this year, he’s found several that stand above the rest at prices you can afford.

Analyst Says iPhone SE Was a One-Off for Apple

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

The Apple Crystal Ball

Apple isn’t planning to update iPhone SE, according to well-connected KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. If true, it’s hard to understand. There are still people who prefer the smaller iPhone; and, having a current-generation iPhone with a lower price tag helps Apple reach deeper into the market. So why nuke it?