Some People Have Found Coins In Their MacBook [Update]

· & · Editorial

In today’s weird news, apparently some people have found coins hidden inside their MacBook, specifically the optical drive. Is this an engineering tradition of good luck? Or perhaps an error in manufacturing? We dive in to explore the explanations, and apply Occam’s Razor in a show of logic. Updated with comments from Kyle Wiens of iFixIt.

Apple’s Product Vision May Be The Cause of Recent Departures

· · Editorial

Vision and roadmap.

There’s been some discussion recently about the father of Swift, Apple’s  Chris Lattner, leaving for Tesla. Why might this be? John Martellaro ponders the connections in his whimsical way and suspects that part of the issue is the Haskell language and Tesla’s interest in secure software. Another element may be that Apple’s product vision is faltering a bit when it comes to inspiring and retaining talent.

Andy Grignon, Former iPhone Radio Engineer, on Building and Launching The First iPhone

· · Editorial

original iPhone in a hand

Andy Grignon worked on many things during his tenure as an engineer at Apple: iChat AV, iSight, Dashboard … and the radios inside the very first iPhone. Andy took to Facebook last night to offer some reflections on that last bit, 10 years after iPhone’s announcement, and has posted them publicly for all to see. We’ve included the text here in our full article just in case you don’t have a Facebook account, but both his post and the comments over there are worth a read. Andy’s a colorful, honest, and reflective cat. Needless to say also quite smart. Enjoy!

The Unspoken Limits of Apple’s iPad Are Strangling its Evolution

· · Editorial

iPad Pro & pencil

Like the original 128K Mac, the iPad was conceived as a closed, simple appliance device needing little maintenance. But the original Mac evolved out of its childhood, flourished, and supplanted the Apple II. Today, the iPad is also being strangled by its early vision and limitations.  To supplant the Mac, the iPad has to become not just its equal but dramatically better. John explains.

My 3 Favorite iOS Apps From 2016

· · Editorial

Andrew Orr's Three Favorite Apps from 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, it’s nice to look back and reflect upon the year. I’d like to share my three favorite apps that I’ve used this year, and why I liked them: Cryptomator, RNI Flashback, and Curiosity.

Apple Sued for Not Including Patented Technology in iPhone

· · Editorial

Apple with a big pile of money

Apple is being sued by a family after the tragic loss of their daughters. According to Patently Apple, James and Bethany Modisette have sued Apple for not including a patented technology on iPhones that could keep FaceTime from being used by a driver. Bryan Chaffin believes such lawsuits are philosophically repugnant.

How to Decipher Apple’s Conflicting Messaging About Macs

· · Columns & Opinions

iMac and MacBook Pro

Mixed messages are coming out of Cupertino. On one hand, Apple failed to say the things it needed to say about the Mac during a recent Mac event. Now, Tim Cook said he’ll fix that. Meanwhile, the community has spoken with a loud and unmistakable voice that the Mac is not yet dead. Tim Cook seems to have gotten the message, but now we wait for products in 2017 to certify Apple’s change of heart. John analyzes the issues and conflicting messaging.

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

· · 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

· · 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.

How Tribal Warfare Caused Apple’s Loss of Gloss

· · 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]

· · 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.

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

· · 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.