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.

My Fantasy Wish List for Apple's October Event

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Wish list.

It’s one thing to make sober, informed predictions about what Apple may announce next. But, this time, John just wants to have fun and provide his fantasy wish list for an Apple event in October. What would have John giggling with delight?  Read on to find out.

Things I Liked Most About watchOS 3. And a Nice Trick

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Selected watch faces.

It took two hours, but John Martellaro finally got his original Apple Watch upgraded to watchOS 3. Here are some of the things he liked most about this version. Plus, he discovered a nice trick when it comes to changing watch faces with a swipe.

Hands-On with iPhone 7 Home Button: Disappointing Haptic Feedback, Increased Functionality

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

iPhone 7 Plus at Apple Media Event

Apple had two major changes in iPhone 7 beyond incremental improvements. The first is the much-talked about lack of an auxiliary port for headphones, but the other will effect the way we do things far longer than the transition to Lightning audio. That’s moving from a physical Home Button to a touch-sensitive, stationary Home Button. Here’s what Bryan Chaffin thought about it during his hands-on session at Apple’s media event.

Hands-On with Apple Watch Series 2: Faster, Better, Prettier

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Watch Series 2

Bryan checked out Apple Watch Series 2 at Apple’s hands-on demo, and was impressed. There’s a lot to like in this second generation device, and he’s gathered my hands-on impressions.

iPhone 7 Now or Updated SE Later? The 4-Inch iPhone Power User’s Dilemma

· Dave Hamilton · Editorial

On March 31 of this year (2016), Apple solved the problem that existed since September of 2014: Power users that wanted an iPhone with the latest CPU but preferred the 4″ form factor could have their cake and eat it, too – again – with the introduction of the iPhone SE. Now, though, that problem starts all over again.

Apple's Instincts About the Watch Buyer Mentality Prove Correct

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple Watch series 2

In May of 2015, when the Apple Watch first shipped, a few observers opined that it would be wise to buy the cheapest possible version, the Sport Watch. That’s because Apple would, they claimed, come out with a new model in 2016 that would callously make the original painfully obsolete. It looks like Apple’s instincts, in contradiction to that notion, have proved correct.

Hands-On with Apple's Impressive AirPods

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple EarPods Pairing

Bryan Chaffin went into Apple’s hands-on press area a skeptic of the company’s new AirPods wireless headphones. He came out impressed. Here are his immediate impressions.

Even If You Don't Need a New iPhone 7, You Should Still Get One

· John Martellaro · Editorial

iPhone 7, black

The art and science of sizing up the new iPhone each year is a formidable one, given the time between the announcement and the window for ordering. Apple provides just enough information to whet the appetite. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the state of the art isn’t advancing and decide to save some money, passing on the iPhone 7. That’s probably not a good way to go, given Apple’s track record.

Is There Anything Apple Can't Do? That's Now a Problem

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple store logo

Once upon a time, Apple was famous for saying “no” to harebrained or even some legitimate product ideas.  That was an essential strategy for Apple to emerge from its troubles in the 1990s. Now, however, a much larger company is increasing its surface area to the customer. That, combined with Apple’s organizational structure, is creating some problems that we’re seeing today. John explains.

Blood in the Macintosh Water: Apple's Competitors Now Sense Weakness

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Concept of Macintosh, MacBook Pro with OLED strip

Apple’s competitors are sensing Macintosh weakness and are making bold moves. The MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March, 2015. The Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini are very long of tooth. The latest iMac is coming up on a year old, and only the MacBook looks fresh. Soon, there may be much blood in the water.

Siri and Apple's Machine Learning Are About to Get a Lot Better

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Siri

Siri, as we’ve know her (or him), has been both a blessing and a frustration. The technology, when it works is brilliant, but when its limitations are exposed, it can be very frustrating. Our appetite for a stellar chatbot companion has merely been whetted, and we’re about to get it. From Apple. On its terms. With privacy.

Samsung Shuts Down Milk Because LOL

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Samsung Milk

Samsung announced Tuesday that it is shutting down Milk, the company’s always-doomed music streaming service exclusive to Samsung devices. Bryan Chaffin argues that failure couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.