TMO Background Mode: Interview with Science Journalist and Author Maryn McKenna

· · Background Mode Podcast

Maryn McKenna is a science journalist and author. Her undergraduate degree was in 16th century theater and 20th century poetry. That led to a small theater company, but after a few years, she realized that a paying job would be a very good idea. When Maryn realized she really wanted to be a writer, she was off to graduate school and journalism. After graduation, she discovered that the only jobs in journalism were business related. That led to a career in investigative journalism and eventually, she landed with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering the CDC. In time, Maryn became an expert on bioterrorism, the over use of antibiotics with both humans and animals, superbugs, food policy and the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. (Yes, that’s real.) Her stories, at times, were scary, so brace yourself.

Sorry, Apple Didn't Patent a Vape Pen

· · News

Apple patent is about vaporizing metals, not weed

We have the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod, and based on a recently published patent, some are saying the iVape is coming next. Apple’s patent describes something that sounds a lot like the vaping pens you use when you’re sitting on the couch getting baked while watching Scooby-Doo, except that using this design would probably kill you.

Goodbye iPhone Activation Lock Checker, Presidential Immigration Ban and Apple - TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-30

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple shut down its iPhone Activation Lock Status checker without any explanation, which raises a few questions. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at what may be behind Apple’s decision, plus they look at what impact the presidentail executive order banning immigration from certain countries could have on Silicon Valley companies such as Apple.

Flux 6 Lifetime License: $49.99

· · TMO Deals

Flux 6 Screenshots

We have a deal for you on Flux 6, a WYSIWYG HTML and CSS design tool. It features the ability to write and edit code, or use drag and drop controls. Our deal is for lifetime access and future updates on one computer for $49.99, 83% off retail.

Speed Test Shows iOS 10.3 Starts 6 Seconds Faster on iPhone 5s

· · Cool Stuff Found

iAppleBytes did some speed tests comparing iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 10.3—with its new file system. In the video below, they show startup times on an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 5s. The device on the left of each pair is running iOS 10.2.1, the current shipping version of iOS. The devices on the right of each pair are running iOS 10.3, which includes Apple File System (APFS). This is a brand new file system years in the making, and it will change of underlying structural aspects of iOS. This demonstration shows one of those things is startup times. The iPhone 5s running iOS 10.3 started up 5.88 seconds faster than its cousin running 10.2.1. That’s 19.7% faster! The iPhone 5 running iOS 10.3 started up 7.57 seconds faster (18.7% faster). This is just one metric, mind you, and it’s important to remember this version of iOS 10.3 is the first developer preview. Newer iPhone and iPads with newer processors will likely show a smaller delta in absolute terms, but the whole point is that things are going to be happening faster. Squuuueeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Safari Passwords, Shopping Lists, and Synology RT2600ac Router – Mac Geek Gab 642

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

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Have a website with multiple passwords and Safari always chooses the wrong one? Want a shopping list app to manage as a family? Photos showing greyed-out people? That’s just how this week’s Mac Geek Gab starts, folks. Then it’s on to Dave’s review of the new Synology RT2600ac standalone router, plus some related router questions for good measure. That’s not where it ends, though, because there are more questions and tips answered in here, as well. You’ll just have to listen to find out everything. After all, you must learn at least four new things each week, right? We’re here to help you do just that!

How Can We Tell if Our Love for Apple is Logical or Biased?

· · Particle Debris

Apple is our most favored company for perfectly good reasons. Or so we think. And yet there are people who despise the company. How can both attitudes be right?  The reason for this duality may depend on a particular kind of thinking called cognitive bias. John Martellaro explains. Or, at least, he thinks he’s explaining.

Meet Alo, A Phone Concept From The Future

· · Editorial

Have you ever wondered about a “post-iPhone” future? Well, French designers Jerome Olivet and Philippe Starck have one possible answer. It involves a metal and resin device they call Alo, and it’s meant to be a voice-only smartphone with built-in artificial intelligence.

Twelve South's SurfacePad Leather Case Comes to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

· · Cool Stuff Found

Twelve South announced Friday that its SurfacePad leather wrap case is now available for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. I like minimalist leather cases for my iPhones and iPads and I’ve long thought the SurfacePad line is good looking. The back attaches to your iPhone, and the inside of the front cover is lined with microfiber. It has two slots for cards on the inside, too, if that’s your thing. It’s available in Jet Black, Camel and Midnight Blue, for $39.95, and it’s shipping now.

Twelve South’s SurfacePad Leather Case Comes to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Apple Joins Partnership on AI as a Founding Member

· · News

Apple a founding member of the Partnership on AI

Apple’s commitment to the artificial intelligence community is even stronger now that it’s officially a founding member of the Partnership for AI. The organization was created to help shape the future of artificial intelligence technology in an open way.

How to Enable Night Shift in macOS 10.12.4

· · Quick Tip

Go to Displays in System Preferences to manage Night Shift settings

Night Shift—the feature that slowly shifts your display color temperature as the sun sets–has been available on the iPhone and iPad for a while, and now it’s coming to the Mac. Apple added Night Shift support to macOS 10.12.4, which is currently available as a beta. It’s easy to activate, so follow along to learn how.

MultiPoint Bluetooth Car Speaker Phone: $42.95

· · TMO Deals

MultiPoint Bluetooth Car Speaker Phone

We have a deal on an interesting device called MultiPoint Bluetooth Car Speaker Phone. It’s a Bluetooth speaker, but it’s designed to be used in your car and attaches to your visor. It allows you to make hands-free calls, even if your car doesn’t have a built-in hands-free system. You can get it through us for $42.95, more than half off retail.

HBO Go Gets TV App, Single Sign On Support

· · News

HBO Go adds TV app support for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

HBO is finally going all in with Apple’s TV app thanks to a just released update for its HBO Go app. The new version adds TV support, just like the HBO Now app already had, so you can search for HBO content and keep track of what you’re watching in Apple’s app.

Apple Extends Developer Promo for App Store Search Ads

· · News

App Store Search Ad Example

Apple is extending the App Store Search Ads offer for developers until March 30, 2017. Originally, the introductory offer launched back in October was set to expire on December 31, 2016. Developers who sign up get free $100 in credits that go toward App Store ads. The reason is unknown, but 9To5Mac offers a guess.

FaceApp Uses Neural Net to Add Smiles, Make You Old or Young, Change Gender

· · Cool Stuff Found

OK, folks, I honestly don’t know how I feel about this, but it’s definitely interesting. A company called Wireless Lab has a new app called FaceApp. It uses the power of a neural net to modify photographs. They can add a smile to a portrait where the subject wasn’t smiling. Other filters make a face young or old, or change the gender from male to female or vice versa. In a statement, the company said, “Prisma changes the style of a photo, but keeps the content. FaceApp changes the content, but keeps the style.” Wireless Lab is using a neural net, meaning your image is uploaded to their servers where a bunch of computers apply the filters. In my quick tests, I found the Smile filter works stunningly well. You’ll see me and Jeff Gamet below both look like women with the Female filter, but it doesn’t handle our facial hair very well. And—much to my chagrin—neither of us look any older with the “Old” filter, but their own examples are markedly different. The short version is that FaceApp isn’t perfect, and it’s little more than a novelty at this stage, but humans are getting really, really good at altering images in stunning ways. FaceApp is free. [Update: I reached out to Yaroslav Goncharov, the founder and CEO of Wireless Lab, who told me the underlying technology with use. He said, “Users already sent us photos some of our filters struggle with and it helps us to fine tune our neural nets.”]

FaceApp Uses Neural Net to Add Smiles, Make You Old or Young, Change Gender