The V-Moda Crossfade LP2 are over-the-ear headphones that check all of John Martellaro’s boxes. In this quick look review, he tells the story of his search for a pair of decent, reasonably priced headphones for casual music and podcasting. He found them.
The video sharing social network Vine shut down today, and is being reborn as a Twitter feature. Bryan Chaffin and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to look at the state of social networks, plus they dive into the importance of strong passwords.
Vine’s six seconds of fame, so to speak, has come and gone. As of January 17th, the Vine video sharing social network has shut down and is being replaced with an app that posts short videos on Twitter.
Apple’s App Store is about to get more expensive for U.K. shoppers. App prices are going up by 25% because the pound has been dropping in the wake of the Brexit vote.
You folks probably know how much I love clever devices—we have a deal on one called Kinkoo 3-Outlet Surge Protecting Smart Power Strip. It’s a power strip with three AC outlets, but it also has four USB charging ports. That’s three standard USB charging ports and one USB-C charging port, making it good for new and legacy USB charging. It’s $24.99 through us.
The Daily Telegraph of London published a scathing condemnation of the European Union’s accusation that Ireland is giving Apple illegal state aid. The editorial breaks down the case against Ireland and Apple, characterizing the legal principles to be in violation of the EU’s own principles. Bryan Chaffin explains the whats and whos.
Hey, guess what? Your passwords probably suck. Most of our passwords suck, as shown in an analysis of 10 million passwords released in security breaches from 2016. Bryan Chaffin has some basic tips for improving your password security, and stern words for those who slack on this!
Once Donald Trump takes the presidential oath on January 20th Federal Communication Commission chairman Tom Wheeler is out of a job, and the prospect of maintaining Net Neutrality may leave with him. Mr. Wheeler has been a strong proponent of an open internet so he’s making a final plea to Republican lawmakers to back down on their plan to strip away FCC regulations preventing ISPs from blocking network data from competitors.
Samson announced Monday the QH4 4-Channel Headphone Amplifier. It’s built to support four headphones at the same time, each with its own volume control. Desktop musicians and bands recording in a practice space or a garage should check it out because it offers a compact way for four musicians to monitor themselves. It also has a master volume and can flip between stereo and mono. It’s powered by an included power supply, and has two 1/4” balanced and one stereo 1/8” unbalanced input. The QH4 is priced at $69.99 and is available now.
You may have heard of the Mother of All Demos, especially if you’ve studied, or even read up on, computing history. But have you seen it? There is a video of this legendary event (via Reviewed.com), and I personally find it fascinating. Here’s why this is a thing. The demo was given by Doug Engelbart in 1968, when punch cards were how you interfaced with a computer. But in this demo, the world was shown (list via Wikipedia) windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, a collaborative real-time editor, and the computer mouse. The freaking computer mouse! None of these things existed outside the circle of people involved in the demo. It was huge. No, it was enormous. And many of the people in the demo went on to be involved in the Xerox PARC, which played a major role inspiring Jef Raskin and Steve Jobs for the Mac. The Mother of All Demos resonated through tech culture for decades, and it took decades to make most of that list above mainstream. If you like tech history, you should book some time to watch this. And if you do, think about the context of the times and be amazed. One last note, the typed story at the beginning explains how the movie itself was made.
At sixcolors, Jason Snell writes: “As we close the door on 2016, I thought it would be useful to look back at the year gone by and ask a panel of my peers who pay attention to Apple and related markets to take a moment and reflect on Apple’s performance in the past year.” What’s interesting about this report is that these are some of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic writers covering Apple. And the consensus grades, except for the iPhone and Apple Watch, aren’t all that great. Check it out on page 2 of Particle Debris.
Dr. Chris Soghoian is an expert on the technology and politics of privacy. Most recently he’s been the Principal Technologist with the ACLU. In 2017, he’s one of three Innovation Fellows for the TechCongress where he’ll assist in federal policymaking. Chris earned his Ph.D. with a research focus on the role internet and telephone companies play in enabling government surveillance, and he’s also known for his work with the FTC and the Do Not Track initiative. Chris started life as a tech geek, and computers were always a part of his life. That led to an undergraduate degree in computer science. Then he interned at Apple and IBM. But a significant event changed his direction in life, and he gained a newfound appreciation for attorneys. Chris makes some interesting observations about today’s assaults on our privacy.
TDO listeners have plenty to say about how Consumer Reports rates laptops, so today dive into their comments. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to respond to listener comments, plus they share their thoughts on Apple Music becoming a pop culture nexus.
Apple has new spots out with the tagline “practically magic.” The spots focus on a young dancer taking a Stroll through a city scape using AirPods to enjoy “Down” by Marian Hill. There are four spots in the series, the longer one below and three short ones. Two of the short ones focus on Siri and Pairing, while the third one is called Notes, and uses AirPods to represent notes on a staff. Stroll takes a whimsical look at the power of music by showing the dancer defy gravity. I think the imagery is compelling and the message simple and straightforward. Check it out.
Apple Music front man Jimmy Iovine all but confirmed last week’s report that Apple is on the hunt for original scripted TV shows for the subscription service. He said Apple is looking for ways to set the streaming music service apart from Spotify, and that Apple Music is going to be a big part of the pop culture experience.
We have a deal today on Next Flipbook Maker Pro for Mac. This software helps you make PDFs and images into HTML5 flipbooks. It does Flash, too, but seriously, HTML5. You can embed YouTube, local video, music, images, buttons, charts, and hyperlinks, and it has batch conversion abilities, too. It’s priced at $39.99, which is 86% off retail. Check out the details on the deal listing.
Feral Interactive announced Friday that ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion would be coming to iPad in March! This was originally an expansion for ROME: Total War on Mac and PC—Feral ported that game to iPad late last year. I’ve played ROME: Total War on iPad, and it’s an amazing conversion to a touch interface. Feral and its developers did a remarkable job. Barbarian Invasion was a terrific expansion of the original game, too, and I can’t wait for the iPad launch to suck ever more hours out of my life. 😂 Barbarian Invasion is set three centuries after the campaigns of the original game, and players can play either a barbarian commander out to bring Rome down, or a Roman general defending the empire. The game will be exclusively in the App Store in March at £3.99/US$4.99/€4.99.
Chris Lattner, Apple’s outgoing head of developer tools, has refuted claims published by BusinessInsider that he left the company because of Apple’s focus on secrecy and closed systems. Mr. Lattner left Apple, where he was credited with heading development of Swift, for Tesla, where he will be working on self-driving cars.
Apple periodically comes out with The Next Big Thing. Along the way, however, the company makes incremental changes that also make our lives better. How those many advancements accumulate to positively affect our lives depends on how often we upgrade. Meanwhile, the punctuation of big product events keeps us coming back for more. It’s all in a delicate balance, perceived in our flow of time.
Can you kick it old school enough to remember DONKEY.BAS? It was one of the first racing games on DOS, and it was coded by a young tech exec named Bill Gates. Maybe you’ve heard of him. In any event, XVision has recreated this game on iPhone and Apple Watch, and they call it DONKEY.APP. It’s a, “super simple but frustratingly hard retro arcade game, inspired by Bill Gates’ one-and-only DOS game.” The player is a old-fashioned race car, only there are beasts of burden standing on the road. The player taps to change lanes to avoid the beasts, making it a game all about precise timing. It’s not particularly easy, either. Retro gaming is all the rage, and you can revisit this slice of tech history for US$0.99. I’d love to know your thoughts.