Vizio's Spying TVs, UAC iPhone Connectors - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-07

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Vizio just settled an FTC lawsuit for using their smart TVs to spy on customers. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about Vizio collecting viewing data on users without permission and the settlement with the FTC. They also look at the UAC connector that’s going to let headphones connect to Lightning and USB-C.

Belkin Car Vent Mount for Smartphones: No, This One Works!

· Bryan Chaffin · Quick Look Review

Belkin Car Vent Mount

Belkin has a new version of its Car Vent Mount for iPhone (or Android devices). Made with quality materials and redesigned components, this is the first vent mount that Bryan Chaffin has found that works.

Apple Turns to UAC for Yet Another iPhone Connector

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple adding UAC to supported iPhone cable connectors

Apple has plans for yet another connector in its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. The new plug—which is actually kind of old—is called Ultra Accessory Connector, or UAC, and will work along side Lightning and USB-C instead of replacing them.

Pay What You Want for the 2017 Superstar Mac Bundle [Updated]

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

2017 Superstar Mac Bundle

We have a new pay-what-you-want deal for you called the 2017 Superstar Mac Bundle. It includes 12 different apps—you get all of them by beating the average price, which is $12.17 as of this writing. But you can pay anything—as little as a dollar—and get two of the apps, Mac Screen Recorder and NotePlan. Beat the leader’s price and get an entry into a giveaway for a 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Check out the details on the deal listing. [Updated with a new promo image. – Editor]

Vizio Smart TVs Spied on You, and the FTC Settled with a Wrist Slap

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Eye Spy on Your TV

Did you hear the one about the TV company that spied on its customers, sold that data to third parties, and got a slap on the wrist from the FTC? Bryan Chaffin has the details, and he’s pretty cranky about it.

The Inside Story on Making Apple's 1999 Super Bowl Ad, 'HAL'

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

1999 was a good time to be a Mac user. Apple was coming back, baby! And unlike today, the company was releasing new Macs, too. 1999 saw the PowerMac G3 and PowerMac G4, multicolored iMacs to replace the Bondi Blue iMac, and the PowerBook G3 (Lombard). Those were good times. It was also the year Apple ran a spot called HAL in the Super Bowl. Ken Segall, who was then the Apple account manager at TBWA/Chiat/Day, gave us the inside story on how HAL was born and the convoluted steps HAL took to land in the Super Bowl. Spoiler: it almost didn’t happen. Quick nuggets include the voice actor who recreated the HAL voice because the original voice actor was reportedly too precious to do commercials; the painstaking process of recreating HAL’s look and feel; and securing permission from Stanley Kubrick and MGM to use the characters and imagery (respectively). I love reading Ken Segall’s stories about working with Steve Jobs, and this is another good one. Definitely check it out. Below is the beginning of the Macworld Expo keynote where HAL actually debuted.

You Can Never Be Too Thin. Unless You’re a MacBook Pro

· John Martellaro · Link

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

MacBook Pros have been getting thinner and thinner. From an aesthetic, handling, weight and evolutionary standpoint, thinner is better. However, when does an unhealthy obsession with thinness interfere with great engineering? Is a MacBook Pro that’s too thin get in the way of features, performance and adequate ports? Would two extra millimeters of thickness enhance battery life enough to make the pro customer smile with enthusiasm?  When does the obsession stop? John elaborates on page 2 of Particle Debris.

32-bit iPhone and iPad Apps Are on Death Row

· Jeff Gamet · News

ioS 10 32-bit app warning dialog

Apple’s look-forward philosophy means 64-bit iPhone and iPad apps are the future and 32-bit apps are fading into the past. That means the day is coming where 32-bit apps that haven’t been updated to 64-bit will stop working, and if you don’t have a replacement app ready to go you’ll be out of luck.

Target Offers Discounted Apple Watch Series 1 Models

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

Target is discounting its entire lineup of Apple Watch Series 1 models by US$70—that includes eight models of Apple Watch. With the price drop, 38mm models are $199, and 42mm models are $229. Both prices include free shipping. This is a great deal for customers who want an Apple Watch but not necessarily the latest model. The prime differences between Series 1 and Series 2 watches are that the Series 2 devices have a GPS sensor, water resistance, and a better display. (via MacRumors).

Target Offers Discounted Apple Watch Series 1 Models

TMO Background Mode: Interview with with Tech Community Facilitator Jonathan Bernstein

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is an attorney. He’s an Apple product expert. He’s worked for the Federal Election Commission. He’s on the board of directors of the legendary Washington, D.C. Apple Pi Users Group. He’s involved with the Silver Spring, Maryland Citizens Advisory Board where he’s active in facilitating communication between citizens and local government. Oh, my. After Jonathan told me a little bit about his background, being the son of a rabbi father and pediatrician mother, it soon became clear where his roots of public service originated. Out of law school, he clerked for a judge in the U.S. Claims Court, and that eventually connected him to the FEC. We chatted about Jonathan’s unique gift for bringing people together utilizing technology. He’ll inspire you with collaboration methods you never realized were possible.

Here are the Best Super Bowl 2017 Commercials

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

If you’re only interest in the Super Bowl was the commercials, you don’t have to find a friend who recorded the game just so you can see them. The Super Bowl Commercials website has your back. They have all of the commercials, and they chose what they see as the top 9 ads from the game. Spoiler: car makers nailed it with their ads this year. You can watch all of the ads at the Super Bowl Commercials website.

Here are the Best Super Bowl 2017 Commercials

Jawbone Bails Out of Consumer Fitness Tracker Market

· Jeff Gamet · News

Jawbone exits consumer fitness trackers for pro medical health devices

Apple and Fitbit are about to lose a competitor because Jawbone is ready to shut down its consumer fitness tracker business. The company is shifting to devices for health care providers.

Quick Apple Watch Tip: Get to know the new App Dock

· David Chartier · Quick Tip

watchOS 3 App Dock

The new App Dock in watchOS 3 makes some huge improvements to the Watch’s app experience. Here’s why, how to use it, and how to add your most important apps to it.

Apple and the Broken FaceTime Lawsuit - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-06

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple is facing a class action lawsuit over claims it intentionally broke FaceTime to force users to upgrade to iOS 7. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the case and decide whether or not they think it has any merit.

Apple Among 97 Companies in Filing Against Trump's Immigration Ban

· Jeff Gamet · News

Denver was one of many cities where communities gathered to protest Donald Trump's immigration executive order

The White House immigration executive order has faced harsh criticism and now it faces even more opposition now that 97 companies, including Apple, have filed an amicus brief with the Federal Courts. The document, which leaked last week, is harshly critical of Mr. Trump’s order and says immigrants are an important part of our society and economy.

Polaroid University 5-Year Subscription: $24.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Polaroid University

Did you know that Polaroid has an online university with hours of professional-led, professionally-produced videos for smartphone photographers, covering dozens of topics? Thanks to our friends at Stack Commerce, I do now, and they put together a deal for us on a 5-year subscription to Polaroid University for $24.99.

You Scratch Your Head, I’ll Scratch Mine – Mac Geek Gab 643

· John F. Braun & Dave Hamilton · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Mac Geek Gab Logo

Cool Stuff Found kicks off this week’s show, with email clients, Wi-Fi Widget(s), combo iPhone/Watch chargers, disk utilities and much, much more. Then, after a few additional tips from you, dear listeners, it’s time for your questions. Topics this week include comparing local vs. Cloud storage for things like your music, videos and documents; memory interleaving and when to use it; solving corrupt user accounts that won’t login; and solving the issues with web pages that are slow to load. Press play and enjoy!

macOS Photos: Create Smart Albums Based On Camera Type

· Andrew Orr · How-To

A handy tip for macOS Photos users is to create Smart Albums. A Smart Album automatically organizes your photos based on certain criteria that you choose. Today Andrew shows us how to create a Smart Album based on camera model. The album is perfect if you use multiple cameras and need to separate them easily.

Lawsuit Claims Apple Broke FaceTime to Force iOS 7 Upgrades

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple lawsuit

What happens when you don’t want to upgrade to a new version of iOS on your iPhone, but you’re sure Apple is forcing you to anyhow? Lawsuit! Apple is facing a class action lawsuit for just that where the plaintiffs allege the company intentionally broke FaceTime in iOS 6 to force upgrades to iOS 7 all to save some money.