A Drone Big Enough to Pull a Snowboarder? Yes Please

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Drones are pretty cool, but a drone big enough to pull a snowboarder? Now that’s really cool. Casey Neistat enlisted the help of some friends to build a drone powerful enough to pull him on his snowboard up hill, and even take him on short flights off snow jumps and ramps. He zips through a ski town to show off his drone boarding skills, and it’s frakking awesome. Check out the video to see Casey’s drone boarding adventures—and don’t try this with your own drone. Casey is a professional crazy man with a custom built drone.

Apple Updates AirPort Firmware to Fix Disappearing Base Station Issue

· Bryan Chaffin · Product News

AirPort Extreme

Apple released AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.7.8 on Tuesday. The update fixes an issue that caused some AirPort Base Stations to disappear from AirPort Utility when Find My Mac is on. It’s specifically for AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac.

iKlip Grip Pro an Excellent Multifunction Tripod, Monopod, Selfie Stick

· Bryan Chaffin · Quick Look Review

iKlip Grip Pro in Tabletop Tripod mode

iKlip Grip Pro is one of those devices that appeals to my love of clever. In one device, IK Multimedia has a tabletop tripod, a monopod/camera grip, and a selfie stick with an included Bluetooth remote the company pretends we’ll use for above-the-crowd shots. Better, the company did so without compromising the function of any of those three modes.

How to Decipher Apple's Conflicting Messaging About Macs

· John Martellaro · 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.

AirPods Review with Michael Johnston - TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-20

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Michael Johnston from The iOS Show joins Jeff Gamet to review Apple’s just released AirPods wireless earpods. They dive into the setup, performance, sound quality, fit, and more to help you decide if they’re worth the $159 price tag.

Tim Cook Says 'Great Desktops' are Coming

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple CEO Tim Cook says new desktop computers are coming

The iMac hasn’t been updated in over a year and the Mac Pro is more than three years old without any changes, leaving many wondering if Apple is stepping back from the desktop computer market. Apple CEO Tim Cook says that’s not so, and that there are “great desktops in our roadmap.”

iFixit: AirPods Aren't Repairable, Case May Have Caused Delay

· Jeff Gamet · News

iFixit tears down Apple's AirPods and AirPods case

Apple’s AirPods have been available for only a day, and with very limited availability, but iFixit managed to get ahold of a pair and subject them to their usual new product dissection. What they found inside were components that can’t be repaired, and a charging case that may be behind the extended delay in getting to store shelves.

Hotspot Shield Elite Plus VPN 1-Year Subscription: $21.50

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Hotspot Shield Elite Plus VPN

We have a deal for you today on a one-year subscription to Hotspot Shield Elite Plus VPN. The service supports Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and Kindle, with more than 20 virtual locations to connect to. You can get this subscription for $21.50 though us. There are longer subscriptions available, too.

macOS Sierra: Sharing Apple Notes

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

sharing options in apple notes

One of the updates that macOS Sierra brings to the table is collaboration, specifically in Apple Notes. Sharing notes is a great way to collaborate with your friends, family or coworkers.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Scrivener Creator Keith Blount

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Keith Blount

Keith Blount is the founder of the renowned writing app Scrivener. It’s designed for long-form text such as a thesis or novel. Think of it as a 3-ring binder and corkboard for the author. But Keith didn’t start life as a programmer. In college he studied history and literature. Later he became a school teacher. Interested in writing, however, he discovered that standard word processors didn’t have the facility he wanted for stitching together non-linear work. So he spent six months of evenings teaching himself Objective-C and Xcode. The first major release of Scrivener in 2007 was a huge hit. Today, Scrivener has sold over 500,000 copies and is available for Mac, Windows and iOS. Have you wondered how he named his company? You’ll just have to tune in!

Want to Know Which Apple Stores have AirPods? Check iStockNow

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Online AirPods orders are backlogged six weeks, and it’s practically impossible to find any in Apple’s own retail stores. Until Apple gets inventory under control iStockNow is a handy tool for tracking down which stores may have those elusive wireless earbuds. The Webpage lets you check stores by location on Google Maps to see if AirPods are in stock, and it can tell you about other Apple products, too, like Apple Watch and the MacBook. iStockNow is free to use; all you need is a Web browser and an idea which Apple Store you want to check.

Want to Know Which Apple Stores have AirPods? Check iStockNow

The First AI-Written Christmas Song Is More Soul-Crushing than Fruitcake

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Gather ye around the yule log, so festive, warm, and bright! Listen to this song of Christmas cheer written and composed by an AI. And hold on to your loved ones as said tune sucks the soul from your very bones and leaves you quivering in the naked fear not that the morrow will not come, but that it will come and you will be forced to endure another day contemplating the futility and hopelessness of life!  “I’ve always been there for the rest of our lives. A hundred and a half hours ago. I’m glad to meet you. I can hear the music coming from the hall.” Now that, dear friends, is the Christmas stuff of nightmares, as HowStuffWorks put it. And yes, I am dying, both from laughter and abject fear. This “song,” such as it is, was the result of a neural network project from The University of Toronto. They fed in 100 hours of holiday music, a bunch of holiday photographs with captions, and said, “Now you do it.” The song below was the result. Put another way, score ones for the humans.

The Artificial Intelligence Arms Race Is On

· John Martellaro · Link

AI concept

It’s easy to fall into the notion that Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents are intended only to speak to us, HAL 9000 style—to inform, analyze and guide via conversation.  But today, AI agents are being used for many behind the scenes activities. For example, cancer research via IBM’s Watson, autonomous cars and better human language translations. As a result of the enormous impact AI can have, in the many forms of human interactions, “Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and the Chinese firm Baidu — have touched off an arms race for A.I.” There’s more discussion on page 2 of Particle Debris.

Blade Runner 2049 Teaser Trailer Hits the Web

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Blade Runner was an epic dystopian future movie that really shined once Ridley Scott was able to re-edit it and undo the damage the studios inflicted on us. Now we’re getting our first taste of the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, in a teaser trailer that promises even more epic dystopian awesomeness. The movie stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, and if the teaser is any indication, this time the studios aren’t screwing it up. Blade Runner 2049 opens on October 6, 2017, so you have plenty of time to clear your schedule.

AirPods Alternatives, Plastic OLED - TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-19

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Apple’s AirPods are in the company’s retail stores, but that doesn’t mean you can buy them. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the limited availability for AirPods, and offer up some alternative wireless earbud options. They also look at Plastic OLED and explain what that means for future iPhone models.

iPhone Star Ratings for Music on Your Lock Screen

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I got a great tip over the weekend from Chris Noto about Music Rating Widget for iOS. The short version is that this app gives you access to your music Star Ratings as a Notifications Widget. That means you can see and edit those Star Ratings even from your Lock Screen, which is far easier than Apple makes it. It’s US$0.99 from the App Store, and there’s a caveat. It only works for songs you have synced from iTunes. The Widget won’t see songs you’re getting through iCloud Music Library. One you download it to your iOS device, you’ll need to turn it on by editing your Widgets on the Today view of Notification Center. If you’re a fan of Star Ratings, this will be 99 cents well-spent.

iPhone Star Ratings for Music on Your Lock Screen

Constrained Inventory Leaves AirPods Buyers Empty Handed

· Jeff Gamet · News

Line outside University Park Village Apple Store in Fort Worth, Texas, for AirPods

Hopeful shoppers lined up early Monday morning in a mostly fruitless effort to buy Apple’s AirPods today instead of waiting until January for online orders to ship. AirPods are backordered six weeks, but the company said the wireless earpods would be available in its retail stores on Monday, December 19th.

Here's Why a Plastic OLED Display iPhone Is a Good Thing

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Apple may use Plastic OLED displays for the 2017 iPhone

A new report claims Apple’s next iPhone will replace the glass LED display with curved Plastic OLED. On the surface that sounds like a bad idea because plastic, after all, scratches much easier than glass—but in this case, “Plastic OLED” doesn’t mean “plastic display.”

GorillaPower 5-Port USB & Power Dock: $59.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

GorillaPower 5-Port USB & Power Dock

We have a deal for you today on the GorillaPower 5-Port USB & Power Dock. This charging station has five ports and slots to hold your devices, too. It also has two two-way AC outlets, meaning you can plug the device into the wall, but you can also plug a computer into dock. This device is priced at $59.99 through us, 33% off retail.

The First Rule of The Darknet Is Don’t Talk About The Darknet – Mac Geek Gab 636

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

Mac Geek Gab Logo

It’s true, John and Dave – and you, fellow listeners – have gone acronym crazy! BYOD is discussed, as is TOR browser on iOS and elsewhere. RAM performance under Sierra makes an appearance as do a TON of tips, especially one for speeding up Safari on slower Macs. VPN makes an appearance in this acronym show (as it should!), and then we have some gift guide suggestions from your fellow listeners. Press play and enjoy!