TMO Background Mode: Interview with Electronic Frontier Foundation Executive Director Cindy Cohn

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Cindy Cohn is the Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Founded in 1990, the EFF is a nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. The EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism and technology development. It has won some important court cases that preserve our rights online, including the use of encryption. (Which wasn’t always a given.) Cindy and I talked at length about her career, notable cases she fought and the work of the EFF, especially in the Apple vs. FBI conflict last spring. Cindy starts with notion that “privacy is fundamental to human dignity and… we can’t have a free society unless people have a private space.” Even if that means law enforcement has to work a little harder. Cindy explains it all.

At CEDIA, Amazon Will Talk About Star Trek Inspiration for Voice Recognition

· John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Amazon’s Charlie Kindel, Director of Alexa Smart Home, will be speaking at the CEDIA conference in Dallas on September 16. He’ll talk about the inspiration for voice recognition that came from Star Trek, the original series. This interview by CEDIA provides a foretaste of the presentation and includes an inspiring video of Captain Kirk voice querying the Enterprise computer. What’s also cool and interesting is Mr. Kindel’s description of how customer privacy is maintained with the blue and red indicator ring. He also points to the website a customer built to celebrate Alexa. This is nifty corporate messaging.

iPhone Charging Dock Station (Silver): $17.98

· Bryan Chaffin · Link

iPhone Charging Dock (Silver)

We have a deal for you today on an iPhone charging dock. I’m linking to a Silver model, but there’s also a Gold and a Rose Gold version to choose from. It uses your Lightning cable for charging. You can get it through our deal for $17.98.

Here's the Not So Secret Roadmap for 4K UHD TV

· John Martellaro · Link

4K UHD TV

The old, unconsidered notion about 4K UHD TV is that it’s a gimmick by the TV industry. The assumption has been that 4K resolution can’t be utilized unless one sits really close, and the familiar HDTV is good enough. In fact, the industry is about the business of implementing a gradual, exciting technology roadmap. While this means that 4K UHD TV will be gradually including more advanced technology elements than simple resolution improvement, it also means buyers will have to be careful when and how they migrate away from older equipment. It’s all on Friday’s Particle Debris column, page 2.

The Cellphone That Assembles Itself (Video)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Self-assembly cellphone components

You know that Arthur C. Clarke line about sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? Behold a little wizardry from M.I.T. in the form of a “self-assembling” cellphone. Fast Company did a story on a lab at the university that designed a cellphone with six components. They are designed in such a way that when jostled together in a tumbler, the parts that fit together, stick together, while the parts that don’t, don’t. The possibilities for cheap assembly could be staggering—in this case, it could help put a cellphone into the hands of almost anyone. But the principles are not limited to cellphones. It’s fascinating to watch, and if you find it interesting, check out the full article.

AT&T's New Mobile Share Advantage Plan Costs Compared

· Dave Hamilton · Analysis

On Sunday AT&T rolled out their new Mobile Share Advantage Plans and, along with them, their online comparison tool that shows you just what the new plans will cost you. Digging in this morning it’s pretty evident that only a handful of people currently on Mobile Share Value plans will actually save money with these new plans. Click through to see the math and the details.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-22: Interview with Airplane Mode's Dave Wiskus

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

This week TMO’s Daily Observations turns to the musical side of the Apple community. Today Airplane Mode’s Dave Wiskus joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the band, his musical journey, and finding success as an indie band.

Barbra Streisand Says iOS 10 Will Be Released September 30th

· Bryan Chaffin · News

According to Barbra Streisand, Apple will release iOS 10 on September 30th. I know what you’re thinking: what does Barbra Streisand know about Apple’s release dates? Normally, Bryan Chaffin would be the first to say “nothing.” Followed by “Gimme a break.” But she has an interesting story, and it starts with Siri mispronouncing her name.

Renaming Apple Products and Other Deck Chair Shuffles

· John Kheit · Editorial

[Product]

Since Apple is busy re-arranging deck chairs rather than actually making a new product, the least they can do is fix their wacked-out product naming scheme. John Kheit has some ideas on taming those names and modernizing Apple’s approach.

MGG 619: Security Breach!

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

Mac Geek Gab Logo

Listener Jason had a security breach on his home network. Learn what he did that allowed this to happen, and what you can do to prevent it. Lots of other tips in this episode, too, like removing phantom app storage, enabling iCloud for iBooks after the fact, starting up in Safe Mode with a wireless keyboard, and much more.

Is it Worth it to Switch to AT&T's New Plans? Maybe

· Jeff Gamet · News

AT&T iPhone

AT&T is doing away with its Mobile Share Value plans and introducing Mobile Share Advantage this weekend. The new plans do away with data overage fees in favor of throttling your connection when you use too much, and may save you money. But don’t rush out and change your contract without checking to see if you really are getting a deal because not everyone wins with AT&T’s new pricing.

PSA: New Mac Malware Tries to Trick Less Savvy Users

· Bryan Chaffin · News

The KRACK hack is being patched

There’s new Mac malware in the wild aimed at users who may be a bit less savvy on the nerd scale. Discovered by Malwarebytes, this malware uses interface shenanigans to trick users into permitting other malware to be installed.

Apple Intelligently Delves into Machine Intelligence

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

It’s not surprising that Apple is warming up to the idea of machine intelligence and AI agents with its $200 million purchase of Turi. The company needs to do that to remain competitive with Google and Microsoft. But, over and above that, the beneficial side effects will have even deeper implications for Apple as a company and its future.

Remember That 360-Degree Swing? Crazy Man Adds Motorized Propeller

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

A week or so ago I posted YouTuber colinfurze’s 360-degree “backyard” swing. It’s an insane contraption that allows him to swing 360 degree over and over again without any safety gear. Well, that apparently wasn’t crazy enough for Mr. Furze, because the dude decided what it really needed was a paramotor. That’s a motorized propeller for ultralights. You know, to help make the 360-degree swing faster. Man, do I love this guy! Check it out.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-19: FCC's Anti-robocall Plans, Moving from Evernote to OneNote

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

The FCC wants to stop spam robocalls, and now it has a strike force to help make that happen. Dave Hamilton and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to examine the FCC’s plan and share their thoughts on trying to stop unsolicited marketing calls. They also take a first look at Microsoft’s new Evernote to OneNote importer for the Mac.

Apple, Google, FCC Team up to Stop Spam Robocalls

· Jeff Gamet · News

spam iPhone

The Federal Communications Commission is ready to crack down on robocalls, and Apple, Google, and AT&T are on board with the plan. The FCC’s new Robocall Strike Force aims to reduce the number of spam robocalls and unsolicited calls, and it looks like at least 30 companies are ready to join in and help.

Microsoft Releases OneNote Evernote Importer for Mac

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

When Evernote changed its free service this month to support only two devices, Microsoft OneNote suddenly looked like a great alternative. The problem was getting all of your Evernote content moved into OneNote, at least for Mac users. Microsoft fixed that problem with its new Evernote to OneNote importer for OS X, which is free, just like OneNote. You get access to all of your notes on all of your devices—Macs, iPads, iPhones, and even Apple Watch—without paying for an annual subscription. You can download the Evernote importer at Microsoft’s OneNote website.

Microsoft Releases OneNote Evernote Importer for Mac

Twitter Will Let Users Block @Mentions from Strangers

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Stop Harassment

Twitter announced Thursday a new set of controls that allows users to not see @mentions from strangers. The move is being viewed as a response to Twitter trolls, though it’s more of a mask than a fix. When enabled, incoming mentions from people you don’t follow simply won’t be shown.

watchOS 3: How to Add and Customize Apple Watch Faces

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

watchOS 3 adds new watch faces so you can customize your Apple Watch to really make it your own. You’ll need to make a trip to the iPhone Watch app included with iOS 10 to manage your watch faces, which is pretty easy to do. Follow along with TMO’s video tip to learn how.