TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-15: Apple Pay's Failing Competitors, Augmented Reality

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

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Contactless mobile payment platforms are pretty much a mess right now. John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the state of Apple Pay and its competitors, and who may be the real winner in the contactless payment game. They also look at Apple’s push into augmented reality.

Apple: We're Seriously into Augmented Reality

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple augmented reality

Apparently it’s big news that Apple is working on augmented reality projects—or more accurately, Apple CEO Tim Cook stripped away enough of his code-speak and made it very clear his company is seriously pursuing AR technology.

MGG 618: Quick Tips, iCloud Music and Resistant Clients

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

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Quick Tips are back with a vengeance! Keyboard shortcuts, calculator corrections, audio sync, offline dictation, email archiving and more. Then it’s time to answer your questions, including migrating Notes between accounts, sizing up the Terminal and dealing with resistant clients. Download and enjoy!

Google Working on 'Fuchsia' OS, Could Replace Android and Chrome OS

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Google is working on a new operating system called Fuchsia. AndroidPolice found the project on Gtihub with the description “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System).” The OS is being built on the Magenta kernel, the first Google operating system not based on Linux. Magenta is derived from LittleKernel, a project aimed at Internet of Things and embedded OS devices. But, AndroidPolice found documentation that suggests it could be scaled up for smartphones and even desktop computers. That could make it an eventual replacement for Android and Chrome OS. It will definitely be interesting to see what Google does with Fuchsia.

Google Working on ‘Fuchsia’ OS, Could Replace Android and Chrome OS

'Dual Band System' Let's You Hide Your Apple Watch

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Check out the “The Dual Band System” from Sinn (via The Next Web), and it’s a way of having your mechanical watch cake while eating like a poser, too. With this $210 strap ($120 when purchased with a Sinn watch), you can wear your mechanical watch on top of your wrist. But hidden underneath your wrist is your Apple Watch, all on the down low. Listen, I love a mechanical watch as much as the next horological wingnut. And I’ll be honest, I am often torn on whether to wear my Zenith timepiece or my Apple Watch. But this, dear folks, is not the solution. Be that as it may, I wanted to share. 😂

ROME: Total War Coming to iPad

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Feral Interactive announced Friday it was bringing ROME: Total War to the iPad! This classic game mixes turn-based play and real-time strategy battles in a way that kept me glued to my Mac for ages. Your cities matter, and commanders count. They have different strengths and weaknesses, and not only affect your economy, they can make or break a battle. Even the way you deploy your troops matters. It will be released this fall and pricing hadn’t been announced. Two of the games expansions have been pre-announced for iPad, too: ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion and ROME: Total War – Alexander.  Check out the trailer.

iOS 10: How to use Stickers in Messages

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

iOS 10’s Messages app lets you add stickers to your text chats, just like you can do in conversations in social media services such as Facebook. You won’t see any stickers you can use at first because there aren’t any installed by default. Follow along with this TMO Video Tip to learn how to install stickers and use them in your Messages chats.

Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets: $11.99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets

Check out this clever idea, a clip-on Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets. Because it’s held on with an adjustable clip, it will fit just about any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It comes with three lenses, a 180 degree fish eye, a wide-angle, or a macro lens. You can get this lens kit for $11.99 through our deal.

Apple Pay Rival Systems Will be Costly Failures

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple Pay AMEX

It seems that too many corporations and banks want to create rival alternatives to Apple Pay. They have their own agenda for inserting themselves into the payment process, but always seem to forget that putting themselves ahead of the customer with half-baked, potentially problematic systems is never the right thing to do. Most will have to learn the hard way.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-12: Microsoft's Leaked Encryption Key, Explaining Internet Speed Tests

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

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Microsoft’s private encryption key for validating Windows software was accidentally leaked, so that’s a problem. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to explore the issues Microsoft is facing, and how the problem validates concerns over giving governments back door access into our personal data. They also explain why internet speed test results can vary so widely.

Second Star Wars Rogue One Trailer: OMG Darth Vader

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

The excitement over Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is building up to a frenzy as its December 16th premiere draws ever closer like a tractor beam pulling us into the Death Star’s landing bay. The excitement hyperdrive kicked in now that the second trailer for the movie is out and OMG it has Darth Vader! There’s also X-wings TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers, and Storm Troopers—but there’s Darth Vader! Crank up your speakers, sit back, and soak up the awesomeness that is the second Rogue One trailer.

A Backyard 360-Degree Swing (Video)

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Youtuber colinfurze has a new crazy contraption, a 360-degree swing. And it’s just way too cool. Oh, and it’s in his back yard and lacks even a semblance of safety. I love people who can make things and who aren’t afraid to shoot for awesome. This swing is certainly awesome. Check out the bit at 1:55 when he talks about the pallets and how it used to be taller. At 2:02 there’s a couple of seconds of one of the arms bending while he was testing. Crazy. Watch and admire!

Fast Company's Interview with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi a Must-Read

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I’ve been thinking about Rick Tetzeli’s interview transcript with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi for two days, and I just can’t decide what exactly to write about it. There’s a detailed explanation on Maps, its development, its import. There’s stuff about the differences between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Steve yelled, Tim is cerebral). There’s comments on Apple and innovation, and another section on customers holding Apple to a higher bar. And a lot more. It’s all good, and I think it’s a must-read for anyone interested in Apple.

Fast Company’s Interview with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi a Must-Read

Microsoft Expertly Demonstrates Why Encryption Backdoors Are Terrible Ideas

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Golden Key Website

Microsoft did long term privacy advocates a huge favor, even while it screwed over untold millions of customers. The company expertly demonstrated the foolhardy nature of backdoors even existing by accidentally leaking a so-called “golden key.” That key will allow anyone to bypass Microsoft’s Secure Boot protections, rendering them moot.

Leawo Professional Media for Mac: $19

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Leawo Professional Media for Mac

We have a deal for you today on Leawo Professional Media for Mac. This software converts multiple video formats, and it can read and rip DVDs and Blu-ray, and it has a 2D/3d converter. This software retails for $119, but you can get it through our deal for $19.

Logitech Pop Aims to Make Complex Smarthome Control Easy

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Explaining the complexities and nuances of controlling your home’s smart lights, smart switches, and wireless music system can be a little frustrating for you and intimidating for your less tech-savvy friends and family. Logitech is hoping to take away that complexity with its new Pop programmable button. You set up a Pop to control connected devices such as Hue lights, WeMo and Lutron switches, Sonos music players, and more. It’s pretty versatile, too, so you can do things like set a single press to turn on the lights and close the blinds, or a double-press to dim the lights and get the tunes playing through your Sonos. You can pre-order a starter pack with two switches and network bridge for US$99.99, and it will ship in a few weeks.

Logitech Pop Aims to Make Complex Smarthome Control Easy

TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-11: Reality Checking Apple's Product Focus

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

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Apple seems to be making everything except new Macs, and that has some people wondering if the company has lost its focus. Bryan Chaffin and The Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on Apple’s new product and product upgrade strategies and weigh in on whether or not the company is still focused.

Netflix Fast Internet Speed Test Comes to iPhone

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Netflix launched its own internet speed test website a few months ago, and now the streaming entertainment company has turned the Fast site into an iPhone and iPad app. Just like the website, the Fast app is a one trick pony: launch it, and you’ll see how fast your internet connection is. Fast shows just your download speed, which is what most people care about anyhow, and there’s a button to check your connection speed again. Netflix Fast is a free download at Apple’s App Store.

Netflix Fast Internet Speed Test Comes to iPhone

OS X: Installing the Older Version of Microsoft Office

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

On September 22, Microsoft is going stop allowing its Office 365 customers to download Office 2011. So if you need to take advantage of the time remaining to grab the older version of the popular Office suite, there’s no better time to do so! We’ll show you how.