Musician and Programmer John Nastos - TMO BGM Interview

John Nastos is a multi-instrumentalist, music composer and improvisor, saxophonist, an iOS app developer, book author and is currently on faculty at Portland State University as a Jazz Saxophone Instructor.

John is one of those special people who is an accomplished jazz musician, iOS developer and author. He tells a fascinating story about how he got started as a jazz musician and the people who mentored him. Along the way, he also fondly adopted the Mac, and that stood him well when it came time to develop some very popular, technical music apps that had never existed before. As an instructor, John teaches his students the principles behind music improvisation. His first book, The Mechanism lays out those core concepts. John is a gifted speaker and educator, so don’t miss this show.

U.S. Government Wants to Track Coronavirus Spread With Location Data

The U.S. government is in talks with Facebook, Google, and others to use location data to track the spread of the coronavirus.

Public-health experts are interested in the possibility that private-sector companies could compile the data in anonymous, aggregated form, which they could then use to map the spread of the infection, according to three people familiar with the effort, who requested anonymity because the project is in its early stages.

On the surface, it’s for good intentions (They always seem good on the surface). But we know that in certain situations, data can be de-anonymized. Some questions: How will they use this data? How effective would this be? Will the government keep the database afterward? My initial thought is that I have no problem with medical experts and scientists doing this. But I have no faith in this current administration, or faith in companies like Facebook and Google. What if they created an app to collect this data? That way it’s optional. And please passwordprotect the server.

On Being a Woman in The Gaming Industry

Just because it isn’t International Women’s Day anymore, that doesn’t mean we should not celebrate women in tech! iMore has a great interview with Camilla Avellar, a designer at Supercell – the firm behind Clash of Clans. She discusses how she got into the industry, and how it has changed over the years.

Back in the beginning of the App Store era, many people were playing games, but there still wasn’t an established market. So there were some trial games that you could get for free and then buy the premium version. There wasn’t really this free to play model yet. That came a bit later. But with the free to play model, it just exploded. Everyone had a very small barrier to entry. You could just download a game and play it for free for years. And yeah, I think that a shift in this mentality towards mobile games came with the fact that the audience is just huge and it’s an audience that is largely untapped because it’s not all gamers.

Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro Portable Dual Monitor: $179.35

Check out the Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro, a portable display that connects to your laptop to give you a second display wherever you go. This device connects to your Mac, Windows, Chrome, or Linux laptop via a USB cable, and you attach it physically to the upper lid of your laptop so that it’s always with you. It slides out when you want to use it, and there’s a mirroring mode that allows you to turn it around soo you can share your screen with someone sitting across from you. It’s offers 1080p resolution, and coupon code SAVEDUEXPRO at checkout brings the price on this device down to $179.35.


Grayshift Increases Price as it Struggles to Hack iPhones

iOS forensics company Grayshift was forced to raise its prices last year, noting that “Forensic Access to iOS continues to increase in difficulty and complexity.”

“I think it’s going to get harder and harder to find these kinds of unlocking flaws, because Apple does control the entire stack,” Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory and former Facebook chief security officer, previously told Motherboard. “I think a couple more hardware revisions of understanding the ways that these unlocks are happening and [Apple is] going to make it extremely difficult. Which then will bring this debate back…”

It’s a complex issue. On one hand it’s good news for Apple customers. On the other hand, it makes the government is fight tooth and nail to take away our security.

LA-Based Apple Staffer Tests Positive for COVID-19

Apple confirmed that a staff member at its Culver City office had tested positive for coronavirus. The affected staff member is currently self-isolating, Variety reported.

“A team member in our Culver City office has informed us they tested positive for COVID-19. The individual had no symptoms when they were last in the office, and remains in self isolation at home,” a rep for Apple said in a statement. “We recognize this is a challenging time for our global community and our thoughts remain with those around the world personally affected by COVID-19 and the heroic medical professionals and researchers fighting it.” The office remains open, although Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week the company had asked employees to work from home if their position allows while the company “deep cleans” its offices.