The NHTSA May Have Required Apple to Open Up Its AI Research

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Autonomous car concept

Right after Apple revealed more of its plans to the U.S. Government regarding its autonomous car project, we learn that Apple is going to break with tradition and start publishing its AI research.  This is an interesting sequence of events.  John speculates on what may have been the cause of Apple’s more open approach.

Find Everything You Want to Read on NPR's Book Concierge List

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Staying on top of all the great books coming out is pretty hard, which is why we’re glad when NPR’s Book Concierge list comes out each year. The 2016 list is out with more than 300 titles worth checking out. The book suggestions are divided into categories such as Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, Kids Books, Funny Stuff, and more. Be sure to check out Staff Picks for a great go-to list of book suggestions. Each title includes iBooks and Amazon, local library, and independent book store links so you don’t have to go hunting. Links to previous Book Concierge lists are there, too, in case you want even more suggestions.

Find Everything You Want to Read on NPR’s Book Concierge List

Apple's Single Sign-on Adds ABC, Disney Support

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple TV single sign-on goes live for Apple TV

Apple TV’s single sign-on feature went public yesterday with several channels on board, and today Watch Disney and Watch ABC are joining the list. Single sign-on lets users enter their cable and satellite credentials once instead of individually for each channel.

Super Mario Run Demo in Apple's Stores Today

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Super Mario Run launches next week on December 15, but you can try it out in Apple’s retail stores now. A demo version is running on iPhones and iPads in the stores starting Thursday morning so you can get a sneak peek before it hits the App Store. Nintendo made the announcement on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and he got to play a level on the show. Super Mario Run is the first mobile game to feature Mario. It’ll cost US$9.99 and you can sign up on the App Store to be notified when it’s available.

SKEYE Nano 2 First-Person View (FPV) Drone: $99

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

SKEYE Nano 2 First-Person View (FPV) Drone

I love drones—we have a deal on a tiny one for you today, the SKEYE Nano 2 First-Person View Drone. It has adjustable gyro sensitivity and 6-axis flight control system, making it easy to control. You can use a controller or your iPhone (or Android device) to control it. It will also record real-time, first-person view video in HD. It’s $99 through our deal. Check out the details on the deal listing.

Oral History of 'Get a Mac' with Justin Long, John Hodgman, and Creative Team

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Get a Mac Promo Shot with John Hodgman and Justing Long

Campaign US has put together a wonderful oral history of Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaign. Listen, it’s delightful. It’s wonderful. Justin Long (Mac) and John Hodgman (PC) talk about their roles, and the creative team from TBWA\Chiat\Day talk about putting it together. Bryan Chaffin explains.

Living with Apple's Touch Bar, the Reverse Toaster Fridge - ACM 388

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin quizzes Jeff Gamet about living with Apple’s new TouchBar on his MacBook Pro. They also discuss whether or not the so-called Reverse ToasterFridge could be the future of Apple’s hardware. Listener comments have been pouring in, too.

World's Largest Rube Goldberg Machine Lights Christmas Tree

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I love Rube Goldberg machines, and according to Guinness World Records, we have a new largest one in the world. It was built by Latvian e-commerce company Scandiweb in (and for the people of) Riga. It’s purpose—aside from beating the world record—was to light a Christmas Tree. The video (below) is 4 minutes and 44 seconds, and most of it is the machine doing its absurdist thing. One of the things I like about this one is seeing the process. It’s an enormously long Rube Goldberg machine, but most of it consists of individual panels of multiple steps. Make the panels work and then “all” you have to do is worry about connecting those panels. One way or another, it’s a fun watch. Check it out. The link is to Guinness’s webpage for the record.

GoPower Plus Battery Space Gray Has Built-in Charging Cable

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

The Kanex GoPower Plus Batter Space portable battery. What I like about it is that it has a built-in charging cable. The main cable is a microUSB cable for Android users. But it comes with a Lightning adapter that slips over that microUSB plug, and both just tuck away in the body of the battery. It comes in Space Gray or Gold and has a capacity of 8,000mAh. It’s $59.95.

GoPower Plus Battery Space Gray Has Built-in Charging Cable

Why Some High-Profile Hires Don’t Thrive at Apple

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, a high profile executive, Yoky Matsuoka, left Apple for unknown reasons. Often, the temptation is to surmise that a departure of any given executive at Apple is a sign that Apple is losing interest in a particular technology. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, certain high-powered people have to leave for personal reasons. Or perhaps they just didn’t realize what they got themselves into and decide that the Apple culture isn’t for them. John explores the various scenarios based on his experience.

Nomad Leather MFi-Certified Charging Wallet: $49.95

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Nomad Leather MFi-Certified Charging Wallet

Check out the Nomad Leather MFi-Certifified Charging Wallet. It’s a wallet. A billfold, if you will. But in addition to holding credit cards and money, it has a built-in 2,400mAh battery in it for recharging your iPhone. It even has an integrated Lightning cable. Check the deal listing for more info and more pictures.

Setapp Brings Netflix-style Downloads to Mac Apps

· Jeff Gamet · Product News

Setapp monthly software subscription service for the Mac

Paying a monthly subscription to watch as many TV shows and movies as you want is a pretty good business model for Netflix, and MacPaw thinks it’ll work for software, too. The company’s trying that out with its new Setapp service where subscribers pay a monthly fee to get access to a growing list of apps from several developers.

MacBook Pro USB-C Donglegate - TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-07

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

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

People seem pretty uptight about Apple’s transition to dongle adapters for peripherals on our Macs, so Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on whether or not it’s a big deal. Spoiler: They can’t agree.

Great Gifts for Groovy Geeks: 2016 Edition

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Bob LeVitus's Geek Gifts for 2016

It’s that time again and, as always, Dr. Mac has discovered a bevy of superb-yet-inexpensive tech gifts guaranteed to bring big smiles to the faces of the geeks you love.

Apple Music tops 20 Million Users

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple Music hits 20 million subscriber mark

Apple Music just topped 20 million subscribers, only three months after hitting the 17 million mark. That’s a 15% increase, but Apple wants to see even more growth.

For Geeks Only: Hey Alexa, Tell Sonos to Play Stevie Wonder in the Kitchen

· Dave Hamilton · How-To

pile of sonos speakers with Amazon Alexa Dot front and center

Sonos and Amazon jointly announced their Alexa integration earlier this year and the world rejoiced. Voice control of your Sonos system is one of those holy grails. The integration is expected to be available at some point in 2017. But I’m an impatient geek so, while I’m waiting for official support to be available, I spent an hour yesterday getting this working using freely-available open-source tools. You can do this, too, and I’ll walk you through what you’re doing and how to get started.

PDFpen 8.3 gets MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Smile’s PDFpen and PDFpen Pro gained Retina MacBook Pro Touch Bar support on Tuesday so users can edit documents with finger taps, and PDFpen Pro users can edit Table of Contents, too. PDFpen and PDFpen Pro are PDF document editing and creation apps. Users can add and remove pages from documents, edit text, and and remove images, create PDF forms, OCR scanned text, sync files via iCloud and Dropbox, and more. PDFpen 8.3 costs US$74.95 and PDFpen Pro 8.3 is priced at $124.95. The updates are free for version 8.x users.

PDFpen 8.3 gets MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

macOS: Archiving a Time Capsule

· Melissa Holt · Quick Tip

This Quick Tip is about making a backup…of your backup. So if you’re super-paranoid about your file archives, you can make sure that your Time Capsule’s historical data is saved in multiple locations. Hey, where backups are concerned, we think paranoia is good, so come read all about it!

Apple Rolls Out Single Sign-on for Apple TV

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple TV single sign-on goes live for Apple TV

Fourth generation Apple TV owners can finally use the single sign-on feature Apple showed off months ago. The feature went live on Tuesday, although some content providers are still missing, and it’s available only in the United States.