Apple Context Machine Podcast

The Apple Context Machine is Mac, iPhone, and iPod news and analysis that puts the facts in perspective, brought to you with a sense of humor. Hosts Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin from The Mac Observer put the Apple world into context.

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Online Voting, Corporate Public Square, New Star Trek - ACM 474

Aug. 8th, 2018 - 6:27 PM | 01:07:47

What will it take to make online or app-based voting safe, secure, and reliable? Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet are joined by John Kheit to discuss the future of voting. They also explore the idea of corporate platforms (i.e. private platforms) becoming so big that...

Podcast Archives

  1. Aug. 8th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Online Voting, the Corporate Public Square, Picard’s Return to Star Trek – ACM 474

    What will it take to make online or app-based voting safe, secure, and reliable? Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet are joined by John Kheit to discuss the future of voting. They also explore the idea of corporate platforms (i.e. private platforms) becoming so big that they become synonymous with the public square and subject to the First Amendment. Then Bryan goes off on a weird tangent about how cool Patrick Stewart's new episode of Star Trek could be if Jean-Luc Picard was a broken and bitter man. Good times!

  2. Aug. 2nd, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    iPad Refresh, Mac Sales, and App Store Affiliate Program – ACM 473

    In this episode, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet take a look at the new iPad icons uncovered in iOS 12. They also discuss the 14% drop in Mac unit sales and wonder why Apple doesn't use that one weird trick of making new Macs to goose Mac sales. They cap the show with a look at why Apple would cancel the App Store Affiliate Program.

  3. Jul. 26th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    AI Limitations, iMac Pro Kernel Panic Problem, Bryan’s HomePod Experiment – ACM 472

    In this episode, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss the current limitations of AI, and what real AI in the future might be like. They also talk about Apple's T2 kernel panic issue and follow up on Bryan's dual-HomePod TV experiment.

  4. Jul. 18th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Apple Interface Consistency, Storage Permutations, Walmart Streaming Video – ACM 471

    In this age of different devices and platforms, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about the lack of consistency in Apple's interfaces compared to the days when "Apple" meant "Mac." They also go over some listener feedback (read criticism) about their rant last week on Apple's storage pricing for new MacBook Pro models. Lastly, they discuss whether not Walmart can make a go in the streaming video market, and how that might actually work.

  5. Jul. 12th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    New MacBook Pro Love (Mostly) and FCC Reaches for New Low – ACM 470

    Apple announced new MacBook Pros, and Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about what they like (processors and RAM) and what they don't like (pricing on storage). They also dig into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's efforts to reach for a new low.

  6. Jun. 28th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Facebook’s Spy Patent, Apple Music Shows, Samsung Patent Fight Ends – ACM 468

    Facebook has a scary new patent application that Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet say "is so Zuck." They also talk about how Apple might position and price its streaming original content, and there are a lot of possibilities. Plus, Apple's long-running patent fight with Samsung is over. What does that really mean?

  7. Jun. 21st, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    The iPhone Car Key and the Mythical Apple App Store Monopoly – ACM 467

    What would using your iPhone as your car key look like in practice? Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet run through the possibilities. They also look at the on-again, off-again case where plaintiffs accuse the company with a minority share of the smartphone business of having an App Store "monopoly."

  8. Jun. 13th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    The AR Demo and the Benefits of Surveillance Capitalism – ACM 466

    If you've been wondering what all the fuss was about augmented reality, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet have an AR Demo for you to see. They also take time out from ranting about being the product to talk frankly about the benefits of surveillance capitalism.

  9. Jun. 6th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Siri Shortcuts and Huge AR Baby Steps – ACM 465

    Siri Shortcuts were the thing Apple announced at WWDC that caught both Bryan Chaffin's and Jeff Gamet's imagination. They also talk about how cool ARKit 2 is, and how we are still in early, early days for AR. As awesome as AR on iOS is, Apple is still taking huge baby steps.

  10. May. 30th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Apple at Cannes, Essential Reality, 2nd HomePod and AirPlay 2 vs. Soundbar – ACM 464

    Apple Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts is going to be interviewed at Cannes Lions, but the person interviewing her is an Apple employee. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet think that's a little weird. In hindsight, they also think it's weird that Andy Rubin thought he could make money making Android hardware, an Essential(ly) bad idea. In the third segment, Jeff helps Bryan spend money when picking between a 2nd HomePod and a soundbar now that AirPlay 2 is here.

  11. May. 23rd, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Twitter Insanity, Apple’s AI Showdown, FBI Exaggeration, Apple’s HQ Hunt – ACM 463

    Twitter has lost its corporate mind, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet argue in this episode of ACM. They also weigh the importance of WWDC 2018 in terms of Siri, and discuss whether or not Apple has to announce significant improvements to remain competitive in AI. Then there's the revelation that the FBI exaggerated the number of locked iPhones it couldn't get into, and they squeeze in a fourth topic, too: Apple's hunt for a new campus, and how it contrasts with Amazon.

  12. May. 16th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Senate Net Neutrality, Nader’s Whiff, Jony Watchman – ACM 462

    The U.S. Senate passed legislation that would restore Net Neutrality in the country, but Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet explain why they don't think it will go any further. They also break down Ralph Nader's kind-of-weird whiff in complaining about Apple's share buyback program. They cap the show with a look at how Sir Jony Ive is a watch-man, though Steve Jobs wasn't involved with Apple Watch.

  13. May. 9th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Share Buybacks and Apple’s Future, Same Old Facebook, Google Duplex – ACM 461

    Warning, this one went long: Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss what Apple's share buybacks say about Apple's future. They also weigh WhatsApp's founder leaving Facebook, and what it says about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. They go over when diving into Google Duplex, a demonstration that was as awesome as it was devoid of real value.

  14. May. 2nd, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    The Myth of the Failing iPhone X and Other Earnings Report Notes – ACM 460

    Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss the myth of the failing iPhone X, where that myth comes from, how it's sustained, and how Apple's own data says otherwise. They also talk about how Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri tried to dispel those reports during Apple's quarterly conference call with analysts. They also look at the indicators that HomePod, on the other hand, isn't doing well, and Tim Cook's continued insistence on focusing on sound quality when we really want a capable home assistant. They cap the show with some perspective on just how much money Apple is paying out to shareholders.

  15. Apr. 25th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Amazon Cyberpunk King, Tim’s State Dinner, GrayShift Pudding – ACM 459

    In this episode, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about how Amazon has quietly become the Cyberpunk king. They also discuss Tim Cook's choice of dinner companions for the White House's state dinner, and how Grayshift's data breach is the proof in the pudding that backdoors and cracks get mishandled.

  16. Apr. 19th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Cybersecurity Tech Accord, Cyberwar Is Now, Social Network Inertia – ACM 458

    In this episode, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet dissect the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, a pledge by 34 tech companies to do something vague and unlikely. The timing for the announcement is somewhat interesting because we are in the middle of an undeclared shadow cyberwar. They cap the show analyzing what it might take for any new social network to supplant Facebook.

  17. Apr. 11th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Mac Keyboards, Trusting Facebook, and Being Profitable and Green – ACM 457

    In this episode, Bryan and Jeff discuss Mac keyboards, and what they like about clicky, long-throw keyboards, including the Azio Classic Retro BT keyboard Bryan just reviewed. They also go through a thought experiment on whether Facebook could ever earn our trust on privacy by radically reshaping their policies. They cap the show with a look at how Apple manages to be profitable and green, both.

  18. Apr. 4th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Mark Zuckerberg vs. Tim Cook, Apple’s New AI Chief, and Making HomeKit Great – ACM 456

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been trading public barbs on privacy, and Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss the public tiff. They also discuss Apple's hiring of Google's former head of artificial intelligence and what it might mean for Siri (hint: good things!). They cap the show with a look at what it would take to make HomeKit the premier home automation platform.

  19. Mar. 28th, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    Talking to an E-Learning Teacher about Apple and EdTech – ACM 455

    Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet are joined by Laura Bain, E-Learning Coordinator at a private school in Brisbane, Australia, to talk about Apple and the "Let's Take a Field Trip" event. They discuss what it's like in the trenches of E-Learning, including the ongoing battle between Apple, Google, and Microsoft. You've been hearing a lot of tech pundits talk about Apple and education, but this conversation has a voice from the trenches.

  20. Mar. 21st, 2018
    Apple Context Machine Podcast
    The Facebook Dance, Autonomous Cars, and our AI Future – ACM 454

    Bryan and Jeff discuss the ongoing #deletefacebook discussion and whether it's a tempest in a teapot. They also talk about autonomous vehicles, regulation, and our future with driverless cars, and also our future with artificial intelligence.