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Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine is a weekly in-depth look at Apple and the tech world from Bryan Chaffin, editor-in-chief of The Mac Observer with special guests from the tech world.
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.