Happy Holidays from The Mac Observer!

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Enjoy the holiday season!

It doesn’t matter if you’re into Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, Solstice, or any end-of-the-year holiday. The Mac Observer hopes this weekend is a wonderful time for you, and that you get to take a day or two off to relax. We’re taking (the rest of) Tuesday and Wednesday off, but we’ll be back on Thursday, December 26th, with iPhone, iPad, and Mac coverage, along with a fresh TMO Daily Observations episode, too.

TMO UK Associate Editor Charlotte Henry (#3) - TMO Background Mode Interview

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Charlotte Henry on Background Mode

Charlotte Henry is a London-based technical journalist. A self described media junkie, she writes about Apple – and now for the Mac Observer as well as our UK Associate Editor. She has also written for City A.M. (London’s daily business tabloid,) Computer Business Review, the Independent on Sunday and CapX. Her new book is: Not Buying It.

In this special holiday edition of BGM, Charlotte and I chat about our favorite Christmas movies and what makes them so great for us. There are also some honorable mentions. We finish with a diagnosis of Apple TV+ The Morning Show.

Happy Holidays from Everyone at The Mac Observer

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Enjoy the holiday season!

Regardless of the holiday you’re celebrating, The Mac Observer hopes this weekend is a wonderful time for you, and that you get to take a day or two off to relax. We’re taking Tuesday off, but we’ll be back on Wednesday, December 26th, with our iPhone, iPad, and Mac coverage, along with a fresh TMO Daily Observations episode, too.

Enjoy the holiday season!

Happy holidays from The Mac Observer

3 Ways to Track Santa for the 2018 Holidays

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

The holidays are just around the corner, and kids are wondering what Santa has been up to, or when he’ll deliver to their house.

Watch Apple's New Short Film: Share Your Gifts This Holiday Season

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has released a short film for the holiday season. Called ‘Share Your Gifts’, it depicts the frustrations of Sofia – a  creative young woman who hides her work away until…well, let’s just say her dog intervenes. The film is accompanied by the track “Come out and play” by Billie Eilish. Apple has also released a ‘Making Of’ video, detailing how Sofia came to life. It shows how ‘Share your Gifts’ was made using a combination of CG characters and real-world sets.

Twitter Launches its Own 'John Lewis' Advert

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

John Lewis Twitter Advert

LONDON – Everyone in the UK knows that the holiday season officially starts when the John Lewis department store launches its Christmas advert. This year’s offering stars Sir Elton John, no less. However, for one man, the advert’s arrival is not so joyous. Meet @JohnLewis – a computer science educator from Blacksburg, Virginia. As his Twitter bio points out, Mr. Lewis is “not a retail store.” Despite this, every year Mr. Lewis is inundated with Tweets telling him how great his holiday advert is. To his credit, he gamely replies to all of them. This time around, Twitter UK gave him his own one.

Five Fun Holiday Games to Play During December

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

If you need a quick game to play after Christmas dinner, or just want to get in the holiday spirit, you’ll want to check out these games.

Christmas Morning with Your Two Favorite Geeks – Mac Geek Gab 637

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

Mac Geek Gab Logo

Everyone got AirPods except you? No worries, Dave and John have you covered with some AirPods alternatives. Otherwise it’s listener questions dominate the show, as usual, with topics ranging from where to store your iTunes Media, network topology, replacements for Dropbox’s missing Public folder and much more. Download today and enjoy!

The First AI-Written Christmas Song Is More Soul-Crushing than Fruitcake

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Gather ye around the yule log, so festive, warm, and bright! Listen to this song of Christmas cheer written and composed by an AI. And hold on to your loved ones as said tune sucks the soul from your very bones and leaves you quivering in the naked fear not that the morrow will not come, but that it will come and you will be forced to endure another day contemplating the futility and hopelessness of life!  “I’ve always been there for the rest of our lives. A hundred and a half hours ago. I’m glad to meet you. I can hear the music coming from the hall.” Now that, dear friends, is the Christmas stuff of nightmares, as HowStuffWorks put it. And yes, I am dying, both from laughter and abject fear. This “song,” such as it is, was the result of a neural network project from The University of Toronto. They fed in 100 hours of holiday music, a bunch of holiday photographs with captions, and said, “Now you do it.” The song below was the result. Put another way, score ones for the humans.