Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
NetSpot is a software utility that lets you visualize, optimize, and troubleshoot your wireless networks with any MacBook. It allows you to do something as simple as measure signal strength in a given spot, but if you are serious about optimizing your network, it has mapping tools that will allow you to precisely figure out signal strength in every nook and cranny of your home or office. It retails for $149, but through our deal you can get it for $18.49. There's a video on the deal page with a product demo.
Has there ever been a stickier wicket than the concept of free speech? We largely take it for granted, but even now tech companies are being called on to censor "illegal hate speech" in Europe. Bryan Chaffin discusses the slippery slope and its effect on social media and other tech companies.
Long-term Apple observers will remember the mid-1990s and rumors that Larry Ellison was going to buy Apple. This was 1995, when "Apple was in severe distress," as Mr. Ellison put it. The rumor mill was rife with very real predictions of Apple's impending death, and it could have happened. On May 13th, Mr. Ellison gave the commencement speech for the University of Southern California, and at the 15 minute mark, he told the story about a walk with Steve Jobs where he offered to buy Apple and put Mr. Jobs in charge of it. Listen to the story for some interesting insight into both Mr. Ellison and Mr. Jobs, including the bit where the latter turned down the offer from the former and why.
We have deal for you on 8 Mac apps called the World Class Mac Bundle. It includes iStat Menu 5—a utility I can't imagine not having—Freeway Pro 7, uBar 6, Painter Essentials 5, DropZone 3, Xee 3, Data Rescue 4, and Hype 3.5. Those are solid apps, and you can get them all in this bundle for $29.99. There are detailed descriptions on each app in the deal listing, so check it out.
A Reuters report claiming Apple has been talking to car charger companies got Bryan Chaffin thinking about standards. It seems likely that Apple would develop its own proprietary technology for charging the Apple Car, but there are many reasons why it would make sense for Apple to adopt an industry standard.
I am so in love with this! Disney is planning to release a hologram vinyl version of the original motion picture soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Vinyl—hipsters rejoice, right? But wait, there's more because geeks get to rejoice, too, because HOLOGRAM! A hologram of the Millennium Falcon and a Tie Fighter is etched into the vinyl that appears above the LPs (it's a two-disc set) when it spins on the turntable. It's an analog process, there are no projectors here, it's just light doing what light does when a mad scientist like Tristan Duke harnesses it to his will. It turns out he did the same thing for some limited edition LPs Jack White put out for his killer album Lazaretto (the title track's video is one of my favs). So anyhoo...watch this video and delight that there are smart people who make things that amaze us.
We have a deal for you today on a utility that makes it easy to record your screen (screencap) on your Mac. iShowU Instant for Mac records in QuickTime or MP4, can hide your desktop icons, and can share to various social media services directly. You can also control your frame rate, going as slow as 1 fame per minute to record time lapse movies. You can get this software through TMO for $12, half off retail.
Apple is reportedly planning to ramp up spending on original content to "several hundred million dollars a year," according to an unnamed source cited by The Financial Times of London. The story was based in part around a supposed meeting where Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue pitched the idea of Apple buying Time Warner, but the takeaway should be that Apple is seriously committed to streaming content.
Oh, but do I have a fun deal for you today. It's Civilization: Beyond Earth - The Collection. I am a HUGE fan of the Civilization franchise, including Beyond Earth. The Collection includes the original game, the Rising Tide expansion that brought significant expansion and improvements to the game, and the Exoplanets Map Pack. I don't care to contemplate the number of hours I've spent playing this iteration of the game, but now that I'm writing about it, I'm going to play some more. Where was I? Oh, right. We have a deal on Civilization: Beyond Earth - The Collection for $29.99, which is half off retail. Grab it.
In this special episode of The Apple Context Machine, Bryan and Jeff talk with Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of Purism. His company is dedicated to protecting the privacy and security of its customers, and they discuss the importance of privacy, surveillance capitalism, and where he thinks Apple falls short on the topic.