The Mac Observer's Apple Context Machine

The Mac Observer's Apple Context Machine

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The Mac Observer: You'll Hear Your Mac News Here From Now On...

Episodes

FCC Net Neutrality, Backdoor Hacks, and New Apple Products - ACM 394  

Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a plea for the incoming administration to protect Net Neutrality. Bryan and Jeff discuss whether that plea is likely to fall on deaf ears [spoiler: yes, it will]. They also discuss the implications of the Cellebrite hack, and the fact that Apple released two product updates this week.

Apple TV and Amazon Prime TV, iPad Rumors, Apple Departures - ACM 393  

Nvidia is adding Amazon Prime TV to its Shield TV settop box, leaving Apple TV as one of the only devices that doesn’t support the #2 streaming service. Bryan and Jeff think Apple needs to fix this. They also look at some sketchy iPad rumors and talk about key departures from Apple’s executive ranks.

Lounging at CES 2017 with Bryan and Jeff - ACM 392  

LAS VEGAS – Join Bryan and Jeff as they lounge at CES 2017. On deck for this week’s episode are Q.RAD, the super computer that heats your home, smart clothes (for Android only?), and Eugene, the smart trash can thingy.

Bryan Gets Paranoid About the IoT - ACM 391  

Bryan is totally paranoid about the Internet of Things, and he isn’t at all happy about the idea of having an Amazon Echo or Google Home listening in on everything in his house. Jeff laughs at him. Once the guffaws die down, they talk about how and why Apple is getting crushed by these good enough devices.

Congressional Encryption Working Group Backs Encryption, Thoughts on CES - ACM 390  

The Congressional Encryption Working Group has issued a year-end report on encryption that finds weakening encryption would harm the national security interests of the United States. Bryan and Jeff discuss the implications, as well as a new request from the Turkish government asking Apple to unlock an iPhone 4s owned by an assassin. They cap the show with a preview of CES expectations.

Apple AirPods, Kickstarter, and Augmented Reality - ACM 389  

Apple shipped AirPods. Sort of. Bryan and Jeff think it was a terrible idea to ship them before Christmas if Apple couldn’t meet demand, which is exactly what’s happening. They also weigh the merits of Kickstarter and discuss the state of augmented reality and its future.

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

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.

ACM 387: State of Apple Advertising, Apple’s Product Vision  

John Kheit joins Bryan Chaffin to discuss the state of Apple’s advertising, including Frankie’s Holiday, Balloons, and Bulbs. Spoiler, John hates them and Bryan thinks they’re lovely. They also talk about Apple’s product vision and the end of AirPort. Another spoiler: John is cranky about that, too.

ACM 386: Apple’s Lackluster 2016, Mac Automation, and Black Friday  

Apple released only 13 new products in 2016, an embarrassing lack of riches. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss what this might mean. They also talk about the future of automation on the Mac, as well as the return of Apple’s Black Friday sale. Does Apple feel the need to goose sales for the December quarter?

ACM 386: Apple Coffee Table Book and Design Run Amok  

Apple has a new coffee table book out called Designed by Apple in California. Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest-host John Kheit to talk about it. Spoiler: Bryan likes it and John sees it as a sign of Apple having lost the plot. They also discuss the idea that design has run amok at Apple, starting with the idea that Jony Ive needed Steve Jobs as a counter balance.

ACM 384: Demand for iPhone 7 Plus, AWS2, MacBook Pro  

John Kheit guests with Bryan Chaffin to talk about demand for iPhone 7 Plus, for which wait times are still 3-4 weeks. Apple Watch Series 2 has 2-3 week wait times, and MacBook Pros seem to be flying off the shelves. Join them while they explore these topics.

ACM 383: iOS Song Star Ratings Return, MacBook Pro Innovation Rants  

iTunes Song Ratings are back in iOS 10.2 beta, and Bryan and Jeff are stoked, even if it’s not perfect. They also talk about the pushback gets when Apple pushes the envelope with its products. They cap the show with a look at MacBooK Pro’s Touch Bar being a double down against making a ToasterFridge.

ACM 382: How Pro Are the New MacBook Pros?  

Apple just announced new MacBook Pro models, and Bryan and Jeff talk about their pros and cons. In particular the “pros” part, because while these devices are powerful, they question whether they are really that pro at all. They also talk about the new TV app for Apple TV.

ACM 381: Tim Cook as Veep and iTunes Star Ratings  

Tim Cook was apparently on a list of possible running mates for Hillary Clinton. Bryan and Jeff talk about Mr. Cook as a possible candidate and whether or not he would have wanted the gig. They also discuss iTunes Star Ratings for songs and the fact that they’ve been taken away in iOS 10.

ACM 380: USB Kill 2.0 and Samsung Schadenfreude  

Bryan and Jeff talk about USB Kill 2.0, a device that looks like a hard drive, but can damage—if not destroy—a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a USB port. They also take a few moments to enjoy some schadenfreude at Samsung’s defense.

ACM 379: Apple’s Mysterious October Announcements and Who Cares about Google’s Pixel Smartphone?  

Apple moved its quarterly conference call in October, and it’s set off a lot of echo-chamber debate and speculation. Bryan and Jeff weed out the balderdash. They also ask who cares about Google’s new Pixel smartphone line.

ACM 378: Life Without a Headphone Jack, More Apple Watch, Siri on the Mac  

We’ve had our iPhone 7s for a week and a half, and Bryan and Jeff talk about life without the headphone jack. They also discuss the differences between Apple Watch (Series 0) and the new Apple Watch Series 2. They close out the show talking about Siri on the Mac, using it, and the lack of “Hey Siri” support. Plus, Bryan is punchy from a lack of sleep, so silliness runs rampant.

ACM 377: Apple’s iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2  

Bryan and Jeff talk about iPhone 7, whether or not it’s a must-have upgrade, and even what constitutes a must-have upgrade any more. They also talk about their immediate impressions of Apple Watch Series 2 after spending a day with the new models.  All this and more.

ACM 376: Deep Dive into iPhone 7, Apple Watch Series 2  

Bryan and Jeff go in-depth with our hands-on experience with Apple’s new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. Apple Watch Nike+, Apple Watch Edition (Ceramic), the button-less Home Button on iPhone 7, the new cameras, the bright displays…it’s all in this episode of The Apple Context Machine.

ACM 375: Google Want to be Your Ride, Tim Cook’s Message Pivot  

Google is entering the ride-sharing business, and Bryan and Jeff take an in-depth look at what that means. They also dive back into how and why Apple is opening itself up to journalists, and some of the things we’ve learned because of that.

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