The Mac Observer's Apple Context Machine

The Mac Observer's Apple Context Machine


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


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.

ACM 374: The Apple Narrative, Music Industry Directives, and Samsung’s Spoiled Milk  

Adam Christianson joins Bryan Chaffin in this week’s ACM to discuss Apple’s recent efforts to more directly control its narrative. They also chat about Universal Music Group’s directive to stop doing exclusive streaming deals, and the deserved demise of Samsung’s Milk.

ACM 373: Apple’s Engineering Demands, Fake iPhones, Intel’s ARM Move  

Apple is relentless with its design ideas regardless of what the hardware engineers say. Bryan and Jeff explain why that’s a good thing for consumers, plus they show you how to spot fake iPhone 7 photos, and look at Intel’s decision to start making ARM processors.

ACM 372: Samsung Pay’s Security Failure, the Story Behind Apple’s Public Betas  

Bryan and Jeff dig into Samsung shenanigans, including reports of a way to hack magnetic stripe reader transactions, and the mysterious case of Apple Watch drawings in a Samsung patent. They also discuss the interesting story of how the flawed Apple Maps rollout led to public beta programs for OS X and iOS.

ACM 371: iPad Pro (Surface) Ad, Siri’s Shortcomings, Apple’s Big Developer Payout  

Bryan and Jeff discuss Apple’s commercial that embraces many of the things Microsoft has used to tout Surface Pro. They also talk about Apple’s remarkable success with the App Store, as well as some of Siri’s shortcomings.

ACM 370: A Deeper Look at Apple’s Earnings Report, 3D Printing Fingers  

Bryan and Jeff dig deep into Apple’s earnings report and the company’s quarterly call with analysts. Topics include Tim Cook’s upbeat delivery, Pokemon, and Wall Street’s reaction. They also jump into the scary future of 3D printing our fingers to bypass biometric security.

ACM 369: BlackBerry Doofus, Black Box Regulation, Twitter Harrassment  

BlackBerry CEO John Chen had some seemingly irrational things to say about Apple’s stance on encryption, and Bryan and Jeff break it down. They also take a deeper look into black boxes and self-driving cars with a focus on regulating these devices and surveillance worries. Just to keep things light, they dive into Twitter harassment and social media censorship.

ACM 368: Jeff’s HomeKit Breakthrough, Pokémon GO, Post-PC Era  

In this episode of The Apple Context Machine, Bryan and Jeff talk about HomeKit, sparked by Jeff’s triumph over something that shouldn’t have been hard to begin with. They also talk about Jeff’s initial foray into Pokémon GO, and look at the Post-PC Era (or lack thereof) in light of Scrivener coming to iOS.

ACM 367: The Joy of iOS 10, Deleting Sideloaded Apps, and Fibonacci Fun  

Jeff Gamet has been playing with iOS 10 on his iPad mini 4, and he can’t wait to get it on his iPhone. Why? It starts with the Lockscreen. Bryan and Jeff also talk about regulations in South Korea that might require smartphone makers to allow all preinstalled apps to be deleted by the user. They bookend the show having some fun with Fibonacci numbers.

ACM 366: App Store Surveillance, Google’s Phone, and Bryan’s Rant  

In this episode of The Apple Context Machine, Bryan and Jeff discuss new regulations in China that could make Apple part of that country’s surveillance and censorship apparatus. They also talk about Google’s plans to make its own Android devices, and Amazon offering a discount on two Android phones that display Amazon ads on the lock screen. Bryan somehow manages to ties that into an epic rant about Angry Birds 2.

ACM 365: iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3.0, and Differential Privacy  

Bryan and Jeff delve into some of the things they've learned about iOS 10, macOS Sierra, and watchOS 3.0. Spoiler, it's all looking really good. They also talk about Differential Privacy and explain (loosely) how it works, what it means, and why it's important.

ACM 364: Tim Cook Brings Diversity to Apple’s Stage and Other WWDC Observations  

Apple CEO Tim Cook put his money where is mouth is and brought significant diversity to the WWDC stage this week, including four powerful women. Bryan and Jeff think it was cool. They also dig into watchOS 3, Swift Playgrounds, and ask if Steve Jobs would have opened up Siri, Maps, iMessage, and Phone to third party developers.

ACM 363: The State of Music at Apple, Quality, and iTunes Downloads  

Bryan Chaffin is joined by John Kheit to talk about the state of music at Apple, including iTunes, rumored changes to iTunes, and where they'd like to see it go. They also discuss the value of music downloads and who is driving the push towards streaming services (Bryan says it's consumers and John screams something about getting the kids off his lawn).

ACM 362: In-Depth Look at Building AI While Maintaining Privacy  

Bryan and Jeff are joined by John Kheit, TMO's Devil's Advocate, for an in-depth look at ways to improve AI and machine learning while maintaining user privacy. There are some interesting technologies out there, including Apple's own VocalIQ, fully homomorphic encryption, and the less formally named "learn and purge."

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