Insight and analysis of Apple-centric topics of the week from the previous MacNN team, published weekly. Space Javelin's team has well over a century of Mac and Apple experience divided between them.
More than just recapping and analyzing the big tech stories of the week, we here on the good ship Space Javelin strive to bring you 60 minutes worth of depth, background, caveats, and color. We offer heads-up on good deals, warnings on bad headlines, and what we hope is genuinely useful information. This week alone, we debunk two alarmist stories about iPhone security, speculate on Android "O", follow-up on the growing Microsoft-Consumer Reports argument on reliability, and explore the value of Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and AT&T "free" Apple TV offer. Also in this episode: Ireland vs the EU vs Apple; Nonsense and half-truths about the next Apple Watch, expected this fall; the details on Thunderbolt cables and USB-C 3.1 compatibility; and finally, Mike and Charles go all Mythbusters on claims of a 60-inch Apple HDTV. All this and more, cadets, so strap in and get ready to spend 60 minutes on a mission to the best of technology news!
Aug. 14, 2017
We start off this time with Mike's crankiness about missing a three-game sportsball series between the Red Sox and the Yankees due to podcast recording, before heading head-first into a sizable tech news week. Microsoft had their world rocked by a withdrawal of a recommendation from Consumer Reports based on above-average number of issues reported by readers. Mike and Charles look into the numbers, the survey methods, and other data, finding that while the problem reports are higher than average, it's not nearly as alarming (at least in lieu of more evidence) as other media outlets have made out. They also analyze the decision of the developers of Ulysses to go subscription and the new value proposition; speaking of surprises, Disney announced that they will pull out (most?) of their products out of Netflix so they can start their own streaming service; and Mike's latest hardware reviews, including a new Thunderbolt dock, and yet another Thunderbolt eGPU breakout box, along with more insight on when it might be time to jump into these devices.
Also on tap for this week: Twitch launches a desktop app for the Mac; the sounds of silence (#seewhatididthere) are climbing up the iTunes charts (and we'll tell you why and an old-school alternative); our own Space Javelin Back-to-School hardware guide (and sponsor-free advice); and the incredibly strange tale of the crowdfunded submarine and the missing woman -- and if that doesn't sound like the title of a Hardy Boys thriller, we don't know what does. All that plus vaguely inappropriate jokes, our usual cynical stink-eye, and more. it's an hour well wasted, cadets, so climb aboard!
Aug. 7, 2017
Naturally, the tech week that was last week was dominated by news of Apple's surprisingly strong June quarter -- another record-breaker in nearly every respect. Charles and Mike also take a hammer to some of the iPhone 7s/7s Plus/"8" speculation and how the High Sierra beta is a little *too* good at blocking ads (and yes, that's a bad thing); an exploit in first-gen Amazon Echo hardware that poses a small but serious security risk; and the endorsement of the iPhone 7 Plus from a former Google and MS exec. There's also news of a free video editor for Macs, along with a remastering for 4K of the venerable Bioshock for Mac; Mike's review of the Vinpok USB-C "Magsafe" type cable; and a money-saving guide to the Mophie USB-C mega-battery and its rivals. Now how much would you pay? But wait, there's more!
Also stuffed into the program this week: some new (and kinda sweet) AT&T deals that either nab you a (second) iPhone for free, or free DirecTV for new iPad buyers; Spotify mis-reporting, and Bluetooth Low Energy Audio under-reporting; and a new Rumor Roundup where we rain on the magical-thinking parade of (first) a pair of Apple Watch rumors that can't both be true, and (second) when there might actually be another iPhone SE update. Some kudos are given out for Apple's forestry program (psst Apple -- we're having a "fire sale" on our forests up here in British Columbia ...), and finally a story about pilots trading photos of each other at 35,000 feet, with bonus algebra questions. Put your thinking caps on and strap in, cadets, it's an action-packed hour aboard the Space Javelin!
July 31, 2017
Well, that's more like it! A nice beefy news week -- so chock-full of interesting items that we frankly didn't get to everything we wanted to, cadets, but never fear: they'll be room for more next week! Among the topics Charles and Mike cover on this orbit of Planet Technews are the untimely death of the iPod shuffle and the iPod nano (but we haven't lost our Touch); the mysterious appearance of movies labelled (but not actually) 4K and HDR in the iTunes Store; scotching some rumors about the iPhone SE; the Walkback of the Week from iRobot (makers of the Roomba); and new restrictions on electronics larger than a smartphone from the TSA. There's also the misreporting about the Foxconn plant in the US; why you need to take any Macs still running 10.6 or 10.7 offline; Apogee's war on latency with their Thunderbolt audio gear; Apple helping out hearing aid manufacturers with high technology; and just a mention of the University of Wisconsin judgement and the Nokia patent-licensing settlement.
All this and plenty of armchair advice to Nintendo about how to stop screwing up their business, the forthcoming USB 3.2 making for faster RAID arrays, and we rhapsodize over the music of Oslo band a-ha (and their video in ARKit). Remember: the Space Javelin is your best entertainment value in nerdy tech podcasts, cadets, so spread the word!
July 24, 2017
This week, Mike and Charles welcome back newswriter Malcolm Owen, "accidentally" trapped in the airlock for quite some time. Among the discussions are shenanigans from Verizon against Netflix and YouTube; Intel and the entire rest of the tech industry vs. Qualcomm; a free deal on the updated Shadow Warrior game; a report on the Destiny 2 beta, and the feds taking a look at Amazon. Also on tap is a report about adding Mesh technology to Bluetooth LE, State Farm suing Apple because why not, and a lot of laughs before we drag Malcolm back to the airlock. Stick around for the hidden "bonus track!"
July 17, 2017
It is now the dog days of summer, cadets, and the trusty crew of the Space Javelin is having to scrape out the bottom of the barrel and look behind the couch for news stories we can really get excited about. This week, Charles and Mike look at a trio of attacks on your privacy from the new FCC chair, Australia, and US customs; cover a host of smaller stories that should get mentioned but aren't of huge importance; talk about the guerrilla editing of the film Baby Driver; analyze the plans of Oculus VR for new cheaper face masks; ridicule Amazon's "me too!" sudden interest in making Echo suck less; scoff at most of the recent iPhone rumors, and geek out about Sunday's announcement of the next actor to play the Doctor on Doctor Who, along with the latest Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer. All this and an Android phone with 11 original herbs and spices on this episode of ... SPACE JAVELIN!
July 10, 2017
Lots on our plate this week, ranging from finding Beats 1 programs we like to mourning the end of this season of Doctor Who (it's SO GOOD you guys). We cover the spate of recent lawsuits (Qualcomm vs Apple, the war of words between Imagination VR and Apple, and Kanye suing Tidal), go over new reports about Red's intention to put out a holographic Android phone next year, iFixit's new kit for replacing the battery in Retina MacBooks (uh oh), and Jawbone's fishy collapse. We also talk gaming season, with the lame Switch iOS chat app, the great free Mac port of Shadow Warrior in all its retro glory, Steve Jackson's Sorcery (now free) and the forthcoming remastered Starcraft (in 4K for $15). Finally, this week we have a special guest: Wes Platt from OtherSpace, a MUD/MUSH game now surviving the collapse of Telnet over on Slack. Platt was also involved with Fallen Earth, and has an offbeat (and wild) traditional game called Knee Deep you should check out. More news and rumors coming next week, cadets, so stay tuned!
June 30, 2017
A special episode with two main parts to it: first, Charles and special guest William Gallagher discuss their mutual experience with first-day-of -availability buying the original iPhone, 10 years ago to the day of recording (Thursday, 29-June). The second half is a collection of still-relevant items that had to be cut for time out of recent episodes, so what better time to recycle than the Canada Day/Fourth of July celebrations? Enjoy this special episode, play safe out there, and we'll be back to what we call "normal" next week.
June 26, 2017
Welcome to a very slightly extended (by four minutes) episode of Space Javelin, where (as it turns out) we not only dissect the week that was in tech, we also share interesting aspects of your humble co-pilots' lives. Charles having mentioned his incredibly low gamer cred last week, Mike tells tales of life aboard a submarine, and how he's recreated that in his house (insert joke about being underwater on the mortgage here). The two eventually remember that this is supposed to be a tech podcast, and talk about YouTube TV's expansion (which -- naturally? -- leads into a nerd-out about Star Trek: Discovery), Gmail's pledge to stop spying on your email, and a rumor about Tesla planning its own music service.
Also covered are the latest iMac Pro rumors, warnings about running the latest betas if you're not going to do the work required, Virgin Mobile USA's switch to iPhones only (and a sweet deal if you switch), that misreported claim of Italy planning to ban iPhones (spoiler: nope), Apple Pay loyalty cards on the horizon, and a modified Delorean car owner who has turned the center of the dashboard into an iPad-ified info center (including a speedometer). All that and more, cadets, so strap in for (a little) overtime on board the Space Javelin this week! And stay tuned for a special episode on Friday, June 30 -- the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone (we're not doing a regular episode next week due to the Canada and USA holidays, but we think you'll enjoy this).
June 19, 2017
Both Charles and Mike are back at their respective home bases, and that means it's time for a really meaty, in-depth argument -- er, discussion. Along with more news about eGPU support in macOS High Sierra, a lack of Target Display Mode in the latest iMacs (not a surprise), the hiring of Sony TV programming whizzes (a slight surprise), and the XBox One X (a surprisingly banal name), Charles and Mike get into it over the Whole Foods acquisition by Amazon. Mike thinks its great, while Charles worries about the financials. Don't worry, mom and dad don't fight for long: they join forces to condemn jump-the-gun reporting on Nest and HomeKit, and they agree that Apple's AirPort appears to be the most hack-resistant router on the market (so go get one while you still can).
All that plus Charles' pathetic gamer status, Mike's pyramid of Wi-Fi power, nearly nothing about that Uber CEO that stepped down (and good riddance), plus 50 percent more cantankerousness than usual. Get on board, cadets -- this Space Javelin is plowing into the Neutral Zone!
June 12, 2017
Mike and Charles, now back on the regular schedule again, go over a few loose ends from WWDC, caution users on the latest betas, get into some iMac teardowns and the forthcoming iMac Pro in great depth, say "meh" to Planet of the Apps. They also discuss Apple's rejigging of iCloud storage plans (with a comparison to Amazon's retreat from "unlimited"), and chat a bit about the return of the numeric keypad (and lack of touchbar) in the latest Apple keyboard (also discussing a few others). All this and more, cadets, so climb on board for another adventure in modern recording!
June 7, 2017
Charles and Mike, having made fearless predictions, now have to lick some wounds (but some historical reason for thinking there wouldn't be a lot of hardware announcements) and emphasize what they got right (more of the details than the pundits) from the WWDC keynote, as well as share their thoughts on the updated MacBook family, the new iMac and brand-new iMac Pro, the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the HomePod speaker, and of course the first betas of macOS High Sierra, iOS 11, and more.
June 5, 2017
In the first of two episodes this week, Charles and Mike will discuss what to *realistically* expect from WWDC today (hint: it's a developer conference, not an Apple Event), and what might surprise us (potentially a lot, but again probably less than most media outlets are expecting). They also lay down their predictions and hopes for what gets revealed. Join us for the second episode (out Tuesday, most likely) where they go over what was announced and discussed at the keynote, where they got it wrong, and being insufferably smug about what they got right (if anything). Stay tuned!
May 29, 2017
Because of the holiday weekend, there will be no regular episode this week, but stay tuned -- Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference is right around the corner, and Mike and Charles will have a WWDC preview as part of Episode 11 (arriving June 5), as well as a special episode on June 7 covering the Monday announcements from the WWDC keynote.
May 22, 2017
Before the Memorial Day Weekend break, Charles and Mike tackle all the drama in a very busy news week. Apple investigates a Beats battery explosion! Google Assistant versus Siri! A new Thunderbolt 3 dock from OWC! Panic source code stolen! Right to Repair legislation! Apple stopping apps from allowing tips! Android Go! All this plus the alleged death of the proposed laptop/tablet airline ban, and a Lightning Round of rumors, from glucose monitoring, to possible MacBook news at WWDC, to the future of some iPad models. All this and more, so climb aboard Cadets!
May 15, 2017
Mike and Charles cover a lot of ground this week, including the AAPL streak; the iPhone 7 family being the most popular brand of smartphone on the planet; iTunes for Windows 10 S; the heart sensor on the Apple Watch, and the problem with Snap's Spectacles and other AR/VR stuff right now. The connections between Apple's US manufacturing fund, Softbank, and the possible Sprint-TMobile merger are explored; Mike's new gigabit fiber connection and Sonnet's new Thunderbolt 3 breakout box are given the once-over; Amazon and Apple's new deal for Apple TV is celebrated; the new Apple Teacher program is discussed (along with the state of the EDU market generally), and the guys do some housekeeping -- they'll have another episode next week, but are taking Memorial Day Weekend off. Climb aboard for adventure, cadets!
May 8, 2017
This week, Mike and Charles are in a feisty mood: they warn users how to avoid the latest viral malware, a Mac port of the Windows bug Snake; take a look at Apple's fiscal Q2 results versus what analysts expected; and get cynical about Apple's push to promote its US footprint. They also engage in a MBP versus Surface Laptop beatdown, take a look at Hulu's new TV offerings versus cable, and speaking of cables -- Mike's down to just one (and he'll tell you how he did it). All this and more, so climb aboard, cadets!
May 1, 2017
It's not every week that a cutting-edge, that-was-the-week-that-was-in-tech podcast like ours spends precious minutes on the sugar ratio of a Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino, but we do. Fear not, however, for before you can even regret your dietary choices, Mike and Charles tackle some great new listener questions (including some news on future podcasts), bring you up-to-speed on the Apple vs Qualcomm ugliness, talk about a possible Foxconn US investment, and alert users to an Apple Watch (original generation) warranty extension (due to a rare issue). There's also rumors to like (or debunk); Acer's new 4K USB-C display and Mike's new-to-him 2013 Mac Pro; AT&T up to their throttling tricks again, and much more. It's a countdown to adventure with this week's Space Javelin, cadets, so climb on board!
April 24, 2017
Charles and Mike got reader questions about the Mac Pro, so they answered them! They also talk about Apple's iWork and iLife giveaway, Apple's self-driving software/hardware platform, and the latest chips from Intel -- Basin Falls and Coffee Lake.
Speaking of falls, they also analyze the fall of Plastc, which wanted to be the one credit card you use for all your credit accounts, and are wary of the new Mastercard with a biometric fingerprint reader because it's not as secure as Apple Pay. On the year anniversary of his passing, we pay tribute to Prince and report on a new song that's legally in limbo now. We finish up with another Lightning Round covering the iPad shortage, Apple's satellite hires, the Live Photo API, Microsoft busting up two-factor authentication, and the future of Yahoo -- we mean Oath (?). Get on board for an action-packed hour of power, cadets!
April 17, 2017
This week, Mike and Charles mix it up a little with the Lightning (not Micro USB, thanks) Round! We talk a little (okay, a lot) about our favorite "cult-y" TV shows coming soon, what's up with Nintendo, video card drivers, glucose sensors, Apple automotive stuff, a particularly scary Windows breach (all fixed now, whew!), and Mike's thumbs. Also on deck are some of the latest rumors, and our ever-popular status update! This one is jam-packed!