Space Javelin

By The Space Javelin crew

About this podcast   English    United States

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.
In this podcast

Apple

Space Javelin

Technology

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April 16, 2018
Eyes straight ahead, cadets, for the day of recording for the latest episode of Space Javelin coincides with both co-Captain Mike's birthday and a traditional day of bad luck and weird happenings! While there was plenty of good news on the horizon, the crew get a little ranty this week about GrayKey, the FBI, patent lawsuits, bad repair jobs, HomePod misinformation and pre-announcements! On the other hand, there's good news about CarPlay and Android Auto, an Apple triumph over a patent troll, a repair program for iPad Pro Smart Keyboards, some new TV and video series (current and forthcoming) to enjoy, a great deal on a good VPN, new gear to check out, and Apple's achievement of 100 percent renewable energy (the good ship Space Javelin, as you all know, also uses a never-ending resource: it runs entirely on hot air). Somewhere in the middle are notes of caution, such as the end of 32-bit apps on the Mac and old apps on the original Apple Watch, the potential danger of some third-party iPhone repairs, and experimental Nvidia and older Thunderbolt drivers for eGPUs that may not work for long, or well, or at all. From predictable pundits to laid-off leakers, Mike and Charles compress a week of tech news and more into one alternately grumpy and jokey hour! Assemble your Interocitors at warp speed, cadets, this is going to be a heck of a data dump!
April 9, 2018
Last week was quite a trip for us, cadets, complete with a secret mission: Mike and Charles once again boarded and took over the good ship AppleInsider podcast for their episode 157! Having looted and pillaged the place, the crew then returned to their own recap of the news of the week, and somehow made it different enough to (hopefully) please everybody. The big news of the week was of course Apple's update on the forthcoming Mac Pro, which is still coming but a bit less "forth" than many people thought. There was also a claim that Apple will be moving at least some of its Mac line over to ARM chips over the next few years -- that's Mike and Charles stifling a yawn you may be hearing right about now -- and some minor but notable news about the latest Intel chips in the pipeline, just for balance. There's also some new legal action, the latest skirmish in the Apple Music vs Spotify war, and Apple's world-class poach from Google. There's also some handy info on recent software that has broken under the latest macOS and iOS updates, the Facebook privacy story continues to grow new legs, Zuckerberg claps back at Cook, and a plug for Malcolm's explainer article on current and future screen display technologies. As if that weren't enough, we have some of the Space Javelin-exclusive reports such as Deal of the Week, our patented rumor debunking section "That Can't Be Right," and a new (albeit brief) Engineering Report looking at some new gear. All this and more, cadets, so remember to wear your dress uniforms to help welcome any new recruits we may have shanghaied on our AI raid! Welcome aboard!
April 2, 2018
Normally the crew take off for shore leave on holiday weekends like the rest of you, cadets, but dagnabbit Apple had other plans for us. Last week, the company held a big education-themed event with a new low-cost iPad (now with Apple Pencil support!) and updates of all of its OS versions, including some new features (and animoji!), along with official eGPU support for the latest MacBook Pros. Mike goes over the details of that, while Charles celebrates portrait nightstand mode for the Apple Watch and the new Health Records app and a library of old music videos on iTunes, 80s kid that he is. The crew ponder whether the increase in iCloud storage for students portends a bonus for consumers later, and go over the mystery of the HomePod firmware update that may -- or may not -- have changed its sound. There's also the coming of the General Data Protection Regulation and how tech companies are prepping ways for you to better understand what is being collected about you, which of course leads to a discussion about FaceBook and Google -- the two worst offenders in the category of "not really telling you stuff you ought to know," with the former (but curiously not the latter) now being investigated by the FTC over privacy matters. Mazda finally adds CarPlay support, Tim Cook explains why coding is so important for students, Dropbox goes public (and what that may mean for you), Foxconn buys Belkin, and the iMac Pro's peripherals are now available for the rest of us. But wait, there's more! Tune in to hear how Mike and Charles called it right about the education event, iPhone X sales, and the FBI's honesty about the San Bernadino shooting, and how they're going to be right about silly rumors regarding the iPhone SE 2 and a "foldable" iPhone in 2020. They also start to clear the backlog of cool accessories to talk about, and find (with AppleInsider's help) a surprising new weakness in the Galaxy S9 Plus. And that's not all, cadets, yet somehow they bend time and space to cram it all into a mere hour, thanks to positronic neutron wranglers and duct tape. Check it out!
March 26, 2018
We're running a wee bit long this week, cadets, but that's only because we're as jam-packed full of good stuff as the Millennium Falcon on a smuggling run! Special guest Peter Cohen returns to talk about keyboards, the new golden age of TV, and the first golden age of the Internet (insert modem screeching here) -- you know, before AOL ruined everything by making it accessible to everyone. Mike is back and eager to talk about Apple's two March events (happening shortly after we post this of course), an education-focused keynote and a press-oriented town hall. There's also a lot of rumor control needed for this and the upcoming WWDC, so he and Charles get out the Hose of Probability and give the speculation a good scrubbing. As if that weren't enough, there's also the Facebook data debacle, the Calendar 2 crypto-calamity, more health happiness and new emoji from Apple, more issues for S9 owners, and while we're talking the Galaxy S9 -- AppleInsider took a look at the biometrics and the new ARmoji features, and both made their eyes hurt. All this and more, cadets, so sit back and enjoy this extended mission -- forward to the past, and back to the future!
March 19, 2018
A very special episode this week, cadets, as Mike has had to go below decks for the first time in a very long time -- leaving Charles in charge (you've waited 78 episodes for that joke, haven't you) with only his special guest and fellow MacCentral.com alumni, Apple and tech news journalist Peter Cohen to help out with analyzing the week's top stories. Before that, though, we celebrate the life -- and dedicate this episode -- to Dr. Stephen Hawking, Master of the Universe. With the help of the ship's cafeteria chip lady and ace reporter Malcolm Owen, among the stories the crew cover this week are a huge bio-med scandal from Theranos, the Apple announcements of both the WWDC dates and a surprise educational event in less than two weeks (both with the potential for new hardware), Google Lens coming to the iOS Google Photos app, and Android Wear becoming "Wear OS by Google" ( because you can just never say "Google" enough, apparently). Also covered are some new exploits from the Pwn to Own hacking competition, a first look at a iPhone-unlocking mobile kit from Grayshift, a powerbank battery recall from AmazonBasics, and -- surprise! -- Mike returns via a leftover Engineering Department report from last week looking at a Mantiz eGPU enclosure and a 1TB PCI-E external Thunderbolt drive from Sonnet. We've had many adventures of late, cadets, and there's more coming next week ... and beyond!
March 12, 2018
Oh cadets, this may be one of the crew's finest episodes yet. First Mike and Charles take a moment to let you cult-cool-stuff lovers know about a new radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on BBC Radio 4, the straight into the news -- including the overall trend lines on Samsung S9 reviews (mixed, it would be fair to say), the S9 benchmarks, our shocking guess at the proper name of Android P (and a few comments on what's not making the cut), Alexa's creepy laugh, a Hal-9000 hardware piece you can own, and a discussion about the pros and cons of the "Right of Repair" movement, but that's just the warmup. Our special guest William Gallagher returns to talk about two of his favorite Omni Group apps, plus we have a fantastic bargain for our Deal of the Week. Beyond that, we "bustmyther" a few rumors and lies, including sticking a pin in the balloon of "Android user loyalty" and new rumors about forthcoming iPads, possible future smaller notches on the iPhone X (and whatever happened to in-screen fingerprint sensing?), a claim about a "mini HomePod" and next-gen MacBook Air, or maybe some Apple-branded over-ear headphones. As if that wasn't enough, there's a special "easter egg" after the end credits that will be especially fun for Alexa device owners (hat tip to Peter Pihl for his great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JepKVUym9Fg). Also included at no extra charge is a warning about a fake IRS tax scam, and a bold announcement last month that "Shure" turned out to be wrong. All this and a MoviePass roast, cadets, so gather by the space fire ... tonight we feast on their investors' tears!
March 5, 2018
Of the four people you will hear on this week's transmission, cadets, every one of them is battling extreme weather. Both our co-captain Mike and special guest Paul from Rogue Amoeba are up against the bomb cyclone still drenching the Atlantic seaboard, cameo reviewer William Gallagher is dealing with the snow and ice of the Beast From the East, and Charles is currently overwhelmed with a sudden outbreak of gorgeous cherry blossoms up there in western Canada. Life is hard, cadets. On tap for this episode is news of a weather-related Alexa vulnerability, the release of Samsung's Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus and where it does -- and doesn't -- measure up, what made the news at Mobile World Congress, Notch mania, the downturn of the smartphone market, Blackberry vs the Essential Phone in a race to the bottom, Microsoft's good deed, Spotify going public, our interview with audio software developer Paul Kafasis, a warning about fake Apple emails, the first-gen Apple TV, our Deal of the Week and the latest gear from the Engineering Report. Expect turbulance, cadets, this mission's going to be a bumpy ride!
Feb. 26, 2018
How can this be both episode 75 and episode 200? Well the former number is how many Space Javelin episodes we've put out, and the latter is the total number of podcasts we've done since our MacNN days (including our spin-off shows One More Thing and Off Topic). It's quite a milestone, and so we thought we'd bring in a special guest from the MacNN days (and current SJ crewman) William Gallagher to talk about three writing-related software reviews he's just done for AppleInsider. Also on tap for this episode is our usual roundup and analysis of the big tech headlines of the week, plus -- never before revealed! -- Mike's nickname from his Navy days, Intel's "memory" lapse (ha!), Apple's prank calling, new iPads are likely on the way, as is Apple's AirPower charging mat (finally), and one of our famed Lightning Rounds. Also part of the episode is our now-regular Deal of the Week, and two stories reported as fact that need our trademark skepticism: the "new AirPods soon" story, and Nikkei's ongoing willful deceits about the iPhone X. Last but not least, cadets, we spend a little time on two remarkable cases where Apple gear saved lives. All this and more, so tune your handy ShipPods to our frequency, Kenneth, and break off the astro-dial!
Feb. 19, 2018
Having recently schooled a New York Times columnist, Mike quickly shows off his scrappy side again, calling out Consumer Reports for their odd change of procedure for their HomePod "review" that's not a review at all, but it *is* another addition to the long history of dodgy Apple product testing the magazine has racked up over the years, and it turns out they're a *wee bit sensitive* about it. Schoolings will also be handed out to various Apple-covering pundits that got it wrong, Andy Rubin and the not-so-Essential phone, Samsung, Huawei, the US government, and even Bill Gates on this new episode. In addition, Mike and Charles correct the record on how amazingly well Apple's wearables, iPad, and services businesses are doing, the inevitable cloning of Apple's innovative Animoji, a fix coming for the Indian-character messaging bug, how iCloud helped fight another sort of Russian threat, and some good news for cable TV cord-cutters. Finally, Mike puts on his chief engineer hat to take a look at three new hardware accessories of interest, and of course there's lots more tidbits and chuckles over the course of our 57-minute mission. Ready the javelins, cadets, co-captain Mike is ready to rain some pain down on all those deserving swift justice from orbit!
Feb. 12, 2018
There was quite a lot going on in the tech week that was, cadets, but your co-captains are up to the task, and even make time to call out people who should just take a seat and keep their pieholes closed. From Mission: Impossible-style exploding AirPods to a surprise self-driving settlement, from the iBoot non-event to Apple gaining on Spotify, from shenanigans in Samsung-land to iPhones for the cops, this episode is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride -- and the crew are just getting started! Also on tap: user reviews of the HomePod, the 14-core iMac Pro (at last), and the Apple Watch and iPhone learn new (medical) tricks. Coming down the home stretch, there's new battery health stuff in the iOS 11.3, the New York Times gets schooled -- by Mike -- and there's good (and "huh") news for iPhone 5c owners. We also razz the FBI, review the latest Thunderbolt 3 dock from Caldigit, and let you in on not one but TWO Deals of the Week! All this and more, cadets, so buckle up -- we're about to hit ludicrous speed on this week's mission!
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