Space Javelin

Space Javelin
By The Space Javelin crew
About this podcast
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

Space Javelin

Apple

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Latest episodes
yesterday
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!
Feb. 5, 2018
The big story of the tech week that was this time was Apple's astonishingly great (again) fiscal Q1 financials, in which the company made enough in revenue to match more than half of the $160 billion they plan on repatriating into the US in the near future -- in just three months. It wasn't entirely rainbows and unicorns, cadets, but pretty close -- and Mike and Charles look briefly at the numbers and spend a bit more time noting that initial pundit and media reports overlooked an important factor, and that recent rumors about the iPhone X were, as we predicted, completely wrong. In addition to busting the myth of the unpopular iPhone X, we also put paid to the mistaken view that Apple's software is any worse than it was during whatever one believes was its "golden age." The crew also take a look at the growing but painfully slow success of Apple Pay, the company's growing interest in India, a new repair program for some iPhone 7 owners (and an update on the iPhone battery replacement program), and new problems (again) with the Surface Pro 4. Oddly, there aren't 16 various agencies quizzing Microsoft about this. There's also a technical look at the HomePod versus Google's Home Max, news about the 18-core iMac Pro (EXTREME!), updates on the betas of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4, more eGPU stuff to chew on, Nintendo iOS news, things that are not happening till 2019, some recent but questionable rumors (including the possible iPhone SE 2), and a little easter egg for those who listen to the very end of the credits. All this and more, cadets, so tune in and get ready for ludicrous-speed news and commentary!
Jan. 29, 2018
Finally the HomePod has arrived on the scene, showing up quite late to the party and missing the entire Christmas season like the perpetually-tardy hipster it is. Mike and Charles take a look at Apple's latest all-new product release, and weigh up the pros and cons of HomePod against both "home assistants that can maybe play AM radio-quality music" as well as the more serious home entertainment (with a dash of voice assistant integration) options. Along with that, there's an important security update for Macs and iOS devices out that is so crucial -- alongside other recent security issues -- that it may finally send some of your un-upgradeable stuff to the recycle bin at long last. Also in focus on the scanners this week is a visit to the woodshed for sloppy tech and non-tech sites that took a headline off AppleInsider about the future of the iPhone X and ran off without actually reading the article (apparently), creating -- yes -- fake news. Other topics tackled are the latest contradictory prattle from the once-great FCC; Qualcomm's latest court loss and fine (this time via the EU); the triumphs and trials of Tesla and its low-cost CEO Elon Musk; a great deal on new iPhones from Verizon and T-Mobile; and much more. Because we have an extra-dimensional pocket universe that we can fit stuff into, making our space locker bigger on the inside, the crew take advantage of our patented Info-Density™ to also discuss the revamped Duck Duck Go iOS browser app; the first trial of quantum-encrypted streaming video; the forthcoming standard of WPA3 and what that will mean for you and your router; Microsoft hiring Signal to teach them how to add encryption to Skype; the latest rumors of a new iPhone SE on the way and Face ID probably coming to the next iPad Pro; and sing the praises of an excellent video comparison series on AppleInsider, pitting the current Mac Pro versus the new iMac Pro with regard to strictly pro app use. There's also a little time for us all to come together, despite all our various differences, and agree that the guy who bit his iPhone battery and caused an explosion is an imbecile. Remember, cadets: Space Javelin is the only tech-news podcast that compresses time and space itself to pack way more news into an hour than anyone else, so put on your learning helmets and blast off for a quantum order of magnitude more news -- delivered at warp speed!
Jan. 22, 2018
Mike and Charles go rogue and throw out the usual show outline to wander aimlessly through this week's tech minefield. Rather than get to the big headlines right away (because that's just what you'd *expect* they'd do), Mike rains on the MacBook Air's 10th anniversary parade, teaches forum users some manners, and reveals his experiments with an Intel Next Unit of Computing (or NUC). So now the guys have to talk faster to fit in all the juicy news and gossip, including but not limited to Apple's repatriation of its foreign stash (costing them a dizzying $38 billion to do so) and what little we know about how they actually want to spend the money. Chas, for his part, solves the whole Ireland-EU tax problem rather ingeniously. *Now* how much would you pay? But wait, there's more! Also on tap: so-called "tech addiction" problems that mysteriously is only Apple's problem; the terrible idea of giving users a switch to optionally crash their own phones; the pros and cons of the "right to repair" legislative concept; Apple actually training the FBI on realistic and legal forms of data recovery from clouds and devices when warranted; Google and Android's really lousy week; the "net neutrality" app that briefly got throttled by Apple; Intel's continuing fail (and possible new fails); and the return of the Lightning Round, featuring Microsoft, Toyota and Lexus, BMW, Amazon, and Def Leppard. Because like them, we will just keep on bringin' on the heartbreak, cadets, so strap in and get ready to Armageddon it!
Jan. 15, 2018
Our geologic survey of Planet CES is done for another year, cadets, and this week Charles and Mike issue their reports on what was really big and surprisingly small, the cool stuff and the "huh?" moments, and go into some detail on the big themes this year, from Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C to HomeKit stuff and of course various security solutions. They also welcome back one of the most beloved "spurious use of Bluetooth" devices we covered from back in the MacNN days, the Numi luxury toilet -- now "flush" with new features. Never fear, however, there is a lot of tech news outside of CES to cover, and of course we get to that as well. From pointless Congressional investigations into Apple's battery-replacement program to where (and where not) to get your battery replaced; from a new vote coming up to save net neutrality to the FBI's desire to make us all less secure for their own personal convenience; from investors that fear "for the children" but were apparently unaware that Apple has parental controls to Microsoft's problematic but 100 percent effective fix for the Spectre and Meltdown threats to AMD-based PCs (and AMDs incredibly two-faced responses to this security crisis); from the Jimmy Iovine rumor to our pronouncement that AirPort is on life support to the dramatic turn in the Apple vs VOIP-Pal case, the Space Javelin crew are ever-vigilant for tech news and shenanigans not involving the power or flood levels of a certain convention center in Las Vegas. All this and the products from CES we'd actually consider buying for ourselves plus a whole lot more -- including a shout out to the new cadets just joining the ship (no hazing from the senior staff, you guys), so buckle up for insight, analysis, head-scratching oddities and other silliness this week.
Jan. 8, 2018
We’re back, and we only hijacked one other podcast while we were away! Welcome to Space Javelin’s third season, though we’re never going to call it that again — just going with episode numbers from now on (Specials and Special Reports will remain unnumbered). This week, Mike and Charles offer the latest update on Intel-gate, beat the last of the dead horse formerly known as Battery-gate (and pass on some genuinely useful info on how and why this all happened), and explore the new T2 chip found in the iMac Pro. Also on the bill before we go all spoiler-riffic on the latest installment of the Star Wars saga and the Doctor Who Christmas Special are the latest announced chip from Samsung; Spotify’s great big $1.6 billion royalty problem; the truth behind the bad reporting about the Chicago Apple Store’s roof; a nice look at Appleinsider’s fine review of the 10-core iMac Pro, and Mike’s experience with a forthcoming 14-core model; surprising new tests regarding burn-in on the same Samsung displays found in three different OLED smartphones; and a really poorly-reported hit job of a story about Tim Cook that fails every sniff test. Then and only then does the Space Javelin crew weigh in on their two holiday nerd-film or nerd-TV favorites, The Last Jedi and Twice Upon a Time. There will be plenty of warning to stop listening before they get into the spoilers, but really … you haven’t seen these yet? Tsk tsk. All this and lots more, cadets, so we need all hands back from extended shore leave and on the deck as we head out on our next mission … to planet CES and beyond!
Dec. 22, 2017
We should have known that something would come up after saying last episode was our final one for the year ... wouldn't you know it, Apple gets itself into a scandal just ahead of the holiday weekend (plus a couple of other, way smaller things of note) so Mike and Chas reconvene one last time for ... eh, let's call it the Happy Holiday Special. It's a short episode (a little over 18 minutes) wherein your co-pilots note the actual shipping of the iMac Pro, explain how the "Apple degrades old iPhone batteries" story has been woefully mishandled by both Apple and the media generally, Mike gets bleeped a few times (ON CHRISTMAS NO LESS!) but gets a game released pretty much exclusively for his benefit, and he and Charles make some bold predictions regarding "Project Marzipan" before wishing a Merry Xmas to all, and to all a good night. We'll return January 8th, cadets, so please have a great break and stay tuned!
Dec. 18, 2017
Well, that's a wrap on solar year 2017 from your Space Javelin crew -- we'll be back with Season 3 and maybe a warp core engine if Santa thinks we've been good, starting on or around January 8. In the meantime, among those receiving a lump of coal this Xmas will be FCC chair Ajit Pai and his lickspittle cronies at the FCC, the US Justice Department for studiously ignoring Amazon's ongoing monopoly abuse, and whoever at Apple keeps screwing up the software and delaying the hardware. Still, the iMac Pro is out, Final Cut Pro X got updated, the Apple TV 4K and Google's Chromecast are both re-appearing on Amazon after two years, and Tim Cook and Charles Koch found something to agree on, so not everyone has been naughty this year. In addition to fighting for net neutrality and saving up for that hella-pricey iMac Pro, Disney bought 21st Century Fox, T-Mobile bought Layer 3's video assets, and they both look like they're going to try and create their own competition to Netflix. AppleInsider shows off Samsung's stockingful of fail on the Galaxy Note 8's biometrics, the Windows 10 S version of iTunes isn't going to get here in time for the figgy pudding, and Phil Schiller doesn't seem to bothered about much of anything, really. Alibaba says it has a way to jailbreak iOS 11, if there's anyone left who cares, Apple fixes things they should have fixed earlier (including their Airport routers), and we *don't* spoil the new Star Wars movie or Doctor Who Christmas Special for anyone (until next episode ...). See you in three weeks, cadets, so enjoy your shore leave and stay tuned for the faster, further, higher new season of ... Space Javelin!
Dec. 11, 2017
Next week is our last podcast for 2017 (and Season Two), but we'll be back after New Years. In the meantime, another fight has broken out in Techworld, and this one's likely to get ugly: Google is withholding direct YouTube services from most Amazon products, and each side blames the other, like relatives at a testy, political holiday dinner. Apple bought Shazam, Apple Pay Cash is here, and Charles and Mike take bets on whether the iMac Pro will actually arrive this week or not. Apple also gets another toasting for yet another software flaw (this time in HomeKit) even as they fix the other notable ones from last week, but a third-party alternative keyboard says "hold my beer" and actually does even more damage. Of course, last week saw the long-promised release of Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV, and the TV app is now available in France, Germany, and most of the UK (apart from Malcolm's house), along with a general release of the Sirius XM app for Apple TV in the USA. AirPods are taking off, Apple makes the most popular camera in the world, Mike reviews the Caldigit 2TB Tuff hard drive, the HDMI 2.1 spec with 10K resolution (yes, 10K) is out, and Target needs to get with the mobile-payments program. All this and much more, cadets, so double up on your space food and get plenty of sleep-pod time: you'll want to be wide awake for this one!