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.
Latest episodes
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!
Dec. 4, 2017
Has Neptune broken up with Venus and moved into the 7th house of the ram or something, because this past week was one that everyone -- from Charles to Apple to Uber -- would rather forget. After commemorating a lost friend, Charles and Mike run over the myriad problems Apple had with its two main operating systems, including one completely inexcusable root-level flaw, but also rake the FCC over the coals for its plan to destroy net neutrality. There's more news about Apple vs Qualcomm, and tales of Uber shenanigans, not to mention the many stories of sexual harassment (yep, we went there) that have even crept into the tech world. Oh and there's a tax crackdown coming in the UK that is sure to affect most of your preferred multinationals. A tough week, to be sure. On the plus side, Mike got an iPhone X, there's a new heart study from Stanford you can help with, the lads take a look at the Caldigit 3TB AV Pro 2, YouTube fixes their battery-hogging app, Apple fixes most of its software flaws, and Microsoft made the crew smile through their tears by releasing the utterly pointless Edge browser for iOS (well, iPhones. Well, non-iPhone X iPhones). The crew have only two more episodes to do this year, and then they are taking two weeks off for Chrisnukkah and New Years. Charles recommends going to see the new Pixar film Coco; Mike is saving up to take the family to the new Star Wars movie. Star-crossed fates, holiday cheer and much more, cadets, but please keep your seatbelts fastened -- there's more than the usual amount of turbulence this time around!
Nov. 20, 2017
This week, Charles is back from New York but it's Mike that's broadcasting from different quarters; however, this will not stop them going over the big tech news of the week as usual. There was actually not a lot usual about this week, what with Tesla springing a surprise alongside their semi-truck announcement, the disappointment of the HomePod missing its December debut, and the shockingly good benchmark scores from the iPhone X. Also discussed on the ship this week is the nice reviews for the Xbox One X and Nintendo Switch, the mostly-good reviews for the Google Pixel Buds, and kids' smartwatches being destroyed in Germany. All this plus a DirecTV deal, the Apple TV 4K for Xmas, Apple's iconic new TV ad, our changing usage habits, Vimeo adding support for HDR, a mini-rant about FireFox, a new Sonnet TB3 graphics box deluxe, and how to fend off a shark attack with your Apple Watch LTE. All this and more, cadets, so grab a size larger helmet -- your brain is gonna be a size larger once we've exploded this info-bomb inbetween your earholes!
Nov. 13, 2017
Charles is away in various bits of New York, and Mike is otherwise occupied, so this week sees the escape from the airlock of intrepid reporter Malcolm Owen and the ship's bosun William Gallagher as they take the helm. We salute the US Navy for taking us on board, discuss Walmart's alternative figures against Apple Pay, bring up some reports of screen issues with some iPhone X units (but never fear, Apple is on it), and William sings the praises of the forthcoming version of productivity app Workflow. Also discussed are the Photos app, anti-spammer email bots, Photos, KFC, and super savings on iPhone X battery life with the new Dark Mode. As befits the former hosts of One More Thing, the pair also resurrect the much-loved App of the Week segment, discuss examples of greater use of automation in software, take a peek at the new deals to be found in the debut of (by the time you hear this) Last Weekend Only, and geek out a bit over Star Wars-inspired backgrounds and effects in the new Clips 2.0. Things are a little different this week, cadets, with gentler accents, more decorum, and a full 20 percent less ranting (but a lot more sighing). All this and more, so tune in!
Nov. 6, 2017
To the surprise of only the highly-paid "analysts" on Wall Street, Apple beat expectations again, had no problems selling lots and lots of iPhone 8s, and even the iPhone X appears to be more plentiful than last year's highly constrained iPhone 7. Mike and Charles go over the company's frankly stupendous fiscal Q4 numbers, but also remind users that all of Apple's platforms have now reached that mature "point-one" stage and it is time to upgrade if you can (for no other reason than to ensure you are no longer vulnerable to the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability, because you can't wait for a router fix -- it's probably not coming). Qualcomm stumbles, Google's Pixel XL 2 fumbles (again), Amazon doesn't do its homework, and Best Buy got their rear end handed to them -- all in a string of stories about being dumb. This week, Charles welcomes D. Proni of Econ Technologies on to talk about super-syncing and backup utility Chronosync; Mike gives the Internet a stern talking-to about the freakout over a native (and not hidden) Photos auto-cataloging feature; both drool over the latest spotting of iMacs Pros in the wild; Apple makes a great change for iCloud users, and next month you'll be able to bid on Steve Jobs' old car. All this and much more covering a big week in tech, cadets, so get in line early and bring your sleep pods -- you're going to be out there a couple of Rels early to secure your very own copy of Space Javelin X -- er, Season 2 Episode 34!
Oct. 30, 2017
Mike and Charles are back in their command seats with a big bag of brickbats to deliver to all and sundry, from bad headline writers, to stock pundits, to phone sellers, and beyond. The tour of the tech news galaxy starts with the big story of the week -- the launch of the iPhone X and all the usual hysteria that accompanies that, along with news that the iPhone 8 is actually selling just fine (and a theory about why we were told otherwise last week), and a warning about buying your iPhone from Best Buy. Also discussed are Apple's new leather sleeve for the MacBook, a new rant from Mike about entitled Mac owners, balanced with some good news for Mac owners -- new super-fast SSD expansion options from OWC. Also covered in this episode: the latest legal wranglings, from the University of Wisconsin to a re-re-retrial of patent damages from the first Apple vs. Samsung trial (yes, eight years on); the FBI being whiny babies; Apple's smackdown of the "Face ID accuracy reduced" lie; Microsoft kills off the Kinect, and Google needs to work on its QA; and the Amazon CloudCam and (the ill-thought-out) Key idea. The return of the Lightning Round sees more insight on the Cochlear Nucleus 7 hearing implant, Walmart becoming more friendly to Apple products in their IT, Honda's new CarPlay-compatible Gold Wing motorcycle, and news that NYC is replacing the Metrocard with contactless payment systems at last. Last but not least, Mike and Charles take a closer look at insurer John Hancock's offer for a cheap Apple Watch ... and what's behind that. All this and more, cadets, so make sure you have your truth detectors tucked into your utility belts -- the space junk is thick on this orbit!