MacObserver

Tech Press, Shaping the Narrative, and Silicon Valley Time

1 month 1 week ago

Tech press and the narratives they craft typically follow Silicon Valley Time, or a special “clock” otherwise known as the hero’s journey.

A company’s narrative moves like a clock: it starts at midnight, ticking off the hours. The tone and sentiment about how a business is doing move from positive (sunrise, midday) to negative (dusk, darkness). And often the story returns to midnight, rebirth and a new day.

This is an interesting story on how the tech press covers news, and what lessons companies can learn.


Andrew Orr

Long Press Shortcuts for iOS Safari

1 month 1 week ago

I’ve covered iOS 12 tips and tricks that you might have forgotten. Now I’d like to resurface a tip from 2017 about shortcuts for iOS Safari.

You might not know it, but Safari has some hidden shortcuts tucked behind some of the icons. This will let you perform certain actions a little faster, like quickly access the desktop version of a website, add a bookmark, and even close multiple tabs at once.


Andrew Orr

Providers Tout 5G Claims and Names Before the Network Exists

1 month 1 week ago

5G is the talk of Las Vegas at CES this week. However, there is mounting controversy about what cellular network providers are actually declaring as 5G. The superfast network will not actually be launched until 2020 or even 2021, but the cellular providers are still keen to brand things as 5G now. A piece on the Associated Press noted that “AT&T has drawn ridicule by relabeling the network used by some of its phones as ‘5G E’,” for example. This main seem a relatively superficial issue but in terms of been clear with customers, it matters.

There’s a history of carriers being murky about network claims. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint started calling an enhanced 3G network 4G in the early 2010s. There’s more pushback this time because people are now more aware of what a next-generation network can do.


Charlotte Henry

Hero Traveler is a new Social Platform for Millennial Travelers

1 month 1 week ago

Hero Group, a New York based advertising and new media agency that specializes in Millennials, led by Joseph Anthony, one of the nation’s foremost experts on Gen Y and Gen Z, today announces the launch of Hero Traveler, the first travel-focused social media platform and app dedicated to informing and empowering the next generation of Millennial Traveler. The first of its kind platform allows travelers to easily create, publish, share, authenticate and ultimately book travel experiences curated by their peers. Hero Traveler leverages the power of user generated travel stories combined with content curated by a global network of pre-vetted travel influencers and creators. Share your best travel adventures, tips and memories with the world, in the form of beautifully composed travel stories and guides, comprised of your best writing, photography and videos. Help fellow travelers by providing them with ideas and insights into how to make their travel experiences unforgettable. App Store: Free

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash


Andrew Orr

CES – Audio-Technica’s New Analog and USB Connected Stereo Turntable

1 month 1 week ago

Following Sony’s turntable announcement at CES yesterday, Audio-Technica also unveiled a number of new models. The one that caught my is the LP60XUSB.  It is an automatic belt-drive turntable that has a USB connection, allowing users to transfer records to digital form. It also has a 3.5 mm male to dual RCA male output and a built-in switchable phono preamp. This means the turntable can be connected directly to a home stereo, powered speakers, computer and other devices. Audio-Technica also said this latest design helps to reduce tracking, resonance, and noise. The device will be available in black or gun mental in the near future, at a cost of $129.00.


Charlotte Henry

Bounty Hunter Successfully Tracked Down a Phone

1 month 1 week ago

AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile sell access to customers’ location data. As an experiment, Joseph Cox paid a bounty hunter to locate a phone, and it worked.

The bounty hunter did this all without deploying a hacking tool or having any previous knowledge of the phone’s whereabouts. Instead, the tracking tool relies on real-time location data sold to bounty hunters that ultimately originated from the telcos themselves, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, a Motherboard investigation has found. These surveillance capabilities are sometimes sold through word-of-mouth networks.

The technology apparently works on all mobile networks, but there was some issue with Verizon. Shady practices like this are why we need an American GDPR, as well as a better FCC.


Andrew Orr

CES – Adero’s Smart Tags and Taglets Help Make Sure You Never Leave Your Stuff Behind

1 month 1 week ago

Knowing where your stuff was last seen can be handy… or frustrating, depending upon where it is versus where you are. Adero takes that to the next level by making sure that you don’t forget your stuff in the first place. Shown off at the CES Pepcom event, Adero’s Bluetooth-based Smart Tags work similarly to what you’ve seen from Tile or Trackr, syncing with your phone and letting you know where your stuff is. The differentiator is Adero’s smaller Taglets which attach to the contents of your backpack or purse. Sure you know to grab your backpack, but wouldn’t it be great to know that your bag contains the key items you need, like charger, AirPods, and glasses? Simply put a taglet onto each of those three items, and the Smart Tag on your bag will tell you if anything’s missing, either via a red/green LED or via alert to your smartphone. Adero will help you find your stuff if you’ve left it behind, too,  but with their tech the idea is that you won’t leave it behind in the first place. US$119 gets you an Adero starter kit with 3 Smart Tags and 3 Taglets.


Dave Hamilton

CES – Netgear’s Nighthawk AX12 Brings Wi-Fi 6 and Enhancements to Wi-Fi 5

1 month 1 week ago

Netgear took the opportunity Monday at the CES Pepcom event to show off its latest dual-band router, the Nighthawk AX12. Billed as a 12-stream router, this device includes some significant Wi-Fi enhancements over its predecessors. First, of course, is support for 802.11ax, a.k.a. Wi-Fi 6. This operates over the same 5GHz band as Wi-Fi 5 (a.k.a. 802.11ac), but uses OFDMA signaling to fit more bandwidth into the spectrum. Full utilization will require Wi-Fi 6-compatible clients, and nothing from Apple currently supports that. However, this 5GHz radio also supports Wi-Fi 5, and has a couple of benefits: first, with 8 streams for that antenna your chances of getting connected to the best streams double over even the top-end routers out there. Second, the Nighthawk AX includes the very latest Wi-Fi chipset which now truly supports full, 160MHz connections, delivering real-world speed and range increases to existing Wi-Fi 5 devices. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but we expect it to be north of $400. Interested users can sign up to learn more through NETGEAR’s upcoming Premier Beta program.


Dave Hamilton

CES – Twelve South’s PowerPic Hides a Wireless Charger in Plain Sight

1 month 1 week ago

On Monday at the CES Pepcom event, Twelve South was showing off the latest result of their creative efforts: the PowerPic. As co-founder and creative director, Andrew Green, puts it, “wireless charging is supposed to be invisible.” PowerPic achieves this mandate by hiding a charging coil inside a standard 4×6 picture frame. By day (or by night, whenever you’re not charging) the PowerPic holds a photo of your favorite memory (or person, or even pet!). When you need to charge, just place your phone inside the frame and boom, the coil fires up and your phone starts sipping juice invisibly through your family ski photo. PowerPic retails for $79.99 and delivers up to 10W of wireless power to most smartphones that feature Qi charging, including everything currently available from Apple.


Dave Hamilton

CES Organizer Thinks Sex Toys are Immoral and Obscene

1 month 1 week ago

It seems as though the CTA had a problem with a sex toy. Company Lora DiCarlo planned to present its product, but its award was revoked and the company had to remove its exhibit.

But after ranking high enough and winning the designation, Lora DiCarlo was apparently told that its product didn’t comply with the rules. The show’s and award’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association, allegedly cited rules saying products that are “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified.” It then backtracked and said the product simply didn’t fit in the robotics and drones category.


Andrew Orr
Checked
2 hours 10 minutes ago
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