The CultCast
This week:  
  • The press passes are out, the WWDC keynote is around the corner.  We gotta talk about it and we’ll tell a new way you can watch it live.
  • New details out this week show the Apple car has taken yet another sad and disappointing turn.  We’ll you where it’s at now.
  • It’s the 12 year anniversary of one of Apple’s best creations—we remember Apple’s incredible Get a Mac ads.
  • And thoroughly embarrass our ourselves in an all-new Get To Know Ur Cultist.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed system will blanket your home in hyper-fast, reliable WiFi, and you can score free overnight shipping with code "CultCast" at checkout.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple confirms WWDC 2018 keynote livestream
  • Press invites for the June 4 keynote were sent out today. And guess what?
  • Cult of Mac is on this year’s guest list, so we’ll be live blogging all of the action from ground zero at the San Jose convention center.
  • For the rest of you shlubs, Apple will give you a front row seat to the keynote on June 4th.
  • WWDC 2018 is expected to include the unveiling of iOS 12, macOS 10.14, tvOS 12 and watchOS 5. Other rumors have suggested that Apple may unveil new hardware such as new MacBook Pros, or possibly an iPhone SE 2.
 
WWDC livestream will support Chrome and Firefox this year
  • As always, you’ll be able to watch it using Apple’s Safari browser, the WWDC app or Apple TV. However, for the first time Apple is also supporting Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
  • But does this mean you’ll be able to watch the stream on PC?  Unsure.
 
Apple teams with VW for self-driving bus project
  • Apple originally began its car project — known internally as Titan and T172 — in 2014. At the time, Apple planned to build a single vehicle that would upend society and industry, in what would be the automotive version of the iPhone. The company set to work on an electric driverless car with a lush interior reminiscent of a lounge or living room, where passengers face each other instead of the road, according to two early employees of the project.
  • But Apple soon learned that making a car is really hard, so they tried to partner with BMW and Mercedes.  But as Apple always does, they made things difficult by insisting on controlling the car experience and customer relationship, so the
  • Now?  Well, they’re making an Apple Park shuttle bus.  with VW.
  • Apple has inked a deal with Volkswagen that will allow the iPhone-maker to turn some of its T6 vans into self-driving shuttles for employees.
  • Apple’s self-driving shuttle bus is behind schedule, thought, according to The New York Times. Nearly all of Cupertino’s car team is working just on the VW vans project, but the 2018 deadline will be missed.
  • And what happens after the shuttle bus? No one knows.
 
Today in Apple history: Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ campaign comes to an end
  • May 21, 2010: Apple quietly ends its long-running, award-winning “Get a Mac” marketing campaign.
  • Debuting in 2006, the ads starred actor Justin Long as the cool, youthful Mac. Comedian John Hodgman portrayed the stuffy, awkward PC. Alongside the “Think Different” and the iPod “Silhouette” campaigns, “Get a Mac” will become one of the most fondly remembered extended ad campaigns in Apple history.
  • The U.S. ads ran for the next few years, with 66 television spots in total. The campaign also spread to other markets, with alternate actors playing the Mac and PC roles.
  • Apple aired the last “Get a Mac” TV ad in October 2009, marking the beginning of the end for the campaign.
  • But the clever marketing continued on Apple’s website. On May 21, 2010, Apple finally replaced its “Get a Mac” page with a “Why You’ll Love a Mac” page.
Direct download: CultCast_337_-_It_s_trueApple_s_building_a_BUS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm PDT

Don’t buy any new MacBook Pro until you hear this episode—seriously.  
 
There are growing reports, tons of complaints, and a new petition claiming the butterfly keyboard in the new MacBook Pro has a critical design flaw that can’t be fixed.  This episode we explore the issue with Matthew Taylor, creator of the keyboard recall petition, who tells us what’s going wrong with Apple’s butterfly keyboard, why it can’t be fixed, and why almost 30,000 people are demanding it be recalled.
 
And stick around for a innovative new iPhone gimbal, a very cool throwback iPhone case, and the perfect green screen for your Twitch or Youtube streams in an all-new Under Review.
 
This episode supported by
 
Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just sharpen your skills, Udemy has over 65,000 courses starting at just 11.99.
Visit Ude.my/CULTCASTor download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
MacBook butterfly keyboard problems spawn recall petition [Update]
  • The butterfly keyboard in recent MacBooks draws frequent complaints. And these have now escalated to the point where an online petition is requesting that Apple recall every MacBook Pro released since 2016.
  • The “butterfly” name comes from the shape of each key’s internal mechanism. In the 2015 MacBook, Apple replaced the old scissor design with one reminiscent of a butterfly.
  • It’s supposed to more evenly distribute the pressure from tapping on the keys. As mentioned, it’s also 40 percent thinner.
 
Jason Snell:
  • “Apple’s relative silence on this issue for existing customers is deafening. If these problems are remotely as common as they seem to be, this is an altogether defective product that should be recalled.”
 
John Gruber:
  • “This keyboard has to be one of the biggest design screwups in Apple history. Everyone who buys a MacBook depends upon the keyboard and this keyboard is undependable.”
 
Marco Arment:
  • “Butterfly keyswitches are a design failure…. they are fatally unreliable.”
 
Casey Neistat:
  • Pic on twitter with caption: what am i supposed to do when the space bar stops working. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING WITH THIS FCKING KEYBOARD
 
 
Apple’s ‘butterfly’ MacBook keyboard problems bring class action lawsuit
  • A lawsuit filed in federal court claims that the keyboard used in all the MacBook Pros and MacBooks made for several years is defective. The plaintiffs request that this be made into a class action lawsuit, and that Apple be required to replace all the affected keyboards at no cost to users.
  • The lawsuit also requests punitive damages because, as they claim, Apple continued to build and sell laptops with the “butterfly” keyboard even though the company knew it was defective.
 
Keyboard petition on Change.org
 
Spiffy new iPhone X cases look like original iMac and iPhone
 
 
Under Review!
 
FreeFly Movi iPhone gimbal
 
Classic C1: iPhone X case inspired by iMac G3
 
Elgato Green Screen
 
Tiny Tower Laptop Stand
Direct download: CultCast_336_-_Don_t_buy_a_MacBook_Pro_until_you_hear_this_episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23pm PDT

This week:
  • Apple is secretly building a TV empire
  • Google’s new AI assistant has a feature you have to see to believe
  • Financial filings show MoviePass’s time is running out
  • Our favorite lesser-known iOS and Mac apps
  • And… why do men have nipples?  We answer your most burning questions in an all-new CultCast QnA 🔥
 
On the show this week
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed system will blanket your home in hyper-fast, reliable WiFi, and you can score free overnight shipping with code "CultCast" at checkout.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
All the important stuff revealed at Google I/O
  • An updated version of Google Maps aims to keep you in-the-know about what’s going on around you. There’s a new tab called “For You” that’s designed to tell you about events in neighborhoods you care about.
  • You can now hold your phone up to the world in front of you and Maps will overlay walking directions that make finding your way around a new city easier.
  • A very human-sounding Google Assistant made a call on behalf of it’s owner to book a haircut, and the result was was magical as it was creepy. The most impressive thing was that the person on the receiving end of the call didn’t seem to suspect they were talking to an AI
 
Every single TV series Apple is currently making
  • After going on a spending spree in Hollywood the last eight months, Apple appears to be poised to make a huge push into original content.
  • Apple has 13 shows in development.
 
Today’s SEC filing suggests MoviePass’ time is running out
  • The future doesn’t look promising for MovePass
  • According to a recent financial filing, the company has spent an average of $21.7 million per month for the stretch between October 2017 through April 2018, but as of April 30th, MoviePass has just $15.5 million in cash
 
Apple ‘cash machine’ puts profits ahead of innovation
  • Apple to many seems to have lost its mojo for innovation. But it knows how to build a pile of cash.
  • This is the impression of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, who told CNBC Wednesday:
    • “I think Apple is a productive cash machine,”  “Is it a font of innovation? Unclear, trending to probably"
Direct download: CultCast_335_-_Apple_s_secret_TV_empire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am PDT

This week’s very HOT stories: 
  • Analysts were wrong—iPhone X is a massive hit
  • The death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone
  • The world’s most famous Apple analyst may no longer be reporting on Apple
  • Apple’s AirPort router lineup is officially dead
  • And we pitch you our favorite shows, movies, and vodka in an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple’s AirPort router lineup is officially dead
  • Apple introduced the AirPort lineup back in 2003 when it was starting to ride the high from the original iPod
  • Apple decided to finally put the nail in the coffin for its lineup of AirPort routers that haven’t been updated in years.
  • Statement: “We’re discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last.”
 
Analysts were wrong: iPhone X is a massive hit
  • Apple blew analysts’ expectations out of the water this afternoon with its historic Q2 2018 earnings report that saw the company post the most revenue ever in the March quarter.
  • Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri were giddy during Tuesday's call with investors. Everyone expected the iPhone X to be a bust, but even Apple was surprised by its success as it still dominates the iPhone sales charts.
 
Death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone
  • A very reliable analyst predicts one of the iPhones coming in autumn won’t have this pressure-sensitive technology, and none of the 2019 devices will.
  • Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s all because Apple is changing the components of its displays to make them lighter and less likely to break.
  • The analyst says sources in Apple’s supply chain told him that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, expected this fall, will use a CGS (Cover Glass Sensor) process. This means the touch sensor will no longer integrated with the actual display, but will instead be part of the cover that protects the LCD underneath.
  • The CGS displays weigh less than the current ones, and are more shock-resistant, according to Kuo. But they also cost more. To save money, Apple is going to leave out the 3D Touch sensor.
  • The KGI analyst says all 2019 models will use the CGS process, even the OLED ones, and therefore they won’t have 3D Touch.
 
World’s most famous Apple analyst may no longer be reporting on Apple
  • it seems that Kuo is moving on to greener pastures for a job with another firm. Unfortunately for Apple fans, this may mean focusing on non-Apple companies instead.
  • According to Kuo’s LinkedIn profile, he joined KGI in January 2012.
  • While Kuo is well known, he keeps a low profile and doesn’t do interviews. Very few pictures of him can be found online
 
Update: Unlimited MoviePass is back, but now it sucks
 
What we’re INTO
 
Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board
 
Santa Clarita Diet
 
A Quiet Place
 
St. George’s Green Chili Vodka
Direct download: CultCast_334_-_The_Death_of_3D_Touch_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm PDT

This week: 
  • How Steve Jobs saved Pixar, then stole all their stock
  • iPhone SE will steal one of iPhone X’s best features
  • Told ya!  MoviePass ends its unlimited movie option
  • Gal Gadot promotes Huawei on twitter… from her iPhone
  • What the heck happened to the AirPower Mat?
  • And we wrap with the best iPhone camera lenses, wireless security system, and the most powerful flashlight on EARTH in an all-new under review.
 
This episode supported by
 
Students around the world choose Udemy to discover new passions, expand their skills, and even change careers.
Visit Ude.my/CULTCASTor download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
 
On the show this week
 
 
Gal Gadot: I didn't cheat on Huawei Mate 10 Pro with iPhone
  • Gal Gadot, best known for the lead role in the Wonder Woman movie, became a ‘brand ambassador’ for Huawei earlier this year. In that role, she yesterday tweeted a glowing video about her new Huawei Mate 10 – with just one small problem
  • Marques Brownlee spotted, the tweet was sent from Twitter for iPhone.
  • Gadot’s publicist told CNET there was a perfectly innocent explanation.
    • “Some people have asked about my recent post with my new Huawei smartphone, and think I am using an iPhone,” Gadot said through her publicist. “That’s simply not the case. I love my Huawei P20 and Mate10Pro. They are lifelines wherever I am in the world.”
 
New iPhone SE will steal one of iPhone X’s best features
  • iPhone SE is looking to be a real beauty.  
  • Reliable leaker Benjamin Geskin claims the new iPhone SE, codenamed Jaguar, will feature wireless charging just like iPhone X. To make that possible, Apple is expected to scrap the handset’s aluminum unibody first introduced with iPhone 5 in favor of a shiny glass back panel.
  • Hopefully it’s waterproof and gets Touch ID 2.
  • The new iPhone SE, with a faster A10 Fusion processor, will likely make its official debut next month, according to recent reports.
 
What happened to the AirPower Mat?
  • At its September 2017 event, Apple said AirPower would appear some time in 2018, but since then we've barely heard a peep about about it.
  • AirPower will charge multiple devices at the same time, and while other mats out there can do that too, Apple says AirPower can help devices communicate with each other to manage power consumption.
  • It’s been 7 months now and we haven’t heard a peep.
  • Will the WDDC keynote on June 4th be the day?
 
 
Today in Apple history: Pixar gets out of the computer game
  • April 25, 1990: Steve Jobs shuts down Pixar’s hardware division (yes, it used to have one!), ending production of the pricey Pixar Image Computers immediately.
  • Pixar was Jobs’ “rebound” company after his departure from Apple in 1985. In early 1986, he bought a majority interest in Pixar from  George Lucas for just $5 million bucks.
  • When Lucas owned the company, he led the development of the Pixar Image Computer. George found existing computers too weak to handle the graphics needed to produce Pixar’s work (or to meet the demands of Hollywood studios that hired the company).
  • However, the computers sold poorly — and to a relatively small number of buyers.
  • When Pixar’s five-person Animation Group won an Oscar for its short film Tin Toy in 1989, Jobs’ interests switched to that team, which he previously planned to kill off due to its inability to turn a profit. The hardware division got canned instead.  
  • But then the story gets a strange twist.
 
Moment iPhone X lenses
 
Imalent DX80
 
Simpli Safe
 
Buster’s Instagram
 
Direct download: CultCast_333_-_How_Steve_Jobs_saved_Pixar_then_stole_all_their_stock.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple threatens employees to quit leaking, or go to jail!
  • Apple’s building new tools to help you know just how addicted you are to that iPhone of yours.  We’ll fill you in.
  • It looks like a new iPhone SE will be landing real soon.  We’ll tell you what we know.
  • And we reveal all the cool stuff we’re currently into in an all-new What We’re Into!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
On the show this week
 
 
Tim Cook won’t compromise Mac and iPad by combining them
  • With Apple planning to move Macs to Arm chips, and the rumored unification of iOS and macOS apps, you might be anxious Apple might just go ahead and combine your iPhone and Mac into some God forsake combo device.
  • Tim Cook recently stated that merging the Mac and iPad lines would be bad for both. He told a reporter from The Sydney Morning Herald, “We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make trade offs and compromises.”
 
Leaked Apple memo details efforts to stop leaks
  • In a leaked memo detailing Apple’s efforts to stop leaks, the company says it caught 29 leakers in 2017. Of those caught, 12 were arrested. Apple told employees they are “getting played” by journalists and bloggers that approach them with flattery in exchange for information.
 
Apple should battle smartphone addiction, iPod creator says
  • Former Apple executive, father of the iPod and current Nest CEO Tony Fadell wants Apple to do more to battle smartphone addiction.
  • In a newly published op-ed, Fadell argues that it would be “easy” for Apple to create a deep dashboard that could reveal exactly how much time we spend on different apps.
  • Fadell suggests that users could receive a regular itemized list like a credit card bill, complete with detailed information about how long they spent on each app, or even what they were doing inside each app.
  • It turns out Apple agrees, and has said that it plans to incorporate smartphone-monitoring features into the next version of iOS.
 
Apple plans to launch the Apple Music of magazines
  • Apple is planning to launch its own premium subscription magazine service as part of the Apple News app, a new report claims.
  • Earlier this year, the company acquired magazine app Texture. Texture offers more than 200 magazines for a rolling price of $9.99 per month.
  • Since acquiring Texture, Apple has reportedly parted ways with 20 of Texture’s 100 employees. The remaining ones are now being integrated into the Apple News team. An app combining Apple News and Texture is expected to launch sometime in the next year.
  • When the iPad first launched in 2010, one of the apps Steve Jobs was most excited about was The Daily, a short-lived, iPad-exclusive newspaper that was the first subscription app Apple offered.
 
Apple filings hint a bunch of new iPhone models are coming soon
  • The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) — which has previously leaked the iPhone 7, AirPods, and new MacBooks early — has now spilled the beans on a bunch of new handsets Apple is planning to release this year.
  • Given that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 launched just six months ago, they will almost certainly be new versions of iPhone SE.
  • Apple’s newest iPhone SE launched last March with increased storage, but the rest of the device has remained unchanged since March 2016. Current models still pack an aging A9 processor that first made its debut inside the iPhone 6 in 2014.
  • A new version of the iPhone SE will probably offer the same physical design, again with a 4-inch Retina display, but with more recent internals. Apple could give the device a more powerful A10 chip alongside improved cameras.
Direct download: CultCast_332_-_Goodbye_Apple_leaks_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm PDT

This week: 
  • HomePod is already stumbling in sales—is it doomed?  
  • Apple Is the richest company on earth, so where are all its billionaires?
  • Face ID could replace passwords on your favorite websites
  • The death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall
  • And stay tuned for Under Review, where we go hands on with an $80 tech-packed coffee cup, a beautiful new HomeKit smart lock, and the all-new Mavic Air drone.

 

This week: 
  • HomePod is already stumbling in sales—is it doomed?  
  • Apple Is the richest company on earth, so where are all its billionaires?
  • Face ID could replace passwords on your favorite websites
  • The death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall
  • And stay tuned for Under Review, where we go hands on with an $80 tech-packed coffee cup, a beautiful new HomeKit smart lock, and the all-new Mavic Air drone.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed system will blanket your home in hyper-fast, reliable WiFi, and you can score free overnight shipping with code "CultCast" at checkout.
 
On the show this week
 
New RED iPhone 8
So beautiful. So red.
 
Join us for a live hangout on Friday the 13th, 12PM Pacific!
 
Erfon’s YouTube review of the tech-packed Ember Ceramic mug
 
Apple's Stumbling HomePod Isn't the Hot Seller Company Wanted
  • Is the HomePod toast?
  • According to some Apple store workers, inventories are piling up and Apple has cut orders with their manufacturer.
  • "At first, it looked like the HomePod might be a hit. Pre-orders were strong, and in the last week of January the device grabbed about a third of the U.S. smart speaker market in unit sales, according to data provided to Bloomberg by Slice Intelligence. But by the time HomePods arrived in stores, sales were tanking, says Slice principal analyst Ken Cassar. “Even when people had the ability to hear these things,” he says, “it still didn’t give Apple another spike.””
  • According to Slice Intelligence: During the HomePod’s first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10 percent of the smart speaker market, compared with 73 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices and 14 percent for the Google Home
  • Why aren’t people buying HomePods?
 
 
Apple Is the Richest Company, So Where Are the Billionaires?
  • Did you know it wasn’t Apple that made Steve Jobs a billionaire? It was Pixar selling to Disney.  
  • Well it seems, as the world’s richest company, Apple would have many billionaires in its ranks.  Turns out it doesn’t, and two astute reporters at Bloomberg wondering why.
  • Apple Chairman Art Levinson is the only insider billionaire at Apple, and his Apple stock only accounts for $200 of his fortune.
  • It’s estimated that Tim Cook is only worth 600 million dollars.
  • Steve Jobs sold all but one of his shares when he was ousted from the company.
  • One theory is that large stockholders sold off their shares in 1997 when Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy.
  • Apple is smart with their executive pay, tying significant parts of compensation to company performance.
  • Only corporate insiders or shareholders with stakes exceeding 5 percent are required to report their interests, so it’s possible there are billionaires around.
 
Face ID could replace passwords on your favorite websites
  • Face ID could become even more useful thanks to a newly launched Web Authentication standard, which could replace regular web passcodes with biometric identification. This is via an API created by the FIDO Alliance and W3C. It allows users to access any online service in a browser through password-free FIDO Authentication.
  • While Apple already allows Face ID to autofill usernames and passcodes on iOS, this could go one step further by replacing the passcode altogether. This would make it a more secure option.
  • The biometric services covered by the API include fingerprint readers, cameras and USB keys.
  • At present, the feature can be used in Mozilla’s Firefox browser, with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge integration set to follow in the coming months. Opera integration is in the works, too, although sadly there’s no mention of Apple adopting this for Safari.
 
Death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall
  • All of the 2018 iPhone models will have Face ID, according to an industry analyst.
  • The analyst also indicated that two of the three models coming this fall will have OLED displays. There will be one medium-size and two bigger iPhones, both larger than any before.
  • He’s also expecting a price drop on the iPhone X to $899, with the X Plus costing $999.
  • Could that mean a move to FaceID on the Mac?
 
Under Review!
 
 
 
Direct download: CultCast_331_-_Is_HomePod_already_doomed_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:39pm PDT

This week: 
  • Whoa!  Apple just stole Google’s head of A.I. to make Siri smarter
  • Apple plans to ditch Intel processors on the Mac 
  • You won’t believe the massive cash being pay to silicon valley’s A.I. talent
  • Future iPhones could boast curved displays and touch-free controls
  • iOS 11.4 public beta arrives with AirPlay 2, but it won’t work with your HomePod
  • And a Leander gives us the scoop on his new Tim Cook book!
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
The air you were meant to breathe is finally here. For $75 off your first order, visit molekule.com and enter the code CULTCAST at checkout. 
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
CultCast live hangout on Friday the 13th at 12PM PST!
 
Apple steals Google’s A.I. wiz to make Siri smarter
  • John Giannandrea used to be in charge of Google’s search and artificial intelligence, but now he works for Apple.  He’s leading the drive to make the company’s Siri voice assistant smarter, a goal many would agree is overdue.
  • NYT: Apple said on Tuesday that Mr. Giannandrea will run Apple’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” and become one of 16 executives who report directly to Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook.
  • This is the most high-profile move yet in a ongoing drive to hire more talent for the Siri team.
  • Mr. Giannandrea came to Google in 2010, where he helped make AI and machine learning part of all the company’s products, from search to Gmail. And now he’s doing that for Apple.
  • Apple is also looking to hire  to hire 142 more people for Siri-related jobs, almost twice as many as this time last year.
 
Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent
  • Fun fact: Engineers with A.I. expertise are some of the most sought-after people in Silicon Valley, with salaries sometimes exceeding eight figures.
  • Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence, banking on things ranging from face-scanning smartphones and conversational coffee-table gadgets to computerized health care and autonomous vehicles.
  • Typical A.I. specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock
  • In a court filing this year, Google revealed that one of the leaders of its self-driving-car division, Anthony Levandowski, a longtime employee who started with Google in 2007, took home over $120 million in incentives before joining Uber last year
  • In the entire world, fewer than 10,000 people have the skills necessary to tackle serious artificial intelligence research, according to Element AI, an independent lab in Montreal.
  • Not enough teachers because they all get lured into making their fortunes
  • Over the last several years, four of the best-known A.I. researchers in academia have left or taken leave from their professorships at Stanford University. At the University of Washington, six of 20 artificial intelligence professors are now on leave or partial leave and working for outside companies.
  • Nonprofits like Fast.ai and companies like Deeplearning.ai, founded by a former Stanford professor who helped create the Google Brain lab, offer online courses.
 
 
Future iPhones could boast curved displays and touch-free controls
  • According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on touchless gesture controls and curved screens for future iPhones
  • The touchless control feature would be a bit like the Air Gestures feature Samsung introduced several years back. This allows users to accept calls and navigate through web pages by waving their hands across the screen.
  • The other new technology is for a curved display more noticeable than the slight curve seen on the iPhone X’s OLED screen. Unlike Samsung’s curved handsets, which curve down at the edges, Apple’s approach reportedly curves “inward gradually from top to bottom.”
 
iOS 11.4 public beta arrives with AirPlay 2, but it won’t work with your HomePod just yet
 
 
Apple plans to ditch Intel processors on the Mac 
  • Apple is pushing forward with plans to ditch Intel’s processors in favor of its own chips, according to a new report that claims the transition away from Intel CPUs will likely take multiple steps.
  • Bloomberg says that Apple executives have already approved the project to make the Mac run on ARM-based processors by 2020.
  • Moving to its own chips inside Macs would let Apple release new models on its own timelines, instead of relying on Intel’s processor roadmap.
  • Making the move to ARM chips won’t be easy though. All software would basically have to be rewritten for the new processors, which certainly won’t make developers happy.
  • Pluses
    •  Intel chips have stalled in major progress, leaving little reason for many to update from older computers.
    • The A11 bionic chip inside the iPhone X beats meets or beats Geekbench scores of the fastest 2017 13” MacBook Pro
    • No more waiting on Intel!  More regular releases of Macs with updated hardware.
    • Even tighter integration of your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and other  devices
  • Concerns
    • Machines not capable with doing pro work.  Sure the X beats a 13” MBP, but what about a desktop  4-core or 6-core chip with hyper threading?
    • is this going to mean Macs that are more like phones and iPads? (efficient but not very powerful)
    • Even more of a walled-garden as Apple fine-tunes it’s machines to work best with it’s own software, but 3rd party apps may not follow
Direct download: CultCast_330_-__Apple_ditches_Intel_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27am PDT

This week: Apple has powered up the new iPad so much, it’s hard to resist!  Plus: what you need to know about iOS 11.3; everything Apple revealed at its “field trip” event; report says  Watch Plus is incoming; and you asked, we answer—from the best Home apps, to our Mac Mini predictions, to Commando Vs. Predator—we answer your most burning questions.
 
This episode supported by
 
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Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
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Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple is finally selling a space gray keyboard and mouse
  • Mac fans that love the look of the new space gray iMac Pro — but don’t want to plop down four grand — can finally buy the computer’s coveted accessories separately. 
  • The space srey keyboard costs $149. That’s $20 more than the normal silver keyboard Buying a space gray 
  • Magic Mouse will set you back $99, while the normal version costs just $79. The black Lightning cable that comes with the iMac Pro is still exclusively available to iMac Pro owners, though.
 
New in iOS 11.3
  • New Animoji
  • Battery tools
  • Privacy popups
  • HomePod update 
 
 
Everything Apple revealed at its ‘field trip’ event
  • New 9.7inch iPad
  • Updates to iWork
  • Updated Classroom and new Schoolwork Cloud Apps
  • ClassKitAPI
  • More iCloud storage for students and teachers
 
iPad vs. iPad Pro: Which is right for you?
  • According to early benchmarks, the new iPad is the fastest Apple device behind the iPad Pro and the latest iPhone lineup. It also outperforms both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • $329 for 32GB, $429 for $429
  • Three times faster than iPad Air, and almost twice as fast a as the Air 2.  Almost 80% faster than the 2017 iPad.
 
 
Direct download: CultCast_329_-_The_new_iPad_EXCITES_us_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple’s surprise education event could showcase new, cheaper hardware 🔥
  • A huge upgrade is may be coming to the screens of Apple products
  • Why 2018’s iPhone X refresh could cost less than last year’s model
  • Fortnite streamers are striking it rich, and the iOS version will totally blow your mind
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
 
Apple’s surprise education event could showcase new, cheaper hardware
  • Apple issued invites last Friday for an education-themed event in Chicago on March 27.
  • The invite promises “creative new ideas for teachers and students.” That could indicate the arrival of more-affordable Apple devices — like the new MacBook Air and iPad we’ve been hearing about.
  • Apple is hosting the event in a high school, rather than on its Cupertino campus or at a convention center in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously claimed Apple has a more-affordable MacBook Air in the pipeline. The lightweight laptop, which has been looking a little long in the tooth for a while now, might get a Retina display and updated internals.
  • Reports indicate the new MacBook Air could cost as little as $799. The 9.7-inch iPad could drop to $259. If so, the devices’ lower price tags would make them ideal for students and schools on a budget.
  • Caligragphy on invitation--I’m guessing the new cheaper iPad will support the Apple Pencil, currently only supported on the iPad Pro models.
 
 
Apple developing its own ‘MicroLED’ displays for future devices (A huge upgrade coming to the screens of Apple products)
  • What is microLED?  Before we get to that, we need to talk about current screen technology.
    • Most of the screens you see today are LCD, Liquid Crystal Display illuminated with  backlight (usually LEDs).
      • LCDs are easy to manufacture, cheap, and perform well over a long period of time.  
      • But because they have a back light, colors can look washed out, especially blacks
    • The iPhone X has an OLED display. Each OLED pixel can self illuminate when exposed to electrical current, so there’s no need for back light.  This results is much better contrast ratios, more saturated colors, and the best black levels you can get.
    • But OLED suffers from burn in, aka image retention, and they’re not very bright.  Plus their brightness degrades over time.
  • microLED is kind of the best of both worlds. It has a longer life span.  Absolute blacks, and it’s about 30x brighter than OLED. it can also illuminate at the pixel level without a backlight.
 
iPhone X spells doom for pricey smartphones
  • iPhone X enjoyed a positive start as hardcore Apple fans busted open their savings and skipped rent to be the first to get their hands on the company’s best smartphone yet. But now that the early adopters have been served, iPhone X just isn’t selling.
  • Analysts have been reporting for several months that iPhone X demand is significantly weaker than expected — and falling further by the day. They say holiday sales were poor, and they don’t expect the situation to improve before Apple introduces new models this fall.
  • Analysts are warning that the market “may not tolerate” rising smartphone prices.
 
 
2018’s iPhone X refresh could cost less than last year’s model
  • The iPhone X’s $1,000 price point has been hard to swallow for a lot of customers, which may help explain why sales have supposedly been a bit disappointing.
  • According to a new report, Apple has managed to reduce its manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) for this year’s iPhone X-sized handset to a level much lower than that of its present flagship.
  • The report suggests that Apple’s manufacturing cost for the new iPhone could be more than 10 percent lower than the $400+ dollars it pays for each iPhone X model.
  • Apple will allegedly launch two new OLED iPhones this year, including a 5.85-inch (the same size as the iPhone X) and 6.45-inch OLED model, as well as a 6.1-inch LCD model. A plan to produce a 5.85-inch LCD iPhone has reportedly been suspended since mid-February, and could be cancelled altogether.
  • Theory: Plus-sized phone price will probably be that of iPhone X with 5.85-inch phone being price of today’s 8 Plus.  LCD version of the phone will take on iPhone 8 pricing.
 
Fortnite on iOS will totally blow your mind 
  • Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale game that has become hugely popular, thanks to its unique gameplay, colorful graphics, and weekly content updates. It throws you into a massive map against 99 others with just one mission: Be the last one to survive.
  • On iPhone and iPad, you get exactly the same 100-player game you’re used to playing on consoles. You battle it out on the same map with all of the same content.
 
This 26-year-old makes $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite on Twitch
Direct download: CultCast_328_-_New_Hardware_at_Apples_Education_Event_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm PDT