The CultCast
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.
 
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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
 
 
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 PST

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
 
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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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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