#541 How Encryption Works, iPad Pro Review, Video Interviews with the Real iPad, Dr Maryanne Garry

I created a video screencast for Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online on VidConvert from reggieashworth.com and Mactracker from mactracker.ca and you can watch the trailer at screencastsonline.com. I finally produced my video trying to explain to normal people how encryption works and why you need long, complex passwords. Share with your friends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0B6353R0rQ. Dr. Maryanne Garry will give us her early review of the iPad Pro. In a moment of more reality, I figured out that you actually can conduct video interviews, edit and produce them using an iPad and iMovie. Improvements to the NosillaCast News because Darren asked me to. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Dr. Maryanne Garry in a more serious vein answers questions from the audience about memory, focus, attention and deja vu, and then explains the effects of sleep on cognition.

mp3 download

Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Saturday September 19, 2015 and this is show number 541. I hope you’re not too sad that there isn’t a live show this week, but instead delighted to get the show a smidge early. We are going off wine tasting with Professors Maryanne and Devon for a few days and while podcasting while wine tasting sounded good to several of you we decided not to lug all of the equipment along that would be necessary to produce a quality show.

Since Professor Maryanne Garry is in town, she agreed to be on Chit Chat Across the Pond again to, as she says, “destroy more dreams”. She answers questions submitted by you about memory, focus and attention, deja vu, and then tells us a bit about how sleep affects cognition. She also agreed to do an early review of the iPad Pro that you’ll hear a little bit into the show.

Video Tutorial on VidConvert and Mactracker

This week Don McAllister published another one of my video tutorials on ScreenCasts Online. This week it’s about two applications. The first is VidConvert from reggieashworth.com, a really easy to use video conversion app that will convert from just about any video format to just about any other video or audio format. The second half is about Mactracker from mactracker.ca. You can watch the trailer for the tutorial a the link in the shownotes, and if you sign up for Don’s free 14 day trial you can watch the whole thing.

SCOM0521 – VidConvert & Mactracker

Blog Posts

Why Do Strong, Unique Passwords Matter?

Can the iPad be a Good Enough Remote Video Recorder and Editor?

iPad Pro Review from Dr. Garry

Next up, as promised, Dr. Maryanne Garry will give us her early review of the iPad Pro:

I know a lot of you are wondering about the new iPad Pro. Should you get one? What would you do with it that you can’t already do with your iPad Amateur? If you’re having a hard time imagining how the iPad Pro might fit in to your life, don’t worry. I decided to bring some science to this situation, and draw on everything we know so far to build a simulation.

So now let me review for you…the iPad Pro.

First, building the simulation was key. To do that, I researched the tech specs of the iPad pro and then cut one out of a piece of cardboard I found in the bottom of a case of beer.

The first thing I noticed is that it’s pretty light. It’s much lighter than my actual iPad, or my iPhone.
It hardly feels like you’re carrying around anything, except…maybe…cardboard

And it’s really thin. You know how sometimes there’s cardboard in the bottom of a case of beer? It reminds me of that. Very thin.

Now I know what you’re worried about: something that light and that thin better be strong. We all remember Bendghazi,…where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mangled a bunch of iPhones with her bare hands, even after being warned that it wasn’t safe.

Well, I wish I had better news for you, but according to my simulations, the iPad Pro bends easily.
Really easily. If my simulation is any indication, a lot people are going to be hacked off.

But the good news is,when I dropped the simulated iPad Pro, it didn’t break. It didn’t even scratch! In fact, I’m not sure how Apple managed to make this happen–but you what the iPad Pro did when I dropped it out of Allison’s second floor window? It floated gently through the air on its way down to the back yard, like it was really enjoying the ride.

After a while, it landed gently in the pool. More science: I timed how long it took to sync. I don’t mean synchronize. I’m mean sink like a stone. Three minutes.

So do you need a case? Well…I hope not, because there aren’t any. But just to get a sense off how a case might look, I took the case off Allison’s iPad, and the case off Steve’s. Then I cut off the ends and used a whole lot of duct tape to stick them together. Then I duct taped this new, simulated case to my simulated iPad Pro. And you know what? It looked like crap. So I have to conclude that when they come out, the cases for the iPad Pro are going to look like crap, too. That’s why I don’t recommend them.

Well as a result of doing all this hard-core science, I discovered an even more hard-core way of sciencing my way into reviewing the iPad pro. I realized I could do an even better simulation of the iPad Pro by sawing the bezels off of Steve and Allison’s iPads and duct taping them together into one iPad Pro.

And I gotta say, it’s pretty fast. Nice display, where it’s not covered up by duct tape. But the build quality is inconsistent.

Anyway, now that I had a pretty good, functioning simulation, I could really investigate how good the iPad pro is for doing actual work. And well…I learned that using Twitter on a big ass iPad makes me really unproductive in a big-ass way. But then I realized, well hey, I can multitask, and have Twitter side-by-side with Pages. I know from being a cognitive scientist that people suck at multitasking….but let’s face it. I tell myself what you tell yourselves: sure, most people suck at multitasking. But I personally am pretty good at it.

So I discovered that using Pages and Twitter side-by-side took me new levels of delusion about my ability to multitask. I really felt in control, and like I was plowing through my work. And I’ve never been so unproductive. On the other hand, five new people are now following me on Twitter.

But what about when I’m not working, or when I’m not having the illusion of working? For instance, I like to use my iPad in the gym, to catch up on TV shows. But the iPad Pro is so big, it won’t stay on the treadmill. Whenever I run, it slides right off on to the floor. So I’ve quit running. Still, I can’t fit this thing in my pocket. I don’t think there’s a Scott E Vest or pair of pants on this planet with pockets big enough to hold this thing, unless you want to look like you’ve swallowed an airplane tray table.

And don’t even get me started on the iPad Pro Tactical Super Pencil….or whatever it’s called. I tried every pencil around here, including Steve and Allison’s fancy engineering pencils. None of them worked on my iPad Pro, no matter how hard I pressed. So much for 3D touch. It wasn’t until I got the idea to simulate the Super Pencil by using a fine point permanent marker that I could get anything to show up on the display.

So what’s the verdict?
I gotta say, I’m just not all that impressed with the fancy iPad Pro.
It’s unwieldy.
The fit and finish are erratic.
The pencil is stupid.
It falls off the treadmill.

Is there anything to like about the iPad Pro?
Oh yeah. It encouraged me to give up running.

Chit Chat Across the Pond

Dr. Maryanne Answers these questions:

Lynda Goushá

  • You explained how we might be focusing but not actually paying attention – are there things we can do to improve that?

Robert Gong

  • I would love for you to ask Dr Garry if she has any tips or tricks for helping us improve our memories and specifically if any programs or apps, like Lumosity, are helpful.


  • I have a theory on déjà vu. I think it might be a short term short circuit in that the event is experienced in the normal way and then the brain glitches to begin the experience again, but at the same time, the memory from the first time matches the ‘new’ experience. So while you consciously think “this has happened before some time in the past” in fact you’re just ‘experiencing’ the exact same event for the second time, only moments apart. Is there any research on déjà vu?


  • A lot of what we have learned is that people’s memory and observational skills are often flawed. That has clear implications when considering eye witness testimony. The issue I have, however, is that what we know is these facts may make eye witness testimony unreliable, but that doesn’t mean it is alway wrong.The subjects of the experiments were often wrong, but not always wrong.
  • So is there a way to determine or judge when a witness is more or less likely to be wrong?
And also talks about:
  • Effects of napping on cognition
  • Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition
  • How about placebos
  • Brain/muscle interface that controls balance (Kyle)

Find Maryanne on Twitter at twitter.com/drlambchop

That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, the makers of Clarify over at clarify-it.com. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at [email protected], follow me on twitter @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

2 thoughts on “#541 How Encryption Works, iPad Pro Review, Video Interviews with the Real iPad, Dr Maryanne Garry

  1. Allister - September 21, 2015

    LOVED the iPad Pro review.

    On the deja vu topic (I’m not on a Mac so forgive the lack of accents) I found it interesting that Maryanne’s examples were based on perception of physical locations. My most recent experiences – I reckon I’ve had mmaybe up to a dozen in my life – have been around events. Most recently I’ve experienced it at my Mac, where I might be reading an article in Safari and a notification pops up that draws my attention to another task and then I remember a third task and it is the combination of these multiple factors that suddenly seem very familiar. Hey, didn’t I already write that email to so-and-so because I saw such and such and then I was interrupted by that other thing? My explanation is probably inexact (I know, memory, right?) but the concept is there – that I “recognise” the combination, or co-timing of several specific events.

    My analysis of these situations often concludes it couldn’t possibly have happened before, as often one or more of the events are auditable (e.g. writing an email) and the combination of events multiplies the unlikelihood I have actually been there before. This is what lead me to form my theory of the perception glitch.

    Now it *is* possible that at least one of the events is something I have been mulling over, or meaning to do for some time, so the concept of it is not new. But it is the combination that strikes me as familiar.

  2. MG - September 21, 2015

    Allister, yes, the déjà vu experience doesn’t have to be about an event….and I think the combination of information from different sources (A, B, C) could lead D to feel oddly familiar.

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