I Watched All Five Hours of the Judiciary Committee Hearing re: FBI vs Apple

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When Steve told me that they were going to broadcast live the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Hearing on Apple vs the FBI, my first thought was that watching that would be like volunteering for jury duty. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Steve and I watched all five hours and I was positively glued to my screen.

Before we dig in, let’s make sure we all know what the Judiciary Committee is, what does it have to do with the House of Representatives and what are they doing chatting with the FBI and Apple? I’m not a legal scholar, so I looked it up on Wikipedia:

The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, also called the House Judiciary Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is charged with overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts, administrative agencies and Federal law enforcement entities.

Sounds like they have the authority to figure out whether the FBI maybe took a wrong turn when they tried to use the courts to compel Apple to comply with their demands. The Judiciary Committee could question whether use of the All Writs Act was appropriate, or whether perhaps the FBI should have worked with Congress to pass new law.
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Frankenstein MacBook Air

Al pat each with our Mac to tear apartLast July I told you the story of my neighbor’s 2012 MacBook Air that suffered an early death when her baby daughter knocked a glass of water over into the keyboard. The power key was shorted out such that shortly after the Mac successfully booted up, it would shut itself down. I tore that thing down to the bare metal and couldn’t fix it because you can’t disassemble the keyboard from what they call the top case.  It’s an odd name, but it’s the top half of the bottom half of a laptop. At the time, prices for a replacement top case were so high it wasn’t worth fixing the Mac. It was only a 128GB model and an i5 so not worth too much. My neighbors said they had a friend who would sell it for parts for them so I gave it back, but it really bugged me that I had to give up on it. Continue reading “Frankenstein MacBook Air”

NC #563 FBI v Apple, Solos Cyclist Smart Eyeware, Kanex Portable Apple Watch Charger, Link 2TB Portable SSD

Brilliant Cartoon from Stuart Carlson carlsontoons.com

This week’s show is going to be a little bit different. We’ve got three cool gadget interviews, a Dumb Question asked and answered by Mark Pouley of Twin Lakes Images which is pretty standard fun, but then we’re going to switch gears to Security Bits where Bart and I will spend some quality time going over the FBI/Apple iPhone issue in detail. We both thought it was too important to do a quick bit on it. Bart will explain what we know as facts, then what the security experts think about it and finally Bart will explain his view of the situation. I think it’s a great discussion. As always Bart includes links to all of the articles he quotes.

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CES 2016: Kanex Portable Charger for Apple Watch

Allison interviews Richard Liang from Kanex about their new portable charger for the Apple Watch, iPhone and other devices. The charger has an Apple Watch inductive charger built into it and it contains a battery with 4000 mAh of charge. The Apple Watch charger will be available at the end of Q1 2016. The setting is the CES 2016 show floor in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Learn more at http://kanex.com

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If You Don’t Like Mom’s Answer, Ask Dad

DRM with a red circle with a line through itGood friend of the show, (and personal friend of mine), Dorothy, is an extremely methodical person. Unlike me, she does not jump willy nilly into a new operating system when it comes out. She gives it a few months and lets the crazy people figure out what’s broken and only after the angst dies down does she even consider upgrading.

She found herself in the enviable position of getting to replace her spinning hard drive in her 2009 iMac with a 1TB SSD that just happened to be lying around the house. Her husband Marc loves hardware and was itching to pull that glass off and give her this upgrade. She figured this might be a good opportunity to do some serious housecleaning, so she decided to do a clean install on the new SSD. If she was doing a clean install, me might as well finally take the leap to El Capitan.
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CCATP #423 Dave Hamilton Talks Digital vs Analog Headphones

Dave HamiltonI asked Dave Hamilton to come on the show to help us understand the impact of Apple removing the analog headphone jack. I didn’t want to do a big hand wringing about how annoying it might be to replace all of our headphones, rather I asked Dave to come on the show to explain in geeky detail what it means to have analog vs. digital headphones. We start at the beginning talking about how sound is produced in a computer and work our way through sample rates, bit rates and into some of the mechanics of a digital to analog converter (DAC). We also talked about the impact on audio when you use Bluetooth headphones.

Dave and I mentioned a couple of things in our conversation:

Understand the math: Nyquist Frequency
Annoy Children: Frequency Only Kids Can Hear
Add Bluetooth to any headphones: Antec Smartbean Bluetooth Receiver ($11 on Amazon)
Can you hear the difference? ABX Tester for iOS, ABX Tester for OSX

Find Dave on Twitter at @davehamilton. He’s the host of the Mac Geek Gab Podcast and the Gib Gab Podcast with Paul Kent.

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NC #556 Honda Bob on Apple Battery Case, Olympus Macro Lens, Shure MVi Audio Interface, Facebook – Resistance is Futile

Honda Bob is doing GREAT after his bone marrow transplant (who’s Honda Bob? I’ll explain that) and he gives us his review of the Apple Battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s. I review the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for the micro four thirds camera I own (spoiler, it’s awesome!) and I review the Shure MVi Digital Audio Interface and the companion MOTIV App for iOS. Finally I’ll broach the idea of whether we should have a Facebook group. I feel like resistance is futile.

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Honda Bob Health Update & Review of Apple’s iPhone 6/6s Battery Case

Honda bob wearing new overalls and baldI’ve got a fun update for you about long term NosillaCastaway Honda Bob, and he sent along a review of the new battery case from Apple for the iPhone 6/6s. Let me bring everyone up to speed first.

For many years I advertised for Honda Bob’s Mobile Service. He would drive to your house to fix your Hondas and Acuras. This is a very weird thing to advertise for on an international podcast since the service was only in about a hundred mile radius of where I live. It became kind of a signature thing about the NosillaCast though and for no apparent reason, people started creating their OWN ads for Honda Bob. These are not people who even knew Bob but just got into the spirit of how silly all this was.

I remember when Justin Byrne and David Shortle of the Mac Craic podcast were in California visiting from Ireland. When they found out Honda Bob was here they begged to come over to my house to meet him. Katie Floyd from Mac Power Users was in town from Florida and she was thrilled to get to meet him as well.
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Everything is Fiddly!

Angry gnome faceLast week our friend Rod Simmons came over for a visit and he brought the new Microsoft Surface Book. He tried to connect it to our home network but it kept getting in and then losing the connection. I wanted desperately to make fun of it, what with my ever so slight Macintosh bias, but I couldn’t. You know why? Because EVERYTHING is fiddly now. Let me give you just a few examples.


I love my new AppleTV and was excited when I heard about the new Plex app that lets you view your ripped and home movies on your AppleTV. Pat Dengler shared her Plex account with us so we could watch her movies on our TV and it worked great. But later when I tried to use MY Plex library it got fiddly. I had our media library on a hard drive hooked up to the Mac mini and had to upgrade it to get it to work with the new Plex app on the AppleTV. Ok, that’s reasonable. But after I did that, I couldn’t get OUT of Pat’s library!
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