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Episodes

Home of the most recent episodes of The CultCast including links to topics discussed and coupons from our beloved sponsors.

303: Face ID is a Triumph of Machine Learning

Chris C.

Photo:  Apple

Photo:  Apple

On The Cult Cast:

Why iPhone X’s Face ID is an astounding accomplishment! Plus: the new and notable features in macOS High Sierra; Bill Gates finally ditches his Windows Phone; Leander’s writing a new Tim Cook book; Erfon talks about the best 4K television money can buy; and we’ll tell you what we like and don’t about the gadgets we’re reviewing in an all-new under review!


This episode supported by:


  • Audible, the home of over 150,000 audio books from practically every genre in existence. Grab Leander’s book, Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, for FREE with a 30-day Audible trial. The book is yours to keep even if you decide not to keep your Audible subscription. Get started at audible.com/cultcast.


  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.


  • The Cult of Mac Watch Store has the best straps in the biz! Save 20% off any order with code CultCast at checkout.


  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


On the show this week:

@erfon / @bst3r / @lkahney / Buster on Instagram / @thecultcast


The BEST subreddit you are going to read, ALL week long! thecultcast.reddit.com




Catch our CultCast live show on Monday, Oct 2nd at 12PM!

Bill Gates ditches Windows Mobile, but not for iPhone 8

  • Bill Gates just got himself a brand new smartphone, and it isn’t an iPhone 8
  • The Microsoft co-founder has ditched Windows Mobile for Android. Despite getting closer to Steve Jobs before he died in 2011, Gates still has no interest in using iOS.
  • further pressed about the possibility of using iOS instead, Gates responded, “Nope. No iPhone.”

Apple TV is finally back on Amazon

  • Getting your hands on the new Apple TV 4K though Amazon won’t be easy though. The page for Apple’s newest set-top box shows that there are no units in stock. It appears that Amazon is only offering the 64GB model priced at $199.
  • Putting Apple TV back on its digital shelves is a bit unexpected but is likely related to Apple TV finally gaining an Amazon Prime Video app. The service still hasn’t launched on Apple TV yet but is expected to debut at some point this fall.

Apple’s Face ID is a Triumph of Machine Learning Technology

  • Data scientist Abdul Dremali is leading research & development in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Big Data at the AndPlus Innovation Lab, and he’s very impressed with Face ID.

macOS High Sierra is now available to the public

  • Apple unleashed its huge update for the Mac this morning bringing a host of new features and UI changes to desktops after months of beta testing. Most of the update contains under-the-hood changes the makes machines faster and more stable, but there are plenty of new additions to love.
  • macOS High Sierra brings support for the new Apple File System to the Mac. Apple added it to iOS devices last year. AFS’ 64-bit architecture is more secure, with built-in encryption, crash protection and simplified data backups.
  • Safari is one of the biggest benefactors from the macOS High Sierra update. Apple claims its now the world’s fastest browser, with an 80% speed advantage over Google Chrome
  • Mail received some improved search functions tied to the update to Spotlight. You can also use a new Split View mode too that lets you write emails while keeping tabs on your inbox.
  • The Photos app also got some big updates. There’s now better facial recognition and some new editing tools that make it a more capable photo editor. Notes got a new pin feature to keep your most important notes to the top of the list where you’ll be able to find them easier. The app also has support for tables now.
  • Last Thursday, six ad industry groups penned an open letter criticizing Apple’s upcoming Safari feature, saying the decision to incorporate such technology into a web browser is heavy-handed and “bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services.”
  • Today, Apple responded to the missive in a statement to The Loop.
  • “Apple believes that people have a right to privacy - Safari was the first browser to block third party cookies by default and Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a more advanced method for protecting user privacy,” Apple said. “Ad tracking technology has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to recreate the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the Internet. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature detects and eliminates cookies and other data used for this cross-site tracking, which means it helps keep a person’s browsing private. The feature does not block ads or interfere with legitimate tracking on the sites that people actually click on and visit. Cookies for sites that you interact with function as designed, and ads placed by web publishers will appear normally.”

Apple’s Face ID white paper is not nearly as boring as it sounds

Under Review