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Apple iPhone, Mac, Watch and iPad News, Opinions, Tips and Podcasts



 



ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion Coming to iPad in March

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:36:11 +0000

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Feral Interactive announced Friday that ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion would be coming to iPad in March! This was originally an expansion for ROME: Total War on Mac and PC—Feral ported that game to iPad late last year. I’ve played ROME: Total War on iPad, and it’s an amazing conversion to a touch interface. Feral and its developers did a remarkable job. Barbarian Invasion was a terrific expansion of the original game, too, and I can’t wait for the iPad launch to suck ever more hours out of my life. 😂 Barbarian Invasion is set three centuries after the campaigns of the original game, and players can play either a barbarian commander out to bring Rome down, or a Roman general defending the empire. The game will be exclusively in the App Store in March at £3.99/US$4.99/€4.99.

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Chris Lattner Refutes Claim He Left Apple Over ‘Openness’

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:24:41 +0000

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Chris Lattner, Apple’s outgoing head of developer tools, has refuted claims published by BusinessInsider that he left the company because of Apple’s focus on secrecy and closed systems. Mr. Lattner left Apple, where he was credited with heading development of Swift, for Tesla, where he will be working on self-driving cars.

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Apple’s Underappreciated Technical Evolution

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:57:23 +0000

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Apple periodically comes out with The Next Big Thing. Along the way, however, the company makes incremental changes that also make our lives better. How those many advancements accumulate to positively affect our lives depends on how often we upgrade. Meanwhile, the punctuation of big product events keeps us coming back for more. It’s all in a delicate balance, perceived in our flow of time.

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DONKEY.APP for iPhone and Apple Watch Recreates Bill Gates’s DOS Classic

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:21:51 +0000

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Can you kick it old school enough to remember DONKEY.BAS? It was one of the first racing games on DOS, and it was coded by a young tech exec named Bill Gates. Maybe you’ve heard of him. In any event, XVision has recreated this game on iPhone and Apple Watch, and they call it DONKEY.APP. It’s a, “super simple but frustratingly hard retro arcade game, inspired by Bill Gates’ one-and-only DOS game.” The player is a old-fashioned race car, only there are beasts of burden standing on the road. The player taps to change lanes to avoid the beasts, making it a game all about precise timing. It’s not particularly easy, either. Retro gaming is all the rage, and you can revisit this slice of tech history for US$0.99. I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Control Your Devices with Screens 3 for Mac: $12.99

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:33:55 +0000

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We have a deal today on Screens 3 for Mac, a virtual network client (VNC) that lets you control all of your computers from your Mac. You can connect to a Mac, Windows or Linux PC from anywhere in the world. Run apps on any of your computers’ displays, send and receive content, and get work done while traveling light. You can get this software through us for $12.99, more than half off retail.

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Cellebrite Hacked, Reaffirming Apple’s iOS No-backdoor Stance

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 21:14:12 +0000

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A year ago the FBI was pushing to force Apple into making a hackable version of iOS for a terrorist investigation while claiming the code would stay secure. Now Cellebrite—the company the FBI reportedly hired to break through the iPhone’s encryption—has been hacked, validating Apple’s concerns the tools would eventually leak.

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Consumer Reports Loves the Mac Again, Bigger Apple TV Apps – TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-13

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:54:36 +0000

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Consumer Reports changed its tune and now recommends Apple’s new Touch Bar MacBook Pro. John Martellaro joins Jeff Gamet to debate whether or not we should trust Consumer Reports computer reviews, plus they share their thoughts on the big app size increase for Apple TV.

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Opera Reinvents the Web Browser with Neon for Mac and Windows

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:47:52 +0000

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Opera thinks the current state of web browsers kind of sucks, and they’re pretty much right. Instead of just complaining, however, they developed a now browser concept where they can experiment with different interface ideas. They’re calling the browser Opera Neon, and it’s available for Mac and Windows users to try out. Neon does away with familiar elements like tabs in favor of bubbles that float at the edge of your display. Performance is a little slow right now, but it’s a concept platform and not a finished product. You can download Neon for free at the Opera website.

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Apple TV Apps Are About to get More Compelling Thanks to Less Restrictive File Sizes

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:47:13 +0000

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Apple just raised the cap on Apple TV app sizes from 200MB up to 4GB, bringing them in line with iPhone and iPad apps. Apple told developers the change lets them give users a better overall experience. For end users, that means more immersive apps and potentially a step towards a 4K Apple TV.

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macOS Tip: Option-Click Wi-Fi Icon For Details

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:37:03 +0000

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Here’s a handy tip so you can quickly access information about your router, and see if your network is performing well. See your BSSID, signal-to-noise ratio, and even the transmit rate between your router and computer. All it takes is a press of a button and a click of your trackpad/mouse.

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9th Circuit Allows App Store ‘Monopoly’ Class Action against Apple to Proceed

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:30:15 +0000

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling, allowing a class action suit against Apple to proceed. The nonsense suit claims Apple holds an illegal monopoly over app sales for iOS. A lower court had ruled the class had no standing to sue, but the 9th Circuit’s ruling reverses the decision, allowing the case to proceed.

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The Mac Pro Fan Concept You’ll Wish Was Real

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:06:57 +0000

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Pascal Leggert has posted amazing concept art for a next generation Mac Pro you’ll wish was real. It builds on the stunning industrial art in Apple’s three and a half year-old absurdly ancient “Trash Can” Mac Pro, but makes it useful. It would offer 22 teraflops of computing power, more ports than you can shake a stick at, user-replaceable storage (four of them!) and user-replaceable GPUs, and a handle, for goodness’s sake. I’ve included a couple of his pics, but click through to see several more. This is the kind of drool-worthy hardware we’re craving from Apple right now.

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Jeff’s 4 Must-have Touch Bar MacBook Pro Adapters

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:42:56 +0000

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After spending a month with Apple’s 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro I’ve found there are only four must-have Thunderbolt 3 adapters I need to attach everything I use with my computer. I don’t need all of them all the time, but they’re my go-to set for all of my wired connection needs.

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HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub in Gold: $39.95

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 20:50:02 +0000

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Our deal on the HyperDrive USB Type-C 5-in-1 Hub is almost sold out. In fact, there are only Gold models left. This device is a hub you can plug directly into your MacBook or MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It features an SDXC slot, a microSDXC slot, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C port, too. It’s priced at $39.95 through us, 20% off retail. Works with Chromebook Pixel, too.

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A Periodic Table of Fictional Metals and Alloys

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:59:20 +0000

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You’ve heard of Duranium, Tritanium and Gold-pressed Latinum, right? These are fictional metals from Star Trek lore. But did you know a Periodic Table of all the elements and alloys mentioned across all fiction has been compiled? It includes all the magical substances from TV, the movies, comics, games, mythology and more.  Of course, there’s no chemistry in this table. Instead, it’s a beautifully presented and organized database. Just click on any item to see its origin. For example, click on Dur to discover that “Duranium makes up the outer hull of Starfleet’s NX-class starships.” This table is just amazing to behold.

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Apple’s TV Series Hunt, Pennies in Macs – TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-12

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:50:09 +0000

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Apple is out shopping for original TV shows for Apple Music, so John Martellaro joins Jeff Gamet to talk about what impact that’s going to have on the company. They also talk about the future of Apple TV, mysterious coins showing up inside some Macs.

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Apple Shopping for Original TV Shows for Apple Music

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 17:33:46 +0000

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We already see the Netflix and Amazon logos at the beginning of original shows on TV, and soon we’ll see Apple’s logo, too. Apple is reportedly on the hunt for premium television content on par with the quality we’re seeing from Netflix and Amazon to entice more people to subscribe to Apple Music.

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Apple Watch and iPhone: Filtering Your Activity Data

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:35:19 +0000

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The iPhone’s Activity app, which connects to your Apple Watch and stores all kinds of data on what workouts you do, has a pretty neat set of filters and views you can check out to really get an idea of how you’re progressing. In this Quick Tip, we’ll show you how you can filter that data and what it looks like when you do!

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Astropad Studio Turns Your iPad Pro into a Pro-level Mac Graphics Tablet

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:36:01 +0000

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Astropad is a cool app that lets you use your iPad as a full-on graphics tablet for your Mac, but may be a little limited for pro users looking for an alternative to Wacom’s Cintiq tablets. That’s not a problem any more thanks to today’s Astropad Studio launch.

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Apple TV and Amazon Prime TV, iPad Rumors, Apple Departures – ACM 393

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:29:47 +0000

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Nvidia is adding Amazon Prime TV to its Shield TV settop box, leaving Apple TV as one of the only devices that doesn’t support the #2 streaming service. Bryan and Jeff think Apple needs to fix this. They also look at some sketchy iPad rumors and talk about key departures from Apple’s executive ranks.

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Some People Have Found Coins In Their MacBook [Update]

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:17:15 +0000

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In today’s weird news, apparently some people have found coins hidden inside their MacBook, specifically the optical drive. Is this an engineering tradition of good luck? Or perhaps an error in manufacturing? We dive in to explore the explanations, and apply Occam’s Razor in a show of logic. Updated with comments from Kyle Wiens of iFixIt.

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Apple’s Product Vision May Be The Cause of Recent Departures

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 22:35:38 +0000

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There’s been some discussion recently about the father of Swift, Apple’s  Chris Lattner, leaving for Tesla. Why might this be? John Martellaro ponders the connections in his whimsical way and suspects that part of the issue is the Haskell language and Tesla’s interest in secure software. Another element may be that Apple’s product vision is faltering a bit when it comes to inspiring and retaining talent.

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Apple Loses More Key Employees, Killing Unlimited Data Plans – TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-11

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 19:13:09 +0000

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Apple keeps losing key people to other companies, most recently Tesla. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at whether or not Apple’s employees leaving is a sign the company has lost focus, plus they have some thoughts on AT&T and Verizon pushing more customers out of unlimited data plans.

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Faster, Easier Photo Editing with Luminar

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 17:19:57 +0000

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When I first saw the web page for Macphun’s new Luminar photo editor, I was skeptical of its claims… But, having used Luminar for several months now, I’m no longer skeptical. Luminar does indeed make image editing easier and more enjoyable; its interface does indeed adapt easily to different styles and skill levels; and, while this part is strictly subjective, I find it both responsive and beautiful.

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Showtime’s Twin Peaks Premieres on May 21

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:49:03 +0000

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We’ve been impatiently waiting decades for new Twin Peaks episodes, and were ready to dance with Laura Palmer when we heard the Showtime was reviving the series. Now we have an official premiere date: May 21, 2017. The series kicks off with a special 2-hour episode followed by 16 1-hour shows. They’re all directed by David Lynch who wrote them with series co-creator Mark Frost. Most of the original cast is returning, too. We don’t know much about what’s in store because production has been so secretive, but we do know there will be plenty of surprises.

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Verizon Forcing Customers to Drop Their Unlimited Wireless Data Plans

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:13:47 +0000

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Just like AT&T, Verizon isn’t keen on its long time customers holding on to their unlimited wireless data plans. Instead of raising rates like AT&T, however, Verizon is telling customers that have to switch to a capped data plan or face having their phone disconnected.

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Safari: Importing Bookmarks (The New Way!)

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:35:59 +0000

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Today’s Quick Tip is about a really simple way you can import Chrome and Firefox bookmarks into Safari, so if you wanna bring everything together, you can do so in a flash. We’ll tell you how!

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Scapple: $10

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:00:11 +0000

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We have a deal for you today on Scapple for Mac, mind-mapping software from Literature & Latte, the makers of my favorite writing tool, Scrivener.  It’s designed to help you put all your ideas in one place, then draw logical conclusions about them. You can get it through our deal for $10.

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8Bitdo AP40 Game Controller Inspired by Apple ][ – Fulfilled!

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:00:43 +0000

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Last September, Jeff Gamet wrote up an Apple themed game controller by 8Bitdo, makers of a variety of retro-looking game controllers. Kelly Guimont got one, and she took pictures to show us just cool it is.

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Apple Finds Bug after Consumer Reports MacBook Pro Battery Test

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 03:23:08 +0000

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Consumer Reports said in a blog post Tuesday that Apple has a fix for a bug uncovered in CR testing. According to statements from both CR and Apple, there was a bug in Safari that caused battery life issues on Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and Apple has released a fix for that bug to its beta program, and said it will release it to the public in the coming weeks.

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Apple Appears Ready to Restructure the iPad Lineup

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:31:07 +0000

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A recent report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Quo suggests that Apple appears ready to restructure the iPad Product line.  The goal is, apparently, to clearly correlate increasing size and sophistication with price to make sure customers can update or enter the market at the desired level. Ming-Chi Quo believes sales and ASPs will benefit, but there may be more going on. John explains.

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Your Grandfathered AT&T Unlimited Data Plan is About to Get More Expensive

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:06:41 +0000

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AT&T really doesn’t want customers with the grandfathered unlimited data plan that came with the first iPhone to hold on to that deal. The plan was bumped up to US$35 a month about a year ago, and come March 2017 it’ll jump up to $40 a month.

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Key Takeaways from Phil Schiller’s iPhone Anniversary Interview

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 23:23:47 +0000

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On the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, Steven Levy posted an exclusive interview with Phil Schiller. Here are some of the key takeaways from the anniversary, including anecdotes from the original launch, thoughts on apps, and whether Phil could have known how popular Apple’s device would become.

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Neil Patrick Harris and James Cordon Broadway Riff-off

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:52:27 +0000

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I have two names for you: Neil Patrick Harris and James Cordon. I have two words for you: Broadway Riff-off. Actually, does a hyphenated word count as one or two? Never mind, that’s not the point. Both Neil and James are Tony-winning actors and they squared off on The Late Late Show to see who has the best Broadway musical chops. It’s 10 minutes of musical fun, so crank up your speakers, sit back, and enjoy.

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Here’s What We Wanted to Bring Home from CES 2017

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:57:19 +0000

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Every year we head out to CES on Las Vegas to see what’s in store for the electronics world. We see some products that are pretty cool, and some that shouldn’t ever see the light of day, and we see some we want to take home with us right now. Read on to see what we wanted to sneak into our suitcases and add to our personal tech collections.

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Moonlite on Kickstarter, a Story Projector for iPhone

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:31:07 +0000

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There’s a project on Kickstarter that I thought was pretty neat called Moonlite. It uses your iPhone flashlight to project stories onto the wall or ceiling. The projections come in the form of a ViewMaster-like reel of images. The words from the story appear on your screen, and each time you click the reel, the app turns the page with new words. It’s a clever marriage of the physical to an app, and I definitely applaud anything that helps parents tell bedtime stories to kids. A lot of folks seem to agree as the project has already raised $294,842, more than 14 times the original goal of $20,000. There’re 53 hours to go in the campaign as of this writing. The video below tells more about the project, and you can read more on the Kickstarter page, too. Funding options that get you a Moonlite start at $35.

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6.5-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cable: 3-Pack

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:13:24 +0000

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We have a deal for you today on a 3-pack of 6.5-foot MFi-certified Lightning cables. You can get them through us for $21.99.

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CES 2017 Smart Home, IoT, More – TMO Daily Observations 2017-01-10

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:12:59 +0000

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Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the smart home and IoT gear they saw at CES 2017. They also dive into storage and smart fitness tech, too.

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Andy Grignon, Former iPhone Radio Engineer, on Building and Launching The First iPhone

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 17:15:28 +0000

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Andy Grignon worked on many things during his tenure as an engineer at Apple: iChat AV, iSight, Dashboard … and the radios inside the very first iPhone. Andy took to Facebook last night to offer some reflections on that last bit, 10 years after iPhone’s announcement, and has posted them publicly for all to see. We’ve included the text here in our full article just in case you don’t have a Facebook account, but both his post and the comments over there are worth a read. Andy’s a colorful, honest, and reflective cat. Needless to say also quite smart. Enjoy!

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TextExpander Adds MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:56:19 +0000

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Smile’s TextExpander got a nice update on Monday, assuming you’re a Touch Bar MacBook Pro user. The 6.1.3 update adds Touch Bar support so you can add, organize or delete snippets with a tap, filter snippets, and check your snippet statistics, too. The update also includes better VoiceOver access and fixes a few bugs because everyone else deserves a little something in the download. TextExpander 6.1.3 is a free download and works with Smile’s TextExpander subscription service.

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Robert Scoble Says Apple is Working with Zeiss on ‘Mixed Reality Optics’

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 01:58:41 +0000

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Robert Scoble said Monday that Apple is working with lens powerhouse Carl Zeiss AG on “mixed reality optics.” That’s one of the many terms used for augmented reality, for those keeping score at home. His evidence is circumstantial, at best, but I approve of his reasoning. While at the the Zeiss booth at CES, he learned the company was, “NOT showing off its mixed reality optics.” He then added, “I said ‘Tim Cook didn’t let you,’ and the employees around me smiled nervously.” Again, that’s circumstantial, but Mr. Scoble’s instincts have a good track record. To add further circumstantial speculation, Zeiss is the sort of company Apple might work with on any kind of lens-related product or technology. And we already knew that Apple has at least a thousand people working on augmented reality. So…I buy it.

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Reliefband Neurowave Controls Nausea with Current on Your Wrist

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:01:28 +0000

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LAS VEGAS – One of the more unusual devices I saw at CES was Reliefband Technologies‘ self-titled product. This device uses current to modulate the median nerve on the underside of the wrist to control nausea and motion sickness. This is the same spot you can rub for nausea, and it’s the spot targeted by acupuncturists. At this year’s show, the company introduced a new—and infinitely better looking—version called Reliefband Neurowave. While the original Reliefband was functional, it looked like it was designed by engineers in 1989 (you can see it on the company’s site). The new version shown below looks like a modern smartwatch. It adds a display and separates the electronic plates from that display, which means you wear it as a watch. The old version had to be worn so that the ugly interface was underneath your wrist like engineers and pilots sometimes wear watches. I don’t suffer from nausea or motion sickness, but Jeff Gamet is going to test it out for us. The new version is priced at $150 and will ship in the second quarter of 2017. The firm hasn’t yet added the new product to its website.

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Asking the Important Questions About Apple for 2017

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:19 +0000

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One can per into a crystal ball and try to predict what Apple will do in 2017. Or one can generate a wish list of things personally hoped for. Far better, however, is to ask some very astute questions about Apple going into 2017. Great questions are valuable guides for analysis as we go along. This is just what Neil Cybart has done. The discussion is on page 2 of last week’s Particle Debris.

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Apple Music’s Carpool Karaoke Will Feature Different Celebrity Host for Each Episiode

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 23:29:38 +0000

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Apple Music’s spinoff version of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke will feature 16 episodes per season, each with a different celebrity host. Announced in July and teased further in August, the news that each episode would a different host was announced by Mr. Corden and the executive producers of the show.

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10 Years in and the iPhone is Still Going Strong

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 22:41:12 +0000

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Apple unveiled the original iPhone 10 years ago on January 9th, 2007, at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple changed the smartphone world that day and opened the door for a future where mobile computing is the norm, and flip phones, Treos, and Blackberrys are fading memories.

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Moving Photos, Fixing Mail, Securing Your Network & More – Mac Geek Gab 639

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 22:30:24 +0000

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Back from CES, your two favorite geeks have some fun stuff to report about and all of your questions to answer. The latter include things like fixing Mail.app’s CPU-hogging, which hibernatemode to use for your MacBook, and much, much more. Press play and enjoy!

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A TMO Giveaway: Win a Copy of the Roddenberry Vault on Blu-ray

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 21:28:51 +0000

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Rod Roddenberry, as part of his Background Mode interview with The Mac Observer, has generously provided us with three copies of The Roddenberry Vault on Blu-ray.  We’re going to give away these amazing multi-disc packages to three lucky winners. Read on to see how you can win one for your Star Trek library.

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CES 2017 Wrap-up: Ellipse Bike Lock Is Smart and Solar Powered

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 20:59:52 +0000

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LAS VEGAS – Lattis unveiled the Ellipse Smart Bike Lock at CES last week. In addition to being app-controlled and having a programmable combination lock, this bike lock is solar powered. That makes batteries a non-issue as long as the device sees at least one hour of sunlight per week of usage. It has a built-in accelerometer which the app harnesses for crash alerts with HPS coordinates it can send out to a designated contact. The accelerometer is also used for theft detection alerts. Another nifty feature is the ability to give a friend access through a one-time code you can send out from the app. The shackle is made from chromoly steel, and the lock is substantial. I liked the fit and finish, and the “smart” functions seem to be smart, rather than an attempt to merely bolt an app onto a lock. The device is priced at US$199, and it’s available now.

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TMO Background Mode: Interview with Producer Rod Roddenberry

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 20:06:22 +0000

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Rod Roddenberry is a media producer. The son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, he’s following in his father’s footsteps. It all started when Steve Jobs gave Gene Roddenberry an original Macintosh in 1984, and the young Rod started experimenting with MacPaint. Ever since then, Rod has been an Apple enthusiast. Today, Rod is carrying on his father’s work as a producer, the chief executive of Roddenberry Entertainment and the founder of the Roddenberry Foundation. And he’s currently working with the CBS All Access Star Trek: Discovery. Rod’s foundation funds small grants focused on early-stage unconventional ideas that can disrupt and serve the greater good for mankind. Rod and I chatted about all this plus his passion for preserving the Earth’s oceans.  We covered a lot of ground in this fascinating interview. You won’t want to miss it.

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Media Files:
https://www.macobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Rod-Roddenberry-1200w-400x210.jpg




KlikR Universal Remote Control: $19.99

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 19:45:17 +0000

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The folks at Stack Commerce have brought back our deal on the KlickR. This device serves as a go-between for your iPhone and any device with an infrared receiver. Put it onto or next to the receiver and you’ll be able to control it from the companion app on your iPhone or Android device. You can also use voice controls, designate rooms and multiple devices (if you have multiple KlikRs), and more. It’s the kind of device that helps bridge legacy electronics with the Internet of Things, and we have a deal on KlikR for $19.99.

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Media Files:
https://www.macobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/klikr-universal-remote-deal-400x300.jpg