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The Mac Observer



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



 



Apple Removes Fashion Executive Paul Deneve from Leadership Site

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 04:10:18 +0000

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Apple quietly removed Paul Deneve from its leadership website. Mr. Deneve came from the fashion world and was Vice President of Special Projects at Apple, where he was known to work on Apple Watch.

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Latest Apple Campus 2 Drone Shot Looks Star Trek

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:24:07 +0000

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Apple’s spaceship campus is looking more impressive as construction gets closer to wrapping up, and TMO’s latest drone pic really drives that home. Taken Wednesday, our intrepid drone pilot’s flying skills let you see the roof solar panels are nearly all installed, landscaping is starting to come together outside the massive building, and the giant courtyard in the building’s center is taking shape, too. The building really looks like something from JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. Apple Campus 2.0 isn’t finished yet, but is moving along well enough that the company will likely start moving in some time in 2017.

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How Apple Might be Our Last Hope Before the Internet Dies

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:27:34 +0000

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Companies exist to make money. But when wealth beyond dreams, at any cost, is the driving force behind internet business, chaos results. Big tech companies have great power. How they use that power and their own sense of what constitutes ethical, disciplined behavior might all that’s left before the free internet and its free people are no more. Apple is leading the way, but cannot do it all.

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Researchers Bypass iPad and iPhone Activation Lock

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:29:15 +0000

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Vulnerability Lab has published a video to YouTube (via AppleInsider) demonstrating a method for bypassing the Activation Lock on an iOS device. Researchers discovered a convoluted series of steps one can go through starting with a buffer overflow, and also using a Smart Cover…it’s complicated. The bottom line, though, is that the method would allow someone to bypass the Activation Lock, meaning they could use a device that’s been locked by Find My iPhone. Apple is usually able to patch these bypasses, but this video nicely highlights the ongoing cat and mouse game involved with security. The video is presented in real time, meaning there are long stretches where not much is happening. It’s interesting, though, to see the steps necessary for the exploit and the end result.

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How about a Computer Keyboard or Trackpad Made of Wood?

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:42:49 +0000

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I have no idea how practical these products are, but they’re gorgeous. Check out the Orée Board and Orée Touch Slab, a keyboard and trackpad made from wood. The Board is portable and can connect via USB or Bluetooth. It’s designed to work with macOS and iOS, or Windows and Android. Each is made from a single piece of wood, making individual units unique. The Touch Slab is a multitouch trackpad that can also be used as a numeric keypad. Look closely and you’ll see the keypad outlined on top. It’s Bluetooth only, and works with macOS, and Windows 7 or 8. The Board is priced at US$129, while Touch Slab is $150. I haven’t tested them, but they totally caught my eye.

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Social Networks Can Learn from Apple to Solve ‘Fake News’

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:23:08 +0000

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The proliferation of “fake news” has been blamed in part on social media companies’ hands-off approach to curation. Charlotte Henry argues this is one area where social media can take its cues from Apple and its heavily curated approach to Apple News.

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Playing Catch-up on macOS Sierra, Printer Wars, Knockoff Apple Watch Straps

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:15:32 +0000

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Dr. Mac follows up on whether or not it’s safe to upgrade to macOS Sierra; a longer-term report on his EcoTank vs. Instant Ink printer comparison; and a lower price on the leather loop Apple Watch bands he bought in July and August (and still loves).

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Uber Sees You When You’re Sleeping…Around – TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-02

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:08:52 +0000

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“I’ll be watching you” is a line that might make Sting look a lot more prescient after you hear this episode. Uber and Waze want to know where you are even more than they used to, and Apple wants to put drones in the air over your roads and in front of your homes, at least for a little bit. It’s a brave new world. Our advice: don’t go outside without pants on.

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macOS: Four Quick Ways to Find and Open Files

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:33:53 +0000

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Today’s Quick Tip will give you tricks on finding and opening files within macOS. If you’ve ever wondered what the fastest ways are to do that, then this article’s for you! (Or heck, if you just want to tell us in the comments that we forgot your favorite method, then that’s fine too.)

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UK Study Finds 99% of Fake iPhone Chargers Fail Safety Test

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:21:19 +0000

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Sure, that counterfeit iPhone charger on Amazon is less than half the price of a real one, but according to a recent UK study, it may also kill you. When it comes to electricity, you probably shouldn’t be too frugal.

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PDFpen 8: All-Purpose PDF Editor for Mac: $37

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:00:31 +0000

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Good news, our deal for deal on PDFpen 8 for Mac from Smile Software is back. This software is an all-purpose PDF reader and editor. You can edit text, add images, redact information, export to Microsoft Word format, and a lot more. PDFpen 8 is priced at $74.95, but you can get it through our deal for just $37.

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Uber’s Latest Update Tracks Your Location More Than Santa Claus

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:03:47 +0000

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A recent update to the Uber app allows the company and its drivers to track your location even when you aren’t using the app, opening up entirely new privacy and safety concerns for riders.

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How to Show the Virtual On-Screen Keyboard Viewer in macOS Sierra

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:03:01 +0000

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Mac Geek Gab listener Bruce recently upgraded to Sierra and noticed that one of his favorite features, the Mac’s virtual on-screen keyboard, was missing. Thankfully, Apple hasn’t removed the Keyboard Viewer, it’s just hiding in a new location. Here’s how to access it!

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Turn $1 Into an Augmented Reality Tour of the White House

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:11:41 +0000

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Forget Pokémon. A really cool use for augmented reality on your iPhone is an animated 3D model of the White House, complete with an audio tour of its importance and history. The new app 1600, released this week by the White House Historical Association, uses AR to build a fully animated 3D model of the White House on a $1 bill while White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest narrates a miniature history lesson. Users can also tap on various parts of the model to reveal additional information and a few hidden secrets. Check it out now for free on the iOS and Android app stores.

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Just Mobile’s AluCharge 4-Port USB-A Charger Falls Just Short

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:45:16 +0000

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Available in early December, the Just Mobile AluCharge is a four port. USB-A only charging hub. Made of solid aluminum, It outputs up to 31 watts and is designed to be world ready with the corresponding power plug. While it’s small and well made, it has some disadvantages compared to a notable competitor reviewed previously.

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Apple Offers 31 ‘Essential’ Movies from the 1990s for Less than $10

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 22:55:53 +0000

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Apple has a new iTunes promotion titled “Under $10 in HD: ’90s Essentials.” It includes movies like Clueless, The Matrix (the first one, only, thank you), Pulp FictionReservoir Dogs, Silence of the Lambs, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential, Fight Club, American Beauty, and 22 others. Most are $7.99, and many are less than that.

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macOS Sierra: Launching Apps from Unidentified Developers

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 22:34:57 +0000

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macOS Sierra wants to keep you safe from apps that might not have your best interests at heart, say like, ransomware that locks you out of your files until you pay out a couple bitcoin. But what about the apps Sierra won’t let you launch that you know are safe? There’s a fix for that once you know where to look.

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Give the Gift of Music… Apple Music

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:48:01 +0000

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This week’s episode explores why Dr. Mac and his family love Apple Music so much and why it’s a great gift to give any music lover.

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IK Multimedia Releases ‘MODO BASS’ Bass Guitar Virtual Instrument for Mac

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:25:45 +0000

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IK Multimedia has a stellar reputation as a company that “gets” musicians. So when they say they’re introducing the world’s first “physically modeled’ electric bass sythensizer, we’re all ears.

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Media Files:
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Apple’s Tribes and Cloud Services – TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-01

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:12:22 +0000

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There is a long history of tribes discussing, analyzing and, yes, chastising Apple. That’s more true today than it ever has been… or is it? How much of the past reflects in the future? Those very same tribes often talk about Apple’s need to increase the amount of free iCloud storage provided to each user. Are they right? Join TDO today as John Martellaro, Adam Christianson and Dave Hamilton discuss!

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Apple Adds Online Form for Checking iPhone 6s Battery Replacement Eligibility

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:09:40 +0000

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Apple added an online form for checking your iPhone 6s eligibility for a battery replacement program. The program itself was announced in November, but it was initially up to customers to figure out if their serial number was eligible. The form allows owners to simply enter that serial number and be told if it’s eligible.

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Quickly Close a New Safari Tab With a Swipe

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:16:53 +0000

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Most Mac users know how to close a new Safari tab with the mouse or via a keyboard shortcut, but Mac Geek Gab listener Dale discovered a lesser known method via a swipe gesture. Here’s how it works.

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Apple to Unleash a Fleet of Flying Drones to Improve Maps Data

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:20:52 +0000

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Apple Maps has come a long way, but still trails Google in many areas. Apple is therefore preparing a fleet of flying drones to take to the skies in an effort to greatly increase the volume and accuracy of the company’s mapping data.

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LifePower A2-L 27,000mAh Portable Power Outlets: $229

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:00:34 +0000

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27,000mAh of power. That’s a crap tonne of power for a portable battery. That’s enough to charge your mobile devices and many laptops, too. We have a deal on the LifePower A2-L 27,000mAh Portable Power Outlet, with one AC outlet and one USB port, and 27,000mAh of power. It’s $229 through our deal.

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Media Files:
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Plex Media Player is Now Free for Everyone

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:26:29 +0000

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You all know that we love Plex around here, and yesterday the company announced that its new Plex Media Player app for Mac and Windows, which had previously been limited to paying “Plex Pass” customers, is now free for everyone! Even better, the latest version of the app now supports both a “10-foot” interface for navigating with a remote as well as the Plex “Web” interface for more intimate use with mouse and keyboard. Check out the announcement at the Plex Blog and download your copy of Plex Media Player for macOS.

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¡Buenas noticias! Apple Pay Now Available in Spain

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:06:39 +0000

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Apple today rolled out Apple Pay in Spain, partnering with select credit card issuers and retailers to bring its secure mobile payment service to customers. Spain is the 13th country to support the service as Apple continues its steady Apple Pay expansion.

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Apple Says It’s Working to Fight iCloud Calendar Spam

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:26:11 +0000

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The iCloud Calendar spam problem is getting worse, and users are helpless to stop it. Thankfully, Apple has confirmed that it’s working on a solution, but we don’t yet know how much of this questionable canned meat we’ll need to swallow before the company gets this right.

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Finally: a Self-Driving Car System That’s Open Source and Free

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 23:28:10 +0000

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Former iPhone hacker George Hotz has released his company’s self-driving car software and hardware as open source. The software itself is on GitHub, as well as 3D printer plans for housing the smartphone needed to run it. The Verge reported there is only one device that will work—the OnePlus 3—and you’re going to need some specific Honda or Accura models to use it. And really, what could go wrong with a bunch of folks experimenting with unproven autonomous vehicle software? Mr. Hotz has been developing the software and hardware as an after-market conversion kit, which he intended to compete with Tesla’s self-driving system. He abruptly announced he was pulling the product from market after regulators had the temerity to express an interest in it. This week, he announced its release as an open source project, rather than a for-sale product. Again, what could go wrong?

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How Tribal Warfare Caused Apple’s Loss of Gloss

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:18:39 +0000

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Modern tribes are groups formed of one mind held together by their beliefs and easy, fast communication. They work to obtain a voice in the community and are often at war with each other or Apple over some technical topic. Apple tends to dismiss these tribes and focus on the customer, but tribes can have an influence too. Understanding Apple’s intentions and vision against the torch of the tribes is a tricky process. John explains.

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ACM 387: State of Apple Advertising, Apple’s Product Vision

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:13:40 +0000

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John Kheit joins Bryan Chaffin to discuss the state of Apple’s advertising, including Frankie’s Holiday, Balloons, and Bulbs. Spoiler, John hates them and Bryan thinks they’re lovely. They also talk about Apple’s product vision and the end of AirPort. Another spoiler: John is cranky about that, too.

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Kinkoo 3-Outlet, 4-USB Port Surge Protecting Smart Power Strip: $24.99

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:13:44 +0000

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Check out the Kinkoo, a power strip with both regular power outlets and built-in USB charging ports. That’s clever and useful, and we have a deal on it for $24.99. Not only does it have the built-in USB ports, three of them are regular USB ports, and one is USB-C for a little future proofing. Check out the deal listing for more info.

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Media Files:
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TMO Daily Observations 2016-11-30: Offline Netflix and AirPods Alternatives

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:20:15 +0000

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Netflix is now beginning to allow offline viewing for some content and Tim Cook suggests that he anticipates AirPods will ship in the next few weeks. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Dave Hamilton today to chat through all this… and more, including a few recommendations for AirPods alternatives that you can buy today.

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Netflix Finally Introduces Offline Viewing for iOS & Android

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:09:17 +0000

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Want to binge on your favorite Netflix shows but can’t spare the mobile bandwidth? Netflix today finally introduced offline viewing for iOS and Android, letting users download select TV shows and movies for viewing anywhere, regardless of connectivity.

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Watch Nature Rage and Man Sprawl with Google Earth Timelapse

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:42:17 +0000

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Google Earth Timelapse is “a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years.” It’s not exactly new, but the project was just updated this week with new data and improved historical images. Head over to the Timelapse website, zoom into your favorite location, and watch the path of rivers change, glaciers melt, and cities spread from 1984 through 2016. It’s an incredible way to view the immense library of Google Earth’s satellite imagery.

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Apple Schedules Annual iTunes Connect Holiday Shutdown

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:15:23 +0000

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Developers take note! iTunes Connect, the developer portal for all of Apple’s digital platforms, has scheduled its annual holiday shutdown. Get your app submissions and holiday sales data scheduled now!

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Apple Celebrates 10 Years of (PRODUCT)RED With Exclusive Games & Apple Pay

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:53:35 +0000

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To mark the 10th anniversary of (PRODUCT)RED, Apple is expanding its support for the HIV/AIDS initiative. In addition to new (RED) accessories, Apple has teamed up with popular app developers to offer (RED)-exclusive games and in-app content.

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Stop Safari From Launching iTunes and the App Store With a Free Extension

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:14:11 +0000

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When you visit an iTunes or App Store website link in Safari, those apps automatically launch. While this makes it easy to find and download content, many users don’t want apps popping up all over their Mac. Here’s a free Safari extension that can solve this problem.

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Students in 25 More Countries Can Now Save 50% on Apple Music

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:39:54 +0000

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Is your college pen pal jealous of your Apple Music student discount? Well, there’s now a good chance that they, too, can get in on the money saving action. Apple this week expanded the availability of its Apple Music student pricing to 25 additional countries.

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Grab the New iOS-Inspired 5K Color Burst Wallpapers for Mac

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 09:51:23 +0000

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Do you love those colorful iOS 10 wallpapers? It looks like they’ll soon be available in the next update to macOS Sierra, but here’s how you can download them now in full 5K resolution.

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How to Check if Your iPhone 6s is Eligible for Apple’s Free Battery Service Program

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 09:01:09 +0000

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Is your iPhone 6s unexpectedly shutting down, even when you have plenty of battery charge left? If so, your device may be suffering from a known battery issue, and Apple is now willing to repair affected devices for free. Here’s how to check if your iPhone 6s is eligible.

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Canopy, a Case Specifically for Your Apple Magic Keyboard

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 23:55:40 +0000

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Check out Canopy from Neat Studio, a case specifically for Apple’s Magic Keyboard. In addition to being a case, it can also serve as a stand that holds your iPad Pro (or other device) up while you’re typing. It has a synthetic canvas cover and a microfiber interior. The strap that holds it shut is leather, and it holds your Magic Keyboard using micro-suction pads. I haven’t tested it out, but if I was going to haul a Magic Keyboard around, putting it in a case makes a lot of sense. Canopy is available for pre-order for $40. The company said it’s trying to deliver before Christmas, but can’t guarantee it.

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That Time Apple Patched 3 Zero Day Exploits in Just 10 Days [Update]

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 20:43:45 +0000

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Vanity Fair has a great piece about zero day exploits, the black market for selling them (to mostly governments, including repressive regimes), how they’re used to spy, and how the whole thing came to be. The story, which is quite long, is built around a particular piece of sophisticated spyware discovered by a couple of researchers, and Apple’s “engineering feat” that patched against the exploits in just ten days.

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Here’s Why Computers Screw Up Color Blending

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:23:31 +0000

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Blending colors on your computer typically doesn’t give the results you expect, meaning where they overlap ends up being some weird dark color. That’s because most apps take shortcuts with the math. MinutePhysics put together an awesome video explaining exactly what’s happening and why—and it’s totally worth watching. The downside is now all of the blur effects that are done wrong will really stand out. You’re welcome.

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TMO Daily Observations 2016-11-29: Why the iPhone isn’t Made in the US

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:26:15 +0000

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There’s a call for Apple to bring more of its production into the United States, but will that work for the iPhone? John Martellaro and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on what could be keeping iPhone production in China.

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Podcasters: How to Log Chapter Timestamps with Keyboard Maestro

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 17:52:08 +0000

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Many podcasters – and especially podcast listeners – have come to appreciate having chapters in podcast episodes. Putting chapters into a show can be a real chore for podcasters, though, especially for a show that’s recorded live. For all the podcasts I host, I employ a few Keyboard Maestro macros that, used together, allow me to have an internal clock running that simply pastes the existing timestamp wherever my cursor is. Here’s how I do it… and a download link to the macros I’ve already created for you!

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Next iPhone to Sport Wireless Charging Like Apple Watch

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:54:12 +0000

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2017 is the year the iPhone finally gets wireless charging. That’s the word, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says Apple plans to bring inductive charging to the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with next fall’s refresh.

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iOS 10 Mail: New “Organize by Thread” Options

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:15:34 +0000

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If you like organizing the emails on your iPad or iPhone by thread, then iOS 10’s got a couple of handy new choices for you. In this Quick Tip, we’ll go over them (and we’ll also cover what threading looks like if you’re unfamiliar with it!).

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Mbeat PowerTone Mini Bluetooth Earpiece and Dual-Port Car Charger: $29.99

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:00:36 +0000

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Our friends at Stack Commerce found us a very interesting device called Mbeat. It’s a car charger for your cigarette lighter (or auxiliary power outlet) with a Bluetooth earpiece. The device charges (and holds) the Bluetooth earpiece so you always have it with you in your car. It also has two USB ports for charging your iPhone or Android devices. I can’t recall seeing anything else like it. Mbeat is $29.99 through our deal, 24% off retail.

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Media Files:
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New Apple Campus 2.0 Flyover in 1080p

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 09:15:11 +0000

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Check out the latest flyover video of Apple Campus 2.0, posted by Sexton Videography. It’s an HD tour of the so-called Spaceship HQ that shows just how far the architectural masterpiece has come. Complete with labels letting you know what you’re looking at, you can see side buildings, parking structures (with solar panels installed), landscaping, and how much of the main building has taken shape. It’s labeled “December 2016 Update,” but the video was posted November 25th. It’s a great tour. Adjust the resolution up to 1080p, as desired.

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AT&T’s DirecTV Now Streaming Service Launching on Nov 30 with Free Apple TV Offer

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:34:15 +0000

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AT&T is finally ready to launch its DirecTV Now streaming TV service to entice cord cutters into paying for television channels. The service launches on Wednesday, November 30th, and early subscribers can get a free Apple TV, too.

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