New Apple TV Hardware Reportedly Coming in September

6 hours, 10 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

The long-awaited Apple TV refresh originally planned for June is coming this September, according to Buzzfeed, where John Paczkowski is now the managing editor of the site's San Francisco bureau. This time, "it's for real." The device's release is intended to prepare the way for another long-rumored product, an Apple streaming TV service, even though Apple is not yet ready to announce that service. The implication is that the new Apple TV will support it when it does get launched. The device will supposedly be slimmer, have a new touch-pad remote, a faster processor, more internal storage, and an Apple TV App Store. Let's hope this one's true! Check out Buzzfeed for more details.

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Released for Mac and Linux

7 hours, 43 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Feral Interactive announced that Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor has been released for Mac and Linux on the Steam platform. It's coming to the Mac App Store in early August, as well. The action adventure game is set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth just as Sauron returns to Mordor, decades before The Lord of the Rings. It pits a slain-yet-resurrected Ranger named Talion against Sauron as Talion seeks vengeance. It's priced at US$49.99 and £29.99, and is available on Steam now. Check out the trailer.

Safari Offers Longer Battery Life than Chrome or Firefox

8 hours, 2 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · News

Chart Showing Average Battery Life in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari Tests

Using Safari on a MacBook will give you longer battery life, according to tests run by the BatteryBox Blog. The company tested Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, and Firefox on video sites, music streaming sites, webmail sites, news sites, and more, and found that Safari used less power than the other browsers, giving users 52 more minutes of battery life.

Drive Genius 4 for Macs: $49.99

10 hours, 14 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Drive Genius 4 Deal Image

Drive Genius 4 is a must-have for many Mac users, and we have a deal on it today. It can create a bootable partition for you to use to repair your startup disk, it will find and delete large and duplicate files, it will fix problems with your file system, repair folder corruption and much more. It retails for $99, but through our deal it's $49.99.

Cusby: A Modular & Expandable USB-C Dock for MacBook

11 hours, 13 minutes ago · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Cusby has launched an Indiegogo project to deliver a modular and expandable USB-C dock system. As the developper describes it: "It starts by connecting a Cusby unit to any USB-C port.... From there, multiple Cusbys can be linked together like Lego blocks to create their own combination of ports for any situation. Every time a new Cusby is added, a new USB-C port is created, so there is always a free port available. We've lined up 3 models at launch: Power charger, USB-A and HDMI. Other ports in the pipeline are Thunderbolt, Display Port and Ethernet" Various contribution levels are available that include 1,2 or more Cusby blocks. Delivery is expected in October 2015.

New Patents Hint at Apple Texture-simulating Uber Stylus

10:50 AM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple patent describes texture simulating über stylus

For a company that said the only stylus we need is our finger, Apple sure has a lot of patents. It's patents describe what sounds like the ultimate stylus, complete with sensors and haptic feedback to simulate the feel of different textures.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Apple has always been gernerally against styluses for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but there are places where they make sense. Specialized uses like art and drafting, for example, are far easier with styluses than our finger tips. Maybe Apple is working on bringing us an über stylus.

Those Awesome LEGO Star Wars Pics are Now in a Book

9:23 AM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Vesa Lehtimäki is well known for his amazing LEGO photography, and now—or at least soon—you can get a collection of his awesome images in a new DK book. LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy puts together the photos he took using his kid's LEGO minifigures showing recreations from the movies along with some fun ideas of his own. The book also includes descriptions of how some of the shots were done, along with Mr. Lehtimäki's creative process. The book is priced at US$24.99, but you can pre-order it for $12.37.

ACM 317: T-Mobile’s Crazy iPhone Deal, Fitness Tracking Accuracy, Listener Comments

8:30 PM EDT, Jul. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet & Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Podcast

T-Mobile is shaking up the mobile phone contract market again with a really great deal for potential customers looking for a new iPhone. Jeff and Bryan dive into why T-Mobile's JUMP! On Demand plan is so cool for its customers, and could lead to better deals at Verizon and AT&T, too. They also talk about why they like fitness trackers even though they have accuracy issues, and they respond to listener comments.

iFixit Pro Tech Screwdriver Set and Jimmy Bundle: $59.95

7:25 PM EDT, Jul. 29th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

iFixit Pro Tech Screwdriver Set and Jimmy Tool

I love iFixit's tool sets, so I'm pleased as punch to tell you we have a deal on one a bundle of iFixit tools for you. The first part of the bundle is the iFixit Pro Tech Screwdriver set. It has 15 fixed-bladed screwdrivers with those specialty heads for getting into your electronics (note that opening many Apple devices will void your warranty). It comes with a tool roll that lets you fold them up into a compact bundle. The second part is the iFixit Jimmy, a device with an ultra-thin blade for prying open cases and breaking seals (note my caution above). Retail on these two products is $100, but through our deal you can get it for $59.95. Check it out.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-07-29: Fitness Tracker Accuracy, Logitech’s new Mouse

12:58 PM EDT, Jul. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Nike's FuelBand lawsuit settlement serves as a reminder that fitness trackers aren't necessarily accurate. Dave Hamilton and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on fitness tracker data, what works for them, and why you shouldn't give up on using yours. John also fills us in on why he likes Logitech's MX Anywhere 2 mouse.

Photoshop CS6 Stragglers Out of Luck for Camera Raw Updates

10:15 AM EDT, Jul. 29th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Adobe leaves Photoshop CS6 behind with last Camera Raw update

It's no secret that Adobe left its Creative Suite 6 apps behind when it moved to Creative Cloud and annual software licenses, and if you've been holding out hope for extended support for the old versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, get ready for the bad news. Adobe says Camera Raw 9.1.1 will be the last version released that still offers Photoshop CS6 support. For people using Adobe's apps professionally, this is another reminder that Creative Suite 6 is now a relic and it's time to let it go.

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Dropping Camera Raw updates for Photoshop CS6 is yet another sign from Adobe they really want everyone to move to Creative Cloud. The fact that they offered CS6 ACR updates for this long is pretty amazing.

iOS: Deleting Siri’s Training Data

8:55 AM EDT, Jul. 29th, 2015 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

Reset Siri in iOS 8

If you're getting frustrated with Siri's inability to understand your commands, then you might want to try resetting the service on your iOS device. Siri learns how to better interpret your voice the more you use it, but if that training has gotten messed up (by, say, your kids playing around with your phone), then that could cause problems. We'll tell you how to wipe Siri clean in today's Quick Tip.

CoMacadore Plus - Mac OS 6.0.1 Running on an Amiga 500

7:10 PM EDT, Jul. 28th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Old timers might remember Mac vs. PC flame wars, but in my experience they paled in ferocity to discussions between Amiga fans and Mac fans. But lo! There will be peace in our time, or at least a little hardware-based emulation. Reddit and imgur user wowbobwow got Mac OS 6.0.1 running on an Amiga 500. He did it using a product called A-Max that allowed the user to frankenstein Mac ROM chips and hook them up directly to the Amiga. That bit of geekerism then allowed the Amiga to execute Mac code directly on the Motorola 68000 (68K) processor in the Amiga—the same CPU in Macs of that day. Check out the photos on imgur—it's super cool.

Your Fitness Tracker May be Wrong, but that Doesn’t Make it Bad

6:11 PM EDT, Jul. 28th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Nike FuelBand with coins. Nike FuelBand settlement value is in education, not money.

Nike has agreed to pay out US$2.4 million to settle a lawsuit where it and Apple were accused of misleading consumers into believing the Nike FuelBand logged accurate fitness tracking data. The pain point in the settlement isn't the money; instead, it's the fact that most fitness trackers simply aren't accurate.

The Surreal Selfie Stick (Video)

5:55 PM EDT, Jul. 28th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Remember that super awesome image we thought was a pano shot while rolling down a hill? Turns out it was taken by Randy Scott Slavin, a New York City-based director and photographer. The original image was stitched together from many images, and is part of a series called Alternate Perspectives 1 and Alternate Perspectives 2. Mr. Slavin also created what he calls the Surreal Selfie Stick, a 360 degree array of GoPro cameras for making videos, and it is just as cool as his photography. He's using the device for a project, but posted a demonstration to YouTube that you should check out. Note that you can't see the Surreal Selfie Stick in the video, but you can sometimes see its shadow.