Rachio Iro - The Smart Sprinkler Controller

10:30 AM EDT, Aug. 1st, 2015 · Juan Collao · How-To

Rachio Iro App Screenshot

Think home automation can only be used inside your home? Juan Collao explains how watering your lawn is one area you absolutely must automate in a smart, connected way. He has the device to do it with, too: Iro from Rachio.

Apple Has Starring Role in New Crypto War

10:00 PM EDT, Jul. 31st, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Watching Eye Behind an iPhone Screen

It seems safe to say a new round of the Crypto Wars is in full gear. In fact, let's officially call it Crypto Wars 2.0, because proxy parties are keeping the fight simmering in the background between full on salvos from the main parties involved. Meanwhike, Apple maintains its starring role in the fight due to end-to-end encryption built into iOS and OS X.

The Reason Why No Company Can Duplicate Apple’s iPhone Appeal

5:00 PM EDT, Jul. 31st, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Particle Debris, July 27

Competitors to Apple's iPhone spend billions in development and advertising. Sometimes a competing smartphone will actually have a nifty operational or design feature the iPhone lacks. Then why is it so fundamentally difficult to compete with Apple for mindshare and profits amongst those highly desirable, affluent customers? John Martellaro delves into the Apple not-so-secret sauce.

Wondershare PDFelement for Mac and OCR Plug-In: $39.99

3:40 PM EDT, Jul. 31st, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Wondershare PDFelements running on a MacBook

PDFelement from Wondershare is a PDF editor designed to be simple for users, while having advanced features available to expert users. This software allows you to edit PDF documents, including text, formatting, images, and other elements. You can also convert PDFs to other formats, and documents into PDFs. It comes with an OCR plugin, too, so you can scan printed documents and convert them to digital text. Through our deal, you can get PDFelements for US$39.99.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-07-31: New Apple TV Rumors, Google Defies France

1:49 PM EDT, Jul. 31st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Reports that there's a new Apple TV coming are back, and they say we'll see the new hardware in September. Bryan Chaffin and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on what may be in store for the next Apple TV update and whether or not they think it really is only a few weeks away. They also look at Google refusing to comply with France's demands to scrub search results for some people world wide.

Google Stands Up to France, Refuses Global “Right to be Forgotten” Order

10:42 AM EDT, Jul. 31st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Google to France: No worldwide

France is trying to force Google to remove search results for certain people around the world through the EU's "right to be forgotten" law, and the Internet search giant is saying no. Instead, Google is willing to block those search results in countries governed by EU laws, but is refusing to do so throughout the rest of the world. Google is arguing the EU law, if enforced around the world, would reduce Internet access to only what the most restrictive countries allow.

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France learns it's not the boss of Google. Well done, Google.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Turning Off Reachability

8:56 AM EDT, Jul. 31st, 2015 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

Disabling Reachability for the iPhone 6

"Reachability" is Apple's term for how the screen slides down when you double-tap the Home button on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While that feature can be useful if you're using your device one-handed, it can also be a pain in the tuckus if you're constantly invoking it without meaning to! In today's Quick Tip, we'll tell you how to disable it completely.

New Apple TV Hardware Reportedly Coming in September

6:43 PM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · 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

5:10 PM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · 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

4:51 PM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Chart Showing Average Battery Life in Chrome, Firefox, 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

2:39 PM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · 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

1:40 PM EDT, Jul. 30th, 2015 · 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.

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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.