A Working Star Trek Communicator (BT) Handset

1 hour, 10 minutes ago · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Scheduled to ship in January, 2016, this Bluetooth handset is a replica of the original Star Trek communicator. It pairs with your smartphone, and it's full of features.  According to the developer, the Wand company, it's "constructed from pressed metal, die cast metal, machined aluminum and textured ABS to replicate the original hero prop." Here's a summary of the specs from the product page: It has a magnetic stand with a metal base and has multi-color LED charge status lights. There's a built-in lithium polymer battery with wireless charging. It comes with a high quality molded polyurethane foam-lined transit case. Included is a speaker for hands-free calls, and it will play music streamed from any Bluetooth audio player. It can be yours for only US$149.95.  (There's a link to be emailed when it ships.) Here at TMO, we're already drooling.

SplashID Pro Lifetime Plan - $24.99

1 hour, 31 minutes ago · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

SplashID Pro

We have a deal for you today on a lifetime plan for SplashID Pro, a password and record keeper for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC. You can run SplashID on a phone, tablet, desktop or from a browser, and it gives you the power to sync through the cloud or not sync at all. Check out the deal page for details. Through our deal, you can get this service for $24.99, a significant discount off retail.

2 Apple Watch Charging Stands for Travel Compared

2 hours, 25 minutes ago · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

For some users, the elegance and convenience of an Apple Watch charging stand is essential. And soon, these stands will be even more useful when watchOS 2.0 introduces the "Wake me up" feature. John Martellaro looks at two such charging stands that are especially useful for travel.

LEGO Ideas Brings Ada Lovelace, Analytic Engine to Life

6 hours, 2 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

Ada Lovelace has the honor of being the first computer programmer thanks to her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine—the first programmable computer. Now she has the opportunity to come back to life, in a manner of speaking, as a LEGO Ideas project. The proposed kit includes Ada and Charles minifigs, the Analytical Engine, punch cards, plus a pet owl. The Analytical Engine opens and has space to hold a Raspberry Pi, so you can turn it into an actual computer, too. Like all LEGO Ideas kits that get produced, this one needs to hit 10,000 votes before it can be considered. Bonus: It's another cool way to recognize women in science.

Apple’s Eddy Cue: Music Home Sharing Could Return in iOS 9

7 hours, 33 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · News

Home Sharing for Music may return in iOS 9

With the release of iOS 8.4 and the introduction of Apple Music, our iPhones and iPads can't use Home Sharing to play music. Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue says that feature could return in iOS 9, although he isn't saying why it was removed.

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Music streaming for iOS devices through Home Sharing may come back in a few months, so that's good news. And it sure looks like Twitter is the go-to place for talking with Apple executives.

Apple Music: Three Quick Tips!

8 hours, 50 minutes ago · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

iTunes 12.2 and Apple Music

Three tips and tricks for using Apple Music, coming right up! We'll talk about redoing the genre selections you made when you originally configured the service, how to move tracks to your Apple Watch, and using Siri to listen to albums and artists that you don't even own.

Amazon Cloud Drive Comes to iOS App Store

9:29 PM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Amazon released Cloud Drive for iPhone and iPad while we were off for the holiday weekend. Amazon Cloud Drive is the company's Dropbox competitor—Amazon Prime subscribers get unlimited photo storage and 5GB for videos and other files. The company also offers a $59.99 version of the service that gives you unlimited storage for everything. While most folks think of Amazon as a retailer, the company has also become a major provider of cloud services. Cloud Drive leverages Amazon's vast data center capacity. The iOS app supporting Cloud Drive joins existing apps for Mac, PC, Android, and Amazon's own Fire Phone. You can use it to view your files and folders, preview documents, play videos and music stored on your Cloud Drive, and share your files as links and attachments.

PHATASS, the Prince Harvey Rap Album Recorded at an Apple Store

7:40 PM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Meet Prince Harvey, a rapper from Brooklyn who recorded an entire album called PHATASS at the SoHo Apple Store—that stands for Prince Harvey at the Apple Store SoHo. The a capella recording was an effort born of necessity, as Prince Harvey had one laptop stolen and another failed. He was driven to record an album, and realized he could do a lot on the Macs at the Apple Store. With the help of two sympathetic employees who, he spent hours every day at the SoHo Apple Store for four months. He would save files to a thumb drive, email them to himself, or hide them in the trash, which as of this writing isn't emptied when the machines are reset every night. Brilliant move, Prince Harvey, brilliant! There's a couple of tunes on Soundcloud if you'd like to hear it yourself. There are additional details in The Daily Beast's story about the rapper.

An Electric Car Won this Year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb

5:55 PM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

There was a bit of line crossed this past week, as an electric car took the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. This is a race up Pikes Peak, where each competitor's time is compared to the others. By "rRace up Pikes Peak," Wikipedia says its 12.42 miles, with 156 turns, climbing 4,720 feet. And Rhys Millen did it in 9 minutes and 7 seconds (and change) in his eO PP03, a prototype electric vehicle. This is the first time an electric vehicle won the event, and while he set a new record for electric vehicles in the race, it's also the second fastest time behind the 8 minute and 13 seconds (and change) recorded in 2013 by Sebastien Loeb in a 2013 Peugeot 208 T16. Oh, and according to Mr. Millen, his car lost half its power before the halfway point in the race. And in case it need be pointed out, Apple is developing an electric car. This is the future. The video below shows the run, and it includes an interview with Rhys Millen at the end. Thanks to TMO member geoduck for the heads up on the BBC's coverage of the event.

Keyport High-Tech Multi-Tool: $39.99

5:20 PM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Keyport High-Tech Multi-Tool

The Keyport High-Tech Multi-Tool stows your keys and keeps them organized, and it has room for a pen and a light. It does it by including blanks that are designed to fit in the device, turning it into a customizable fob. Check out the details on the deal page.

Apple Stores Are Holding the New MacBooks Captive

5:15 PM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · John Martellaro · Editorial

The major design feature of Apple's new MacBook is its low weight.  To hold it in one's hand, untethered, is to appreciate the significance of the design. So why shouldn't Apple let customers walk around the store with one and test the keyboard for awhile? John Martellaro makes the case.

3 Free iPhone Apps for Tracking the International Space Station

3:20 PM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Track the International Space Station from your iPhone with these apps

Knowing exactly where the International Space Station is can be really important if you need to, say, successfully get supplies to the astronauts on board. It's also cool, too, if you just want to know when to see the ISS flying overhead. The Mac Observer rounded up a few iPhone apps to help you know exactly when it'll be in your part of the sky.

Amazon Invents the New Black Friday: Prime Day

10:49 AM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Amazon invents its own Black Friday with Prime Day

Amazon is creating its own Black Friday, but it's called Prime Day and it's on a Wednesday. The online retailer is using its special one-day event on July 15 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and the special deals will be for Amazon Prime members only.

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Amazon has selling down to a science so of course the company has found a great way to exploit its 20th anniversary and drive up Prime subscriptions at the same time.

How to Control Apple Music “For You” Playlists

9:32 AM EDT, Jul. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · TMO Quick Tip

Apple Music For You playlists

The playlists in Apple Music's "For You" section are pretty cool because they do a pretty good job of putting together music you most likely want to hear. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, so Apple built in a way for you to take control over what you hear in those playlists. Read on to learn how to take control of your For You playlists on your iPhone.

iCloud Music Library and DRM: Now with Slightly Less Disaster

6:36 PM EDT, Jul. 3rd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Turns out iCloud Music Library's DRM is confusing, not draconian

Yesterday I called iTunes 12.2 and iCloud Music Library a disaster for your music collection, and part of my reasoning for that was the way copy protection is applied to tracks through the service. It turns out the rules for when that DRM gets applied aren't quite as draconian as I originally thought. But you know what? They're still pretty confusing for most people, and iCloud Music Library is still screwing up music collections when it shouldn't.

Apple Music - Or Some Streaming Service - Needs To Steal Discovery From Napster

9:38 AM EDT, Jul. 3rd, 2015 · Dave Hamilton · Dave Hamilton's Blog

The successful streaming music service will master the process of discovery — that is helping its users discover new music to listen to. Apple is doing this by going to a tried and true method with a new take on the old-school radio station with Beats 1, but I think that’s only half of it.

To truly unlock discovery a service’s users need to be able to learn from each other. The world is full of stories where like-minded-yet-anonymous people have tipped one another to the next great band.

Happy U.S. Independence Day

8:00 AM EDT, Jul. 3rd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Happy Independence Day!

In honor of Independence Day—a U.S. holiday—The Mac Observer is taking off Friday, July 3rd. We will return on Monday, July 6th, with our regularly-scheduled Apple, Mac, iPad iPhone, and Apple Watch news. Enjoy the holiday!

Apple Posts San Francisco Pride 2015 Video

1:38 AM EDT, Jul. 3rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple posted a video celebrating the company's participation in the San Francisco Pride 2015 parade on June 28th. The video features scenes from around the city, Apple setting up for the event, and many of its employees and their families taking part. Apple CEO Tim Cook also makes a very brief appearance. It closes with the tagline "Inclusion inspires innovation."