1TB External Wireless Hard Drive with Military-Grade Encryption for $97

6:16 PM EST, Jan. 26th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

1TB External Wireless Hard Drive with Military-Grade Encryption for $97

The iDrive Wi-Fi is neat, and we have a deal on the 1TB version. It's a wireless drive with built-in WiFi, but it also has USB 3.0 for connected backups. It supports selective backups, and it can handle backups from Mac and Windows PC out of the box. Using the iDrive app, you can also backup photos, contacts, and calendars from iOS and Android devices. Oh, and it has 256-bit military grade encryption to protect your data. Lastly, it comes with one year of 10TB of online backup from iDrive. All that for $97. 

New York Times Offers Free Storm Coverage

5:28 PM EST, Jan. 26th, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · Cool Stuff Found

Whether you call it Snowmageddon or give in to the Weather Channel's "Name All The Things" shenanigans and refer to it as Juno, there's a storm of epic proportions headed for the east coast later today. To help those affected, the New York Times is offering free access to storm coverage in its mobile apps. Access to NYT Now for example is usually US$2/week. I hope it doesn't need saying but remember if you're in the path of this storm there's no photo worth endangering yourself for, so please be careful (and warm) out there. 

TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-26: Apple Fashion Hires, Google’s Foiled Fingerprint Sensor Plans

1:35 PM EST, Jan. 26th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple has already hired several people from the fashion industry, and doesn't seem to be slowing down. Bryan Chaffin and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to talk about Apple's most recent hire, Burberry's Chester Chipperfield, and they take a look at how the company blocked Google from including a fingerprint sensor in the Nexus 6 smartphone.

Apple’s AuthenTec Purchase Blocked Fingerprint Sensor on Nexus 6 Smartphone

11:15 AM EST, Jan. 26th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Google wanted to include a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor on the Nexus 6 smartphone, but had to abandon that plan thanks to Apple's timely purchase of AuthenTec. Apple bought the company to use its fingerprint scanning technology in the iPhone 5S and in the process ensured on one else would be able to use it in their smartphones, including Google.

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Apple is a pretty shrewd company. Not only did they get the sensor tech they needed for Touch ID, but they also blocked all of their competitors from using it, too.

OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle Finally Coming to iPhone

10:07 AM EST, Jan. 26th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Long time OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle fans begging for iPhone versions of the apps are finally getting their wish. The Omni Group has been developing both for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and has started inviting some of its users to check out pre-release versions.

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OmniOutliner and OmniGraffle on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Oh, yes. We've waited so long for this.

Apple Revamps Free on iTunes, Brings Back Free Songs

8:54 AM EST, Jan. 26th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple quietly dropped its free weekly songs on the iTunes Store about a week ago but has now brought them back, along with a makeover for its Free on iTunes page in iTunes. The revamped Free on iTunes showed up over the weekend and includes multiple free songs, TV shows, and more.

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It's good to see free songs back on the iTunes Store. First Play on iTunes Radio is nice, but it seems a lot of people really enjoyed their weekly visit to the iTunes Store for new songs.

MacPhun = The Easy Way to Improve Photos

11:00 AM EST, Jan. 24th, 2015 · Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants and Raves

MacPhun has a sense of humor...

I have good news for those who want to improve your photos but don’t want to spend a lot of time or money... That good news comes from a cool little company out of San Diego, CA called MacPhun, which makes nearly a dozen different inexpensive apps specifically designed to help you fix imperfections and improve mediocre photos quickly and easily, for not a lot of dough.

7 Basic Tips for a Speedier Mac

10:00 AM EST, Jan. 24th, 2015 · Nancy Gravley · Computing with Bifocals

7 Basic Tips for a Speedier Mac

A sluggish Mac is annoying. What good does it do to have the latest and greatest if it is going to run slow. There are some things that even beginners can do to help address this problem and Nancy Carroll Gravley has some great tips to make it possible.

Go Behind the Scenes with Chinese Apple Store Artist (Video)

7:22 PM EST, Jan. 23rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Apple posted a new video to its YouTube channel offering a behind-the-scenes look at artist Wang Dongling. He created the art used for the opening of Apple's newest Apple Store in China, known as West Lake. "To celebrate the opening of our first store in Hangzhou, we partnered with artist Wang Dongling," Apple said in the video's description. "Get a behind-the-scenes look at his process and the artwork he created for Apple Store, West Lake." The video includes comments from Mr. Wang, as well as shots of him creating the art. Check it out.

{video} https://i.ytimg.com/vi/8MAsPtCNMTI/mqdefault.jpg {/video}

Leatherman Wins At Watchbands with Leatherman Tread

7:14 PM EST, Jan. 23rd, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · Cool Stuff Found

There has been a lot of talk lately about watches and watchbands now that we know Apple is headed into that market. Even before Apple launches it's offering, Leatherman has already conquered the watchband with the Leatherman Tread. And if you still aren't convinced you need to wear a watch, that's ok. First and foremost this is a bracelet, and if you want to include a watch, you can. Each link is an individual tool such as a hex drive, screwdriver, box wrench, and of course, the bottle opener (built into the clasp). It starts shipping this summer, with the timepiece coming in the fall. Since the links are user adjustable, it's possible to pop off the cutting hook and hopefully you can now, at long last, get through TSA with a Leatherman. 

Travel Back to 2004 and Meet the ‘Palette Pad’

6:47 PM EST, Jan. 23rd, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · Cool Stuff Found

Yesterday I wrote up the Mountie, a device that clips your smaller mobile display to the side of your "main" display, either a MacBook Pro or an iMac. It turns out this idea is a long time coming. Our own Adam Christianson had a conversation in 2004 about the (then) current Apple Studio Display and how so much space was used in programs like Photoshop by palettes and other panels that took up a lot of space. Adam was pondering a smaller screen that could work in conjunction with the main display, maximizing the space available for work on the larger screen. He talked this over with Jeff Rutan who then created a concept of what this "Palette Pad" might look like. At the time things like power and attaching to displays and video sync were tough nuts to crack, so the concept sort of died until 2010 with the release of Air Display which brought it closer. Now that the Mountie exists, teaming it up with Air Display might actually make Adam's vision a reality.

PowerPot Cooking Pot and Charger: $99

6:32 PM EST, Jan. 23rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

PowerPot Cooking Pot and Charger: $99

You know I love cool gadgets, and PowerPot is one of the coolest. It allows you to boil water in a pot—think camping—and convert that thermal energy into electric energy that you can use to charge your mobile devices. We reviewed it a while back if you're looking for our detailed thoughts, but we have a deal on PowerPot today that allows you to get it for $99 (it retails for $149).  Enjoy!

Apple Continues to Plunder Fashion Industry with Another Burberry Hire

6:28 PM EST, Jan. 23rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Chester Chipperfield

Apple continues to pluck talent from the ranks of fashion executives—the only Silicon Valley tech giant to do so. Apple has hired one Chester Chipperfield for its "Special Projects" group. Mr. Chipperfield was previously Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design for Burberry, the same high fashion company that supplied Angela Ahrendts, Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores.

How Apple is Winning a Secret War

5:00 PM EST, Jan. 23rd, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

When observers analyze a new or existing product from Apple, they tend to focus on the design, operation and features. In some cases, the conclusion is that some competitor, X, has a better product. That misses at least half the story of Apple's secret product war.