Rockn Stompn for Musicians: Power Strip, Conditioner, and Sequencer

2:58 PM EDT, Aug. 18th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I went to the California World Guitar Show this past weekend (warning, that site blares music with no volume controls). In addition to more amazing guitars from the 1950s and 1960s than you can shake a stick at—check out this gorgeous 1963 Gibson SG or an amazing 1964 Firebird V— I saw a very clever device called Rockn Stompn. This is a power strip that conditions your power, something that's useful for live performances and studio recording alike. But that's not the clever bit. Rockn Stompn is also a power sequencer. The six plugs are arranged in three banks that will turn on in sequence. So you can have your pedal board plugged into the first bank so that it turns on first. Then a variable number of seconds later, the next bank turns on, and that's where you have you ramp plugged in. That means no popping. It's foot activated, so you can turn on everything (for multiple musicians) with just one stomp, and the delay for each bank is variable. It's very nifty. It's priced at $299, and is available at Amazon.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-08-18

2:58 PM EDT, Aug. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Your home may not be as safe as you think if you're using home automation products. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about the security-related issues surrounding smart home and home automation products, plus they talk about some of their favorite menu bar items from their Macs.

Apple Wins Emmy for “Misunderstood” iPhone Ad

1:25 PM EDT, Aug. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's holiday iPhone commercial, "Misunderstood," scored an Emmy award for best commercial. The beat out two Super Bowl ads from Budweiser, along with ads from Nike and GE.

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's long standing partnership with TBWA has produced several award winning advertising campaigns. We'll see if Apple can keep that up now that it's bringing more of its advertising efforts in house.

Analyst: No Sapphire for iPhone 6 Display

10:40 AM EDT, Aug. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

If you're hoping your next iPhone will include a sapphire glass display, you may be waiting another year. JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall says the cost of synthetic sapphire glass is still too high, and that Apple won't be able to get the price down to a reasonable level in time for this year's iPhone 6 launch.

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 →

GTAT is already running at least 2,600 sapphire glass furnaces for Apple, and may well have a nice stockpile, too. That's a pretty compelling setup for sapphire displays on the iPhone this year instead of next year.

5.5-inch iPhone 6 Photos Surface, Along with Horrible Name

9:07 AM EDT, Aug. 18th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Photos showing what are claimed to be components from a 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 have surfaced, although they don't exactly qualify as definitive proof that a super-size iPhone is on the way. The name that goes along with the big-screen model photos is a bit dubious, too: iPhone 6L.

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 →

At this point, not seeing a 4.7-inch iPhone model this fall will be a big surprise. The rumored 5.5-inch model, however, still feels like a wild card.

Apple Adds 5 Vice Presidents to Leadership Page

6:41 PM EDT, Aug. 15th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

5 Additions to Apple's Leadership Page

Apple significantly expanded the ranks of executives featured on its leadership page Friday. That page previously featured Apple CEO Tim Cook and the company's nine senior vice presidents, but now features an additional five vice presidents, all of whom report to CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Michael Franti Take the Ice Bucket Challenge (Video)

6:01 PM EDT, Aug. 15th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I don't know what's better about this video, Apple CEO Tim Cook having a bucket of ice poured over his head or the live soundtrack of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." It's all part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising effort to fight ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease). Famous folks have been challenging each other to either submit to a bucket of ice water or donate money to the ALS Association. At a recent Beer bash on the Apple campus, Michael Franti was performing when he mentioned that Phil Schiller had challenged Tim Cook. Mr. Cook asked the crowd of Apple employees which he should do, get dunked or pay up. He then said he was doing both, because he's awesome like that, and got dunked by Mr. Franti (who sang Ice Ice Baby"). Mr. Cook also publicly challenged Dr. Dre, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Michael Franti, the latter of which was dunked by Mr. Cook on the spot. Apple posted the video to its YouTube channel, and it's a great watch. Mr. Cook's expression in the frame i captured is priceless.

The Fantastic Photography Training Bundle for $49

4:19 PM EDT, Aug. 15th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The Fantastic Photography Training Bundle for $49

I know we have a ton of photographers in the TMO community, and today's deal is aimed at them. It's called the Fantastic Photography Bundle with seven in-depth photography training courses and 48 hours of instruction. The courses are, EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course: Advanced, Learn To Creating Stunning HDR Photos, iPhone Photography Secrets, The Art of Black and White Photography, Portrait Photography With Simple Gear, The Art of Travel Photography, and Photo Restoration with Photoshop Tutorial. Those area all killer training course, and they retail for $401. Through our deal, you can get the whole bundle for $49.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-08-15

2:09 PM EDT, Aug. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Push notifications are making the move from our smartphones to our desktops, or at least to our Web browsers. Roost co-founder Burton Miller joins Jeff Gamet to explain how push notifications are already available on your Mac, the standard that will bring them to browsers on other platforms, why Web and app notifications matter, and more.