Antminer S3 453 GH/s Bitcoin Mining Rigs Improve Energy Efficiency

6:27 PM EDT, Aug. 21st, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

As Bitcoin mining gets ever-more competitive, energy efficiency has become just as important as price. Accordingly, I took note of the Antminer S3 miners being offered at ZoomHash. They're 453 GH/s miners that use just 355 watts of power at the wall. In comparison, the S1 units I reviewed in March do 180 GH/s at 360 watts. At $349 for the S3 (on sale for pre-order), that makes them one of the most energy-efficient miners on the market, especially at that price. The 800 GH/s to 1 TH/s devices on the market typically need 800-1000 watts of power. That said, this is a pre-order price. They ship on September 20th from Hong Kong, and they'll take 3-4 business days to arrive in the U.S. (check for details on your location)—waiting a month will have an affect on your ROI, and mining is always a gamble. To help even that gamble, ZoomHash set up a 5 percent coupon for our readers (coupon code MacObserver). Just enter that coupon during the checkout process. I'll be posting a review once I receive my units.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-08-21

6:13 PM EDT, Aug. 21st, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Samsung doesn't have to pay Apple's patent infringement trial legal costs because the iPhone wasn't famous when the company copied it. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to try to sort out Judge Lucy Koh's logic, plus they take a look at Amazon's new Android-based Fire smartphone.

Five Deals on Mac Apps: TuneUp, TwistedWave, Stuffit Deluxe, Elite Keylogger, Crossover

3:52 PM EDT, Aug. 21st, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Five Deals on TuneUp, TwistedWave, StiffIt, Elite Keylogger, Crossover

For today's deal, I thought I'd do a round up of some of our deals on Mac software: TuneUp, TwistedWave, Stuffit Deluxe, Elite Keylogger, and Crossover. TuneUp cleans up your iTunes library, TwistedWave is an audio editor, Stuffit Deluxe is the standard file compression tool for the Mac, Elite Keylogger lets you see what other people are doing on your Mac, and Crossover lets you run Windows apps without Boot Camp or a virtual machine. We have a deal on each of them, so enjoy!

An iPhone Veteran Evaluates an Amazon Fire Phone

2:20 PM EDT, Aug. 21st, 2014 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the Fire Phone on June 18 with several novel features and a 4.7-inch display.  John Martellaro takes a close look at the Fire Phone with a technical review that steers away from politics and towards what the iPhone or any potential owner would want to know about this smartphone.

3 Free iPhone Apps for Ordering from the Starbucks Secret Menu

10:29 AM EDT, Aug. 21st, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · TMO Quick Tip

Ordering an espresso, vanilla Frappuccino, or even an iced soy chai is easy enough at Starbucks, but how about a Snickerdoodle or Cap'n Crunch Frappuccino, or Apple Juice Blossom? Those are all part of the Starbucks "secret menu," and we found three cool free iPhone apps that'll help you order those and plenty more, too.

Samsung Doesn’t Have to Pay Apple Attorney Fees Because iPhone wasn’t Famous

9:02 AM EDT, Aug. 21st, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's bid to make Samsung pay US$16 million for attorney fees it racked up in the 2012 trial accusing the electronics maker of copying the iPhone's design was shot down by Federal Judge Lucy Koh this week. The Judge said one of the reasons Samsung doesn't need to cover Apple's attorney costs was because the iPhone's design wasn't famous before the copycat devices were made.

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 2012 patent infringement win against Samsung is looking more like a hollow victory every day.

Week Of Who, Day 3: Craigy Who and Mr Timey Pants

9:40 PM EDT, Aug. 20th, 2014 · Kelly Guimont · Cool Stuff Found

Today's entry in the Week Of Who is near and dear to TMO Towers, for the Doctor Who fans around the Towers also enjoy The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Craig was a musician back in the day, and at one point he was in a band called The Dreamboys, with his friend Peter Capaldi who starts his reign as The Doctor August 23rd. Why does this matter? Because someone else who knew about this created a comic called Craigy Who and Mister Timey Pants which is lovely and silly and Capaldi Approved. And let's be honest, if it's Capaldi Approved, it's best you don't argue*.

This is pretty deeply in the NSFW category. You have been warned.

ACM 268: Apple Copycats, Ad Agencies, and Steve Ballmer: Sports Mogul

6:49 PM EDT, Aug. 20th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet & Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Podcast

Copying isn't the same as innovating, but it seems plenty of people are confusing the two with Xiaomi. Jeff and Bryan explain why the electronics maker isn't China's Apple, plus they look at the future of Apple's marketing strategy, and note Steve Ballmer's retirement from Microsoft's board of directors so he can focus on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jeff Gamet, John Martellaro Talk Sci-Fi Tech on MacVoices

6:38 PM EDT, Aug. 20th, 2014 · TMO Staff · TMO Appearances

The Mac Observer's Jeff Gamet and John Martellaro paid a visit to Chuck Joiner's MacVoices this week to talk about how sci-fi tech has shaped out world, and what they expect from technological advances still to come. They also debate whether or not we expect too much from our technology, how technology may change our society, and how they want to interact with their computers in the future.

Limefuel Lite USB Battery Pack for Dual Charging: $34.99

5:26 PM EDT, Aug. 20th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Limefuel Lite USB Battery Pack for Dual Charging: $34.99

We have a last minute deal for you on the Limefuel Lite USB Battery Pack, a portable charger for iPhone and other portable devices. It features a 15,000mAh Lithium-ion battery, which is a lot of juice, and it has two USB ports so you can charge two devices at the same time. If that's not enough, it has a digital readout that tells you exactly how much power you have left. Through our deal, you can get the  Limefuel Lite USB Battery Pack for $34.99, but there are only 6 more hours in this deal. If you want it, get on it.

Guest Pass for iOS 7 Allows Access to Your Wi-Fi Network Without Revealing the Password

2:22 PM EDT, Aug. 20th, 2014 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

The Guest Pass app page sums it up: "Do you share passwords with people to join your Wi-Fi network on a regular basis? Guest Pass makes this easy. Just fill out the simple questions in Guest Pass and e-mail the resulting Guest Pass without ever leaving the app. Users receive an attachment that they tap [iOS] or click [OS X], and the next time they are near your network, their iPhone, iPad, or Mac will automatically connect. You can also set expiration dates so the settings will be deleted [from] the device on the expiration date." The way it works is that a special, encrypted configuration file is sent to the recipient who must be using iOS 5 or later or OS X 10.7 or later. The recipient will never see your network password.  You can set an expiration date, but if you want to provide  semi-permanent access, you set set an expiration in the far distant future. Using  Guest Pass provides finer control over who and how long access is allowed than the "Enable Guest Network" found in the Apple AirPort Utility.