iFixit’s Latest Tear Down: Obi Wan Kenobi’s Light Saber

1 hour, 58 minutes ago · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

iFixit's new product tear downs are amazingly detailed and offer great insight into how companies like Apple design their latest tech devices. For May 4th, however, they're going old school—as in long time ago in a galaxy far away—and dismantling Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi's light saber. What they found is that product design in the Star Wars universe, or at least that of death-wielding laser swords, is amazingly well thought out. There wasn't any need for specially designed tools, and even the Adegan crystal is easy to access. Thanks, iFixit, for showing us what's inside a Jedi's weapon of choice.

MGG 551: Syncing Happens More Ways Than One

12:17 PM EDT, May. 3rd, 2015 · John F. Braun & Dave Hamilton · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Mac Geek Gab Podcast

It's spring, and that means more time outdoors for a lot of folks, which means we need Wi-Fi. Your geeks talk about various outdoor Wi-Fi solutions, including some long range stuff that won't break the bank! Other questions answered include iCloud Drive vs. Dropbox, iCloud Family Sharing, managing multiple Photos libraries and mixing two channels of audio into one for your web conferences.

Scratching the Surface: Sapphire vs Glass Apple Watch

3:45 PM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

It's a tough decision. Pay more for an Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal. Or settle for Ion-X glass and hope it won't get too badly damaged over the next year. The fact is, people's wrists end up in the oddest places and can get banged about. Consumer Reports does the science and scratches the surface of this quandary.

How Big Would a 12-Inch iPad Be? See in This Video

3:17 PM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Unbox Therapy has posted a YouTube video comparing a theoretical 12-inch iPad to the current 9.7-inch iPad Air 2. The video is based on prototype cases from an unknown maker, and in my opinion, Unbox Therapy makes much too much of those cases. At best, a case maker might be able to get its hands on early test materials that may or may not go into a future iPad, but case makers don't a darned thing of what Apple is going to do. What's really valuable about this video comparison, however, is simply seeing just how big this much-rumored device might be. From that standpoint, seeing these prototypes compared to the iPad Air 2 gives us an excellent perspective on this possible form factor. Check it out.

{video} https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Xe3dN2uDE2M/mqdefault.jpg {/video}

PDFpen 7: All-Purpose PDF Editor for Mac for $56

2:55 PM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

PDFpen 7: All-Purpose PDF Editor for Mac for $56

PDFpen 7 is an excellent PDF editor from our friends at Smile Software. And thanks to our friends at Stack Social, we get to offer it to you at a discount! You can edit documents, store frequently-used signatures and images for reuse, block or erase sensitive information, export PDFs to Word format, and much more. Through our deal, you can get this great software for $56, a 25 percent discount.

How Smart is a Smarthome That Has to Phone Home?

2:10 PM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · Editorial

Smart home/Internet of Things devices sound great, and they are. But what happens if something goes wrong and it's outside of your control? Are you worse off than you were before your house got "smart"? Kelly had an incident this week that got her thinking about it.

Apple Watch, Sport Ship Dates Pushed to July

1:21 PM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Shipping times for new Apple Watch orders are now reaching out to July for the 42mm Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport. Apple has been working to get pre-orders from April 10 out to customers, but so far hasn't been able to catch up enough to see quicker ship dates for new orders.

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 →

Looks like Apple hasn't gotten those Apple Watch parts supply issues under control yet.

Grooveshark Shuts Down: We Made Serious Mistakes

11:33 AM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

The online music sharing service Grooveshark has official shut down following a long fight with record labels over licensing rights. The company made it easy for users to share music, but didn't ever get the rights to host the files on its servers. It's demise came along with an admission that "serious mistakes" 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 →

Sharing music on the Internet without licensing doesn't end well. Just ask Grooveshark.

Tesla Wants its Batteries to Power Your Home

10:07 AM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Tesla, the company known for its high tech electric cars, wants to power your home with its just announced Tesla Energy wall mounted rechargeable battery system. Tesla Energy can be charged via solar panels, through traditional power grids, or combinations of charging sources.

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 →

Tesla is serious about finding ways to make our power usage more environmentally friendly, and its new Tesla Energy project is a perfect example of that in action. How long before we hear about Apple adding Tesla Energy to its own green power production plans?

Apple’s Beats Unveils New Ad Featuring Marcus Mariota

8:50 AM EDT, May. 1st, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · News

Beats has released its latest video, titled "Ohana" and featuring University of Oregon (now Tennessee Titan) quarterback Marcus Mariota with narration by his friends and family.

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 →

Beats made this deal - and video - relatively quickly considering Mariota hadn't even announced he was headed to the draft until mid-January and the video came out before he was drafted, so Beats thought he was worth investing in no matter what team he played for.

Russian Politician Wants Apple’s U2 Album Giveaway Investigated as Gay Propaganda

8:17 PM EDT, Apr. 30th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Songs of Innocence Cover

Russian politician Alexander Starovoitov, a member of the rightwing LDPR party, is accusing Apple of distributing pro-gay propaganda to minors with its U2 album giveaway. That's the same album—The Age of Innocence—giveaway that was a thing back in September of 2014, but a new version of the album cover has homophobes in Russia freaking out that they might catch teh gheys, and they want Apple punished.

Apple Store App Update Adds Apple Watch Support

7:00 PM EDT, Apr. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

If taking your iPhone out of your pocket to make an Apple Store purchase is just too much work, Apple has you covered with a new Apple Store app update. The update added support for Apple Watch so you can check up on your orders and more from your wrist.

Apple Invites Developers to App Analytics Beta

6:48 PM EDT, Apr. 30th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Apple and Developers

Apple began inviting developers participate in a beta program for App Analytics, an other unannounced service that gives developers more information about how and how often their customers are engaging with their apps. The invitation was posted to Twitter by developer Ryan Hoover, and is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Interactive Coding Bootcamp: $39

3:28 PM EDT, Apr. 30th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Ruby on Rails, Node.js, e-commerce, databases

Here's a bundle of training courses designed to get make you a job-ready developer. HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, and frameworks like AngularJS. Ruby on Rails, Node.js, e-commerce, databases, and more. It's a lot of content packed into more than 33 hours of video tutorials. Check out the deal page for details.

Taptic Engine Issues Behind Apple Watch Shipment Delays

11:51 AM EDT, Apr. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

The delays in shipping Apple Watch pre-orders looks to be tied one supplier's defective Taptic Engine parts. AAC Technologies Holdings reportedly delivered large numbers of the vibrating motors that are failing, leaving Nidec as the only part supplier able to get reliable parts to Apple.

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 →

A single part supplier can unintentionally cause all kinds of headaches for a product launch, and that's what happened with AAC's Taptic Engine parts. The upside is that Apple caught the issue before shipping defective Apple Watches to customers.

Japan Postal Workers Team with Apple, IBM to Monitor the Elderly

10:33 AM EDT, Apr. 30th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple and IBM are partnering with Japan's postal service to help monitor the welfare of elderly people in the country by using iPads. The partnership will enhance Japan's service where postal workers check in on elderly people along their routes by using iPads running IBM software.

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 →

People are living longer, which means caring for our elderly population is becoming more important. Assuming the partnership with Japan Post, Apple, and IBM proves successful, the iPad could become a big part of that in Japan and other countries, too.