Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
China is going to stick it to those Western tech giants dominating the Chinese desktop and mobile platforms, according to a local report. The country's communist government is backing development of a homegrown, though Linux-based, operating system to compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
TiVo has taken a big step into the world of cord-cutting with the introduction of TiVo Roamio OTA, a DVR for over-the-air (OTA) TV signals. With this device, cord-cutters can go back to the future and digitally record SD and HD broadcasts from local TV stations and watch them like they would with any other DVR. Cool, eh? TiVo Roamio OTA can record up to four programs at once, and it has a 500GB hard drive for up to 75 hours of recorded HD content. If you have a broadband connection, the device also has apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, "and more," plus it supports TiVo's own TiVo Stream for watching your recorded shows on other devices. It's a brilliant move that could allow TiVo to expand its business outside of the cable and satellite industries where it started. Better yet, the box is only US$49.99 (available exclusively at Best Buy starting in September). It also requires a $14.99 monthly subscription to function, which is where TiVo actually makes its money.
Check out the ioShutter SLR, a cable that connects your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and your Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Pentax, Samsung or Hasselblad SLR camera. The cable connects to your camera and your iOS device, where a dedicated app allows you to remotely control your camera without touching the camera. In addition to landscapes, cityscapes, and the like, where a still camera can be just what you need, ioShutter SLR also allows you to do time lapses. Depending on your camera, you can also control autofocus and do voice-activated shots (think selfies and group selfies). ioShutter SLR retails for $75, but you can get it for $29.99 through our deal.
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is just one of a ton of folks who have accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—we posted Apple CEO Tim Cook's public challenge last week—but his video has a higher production value than most. In fact, it's awesome. And funny, though we did note a distinct lack of ice in the ice bucket he poors over his head. But never mind, he challenged Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, TV personality Ryan Seacrest, and Chris Anderson from TED, and he had fun doing it. Mr. Gates didn't announce how much money he was donating, but then he never toots his own philanthropic horn, despite being the most prolific philanthropist since the word was invented. So, watch the video and consider donating some money yourself.
Coin, the company that makes the self-titled Coin credit card replacement, announced a beta program for 10,000 users willing to try Coin Beta. The program is designed to put the device through real-world testing while the final release of Coin Gold is pushed back to "spring 2015." Coin was originally supposed to launch in the summer of 2014.
What's better than a deal? A giveaway, of course, and that's what we have for you today. The Rebel Photographer Giveaway includes both a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR Camera and The Fantastic Photography E-Learning Bundle so you can take better pictures with it. The winner will receive the camera, a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Zoom Lens, a 16GB memory card, a card reader, a spare rechargeable battery, a tripod with a case, and a camera bag. That is a seriously cool package, so get to entering!
Apple released Keynote 6.2.2 on Thursday. The patch notes are particularly sparse, noting only that, "This update contains stability improvements and bug fixes."
Apple released iMovie 10.0.5 on Thursday. The patch notes say the update addresses unspecified iCloud and iMovie theater issues.
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.
Shares of Apple Inc. have maintained their position in record territory above US$100.30 per share, a record that had stood for almost two years. $AAPL ended Thursday at $100.58 per share. For those keeping score at home, that's a new record closing high.