Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to Lightning cables: buy 'em cheap because they don't last, and pay for quality so they will last. I'm in the latter camp. I hate buying cheap cables knowing I'll have to replace them once they break, usually at the point where the connector connects to the actual cable. Apple's own cables fit in that not-good-enough category, and that's why I often post deals, product announcements, and Kickstarters for cables wrapped in metal, nylon, kevlar, and other materials. Which brings me to LUX Cables, MFi-certified cables on Kickstarter with, "thicker wire gauge (20 AWG), metal encased tips and braided with nylon." They blew past their modest funding goals, and there's still 36 days to help fund the project and get one of these 2-meter cables for US$17.
Apple is now selling the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack. This is the device that turns your iPhone into a virtual reality viewer in the vein of Google Cardboard. Only it's not made of cardboard, it's made of plastic. It's designed to work specifically with View-Master reels you buy from the App Store, but as mentioned, it works with any Google Cardboard content. It also comes with a sample reel. Apple began selling it earlier this week, which reminds me of Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that virtual reality was interesting during the company's Q1 quarterly conference call. Apple is also building its own virtual reality team. It's easy to imagine that selling the View-Master device is part of Apple's information-gathering process. In any event, it's $29.99, making it an inexpensive way to get a quality viewer.
The Beyond Ink Pen is a clever device: part pen, part stylus, part USB drive, and part iPhone charger. Really. It has an ink reserve for the ballpoint pen, and the tips can be switched out so you can use it as a stylus. It also has a 16GB UB drive built into it—lift the cap to plug it in. But the best thing is that they crammed in a 1000mAh battery for giving your iPhone an emergency charge of up to five hours of talk time. Oh, and it has a built-in Lightning cable (MicroUSB model available, too) for charging. It sounds like something Q would be pleased with. Through our deal you can get Beyond Ink Pen for $49, a discount of 30 percent.
Simon Pierro has a new iPad magic video involving peanuts and a chimp. Mr. Pierro has been doing magic shows using iPads as props for some time, but there's something about the simple curiosity of the chimp that is compelling in a whole new way. And then...well...the end. Enjoy!
Remember Steve Jobs, the film written by Aaron Sorkin starring Michael Fassbender? There was a lot of hype about the film, some controversy, and high expectations, but it fizzled at the box office. It's available on iTunes now, though, which I'm a little surprised at (and pleased about) because Apple's leadership disliked the film sight-unseen (the people who worked with Mr. Jobs early in his career were generally pleased with the film). You won't find it being promoted on iTunes, but it is available at $14.99 (for either the HD or SD versions).
What is Apple's mission? You might be surprised to know that Apple doesn't have a mission statement. Bryan and Jeff talk about whether or not this matters and what it says about Apple. They also talk about the relationship between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
Check out Size-Up for Mac, a utility designed to make organizing and managing open windows on your Mac a little easier. We have a deal on it today for just $4.99, more than half off retail. Check out the deal listing for more info.
Frodo lives! This was once a rallying cry on college campuses in the 1960s and 1970s. It's a curious concept, of course, because Frodo's continued existence at the end of The Lord of the Rings isn't in question. Maybe it's an existential exploration of immortality as expressed in the form of Valinor? It's either that or something that made sense to hippies under the influence of mind-altering and expanding substances. But I digress. A lot. The screenshot included with this article is from malware called Q FRODO.COM, a malware relic of the 1980s. How do I know that? It's part of The Malware Museum, a collection of malware from the 1980s and 1990s. Flick on any given example, and a fresh DOS emulator is started in your browser, the malware is loaded, and you can see it run its all is DOStacular glory.
Check out Luminid, a MFi-certified Lightning cord lights up the moment you touch it. Once you plug it in, the light turns off. Cool, right? We have a deal on 40-inch long Luminid cables for $9.99, half off the regular price.