Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]

Making of Reel for Game of Thrones Offers Amazing Glimpse at Special Effects

6:03 PM, Jul. 10th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

The special effects wizards who put the realism into HBO's Game of Thrones (loosely inspired by George R. R. Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire) have put out an amazing video. The Making-of Reel for Season 4 of the popular series shows just how good these folks are at adding special effects that don't seem in any way to be special effects. It's a remarkable video that shows just how far this industry has come—I'm looking at you, obviously CGI Legolas on the back of an obviously CGI troll. In any event, it's so frakking cool, so check it out. [Via IGN via Melissa Davis (@TheMacMommy).]

Take Better Photos & Video With The KICK for $149

4:58 PM, Jul. 10th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The KICK and its App

Today's deal could also be a Cool Stuff Found mention. It's called The KICK, and it's a smartphone-sized bank of LED lights you can use for lighting your scene for photos and videos. That's cool by itself, but The KICK can be controlled from your iPhone or Android device. You can control color, brightness, and a variety of built-in "effects" settings to help you get the perfect shot. It's rechargeable and mountable on a tripod. There's a video on the deal page showing it in use, along with more details. Through our deal, you can get it for $149.

Apple Claims Its Carbon Footprint Shrank 3% from 2012 to 2013

10:02 PM, Jul. 9th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Part of an Apple Solar Farm

Apple released its 2014 Environmental Responsibility Report on Wednesday, and in that report the company claimed that its carbon footprint shrank 3 percent from 2012 to 2013. This, despite strong growth in the company's sales, headcount, Apple Store locations, and just about every other aspect of the company's operations.

Amazon Tries to Woo Authors in Hachette Dispute

8:23 PM, Jul. 8th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Amazon vs. Hachette

Amazon is trying to woo authors in its ongoing dispute with book publisher Hachette by offering to let them have the full purchase price of Hachette-published Kindle ebooks. Wait, that's not exactly right. Oh, here it is: Amazon is floating this idea to a few authors through a letter that has leaked, but the retailing giant hasn't actually proposed it.

Pure Python Hacker Bundle: Master Python & Django Programming for $49

5:40 PM, Jul. 8th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Python Training

We have a great deal for anyone wanting to learn or improve their mastery of Python, the programming and scripting language. Through our friends at StackSocial, we have a complete bundle of Python training courses, including: Python For Beginners, Python, The Next Level (Intermediate), Learn Python, it's CAKE (Beginners), Learn Python Django From Scratch, The Ultimate Python Programming Tutorial, MatchMaker & Geolocator - Coding For Entrepreneurs, and Introduction To Bash Scripting & Python 101. That's a ton of training—some 50 hours of videos—for $49. If you bought them through retail channels, it would be $553. Have fun scripting.

Apple Plans July Opening for Basel Apple Store in Swiss Watch Home Turf

3:07 PM, Jul. 8th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Freie Strasse

Apple announced a July 12th, 2014 opening date for a new Apple Store in Basel, Switzerland. The country's third most populous city (195,000 people), Basel will be the site of the fourth Swiss Apple Store—and perhaps coincidentally, it's in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

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Bryan Chaffin thinks the choice of Basel was more than just demographics and opportunity—Apple wants to have a presence in the center of Swiss Watchland.

Apple Releases Video Showcasing Support for San Francisco Pride Parade

11:18 PM, Jul. 7th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Apple Pride Parade

Apple released a video on YouTube showcasing the company's support and involvement with the Pride Parade in San Francisco on June 29th. The video offers a hint of the corporate logistics involved in Apple's participation of the parade, and the company emphasized its corporate belief that "inclusion inspires innovation."

Last Call for the Name Your Own Price Summer Blockbuster Mac Bundle

7:26 PM, Jul. 7th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Name Your Own Price Summer Blockbuster Mac Bundle

There's just one more day left on the Name Your Own Price Summer Blockbuster Mac Bundle, a 10-app bundle for your Mac. This deal lets you name your own price to receive Tangerine, DiscLabel, and Syncmate Expert 5. If you pay more than the average price—which is $11.91 at this time—you'll also get Path Finder 6, Fantastical (winner of the TMO Editors' Choice Award), Flux 4, Gemini, Logoist, Tunes Cleaner, and MacX iPhone DVD Ripper. It's a great deal, but there's more. Not only does buying this bundle help support the developers and TMO, 10 percent of the profits go to a charity. And if you pay enough to make the Leader Board (currently starting at $100), you'll be entered to win an 11-inch MacBook Air. This deal expires on Tuesday morning.