Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
There's a Kickstarter project called f.lens that I find interesting. It's a lens designed to focus the LED light on the back of your smartphone while you're using it as a flashlight. It sticks to your device via magnets, making it easy to put it on and take off—it also means it works with a variety of devices. We've seen a lot of lenses for photography, but this is one of the first devices I've seen designed to help light going the other way. The video below shows it in action. The company doing this did an earlier Kickstarter project that met its goal and shipped—they have details on this project's listing. Funding options that will net you an f.lens start at €19 (US$21.54).
General Michael Hayden has a simple message for FBI Director James Comey: stop obsessing over content and focus on metadata. The former director of the NSA and the CIA said that unbreakable encryption is inevitable, unstoppable, and that the worst thing that could happen to the United States would be a successful effort to outlaw such technologies in this country. Bryan Chaffin digs in.
This 64-bit driver kit from iFixit has all the regular screwdriver bits you might need, but it also has multiple Torx and Torx Security bits, Pentalobe bits (like Apple uses), JIS bits, Tri-points, and more. It comes with its own driver, and there's sorting tray built into the lid. I've bought a couple of toolkits from iFixit, and I love them. We have a deal on this one for $34.95.
Taylor Swift has a new commercial out for Apple Music. Apple hasn't posted it to YouTube as of this writing, but Ms. Swift posted it to Twitter. In the spot, she revels in having a quiet night alone and proceeds to dance on furniture while singing along to The Darkness's "A Thing Called Love." Like one does. Fortunately, she's her usual adorkable self and it works. The spot ends with the tagline "Dance like no one's watching."
General Michael Hayden gave an interview on the inevitability of unbreakable encryption, and his message to law enforcement was simple: "Get over it." Bryan and Jeff dig into that and Apple's Siri as compared to Amazon Echo and Microsoft's Cortana. They talk about different ways Apple can use our data to make our services better.
Check out Flipbook Pro for Mac, software that turns your images and PDFs into an HTML5 digital book. It comes with templates and dynamic scenes, add links, images, music, charts, and other features to your pages, and you can publish your Flipbook as a WordPress Plugin, Joomla or Drupal module. This software retails for $299, but you can get it through us for $49.
Remember that thing Disney pulled from Apple TV? Disney Infinity? It was seen as a black spot on Apple TV's reputation, but Disney canceled the entire project Tuesday, and announced it was exiting the console gaming market altogether. It turns out it was never about Apple TV.
Check out this video Adam Christianson at MacCast found for us. It shows how to remove the yellowing that occurs on vintage computer cases (like a Mac Plus from 1989). If you have a vintage Mac, you know that yellow. The cases turn a specific shade of yellow-brown, and after a while you forget it was gray, or even platinum, when it shipped. YouTube user 65scribe restores them using a solution of peroxide, xanthan gum, glycerine, an oxygen-based stain remover, and the power of sunlight. I'm not sure all those chemicals are easily available in the States (there's some discussion about that in the comments of this three year old video), but you'll be amazed at the results.
Apple posted a new commercial to YouTube called Thank You Speech. It features the awesome Neil Patrick Harris primping in front of the mirror and asking Siri to read his Notes.app note called "Thank You Speech." He mouths along with her, confident that he will, of course, receive whatever award he's expecting. It's cute, charming, and funny. More importantly, though, it shows Apple is getting more serious about promoting Siri's ability to get (some) data from the apps on your iOS device. And well Apple should be serious about that as competing technologies take the lead in perceived abilities. Let's hope Apple is even more serious about advancing Siri even further. In the meanwhile, I love this spot.