Recent Articles By Bryan Chaffin [RSS]
I went to the California World Guitar Show this past weekend (warning, that site blares music with no volume controls). In addition to more amazing guitars from the 1950s and 1960s than you can shake a stick at—check out this gorgeous 1963 Gibson SG or an amazing 1964 Firebird V— I saw a very clever device called Rockn Stompn. This is a power strip that conditions your power, something that's useful for live performances and studio recording alike. But that's not the clever bit. Rockn Stompn is also a power sequencer. The six plugs are arranged in three banks that will turn on in sequence. So you can have your pedal board plugged into the first bank so that it turns on first. Then a variable number of seconds later, the next bank turns on, and that's where you have you ramp plugged in. That means no popping. It's foot activated, so you can turn on everything (for multiple musicians) with just one stomp, and the delay for each bank is variable. It's very nifty. It's priced at $299, and is available at Amazon.
Apple significantly expanded the ranks of executives featured on its leadership page Friday. That page previously featured Apple CEO Tim Cook and the company's nine senior vice presidents, but now features an additional five vice presidents, all of whom report to CEO Tim Cook.
I don't know what's better about this video, Apple CEO Tim Cook having a bucket of ice poured over his head or the live soundtrack of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." It's all part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising effort to fight ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease). Famous folks have been challenging each other to either submit to a bucket of ice water or donate money to the ALS Association. At a recent Beer bash on the Apple campus, Michael Franti was performing when he mentioned that Phil Schiller had challenged Tim Cook. Mr. Cook asked the crowd of Apple employees which he should do, get dunked or pay up. He then said he was doing both, because he's awesome like that, and got dunked by Mr. Franti (who sang Ice Ice Baby"). Mr. Cook also publicly challenged Dr. Dre, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Michael Franti, the latter of which was dunked by Mr. Cook on the spot. Apple posted the video to its YouTube channel, and it's a great watch. Mr. Cook's expression in the frame i captured is priceless.
I know we have a ton of photographers in the TMO community, and today's deal is aimed at them. It's called the Fantastic Photography Bundle with seven in-depth photography training courses and 48 hours of instruction. The courses are, EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course: Advanced, Learn To Creating Stunning HDR Photos, iPhone Photography Secrets, The Art of Black and White Photography, Portrait Photography With Simple Gear, The Art of Travel Photography, and Photo Restoration with Photoshop Tutorial. Those area all killer training course, and they retail for $401. Through our deal, you can get the whole bundle for $49.
It's a sad day for the Mac world, as Dr. Bott LLC announced on Thursday that the company is shutting its doors and liquidating its inventory. Dr. Bott is a reseller that specialized in distributing Mac and iPhone accessories companies in addition to selling some of its own products.
Apple announced on Thursday that it is officially banning two toxic chemicals from use by its manufacturing partners around the world. Apple said that an investigation of 22 of its final assembly facilities that collectively employ nearly half a million people found no widespread use of benzene or n-hexane, but that it was "expressly prohibiting" its use anyway.
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 →
Banning these two chemicals is an important step towards protecting workers. The idea of someone getting nerve damage so that my iPad or iPhone can look great when I first open the box is a non-starter.
There's just one more day left on our deal for Lifetime Access To Over 5,000 Adobe Training Videos, which ends on Friday, August 15th. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, Premier...Adobe's powerful applications are de rigueur throughout much of the professional world. Learning how to use them, let alone learning how to make the most of them, has a steep learning curve, and Adobe likes to rewrite its own UI rules with each new version. Thanks to our friends at StackSocial, you can get lifetime access to more than 5,00 Adobe-Authorized training videos for just $79. That level of pass is usually $500, so if you're looking for the training, get on it.
We have a great deal for you today called the Award-Winning MacLovin' Bundle. It's eight award-winning Mac apps with a retail price of $861 that you can get for $39.99. Those apps are: Cinemagraph Pro, djay, NetSpot Pro, Keyboard Maestro, Hype 2, Dropzone 3, Moom, and Boom. Those are all high quality pieces of software, and they have all earned at least one award from magazine. If that's not enough, this bundle deal also includes a developer training course called The OS X App Masterclass. There's a lot of value in this bundle, and you have just under seven days to get it as of this writing.
Apple has posted a tribute to Robin Williams in the iTunes Store, one day after the tragic death of the comedian. The company has gathered 23 comedies and 16 dramas , from the World According to Garp, to Mrs. Doubtfire, to The Birdcage (one of my personal faves), to Popeye, most of the actors work is represented. Missing (that I noticed) is Mork and Mindy, the sitcom where he made a national name for himself. Season 1 of The Crazy Ones, his most recent show, which was canceled in May, is available, as is a live performance. I've seen a few comments suggesting Apple is "cashing in" by posting this tribute (thanks to @Rich_DS for the heads up), and that might be the silliest thing i've seen said about Apple in recent memory, and that's saying something. Companies offer tributes on the death of a popular music artist or actor all the time, and people like to remember those who have died. More importantly, the idea that the $200,000 to $1 million extra Apple could conceivably net from this tribute would matter to the company is absurd. If Apple had jacked up the price on Mr. Williams's movies, one might have a complaint (I saw a record store do that once). As it is, I would encourage anyone whingining about this to take some time out and re-examine their priorities.
Today's deal for TuneUp is going to help you clean up your iTunes library. TuneUp will fix mislabeled or missing song information (like "Track 01" or "Unknown Artist"), find missing cover art, find and removes duplicate music files, and deliver music videos, artist bios, concert alerts, social network integration, and more. This Mac and Windows app is usually priced at US$50, but through our deal you can get it for $19.95.