It's almost Halloween, so of course something with "Headless" in the title is attention-getting. NewerTech has announced a new video adapter, the Headless Mac Video Accelerator. If you have a Mac that runs in "headless" mode (meaning without an attached monitor), when you do have to log in for something, all of the video rendering is done by the CPU; since there's no monitor connected the graphics card doesn't get used. This is why headless Macs feel even slower than they actually are, with the CPU doing all the rendering on top of regular tasks it really starts to lag. NewerTech's adapter is basically a mini DisplayPort plug that goes nowhere, but causes the computer to think a display is attached, triggering the video card so now remote logins are more responsive. It's available now from OWC for USD $19.99, and works with all Mac Pro models from Early 2009 on through the mid-2010 (the latest model before the revised black cylinder), and Mac minis from June 2010 up to the late 2012 model.
Prompt 2 is version 2 of a very good looking, easy-so-use SSH client for iOS. It's from Panic Inc, the people who brought us the excellent Transmit FTP client. As the website says, "Restart your server from a coffee shop. Fix a web page from the back of car..." Version 2 has several new features, notably Panic's sync across devices, iOS 8 compatibility, stored text in "clips", private keys, and easier switching between multiple connections. Sysadmins who must be able to access their servers remotely, securely and with first-class software will want to have this on every iOS device. Best of all? It's only $10.
Lucas Menge has put together an amazing mockup of what the Apple Watch interface might look like if it was brought to the iPhone. In addition to posting a video to YouTube (below the fold) demonstrating the concept, he posted source code to GitHub (via TechCrunch). The video shows how one could use the interface to browse your apps, zoom in and out of all those icons, and launch apps, too. In addition, he also used the increased screen size of his iPhone to add text labels for each icon, something left off the Apple Watch in the preliminary looks Apple has given us. It's very cool and makes you think about what might be coming down the pike from Cupertino.
Check out Spoolee, a clever product raising money on Kickstarter. The short version of Spoolee is that it's a soft spool you can wrap your earphones—any earphones or earbuds or EarPods or whatever—around. When you want to use them again, slip Spoolee on your finger and unspool your earphones like a rip chord. It's pretty simple, but the video below has shows precisely how it works. Funding options that get you a Spoolee start at $9. Higher funding options let you get more Spoolees, The company is trying to raise $8,000, and already has $6,433, with 35 days to go.
Over at designboom we get a look at another use for the slightly-less-than-current hardware: Furniture! Klaus Geiger couldn't find it in his heart to forsake these aluminum beauties, and found a way to keep them around. After scooping out the insides (and in some cases creating drawers), he added some wood or some glass and ended up with some really nice looking pieces. I love the wood and metal combinations, and having one of the wheeled carts would be super useful at my house. It's also really nice to see the office furniture made of old towers. I have to give props to Klaus for finding another use for these machines, even though the insides are not so useful, the outsides are still very pretty.
David Petersen's Mouse Guard is a series of wonderfully told and illustrated stories that follows the adventures of mice sworn to protect their realm and all who pass through, and now Alice Finch hopes to imortalize them in the form of LEGO minifigs. Just to be clear: LEGO minifig Mouse Guard. As they say, OMG. Bricks of Mouse Guard will include minifig mouse heads in gray, brown, reddish brown and tan, along with The Black Axe, Trisam's flagon, Lieam's sword, Kenzie's staff and lantern, and Aynslee's flagon. Alice is a master LEGO builder, and her work is truly impressive. I can't wait to see her Bricks of Mouse Guard in the flesh — or plastic. There's still 30 days left in the Kickstarter, so there's still time to hit the US$15,000 goal and stretch goals, too.
Apple has announced a smartwatch we'll get to see next year. Google has released Android Wear to create Android powered smartwatches, and Samsung has one too. When you think of big tech companies, the only one left who hasn't gotten in on the action is Microsoft. Well Owen Williams took a crack at designing it, and I think he got pretty close to what Redmond would theoretically release. I think it'd be four quadrants of color like a Windows logo, but otherwise I think he nailed it. I think it would be called the Microsoft Windows Mobile Wearable Edition For Wrists (since Microsoft is just at good at naming as numbering). See it below:
If Microsoft made a smart watch…. pic.twitter.com/NKRRVK4bbA— Owen Williams (@ow) October 20, 2014
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on a major charm offensive in China by giving a 30 minute interview where he answered everything in Mandarin Chinese. That was clever, for sure, but even more clever was posting a video of the interview to Facebook. The interview was at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where the university announced Mr. Zuckerberg was joining its School of Economics and Management Advisory Board. Again, clever. As noted by Wired, Facebook is banned in China—and boy, oh boy, did his Mandarin performance have this particular crowd wrapped around Mr. Zuckerberg's finger. Clearly he's taking a long view on entering the world's largest market, and this was a smart step in that campaign. Wired also noted that Mr. Zuckerberg learned Mandarin in 2010 as that year's self-improvement goal. I'd love for any Mandarin speakers to offer up their thoughts on his performance in the comments. The full video is available on Facebook and may require Flash.
Apple posted the full video for its "It's Been Too Long" media event, which was held Thursday, October 16th. The company announced iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iMac with Retina 5K display, new Mac mini models, launch dates for Apple Pay, the release of WatchKit SDK, and the release of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1. It has a running time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 8 seconds, and it's embedded below.
Jonathan Mann releases a song a day on his YouTube channel. You may remember him from the iOS Autocomplete Song, and today we get a new tune from him about yesterday's Apple Event. Titled "Chairman Honeycrisp," Jonathan calls out some of the highlights of the day's event. We get code names, an autocorrect fail, and a catchy chorus for humming the rest of the day. He does this every day, so if you don't like this one, you can always try again tomorrow or browse the archives.
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