If you've been holding out for a lower price before buying a 5K Retina iMac, today is your lucky day. Apple just added the high resolution Mac to its refurbished product store, and picking up the base Intel quad-core i5 model with 8GB RAM and 1TB Fusion Drive will set you back US$2,119, or $380 off the standard $2,499 price tag. Buying one with 16GB RAM costs $2,299, or $2,339 for 8GB RAM and a Core i7 processor, both of which are still below the stock machine cost. You can check out all of Apple's 5K Retina iMac deals at the company's retail site refurbished product page.
Thanks to the the magic of remote control drones and arial photography, The Mac Observer has a new shot showing the construction progression on the outer ring of Apple's spaceship campus in Cupertino. The shot from earlier this week comes to us through our intrepid aerial drone pilot who braved the traffic and air space around the construction site, and we think the results are fantastic. Apple plans to finish construction next year and we're looking forward to bringing you more sky shots along the way.
In Colombia, there's been a civil war going on for more than 50 years between the government and a group that wishes to bring about a Marxist revolution. As a result there have been thousands of people kidnapped and held hostage in the Colombian jungle. Colonel Jose Espejo had retirement on the horizon, but wanted to rescue as many hostages as he could before he left. He called his "idea man," advertising executive Juan Carlos Ortiz, the first Colombian to win a gold Lion (the Oscar of commercials). Over time they hatched a plan to get a covert message to those hostages. Specifically the message was "19 people rescued, you're next. Don't lose hope." Eventually the two men found a terrifically clever way to get this message delivered and ultimately help more hostages get released. Spoiler: It involves a snappy beat and Morse code. You can read the full story at The Verge, and even get a chance to experience the message yourself. It's a fascinating tale and I'm glad it was declassified so it could be shared.
Apple is working on a companion app for Apple Watch that will help users manage the device from their iPhone or iPad. Mark Gurman posted images of the app at 9to5Mac, and those images show an app that allows users to reorder the apps on their Apple Watch, manage settings, control fitness tracking, and manage accessbility functions. Another interesting tidbit is that users will only be able to use Apple Watch for Apple Pay transactions if they have entered their passcode or fingerprint on their iPhone after they place the Apple Watch on their wrist. If the Apple Watch is removed, Apple Pay will not be accessible. Check out the full article for more screenshots.
Apple added a new section to its App Store called Games for Kids that makes it easier to find child-friendly games for your young iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch user. Games are grouped by age, and many don't include in-app purchases. The Kids Games section groups titles for kids aged five and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11. You can find games from LEGO, Sesame Street, Disney, and more. You can even download the free ebook Family Time with Apps explaining how to more effectively manage the time kids spend playing on their iOS device.
NASA has a wonderful new project related to the Kepler mission. Kepler's mission is to find other human-habitable planets, and some of those potential planets are part of the Exoplanet Travel Series, which means they received the vintage travel poster treatment, and look amazing. Here's the best bit: These are freely downloadable and amazingly high quality and you are welcome to print them yourself and hang them on the wall. All three are lovely, go check them out. (Via Engadget)
In the long and storied history of They Might Be Giants we've seen quirky songs, a couple of TV show themes and even further back, there was the "always free, often busy" Dial-A-Song. Sadly Dial-A-Song starting having physical issues with the actual answering machine, and eventually got disconnected in 2008. However it's back now, having made its triumphant return in the first full week of 2015. Every Tuesday in 2015 songs will be posted at DialASong.com and even videos on YouTube. There's also a network of radio shows that will be playing them each week. If you can't wait till Tuesday, you can hear it on Slate's The Gist with Mike Pesca, released Monday nights. If what you loved about Dial A Song was making a phone call and hearing music, you still have Callin Oates to fill that need.
LAS VEGAS -- Cocoon already has several stylish products for on the go tech, and the company is expanding its lineup to include even more, like its new waxed canvas laptop organizer bag. Along with a padded laptop sleeve and built-in Grid-It gear organizer, the bag also includes a padded back and a padded lumbar compartment to hold your Beats headphones. TMO checked it out at CES 2015 and it lives up to Cocoon's well-earned design quality. Cocoon plans to ship the new bag in blue, black, and green soon for under US$80.
LAS VEGAS -- Griffin Technology is hoping to make our lives a little easier with its new USB to Lightning cable for the iPhone and iPad that sports a reversible USB Type A connector. Along with a plug you can't insert upside down into a USB port, the new cable is coated in braided fabric for added durability, and includes reinforced points where the plugs connect to the cable wires. It also comes in three colors to match your iPhone or iPad. Griffin showed us the cable at CES 2015 and said it will be available soon for about US$30. A durable Lightning sync and charge cable with a USB connector that's always right side up? Yes, please.
Normally a commercial wouldn't be a big deal around TMO Towers, but I've applied for an exception so I can tell you guys about this one. It's a State Farm Insurance ad, and it is a bit different than the ones that feature classic Saturday Night Live characters. This ad was released today, Elvis Presley's 80th birthday, and features a variety of Elvises including my younger brother. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just tell you that he's the one who brings it home. It's a 30 second ad, so click on through and amuse yourself. Maybe if it's popular enough my brother will have a steady gig Elvising for State Farm ads. Enjoy!
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