Apple rolled out another "Shot on iPhone 6" commercial this week, this one by Gabriela M. It features the song "Bugatti (feat. Pusha T)" by Tiga. This series of spots features gorgeous vignettes, all of which were shot on an iPhone 6. They are designed to show off what can be done with the device.
Exploring Mars isn't just for robots any more thanks to NASA's Mars Trek website. Mars Trek is a lot like Google Earth, but for Mars. You can explore craters, mountains, rover landing sites, and more all from your favorite Web browser. Mars Trek includes 3D and 2D map views, details about landmarks and other locations, animated fly by views, plus you can download files for 3D printers. Just to make sure you really understand that: You can print 3D models of the surface of Mars. If you're checking this out at work, we apologize in advance for the serious hit to your productivity.
The second spot in Apple's "If It's Not an iPhone, It's Not an iPhone" commercials is called Loved. Launched Thursday with Hardware & Software, Loved says: "This is an iPhone, and it comes with something different. 99% of people who have an iPhone...love their iPhone." The spot features photos and videos of people in various forms of joyful expressions being shown on iPhone screens. It's another good spot.
Apple launched a new series of commercials on Thursday with the tagline: "If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone." The company posted Hardware & Software to its YouTube channel, a spot that says, "unlike most smartphones, we design the hardware part and the software part. So the hardware part makes the most of the software part, and the software part makes the most of the hardware part. Yep. When you design the whole phone, all the parts work together as one amazing part. If it's not an iPhone, it's not an iPhone." This marks the first time I can recall Apple making its whole widget strategy a stated part of its marketing. I like this spot. A lot. That might mean it's preaching to the choir, but I'm hoping the message sinks in with consumers.
The GOgroove FlexSMART X3 Mini Bluetooth FM Transmitter with Hands-free Calling, Audio Playback, and USB Charging is a very good Bluetooth adapter/transmitter for your car. I've been testing one for a few weeks and it works as well as anything else, perhaps even a bit better than most. Amazon has been selling it for $49.99, which is half off its retail price of $99.99. That's not bad, but if you use the secret coupon code DEALMINI you get an additional $10 off, dropping your price to a historic low of $39.99. Oh, and, of course, shipping is free... but you better hurry 'cause this deal disappears on July 15.
Scheduled to ship in January, 2016, this Bluetooth handset is a replica of the original Star Trek communicator. It pairs with your smartphone, and it's full of features. According to the developer, the Wand company, it's "constructed from pressed metal, die cast metal, machined aluminum and textured ABS to replicate the original hero prop." Here's a summary of the specs from the product page: It has a magnetic stand with a metal base and has multi-color LED charge status lights. There's a built-in lithium polymer battery with wireless charging. It comes with a high quality molded polyurethane foam-lined transit case. Included is a speaker for hands-free calls, and it will play music streamed from any Bluetooth audio player. It can be yours for only US$149.95. (There's a link to be emailed when it ships.) Here at TMO, we're already drooling.
Ada Lovelace has the honor of being the first computer programmer thanks to her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine—the first programmable computer. Now she has the opportunity to come back to life, in a manner of speaking, as a LEGO Ideas project. The proposed kit includes Ada and Charles minifigs, the Analytical Engine, punch cards, plus a pet owl. The Analytical Engine opens and has space to hold a Raspberry Pi, so you can turn it into an actual computer, too. Like all LEGO Ideas kits that get produced, this one needs to hit 10,000 votes before it can be considered. Bonus: It's another cool way to recognize women in science.
Amazon released Cloud Drive for iPhone and iPad while we were off for the holiday weekend. Amazon Cloud Drive is the company's Dropbox competitor—Amazon Prime subscribers get unlimited photo storage and 5GB for videos and other files. The company also offers a $59.99 version of the service that gives you unlimited storage for everything. While most folks think of Amazon as a retailer, the company has also become a major provider of cloud services. Cloud Drive leverages Amazon's vast data center capacity. The iOS app supporting Cloud Drive joins existing apps for Mac, PC, Android, and Amazon's own Fire Phone. You can use it to view your files and folders, preview documents, play videos and music stored on your Cloud Drive, and share your files as links and attachments.
Meet Prince Harvey, a rapper from Brooklyn who recorded an entire album called PHATASS at the SoHo Apple Store—that stands for Prince Harvey at the Apple Store SoHo. The a capella recording was an effort born of necessity, as Prince Harvey had one laptop stolen and another failed. He was driven to record an album, and realized he could do a lot on the Macs at the Apple Store. With the help of two sympathetic employees who, he spent hours every day at the SoHo Apple Store for four months. He would save files to a thumb drive, email them to himself, or hide them in the trash, which as of this writing isn't emptied when the machines are reset every night. Brilliant move, Prince Harvey, brilliant! There's a couple of tunes on Soundcloud if you'd like to hear it yourself. There are additional details in The Daily Beast's story about the rapper.
There was a bit of line crossed this past week, as an electric car took the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. This is a race up Pikes Peak, where each competitor's time is compared to the others. By "rRace up Pikes Peak," Wikipedia says its 12.42 miles, with 156 turns, climbing 4,720 feet. And Rhys Millen did it in 9 minutes and 7 seconds (and change) in his eO PP03, a prototype electric vehicle. This is the first time an electric vehicle won the event, and while he set a new record for electric vehicles in the race, it's also the second fastest time behind the 8 minute and 13 seconds (and change) recorded in 2013 by Sebastien Loeb in a 2013 Peugeot 208 T16. Oh, and according to Mr. Millen, his car lost half its power before the halfway point in the race. And in case it need be pointed out, Apple is developing an electric car. This is the future. The video below shows the run, and it includes an interview with Rhys Millen at the end. Thanks to TMO member geoduck for the heads up on the BBC's coverage of the event.
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