Star Wars: The Force Awakens Tickets On Sale Now

9:17 AM, Oct. 19th, 2015 · by

Tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens are available today even though the movie doesn't hit theaters until December 18. That's two months away, which makes waiting a week or two from for an iPhone after pre-ordering seem like no time at all. The new movie picks up about 30 years after the Rebels big victory over the Empire as a new yet familiar threat emerges. The Force Awakens brings back Han, Leah, Luke, Chewie, R2-D2, C-3PO, Stormtroopers, and the Millenium Falcon. It also introduces new characters like Rey, Finn, Poe, and BB-8. The new theatrical movie poster is out, too, and I have a couple questions: Why isn't Luke there? And another Death Star? You'd think the bad guys would learn.


Scott Knaster Was on the Set of ‘Steve Jobs’ Film

8:40 PM, Oct. 16th, 2015 · by

Writer Scott Knaster was on the set of Steve Jobs during the filming of the 1984 unveiling of the original Macintosh. Shot at the Flint Center where the actual release took place, Mr. Knaster was allowed backstage. On Thursday he posted (via The Loop) photographs from that day and observations about his experience. In that this film is getting glowing reviews (from those who actually saw it), I found Mr. Knaster's thoughts a good read. Check it out.


Microsoft Will Pay up to $300 for a MacBook Trade-in on a Windows Laptop

6:41 PM, Oct. 16th, 2015 · by

Say you have a MacBook, be it an old or new MacBook, an Air, or a Pro. Microsoft will give you up to $300 for it if you trade it in for a qualifying Windows laptop made by most of the usual suspects (HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc.). Sure, that's probably a terrible price given that used MacBook models go for a lot more on Ebay, but at least it's 50 percent more than Microsoft will give you for a used Windows laptop. It's as if Microsoft itself wants to make sure the world truly understands Macs are worth more than PCs. Thanks for the assist? [Via The Loop]


Metal RPG Dice on Kickstarter

5:53 PM, Oct. 16th, 2015 · by

You might not know this about me, but I'm a tabletop and RPG nerd in addition to being a Mac geek. And I love dice. If you've listened to Apple Context Machine long enough you've heard me use RPG dice for choosing winners of a drawing, for instance. Speaking of dice, there's a Kickstarter project from Q-workshop for a set of metal Pathfinder dice (though really, you can use them any game), and they are cool. Full metal construction, engraved faces, engraved edges, and black paint to make them readable. This project has already met several stretch goals and unlocked bonuses and an optional copper set(!!). Funding options that get you a set of these dice start at $59 for March delivery.  Here's the promo video for the project. There's more info on the Kickstarter page.

Live GIF App Frees Live Photos From iMessage

8:55 PM, Oct. 15th, 2015 · by

As soon as I got my iPhone 6s, I started taking Live Photos. Once I had a few I started looking for ways to show them to other people. I quickly found that unless I was sending them over iMessage to other iOS 9 users, there was no way to share them. My first thought on the subject was that whoever first creates the app that lets me convert these in my iPhone instead of having to export them first is going to make all the money. I think I even said they should sell it for two dollars. Well someone listened, and now all you 6s users can share as an animated GIF or movie of your Live Photo. Using Live GIF you can convert to a far more shareable format, and even choose GIF or movie. You can save either one to your camera roll and share at will. As an added bonus, you can use Force Touch to get a menu for "Open Latest" which will automatically open your most recent Live Photo. From there you just pick if you want a GIF or a video and you're ready to go. So far it hasn't had any problems with any of my Live Photos and the movies and GIFs work fine in texts and Instagram. At last the tragedy of Live Photos being trapped in iMessage is finally at an end.

The Thrill of Driving with Tesla’s Autopilot System

2:45 PM, Oct. 15th, 2015 · by

Thanks to Google, Tesla (and even Apple), we've been reading a lot about autonomous (self-driving) cars. We're not there yet. But Tesla, right now, does have what's called Autopilot mode. You still have to be behind the wheel and in a fully functional driver's seat. It's part of Tesla's version 7.0 software and "ludicrous mode." Think of it as the ultimate in cruise control. Watch, in delight, as a Jalopnik driver takes a Tesla Model S out for a test run, navigating through heavy traffic, hands free. It's both "awesome and creepy." This may be the coolest tech thing you've seen this year. And the scariest.


Spacelife Jacket Inspired by Astronaut Spacesuit

2:10 PM, Oct. 15th, 2015 · by

After you get back from Space Camp, one thing you might want to look into is this jacket, inspired by the spacesuits U.S. astronauts use. Made of trilobal nylon oxford, it reflects light, maintains its flexibility over a wide temperature range and is water repellent. There is a built-in audio system, including a microphone, inside the hood and powered by Bluetooth. Audio controls, as with any good spacesuit, are on the sleeve. Included is the obligatory mission patch. Available sizes are M, L, XL and XXL. Be ready for an astronomical price of €1499.00.


Duet Display Turns iOS Devices into Additional Mac Monitors

9:52 PM, Oct. 14th, 2015 · by

Sometimes it would be really handy if you could just take the iPad that sits next to your computer and make it a second Mac screen. Thanks to some ex-Apple engineers, you can. Duet works on any Mac running 10.9 (or other computer running Windows 7) or higher, by installing a free app to enable your machine to connect to your iOS device. Then take an iOS device running iOS 7 or higher, and install the Duet Display app. Here's the catch: Buying the iOS app will set you back US$15.99 but it is universal so you only have to buy it once. If you already connect your iPhone or iPad to your laptop for charging or syncing, then Duet gives you a place to put your inbox, or your palettes, or whatever else doesn't quite fit on the laptop screen you have. Paired with a nice desktop stand or a Mountie, you can put that extra screen to good use (when it isn't streaming Netflix).