Apple expanded its Twitter presence yet again with a new account offering support and tips for customers. @AppleSupport launched on Thursday and is already fielding questions about iOS, iPads, iBooks, and more. It's a verified account, so you know the advice is legit. Just be sure you don't include private information when tweeting to Apple because the support feed is public, which means anyone can see the questions you post.
IK Multimedia announced Tuesday mastering software for Mac and Windows called Lurssen Mastering Console. The release brings the tools released on iPad first to Mac and PC. Lurssen Mastering Console was designed to let you master audio tracks, "using a digital model of the chain and settings used byGavin Lurssen, Reuben Cohen and the team at multi-Grammy Award-winning Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles, CA." The software is available now for US$199/€199.99 from IK Multimedia.
Twelve South has been building a collection of matched dual-screen desktop (wallpaper) images. Recently, the third in the series was released. The company says: "At Twelve South, we have a passion for amazing images, beautiful visuals, and great design. We love seeing our collections – Fall in San Francisco and Scotland Vacation – on dual-screens around the world. For our third collection, we partnered with the amazing photographer, Scott Gordon, to capture the San Francisco Bay during the golden hours - that time before sunrise and sunset when the light is perfect for shooting. The resulting images are magical – we're thrilled to share them with you." The webpage has links to the three the collections and how to install them. Of course, these beautiful images can be used on single display if desired.
Watch the live stream of the testimony from FBI Director James Comey and Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell during a House Judiciary Committee hearing titled: "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy." the hearing is being streamed live on YouTube.
Apple has gathered together Sunday's Oscar winners and nominees on the iTunes Store for your convenience. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Animated Feature, and a catch-all category for More Winners. Oscar winners typically generate renewed interest in the rental and retail markets, and in each category, the Oscar-winner is singled out. Those pictures not already released are available for pre-order.
Mujjo announced a new line of leather cases for for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus called, appropriately enough, Leather Case for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. They're made from full grain leather, and the company said they also fit iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The company said it has a process for strengthening the edges of the case to offer better protection against damage. I just think they look good. They're priced €39.95 (US$44.16) for tan and black, and are available now.
Polaroid introduced a nifty gadget this week called Panorama Eyeball Head, a motorized mount that will spin your camera, iPhone, Android device, or D/SLR camera 360 degrees for smooth and even panoramic shots. It comes with a remote that allows you to control how fast it spins and how far. It has three fins to act as a standalone device, but it can also be mounted on a tripod or selfie stick (I can't imagine holding it steady at the end of a selfie stick, but that's neither here nor there). Polaroid hasn't added the device to its website yet, but it's on Amazon at $49.99—retail price is 89.99.
ABC has published its interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook on the topic of the government ordering Apple to create a backdoor into iOS. In the interview, ABC reporter David Muir asks asks a series of questions I consider slanted (against Apple's stance), but Mr. Cook lays out one of his most passionate arguments in defense of protecting privacy and security. He also explains (repeatedly) how Apple worked with the FBI on the device to get as much information from it and from iCloud data as possible. I recommend watching it in full.
Check out Atlas, a robot from Boston Dynamics. The company posted a promo video to YouTube that is the single most impressive example I've seen of how our robot overlords will eventually take over. Hopefully they will be nicer to us than the engineer demonstrating Atlas's abilities to adjust to a changing environment in the video. So human-like is this device that watching the tests/demonstration kicked my empathy into overdrive. Your mileage will likely vary. Atlas can navigate doors (!!) and difficult terrain (including snow, for goodness sake) using internal sensors, LIDAR, and some kind of "stereo sensors." It can also lift (with its knees) and handle those environmental changes I mentioned.
We've had a lot of intensely heavy news since the FBI's fight with Apple went public, and it seems like a good time for a moment of brevity. Enter Funny or Die, who asked themselves the question, what if we covered engineers like celebrities? It's a poignant joke, in my mind, and it's a question that's been tossed around in more highbrow circles for some time. I'm not sure we get any answers from this bit, but it's funny and entertaining. Enjoy!
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