Simon & Schuster released Walter Isaacson's new book The Innovators on Tuesday. This book builds on the research begun for his killer biography Steve Jobs, but takes a much broader look at the many innovator who took part in the creation of "tech" as we know it today. He begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. Which, come on, is cool. The book also looks at folks such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. From the publisher: "This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative." You can buy it on iBooks for US$8.99. Amazon has the hard back for $21.81 and the Kindle version for $8.49.
Many users of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are finding it impossible to re-link with Google Voice for voicemail. When entering in the classic **004*1[GV-Number]# sequence users are seeing a "Setting Registration Failed" message instead of the happy success note. Our testing leads us to believe this is a limitation of the new NFC-capable SIMs in the new iPhones. Regardless, Marcel Brown sorted this out and you have two ways you can enable Google Voice on your new phone. First is to call AT&T and have them set up "conditional call forwarding" for you, or you can set up the 3 big use cases all by yourself with some slightly different commands. "234567890" in Marcel's examples would be replaced with your Google Voice number, including area code:
- Call Forward if Unanswered: *61*1234567890#
- Call Forward if Unreachable: *62*1234567890#
- Call Forward if Busy: *67*1234567890#
Set all three of these and you're good to go. To check the status of these enter *#61#, *#62# and *#67# respectively. To deactivate, enter ##61#, ##62# and/or ##67#. Enjoy!
Kanex has released a clever product called GoBuddy+. This is a Lightning charging and sync cable for your iPhone or iPad built into a keyfob that also serves as a bottle opener. Come on, how cool is that? It's $24.95, it comes in black or white, and they make a version with a micro USB connector instead of Lightning for Android folks.
Feral Interactive announced Friday the release of GRID 2 Reloaded Edition for Mac. This is a racing game allows you to get behind the wheel of more than 70 "high-performance rides" in a series of "nerve-jangling events." The graphics are intense and amazingly realistic—if you like racing games, this is certainly one of the best on the Mac. GRID 2 Reloaded Edition for Mac is out now, and it's priced at US$44.99 on the Mac App Store. It's also available on Steam.
IK Multimedia launched iRig Pads, a portable MIDI groove controller for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It also works with your Mac and Windows PC. This is the kind of device you can use for activating loops, playing and creating beats, and any other kind of MIDI action. It features 16 velocity-sensitive backlit rubber pads, two assignable push buttons, two edit push buttons, a MIDI programmable slider, two MIDI programmable knobs, and a MIDI programmable pushbutton rotary encoder. It also supports both 30-pin and Lightning connectors, meaning it's compatible with iPhones back to iPhone 4, iPads back to the original iPad, both iPad mini models, and iPod touch back to 3rd gen. Oh, and it has a port for a expression pedal. It's priced at US$149.99 and is available now.
Apple offered iTunes customers another album for free Thursday night, though the company hadnled it a tad differently from the Great Apple-U2 Tyranny of 2014. It's a 4-song EP called 4: John Paul George Ringo, with one song from each Beatles member's solo career. For you younguns, The Beatles are a band even older than U2. The EP contains "Love," by John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, "Call Me Back Again," by Wings (Paul McCartney's band), "Let It Down," by George Harrison, and "Walk With You," by Ringo Starr. It's free for a limited time, but you'll have to go and download it from iTunes yourself.
On the back cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine* is an ad for the new iPhone models. It's labeled "Actual Sizes," showing off how big the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus actually are. I took a photo of the ad with my iPhone 5s next to it, also shown actual size (compared to the other two). I'm not sure where else the ad will be appearing, but with nearly 1.5 million subscribers, that's a lot of people who could be getting a good look at the new devices for the first time. Clever move to make them actual size, the first thing I did was set my phone on each one for comparison. Well played, Apple.
* Magazines are like blogs from the olden days, printed on paper and mailed to people.
With reports (Google Translation) popping up claiming Apple's new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus can get bent just by being in your pocket, YouTube channel UnboxTherapy did a bend test on the device. There's no sense beating around the bush about it, either, because Lewis bent it. With his hands. His bare hands. It required a lot of effort, but he did it. he was focusing his efforts on the middle, but it turned out that it bent in the area near the buttons. That makes sense in hindsight, because the spot with the holes is going to be the weakest point in the case. It also matches the bends that are showing up from people complaining about bends from their pockets. Note that the device continued to work even after it was bent, but at the very least, this is an argument against keeping the beast in your pocket, even it it fits. Also, Apple could have a problem on its hands.
Apple has posted two new commercials to YouTube for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus starring Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and pop superstar Justin Timberlake. The first is called Huge, which focuses on the large screens on both devices. The second is called Cameras and talks about the new lenses, slow-motion videos, time-lapse videos, and image stabilization. Here are both commercials, in full.
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