World’s Largest Rube Goldberg Machine Lights Christmas Tree

· · Cool Stuff Found

I love Rube Goldberg machines, and according to Guinness World Records, we have a new largest one in the world. It was built by Latvian e-commerce company Scandiweb in (and for the people of) Riga. It’s purpose—aside from beating the world record—was to light a Christmas Tree. The video (below) is 4 minutes and 44 seconds, and most of it is the machine doing its absurdist thing. One of the things I like about this one is seeing the process. It’s an enormously long Rube Goldberg machine, but most of it consists of individual panels of multiple steps. Make the panels work and then “all” you have to do is worry about connecting those panels. One way or another, it’s a fun watch. Check it out. The link is to Guinness’s webpage for the record.

GoPower Plus Battery Space Gray Has Built-in Charging Cable

· · Cool Stuff Found

The Kanex GoPower Plus Batter Space portable battery. What I like about it is that it has a built-in charging cable. The main cable is a microUSB cable for Android users. But it comes with a Lightning adapter that slips over that microUSB plug, and both just tuck away in the body of the battery. It comes in Space Gray or Gold and has a capacity of 8,000mAh. It’s $59.95.

GoPower Plus Battery Space Gray Has Built-in Charging Cable

Why Some High-Profile Hires Don’t Thrive at Apple

· · Editorial

Apple Campus 1 (AC1)

Recently, a high profile executive, Yoky Matsuoka, left Apple for unknown reasons. Often, the temptation is to surmise that a departure of any given executive at Apple is a sign that Apple is losing interest in a particular technology. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, certain high-powered people have to leave for personal reasons. Or perhaps they just didn’t realize what they got themselves into and decide that the Apple culture isn’t for them. John explores the various scenarios based on his experience.

Nomad Leather MFi-Certified Charging Wallet: $49.95

· · TMO Deals

Nomad Leather MFi-Certified Charging Wallet

Check out the Nomad Leather MFi-Certifified Charging Wallet. It’s a wallet. A billfold, if you will. But in addition to holding credit cards and money, it has a built-in 2,400mAh battery in it for recharging your iPhone. It even has an integrated Lightning cable. Check the deal listing for more info and more pictures.

Setapp Brings Netflix-style Downloads to Mac Apps

· · Product News

Setapp monthly software subscription service for the Mac

Paying a monthly subscription to watch as many TV shows and movies as you want is a pretty good business model for Netflix, and MacPaw thinks it’ll work for software, too. The company’s trying that out with its new Setapp service where subscribers pay a monthly fee to get access to a growing list of apps from several developers.

Apple Music tops 20 Million Users

· · News

Apple Music hits 20 million subscriber mark

Apple Music just topped 20 million subscribers, only three months after hitting the 17 million mark. That’s a 15% increase, but Apple wants to see even more growth.

For Geeks Only: Hey Alexa, Tell Sonos to Play Stevie Wonder in the Kitchen

· · How-To

pile of sonos speakers with Amazon Alexa Dot front and center

Sonos and Amazon jointly announced their Alexa integration earlier this year and the world rejoiced. Voice control of your Sonos system is one of those holy grails. The integration is expected to be available at some point in 2017. But I’m an impatient geek so, while I’m waiting for official support to be available, I spent an hour yesterday getting this working using freely-available open-source tools. You can do this, too, and I’ll walk you through what you’re doing and how to get started.

PDFpen 8.3 gets MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

· · Cool Stuff Found

Smile’s PDFpen and PDFpen Pro gained Retina MacBook Pro Touch Bar support on Tuesday so users can edit documents with finger taps, and PDFpen Pro users can edit Table of Contents, too. PDFpen and PDFpen Pro are PDF document editing and creation apps. Users can add and remove pages from documents, edit text, and and remove images, create PDF forms, OCR scanned text, sync files via iCloud and Dropbox, and more. PDFpen 8.3 costs US$74.95 and PDFpen Pro 8.3 is priced at $124.95. The updates are free for version 8.x users.

PDFpen 8.3 gets MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

macOS: Archiving a Time Capsule

· · Quick Tip

This Quick Tip is about making a backup…of your backup. So if you’re super-paranoid about your file archives, you can make sure that your Time Capsule’s historical data is saved in multiple locations. Hey, where backups are concerned, we think paranoia is good, so come read all about it!

Apple Rolls Out Single Sign-on for Apple TV

· · News

Apple TV single sign-on goes live for Apple TV

Fourth generation Apple TV owners can finally use the single sign-on feature Apple showed off months ago. The feature went live on Tuesday, although some content providers are still missing, and it’s available only in the United States.

An Update on TMO’s Background Mode Podcast

· · News

John Martellaro at the Mic

Over the last year, The Mac Observer’s John Martellaro has aired over 60 episodes of his Background Mode podcast. This show has allowed listeners to hear the inspiring success story of many notable people in the tech industry. Here’s an update on the status of the show and a recap of some notable guests who have joined him so far.

Supreme Court Throws Out Apple’s $400M Win in Samsung Patent Fight

· · News

Apple v Samsung justice scales

Samsung’s legal persistence is paying off because the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday the electronics maker doesn’t have to pay Apple US$400 million for infringing on iPhone-related patents. More specifically, the court ruled Samsung owes Apple damages based on infringing components instead of the entire device.