Feral Interactive announced this week that Sid Meier’s Railroads for Mac (originally Railroad Tycoon back in the day) is now available on Steam. This isn’t a new game—and it’s been available on the Mac App Store for years—but I love Railroads. Plus, a lot of Mac gamers are Steam users, so I’m mentioning it. Railroads was also updated on the Mac App Store. In addition to some unspecified bug fixes, the update removes support for Apple’s Game Center and Game Ranger. I’d love to see a new version of Railroads come out, but seeing Feral’s Steam announcement immediately got me playing the game again. It appeals to many of my inner nerds. It’s $17.99 on the MAS, but only $9.99 on Steam.
Macotakara found what claims to be an iPhone 8 case on the shopping site Alibaba, so they ordered one to see how it compares to size-wise to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The case matches the rumors and leaks we’ve already seen because it’s slightly too big for the iPhone 7 and just a little too small for the 7 Plus. Odds are the case was designed based on leaks and not Apple’s actual design specifications, so it may not fit an actual iPhone 8. That said, the video they made makes it easy to visualize about how big the phone will be.
Apple launched a new video called “Earth Day 2017 — Does my iPhone believe in reincarnation?” It’s part of the cartoon series the company started on Earth Day earlier in May, but this one takes a look at Liam. That’s Apple’s purpose-built recycling robot that pulls iPhones apart so the components can be reused. I like this series of environmentally-themed cartoons. They’re fun, interesting, and informative. Lisa Jackson, Apple Vice President Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, tweeted the video Thursday.
Apple released firmware update version 3.7.2 for AirPods Wednesday. There are no patch notes for the update, but the educated guessensus is that it’s a performance and stability release. The release was first spotted by German site Macerkopf.de (via iDownloadblog). You can download the firmware update via your iPhone with your AirPods in their charging case. Your charging case will need to be plugged into a power source.
London newspaper The Telegraph published a quickie biography of Steve Jobs on Wednesday. The 2,100 piece is titled, “Who was Steve Jobs? Tech trailblazer and co-founder of the Apple empire.” It’s an in-depth piece for a newspaper article, but it’s still a short look into a person like Steve Jobs’s entire life. It’s probably perfect for someone who’s curious about Steve Jobs, but hasn’t delved deep into all things Apple. Accompanying the written piece was a 93 second video that runs through Steve Jobs’s career with slides, information, and other highlights. Again, there’s little new for hardcore fans, but both the article and the video are excellent primers for anyone who’s been curious about the late Steve Jobs.
OK, Game of Thrones fans, war is nigh. HBO released the trailer for Game of Thrones Season 7, which will first air on July 16th, 2017. The show outpaced the books during Season 6, leaving many fans all the hungrier to know what happens. Judging by the trailer, what happens is war, war, battles, dragons, war, and a side of war thrown in just for fun. In fact, the closing line of the trailer is, “The great war is hear,” and if I’m not mistaken, it’s one Jon Snow saying it. But hey, I could be wrong. Enjoy!
Apple Music bought the rights to Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story, a documentary about Sean “Diddy” Combs and his record label, Bad Boy Records. The film was debuted at the Tribecka Film Festival earlier this year, and Apple Music subsequently bought the rights to it. The focus of the film is a reunion show with The Bad Boy Family, the original group of artists that launched with Bad Boy Records. According to the Tribecka Festivail, “the film also looks back to trace the label’s emergence in Harlem and Brooklyn, it’s meteoric rise, the tragic killing of Biggie Smalls, and the lasting influence on music, fashion, marketing and culture.” Note Apple executive Jimmy Iovine’s brief appearance in the trailer. The film debuts exclusively on Apple Music on June 25th, 2017.
3D printing is poised to be affordable by a lot more people, and there’s a project on Kickstarter speaking to this trend. It’s called Neva, and it’s a $399 3D printer from established 3D printer manufacturer Dagoma. Actually, there are $299 Early Bird pledge level available as of this writing that will net you a Neva, but the retail price for the device is set at $399. In addition to being inexpensive, it’s designed to be operated with just one button. They’re also made in California, and the bases themselves are 3D printed. The video below is a tad weird in that the narrator tells you lots of things and then says, “but we won’t” tell you that thing. It’s interesting anyway. The project blew past its funding goal of $50,000 in a few hours (earning more than $10,000 in pledges while I wrote this Cool Stuff Found). That speaks to the desire that many people have to be able to 3D print on their own desk.
Check out this amazing time-lapse video of the Sisyphus 1, a living zen, kinetic, sand art coffee table. It was crowd funded on Kickstarter in 2016, where it raised US$1.9 million from 1,992 backers. MentalFloss noted Monday that the company—Sisyphus Industries—has a commercial website in development while it finishes ramping up production capability for the device. The premise is captivating. The table has a bed of fine sand under glass. A steel ball is controlled by a mechanism underneath the sand. That mechanism uses magnetism to push the ball in intricate patterns across the sand, drawing amazing patterns in the process. Once a pattern is complete, the table starts on a new pattern (until it’s turned off). It’s lit, too, which you control from a smartphone. I could watch the videos all day long. I can’t even imagine how captivating the real table would be. The video I embedded below is a time-lapse, but there are many more videos on the original Kickstarter project, including one with lots of closeups of the ball rolling in the sand.
Apple’s driverless test car—a Lexus SUV—was caught in the wild by a MacRumors reader. There’s nothing earth-shattering about catching Apple’s autonomous vehicle in the wild—it’s been done before. But, I enjoy these reminders that Apple is going full steam ahead on developing driverless technology. Project Titan leaks have dramatically slowed since Bob Mansfield took it over, but testing obviously continues apace. MacRumor‘s Juli Clover has some additional details on this particular spotting.
Apple brought Stevie Wonder in to play the company’s Beer Bash this week, and Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted an image of him hugging the artist onstage. The concert capped a week of activities highlighting Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Mr. Wonder, who is blind, has long endorsed Apple because of the company’s extensive accessibility features in macOS and iOS. Apple often brings in big names for its Beer Bash, a long tradition for the company. This is likely to be of the Beer Bashes is held at Infinite Loop, as the company begins moving into Apple Park in the next few weeks. 9to5Mac rounded up some additional tweeted imaged from the event.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 19, 2017
Apple published another new video in its “Shoot with iPhone” series. This one is called “How to shoot with zoom on iPhone 7 Plus.” It offers two methods I don’t know you could use. The first is to single-tap your display for a 2x optical zoom. The second method is to touch and hold your display to scroll through your zoom until you get it where you want it. There are now 20 videos in this series, and they’re great resources for making the most of your iPhone’s camera.
Apple posted a new video in its “Shoot with iPhone” series called “How to shoot a one-handed selfie on iPhone 7.” It offers the three steps needed to take a quick selfie with your iPhone (works with all iPhones running iOS 10). 1.) Swipe left from the lock screen. 2.) Switch to front-facing camera. 3.) Press either volume button to snap your selfie. There are now 20 videos in this series, and they’re great resources for making the most of your iPhone’s camera.
Snazzy Labs made a hackintosh—a PC forced to run macOS—and they spent $70 doing it. And here’s the thing: it worked. To be fair, that $70 included buying a 5-year old PC sold by a hospital ($30), a broken SSD that actually works ($5), and a replacement used video card ($35) that usually costs $100 or more. It’s so budget, he called it a crapintosh, a fitting name. But, if he did it, you could do it. More importantly, he found the performance to be really good—better than a 13″ MacBook Pro in some cases. It’s not quiet, it’s ugly, but it worked and worked well, and that’s interesting. He even edited the 4K video we’ve embedded below with this five-year-old, $70 hackintosh.
Long time Apple-industry developers, Brent Simmons and Manton Reece, this week announced and released JSON Feed Version 1. They say it best:
For most developers, JSON is far easier to read and write than XML. Developers may groan at picking up an XML parser, but decoding JSON is often just a single line of code.
Our hope is that, because of the lightness of JSON and simplicity of the JSON Feed format, developers will be more attracted to developing for the open web.
Jeff Goldblum says he nearly became the voice of Siri, which would’ve made interacting with our iPhones a very different experience. According to the iconic actor, Steve Jobs called him and asked if he would be “the voice of Apple.” Goldblum turned him down because he didn’t know who Jobs was. This was years before Siri was a thing, so it’s possible it was all about an ad campaign that went beyond his iMac commercials, but it’s still interesting to imagine Jeff Goldblum’s voice living inside our iPhones.