Check out the Mac Caddy on Kickstarter. It’s a clip-on caddy designed to specifically fit on the back of current iMacs. That’s the slim edge 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac design from late 2012 to current 2017 models. In addition to being a caddy to help reduce desk clutter, it also has a built-in camera cover for those concerned about privacy. There are cable slots on the side, as well as compartments for your stuff. The company has raised US$2,600 towards a goal of $18,000 so far, with 27 days to go. Funding is earmarked for tooling to put the Mac Caddy into production. As of this writing, there are Early bird slots available for $30 that will net you a Mac Caddy. As someone with a messy desk, it instantly resonated with me.
Oh my, but this makes me laaaaugh. Ohio State University trolled Apple for the now-corrected iOS autocorrect bug that turned the letter “i” into an A with a mystery symbol. And it was some pretty expect trolling. Below is a tweet iDownloadBlog found from someone at the college’s football game against Oklahoma State University. There are other tweets, too, but the point is that’s some funny ^#%@.
— Ohfoodtruckfind (@OHfoodtruckfind) November 11, 2017
John Willes told an interesting tale to The Daily Mail of London. Mr. Willes is a kitesurfer who recently wiped out a mile from the shore. In waters known for Great White Shark sightings. Which, you know, sucks. A half hour into his two-hour swim back to shore, he remembered he was wearing his Apple Watch Series 3, the one with a cellular radio. Being a considerate dad, first he called his family. Then he called back asking for the Coastguard number, just in case. Then, when a kick-in-the-water scared the bejesus out of him, he did call the Coast Guard. And better yet, when he saw the Coast Guard ship, he was able to call them to tell them to hang a left. Pretty cool, right? Personally, I wouldn’t expect to have much of a signal that far from shore, but his carrier apparently had him covered. “‘I’ve seen people put phones in waterproof cases but, didn’t want to risk it,” he said. “So when the Watch came out I thought this is awesome, I should do it. My wife was giving me a hard time, for buying more technology, but I leave my phone at home a lot now – I think it’s freeing us from the addiction of phones.” Which, Mr. Willes may have known, is one reason Apple executives have said motivated them to create Apple Watch to begin with. Read the full article in The Daily Mail for more.
Worry over the iPhone X Notch is much ado about nothing—IMNHO—but Kelly Guimont just pointed me to some wallpaper that hides it. Any wallpaper can made with some black in the right place, but heck, that’s work. Amiright? Here you can just download it with the work already done. The image below is just the demo—use the Denotchify link to directly download the actual wallpaper.
Apple has a new video out called “Inclusion & Diversity — Open.” It’s a two-minute tribute to the value that an open and diverse workplace can bring to a company like Apple, and it features “68 employees revealing who we are.” In the YouTube description, Apple said, “At Apple, ‘open’ isn’t just a word. It’s our culture. One that embraces faiths, disabilities, races, ages, ideologies, personalities, and differences. Because humanity isn’t singular. It’s plural.” Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple has made a big push to increase the diversity of its work force and executive team. Like other Silicon Valley companies working on this same issue, Apple remains overwhelmingly white and male, even with recent progress. This video is, in part, a sales pitch for people of diverse backgrounds to work at Apple, and it’s a pretty good pitch.
This may be the best thing I’ve seen all year. It’s a promo video from NetSafe for their new service, Re:scam. It’s an AI-powered chatbot designed to do one thing and one thing only: waste the time of email scammers, Nigerian princes, and fake UN bureaucrats trying to scam us through email. It does so by engaging with them on your behalf. All you have to do is forward an email from a scammer to firstname.lastname@example.org, and Re:scam commences operation LOLHOWSITFEEL. That’s what I’m calling it, at least. The chatbot then uses a proxy email address to engage with the scammers, drawing out the exchange for as long as possible. It’s not only deliciously funny, the premise is that by wasting these scumbags’ time, they make it increasingly difficult for them to profit from their slimy endeavors. [Via Digg]
Yeah, I think Kelly Guimont just won the Internets. Maybe two of them, because check out this wallpaper on an iPhone X she posted to Instagram. That has to be the absolutely very best use of the iPhone X notch we’ll ever see. Enjoy!
I saw this on Instagram last night and thought it was neat. It’s a wrap for MacBook made from real wood from a company called Cover-Up. The wraps are sustainably-sourced, and just like the WÜS Life iPhone cases I covered yesterday, each Cover-Up is effectively unique because it’s made from real wood. Each wrap is laser cut and hand-sanded, and they’re designed to be peeled away when you want to remove them. There are more than a dozen woods to choose from, including Rosewood, Redwood Burl (that is lovely as), Bubinga, Maple, Cedar, Bamboo, and more. It’s $49 for a Top Skin, and $94 for a Top and Bottom Skin. They make wraps for iPhones and iPads, as well as some Samsung and Google Android devices.
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If you want to Animoji that are longer than the ten seconds Apple allows on the iPhone X, Simon B. Støvring has an app for you. His SBSAnimoji app lets you record 20 second Animoji videos and he’s looking into making that even longer. His app means you don’t have to use iOS 11’s screen recording feature, or connect your iPhone X directly to your Mac to use QuickTime or Screenflow. The catch is that he uses Apple’s private APIs so SBSAnimoji isn’t available in the App Store. It is, however, available on Github so if you have a free or paid Apple developer account and are comfortable side loading apps yourself you can install it without much hassle.
Are you for or against the iPhone X notch? Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit are joined by Walt to go over the issues—or lack thereof. They also argue about the state of Apple’s iWork suite, and ask if we’re seeing signs of progress in Apple’s ability to iterate existing projects. For the pop portion of the show, they visit the ever-burning question of zombie physics. And to cap the show, the look at the huge run in Bitcoin, as well as a blockchain tech called hashgraph. Make sure you subscribe! (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)
Are you someone who finds Live Photos on your iPhone annoying and turns the feature off? If so, listen to this Mac Geek Gab Highlight, to learn how I had my mind blown when presented with the concept of using Live Photos as a form of “permanent burst mode”. Doing this means the best picture is almost always there on your iPhone, even long after the fact!
Apple Music has a new promo video out, and I love it. It’s called Apple Music Anthem, and it channels what can only be described as the trippy. What’s even better is that all of the imagery is being taken from rock and pop videos, album covers, and iconic imagery from past and present. And all of that imagery is being repurposed in very different ways. Take Sia’s half white, half black wig. It’s there, but it’s on the iTunes to 1/8-notes icon. Drake’s now-iconic dance is in the video, too, but it’s been composited with the iTunes logo, too. In fact, it’s that logo that’s the unifying feature of the spot, and it’s very reminiscent of the sort of thing MTV did in its heyday. In any event, I love this spot.
I came across the most awesome travel tripod I’ve ever seen, hands down. Unfortunately, it’s a Kickstarter project only halfway to its goal with just 15 days left. The MeVideo travel video tripod, called the Globetrotter, is well-made and durable, and yet it’s lightweight and compact. It collapses down to 21.9 inches. Then it extends out to 65.7 inches. The fluid video head supports cameras as heavy as 8.8 pounds. It will not, however, support a smartphone without an adapter. This tripod is meant for heavier videography equipment, but a standard tripod smartphone adapter will work just fine with it. The Globetrotter weighs from six to 6.6 pounds, depending on whether you get carbon fiber or aluminum legs. This tripod provides improved pan, tilt, and counterbalance performance compared to its closest competitors. It also features dust and dirt resistant metal/rubber twist locks rather than plastic flip latches. The edging is brushed metal and all knobs are metal. A split center column is perfect for those low-to-the-ground shots. Yes, a review of the MeVideo Globetrotter video travel tripod is forthcoming.
At Pepcom on Thursday, I checked out the Aura Digital Frame. The company has a new frame design by Jonathan Adler (shown below), and it looks great, but the reason I decided to write about this device is because of all the smart stuff Aura is doing. Photos are managed from an app (iOS and Android), which goes through your camera roll for you. Using machine learning, the app does a bit of facial recognition, and it also looks for (and excludes) naughty pics. That’s smart. It can then upload photos to your Aura Digital Frame, or maybe the Aura you gave your mom so she can get her grandkid fix. Better yet, image transmission is encrypted. The Retina display is 2048 x 1536 with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and it includes ambient light sensors which are used to adjust the image being displayed for your relative conditions. The device shuts down in the dark, and you can choose how fast pictures on your Aura cycle through. For instance, I think I’d probably set mine to change them just once per day, but perhaps you’d want to have them cycle through every few minutes. Lastly, you can control Aura with hand gestures. That’s a lot of tech for a picture frame, and the device costs $399. To give you a bit of insight, I approached the company’s booth more out of politeness than anything, but the features, security mindfulness, specs, and the finish of the Jonathan Adler design was what got me to write it up. It’s pretty darned cool.
Apple Music teased the Halloween episode of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Lebron James on Thursday. It’s a short teaser at just 31 seconds, with a glimpse at a buddy cop-style skit. This is one of just a couple of episodes in season one of the standalone adaptation of Carpool Karaoke that feature James Corden.
From The Dragonriders of Pern to Dark Matter to Back to the Future, Bryan Chaffin and John Kheit discuss the right and wrong way to handle time travel storytelling. They throw in some new black hole theories for fun. They also discuss who they think would be the worst candidates for Apple CEO, and Chicken Little iPhone production skyfalling predictions. Make sure you subscribe! (WARNING NSFW: PROFANITY & RANTS)