Hewlett-Packard has just announced a desktop PC to drool over. It’s about the size of a Mac mini but has many more features. First, it’s stackable. One can add modules like Bang & Olufsen speakers, an optical drive, an external drive module, and a VESA mounting plate. It logs on with an optional fingerprint sensor. Power and I/O is via USB-C, but it also has conventional USB-A ports, a port for Ethernet and DisplayPort video. There’s an Intel Core i7 and you can put a whopping 32 GB of RAM in it. There’s a lot to like about the way HP has approached this new, beautiful product. Available later this month, starting at US$429.
Tweetbot maker Tapbots brought its popular Pastebot clipboard manager back to life, but this time it’s for the Mac. The app keeps a history of what you copy and paste so you can quickly paste again, shows previews of copied items, includes filters for modifying clippings when they’re pasted, and supports macOS Sierra’s Universal Clipboard feature for sharing clippings between your Mac and iOS devices. Pastebot is available as a public beta, so Universal Clipboard support isn’t working yet. You can checkout Pastebot at the Tapbots website.
Check out NotesKey—I love this site. It has every Apple keynote event since 1997 laid out in an easy-to-grasp table. Each year is laid out by month, and each keynote event is represented with an icon that immediately conjures up memories of that event. The earlier ones use images from moments in the keynote, while recent years use the images Apple sent out in media invitations. It’s brilliant, useful, immediately made me realize Apple used to hold a lot more keynote events than it does today thanks to the now-defunct Macworld Expo. To the creators of NotesKey, nice job!
The Netflix original series Stranger Things was an instant hit and left us wanting more, and now that’s exactly what we’re getting. The Duffer brothers released a teaser trailer for the new season, and while it doesn’t include any clips from episodes it does list their titles. All nine of them: Mad Max, The Boy Who Came Back To Life, The Pumpkin Patch, The Palace, The Storm, The Pollywog, The Secret Cabin, The Brain, and The Lost Brother. 2017 can’t get here fast enough.
Just because Apple is most likely ditching the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 that doesn’t mean you have to stop using your favorite headphones. Griffin Technology’s new iTrip Clip lets you cut the cord, so to speak, on your wireless headphones and earbuds and go Bluetooth instead. The iTrip Clip supports Bluetooth 4.1, includes playback and volume controls along with a built-in mic for voice calls and Siri commands, has the 3.5mm headphone jack that your brand new iPhone doesn’t, and runs for six hours between charges. The iTrip Clip costs US$19.99 and will be available in September.
Primate Labs released Geekbench 4 for OS X, iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android this week. Geekbench is a benchmarking app that will test your device and show how it compares to other devices. The new version includes a new interface, a new structure that allows more features on mobile devices, and new workloads (i.e. tests for CPU). According to the company, “These updated workloads model real-world tasks and applications, and provide an objective measure of the performance of the CPU in your phone or laptop.” It also has new GPU workloads for testing the graphics processor(s) in your device. The company has a launch sale starting at $7.99 for Mac and Windows. It’s also on the App Store, but as of this writing it’s not showing up.
BusinessInsider has a piece on the Carpool Karaoke series Apple is working on for Apple Music. According to Ben Winston, co-founder of series producer Fulwell 73 Productions, the show is going to open up guest spots to celebrities who aren’t musicians. He also said the deal came together because of Jimmy Iovine, and that CBS will limit Carpool Karaoke‘s exposure on The Late Late Show with James Corden to keep it fresh. Carpool Karaoke could be a breakout hit for Apple. For context, the episode featuring Adele (below) has 124.6 million views on YouTube. Mr. Corden is executive producer of the Apple Music spinoff, but won’t be hosting it. There’s more in the full BI piece.
Here’s something cool for techies on the go, especially the back-to-school crowd. It’s called MOS Pack, a backpack with a built-in portable charging station for all your gadgets. It has pockets for iPhones (or other smartphones), iPads, your passport, and a spot for a water bottle. On the charging side, the MOS pack doesn’t have a built-in battery—which you’d have to lug around—but instead has a charging station that distributes power to all your gadgets from one plug. Inside it has a cable management system you feed to each gadget in each pockets, and you’re charging everything without having to pull them out. I thought it quite clever at $99.
Philips is adding a motion sensor to its Hue smart bulb product line that’ll turn on your lights when you walk into a room. The Hue Motion Sensor runs on two AAA batteries so you can place it anywhere that works for you, can pair with specific light control scenes for day and night, has adjustable sensitivity, and is smart enough to leave the lights off when it’s still light out. The Hue Motion Sensor will be available in October for US$39.95.
Now that we’ve all had enough time to watch all of Stranger Things on Netflix it’s safe to check out the soundtrack on Apple Music without worrying about spoilers. Stranger Things Volume 1 includes is loaded the show’s decidedly 80s synth tracks from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein like the show’s theme, Eleven’s theme, and the creepy The Upside Down. The playlist has 36 tracks, and there’s a volume 2 for when you’re ready for even more Stranger Things music. And if you haven’t seen the series yet, clear your schedule now and start watching.
I’m pretty darned nerdy. I’ve watched my share, your share, and all of your neighbors’ share of the Science Channel, National Geographic, the History Channel, Nova, Discovery Channel, and every other sciency-nerdy thing I could get my eyes on. But I’ve never heard of the battery that’s been running for 176 years. Come on, that’s cool! It’s been ringing a bell all that time. Billions of time. We have only a loose idea of how it’s built, and we can’t figure it out without destroying it. Anyway, Sally Page tells us all about it in this marvelous video. Also, 😍.
Want to snap screenshots in watchOS 3 on your Apple Watch? The feature is disabled by default, but it’s pretty easy to turn on. Follow along with TMO’s video Quick Tip to learn how.
Holy silver screen, Batman! The classic 1966 Batman TV series is coming back as a feature-length animated movie! Adam West will once again don Batman’s cowl, while Burt Ward will reprise the Boy Wonder’s voice and Julie Newmar brings back her puuuuurfect Catwoman in Return of the Caped Crusaders. The movie is loaded camp, retro music, and of course labels. So many Bat Labels. Return of the Caped Crusaders will be available on Bat-digital HD on October 11th, and Bat-Blu-ray on November 1st. To the Bat Poles, Robin!
Years in the making, today Cyan released Obduction which, as they term it, is the “spiritual successor” to their immensely popular game, Myst. Like its predecessor, Oduction is built to take you on an immersive and non-linear story through worlds of wonder and mystery. From first looks, it seems fantastic. Many of us have been waiting a long time for this and now it’s here for us to play. Kickstarter backers get the Mac version today, and Cyan indicates that a general release of the Mac version is “coming soon.” Related: I’ll be busy for the rest of the day. You might be, too.
It’s called Manbang. No, seriously. It’s called Manbang. NK News is reporting that’s what North Korea is calling some kind of pseudo-Netflix-like simulacrum of a service. Manbang. The Next Web reported that it means “Everything” in Korean. I assume that’s as true as it is ironic, because the service is limited to whatever propaganda constitutes video content in North Korea. And sure, breaking down into a puddle of lols because of what it sounds like in English makes me 12. I’m OK with that. Oh, and I’m pretending the text below translates as “Manbang.” Because Manbang.
Tesla announced Tuesday a battery upgrade for some Model S sedan and Model X crossovers. The batteries come with a significant price tag of US$20,000, but will boost the range of the Model S to up to 315 miles. The Model X will have a range of up to 289 miles. Both cars will also be even faster in Ludicrous mode, which
is a tad scary sounds really fun. The batteries can be purchased as an upgrade for $20,000, or in new model designations that have the batteries built in. These improvements are significant, as range is one of the great limiting factors for electric vehicles. Tesla has been a leader in automobile battery technology, and the company is likely to set whatever bar Apple Car is compared to when it’s eventually released.
High resolution cameras for capturing your active lifestyle don’t have to cost a small fortune, and that’s exactly what Pyle’s new High Speed 4K Action Camera proves. Their compact camera shoots HD video at 120 fms, snaps high resolution photos, includes a 4X zoom, and can be remote controlled with the included remote or from your iPhone. It also comes with mount clips and a waterproof case, and is available in blue, black, or grey. You can pick up the camera today for US$79.
Sony announced a new car stereo system called XAV-AX100 that supports CarPlay and Android Auto (via TechCrunch). The device features a 6.4-inch touch-display with a resolution of 800 x 480. The awkwardly named device supports both NFC and Bluetooth, supports voice command, and the firmware is upgradable. It also has a variety of pre-outs and other stereo-centered features for one’s actual sound. The device is scheduled to ship in November for $499.99.
Amazon’s Charlie Kindel, Director of Alexa Smart Home, will be speaking at the CEDIA conference in Dallas on September 16. He’ll talk about the inspiration for voice recognition that came from Star Trek, the original series. This interview by CEDIA provides a foretaste of the presentation and includes an inspiring video of Captain Kirk voice querying the Enterprise computer. What’s also cool and interesting is Mr. Kindel’s description of how customer privacy is maintained with the blue and red indicator ring. He also points to the website a customer built to celebrate Alexa. This is nifty corporate messaging.
You know that Arthur C. Clarke line about sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic? Behold a little wizardry from M.I.T. in the form of a “self-assembling” cellphone. Fast Company did a story on a lab at the university that designed a cellphone with six components. They are designed in such a way that when jostled together in a tumbler, the parts that fit together, stick together, while the parts that don’t, don’t. The possibilities for cheap assembly could be staggering—in this case, it could help put a cellphone into the hands of almost anyone. But the principles are not limited to cellphones. It’s fascinating to watch, and if you find it interesting, check out the full article.