Disconnect VPN 1-Year Premium Subscription: $14

· · TMO Deals

Disconnect VPN on an iPhone

We have a deal on Disconnect, a VPN service that specializes in tracker blocking and encrypting your data. Our deal is for a one year subscription for $14, and it’s good for use on up to three devices. There are longer subscriptions available on the deal, page, too.

A Swarm of Drones Just Created a Hive Mind

· · Link

A collective of 30 drones demonstrated collective intelligence. The drones weren’t programmed to have a certain flight path. They self-organized into a hive mind and flew in sync, without smashing into each other.

As the newly-formed flock migrates, its members’ luminous underbellies all change to the same color: green. They’ve decided to head east. The drones at the front approach a barrier, and their tummies turn teal as they veer south. Soon, the trailing members’ lights change in suit.

In contrast, each of these 30 drones is tracking its own position, its own velocity, and simultaneously sharing that information with other members of the flock. There is no leader among them; they decide together where to go—a decision they make on the literal, honest-to-goodness fly.

Green…Borg green??

Doppler Music Player Updated With New Features

· · Cool Stuff Found

Doppler, an app I reviewed a while back, just got a big update today. It’s a music player app that lets you play music offline, import MP3s, FLAC files, and more. Version 1.2 dropped today, and it brings features like:

Added support for importing music from Safari
Added support for scrobbling to Last.fm
Added support for sending now playing updates to Last.fm when connected to Wi-Fi
Added support for saving Last.fm scrobbles while listening offline
Added support for editing album information
Added support for editing album artwork
Added support for searching and downloading album artwork
Added support for setting album artwork from Photo library and clipboard
Added indicator for changed metadata fields
Added confirmation alert before deleting albums and songs

Doppler music player is available on the App Store for US$3.99.

Doppler Music Player Updated With New Features

Glass is Old Tech, But its Future is High Tech

· · Link

Glass is a technology that is over 3,000 years old. It’s something that we use daily in our phones, computers, and home. Corning is a company that has made glass products for years, and says that it’s the defining material of our time. Welcome to The Glass Age.

“Yes, this is the glass age,” declares one video produced by Corning. “But it’s only just begun. Its potential is barely tapped.”

And what’s next in this glass age? Touch screens, everywhere: your walls, your car, the mirror in the dressing room at the mall. Windows that can be programmed to let in exactly the amount of light that you want. And more fiber optic cables, which are actually made up of extremely thin strands of glass.

Apple Internal Document Says New MacBook Keyboard Membranes Are About Debris

· · Link

2018 Touch Bar MacBook Pro keyboard membrane

Turns out the membrane in Apple’s redesigned Touch Bar MacBook Pro keyboard really is supposed to help keep debris away from the butterfly key mechanism. Apple’s public statement is the redesign is just to make the keys quieter, but an internal Apple service document MacRumors got ahold of says otherwise. From the document:

The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.

Of course, Apple doesn’t want to publicly admit there’s a problem with the keyboards on previous MacBook models because of the growing number of lawsuits claiming they’re defective. Odds are there are a lot of attorneys really happy this document leaked.

Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gets Hub-free HomeKit Support

· · Cool Stuff Found

HomeKit support without a bridge device is coming to Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug thanks to a free firmware update rolling out on Thursday. The change comes thanks to the HomeKit software authentication feature Apple introduced with iOS 11.3. That means once the firmware update is installed you can start using your Mini Smart Plugs with Siri and the Home app. For your other Wemo devices, including the discontinued—and much bigger—Wemo Smart Plug, you’ll still need the Wemo Bridge. You can get the Wemo Mini Smart Plug on Amazon for US$29.99.

Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gets Hub-free HomeKit Support

How to Delete a WhatsApp Message

· · Quick Tip

If you use WhatsApp, the third-party messaging service, then you should know that you can delete your texts after they’re sent; however, there are some caveats as to how this works. In today’s Quick Tip, we’ll tell you how you might be able to avoid embarrassing yourself! No promises.

Why We Hunger For the Latest Gizmo. Or iPhone

· · Link

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus top selling smartphones

It’s called The Diderot Effect, and it explains modern consumerism, why you buy things you don’t need. It all started when we were told as kids that we just had to have the awesome decoder ring found in that special cereal box. Today, unless we’ve seen the latest superhero movie or have the latest iPhone, we are somehow less of a person. Our goods define our identity. This linked article provides some perspective on manipulated consumerism.

Apple Interface Consistency, Storage Permutations, Walmart Streaming Video - ACM 471

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

In this age of different devices and platforms, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet talk about the lack of consistency in Apple’s interfaces compared to the days when “Apple” meant “Mac.” They also go over some listener feedback (read criticism) about their rant last week on Apple’s storage pricing for new MacBook Pro models. Lastly, they discuss whether not Walmart can make a go in the streaming video market, and how that might actually work.

iOS App Discount: Reigns Her Majesty Down to $1.99

· · Cool Stuff Found

Reigns Her Majesty game is now on sale for US$1.99, when it’s usually US$2.99. The game is the revolutionary follow-up to the smash swipe ‘em up hit Reigns. A cultural renaissance has bestowed the world with a new era of knowledge and enlightenment but greed and jealousy still conspire against the benevolent queen. Outwit and outlast those that would seek to depose you and your husband by swiping left or right, making just (or unjust) decisions on all manner of royal matters. Maintain the balance between the kingdom’s most powerful factions, use mystical items from your inventory, and navigate the increasingly complex politics and personal relationships of your dynasty.

iOS App Discount: Reigns Her Majesty Down to $1.99