Heartwarming Holiday Short Directed by Oscar Nominees Shot on iPhone 13 Pro

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Apple has released a new short film. It was shot on an iPhone 13 Pro and directed by Oscar Nominee Jason Reitman and his father, fellow Oscar Nominee Ivan Reitman. The soundtrack is “You and I” by Valerie June. The three minute film tells the story of a girl trying to keep her snowman alive all year. The ending is rather sweet!

 

Ex-Apple Staffer Discusses Shortcuts on macOS Monterey

In a new AppleInsider podcast, former Apple employee Matthew Cassinelli to discusses the integration of Shortcuts in macOS Monterey. For those of us still getting used to the addition, it’s a conversation worth listening to.

Since the public release of macOS Monterey, users can now create, edit, and sync their iOS Shortcuts directly on a Mac. Announced earlier this year at WWDC, Shortcuts on macOS will also slowly replace the previous automation tool, Automator, bringing one system to the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Matthew Cassinelli previously worked on the original Workflow app, which was acquired by Apple in 2017 and evolved into the Shortcuts app. After staying on the team at Apple for a short time, Matthew became an independent creator, helping others learn Shortcuts, and reporting on new actions available with every update.

[Headline corrected November 26  to clarify that Mr. Cassinelli was not an engineer at Apple.]

Apple Begins to Alert Victims of NSO Group's Pegasus Spyware

On Tuesday Apple revealed it is suing NSO Group for its Pegasus spyware that attacks iPhone users. TechCrunch writes that the company has begun alerting victims.

The alerts — which Apple says are designed to inform and assist users who may have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers — were also sent to a number of users in El Salvador. This includes 12 employees from El Faro, an online digital newspaper that has been notoriously critical of the government, as well as two leaders of civil society organizations and two opposition politicians.

Cast of 'The Office' Reveal How The iPod Video Helped Save The Show

Mashable writes how cast members of hit TV show The Office say that Apple, along with the iPod video, helped propel the show to stardom.

“It was young people with their iPods who knew how to set up an iTunes account because their parents didn’t,” Rainn Wilson said. “I think that blindsided everybody, including NBC, that we would be so popular with young people. The fact that we’re most popular with 22 to 25 year olds is really astonishing…”

Digital Marketing Agency 'Cronin' Leaks 92 Million Employee, Client Records

Security researcher Jeremiah Fowler in cooperation with the WebsitePlanet research team found an unprotected database from Cronin. It exposed 92 million database records from employees and clients.

The exposed server was named “Cronin-Main” and many of the records contained references to Cronin. These records included internal data such as employee and client information. Also included in the dataset was a “Master Mailing List” with direct physical names, addresses, Salesforce IDs, phone numbers, and references to where the leads came from.

 

A Gorgeous DIY Raspberry Pi Bar-Top Arcade Game

There are plenty of cases and project ideas for retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi. Here’s one that stands out from the crowd: a DIY bar-top arcade game built around a Raspberry Pi. It features a 19-inch screen, a laser-cut wood cabinet, and controls for easy two-player gaming. The original designer, Tony Vanpoucke, provides excellent instructions, as well as options for customizing your button layout. The choices provided offer both American-style and Japanese-style, so you can truly make the final design your own.

France Seeks Removal of 'Wish' From App Stores, Search Engines

The French administration wants app stores and search engines to remove Wish after an investigation of its products. They found that many of the products listed in Wish don’t meet European standards.

When Wish is notified that it is selling a dangerous good, those products are removed from the marketplace within 24 hours as expected. And yet, “in most cases, those products remain available under a different name, and sometimes even from the same seller. The company doesn’t keep any log related to transactions of non-compliant and dangerous products,” France’s Ministry of the Economy says in its statement.

Apple Temporarily Halts Sales in Turkey

Apple temporarily halted sales in Turkey following a currency crash in the country, MacRumors reported. While the site was functional, customers could not add items to an online basket or check-out. The move occurred on Tuesday, but remained true at the time of this writing.

Right now, Apple’s Turkey storefront is up and operational, but no devices are able to be added to a virtual cart or purchased at this time because of the volatility. A Turkish lira is equivalent to approximately 0.078 U.S. dollars at the current time, and its value has been steadily falling since last week. Over the course of the last year, the Lira has dropped 45 percent vs. the dollar. There is no word on when Apple might resume sales in Turkey, but inflation is close to 20 percent and with Erdogan continuing to refuse to raise interest rates, the downward slide may continue.

WhatsApp Working on Audio Message Playback Speed Controls

WhatsApp is seemingly working on a feature that will allow users to control the playback speed of audio messages, something that already exists for voice notes. iMore spotted the development on a WABetaInfo post. Audio messages seem to be becoming increasingly popular, so I imagine this feature will be a welcome addition on the widely used app.

Audio messages are essentially forwarded voice notes, but while the latter can have its playback speed manipulated by the user, that isn’t the case with the former. According to a WABetaInfo post, that’s going to change — and has already done so for those who are testing the WhatsApp beta release. “The feature to play voice notes using different playback speeds was a huge success. After releasing the feature on WhatsApp beta for Android 2.21.9.10 and WhatsApp Messenger beta for iOS 2.21.90.11 updates, WhatsApp is now working on a new version of the feature, making it compatible with audio messages.”