Plex Media Server Turns 1.0!

What started in 2008 as a small media server project today has matured into version 1.0. The first public release of Plex Media Server happened two years later in 2010, and it has been growing ever since, now used by milliions of people. The changes rolled into the 1.0 release aren’t all that major – certainly nothing more than any other Plex Media Server release we’ve seen recently – it’s the version number change itself that is significant.

Version 1.0 shows Plex’s commitment to ship software that no longer has the assumption of being beta, communicating reliability and predictability for customers. I’m a long-time Plex user and now with both iOS and Apple TV client apps it really is a best-in-class product. Many of its features are available for free, though a paid PlexPass is well worth your money if you want to view your content offline or on your mobile devices. Congrats, Plex! Thanks for doing what you do!

OS X: Using Policy Banner for Custom Login Screens

You may know that you can set a custom message on your Mac’s lock screen, so if someone takes or finds your computer, he’ll have an easy way to contact you. However, if you’re an administrator who manages multiple machines, there’s also a built-in way to add a policy banner, which’ll make anyone who logs in click an “Accept” button to continue.

Ingrein 'Smartclock' Shows Important Notifications to Help You Detach from Your Screen

Check out Ingrein, a very interesting clock designed to help you detach from our devices. The clock is made of real (reclaimed) hardwood, and it has a built-in “LCD screen and light and sound sensors to interact with and display information from your smart devices and favorite apps.” The idea is that you limit what gets sent to the device to those things that are really important so that you can get your face out of your screen, especially when you’re with other people. It’s a very cool idea in theory, and I’m wondering how well it will work in practice. This product is funding through Kickstarter, where it already met its funding goals. Funding options starting at $299 are still available.

IKlip A/V Broadcast Mount for iPhone

IK Multimedia announced iKlip A/V on Thursday. This is a broadcast mount for broadcasters and videographers to shoot with iPhone. It features an  integrated high-quality mic preamp (with phantom power, too) and a built-in wireless receiver, which means you can monitor sound as you record. It’s powered by two AA batteries. We all know that iPhone is being used to take more and more videos (and photographs), but equipment like this really helps blur the edges between professional applications and the rest of us. The device is available now for $179.99.

Holy Crap! Darth Vader is in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

As if we couldn’t be any more excited about “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Entertainment Weekly just dropped a Death Star-size surprise in our laps: Darth Vader is in the movie. Since this movie chronicles the events leading up to the original 1977 Star Wars movie, it seemed pretty likely we’d see everyone’s favorite Sith Lord, but now it’s official. Hopefully Vader will make more than a cameo appearance because it would be frakking awesome to see him in ruthless bad-ass mode instead of the emo Vader we got in “Return of the Jedi”. Rogue One hits theaters on December 16, so clear your schedule now.