Ya Gotta Love Free and Useful Stuff for Macs...

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Free and Useful Services can be found in the Keyboard System Preferences pane.

This week Dr. Mac looks at a podcast and a macOS Service that are both free and useful. The first is his favorite  podcast of all time, a podcast focused on what’s going on under the hoods of your Apple devices. The second is a macOS Service that fixes funky text issues and much more.

Digital Ethereal: Turning Wi-Fi Signals into Art

· · Cool Stuff Found

Art is all around us and can show up in the most amazing places, including the electromagnetic fields from our smartphones. Luis Hernan used that idea to turn Wi-Fi signals from smartphones into light painting, and it’s awesome to see. He uses a Kirlian Device to track Wi-Fi signal strength and long exposure photography to capture his images which look like colorful webs of light spun into everyday scenes. You can check out his beautiful work at the Digital Ethereal website.

Digital Ethereal: Turning Wi-Fi Signals into Art

How to Change Your iPhone and iPad's Name for AirDrop

· · Quick Tip

Give your iPhone or iPad a unique name to avoid AirDrop file sharing confusion

AirDrop is handy for sharing files between your devices, like your iPhone and iPad. If there are lots of other devices nearby named “iPhone” or “iPad,” just like yours, it’s time to change your iPhone’s name so you know those files are going to the right place. Luckily, that’s easy to do. Follow along to learn how.

Don't Look for iPhone 8 Until October or November

· · News

Speculating on what's in store for the next iPhone model

Apple’s iPhone 8 may not ship until October or November instead of the September window we usually see. The reason for the later launch may be tied to production problems with the smartphone’s curved OLED display.

Kanye West Carries Streaming Music Across Another Milestone

· · Cool Stuff Found

Kanye West has carried the streaming music industry past another milestone. His most recent album, The Life of Pablo, was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). What’s new and different is that it did so through streams only. Pablo wasn’t made available as a digital download on iTunes or other online music stores. It was instead offered as a streaming product through first Tidal, and then Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, and other services. Pitchfork reported that Pablo has been streamed a staggering 3 billion times, with 1.5 billion of those streams in the U.S. It’s the U.S. figures that earned it Platinum status, and that certification did not include the copies of Pablo sold direct by Kanye. Streaming music—including Apple Music—are clearly the near-term future of the music industry. Earning Platinum certification through streaming only is symbolic of that tidal shift. It’s also further validation for Apple’s investment in Apple Music.

Kanye West Carries Streaming Music Across Another Milestone

This Robot Will Toss Your Salad for $30,000

· & · Cool Stuff Found

Have you ever prepared a salad and thought to yourself, “I wish a robot could do this!” Well you’re in luck, because a company called Chowbotics Inc. created a salad robot called Sally. The robot is more of a tosser than a chef, as a human must load the device with prepared ingredients. (A word of caution though: the robot apparently can’t handle avocado very well.) It’s main selling point is that the customer can specify their ingredients and even the calorie count of a salad. Plus, the jack-a-nape in front of you doesn’t get to graze on the salad bar with his grimy fingers. The salad robot costs US$30,000 right now and is aimed towards small businesses and grocery stores. Eventually Chowbotics hopes to shrink the technology down to a household-friendly size. Sally is really little more than a stepping stone towards our robot welfare state (as John Kheit says), but it’s interesting to see those steps laid out in front of us.

The Most Important Word Apple Used in its Mac Pro Announcement

· · Editorial

Apple announces a redesigned Mac Pro is in the works

By now, you’ve read the news. Apple’s Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus briefed five technical journalists on plans to develop a new Mac Pro, likely to be delivered in 2018. John Martellaro noted that Apple’s Phil Schiller used a very important word, twice, vital to this new Mac Pro. John’s analysis follows.

TMO Staff Share their Favorite VPN Services

· · News

The Mac Observer staff shares their favorite VPN, or virtual private network, services

Thanks to a new law green lighting ISPs selling our personal web browsing data, along with restrictions prohibiting the FCC from stopping the activity, there’s a lot of talk about VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks. With so many VPN services to choose from it’s hard to decide which is best for you, so I asked the TMO staff what they rely on.

Apple Throws a Mac Pro Hail Mary, Promises Redesigned Model Coming

· · Analysis

Apple announces a redesigned Mac Pro is in the works

With the Mac Pro pushing four years old and concerns Apple is abandoning the pro market, the company did something very out of character: It announced a totally redesigned Mac Pro is in the works, along with a pro display. The Mac Pro is getting a minor speed bump today, too. Looks like it’s damage control time in Cupertino.

G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox: $84.99

· · TMO Deals

G-Boom Wireless Bluetooth Boombox

Check out the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox. As the name implies, it’s a bluetooth boombox. It has a battery life of up to 6 hours of playback time using two full-range speakers and one tweeter. It also has on-device controls, or you can control it from your smartphone app. It’s $84.99 through our deal.

macOS: How to Delete Old Versions of Files

· · Quick Tip

macOS Sierra Logo

As a follow-up to last week’s Quick Tip on restoring versions of files, today Melissa Holt is answering a reader’s question about how to delete those old versions. So if you need to, say, remove that one version of a TextEdit document with all those nasty words about your boss, you can do just that!