Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets: $11.99

· · TMO Deals

Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets

Check out this clever idea, a clip-on Universal 3-in-1 Lens Kit for Smartphones and Tablets. Because it’s held on with an adjustable clip, it will fit just about any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It comes with three lenses, a 180 degree fish eye, a wide-angle, or a macro lens. You can get this lens kit for $11.99 through our deal.

Apple Pay Rival Systems Will be Costly Failures

· · Particle Debris

Apple Pay AMEX

It seems that too many corporations and banks want to create rival alternatives to Apple Pay. They have their own agenda for inserting themselves into the payment process, but always seem to forget that putting themselves ahead of the customer with half-baked, potentially problematic systems is never the right thing to do. Most will have to learn the hard way.

TMO Daily Observations 2016-08-12: Microsoft's Leaked Encryption Key, Explaining Internet Speed Tests

· · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Microsoft’s private encryption key for validating Windows software was accidentally leaked, so that’s a problem. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to explore the issues Microsoft is facing, and how the problem validates concerns over giving governments back door access into our personal data. They also explain why internet speed test results can vary so widely.

Second Star Wars Rogue One Trailer: OMG Darth Vader

· · Cool Stuff Found

The excitement over Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is building up to a frenzy as its December 16th premiere draws ever closer like a tractor beam pulling us into the Death Star’s landing bay. The excitement hyperdrive kicked in now that the second trailer for the movie is out and OMG it has Darth Vader! There’s also X-wings TIE Fighters, Star Destroyers, and Storm Troopers—but there’s Darth Vader! Crank up your speakers, sit back, and soak up the awesomeness that is the second Rogue One trailer.

A Backyard 360-Degree Swing (Video)

· · Cool Stuff Found

Youtuber colinfurze has a new crazy contraption, a 360-degree swing. And it’s just way too cool. Oh, and it’s in his back yard and lacks even a semblance of safety. I love people who can make things and who aren’t afraid to shoot for awesome. This swing is certainly awesome. Check out the bit at 1:55 when he talks about the pallets and how it used to be taller. At 2:02 there’s a couple of seconds of one of the arms bending while he was testing. Crazy. Watch and admire!

Fast Company's Interview with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi a Must-Read

· · Cool Stuff Found

I’ve been thinking about Rick Tetzeli’s interview transcript with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi for two days, and I just can’t decide what exactly to write about it. There’s a detailed explanation on Maps, its development, its import. There’s stuff about the differences between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook (Steve yelled, Tim is cerebral). There’s comments on Apple and innovation, and another section on customers holding Apple to a higher bar. And a lot more. It’s all good, and I think it’s a must-read for anyone interested in Apple.

Fast Company’s Interview with Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi a Must-Read

Leawo Professional Media for Mac: $19

· · TMO Deals

Leawo Professional Media for Mac

We have a deal for you today on Leawo Professional Media for Mac. This software converts multiple video formats, and it can read and rip DVDs and Blu-ray, and it has a 2D/3d converter. This software retails for $119, but you can get it through our deal for $19.

Logitech Pop Aims to Make Complex Smarthome Control Easy

· · Cool Stuff Found

Explaining the complexities and nuances of controlling your home’s smart lights, smart switches, and wireless music system can be a little frustrating for you and intimidating for your less tech-savvy friends and family. Logitech is hoping to take away that complexity with its new Pop programmable button. You set up a Pop to control connected devices such as Hue lights, WeMo and Lutron switches, Sonos music players, and more. It’s pretty versatile, too, so you can do things like set a single press to turn on the lights and close the blinds, or a double-press to dim the lights and get the tunes playing through your Sonos. You can pre-order a starter pack with two switches and network bridge for US$99.99, and it will ship in a few weeks.

Logitech Pop Aims to Make Complex Smarthome Control Easy

Netflix Fast Internet Speed Test Comes to iPhone

· · Cool Stuff Found

Netflix launched its own internet speed test website a few months ago, and now the streaming entertainment company has turned the Fast site into an iPhone and iPad app. Just like the website, the Fast app is a one trick pony: launch it, and you’ll see how fast your internet connection is. Fast shows just your download speed, which is what most people care about anyhow, and there’s a button to check your connection speed again. Netflix Fast is a free download at Apple’s App Store.

Netflix Fast Internet Speed Test Comes to iPhone

OS X: Installing the Older Version of Microsoft Office

· · Quick Tip

On September 22, Microsoft is going stop allowing its Office 365 customers to download Office 2011. So if you need to take advantage of the time remaining to grab the older version of the popular Office suite, there’s no better time to do so! We’ll show you how.

Hula Wrap on Kickstarter, a Cable Organizer for MacBook Chargers

· · Cool Stuff Found

Check out Hula Wrap on Kickstarter. It’s a leather wrap for your MacBook charger that lets you wrap both cables, even the long power cord. It looks good, all rugged and leathery, but more importantly, it looks like it works. I hate taking my charger with me on my 2011 MacBook Air because the cables are such a pain, even though the battery has degraded over the years. That’s why this project immediately resonated with me. The company behind Hula Wrap is half way through its modest funding goal of $9,800, with 21 days to go. Funding options that will net you a Hula Wrap are currently available at $25. You can get two of them for $40. The video below is short, to the point, and well-produced, and it shows Hula Wrap in action.

The Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

· · Cool Stuff Found

Check out the Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, or TABS. This game is just starting alpha development, but it’s super exciting. At least to a nerd like me. You set up units (the red and blue rag dolls in the video), arm them with weapons, and let TABS show you what would happen. Is it a game? Maybe? I don’t know, I just see the opportunity to test out combat scenarios. Being developed by Landfall, the game has been greenlit by Steam, according to The Next Web. Landfall is accepting signups for the alpha for Mac, Windows, Linux, Xbox, and PS4, though the company is specific about not promising which platforms will be supported on release. If it does hit Steam, there’s a good chance it will have Mac support. In the meanwhile, I signed up for the alpha and I’m hoping to be picked, because it looks awesome.

Autonomous Vehicles Might Develop Superior Moral Judgment

· · Analysis

Autonomous car concept

Much has been written now about the moral guidance for autonomous cars and trucks. It’s a difficult problem that involves quantifying then instantiating into software the logic of life and death decisions.  It would be nice for society to have more time to ponder, but the pace of technology leaves us precious little time for that. Machines are going to make moral decisions very soon. Shall we let them?

Don't Install Point Zero Releases

· · Columns & Opinions

Man with a gavel

Dr. Mac always advises his friends and family not to install the first release of ANY new operating system, contending that it’s safer to wait for the inevitable “point-one” release (or even the point-two release), before pulling the trigger.

Zus Smart Car Charger and Locator: $29.99

· · TMO Deals

Zus Smart Car Charger and Locator

Check out this handy gadget, the Zus Smart Car Charger and Locator. Plug it into your car’s A/C outlet and it will charge your devices through USB ports. It’s a smart charger, too, in that it sends the current each device needs. But, it also serves as a locator by communicating with an app on your iPhone so you can find your car. You can get this device through our deal for $29.99