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Plex Media Server Turns 1.0!

11:48 AM EDT, Jun. 24th, 2016 · Dave Hamilton · Cool Stuff Found

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

9:05 AM EDT, Jun. 24th, 2016 · Melissa Holt · TMO Quick Tip

If you're an administrator (or just someone who'd like to have a little fun), you can set up what's called a policy banner, which'll make users accept an agreement before they can log in. This works well in environments with multiple Macs, such as computer labs, but hey, if you want to configure a policy banner on your spouse's computer as a practical joke, this Quick Tip will be good for that, too. We're not responsible for any mayhem this causes.

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

5:20 PM EDT, Jun. 23rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

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

5:04 PM EDT, Jun. 23rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

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.

G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox: $79.99

4:53 PM EDT, Jun. 23rd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

It's loud, wireless, will play tunes for up to 6 hours on a charge, and it has a handle. G-BOOM is a boombox for the iPhone era. It features a protective rubber base, and has a standard headphone jack in addition to Blueooth connectivity. You can get this device through our deal for $79.99.

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

11:39 AM EDT, Jun. 23rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

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.

Beijing iPhone Ban is About Money, not Politics

10:08 AM EDT, Jun. 23rd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Beijing iPhone 6 ban is a money grab, not politics

The Chinese company that won a ban on iPhone 6 sales in Beijing has been dead for about a year. But if you're thinking this is a case where China's government is using Shenzhen Baili's name in a political game against Apple, think again; this is a case where a company couldn't cut it making crappy products in a cut throat market.

1 Year Subscription for Typed Plus: $30

4:22 PM EDT, Jun. 22nd, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

https://deals.macobserver.com/sales/typed-1-year-all-access-to-plan-for-pro-bloggers?utm_source=macobserver.com&utm_medium=refer

We have a deal for you today on a 1-year subscription to Typed Plus, a blog publishing engine. With this plan, you can run up to 3 blogs with unlimited users and page views. The service hosts your images, you can do scheduled posting, and more. The price through our deal is $30, a massive 87% off retail.

BusyCal gets a Big Upgrade and an iOS App, too

11:38 AM EDT, Jun. 22nd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

BusyCal is the go-to workhorse calendar app for the Mac, and now version 3 is out with new features like calculating travel time, an improved menubar view, and tasks tied to specific times. What's even cooler is that BusyCal is finally available as an iPhone and iPad app, so you can use the same familiar views on all of your devices and get event and task alerts on your Apple Watch. We've been testing the Mac and iOS versions for a few weeks and are pretty impressed. BusyCal 3 requires OS X El Capitan and costs US$49.99, or $29.99 for upgrades. The iPhone and iPad version costs $4.99 and requires iOS 9.3 or later.

Judge Dismisses Error 53 iPhone Bricking Lawsuit

9:39 AM EDT, Jun. 22nd, 2016 · Jeff Gamet · News

Judge dismisses Error 53 class action lawsuit

A class action lawsuit against Apple over bricked iPhones and Error 53 has been dismissed because the Judge overseeing the case saying the plaintiffs failed to prove they had been harmed. This isn't, however, the end of the line because they can amend their claims, plus there are at least two similar cases in the court system, too.

Reason 9 Shipping, Adds Pitch Editor and New MIDI Processing

9:05 PM EDT, Jun. 21st, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Propellerhead shipped Reason 9 on Tuesday. The newest version of the digital audio workstation and sequencer adds two main features: Players automate and process MIDI input, and Pitch Edit, a pitch editor designed for vocals (think Melodyne or Auto-Tune). There are other new features, too, including Bounce In Place, new visual themes, and reverse MIDI clips. On the content side, Reason 9 adds more than 1,000 new "cutting-edge" sounds, and Pulsar dual channel LFO, a rack extension that was previously available only as a stand-alone $49 purchase. I love Reason, especially for sequencing. It's powerful software, and Propellerhead makes it ever-more capable with each new release. Reason 9 is priced at €405/US$449, while upgrades from any previous version are €129/$129. Propellerhead also has a stripped down version called Reason Essentials 9 priced at €120/$129. The software shipped today and is available now. 

Happy 20th Birthday to The Icon Factory!

7:14 PM EDT, Jun. 21st, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I wanted to take a moment to wish The Icon Factory a happy 20th birthday! It's an amazing accomplishment for any company to stay in business that long, but to transform yourself from an icon-designer to a major design firm, user interface consultant, and app maker is astounding. Icon Factory posted a company timeline/history that is a great walk down memory lane, especially for Mac users. I have a soft spot in my heart for this company because it was such a shining star in the Mac world when that company was at its nadir in 1996. Icon Factory made awesome icons that helped make my Mac more fun—it might sound like a small thing, but I remember it to this day. So thanks, Icon Factory, and happy birthday! May the next 20 years be even more interesting than the first. - Bryan

YoCam Versatile Waterproof Camera: $179

5:32 PM EDT, Jun. 21st, 2016 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

YoCam

Check out the YoCam, a small camera that is waterproof up to 20 feet (IP68). It takes photos or video, and has video stabilization, too. It weighs just 1.9 ounces, and it has a companion app for iPhone and Android devices for processing images. You can get YoCam through our deal for $179.