The MacObserver

Subscribe to The MacObserver feed The MacObserver
Apple iPhone, Mac, Watch and iPad News, Opinions, Tips and Podcasts
Updated: 56 min 58 sec ago

Get Free Bitcoins from 54 Faucets That Pay

Sat, 07/21/2018 - 04:00

Bryan Chaffin explains how Bitcoin faucets work and which faucets you can trust to pay. [Update: More faucets to test. Moved CryptoMiningGame to the Confirmed list. – Bryan]

read more

Laurene Powell Jobs’s ‘The Atlantic’ Magazine Goes on Hiring Spree

Sat, 07/21/2018 - 02:49

Laurene Powell Jobs invested some of her immense fortune in The Atlantic magazine in 2017. If you’ve been wandering what she’s been up to since, Politico (via Philip Elmer-DeWitt) reported a major expansion of The Atlantic’s political coverage, including 10 new job openings. From Politico:

The Atlantic is posting 10 new jobs today, including three White House reporters and two Pentagon reporters. There are also new openings to cover the State Department, intelligence, immigration and politics. The Washington hiring spree is part of a broader expansion announced in February under new majority owner Laurene Powell Jobs and Atlantic Media chairman David Bradley.

read more

IK Multimedia Ships UNO Synth: Analog Synth with Triggers, Pads, Presets

Sat, 07/21/2018 - 01:45

IK Multimedia shipped UNO Synth, a monophonic synth with triggers, pads, presets, and analog sound. Designed by Italian boutique synthesizer maker Soundmachines and IK’s synth guru Erik Norlander, this baby comes with “100 presets and an easy-to-play keyboard with selectable scales and an arpeggiator.” Announced in May for US$/€199.99, it’s available now. You can read more in our original coverage, watch the movie below, or check it out on IK Multimedia’s site.

read more

The True Scale of the Sun and Earth Distance is Amazing

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:25

Most diagrams in magazines and web pages that show both the Sun and Earth, say, eclipse diagrams are mere schematics. The true scale is wrong in relative size and distance so both can fit in a convenient graphic. And so we fail to appreciate the size of the Earth relative to the Sun. And distance. But Bill Nye did a great demo a few years ago that brings it all home.

read more

MacBook Pro, FreezerGate and a Tempest in a Teapot

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 22:37

There was a disruptive event this week in the Apple community that made screaming teenage girls at a concert look calm and sensible by comparison.

read more

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Coming Back for a Final Season

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 21:27

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an amazing series and showed just how great Star Wars story telling is done. There was still more to tell, so Disney announced at San Diego Comic Con that it’s coming back with 12 more episodes to truly wrap up the series. Dave Filoni is in charge of the new episodes, which is excellent because he’s the man behind it and Star Wars: Rebels. He’s also the guy—quite frankly—who should’ve been put in charge of the rest of the Star Wars franchise. It’s a safe bet these new episodes will be just as awesome as the original five seasons. Unfortunately, they’ll be available only on Disney’s own streaming service, so that’s another subscription you’ll have to get. Still, considering how great The Clone Wars was, it’ll be awesome to finally get a true wrap up for the series.

read more

Data Transfer Project Will Make it Easier to Switch Platforms

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 21:00

The companies want to build an open-source data portability platform to make it easy for users to migrate between platforms.

read more

Want to Name the European Rover That Will Go to Mars in 2020?

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:50

A European rover called ExoMars will travel to the red planet in 2020. Astronaut Tim Peake wants everyone to enter a name on a website designed for the purpose. Be warned though: There will be no Spacey McSpaceFace. Also, you have to be a European citizen to vote, as I found out when I tried to submit my name suggestion (Destiny).

Tim says thinking about the rover’s mission might be the source for a great name. “I often get asked, ‘is there life out there beyond Earth?’. It’s a very fundamental question, and it’s one that this rover is going to try to answer,” he told BBC News.

Dr David Parker, the director of human spaceflight and robotics at the European Space Agency, agreed: “The Americans called their Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. We’ve tended in the past to name our missions after famous scientists.

read more

New Kids Chair Looks Like a Torture Device

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:42

I saw this while scrolling through my news this morning and I had to comment. A new kids chair designed by Kingston School of Art Masahiko Ito is meant to improve concentration and posture. But it’s a saddle-shaped chair that legitimately looks like a torture device called the cavaletto squarciapalle, a.k.a. the wooden horse. It’s also used in BDSM but we won’t go there.

“I noticed that we naturally want to fidget and to move around in our chairs, for instance when we concentrate on our teacher, we tend to sit in a more alert position towards the front of our chair in a kind of riding position, while when we reflect, we tend to recline,” he said.

read more

It’s Time to Let us Set Default Apps on iOS

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:32

Dan Moren writes that it’s about time that Apple let us set default apps on iOS. From the very beginning, the default apps have been Apple’s own. Although you can install third-party apps, you can’t set them as the default. This means that if you want to use Chrome, tapping on a link will still open it in Safari.

Developers who compete directly with Apple’s built-in apps (like Mail, Safari, and Calendar) have always had an uphill battle ahead of them. How do you take on an app that’s installed on every single iPhone for free? Especially when your app will always be a second-class citizen. Allowing users to choose their own default apps won’t fix all of those problems, but it will go a ways toward making these apps viable for even more people.

read more

USB Wall Charger with Hidden Camera: $49.99

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:12

Here’s an interesting device called the LizaCam USB Wall Plug. It’s a wall charger—and looks like one with a USB port—but it also has a hidden camera and a motion sensor. It will alert you when it detects motion and record HD video to an SD card—not the cloud. You can access that video from your smartphone, too. It ships to the U.S., and is $49.99 through us.

read more

Two Researchers Examined Phone Spying. What They Found Won’t Shock You

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:06

Kara Swisher of Recode recently interviewed two researchers from Northeastern University about phone spying.

read more

New Apple Ads Showcase iPhone Privacy, Sustainability

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 19:50

iPhone is the culmination of Apple’s ideals on privacy, recycling, energy efficiency, and more.

read more

Chinese iPhone Knock-off, App Users and Subscription Pricing – TMO Daily Observations 2018-07-20

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 19:32

Andrew Orr and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at a knock-off iPhone from China, plus they discuss app pricing and the issues users have with subscription models.

read more

Apple Pay Summertime Discount Promo Includes Fandango, Grubhub, More

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 17:59

Apple has a new summertime Apple Pay promotion that’ll save you money when you buy movie tickets through Fandango, food through Grubhub, and more. The promotion runs from July 19th through August 1st.

read more

Netflix gets New Interface with Sidebar

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 17:30

If you think finding what you want to watch on Netflix is a little cumbersome, you aren’t alone. Netflix gets it, too, so they’re redesigning the user interface across devices. Soon you’ll have a sidebar that breaks out TV shows and movies, saves you from scrolling through genres just to get to your own viewing list, and more. They say the new interface is simpler and more intuitive. It’s rolling out now, so you should get it soon on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

read more

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who Looks Awesome

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:42

With San Diego Comic Con under way we’re getting first looks at new shows that are coming soon, including the new season of Doctor Who starring Jodie Whittaker. She’s the first woman to take on the iconic role, and if the trailer is any indication will be an excellent addition to the long running series. The new Doctor Who season is coming this fall from the BBC.

read more

Apple Watch Faces Price Hike From US Tariffs

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:15

Your next Apple Watch could cost more thanks to tariffs the Trump administration is imposing on products imported from China.

read more

Top Websites Are Part of Bad Password Security Problem

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:31

We talked about password security during Thursday’s TDO, including the need for people to unique passwords at every website and a password manager (I love 1Password) to keep track of them. Another thing we mentioned was how baffling it is when a website forces us to use bad passwords. Timing is everything, because a University of Plymouth study found that top websites are a big part of the problem when it comes to password security practices. Here’s a quote from the study taken from TechCrunch‘s excellent writeup on the subject.

It is somewhat disappointing to find that the overall story in 2018 remains largely similar to that of 2007. In the intervening years, much has been written about the failings of passwords and the ways in which we use them, yet little is done to encourage or oblige us to follow the right path.

read more

Check out the Apple Music Ed Sheeran Documentary Trailer

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 01:40

Apple Music has an Ed Sheeran documentary coming on August 28th. Mr. Sheeran is one of the biggest stars in music today, and this documentary focuses on the creation and recording of his newest album, ÷ (Apple Music link for ÷ Deluxe). I love behind-the-scenes documentaries for album creation, and this one looks to be good, including concert footage.

read more

The MacObserver