Tag Archives: Top stories

Retina Display iPad 3 Coming In February [Report]

When Apple will release the next iPad and what form it will take when they do are only at the theory stage, but smart money says that Apple will release it in the same time table they do every year: March or April.

However, according to Citi analyst Richard Gardner, we may get it a bit early: February 2012. And when it comes, “several sources” have confirmed it will have a Retina Display.

Otherwise, what we know about the iPad 3 is mostly speculation, though it seems likely at this point that it will be slightly thicker than the iPad 2 in order to accommodate the dual LED lightbar necessary to illuminate the Retina Display. That means it won’t be backwards compatible with iPad 2 cases, though the Smart Cover will still work.

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This Moron Shrink Says Siri Is As “Toxic Psychologically” As Drugs And Video Games

How do you know you’re reading a report from a bug-eyed, sensationalist quack? When they take the newest and hottest trend and then say, “It’s almost as bad as this other popular trend amongst godless teenagers today!”

Here’s a good case study. Over at Fox News, a psychiatrist is claiming that Siri is just as damaging psychologically to kids as “violent video games!” WHAT?!?! Heaven forfend!

The claims are being made over at Fox News’ website by Dr. Keith Ablow, an accredited graduate of the Krazy Klown School For Advanced Pseudopsychiatry. His bio describes Dr. Ablow as a “member of the Fox News Medical A-Team”; given the analogy, I can only assume this means that he is one of five sketchy doctors in an old van on the run from the authorities.

Anyway, according to Dr. Ablow, Siri is as damaging psychologically as violent video games and “some street drugs.” That last claim is just preposterous, but even the first comparison is ridiculous, because there are simply no credible studies (let alone consensus) that prove that there is a causal link between violent video games and mental illness or disorders. None. That makes Ablow’s claim that Siri is “toxic psychologically” as patently absurd as, say, Dr. Wertham’s crusade against comic books in the early 1950s. It’s the equivalent of a shrink from the 1920s telling you that this new-fangled invention “telephone” is as poisonous psychologically as that flapper jazz devil music all these kids are listening to. Totally clueless, and without any scientific basis whatsoever.

But why does Ablow think that Siri is corrupting our nation’s youth? He explains:

But I believe that personifying machines and interacting with them as quasi-beings actually dumbs down our interpersonal skills and encourages us to treat other people like machines. Ultimately, it diminishes our ability to empathize with one another, because we’ve been chatting up a non-existent person and can get used to considering real people as essentially non-existent, too.

To the extent that people become “attached” to Siri and “rely” on Siri and think Siri is “funny,” they are just a tiny, tiny bit less likely to value a friend’s responsiveness, or a colleague’s help or even to appreciate the nuances in tone of voice that real humans use to convey emotion and communicate with one another.

No. You’re a moron. Prove it.

This is just the same old technophobic crap with a new slathering of paranoia. All Ablow is saying is what numerous doddering old fuddies with and without medical degrees have been saying for a century: technology somehow makes us less capable of communicating with each other, not more. They said it about telephones, they said it about radio, they said it about television, they said it about computers, and now they are saying it about smartphones. But guess what? Thanks to the amazing advances in technology over the last century, the average person on this planet is more in touch with his fellow man than at any point in history.

You say that every time we interact with a machine, we empathize with our fellow humans less? How do you explain millions of people taking to Twitter to support Egyptian protesters, or the Syrian revolution, or the Occupy Movement? I have friends I deeply care about, who have changed the way I look at the world, whom I’ve never met. How does being in touch with thousands of people on a daily basis from a practically infinite array of belief systems and cultural backgrounds narrow my understanding of the human condition? How does being an email, text message, or phone call away from 1/3rds of the world’s population at any given moment make me less of a humanist than some Nebraskan pig mucker from the 1860s who lives alone with his wife fifty miles from the nearest town?

Sorry, Doc. Here’s the truth: because you’re afraid of technology, it’s you who is less capable of understanding and empathizing with other human beings, not me. Which, come to think of it, might be why you’re writing for Fox News in the first place.

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OnLive Announces New iOS App That Offers Console-Quality Gaming On The Go

We’re huge fans of OnLive’s terrific cloud gaming service here at Cult of Mac, and we’re even more excited to hear that it’s coming to iOS devices. The company has announced that an OnLive app is on its way to the App Store, which will allow users to play top-tier console-quality games on the go.

In its press release, OnLive promises the app will deliver “the latest, top-tier, high-performance games,” to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad:

OnLive, Inc., the pioneer of cloud gaming, announced that it is bringing console-class gaming to tablets and phones with the revolutionary OnLive app for tablet and mobile platforms. The latest, top-tier, high-performance games—previously limited to only consoles and computers—will be available for instant play via the free OnLive app on over 500 million mobile devices over Wi-Fi or mobile networks in the US and UK.

You may have already experienced OnLive on your Mac or PC, and if you have, you’ll know just how groundbreaking this service will be on mobile devices. Regardless of your device’s specifications, OnLive allows you to stream games from the cloud that are traditionally only available on the latest consoles or high-performance PCs.

All you need is a broadband connection that’s capable of both streaming video from the OnLive server, and sending your controls back.

OnLive says that 25 console-class games have been adapted for touch-based input on smartphones and tablets, including titles like L.A. Noire and LEGO Batman: The Videogame; but for an even greater experience, you can pickup an OnLive wireless controller for $49.99.

With the controller, you can play any of the games available through OnLive on any supported mobile device. To see just how impressive OnLive will be on your iPad, check out the video below from PocketGamer:


Unbelievable, right?

The OnLive app will be free to download from the App Store — and it should arrive imminently — but you will need to pay to play OnLive games. However, anyone who downloads the OnLive app will get LEGO Batman: The Videogame for free.

[via MacRumors]

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Cult of Mac’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide Kicks Off With Gifts for The Working Stiff


We’re pretty passionate here at the Cult of Mac. What are we passionate about? Well, the pecking order goes something like this (although maybe the order is flipped for one or two CoM writers):

1. Our loved ones

2. Gadgets

Of course, we’re also passionate about sharing our knowledge of gadgets and technology with the rest of the world. Combine these three passions, and here’s the result: our Holiday Gift Guide.

We’ve crafted this Guide — which we’ll be sprinkling here and there as we get closer to Christmas — with an eye toward the different spheres that dominate our lives. We’ll have gifts for working, playing, creating, living — and one just for kids (because kids have their hands full just being themselves).

We’ll kick things off by getting down to business with Gifts for The Working Stiff. Happy Hunting.

Steve Jobs Personalized Stationery ($20)

“Stay foolish, stay hungry” — Steve’s words vibrate with visionary fire. YellowBrickGraphics have taken this mantra and stamped them onto cardstock, paired each card with an envelope and bundled the whole thing into sets of ten. Perfect for celebrating the wisdom of a giant.

“Mac Baby” Coffee Mug ($19)

What’s work without coffee? Crappy, that’s what. Show your coworkers where your loyalties lie with this mug from Coolkidstees. Yeah, $19 is a little pricey for a mug, but it’s better than trying to pour scalding coffee into your bare hands. Or there’s this Mac Special Operations Group mug, presumably for those of you who use iPads during Special Forces missions (seriously, we have no idea).

Pad & Quill The Little Black Book for iPhone 4/S Case ($45)

One day, near field communication will make wallets, and the things we carry in them, archaic. Till then, Pad & Quill’s stylish Little Black Book will keep not only the iPhone 4/S warm and safe, but also let you carry credit cards, IDs and the ilk in its hidden card pocket. Like P&Q’s other creations, the charismatic Little Black Book case is handmade in the U.S. from wood and leather using the mystic art of bookbinding.

Sena Florence iPad Case ($70)

Practicality. Portability. Panache. We raved about this iPad case when we reviewed it a few months back; Sena did a great job here  of wrapping useful features — like a magnetic cover and two viewing angles, perfectly suited for work — in a sharp-looking, surprisingly slim Napa leather skin.

Doxie Go Portable Scanner ($199)

Here’s another tip from the future: It’s going to be paperless. Doxie has a jump on this shift with their just-released, portable Doxie Go. The primo, battery-equipped scanner can store scans in its memory for later downloading to your Mac or scan directly to Doxie’s cloud service. Or pop for the iPhone/iPad Sync Kit and scan straight to your iDevice. The less-spectacular standard Doxie is $149, but needs to be hooked up to a Mac when scanning.

Roots Milano Bag Prince Messenger Bag ($398)

This unisex bag’s interior sleeves can’t accommodate a laptop, and it’s about a third the price of a 13″ MacBook Pro. But heck, who cares? Just imagine your giftee marvelling, slack-jawed, at the rich, handcrafted Italian leather. And even though there’s no laptop pocket, the Milano isn’t completely without amenities: For small gadgets, there’re twin exterior side pockets with magnetic buckles, and an external zippered pouch on the back for documents or an iPad. You might want to throw in a Taipan  MacBook sleeve ($35) from Booq, though.

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Flipboard For iPhone Is Like Having A Personalized Magazine In Your Pocket [Review]

Flipboard released its official iPhone app last night. Many users were frustrated initially with error messages during installation and adding services.

The initial surge in traffic caused Flipboard’s servers to buckle under the strain, but the app came back online for most people this morning and it’s been working fine for me since. After playing with Flipboard on the iPhone, I love the way that it aggregates my news and social network feeds into a personalized magazine. The future of media consumption is here, and it’s all about curation.

Flipboard isn’t perfect, but the new iPhone app is about as good as it gets. There are some minor things I would like to change, like setting the ‘star’ option to save links to Instapaper instead of adding them as favorites to Twitter, but I have very few complaints overall. The folks at Flipboard did a fantastic job on this release, and all of the attention the app has been receiving is well deserved.

If you’ve used Flipboard on the iPad then you already know how it works. You add feeds and services (Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.) as separate tiles. The app offers all kinds of recommended sources to add (Cult of Mac is proudly featured in the “Tech & Science” section) with a variety of topics (Travel, Sports, Entertainment, etc.). The most trusted brands and sites can be added there, or you can search for other RSS feeds and add those manually.

From a design perspective, Flipboard gets a lot of things right. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d like the card-like flipping animation that remains incredibly prevalent throughout the app, but the idea of flipping up and down through stories isn’t as non-intuive as I thought. Everything feels smooth and fluid.

The biggest feature that Flipboard is touting in its iPhone app is Cover Stories. The creators call Cover Stories the “place to quickly catch up on some of the most interesting news, updates and photos being shared with you right now.”  It’s also a curation tool, as the “more you interact with your friends and the stories being shared, the smarter Cover Stories gets.”

While I haven’t used Cover Stories enough to really see if it actually does adapt to my habits, I appreciate that Flipboard is trying to quiet the noise by offering a simple, relaxing way to consume news and social media in one place. It’s meant to give you the news that you care about, not everything that’s posted in the ether. Cover Stories is supposedly coming to the iPad soon, and I can see it being an even more attractive feature on a bigger screen.

The best thing about Flipboard for iPhone is that it’s free, so you have absolutely no reason not to try it. From what I can tell, this is only the beginning of what Flipboard has planned. The company wants to take the way we’ve traditionally read the internet and turn it on its head. And I’m ok with that.

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iPad 3 Will Be Backwards Compatible With All Smart Covers, But Not Current iPad 2 Cases [Report]

According to Japanese Mac blog Macotakara, the iPad 3 will be backwards compatible with current Smart Covers, despite the fact that it will be so thick as to not work with iPad 2 cases.

Macotakara claims that they don’t know the reason the iPad 3 will be thicker than the iPad 2, but we do: it’s necessary in order to install the twin-light system needed to lluminate the iPad 3′s Retina Display.

As for the image above, your guess is as good as ours. Macotakara seems to think it somehow relates to an iPad 3, so maybe it’s the unbranded aluminum back panel of one or something? As for the Smart Cover backwards compatibility, considering that all that is necessary to keep a Smart Cover on are magnets in the right places, I wouldn’t be surprised if Smart Covers continued to be backwards compatible for future iPads for many generations to come.

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Apple’s Not Making An iTV, They Are Just Bringing The iMac To The Living Room [Analyst]

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the so-called iTV, Steve Jobs’s “cracking” of the HDTV problem. But what if the iTV is just a rumor, and Apple instead plans on fixing television by making iMacs into HDTVs?

According to Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, the iMac could work as a “bridge” TV to the eventual iTV:

Blair envisions the company pushing the largest screen sizes of the iMac toward the TV market by integrating Apple TV and iCloud features into a slimmer all-in-one PC with TV capabilities.

“We think this makes sense because while we typically think about the newest TV’s hanging on the wall in large form factors, Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market,” he writes. “In short, we believe the initial Apple TV is their iMac computer that can function as a TV, over the iCloud platform.”

In essence, what he’s saying is that if you turn Front Row into the Apple TV’s interface and make iMacs in slimmer sizes up to 55-inches, Apple can have their cake and eat it too: iMacs could work as both mountable HDTVs and desktop computers, just by knocking off the base.

That’s interesting, but what will ultimately make or break the Apple TV isn’t the hardware, it’s how you control it. The iTV is all about the interface, and it’s the minutiae of how Apple intends for us to finally get rid of our remotes that will really prove if Steve Jobs really did “crack” the HDTV problem.

[via MacRumors]

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