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About Buster Hein

Buster Hein Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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8 apps that will help you survive Snowmageddon 2015

Winter is coming. Photo: Roey Ahram/Flickr

Winter is coming. Photo: Roey Ahram/Flickr

The biggest snowstorm to ever hit New York City is pounding the Northeast today, and it doesn’t look like the blizzard is going to let up any time soon.

More than 2 feet of snow are expected to hit the area. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has already canceled school for tomorrow and the state announced all highways will be closed by midnight tonight. But before you hole up with your loved ones for the next few days, make sure to download these eight apps that will help you make it out alive.

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Fore! Apple Pay is teeing off on the PGA Tour this week

Apple Pay is coming to the golf course. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay is coming to the golf course. Photo: Apple

Apple Pay has already invaded MLB stadiums and NBA games, but next up on the list of major sports to accept Apple’s contactless payments system will be golfers.

The city of Phoenix is gearing up to host the Super Bowl this week, but the PGA is hoping to steal a little thunder with the revelation this morning that Apple Pay will make its first ever debut on the golf course at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open this week.

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Apple to shutdown TestFlightapp.com by end of February

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Apple acquired TestFlight maker Burtsly last year and quickly added it to iOS in an effort to improve the iOS beta testing experience for both developers and testers. Now Apple plans to close the independent site TestFlightapp.com to Android users and everyone else, forcing iPhone and iPad owners to only test apps through the official TestFlight iOS app.

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50% of U.S. smartphones activated last quarter were iPhones

The iPhone 6 dominated 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 6 dominated 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple enjoyed historic sales this holiday season, and while the company won’t reveal its official earnings until January 27th, based on the latest smartphone activation report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple dominated the holiday shopping season and accounted for 50% of all smartphone activations in Q4 2014.

Tim Cook is likely to announce another record breaking quarter as Apple nearly doubled the number of activations of its closest competitor Samsung, which accounted for a modest 26% of the market.

Check out the surprising graph below:

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Psychedelic new Sonos logo will put you on a music trip

Sonos' new logo is trippy (Pro Tip: scroll up and down while looking at it).

Sonos’ new logo is trippy (Pro Tip: scroll up and down while looking at it).

We love Sonos speakers here at Cult of Mac. In fact, we can barely make it through our Faves and Raves segment on the CultCast without Leander waxing poetic for the sleek wireless speakers.

The company just teamed up with Bruce Mau Design to create a new psychedelic logo that’s nearly as entertaining their HiFi systems that let you beam sound to any room in your house. If you scroll up and down the page you’ll notice a pulsing effect on the logo, similar to a bass thumping speaker.

There’s no mention on Bruce Mau Design’s website as to whether the optical illusion is intentional. If not it’s an awesome accident. Go ahead and wiggle the page up and down to experience the the visual effect yourself.

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The inside story of Apple’s amazing Hangzhou Store mural

Wang Dongling's poem at the Hengzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple

Wang Dongling’s poem at the Hangzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple

Apple’s stunning new store in Hangzhou China is drawing raves, even though no one has seen what it’ll actually look like. The outside of the store has been covered with a giant Apple Store sized mural during construction, only instead of throwing up another boring white box, Apple teamed up with famous calligrapher Wang Dongling to create a beautiful poem on the outside.

To celebrate the upcoming West Lake store, Apple published a video today going behind the scenes with Dongling and his creative process for creating the artwork on the store. Dongling is renowned for his experimentation in merging Western and Chinese forms to push calligraphy in a new direction.

“The lines in calligraphy need to have life in them”, Dangling says in the video. “They need to have an aesthetic feeling. They need to have a kind of magical energy endowed by nature.”

Watch the full behind the scenes clip below:

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Angela Ahrendts’ huge Apple paycheck blasts her through gender pay gap

Will.i.am cheesin' with Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts at the Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/ Cult of Mac

Will.i.am cheesin’ with Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts at the Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/ Cult of Mac

Angela Ahrendts was arguably Apple’s biggest hire of 2014, and according to the company’s latest SEC filing, luring the Burberry CEO over to Apple wasn’t cheap.

In 2014, Apple’s new SVP of retail and online stores was the highest paid executive at Apple. It’s the first time in Apple history that the highest paid person at the company is a woman, and Apple gave her a transition package that made even Tim Cook’s salary look like pittance pay.

Ahrendts made her move from Burberry to Apple in May of 2014. By the end of the year Apple paid her over $64 million more than CEO Tim Cook. In fact, Cook wasn’t even in the top 4 highest paid employees at Apple last year. Eddie Cue took home the second biggest salary with $24,445,739, while Jeff Williams (aka Tim Cook’s Tim Cook) took home $24,403,235.

Check out the full breakdown of executive compensation below:

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World’s worst iPad thieves caught thanks to celebratory selfie

#1 rule of stealing iPads: don't upload a selfie after. Photo: TheSmokingGun

A celebratory selfie undid these two iPad thieves. Photo: TheSmokingGun

Meet the world’s worst iPad thieves: Dillian Thompson (20) and Dorian Walker-Gaines (22). From “the money team.”

Houston police arrested these two geniuses after they uploaded a celebratory selfie video from Burger King to flaunt the cash they stole, along with an iPad, laptop and a couple other items left in someone’s unlocked car. The duo took a number of selfies and even uploaded a video to Facebook showing the $5,000 in C-notes they’d just stolen.

“This, my good people, is what we get from a good night’s hustle,” Dillian says in the video, completely oblivious to the wonders of iCloud and the felony theft charges that are about to follow.

Check out their video below:

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China will screen all Apple products for NSA backdoor

Apple is ready to explode in China. Photo: Apple

Apple is ready to explode in China. Photo: Apple

Apple has agreed to accept the Chinese government’s demands to run network safety evaluations on all Apple products before they can be imported into the country.

Tim Cook met with the country’s Internet and Information office last December to discuss Apple’s plans in China, and has since consented to the government’s demands that they be allowed screen products for the fabled NSA backdoor. According to a spokesperson who was also present at the meeting, Cook has assured Chinese officials that Apple will fully cooperate with the governments wishes to have products inspected for security concerns.

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