(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.
About Buster Hein
Picks of the week...
So you don't have to slog through a lake of reviews to find something you’re just going to put down after 10 minutes, Cult of Mac has waded through the iTunes Store to compile a list of the best new books, movies and music to come out this week.
This week the most destructive giant lizard in the world lands on iTunes. The New Pornographer treat us to some happy new indie rock. And Susan Pinker explains why you should put down your iPhone and start talking to people face-to-face.
Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers
What it sounds like: Happy indie pop rock you just can't help but to dance to.
Why you should listen to it: The songwriting on Brill Bruisers is deeper, riskier and more engaging than anything New Pornographers have made their 15 years together.
iTunes - $9.99
What it's about: Robin Wright plays a version of herself as the former starlet of Princess Bride whose final job involves preserving her digital likeness so she can make enough money to care for her sick son.
Why you should watch it: The entire journey from digital to real and back again is both trippy, compelling and filled with great performances by John Hamm, Paul Giamatti, and Robin Wright.
iTunes - $6.99
Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
What it's about: A 1930's noir era tribute to hard-boiled private detective stories that intertwines the lives of five female characters throughout the Depression and WWII years.
Why you should read it: Feiffer has created a genre-bending book that reads like a film noir with a cartoonist's version of a detective story that features both tremendous breadth and scope.
iTunes - $14.99
LOSE - Cymbals Eat Guitars
What it sounds like: Loud vintage indie with revived guitar tones and clever-tongued turns of phrase.
Why you should listen to it: You need more rock in your life and less Ariana Grande.
iTunes - $9.99
What it's about: The world's most popular monster gets back to his roots of destroying Earth's most iconic cities
Why you should watch it: Gareth Edwards brings the monster franchise back to its roots with a movie that's as much about the humans as the enormous lizard causing destruction.
iTunes - $19.99
Lock In by John Scalzi
What it's about: A highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe, giving one percent of its victims Lock In disease, leaving them unable to move or respond to stimulus.
Why you should read it: John Scalzi is one of the best sci-fi writers alive, and this time he's thrown in a delicious murder mystery into his work.
iTunes - $11.99
10 Summers - DJ Mustard
What it sounds like: Party-anthem hip-hop beats that are whimsical and worry-free.
Why you should listen to it: It's not great contemplative music, but if you're ready to party over Labor Day weekend, no one is making infectious beats to party right now like Mustard.
iTunes - $7.99
What it's about: 10 years after a global economic collapse, Guy Pearce stars as a loner traveling down the road of vengeance after a pack of criminals steal the only thing in the world that matters to him.
Why you should watch it:The cinematography is great. Guy Pearce does a pretty good job at playing a bad ass, and Robert Pattinson does an even better job at being a dimwitted thief.
iTunes - $14.99
The Village Effect by Susan Pinker
What it's about: How your iPhone is destroying your life because face-to-face contact is crucial for learning, happiness, resilience, and longevity.
Why you should read it: Your eyes are tired. Your fingers are sore. And you've realized it's time to step away from iPhone screen for a bit and have real relationships with people.iTunes - $12.99
Every nerd loves a good Apple rumor, and late night show host Jimmy Kimmel is no exception. Jimmy has a history of pranking street walkers with fake Apple products with some hilarious results, but in his latest sketch tackling rumors of a 12.9-inch iPad, Jimmy takes to the streets again to show just how ridiculous you’re going to look when Apple’s gigantic tablet is released next year.
Check out the short skit below:
iPhone 6 components have been leaking out of China like a broken fire hydrant, and while we’ve joked that someone could probably make a working iPhone out of all them, the guys at Feld and Volk actually went and did it.
Using parts sourced from their suppliers in China, the Russian luxury iPhone modifiers have assembled an iPhone 6 using a leaked case, logic board, display, true-tone flash and camera, and then connected the hacked-together device to iTunes just to see what would happen. To their surprise the device booted up, but couldn’t connect to the software update servers.
Check out the full hands-on video below:
The iPhone 6’s NFC chip has been spotted for the first time, according to images of an supposedly leaked iPhone 6 logic board that’s been fully assembled with Apple’s next-generation A8 processor, NFC chip, and another chip from Avago Technologies.
Previous leaks have shown the iPhone 6’s bare logic board, but the images from Feld & Volk give us our first look at some of the new chips. The new 2Ghz dual-core A8 chip is expected supposed to be much faster and smaller than the A7 in the iPhone 5s.
Here’s a shot of the NXP’s tiny NFC chip that could also make an appearance on the iWatch:
The iPhone 6 invites are out, but which rumors are true…
Apple made its iPhone 6 announcement official this week by sending invitations to an event on September 9th, but that's not going to stop the rumor mill from churning out new juicy tidbits of Apple gossip.
This week we’re back behind our crystal ball trying to divine the true meaning of the Apple universe and its endless rumors. Will NFC really land on the iPhone 6? Is a gigantic 13-inch iPad coming soon? And is the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 really just a ghost toying with our appetite for more pixels?
Step up to the crystal ball and see past the rumors and into the future…
Some iWatch with your iPhone 6
The Rumor: Apple will reveal its first wearable at next month’s iPhone event.
The Verdict: This rumor is so accurate, you could set your watch to it. Recode’s John Paczkowski, who reported the iWatch’s inclusion in iPhone event, has phenomenal Apple sources. He nailed the September 9th event months in advance, so you can trust that Apple’s first wearable will at least get some time in the spotlight at the Flint Center, even if the wide release doesn’t happen until a few months later.
Giant iPads coming soon
The Rumor: A 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be revealed at the beginning of 2015.
The Verdict: This is starting to sound believable. Apple could use a tablet aimed specifically an enterprise and people who think more inches would allow them to get work done. My only problem with the 12.9-inch iPad is that it’s just not big enough. 12inches? Jony, let’s stretch that thing out to 32-inches and toss a TV antenna inside so I can throw some double sided tape on the back and mount it to my living room wall.
Changing the charger
The Rumor: The iPhone 6 5-watt charger is getting a redesign.
The Verdict: Looks promising. Apple is redesigning its USB cables to be reversible, so why not throw some design love at its tiny charger. The leaked images we’ve seen look just like the charger Apple uses in the Australia, only with US prongs.
MacBooks go on a diet
The Rumor: The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro will retire at the end of 2014 to make way for thinner MacBooks.
The Verdict: Too early to tell. We’ve heard rumblings of new MacBooks designs on the way, and Apple still has an October event where they could introduce them, but it’s hard to believe Apple’s doing away with the 13-inched entirely, unless that 12-inch Retina MacBook Air is finally ready for primetime.
Barometer coming to iPhone 6
The Rumor: A barometric pressure sensor called “Phosphorus” will land on the iPhone 6.
The Verdict: Seems likely. The info comes courtesy of GeekBar which leaked a couple of wiring schematics last week. Android smartphones have used barometers since 2011, so it seems like something Apple would eventually start using too.
NFC payments hit the big time
The Rumor: The iPhone 6 will use NFC as the key piece of its mobile payments platform.
The Verdict: 2014 will the year the iPhone gets NFC. Apple prefers the battery performance of Bluetooth LE, but we’ve heard whispers that Apple needs NFC because it has better security when two devices shake hands. The NFC rumor has come and gone too many times for fans to get their hopes but, but even Gruber thinks NFC is coming to the iPhone, and also the iWatch.
5.5-inch iPhone 6 will be MIA on Sept. 9th
The Rumor: The first iPhablet won’t make an appearance at Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement.
The Verdict: Possibly not. There have been almost zero hardware leaks that hint at production ramping up. Countless rumors have claimed production issues have set the device back. The device will be like the iPhone and iPad’s incestuous cousin, so maybe it’d make more sense to announce it at the iPad event anyway, if the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is even a real device at all.
The official unveiling of the iPhone 6 has finally been announced for September 9th, and while the iWatch has been rumored to make a surprise appearance at the event, “informed sources” out of China report that Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 6 won’t be seen at the Flint Center for performing arts.
Chinese tech blog IT168 Mobile reports that Apple’s upcoming event will launch two new iPhones, but we will only see a 4.7-inch iPhone 6, plus a new 8GB iPhone 5s to presumably to replace the iPhone 5c.
Apple’s decision to host its biggest event of the year at the Flint Center in Cupertino, rather than the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, has caught the notice of many Apple fans.
Only three Apple events have been held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, including the introductions of the Macintosh in 1984 and the Bondi Blue iMac in 1998. That’s also about the last time the Flint Center updated its website.
Apple just made its September 9 iPhone/iWatch event official by sending out press invites that revealed pretty much nothing other than the date of the event. To add to the mystery of what could be an Apple double-feature, with both the iPhone 6 and the iWatch taking the stage, one MacRumors reader at Woz’s alma mater noticed that Apple is already building a massive side stage at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts.
The iPhone 6 is going to attempt to replace your wallet, according to a report from Wired, claiming Apple’s mobile payment system will debut as a major feature in the iPhone 6, and NFC is a key piece of the puzzle.
Apple’s mobile payments platform will take on Google Wallet, Square, and others this September by adding NFC and a secure element to store all your credit cards info on the iPhone 6, allowing users to make NFC payments with retailers with out having to fumble around with your cash or credit card.
Apple will unveil its first foray into wearables at a special event in September, reports Recode’s John Paczkowski who previously reported that Apple had an October event scheduled for the iWatch, but the plans have changed.
Rumors of production delays have hounded the iWatch over the last few months, suggesting Apple might not even reveal the device until early 2015, but according to Recode’s report, the iWatch will actually debut alongside the two new iPhone 6 models during an event on September 9th.