(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
Equalizers haven’t been a fashionable tech feature since Boomboxes went out of style in the 90’s, but Spotify just released a major update to its iOS app and I can’t stop playing with its fun new equalizer.
Spotify’s 1.1 update includes a number of other new features like a redesigned Artist page on iPad and new Discover feature, but the simple equalizer is perhaps the most useful new addition, allowing users to customize presets with six sliders.
Apple added two new channels to Apple TV for customers in the U.S. on Tuesday, along with a few other additions for countries around the world.
Starting today, Apple TV users can access the new CNBC and Fox Now channels to watch on-demand video content from the company’s top programs like Cosmos & 24 on the Fox end, and uhhhh, American Greed and Restaurant Startups on CNBC.
Most Apple Store thieves we’ve seen prefer to go with the classic smash and grab technique, but according to federal court charges, one fraudster in Florida broke his Apple heist into 42 separate scams by using a simple but major flaw in Apple’s credit card processing system to plunder $309,768 worth of products from Apple’s retail locations.
We’re probably less than two months away from the announcement of the iPhone 6, but if you just can’t wait another minute to tell your fanboy friends that you’ve already pre-ordered the 6, luxury retailer Brikk is ready to accept your pre-orders. But it’s going to set you back at least $4,495.
Hilton Hotels is planning to turn your iPhone into the ultimate control center for your entire hotel stay by allowing guests to check-in, choose an exact room, and even unlock your room, straight from its app.
The company announced its digital enhancements for the hotel experience will be available globally for over 650,000 rooms, at more than 4,000 hotels by the end of 2014, ensuring you won’t have to interact with a single human being the next time you stay at their hotels.
Apple’s recently acquired music streaming service, Beats Music, just received its biggest update since getting scooped up by Apple at the end of May, adding new features that let you fine tune your musical tastes on the service and view songs that were just served up in The Sentence.
Apple has been struggling to produce enough sapphire displays in time for the iPhone 6, but after going straight to the source of the freakishly indestructible glass – GT Advanced Technologies – MIT has learned of the company’s plans to use a giant machine that may solve all of Apple’s sapphire production problems, one slice of sapphire at a time.
The problem with sapphire glass is that while amazingly durable, it’s also ridiculously hard to produce in thin smartphone sized sheets. Apple’s current production methods involve taking a large chunk of sapphire and sawing it down to just a few hundred micrometers thick. It’s time consuming and wasteful, but GT’s new Hyperion 4 Ion Implanter technology could allow it to make paper thin sheets of pure crystal sapphire glass just by bombarding it with hydrogen ions.
Production issues continue to plague the 5.5-inch iPhablet, and while the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is on target to launch in September, Apple may have just decided to pair the launch of its first wearable alongside its first foray into phablets, says one of Weibo’s top Apple leakers.
Tell me if you’ve heard this rumor before: the iPhone is getting NFC this year.
Well NFC fever is back again for 2014’s iPhone rumor season, only instead oozing from the mouths of misinformed analysts, a new rumor based on alleged iPhone 6 logic board claims that both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s will be the first Apple devices to finally support near field communications.
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 we've found a documentary on the world's worst soccer team, a scathingly satiric book on America's fame obsession, and the funnest pop-punk album of the summer.
War of the Whales, by Joshua Horwitz
Fans of the Blackfish documentary will enjoy Joshua Horwitz's incredible new book that takes readers into the tale of an attorney who stumbled onto the US Navy's submarine detection system that floods the ocean with devastating high-intensity sound waves, driving whales onto beaches. A legal fight is launched to expose and challenge the Navy's program, but the effort to reveal the truth sets up an epic battle that spills over the pages of War of the Whales, combining legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue into an surprising tale of the battle for the ocean's future.
iTunes - $12.99
Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
Never Hungover Again, the third album from Torrance-based pop-punk quartet Joyce Manor, is the group’s most diverse effort yet with higher production than past LPS and even more instantly-likeable jams packed into the ten songs that clock in at just 19 minutes total.
iTunes - $9.99
Scarlett Johansson's sci-fi thriller Lucy is set to dominate the box office this weekend, but if you'd rather watch another summer sci-fi flick that amps up a hollywood sex symbol's brain power to world dominating levels, check out Transcendace. It's got Jonny Depp, Morgan Freeman, and it's now available to rent.
iTunes - $5.99
Next Goal Wins
Germany just made Brazil look like the worst team in the world with a 7-1 beat down on its way to the World Cup title, but let me introduce you to the absolute worst team in the world: American Samoa. In 2001 they lost to Australia 31 - 0. The world's worst ever defeat. The team hadn't won a single game in decade, but in the documentaryNext Goal Wins, you get to take a ride with the ultimate underdogs on their road to redemption.
iTunes - $4.99
Arts and Entertainments, by Christopher Beha
You know our culture's obsession with fame has reached moronic levels when Kim Kardashian has the top game on the App Store. Christopher Beha's new novel, Arts and Entertainments lands this month with a biting and incisive take-down on our love for the fame game thanks to the hilarious story of Handsome Eddie Hartley who disastrously dives into the spotlight by releasing a sex tape of his ex-girlfriend who has since become a popular TV-star.
iTunes - $9.99
La Roux - Trouble in Paradise
The music on La Roux's second album, Trouble in Paradise, is bright, fun, slick and somehow immediately familiar. In some ways, Elly Jackson's synthpop songs remind me of like a 2010-hipsterized version of Gloria Estefan and her glorious 80's dance beats, only Ms. Roux is obviously from Britain, rather than the shores of Havana, and not quite as dangerously talented.
iTunes - $7.99
One Plus One, by JoJo Moyes
If you don't want to read about how the government is screwing whales, or get depressed by a satiric takedown on our collective obsession with fame, you may be interested in Jojo Moyes newest opposites-attract love story, One Plus One, that provides a quirky tale of two lopsided families struggling to find love.
iTunes - $10.99
Common - Nobody's Smiling
For his tenth studio album, Common steps back into the violence and crime flourishing in Chicago's city streets. Nobody's Smiling is short on big name guest appearances - other than an verse from Big Sean on Diamonds followed by Jhene Aiko on Blak Majik - but the wordplay from Common threading through the issues plaguing the city that made him a star show why he's earned his elder statesman status in the rap world.
iTunes - $11.99
After spending 12 years in prison, Jude Law's loud mouth, safe-cracking character, Dom Hemingway, is back on the streets of London and ready to take back everything he's owed. Even if you don't like Jude Law, it's got plenty of great British humor and Game of Thrones' khaleesi to hold your attention.
iTunes - $5.99