(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.
About Buster Hein
Uber has been sideswiped by a ridiculous number of controversies lately, but things are about to get even worse for the ride-sharing service. A security researcher just reverse-engineered the code of Uber’s Android app and made a startling discovery: It’s “literally malware.”
Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app “calls home” and sends data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber has access to users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also accesses call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible.
Natalie Portman may play a major role in the upcoming Steve Jobs movie scripted by Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin.
The actress is in talks to join the film, reports Deadline, and while the details of her role are unknown, she’s expected to play a major part in the movie that will feature Steve Jobs’ first daughter Lisa as the main heroine.
Are you prepared for Thanksgiving?
We’re just hours away from Thanksgiving and all the family, turkey, football, and drama that comes with it, whether you’re prepared or not.
To help you get ready for the big day and dominate the feast, Cult of Mac has come up with 7 pro tips that will help you become a better cook, entertain the family, and most importantly, maintain your sanity.
Photo: Tim Sackton/Flickr
Prepare food smarter
Planning to pack on the pounds during tomorrow’s feast? PrepPad will help you cook and eat more responsibly by weighing your food and then connecting to a database of 350,000 items to tell you how much you should eat based on your nutritional profile. Combined with its companion iPad app, the Prep Pad becomes a full scale cooking platform, giving you precise info on how many carbs and calories you’re cramming down your throat. $149.95
Take cooking lessons
Take your Thanksgiving feast to an all-new level with the App Store’s cornucopia of apps that will turn you into a Master Chef in no time. Epicurious has all the recipes you’ll need, while Substitutions will help you avert disaster if someone forgets an important ingredient. Bon Apetit has a special Turkey Day app out. Butterball will help you roast your bird to perfection. And if you’re dreading making a last dash to the grocery store, you can just use Instacart and get all the fixings delivered to your front door.
Tap into the power of the cloud
Belkin brings the power of the cloud to your kitchen with its internet-connected crockpot that can be turned on or off remotely, so you can keep your flag football game going without worrying about when you need to get home. The slow cooker crockpot comes with an iOS and Android app that lets you adjust the timer or temperature from anywhere. And it sports manual controls on the front for those that like to keep it old school. $129.99
Don't burn the bird
You can take some of the stress out of cooking a 30 pound turkey by using iDevice’s kitchen thermometer. It comes with a two-probe digital meat thermometer and accompanying app. Just thrust one probe into your bird and the app will alert you when the meat reaches optimal temperature. - $81.49
Get your game on
Spending the entire day with your entire family can be a torture sentence, but some good games can make the time pass so much quicker. We’ve been absolutely addicted to Vainglory the past week, and with it’s Team mode, you can recruit your cousins or in-laws to band together and crush the Kraken.
If MOBAs aren’t your thing, Space Age is one of the best games of the month. Kingdom Rush Origins will also keep you busy for a few hours, and if you just need a great one minute game, download CrossyRoad.
Entertain the guests
Once the turkey’s been devoured and half the family has dropped into a tryptophan coma, it’s prime time to fire up the Apple TV and watch some movies (unless you’d rather watch crapass football). Pretty much everyone is going to love rewatching Guardians of the Galaxy now that it’s on iTunes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also dropped this week, but if you’d like to learn how your food went from the fields to your feast, check out Food Chains - a powerful new documentary about the farmworkers who pick your food.
Capture the magic moments
You're going to snap a ton of pictures tomorrow. The iPhone’s camera app is great, but to unleash your camera's full potential try out Manual to capture your Thanksgiving festivities. Manual gives users full control of image exposure with DSLR-like controls that let you tweak the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and exposure compensation, to help you bring out better pictures than the iPhone’s automatic camera.
For editing pictures, we swear by VSCO as the best all-around photography app. It’s got advanced camera controls and its editing features and filters are hard to top. For video, switch it up by using Hyperlapse to create buttery smooth video of all the action.
It’s been over a decade since the last time Hollywood took us to the magical world of friendly and fun dinosaurs, but the first trailer for Jurassic World has been released, and from the looks of things, everything’s changed and yet nothing is different at all.
The park is open and humans are back on the menu. Chris Pratt is all over the first trailer, playing a genius paleontologists brought to the island to investigate the disappearance of a genetically-modified super dinosaur, created by Jurassic World’s air-head scientists, who obviously didn’t learn from the past three movies.
Watch the full trailer below:
Apple packed the biggest display it’s ever made onto the iPhone 6 Plus, and while its 1920×1080 resolution is great for streaming 1080p videos, it turns out that Apple also secretly added 4K video support without telling anyone.
The iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus all support 4K video playback out of the box, thanks to the new A8 processor added this year. Apple doesn’t list 4K video playback as one of the A8 chips features, but the discovery was made by the developers behind WALTR, who posted proof of 4K video playback on the iPhone 6 this weekend.
Americans are four days away showing how grateful they are for the biggest shopping day of the year, and to draw in more upgrades than ever, Apple is giving away $50 iTunes gift cards with the purchase of every iPhone and iPad.
Continuing its huge (RED) promotion announced yesterday, Apple will dole out (RED) iTunes gift cards in varying amounts to shoppers who pick something up on Black Friday. The deals aren’t much more impressive than last year’s meager offerings, but for the first time ever, Apple is including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the deal.
You can also get an iTunes gift card for buying a Mac, iPod, Apple TV, or Beats product. Here’s how much iTunes cash you’ll get for each:
Going gear-shopping for your favorite outdoors-loving friend or family member can be harder than trekking up Mount St. Helens as she’s about to blow. There are so many options, but so much crap.
To help you out with your holiday shopping, Cult of Mac waded through the endless lists of camping and hiking gear and gadgets to find the stuff your special someone will love.
Whether you’re looking for something for an adventuring buddy, or picking a present for someone you’d never want to be trapped in a tent with, we’ve found gifts for everyone. From hiking clothes to campsite gadgets, we’ve got you covered.
Microsoft has assaulted Siri with a wave of ads pitting the popular digital assistant against Windows Phone’s Cortana, and while Siri repeatedly gets topped in areas like traffic alerts and reminders, she’s got some secret rhyming skills Cortana can’t top.
To showcase Siri’s mad ability to flow like lava, hip-hop producer Skeewiff featured her skills on his latest track “Know How.” Turns out Siri had the busiest rhymes ever made by man after all, and she’s got some harsh words for Cortana and Google Now.
Check the rhymes below the break:
The launch of Apple Pay last month was seen by many as a possible deathblow to Square’s mobile payments service, but CEO Jack Dorsey told CNN today that he doesn’t view Apple Pay as a competitor at all. In fact, Dorsey says his company is open to all forms of payment methods, and they plan to start accepting Apple Pay next year.
A new batch of Apple rumors awaits you…
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
This week we’ve heard rumors that Apple could be readying the biggest iPhone camera upgrade ever with DSLR-quality photos. There’s also whispers that your next iMac could double as a smoke alarm, and other juicy bits. But you’ll have to step up to our crystal ball to find out if they’re likely to come true.
Your next Mac could be a fire alarm
The Rumor: You next Mac could double as a smoke alarm.
The Verdict: There's a 65% chance of this coming true. Apple recently patented a fireproof material for Macs too, so it seems like they're looking intently at connected-home solutions.
Samsung and Apple, attached at the hip
The Rumor: Arch-rival Samsung will remain Apple's top chip supplier.
The Verdict: Most likely. Apple's been trying to reduce its dependency on Samsung components and manufacturing for years, but the problem is there's just not another company that can compete with Samsung's chipmaking biz. TSMC tried but they're still not able to handle as much of the load as Apple would like, so Apple's stuck with Samsung, for better or worse.
Lightning connected accessories
The Rumor: Apple is going to let third-parties use its Lightning port on accessories.
The Verdict: Probably. Apple's proprietary Lightning port is so much easier to use than Micro-USB and other options, that it'd be a shame if Apple limited it to just iPhones. 9to5Mac reports that third-party accessory makers should be getting access soon. Expect to see a slew of Lightning port headphones and other goodies early next year.
Beats Music Bloatware, coming soon.
The Rumor: Beats Music will come preloaded on iOS devices next year.
The Verdict: Probably true, but we wish it weren't. My iPhone already has 23 pre-installed Apple apps that I wish I could delete. Adding a mandatory Beats Music app to the mix just weighs it down even more. Someone needs to tell Tim Cook that bloatware died last decade.
4K video on the iPhone 6s?
The Rumor: The iPhone 6s will get a gigantic 21MP camera upgrade.
The Verdict: This rumor looks very promising. We're still 10 months from the iPhone 6s reveal, but Sony (Apple's camera sensor supplier) announced a huge 21MP sensor that also does 4K HDR video. Adding to the rumor, John Gruber says he's heard from a birdie that Apple will use a new dual-lens system to give the iPhone 6s DSLR-like quality photos. It sounds almost too good to be true, but the "S" update usually comes with big camera upgrades, so we expect there to be some significant improvements. Especially since Apple didn't do much with the camera on the iPhone 6.