(You're reading all posts by David Pierini)

About David Pierini

David PieriniDavid Pierini joins the Cult of Mac team from the newspaper world, where he was a writer and long-time photographer. Considered a luddite by most of his friends, they did not believe him when he broke the news that he would be writing for a technology website. He is fascinated by human nature and would love to cultivate stories about the people driving the tech bus. Reach out to him at the e-mail address below.

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Potty humor adds levity to historic solar-powered flight

The Solar Impulse 2 will attempt an around-the-world flight powered by the sun. Photo: Solar Impulse

The Solar Impulse 2 will attempt an around-the-world flight powered by the sun. Photo: Solar Impulse

Sometime this month, a plane will lift off from an airstrip in the United Arab Emirates and attempt to fly around the world fueled only by rays of the sun.

How technology will keep the plane airborne, or how two pilots — taking turns during five- and six-day flights — will endure a tiny cockpit, extreme temperatures and very little sleep, have kept the company Solar Impulse busy for 12 years. Aviation history could soon be made.

Yet all anyone wants to know is how the pilots will go to the bathroom.

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Vince Vaughn uses stock photo gag to promote Unfinished Business

Vince Vaughn and the Apex Select Team. Photo: 20th Century Fox/iStock by Getty Images

Vince Vaughn and the Apex Select Team. Photo: 20th Century Fox/iStock by Getty Images

Just look at this team. Their faces read, “Close the deal, you won’t regret it.”

A good stock photo makes you believe, a bad one makes you laugh. But when you recognize the team leader is Vince Vaughn, his smoldering confidence projects that good laughs lie ahead.

To promote his upcoming comedy Unfinished Business, 20th Century Fox used iStock by Getty Images to create a series of stock photos, featuring Vaughn and co-stars Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson, to promote the film. Unlike the bad stock photos that cost money, these are available for editorial use for free.

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Pencil artist works in miniature — and that’s the point

Russian artist Salavat Fidai carves detailed sculptures into the point of a pencil lead. Photo: Salvata Fidai

Russian artist Salavat Fidai carves detailed sculptures out of pencil lead. Photo: Salavat Fadai

Salavat Fidai is working proof that artists need not create large pieces to make a name for themselves.

Much of what he creates is no bigger than the tip of a pencil — literally.

Under the glow of a single work light while his family sleeps, Fidai uses a craft knife and 4x magnifying glass to create tiny sculptures out of pointy pencil lead.

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Live long and prosperous: Canadians pay tribute to Spock with $5 bill

Canadians are honoring the late Leonard Nimoy by "Spocking Fives," a quick alteration that makes a former prime minister look like Mr. Spock. Photo: Comrade Andy Papa/Twitter

Canadians are honoring the late Leonard Nimoy by “Spocking Fives,” a quick alteration that makes a former prime minister look like Mr. Spock. Photo: Comrade Andy Papa/Twitter

From the Vulcan salute by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station to the pancake artist who created a batter likeness of Mr. Spock, the tributes to the late Leonard Nimoy have been touching and creative.

Canadians have gone as far as putting Mr. Spock on the $5 bill though the Bank of Canada is not that thrilled.

The Canadian Design Resource tweeted a request after hearing of Nimoy’s passing on Friday. They asked Canadian’s to “Spock their $5 bills to honor of the iconic Star Trek science officer played on television and in movies by Nimoy.

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Gesture tech will bring hands-free control to your phone

Elliptic Labs CEO Laila Danielsen shows how simple hand gestures can activate her smartphone's camera. Photo: Elliptic Labs

Elliptic Labs CEO Laila Danielsen shows how simple hand gestures can activate her smartphone’s camera. Photo: Elliptic Labs

You taking a selfie and a dolphin hunting for prey don’t seem to have much in common. But what if you could operate your smartphone with signals similar to the ones dolphins use to find food?

Elliptic Labs, which has bases in San Francisco, Norway and China, used the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, to show off advances in ultrasonic touchless gesturing Tuesday that will be available on some smartphone models later this year.

“We are excited about this,” chief technology officer Haakon Bryhni told Cult of Mac in a phone interview from Barcelona. “We’ve been working with touchless gesturing for years and now we have a real breakthrough. The technology enables you to wake up the phone, take a selfie or engage any other functions on the phone without touching it.”

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Terrifying video shows why skydiving is worst time for a seizure

Christopher Jones was unconscious during a skydiving lesson but his jump master reached him in time to pull his chute. Photo: Sheldon McFarlane/YouTube

Christopher Jones was unconscious during a skydiving lesson but his jump master reached him in time to pull his chute. Photo: Sheldon McFarlane/YouTube

Australia has a flying superhero and his name is Sheldon.

A camera mounted on the helmet of his helmet captures Sheldon McFarlane’s successful pursuit of an unconscious skydiving student during a terrifying freefall last November in Australia.

In a YouTube video posted on Sunday, the student, Christopher Jones, is seen rolling on his back as he suffers a seizure during a dive. McFarlane races to Jones, his hand reaching into the frame to pull the parachute’s ripcord. It took McFarlane two attempts to reach Jones.

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iPad drummer’s fingers wearing out en route to 100 songs

The fingers of Apple Man keeps up to Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People. Photo: Apple Man/YouTube

The fingers of Apple Man keeps up to Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People. Photo: Apple Man/YouTube

Apple Man, the “sickest” drummer on virtual skins, added black nail polish to his fast-flying fingers in his latest YouTube video to display his iPad-pounding prowess.

We never see his face, so there’s no telling whether he went full Marilyn Manson with the makeup when he produced a drum cover video on Feb. 26, drumming on the iPad to the song, The Beautiful People.

Apple Man of Japan prefers to remain anonymous, but as you can probably tell by the name, he is a fan of Apple products. He is always willing to share his drumming passion with Cult of Mac readers.

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NASA salutes Nimoy for taking us boldly where no one had gone before

Astronaut Terry Virts tweeted from the International Space Station this special salute to the late Leonard Nimoy. Photo: Terry Virts/Twitter

Astronaut Terry Virts tweeted from the International Space Station this special salute to the late Leonard Nimoy. Photo: Terry Virts/Twitter

Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of unflappable calm and logic during dangerous space travels on TV and in movies inspired those whose stage is actual space.

NASA is mourning the loss of Nimoy as if Mr. Spock was one of their own. Since news of Nimoy’s passing Friday, astronauts have tweeted, uploaded a YouTube video tribute and issued statements, thanking the iconic Star Trek actor for the courage to “boldly go” into professions involving space exploration.

One of the more touching tributes came from astronaut Terry Virts, who tweeted a photo of his hand in Spock’s iconic “Live Long and Prosper” gesture at a window in the International Space Station looking over Earth.

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Lust List: Killer gear for iPhone lovers, bike riders and ax wielders

Key Smart brings Swiss Army order to keys in pocket

Key Smart, right, removes the bulk from your pocket and organizes your keys into a slim handle. Photo: Key Smart

Key Smart, right, removes the bulk from your pocket and organizes your keys into a slim handle. Photo: Key Smart

At our current place on the evolutionary chart, we are a species that carries more things in the pockets of tighter pants.

Michael Tunney understood this every time he went to a bar and saw patrons pull out their cell phones and bulky wads of keys before sitting down. Tunney, himself bothered by keys in the pocket, set out to solve this problem.

The 28-year-old Chicagoan with a manufacturing engineer background invented Key Smart, a holder that keeps keys from jabbing your thigh and removes the unsightly pocket bulge out of form-fitting pants.

Think of a Swiss Army knife, but with keys that fold out of a slim handle.

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