Soon, you can run Apple TV from your iPhone


Siri Remote menu button
Your tininess and fragility doesn't scare us anymore.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

An upcoming update to the iPhone’s Remote app will let it completely control your Apple TV.

We’re looking forward to this because while we love the Siri Remote that comes with Apple’s latest streaming box, it has a few problems. First, it’s tiny, and we’ve discovered it wedged inside the absolute farthest and darkest corners of our couches far too often. It’s also covered in glass, and while we know that it’s really strong glass, we’re slightly afraid of breaking it because see Point 1: It’s just a little thing.

Third, if the worst happens and we do lose or break our Siri Remote, a replacement costs $79, and then the anxiety starts all over again.

In other words, bring on the update, Apple.

Apple demands court ruling on mobile encryption


iPhone mobile encryption touch id

Photo: Olly Browning/Pixabay

In a court letter today, Apple is insisting that the legal system make up its mind on mobile encryption.

This is a bit of a surprise, and it’s hardly necessary anymore for the case at hand. The defendant has entered a guilty plea since the question of whether law enforcement could induce Apple to access encrypted information on its devices first arose. But in its two-page letter, Apple wants a decision anyway for “efficiency and judicial economy.”

It might also clear up a bunch of its own headaches.

Facebook loses appeal as court rules in favor of nudity


We'd make this our cover photo, but that might just be asking for trouble.
Photo: "L'Origine du monde" by Daniele Dalledonne, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Cropped and Facebook logo with drop shadow added.

An earlier ruling in the Facebook nudity case has prevailed as a court has ruled that the social-media giant can be sued anywhere in the world.

Facebook had appealed last year’s decision, which said that the company was incorrect to suspend a French art teacher’s account that included a picture of a nude painting. The California-based company argued, unsuccessfully, that users could only sue it under the laws of that state.

Siri might suffocate the southern drawl


Siri Texas
King of the Hill's inscrutable Texan, Boomhauer, may not get a whole lot of use out of Siri.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Misunderstandings and repeated requests are among the hurdles that everyone who uses Siri — or any digital assistant, for that matter — have to deal with to run things with their voice, but some groups have it even harder than others.

If I want to make the smartbulb in my bedroom lamp turn white, for example, Siri always interprets “Make the Bedroom white” as “Make the Bedroom light,” and I can’t even imagine why I would be saying that. I can say, “Make the Bedroom green” or any other color, and it will work. But in order to get that direct-sunlight jam happening, I have to be more specific, like, “Make the bedroom light white.” And that’s not the worst problem to have with miraculous future-tech, but it is kind of hard to say.

But it could be worse; I could belong to one of the groups that have difficulty having even the most basic of interactions with Siri. And their problems don’t stem the program’s occasional deafness but rather its inherent incompatibility with how they speak.

We’re talking about Texans, y’all.

iPad magician celebrates Year of the Monkey by annoying chimps


Ipad magic chimps
I've heard of chimps eating people's faces for less than this.
Photo: Simon Pierro

Simon Pierro, the “iPad magician,” thought he should find an appropriate way to ring in the Chinese New Year. And it’s the Year of the Monkey, so the obvious call was to perform his feats of tech-assisted illusion for a bunch of increasingly aggravated chimpanzees, even though they aren’t actually monkeys?

Alright, so they don’t really get that mad, considering Pierro has the intelligence and sense of self-preservation to actually give them some peanuts after cruelly magic-ing them away. But the tension is real.

Check out the full video below.