(You're reading all posts by Jim Merithew)

About Jim Merithew

Jim MerithewJim Merithew is director of content at Cult of Mac and Cult of Android. He is the former photo director of Wired and editor at large of Raw File, Wired's photography blog. In more than 25 years as a journalist, including eight years at the San Francisco Chronicle, Jim has led award-winning teams and relentlessly spread the gospel of the bicycle. He also plays guitar in Pickle Horse. Follow him on Instagram (@tinyblackbox) and Twitter (@tinyblackbox).

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#ProTip: The upside to jailbreaking your iPhone

Jay "saurik" Freeman, maker of Cydia, says there are legit reasons to jailbreak your iPhone.

Jay “saurik” Freeman, maker of Cydia, says there are legit reasons to jailbreak your iPhone.

#ProTip: The upside to jailbreaking your iPhone Cult of Mac is at WWDC and AltConf, fishing for ProTips. The world’s biggest gathering of Apple developers is a rich hunting ground filled with alpha geeks, experts par excellence. What’s a ProTip? A ProTip is a nugget of knowledge, a little bit of expertise from someone in the know — a pro.

SAN FRANCISCO — Has Apple ever contacted you? This is one of two questions gray-hat hacker Jay “saurik” Freeman gets asked all the time. It happens so often, he has thought about putting it on a T-shirt.

“I have been contacted by Apple twice — once about a job and the other time a 50-page response to request sent to the copyright office,” he told Cult of Mac after his AltConf presentation on copyright in the digital era.

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Motorcyles, Star Wars and pigeons: 8 more Instagram feeds to follow

Surfing on motorcycles.

Surfing on motorcycles.

This we week we got lost in the vast oasis of Instagram searching for some great photographers to recommend. We wandered down the road searching for fun feeds featuring motorcycles, adventurers, dogs and, oddly, pigeons.

What we found, once again, was how many people are using this amazing visual delivery tool to tell their stories. Sure, we found a ton of poorly done selfies and cliche sayings, but check out what cool stuff we found for you this week.

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Baseball, guitars, food and fishing: 8 Instagrams to follow right now

Tech commuter, probably.

Tech commuter, probably.

Regardless of what interests you have in your life, there is probably an Instagram feed for whatever your proclivities might be. Into rockabilly or baseball or even stamp collecting? You can undoubtedly find a couple of interesting photo feeds.

Since searching Instagram can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor, we have started to do it for you. This week we bring you feeds for baseball fans, vagabonds, parents and a couple of others.

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Zwift wheels its virtual bicycle racing platform into open beta

Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch in September 2014.

Journalists and bike geeks gather at the Rapha Store in San Francisco for Zwift’s launch last September.

Zwift, which calls itself an “online fitness entertainment gaming platform,” has finally opened up its virtual roads for anyone with a bicycle on a trainer to ride.

The virtual bicycle racing platform lets riders hook their two-wheelers up to their computers (Mac or PC). Then they receive real-time data about their ride — including speed, cadence and even power — and can match their performance against another rider who is using Zwift at the same time.

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Kahney’s Korner: Cultmaster lays down an Apple Watch rant

In the first Kahney's Korner, our fearless leader rants and raves about the Apple Watch.

In the first Kahney’s Korner, our fearless leader rants and raves about the Apple Watch.

So here we go. A new video series featuring, of all people, our Editor and Publisher Leander Kahney.

You’ve heard him on the CultCast. You’ve read his books.

You’ve been educated, entertained and occasionally enraged at his stories here on Cult of Mac. And now he is going to come into your lives in talking pictures with his new video series, Kahney’s Korner. The format is pretty loose, but he is never at a loss for words, so this should be pretty fun.

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Unicorns, horror and bikes: 8 Instagram accounts to follow right now


A detail of Adam Jones’ art for new Red Hare album. Photo: Adam Jones/Instagram

Instagram has become riddled with so many photos of kitty cats, inspirational sayings and kitty cats spouting inspirational sayings that it has become nearly impossible to find fun and interesting feeds to follow without spending hours staring at your iPhone. So we did it for you.

This is not so much a “best of” list as a starting point that should open your mind to what else is out there in the great big Insta-world.

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Last-minute Mother’s Day gifts to make your mom giddy

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Moshi Urbana is stylish on the outside and filled with nerdy goodness on the inside. Perfect for mom. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We know all you good boys and girls have had your Mother’s Day gifts wrapped and hidden in the basement for weeks and weeks, but the staff here at Cult of Mac has been so busy covering all the Apple Watch that the holiday crept up on us. So we thought we would share our last-minute Mother’s Day gift guide with you, in case you’re in the same sad boat.

Let’s be honest, though, most of these items come straight from wish lists of the Cult of Mac wives, so even if you already picked out the perfect Mother’s Day gifts for mom, who doesn’t like a “just because you rock” gift?

Moshi Urbana briefcase (above) — $149.95

Smart, stylish and surprisingly spacious, Moshi’s Urbana briefcase will swallow a 15-inch MacBook and still have room for mom’s iPad, books and everything else she always seems to have on hand during a time of emergency. The Urbana offers plenty of pockets for organizing the essentials, plus water-resistant protection from the elements. Geeky enough to make a nerdy mom happy, while stylish enough to not be embarrassing.

Buy from: Amazon

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ILE Equipment bags are made in America but big in Japan


“Inspiration comes in weird places,” says Eric Fischer, owner of ILE Equipment. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

BERKELEY, Calif. — ILE is big in Japan. The California bag company has found a market with the Japanese bike website Blue Lug, and the collaboration keeps pushing ILE into new bags, materials, hardware and color choices.

Eric Fischer, 26, launched ILE (short for “Inside Line Equipment”) out of his apartment four short years ago. He was racing bikes, buying fabric and making bags one at a time for himself, his friends and friends of friends.

“I always liked making things, but building buildings didn’t seem scalable,” Fischer told Cult of Mac. “Making bags seemed more like a painting rather than building a house.”

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Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger and beer, all on tap at Ground Kontrol


A pair of gamers take their chances in Time Crisis II, while another patron gets his ass handed to him playing NBA Jam. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

PORTLAND, Oregon — The glowing light from the beer signs in the window reflects off Bear’s face. He is standing guard tonight at one of Portland’s favorite hot spots, and the line stretches down the street.

A motley-looking cast of characters wait patiently for their chance to get past security. But they are not here to see a punk or metal show, or even for a hot DJ. They are in line to rid their pockets of quarters playing Ms. Pac-Man and other vintage video games at Portland’s Ground Kontrol.

With 60-plus video games and almost 30 pinball machines in operation — all at the price they were circa 1985 — it’s no wonder the arcade is packed with gaming nerds.

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New outdoor gear preps you for nature’s nastiness


Outdoor Retailer’s version of the Kodak Photo Spot is a eye-popping orange sleeping bag thingy for two. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SALT LAKE CITY — Mother Nature’s got a million ways to make your life miserable. Luckily, the outdoor industry is filled with innovators, entrepreneurs and inspired inventors working incessantly to make your adventures more epic and less stressful.

The sheer number of companies hawking advanced snowshoes, crampons and things made of Merino wool proved a little mind-numbing last week at Outdoor Retailer 2015, the industry’s largest convention.

Everything from stitch-free puffy jackets to shoes made with Michelin tire technology were on display in the giant convention center, but we waded past the immense numbers of mannequins and bowls filled with enticing fresh fruit (rather than convention-standard Red Vines) to bring you a few of the more interesting gadgets, clothing items and even a new camera strap for your micro 4:3 camera.

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