(You're reading all posts by John Brownlee) John Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.
About John Brownlee
Can’t get enough of NPR? Literally? Have we got an app for you. It’s called NPR One, and it’s an infinite stream of personalized radio stories that will keep you going all day long.
If you’re like me, you hate OS X’s Dock. While a useful UI innovation on Apple’s part, the dock takes up a surprising amount of screen real estate on what, in the end, adds up to a superfluous amount of visual fluff.
You can hide your dock, sure, but isn’t there a better alternative to dock? As it turns out, there is… and thanks to a cheap Mac app, that alternative is the Menu Bar.
But if you ask me, the best trailer to come out of Comic Con was easily the trailer to the new Mad Max movie. Starring Tom Hardy as the titular character, Fury Road‘s trailer is so incredible… well, you just have to see it for yourself.
Ever wonder how badly graphics and gaming performance gets compromised in the hottest apps on older hardware? As it turns out, not very badly at all. Maybe that’s why iOS has become a major gaming platform.
Popcorn Time is a fantastic — albeit questionably legal — Mac app that allows you to treat BitTorrent like Netflix, searching for movies and TV shows on sites like The Pirate Bay that you want to watch and then streaming them directly to your computer.
It’s a great app, but it has at least one glaring problem: You can’t stream a movie over Popcorn Time directly to your Apple TV using AirPlay. Luckily, thanks to a new Mac app, you can.
Earlier this week, forensic data scientist Jonathan Zdziarski made a bold claim: iOS may be vulnerable to government snooping by design. According to Zdziarski, iOS had multiple backdoors installed that made any device running the OS “almost always at risk of spilling all data,” which in turn made for some “tasty attack points for .gov and criminals.”
Apple, of course, denied having ever worked with the government to install any backdoors. But that didn’t change the fact that these unsecured services do exist, and worse, have gone entirely undocumented. But thankfully, Apple has rectified at least that last problem, penning a new support document that explains what each of Zdziarski’s snoopsome services actually does.
Released earlier this year, Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft manages to do what many would have thought impossible: out MtG Magic: The Gathering.
An astonishingly addictive collectible card game, Hearthstone‘s only failing, if you could call it that, is it was for all intents and purposes multiplayer-only. But today, Blizzard has rectified that by releasing its highly anticipated Curse of Naxxramas expansion for the game on both Mac and iPad.
Best of all? It’s free. Or, at least, the first taste is.
If you have a MacBook Air from mid-2011, you may have noticed intermittent issues where your laptop has a harder time waking up from sleep mode than it normally would have done, and when it does, the fans might loudly blast as if the whole laptop were on fire.
Although rare, these issues have been afflicting customers for at least the last couple of years. But it seems like Apple has finally figured out what’s wrong, as a new update today specifically for mid-2011 MacBook Air owners fixes the longstanding issues.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is pretty much everything wrong with mobile development, in a nutshell. A freemium game that invites users to waste ungodly amounts of money on stupid in-app purchases, the game is on track to make $200 million this year alone.
But it does have its fans. For example. the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office Of Water, which sent out a tweet Monday night telling everyone that it had reached the status of “C-List Celebrity” in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
Is iOS spying on you for Apple?
According to forensic scientist Jonathan Zdziarski, quite possibly: Several undocumented services run regularly in the background on over 600 million iOS devices, which could be sending data to Apple.