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About John Brownlee

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.

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Photos for Mac might be delayed for a while

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Let’s face it: iPhoto sucks. It’s slow. It’s buggy. It’s hopelessly burdened by skeuomorphic elements. It’s just behind the times.

That’s why we were excited when Apple said last year it would phase out iPhoto for a brand new app with a feature set somewhere between iPhoto and Aperture. The successor app was supposed to be available in early 2015, but it appears that Photos for Mac has been delayed.

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Steve Jobs was right: YouTube is finally HTML5-first

YouTube is finally HTML5 first. Photo: VentureBeat

YouTube is finally HTML5 first. Photo: VentureBeat

Let’s flash back to April 2010.

That was the month that Steve Jobs penned his famous “Thoughts on Flash” memo, in which he soundly rejected any and all reasons for Apple to adopt Flash on the iOS operating system.

Jobs famously said that Flash was too battery-hungry, too unreliable, too insecure, too slow and too closed to be a wise platform for the mobile-first developers of then-tomorrow. And people scoffed at the time.

But who’s laughing now?

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Apple stays classy about jailbreakers with iOS 8.1.3 patch notes

Photo: Redmond Pie

Photo: Redmond Pie

When Apple releases a major update like yesterday’s iOS 8.1.3, it’s usual for the company’s coders to fix (or, in other words, break) all known jailbreak exploits.

Not so surprisingly, the latest update is no different. It fixes several exploits that are necessary to run the iOS 8.1.2 jailbreak. But in a classy move, at least Apple gave a hat tip to the jailbreak team for calling their attention to the exploits.

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Google’s Eric Schmidt says Steve Jobs is his personal hero (LOL)

Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt shaking hands at the original iPhone launch event. Photo: Apple

Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt shaking hands at the original iPhone launch event. Photo: Apple

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is the anti-Apple. He’s square where Apple is cool, he’s a sputtering doofus where Apple is collected, and he’s prone to hyperbole whereas Apple tends to undersell its products. For example, Schmidt said in 2013 that Android was more secure than the iPhone (LOL).

Given all that, who do you think Schmidt’s personal hero is? Boutros Boutros-Ghali? Shocker! Wrong. It’s Steve Jobs, naturally. Not that many of those lessons have rubbed off on him, mind you.

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Even Steve Jobs would approve if the iPad Pro’s stylus looks like this

Photo: Martin Hajek

Photo: Martin Hajek

Over the weekend, we showed you sexy new renders that showed the rumored new 12-inch MacBook Air and iPad Pro side-by-side. Designed by render artist extraordinaire Martin Hajek, it gave us our best look yet at what Apple’s next big products could look like.

But in the renders we saw, Hajek’s iPad Pro was missing at least one critical ingredient: the plus-size tablet’s rumored stylus accessory. Now Hajek’s back, giving us his notion of what a Jony Ive-designed stylus could look like.

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Tweetbot for Mac disappears from the Mac App Store

Tweetbot for Mac has been pulled from the Mac App Store. Photo: Tapbots

Tweetbot for Mac has been pulled from the Mac App Store. Photo: Tapbots

In 2013, Twitter introduced a new policy that was designed to prevent third-party Twitter clients from gaining too much popularity. The design to the Twitter API basically capped the number of API “tokens” a third-party developer have. Each token is tied to a user, so the effect is that if a third-party Twitter client gets too popular, Twitter will stop allowing new users of that app into the service.

Over the weekend, it appears that Tapbot’s third-party Twitter app, Tweetbot for Mac, finally ran up against its token limit… and as of right now, has been pulled from the Mac App Store.

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You can now play Minesweeper in Notification Center!

Screenshot: Cult of Mac

If you want Minesweeper in your Notification Center, better grab it fast. Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Although it’s a Windows game, I’ve never met anyone without a sweet spot for Minesweeper, the addictive little puzzle game that Microsoft debuted in Windows 3.1. Sadly, though, it never came to the Mac.

But if you love a good game of Minesweeper, we’ve got some great news. You can now play it right within Notification Center. Better act on it soon, though: Apple has a tendency to pull interesting iOS 8 widgets like this one.

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Sexy new renders show the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air side-by-side

Photo: Martin Hajek

Photo: Martin Hajek

The Apple Watch might be Cupertino’s most hotly anticipated product, but for my money, the two releases I’m most excited about this year are the 12-inch MacBook Air and the 12-inch iPad Pro. Outside of a few leaked images, though, we still have not seen either of these rumored devices in the flash.

Conceptual designer Martin Hajek is no stranger to turning rumors of upcoming Apple products into blisteringly sexy 3-D renders, and now he’s done it again with a series of renders showing the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook Air going head to head. Call it the battle of the 12-inchers, if you will!

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If you punch a time card, you’ll love Shifts

Shifts is a scheduling app for time card punchers. Photo: Shifts

Shifts is a scheduling app for time card punchers. Photo: Shifts

Not all of us work 9 to 5’s. My wife, for example, works all sorts of shifts, working around her school schedule: 8:30 – 5:30 one day, then 1:30 to 9:30 the next. And as a guy who spends the better part of each day glued to a computer just two rooms away from his bed, it can be pretty hard to keep track just when she’s working, and when I can next expect to see her.

Shifts is an app that solves all that. A calendar app specifically designed for people who either work retail jobs, or otherwise have constantly shifting work schedules, it’s an ingenious little app that makes managing your weekly shifts -— and keeping your partner informed of them — a snap.

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The Millennium Falcon makes a great DJ turntable

The Millennium Falcon makes a great DJ turntable. Photo: Marco at Picotek

The Millennium Falcon makes a great DJ turntable. Photo: Marco at Picotek

You may may never be able to listen to Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes live in the Star Wars cantina for yourself, but here’s the next best thing: a turntable modeled after Han Solo’s famous parsec-shattering ship, the Millennium Falcon.

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