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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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This picture of a wet monkey using an iPhone won a prestigious award

This picture won a Wildlife Photographer Of The Year award. Photo: Marsel Van Oosten

This picture won its photographer a Wildlife Photographer Of The Year award. Photo: Marsel Van Oosten

The top awards for the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards have been announced at London’s Natural History Museum. More than 42,000 entries from 96 countries were submitted this year, making it the biggest event in the history of the awards.

There were many incredible entries, but the one that really grabbed us was the beautiful photo you see above, taken by Marsel Van Oosten, an extraordinarily talented photographer from the Netherlands. It shows a Japanese monkey submerged in water, using an iPhone.

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Here’s our first look at Microsoft Office for Mac updated for OS X Yosemite

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Our first look at the new Office for Mac. Photo: Cnbeta

OS X Yosemite’s Mail app is a Mac-crashing memory hog, but that might be good news for Microsoft — it appears from new leaked images that Redmond is readying a special version of Outlook built especially for the new Apple OS X. And Office probably won’t be far behind.

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Here’s how to get into the Inbox by Gmail beta, no invite required

You don't need an invite to get into Inbox with this nifty trick. Photo: Google

You don’t need an invite to get into Inbox with this nifty trick. Photo: Google

Are you interested in Inbox, Google’s innovative new attempt to “fix” email, but haven’t gotten an invitation into the beta?

Good news: as long as you have a real-world friend who is already part of Inbox’s invite-only beta, you can easily get in, no invite required. Here’s how.

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This app turns your iPhone into a handheld 3D scanner

GIF by Dacuda.

GIF by Dacuda.

Do you take pictures of all your meals to share with your friends on Facebook and Instagram? Wish there was a way to share even more of it with your FOMO-ing virtual friends?

Well, you can’t share the taste, or the smell, but 3DAround is an upcoming iOS app that lets you share the food you’re eating in all of its three-dimensional glory. And you can do it with other things too.

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How Steve Jobs brought skeuomorphism back to Apple in 1999

Photo: Dokas / CC Flickr

Photo: Dokas / CC Flickr

Although he gets most of the blame for it, skeuomorphism wasn’t really Scott Forstall’s fault. He was just following the orders of his boss and mentor, Steve Jobs. The man who gave the world the first skeumorphic consumer operating system, the Macintosh, loved computer interfaces with gaudy textures that made them look more like real-world things.

In fact, if it were not for Steve Jobs’s love of skeuomorphism, Apple’s design language might have been a lot flatter a lot earlier. When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1999, the company was moving away from skeuomorphic design… but Jobs bought it back, with the famous brushed metal texture in the Quicktime app.

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Once you see this small typography tweak Apple made in OS X Yosemite, you can’t unsee it

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Can you see how Apple has improved the typography in OS X Yosemite? Photo: Reddit

Can you see how Apple has improved the typography in OS X Yosemite? Photo: Reddit

Apple pays more attention to the details then anyone else. Sometimes the details they pay attention to are so small, you don’t notice them at all for a long time… but once you see what they’ve done, you can never unsee it, or accept anything less.

Here’s a great example from OS X Yosemite. Compare the two images above. The top is from OS X Yosemite, the bottom from Windows 7. Notice anything? One of these images has much better typography than the other. But can you tell why?

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Hate OS X Yosemite’s look? Here’s how to give it a classic makeover

OS 9 returns in OS X Yosemite! Photo: WonderHowTo

OS 9 returns in OS X Yosemite! Photo: WonderHowTo

With its candy-like icons, gradients, and transparencies, OS X Yosemite is a major departure from the look and feel of the Macintosh operating system. But if you don’t like that look and feel, here’s a few things you can do to make OS X look less candy-like, hearkening it back to the design language of OS 9.

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Stick this wireless, iPhone-controlled light switch on any wall

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.02.10 AM

Photo: Avi-On

Ever been annoyed by the placement of light switches in your house? Is there never one around when you need it? The Avi-on Switch is a new light switch (with an associated iPhone app) that you can literally just stick onto your wall like a Post-It Note, no wiring required.

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This beautiful animated logo would look great on the Apple Watch

Photo: Gifyoda

Wouldn’t this look great as the Apple Watch’s bootup animation? Photo: Gifyoda

When the Apple Watch is released next year, it’s going to represent a major paradigm shift for iOS: it’ll be an interface made up of fingertip-sized bubbles, not rounded square icons.

Don’t you think that calls for a new logo to mark the occasion?

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Apple just rejected an app by sending out pics of a dude masturbating

Well, Apple sure does. Photo: Iain Kroll / Flickr

Well, Apple sure does. Photo: Iain Kroll / Flickr

Well, here’s one for the record books. Apple just rejected a developer’s app for violating its policies against pornographic content.

Nothing weird about that, except for the way that Apple went about it: by sending that developer pictures of a dude masturbating. What?

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