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About John Brownlee

John BrownleeJohn 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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Martin Scorsese narrates Apple’s Oscar ad, ‘Make a Film With iPad’

Martin Scorsese narrates Apple's latest ad. Photo: Cult Of Mac

Martin Scorsese narrates Apple’s latest ad. Photo: Cult Of Mac

Ahead of tonight’s Academy Awards, Apple released a new video celebrating how iOS devices can help filmmakers.

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German magician turns an iPad into one big magic trick

German magician turns an iPad into one big magic trick

Apple often uses the word “magical” to describe the iPad. That’s usually dismissed as hyperbole, but watch this magician’s appearance on Ellen, and you might change your mind: He’s able to pull actual objects from his iPad’s screen!

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This crazy 580-pound bike was powered by a Mac and VR glasses!

Photo: Steve Roberts

Photo: Steve Roberts

With all the talk of the Titan project, it’s easy to forget that when it hits in 2020, it will hardly be the first Apple vehicle to take to the road. There have been predecessors, after all.

For example? The Behemoth, a 105-speed bike from 1991 that was powered by a hacked Macintosh computer!

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Your iPhone has been hacked by the NSA

The NSA has just hacked 2 billion SIM cards around the globe. Photo: Wikicommons

The NSA has just hacked 2 billion SIM cards around the globe. Photo: Wikicommons

That iPhone in your hands? It’s been compromised by the National Security Agency through its SIM card, and government spies can access your phone through a backdoor installed on it without even needing a court order.

Sound scary? It is, and it’s the latest bombshell to be dropped by American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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District 9’s Neil Blomkamp will direct the next Alien movie!

Neil Blomkamp will be officially directing the next Alien film. Photo: Neil Blomkamp

Neil Blomkamp will direct the next Alien film. Photo: Neil Blomkamp

Despite attracting the absolute best talent, the Aliens franchise has been on a bit of a rough patch for the last, oh, 30 years or so.

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus prequel? It sucked. Alien: Resurrection, a joint written by Joss Whedon and filmed by the director of City of Lost Children? It blew. Alien 3, directed by multiple Academy Award winner David Fincher? Well, I’ve personally always thought it got a bum rap, but the general consensus is: It’s terrible.

Now Neil Blomkamp, the talented South African director behind District 9 and the upcoming Chappie, has been hired to film the next Alien movie. And thanks to Blomkamp, we have a pretty good idea what the movie will be about.

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Apple might allow you to customize the Apple Watch’s digital crown

What's up with the color on the Apple Watch digital crown? Photo: Six Colors

What’s up with the color on the Apple Watch digital crown? Photo: Six Colors

Here’s a small detail you might have missed about the Apple Watch. In pictures for the Apple Watch Edition, the 18-karat solid gold version of Cupertino’s upcoming wearable, the Digital Crown has a small dot at the end that matches the color of the watch strap. But here’s a question for you: Is Apple going to allow users to customize the Digital Crown as easily as they can swap out Apple Watch wristbands?

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Motorola’s CEO fires back at Jony Ive and Apple

Motorola's CEO isn't happy about what Jony Ive told the New Yorker about his company. Photo: Motorola

Motorola’s CEO isn’t happy about what Jony Ive told the New Yorker about his company. Photo: Motorola

In Ian Parker’s excellent New Yorker profile of Apple’s Jony Ive, the Apple design maestro is mentioned to be disparaging of an unnamed competitor who allows customers to make their devices into “whatever you want.”

Apparently, Motorola thinks the comment was about them, and Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh is now firing back, calling Apple’s pricing “outrageous” and taking issue with Ive’s comments.

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Apple fires anti-gay lobbyist

Apple's recently ousted Alabama lobbyist, Jay Love. Photo: Buzzfeed

Apple’s recently ousted Alabama lobbyist, Jay Love. Photo: Buzzfeed

Under openly gay CEO Tim Cook, Apple has done a lot to forward gay rights. A year ago, the company stood up against homophobic legislation going through Arizona and organized a company-wide march in San Francisco’s annual gay pride parade.

All in all, Apple’s one of the most gay-friendly companies you can work for. So here’s a shocker for you: When Apple figured out it had accidentally hired someone with a history of anti-gay activities, it quickly severed contact.

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iWork for all! Apple opens up iCloud website to everyone

iWork for everyone! Photo: Cult of Mac

iWork for everyone! Photo: Cult of Mac

If you’ve been interested in trying out Apple’s iWork suite of productivity apps for yourself, but don’t have an Apple device to try them on, you’re in luck: Anyone can now create an Apple ID and sign into the iCloud Beta website to use Pages, Numbers and Keynote for free.

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Overtime got worse for Apple’s supply chain workers in 2014

Things have gotten slightly worse for Apple's supply chain workers. Photo: Apple

Things have gotten slightly worse for Apple’s supply chain workers. Photo: Apple

Apple has been getting tougher and tougher on its supply chain. Just yesterday, for example, Apple banned suppliers who used ‘bonded servitude’ as a way to keep workers on assembly lines. Overall, under Tim Cook’s conscientious leadership, conditions just continue to improve for the employees who make our iPhones and iPads.

But there is one way in which conditions have gotten worse for Apple’s supply chain employees. Although Apple limits factory workers to a 60-hour-work week, more supply chain workers went over that amount in 2014 than in 2013. But don’t start pulling your knives out just yet.

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