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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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Could the iOS 8.2 jailbreak be released today?

Could the next iOS jailbreak land today? Photo: Redmond Pie

Could the next iOS jailbreak land today? Photo: Redmond Pie

iOS 8.2 was released to the public over a week ago, and already, jailbreakers are champing at the bit for a jailbreak solution that works with the latest and greatest version of Apple’s new operating system. Now it seems as if TaiG, the Chinese jailbreaking team that cracked open previous versions of iOS 8 to the public, could release an iOS 8.2 jailbreak as early as today.

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How to set up a paperless office using your Mac or iPhone

It's time to go paperless. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

It’s time to go paperless. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Sick of the mountains of paper stacking up in your inbox? You’ve probably heard about the joys of having a paperless office, maybe even thought about setting one up, but didn’t know how.

Well, here’s how. Not only is it easy to set to do, it can totally change your life.

Here’s how to use your Mac and iPhone to effortlessly set up your own idiot-proof paperless office … the right way.

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Instapaper gets faster than ever in latest update

Reading articles in Instapaper just got faster than ever. Photo: Instapaper

Reading articles in Instapaper just got faster than ever. Photo: Instapaper

If you haven’t used Instapaper for awhile, it might be time to dig the app out again. It’s just received a great new update to version 6.2, adding some slick features like speed reading, the ability to tweet screenshots of text, and more.

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Want to make your own Toy Story?

The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar

The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar

Steve Jobs was, of course, formative to developing the software for the Mac, iPhone and iPad, but he was also formative to the development of another company and its software: Pixar, the computer animation studio behind Toy Story, Ratatouille, Up and more.

Now Pixar has released RenderMan, the company’s in-house rendering software, to the public for free. It’s the tool that gave the world Toy Story and countless other modern day classics, and it is now totally free to download for non-commercial use on the Mac, as well as Windows and Linux.

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French photographer whimsically augments reality with his iPhone

By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! Photo: François Dourlen

By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! Photo: François Dourlen

Ever wondered what your favorite movies and shows would be like if the characters had iPhones?

The work of French photographer François Dourlen sort of touches on that subject, but with a subversive, whimsical twist that sees characters like Die Hard’s John McClane crawling out of microwave ovens, or the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies topping an industrial tower.

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Joggers don’t need an iPhone to track runs with Apple Watch, says Christy Turlington

You can leave your iPhone behind on Apple Watch runs. Photo: Apple

You can leave your iPhone behind on Apple Watch runs. Photo: Apple

The beautiful Apple Watch spokesperson Christy Turlington-Burns has been running a blog on Apple.com for the past three weeks, detailing how the Apple Watch has helped her train for the London Marathon.

It’s mostly puff stuff, but her latest entry has one interesting tidbit: the Apple Watch can apparently track many of your fitness levels even without an iPhone in range. She goes into more detail about how.

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How Apple could give the Mac, iPhone and iPad gesture controls … no hardware required

You don't special hardware for laptop gestures. Photo: Gizmodo

You don’t need special hardware for laptop gestures. Photo: Gizmodo

We’ve been waiting seemingly for years for the Mac to get gesture recognition. Accessories like the Leap Motion have tantalized us with the possibility of aftermarket solutions, while secret Apple patents have hinted at future Macs with Kinect-like possibilities. Heck, Apple even purchased the company that designed the Kinect’s technology back in 2013, yet we’ve still seen nothing.

Turns out we might not need to wait for Apple to release special hardware for a gesture-controlled Mac. By making use of a very simple phenomenon in physics, Apple could actually enable gesture control in the Mac, iPhone and iPad … no hardware required.

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Apple is being modest about the 2015 MacBook Air’s graphics

The new MacBook Air has more graphics power than it appears at first. Photo: Apple

The new MacBook Air has more graphics power than it appears at first. Photo: Apple

When Apple announced the new 2015 MacBook Air a couple weeks ago, there was at least a couple of disappointments.

First of all, for those of us who love the current form factor, power, keyboard, ports, and trackpad of the MacBook Air, there was no Retina Display in the 2015 model of the ultraportable.

In fact, the new MacBook Air’s Intel HD Graphics 6000 chip allegedly didn’t support Retina, with the maximum resolution it could pump out to an external monitor 2560 x 1600: a few million pixels below the 4K resolution necessary to make an argument for a desktop monitor being Retina.

It turns out, though, that Apple has undersold the graphic performance ability of the new MacBook Air.

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How to surf the internet on a vintage Macintosh Plus

Imagine surfing PornHub on this. Photo: Jeff Keacher

Imagine surfing PornHub on this. Photo: Jeff Keacher

When the Macintosh Plus was released 27 years ago, it was the most powerful Mac on the market. It even contained a SCSI port, which opened the door to the Macintosh getting a modem. Eventually, there were even internet browsers released for the Macintosh Plus.

That got Jeff Keacher over at the Daily Dot thinking. What would it be like to plug a 1976 Macintosh Plus into the modern web? Surprise surprise — it was absolute torture.

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Hysterical video shows why phone calls on the Apple Watch are going to be a nightmare

If you thought Continuity was annoying before, just wait till it lands on your wrist. Photo: Rated WTF

If you thought Continuity was annoying before, just wait till it lands on your wrist. Photo: Rated WTF

We’re all looking forward to the Apple Watch, but there’s one thing I’m definitely not looking forward to: the ability to answer phone calls on my wrist. And this clever video shows exactly why.

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