R.I.P. Muhammad Ali

Muhammed Ali in Apple's Think Different campaign.
Muhammed Ali in Apple's Think Different campaign.
Photo: Apple

Godammit. I really loved Muhammad Ali. My all-time greatest hero. A great athlete, funny as shit, and a giant of a man because he gave a shit about something other than himself. He stood up for what he believed in, and he shone a light on all kinds of injustice. Rest in peace Ali.

Check out the crazy attention to detail at Apple’s new San Francisco store

Apple_Store_Union_Square_exterior_side

Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Look carefully at the cracks in the sidewalk around Apple’s new flagship store in San Francisco. They all line up with architectural elements of the store.

Some are continuous with the metal panels on the exterior walls. Some line up with the windows, and the huge glass panels that make up the 42-foot high front door. Some of the cracks are continuous with the stone floor tiles inside the store.

In turn, the joints in the floor line up with panels on the wall, which line up with the lighting panels on the ceiling.

In fact, most of the lines in the store — the edges of the glass balconies, cutouts in the middle of the tables, the edges of shelves and drawers — all line up with other elements of the store.

Some of these lines run continously from the sidewalk in front of the store all the way through to the tree-lined plaza in the back. It’s a bit crazy, when you examine it, and very, very difficult to pull off.

Lust List: Moshi’s Avanti headphones are light and stylish [Reviews]

Moshi's Avanti headphones are easy to wear and easy to carry. They sound [pretty great too.
Moshi's Avanti headphones are easy to wear and easy to carry. They sound [pretty great too.
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

Lust List: Avanti On-Ear Headphones by Moshi

I like the convenience of carrying earbuds in my pocket, but I’ve never liked jamming them in my ears. I love the sound of full-size headphones, but not the bulk.

I’ve discovered a happy middle ground. Moshi’s new $200 Avanti On-Ear Headphones are lightweight, folding headphones that sit atop your ears, not in them or over them.

They’re like a pair of soft pillowy hamburger buns that sound pretty darn great.

Ditch your old router, Eero is the new king of WiFi routers [Review]

Eero is a new WiFi system that blankets your whole house with a self-correcting mesh.
Eero is a new WiFi system that blankets your whole house with a self-correcting mesh.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

I’ve seen the future of WiFi. It’s called Eero. It comes in a pack of three, costs an arm and a leg, but boy is it worth it.

Eero is a slick system of mesh-connected routers that blanket your whole house in WiFi. Eero promises to eliminate dead spots, make restarts redundant, and offer blazing speeds from the basement to the attic.

In my tests, Eero performs as advertised. After years of WiFi headaches, and an Apple Time Capsule that barely worked, we now have fast and reliable WiFi all over the house.

Why I love both of Amazon’s new Echo smart speakers [Reviews]

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The Amazon Echo Tap is the portable, battery-powered member of the smart speaker family.
The Amazon Echo Tap is the portable, battery-powered member of the smart speaker family.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Lust List: Amazon’s Echo Dot and Echo Tap

Ask Amazon’s Echo smart speaker “How much does the Earth weigh?” and she’ll rattle off the answer in pounds. It takes about a full minute and is genuinely amusing. It’s just one of many surprises up Echo’s sleeve (see this crazy list of Echo Easter Eggs on Reddit). It proves she is by far the best computer you can talk to. Sorry Siri.

And now there are two new members of Amazon’s smart speaker family, both with significant advantages. I love them both, with a couple of caveats.