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About Lewis Wallace

Lewis Wallace Lewis Wallace is a San Francisco-based writer and editor specializing in technology and culture.

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Inside the ‘mega-shredder’ facility that chews up old electronics

Smartphones await their fate at Sims Recycling Solutions' mega-shredder facility in Roseville, California. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Smartphones await their fate at Sims Recycling Solutions’ mega-shredder facility in Roseville, California. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

ROSEVILLE, California – This is where your electronics go to die.

In a nondescript, 200,000-square-foot warehouse 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, box after box of discarded electronics and parts sit at Sims Recycling Solutions, awaiting their date with the “mega-shredder” at the end of the line. That’s where four rows of 22 hardened-steel blades will rip and grind the metal housings and circuit boards into tiny chunks.

“We recycle almost everything,” said Bill Vasquez, Sims’ vice president of U.S. operations, during Cult of Mac’s recent tour of the facility. He said more than 99 percent of the materials that pass through Sims’ doors gets recycled. “Our focus is to divert everything from landfill as much as possible.”

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Lust List: Apple wrappers and other showstoppers

Consumer Reports agrees with Apple: Bendgate is ‘overblown’

Photo: Martin Hajek/Flickr CC

Suddenly everybody’s talking about bendy smartphones. Photo: Martin Hajek/Flickr CC

With Bendgate causing some worrywarts to question the structural integrity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Consumer Reports set out to answer the question: “How much force does it take for a phone to bend — and not bend back?”

The independent consumer-testing outfit took six smartphones — including both iPhone 6 models and an iPhone 5s — into the lab and subjected them to experiments using an Instron compression testing machine. The results are surprising.

Here’s what they found (along with a video showing Consumer Reports’ torture testing).

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Your iPhone 6 could commit suicide if you ignore it

Your iPhone 6 could commit suicide if you ignore it

The iPhone 6’s sleek design is undeniably sexy, but the big glass display and those sexy curved edges can cause problems if you leave your phone sitting on a smooth surface.

If you’re not careful, you could find your iPhone in pieces on the floor.

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How to use iOS 8 like a boss

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Make the most of iOS 8 with these tips and tricks. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You don’t need a new iPhone to enjoy the awesome power of iOS 8. Loaded with new features and built-in apps, Apple’s latest mobile OS is its most powerful yet.

As intuitive as it is, there are plenty of tips and tricks that will help you truly get the most out of iOS 8 — even starting before you pull the trigger on the free upgrade. Just in case you don’t feel like reading all 182 pages of Apple’s official iOS 8 user guide, here’s a roundup of Cult of Mac’s most helpful iOS 8 tips and tricks. (We will update this post as we dive deeper into iOS 8 in coming weeks.)

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Fantasy keynote shows how Steve Jobs would have sold us on Apple Watch

Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

How would Steve Jobs have introduced the Apple Watch? Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Apple fans will never revel in the glory of another Stevenote. But an essay that imagines how Steve Jobs would have introduced the Apple Watch just might be the next best thing.

Lesson No. 1: He wouldn’t have called it the “Apple Watch.”

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U2 and Apple crank marketing debacle up to 11

Apple delivers U2's Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody's buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple delivers U2’s Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody’s buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Thousands of angry iPhone users have found an album they weren’t looking for: U2’s Songs of Innocence.

Instead of making the band’s mediocre new album an opt-in freebie, Apple jammed it down the throats of a half-billion iTunes Store customers, enraging some of the company’s most loyal fans. Whether they wanted the album or not, it’s now showing up as “purchased” in individuals’ iTunes libraries on their computers and phones.

When Tim Cook trotted out the Irish rockers for a limp finale to Tuesday’s big Apple Watch announcement, he called giving away the band’s new record “the largest album release of all time” — but now it looks like one of the dumbest.

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U2’s sad show was a swan song for iTunes

U2's performance couldn't match the star power of the Apple Watch. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

U2’s performance couldn’t match the star power of the Apple Watch. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Dragging U2 onstage to end Apple’s big iPhone 6 event was more than a disappointing denouement to an otherwise solid piece of marketing theater: It was a tacit admission that the recorded music industry is gasping for its last breath.

During his peculiar onstage banter with Bono, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the iTunes-exclusive release of U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, “the largest album release of all time.” He also crowed that dumping the record for free on iTunes’ half-billion users would make music history.

It did, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Lust List: Gear so great we can’t stop talking about it

Why Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s iWatch

With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is spinning its movie empire forward into the future. Image courtesy Marvel Studios

With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is spinning its movie empire forward into the future. Images courtesy Marvel Studios

A comic book movie about misfit space superheroes might not seem to have much in common with Apple’s long-rumored entry into wearable computing. However, for a handful of reasons, Guardians of the Galaxy is to Marvel Studios what the iWatch is to Apple –- a high-profile release that’s critical to the company’s future success.

Here’s why.

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