(You're reading all posts by Nicole Martinelli)

About Nicole Martinelli

Nicole Martinelli Nicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)

How selfie apps help protesters fight the power

Photo: Edwin Ruis, via Hipstamatic’s Oggl.

Photo: Edwin Ruis, via Hipstamatic’s Oggl.

While you’re snapping a pic of your lunch to share over Instagram, protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, are using the same app to upload videos of journalists getting arrested.

Social media has been credited with lighting a fire under the story of the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in this St. Louis suburb. The news of roiling protests reached the Gaza strip, where people there hit Twitter sharing tips on what to do when you’ve been tear gassed.

Read the rest of this post »

iPod engravings are nearly as obsolete as the device

Lady Liberty sparks ‘statue selfie’ trend

”]

Scenes from a pivot: Making lemonade when your first app turns sour

Sweetch's home/office.Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Inside the Sweetch home office, where five French entrepreneurs did an about-face after their parking app drew the ire of San Francisco officials. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s every entrepreneur’s worst nightmare: The app you’ve spent hours developing gets shut down before it even really launches.

It’s been a rocky road for four young French entrepreneurs who hoped to make their mark with a parking app called Sweetch. Their idea was to alert prospective parkers that spots on the street were freeing up, exchanging a nominal fee between drivers that could be donated to local charities. But instead of paving the road to fame by clearing the city’s congested streets, they ended up pulling their app from the Apple store under threat of litigation from San Francisco’s City Attorney.

“We helped five or 10 people a day, we brought value to them, but the city didn’t even try to understand that,” co-founder Hamza Ouazzani Chahdi says, speaking to Cult of Mac in the sunny, immaculate and modern apartment the guys call both home and office in the city’s Mission District. “We were lumped in with the other apps that definitely had a predatory model and it was toxic for us.”

He says that despite a meeting with San Francisco officials, the entrepreneurs weren’t really give a chance: “It was just, ‘Here’s your deadline.’”

Read the rest of this post »

Activist vows to keep broken iPhone until Apple cleans up its act

Cracked iPhone 5C, via GewTV on Flickr.

Cracked iPhone 5C, via GewTV on Flickr.

Although the environmental group she heads up is “pleased” about the improvements Apple announced to protect workers from toxic chemicals, activist Elizabeth O’Connell still won’t buy the Cupertino company’s products.

Even if it means making those phone calls to rally support against Apple on an iPhone with a cracked screen.

“I am very happy that Apple has taken these steps and that the company is listening to its customers,” the campaign director for Green America told Cult of Mac via email. “That said, I’m going to hold on to my cracked 5c for now. I’d like for Apple to deepen its commitment to worker health and safety throughout its supply chain before I consider purchasing any new Apple products.”

Read the rest of this post »

Teen’s iPhone photos put vibrant face on homeless population

Nic Tullis has a summer project that doesn’t involve surfing or working at a frozen-yogurt shop.

The 18-year-old is at the tail end of a Kickstarter campaign to to raise $2,500 that will keep him out photographing with his iPhone 4s. His “Homeless But Not Hopeless” project aims to bring awareness about the homeless population of St. Louis, Missouri, which spiked 12 percent after the economic tsunami hit.

Tullis takes photos of homeless people that show how they live along with normal shots that show off St. Louis. The funding for the project would rent a gallery space to auction off prints as a fundraiser; proceeds would go to two local organizations that help people get back on their feet.

Read the rest of this post »

Italy’s Prime Minister wants to learn from Jony Ive

jony_desk

Italian premier Matteo Renzi’s desk. Photo: La Stampa.

Summer reading tends to lean towards the frothy or the ambitious. It looks like Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is definitely in the ambitious camp.

His summer reads, as shown on his desk, include a work by an economist about innovation, a tome on the power of the labor force, and, oh yeah, Leander Kahney’s Jony Ive The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products.

Read the rest of this post »

Smart toys for grown-ups with back-to-school blues

California closer to smartphone ‘kill switch’ law

CC-licensed, Aquilaonline, via Flickr.

CC-licensed, Aquilaonline, via Flickr.

SACRAMENTO — The state where the iPhone was born came a step closer to a law that might help keep it in your hands.

State Sen. Mark Leno’s Smartphone Theft Prevention Act (Senate Bill 962) passed the state legislature this morning with a 51-18 vote. Now it will move on to the Senate for a vote on amendments.

California won’t be the first state to flip the kill switch – that distinction goes to Minnesota, which heeded the call from consumers in May. If the law passes in the most populous state in the U.S. and the birthplace of the iPhone, it may mark a sea change in similar legislation. California’s law will affect any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015.

Read the rest of this post »

A tale of two stores: Apple vs Microsoft