(You're reading all posts by 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.
About Nicole Martinelli
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.
No thanks, Apple.
Remember your first iPod? Mine was a Christmas gift and came engraved with the date for posterity. That white brick 10GB model has shuffled into obsolescence and my new 7th generation Nano is smaller than a pack of gum and so commonplace even though it was a birthday gift (thanks, Mom!) there was no engraving this time.
Apple’s free engraving meant that your personal motto, declaration of love or lost-and-found information got carved on your epic new device.
The sad thing is that it seems no one wants to play any more: there’s just one engraved Shuffle on Flickr since the end of 2013.
Speculation mounts ahead of the upcoming Apple event: will the iPod line be floated out on the iceberg of death for the iWatch? Or will the iPod design be refreshed again, despite flagging sales?
Whatever happens, here's our tribute to the device as etched in our favorite engravings. Photo: Ekinus
"Bought this iPod Nano for my daughter. She's into the Prodigy - hence the song title. Took some tweaking to get past Apple's hypocrisy bot," says Bryan Hindle.
"I bought a Red 4Gig Nano from an eBay Pawn shop last year. It had this already engraved on the back. Seems appropriate. Named it Gomez. It goes along with a green Nano called Morticia, and 4 various Shuffles: Spyder, Kermit, Pugsley, and Wendy," says Eddie.
Statue selfies are striking a pose all over the world. The trend appears to hark back to Laura Hartle's snap of the Statue of Liberty late last year and the pics are multiplying on Twitter and Reddit faster than you can say, "Cheese!" One thing's for sure: The old masters have never looked so modern.Photo: thevintagent
Mother and child
This ecstatic selfie statue comes to us from the Metropolitan museum in New York City. Via iwasrighttherephoto
Definitely too sexy for Milan, New York and Japan. Via vencislago
Classical statues are always SFW, but this would be a selfie for the adult crowd. Via hofweber
Boy this statue selfie is great
Another epic statue selfie from Paris. Via j_ceppaglia
"Hey, let's stop by the Louvre. But first, let me take a selfie," says the seankelly.
The statue selfie that started it all.
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.’”
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.”
Nic Tullis has his eye on St. Louis
The teen iPhoneographer is taking photos of the city's homeless population.
"I met a lady and her children who travel to heavily populated areas of St. Louis to play music for tips to buy food each night. The children's broken bikes and few cherished possesions carefully tucked in the run down van they call "home," Tullis says.
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.
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.
Toys for grown ups
It’s almost back-to-school time, again. Rats. Whether you’re heading to the hallowed halls of college, shoving your kids out the door or just gearing up for the cubicle after a long lazy summer, you deserve a little something to make the transition easier.
Here are our picks to keep your inner child happy, including a May-December romance vehicle and a killer kit for desk warfare.
Lego Architecture Studio
Many an architect built the foundation of his or her career with Legos, now the Danish toymaker tops its architecture series with a new kit especially for the grown-ups. The Lego Architecture Studio comes with 1,200 components plus a manual penned by architecture luminaries including Sou Fujimoto, Ma Yansong and Moshe Safdie. Lego suggests making your own masterpiece, from the Eiffel Tower to the Trevi Fountain.
When you do, send us the pics.
This handmade porcelain “art toy” hails from a studio in Sydney called Egg Picnic. The simple, elegant design of the Dream Toy harks back to the Aboriginal myths and legends tracing the origins of native animals and the evolution of their appearance and behavior. We just think it looks cool.
Roll out the hijinks with this tank that you can control with your iPhone, iPad, iPod via Wi-Fi. The iSpy Tank comes equipped with a built-in mic and live video camera function. It just might jumpstart your YouTube career, depending on how telegenic your grumpy cat is.
Mini Ballista Kit
Yeah, desk warfare. I can attest from the number of pens and other stuff lobbed between the Macs here in the Cult offices that it is an actual thing. That’s why I can’t wait to put together a tiny replica of this Roman artillery weapon. It’s got interlocking parts, a simple, reliable trigger, high-strength cordage and lightweight projectiles. So, you know, watch it, guys.
This cardboard Foosball table gives you all the wrist-wrenching drama of the game minus the heft of having to transport it for your next picnic. It comes with two full teams and one ball and, low-fi as it is, still sports a built-in iPhone speaker for your winning jams. Best part? You can personalize the faces of the players from the Kartoni website.
Get yourself together with this sturdy catchall for all of the things that inevitably end up flying around your apartment or studio: books, CDs, iPad, magazines. The Giffo comes to you in a whimsical giraffe design in 17 pieces of double-reinforced cardboard, so once you’ve assembled it, you can actually tell people you *made* something.
This is the official ride for your December - May romance. Piaggio’s Vespa 946 costs a hefty $9,946, so you have to be of a certain age to afford it. I’m told by the patient mechanic of my aging LX150 that driving it offers an immediate boost to one’s spirit. Only 3,600 of these red-leather seated, 4-stroke air-cooled engine beauties are going to roll out worldwide. One thing’s for sure: Audrey Hepburn never had it this good.
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.
Apple vs Microsoft
Microsoft may be headed for a smackdown in Manhattan. The maker of all devices PC is reportedly laying ground for a retail outlet just six blocks from Apple's Fifth Avenue store, one of the most photographed landmarks in New York. And a glistening cube that rakes in more than the sparklers at nearby Tiffany & Co.If Redmond had only taken note from what happens in Oregon: here's our totally unabashedly unscientific pictorial take on Apple and Microsoft stores in downtown Portland.All photos: Nicole Martinelli/Cult of Mac
Apple vs Microsoft
There's just a two-minute walk between Apple's Pioneer Place store and Microsoft's retail outlet, with plenty of tony shops like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. in between.
It's a Thursday afternoon in late July. And you can definitely hear crickets in the Microsoft store...
Same weekday afternoon in July and the Apple store is packed.
This woman walked past the Apple store asking directions to Microsoft. I thought I'd give the store a second chance and see if it'd become more busy.
As good as it gets
There were about three customers in the whole store the second time around..