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Ice Bucket Challenge: Apple Edition

Every now and then an Internet craze will spread around the world with everyone trying their hands at it. From the cinnamon challenge to the fire challenge, each one brings its own risks and sometimes even pain.

The latest challenge meme — the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — has been a force unlike any other, sucking in celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Oprah and even a couple of top Apple employees.

In today’s video, we take a look this icy charity dare that’s taking over the world. See Apple executives, actors, athletes and more take part in this chilling experience and find out the reason behind it all.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

7 amazing extensions we want to see in iOS 8

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We can’t wait for iOS 8 to supercharge our trusty iPhones with Extensions. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iOS 8 will bring Extensions to your iPhone and iPad. Extensions are essentially miniature versions of apps that can be run inside other apps. For instance, if you have Evernote installed on your iPhone, you could pop up the Evernote Extension when you’re running the Mail app, and save a snippet of that email to your Evernote account.

Clearly this is huge. It’s something that Android and Windows Phone users have enjoyed for a while, but Apple has – typically – taken its time to get it right. In fact, you have probably used Apple’s own “test” Extensions already: Whenever you see the Mail sheet roll down inside another app, or you access the built-in Twitter sharing box, you’re using an Extension.

But what kind of things can Extensions do for us? I’ve been thinking about that, and here’s a wish list of Extensions I’d love to see.

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Yves vs. Ive: 10 of the best product designs not from Cupertino

April Zero and the quest to become the world’s most transparent human

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

San Francisco designer Anand Sharma shares endless private details about his life on his April Zero website. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Anand Sharma has eaten 17 burritos in the last 141 days. An avid runner and rock climber, the San Francisco-based designer has visited parks seven times this month. He weighed 153.9 pounds and was at 18.4% bodyfat after his 5.5-mile run yesterday. He burned 688 calories during that run.

He gets around a lot, too: On July 15, he flew from Hong Kong to Changi, Singapore. Then he grabbed a bite at the Kampong Glam Cafe. He also spent 94 minutes in a car and 70 minutes on the Lomprayah high-speed ferry that day. During his long day of travel, his heart rate hit a high of 94 and a low of 66 (averaging a slightly higher than usual 79). He didn’t share any photos on Instagram, but he pushed 25 commits to code-sharing site Github.

Sharma, who was 24.382007813 years old as of this writing, is already the most transparent human being on Earth, and he’s just getting started. Fully embracing the data-hungry demands of the quantified-self movement as well as the constant spotlight of social media, he routinely shares every little detail about his life, from his travels and meals to his vital signs and work, on the slickly designed April Zero website he launched last month. Now he wants to invite you to his way of life. He’s working on a new app that will make it easy for anyone to have their own version of April Zero.

Cult of Mac talked with Sharma about April Zero, the benefits of living in public, and the possibilities of Apple’s long-rumored health-centric wearable.

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Lady Liberty sparks ‘statue selfie’ trend

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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.’”

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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.”

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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.

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

iPhone 6 reveal date, Kanye’s tech pests and the rest of this week’s hottest news

The iPhone 6 seems to get nearer and nearer each week as Apple fanboys and other tech enthusiasts await an official reveal date with mounting anxiety, but the age of the iPhone 6 might finally be close at hand. A year’s worth of leaks, rumors, and theories regarding the iPhone 6 are finally about to be put to rest, thanks to sources who revealed this week exactly when we can expect Apple to reveal their next generation iPhone.

Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup for all the details on the rumored iPhone 6 keynote date, as well as iOS 8 beta 5 details, and even why one piece of technology has Kanye West filing lawsuits like his name’s Johnnie Cochran.

Of course, don’t forget to subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube and catch all our latest videos.