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Forget about asking Siri for a date this Valentine’s Day

Ask Siri

If you’re feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, don’t think your favorite personal assistant will be there for you. In fact, Siri will do anything to avoid saying “yes” to your proposal.

Check out what happened when we tried to take our working partnership to the next level after the jump. Spike Jonze’s Her this ain’t!

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Fruitdoodles artist finds banana work has mass a-peel

Stephan Brusche finds bananas to be a great surface for drawing and regularly posts his Fruitdoodles to Instagram. Photo: Stephan Brusche

Stephan Brusche finds bananas to be a great surface for drawing and regularly posts his Fruitdoodles to Instagram. Photo: Stephan Brusche

Stephan Brusche was bored and starting to play with his food when he made a discovery that would change his life: Bananas are nice to draw on.

Graphic artists are paid to think this way, and Brusche was being urged by his wife to promote his work to a wider audience using Instagram.

“There wasn’t anything exciting to photograph,” said Brusche, 37, an artist for a travel agency in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “I still had a banana and I thought maybe if I draw a smiley face on it, that would make a nice picture. I discovered how nicely the ink flows on the peel. It was really a pleasant surface.”

That smiley face, posted more than three years ago, received more likes than his work illustrations. And thus Fruitdoodles was born. Since then, Brusche has transformed more than 200 bananas into fine art.

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Apple car? Cupertino’s got the design talent to transform another industry

BMW_Gina_concept_car

One of the designers in Apple’s Industrial Design Group helped create this shape-shifting fabric-covered car for BMW. Photo: BMW

As rumors that Apple is making a self-driving car rev up, a peek under the hood of the company’s famed Industrial Design studio reveals a crew of talented automobile designers.

An interest in futuristic cars is embedded deep within the DNA of Apple’s vaunted design team. Working under Jony Ive, Apple employs designers who worked on several fantastic concept cars, including a fabric-covered BMW that shifts shape depending on speed.

Ive has long been obsessed by cars. (He has quite a stable.) As a teenager, Ive wanted to be a car designer. He visited a U.K. design school that specialized in automotives with a view to studying there, but he found the other students too weird. They were making “vroom vroom” noises as they sketched. Instead, he went to Newcastle Polytechnic (which has since been renamed Northumbria University).

A look at other key members of Apple’s design team, and at a super-secret research-and-development facility planned for the company’s new campus, offers a few clues about how Cupertino might go about producing innovative and unconventional cars.

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King of Thieves, the addictive new game from the makers of Cut the Rope

The latest from one of the App Store's premiere game studios.

The latest from one of the App Store’s premiere game studios.

I’m not what you would consider a “gamer.” I dabble in mobile titles like Monument Valley and occasionally play Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart with friends, but few games manage to grab my attention for very long.

Yet there’s a new iPhone game I haven’t been able to put down for the past two weeks.

It’s called King of Thieves, and it’s from ZeptoLab, the maker of the hit App Store game Cut the Rope.

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The best apps you might have missed this week

Bindle takes the suck out of group messaging

New group-messaging app Bindle feels your pain. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

New group-messaging app Bindle tries to un-suck the group messaging experience. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Chris Toy was an Everquest geek in the early days, playing the addictive open-world video game somewhat obsessively.

It wasn’t slaying the monsters or leveling up that really motivated Toy, but the social aspects of the game.

“I was honestly pretty isolated,” the Hong Kong native told Cult of Mac by phone, “and talking to people via Everquest or World of Warcraft felt better than talking to real people.”

That’s when he realized that being able to text chat with other people wherever they were was the future of messaging, and perhaps even communication itself. Fast-forward to now, and Toy and a high-tech team living in San Francisco have created Bindle, a new group-messaging app designed to create this very same future.

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Olloclip vs. Moment lenses: Best glass for your iPhone 6 camera

The Olloclip clipped onto an iPhone6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/ Cult of Mac

The Olloclip clipped onto an iPhone 6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Like millions of photography fans, the iPhone is my main camera. In fact, ever since my Nikon D600 took a suicidal, lens-first dive off a cliff and into a waterfall, my iPhone has become my only camera.

I’m always trying to eke out a little extra performance from my iPhone’s tiny camera sensor with new apps, tripods and lenses. Over the last three months, Cult of Mac has been testing various lenses for the iPhone 6 in a search for the best aftermarket glass. I’ve narrowed the field down to two top choices: the new Olloclip and Moment’s mountable lens system.

Unfortunately, iPhone 6 users can’t actually use both the Olloclip and Moment lenses at the same time. But if you’ve been considering getting new photo gear for your iPhone 6, we’re ready to break down the pros and cons of these aftermarket accessories.

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How to save money on Mac repairs with your credit card’s extended warranty

Use your credit card to solve your Apple problems. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Buy your Mac with a credit card and you could save big money on repairs. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Have you ever had an Apple product bite the dust only a few months after its warranty or AppleCare expired? Out-of-warranty repair costs can easily soar into the hundreds of dollars for Apple products, but if you purchased your Mac using a credit card that offers extended-warranty protection, you might be able to get that money back.

Many credit cards offer purchase-protection and extended warranties, which are usually included as a free benefit for qualifying purchases made using the card. I recently had a MacBook Air die. It was over three years old, so it was no longer covered by Apple’s One-Year Limited Warranty or AppleCare. Fortunately, I purchased it using an American Express credit card and, therefore, AMEX’s extended-warranty program gave me extra coverage.

Read on to learn how Apple repaired my broken MacBook Air and AMEX reimbursed the cost — saving me nearly $300.

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Petite and powerful: PicoPro projector puts a movie theater in your pocket

PicoPro projector. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

PicoPro projector. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Like most things that come in small sizes, pico projectors have always been a big disappointment.

Called “pico” because of their portability and battery power, the diminutive projectors in this class have typically been underpowered and underwhelming. Almost by definition, projectors need to be big and bright enough to throw a lot of light at the screen.

So it’s a big surprise that Celluon’s new featherweight pocket-size PicoPro is a heavyweight champ. I was prepared for it to suck — but was surprised and delighted when it turned my living room wall into a 150-inch cinema screen.

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Lust List: Hot gear for the dead of winter