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Road-ready gifts for bicyclists

If any of these 7500 riders at Levi's Gran Fondo are on your Holiday shopping guide, we have some suggestions for you below. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If any of the 7,500 riders at Levi’s Gran Fondo are on your gift list, we have some suggestions for you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We here at Cult of Mac love bicycles almost as much as we love our iPhone 6 Pluses and iMac Retina 5Ks.

Maybe it’s the feeling of almost flying. Or the passionate design coming out of the bicycle industry. Or maybe it is just the idea of being a part of something else that drives intense passions in people. Whatever it is, we love it.

So we scoured high and low to bring you a list of crazy gift ideas for yourself or for your two-wheeled companions.
Take a look, but remember to take a deep breath before firing up your Apple Pay.

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The oddly uplifting story of the Apple co-founder who sold his stake for $800

Ron Wayne's archive will go up for auction this month. Photo: Christie's

Apple co-founder Ron Wayne’s archive will go up for auction this month. Photo: Christie’s

In a universe where things worked out a bit differently, Ronald Wayne would be a billionaire.

When Apple was incorporated on April 2, 1976, Wayne was named alongside Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as one of three founders, with a 10 percent stake in the company. However, just 12 days after Apple started up — feeling out of his depth because he “was standing in the shadow of intellectual giants” — Wayne threw in the towel and sold his shares for just $800.

“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,” Wayne tells Cult of Mac. “They were whirlwinds — it was like having a tiger by the tail. If I had stayed with Apple I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery.”

In Apple lore, Ron Wayne is the man who won the lottery but lost the ticket. He’s Cupertino’s version of Stuart Sutcliffe or Pete Best, the musicians who played with The Beatles but left before the band made it big. Unlike Wozniak and Jobs, who became multimillionaires at a young age, Wayne’s finances have been “in a hole for the last 40 years.”

Now he’s selling his Apple archive — which includes original proofs of the Apple-1 manual he created and unused designs for a proposed Apple II case, among other documents — in a Christie’s auction later this month. Expected to go for between $30,000 and $50,000, the archive will give its new owner a tangible piece of Apple’s early existence.

And the sale will help Wayne, who claims he does not regret his decision to leave Apple, pay his bills.

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All in the wrist: Devs embrace future of Apple Watch apps

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

App icons float on the Apple Watch’s tiny homescreen. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Despite never having laid their hands upon an Apple Watch, developers are feverishly crafting apps for the long-awaited wearable.

To do this, they face considerable challenges: The size of the device is unlike anything most of them have ever contemplated, and they must design for an entirely different kind of user experience. To make matters worse, the Apple Watch’s functionality will be severely limited, at least at first.

Still, the independent developers that Cult of Mac spoke with are unabashedly delighted to take on the design challenge as they seek to colonize the next frontier of computing: your wrist.

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Lust List: Heart-pumping, dart-thumping gear (and a blinkin’ Apple book)

Homescreen, Screeny and other awesome new apps you need to check out

Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones will dazzle your ears and your eyes

Bowers&Wilkins P7 headphones. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones sound as sexy as they look. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

It’s ludicrous but true: How headphones look can be nearly as important as how they sound. Luckily for anybody who slides a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P7s over their ears, these high-end headphones do double duty. They will bamboozle your ears as well as your eyes.

With a stylish design and sturdy construction of gleaming metal and luxurious sheepskin leather, these aren’t a pair of big, cartoon-like plastic puffballs for your head. The P7s whisper quiet refinement rather than screaming “look at me.” If Beats Electronics’ brightly colored models are like those candy-colored iMac G3s from the ’90s, the P7s are like this year’s stunning iMac with Retina 5K display.

But really, looks are only skin deep. When it comes to music at its most intimate — when the sounds are piped straight from the source and directly penetrate your ear canals — it’s the quality of the audio that matters most.

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Powder-ready gifts for ski lovers

Colorado is getting the early season powder but the cloud full. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

These gifts will get any skier ready for the powder. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

Here in Northern California we’re still awaiting our first real snow dump of the year.

And while we have our fingers crossed and have been diligently doing our plyometric exercises, we’re still left with plenty of time to build up a big old lust for some new 2014 ski schwag.

Cult of Mac has put together a gift guide for that special fresh-powder chaser on your list. Or, you know, for yourself.

Here’s to a knee-deep powder year for all of us.

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Uber’s data-sucking Android app is dangerously close to malware [updated]


You might want to think twice before giving Uber your data. Photo: Uber

Uber has been sideswiped by a ridiculous number of controversies lately, but things are about to get even worse for the ride-sharing service. A security researcher just reverse-engineered the code of Uber’s Android app and made a startling discovery: It’s “literally malware.”

Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app “calls home” and sends data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber has access to users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also accesses call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible.

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How Corning won Apple back and built the strongest Gorilla Glass yet

Corning's Gorilla Glass. Photo: Corning

Gorilla Glass is the go-to material for today’s touchscreens. Photo: Corning

Corning’s relationship with Apple looked doomed earlier this year. Having manufactured the touchscreens for every iPhone since 2007, the Gorilla Glass bosses were all but sure they were being ditched in favor of synthetic sapphire crystal, set to be supplied by Apple’s hot new partner, GT Advanced Technologies.

But while Apple’s affair with GT has imploded spectacularly, Corning is back on Cupertino’s crush list after stepping in at the eleventh hour to create super-sized displays for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Now Corning is convinced its latest technological advance — Gorilla Glass 4, its toughest version yet — will banish sapphire suitors for the immediate future.

“Sapphire is a really, really nice material that’s very good for reducing scratches,” Dave Velasquez, Corning’s director of marketing and commercial ops, told Cult of Mac. “However, we feel very strongly that glass is the best material for touch panel cover glass. When you weigh up everything from cost to drop-testing, to the amount of energy that’s needed to make it, in our opinion Gorilla Glass is clearly the best material to use.”

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Smart gifts for the college students on your list

Mini Jambox pumps out the jams. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.

If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students:

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