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Meet the designer behind the world’s most drool-worthy Apple mockups

Martin Hajek has developed a recipe of sorts for crafting stunning 3-D renderings of future Apple products that get shared around the Web and even used in advertisements while the world awaits the Cupertino company’s big reveal.

“My inspiration comes from real-life Apple products, combined with a good dose of internet rumors, a dash of common sense and imagination sprinkled on top,” the 39-year-old told Cult of Mac. “What I do is quite simply ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ — with the giants in question being Jony Ive and his design team.”

Apple’s secrecy surrounding its upcoming products is legendary (notwithstanding one memorable breach by the Pentagon). Everyone wants to know what insanely great products Apple has up its sleeve, so the company goes to great lengths to protect its secrets. Workers prepping for today’s big event have had their phone cameras plugged with tamperproof tape so they can’t leak anything spied before Tim Cook takes the stage.

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Can’t wait? eBay’s got your Apple ‘health kit’ now

For truly stunning portraits, photog zaps his subjects with a Taser

It happens all the time: The subject of a portrait tries to put their best face forward but the photographer senses a more authentic expression locked inside. To get to something real, the photographer utilizes a range of tricks and charms to peel back the subject’s veneer.

South Carolina photographer Patrick Hall used 300,000 volts.

Shockingly, close to a hundred people got zapped with a stun gun for Hall’s series of still photos and a slow-motion video that went viral soon after it was published on the Fstoppers website, which Hall co-founded.

“I wanted to start making more photo series of things I don’t normally do,” Hall told Cult of Mac. “Why don’t I get reactions of people doing something painful or joyful that is more than the standard portrait? What could I do to consistently get reactions?”

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Celebrity nudes, iPhone 6 event details and the rest of this week’s hottest Apple news

Trusting the Internet can be one of the silliest things you can do, especially when it comes to private matters. While what you do within the comfort of your own circle deserves to stay within its parameters, sometimes things don’t play that way.

Some celebrities found that out the hard way this week when their “personal” photos were hacked from their iCloud accounts and leaked online. With the world frantically sharing the photos left and right, this has turned all eyes toward Apple and the security of its cloud operation.

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Apple’s redesign of iTunes Connect leaves devs angry, confused

It's a whole new world...sort of.

It’s a whole new world…sort of.

Developers logging on to iTunes Connect to update their apps this morning got an eyeful of its new iOS 8-influenced design — and many didn’t like what they saw.

Instead of the past’s squat, flat look dominated by dark gray, the main view at the developer website now opens up with acres of white space and a cheery, sky-blue font we’ve all become accustomed to since iOS 7. Apple warned devs of the coming overhaul at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, but it wasn’t clear exactly when the new design would roll out.

The pretty new look was hard to appreciate, though, when trying to push out a new release or version of your app — as we discovered trying to publish the latest edition of Cult of Mac magazine.

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iPhone 6 components are readily available

Apple’s iPhone 6 is supposed to be a big secret in this part of the world, but in China, parts are readily available.

Although the iPhone 6 hasn’t been announced and won’t be in stores for a couple of weeks, everything from the new aluminum case to the sapphire-covered LCD screen is available on the Chinese gray market.

Cult of Mac has been contacted by a U.S. smartphone repair company that offered to sell us a bunch of iPhone 6 components — almost enough to assemble our own device.

“I can get all the parts except the motherboards are very rare and very expensive to purchase,” said the owner of the repair company, who asked to remain anonymous. “The display assemblies alone are $500 per piece right now.”

The repair company owner claims iPhone 6 parts — especially for the upcoming 4.7-inch model — are readily available in China from suppliers to the repair industry.

“All the parts needed for repairs they acquire shortly before release — this is normal,” he said. “Usually they have no need to sell the parts because there’s no demand this early but I’ve bought samples from them … so I can buy parts in the future.”

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Spoiler alert: For some Apple fans, rumors ruin product launches

Photo:

For some people, rumors and leaks about Apple’s upcoming products ruin the inevitable reveal. Photo: Neerav Bhatt/Flickr CC

Many people routinely avoid spoilers for TV shows and movies, but some also steer clear of clues about Apple’s upcoming product announcements.

Next Tuesday, Apple is expected to reveal two new iPhones and an iWatch. While the long-rumored wearable remains shrouded in mystery, many details of the next-gen iPhones are all but confirmed, thanks to an avalanche of rumor reports and parts leaks. So comprehensive are the leaks, some have even managed to build a working iPhone 6 from parts — and the device is still weeks away from shipping to customers.

But some Apple fans remain blissfully ignorant of the details.

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How to create and use custom presets in Lightroom Mobile

How about using your own Lightroom develop presets on iOS? Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Wouldn’t it be great to use your Lightroom develop presets on iOS? Here’s how to make it happen. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I can’t tell you how much I love Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile. But like an insatiable lover, I want more. Specifically, I want to add my own presets. LR Mobile ships with a selection of the desktop app’s image presets built in, but unlike the desktop version, you can’t save your own settings as a preset, nor can you add any made by third parties. Or can you?

In this tutorial, we’ll see how to add any preset to Lightroom Mobile, using any and all of the image-editing tools available in the Mac version and making them available on iOS.

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Get a taste of Apple’s photo future with Lightroom Mobile

The same photo, on all your machines.

The same photo, on all your machines: This is the future. Images: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

OS X will get a new Photos app next year that will keep all your pictures in sync across all your devices. It will work with the iOS 8 Photos apps on iPhone and iPad to match up your full-res photographs, your albums and even the edits you make to your pictures.

The changes are a ways off, but fret not -– if you use Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile, you can enjoy this fabulous cross-platform photo synchronization right now.

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7 weird and wonderful Apple awards — and one that got away