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Facebook reinvents the chat room with Rooms for iOS

Create a Room for whatever you're into. Photo: Facebook

Create a Room for whatever you’re into. Photo: Facebook

It turns out that the rumored app that Facebook has been working on isn’t an anonymous chat app, but rather a platform that lets you create your own chat room right on your iPhone.

Basically, Rooms is an iPhone app — soon coming to Android — that lets you make tiny message boards to post photos, videos, and text to. You’ll create a different username and identity for each Room you create or visit, and you’ll let other people join via a QR code you can generate and share via the internet or in real life.

Head developer Josh Miller told The Verge, “We’re not trying to build the next Snapchat — we’re trying to build the next WordPress.”

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These clever gadgets bring email into the real world

Oliver silently displays the state of your inbox using a simple light system. Photo: Brendan Dawes

Oliver silently displays the state of your inbox using a simple light system. Photo: Brendan Dawes

Email has become somewhat of a necessary evil lately, with a attempts like Google’s recent Inbox to use software to corral the over-abundance of the technology into something that makes better sense for us humans.

Designer Brendan Dawes worked with email marketing provider Mailchimp to come up with these fascinating single-use gadgets that bring email into the real world. Nim, the gadget named for a famous chimp in linguistics, is a light switch that lets you turn your email off. And on again, assumedly.

“Email is an interface we’ve been using for years,” Dawes told Wired, “so why not leverage its power some more?”

Dawes has several other gadgets he’s designed in concept. Each one tries to make the digital real and interactive. Some are more successful than others, of course, but they’re all fascinating.

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Woz is moving to Australia to become a professor

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak standing with the Apple II. Photo: Robert Scoble

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak standing with the Apple II. Photo: Robert Scoble

Steve Wozniak changed the world when he co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs to create the first personal computer. Now, after revolutionizing the tech world, he’s ready to impart his wisdom upon the top tech minds in Australia.

University of Technology, Sydney announced that it’s hired Woz on as an adjunct professor for the school, where he’ll start teaching in December.

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GTAT to pay Apple $439 million to stop supplying sapphire glass

This Hyperion 4 ion implanter by GTAT was supposed to solve Apple's sapphire problems. Photo: GTAT

This Hyperion 4 ion implanter by GTAT was supposed to solve Apple’s sapphire problems. Photo: GTAT

Apple’s deal with sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies went sour just one year into the company’s agreement to build a sapphire factory in Mesa, but after a tense few weeks, the companies have reached a settlement that allows them to part ways.

As part of its ‘amicable’ separation from Apple, GTAT will be expected to pay back $439 million over the next four years without interest, by selling off over 2000 ASF sapphire growth systems it purchased for the Mesa factory.

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5 video game movie adaptations we love, and 5 we’d love to forget

How one Apple engineer fixed the Mac’s awful startup sound for good

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One of the things that makes a Mac a Mac is the beautiful startup sound it makes when you turn it on: a soothing, sonorous noise that sounds like electronic harp strings being plucked as you enter the gardens of Zen.

But it wasn’t always this way. When the original Macintosh was released, the startup sound was horrible. Yet it wasn’t Steve Jobs who fixed it. It was an unknown sound engineer who hated it with such a passion that he defied his bosses and literally snuck it onto the Mac.

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If Jony Ive designed furniture, it would look like this

Photo: Klaus Geiger

Photo: Klaus Geiger

For the last decade or so, Apple has made some of the most beautifully designed devices on the planet. But because those devices are technology, not furniture or art, they have an incredibly short half-life in our home. Yet these are still classic designs that, in any other context, we might keep around for decades.

That’s why I like this bench built by Klaus Geiger.

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Apple willing to sacrifice profit margins to meet incredible iPhone 6 demand

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook wasn’t kidding when he said that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were proving to be Apple’s most popular iPhones of all time.

Two new reports coming out of Apple’s Chinese supply chain today demonstrate the extent to which this is true. According to one report, Apple’s Chinese production line is on course to ship a total of 50 million iPhone 6 devices by the end of 2014 — referring only to the 4.-inch iPhone 6 and not including the 6 Plus.

By comparison, for the calendar fourth quarter of 2013, Apple sold a total of 51 million iPhones all-in, which itself marked an all-time quarterly record.

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iFixit teardown discovers the iPad Air 2 skimps on battery life

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Photo: iFixit

As they so often do when new Apple products land, the gadget vivisectionists at iFixIt have used one of their trademark spudgers to crack open a brand iPad Air 2, and there’s at least one interesting finding.

All the iPad Air’s specs have improved this generation except for one critical thing: battery.

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Your Final Fantasy V saves follow you wherever you go with iCloud syncing

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Photo: Square Enix

First arriving on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) way back in 1992, Final Fantasy V is one of the greatest RPGs ever made — and thanks to a new update by Square Enix, its iOS port is now more playable than ever.

Following on from Apple’s Handoff feature for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the update similarly encourages you to pick up play on whichever iOS device is closest to you with a new iCloud save syncing feature. What this means is that game data saved using iCloud can now be shared across devices, so you can enjoy working through Final Fantasy V on an iPad at home and an iPhone while on the move.

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