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Chevy ‘builds’ laser-powered car for Gran Turismo speed freaks

Chevrolet has “built” a laser-powered race car for Gran Turismo 6 fans to rip around the PlayStation track.

And they didn’t go the expected route by souping up a Corvette, Camaro or even a Chevette. Instead they partnered with their friends from yesteryear, Chaparral, and came up with the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo (VGT) concept car.

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Apple schools Xiaomi in art of trash talk

xiaomi-M4-4g

The Xiaomi M4 wants to take the #1 spot from iPhone. Photo: Xiaomi

Apple and Xiaomi executives got into a little trash talk fight at the World Internet Conference this week in China. Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun described his company as a “small miracle” that’s ready to dominate the smartphone world. But Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, who was also at the conference, wasn’t impressed with all of Xiaomi’s boasting.

Xiaomi’s sudden rise to being the world’s third largest smartphone maker has been nothing short of miraculous. Executives at the Apple copy-cat are bullish on the company’s future and hope to become the top smartphone maker in 5 to 10 years, but Sewell thinks that’s much easier said than done.

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Foxconn to spend $2.6 billion building a factory exclusively for Apple

Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has a go at assembling an iPhone. Photo: Apple

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Foxconn is set to spend $2.6 billion building a new factory in Taiwan exclusively to create displays for Apple.

Equipment installation for the factory is likely to begin next month, with the aim of starting mass production of panels by the end of 2015. The factory will require hiring an addition workforce of 2,300 people, and is going to be built at Innolux’s Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan.

Foxconn currently has factories in China dedicated to assembling iPhones and iPads, but this will be the company’s first designed entirely with the goal of producing Apple components to go inside the devices.

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World of Warcraft isn’t the only video game celebrating an anniversary this year

Your next Mac could double as a smart smoke alarm

Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Apple may build smoke detectors into future Macs and iOS devices, according to a patent application published Thursday.

As users move toward the smart home, courtesy of services like Apple’s HomeKit, the idea is that Macs, iPhones and iPads could intelligently monitor for signs of a fire and trigger various mechanisms accordingly.

This could mean sending users a text or email alerting them of the danger, calling 911 for emergency assistance, or even activating fire suppression equipment.

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This is why the iPhone 6 didn’t get a sapphire screen

Photo: WSJ

Photo: WSJ

No matter what the reason, or who was at fault, the collapse in Apple’s relationship with former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies came down to one thing: the latter company wasn’t able to meet Apple’s terms.

Now photos published by the Wall Street Journal show some of GTAT’s sapphire errors, made just days before Apple signed a deal for the company to produce sapphire displays to be used in next generation iPhones. The 578 pound sapphire cylinders — known as boules — featured multiple flaws, which rendered the majority unusable.

While Apple certainly pushes its manufacturers hard to seemingly achieve the impossible on tighter and tighter profit margins, the picture that emerges from the WSJ article is of GT as a chaotic company, struggling from the very start to fulfil Apple’s expectations.

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Sony backs out of Steve Jobs movie, but don’t worry!

"You like me, they really like me!" Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

A case of art imitating life: Steve Jobs was cast out of Apple in 1985, and now the Jobs movie has been thrown out by Sony. Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Just as Steve Jobs had to go through some frustrating years of failure before returning to Apple to turn in around, so too is the Aaron Sorkin Jobs biopic experiencing its fair share of setbacks.

Following the recent news that Christian Bale has, err, bailed on the project, now Hollywood magazine Deadline is reporting that the movie is being put into turnaround by its studio, Sony Pictures. Turnaround refers to a deal whereby the rights to a particular movie are sold from one studio to another in exchange for the cost of development, plus interest.

Exactly why the film is supposedly being dropped by Sony isn’t known, particularly since the Sony-owned Columbia Pictures did so well both critically and commercially from Sorkin’s previous true tech drama, in 2010’s The Social Network. It may, however, have something to do with schedules.

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Turn your iPhone into a retro typewriter courtesy of Tom Hanks

tomhanks

My Cult of Mac colleague Killian is obsessed with the actor Tom Hanks to an almost worrying degree.

I’ve never been to his home before (Killian’s, not Hanks’ — although I’ve not been there either), but I like to imagine that it’s full of Forrest Gump and Castaway posters, with the focal point being a single lock of the actor’s hair kept in an airtight jar. Surrounded by candles, with an iPod dock playing the soundtrack to The Da Vinci Code on repeat.

At any other time of year this would seem irrelevant, were today not the occasion upon which Hanx Writer, a typewriter app created by actor and typewriter fan Hanks, went universal on iOS.

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iMessage encryption will kill kids, DOJ warns

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a chilling warning to Apple executives as a response to increased privacy protections added to iOS 8: Children might die because we can’t hack into bad guys’ iMessages.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole met with Apple executives last month, reports the Wall Street Journal, to discuss privacy issues, but after making the ridiculous claim that the blood of dead children will be on Apple’s hands if it doesn’t give the NSA access to iMessages, the talks have ended in a standoff.

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How to make Apple Watch’s custom font the default on your Mac

OSX-sanfrancisco

Apple took the wraps of WatchKit yesterday and revealed an entirely new font created just for Apple Watch called San Francisco. Designers are heaping praise on the sexy new typeface that condenses at larger sizes to take up less space, and becomes easier to read at smaller sizes, but we can’t help but wish it was coming to OS X soon.

For those that can’t wait to interact with San Francisco on the Apple Watch there’s good news though: A developer named Wells Riley has released a bundle on GitHub that swaps Yosemite Helvetica Neue system font for Apple’s new Sans Serif creation.

To make San Francisco your Mac’s system font, follow these steps:

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