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How a ’90s TV movie became the Steve Jobs film to beat

The Two Steves team up to create the Apple-1. Photo: Turner Network Television

The Two Steves team up to create the Apple-1. Photo: Turner Network Television

Christian Bale might seem like the perfect actor to play Steve Jobs. Like the Apple founder, Bale is a perfectionist who cares so deeply about his craft that he can come across like a raging lunatic.

Bale, who will star in Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic about Jobs, might be the best hope yet for a riveting onscreen representation of Apple’s late leader. But for many Apple fans, a 1999 TV movie remains the definitive depiction of Jobs.

That movie is Pirates of Silicon Valley, which tells the story of Apple versus Microsoft during a 20-year stretch starting in the late-1970s. With Pirates of Silicon Valley turning 15 this year, Cult of Mac spoke with its director, Martyn Burke, about Noah Wyle (who plays Jobs in the film), threatened lawsuits, and the miraculous way Jobs spun a potentially disastrous bit of PR into good press.

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Cheaper iPhones? Don’t bet on it, says Apple exec

Photo: Re/Code

Apple exec Greg Joswiak at the Code/Mobile conference. Photo: TechCrunch

Particularly as Apple extends its tentacles overseas into new markets like China and India, many pundits have suggested that Cupertino needs to make low-cost iPhones to compete with lower-end Android devices.

So will it? According to Apple’s product marketing executive Greg Joswiak the answer is a resounding, emphatic “hell no!”

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Speed is the secret sauce in Taco Bell’s tasty new app


Photo: Alex Heath/ Cult of Mac

It’s not like bagging a burrito at Taco Bell takes a long time, but the fast-food chain’s hot new mobile app makes ordering unbelievably fast and frictionless.

The app promises that you’ll be able to order anything off the menu, pay for it, and have it prepared for you when you arrive. Not quite revolutionary, but a deliberate stab at modernizing the drive-thru experience. Order from your iPhone, and you get to skip the line.

It’s not every day that I get to write about Taco Bell, so I jumped at the opportunity to give it a test drive. Here’s my experience with the Taco Bell app from start to finish:

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Glitchy MacBook Pros were doomed from the start, lawyer claims

Photo: Raj Dsouza

Photo: Raj Dsouza

A number of users have experienced graphics issues with their 2011 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, and following a Facebook group and petition which have gathered a collected 25,000 names, law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of affected consumers.

“I’ve been involved with a number of lawsuits with Apple, going back decades, and I’m not aware of one that affected so many people, that Apple refused to do anything about,” says Gary E. Mason, the Managing Partner of Whitfield Bryson & Mason, speaking with Cult of Mac. “At the very least these consumers are entitled to a discount on a new laptop to help them transition to a serviceable device.”

Mason says that while only tens of thousands of customers have come forward so far, the affected number of consumers could be in the hundreds of thousands.

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FTC finally sues AT&T for throttling unlimited data plans

AT&T might finally get its comeuppance for throttling data. Photo: Apple.

AT&T might finally get its comeuppance for throttling data. Photo: Apple.

The Federal Trade Commission is finally going after AT&T for throttling customer’s data speeds, by filing an official complaint that the company has lowered speeds on LTE up to 95% on unlimited data plans.

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez expounded on the lawsuit today stating, “the issue is simple: Unlimited means unlimited.” The FTC also alleges that AT&T engaged in unfair or deceptive acts and practices that affected commerce. And they’ve got the numbers to back up their lawsuit, with claims that AT&T illegally capped users’ data speeds at 128 Kbps.

Here’s AT&T’s response to the lawsuit:

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Why the Apple Pay War is doomed

A war for mobile wallet dominance is on the horizon. Apple Pay. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A war for mobile wallet dominance is brewing. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s mission to replace your wallet with Apple Pay began just last week with support from more than 200,000 stores in the United States, but some merchants have already launched a war against the new payment platform.

Over the weekend, CVS and Rite Aid stores blocked Apple Pay access at their registers, marking the first counterattack in what will likely be a fierce battle to own your digital wallet. Apple Pay’s growth is unprecedented, but the anti-Apple Pay group is backed by a superhero-size team of retail megastores conspiring to make debit and credit card fees extinct. They’ll stop at nothing to see it happen, even it means hurting Apple (or themselves) in the process.

Here’s everything you need to know about the war on Apple Pay and why it’s doomed to fail.

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Record multi-track songs with your friends no matter where they are

Make beautiful music with your buddies, even if they're not in the same room. Photo: Nick den Engelsman

Make beautiful music with your buddies, even if they’re not in the same room. Photo: Nick den Engelsman

Two years ago, Nick den Engelsman started a band with a couple of friends. As they worked on recording songs, life got in the way, what with getting jobs, getting married, having babies, and the like.

The group decided it would be really nice to have an app that let them record parts of their songs individually, and then combine all the tracks into one song. They couldn’t find one.

Most multi-track recording apps like GarageBand will let you share files across services like Dropbox, but a simple “record and share” app wasn’t available.

This is how Composr was born. Here’s how it works.

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YO! Taco Bell’s new iPhone app is the future of fast food

Photo: Taco Bell

Photo: Taco Bell

What if you could skip the late-night line at Taco Bell by ordering from your phone? It would be Doritos Locos heaven.

Taco Bell is trying to reinvent the drive-through with a new mobile app released today for iOS and Android. The entire Taco Bell menu is available inside the app, with all the customization options you can get in-person (and some app-exclusive food items coming in the future). Most importantly, you can place orders from anywhere and have them ready when you arrive.

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Apple TV adds FYI and Feeln to channel lineup


Feeln and FYI are Apple TV’s newest additions. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Apple added two new channels to the Apple TV today with FYI from the A&E network and Feeln being both being added to the line up.

The FYI channel (formerly known as The Biography Channel) brings a mix of lifestyle programming that features DYI, cooking, home improvement, and fashion shows, while Hallmark’s Feeln channel adds a new family friendly movie streaming service to the Apple set-top box.

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Windows 10 is going to steal OS X’s trackpad gestures

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

One of the many, many things that Apple does right is trackpads. Not only is the trackpad hardware that Apple uses in the MacBook lineup the best in the world (seriously, I’ve never used a non-Apple trackpad that even came close), but the software backing it up is world-class.

A lot of that has to do with the library of consistent trackpad gestures Apple has built into OS X over the years. Compared to OS X, Windows feels downright schizophrenic when you’re using gestures. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But it now appears that Microsoft is putting an end to the trackpad schizophrenia by borrowing Apple’s approach to gestures.

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