Now that Frank is president, everything should be smooth sailing. Why are we even doing a third season? Photo: Netflix
Netflix’s super-political drama House of Cards returns for its third season Friday, and if the Muppet version wasn’t enough to hold you over before you watch all the new episodes in one sitting this weekend, we’re here to help.
You should check out these shows if you need a fix of shenanigans and power plays that go all the way to the top.
This is an older picture. So old, in fact, that half of the characters in it are dead now. Just cross them out, I guess. Photo: AMC
AMC’s mega-popular show The Walking Dead has returned for the second half of its fifth season, and if you are as excited about it as my Twitter feed is, you’re probably looking for something gory to hold you over between episodes.
But don’t worry — we have you covered. Here are some more undead-themed shows and movies that will satisfy your need for fake blood while you’re waiting to make sure Daryl Dixon’s zombie-proof vest made of “fan favorite” is still holding up.
This utilitarian black box has all you need and more. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The non-intuitively named Brother MFC-L2740DW multifunction black and white laser printer is ideal for that small office you have, you know the one. You’ve got all of a closet to put your desk, chair, Mac, printer, and maybe a small Bluetooth speaker, if you’re lucky.
What you need is a multifunction device that can get your documents scanned, printed and (if you’re still living in the 1990s) faxed without taking up a lot of space.
I brought this rectangular box of printing joy into my tiny home office, plugged it into the wall, added it to my Airport Wi-Fi network, and was printing from it within 10 minutes of taking it out of the box.
These things are still important. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
When Prince presented the Grammy for best album this week, he made an impassioned case for a musical format that many seem ready to write off as dead.
“Albums, remember those?” he said. “Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.”
That’s how you present an award, folks.
Albums are collections of musical pieces that work together to create an auditory gestalt larger than the individual songs themselves. With the massive growth in streaming audio these days, many people might be missing out on this incredible old-school experience.
Here’s the cure: a list of amazing albums you should listen to in their entirety, even if you don’t do vinyl. iTunes might have helped kill CDs, but it’s still a great place to buy albums rather than shortchanging yourself with a bunch of singles. There are dozens of other albums you should explore, depending on your musical tastes, but this list should remind us all how awesome albums are as a concept. You can thank us later.
VisionTek’s USB Pocket SSD gives you 120GB of super-fast storage. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Need bags of speedy storage you can take with you anywhere you go? With VisionTek’s USB Pocket SSD, you get a bus-powered solid-state drive that’s small enough to fit in your palm, and fast enough for almost anything.
I’ve been using one as a Windows drive for my Mac for the past few months; let me tell you why it’s been great.
The JBL Charge 2 is even better than the last one. Photo: JBL
When I reviewed the first-generation JBL Charge back in 2013, I called it a “colorful pill of a speaker that looks almost like, as an accessory, it leaped out of a new iPod touch commercial.” I loved it for its clear, crisp sound that was loud enough to shake most rooms: It delivered the sound volume of the Big Jambox in the original Jambox’s form factor.
If it’s not plenty clear, I loved the JBL Charge. It ended up being my go-to kitchen speaker for over a year, until I accidentally knocked it into the sink while doing my dishes. As a sign of its quality, it actually kept working, but never sounded quite the same.
Now I’ve tried out the JBL Charge 2. And I’ve got to say, if the JBL Charge was good, the Charge 2 is even better, fixing some of the first model’s oversights. It’s a solid choice if you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that can do more than just play music.
The one calendar app to rule them all. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Update: This story has been modified to more accurately describe the sync capabilities of Fantastical 2, and we’ll have a how-to up on getting Google and iOS to play nice soon.
Readdle’s calendar app, Calendars 5, brings all the natural-language and sync goodness of other high-end calendar apps, along with support for your Google or iOS calendar, to your iPhone and iPad at the same time in one $3 app. Plus? When you add an event to Calendars 5, it shows up on your Google Calendar (or iOS Calendar if you roll that way).
Two-way sync? Natural-language event creation? iOS Reminders support? Recurring events? Invitations? Apple or Google Maps integration? Works offline or online?
This is gonna be your new favorite calendar app, if it isn’t already.
The Olloclip clipped onto an iPhone 6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Like millions of photography fans, the iPhone is my main camera. In fact, ever since my Nikon D600 took a suicidal, lens-first dive off a cliff and into a waterfall, my iPhone has become my only camera.
I’m always trying to eke out a little extra performance from my iPhone’s tiny camera sensor with new apps, tripods and lenses. Over the last three months, Cult of Mac has been testing various lenses for the iPhone 6 in a search for the best aftermarket glass. I’ve narrowed the field down to two top choices: the new Olloclip and Moment’s mountable lens system.
Unfortunately, iPhone 6 users can’t actually use both the Olloclip and Moment lenses at the same time. But if you’ve been considering getting new photo gear for your iPhone 6, we’re ready to break down the pros and cons of these aftermarket accessories.
PicoPro projector. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Like most things that come in small sizes, pico projectors have always been a big disappointment.
Called “pico” because of their portability and battery power, the diminutive projectors in this class have typically been underpowered and underwhelming. Almost by definition, projectors need to be big and bright enough to throw a lot of light at the screen.
So it’s a big surprise that Celluon’s new featherweight pocket-size PicoPro is a heavyweight champ. I was prepared for it to suck — but was surprised and delighted when it turned my living room wall into a 150-inch cinema screen.