Modernized power strips, convenient VPN and more [Week’s Best Deals]

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Kinkoo designed a power strip for today's needs, with three standard USB and a USB-C port built right in.
Kinkoo designed a power strip for today's needs, with three standard USB and a USB-C port built right in.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s finally cold out but we keep getting hot deals at the Cult of Mac Store. This week, some of our best include a surge protector that’s built for users in 2016, an easy-to-use VPN, a tool for organizing daily tasks into sleek flowcharts, and a set of top-shelf Bluetooth earbuds.

They’re all dramatically discounted and make great ideas for stocking stuffers.

Why Apple’s done chasing hit products, this week on The CultCast

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Waiting for Apple's next big thing?  It may be a while.
Waiting for Apple's next big thing? It may be a while.
Photo: iDownloadBlog

This week on The CultCast: Why Apple’s done pursuing the “new hit product business.” Plus: The demise of Pebble Watch is a bad omen for wearables; Foxconn secretly prepares to make more Apple products in the United States; and we remember our favorite movies of 2016!

Our thanks to Harry’s for supporting this episode. Harry’s super-sharp, German-made razors ship right to your door for way less than drugstore razors, and you can use code CultCast at checkout to score $5 off your order at Harrys.com.

Audio glitches keep Apple from shipping AirPods

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AirPods may miss Christmas while Apple works out audio problems.
Photo: Apple

People griped when Apple launched the iPhone 7 without an earphone jack and asked the world to get excited about AirPods, the company’s cordless earphones designed for the brave new “wireless future.”

Apparently, cutting the cord hasn’t been so easy for Apple, either.

The AirPods, skewered on social media within seconds of being introduced at Apple’s product launch in September, remain in a holding pattern because of audio glitches — and could miss the crucial 2016 holiday shopping season entirely.

Dual-lens zoom kit pushes iPhone 7 Plus camera further

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Hey four eyes! The Kamerar ZOOM lens attachment expands the telephoto/zoom capabilities of the dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus.
Hey four eyes! The Kamerar ZOOM lens attachment expands the telephoto/zoom capabilities of the dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus.
Photo: Ztylus and Kamerar

The geeky excitement shared by mobile photographers over the dual-camera of the iPhone 7 Plus has not waned.

And as they’ve played with the small optical zoom and blurring backgrounds in portrait mode, two small accessories companies have been quietly but furiously developing a two-lens attachment dedicated to enhancing the reach of the 7 Plus camera.

Boost your iPhone photography with this folding, pocket-size tripod [Deals]

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This fully featured, sturdy tripod folds up into credit card size and fits right into your wallet.
This fully featured, sturdy tripod folds up into credit card size and fits right into your wallet.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Want to take better smartphone photos without lugging around gear like a professional? Tripods are an essential tool for taking solid photos — or just engaging in a steady FaceTime conversation — and now you can get one that’ll fit right in your wallet.

The Pocket Tripod PRO is winning praise from the likes of Steve Wozniak for its clever design and convenience. (“Blew me away,” Woz told Gizmodo.) And right now you can get this miniaturized tripod for just $19.99 at Cult of Mac Deals.