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Watch a 1984 Mac spin out Guardians of the Galaxy hero

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While we wait for this weekend’s highly-anticipated Marvel movie, The Guardians of the Galaxy, we thought it’d be fun to pass along this sweet speed-painting from filmmaker Matthew Pearce.

It shows an illustration of Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, created on a 1984 Macintosh using MacPaint. Now that’s some serious special effect magic, right there.

Check out the video below.

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These hidden iOS tricks will turn you into a speed demon

When using your iOS device, you can get used to doing things the same way, day after day. But sometimes there are more efficient ways of getting things done with your iPhone or iPad.

In today’s video, we show you five hidden iOS tricks that can transform the way you use your device. Speed up your typing, browse your music in new ways and so much more by using these speedy tricks.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Fantasy clashes with reality in wonky wonderlands

Real life gets old real quick. Work, chores, traffic jams, monotony — all the details of the daily grind infect the human body and build into a fever that only breaks when bags get packed.

The search for diversion leads to amusement parks and roadside wonders, roller coasters and stage extravaganzas. Kids can be kids, adults can be kids again, and sometimes, David Walter Banks is on hand to capture fantasy becoming reality with behind-the-scenes images that cast new light on tourist attractions.

Such moments of cognitive dissonance comprise The Fourth Wall. The entertainment industry takes in billions annually but even the most luxurious resorts and casinos provide an imperfect illusion. Visitors fill the gaps between animatronics and costumes with their own imagination, and the disconnect beats at the heart of Banks’ photo project.

“I love the idea of these places,” he says. “As adults, so many of us have lost our wonder and given up our urge to chase dreams. In a way, these places invite the adult population to chase an outlandish dream once more, even if only for a fleeting moment. Even if it’s plastic and cracked and they know it is all fake. They are still getting up, putting on their tennis shoes, and going out in search of magic.”

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Instagram trial runs Bolt, its one-tap messaging app aimed at Snapchat

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Instagram has begun rolling out a brand new app called Bolt. After the app’s name and icon recently leaked, Bolt has become available for download in the New Zealand, Singapore, and South African App Stores.

Bolt is basically a direct competitor to Snapchat, as it’s designed to send photos and videos to friends that disappear after viewing.

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Why the iPad could be your next home theater

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“Help me, Tim Cook, you’re my only hope.”

In an age in which the latest movies can be watched on your iPad or even iPhone, it’s questionable exactly what the point of going to an actual movie theater is. Unless you’re a fan of seeing movies projected, that is.

Well, soon Apple may be set to disrupt Hollywood in that area too — at least if you believe a patent published on Tuesday.

Describing a Video Delivery System Using Tablet Computer and Detachable Micro Projectors, the application asserts that future iPads may feature one or two detachable projectors, which users would clip onto (or otherwise sync with) their iOS devices to turn their front rooms, office walls, or even the back of a train seat into a miniature screening room.

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Safely get the grime off your beautiful Mac with these cleaning tips

While our Macs were designed for power, they were also made for beauty. Sharply rounded edges and fine materials come together to create the computers we know and love. But with normal daily use, dirt and grime can make our Mac workhorses less attractive.

In today’s video, we show you the surprisingly simple steps you can take to relieve your Mac of filth and enjoy a cleaner, better-looking computing experience. Make use of these quick Mac cleaning tips and having a fresh-looking computer will be a cinch.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Apple investigating FaceTime hardware for the enterprise market

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Could Apple be working on a higher-resolution version of FaceTime for use in enterprise?

A new patent published Tuesday suggests that it’s at least something the company is looking at, as it describes a multi-view video conferencing camera system that uses scalable video encoding. The patented device, which was first applied for back in June 2012, could compete with Microsoft’s 360 degrees Roundtable conferencing technology, as shown below.

Given Apple’s recent deal with IBM to make hardware and software for businesses, and its successful focus on enterprise under Tim Cook, this could certainly be a valuable area for Apple to explore — particularly since it could conceivably work with a range of Apple devices, including Macs, iPads and iPhones.

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Refreshed Retina MacBook Pros get a speed and memory boost

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As expected, Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro line received its first refresh since October — adding speedier Haswell chips to its 13-inch and 15-inch models. The 13-inch notebooks now boast 8GB of RAM as standard, while the 15-inch models feature 16GB of RAM.

The minor refresh, which comes right in the middle of Apple’s back to school season, is to tide customers over until the arrival of the more significant Retina MacBook line refresh, which is expected in 2015 when Intel’s next gen 14-nanometer Broadwell processors are ready.

The new model Retina MacBook Pro specs can be seen after the jump:

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Why Apple is poised to own the Internet of Things

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Craig Federighi takes the wraps off Apple’s HomeKit at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Imagine getting home after a hard day’s work in the year 2016: There’s no need for keys as you approach your house, since proximity sensors in the lock mean a simple iPhone voice authorization will open the door for you.

The house has been alerted to your arrival, so your Nest thermostat has adjusted the temperature to suit you, while your Philips Hue connected light bulbs change the lighting to fit your mood — predicted by analyzing your heart rate and schedule for that day. The iWatch on your wrist runs Jawbone app, letting you know your caffeine levels are a little high and that you should wait until 7:30 p.m. before going for a jog to ensure maximum sleep quality that night.

Five minutes after putting your car keys down, dinner’s ready. You’re running late, but your smart immersion cooker — which has been monitoring your location all day — has delayed cooking until the optimal start time.

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Forget the iWatch, Swatch planning its own smartwatch for 2015

Why help with the iWatch when you can refresh Swatch's Swatch Touch product line?

Why help with the iWatch when you can refresh Swatch’s Swatch Touch product line?

Last week there were rumors that Swatch might be partnering with Apple to work on its iWatch project. Swatch quickly denied the report, saying that the only business relationship Swatch has ever had with a mobile phone maker is to supply integrated circuits and other electronic components.

Now a new piece of the puzzle has emerged, with Swatch CEO Nick Hayek providing Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag with another reason why his company isn’t going to be helping Apple: because it’s making a smartwatch of its own.

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