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Good good gifts for Apple fans and why your iPhone 6 supports 4K on The CultCast

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This week: Gobble gobble y’aall! Ever wonder what a Thanksgiving meal with Tim Cook might be like? Ok, probably not, but come imagine it with us anyway. Then: why Apple quietly included 4K support in iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2; Amazon is building an ad-supported Netflix streaming competitor; plus stay tuned for our favorite products of the year in the CultCast gifts-we’d-love-to-get gift guide.

Heartily guffaw your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.

Our thanks to Fracture for supporting this episode. Fracture prints your photos directly onto glass so they really pop. And they come ready to hang on a wall or sit on your desk and make great gifts. Check them out at Fracture.me and save 15% off any order with code CultCast.

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Good good gifts for Apple fans and why your iPhone 6 supports 4K on The CultCast

9 things Tim Cook has to be thankful for

Tim Cook bores the world with even more amazing Apple products. Yawn. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has a lot to be thankful for. No wonder he looks happy. Photo: Apple

In between dessert and the traditional food coma on the couch, Thanksgiving offers everyone a great opportunity to take stock of the past year’s accomplishments.

When it comes to looking back at the previous year, sure you can stew over your failures and missed opportunities, but that’s for losers. And coming off one of Apple’s most successful years in history, Tim Cook is no loser.

So what’s Apple’s CEO going to be thinking about when he sits back in a carbohydrate-induced daze? Here are our best guesses.

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Powder-ready gifts for ski lovers

Colorado is getting the early season powder but the cloud full. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

These gifts will get any skier ready for the powder. Photo: Jakob Schiller/Cult of Mac

Here in Northern California we’re still awaiting our first real snow dump of the year.

And while we have our fingers crossed and have been diligently doing our plyometric exercises, we’re still left with plenty of time to build up a big old lust for some new 2014 ski schwag.

Cult of Mac has put together a gift guide for that special fresh-powder chaser on your list. Or, you know, for yourself.

Here’s to a knee-deep powder year for all of us.

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Uber’s data-sucking Android app is dangerously close to malware [updated]

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You might want to think twice before giving Uber your data. Photo: Uber

Uber has been sideswiped by a ridiculous number of controversies lately, but things are about to get even worse for the ride-sharing service. A security researcher just reverse-engineered the code of Uber’s Android app and made a startling discovery: It’s “literally malware.”

Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app “calls home” and sends data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber has access to users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also accesses call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible.

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7 pro tips to help you conquer Turkey Day

How Corning won Apple back and built the strongest Gorilla Glass yet

Corning's Gorilla Glass. Photo: Corning

Gorilla Glass is the go-to material for today’s touchscreens. Photo: Corning

Corning’s relationship with Apple looked doomed earlier this year. Having manufactured the touchscreens for every iPhone since 2007, the Gorilla Glass bosses were all but sure they were being ditched in favor of synthetic sapphire crystal, set to be supplied by Apple’s hot new partner, GT Advanced Technologies.

But while Apple’s affair with GT has imploded spectacularly, Corning is back on Cupertino’s crush list after stepping in at the eleventh hour to create super-sized displays for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Now Corning is convinced its latest technological advance — Gorilla Glass 4, its toughest version yet — will banish sapphire suitors for the immediate future.

“Sapphire is a really, really nice material that’s very good for reducing scratches,” Dave Velasquez, Corning’s director of marketing and commercial ops, told Cult of Mac. “However, we feel very strongly that glass is the best material for touch panel cover glass. When you weigh up everything from cost to drop-testing, to the amount of energy that’s needed to make it, in our opinion Gorilla Glass is clearly the best material to use.”

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Apple reaches record $700 billion market cap

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Yep, Apple’s worth a whole lot of money right now. As if you didn’t know that already. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC

AAPL shares sure have experienced a crazy roller coaster ride this year. Splitting 7-to-1 earlier in 2014, a fantastic run of product launches and announcements since then has driven Apple stock higher and higher. Earlier this month we noted that Apple was now worth more than the entire Russian stock market, and today it has hit a personal-best market cap of $700 billion.

This happened as Apple’s share price rose to the $119.65 mark, bringing it to a pre-split price of $837.13. For those keeping tabs at home, not only is this better than Apple’s last high point, when it was valued around $650 in late 2012, but it also represents a massive 50% increase since January this year.

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Why iCloud is Apple’s worst product

What is happening with iCloud within Apple? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

What is happening with iCloud within Apple? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iCloud was hailed by Tim Cook back in 2012 as “not just a product. It’s a strategy for the next decade.” Yet these days, iCloud is something of a mess: Not only has it not gained significant features since launch, but a slate of very public hacks have made it a rare black mark on Apple’s security record.

What the heck happened? According to a new report, iCloud isn’t living up to its potential because, organizationally, it’s an orphan within Apple.

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One year after ground broke, Apple Campus 2 is coming along nicely

Apple's "spaceship" campus is clearly taking shape. Photo: Apple

Apple’s “spaceship” campus is clearly taking shape. Photo: Apple

It’s been pretty much a year since ground was broken on the “spaceship” Apple Campus 2, and things are progressing at a rate of knots.

In a new photo provided by Apple, and posted by the city of Cupertino, the company’s $5 billion campus can be seen taking shape. The image is a reminder of just how big the campus is set to be, since it will house a massive 13,000 employees — or the equivalent of 35 fully-filled Boeing 747s. Tim Cook has called the campus Apple’s “home for innovation and creativity for decades to come.”

The city of Cupertino’s website makes note of a schedule for the project, noting that earthwork is set to continue until the middle of next year, while construction on the building itself will be completed by late 2016.

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Smart gifts for the college students on your list

Mini Jambox pumps out the jams. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

From music to MacBooks, these gifts will resonate with students. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You might think college students are tricky to shop for, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since they’re constantly swamped with homework and simultaneously managing a busy social life, all they want is stuff that makes their lives easier and more fun.

If you’re stressing about what to get the student in your life this holiday season, never fear. We’ve collected some great gift ideas, handpicked by college students for college students:

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