How one Apple engineer fixed the Mac’s awful startup sound for good

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One of the things that makes a Mac a Mac is the beautiful startup sound it makes when you turn it on: a soothing, sonorous noise that sounds like electronic harp strings being plucked as you enter the gardens of Zen.

But it wasn’t always this way. When the original Macintosh was released, the startup sound was horrible. Yet it wasn’t Steve Jobs who fixed it. It was an unknown sound engineer who hated it with such a passion that he defied his bosses and literally snuck it onto the Mac.

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If Jony Ive designed furniture, it would look like this

Photo: Klaus Geiger

Photo: Klaus Geiger

For the last decade or so, Apple has made some of the most beautifully designed devices on the planet. But because those devices are technology, not furniture or art, they have an incredibly short half-life in our home. Yet these are still classic designs that, in any other context, we might keep around for decades.

That’s why I like this bench built by Klaus Geiger.

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Apple willing to sacrifice profit margins to meet incredible iPhone 6 demand

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook wasn’t kidding when he said that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were proving to be Apple’s most popular iPhones of all time.

Two new reports coming out of Apple’s Chinese supply chain today demonstrate the extent to which this is true. According to one report, Apple’s Chinese production line is on course to ship a total of 50 million iPhone 6 devices by the end of 2014 — referring only to the 4.-inch iPhone 6 and not including the 6 Plus.

By comparison, for the calendar fourth quarter of 2013, Apple sold a total of 51 million iPhones all-in, which itself marked an all-time quarterly record.

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iFixit teardown discovers the iPad Air 2 skimps on battery life

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Photo: iFixit

As they so often do when new Apple products land, the gadget vivisectionists at iFixIt have used one of their trademark spudgers to crack open a brand iPad Air 2, and there’s at least one interesting finding.

All the iPad Air’s specs have improved this generation except for one critical thing: battery.

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Your Final Fantasy V saves follow you wherever you go with iCloud syncing

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Photo: Square Enix

First arriving on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) way back in 1992, Final Fantasy V is one of the greatest RPGs ever made — and thanks to a new update by Square Enix, its iOS port is now more playable than ever.

Following on from Apple’s Handoff feature for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the update similarly encourages you to pick up play on whichever iOS device is closest to you with a new iCloud save syncing feature. What this means is that game data saved using iCloud can now be shared across devices, so you can enjoy working through Final Fantasy V on an iPad at home and an iPhone while on the move.

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Tim Cook tweets a picture of himself building an iPhone 6 at Foxconn

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped by an iPhone factory in Zhengzhou yesterday during a trip in China, and not only did he spend a few minutes having a laugh with an assembly line worker, he even tweeted a picture about it.

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It’s official: Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in movie adaptation

The hero Cupertino deserves. Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage

The hero Cupertino deserves. Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage

There have been plenty of rumors and today we have confirmation: Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in the upcoming movie adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s bestselling 2011 biography.

Confirmation of the casting was made by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) during an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang for an upcoming edition of Studio 1.0.

“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin said. He went on to observe that Bale didn’t have to audition for the role, although “there was a meeting.”

The film is said to begin shooting in the next couple of months, with Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle attached to direct.

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China’s going to get another 25 Apple Stores by 2016

Customers at the Apple Store in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: FullbridgeProgram/Flickr CC

Customers at the Apple Store in the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: FullbridgeProgram/Flickr CC

Here in 2014, news of a new Apple Store in the U.S. may be nothing special, but when you hear that Cupertino plans to open 25 retail stores in China in the next two years you sit up and pay attention!

According to Tim Cook, who was interviewed during his current China visit, Apple is set to greatly increase its retail presence in the country — from 15 stores currently, to 40 stores in 2016.

Cook also discussed China’s potential as the biggest Apple market in the world, saying that, “In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.”

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Iron Man takes on the Hulk in first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer

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Hulk smash! Iron Man huge! Photo: Marvel Studios

Update: The leaked Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer has been pulled from several sources, but once the toothpaste is out of the tube, even superheroes can’t put it back. Marvel Entertainment has responded with an appropriately cheeky tweet (see below) and released the official trailer in HD.

It’s hard not to contain our excitement for the upcoming Joss Whedon joint, Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially with this new leaked trailer. It’s not the high-quality one you’ll likely see when Marvel Studios puts the official trailer up on YouTube, but it definitely looks legit.

The trailer gives us our first glimpse of baddie Ultron, voiced by James Spader, and features some creepy use of the Pinnochio song, “I Got No Strings” — a reference to the fact that Ultron is no longer a puppet, perhaps?

Check it out below:

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The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are now available at Apple Stores

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You can grab an iPad Air 2 at your local Apple Store starting today. Photo: Apple

Apple announced its newest lineup of iPads last week without giving a specific launch date, but if you didn’t get in on the pre-order action you can just go to your local Apple Store and pick up a new unit starting today.

Pre-orders deliveries for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 began earlier today, but Apple retail staff has informed Cult of Mac that stores should receive their first shipments this afternoon, even though most Apple Stores are still waiting for their display units.

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