Crystal Baller: Apple Television in 2016 and four more crazy rumors

Glowing results are possible when building with flawed wood

Mat Brown mixed glow-in-the-dark pigment with resin to fill in the cracks on this shelf. (Photo by Mat Brown)

Mat Brown mixed glow-in-the-dark pigment with resin to fill in the cracks on this shelf. Photo: Mat Brown

Jewelry maker Mat Brown is getting married, and the romantic in him is hard at work creating wedding rings out of an alloy of silver and gold called electrum.

But on the practical side of sharing a life, Brown recently created space in his kitchen with shelves as unique as his jewelry: Brown used a glow-in-the-dark resin to fill in cracks in the wooden shelves, and happily shared the luminescent process and result on his blog.

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Mall Santas, ‘rollover’ data, and our most-wanted gifts on The CultCast

Photo: izismile.com

Photo: izismile.com

Merry CultCast, boys and girls! This week: Santa gets a little “grabby”; Apple wins a major lawsuit; our iPhones deserve “rollover” data plans; the incredibly low payouts artists get from Spotify; and the high-end gifts we really want but will never get on an all-new Get To Know Your Cultist.

Thanks to Audible for supporting this episode. Audible, the home of over 150,000 audio books from practically every genre in existence. Grab our Leander Kahney’s book, Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products, for free with a 30-day Audible trial.

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Mall Santas, ‘rollover’ data, and our most-wanted gifts on The CultCast

Catch the full show notes ahead.

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ICYMI: Unique gifts for the Apple fanatic in your life

The holidays are upon us, but never fear: we're here for you with another amazing issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Cover design: Stephen Smith

The holidays are upon us, but never fear: we’re here for you with another amazing issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Cover design: Stephen Smith

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us, with Christmas arriving next week and Hanukkah already in full swing.

Our very own Leander Kahney weighs in this week with a fantastic gift guide for all those crazy Apple users in your world. This clever gift guide will help you find that special stuff your fanatic probably doesn’t have.

That, plus a fairly tasty gift guide for the cooks in your family or friend group from resident foodie Lewis Wallace, a quick and easy How To on reformatting your Mac’s hard drive from video and graphics whiz Stephen Smith, and some news on the recent spotlight aimed at Apple’s continued problems with Asian labor conditions.

Be sure to see below for these engaging stories and more. And Happy Holidays!

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How to add Continuity to any Mac using just a cheap Bluetooth dongle

This simple hack will add Continuity onto your Mac. Photo: Apple

This simple hack will add Continuity onto your Mac. Photo: Apple

A couple months ago, we wrote about the Continuity Activation Tool, an app that hacks Continuity into older Macs that can’t support Handoff, Instant Hotspot, and AirDrop by default.

The only problem? It was rough: you needed to physically break open your Mac and replace it’s wireless and Bluetooth card. Dongles just wouldn’t work. But guess what? Two months later, and things are very, very different.

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Tim Cook makes sizable donation to help gay rights in Alabama

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple CEO Tim Cook is the most powerful (openly) gay man in America, and also the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company. As such, he’s done a lot for gay rights during his interim at Apple, and now he’s doing even more, making a sizable personal donation to a gay rights campaign in his home state of Alabama, as well as Arkansas and Mississippi.

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Avatar Secrets shows how one woman found wisdom in a video game

Finding love, life lessons, and community in online games isn't as rare as you'd think. Photo: Ramona Pringle/Avatar Secrets

Finding love, life lessons and community in online games isn’t as rare as you’d think. Photo: Ramona Pringle/Avatar Secrets

Can you truly find yourself in a video game? Canadian filmmaker and professor Ramona Pringle thinks so. After her mother got sick and she broke up with her New York boyfriend, she spent a year playing World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

During that time, she found many pearls of wisdom, which she’s condensed into 10 “avatar secrets,” which inform her app-based documentary film of the same name.

Video games are an unlikely place to find wisdom, yet, within them, we can find camaraderie, experience the sting of defeat, and help each other become our best selves. Rather than simple time-wasters, social video games like World of Warcraft and Second Life mirror the human condition.

While Pringle doesn’t log in to WoW much these days, the game had an undeniable impact. “This project very much changed my life, my career and my perspective,” she said during a telephone call with Cult of Mac.

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After hacks, Sony’s ‘stuck in 1992’ … except for Mac users

All of Sony's computers, bar iOS devices and Macs, are now behind bars. Photo: Techcrunch

All of Sony’s computers, bar iOS devices and Macs, are now behind bars. Photo: Techcrunch

After an attack by a group of hackers-slash-cyber-terrorists, Sony Pictures is having a rough time. Countless embarrassing details about the organization — including executive salaries and salacious emails — have leaked to the media. Even worse, threats against theatergoers have caused Sony to pull The Interview — an upcoming Sony movie that is the motive of the hack — from distribution.

Behind the scenes, though, things are just as anarchic. According to a new report, Sony Pictures is now “stuck in 1992’ at least as far as IT is concerned. But those on iOS or a Mac have gotten off much better.

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Caution: Don’t miss out on the best iOS apps of 2014

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users on iOS 8.0.1 could not get a cellular connection. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Download now, thank us later. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The word “app” has always described Apple’s executable programs, but it wasn’t until the App Store appeared in 2008 that the term really took hold as a way to describe the little programs that help make our smartphones not just smart, but also useful and totally fun.

At this point, “There’s an app for that” has become a phrase you’ll hear pretty much everywhere.

We’ve taken a look at our favorite new apps, some of which have been featured on Cult of Mac previously, and chosen the year’s best. Now get downloading!

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iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Retina iMac ship times shrink away to nothing

Apple ship times are sliding. Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple ship times are sliding. Photo: Cult of Mac

Still haven’t gotten the most important person in your life a Christmas gift? Great news. Right before the holidays, Apple has dropped the ship times on several popular items — including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Retina iMac — so that if you order them now, they’ll be on your doorstep in time for Christmas.

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