War gets serious in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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“One day I’ll remember,” says Bilbo Baggins. “Remember everything that happened. The good, the bad. Those who survived, and those who did not.”

Thus starts the latest trailer for the upcoming sequel to The Hobbit movies: The Battle of the Five Armies. Check it out below in all it’s glory.

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Hilton Hotels turn iPhones into room keys

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Hilton Hotels is planning to turn your iPhone into the ultimate control center for your entire hotel stay by allowing guests to check-in, choose an exact room, and even unlock your room, straight from its app.

The company announced its digital enhancements for the hotel experience will be available globally for over 650,000 rooms, at more than 4,000 hotels by the end of 2014, ensuring you won’t have to interact with a single human being the next time you stay at their hotels.

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Take iOS gaming to the next level with these Game Center tips

When it comes to iOS gaming, nothing tops the exhilarating feeling of beating your friends’ high scores. But with so many games and so many scores to keep track of, it can be a lot to handle. Luckily, Apple’s Game Center app can help you take down the competition.

In today’s video, we show you how to master the Game Center app and become the best of the best. Find the hottest trending games, challenge your gaming “foes” and more using this underrated stock app.

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

Beats Music 2.2 adds taste tuner, badges and playback improvements

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Apple’s recently acquired music streaming service, Beats Music, just received its biggest update since getting scooped up by Apple at the end of May, adding new features that let you fine tune your musical tastes on the service and view songs that were just served up in The Sentence.

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Ultraviolent Sin City trailer has dames to kill for, plus Lady Gaga

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If you’re a fan of stylish, true-to-the-comics movie adaptations, you’ve probably already seen Sin City. The trailer (below) released during last week’s Comic Con shows us the sequel, based on the second book in the Sin City series by Frank Miller, A Dame To Kill For.

Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Sin City) will produce and Miller (Dark Knight Returns, 300) will direct a script co-written by the two men and William Monahan (The Departed).

Actors returning include Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Mickey Rourke, and Bruce Willis. New folks to the series include Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Christopher Lloyd, Ray Liotta, Stacy Keach, Christopher Meloni, and yes, even Lady Gaga, who you can see as a waitress handing over some cash to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in the trailer below.

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More signs point to ‘limited volume’ of sapphire glass iPhone 6

Unscratchable screens would be a huge boon for the iPhone 6, and it looks like this dream might be close to becoming a reality. Apple announced late in 2013 that it was planning to open a sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Arizona, employing 700 people and capable of churning out between 100 million and 200 million iPhone displays each year. The Arizona plant reportedly began shipping sapphire to China for manufacturing in late April. Shares of GT Advanced Technologies, the company reported to be manufacturing Apple’s new iPhone covers, got a nice boost from reports that sapphire glass will be used for the iPhone 6. Just how resilient is the material? Check out our Q&A on sapphire glass, which includes a video of a concrete block being dragged over a phone screen — with no apparent damage.

While most of the other rumors about the upcoming iPhone 6 have tended to sync up with each other, one thing we’ve still yet to get a clear answer on is whether or not Apple’s next generation smartphone will feature a sapphire display.

The latest report, coming from LEDinside, claims that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 won’t be incorporating sapphire displays, due to limited volumes of sapphire being produced this year — mostly as a result of sapphire ingot manufacturers yield rate being lower than expected, alongside other issues involved in sapphire glass processing.

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Secret machine could solve Apple’s sapphire glass woes

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Apple has been struggling to produce enough sapphire displays in time for the iPhone 6, but after going straight to the source of the freakishly indestructible glass – GT Advanced Technologies – MIT has learned of the company’s plans to use a giant machine that may solve all of Apple’s sapphire production problems, one slice of sapphire at a time.

The problem with sapphire glass is that while amazingly durable, it’s also ridiculously hard to produce in thin smartphone sized sheets. Apple’s current production methods involve taking a large chunk of sapphire and sawing it down to just a few hundred micrometers thick. It’s time consuming and wasteful, but GT’s new Hyperion 4 Ion Implanter technology could allow it to make paper thin sheets of pure crystal sapphire glass just by bombarding it with hydrogen ions.

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How to jailbreak iOS 7.1

Jailbreaking has been around almost as long as iOS itself, giving users more control over their iPhones and letting them customize almost everything.

In today’s video, we take a look at how to jailbreak iOS 7.1 using the Pangu jailbreaking tool. If you’re not running that particular version of Apple’s mobile operating system, don’t worry: The process is very similar for every release. Take a look at the video to learn how to do it for yourself – it only takes a few minutes!

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Apple leaker predicts December launch for iWatch, iPhablet

iPhone 6 and iWatch. Perfect companions. iPhoto: Martin Hajek

Production issues continue to plague the 5.5-inch iPhablet, and while the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is on target to launch in September, Apple may have just decided to pair the launch of its first wearable alongside its first foray into phablets, says one of Weibo’s top Apple leakers.

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Leaked logic boards revive ‘NFC on iPhone 6’ rumor

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Tell me if you’ve heard this rumor before: the iPhone is getting NFC this year.

Well NFC fever is back again for 2014’s iPhone rumor season, only instead oozing from the mouths of misinformed analysts, a new rumor based on alleged iPhone 6 logic board claims that both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s will be the first Apple devices to finally support near field communications.

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