5 affordable ways to give back-to-school an upgrade for 2015 [Deals]

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The Jorg Messenger Bag adds a 11,000mAh charger to a sleek and stylish carryall.
The Jorg Messenger Bag adds a 11,000mAh charger to a sleek and stylish carryall.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

School’s changed a lot in recent years, as technology keeps creeping into every aspect of learning along with our lives. Time to get with the times — whether it’s keeping your cash and cell phone in one place, getting a bag that can charge your devices while you walk, or a cyber-secured lock for your locker, we’ve got some of the best deals for making 2015’s back-to-school actually feel like 2015.

Shelf-size stereo delivers massive sound from a tiny footprint

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So much sound in such a small package.
So much sound in such a small package.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Now that we’re in the era of the portable Bluetooth speaker, it’s hard to justify spending money on a stereo that just sits on a shelf at home.

That perception is exactly what this tiny stereo system from German audio giant Thonet and Vander aims to fight, though. The Rätsel brings old-school stereo sensibility to the modern age, with an absolutely room-filling sound in a tiny, tiny package. Why not have something that sounds this great right there on your shelf?

This next-gen light bulb is full of futuristic features, and it saves money [Deals]

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We’re still waiting for our jetpacks, but at least today’s lightbulbs are properly futuristic. The best example of how far lighting has come is the ilumi A21 Bluetooth Smartbulb, a super-efficient LED light that sports features straight out of sci-fi. And right now, it’s going for nearly half its normal price, just $49 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Apple now has an official say in the future of Bluetooth

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Apple now has a say in Bluetooth's roadmap going forward.

As a key driver in Bluetooth-related innovation, Apple has today been announced as a new promoter member of the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group.)

Giving Apple voting rights on Bluetooth SIG corporate matters, as well as a continual seat on the SIG Board of Directors, Apple joins current promoter members Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, and Toshiba.

It’s about time, too!

Apple releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with Wi-Fi and Spotlight fixes

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A new OS X Yosemite beta is here
Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Along with this morning’s iOS 8.1.3 update, Apple also has some new goodies for Mac users with the release of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2.

The update fixes a problem that caused Wi-Fi to disconnect. The latest version also includes a number of bug fixes for Spotlight, Bluetooth headphones, iCloud Drive and VoiceOver, while also improving stability and security in Safari.

The update is available now in the Mac App Store. Here’s a full list of the changes:

Robot Chicken and Power Glove: a match made in animation heaven

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Anything else is child's play. Photo: Dillon Markey
Anything else is child's play. Photo: Dillon Markey

Dillon Markey animates one of the hottest Adult Swim programs on television, Robot Chicken. Better yet, he uses an old Nintendo Power Glove to do it.

The Emmy-winning show consists of short sequences of stop-motion animation using action figures of pop culture characters, like Bill Gates or Shigeru Miyamoto, the famed Nintendo game designer. Funny enough, Markey used his modified Power Glove the first time on that specific scene in Robot Chicken.

Check it out in the video below.

The iPhone just made room keys obsolete at Starwood hotels

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Your iPhone is now a hotel key too: Photo: Starwood Hotels
Your iPhone is now a hotel key too: Photo: Starwood Hotels

The dream of replacing all the pieces of plastic in your wallet with your smartphone got a little closer to reality today as Starwood hotels announced that its new keyless entry system – SPG Keyless – is rolling out to hotels worldwide.

Guests at Aloft, Element, and W Hotels around the globe can now use their iPhone and the SPG app to skip the hotel front desk altogether, walk straight to their room, and unlock it, no key required.