The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC
When my kids and I walked into a coffee shop one sunny day last month, we were greeted by a row of tables holding laptops with gaming demos.
My son gravitated toward the biggest display, a huge TV screen with a giant, face-obscuring set of goggles set in front of it. This was the Oculus Rift, the latest fad gaming device that places two stereoscopic images in front of your eyes to simulate virtual reality.
He slid the massive black eyewear onto his face, picked up the connected Xbox controller, and started moving his head around. The rest of us could see the game on the TV — an abstract shooting gallery in three dimensions, with my boy at the center, first-person style.
After about five minutes of waving his head around and pressing buttons on the controller, my son pushed the goggles up and off his head and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to be sick.”
Congress has dropped the ball on surveillance reform, according to Tim Cook and a host of other top tech CEOs throughout the country.
In a full-page ad printed in today’s Washington Times, the tech companies tell the Senate it’s been a year since revelations on the NSA’s over reach were made known to citizens, but Congress has failed to pass a version of the USA Freedom Act that would restore the confidence of internet users.
Write, the distraction-free note-taking tool that’s been a great success on iOS, is ready to make writing easier on your Mac.
Whether you’re a student, a blogger, a novelist, or simply too forgetful to remember what you need to pack your holiday, Write’s incredibly simple design and clutter-free user interface can make writing a more enjoyable experience. But don’t let its minimal beauty fool you — Write is packed with handy features.
Facebook’s Chat Heads first debuted back in April, 2013 as a central UI element in the new Facebook for Android, the Facebook app on iOS, and the laughably ill-received ‘Facebook phone,’ the HTC First. Just like it sounds, a Chat Head is a bubble-like chat indicator that hovers over everything else until you read the message and then dismiss it by dragging it to the trash.
Some people love Chat Heads as a whimsical alternative to the omnipresent UI indicator. Some people despite it as the perfect example of design excess: a disruptive nagging ‘feature’ that forces a user to go through a tedious interaction every time a message is received in order to dismiss it. However you feel about Chat Heads, though, you can now have them on your iPhone’s default Messaging app… if you have a jailbroken device, that is.
With another week full of news in the past, your host Joshua Smith is here to give you a wrap-up on some of the latest and biggest features. Facebook’s alleged Snapchat competitor, Microsoft’s latest attempt at an ‘iPad killer’ and iCloud’s hacking are among just some of the featured stories in today’s rundown.
Take a look at the video and be sure to return next week for another. Subscribe to CultOfMacTV on youtube.com to catch new episodes of the roundup and other great video reviews, how-to’s and more.
Rachel LaCour Niesen’s passion for vintage photos started when she walked down her grandmother’s wood-paneled hallway to look at a bedroom wall that held a carefully edited family history.
There she saw a photo of her father standing proud in his cap and gown on graduation day, an aunt sitting poolside during a swim meet and a happy couple cutting their wedding cake. The imprint those pictures left on LaCour Niesen lies at the heart of her @savefamilyphotos project on Instagram, where she curates a collective history. She invites people from around the world to send her a digital copy of a cherished family photo and brief story that, in many cases, gives the photo its emotional muscle.
“The treasure is not just the photo but the story that comes with it,” LaCour Niesen told Cult of Mac. “I believe stories are the currency of our past, present and future. Without them, we are bankrupt. Our family photos trigger those stories. They are like glue that holds my story — and our stories — together over time.”
Throwback Thursday, Facebook and Instagram have made personal blasts from the past a weekly — if not an hourly — ritual. The web is awash in fuzzy Polaroids, vintage Kodachromes and black-and-white snaps, uploaded by individuals with hard drives full of memories and shared by everyone.
Your Facebook app is about get a lot smarter at knowing what you’re listening to and watching on TV.
In an upcoming update in the App Store, Facebook will add the ability to automatically tag music and TV shows within a status update. The Shazam-like feature will have to be manually enabled by the user, and links to songs and shows will be attached to statuses in the News Feed. Facebook hopes the feature encourages people to share more, while it’s sure to cause some users to worry about sharing too much.
Facebook is fine-tuning not only how you share stuff, but what content you see after you share.
That’s the goal of an update to its iOS app that is designed to cut down on accidental oversharing by giving users a preview of their posts before they go live. It could be something you don’t want the whole Facebook world seeing, like the embarrassing TV show you’re currently watching.
In a related experiment, some users of the main Facebook app are also seeing additional content suggestions from Facebook after posting.
We’ve all got them: the freaky friends. Those who comment on and like every. single. status update.
Those who post long, ranting political polemics to your happy cat poster images. The friends that creep you out in a subtle, yet plausibly deniable way.
Or maybe there’s the friends you want to get your freak on with who really don’t need to see you in those embarrassing photo updates that you send to your frat brothers.
However you rank your friends, Facebook has some non-intuitive list tools to help you finely tune your groups of friends. Here’s how to use them, and then how to view your profile through the lens of any specific person on your friends list, to make sure your list tweak was effective.