Snowden says Apple security case is most important issue in a decade

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Edward Snowden.
Edward Snowden.
Photo: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films

Internet privacy activist and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has come out in favor of Tim Cook’s decision to deny a federal court judge’s request that Apple help the FBI hack the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5c.

Snowden is calling Apple’s battle over security the most important tech case in a decade, and has called out Google for not coming to the public’s side on the issue. In a series of tweets expounding on the issues, Snowden said the FBI’s efforts to force Apple to give them a key bypasses citizen’s ability to defend their rights.

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Why is Apple’s ancient 2012 MacBook Pro still so popular?

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We're not going to beat the original caption on this:
We're not going to beat the original caption on this: "The MD101LL/A, pixelated to simulate the quality of its screen."
Photo: Marco Arment

Without a doubt, the oldest Mac Apple still sells is the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro, model number MD101LL/A. Launched in 2012, it’s still on sale from Apple for just $1,099 … $200 more expensive than Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air, which is just as powerful.

What’s the deal? Why does Apple still sell it? The 2012 MacBook Pro is still a surprisingly big seller for Cupertino. Here’s why.

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How to use Overcast to maximize your podcast fun

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Overcast is the best podcast app for iOS.
Overcast is the best podcast app for iOS.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

The best podcast app for iOS — Overcast — got a huge update today, and best of all, its creator has decided to drop the in-app purchases and make it completely free for everyone.

The popular Overcast 2.0 app now includes streaming, chapters, storage management smart speed and tons of other optimizations. Even though there aren’t any in-app purchases, creator Marco Arment has included a patronage option where customers can support the app with a small monthly donation.

With all the free new features, there’s really no reason not to use Overcast over Apple’s Podcast. One of the app’s best features  is that it makes listening to podcasts a bit more social by allowing users to recommend podcast episodes to followers.

Here’s how to get the most out of Overcast recommendations:

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Developer pulls ad-blocker after topping App Store

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Marco Arment just wasn't at Peace with himself.
Photo: Sundaram Ramaswamy/Flickr CC

Developer Marco Arment pulled his iOS 9 content blocker from the App Store two days after launching it. He says it “just doesn’t feel good” to be profiting from his app Peace while taking money away from advertisers and publishers. He’s even offering refunds to anyone who already bought Peace expecting updates and support down the line, which they now won’t be getting.

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How to pick the right iOS 9 content blocker for you

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Content-blocking apps are soaring in popularity now that iOS 9 is out.
Content-blocking apps are soaring in popularity now that iOS 9 is out.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Figuring out which content-blocking apps you want is going to be tough with so many of them vying for your attention. Which one should you choose?

A day after iOS 9 made content blockers possible, we’ve got Purify, Peace, Crystal, Silentium, Blockr, Freedom, Blockr and 1Blocker, just to name a few.

These apps are garnering a ton of attention and reaching the top of the paid app charts. With so many content blockers out there, what’s the difference? Why choose one over the other? It’s so confusing, so we did a little digging. Here’s what we’ve found out.

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Overcast, the best podcasting app, now works on iPad and CarPlay

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Overcast is now on iPad and Carplay. Photo: Cult of Mac
Overcast is now on iPad and Carplay. Photo: Cult of Mac

Of the many podcasting apps available for iOS, Overcast on iOS is one of our favorites. Programmed by Instapaper and The Magazine founder Marco Arment, it’s a slick podcasting app with some unique tricks up its sleeves, like smart speed, voice boost, and variable playback speed. We love it. There’s only one problem. It’s been iPhone-only. At least until now.

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9 hard lessons from a top iPad publisher who’s calling it quits

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When the best iPad magazine goes under, you know something's wrong. Photo: The Magazine
When the best iPad magazine around closes up shop, you know something's wrong. Photo: The Magazine

When The Magazine ceases publication this December, owner Glenn Fleishman will be closing shop on an ambitious two-year experiment in digital publishing.

It’s not a total surprise — subscriptions were already on a downward trend when Fleishman transitioned from editor to owner of The Magazine after purchasing the publication from Marco Arment last year — and it’s not a total bummer, either.

In fact, Fleishman says he’s feeling pretty good about stopping here: he’s met his obligation to provide Kickstarter backers with their one-year subscriptions, and he’s ending this fascinating experiment while it’s still profitable.

“I’m even able to pay myself an ever-declining hourly rate for my time,” said Fleishman, who spoke with Cult of Mac about what went right, what went wrong, and his feelings about pulling the plug on a project that was his full-time job for the last year and a half.

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As The Magazine shuts down, Newsstand loses a high-profile publication

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It's hard to sustain a digital magazine these days, even with Newsstand. Photo: The Magazine
It's hard to sustain a digital magazine these days, even with Newsstand. Photo: The Magazine

The Magazine, one of the best original technology-focused Newsstand magazines out there, is closing up shop as of December of this year.

The Magazine raised the bar for a digital-only publication, providing well-written and edited short and long non-fiction that ranged topically from Apple to personal stories with true warmth and impact. We’ll miss the twice monthly title and wish the team the best.

When asked on Twitter why the publication was ending, The Magazine’s official account cited money issues.

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Overcast is a hot new podcast app for the iPhone from Marco Arment

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Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 9.26.11 PM

About a month ago, I said on Twitter that I was looking for a new podcast app to try. I’ve been a user of Instacast on iOS and OS X for a long time, but recently the app’s cloud sync has become too unreliable and glitchy.

I got a lot of suggestions, but ended up settling with Apple’s own Podcasts app. It didn’t address several things I wanted out of a podcast client, but it was the most reliable and easy to use option from what I came across.

And now, lo and behold, the most highly-anticipated new podcast app in a long time has come out. Today Marco Arment released Overcast, a simple and yet powerful podcast app for the iPhone. I’ve given it a test run, and although there is plenty of room for improvement, I’m pretty impressed.

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