Why Apple is the new NASA

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Apple Watch swimming app
Apple analyzed the performance of 700 swimmers to develop new Workout app routines.
Photo: Apple

Thirty minutes into Apple’s special event last week, one tidbit of information blew my mind.

Onstage, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams was talking about the Workout app on the new “swim-proof” Apple Watch Series 2 and the effort the company put into advancing the software that makes the fitness device tick. The amount of research deployed, all in the pursuit of updating a segment of an app many Apple Watch wearers will never use, offers a peek into the enormous resources that Apple R&D commands.

It paints Apple, with its enduring emphasis on developing new materials, manufacturing processes and sophisticated software, as a scientific force to be reckoned with — a new NASA for the 21st century.

Apple celebrates NASA’s Juno mission with hypnotic space video

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Music and space have a lot more in common than you'd think.
Music and space have a lot more in common than you'd think.
Photo: Apple

NASA’s Juno mission is set to arrive at Jupiter on July 4th, so to celebrate the space agency did the most sensible thing it could think of: team up with Apple and Weezer to make awesome videos about space and music.

While Weezer created the patriotic rock anthem “I Love the USA” to mark the occasion, Apple created a hypnotic short film called “Visions of Harmony” that explores the link between space travel and music. The soundtrack for the hypnotic film was created by Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple VP Trent Reznor and collaborator Atticus Ross.

Watch it below:

Hello Sitter, Perchang, and other awesome apps of the week

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appsoftheweek_1024
'Appy weekend
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

It’s the weekend again, and what better way to spend the remaining hours of Sunday than by checking out the best new apps — and major app updates — to hit the App Store? From a stunning real-time feed of Earth from space to a tremendous Rube Goldberg-style puzzler, you’re almost certain to find something of interest in this week’s picks.

Check them out below.

NASA’s Apple TV app gives you realtime view of Earth from the stars

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HEADING
Your own private window from the International Space Station!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple loves talking about Apple TV’s impressive screensavers, which let viewers fly through some of the most jaw-dropping locations on the planet. You know what’s even more impressive than the world’s most gorgeous locations, though? The most dazzling locations out of this world!

That’s the concept behind NASA’s stunning new Apple TV app, which offers realtime views of the Earth as glimpsed from the International Space Station, among other space-age features.

Bored at your job? NASA is looking for new astronauts

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The job of astronaut may require some travel.
The job of astronaut may require some travel.
Photo: NASA/Flickr CC

When companies list “frequent travel may be required” in their job postings, they usually mean flying business class to the annual convention in Omaha and staying at the airport Ramada.

It’s a good business practice to let candidates know this up front — especially when the company doing the hiring is NASA and the openings are for astronauts.

NASA announced Monday it is looking for people with the Right Stuff for work aboard the International Space Station and flights in new commercial spacecraft and well-traveled Russian Soyuz ships. Oh yeah, a trip to Mars is said to be in the works.