Why a secret Apple project may be delaying new Macs, this week on The CultCast

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We got new MacBook Pros, but what's the holdup on other new Macs?
We got new MacBook Pros, but what's the holdup on other new Macs?

This week on The CultCast: Is a secret Apple project stalling Mac updates? It wouldn’t be the first time. Plus: Apple teases Black Friday deals; AirPort routers are walking dead, and the Mac Pro might be next; the future of Time Machine; why iPad should be an iOS/OS X hybrid; and Jony Ive’s new role designing Apple itself.

Today in Apple history: The seeds of OS X are sown

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nextstep
Look familiar?
Photo: The Color Convergence

Nov25November 25, 1996: Garrett L. Rice, a mid-level manager at NeXT, contacts Apple chief technology officer Ellen Hancock about the possibility of Apple licensing NeXT’s OpenStep operating system.

It’s the first formal step in a process that ultimately ends in Apple buying NeXT, the creation of OS X, and Steve Jobs returning home to the company he co-founded.

Today in Apple history: OS X Panther claws its way onto Macs

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Do you remember OS X Panther?
Photo: Gudebookgallery/Apple

Oct25October 25, 2003: OS X Panther, the fourth major OS X update released by Apple, arrives on Macs.

Mac OS X Panther 10.3 brings a number of useful new features: Exposé lets users instantly view all open windows at once, and iChat AV allows users to talk with audio and video as well as text. The new Mac OS also makes Safari Apple’s default web browser for the first time.

Ex-NSA staffer reveals way to hack Mac’s camera and mic

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Mac App Store
You might want to put tape over your webcam.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Security researchers discovered a new way to hack the Mac’s built-in webcam this week, and the method is undetectable by users.

Apple built a green LED light into every Mac with firmware-level protection that turns on anytime the sensor is tripped by unauthorized access. The security feature has become increasingly difficult for hackers to beat, but former NSA staffer Patrick Wardle found a way to piggyback on outgoing feeds and record them.