Governments start crackdown on smartphone use in schools

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iPhone X standing
There's growing concern about the effects of mobile devices on young people.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The government of southeastern Australian state, New South Wales, has said that it plans to carry out a comprehensive review of smartphone use in schools. This will look at the effects of smartphones on kids in school, both in and out classrooms.

Why is that significant? Because, building on the growing concern about smartphone addiction, it represents a developing trend focused on cracking down on the use of phones. And New South Wales isn’t the only place doing this.

Apple Pay gets you cheaper, faster service at summer festivals

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Apple Pay iPhone
Yet another reason to use Apple Pay.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you aren’t already using Apple Pay, you should be. Not only does it make shopping easier, but it can also save you money on all kinds of purchases every week. And now, Apple Pay users are getting faster service on discounted food and drink at concerts and festivals.

Apple Pay “fast lanes” have started popping up at concessions stands, helping users avoid the lengthy lines.

Fire up Apple Watch and iPhone with this minimalist charging pad

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wiDuo
WiDuo is a 2 in 1 wireless-charging solution for your iPhone and Apple Watch. Beautiful, simple and powerful with up to 20 percent faster charging!
Photo: Wiplabs

For lovers of versatility, and Apple gear, I bring you a two-in-one charging solution for iPhone and Apple Watch. Who doesn’t enjoy a twofer?

The WiDuo by Wiplabs is a beautifully minimalist charging pad that provides up to 20 percent faster charging that many of its wireless competitors. And, it’s cute and sleek to boot. Pop it in a bag or briefcase for on-the-go charging.

Cupertino postpones vote on ‘head tax’ on Apple employees

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Apple Park1
Cupertino decided to not raise additional taxes this year on employees working at Apple Park.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Cupertino’s city government decided to ask voters next year whether it should charge businesses a tax on every worker. Apple is the city’s largest employer, so most of the cost would have fallen on the iPhone maker.

The original plan, while vague, was to use the additional revenue to create more affordable housing options and improve Cupertino’s transit system.

Facebook finally going to charge you for some content

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Facebook subscription fees are coming.
Declutter My Home is one of a handful of Facebook groups that get to test charging subscription fees.
Photo: Facebook

A pilot project allows people who run Facebook groups to charge subscription fees for the content they create. During the testing process, this is an option for a limited number of group admins.

The fees can range from $4.99 to $29.99 a month. Facebook isn’t taking a share of the revenue.

Save 97 percent on this powerful project-planning app [Deals]

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Plan out projects of any size with this easy to use app that's also nice to look at.
Plan out projects of any size with this easy to use app that's also nice to look at.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Getting through a big project takes lots of planning, and improvising along the way. In our digital age, there’s no reason to be shuffling papers or scrawling notes on the wall. So if you’ve got a big task to plan, this app is a great place to start.

This Steve Jobs business card is a pricey addition to your Rolodex

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Steve Jobs business card
A Steve Jobs Apple business card and three sheets of letterhead is for sale on eBay.
Photo: MG Service/eBay

It’s hard to imagine Steve Jobs ever needing to pass out business cards. But even for titans of industry, business cards were standard issue and if you happened to have one from Jobs, its worth a few bucks.

A seller on eBay is hoping to get $9,000 for a couple of Jobs business cards and a few sheets of his Apple letterhead stationary.

How to control your HomePod’s up-next queue from your iPhone

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The HomePod -- a beautiful body with the brain of an idiot.
The HomePod -- a beautiful body with the brain of an idiot.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Siri on HomePod is acceptable for quickly playing an album or a playlist, or even for adding a track to the existing up-next queue. But what if you want to switch the order of some songs in that queue, or delete tracks? Or maybe just use your iPhone to skip tracks, or control the volume of your HomePod without having to talk to the damn thing all the time?

Today we shall find out how.

Exploding phone blamed for Malaysian VC’s death

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iPhone fire
It's very rare, but smartphones can catch fire. They aren't known to explode powerfully enough to kill someone, though.
Photo: Langley Township Fire Department

A Malaysian man perished in a fire in his bedroom, but his family and his company say he was actually killed when the phone charging near his bed exploded.

“He had two phones, one Blackberry and a Huawei. We don’t know which one exploded,” said the brother-in-law of Nazrin Hassan, the CEO of a venture capital fund.

Apple inks deal for kids’ shows with Sesame Workshop

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Sesame Workshop
Apple is going to get its own puppet show.
Photo: Sesame Workshop

Apple is getting its own kids’ TV series with talking puppets.

The iPhone-maker and Sesame Workshop have reportedly inked a deal that will bring a slate of new kids’ programming to the company’s worldwide video project. But don’t expect to see Big Bird and the Sesame Street gang.