How to stop websites hijacking Safari

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hijacked StopTheMadness
Take back control of Safari with StopTheMadness.
Photo: Daniel Rehn/Flickr CC

Did you ever visit a website and find that it had blocked the usual behavior of the Safari browser? Maybe it’s a banking site that won’t let you paste in your long password into its password field? Or maybe you discovered that YouTube disables Safari’s contextual (right-click) menus and replaces them with it’s own versions? Or maybe you can’t drag that image to the desktop, or copy text from the page?

The good news is that you can wrest control of your browser back from these malicious, control-freak sites. Let’s see how, using the StopTheMadness browser extension.

How to take a healthy break when using Mac

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take a break
Not this kind of break.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When you’re working on playing at your Mac, it’s too easy to just push through the current task, which — at the time — seems like the most important thing in the world. “It’ll only take five more minutes,” you tell yourself, as your carpal tunnels tighten, your back stiffens, and your upper arms atrophy.

What you need is a break. Just two minutes taken every half hour should do you. The problem is remembering. Luckily, there’s an app for that.

How to look up anything with one tap on Mac

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dictionary look up macos
Look up!
Photo: Caleb Roenigk/Flickr CC

On the Mac, you have long been able to tap on any word or phrase to look up a dictionary definition. Just click on the word using a three-finger tap on your trackpad, and the dictionary panel appears. But have you tried this recently? Today, in this simple popover panel, you can get full access to not just dictionary definitions, but news, Siri Knowledge, movie details, App Store listings, and lots more depending on what you’re looking up.

Let’s take a look.

How to change Siri’s accent on iPhone and iPad, and why you shouldn’t

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australian siri
Changing Siri's accent is easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Most folks refer to Siri as “she,” but that’s not always true. The original British English Siri, for example, was male-only up until iOS 7.1 added a female version. Likewise, you don’t have to stick with your local version of Apple’s comically-bad voice assistant. English speakers, for example, can choose between American, Australian, and British Siris, and also pick a male or female version of each, for six options.

So, if you’re a U.S. native who views the U.K. Standard English accent as quaint, cute, respectful, sexy, or reproachful, it’s easy to set your iPhone or iPad to adopt the new accent. Let’s see how to change Siri’s accent.

Control your analog guitar pedals with this iPhone app and looper

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DC Pedals Bluetooth Looper will switch your pedals in and out using an iPhone app.
This box will switch your pedals in and out using an iPhone app.
Photo: DC Pedals

There are great guitar effects apps for iOS, apps which take the signal from your electric guitar and process it with weird and/or great-sounding effects. And there are also several Bluetooth gadgets that let you control those apps with your feet.

But what about the other way around? Is there a way to take a guitarist’s collection of old-school analog effects pedals, and control them from your iPhone? Well yes, now there is. It’s DC Pedals’ Bluetooth Looper and VirtualLooper app.

How to see what your friends are listening to on Apple Music

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Apple Music Friends
Friends don't let friends play ukulele.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple is famously bad at social networks. Unless you count iMessage, which is easily successful and popular enough to exist as a standalone business. Or iCloud Photo Sharing, which brings families and friends closer together every day. What’s that you say? Ping? Sure, that didn’t work out, but using it as your sole representation of Apple’s social efforts is lazy at best.

Apple, then, is pretty good at social stuff. It’s just that it’s hidden. For instance, now you can hook up with friends in Apple Music, and spy on what they’re listening to. How? Let’s see.

How to edit Photos Memories on your iPhone and iPad

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clock memories
A clock is an easy, if lazy, metaphor for memories.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Memories is one of the best features of the Photos app. It gathers together pictures into albums that are surprisingly smart. It picks you best pictures, adds music, and uses things like facial recognitions to focus on the important people in the pictures. The whole thing is presented as a slideshow.

But did you know that you can edit those memories? You can change the title, the duration, the music, and more. Let’s take a quick look how to tweak our memories to make them perfect.

Pro Tip: Quickly delete numbers in iPhone Calculator app

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calculator
They don't make them like this any more. Thank God.
Photo: Seth Morabito/Flickr CC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Doing a bit of quick adding-up in the iPhone calculator app? Or are you in the middle of a complex series of calculations better suited to a spreadsheet, but you used the Calculator anyway? A mis-hit key can spell anything from annoyance to disaster, forcing you to bang on the C key a few times to reset the the whole calculation, and start over.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With this quick pro tip, you can easily delete just one digit at a time.