Apple will upgrade some iPhone 6 Plus units in need of repair

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iPhone 6 Plus
You may be in for a treat when you visit the Genius Bar.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you have an iPhone 6 Plus in need of replacement, you could be in line for an upgrade to iPhone 6s Plus. An internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers gives permission for units to be upgraded until the end of March, though no reason is given.

Yes, you’ll be able to mute ‘always listening’ HomePod

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HomePod
Because of course you will.
Photo: Apple

New icons uncovered in the latest iOS 11.2.5 developer build confirm that, yes, HomePod owners will be able to disable the microphone on Apple’s smart speaker should so they wish to do so.

Given Apple’s privacy-conscious policies, and the fact that rival speakers made by Amazon and Google allow the same to be done, it’s no surprise that Apple would make that an option on HomePod. Still, it could help ease fears among customers concerned about the risk of housing an “always listening” speaker in their homes.

Tim Cook will return to Duke for 2018 commencement address

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Tim Cook
Never let a commencement address get in the way of some iPhone X advertising!
Photo: Duke University

Tim Cook will give the commencement address for Duke University’s graduating class on May 13, 2018.

Cook is a 1988 MBA graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, as well as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Cook has previously given successful, inspirational and funny commencement addresses at MIT, Auburn University (which he attended before Duke), and George Washington University.

Check out the Duke University announcement video, featuring a whole lot of animojis, below.

Hearst family ranch provides solar power to Apple Park

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Apple Park1
Apple Park not only looks spectacular, it's environmentally friendly too.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

California’s historic Hearst cattle ranch is being used as a hybrid solar farm to provide power for Apple — partly thanks to Steve Jobs.

The Hearst ranch takes up 150,000 acres, split across two properties, on the border of San Luis Obispo County in central California. The land has been used for raising cattle since 1865, but are now also being used as the home of a 2,900-acre solar farm, which is providing energy to power the Apple Park campus.

Create and lead a thriving society in Civilization VI [Deals]

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Civilization VI is a worthy addition to the legacy of the classic turn-based strategy game.
Civilization VI is a worthy addition to the legacy of the classic turn-based strategy game.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Most fans of computer gaming will be familiar with the epic Civilization series. It’s a turn-based strategy game that challenges players to build and sustain a thriving global society. Spanning from the beginnings of human history all the way to the deep future, it’s a complex, satisfying game. If that doesn’t sound fun, trust us: it is.