| Cult of Mac

Ex-baseball player makes pitch to turn iPhone into radar gun


The Scoutee can attach to an iPhone and record pitch speeds and other data it sends to an app.
The Scoutee can attach to an iPhone and record pitch speeds and other data it sends to an app.
Photo: Scoutee

Miha Uhan’s dream of standing on a big league mound is dead. But he’s still got a big pitch that could impact the game of baseball.

The former Slovenia national team player now leads a team of developers who have created a small device that can turn an iPhone into a radar gun to clock the speed of a thrown baseball.

A baseball coach changed the game with a little police work to solve fastball mystery


An early radar gun used by a Dodgers scout during the 1970s.
An early radar gun used by a Dodgers scout during the 1970s.
Photo: efastball.com

Michigan State University baseball coach Danny Litwhiler was reading the campus newspaper one day in 1974 when he decided to call the cops on some of his pitchers.

An article and photo of campus police showing off the department’s new radar gun to catch speeders caught Litwhiler’s eye and he wanted police to swing by the ballpark with the new toy to see if it could read the speed of a pitched baseball.

Litwhiler – a flawless defensive player in the bigs who evolved into a beloved college coach – changed the game of baseball that day. No longer would myth and mystery surround the fastball. Pitchers, for better or worse, would be scouted and evaluated based on a new number – miles per hour.

Indians’ bullpen ransoms 100th home run ball for a ton of Apple products


Give us an Apple Watch, or the baseball get it.
Give us an Apple Watch, or the baseball get it.
Photo: Cleveland Indians/Twitter

Cleveland Indians outfielder Brandon Moss hit his 100th home run in the major leagues yesterday against the Kansas City Royals. The ball representing his career milestone landed in his own team’s bullpen, but unfortunately for Moss, his teammates are holding the it ransom. And all they want is a few grand worth of Apple products.

After catching Moss’ home run, the bullpen’s pitchers scribbled down a ransom note, telling Moss “you get the ball when we get these items.” Take a look at their list of ransom items and try to find something not made by Apple:

Baseball, guitars, food and fishing: 8 Instagrams to follow right now


Tech commuter, probably.
Tech commuter, probably.
Photo: Joe Pugliese

Regardless of what interests you have in your life, there is probably an Instagram feed for whatever your proclivities might be. Into rockabilly or baseball or even stamp collecting? You can undoubtedly find a couple of interesting photo feeds.

Since searching Instagram can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor, we have started to do it for you. This week we bring you feeds for baseball fans, vagabonds, parents and a couple of others.

#TBT: Why Apple events are the World Series of tech journalism



It already seems like years ago that Apple unveiled its smartwatch. In this #TBT gallery, we relive the glory of last week's big event, as captured by award-winning sports photographer (and iPhoneography aficionado) Brad Mangin.

A security guard keeps a close on the crowd at Apple's iPhone 6 event.

Everybody wants inside the giant white building Apple constructed outside the Flint Center. These guys make sure nobody gets in early.

Anticipation builds before Apple's big event.

Phi Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, serves up the world's first confirmed iPhone 6 sighting.

The Apple Watch boasts several innovative features, including a "digital crown" designed to ease interactions with the smartwatch's tiny screen.

Tim Cook shows off the Apple Watch, which will be available in three styles. A wide variety of straps, colors and faces make the smartwatch extremely customizable.

U2, a band boasting a long history of collaboration with Apple, performs to wrap up the show.

After the event, members of the media get a closer look at the Apple Watch.

I finally get my hands on an iPhone 6 Plus.

As the hands-on demo sessions wrap up, a few people linger inside Apple's mystery building.

CUPERTINO, California — I’m a sports photographer, not a tech blogger, so I felt out of place shooting Apple’s big iPhone 6 press event with my iPhone 5s.

Baseball is what I do — I’ve shot nine Sports Illustrated covers — but I swear it was easier getting field access to shoot a World Series game at Fenway Park than dealing with all the people and security at Apple’s event.

This thing was a free-for-all. It was crazy. The place was flooded with media types from all over the world, all standing in line to get into the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, where the event was held.

This Little Zepp Sensor Will Map Your Golf, Basball or Tennis Swing On Your iPhone




What if you could duct tape your iPhone to your baseball bat, tennis racquet or 9-iron, and use the iPhone’s motion sensors to plot your swing in your favorite sport? It’d be messy, sure, and awkward, trying to adapt your grip over the slab of phone. And then there’d be the hours of scraping duct-tape residue off the screen when (if) you recovered it from where it landed after it flung itself off during that home-run swing. And after all that you’d need an app that actually made sense of all the data.

Forget all that, and keep your iPhone in your pocket. Zepp Labs has come out with a small, light (1-inch square, 6.3 grams) sensor that attaches, via specialized rubber housings, to golf gloves, baseball bats or a tennis racquets; the sensor records your swing in three dimensions, then sends the data directly to a companion app on your iPhone via Bluetooth. The resulting 3D image of your swing can be viewed from any angle, and gets analyzed by the app.

MLB Passbook Coming To 13 New Stadiums This Season


This is the shape of things to come in baseball.
This is the shape of things to come in baseball.

Major League Baseball announced that it will be tripling the number of stadiums that will start accepting tickets from Apple’s Passbook app, with thirteen new stadiums coming online to enable paperless, Passbook ticketing, an increase from four stadiums that could do so last season.

Teams that will begin to accept tickets through the Passbook app include the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, with the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals continuing to accept paperless tickets this way. MLB mentioned that there are three more teams ready to go Passbook, but did not specify which ones.

MLB At Bat Got A Huge Update Just In Time For Spring Training



The only time I ever really care about Major League Baseball is during the Spring. And that’s only because I live in Arizona, where half of the league’s teams come for Spring training, and I can go watch tons of all-stars play games for cheap.

Whether you love baseball or not, you can certainly appreciate the amount of work that goes into the MLB At Bat app. It’s got tons of information, video, and photos, and it got a big update just in time for Spring training.