Teen ‘mastermind’ gets arrested for massive Twitter attack

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If hackers dump your personal data onto the dark web, you need to know about it. Dashlane Dark Web Monitoring can sound the alarm.
Rather than state-sponsored hackers, the Twitter hacker is someone too young to vote.
Photo: sebastiaan stam/Pexels CC

In mid July, a hacker gained access to Apple’s Twitter account, along with those other corporations, high-profile politicians, and celebrities. At the time, there was speculation it was done by Russian hackers. Or perhaps they were Chinese. Some pointed fingers at international criminal gangs.

Nope. Turns out it was a 17-year-old kid from Tampa.

How to listen to YouTube music in the background on iPhone

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youtube on a phone
There's no need to stare at a screen just to listen to YouTube music.
Photo: Szabo Viktor/Unsplash

Unlike streaming music, which often keeps playing when you switch away from the app or webpage, YouTube playback stops as soon as you leave mobile Safari. This means that using YouTube as a music player is out of the question. Or is it? Can you make YouTube play just the audio, even when you’re not showing the video? You can, and it’s really, really simple.

How to resurrect your Mac’s startup chime

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startup chime
Chimes and bongs: not just for hippies.
Photo: Arturo Rey/Unsplash

When you start up a Mac, it goes “bong,” and that’s the way the world should be. Unless, that is, you bought a Mac in 2016 or later, when Apple removed the Mac startup chime. These days, a Mac starts up silently, with only a whisper of fan noise (or the din of a whirring, clicking hard drive on an iMac) to let you know something is happening.

But what if you miss the good old Mac startup chime? Or — if you’re new to Macs — you just fancy a bit of retro charm? Today we’ll see how to bring back the bong.

How to get free TV in any hotel

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Hook that giant hotel TV up to your iPad
Hook that giant hotel TV up to your iPad.
Photo: Paul Postema/Unsplash

Switch on a hotel TV, and you’ll likely run into its paywall very quickly. You probably don’t want to view any of the hotel’s stupid pay channels, but maybe you do want to hook up your iPad and watch some of the shows you brought along with you.

You’re typically still out of luck, though. These locked-up TVs won’t let you access their HDMI ports. Nor will they let you connect via AirPlay, if they even support Apple’s streaming protocol. However, there’s an absurdly easy way to disable all this dumb “security” and watch video from your iPad or iPhone to a hotel TV.

How sneaky kids use AirPods to ‘talk’ in class

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fake AirPods talk in class
Totally legit Apple AirPods.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

When I was a kid, we communicated in class by writing notes on pieces of paper, and passing them to other kids. It was called “passing notes,” and is now probably taught in schools as an artisanal pastime, along with “going outside” and conkers. In 2020, kids use insane workarounds to avoid actual writing.

Today we’ll see how to “pass notes” using nothing but two $700 iPhones and two $160 pairs of AirPods.

iPadOS 13.4 lets you (finally) use a PC keyboard with your iPad

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remap iPad keys
Finally, you can remap that stupid globe to an escape key.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Using a keyboard with your iPad is a beautiful thing. It seems like every iOS update brings more and more keyboard shortcuts. But until now, you’ve been stuck using Mac-compatible keyboards only. If you hooked up a PC keyboard to your iPad, then the ⌘ and ⌥ keys would be the wrong way around.

On the Mac, thats always been easy to fix, thanks to a preference screen for switching these keys via software. And now, in iOS 13.4 beta, you can finally remaps modifier keys, too. And, yes, you can even remap the stupid globe icon on Apple’s Smart Folio Keyboard.

How to make AirPods Pro fit any ears

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AirPods pro memory foam
This is the simplest "hack" ever.
Photo: Cult of Mac

I sent my first pair of AirPods Pro back to Apple soon after buying them. Why? Because they were too small for my ears. Even with the biggest silicone tips fitted, I could never get too green checkmarks on the Ear Tip Fit Test. But, thanks to an absurdly simple hack, I’m back in the game. Now my AirPods Pro past the fit test every time. More importantly, noise really is sealed out, and the AirPods Pro are super comfy.

Check out these secret (and super-useful) settings for your Mac

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JPG screenshot location
Dust off your Terminal to use these great hacks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

By using commands in your Mac’s built-in Terminal app, you can quickly change settings you probably didn’t even know existed.

Some of these Mac settings are just shortcuts — you can enable them in the usual way, using the mouse. But Terminal makes things simple. Instead of opening the System Preferences app, then finding (or remembering) a setting you want to change, and then searching further until you actually find the right checkbox, you can just type (or paste) a command, then  hit return.

Most of these are secret settings, though. They are impossible to change without Terminal. Let’s check them out.

How (and why) to make your own power-only USB cable

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Title image
Assemble your tools for a fun hack attack
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

USB is dirty. Just like you’d never stick your body parts into a mysterious public hole, neither should you plug your iPhone into a public charging station. iOS is pretty good at rejecting unknown connections from USB, but why take the risk?

There are a few ways to make public iPhone charging safe. One is to plug into a power outlet using your own plug and cable. But what about on a plane or train, or other public spot where only USB outlets are available? Or a friend’s computer, one that might be riddled with malware? Then you need a custom USB cable, one that only passes power, and not data. The good news is that, if you have an old Lightning USB cable laying around, you can easily fashion your own, just by yanking out two pins from inside the USB plug.

Here’s how.

How to mod your AirPods to fit tight in your ears

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WTF is going on here?
WTF is going on here?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I love my AirPods, but I hate that they don’t fit right in my ears. They’re not designed to seal the ear canal, and therefore block external noise, but they often sit so loose in my ears that a) I can’t hear them without setting the volume way too high, and b) they feel like they’re about to fall out.

Today we’ll see how to add grippy dots to your AirPods. These dots will make the AirPods fit snugly in your ears, but — crucially — they will still fit in their charging case.