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Shift Happens: Book about keyboard history now 400% funded on Kickstarter


Shift Happens: A Book About Keyboards
This beautifully designed two-volume book delves deep into keyboard history.
Image: Marcin Wichary/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Shift Happens, a book about keyboards, is now 400% funded on Kickstarter. This makes it the second-most funded non-fiction book ever on the crowdfunding site. The book, by designer/writer Marcin Wichary, “tells the story of keyboards like no book ever before, covering 150 years from the early typewriters to the pixellated keyboards in our pockets,” according to the project website.

Shift Happens is available on Kickstarter until March 9. Donate $150 and you can get the two-volume hardcover set inside a slipcase.

Lincoln’s Dilemma delivers a compelling history lesson [Apple TV+ review]


Lincoln's Dilemma review: Apple TV+ Abraham Lincoln documentary offers fresh look at the Great Emancipator.
The new documentary offers a fresh look at the Great Emancipator.
Photo: Apple TV+

New Apple TV+ docu-series Lincoln’s Dilemma delivers a fine history lesson in classical PBS form. The four-part series, which premieres today, brings you the story of Lincoln’s presidency and the ways in which he approached the issue of slavery, from his first dealings with the issue until his death at the hands of a Confederate sympathizer.

Stewarded by executive producer/directors Jacqueline Olive and Barak Goodman, executive producer Jelani Cobb and a host of historians and activists, the series’ form is likely too sturdy and utilitarian to change the way anyone views Lincoln.

However, the filmmakers’ intent is admirable. They set out to neither oversell nor undersell Lincoln and his views on slavery, how history has sought to simplify the political figures of the 1860s, and how the Great Emancipator was and was not an adequate moniker for the 16th president of the United States.

Save half on the tool that turns websites into searchable documents [Deals]


History Search
This tool turns the websites you visit into easily searchable documents, for super easy recall and search.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The website is an incomprehensibly vast trove of information. When you want to save that information for later, it usually means saving a bunch of bookmarks or remembering the right search terms. But what if instead you could index and sort your own personal web archive?

How to ask Google to auto-wipe your activity data on iOS


It takes care of itself.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

You can now ask the Google app on iOS to automatically wipe your location and activity history.

The new feature, which was showcased during Google I/O in late May, takes the hassle out of covering your tracks. You only have to set it up once and it will take care of itself going forward. Here’s how to get started.

How to sanitize your Safari history on iOS


Here’s one piece of history we don’t want to erase.
Here’s one piece of history we don’t want to erase.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Have you got some embarrassing entries in your Safari browsing history? Or maybe it’s a question of security: You don’t want your iPad’s history to fall into the wrong hands, etc.

Smutty jokes aside, there are plenty of legit reasons to clear your Safari history on your iPhone or iPad. And the good news is that Safari for iOS has some great tools for doing so. For example, did you know that you can clear just the last hour of browsing history, or the past couple of days?

Get ready to learn how to sanitize your Safari history on iOS devices.

How real historical intrigue inspires Game of Thrones


The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
Photo: TED-Ed

You know nothin’, Jon Snow. Especially how much more full of shifting alliances and intrigue The Wars of the Roses was than your epic television series is able to show. Game of Thrones superfans may already know that 15th-century England inspired much of the structure of George R. R. Martin’s overarching book series, but having it all laid out — lovely animations and visuals to support the historical information — is our first exposure to that fact.

The short animated video, written by Alex Gendler and animated by Brett Underhill, even illustrates how Game of Thrones matches directly to historical facts with some fun Pop-Up Video-style flourishes. You’ll love it.

iPad first went on sale five years ago today


iPad sales are slowing. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPad is a familiar sight today, but it wasn't always like that. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Okay, so all eyes are currently trained on the Apple Watch, which arrives later this month. But April also represents another important benchmark for Apple: five years ago today the iPad went on sale for the very first time.

To celebrate, we’ve scraped the dark recesses of the Cult of Mac archives to bring you a whistle-stop tour of the glorious 60 months we’ve spent in the company of Apple’s breakthrough tablet.

Whether you’re after a zero-gravity Garage Band symphony or a reminder of the time the Queen of England bought an iPad 2, keep reading for a trip down memory lane.