| Cult of Mac

Score two awesome DJI-powered drones at down-to-earth prices [Deals]


Ryze Main
These two DJI drones are affordable, easy to use, and packed with features for the novice pilot.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Who doesn’t want to fly? As drones get easier to use, we can get really close to the feeling of taking to the skies. Along with getting better, they’re also becoming more affordable, so even people on a budget can join the ranks of hobby pilots. One of the best names in the business is DJI, and they’ve got a pair of options that offer a great way into the world of drones.

Iron Man’s iconic head-up display was inspired by the first iPhone


Marvel Studios
Save the world? There's an app for that!
Photo: Marvel Studios

Apple’s design principles make it into all sorts of areas of pop culture — from the robots in Pixar’s Wall*E to the Stormtroopers and lightsabers in the Disney Star Wars movies to… Iron Man’s head-up display (HUD)?

According to a new oral history of Tony Stark’s instantly recognizable HUD, the computer interface’s design was greatly influenced by Apple’s then-brand new handset, which had only just shipped when the first Iron Man movie was in production.

The $25 skin which gives your iPhone 6 an Iron Man overhaul


Jarvis, order me one of these!
Photo: Slickwraps

When Samsung dropped its Iron Man-themed Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge variant, I had a feeling I’ve never experienced in my days as an iPhone owner: Android envy.

Fortunately that brief emotional response can now be banished to the furthest limits of the Negative Zone courtesy of this gorgeous, metallic-flake-finish “Hero Collection” adhesive skin for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

No, it’s not Tony Stark’s titanium alloy, but in so far as it gives your iPhone the familiar metallic red-and-gold look associated with everyone’s favorite billionaire philanthropist superhero, it’s pretty darn good.

An Iron Man suit for your MacBook power supply


MeezyCube will protect your MacBook’s power supply.
MeezyCube will protect your MacBook’s power supply.
Photo: Bulwark Products

This post is brought to you by Bulwark Products, maker of MeezyCube.

Buying any Apple product — whether a phone, tablet or laptop — is an investment in quality. We pay a premium for the sake of a device that’s designed and built to last, perform and look good while doing so.

Unless, of course, you’re talking about the power supply that comes with any MacBook. Somehow, Cupertino’s hardware wizards haven’t been able to move us beyond an unwieldy, tentacled plastic brick whose white plastic quickly gets scuffed up and filthy.

Siri refresh is known internally by geeky Iron Man reference


Photo: Marvel Studios
Jarvis Siri, schedule a date with Pepper Potts. Photo: Marvel Studios

Apple is using a revamped, custom Apache Mesos scheduler to power its Siri search queries.

It’s been given the backronym “J.A.R.V.I.S.” — apparently standing for Just A Rather Very Intelligent Scheduler — and Marvel movie fans will likely recognize the name as a geeky nod to Tony Stark’s intelligent computer assistant from the Iron Man movies.

Tony Stark is The Avengers’ Jony Ive


Tony Stark really does make the Avengers look cool. Photo: Marvel Studios
Tony Stark really does make the Avengers look cool. Photo: Marvel Studios

Tony Stark isn’t just Iron Man — he’s The Avengers’ own personal Jony Ive.

“He’s the boss,” says Stark (referring to Captain America) in the new TV spot for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. “I just pay for everything … and design everything … make everyone look cooler.”

While Ive doesn’t pay for everything at Apple, the rest of that self-confident self-description sounds a lot like Cupertino’s design guru.

Iron Man takes on the Hulk in first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer


Hulk smash! Iron Man huge! Photo: Marvel Studios

Update: The leaked Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer has been pulled from several sources, but once the toothpaste is out of the tube, even superheroes can’t put it back. Marvel Entertainment has responded with an appropriately cheeky tweet (see below) and released the official trailer in HD.

It’s hard not to contain our excitement for the upcoming Joss Whedon joint, Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially with this new leaked trailer. It’s not the high-quality one you’ll likely see when Marvel Studios puts the official trailer up on YouTube, but it definitely looks legit.

The trailer gives us our first glimpse of baddie Ultron, voiced by James Spader, and features some creepy use of the Pinnochio song, “I Got No Strings” — a reference to the fact that Ultron is no longer a puppet, perhaps?

Check it out below:

8 epic movie crossovers we’d love to see



When we’re not bending our latest smartphones simply to see what will happen, there’s nothing that appeals to the dark recesses of the human (possibly male) mind more than watching two characters we recognize from separate franchises cross over to one another’s universes. It doesn’t matter if it’s The Simpsons and Family Guy, the NBA and the Loony Tunes, or Batman and Superman, all that matters is that it happens. And preferably that they end up fighting one another.

With casting well underway for a 2015 big screen adaptation of the endearingly daft Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to run down the movie mash-ups we most want to see. Scroll through our gallery to get your crossover on.

Picture: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

G.I. Joe meeting the Transformers was one of the comics that blew my mind as a kid, and I’d welcome the same experience as an adult. Unlike a lot of crossovers this one should be fairly straightforward, with the rights held by Hasbro and Paramount. Despite a rocky start, the G.I. Joe movies greatly improved with 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, while the Transformers flicks could certainly use a Joe-sized shot in the arm. I’d definitely be on board.

Picture: Marvel Comics

Sure, this one’s cheating. The Godzilla/King Kong battle has already been carried out in 1962’s superbly campy King Kong vs. Godzilla. But on the back of this year’s enjoyable Godzilla reboot, it would be fantastic to bring the battle up to date with cutting edge special effects. Done right, it would certainly put the dino fight from 2005’s King Kong to shame — even if sorting out the proper sizes of the two combatants would require a return to the drawing board.

Photo: Toho Studios

Quentin Tarantino’s movies all take place in the same fictitious universe. Ever since QT introduced us to brothers Victor and Vincent Vega in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction respectively, fans have been begging for a team-up. Given the length of time that has elapsed since then, creating a prequel would be kind of difficult. Of course, neither character makes it alive out of their respective movie either, which makes a sequel kind of difficult. But Tarantino has rewritten history more than that before.

The man killed Hitler, for goodness sake!

Photo: Miramax

The Power Rangers did, in fact, team up with the Turtles during an episode of Power Rangers in Space, but that only whetted our appetites for more. We just got done with the Michael Bay TMNT reboot and with a Power Rangers movie in the works too this would make for a great blockbuster mash-up. Fill it with the kind of self-referential fan service we saw in 2009’s tremendous Turtles Forever and you’ve got an undisputed winner.

Photo: Bandai

Okay, so this is a slightly strange one but as a long-time fan of both franchises, I’ve always been intrigued by this possibility. My optimal period for this to have taken place would have been the 1990s, when the aliens could have taken on the Next Generation Crew, but I’ll accept my Aliens/Star Trek crossover however it comes. Seeing the crew try to contain the alien by trapping it on the Holodeck would be superb entertainment.

Picture: Andy Price

Actor Robert Englund is 67 now, although appearing in more films than ever. Perfect, then, for him to make one last appearance as Freddy Krueger, to rinse away the taste of the awful 2010 remake starring Jackie Earle Haley. I was a massive fan of 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason, which pitted everyone’s favorite Springwood Slasher against Friday the 13th's unstoppable killing machine.

With '80s nostalgia still working at the box office, why not dust Freddy off to face one more iconic cinematic murderer in the form of Hellraiser’s Pinhead? The Cenobite realm/Freddy’s world sequences would be worth the price of admission alone.

Photo: Moviepilot

There was an Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator comic series from Dark Horse Comics back in 2000. Spinning off from Alien Resurrection (not the most promising of signs), it turned out to be a waste of all three franchises, although the concept wins some points for at least trying such a crazy idea in the first place. The Terminator movies have been disappointing since 1991’s fantastic T2: Judgment Day, while only the original Predator movie holds classic status.

Could a mash-up of the two properties redeem them? There’s only one way to find out.

Picture: Dark Horse Comics

In the works since 1979, a JLA/Avengers crossover finally happened in 2003, bringing together the World’s Mightiest Heroes and DC’s Justice League of America. With the two franchises set to collide (sort of) when Avengers: Age of Ultron and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice finally make it to theaters, the idea of mashing up both series seems unthinkable at present.

Looking longer-term, though, who wouldn’t want to Batman face off against Iron Man, or Superman with Captain America? The only losers would be the poor legal teams who had to work out the agreement for it to happen.

Picture: DC Comics/Marvel Comics

8 sci-fi gadgets we’d love to see become real products



Given that a large proportion of Silicon Valley is made up of sci-fi geeks, it’s no surprise that over the years tech has focused on bringing to life many of the once outlandish concepts seen in movies, TV series and comic books.

With the Apple Watch bringing several more of these to life -- Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio among them -- we thought the time was right to run down our 8 favorite sci-fi gadgets we’d love to see turn into actual products, as outlandish as some of them might be.

After all, you never know when Bill Gates is going to be scanning a blog, looking for ways to unload his fortune.

Scan right to check out the rest of the gallery.

(Picture: Dick Tracy)

From Star Wars's Millennium Falcon to The Dark Knight’s Tumbler, sci-fi and fantasy movies have given us plenty of iconic vehicles over the years. Perhaps none have inspired more viewer envy, however, than the hoverboard first used by Marty McFly in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II.

Enabling young Marty to zip, skateboard-like, through busy streets (but don’t think about riding it over water) owning a genuine hoverboard has been the stuff dreams are made of ever since. There have been a few attempts to bring the technology into the real world, but most of these have turned out to be either crushingly disappointing hoaxes or, frankly, a bit rubbish.

Hey, at least Nike has promised us Back to the Future-style self-lacing shoes for 2015. That’s a start, right?

(Picture:Back to the Future)

Scratch what we just said-- The Iron Man armor may be even better than Marty McFly’s hoverboard. An armor-plated exoskeleton powered by a miniaturized Arc Reactor, Iron Man’s red-and-yellow suit provides a normal (well, relatively normal) civilian with the ability to fly, sustain huge amounts of damage, and fire repulser blasts from its hands.

There have been a few attempts to make powered exoskeletons for military use, but so far nothing close to as dope as what Tony Stark has working for him.

(Picture: Marvel)

The notion of time travel has fascinated sci-fi fans since H.G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine. In movies, we’ve seen various memorable takes on the concept — from the DeLorean in Back to the Future to Dr. Who’s TARDIS. As much as we’d welcome the possibility of a real, working time machine however, it seems close to a certainty that we won’t be getting one, well, ever. Why? Because as per the Fermi paradox, if time travel was going to be possible at some point in the future, wouldn’t we have seen a few travelers by now?

We’d happily forgive that logical oversight, however, if someone would just hurry up and build one. Our first order of business if they did? Travel back to December 12, 1980, of course, and buy all the Apple stock we could lay our grubby little hands on. Without someone unravelling our own future lives with some kind of Butterfly Effect-related mishap, naturally.

(Picture: BBC)

Okay, if we can’t have a time machine at least give us a Star Trek-style Transporter to get from one location to another. The meta-story behind the Transporter is adoringly low rent. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's original plan was to have the Enterprise land every episode, which was quickly ruled out due to the costs of carrying out the necessary model work. Next he switched to picturing a shuttlecraft, although the full-sized shooting model was not ready when filming began. Teleportation — which required just a simple fade-in/fade-out special effect — was the fallback option.

In the real world, of course, it’s turned out not be such an easy answer after all. Teleportation has occurred, but only on a quantum level. Earlier this year, scientists announced a reliable way of transferring data by quantum teleportation, but that’s still a long way from “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Hopefully they’ll test the human-sized technology on a redshirt first.

(Picture: Star Trek)

The iPad has a touchscreen, you say? Not like the one in Minority Report, it doesn’t. The 2002 Tom Cruise movie features Cruise’s police chief character whipping through screens of information and manipulating video playback simply by waving his hands in front of an ephemeral digital screen. In fact, despite its futuristic setting Minority Report is one of the most grounded sci-fi films out there in terms of its attention to detail. Director Steven Spielberg consulted Silicon Valley’s top experts on how they saw technology taking shape over the coming decades, and put their conclusions into the movie.

This is why it’s hardly surprising that 12 years after Minority Report landed in movie theaters, researchers at Bristol University in the UK have developed similar technology in the form of a haptic screen manipulated via soundwave vibrations. Provided the interface turns out to be user-friendly there’s no reason we won’t see this particular technology become a reality.

(Picture: 20th Century Fox)

This is a common trope of science fiction, and is getting a whole lot closer thanks to the impressive artificial intelligence systems being honed by the likes of Google. But a real-time version of the Babel Fish from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which instantly understands and translates spoken words in foreign languages) would be one of the most useful tools ever. It would be kind of like hearing Phil Schiller dubbed into Mandarin at the glitchy start of Tuesday’s keynote, only without the hair-tearing frustration.

(Picture: Paramount)

Remember that nifty pen-sized gadget from Men in Black that let agents wipe the mind of anyone they wanted to, simply by flashing a bright light in their eyes? Depending on the chosen setting, the Neuralizer can erase memories going back hours, weeks, months, or even years — with the recipient then susceptible to suggestions about what happened during those blank patches. (A deneuralyzer, by comparison, is a special chamber that can be used to reverse the effects of the neuralyzer.)

Sadly, it doesn’t seem like any such device is likely to make it to market (or into reality) any time soon. Think of the possibilities if it did, though, particularly if you’re a person prone to making mistakes.

(Picture: Columbia Pictures)

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s simulated reality experience is kind of like the Oculus Rift turned up to eleven. Featuring total immersive virtual reality that looks and feels like the real world, it could be used for training personnel or, more entertainingly, for staging all manner of wacky fantasies.

My personal favorite use of the Holodeck came in the Star Trek: TNG episode entitled “A Fistful of Datas,” in which various members of the Enterprise crew become trapped in a 19th-century Wild West adventure with the safety protocols accidentally disabled.

Granted, that one may not be quite so much fun were this to become a reality.

(Picture: Paramount Pictures)

Iron Man Is Jesus In Robo Nativity? [Review]


Totally not Iron Jesus.
Totally not Iron Jesus.

Alright, so the Iron Man-shaped hero in Robo Nativity is totally not licensed. I was unsure if he was supposed to be more like Mega Man until a helpful prompt informed me that for a minimal fee I could also play as War Machine. So, you’re definitely playing as Iron Man in this curiously named platformer-meets-endless runner.

Robo Nativity by Khary Menelik
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

You start off running along the ground beneath various platforms. Enemies and obstacles require you to jump and fire as you collect as many gold coins as you can. As far as this being a nativity, you won’t encounter any babes in mangers, but the Mandarin-like baddies this not-Iron Man shoots do look a bit like wise men. So, don’t look for any new religions in Robo Nativity, unless you are way into the idea that Tony Stark is the messiah (I kinda am).