Amazing Stories ends with a bang, should have settled for a whimper [Review]

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Kerry Bishé in Amazing Stories
Kerry Bishé closes out the first season of the new Amazing Stories
Photo: Apple TV+

Amazing Stories’ season finale “The Rift” serves as a case study into the rebooted show’s highs and lows. With its five-episode run complete, the ways in which the Apple TV+ anthology series succeeded — and the ways it failed to cohere — become more obvious than ever.

“The Rift” was directed by Mark Mylod and written by Don Handfield and Richard Rayner (co-creators of History Channel’s Knightfall). However, the episode takes more cues from executive producer Steven Spielberg than nearly any of the preceding entries, to both its detriment and its occasional benefit. The real MVP of the piece, however, is the perpetually underrated Kerry Bishé.

How to sanitize your Mac or iPad keyboard

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Sanitize your Mac or iPad keyboard with these easy steps.
Sanitize your Mac or iPad keyboard with these easy steps.
Photo: Dmitry ChernyshovUnsplash

The filthiest part of you computer is probably its keyboard. It’s the part you touch the most, it’s the part you likely use to catch the debris from your lunch, and it’s the part that you probably never clean, because you don’t look at it enough to get grossed out. And these days, as doctors warn us to wash our hands constantly (and correctly) to avoid the coronavirus, you probably want to make sure that your keyboard is not just clean, but sanitized.

This is a fairly straightforward process, so let’s get started.

Essential accessories make working from home more comfortable, productive

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New to working from home? These essential work-from-home accessories will help you get the most out of COVID-19 isolation.
New to working from home? Here's how you can get the most out of it.
Photo: Hello I'm Nik/Unsplash CC

COVID-19 lockdowns mean more and more people will find themselves working from home. While everyone agrees that staying away from the office is the right thing to do, working from home nonetheless comes with certain challenges. These work-from-home accessories can help.

If you want to thrive in this new environment, you should consider investing in some or all of these items. They will make you more productive, and more comfortable, as you wait out the coronavirus pandemic. And, yes, I assume you already own a computer you can work on. (If not, those new iPad Pros look pretty hot.)

Protect your beloved AirPods Pro with this affordable silicone case

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Elkson-AirPods-Pro-bumper
Sturdy silicone keeps AirPods Pro looking fresh.
Photo: Elkson

AirPods Pro might be the best accessory Apple has ever made. So you would be mad to let yours get beaten up in the bottom of your bag. Protect them with this wonderfully affordable silicone case.

Made from military-grade materials, the Elkson bumper keeps AirPods Pro free from scuffs and scratches. It also has a handy carabiner that lets you attach your beloved buds to almost anything.

Start work right with this one-click app and playlist launcher

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applescript
Writing this AppleScript is as easy as writing your shopping list.
Photo: David Ballew/Unsplash

Every morning when I sit at my Mac to start writing, I open the same apps and start the same iTunes playlist. This repetitive, tedious task is what computers are supposed to do for us, so I figured I’d make my Mac open up those apps, and start that music playing, all without me having to do anything.

That dream was quickly quashed — the Mac isn’t quite able to read my mind yet. So I settled for the next best thing: An AppleScript that I can leave in the Dock, and then click once to open everything. The best part is, it’s absurdly easy to make your own.

How to use Apple Maps public transit directions

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Stockholm's excellent public transit.
Stockholm's excellent public transit.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple Maps offers surprisingly great public transport features. It recently expanded transit directions across Europe, so you can get “turn-by-turn” directions for metro, tram and other modes of public transit.

Even if your city isn’t yet covered by these directions, there’s still a whole lot of really useful information available. For instance, just tap a station on the map, and it will show all upcoming departures.

Let’s take a look at Apple Maps public transit features.

How to customize Apple Watch iMessage smart replies

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Change the lame Apple Watch smart replies by adding custom replies.
Change the lame smart replies on your Apple Watch.
Image: Apple

You know when you reply to a message on your Apple Watch, and it’s such a pain to write it out a letter at a time or to dictate your reply (only to have Siri mishear you)? The alternative is to use one of Apple Watch’s canned responses. Unfortunately, they all sound like your account got hacked, or that you don’t care about the sender enough to come up with a proper reply.

However, you can customize those replies to make them much more useful. And with one clever trick, you can make Apple Watch smart replies sound just like you really wrote them.

Judge slams ‘dumb’ FCC in iPhone radiation lawsuit; case moves to trial

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The FCC is currently shut down.
A California judge whacks the FCC with a ruler over its testing standards for radiofrequency radiation, but says the case will continue.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

U.S. District Judge William Alsup allowed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Apple over allegedly exposing iPhone owners to high levels of radiofrequency radiation to move forward Thursday. However, the judge also blasted the Federal Communications Commission for its “dumb” testing standards.