M1 MacBook Air and iPad Air help make a music studio [Setups]

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Warning, jazz joke ahead:
Warning, jazz joke ahead: "Remember to always practice safe Sax," quipped a Redditor.
Photo: madeitinthewild@Reddit.com

Redditor madeitinthewild makes beautiful music up in Canada. Or he makes music, anyway. Jazz music. You can tell by the assortment of saxophones next to his M1 MacBook Air- and iPad Air 4-based mini music studio. That, and he said so.

“Remember to always practice safe Sax,” came the obligatory jazz-joke comment.

“No way I live on the edge,” replied madeitinthewild, kinda true to his Reddit handle.

How Apple uses US Customs and Border Protection to bust bogus AirPods

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AirPods
Not exactly authentic AirPods.
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

When you think about the types of items typically seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you might picture contraband like drugs or weapons. You probably don’t imagine knockoff AirPods as a target.

In fact, bogus earbuds are a big deal. Customs and Border Protection seized “roughly 360,000 counterfeit wireless headphones with a retail value of $62.2 million” since October, according to a story in The Information, citing previously unreported government data.

Apple is one several predominantly larger companies that work with Customs officers to help weed out copycat products upon their entry into the United States. And the counterfeit goods are not necessarily packaged to look exactly like actual Apple products. Here’s how it works.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says it’s ‘time to recognize’ right to repair

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Steve Wozniak
Woz disagrees with Apple on Right to Repair.
Photo: The DEMO Conference/Flickr CC

Steve Wozniak may be the co-founder of Apple, but that doesn’t mean that he’s always in lockstep with the company’s policies or opinions. One area of difference appears to be on the topic of right to repair.

While Apple lobbyists helped shoot down multiple right to repair proposals, Woz seems extremely receptive to the topic.

Responding to a Cameo request from right to repair advocate Louis Rossmann, Woz said “it’s time to recognize the right to repair more fully.” He continued that he believes “companies inhibit it because it gives the companies power [and] control over everything.”

Think you’re productive? Go split-screen ultrawide +1 on the side [Setups]

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.
If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.
Photo: randomo_redditor@Reddit

Randomo_redditor runs her MacBook Pro and iPad with a monstrously wide Dell monitor, at 49 inches. But even that curved showstopper fails to provide enough real estate for all she does. So she added a 27-inch Dell display in portrait mode on the side.

Now she can fit everything on the screens. And we do mean everything. Randomo already made the most of her widescreen by using an app to split the screen into thirds, for different uses.

Apple thinks antitrust reform could create ‘race to the bottom’ for security

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Privacy
Apple says proposed antitrust regulation would endanger consumer privacy.
Photo: Apple

Apple thinks five pieces of antitrust reform legislation could undermine innovation and competition in tech, as well as creating a “race to the bottom” for security and privacy. Apple laid out its concerns in a letter sent ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the proposed laws.

The letter — sent to chairmen Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, and ranking members Jim Jordan and Ken Buck — lays out Apple’s arguments for why the government needs to reconsider the five bills.

Letter Rooms is a canstfiat jumbled-word game for iOS

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Letter Rooms
A vrey fun wrod gmae to snik yuor tteeh itno.
Photo: Klemens Strasser

Looking for a fun brain-teaser this weekend? Look no further than Letter Rooms, a letter-jumblingly fun word game created by award-winning developer Klemens Strasser, maker of Subwords, Asymmetric and Elementary Minute.

The new $1.99 anagram-based game boasts more than 200 puzzles, broken down into a dozen topics — including animals, sports, pop culture, and more. What better way to dust off your mind after lockdown?

watchOS 8 adds new Mindfulness app and Portrait watch face

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watchOS introduces a new Portrait mode watch face with depth effect
watchOS introduces a new Portrait mode watch face with depth effect
Photo: Apple

We got our first glimpse of the OS that will be gracing everyone’s wrists this fall when Apple showed off watchOS 8 during Monday’s WWDC keynote.

This update looks like more of an evolution than a revolution. Text editing gets a little easier.  And we’ll get various small enhancements for the apps we already know and love, like photo sharing and a redesigned Music app.

Apple’s twice-dead AirPower charging mat project is alive. Again.

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AirPower cancelled.
Alive? Dead? Maybe not even Tim Cook knows for sure.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

What does Apple’s oft-discussed, never-shipped AirPower charging pad have in common with Baron Samedi, the voodoo priest from the 1973 James Bond movie Live and Let Die? Two things predominantly: 1) People think they’re folklore until they actually appear, and 2) They seemingly can’t die.

That’s right: After dodging death more times than Evel Knievel, a new Bloomberg report claims that AirPower is back on. Again. Or, at the very least, the project still has a heartbeat.

Next Mac mini refresh could bring slimmer design, faster ‘M1X’ chip

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M1X Mac mini concept
It could look a little like this.
Concept: Front Page Tech

Apple’s next Mac mini refresh could prove even more exciting than the last, thanks to a slimmer chassis design and a faster “M1X” chipset, according to a reliable leaker.

The machine is expected to be offered as a more powerful alternative to the existing M1 Mac mini, which is already faster than most Intel-powered Apple computers, but not a complete replacement.

AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching a fist

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AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching their fists.
AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching their fists.
Photo: Apple

Apple plans to release software updates this year that will make its devices far easier to use for people with mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities.

The features include AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, which offers astonishing new ways for people with limited mobility to control the smartwatch without tapping its screen. The new feature uses Apple Watch’s array of sensors to interpret the wearer’s movement into interactions.

Cupertino showcased AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch — which lets users maneuver a cursor on the wearable’s screen simply by clenching their fist and pinching their fingers together, among other things — in a remarkable video. (We embedded the video below — definitely watch it.)

But AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch is just the beginning of Apple’s latest big push into accessibility.