Your Mac's Sound Preference Pane is the go-to place for choosing audio inputs and outputs, but it isn't the only place you can go in OS X to manage your Mac's sounds. Even though Audio MIDI Setup may sound intimidating, it's loaded with controls that go far beyond what its name implies and can help you fine tune the audio quality your Mac pumps out.
We've gathered 20 different Bitcoin "faucets"-websites that pay out free Bitcoins just for loading up a page full of ads-and tested them to make sure they actually pay out. We started off with eight sites, then eleven and 14, but this update adds six more and updates the descriptions for the original sites with additional information.
The National Center for Public Policy Research has doubled down on its criticism of Apple's sustainability programs. In a blog post, NCPPR CEO Amy Ridenour suggested that Apple is "greenwashing" itself, or faking its commitment to sustainability, and she suggested that Apple CEO Tim Cook may have faked his outrage and anger during Apple's annual shareholder report last Friday.
A glow-in-the-dark iPhone charging cable. This is one of those things that now that I've seen it, I don't understand why we haven't had it all along, but now the folks at Color Cables are ready to bring it to us. They've launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund production of Lightning, 30-Pin, and even Micro USB charging and sync cables for our mobile devices that not only glow-in-the-dark, they're colored, too. That will let you quickly tell them apart, and if your household has lots of different devices, you'll realize how handy that would be. Funding options that get you a cable start at US$11 for 3-feet 30-pin and Micro USB and $14 for 3-feet Lightning. There are early bird slots left for a 6-feet $16 Lightning cables, too. This is pretty clever, so check it out.
If the search options Apple offers on the iTunes Store leave you wanting, it's time to start Power Searches. You know, the power search feature Apple hid so you wouldn't know it's there. Apple didn't, however, hide it well enough to keep Kirk McElhearn from figuring out where it is. It isn't completely elegant because it involves a link that first opens in your Web browser and then redirects to iTunes. Plus, it only works on the Mac -- no iPhone or iPad support here. Still, it gives you fine-tune control over your music, movie, TV show, book, podcast, and app searches with little more than an extra mouse click.
Echo Nest, a company that specializes in technology for music discovery, is now part of the streaming music service Spotify. The deal set Spotify back some US$100 million, and gives it control over the music discovery system it, as well as several other companies, use daily.
The Mac Observer Spin: The streaming music market is a hotbed of competition, and owning Echo Nest is a big thing for Spotify. It now controls the tech many of its competitors rely on for listener music discovery.
Using Spotlight, OS X's built-in search application, you can do all sorts of cool things, from calculations to launching programs. Melissa Holt's favorite feature, though, is the ability to find people and launch the Contacts app, all with just a few keystrokes. Come on in and see why she uses Spotlight dozens of times a day-and why you should, too!
Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman has done something that has eluded everyone else-she found Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator and father of Bitcoin. And guess what? His name is actually Satoshi Nakamoto, and he's a 64-year old reclusive genius who hasn't touched his $400 million in Bitcoin holdings.
Digital comic reseller ComiXology is warning all of its users to change their account passwords after discovering a security breach where someone made off with user names, email addresses, and encrypted passwords. Credit card information wasn't accessed during the security breach because that data is stored on different servers.
The Mac Observer Spin: Good on ComiXology for letting users know about the data leak. Go change your password now, and make sure it isn't one you use on any other sites.
Team Everyday has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund development of its titular app, Everyday. This Finder replacement approaches file management from a relationship standpoint, rather than a location basis. Not only does it watch how you use your files, including how they are used and what files are used in conjunction with other files, it allows you to do things like attach contact information to a file. The software will also watch your inbox for associative data, too. Most importantly, it does all this without modifying the files themselves or taking over your Mac. There's much more to their concept, so check it out. The company is looking to raise US$20,000, and funding options get you a copy of the app shortly before it ships for $10, but if you're quick, there are some Early Bird slots left for $5. For $20, you can be a part of the beta program and also get a free copy of the shipping app. This is a very interesting approach to file management, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it. there's a huge version of the image we included that shows you what it really looks like.
Apple has released iTunes Festival 5.0, the company's app for accessing concert music and videos from the company's iTunes Festival, including the company's first U.S. iTunes Festival at Austin's SXSW. Online reports said that Apple would release the app in conjunction with iOS 7.1, but it appeared on Thursday and works with the current version of iOS, 7.0.6.
Apple is facing a class action lawsuit over claims that the handheld POS system the company uses for in-store sales discriminates against the visually impaired. According to the filing, Apple doesn't offer a way for the visually impaired to enter debit card PIN codes during transactions.
The Mac Observer Spin: If Apple's current system for handling debit card payments for visually impaired shoppers in its stores isn't up to snuff, the company needs to fix that regardless of whether or not a class action lawsuit is in the works. Considering how the company has worked to make devices like the iPhone and iPad accessible, it's surprising a case like this is even necessary.
LEGO seems like a perfect match for Big Bang Theory, so of course someone had to put together Leonard and Sheldon's living room and present it as a CUUSOO project. The proposed kit includes both Leonard and Sheldon along with their friends, plus a whole room filled with awesome details like their dry erase board with equations, super hero memorabilia on the shelves, their telescope, and even a Rubik's Cube tissue dispenser. The designers are also letting fans help choose which shirt the Sheldon mini figure will wear. The proposal needs 10,000 votes before LEGO will consider it for an actual kit and it's already up over 4,500. More BBT in our lives? OK.
U.S. Federal Court Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple was the ring leader in a conspiracy with publishers to artificially raise the price of books, but two economists are saying she got it wrong -- completely wrong. Bradford Cornell from CalTech and Janusz Ordover from NYU felt her ruling was so far off base that they filed a 30-page amici curiae brief with the court in defense of Apple and explaining just how wrong Judge Cote's ruling is.
The Mac Observer Spin: The Appeals Court doesn't have to act on the friend of the court brief the two economists filed, but it's a safe bet the Judges involved will at least read it. It may not have much sway, but could prove helpful during the appeal process because it does such a great job of explaining what Judge Cote got wrong.
Apple's efforts to win an injunction blocking the sale of certain Android-based smartphones and tablets from Samsung have failed yet again. Federal Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Thursday that Apple won't get their injunction because the requirement to show irreparable harm hasn't been met.
The Mac Observer Spin: Judge Koh's ruling is a strategic loss for Apple because an injunction at this point would help make its upcoming patent infringement case against Samsung even stronger. The two companies are set for a second trial in just a few weeks, and Apple is hoping for a landslide win again.