David Snow, author at Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ pulls out of bidding war for Will Smith biopic after Oscars slap

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Apple TV+ drops its bid.
Apple TV+ drops its bid.
Photo: Apple TV+

Both Apple TV+ and Netflix pulled out of a bidding war over a movie about Will Smith’s life amid controversy following the actor slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.

In addition, Apple TV+ owns a $120 million film starring Smith entitled Emancipation. Already shot and being readied for release in time for next Oscars season, the movie could become a problem for Apple TV+.

New Vivid app doubles brightness of mini-LED screens for Mac

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The new app Vivid can just about double screen brightness on mini-LEDs for Mac (but not iPad).
The new app Vivid can just about double screen brightness on mini-LEDs for Mac (but not iPad).
Photo: Jordi Bruin

When you watch HDR videos on the mini-LED screens of a Pro Display XDR or a 2021 MacBook Pro, the displays can crank out up to 1,600 nits of brightness. But under most conditions, they’ll emit about 500. So a new app called Vivid, by developer Jordi Bruin, now offers to double usable screen brightness under all conditions.

“Full Brightness, System-Wide,” reads the app’s tagline.

iPhone saves snowboarder after plunge into icy crevasse at 10,000 feet

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Tim Blakey takes a selfie high in the Alps.
Tim Blakey takes a selfie high in the Alps.
Photo: Tim Blakey

Here’s a word to the wise: Always carry your charged iPhone, and don’t ski or snowboard “off-piste” in the Alps at 10,000 feet by yourself. Tim Blakey got the first part right, just barely, and that’s why he’s alive today.

The British personal trainer was snowboarding solo off of marked trails near Zermatt, Switzerland — on a glacier — when he plunged about 15 feet down into a crevasse and got stuck. He couldn’t scale its icy walls. He was alive for the moment down there, but he was alone.

Alone, that is, except for an iPhone clinging to 3% battery life and a weak 3G signal.

New iPad Air dresses up festive ‘pink’ MacBook Air workstation [Setups]

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The iPad Air on the left is the new addition to this computer setup.
The iPad Air on the left is the new addition to this computer setup.
Photo: FoxyFreckles1989

Apple’s newest iPad Air has received some stellar reviews, though murmuring from some quarters claims it’s a bit on the flimsy side. But the owner of today’s featured setup seems over the moon about the new addition to her workstation, centered by an M1 MacBook Air and an LG display.

And she’s eager to get going with the new, much-ballyhooed Universal Control functionality using the new tablet, despite challenges.

Wyze knew of its security cameras’ vulnerability for 3 years and told no one

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A Wyze V2 security camera.
A Wyze V2 security camera.
Photo: Wyze

Media outlets are reporting that Wyze knew for three years about a security flaw that rendered its security cameras vulnerable to hackers. But in all that time, it did not tell its customers about the problem.

News of the flaw broke on Tuesday. Wyze, long know for its inexpensive but useful security cameras, has since responded to the controversy, as noted below.

‘Mac setups are cool but Lego Technic is cooler’ [Setups]

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Those Lego Technic race cars flying across the wall in the back are almost as complicated as real cars.
Those Lego Technic race cars flying across the wall in the back are almost as complicated as real cars.
Photo: whatsyourname_1@Reddit.com

Who doesn’t like to have a little fun on a Friday, especially when it’s also April Fools’ Day? Not that today’s featured setup is a joke or fake in any way. It’s real. It’s serious. Not as serious as a heart attack, maybe. But it’s a working setup that likes to have a good time, let’s say.

The seriousness stems mainly from a late-model MacBook Pro and a killer ultra-wide LG display. The good time comes from the super-cool Lego Technic racing cars on the wall — two for now, with a third to come. Each one of these things has thousands of pieces.

Now all small US companies can sign up for Apple Business Essentials

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Apple Business Essentials supports small businesses through the entire device management life cycle, beginning with streamlined employee onboarding. At Espresso Services Inc., an employee begins onboarding with the Apple Business Essentials app.
Apple Business Essentials supports small businesses through the entire device management life cycle, beginning with streamlined employee onboarding. At Espresso Services Inc., an employee begins onboarding with the Apple Business Essentials app.
Photo: Apple

Apple said Thursday all small businesses in the U.S. can now sign up for its new Apple Business Essentials service. Previously in beta testing, the new service brings together device management, 24/7 Apple support and iCloud storage into flexible subscription plans.

Apple also unveiled new AppleCare+ for Business Essentials insurance options. Cupertino also made a two-month free trial available to all customers, including those who used the service in beta.

Run the show with this new wireless intercom headset system

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If your team is within 1,000 feet, you can talk to them.
If your team is within 1,000 feet, you can talk to them.
Photo: Hollyland

Anyone who works in event management — weddings, conferences, film sets — knows that fluid communications are key. But rather than run around with your iPhone glued to the side of your head while everything goes to pieces, why not invest in a wireless intercom headset system? Hollyland launched a new set Thursday that could fit the bill.

That way, you and your team can keep in constant touch and you’ll look super-important, too.

Safely carry your cameras with this magnetic locking strap

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Keep that expensive camera secure.
Keep that expensive camera secure.
Photo: Dora Goodman Cameras

Most of us take pictures with our phones, but if you walk around with one or more actual cameras from your fancy collection, a boutique camera maker has a new strap that could change your life.

The Goodman Camera Strap with Mag-Lock takes the tensile strength of Kevlar cord and marries it to a quick-release magnetic locking harness system attached to a handmade leather camera strap.