January 27, 2012

This Taiwanese Bakery Sells Cakes That Are Packaged Just Like Delicious iPhones [Gallery]

This Taiwanese Bakery Sells Cakes That Are Packaged Just Like Delicious iPhones [Gallery]

For a company named after nature’s candy, Apple’s released a surprising lack of edible products. That’s not likely to change anytime soon, but if you’d like a cake or a bit of pastry with Apple’s eye for style and incredible packaging design, look no further than this incredible Taiwanese bakery.

The product above is called the iFong, which means pineapple fruit, and each box — designed, as you’ll note, after Apple’s own iconic iPhone box packaging — contains six small pieces of pineapple cake. Each box costs NT$ 250, or a shade over $ 8.

This Taiwanese Bakery Sells Cakes That Are Packaged Just Like Delicious iPhones [Gallery]

That’s not the only product the Comte bakery sells. They also sell a product called the iYou, which is another pastry sold in an iPad-like box.

This Taiwanese Bakery Sells Cakes That Are Packaged Just Like Delicious iPhones [Gallery]

Both boxes even have some adorable, custom iOS-like icons on the homescreen on the packaging.

Needless to say, Comte admits that releasing their products with iPhone-style packaging is a publicity grab, but we think it’s cute. Here’s hoping Apple’s usually overprotective IP lawyers smile at this one and turn a blind eye.

[via MIC Gadget]

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is news editor here at Cult of Mac, and has also written about a lot of things for a lot of different places, including Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, AMC, Geek and the Consumerist. He lives in Cambridge with his charming inamorata and a tiny budgerigar punningly christened after Nabokov’s most famous pervert. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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This Jailbreak Tweak Could Fix All Of Your iPhone 4S & iOS 5 Battery Life Problems

This Jailbreak Tweak Could Fix All Of Your iPhone 4S & iOS 5 Battery Life Problems

Ever since the iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S first debuted, a small but extremely loud and angry minority of handset owners have reported extraordinary battery drainage, and despite the iOS 5.0.1 update, the problem is still unresolved.

It’s well known that the iOS 5battery issues are a software problem, but since Apple hasn’t been able to fix the problem in three months, maybe it’s time to give the jailbreak community a shot at things. In fact, that’s what a new Cydia tweak called iOS 5 Battery Fix claims to do… and initial buzz suggests that it may just have delivered on its promise.

The iOS 5 Battery Fix tweak is only available on the Insanelyi VIP repository, which costs $ 4.99 and can be accessed here. Once installed, the iOS 5 Battery Fix applies a number of hacks and tweaks, all in the aim of extending iPhone battery life as long as possible.

According to the Insanelyi forums, the tweak works quite well. Some users report battery is draining about twice as slowly with the tweak applied than before, while others are only reporting slight improvements.

Basically, if you have battery issues, this tweak seems like a good investment, even at $ 4.99. Apple is rumored to solve the battery issues once and for all with iOS 5.1, but if you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, the choice will be either get your battery life back or sacrifice the jailbreak. This $ 4.99 tweak seems like a good solution that will help most users make the most of their device’s battery, while not sacrificing their jailbreak.

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is news editor here at Cult of Mac, and has also written about a lot of things for a lot of different places, including Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, AMC, Geek and the Consumerist. He lives in Cambridge with his charming inamorata and a tiny budgerigar punningly christened after Nabokov’s most famous pervert. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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Cult of Mac

Siri + Magic + Hot Wild Girls + Doritos = This Year’s Funniest Super Bowl Commercial [Humor / Video]

As part of its annual promotion to get more Americans to cram nacho cheese flavored asbestos triangles down their gob during Half-Time, Doritos throws a Crash The Super Bowl contest where they invite fans to make their own commercials. Win the contest and your winning ad gets aired during the Super Bowl.

I don’t usually pay attention to stuff like this, but this entry for the contest is just wonderful. It portrays Siri (or a Siri-like) as a magical genie in a smartphone capable of automatically beaming bags full of Doritos, a festive sombrero or even three hot, bikini-clad girls into a bro’s apartment at just a long press of the home button, no questions asked.

The only problem? In Dorito’s land, Siri’s speech-to-text transcription abilities have a couple of small auditory processing kinks to work out. The result? A guy’s request for hot wild girls leads to him being torn apart by… well, you’ve got to see it for yourself. Brilliant.

[via iDownload Blog]

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is news editor here at Cult of Mac, and has also written about a lot of things for a lot of different places, including Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, AMC, Geek and the Consumerist. He lives in Cambridge with his charming inamorata and a tiny budgerigar punningly christened after Nabokov’s most famous pervert. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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Apple Is Set To Adopt 802.11ac 5G Gigabit Wi-Fi This Year [Rumor]

Apple Is Set To Adopt 802.11ac 5G Gigabit Wi-Fi This Year [Rumor]

Apple is set to roll out support for 802.11ac “Gigabit Wi-Fi” this year to a range of devices including its Apple TV, MacBooks, Time Capsule, and possibly even its iOS devices, according to a new report. The new specification offers speeds around three times as fast as the existing 802.11n wireless technology, with speeds of over 1 Gigabit per second.

AppleInsider reports:

The new 802.11ac standard achieves much faster wireless networking speeds than the existing 802.11n specification (in use on the latest Mac, AirPort and iOS devices) by using 2 to 4 times the frequency bandwidth (from 80 to 160MHz), more efficient data transfers through sophisticated modulation, and more antennas (up to 8; existing standards support up to 4, while Apple’s Macs currently use up to 3).

While the specification is yet to be finalized as an official standard, manufacturers — particularly Apple — have been known to adopt new wireless technology before it receives its final certification in the past. Back in 2003, the Cupertino company adopted the 802.11g standard six months before it received its official certification, and in 2006, it adopted the 802.11n standard long before it was formally ratified.

But despite its lack of certification, Broadcom, which already supplies wireless technology to Apple, has announced a family of components supporting the 802.11ac standard which could make their way into new Apple devices this year.

[via MacRumors]

Cult of Mac

Apple working to adopt 802.11ac 5G Gigabit WiFi this year

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 02:34 PM EST (11:34 AM PST)
Apple is expected to rapidly deploy support for the new 802.11ac specification this year, adding so called “Gigibit WiFi” to new AirPort base stations, Time Capsule, Apple TV, notebooks and potentially its mobile devices.

The new 802.11ac standard achieves much faster wireless networking speeds than the existing 802.11n specification (in use on the latest Mac, AirPort and iOS devices) by using 2 to 4 times the frequency bandwidth (from 80 to 160MHz), more efficient data transfers through sophisticated modulation, and more antennas (up to 8; existing standards support up to 4, while Apple’s Macs currently use up to 3).

While not yet finalized as an official standard by the 802.11 Working Group, progress on the new 802.11.ac standard is occurring faster than previous efforts in wireless networking have.

Multiple suppliers have already issued chipsets supporting 802.11ac for consumer grade applications. Key Apple component maker Broadcom announced chips supporting the standard earlier this month at CES.

In addition to reaching networking speeds above 1 Gigabit (about three times as fast as 802.11n networks can manage), 802.11ac promises better networking range, improved reliability, and more power efficient chips, thanks to parallel advances in reducing chip size and enhancing power management.

Apple popularizes WiFi with AirPort

While Apple wasn’t the first company to sell wireless devices, it was first to bring the technology into the mainstream beginning in 1999, when Steve Jobs dramatically demonstrated Apple’s initial AirPort technology onstage at the July Macworld Expo as “one more thing” after showing off the company’s new consumer iBook notebook.

Jobs pretended to hold his new iBook notebook up to provide a clear view for the camera operator, but he then continued to use the web as he walked across the stage to the delight of the audience that suddenly realized the new notebook had a wireless connection.

While Intel and others were promoting wired home networking schemes using landline phone wiring, Apple quickly brought WiFi into common use with support for AirPort across its Mac desktop and laptop line and its new AirPort branded base stations, making secure wireless technology both affordable and easy to use.

The WiFi technology Jobs demonstrated was second generation 802.11b; an earlier 802.11 version had previously been developed but only offered a tenth of the speed, making it less than practical for mainstream users. At the same time, 802.11b wasn’t formally ratified until September of 1999, making Apple’s inclusion on the iBook a forward-looking innovation. It also made the iBook the first mainstream computer sold with integrated WiFi.

In January 2003, Apple launched AirPort Extreme, its brand name for the improved 802.11g standard. While backwardly compatible with 802.11b devices, the new AirPort Extreme base station and compliant computers could now achieve wireless networking speeds up to five times faster. The 802.11g standard wasn’t formally ratified for another six months after Apple released its first implementation of it.

Apple sneaks out 802.11n

In September 2006, Apple offered a sneak peek at Apple TV. It seemed immediately obvious that Apple would empower this using the new 802.11n standard, but it was widely doubted at the time that Apple could release support for the much faster new version of WiFi before the standard was ratified.

However, in January 2007 Apple announced that Apple TV did indeed use 802.11n, alongside new AirPort base stations also supporting a draft version of the still unfinished specification. The company also acknowledged that it had secretly included support for the fast new “draft n” specification in all of its previously released Core 2 Duo Macs.

Due to accounting concerns, Apple planned to charge a nominal $ 4.99 fee for distributing the drivers needed to activate this unadvertised hardware feature on recent Macs. After a hailstorm of caustic criticism, Apple dropped the fee to $ 1.99, and subsequently included the drivers into the next version of Mac OS X for free.

The 802.11n standard wasn’t formally ratified until October of 2009, nearly three years after Apple began rolling it out. By May 2008, Apple was recognized by NDP Group as having a 10.6 percent share of WiFi base station sales, and AirPort Extreme was named the top selling 802.11n router in the US.

AirPort advances since 802.11n

The new 802.11ac isn’t expected to be fully approved as a finished standard until late next year, but Apple is poised to adopt it well before then. Since the initial rollout of 802.11n Macs, AirPort base stations and Apple TV in early 2007, Apple has incrementally advanced support for new facets of the 802.11n specification and has also developed new practical applications tied to wireless connectivity.

In 2008 Apple launched support for 802.11n base stations and clients operating in the 5GHz band at the launch of Time Capsule. In this frequency band, WiFi devices can double their bandwidth allocation to a wide 40 MHz to allow faster networking speeds, nearly doubling the theoretical maximum. For existing Macs, this boosted top speeds from 130 to 300 Mbps.

In 2009 Apple enhanced AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule products with support for simultaneous 2.4 and 5GHz band operation and guest access.

The following year, Apple launched iPad with support for both 802.11n and 5GHz networks. iPhone 4 followed with support for 802.11n, although it could not connect to 5GHz networks.

Last year, Apple’s Thunderbolt Macs silently incorporated support for three send and receive antennas, enabling them to achieve a top data rate of 450 Mbps on 5GHz networks with wide channels.

Apple also enhanced its AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule last summer, increasing their range and radio power output and adding support for new Mac’s triple antennas while extending simultaneous operation to automatically use both 2.4 and 5GHz bands.

Software applications for WiFi

In addition to hardware advances, Apple has introduced a variety of technologies that focus on WiFi networking, including Bonjour-discoverable disk and printer sharing from AirPort Extreme base stations, AirTunes wireless audio distribution introduced alongside AirPort Express, and Mac OS X Leopard’s Time Machine backups designed to work with Time Capsule.

Last year, Apple introduced AirPlay as a replacement for AirTunes, enabling iTunes and iOS devices to wirelessly stream both audio and video to Apple TV. AirPlay Mirroring on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S enable those devices to export their primary video display to an HDTV via Apple TV.

In Mac OS X Lion, Apple introduced support for AirDrop, enabling nearby users to share files without configuring a WiFi network.

The tremendous speed gains possible with 802.11ac will continue to make Apple’s wireless technologies from AirPlay to Time Machine faster and more efficient, virtually erasing any advantage in using wired network cabling in most cases.

AppleInsider

Acer, Asustek, Lenovo expected to begin adopting Thunderbolt this spring

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 08:05 PM EST (05:05 PM PST)
Apple won’t be selling the only PC maker selling high end notebooks that look the MacBook Air and pack Thunderbolt connectivity; Acer, Asustek, Lenovo are expected to introduce new Thunderbolt-equipped Ultrabooks in the second quarter of 2012.

According to a report by DigiTimes, all three PC makers are expected to introduce new Ultrabooks incorporating Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform with support for Thunderbolt.

The site also says logic board maker Gigabyte Technology “will take the initiative to offer Thunderbolt-enabled motherboards.”

Intel’s next Ivy Bridge chip platform, the successor to Sandy Bridge, includes native support for USB 3.0, but does not support Thunderbolt across the board. Support for Thunderbolt increases the cost of PCs by more than $ 20, it said.

As a result, Thunderbolt is “only expected to be adopted among high-end notebooks or desktops in 2012.” The new Intel-driven standard for PCI Express data paired with DisplayPort video is however expected to be “fully standardized by 2013.”

Apple aggressively rolled out support for Thunderbolt last year, adding it to all of its Mac product lines apart from the Mac Pro, which already has PCI Express slots. Thunderbolt hard drives and other devices have started to trickle into the market behind Apple’s own Thunderbolt Display, with docks and external PCIe slot enclosures being shown at CES this month.

DigiTimes previously forecast last month that “several first-tier” PC vendors would be readying Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards, notebooks and desktop computers for release by April, naming only Sony and Asus (a brand built by Asustek).

Sony released a VAIO laptop and dock that was initially described as the first non-Mac system to use the standard, but it was later revealed that the company had used an early version of Intel’s technology that did not match the Thunderbolt specification.

HP, currently the world’s largest PC maker, has stated it would exclusively support USB 3.0 because it could not see the “value proposition” of Thunderbolt.

Intel describes both standards as complementary, while some in the PC supply chain have expressed concern that Thunderbolt and its 10Gbps data connection speed could “greatly affect” adoption of the competing USB 3.0 port in the future.

DigiTimes has a somewhat spotty record in reporting future developments, predicting last fall, for example, that Apple’s next iPhone would have a metal back and that its screen would use a larger, nearly 4 inch panel. However, the site seems to have better accuracy in reporting on general industry trends among PC makers, where secrecy isn’t regarded as paramount.

AppleInsider

Today At Cult Of Android: Android 4.0 Rolls Out To All WiFi Motorola XOOMs, Sony To Release 11 Additional Handsets This Year, And More…

Android may not be every Mac user’s cup of tea, but it’s the biggest mobile operating system in the world, and it’s important to know what’s going on with Android — what it’s doing right, and what it’s doing wrong. Here’s the best stories that hit today over at our sister site, Cult of Android.

LG Introduces Its First LTE Tablet, The Optimus Pad LTE

LG recognizes consumers need for speed, and since LTE is the fastest way to go, it’s releasing its first LTE tablet, the Optimus Pad LTE. The tablet will see an initial release in Korea with possible market expansion in the future. Past LG tablets haven’t generated much of a splash, but the Optimus Pad LTE has some nice features and could fare well if given the right price. The Optimus Pad LTE will feature a 8.9-inch IPS True HD Display along with: More…

DotEmu To Bring Classic Amiga Hit “Another World” To Android

DotEmu prides itself on bringing retro games back to life, and yesterday they announced they’d be bringing the cult classic Another World (Out Of This World to us in North America) to Android with the 20th Anniversary Edition. While the game has been available on iOS since September of 2011, it’s expected to hit Android in the next few months. More…

Android 4.0 Starts Rolling Out To All WiFi Motorola XOOM Models

Over the weekend, a couple thousands WiFi XOOM owners began a soak test of Ice Cream Sandwich. It didn’t take long for the update file to leak and almost everyone began loading it onto their XOOM. And now, the official OTA has begun rolling out to all WiFi Motorola XOOMs. More…

Sony To Release 11 Additional Handsets This Year According To Leaked Document

Even without Ericsson, Sony has quite the plans for its smartphones in 2012. According to a leaked sales report in India, Sony has plans to release eleven additional smartphones this year. The leaked document has quite the info, including names, release dates, and price. These most likely won’t be set in stone but here they are: More…

Clove UK Announces Pre-Order For Motorola DEFY MINI, MOTOLUXE And White RAZR

Today on Clove UK’s blog, they announced prices and pre-orders for three new Motorola devices. If you head over to the Clove site today, you can now pre-order the Motorola DEFY MINI, MOTOLUXE and the White Motorola RAZR. We’ll give you a run down of specs and source links for those interested in picking up one of these Motorola devices from the UK retailer Clove. More…

ASUS To Offer Extended Warranty And Full Refunds To Unsatisfied Transformer Prime Owners [UK Only]

ASUS sent the Android community into a frenzy when they announced they would be releasing the world’s first quad-core Tegra 3 Android tablet. Pre-orders lasted minutes, stock sold out in hours, and they even managed to update it to Ice Cream Sandwich already. Everything about the Transformer Prime seemed perfect, that was until people began using it for GPS. Apparently the metal unibody casing of the Transformer Prime was affecting the GPS signal and hindering performance. This lead to ASUS formally apologizing and removing GPS from the list of features on the Prime’s specification sheet, as well as all marketing material. More…

Verizon Flips The Switch For Five New LTE Markets Tomorrow

Verizon continues its LTE takeover, adding more and more markets every month. Tomorrow they will be adding five new market to their LTE army along with enhancements to three existing markets. If you’ve been holding off on purchasing a 4G phone because of lack of service, you might want to check the list of new markets after the break, your city may just be on it. More…

Samsung Galaxy Note Coming To Canada Mid-February – Hope You Have Big Hands Eh?

The behemoth “not a phone, not a tablet” Galaxy Note will be coming to Canada soon, and already has its own landing page where you can sign up for updates on its arrival. This thing has definitely been making the rounds as of late. First we heard about it landing on AT&T, then the possibility of it coming to Verizon and Sprint, and now our brethren to the north are getting it. It won’t be long before we find out just where a 5.3″ device fits into this mobile ecosystem, and whether or not the demand for one will be as big as the hands needed to hold it. More…

Google+ Team Adds Two New Features To Mobile Web App: What’s Hot Stream And Seeing Who +1′d A Post

Google+ continues to get better by the day, and as they continue to add features, we slowly see them trickle into the mobile app. Today the Google+ team was happy to announce two new features that will be available in the mobile app: What’s Hot stream and seeing who +1′d a post. It’s always nice to see web features added to the mobile version, and with these two you get: More…

Cult of Mac

This American Life And Jon Stewart Take On Foxconn

This American Life And Jon Stewart Take On Foxconn

Chinese manufacturer Foxconn has been the center of much criticism lately, with reports of worker suicides and the inhumane treatment of employees stirring up controversy. The issue has even reached the desk of funnyman Jon Stewart at The Daily Show.

Popular radio show This American Life recently aired an episode on Foxconn that every Apple/technology enthusiast should listen to. Journalist Mike Daisey describes his trip to Shenzhen, China and the mini-city known as Foxconn. It’s an incredibly interesting look at where our gadgets come from and the people that make them.

An excerpt from the episode transcript:

And I look up past the gates and the guards. I look up at the buildings, these immense buildings. They are so enormous. And along the edges of each enormous building are the nets, because right at the time that I am making this visit, there’s been an epidemic of suicides at the Foxconn plant. Week after week, worker after worker has been climbing all the way up to the tops of these enormous buildings and then throwing themselves off, killing themselves in a brutal and public manner, not thinking very much about just how bad this makes Foxconn look. Foxconn’s response to month after month of suicides has been to put up these nets.

It’s shift change, and the workers are coming out of the plant. And I’m standing there under the hot monsoon sun and the gaze of the guards. I feel ridiculous. I look absurd in this landscape. I mean, I wouldn’t talk to me. And Kathy surprises me. Who knew? She turns out to be a spitfire. She runs right over to the very first worker, grabs them by the arm, drags them over to us. We start talking, and in short order, we cannot keep up.

First there’s one worker waiting, then there’s two, then there’s three. Before long the guards are like, er? Er? And we move further and further away from the plant, but the line just gets longer and longer. Everyone wants to talk. We start taking them three or four at a time. We still can’t keep up. Everyone wants to talk. It’s like they were coming to work every day thinking, you know what would be great? It would be so great if somebody who uses all this crap we make every day all day long, it would be so great if one of those people came and asked us what was going on. Because we would have stories for them.

You can listen to the full radio episode with more commentary from Ira Glass and other journalists and industry professionals. Foxconn makes products for companies like Apple, Dell, Nokia, Panasonic, HP, Samsung, Sony, and Lenovo. If you read sites like Cult of Mac, you own at least a few products that have come from Foxconn.

Jon Stewart takes a more satirical approach to the issue of worker rights at Foxconn in a recent episode of The Daily Show. The segment is called “Fear Factory,” and we’ve embedded it below. (It’s flash. Sorry.)

Cult of Mac

See Exactly How They Make This Smart Wooden iPad Stand By Hand [Video]

Woodpad

I rather like the look of these handmade wooden iPad stands from Woodpad here in the UK.

Each one is made from a solid chunk of oak, maple, cherry or ash. Here’s a video showing in detail exactly how it’s done:

The Woodpad comes in a variety of forms: one for iPad, one for iPhone 3/3GS, and another for 4/4S. The iPad version has two slots, one at a 15 degree angle for viewing pictures, another at 26 degrees for playing games or working with an external keyboard.

Given the hard work and craftsmanship that goes into making these things, the £20 (approx $ 30) price looks like a bargain to me, and that includes free delivery worldwide.

(Thanks to the good folk of Underscore for this one.)

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Cult of Mac

Suppliers rumored to ship 6M-7M next-gen iPad LCD panels this quarter

By Josh Ong

Published: 12:19 AM EST (09:19 PM PST)
Apple’s suppliers are reportedly scheduled to ship between six to seven million high-resolution panels for the next-generation iPad in the first quarter of 2012 as production ramps up ahead of an expected March launch.

According to a report from DigiTimes, Sharp and LG Display will serve as suppliers of 9.7-inch QXGA panels for the third-generation iPad, which is widely believed to feature double the resolution of its predecessor. Taiwan-based supply chain makers told the publication that shipments of the new panels will surpass those used in the iPad 2 by the second quarter of 2012.

Sources said one million of the high-resolution panels had been shipped to Apple in the fourth quarter, followed by six to seven million panels in the first quarter. According to the report, 10 million panels will be shipped in the third quarter of 2012.

Apple reportedly has been decreasing shipments of iPad 2 panels as it prepares for the transition to the so-called “iPad 3.” Shipments of the current-generation panels are said to have reached a peak of 16 million in the third quarter of 2011 and were adjusted to 10 million in the fourth quarter. First quarter shipment numbers are expected to be in the range of seven to eight million units.

“Thus, the shipment volume of panels for use in the new version of iPad will surpass that of iPad 2 panels in the second quarter of 2012, the sources noted,” the report read.

Tipsters went on to point out that an estimated 40 million panels for the new iPad will be supplied in 2012, compared to an estimated 25 million for the iPad 2 this year.

DigiTimes’ claim that Sharp will serve as a panel supplier for Apple’s third iPad has been disputed by some. A Korean newspaper asserted last week that Sharp had failed in its initial supply of high-resolution panels, leaving Samsung and LG to pick up the slack.

Apple and Sharp are believed to have formed a close partnership over a next-generation LCD display technology called IGZO will reportedly make its way into future mobile devices from the company. It has been suggested that the technology could arrive as early as this spring with the next iPad.

Recent rumors have put forth March as the expected launch month for the “iPad 3.” According to a report from Bloomberg last week, the new iPad could feature support for 4G LTE and a quad-core processor.

AppleInsider