News

INTERNET

Don't be surprised to see video ads in your Instagram feed starting today

Instagram has been slooooowly phasing advertising into your main feed. First there were sponsored photos from brands like Michael Kors--artfully edited and filtered, of course. Now the photo-sharing app is introducing 15-second video ads, starting with a promo for Disney's new animated film, "Big Hero 6."

SOFTWARE

Flipboard 3.0 is both more and less personal than before

A new update for Flipboard aims to make the popular reading app more personal--but not all the time.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS | GAMES

MSI fit a full mechanical keyboard in its new GT80 Titan gaming laptop

Say goodbye to scissor switches and hello to Cherry MX Browns on this unique MSI laptop.

SOFTWARE

New Chrome bookmark manager de-clutters your favorite sites

It brings faster search, visual previews, and better sharing capabilities.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

img_7881-100411904-orig_500.jpg

Samsung' phone-free Gear S smartwatch gets U.S. launch details, requires a service plan

The standalone smartwatch launches next week after two months of teasing, but service doesn't come cheap.

SERVICES

How Newsstand failed The Magazine, and what Apple should do

Apple's Newsstand was introduced with iOS 5 as a place for apps designed to deliver content in the form of a periodical--whether continuously as new articles or in the form or regularly produced issues--to gain superpowers. A Newsstand app could change its cover each issue, update images on demand in the App Store, automatically download content in the background, and have a free trial period.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS

amd-fx-cpu-100527471-orig_500.jpg

Red Team rocking: Build the ultimate AMD gaming PC

There's never been a better time to be a PC gamer, with an abundance of excellent hardware available. Intel recently refreshed its flagship and mainstream processor lines, and AMD and Nvidia both have killer graphics cards on the market--some of which are going for ridiculously low prices.

BUSINESS ISSUES

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks out: 'I'm proud to be gay'

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday published a moving essay in Bloomberg Businessweek in which he publicly announced for the first time that he is gay. Cook is the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

SECURITY

Take the pain out of two-factor authentication with an app

I've been stressing two-factor authentication (2FA), or two-step verification, in my early columns here at Private I, because I believe most people avoid using this extra protection for their accounts due to the fuss and management, and may think it will lock them out of access or require an extra step when it's unnecessary.

Expert Opinion

instamatic-100357662-orig_500.jpg

Don't worry, be snappy: Stop complaining about your digital camera

When one has done something long enough (and, for the sake of this particular argument, let's say living can be reasonably counted among them) there's a tendency to take the long view--we have some notion of where we've been as well as how things are now. Recent complaints about the state of Apple and photography have compelled me to take a journey down the historical highway in the hope of gaining some perspective on just where we stand in regard to taking and making images with our cameras.

screen-shot-2014-07-17-at-17.29.11-100358369-orig_500.png

Why you should care about CloudKit

If you've lived through the last couple iterations of OS X and iOS, you've probably had the opportunity to develop a special love/hate relationship with iCloud. Apple's cloud service suite is made up of many different parts and systems, and while it's great when it works, it also has a history of being prone to hard-to-diagnose outages and, for developers, obscure error messages.

macosx-publicbeta-100357625-orig_500.png

With Yosemite public beta, Apple's more open than ever

Just a few years after a big leadership transition, Apple announced not only a brand new operating system but said they would be offering a public beta to interested customers. Sound familiar? The year was 2000 and the OS in question was the very first version of OS X. Now, 14 years later, Apple's once again inviting users to come and check out the Mac's latest and greatest operating system before its impending release.

wwdc14_homekit_honeywell-100308020-orig_500.png

Apple's HomeKit hub may already be in your house

At Apple's recent Worldwide Developers Conference, the company announced--among a great many other things--HomeKit, a suite of tools for controlling such devices in your home as thermostats, furnaces and air conditioners, smart appliances, lights, cameras, garage-door openers, and security systems. Apple will provide a platform that these devices will be asked to conform to. Do so, and you can control them all from your iOS device.

Editors Pick

justin_tv-100367814-orig_500.jpg

Justin.tv goes off the air

With all signs pointing to a Google purchase of Twitch, the company behind Justin.tv has shut down the live video service.

my_verizon_mobile-100367793-orig_500.png

Verizon fires back at FCC over data throttling

The FCC called out Verizon for its plans to throttle customers with unlimited data plans who use the most data, so the carrier responded.

wasteland2_1-100366521-orig_500.jpg

Wasteland 2 preview: When deeply branching gameplay meets pistol-packing post-apocalyptic priests

After a successful Kickstarter run, Wasteland 2 is almost ready for release

unionstreet_yelp-100366548-orig_500.png

Business faces backlash after threatening $500 fines for negative Yelp reviews

Businesses who don't know how to manage their social media presence should remember that the Internet can be vicious.

Latest Product Reviews

networkradar-100361188-orig_500.png

Network Radar: Mac app checks your network health

Apple's own Network Utility is pretty handy for basic network troubleshooting, but if you need to go above and beyond what it offers, Daniel Diener's $20 Network Radar (Mac App Store link) is a powerful step up.

asana-home-screen-iphone-100365003-orig_500.jpg

Asana: a full-featured task manager for iOS devices

The new mobile app for Asana's popular task management service lets iPhone and iPad users run their collaborative undertakings on the go.

macbook-pro-group2-100365552-orig_500.jpg

MacBook Pro (Mid 2014): Minor update offers slightly better CPU performance

Last week, Apple updated its Retina MacBook Pro line, and while the new models are identical on the outside to their 13- and 15-inch predecessors, released late last year, the "Mid 2014" models feature processors that are just a little bit faster. As modest as these internal improvements are, they do provide more performance bang for the buck.

contexts_prefs-100360658-large_500.png

Contexts: Make your OS X windows more manageable

Contexts 1.4 supplements--and can even replace--OS X's window management tools, and it does so in a way that is legitimately useful, especially if you rely on keyboard shortcuts to navigate your Mac.

ipad-portable-recording-studio-fig_8_mix_page_auria-100365044-orig_500.png

Keep it Reel: Record, mix, and release a professional recording on your iPad

The iPad has become an incredible tool for musicians who wish to quickly and confidently record and produce live music on their tablet. Recently, I had the opportunity to produce and record a session for Ella Joy Meir, using just my iPad, software, and recording accessories. Last week, I covered when you might want to use an iPad and what you need to get started; now, let's talk about the actual recording and post-production process.