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Josh Centers

Josh Centers

Josh Centers is the managing editor of TidBITS, as well as the author of Take Control of iOS 12 and Take Control of Apple TV, and co-author of Take Control of Preview.

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A Guide to Photographing Fireworks

Last week featured Independence Day in the United States, and that means fireworks! As beautiful as they can be, they’re tricky to photograph. Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School has a list of tips so you can take the best firework pictures possible.

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Computing Pioneer Douglas Engelbart Is Dead

Douglas Engelbart, who invented the computer mouse, among much else, has passed away at the age of 88. It’s hard to imagine what the world of technology would be like without his contributions.

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Making the Case for an iWatch

Looking beyond the rumors, a variety of facts support the claim that Apple is making a watch. Josh Centers presents the evidence and speculates on what we might expect an iWatch do.

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Apple Launches Back to School Sale

Despite it being barely the end of the school year in some places, Apple’s annual back to school sale is now live, offering a $100 App Store gift card with the purchase of a Mac and a $50 card with the purchase of an iPad or iPhone. To qualify, you must be a college student, a student accepted into college, a parent purchasing for a college student, or a teacher of any grade level. Educational pricing also applies to Mac purchases, potentially saving you up to $200.

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Liberate Your iPhone With a Free Repair Kit from iFixit

To celebrate Independence Day in the United States, the folks at iFixit are offering free “iPhone Liberation Kits” from 1 July until 5 July. The kits, which are being offered for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, include all the tools needed to replace Apple’s proprietary pentalobe screws with standard Phillips screws. iFixit offered free shipping to the first 1,776 people who ordered them, but they quickly sold those, so now you’ll have to pay $5 shipping per order.

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FunBITS: Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders for iOS and Mac

Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders is an award-winning game that brings console-quality World War II action to your Apple devices.

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Apple’s Integration Makes iOS 7 Hard to Imitate

Since the debut of the iPhone, everyone from competing smartphone makers to Web developers has wanted to copy its onscreen aesthetics. But developer Marco Arment argues that the forthcoming iOS 7 leverages Apple’s hardware in such a way as to make it tough to copy. Specifically, he notes that since much of iOS 7’s interface is dependent on the powerful graphics processors and high-resolution screens in iOS devices, it will be difficult to imitate on competing platforms with weaker specs.

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iOS 7 to Remove Major Education Roadblock

Starting with iOS 7, Apple will finally allow children under age 13 to access its online educational services.

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The State of Google Reader Replacements

With Google Reader shutting down after 1 July 2013, Josh Centers takes a look at the alternatives that have sprung up to replace it. We report on the best of the lot, and which third-party RSS clients will still be viable after the shutdown.

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Mellel 3.2.1

Fixes compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. (Free, 106 MB)

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Java for OS X 2013-004 and Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 16

Fixes even more critical vulnerabilities and removes Apple’s Java plug-in in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. (Free, 64.01 MB for 2013-004 and 69.48 MB for Update 16) en

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New MacBook Air Owners Complaining of Wi-Fi Issues

Gizmodo reports that many owners of the new 2013 MacBook Air are complaining of lost Wi-Fi connectivity, requiring a reboot to reestablish the connection. The issue is reportedly worse when the MacBook Air is on a desk, which might indicate a hardware issue. So, if you’re thinking of buying a new MacBook Air for its significantly improved battery life, perhaps hold off until more is known about this Wi-Fi issue.

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HBO’s Long Road to Apple TV

The Verge has a compelling account of the barriers HBO had to hurdle to get its content on the Apple TV. One was technical, including efficient encoding of the entire HBO library and writing the software, which was made possible by a new HBO development center in Seattle. The other was political — cable companies are distrustful of online distribution and set-top boxes.

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iPhone 5 Headed to Virgin Mobile

Pre-paid cell phone users rejoice! The iPhone 5 is finally headed to Virgin Mobile on 28 June 2013. Virgin Mobile, which runs on the Sprint network, will be selling the 16 GB iPhone 5 for the unsubsidized price of $549.99 at RadioShack and other participating retailers. The iPhone 5 will be compatible with Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk plan, which starts at $35 for 300 minutes of talk, unlimited texting, and unlimited data (throttled to 256 Kbps or lower after 2.5 GB of monthly usage), with a $5 monthly discount for customers who enable automatic payments.

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FunBITS: Badland for iOS

Badland is a dark, gorgeous running puzzler for iOS that breaks new ground in mobile gaming.