The government was pushing Apple to break iPhone security long before San Bernardino attack

They're not comin' for your guns, America. They're comin' for your phones.

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In FBI vs. Apple, New York Times editorial board sides with the tech resistance

“Apple is doing the right thing in challenging the federal court ruling requiring that it comply,” reads a New York Times editorial today on the battle of the backdoors brewing between the government and the iPhone's maker.

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IOS 9.3 will let you dim display's blue light to help your brain shift towards sleep

Apple today unveiled a teaser of what's in store in the latest iOS release, 9.3. Among the “numerous innovations” promised: a blue light dimmer to “help you get a good night’s sleep.”

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Can you solve all 100 of these stylish, simple puzzles?

It's low-key; solving one hundred of these feels like an attainable goal. I mean, probably. Try it.

Great deal on MFi Lightning cables: 4 for 9 bucks

These 4-packs of MFi-certified Lightning cables are $9. That's $2.25 per 3-foot cable – the lowest price by far I've ever seen for MFi-certified cables. (You can get non-MFi certified cables for less but they suck.) I just bought two 4-packs.

UPDATE: Some of the reviewers on Amazon suspect the cables are not MFi certified, and a lot of the reviews were written in exchange for a free or discounted pack of cables. I'll let you know if the 8 cables I ordered are OK. Read the rest

How does the iPhone 6s camera compare to every Apple smartphone before it?

Thinking of buying an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus? If photographic quality matters to you, check this out first. Read the rest

Car cassette slot mistaken for iPhone dock, and also the real deal

A "young driver" reportedly stopped in a car dealership service department "complaining that the iPhone dock in his (old) vehicle isn't working and its scratching his phone..." Read the rest

Watch ants weirdly circle an iPhone when it rings

These ants circle an iPhone like it's the Ka'aba in Mecca. Read the rest

This smartphone anti-slip solution has the best Kickstarter video ever

An excellent video for Lil Grit, Nathan Cobb's Kickstarter project to fund the manufacture of a small grippy pad that sticks to the side of your phone so it doesn't slip out of your hand. There are quite a few funny moments in the short promo.

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With stolen iPhone, burglar accidentally posts selfie video online

Los Angeles police are searching for the identity of this burglar, who accidentally shot and published a selfie with his victim's iPhone. Read the rest

Gentleman leaps onto Broadway stage to charge his iPhone

If you thought you've seen it all when it comes to iPhone rudeness and stupidity, think again. A fellow in the audience at the Booth Theater in New York had a sudden urge to charge his phone, and spotted an outlet on stage. So he jumped onto the set of Hand to God and tried to plug in his phone. But alas, the phone outlet was just a prop. Thanks for the good laugh, Mashable. Read the rest

The voice of Siri explains the art of the voiceover

Voice actor Susan Bennett was the original voice of the iPhone assistant Siri. It's fun to hear her use different voices in this video, made by Vox. Here's the full article.

Siri needs to be able to say just about everything in the English language, and that took a lot of hard work.

"I recorded four hours a day, five days a week for the month of July," Bennett says. For a voice actor, that workload causes a lot of strain. "That's a long time to be talking constantly. Consequently, you get tired."

The original Siri "was to sound otherworldly and have a dry sense of humor," Bennett says. She added that to her take on the character, even as she focused on staying consistent and clear.

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And the winners of the international iPhone Photography Awards are...

Out of thousands of photographs entered from all over the world,  this year's top Photographer of the Year of the iPhone Photography Awards went to Michal Koralewski of Poland. His black and white winning shot (above), Sounds of the Old Town, captures the emotion-filled face of a bearded man playing the accordion in a Warsaw market place.

Second place went to David Craik of Surrey, England for a photo of birds, Cafe Birds, he took with his iPad mini (below).

Third place went to Yvonne Lu of New York for her iPhone snap, Before Sunset (below), which gives us a voyeuristic glimpse of a sleeping couple on a train.

Speaking to Time magazine, Koralewski gives us a pointer:

“If you want to take a good photograph, first you need to cut out distractions in the background and focus on the essential parts of the frame. It’s especially important if you take photos with a smartphone,” says Koralewski who also encourages attention to light and experimenting with different angles for varying perspectives.

The top three winners mentioned above will each receive an Apple Sport Watch. There were also three winners each for 19 other categories, including food, travel and portrait. The first place winner of each of these categories will receive a Gold Bar from a gold mint. In its eighth year, the IPPA began awarding phone photographers when iPhones first launched. They are currently taking entries for 2016. To see specifics, click here.

Click here for more winning photographs. Read the rest

The inside story of how the iPhone crippled BlackBerry

The Wall Street Journal has a juicy excerpt from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff's new book, Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry.

The next day Mr. Lazaridis grabbed his co-CEO Jim Balsillie at the office and pulled him in front of a computer.

"Jim, I want you to watch this," he said, pointing to a webcast of the iPhone unveiling. "They put a full Web browser on that thing. The carriers aren't letting us put a full browser on our products."

Mr. Balsillie's first thought was RIM was losing AT&T as a customer. "Apple's got a better deal," Mr. Balsillie said. "We were never allowed that. The U.S. market is going to be tougher."

"These guys are really, really good," Mr. Lazaridis replied. "This is different."

"It's OK -- we'll be fine," Mr. Balsillie responded.

RIM's chiefs didn't give much additional thought to Apple's iPhone for months. "It wasn't a threat to RIM's core business," says Mr. Lazaridis's top lieutenant, Larry Conlee. "It wasn't secure. It had rapid battery drain and a lousy [digital] keyboard."

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Finally, Apple Watch available in stores this month

The Apple Watch, Sport Edition.

After over a month of pre-sales and online-only availability, the Apple Watch will finally be on the shelves in Apple stores later this month. Consumers will be able to touch and try on the watch and then actually take it home the same day. Not that selling exclusively online has hurt the product: Apple has had an estimated  7-million Apple Watch orders since its launch and expects to deliver 5-million watches by the end of the first quarter, which is double what analysts had expected.  And Apple has by far outsold what the iPod, iPhone and iPad took in during their first quarter. Yet another win for Apple! Read the rest

A $7 Lightning cable that's Apple MFi Certified

I buy a lot of Lightning-to-USB cables because my kids lose theirs and then steal mine. At first, I bought the cheapest replacement cables I could find (Amazon sells them for as little as $2 each, with free shipping), but I've learned that this is a bad tactic. Sometimes the cables don't work, and the ones that do work eventually fail. It's almost as if there is a self-destruct switch with a timer in these cheap cables. I've stopped buying them.

Apple's own Lightning cables are much more expensive. A 3-foot Lightning-to-USB costs $19. I can't afford them, not at the rate my kids lose or destroy theirs. The alternative is to buy a cable that has been certified through Apple's MFi licensing program. (Reportedly, Apple charges equipment manufacturers a $4 licensing fee per cable, which is actually less than it used to charge.)

Anker sells a MFi Certified 3-foot Lightning-to-USB cable for $7. I've bought a bunch over the months and not one has failed yet. Until Apple does another because-fuck-you-that's-why connector change on its iPhone, I will buy only Anker Lightning-to-USB cables. Read the rest

Bro Orange: the best stolen iPhone story you'll read all April Fool's Day

Buzzfeed staffer Matt Stopera's fantastical story about how his stolen iPhone made it from Manhattan to China and turned him into a social media celebrity there is one of the wildest and coolest stolen phone stories of all time, even if it's making the rounds on April Fool's Day. Read the rest

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