While solar panels and wind turbines are the two best-known methods of generating renewable energy, they aren’t the only approaches. The day after we learned that Apple has become a power company, we hear that it has just been given the go-ahead to employ a particularly cool method.
Landfill gas utilization traps the methane gas given off from landfill sites and either converts it into pipeline-grade gas or uses it to generate electricity. It’s doubly environmentally friendly, generating power from waste but also preventing the release of methane – a greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere …
There’s no shortage of external battery packs for iPhones, iPads and other USB-powered devices. With occasional exceptions, the majority have little to distinguish them. But thanks to the addition of a USB-C port, the Xtron can power the 12-inch MacBook as well as iPhones and iPads …
Vanity Fair has published a new 2015 list of ‘The New Establishment’, where reporters rank the most important visionaries in business and culture. Although Mark Zuckerberg takes the top spot in the Disrupters category, Tim Cook and Jony Ive get listed at the 4th spot.
This is down from their previous rank of number three in last year’s 2014 list. In the accompanying blurb, Variety singles out Ive as Apple’s new front-runner using the Watch to become the “creative mantle at the world’s most highly valued company”.
We told you last month about a neat Apple Watch utility app called Power, and today it’s learning a handy new trick and becoming even more useful. Power, created in part by jailbreak developer Surenix, lets you check how much battery power your iPhone has remotely from your Apple Watch. As I mentioned before, this is a practical utility as it’s not uncommon to use the Apple Watch to stay on top of notifications while the iPhone charges in another room.
Starting with version 1.1, Power is adding support for notifications. This means you can charge your phone and know when it hits certain percentages in case you’re waiting for that level to take it off the charger and head out the door.
9to5Toys Last Call: Bluetooth selfie stick $11, Powerbeats2 Wireless $140, Car Jump Starter/Power Bank $60, more
Today’s can’t miss deals:
Last Call Updates:
This Leviton wall outlet has two built-in USB ports: $19 Prime shipped (Reg. $25)
- Philips soft white dimmable 60 Watt Equivalent SlimStyle LED Light: $4 Prime shipped
- Olloclip’s Kickstarter project delivers a customized photography setup for your iPhone 6/Plus
- Garmin’s Varia radar and lights system alert bicyclists of approaching traffic
- Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand: $20 Shipped (Orig. $39, CA Tax Only)
- JLab Omni Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones $60 shipped (Reg. $100)
- Numark Mac/PC DJ controllers: Mixtrack Pro $139 shipped (Orig. $250), more
- Free PS Plus Games for July: Styx Master of Shadows, Rocket League, more
- Home: Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolts $140, Hamilton Beach blender $23, more
Review: At $11, MPOW’s pocketable iStick is the best Bluetooth selfie stick you can buy today
Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless Headphones (multiple colors): $140 shipped (Reg. $200)
Daily Deals: Anker Car Jump Starter & USB Power Bank $60, Samsung 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop HDD $120, more
Apple is giving away free downloads of iOS cooking app Green Kitchen ($5 value)
Review: Logitech’s Anywhere 2 Bluetooth mouse shines w/ adaptive scrolling
$50 iTunes gift card for $40 w/ email delivery from PayPal (20% savings)
Add creative decorations to your 4th of July picnic and save money w/ these easy do-it-yourself projects
The best lawn games to make your 4th of July cookout a success
Look like a real American hero at your 4th of July BBQ with this over-the-top USA garb
Giveaway: Owen & Fred’s Desk Essentials collection ups your work game while looking good, $250+ value
More new gear from today:
Check your iPhone battery levels from your Apple Watch for free with Power app (Reg. $1)
Samsung’s new Level U Bluetooth 4.1 in-ear headphones offer athletes another option for workouts
- New! Games/Apps: Batman Arkham Knight $47, COD Black Ops III pre-order $50
- New! Halo Spartan Strike for iOS gets its very first price drop: $3 (Reg. $6)
- New! Four magazine subs for $16: Wired, Dwell, GQ, ESPN, more
- New! VIZIO 50″ 240Hz Smart LED 4K UHDTV (refurb): $565 shipped (Orig. $1,000)
More deals still alive:
Apple iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB in Silver: $449 shipped (Orig. $929)
JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones for $110 shipped (Reg. $170)
- Casetify custom Apple Watch bands: $70 credit for $50
- Google offers 50% off its 2-factor authentication USB thumb drive: $9 (Reg. $18)
- GoPro HERO3+ Black (refurb) $262 shipped (Reg. $280), 33-piece accessory kit $15
- Quick Charge 2.0 18W USB Wall Charger w/ micro USB $10 (Reg. $16), more
- Acer 11″ Chromebook 2.16GHz/2GB/16GB (refurb): $110 shipped (Orig. $200)
- ATH-M50x over-ears, Focusrite Scarlett interface and mic kit $269 shipped ($410+ value)
- Add seven USB 3.0 ports to your Mac w/ this 30W Mpow Aluminum Hub: $19 (Reg. $39)
- Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Turntable: $210 shipped (Orig. $300)
- KingTop car chargers w/ Prime shipping: 10A/50W 4-port $10, 6.6A/33W 3-port $10
- Media: BOGO Blu-rays from $8, Spirited Away $20 Prime shipped, more
- App Store Free App of the Week: Halftone 2 Comic Book Creator ($2 value)
- Free Xbox Gold Games for July: Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, more
- iPhone 5 & 1-Yr Unlimited Talk/Text, 500MB LTE/m $300 shipped
- Ondesoft Mac Bundle w/ X-Mirage, iTunes Converter, more: free ($146 value)
New products & more:
PIQ uses multiple sensors and a clever design to paint a clearer picture of your golf game
Enthusiasts create incredibly detailed 14-foot Starcraft II map out of LEGO
- Five bizarre kitchen gadgets you need to add to your cooking arsenal
- Bricasso scans any image and then 3D prints it using LEGO bricks as ink
- Frigidaire launches its very first iOS/Android connected smart home air conditioner
- Yirego’s Drumi powerless washing machine gives urbanites a unique alternative
- Quick Review: Eton Scorpion II is a rugged solar electronic survival kit for $50
- Molson and Google team up on voice activated fridge that dispenses free beer
- Amazon’s Treasure Truck brings daily deals to the streets
- Firebox’s new WTF section has a $236K Apple Watch and a full-size Delorean
- SanDisk’s behemoth 200GB microSD is now in-stock and ready to ship
- Silk by Saffron’s smart LED bulbs adjust your lighting based on the sun
- Here’s a life-size model of Claptrap from Borderlands made entirely of LEGO
- Stream the series debut of HBO’s Ballers in HD for free
Following a number of teases for its third-party Apple Watch strap with a built-in battery pack, Reserve Strap, bound to be one of the first battery straps for Apple Watch, is promising an additional 30 hours of battery life for Apple Watch users as it announces plans to ship in November.
iOS 9 adds a handy widget to the iPhone that lets you check your Apple Watch, Beats headphones, or other Bluetooth accessory battery levels from Notification Center, but there hasn’t been a way to check the phone’s battery level from the watch.
And because the Apple Watch can catch notifications from the iPhone even at great distances when on the same WiFi network, I often charge my phone in a different room without missing anything important… except knowing when my iPhone is finished charging.
As I noted in Part 1 of How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Apple has designed the Mac purchasing process to be easy: pick a model, pick the good, better, or best configuration, hand over your cash, and enjoy your computer. Since most people get confused by tech specs — bullet points filled with numbers and acronyms — Apple downplays them in its marketing materials, leaving customers to sort through the details and figure out what most of them mean.
But these specs are really important when you’re shopping for the right Mac for your current and future needs. So I’ve created this How-To guide to walk you through each of Apple’s Tech Specs pages using clear explanations, hopefully enabling you to properly understand what you’re about to buy. Part 1 focused on the “big 5″ Mac specs you really need to know about, and this Part 2 looks at the rest — generally things that remain the same in a given model, regardless of the configuration you choose…
Earlier this week, I walked through a great collection of iPad, iPhone, and Mac products that I’d strongly recommend. Today, I’m here to help you choose an excellent spare battery for any portable Apple device. You can trust me because I’ve been testing Apple batteries for over a decade, conducting hours-long tests to learn how each new Apple device consumes power, and how quickly each battery replenishes a given device. If you want to learn more about why I’m recommending the specific batteries below, I discuss key factors worth considering at the bottom of this guide.
Have you ever wondered how much of your battery is being used? Or have you ever wondered why sometimes when you use certain apps your battery dramatically drains? New in the iOS 8 Settings application is the ability to track battery usage per each app you have installed on your device. This method is very similar to tracking your cellular data usage.
Apple has apparently enabled much faster battery charging in the newest iPhone models, but you’d never know it if you only use the included power adapter. According to a change in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus discovered by iLounge, both of the new smartphones are equipped with the hardware to support 2.1A charging.
The problem? Apple only includes a 1A charger in the box. If you’ve been using that AC power adapter to recharge your phone, there’s a much faster way to do it. Since the iPad has long supported 2.1A charging, you can grab a charger for the Apple tablet and use that to achieve a much quicker charge.
Another way to benefit from this new capability is to plug your iPhone directly into a newer-model Mac, which will charge it at the appropriate speed. iLounge noted that the Macs tested for this feature were running Yosemite with no mention of OS X Mavericks, so it’s possible that the change may require the upcoming OS, which is currently is public beta.
In a new report, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said not to expect the redesigned Lightning connector or power adaptor to feature as part of the iPhone 6’s package, quoting cost reasons. The new Lightning connector was intriguing in that it was reversible on both ends, including a specially-designed USB connector so that it could be inserted both ways up.
A report from the Daily Mail over the weekend claimed Apple is working with fuel cell company Intelligent Energy on a project that hopes to embed fuel cells in mobile devices “within a few years.” The Daily Mail doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to accuracy, but the report claimed “senior sources in the US” have confirmed the partnership between the two companies.
The technology could be rolled out in devices such as laptops and iPads, allowing them to run without being charged for days or even weeks…Intelligent Energy revealed upon floating that it bought a bundle of patents in tandem with a major ‘international electronics company’…It has kept the identity of its partner a closely-guarded secret. But a source, who has knowledge of the partnership, confirmed that Apple is the big name working with the Loughborough-based firm.
The report noted that Intelligent Energy already has ties to Apple with former Apple Computers product specialist Joe O’Sullivan sitting on the company’s board and a new office in San Jose not far from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.
An innovative approach to solar charging revealed in an Apple patent application published today (via Patently Apple) could make it more practical to power both MacBooks and iOS devices from the sun.
The voltage and power generated by a solar panel varies with the amount of sunlight. To turn the power supply into something that can safely be used by an electronic device, you need a converter or regulator to deliver the correct specs to the device, adding cost and bulk to the panel.
What the Apple patent describes is building the necessary power management circuitry into the MacBook, iPad or iPhone so that it can accept whatever power the panel supplies. This potentially allows for cheaper and more portable panels …
NVIDIA announced a new series of notebook GPU’s today branded as the 700M series. Introduced today are five new graphics cards in total, and NVIDIA said they would be available in a long list of laptops over the next few months. The five new graphics cards include two options aimed at the “mainstream segment”, the 720M and the 735M, while the remaining three, the 740M, 745M, and 750M, will be “for the performance segment” of the market.
The graphics cards are being touted by NVIDIA to “maximize performance and experience,” but they also more power efficient than their predecessors. Because the 700M Series is notebook-only, expect these to be less powerful than a desktop version of the 700 Series that may be announced sometime in the future.
Helping our new 700M chips reach such lofty levels of performance is GPU Boost 2.0, a GPU innovation that extracts every ounce of available computing power from the graphics processor. Before GPU Boost, GPUs were held back by synthetic benchmarks that pushed chips and power usage to the limit, far beyond the levels typically seen when playing games. This ‘worst case scenario’ forced us to throttle GPUs, leaving spare performance on the table when playing games.GPU Boost resolves this problem by monitoring power usage and temperatures, enabling the GPU to use every last ounce of performance without exceeding safety or comfort limits.
While the press release from NVIDIA said the new GPUs will be available in nearly every notebook maker other than Apple, it is possible these GPUs will be seen in the next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The current 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display sports a NVIDIA 650M GPU, as does the high-end 21-inch iMac model, so an upgrade to the 700M series only makes sense.
The full press release is available below.
New NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs Squeeze Every Drop Of Performance Out Of Notebooks, Automatically
Monday, April 1, 2013
NVIDIA today announced five new notebook GPUs which deliver a trifecta of technologies that seamlessly and automatically maximize a consumer’s notebook performance and experience.
With no effort or input from the notebook user, the technologies work in the background to save battery life, enhance performance and enrich the visual experience — providing the best notebook experience the GPU can deliver. They include:
New NVIDIA GPU Boost™ 2.0 technology, which intelligently adjusts GPU clock speed to maximize graphics performance.
NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology, which enables extra-long battery life by switching the GPU on and off so it runs only when needed.
GeForce® Experience™ software, which adjusts in-game settings for the best performance and visual quality specific to a user’s notebook and keeps GeForce drivers up to date.
“There is an elegant simplicity to NVIDIA’s GeForce 700M notebook technologies,” said Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. “You use your notebook how you want, and GeForce makes your experience awesome.”
Incorporating all three of these technologies, the new lineup of NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs includes GeForce GT 750M, GeForce GT 745M, and GeForce GT 740M GPUs for the performance segment, as a well as GeForce GT 735M and GeForce GT 720M GPUs for the mainstream segment.
NVIDIA GeForce 700M GPUs are available today. Every leading notebook manufacturer will be introducing notebooks with GPU Boost 2.0 technology, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.
More information about the GeForce 700M family of notebook GPUs is available at www.GeForce.com.