Watch an iPhone sort M&Ms by color.

M&M'S World Las Vegas Celebrates Opening Of World's Largest Candy Wall With A 3-D Chalk Art Reproduction

Not everyone has Minecraft-creator Markus “Notch” Persson’s money (or candy room) so the rest of us have to devise our own methods of sorting M&Ms by color. The English blogger behind reviewmylife has an idea that combines, among other things, an iPhone 5s, an Arduino and an eBay-sourced 12V 80RPM motor to do the menial task. Oh, and an awful lot of ingenuity, foam-board and hot glue was involved too — but you kind of figured that already, right? Unlike the Lego-powered contraption we’ve seen before, this one takes advantage of the Cupertino smartphone lens’ color sensor to ID the candy’s hue during free-fall after it leaves the hopper. The author has a step-by-step breakdown replete with his or her hardships (apparently finding the right motors and magnets took some experimenting) and photos detailing each part of the process, in case you’re curious. Or, because maybe you’d just like to spend Christmas building your own.

However, there is a caveat: if your favorite M&M happens to be brown you’re out of luck. Reviewmylife notes that chocolate’s natural color is pretty hard to distinguish from orange and shadow, but that could probably be fixed with LED lighting and some tweaks to the software. Oh well, no one really likes the brown ones anyway. Or do they? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple explains how the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor keeps your info secure.

Touch ID sensor on the Apple iPhone 5s

If you’ve ever wanted to know how the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint security works beyond a basic overview, you’ll be glad to hear Apple has just delivered a motherlode of new details. An updated version of its iOS Security white paper (PDF) explains much of what happens to your finger data after you touch the sensor. In short, your information may be more hack-resistant than it seems at first glance. Each A7 chip has a unique secure space that neither the A7 nor Apple can read, and every authentication session is encrypted end-to-end. The company is also offering a deeper explanation of what it does with your fingerprint image, noting that the print only lasts in memory until it’s turned into a decryption key. As we’ve known for a while, there are safeguards that wipe out that key after 48 hours of inactivity, a reboot or five failed login attempts. While the new insights will only have so much usefulness whendevelopers can’t use Touch ID for their own apps, they suggest that there’s little to no chance of fingerprint theft or a large-scale data breach.

Apple: A Manufacturing Defect Has Caused Battery Drain On Some iPhone 5s Devices.

iPhone-5s-back

Apple has released a statement to The New York Times confirming that a “small number” of iPhone 5s devices in the wild have a manufacturing defect that results in battery drainage. The 5s is supposed to have slightly improved battery life over the iPhone 5, but Apple says that these affected devices have subpar performance.

“We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Apple in the statement.

Source: Cult of Mac.

Portenzo Alano SLIM and HardBack wallet cases for iPhone 5c/5s.

I’ve got to admit that I’ve been really happy with the current trend of combining iPhone cases and wallets. They’re both items that you carry around in your pockets, so why not take the functionality of an iPhone case — protecting your iPhone — and combine it with carrying around credit cards, IDs, and cash? Of the many wallet cases I’ve reviewed over the last couple of years, two of the nicest are the Alano SLIM (US$44.95 to $64.95, plus add-ons) and HardBack ($34.95, plus add-ons) from Portenzo. Let’s take a look at these stylish cases, and then readers have a chance to win one from TUAW and Portenzo.

The design of the Alano SLIM starts with a slim leather “booklet” that surrounds the iPhone. The cover is held closed in transit with a Moleskine-like elastic band, perfect for making sure that it’s not going to flop open and expose your iPhone screen to scratches. The leather covers come in eleven different finishes, ranging from a faux antique American passport to a rich dark chocolate leather.

The HardBack uses fabric on the outside instead of leather, but is just as nice — some of the designs sport bright colors or patterns, while others are less flashy. One add-on feature of the HardBack case is the Intellistand, a way of folding the case origami-style to stand it up in landscape mode.

Your iPhone isn’t surrounded by plastic or wood, meaning that you have unfettered access to all ports and buttons at all times. So how does the phone stay in the Portenzo case? Simple — there’s a nanosuction GripPad (replaceable) on one side. Just align your iPhone and slap it onto the super-sticky material, and it is held in place. Need to remove your phone? No problem — just give it a good tug and it comes off, leaving no residue.

The Alano SLIM’s wallet has two main pockets into which you can slide a couple of IDs, credit cards, and maybe even some cash. On the other hand, the HardBack wallet uses a “expandable folder” type of construction that can hold much more — although you really don’t want to overload it.

Now, about those add-ons that are noted with the pricing. Portenzo uses a “build your own” model for these case/wallets, so the base price of the Alano SLIM cases does not include the wallet bits (that’s an additional $20). The HardBack has two possible add-ons; the $20 wallet parts and the $4.95 Intellistand. That means that a decked-out Alano SLIM can cost as much as $84.90, while a fully-loaded HardBack checks in at $54.85.

How do they look? Well, we received a “US Passport” model Alano Slim with all the trimmings and a Dark Blue HardBack with the Intellistand and wallet. Take a look at the images (I just placed the iPhone 5 on top of the GripPad instead of removing it) and you can see the amount of love put into the construction of the cases.

Conclusion

Portenzo’s Alano SLIM and HardBack cases are well-built and beautiful, although somewhat pricy — especially for the Alano SLIM.

Pros

  • Unique designs, especially for the Alano SLIM line
  • Quality construction
  • Easy to remove and re-install the iPhone
  • HardBack’s Intellistand works well to hold the iPhone in a landscape orientation
  • HardBack’s wallet expands to hold a lot of cards and cash

Cons

  • Alano SLIM is quite pricy once the wallet feature is added on

Who is it for?

  • The person who wants to ditch the wallet and do it in style

The iPhone 5s will be hard to find at launch, claim reports.

gold iphone 5s stock

Apple broke with tradition when it declined to make the iPhone 5s available for pre-order after its announcement, and now it’s looking like low stock might be the reason. According to All Things D, sources at the wireless carriers are claiming that launch inventory will be significantly less than expected. “We will have grotesquely unavailable inventory,” said one carrier source, while another claimed that shipments from Apple were extremely disappointing. However, that same second source also said that demand for Apple’s flagship iPhone might be less than anticipated, as well. Despite Apple’s silence on iPhone 5c pre-sales, it seems that the company’s new colored device is proving popular with customers so far, at least according to All Things D’s sources. While there’s no word on how the iPhone 5c may be selling so far, it appears Apple has enough devices to meet demand — you can still order one from Apple’s site and get it delivered on launch day.

It’s also looking like these availability issues might extend beyond the carrier stores: that the iPhone 5s will be hard to come by at Apple’s retail stores, as well. Out of all the shipments of new iPhones going to Apple stores, between 70 and 80 percent of the stock will be the iPhone 5c. Of course, there’s also a chance that this report will just help to fuel the launch day mania for the iPhone 5s and build up those famous launch-day lines that have greeted all previous iPhone launches. We’ll find out this Friday when both the iPhone 5s and 5c officially become available.

Source: The Verge.

iPhone 5c available for pre-order now; iPhone 5s ordering and sales details announced.

it’s Friday the 13th, and that can mean only one thing… it’s time to pre-order your iPhone 5c!

The pre-order button is working on the Apple iPhone 5c page, meaning that you can pick your color, your carrier and all of the other details in preparation for delivery to your door next Friday, September 20.

MacRumors is reporting that iPhone 5c ship dates have already slipped to one to two weeks for customers in Hong Kong, with other countries showing delivery on September 20. However, if you have the hots for a bright yellow 5c, you’ll have to wait a bit. It appears that at least one model — the 16 GB Yellow (GSM) Unlocked iPhone 5c — is showing a delay until September 25 for delivery.

Holding out for an iPhone 5s? You’ll have to wait until 12:01 AM PDT / 3:01 AM EDT on September 20 to put in your order. Apple Stores will reportedly open at 8 AM local time on September 20 for those of you who wish to get your hands on that sleek gold iPhone first thing in the morning. While that means that we won’t have to wait in line all day in front of an Apple Store to buy a 5s, it also sadly means that we’ll be in lines all night…

GameStop wants to buy your iPhone 5S, even though it doesn’t officially exist yet.

GameStop sure is on top of its game these days. Not only does the company — which has made a name for itself as a reseller of used video games — accept trade-ins on a litany of devices ranging from BlackBerry smartphones to Android tablets, but it will even offer a hefty sum for your nonexistent iPhone 5S. As you can see by the screenshot above, GameStop has added the not-yet-official, next-gen Apple smartphone to its list of accepted devices, complete with its own trade-in values.

So how much is an unreleased phone worth these days (or, more accurately, how much will the iPhone 5S be worth once it’s actually available to purchase)? Let’s compare the iPhone 5S trade-in values with that of the iPhone 5:

iPhone 5 (“Like New” condition):
16GB (AT&T) – $390 (store credit), $310 (cash)
32GB (AT&T) – $458, $364
64GB (AT&T) – $466, $370

iPhone 5S (“Like New” condition):
16GB (AT&T) – $480 (store credit), $382 (cash)
32GB (AT&T) – $530, $422
64GB (AT&T) – $580, $462

As of this writing, the GameStop trade-in website only has AT&T models listed for the iPhone 5S, whereas the iPhone 5 has carrier options that include T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint.

Update: GameStop has now pulled the iPhone 5S listings from its trade-in page.