About the Author

Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites.

  +SethWeintraub (850,000)

Seth Weintraub is an award-winning journalist and blogger who won back to back Neal Awards during his three plus years  covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010.  Weintraub next covered all things Google for Fortune Magazine from 2010-2011 amassing a thick rolodex of Google contacts and love for Silicon Valley culture.

It turns out that his hobby 9to5Mac.com blog was always his favorite and in 2011 he went full time adding his Fortune Google followers to 9to5Google.com and adding the commerce component 9to5Toys.com gear and deals site. In 2013, Weintraub bought one of the Tesla’s first Model S EVs off the assembly line and so began his love affair with the Electric Vehicle and green energy which is now electrek.co.

From 1997-2007, Weintraub was a Global IT director and Web Developer for a number of companies with stints at multimedia and branding agencies in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid and London before becoming a publisher/blogger.

Seth recieved a bachelors degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California with a minor in Multimedia and Creative Technology in 1997. In 2004, he recieved a Masters from NYU’s Tisch School of the Art’s ITP program.

Hobbies: Weintraub is a licensed single engine private pilot, certified open water diver and spent over a year traveling to 60 cities in 23 countries. Whatever free time exists is now guaranteed to his lovely wife and two amazing sons.

More at About.me.

Tips: seth@9to5mac.com, or llsethj on Wickr/AIM/Skype

Seth Weintraub's Favorite Gear

February 14, 2015

It looks like Apple is working on an electric, possibly autonomous automobile. Numerous publications have reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook started the project about a year ago, which followed a M&A meeting with Tesla’s Elon Musk in the Spring of 2013.

We must remember that Apple has many R&D projects and “says no a thousand times for every yes” and of course even if the car project does happen, any type of product is many years off (barring any acquisition). Then there is the current mess that is CarPlayexpand full story

Oatmeal-autonomos-carImage via the Oatmeal

One of the weird details in the WSJ report on the Apple electric car project yesterday was this bit:

Other Silicon Valley giants are looking at autos. Google Inc. has been working on a self-driving car for years. The head of Google’s autonomous vehicle project said last year that the company aims to forge a partnership with auto makers to build a self-driving car within the next few years. A self-driving car is not part of Apple’s current plan, one of the people familiar with the project said.

This morning’s Reuters report contradicts the earlier WSJ report saying that Apple’s electric car will be autonomous.

“It’s a software game. It’s all about autonomous driving,” the source said.

That makes a lot of sense. In 5 years, many cars will have some level of autonomy built in. In 10 years, most cars will be autonomous. Every major automobile manufacturer and most big tech companies see the huge potential here and are actively investing in R&D.

Google and Tesla are the most obvious leaders in this field. Google’s Autonomous car project is well on its way. With public demonstrations already happening and Google lobbying governments for legislation to allow for autonomous driving, the groundwork is already being laid out.

Doug Field, a former Apple executive, demonstrated Tesla’s autonomous driving to me a few months ago (along with an insane 0-60mph time). Tesla expects to have at least partial autonomy in its cars within a year and its cars coming off the assembly line already have the hardware on board to do a lot of this.

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February 12, 2015

Tesla thinks it can grow to an Apple-sized market cap in a decade

Black Tesla Model X prototype with a trailer hitch and redesigned front end

Quite an interesting statement from Tesla CEO Elon Musk in last night’s earnings call. With all of the “Apple car” talk and fight for employees, it is interesting to note how big Tesla thinks the market for electric cars and lithium batteries will be in the coming decade (assuming 10% yoy growth and P/E ratio of 20).

For the record, I’ve also heard rumblings of an early vehicle program at Apple which could be an R&D exercise or turn into something significant. One of the leaders of the program recently left Apple for Oculus if that’s any indication of what kind of technology Apple is hoping to bring to the automotive world.

Also make sure to read about Elon Musk’s secret demand weapon to deploy on car dealers and new consumer battery product.

February 10, 2015

Apple becomes 1st company ever to close at market cap of over $700B (AAPL)

Update 2/11: After passing $700 billion in market capitalization yesterday, Apple has been trading up as high as $124.43 a share raising market cap over $720 billion.

Apple’s stock price closed up 2.3 points today to close at 122.02 giving the Cupertino company that was on the verge of bankruptcy less than 2 decades ago, the highest market cap of all time. The closing market cap of $710B reflects significant growth since it hit a recent low of a split-adjusted 56 in mid-2013.

To put it into perspective, Apple is now valued at $100 for every man, woman and child on the face of the earth.

Speaking of AAPL, Tim Cook is at Goldman Sachs today discussing Apple’s recent success and announcing a industry first Solar farm that will offset all of Apple’s California electricity use including its Campus 2, offices and 40 retail stores. 

And on that note, First Solar, the company that is partnering with Apple on the Solar Farm is up almost 10% on the news.

February 6, 2015

Post to the community

February 5, 2015

Obama after sneak peek at original iPhone: ‘If it were legal, I would buy a boatload of Apple stock. This thing is going to be really big’

From the upcoming book Believer, US President Barack Obama’s Chief campaign advisor David Axelrod gives a small tidbit on a meeting Obama had before he became president. He called it:

In 2007, Obama got a sneak peek at the iPhone during a private meeting with Apple’s Steve Jobs. “If it were legal, I would buy a boatload of Apple stock. This thing is going to be really big,” Obama said after the meeting.

AAPL stock was selling at a split adjusted $12-14 a share in early 2007 so if he would have done quite well if it hadn’t been illegal.

Not everybody was impressed with the iPhone in its original form. Microsoft’s then CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed it in a famous rant after the launch:

One person who did ‘get it’ immediately was Google’s Andy Rubin who shifted Android strategy completely (according to a book by Fred Vogelstein) after the launch.

He was in a cab in Las Vegas, watching a webcast of the presentation. He made the driver pull over so he could see the whole thing. He said, “Holy crap, I guess we’re not going to launch that phone.”

Obama had a few other meetings with Jobs before his death including the famous ‘Silicon Valley Summit’ pictured above.

Now, if you haven’t already, please go down to the comments and release a bunch of frustration into a pro/anti Obama rage that has nothing to do with this story. 

February 4, 2015

Kantar World Panel’s Carolina Milanesi has crunched the numbers and notes that iOS beat Android in the US in the holiday quarter with a hefty .1% margin — iOS devices accounted for 47.7% of sales, Android devices accounted for 47.6%. Apple’s iOS beat Android in other key markets including Japan and Australia but still trailed in others in Europe and China. expand full story

February 2, 2015

‘HD audio’ has been a buzzword for the last few years, as Apple and several record labels have been working on higher-resolution audio formats to repackage and resell older music. But the format took a body blow this weekend when former NY Times columnist David Pogue put musician Neil Young’s new $400 HD Audio PonoPlayer up against a regular old iPhone using a ‘blind trial,’ in which the HD PonoPlayer appears to have lost…

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January 30, 2015

Report: AOL’s TUAW closing Feb. 2

The long-rumored news comes from The Verge: TUAW.com is closing as of Feb 2. I didn’t like all of what they did there, but there was a solid group of writers and people that I will miss reading.

AOL is shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog, better known as TUAW, sources familiar with the situation tell The Verge. The company — which is also shutting down its gaming site Joystiq — is in the midst of a major reorganization, and is cutting back on media properties it deems as underperforming.TUAW’s run comes to an end on February 2nd.

TechCrunch, which originally reported the news of AOL’s restructuring, noted that tech and lifestyle sites would most likely be affected by the changes. AOL decided against selling TUAW, leaving open the possibility it could resurrect the site in the future. But for now, a team of writers and editors are out of jobs.

Aol’s TechCrunch puts a different spin on it saying that it will be folded into Engadget – which might mean current content gets redirected.

While Verge earlier today reported that both tech were being closed, this is not quite accurate: Joystiq will stay on as a separate channel at Engadget, while TUAW content will be folded into the bigger site, we understand. It’s still being decided whether the two brand names will remain.

I’ve heard separately that pageviews were in a slow downward spiral over the past few years and the site became too small to justify being a separate unit against slowing ad revenue for AOL.  In any case, it is always sad to see some good Apple writers out of a gig.

January 20, 2015

Post to the community

We get a lot of fake “leak” submissions here but this one is interesting because it would actually be helpful and could be done by Apple. This one supposedly shows what gestures on the home button would look like and how they would work. The bottom shows that this would be coming in iOS 8.3 if it were real.

iphone-ios-8.3-home-gestures

January 9, 2015

Scanadu cofounder Sam De Brouwer demonstrates the Scout and Scanaflo

At CES this week I met with a very interesting company called Scanadu which makes two interesting healthcare products that connect with the iPhone…

Scanadu-scoutThe Scanadu Scout (pictured, right) is a little electronic device designed by Yves Béhar that you touch to your forehead for a few seconds. Almost instantly, physiological parameters, including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure are sent to an app on your iPhone which logs these measurements and alerts users to anomalies and deviations which may be cause for heath concerns.

The Scout closed a $1.6M Indigogo funding round in 2013 and is still trying to push the product through the FDA as it tries to get deliveries to customers.

Perhaps more interesting however, Scnadu introduced its new “Scanaflo” device at CES 2015 which is a home urinalysis apparatus that uses your iPhone’s camera to image a set of colors strips. expand full story

January 5, 2015

At CES today, Logitech subsidiary Ultimate Ears (UE) announced its Megaboom Bluetooth speaker.  Yes, it is a bigger, louder version of the popular UE Booms. That means it comes with apps that do things like equalize, set alarms and pair to stereo, with new features added all the time. The Megaboom also shares the 100-foot Bluetooth range and ability to pair with up to 8 devices with its smaller sibling.

But the bigger and louder sound of the Megaboom also comes with some nice extras not found in the other models. Megabooms are waterproof like crazy (IPX7). Bring it into the shower. Knock it in the pool (the shallow end, anyway). NBD. The MegaBoom also has a whopping 20-hour battery life but still charges via MicroUSB. Smart.

The cost: $299 is a significant $100 premium over the Booms and $200 premium over the Mini Booms and you’ll lose some portability with the bigger size. These are big and heavy and they don’t fit in a cupholder.

But if you want the banging-est sound you can find from a portable Bluetooth speaker, your search is over. I’ve secretly been reviewing a unit since last year and it is all true. The sound fills up a room, day at the beach, picnic, bikeride or destroys a car. It even works as a nice desk speaker. As I hinted in my Best Bluetooth Speaker o the year list, the Megaboom is as good, if not better than the other best $300 Bluetooth speakers we’ve reviewed: Bose Soundlink 3, Beats Pill XL and Jawbone’s Big Jambox have met their match!

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December 31, 2014

Apple launched its Start Something New. campaign on its Japanese website 2 days ago and it looks to be propagating globally now in the run up to New Years Eve 2015. The page encourages Apple users to try out new products like Procreate, Brushes 3, Slow Shutter,  VSCOCam, Waterlogue and iDraw and highlights artists including Roz HallMatt Pyke and Craig & Karl.

Every piece in this gallery was created on an Apple product. Every brushstroke, every pixel, and every frame of film was brought to life by talented Apple users from around the world. As you explore their work, we hope it inspires you to create something new.

Although Apple has toned down its holiday celebrations this year (12 Days of Gifts?)  it will continue to run its Fukubukuro Lucky Bag sale in Japan on January 2nd. expand full story

December 29, 2014

Note, I originally was going to review this in early 2015, but Amazon is having a pretty insane 1-day deal on it and I love it sooo…

Fugoo is the best Bluetooth speaker you’ve probably never heard of. I got mine after a few readers (and PR folk) rightfully noted its omission from our Best Bluetooth Speaker of 2014 list. I have been listening to it ever since and yep, it should be among the top and for $135, it is a no-brainer… expand full story

December 19, 2014

Post to the community

We get a lot of these in our mailboxes and I’m not remotely convinced this is real but I do know a lot of people who wish it was.

Hello One of my friend works at Apple and he has recently found this image from Apple’s database. I am 100% sure this is the correct model of the upcoming iPhone. (Mini) And it was written that Apple is hosting an event in Mid March ’15 for this device. Thanks Electricomania Team.

December 18, 2014

Siri founder Adam Cheyer tells the story of its creation in this hour long video

While the video is at times technical and “in the weeds” it is a great overview of the creation of Siri that I hadn’t yet seen.  Mixed in are anecdotes about Apple, Steve Jobs and other players that made the technology happen.

Walking backward in time, Adam discussed the technical history of Siri as well as how the vision of virtual personal assistants evolved over time. He wowed the audience with a video from 1987 on a concept from Apple where predicted a Siri like device 24 years in the future and was only off by 2 weeks.

The talk is from the Listen 2014 Conference given last month. Cheyer left Apple in late 2012 and has started work on a new Startup

 

December 15, 2014

(TL;DR: Winner, best size, best sound, runner-up best apps, best budget, best $300)

It has been a solid year and a half since our last Big “Best Portable Bluetooth speaker” competition, though we’ve done tons of updates to it in the months since.

A lot of our favorites are still around while others have been updated and new players have emerged. And what about our previous champ: the Ultimate Ears Boom? Spoiler alert: a new winner has emerged. Read on to find out who takes our Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker award… expand full story

December 12, 2014

Post to the community

Former NYTimes reporter David Pogue did a Reddit AMA to hype one of his company books this week and answered a question related to Steve Jobs phone calls:

Do you have any Steve Jobs stories you would like to share? (Or Woz stories?) (Or, dare I hope, Steve Ballmer stories?)

pogueman

Oh, I have some great Steve Jobs stories!

He was famous for calling up tech writers to scream at them, or praise them, for stuff they wrote–and I wasn’t exempt!

I gave iMovie ’08 an “F,” said it was unusable. He called me at home to rant. “You don’t have any fking idea what we DO here at Apple, do you!?!?” You just held the receiver away from your head and waited it out.

Then another time, I did a music video called “I Want an iPhone” that kind of made fun of all the hype, the people standing in line, etc.

Jobs called me on my cellphone. “I wanted to talk to you about this song you made,” he said. I winced, preparing to be screamed at.

“It’s the funniest goddam thing I’ve seen in ages. Can you send me the QuickTime file?”

 

December 11, 2014

LifeProof pioneered the waterproof, shockproof iPhone case in 2011 when the original LifeProof protected the iPhone 4/s from dropping it on the ground, smothering it in ketchup, mustard, and dirt only to successfully rinse it off in a fish tank. We were had then and watched as the company grew into an iPhone case powerhouse which drew copycats and eventually an acquisition by OtterBox last year.

I’ve had LifeProof’s new Fre iPhone 6 case since it debuted last month and have put it through all kinds of torture tests, most notably my three-year-old who likes to watch Ben and Holly in the bath tub and six-year-old who sees no problem sled riding and skiing with a smartphone (Read: GPS tracking device).

The bottom line?  It continues to protect from everything. Lots of drops, dirt, water, snow. Pretty much anything… expand full story

December 8, 2014

Panic’s Transmit App no longer allowed to ‘send’ files to other services, developers request reprieve

In a blog post today, Mac/iOS developer Panic explained why a recent version of its venerable Transmit FTP/File transfer app no longer uploads to iCloud, and it turns out, other services:

Transmit iOS 1.1.1 is out, fixing a few bugs in our surprisingly powerful file management app for your iPhone or iPad.

Also, at Apple’s request, we had to remove the ability to “Send” files to other services, including iCloud Drive.

In short, we’re told that while Transmit iOS can download content from iCloud Drive, we cannot upload content to iCloud Drive unless the content was created in the app itself. Apple says this use would violate 2.23 — “Apps must follow the iOS Data Storage Guidelines or they will be rejected” — but oddly that page says nothing about iCloud Drive or appropriate uses for iCloud Drive.

If the issue is just iCloud Drive, why did we remove the other destinations? We had no choice. iCloud Drive exists in this sheet.

The developers are taking their case public a few days after the app update was released in an effort to persuade Apple to change their minds in this case.  Seems like a no-brainer. What say you Apple?

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