January 26, 2014

(Head to 37:40 in the video to see the telphone comparison)

Harry McCracken tracked down this video from the launch of the Macintosh that hasn’t been seen since 1984. It turns out there was a second ‘launch demo’ a week after the original launch at the shareholder meeting and the videographer forgot he had the video of that (woops!) in his garage. The audience this time wasn’t wasn’t Apple shareholders but actually members of the  Boston Computer Society and the general public, which made for a different type of presentation. The quality and tone of the video is often much different than the one given a week earlier at the Flint Center on the De Anza College campus near Apple’s then HQ.

Over at YouTube, you can watch the Cupertino presentation, along with a sort of a rough draft held as part of an Apple sales meeting in Hawaii in the fall of 1983. As for the BCS version, all 90 minutes of it are there in the video at the top of this post, available for the first time in their entirety since they were shot on January 30, 1984.

The Cupertino and Boston demos may have been based in part on the same script, but the audience, atmosphere and bonus materials were different. In Cupertino, Jobs spoke before investors, towards the end of a meeting which also included dreary matters such as an analysis of Apple’s cash flow.

What’s particularly interesting to me and not part of any other videos I’ve seen was Jobs’ comparison of the Mac (and eventually by extension GUI interfaces) to the invention of the telephone. Fast forward the video above to about 37:40 to see it. As McCracken puts it, the Mac wasn’t necessarily competing with IBM machines but competing with no computer at all.  This metaphor is striking in hindsight.

The video also has a Q&A with the original Mac team which is also pretty interesting if you are into that kind of thing.

McCracken has much more on the video here which is definitely worth a read.

The transcript of the Telephone/Telegraph bit pasted below:

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December 21, 2013

Screenshot 2013-12-08 22.32.23

Nike’s fitness band, the FuelBand came out in February of 2012. The Nike+ FuelBand SE, the newest model of the fitness device, was released last month. Since it relies on Bluetooth LE, the Nike+ FuelBand SE is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, as well as the fifth generation iPod Touch. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Nike+ FuelBand App. The new FuelBand has been designed to be more accurate and more water-resistant.

I have been using the Nike+ FuelBand SE for a little over a month, going through two defective units (one with a broken clasp, and one with a faulty battery and accelerometer) and finally stuck with the third band (which had a sticky button) for the purpose of this review.

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December 17, 2013

Quick video: Tim Cook & other CEOs meet w/ Obama to discuss healthcare.gov, NSA surveillance, House of Cards

Update: Bloomberg caught up with Tim Cook on his way out of the White House today and reports Cook described the talk as “a great meeting.” Video report below.

Following yesterday’s announcement that Apple CEO Tim Cook along with other tech executives would be meeting with President Obama today, we now have some of the first images from inside the meeting.

While Politico’s report is light on details regarding what was discussed at the meeting, we get a brief video clip below showing Cook seated across from Obama (and next to Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings) as the President makes a joke about if Hastings brought advanced copies of Netflix show “House of Cards.”

“I’m just wondering if you brought advance copies of ‘House of Cards’?” Obama said to Netflix head Reed Hastings. The executive laughed and invited the president to show up for a cameo, according to a pool report.

“I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient,” Obama said in reference to the show and its Machiavellian lead character. “This guy’s getting a lot of stuff done.”

It looks like cameras were asked to leave following the brief introduction, but on top of the expected discussions regarding the controversial launch of Healthcare.gov, the report also notes that “industry leaders made it clear they wanted to prioritize” issues related to NSA surveillance programs. The White House also announced today following the meeting that it has hired former Microsoft Office exec Kurt DelBene to oversee fixing issues that still exist with the Healthcare.gov website.

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October 14, 2013

The ultimate book for the true Apple fanatic: “Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation”

Over its lifetime, Apple has introduced hundreds of products that have displayed revolutions and evolutions in design from the 70s to the modern technology era. The company has had more than its fair share of extremely successful products and some other devices that the company might want everyone to forget (remember the Bluetooth headset that came out with the original iPhone?). For the first time ever, photographs of over 500 devices have been taken and brought together into one beautiful book: “Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation”.

May 22, 2013

In case you needed some proof that the rumors of Apple switching from Corning glass to sapphire crystal are unlikely, Corning has posted a video on its website showing how its current Gorilla Glass is superior to sapphire for mobile devices.

Recently, speculation has arisen that manufactured sapphire crystal might become an alternative to Corning’s Gorilla Glass.  “Sapphire’s performance as a cover for high-end watches probably leads to the current speculation.  But those covers are much smaller than a mobile phone and are two to three times thicker than Gorilla Glass.  In one of our commonly accepted strength tests, sapphire breaks more easily than Gorilla Glass after the same simulated use.  Additionally, sapphire’s cost and environmental hit are huge issues,” Steiner said.

There have been a couple rumors floating around that smartphone makers are looking into using sapphire crystal as a replacement for other cover glass solutions. With Apple using the material as a cover for its camera lenses on iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touch, some have speculated it could use sapphire for other parts of its devices, such as the display’s cover glass or home button. However, that’s not likely, according to Corning, Gorilla Glass is “about half the weight”, requires 99 percent less energy in manufacturing, provides brighter displays, and “costs less than a tenth” of sapphire.  expand full story

September 18, 2012

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Engadget:

The iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S in nearly every regard, and in those areas that didn’t see an upgrade over its predecessor — camera, storage capacity — one could make a strong case that the iPhone 4S was already ahead of the curve. Every area, that is, except for the OS. If anything, it’s the operating system here that’s beginning to feel a bit dated and beginning to show its age.

Still, the iPhone 5 absolutely shines. Pick your benchmark and you’ll find Apple’s thin new weapon sitting at or near the top. Will it convince you to give up your Android or Windows Phone ways and join the iOS side? Maybe, maybe not. Will it wow you? Hold it in your hand — you might be surprised. For the iOS faithful this is a no-brainer upgrade. This is without a doubt the best iPhone yet. This is a hallmark of design. This is the one you’ve been waiting for.

The Loop:

Many of us have experience with LTE from using the iPad. I’ll tell you it’s great to see it on the iPhone. I actually use LTE more on the iPhone than I do on the iPad, simply because I use the phone a lot more. The speed is incredibly fast, especially when compared to what the iPhone 4S could do.

Like the faster processor and graphics, LTE gives you the feeling of never waiting for anything. Apps open fast and you are ready to work or browse the Web right away.

The Telegraph:

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Specificationists will say that with the iPhone 5 Apple is now behind its rivals in terms of features but in truth it’s hard to think of a feature offered elsewhere that the average person – as opposed to the tech obsessive – really needs. NFC is not sufficiently widely used, wireless charging is nice but still requires a charger plugged into the wall and most people get along fine without removable storage. The iPhone 5 is a great smartphone made even better. It’s fast, lightweight and backed by the largest application store for any device. It’s also probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made.

More reviews below:

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September 13, 2012

Apple finally unveiled its new 9-pin Lightning connector yesterday as a replacement for its old, standard 30-pin dock connector on the new iPhone 5 and refreshed iPods. Despite Apple highlighting the benefits of the new Lightning connectors and cables, which included an 80 percent smaller, all-digital, reversible design, there were some concerns over legacy support and the $30 adapters many users would be forced to purchase. As first pointed out by iMore, Apple appears to have confirmed video out will not be supported on the new Lightning cables with only AirPlay listed under the iPhone 5’s tech specs. Unfortunately, it also does not look like it will be possible through the current Lightning to 30-pin adapter or cable and AV adapter, as product pages for the Lightning adapter verify “Video and iPod Out not supported”:

Those 30 pins could handle a whole hell of a lot, including serial, line-in, and component and composite video. With the switch to the new 8-pin Lightning connector on the iPhone 5, new iPod Nano, and new iPod Touch, some notable benefits were achieved, including a full digital pipe, a fully-reversible design, and a much smaller footprint. But some things might have been lost, like video out.

It’s a possibility, as noted by iMore, that we will see video-out support added through a Lightning/USB to HDMI breakout cable in the future, but it is also possible Apple will promote AirPlay and Apple TV only from here on out. As of right now, the iPhone 5’s spec page only lists “AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV support at 720p” and “AirPlay video streaming to Apple TV (3rd generation) at up to 1080p and Apple TV (2nd generation) at up to 720p” under TV and Video support. expand full story

June 14, 2012

Woz poo-poos Siri as Poo Poo [Video]

Steve Wozniak traveled to upstate New York recently to visit a farm of rescued horses, and the local paper managed to snag a brief interview with the co-founder of Apple, where he discussed the criticism surrounding Siri.

Apple’s little personal assistant in iOS can handle questions, give recommendations, and delegate requests, but many wonder if it really lives up to expectations. The folks in Cupertino like to roll out commercials that show Siri capable of compiling individual preferences with personalized results, and even completing basic tasks like finding a nearby restaurant, but the software met very mixed reactions after it débuted on the iPhone 4S in October. Those who felt misled by Siri’s beta functionality depicted in ads eventually sought reimbursement by filing a class action lawsuit against the company earlier this year.

While in Patersonville, N.Y., Wozniak described his strong opinions on the voice-recognition application.

According to The Times Union:

“A lot of people say Siri. I say poo-poo,” Wozniak said. “I was using it to make reservations long before Apple bought it.”

“I would say, ‘Siri, what are the five largest lakes in California?’ and it would come up, one, two, three, four, five. And I would ask ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and they would come up all in a row. That was pretty incredible,” Wozniak said.

He said he told family and friends about Siri and how “This was the future: speaking things in normal ways, feeling like you’re talking to a human and how Siri was the greatest program,” Wozniak said.

“Then Apple bought Siri,” he said. He then paused, lifted his right hand and gave it a big thumbs down.

“‘What are the largest lakes in California?’ I’d get all these lakefront properties. And I’d say ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ And I’d get prime rib,” Wozniak said.

“I’m really disappointed, but it’s still a market for the future,” Wozniak said. “I think voice recognition for all the platforms is going to get better and better and better at putting together complete sentences and phrases. What did a human really mean? Like, if you said ‘Five, I mean six.’ It will understand a backup, the little faults in our speech that humans understand. It will understand that eventually.”

Wozniak iterated similar rumblings to a developer at FourSquare earlier this year. He even used the same lake/prime rib example. The reporter in this interview should have asked him, “Perhaps Siri knows you like prime rib?”

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Despite Wozniak’s criticism of Siri, the quirky businessman seemed enthusiastic about Apple’s latest developments revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference. He specifically said he is excited about Apple’s new computer lineup and app called “Passbook,” which essentially turns a user’s iPhone into a digital wallet.

“People are always going to be disappointed,” he added, when asked if Apple let down consumers at WWDC. “I really like the new MacBook.”

June 6, 2012

We told you about Mac OS X apps AirParrot and Reflection in the past. Developed by app makers Squirrels, AirParrot allows you to mirror your Mac’s screen on an Apple TV-connected TV, while Reflection provides mirroring of iOS devices to any Mac display. The developers have since followed up with updates to both of the apps bringing many requested features such as audio and Mountain Lion support, but they released PC versions of both apps today that allow you to mirror your iOS device to a Windows machine or a PC’s screen to an Apple TV.

As for the Windows version of Reflection, it will release with all the same features as the OS X client, including: screen recording, audio support, frame colors, full screen mode, multiple device mirroring, and more. The first release of the AirParrot PC app will just provide basic screen mirroring features initially due to roadblocks during development. Head developer David Stanfill, who is also the founder of Napkin Studio, told us about the difficulties of bringing the AirPlay mirroring functionality to PCs and provided us with screenshots of the apps below:

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March 26, 2012

Earlier today, we noted that PC World tested the new iPad against some Android tablets for heating during use and found it to be on the high-end but not always the hottest.

Wired did its own tests and found the new iPad to be middle of the road…

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March 13, 2012

Journalism.co.uk reports:

Syria: Songs of Defianceis a film that “follows the journalist, who is not named to protect the people he spoke to, on a journey amongst the uprising in Syria.” It will air on Al Jazeera tonight.

Because carrying a camera would be risky, I took my cell phone with me as I moved around the country and captured images from the uprising that have so far remained unseen.

Alternatively: What happens when the device that every citizen carries is also capable of producing documentary quality video?

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February 14, 2012

Giving a talk at Gerson Lehrman Group’s G+ community, the former EVP & FM of Mobile Platforms at Broadcom Scott Bibaud offered the above explanation about the benefits 802.11ac would bring to all devices. We have discussed Gigabit Wi-Fi before, but we did not really get a handle on when the new Wi-Fi standard would be hitting technology we now use. Apple is usually an early adopter of such technologies, but it is not likely—as you can hear above— that Apple’s next round of products will include this feature. Just think Airports and Macs at the end of this year, and iPad 4 /iPhone 6.

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November 9, 2011

(video link)

Steve Jobs has been nominated for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” by NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. If Steve Jobs were to receive the award, he would be the first person to receive it after their death. Mark Zuckerburg was 2010’s winner, who recently told reporters he was inspired by Steve Jobs while building Facebook. Brian Williams said in his nomination speech:

“One guy, who changed our world, and I said to Seth Meyers as we walked across Sixth Avenue, ‘Just look with me on this one block walk at how he changed the world around us. Look at how he changed the world.’ Not only did he change the world, but he gave us that spirit again that something was possible that you could look at a piece of plastic or glass and move your finger– that’s outlandish. You could make things bigger or smaller like that. ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ and oh the way you will change forever the music and television industries. So may he rest in peace, Steve Jobs, and the spirit he represents, are my nominee for Person of the Year.”

A video has also surfaced this evening (above) showing a segment of the never before seen interview of Steve Jobs by Robert Cringely. The interview is due out in theaters soon, but Cringely has revealed a few parts early.

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October 28, 2011

iTV

The moment I read the “I’ve Cracked the TV” quote from the Steve Jobs bio, I knew what the subject of the next few months at the rumor mill would be. Here it is in context: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ [Jobs told Isaacson]. ‘It would […]

October 3, 2011

President Obama gets his iPads before you do

Specifically, he said: “Steve Jobs actually gave it to me, a little bit early. Yeah, it was cool. I got it directly from him.” Last time the two met publicly was at the “Silicon Valley Summit” in February where Jobs sat next to Obama (picture below). That was about a month before iPad 2 rolled […]

May 11, 2011

If you’ve been on the edge of your seat since Microsoft’s surprising announcement of the $8.5 billion Skype acquisition yesterday, don’t sweat over it – the Redmond company has no plans to drop Skype support for the iPhone and other competing platforms, as some feared. This comes from the mouth of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Computerworld reports:

We will continue to invest in Skype on non-Microsoft client platforms.

When asked by a reporter to clarify his position, Ballmer responded:

A, I said it and I meant it. B, we’re one of the few companies with a track record of doing this.

It’s all good, but what if Microsoft at some point decides to leverage Skype to bring new features to Windows Phone first, rolling them out at a snail’s pace to other non-Microsoft platforms? Here’s a quick survival guide to the Skype acquisition.

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April 10, 2011

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

If you are a public school student, it is hard to beat Maine when it comes to getting Apple products.  Every middle school student got a MacBook starting in 2009 (and their 1-to-1 program started in 2001).  Now Kindergartners are getting iPad 2s.  Seems like the Apple thing is working out for them.

Where are the iPhones for High Schoolers? expand full story

March 11, 2011

British media magnate and entrepreneur Richard Branson heaped praise on Steve Jobs and his consumer electronics powerhouse Apple, which he says is his favorite brand. Contemplating about a theoretical merger between Virgin and Apple, he said it would be a great fit. As if that weren’t crazy enough,  in a stroke of inspiration the UK billionaire calls Apple a “brilliant global company” that he admires the most. We have a video clip to prove it all right after the break.

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March 9, 2011

iPad 2 comes out in 2 days (March 11th) and you know what that means… reviews! Here’s a roundup and some notes of interest.

Joshua Topolsky for Engadget:

-Unbelievably thin

Pictures don’t quite do the iPad 2 justice — it feels really, really great in your hands. Not only does the construction give it a feeling of heft and permanence, but the thin profile combined with the new, tapered edges make holding the device a real joy

-Bezel is slightly thinner

-Has 512 MB of RAM, 1 GHz A5 clocked at 800 MHz

-Clearer speaker

The sound seems clearer if somewhat quieter than the old version, and we can’t say that there’s a major improvement as far as the placement goes.

-Battery life is slightly better than original iPad’s.

-iPad 2 cameras “are really pretty bad”

More after the break…

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February 28, 2011

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

According to The Street‘s Scott Moritz (who doesn’t give a source for his info), although initial lines for the Verizon iPhone 4 appeared to be mild, Verizon and Apple still managed to clear a million units during the opening weekend.

Verizon’s Apple iPhone sales, while deceptively slow, still managed to fly past the 1 million-sold milepost.

TheStreet and Moritz in particular don’t have a stellar track record and we’ve inquired to both Verizon and Moritz for details. (old video above)

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