March 18, 2015

Welcome to Happy Hour 006. In this episode Zac, Seth, and Benjamin discuss new Apple Watch details and wrap up the need-to-know information, a new controversial Steve Jobs documentary, and the future of USB-C. How will it affect future iOS devices and Macs? The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the episode embedded above.

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Fast Company has an extensive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, focusing on what has changed and what has stayed the same since he took over from Steve Jobs. The interview comes a day after FastCo published a sizeable excerpt from the book Becoming Steve Jobs, in which Cook criticized the portrayal of Jobs in Isaacson’s biography.

Cook said that while much has changed, the culture–the fundamental goal of the company–remained the same.

Steve felt that if Apple could do that—make great products and great tools for people—they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.

The company has never tried to be first to market, he said, but rather to “have the patience to get it right” …  expand full story

March 16, 2015

Little-known until its debut at SXSW this weekend, Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney’s “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures for a North American theatrical release, and CNN Films for television broadcasts, Deadline Hollywood reports today. An earlier story from The Hollywood Reporter claimed that several Apple employees in attendance walked out early, and Apple’s Eddy Cue has used Twitter to denounce the film, calling it “inaccurate and mean-spirited.”

The Man in the Machine includes interviews with a number of former Apple employees including Jon Rubinstein, Bob Belleville and Daniel Kottke, as well as Jobs’ ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, and even video footage from a 2008 SEC deposition given by Jobs himself. Early reviews have described the documentary as “a riveting and important corrective to the myths Jobs helped to propagate,” and “unsparing portrait of Steve Jobs [that] will prove extremely displeasing to devotees.” A few representative quotes from those reviews follow…

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March 12, 2015

More details about the upcoming biography Becoming Steve Jobs have been revealed through the book’s preview on Amazon (which has since been cut down significantly), revealing several interesting tidbits about the Apple co-founder’s life that were previously unknown (via Cult of Mac).

One example is a story about an offer then-COO Tim Cook made to Jobs when the latter was battling cancer. Cook says that he discovered he shared a blood type with Jobs and decided to undergo numerous medical tests before offering to donate part of his liver to the executive.

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March 2, 2015

‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ book with Tim Cook & Jony Ive interviews coming March 24th

There’s a healthy amount of story telling about the life of Steve Jobs due out this year. In October, we’ll get to see Aaron Sorkin’s take on the late Apple co-founder’s experience at Apple play out on the big screen when “Jobs” hits theaters.

Sooner than that, though, a new book from Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli entitled Becoming Steve Jobs (announced via Daring Fireball) will attempt to be different from all the other Jobs books.

Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?

How will this new book differ from everything that has already been published about Jobs including his authorized biography from Walter Isaacson? The book is loaded with interviews, for starters, including ones from Apple executives like Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and Eddy Cue (so don’t expect any pen throwing).

Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others.

The new book is available for pre-order now from iBooks, ($14.99), Kindle ($14.99), and hardcover (Reg. $30, pre-order $21.78) and due out March 24th.

February 4, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 11.04.44 AM

With filming of the Aaron Sorkin-written Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s official biography kicking off in recent days, Universal Pictures has shared an official release date for the film. According to CNBC, the film’s studio says the Jobs film will be released in theaters later this year on October 9th, 2015. expand full story

January 6, 2015

December 9, 2014

The Wrap reports that Universal Pictures is eyeing The Newsroom (and Dumb & Dumber) star Jeff Daniels to perform as former Apple CEO John Sculley in the upcoming Steve Jobs movie by Aaron Sorkin. Daniels would be reunited with Sorkin and Scott Rudin, executive producers of The Newsroom, starring alongside Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. expand full story

November 26, 2014

Lisa Brennan-Jobs & Natalie Portman

Actress Natalie Portman is the latest name to be thrown in the mix of potential stars in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin. The information comes courtesy of Deadline, which reports that Portman is “in talks to join” the project in a leading role although the specific character is unknown. It’s possible Natalie Portman is being considered to portray Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs. expand full story

November 19, 2014

A new report claims that the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, led by veteran screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, is set to change hands. According to Hollywood magazine Deadline, the film will be moving from Sony Pictures to Universal Pictures by tomorrow at the latest. Despite the studio move, production of the movie is expected to remain on the fast track. expand full story

October 15, 2014

Variety reports that sources have confirmed actor Christian Bale is in talks to play the role of Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s official biography of the late Apple co-founder. Variety adds that insiders believe Bale will begin filming for the biopic this spring. expand full story

August 29, 2014

Part 3) Strategies: The “Art of Deep Background” and Controlling the Press

From Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media, a profile examining Apple’s PR strategy:

Apple’s PR department presents a cool, measured public-facing image: it only responds to press inquiries when it wants to, doesn’t offer quotes unless they’ll be reprinted without criticism, and responds directly only when it determines that something needs to be said by “Apple” rather than “sources familiar with the matter.” You could picture Apple’s PR strategy as the work of a wise, wealthy, and not particularly friendly queen – one always too busy to be bothered, until for some reason, she’s not.

So it’s a surprise that Apple actually isn’t that detached from the media: it’s more like a teenage girl obsessively keeping her fingers on the pulse of coverage. Members of Apple PR seek tabloid photos of celebrities holding iPhones, while others read Apple-focused blogs actively, and keep tabs on prominent Apple beat writers using anonymized social media accounts. A former Apple PR employee notes that the team enjoys being an “overall watchdog,” monitoring what the media is saying about the company every day. This oversight is so important to Apple that a few times a week, top executives are sent a document detailing the company’s latest press coverage. When Apple is not pleased with coverage, it sometimes works to shift the narrative, even attempting to undermine giant news organizations.

Part 7) Product Reviews, Briefings, & Reviewer’s Guides

From Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media, a profile examining Apple’s PR strategy:

Product Reviews, Briefings, & Reviewer’s Guides

The attention that Apple’s PR and Communications group puts into events can even be seen in the packages that reviewers receive with new iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple’s review units are considered the holy grails of pre-release technology products, and only a small number of hand-selected, generally positive writers are granted the first shot at reviewing the new gear. Former Apple PR representatives recalled being instructed to specifically inspect individual iPhone and iPad boxes for scuff marks and minor scratches before handing the units off to reviewers such as Walt Mossberg, David Pogue, and Ed Baig. Every unit had to be perfect.

Mossberg was the Personal Technology Columnist for the Wall Street Journal and is now Co-Executive Editor of Re/code. Pogue was lead tech reviewer for The New York Times and is now the chief of Yahoo’s tech section. Ed Baig is a long-time columnist for USA Today. These writers not only have a common denominator of working at major publications, but are also the only three U.S. journalists to have been granted early access to every new iOS device (including the first iPhone and iPad) since 2007. According to a report, Apple’s concern over these writers was significant enough that an engineer was reportedly pulled off vacation to personally help Pogue when he experienced a problem with an Apple TV before its debut in stores. Two of them were mentioned in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs as the only journalists Apple really cares about.

May 21, 2014

If Apple does indeed reach a deal to acquire Beats Electronics and announce it this week as expected, the clock is once again counting down to offer up your take on the whole scenario before it’s actually official. Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson got that opportunity earlier this week thanks in part to Dan Lyons of Fake Steve Jobs fame; Isaacson told Lyons he believes the expected $3.2 billion acquisition by Apple is all about creating a world class video service led by Beats’ co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

But when you think about Beats and what the company has to offer for Apple, the subscription music service launched by the company in January earlier this year comes to mind. Spotify, of course, dominates in this space as seen by the company’s announcement today that they now have 10 million paid subscribers and 40 million active users. expand full story

May 19, 2014

With the expected Beats Electronics acquisition by Apple expected to take a week longer than first reported, industry watchers are making their last minute predictions as to why Apple would be interested in the audio and music service company.

The latest notable guess? Walter Isaacson, the man who literally wrote the book on Steve Jobs. Dan Lyons, former Fake Steve Jobsreporting for Billboard:

“Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years. The product has been held up because Apple can’t get all the content owners on board.”

Lyons adds that Isaacson shared with him something which he did not include in the authorized biography of the late Apple co-founder: Jobs was pitched on Apple buying Universal by Jimmy Iovine around 2002 or 2003… expand full story

January 23, 2014

We’ve learned that Apple is making progress on its development of a successor to the current Apple TV and that the device is well into testing. We are led to believe that the new device, which is said to be a set-top box rather than a full-fledged TV set, will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014. We understand that the product will include a revamped operating system that will be based on iOS. Of course, release timeframes with these type of products can quickly change due to the content partners that are involved in such products…

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November 26, 2013

A patent granted to Apple today for a Light Field camera – a camera with zero shutter delay and where the focus point can be changed after taking the photo – covers the precise technology Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson he wanted to use to “reinvent photography.”

He had three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography.

Jobs met with Lytro CEO Ren Ng in the summer of 2011, was shown a demo of the company’s Light Field camera and said that that he wanted the company to work with Apple …  expand full story

August 14, 2013

9to5Toys Last Call: Save up to 60% on SanDisk SD/USB memory products, $30 Western Digital dual-band N router, 20% off iTunes cards, apps/games, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

A large majority of the deals we cover each day come from a variety of ‘Daily Deal’ websites or are so popular that they don’t even last 24 hours. We know you can’t be at your computer every second, so we’re going to round up the best deals each day to make sure you have a fair shot at the deals you want. Be sure to follow 9to5Toys.com so you never miss a deal... Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+.

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SOLD OUT Amazon 60% off SanDisk SD/USB memory sale: 16GB: $10, 32GB: $17, 64GB: $32

Western Digital My Net N750 HD Dual-Band Router w/ USB connectivity $30 shipped (Reg. $90)

Apple Deals:

The Steve Jobs Video Bundle: Lectures On The Man, His Legacy & The Future Of Technology $15

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    • Western Digital 1TB My Passport $59
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    • Toshiba Canvio 760GB USB 3.0 $50

July 12, 2013

The sometimes stormy relationship between Apple and Google appears to be growing friendlier, with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt telling Reuters at the annual Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley that the two companies were having “lots and lots” of meetings.

Schmidt did not provide details about the nature of the meetings during comments to reporters at the annual Allen and Co media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on Thursday. He noted that Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, who joined him at the press briefing, was leading many of the discussions.

The two companies are in “constant business discussions on a long list of issues,” Schmidt said.

The two companies started out close. Schmidt joined Apple’s board in 2006, and the iPhone launched with both Googlemaps and YouTube on board. That was to change after Google’s Android platform began growing in popularity. It was revealed in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography that Jobs threatened “thermonuclear war” on Google over what he felt was a copycat product …  expand full story

July 10, 2013

denise-cote-decoder-judge-apple

Update: Apple provided a comment to AllThingsD and confirmed it will appeal the decision:

“Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations. When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. We’ve done nothing wrong and we will appeal the judge’s decision.”

Reuters reports that a judge just ruled that Apple conspired to raise the retail prices of e-books and said a trial for damages will soon follow:

The decision by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote[pictured, right] in Manhattan is a victory for the U.S. government and various states, which the judge said are entitled to injunctive relief. The publishers have already settled with the federal government on e-book pricing. Cote ruled after a non-jury trial that ended on June 20.

Apple warned that a guilty verdict in its e-book price-fixing case could have a negative impact on how digital media deals are negotiated in the US and Apple CEO Tim Cook even called the suit ‘bizarre’:

The e-book case to me is bizarre. We’ve done nothing wrong there, and so we’re taking a very principled position. … We’re not going to sign something that says we did something we didn’t do. … So we’re going to fight.

The DOJ had argued that Apple had conspired to raise prices with all of the publishers and hurt rival Amazon.

Interestingly, according to the NYTimes, one of the most damning pieces of evidence in the government’s case is the video below of Steve Jobs talking with Walt Mossberg. Per Daring Fireball: Mossberg asks Jobs why someone would buy a book for $14.99 from the iBookstore when they could buy the same book from Amazon for $9.99.

Jobs: Well, that won’t be the case.

Mossberg: Meaning you won’t be $14.99, or they won’t be $9.99?

Jobs (smiling): The prices will be the same.

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