Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

apple

feb
02
2012

The iEconomy

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend The New York Times’ new series about the economics of Apple’s supply chain and working conditions at the Chinese plants that manufacture Apple products. Stories so far: “How the U.S. Lost …

dec
28
2011

Apple's Hottest New Product Can Be Thrown in the Wash | WSJ.com

Jessica E. Vascallaro and Ian Sherr write, “When thousands of fans line up for Apple Inc.’s opening of its Grand Central Terminal store … many won’t be queuing to ogle iPads. They’ll be there for the T-shirts. Since Apple opened its first stores in 2001, it has handed out tees sporting the new store’s name to the first 1,000 or so people through the door.” I have one from the Pentagon City store opening.

dec
18
2011

The Sketchbook of Susan Kare, the Artist Who Gave Computing a Human Face | NeuroTribes

A look at Susan Kare’s early history with Apple, including some of her gridpaper sketches for the original Mac OS iconography.

oct
16
2011

Are Smartphones Becoming Smart Alecks? | WSJ.com

Geoffrey A. Fowler writes, “When Apple began integrating Siri into the iPhone, the team focused on keeping its personality friendly and humble — but also with an edge, according to a person who worked at Apple on the project. As Apple’s engineers worked on the software, they were often thinking, ‘How would we want a person to respond?’ this person said.”

sep
17
2011

A Little Computer Surgery

For my birthday this year, Rob gave me an (almost) new computer for about $250. I’ve had this MacBook Pro for about two years. Because I have a lot of photos and music, my hard drive was nearly full. The …

aug
28
2011

It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.

— Steve Jobs, on interdisciplinarity (source)

aug
25
2011

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.

— Steve Jobs, in a 1996 interview with Wired (source)

The Secrets Hidden Inside Apple's Most Famous Icons | The Atlantic

Nicholas Jackson writes, “The virtual Easter egg has been around for more than three decades now. Coined — as far as anyone can tell — by Atari’s Adventure, which was released in 1979, the virtual Easter egg is a hidden message or in-joke built into a computer program, icon, or video game. Apple has been playing along since the very beginning, building small Easter eggs into many of their most famous icons.”

aug
08
2011

How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad … 23 years ago | Ars Technica

Chris Foresman writes, “One interesting characteristic of Star Trek: The Next Generation — one that separated it from the original series and most of the early films — was its widespread use of smooth, flat, touch-based control panels throughout the Enterprise-D. This touch interface was also used for numerous portable devices known as PADDs, or Personal Access Display Devices. These mobile computing terminals bear a striking resemblance to Apple’s iPad — a mobile computing device largely defined by its smooth, flat touchscreen interface.”

nov
17
2010

Apple Destroyed Products | Fubiz

A strangely beautiful gallery of Apple products that have been destroyed in various ways.

oct
06
2009

Genius Playlist

Lately I’ve grown tired of Apple’s “genius playlist” feature for iTunes and the iPod, largely because it seemed to be suggesting the same songs over and over again. Today, though, it surprised me with something pretty cool, surfacing several hidden …

sep
10
2008

genius music

I’m playing around with the new Genius Playlist feature in iTunes, and I’m really digging what it’s coming up with. Tonight, I had Vampire Weekend stuck in my head after hearing that they’ll be playing at the 9:30 Club later …

jan
27
2008

interface niceties

I’ve noticed an interesting bug with Google Calendar when entering new events. When I create an event, Google Calendar tries to take what I’ve typed and turn it into a new calendar item. Usually, it’s pretty smart. However, when an …

jan
17
2008

a touchy subject

I don’t know if Apple’s trying to be cheeky, or if someone didn’t really think these new promo tiles through on their homepage. Take this promo for the iPhone from earlier this week: Or the tile that replaced it after …

dec
15
2007

wii nerd

I’m more than a year behind the power curve on this one, but I found out today that the Wii Remote uses Bluetooth to talk to the game console. Up until now, I’d assumed that the Wiimote transmitted data to …

dec
14
2007

merry mac-mas

They’ve been going a bit downhill lately, with all the sniping at Microsoft about Windows Vista, but the most recent Apple “Mac/PC” ad is actually pretty cute, referencing the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movies: (If you can’t see the …

nov
21
2007

(don't) give up on vista

Apple has a rather ballsy advertising campaign (Quicktime movie) right now in which they’re seemingly taunting Microsoft about problems users are having with its Windows Vista operating system. They’ve upped the ante with an ad buy on CNet’s guide to …

oct
26
2007

nerdvana

The headlines on the Apple Web site in anticipation of tonight’s Leopard operating system release are cracking me up: New update gets Aperture ready for Leopard The Mac is back in a big way on campus “Great” Lots of “new …

aug
21
2007

out of the box

So after about a year of dithering about it, I took the plunge this weekend and bought a new MacBook Pro to replace my aging Powerbook G4. (It seriously has been a year. Rob was going to buy me a …

aug
15
2007

compounding interest

I’ve been haunting Apple’s Web site of late, obsessing a bit over the prospect of buying a new MacBook Pro to replace my PowerBook G4. This weekend, I tried to tally up how much the incidental costs would be — …

jul
01
2007

show steve the money

With all the hype, one thing is certain: Steve Jobs is making a whole lot of money this weekend. Friday was the much-ballyhooed launch date for the vaunted Apple iPhone. Rob, Dari and I had some time to kill before …