If MacOS is a path through the gloomy forest, Windows 10 is a carnival in an open field

Joel Johnson reviews the MacOS vs Windows situation as it stands after Apple's disappointing new MacBook Pro. Like a lot of people needing capable laptops, he's switched back to Windows, and finds himself torn between two startlingly opposite visions of the computing experience.

Whereas MacOS is simple and powerful, "a path through a gloomy forest" hand-in-hand with a mentoring but controlling Apple...

Windows is a carnival in an open field staffed by drunk orphans. You can approach it from any direction, pulling a cart you first loaded up in 1998. There are signs posted everywhere, telling you a dozen ways to move forward. “TOUCH THE AMAZING SCREEN!” “BEND THE HINGES … ON A LAPTOP!” “SEE THE PEN! IT WORKS NOW!” “DARE YOU SAMPLE THE DELIGHTS OF THE CLOUD?”

I suspect this article was actually supposed to be a review of Microsoft's Surface Book but it's all like that. Read the rest

Chinese social media went a-flutter at this photo of an apparent App Store clickfarmer

This year-old photo of a woman seated at a wall of Iphones went viral on Chinese social media, where it was identified as a clickfarmer whose job is to repeatedly install apps on multiple phones in order to inflate their App Store ranks. Read the rest

Father/son gingerbread Apple ][+

Nathan writes, "My son and I decided gingerbread houses were boring, so we built a gingerbread Apple II computer instead, including the interior with power supply, motherboard, and an expansion card." Read the rest

Steve Jobs unknowingly predicts the downfall of Apple

Steve Jobs explains why successful "companies forget what it means to make great products." In short, it's because sales and marketing push the "product people" out.

[via] Read the rest

Tim Cook confirms: tech met with Trump to ask for billions in tax breaks

A leaked memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook to his staff explaining why he met with Donald Trump -- a guy who called Apple traitors for refusing to defeat their own security -- explains the rationale: "tax reform." Read the rest

Companies' self-devouring buyback spree is finally slowing down

Stock buybacks are the preferred form of financial engineering in corporate America, through which companies borrow like crazy and give the money to their shareholders, artificially increasing their earnings-per-share ratio, massively reducing real economic growth, while enriching a tiny number of already-wealthy investors: but buybacks may finally be coming to an end. Read the rest

Apple's tax-dodging offshore billions are sunk into Treasury Bills that pay out using Americans' taxes

Apple -- which is one of the multinational poster children for tax dodging, along with Google, Amazon, Ikea and others -- has billions of dollars "offshore" and in theory they can't bring that money into the USA without paying tax on it; but thanks to some fancy accounting, much of that money is sunk into US Treasury Bills (floated by the government Apple is starving through tax evasion), and the US taxpayers pay Apple, about $600M so far. Read the rest

Apple's ebook store bans books that use Apple trademarks in unapproved (but legal and accurate) ways

Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz's must-read new book The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (read an excerpt) is not for sale in the Apple ebook store, and won't be until they agree to change their text to refer to Apple's ebooks as "iBooks" rather than "iBook." Read the rest

Iphones secretly send your call history to Apple's cloud, even after you tell them not to

Apple has acknowledged that its Icloud service is a weak link in its security model, because by design Apple can gain access to encrypted data stored in its customers' accounts, which means that the company can be hacked, coerced or tricked into revealing otherwise secure customer data to law enforcement, spies and criminals. Read the rest

Shazam song-identification program keeps your mic on, even when you turn it off

If you run the Shazam song identification app an Mac, the mic will never switch off, even when the program reports that it has. Read the rest

Apple Engineer El Risitas on the new 2016 Macbook Pro

This exploitable clip of El Risitas telling a story is the new "Hitler Reacts," and the clear winner to date is Jason Skidmore's "Apple Engineer Talks About New 2016 Macbook Pro." Warning: you may pee yourself a little laughing. Read the rest

Aztec for the Apple ][ was my first desktop video game

Aztec was pretty impressive in 1982. I played the hell out of this. It was one of the few games my Atari 400/800 using friends were jealous of.

The video above shows the game in agonizing load-from-floppy-speed.

Also, please remember Sneakers. Read the rest

Already regretting assigning the new MacBook Pro review to Borges

Read the rest

Benjamin Button reviews the new MacBook Pro

Apple's just-announced 2016 MacBook Pro hasn't gone down well, particularly among developers. Maciej Ceglowski's review of the previous model, from the perspective of a man traveling backwards through time, is the best of the complaints. Read the rest

Apple: more than 90% of "official" accessories on Amazon are fake (UPDATE: Amazon response)

In a trademark infringement case filed against Mobile Star LLC, which it claims is a prolific counterfeiter, Apple says that more than 90% of the "official" gadgets sold in its name at Amazon are fake. [via]

Moreover, they're mostly garbage, and potentially dangerous.

Consumers, relying on Amazon.com's reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly "by Amazon.com" as genuine Apple products using Apple's own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire:

Amazon seems to have gone well shady lately—something's got to give. Lukewarm take: the vast majority of users will think the fakes are genuine even with the media fuss over it, Apple's reputation is what gets quietly burned at the weekend barbecues of America, and Amazon is monolithically indifferent to counterfeiting. Apple might then consider the unquantifiable value of not charging $29 for Lightning cables.

UPDATE: Amazon spokesperson Aaron Toso responds:

“Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site.
Read the rest

Mystery man smashes up Apple store

This video depicts a man in the Dijon Apple store smashing up phones and laptops with a metal ball. Everyone just lets him get on with it, presumably for legal reasons or corporate policy. By the time a mall cop arrives, he's already done.

Read the rest

Apple to occupy Battersea Power Station, legendary London brownfield site

The question of what to do with Battersea Power Station, a disused yet oddly beautiful pile of bricks in London, long occupied the city's planners. The latest developers have scored a coup that sounds a lot like the final answer: it's going to be Apple's London headquarters.

Countless schemes came and went for the massive structure, whose four towers belched coal smoke until 1983 and graced the legendary cover of Pink Floyd's Animals. But it was only in the last few years that plans came together for a modern, mixed-use combination of homes, shops and businesses. Apple will be the single largest tenant, London's Evening Standard reports, taking the top 6 floors inside the old boiler house.

Apple’s main European HQ will remain at Cork, Ireland, where it employs 4,000 people, but the Battersea site will be one of its biggest in the world outside America. The Californian giant, the world’s most valuable company, will be the largest single tenant in the 42-acre complex of homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities....Apple is leasing 500,000 sq ft in total, making it one of the biggest single office deals signed in London outside the City and Docklands in the past 20 years.

It is expected all the firm’s “central function” staff in London in areas such as finance and human resources will move to the power station. Apple has 2,530 staff in total in the capital, including about 1,100 working in its stores. It has taken enough space for 3,000 employees, giving it room to hire more as its operation grows in London.

Read the rest

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