Apple won't fix your computer if you smoke near it


Consumerist's Laura Northrup rounds up several years' worth of stories from Apple customers who say they were denied warranty support on their computers because they'd smoked around them. As an annoying ex-smoker, I can sympathize with a tech who doesn't want to work on a machine that smells like an old ashtray, but that's what painter's masks are for -- I've also serviced machines that reeked of BO and other less savory odors. This just feels like a way to weasel out of doing warranty service and forcing customers to pay for new machines. If the company has a policy of not fixing machines if you smoke near them, it should say so when it sells you the warranty: WARNING: IF YOU LIGHT UP NEAR YOUR LAPTOP, WE WON'T EVER FIX IT, EVEN IF IT IS MATERIALLY DEFECTIVE.

Dena set up an appointment at the same Apple store. They told me that they would take pictures of the computer – both inside and out before determining whether to proceed and that if the only problem was the optical drive, they’d probably just replace it. Dena called me earlier this week to deliver the “bad news.” She said that the computer is beyond economical repair due to tar from cigarette smoke! She said the hard drive is about to fail, the optical drive has failed and it isn’t feasible to repair the computer under the warranty. This computer is less than 2 years old! Only one person in my household smokes – one 21 year old college student. She said that I can get it repaired elsewhere at my expense. I asked why my warranty didn’t cover the repair and was told it’s an OSHA violation.

Smoking Near Apple Computers Creates Biohazard, Voids Warranty

Siri keeps data for "up to two years", but only anonymously

Robert McMillan explains what happens to the data generated and stored with Siri queries: "Once the voice recording is six months old, Apple “disassociates” your user number from the clip, deleting the number from the voice file. But it keeps these disassociated files for up to 18 more months for testing and product improvement purposes." [Wired]

Steve Jobs Manga

Posted online is a preview of the first installment of Manga Taishō and Mari Yamazaki's manga bio of Steve Jobs.

OS X Lion-O

John Brownlee has a solution to the "big cat" problem now faced by OS X's marketing team, which has run out of cool ones to use as version titles

Apple loyalty test rumor debunked

Derived from Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple, rumors spread of "fake" engineering projects within Apple, crafted to expose leakers. Not quite, reports Jacqui Cheng: "Our own sources acknowledged that Apple may not tell an engineer what project he or she is about to work on until the time comes, which is what Lashinsky was talking about in Inside Apple. Lashinsky clarified that the "fake" projects line didn't come from him but secondhand from an audience member, who had himself heard about it from a friend."

Apple rumor watch: 100 designers developing wristwatch computer

Bloomberg reports that a team of "about 100 product designers are working on a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad."

LEGO Macintosh model

Legomacccc

Exquisite LEGO model of the original Apple Macintosh by Chris McVeigh, aka powerpig on Flickr.

A bizarre Steve Jobs "Groucho" photo and the story behind it

John Brownlee tells the story of "a photograph of Steve Jobs so incredible, so deserved of being considered iconic, that you simply can’t believe that no one has ever even heard of it."

My Great Ghost, "Glass Machine"—remixing Philip Glass, with an app

Scott Snibbe, the developer for Björk’s "Biophilia" app, has developed an iOS app for the Philip Glass remix project—the app is titled REWORK_.

Here is a video of My Great Ghost, whose remix of "Music in 12 Parts" is the first track on the record, performing an entirely new track using the app.

Read the rest

Jony Ive introduces Apple's latest

John Herrman is brilliant.

New Apple iTunes 11 interface revealed

Vintage ad scanned and Flickr'd by James Vaughan.

Wouldn't it be nifty if the newest iteration of iTunes, which in my opinion is one of a great company's poorest products, looked like this? The Ping-less iTunes 11 is set to launch this month, likely today, according to hints dropped in this Wall Street Journal profile of Apple exec Eddy Cue. It's not that big a secret, anyways; the Apple.com iTunes splash page says it's "coming in November," and there aren't many days left in November.

Below, *actual* screenshots of the new interface. Come to think of it, the new UI resembles the vintage ad more than iTunes 10 does! But I don't like it. I wish iTunes were a skinnable, interpret-able service with an API, like Twitter is (for now, anyway)—imagine if you could use any third-party client you wanted to access the service, as cleanly and free of cruft as you please.

Read the rest

Apple's Siri vs. Japanese-accented English

In this video, an increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers that Siri is unable to parse the spoken English word "work" when voiced with a typical Japanese accent. (kenjikinukawa via Joi Ito)

Remembering the EasyKey keyboard overlay for the Apple ][


Bob Knetzger is a toy and game designer and the Toy Inventor's Notebook columnist for MAKE. He says:

Saw your cool post on clunky 80's Apple ][ software interfaces -- wow, that really takes me back.

That kind of horrible interface is what inspired me to develop the EasyKey keyboard overlay for the Apple ][ and other home computers.

This EasyKey brand was created by me and my two partners at the time, fellow industrial designer Rick Gurolnick and programming and hardware whiz EE Dan Schoff. Together we started a small company called Neosoft that created some of the most highly regarded educational software of the 1908s. We created products for CBS Software, Simon and Schuster, and others, that combined the clever 6502 assembly language programming techniques (who remembers page flipping, pixel patterns to create extra pseudo colors, and sound waveform zero-crossing for A to D sound tricks?) with solid educational values together with state of the zippy bit-map art work.

The titles were award-winning, museum-level quality, and just plain FUN! Baby dinosaurs hatched out of their eggs to show your scores, human body cut-away layers dissolved to show internal organs, maps and timelines came to life...and more. And this at a time when most Apple ][ software offered space invader sprites.

With our EasyKey titles you could change programs and just swap the keyboard cover. Here, play US Presidents games without any typing or spelling--just press for your choice:


Kids around the world had fun and learned with our programs--here's an Aboriginal student in AUS tries out some looking-and-counting games with Number Farm -- as depicted in National Geographic:

Apple ordered to pay Samsung's legal fees in UK after 'false and misleading' notice

After losing a patent lawsuit with Samsung in the UK, Apple was required to post information about the ruling on its website and in media advertising. After seeing Apple interweave the details into an amusing editorial and later tuck it out of sight with a clever web design trick, the court appears not to be amused. As quoted by Chris Foreman at Ars Technica:
"The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying," Sir Robin Jacob noted in the final order, which was published online on Sunday. "There is a further false innuendo that the UK court's decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true. Apple's additions to the ordered notice clearly muddied the water and the message obviously intended to be conveyed by it."

Apple: three million iPads sold since Friday's launch

Three million iPads have been sold in the the three days since Apple launched a new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad.