Kids React is a great series on YouTube that exposes young kids to technology—usually old technology, like a rotary telephone. It can be fascinating to see how how some of these things are viewed devoid of all context. The newest installment, however, has kids reacting to something new, the Apple Watch. This, too, is fascinating. For one thing, most of the kids featured knew what it was. For another most of them seemed to instantly grok it, despite the fact that watches as a whole were devoid of context to most of them. My favorite was the young man who had several watches, but quipped, "Who uses a watch to check the time?"
This is a video of Steve Jobs introducing the Think Different campaign to Apple employees. It's September 23rd, 1997. Mr. Jobs has been back at Apple for "8-10 weeks." He's in the processing of slashing the product line and getting Apple refocused on making great products. He's wearing shorts and a mock turtleneck and looks very tired, yet excited. That could be because he was up until three in the morning the night before working on the campaign and this employee presentation. He discusses how Nike was his model for the campaign, and after the commercial he says he knows Apple will be criticized for not talking about Macs. "We have to tell people who we are," he said. He also gets emotional when he talks about getting the rights to use the people used in the campaign. The video was posted in 2013, but if you have't seen it yet, it's great stuff.
The GOgroove BlueSYNC BX Portable Bluetooth Speaker features Bluetooth, a 3.5mm AUX Port, and a USB port. This sleek, gunmetal cube with a back-lit LED glow on the front panel looks and sounds great. It's got a rechargeable, removable battery that offers up to 6 hours of continuous music and you can even take calls using the integrated microphone. This speaker usually retails for $69.99 but it's marked down to just $29.99 at Amazon, Now here's the cool part: Use the coupon code BLUESYNC at checkout to knock off an additional $10. Bottom line: You get the speaker for just $19.99 (shipping is free). But you better hurry...this offer expires on Friday, May 8th.
Apple is a daily news topic, and offers up enough interesting content to keep plenty of news sites and blogs—including The Mac Observer—busy pretty much every day. That all had to start somewhere, and it looks like the beginning was in 1977 when Sheila (Clarke) Craven's in depth article about the company ran in Kilobaud magazine. She spent four hours with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak talking about the Apple I and walked away with the beginnings of what eventually would become the massive technology empire we know today. Ms. Craven gave Business Insider a scan of the printed article, and it's a great read with lots of insight into what would eventually grow into the world of the Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
There's a project on KickStarter called BeeKeeper you should check out if you have a new MacBook. It's a USB-C to Standard USB cable coupled with a converter that allows you to plug any standard USB cable into your MacBook. If you use the converter in conjunction with the cable, you can use them with Apple's MacBook charger. But if you use just the converter, you can plug, say, your existing Lightning iPhone cable—or any other standard USB cable—into your MacBook. Funding levels start at $19 for the converter by itself, or $36 for the converter and the cable. The company has raised $9,000 of its $33,000 goal, with five days left in the campaign.
iFixit's new product tear downs are amazingly detailed and offer great insight into how companies like Apple design their latest tech devices. For May 4th, however, they're going old school—as in long time ago in a galaxy far away—and dismantling Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi's light saber. What they found is that product design in the Star Wars universe, or at least that of death-wielding laser swords, is amazingly well thought out. There wasn't any need for specially designed tools, and even the Adegan crystal is easy to access. Thanks, iFixit, for showing us what's inside a Jedi's weapon of choice.
Unbox Therapy has posted a YouTube video comparing a theoretical 12-inch iPad to the current 9.7-inch iPad Air 2. The video is based on prototype cases from an unknown maker, and in my opinion, Unbox Therapy makes much too much of those cases. At best, a case maker might be able to get its hands on early test materials that may or may not go into a future iPad, but case makers don't a darned thing of what Apple is going to do. What's really valuable about this video comparison, however, is simply seeing just how big this much-rumored device might be. From that standpoint, seeing these prototypes compared to the iPad Air 2 gives us an excellent perspective on this possible form factor. Check it out.
Microsoft Hololens is that company's take on wearable computing and augmented vision, and Microsoft put on an amazing demo Thursday at Build 2015. Hololens allows you to impose virtual reality onto your vision of the real world through the use of glasses. It's early days for this technology yet, but the demonstration was impressive. Highlights of the demo include creating a video that follows the user around and being able to place apps on a wall so that you see them whenever you enter a particular virtual room. There is also a virtual menu that is SciFi brought to life (if you can ignore how slow it was and how careful he had to be to manipulate it—early days, like I said). On the other hand, watch the very unnatural and awkward way the demonstrator walks around without moving his head or neck. Despite such armchair nitpicks, it's a remarkable demonstration.
Glorious goodie purveyor Sideshow Toys has launched a new project called R2-ME2. Sideshow gave blank Sixth Scale R2-D2 figures to a bunch of friends and fans, and they are becoming amazing custom pieces. You can check out versions of R2-D2 gussied up as Pee-Wee Herman, a Dalek, Groot, and many more you can check out on Instagram with the tag #R2ME2. Not all of them are up yet, so keep checking back to see more. Also, when the project is over, these little beauties will be auctioned off for charity. Keep in mind if you have your eye on the Dalek you’ll be fighting with me and Jeff Gamet for ownership.
App Camp For Girls has released a Quiz Compendium, collecting all the quiz apps built during each session. App Camp For Girls is a program developed by Jean MacDonald (formerly of Smile Software) to teach 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls about programming, specifically by developing an iOS app during the week of camp. Each team of girls starts with a basic quiz template and has to develop the theme, all the questions, all the possible answers to each question, and the results at the end of the quiz. They also learn about bug testing, icon and interface design, and pitch the app to a panel of investors at the end of the week. For 99 cents (which supports the nonprofit App Camp organization) you too can find out what penguin you are, when you are from, what coffee drink you are, and more! Check out the artwork and take fifteen different quizzes from all the sessions of App Camp (so far). For the record, I’m a nerdy penguin, the 1970s, and straight espresso. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a volunteer with App Camp For Girls and I am ridiculously excited to get to share this with everyone so you can see what the teams put together in such a short amount of time.
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