Dyncan Sinfield has posted a composite flyover video of Apple Campus 2—the so-called Spaceship HQ—that does a killer job of highlighting progress on the project. It combines footage from 2015 with current footage to just how far the construction has come. It's hard to believe that the first employees are scheduled to move in just 10 months from now. The video is in 4K [via 9to5Mac], and it also shows just how powerful drones can be.
It's April 1st, and we all know what that means: Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available on iTunes. If you've been trapped on Tatooine for the past year you may have missed that Episode 7 (or 4, if you don't believe in the prequels) came out last December and was more fun than a cantina full of Twi'lek dancers. The movie costs US$19.99 and includes extras like behind the scenes shots, deleted scenes, building BB-8, and more.
Apple continues to back its way into original programming through Apple Music with a new program from Vice magazine called The Score. The show is about local music scenes, and in a move seemed designed to illustrate that this isn't your father's MTV pop show, the first episode is about Minnesota's Native American Hip Hop scene. I didn't even know there was such a thing, so I'm already excited. This doesn't count as an Apple show, but it was made by Vice for Apple Music, and to me it's another example of Apple trying to grow the audience for Apple Music at the same as it figures out how to do original video programming. The trailer for that first episode is below, and I caught a few bits of profanity and anti-police lyrics that make it not safe for work (NSFW) and probably offensive to some. Generally speaking, Vice cares little about your sensibilities, and it leads to edgy and what I consider vital programming, whether or not I agree with any specific content. Nonetheless, view at your own discretion.
Last night on PBS, I watched the TED Talks, "Science and Wonder." The presentations started out with a bang as Pixar's Director of Photography, Danielle Feinberg, launched the show with a presentation on how her team uses sophisticated computer rendering, lighting and physics to create a world that connects with the audience and tells a story. Every young person who dreams of working for Pixar doing computer generated imagery (CGI) simply has to watch Ms. Feinberg tell her story about her quest to combine art, science and storytelling. It's just nine minutes, but it's nine minutes of OMG awesome - starting in Chapter 2 at about 1m:40s.
Boston Children's Hospital has launched a ResearchKit-powered research project on body temperatures. Using Apple's newly launched ResearchKit, the hospital has released an app on the App Store called Feverprints [via AppleInsider] that seeks to gather temperature data on a wide and diverse population of children and adults. The study is hoping to identify fever patterns (or "feverprints") that can then be used to "improve our ability to determine the cause of fevers." ResearchKit is an API Apple released to enable such studies, and to allow them to collect data while protecting privacy. The app is free, requires you to enter temperature data, and provides some reporting features for the user, in addition to contributions to the study.
World of Tanks has been a very popular gaming franchise, and publisher Wargaming launched World of Tank Blitz on the Mac through Apple's Mac App Store this week. World of Tanks Blitz allows players to fight each other with tanks modeled on more than "200 legendary armored vehicles." This is a "free-to-play" game, meaning you can download it for free, start it for free, and goose your experience with in-app purchases. The OS X version of the game is cross-platform, meaning you can play with the rest of the World of Tanks universe on iOS, Android, and Windows. It works on Mavericks and up.
DoBox on Kickstarter is an ambitious device that serves as a multipurpose dock (Ethernet, HDMI, Audio I/O, USB hub), a portable wireless router, a trackpad you can use with your iPad, and an Apple Watch charger. The company behind the device has already raised more than $24,000 of its $85,000 goal, and there's 35 days left in the campaign. There's one Super Early Bird slot left at $141 that will get you a DoBox when it ships, and more than 170 Early Bird slots left at $155. After that, funding jumps to $192.
Apple is working on an unscripted original show about apps. The company told The New York Times that it was, "working with the entertainer Will.i.am and two veteran TV executives, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, on a new show that will spotlight the app economy." The Times characterized the show as Apple's "first original content," and it's unclear what this might mean about Vital Signs, a scripted show Dr. Dre was filming for Apple. The difference with the new story is that Apple itself has done the telling, including an interview with Eddy Cue. Either way, I suspect Apple will make launch its original programming effort soon.
Wired's The Scene submagazine posted something fun, a video of the cast of Silicon Valley being asked what real Silicon Valley startups do based on their name. Nutanix, Anaplan, Sprinklr, Klarna, Automattic, Twilio, and others. There's nothing serious about it, but it's pretty entertaining. It's also completely unsafe for work (NSFW), with profanity right out of the gate.
I love the way Apple makes being green a marketing tool. On Monday, the company announced that 93 percent of its power needs around the globe were generated by green methods. The message to capital and the world is that you can be profitable and green, too. Apple also introduced us to Liam, a robot the company designed and built solely to disassemble iPhones for recycling. "Because in a world with limited resources, some things can't be replaced." Sing it loud and proud, Apple! If you missed it during the event, here's Liam's debut:
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