The late Steve Jobs was inducted into the Bay Area Council Business Hall of Fame last week, and the group posted a video of the induction ceremony. It includes several tributes to Steve Jobs from various Silicon Valley luminaries, including Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (who was also inducted), Bill "Coach" Campbell, and others. In addition to offering nice thoughts about Steve Jobs, there are some anecdotal stories about his his approach to products that are very interesting. Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue was on-hand to accept the award in Steve's name. In his short speech, he mentioned that Steve Jobs didn't care about such things as awards, but he said he thought that this particular award would have meant something to him.
Audioengine just released a new DAC, or digital to analog converter, that significantly improves the quality of the audio from your Mac or PC. The D3 is a 24-bit DAC that connects via USB and doesn't require any special software. Just plug it in, then connect your headphones or external speakers for better sounding music. The D3 shows up just like any other audio output, can be controlled through your computers system volume settings, and is built into an injection molded aluminum case so its durable enough for travel, plus it doesn't need an external power source so there aren't any extra cables to get in your way. It's priced at US$189 and available at the Audioengine website as well as other retailers.
David Sparks' latest Field Guide ebook is out, and this time he's taking on your email. His new book, appropriately titled "Email," dives into email workflows, tips and tricks for keeping your email under control, the best email apps for the Mac, iOS and PC, and includes video interviews with Merlin Mann, Rob Corddry, and more. Not only is "Email"
loaded with great information on handling your email, but it looks great, too. You can pick up "Email" at the iBookstore for US$9.99, or as a PDF at the macsparky website.
Wired has published a couple of dozen new (to the public) renderings of Apple's so-called Spaceship HQ, or Campus 2.0. The magazine went cawling through the bowels of the City of Cupertino's website, and came up with all these new images of what this fabulous building will look like. In the example I included, for instance, we see, 1.) the bridge of an actual spaceship; 2.) a scene from a SciFi thriller set in the year 2139; or, 3.) a planned lobby in Apple's building. Your pick, but any way you look at it, it's cool. There are also new shots of the outside, lots of renderings with people and cars inserted into them for scale and placement, many shots of the outdoor parks and other landscaping through the complex, parking, and much more. It's worth your time.
Funny or Die has posted a hilarious video starring Dave Foley (from Kids in the Hall) called BlackBerry Meltdown with Dave Foley. He plays "Josh Fletcher," the last remaining employee at BlackBerry, who's job it is to raise revenue by selling all the iPhones found because former employees didn't have time to clean out their desks. it's a genius piece, IMO, and while it may seem that it's mocking employees who have lost their jobs at BlackBerry, it's really a statement about the role of the iPhone in bringing BlackBerry to a crisis point. Plus, Dave Foley is a brilliant comedian. Note that there are one and a half instances of profanity in the piece. Thanks to @pjpaul for the heads up.
Woojer has launched a self-titled product that it says will let you "feel the sound." Woojer is a device that sits between your mobile device and your headphones and lies against your body (pictured below with "chest magnet"). It then turns the audio signal into vibrations you feel to augment the vibrations you hear (i.e. the sound itself). The idea is to let you feel the blast of a cannon in a game or the bass in a song. Woojer said the idea is based on Perceptual Inference. "The brain knows what it’s like to feel the low frequencies from speakers. When given a similar tactile input to strategic points on the body, the brain subconsciously interprets the experience as a full body sensation." Pretty cool! Check out the video, which is silly in an entertaining way. Funding options that will get you a Woojer currently start at US$59.
LEGO and Lord of the Rings fans have a new excuse to spend US$4.99 now that LEGO Lord of the Rings is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The game takes players on a quest through Middle Earth with Frodo, Gandalf, Boromir, Gimli, and about 90 other characters as they battle Orcs, and other dangers. Characters can use weapons and magical items like swords, elven ropes, and the Light of Eärendi, plus the One Ring, and other features can be unlocked through game play without requiring in-app purchases. LEGO Lord of the Rings is available at Apple's iTunes-based App Store. Be sure to clear your schedule before you start playing.
Elgato announced a pure-storage product on Thursday called Thunderbolt Drive+. It's an external drive using a "server-grade Plextor Solid State Drive" that supports Apple's and Intel's Thunderbolt, as well as USB 3.0. It comes in either 256GB or 512GB configurations, and includes a Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cable. It's bus-powered, and Elgato says it offers transfer speeds of up to 420 MB/s—that's on the Thunderbolt side—making it fast enough for just about anything. Using Plextor's controller chips and a high-end SSD means these babies aren't cheap, however; the 256GB unit is $499.95, while the 512GB model is $899.95.
If you've ever thought about building your own Death Star, but don't have the resources beyond your iPhone or iPad, Disney and Lucas Arts have you covered with Star Wars: Tiny Death Star. The game lets you build more than 80 levels in your Death Star where you can add shops and businesses to help generate revenue to build your Imperial battle station, make secret levels where you conduct clandestine operations against the Rebel Alliance, and try to capture Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and more. Tiny Death Star's graphics are all retro 8-bit, so your station of mass destruction won't feel quite so intimidating. The game is free for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and you can download it at Apple's iTunes-based App Store.
Passcodes are great for keeping prying eyes out of your Mac, but what if you could make unlocking your computer a stunningly cool experience and more convenient at the same time? You know, like maybe knock on your iPhone as if it were a door. That's exactly what Knock lets you do. Once the app is installed on your iPhone, and the companion app is running on your Mac, you can unlock your computer simply by knocking twice on your iPhone. The app uses Bluetooth LE, so you need an iPhone 4S or newer, and at least a 2011 MacBook Air Mac mini, a 2012 MacBook Pro, or the 2013 Mac Pro. Setup is wonderfully simple, as is knocking on your iPhone to unlock your Mac. The Mac app is a free download at the Knock website, and the iPhone app is a US$3.99 download at Apple's iTunes-based App Store.
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