This Saturday, you can celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh computer by attending a majorly cool event fittingly called Mac 30th Celebration. It's being held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, CA, the same place the Mac was originally announced in 1984. The event features three panels that include many members of the amazing team that developed the Mac with Steve Jobs, including Bill Atkinson, Randy Wigginton, Andy Hertzfeld, Bruce Horn, George Crow. and Caroline Rose. Another panel features Daniel Kottke, Larry Tesler, Marc LeBrun, Bill Fernandez and a mystery guest. A third panel features several third party Mac developers. As amazing as all that is, there will also be an appearance by the Macworld All Star Band, with Chris Breen, Paul Kent, Bob LeVitus, Chuck La Tournous, Duane Straub, Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin (a.k.a. me). Tickets are $109.75 or $140.80, and all proceeds after expenses benefit the Coders Dojo.
The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe is awake after a long sleep as it traveled through our solar system on its way to land on a comet later this year. The probe will park itself in orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko this August and will drop a probe to the surface in November. Rosetta started its journey in 2004 and for the past two years has been shut down to save power. Now that it's awake again it has started Tweeting and will continue to do so throughout its mission. This will be the first time humans have landed a craft on a comet, and thanks to Twitter we can all follow along as it happens.
The popular animated TV series The Simpsons is turning 25 and to celebrate the show's anniversary, LEGO has created a special model kit of the family's home along with specially designed mini figs of the main characters. The kit uses more than 2,500 pieces to recreate the home and its interior, the family's car, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and Flanders. The house splits in half so you can see inside, the roof comes off, too, and the attention to detail is simply amazing. The kit is priced at US$199 and will be available February 1 at LEGO stores and through the company's website.
The Unmonday Model 4.3 ceramic multichannel speaker is one of the most unusual things to cross my desk in a long time. It's a wireless speaker in ceramic case that can become a mono, left, right, left-rear, right-rear, or center speaker just by positioning it a certain way. That ceramic case is hexogonal, and the speaker knows which side is down, which is how it knows which mode to operate in. You can use one in mono mode, or if you need surround sound, just get five of them. At €699 per (US$946.41), that represents a commitment to portable high-quality ceramic-speaker sound, but I know you're out there. It supports AirPlay, and the speaker works for up to 8 hours on a charge.
Next Friday, January 24th, will mark thirty years since Steve Jobs took the stage at the Flint Center in Cupertino and introduced the Mac to the world. And on Saturday, January 25th, 2014 (yes, that's next weekend!) that same venue will host a celebration of what has happened in the thirty-years-and-one-day since. Through several panel discussions you'll hear from Mike Markkula, Randy Wigginton, Daniel Kottke, Bill Fernandez, Steven Levy and some unnanounced special guests, as well. To cap off the evening the Macworld All-Star Band will play (yes, with yours truly on the drums). The event starts at 7pm and you tickets are available through Ticketmaster. I hope to see you there!
The online storage service Box is making a generous offer: Download their new iPhone and iPad app and they'll give you 50GB of free online storage for life. Like other online storage. Like other services. Box lets you store any file type, share files and folders, sync files between computers, and access documents from your iPhone and iPad. The Box app is a free download at Apple's iTunes-based App Store and requires a free Box account.
The folks at Focusrite have released another cool recording product for iOS device owners, the iTrack Dock. This is a docking station for your Lightning-connector iPads (4th gen iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina Display) that has built-in audio inputs for recording multiple sources at once. It includes dual Focusrite microphone preamps plus two line inputs and an instrument DI, independent stereo monitor and headphone outputs, and a USB port for class-compliant MIDI instruments and controllers. It then works with any Core Audio-enabled digital audio workstation app, where you can use the iPad itself as a control surface coupled with the hardware controllers on the iTrack Dock. Come on, that's way cool! it's priced at US$199 at dealers, and will ship after the NAMM show later this month. The video below shows the device in use by Gavin Smith.
Hopping into a TARDIS and crossing out own time stream may be limited to science fiction today, but that hasn't stopped Chino Otsuka from at least making it look like that's exactly what she's done. Chino has taken several photos of herself as a child and added her adult version in so it looks like she's standing beside herself, quite literally. Her image editing is so good that it looks as if her current and younger self really were together in the photos. After marveling at the incredible image editing we're drawn to powerful imagery of seeing the innocent child version of Chino standing next to the grown up version of herself standing side by side. You can check out all of the time traveling shots at Chino Otsuka's website.
Apple’s laptops are smaller and more portable than ever, but their power adapters haven’t changed much in years. Even on the smaller models, the power adapter “brick” is relatively large to carry and might not fit into tight outlet spaces. Now FINsix wants to take laptop charging to a new level with its remarkably tiny power adapter. Dubbed the “world’s smallest laptop adapter,” the FINsix is up to four times smaller and six times lighter than your traditional adapter, while still providing 65 watts of power for modern MacBooks. It’s also flexible, with swappable tips for charging PC laptops and USB devices.
Pricing has yet to be set, but look for the FINsix to be available for pre-order around March with shipping in the middle of the year. Product image via DigitalTrends.
LAS VEGAS - I saw a very interesting TV settop box called HAL at CES. This is a device that sits between you and your cable or satellite box, taking over the interface. It then allows you to control your TV with voice and/or gestures. Think: "Turn it to CNN" or "Find an Episode of Castle" levels of control. You can also use your hands to swipe through menus and play shows, or use a combination of both. It also streams movies from Netflix and music from Pandora. Using Bluetooth, it can also display incoming phone calls from your iPhone or Android device. And check this out: it does all this without collecting our data and watching habits to be sold to advertisers. I talked to the CEO of the company about that, and he was adamantly against such practices, so kudos to him and his company, but it's going to be interesting to see if they get snapped up by a larger company. I should also note that what they're doing is a lot like what we've heard Apple wants to do, which was why I checked them out in the first place.
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