Five Times When Steve Jobs Dissed IBM

4:16 PM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · · Cool Stuff Found

Bloomberg has published a great piece looking back at the late Steve Jobs dissing Big Blue. The article comes in the wake of a landmark agreement between Apple and IBM to team up for the Enterprise market on iPhones and iPads, and it makes for an interesting look back at a different era in computing. The five incidents include Apple's 1981 ad, "Welcome, IBM. Seriously;" the quickly-becoming-famous-photo of Steve Jobs giving IBM the finger; the iconic 1984 commercial, a 1985 Playboy interview when he said that IBM kills innovation; and the move to Intel, where Mr. Jobs dissed PowerPC processors. There are lots of details in the Bloomberg piece, and it's a fun read. That said, and as we discussed on Wednesday's TDO podcast, I have little doubt that Mr. Jobs would have supported the deal his successor worked out with IBM. It's impossible to know for sure, of course, but Mr. Jobs was infamous for turning on a dime and working with past enemies.

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XiStera XS Plus 8-In-1 Multitool for iPhone Includes Bottle Opener: $45

2:29 PM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · · TMO Deals

XiStera XS Plus 8-In-1 Multitool for iPhone Includes Bottle Opener

For today's deal, I have another device that qualifies for Cool Stuff Found, except that we get to offer it to you at a discount. It's called XiStera XS Plus 8-In-1 Multitool for iPhone. It has eight functions, including magnetically-attached lenses for your iPhone's camera, dual tripod mount, a multi-position stand, a capacitive stylus, ear-bud wrap, a key ring, and my favorite, a bottle opener.  That's a lot of functionality, and it's normally priced at $70. Through our deal, you can get it for $44.99.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-07-17

1:14 PM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · · Daily Observations Podcast

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Apple's iTunes Pass landed in the United States today, but exactly what does it do? Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to explain just what iTunes Pass is for and what it could become if Apple wants to turn our iPhones into digital wallets. They also take a look and Microsoft's big layoff plans and how that could impact the company.

Apple Brings iTunes Pass Account Reloading to US Stores

10:39 AM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · · News

Apple's Passbook-based iTunes Pass system for adding money to your iTunes account launched in Japan only days ago and now is available in the United States, too. The system lets users pre-load thier iTunes account in retail stores via a Passbook card. Those credits can then be redeemed for iTunes and App Store purchases, much like gift card balances work today.

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iTunes Pass is limited to purchases through Apple because it's another way to add money to your iTunes account. Presumably Apple has bigger plans for this which will turn our iPhones into proper digital wallets.

Microsoft Cutting 18,000 Jobs, Biggest Layoff in Company History

9:56 AM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · · News

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed on Thursday that he's planning massive layoffs amounting to the biggest in the company's history. About 18,000 employees will get pink slips over the next year and the majority of those will come from staff that was absorbed from its purchase of Nokia's handset division.

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A 15 percent workforce reduction is pretty big. Mr. Nadella seems to really want to see serious change at Microsoft now that he's in charge.

Blue’s Mikey Digital for iPhone gets Lightning Connector

8:54 AM, Jul. 17th, 2014 · · Product News

Blue announced the immediate availability of a Lightning connector version of its popular Mikey Digital microphone for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on Thursday. Like its 30-pin Dock Connector predecessor, the Lightning Mikey Digital lets users capture higher quality audio compared to their iPhone or iPad's built-in microphone.

Eight, a Natural Acoustic Amplifier for Your iPhone Made from Wood

7:52 PM, Jul. 16th, 2014 · · Cool Stuff Found

This has got to be one of the most interesting and beautiful speaker docks I have seen. It's called Eight, and it's a natural acoustic amplifier for the speaker in your iPhone 5 or 5s. It's made of wood—the dark part is walnut, while the light middle section is birdseye maple—and it funnels the sound from your speaker to one side, using the properties of wood and the shape of Eight to amplify that sound. The other side serves as a receiver for your iPhone's microphone so you can use Eight for phone calls. There are no electronics other than your iPhone involved, though it has a slot for an included Lightning cable to charge your iPhone. I haven't heard Eight, but it's a beautiful design and a fascinating idea. It's also pricey at $288—but that's because it's made from solid pieces of wood, hand-crafted, and hand-oiled. The company making Eight—Stark Design—is making each Eight to order, requiring 2-4 weeks before you get it. 

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