Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Be Your Own Personal Surveillance Machine (

pigrabbitbear writes: "If you're going to listen to anybody about the future of Apple products, you should listen to the dude that used to build them. Bruce Tognazzini worked at Apple for 14 years, where "he designed Apple’s first human interface and wrote eight editions of the Apple Human Interface Guidelines," according to his website. Now, he's a blogger (of course) and a consultant (oh God) and a performer (what?) and an "expert witness" (usually not a good sign) and a pilot and, like, six other things. He also invented the viewfinder that you probably have you your digital camera. You get it. This guy's accomplished, an original Apple guy and probably comes equipped with a monster-sized ego. Nevertheless, when he talks about Apple products, I'm actually inclined to believe him.

A lot of the fanboys mentioned above are kind of obsessed with this iWatch idea. It's a good idea! The rumors that've been floating around cyber space include everything from a watch that's a glorified iPod Nano to a watch that comes with a built-in projector. Tognazzini blogged about his own ideas about this so-called iWatch project this week. In addition to his Apple insider knowledge—which is admittedly out-of-date since he hasn't worked there in two decades—it seems like he's actually talked to some current Apple employees about this. This is all to say that even if his ideas don't make it into the iWatch, they could end up in another smartwatch. Some of them are a little creepy.

Smartwatches actually already exist. There's the Pebble smartwatch, a Kickstarter phenomenon that just started shipping. Something called the Cookoo, something else called the Martianthat you can talk to. Tognazzini says they all stink, basically. The real "killer applications" of a smartwatch should and would change the world. The first thing he mentions is straight out of a spy movie. In effect, it could work like a personal identification chip that you wear on your wrist."


Submission + - Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs Movie Will Have Just Three Scenes (

pigrabbitbear writes: "Aaron Sorkin revealed the structure of the hotly anticipated Steve Jobs biopic in an interview yesterday at the Hero Summit, an invite-only “theatrical-journalism event” hosted by the Daily Beast. It sounds surprisingly awesome. According to Sorkin — whose magisterial work with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook made him the obvious writing candidate — the upcoming feature will only have three 30 minute chapters, each shot in real-time. “And each of these 3 scenes will take place backstage before a product launch,” he said.

The products? The Macintosh, NeXT, and the iPod."


Submission + - An American-Made iPhone Won't Happen Now, Or Ever (

pigrabbitbear writes: "A hot iPhone rumor made its way around the Internet on Thursday. It wasn’t an Apple rumor, though. It was a Foxconn rumor. And it wasn’t about a worker riot or suicide pacts, it was a rumor that a new Foxconn plant in the U.S. would lead to an American-made iPhone.

According to a Digitimes report, Foxconn is planning on opening up plants in the United States. Foxconn makes a lot of stuff, but as it’s one of Apple primary manufacturing partners, lots of people jumped to the salacious conclusion that a U.S.-based Foxconn factory could finally produce an American-made iPhone.

Foxconn denied the Digitimes report today. A company spokeswoman told CNET that the company actually “already has multiple facilities based in the U.S.” but that “there are no current plans to expand our operations there at this time.” Foxconn doesn’t make iPhones in the existing factories, and they don’t plan to."


Submission + - With the iPad Mini, Tim Cook Has Rebuilt Apple in His Image (

pigrabbitbear writes: "“Make no mistake about it. This is the year for Windows,” Steve Ballmer said in New York in September. “Windows phone, Windows tablets, Windows PCs. It is the year for Windows." As is often the case, Ballmer was wide off the mark. Make no mistake, 2012 is the year of Apple. The year Apple became the biggest company in the world, successfully accused Samsung of plagiarism in court, and finally released the iPhone 5 — a beautifully fine-tuned device. It’s now also the year Apple actually responded to calls for a miniature version of the iPad.

The perfect foil to the instinctual, volatile Steve Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook is the cerebral strategist. With both Amazon and Google encroaching on Apple’s territory with their sub-$200 7-inch tablets, Cook yesterday unveiled the long rumored iPad mini, a move the purist Jobs condemned just two years ago. “The 7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad,” Jobs once said on an Apple earnings call. Websites were hard to read and a 7-inch screen would splinter his beloved App market and apps are the lifeblood of this ecosystem. He predicted that they would be “DOA.” For a while, they were. People, however, come in all shapes and sizes and apparently, that’s also how they like their tablets."


Submission + - Foxconn Thinks the iPhone 5 Is a Pain in the Ass (

pigrabbitbear writes: "China’s largest electronics manufacturer, the already-loathed Foxconn, is now taking the fall for the iPhone 5 shortage that’s annoyed consumers and worried investors in recent weeks. What’s the holdup? They don’t have enough parts? They’re training new line workers? They’re too busy trying to regain control of their factories after employees started rioting? Nah. According to the company, the iPhone 5 is just a huge pain in the ass to put together. That bit about the riots is a little bit true, too, though."

Submission + - The Most iPhones Ever Is Still Not Enough (

pigrabbitbear writes: "Apple sold five million iPhones over the weekend, a record breaking number that eclipsed the 4S sales record by a solid million phones. But for the largest company in the world, breaking old records is no longer enough. Indeed, for many, the weekend number was somewhat a disappointment. See the immediate drop in Apple’s stock, which fell 1.7 percent as the company missed optimistic estimates of nearly ten million. It was halfway there.

This is the new Apple, the one that every article you read reminds you is the biggest company around, the one that now apparently misses sales estimates."


Submission + - The Foxconn Riot Was Just One Of Hundreds Today (

pigrabbitbear writes: "There’s no word yet on how many fights broke out over the new iPhone at shops around the world over the weekend between eager customers or Apple and Samsung fanboys, but violence has surfaced at one of the plants where the phone is made. What was originally reported as a “fight” now looks more like a “riot,” according to sources. And while it’s hard to ignore the plight of the workers who made the world’s gleaming new iPhones, the incident was, statistically speaking, just one of hundreds that happened yesterday alone."

Submission + - Apple Can't Stop Bullying Everybody (

pigrabbitbear writes: The long, drawn out battle between Apple and the Android army stopped being reasonable a long time ago. Since 2010, the Cupertino, California company has launched lawsuit after lawsuit against HTC and Samsung over even the tiniest details in its software patents, details like the ability to swipe to unlock a smartphone on an HTC phone or the basic design of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet. Most recently, Apple successfully lobbied for a ban on Samsung’s new Galaxy Nexus phone in the United States over a feature that searches for information on the phone as well as the web. Apple told the judge that Samsung infringed on one of its patents, the judge ruled in Apple’s favor, and now Samsung has to remove the feature in order to bring the phone to market.

Submission + - Apple Gets the Galaxy Nexus Banned in the US, Android Lovers Cringe (

pigrabbitbear writes: Last Friday, Apple was granted a preliminary injunction on US sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, a decision Samsung quickly appealed Sunday night arguing that Apple had “legally insufficient evidence” that they had been harmed. The temporary ban of the newest Android smartphone is the latest development of a never ending patent war that dates back to 2011 when Apple fired the first shot, filing a lawsuit against HTC for allegedly infringing on 20 patents relating to “user interface and the smartphone’s underlying architecture and hardware.”

Submission + - iFixit's Kyle Wiens on How to Dismantle the War on DIY Electronics (

pigrabbitbear writes: "Anyone planning on buying a new iPad should know what they’re getting themselves into by now. In recent years, Apple and other hardware manufacturers have made it liquid-crystal clear that they’re not fond of the idea that customers can tear open and fix products without the help of licensed repair specialists. Even if it’s as easy as ordering a part online and following a few instructions gleaned from a Google search, hardware companies generally seem to prefer we keep the hood closed. It should not be surprising, then, that the latest version of Apple’s much-desired tablet has one “killer” feature that’s finally getting the attention it deserves: A design that stops you from getting inside of it."

Submission + - Foxconn is Under Inspection from a Labor Rights Group, at Apple's Request (

pigrabbitbear writes: "The Fair Labor Association, a worldwide worker’s rights nonprofit, is currently inspecting Apple’s supply chain at the behest of the company, a press release sent out this morning stated. The inspections apparently started this morning at Foxconn’s Shenzhen facility known as Foxconn City, with the manufacturer’s Chengdu facility slated for inspection in the future."

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