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News Technology

Kill the Apple Event (Or: My Reaction To Today’s “Let Us Loop You In” Event In One Click-Bait Headline)

A few days ago, Jason Snell wrote about how Steve Jobs transformed product announcements. Of product announcements before this transformation, Snell had this to say:

Now, it’s not as if Apple didn’t do keynotes at its events before Jobs came back. (And of course, other tech companies did keynotes at events like the Consumer Electronics Show.) But all of these were gray, businesslike affairs — glorified press conferences or nerdy product announcements accompanied by boring PowerPoints. None of them could hold a candle to what Jobs did with the events once he took control of them.

There is no event that best encapsulates the pomp and pageantry and overall spectacle of a Steve Jobs Apple event like the announcement of the iPhone in 2007. Even now, knowing exactly what was coming and how the keynote would play out word for word, you can still feel the excitement in the room that day.

Apple’s media events have been of varying quality since then, with today’s “Let Us Loop You In” event being a particular low point in my estimation. Admittedly, there were events under Jobs that were also awful — I’m looking at you, iPod Socks/iPod Hifi announcement — but they were awful because the products being released were absolute shit, not due to the quality of the presentation. They might have been selling a turd, but they showed that turd off with panache the likes of which you could not imagine.

Today’s event had exactly the opposite problem, and it’s a problem that Apple, frankly, has been dealing with for quite some time. And while I love going on Twitter to mock what’s going on, it is starting to feel like I’m picking on someone who’s just trying their best but is really not good at what they’re doing, like I’m just being mean.

I hate to say it, but I think it’s time Apple stops with this sort of media event.

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Technology

Let’s Have Some Apple Event Live-Snark! Hooray!

The fine folks at Apple are holding what is likely their last media event at their Town Hall on Apple’s current campus before switching over to the new, giant-ass auditorium at their new crazy spaceship campus that will open up next year. A lot of products were introduced there — the iPod, the Xserve, the ugly and horrible iPod Hi-Fi — so expect some sort of “this room has a lot of history in it” self-congratulatory nonsense before we get to the new stuff Apple has lined up.

You can watch the event on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac by visiting this page or on an Apple TV via the Apple Events app, which you will either have to install from the App Store (on the latest generation) or has magically appeared on your home screen (on earlier generations).

I will be live-snarking the hell out of this event on Twitter — which you can either follow along with by following me on Twitter or by simply clicking the “Continue Reading” link below to see a live, regularly-updating collection of my tweets (and the tweets of others that I found amusing) during the event. I’ll also be back later to opine on whatever I feel like, presuming I feel like I have anything else to say on the matter beyond the obvious “here’s my money, Tim Cook, make things appear right now, please and thank you”.

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News Politics Technology

Last Week Tonight: Encryption

As will likely become tradition around these parts, here’s last night’s “Last Week Tonight” main story, which focuses on encryption, Apple, and the FBI. I think I’ve made my stance on this whole thing clear but, if you’re still on the fence, hopefully this will make why this is such a hornet’s nest of bad hoodoo clearer.

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Technology

Apple Releases the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case

Apple released the iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case today:

Charge your iPhone and battery case simultaneously for increased talk time up to 25 hours, Internet use up to 18 hours on LTE, and even longer audio and video playback.* With the Smart Battery Case on, the intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Center, so you know exactly how much charge you have left.

These improvements come at a pretty high cost, however: they make your phone look like a completely ugly piece of crap that was designed by a crazy person.

iPhone 6s Battery Case

The Verge’s hypothesis on this ridiculously horrible design is that it was done to avoid infringing on the patents held by Mophie, a company that makes iPhone battery cases that avoid looking like someone just duct taped a 4-pack of AA Energizers to the back of your phone, which makes perfect sense.

Personally, though, I’m going to believe that a few members of Apple’s design team have a bet going to see if even hideous monstrosities will sell well exclusively because they have an Apple logo on the back of them… It just makes me feel better about this for some reason.