Angering hippies and financing evil

Seeing as how nobody else has released a Steve Jobs mockumentary ("These mold lines go to eleven!") and nothing on my Hackintosh has flipped me the zero-one-zero, let's go back to commentating on this week's Apple-related news.

PETA successfully lobbies to end skeumorphism in iOS 7. Much to the chagrin of pleather aficionado Scott Forstall, AllThingsD reports that Jony Ive is indeed stripping the next version of iOS of all manner of fake leather, faux notebooks, simulated calendars, and cubic zirconia, hopefully ending PETA's counterfeit outrage. The report also states that the look of iOS 7 (a.k.a. Cheetara) will be noticeably flatter, with a lack of fake specular highlights or push-up undergarments. And there was much rejoicing. Unless it looks like Windows Phone 7 and 8. Not because WP7/8 looks bad, but who wants to mimic Ballmer? Aside from his financial statements, of course.

Jim Dalrymple's beard surfaces and once again weirds me out. I erroneously thought in-the-know Mac journalist Jim Dalrymple had been covering Apple since the Sculley days, but he actually began after I graduated college, which was just after the Sculley days. Nonetheless, Jim seems to know everyone who knows someone who knows what is and is not going inside the still-not-yet-circular walls of Apple. This week, he popped up to succinctly confirm that Apple has pulled engineers off OS X 10.9 development to help finish iOS 7 on schedule. He also posted this sweet beard comparison with his son.

Department of Defense set to approve iOS 6 for inter-agency Words with Friends tournaments. A report from the Wall Street Journal states that the DoD will soon grant security clearances for iOS 6 devices along with Samsung's Galaxy series of smartphones. I sincerely hope this brings an avalanche of smart bomb videos to Vine.

Google Now sucks your will to live. And battery life, too. Except when it doesn't.
A couple of days ago, the do-no-evil dudes and dudettes at Google added Google Now to the iOS version of, yes, Google. A feature long-available on Android, Google Now for iOS grants iDevice users the same creepy feeling that someone is watching their every move, guessing what they're going to do next, and pestering them to go ahead and leave for the airport already because traffic's a real Don Juan Bastardo today. Almost immediately upon its release, reports started sprouting up that the app was causing rapid battery drainage, which had nothing to do with attempting to stream multiple episodes of Top Gear (the BBC version) from Netflix. Google denies this is the case, but then, that's what Google does when they're not busy scanning your house with infrared cameras and Wi-Fi packet snoopers. Your results may vary.

The New York Times blames Apple for iPhone thefts and the public's inability to remember whether or not to italicize the "the" in its name. The Gray Lady (and what sweet nickname that is, no?) proffered an article by one Brian (OS) X. Chen on Wednesday discussing the rash of smartphone thefts in the greater New York City area. Early in the piece, Chen quotes San Francisco D.A. George Gascón as stating, "Unlike other types of crimes, this is a crime that could be easily fixed with a technological solution." The following day, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, writing for Fortune, rightly took Chen to task for not even discussing Apple's Find My iPhone system until nine paragraphs later. What I find extra stupid, though, is the idea promulgated by Gascón that there's a technological fix to theft. At best, there are deterrents, like the ability to wipe a phone or track it. You know, things that already exist. But beyond turning the phone into a self-arming Taser that automatically fires if it doesn't recognize certain biometrics and speech patterns ("I SAID UNLOCK-STAR69-HUBBA-HUBBA, YOU STUPID PIECE OF… AUUUUGGGHHHH!!!!"), I'm not sure how my four-ounce phone is, in and of itself, supposed to prevent getting jacked by a mugger. The answer, of course, is choosing the right case.

Apple throws their App Store success all up in Dr. Evil's (and I don't mean Andy Brown's) grill. It's taken Apple just 15 months to go from 25 billion App Store downloads to nearly double that. To celebrate the milestone, the company is once again offering a $10,000 App Store gift card to the lucky downloader of app number 50,000,000,000. I really hope it's Chrome. As of May 2, Apple said the number was at 49.2 billion, so start downloading all those Angry Birds rip-offs now.

The Antichrist hits the skids, plans to sell working Apple 1 to raise needed lucre. Originally priced at $666.66, one of six remaining working Apple 1 computers is scheduled to be auctioned off by German auction house Breker 2: Electric Boogalo to raise money for Beelzebub. Or charity. They didn't really specify. The motherboard is signed by Woz. The setup includes a monitor, original manuals, a keyboard with better feel than Apple's current Bluetooth units, and a tape cassette interface with a cassette of Hunt the Wumpus that only works on a TI-99/4A. Due to an unfortunate series of bronzer-related incidents the last time an Apple 1 was auctioned off, David Hasselhoff is barred from attending.

So, maybe you've got a shot.



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