Tim Cook is twisted sideways in the deep passenger-side backseat of a black Cadillac Escalade, rolling through Manhattan from the Flatiron district up to the company's flagship Fifth Avenue Apple Store — where a great glass cube sits atop Apple's subterranean retail center. Nobody at the store knows he's coming. Not the manager. Not security. There's no timetable for him to appear. And so for the 20 minutes or so it takes the car to wind through the late afternoon Manhattan traffic, I have him largely to myself. Cook likes the secrecy. He does these store drop-ins periodically and has found that surprise visits are far better for everyone involved, himself included. The CEO of Apple visiting one of Apple's many retail stores is de facto a big deal, particularly for store employees who'd likely agonize over preparations if they knew he was coming. So Cook keeps it quiet. "I almost always go in unannounced," he says. "It's rare that I tell anyone that I'm going. But I do try to go … [Read more...] about Twenty Minutes With Tim Cook
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HDMI These days, virtually all TVs and computer monitors support an HDMI connection. HDMI, which stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, shoots both digital audio and video down the same cable. Chances are, if you are trying to connect something to your television – and that includes computers – you’re going to want to use HDMI. HDMI is used in a very broad array of consumer electronics products, including laptop and desktop computers, mobile devices, the Chromecast dongle, Roku’s streaming stick, Blu-ray players, HD cable boxes, and much, much more – so it’s a familiar and appealing format for most folks, and easily the most popular among general consumers. Until very recently, HDMI v1.4 was the standard by which consumer electronics companies operated. There’s a good chance that all of the gear in your home is HDMI 1.4, but you should know that there’s a new version out, called HDMI 2.0, which takes HDMI’s capabilities to … [Read more...] about DisplayPort vs. HDMI vs. DVI vs. VGA (update)
The latest Black Mirror series from Charlie Brooker presents, despite its transition to Netflix, another unsettling collection of future shock nightmares drawn from consumer technology and social media trends. The second episode, Playtest, has an American tourist lured to a British game development studio to test a new augmented-reality horror game that engages directly with each player’s brain via a biorobotic implant. The AI program mines the character’s darkest fears and manifests them into the real-world as photorealistic graphics. Inevitably, terror and mental breakdown follow. The idea of a video game that can analyse a player’s personality and change accordingly may seem like the stuff of outlandish sci-fi to some Black Mirror viewers. But it isn’t. This could well be where game design is heading. The game that judges you Eight years ago, video game writer Sam Barlow had a new idea about how to scare the crap out of video game players. Working on the … [Read more...] about Has a Black Mirror episode predicted the future of video games?
The highly anticipated Disney+ streaming service, which will likely prove as essential as Netflix to many consumers, is now available. Disney+ combines content from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic into a single streaming app. You can dig into Disney+’s vault of animated classics, superhero blockbusters, TV shows, and new originals, like The Mandalorian, starting today. There’s a free seven-day trial for new customers, so you’ll have a week to make the decision of whether you want to add yet another subscription to your life. Here’s everything you should know about getting started with Disney+. How much does Disney+ cost? Disney+ is $6.99 per month or $69.99 if you pay annually. There’s also a bundle that combines Disney+, Hulu (with ads), and ESPN+ for a single rate of $12.99 per month. You can access Disney+ on mobile devices, TVs, streaming gadgets, game consoles, and the web. Where is Disney+ available? Disney+ is starting off … [Read more...] about How to stream Disney+
The big question on everyone’s mind, as Apple CEO Tim Cook stepped onstage to announce an array of iPhones and a new Apple Watch and a new Apple TV on Tuesday, was: Will there be a nuclear war with North Korea?No. Wait. That wasn't it.It was: What is happening in Florida and Texas and the islands in the Atlantic in the aftermath of two brutal hurricanes? Or maybe the question was actually about Russia and the election. Or DACA. Or Ted Cruz masturbating. Or, well... In fairness, there’s a lot going on.Which is why Apple's ability to cut through the noise and din is so remarkable. Of all the ways the world has changed since Steve Jobs rolled out the first iPhone a decade ago, our frenzied public sphere seems the loudest and most unrecognizable. We're louder, coarser, more unpredictable; the radio is at full volume, stuck between stations, forever.Thanks to the power and success of the company he leads, boring Tim Cook may be the one human alive better able to make news break … [Read more...] about Apple’s Best Product Is Its Media Strategy