Remains of the Day: Frenemy fire
Samsung tries to recast its tablet as forbidden fruit, Siri goes abroad (and learns some new tricks here at home), and Walter Isaacson is going to milk his cash cow until the, uh, cows come home. And stare at him accusatorily. The remainders for Friday, December 16, 2011 make a perfect holiday gift.
The tablet Apple tried to stop (Twitter)
I can’t fault Samsung for using Apple’s litigation against the Galaxy Tab as a marketing bullet point, but as long as you’re going for honesty, why not just cut straight to “We tried to make it as much like the iPad as we could”?
Speaking of Samsung and Apple, Reuters notes that Cupertino’s A5 processor, which powers the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, is manufactured in a Texas factory that’s owned and operated by Samsung. Well, at least now we know how Samsung’s getting all its ideas.
Apple launches iPhone 4S in Brazil, Taiwan, Russia and more (AppleInsider)
Joy to the world: The iPhone 4S is come. Citizens in 21 additional countries can now buy the latest Apple device. The lucky folks are in Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. Looks like Siri’s going to have to take some intensive language classes this winter.
Where by “today’s iOS 5.0.1 update” they mean “a minor tweak to an existing update that you have to go out of your way to get” and by “legally possible” they mean “files that were once encrypted are now, mysteriously, unencrypted, making it easier to port Siri to a jailbroken iPhone 4.” Help! I don’t know “how to turn my quotation marks off.”
Speaking of Siri, looking to do a little holiday shopping by voice alone? Thanks to the addition of information from Best Buy to Wolfram Alpha’s database, users can now get information about electronics and appliances via the iPhone 4S’s virtual assistant. Just be careful what you search for—I asked Siri to give me information on smartphones, and now it won’t talk to me anymore.
Pair of Robbers Want Only iPhones, No BlackBerries (NBC New York)
Robbers on the streets of New York City are eschewing stealing non-iPhone smartphones, like Droids and BlackBerries. “It’s just the scrolling on these things,” one mugger reportedly remarked. “It’s so janky!”
A few Engadget editors visited Apple co-founder Ron Wayne at his Pahrump, Nevada home, and got to take a peek at Wayne’s collection of documents from the creation of Apple (one of which recently sold for more than $1.6 million). The editors also dutifully oohed and ahhed over Wayne’s seventh-grade third-place spelling bee medal.
Isaacson: Jobs biography could expand (Fortune)
Walter Isaacson is considering expanding his biography of the late Steve Jobs, which topped Amazon’s best-seller list for the year. “This is the first or second draft,” Isaacson said at a recent event in San Francisco. “It’s not the final draft.” Somehow, I’m guessing Steve Jobs 2.0 won’t be a free update.
Goodbye, Dell Mini netbooks: Your days of being hacked to run OS X are over. Instead, Dell says it will now focus instead of the “thin and powerful” Ultrabooks, which it will continue to develop for the next year and a half until those are then discontinued in favor of Superultrabooks. Followed by Infinibooks, Totallyawesomebooks, and Pleasewontyoubuyjustonebooks.
iStopMotion for iPad - Boinx Software has brought its stop-motion animation software to the iPad, with features like camera overlay, instant playback, and the ability to export your finished product to the Camera Roll, email, or YouTube. When combined with the iStopMotion Remote, you can even use your iPhone as a remote camera. $5 for a limited time only (normally $10).