Remains of the Day: Play it by year

You can be honest: Did you miss us? The remains of the day was on holiday last week—we won’t say it was well deserved—but it returns alongside the new year. Catch up on some of the tidbits from the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, including Jony Ive’s new title, a rare peek inside Apple’s past, and, most importantly, the mystery surrounding one Apple Store’s public restrooms. The remainders for Tuesday, January 3, 2011 are in with the new.

Apple’s Jonathan Ive gets knighthood in honours list (BBC)

Apple’s head hardware designer, Jonathan Ive, was knighted in the annual New Year Honours list. Previously made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Sir Jony can add his new title to the list—though we heard that the occasion was somewhat marred when the queen asked him to troubleshoot her iPod.

Stanford archives offer window into Apple origins (Yahoo News)

One of the first things Steve Jobs did upon returning to Apple in 1997 was banish the company’s extensive archives, which had been collected in preparation for an Apple museum. Fortunately, those archives landed at Stanford University. Had it not been for that, we might never have been subjected to the glory of the company’s 1984 “Blue Busters” promotional video, whose equal has not been seen since the heady days of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Steve Jobs and Japan (Nippon.com)

A lengthy article delves into the relationship between Steve Jobs and Japan, including the Apple co-founder’s encounters with Zen Buddhism, his admiration for Sony, and even his fondness for the country’s cuisine. Not discussed, however, was the fact that the executive team he assembled for Apple was intended to mirror the title characters from Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece The Seven Samurai.

Steve Jobs action figure: less Silicon Valley, more Uncanny Valley (The Verge)

Speaking of the late Apple leader, one company has created an exquisitely molded Steve Jobs model that’s disturbingly lifelike. Well, if you’ve been looking for a way to encourage you to do your best work every day, you could do worse than having this $100 figure perched on your desk. And staring at you with its constantly watching, unblinking eyes.

Atari applying legal strong arm to developers (GamesIndustry.biz)

Game developer Black Powder Media found its iPhone game Vector Tanks removed from the App Store after a complaint from Atari, which said that the title was too similar to the classic Atari game Battlezone. Some suggest this is part of a pattern of Atari going after any games that bear a resemblance to its extensive intellectual property; reportedly, an internal audit was conducted to determine whether or not the birds of Joust were angry enough to justify legal action.

Apple’s Grand Central public toilet distortion field (Fortune)

Hard-hitting news, now, as one journalist attempts to determine whether or not there are public restrooms at Apple’s new Grand Central store. Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt has asked Apple PR, store security, and store staffers, and received contradicting answers. While I believe there are actually restrooms, I think you have to call your carrier to unlock them.

Product News:

iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match Availability - Champing at the bit to know which iTunes content is available for re-download in Azerbaijan? This support document will tell you (as well as let you know which countries currently support iTunes Match).

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 2.0 - Version 2.0 of the venerable typing tutor is now available in the Mac App Store. Among its many improvements: support for Lion’s full-screen mode; iCloud-compatibility (so you can access scores and settings on any Mac you use); 17 typing games; iCal reminders to help you practice regularly; and support for the Dvorak keyboard. With this new version, you also get a wider choice of texts to type from, including ten new classic novels (Moby Dick, Pygmalion, and Around the World in Eighty Days among them) and a bunch of new RSS feeds. Pricing starts at $40 for a single-user license with one user guide.

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