The untold origins of Apple’s groundbreaking design

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It all goes back to a food processor. Steve Jobs had started out more as a geek who liked mechanics than as a design aficionado. He was the sort of pale, indoors boy who spends hours tinkering with his ham radio when most guys his age are playing outside. Apple I was born in the Jobs family’s garage; Steve stored parts throughout the house. The device he put together consisted of a computer board, a keyboard, and a power supply. There was neither a monitor nor a case. One of many new information devices being developed at the time, it sold, but only to people who were already experts in that sort of gadgetry. The purchasers were knowledgeable hobbyists who understood how to make it run. Read Full Story

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Obama’s White House photographer takes his Instagram shade against Trump to a new doc

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‘The Way I See It’ charts photographer Pete Souza’s rise to working in the White House under Reagan and Obama—and why he decided to speak out against Trump. As an official White House photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, Pete Souza always viewed his job as being a historian of sorts, capturing the intimate moments in the personal lives and careers of presidents to illustrate who they were as leaders, husbands, and fathers. Read Full Story

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Exclusive: Segway, the most hyped invention since the Macintosh, ends production

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The Segway brand will no longer make its two-wheeled, self-balancing namesake. Steve Jobs said it would be bigger than the PC. Some dubbed it the most hyped product since the Apple Macintosh . An era of secrecy bubbled up in the year 2000 about an invention that would change the world as people knew it. People speculated it was a hydrogen-powered hovercraft, or a device that would break the rules of gravity itself. Read Full Story

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Tim Cook would like to remind you that Apple does not dominate any of its markets

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Tim Cook of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook were among the tech CEOs who downplayed their market dominance in front of Congress today. Wednesday’s Congressional antitrust hearing convened the CEOs of four tech-industry titans: Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. And during their testimonies, each CEO was firmly committed to downplaying the size of his respective corporate behemoth. Read Full Story

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Ex-Apple designer to launch a product that competes with Apple itself

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Christopher Stringer worked on many of Apple’s biggest hits. Now, he’s getting ready to release a new series of smart speakers that could compete with Apple HomePod and Sonos. Christopher Stringer was a designer at Ideo, who helped create Dell’s hit ’90s design language, before he got the call from Jony Ive in 1995 to join Apple. Stringer went on to become a key figure in one of the most influential industrial design teams in history, launching dozens of products from PowerBooks to the iPhone. Read Full Story

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As a Latino immigrant, I thought I understood the challenges of the Black community. I have a lot to learn

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A CTO contemplates what actions he can take to change his company’s response and his own. As an immigrant from Nicaragua, I’ve been open about the discrimination I have faced in my life. I’ve experienced it from police enforcement, in my professional life, my social life, and even in the affluent suburb where I live. Many of these instances were microaggressions , rolled out over time that I don’t even notice them anymore. I do, however, distinctly remember the difference in pay I received in past jobs. And I remember meeting to discuss the acquisition of a company I founded with its CEO, who completely ignored my title and instead, thought I was a sales development representative. Read Full Story

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Clients loved this designer’s work. Turns out, he was an AI

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A Russian design firm passed off computer-generated work as human, and it’s a peek at things to come. His name was Nikolay Ironov, and for a year, he designed logos for influencers, restaurants, apps, and new products. As a critical member of Russian design firm Art. Lebedev Studio, his clients were happy with his work. And they should have been! Looking through Ironov’s public portfolio , the brand work is full of quirky, bold identities—with an undefinable whimsy that you might even call soul . Read Full Story

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Google’s secretive ATAP lab is imagining the future of smart devices

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The consumer-electronics research arm has been quiet for years—but it’s also been busy. Its new mission: Make Google hardware as smart as Google software. In 2015, Dan Kaufman, the director of the information innovation office at the U.S. Department’s fabled DARPA lab, began talking to Google about joining the company in some capacity. Maybe he could work on Android. Or take a job at X, the Alphabet moonshot factory formerly known as Google X. And then another possibility came up: ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects), a Google research skunkworks that was “just like DARPA, but in Silicon Valley,” as he describes it. His reaction: “That sounds awesome!” Read Full Story

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Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh survived COVID-19. Now he wants to save the USPS

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The artist Beatie Wolfe approached Mothersbaugh to create Postcards for Democracy, a way to support the U.S. Postal Service through handmade postcards. Donald Trump doesn’t want a functioning, mail-in voting system. He has admitted that the USPS is underequipped to handle the deluge of mail-in votes anticipated this year, while denying the organization more funding. He has appointed a postmaster general who cut overtime and removed 711 sorting machines . And he has even instructed his base to, illegally , vote twice—once in person and once by mail, to stress-test the system. Read Full Story

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Ikea hires a dog for its latest collection. He’s the ulti-mutt designer

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His name is Mr. Chuck, and this is his design statement: *Pawprint* Stressed out? The Australian outpost of Ikea has created a limited-edition collection, called “Mindsets,” that’s designed to take your mind off the extraordinary pressures of the day. The activity kits are free to the public, but only 1,885 were made, so they were distributed on a first come, first served basis by signing up online. Oh, and one was created by a dog. Read Full Story

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A Tesla engineer designed the perfect chocolate chip

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Remy Labesque has over a dozen patents with Tesla. But it’s about time he got to work. In the millennial-old tradition of baking, the classic chocolate chip cookie is a remarkably new invention. The cookie itself was developed around 1937 by a baker at Toll House Inn, when Ruth Graves Wakefield— for all sorts of debatable reasons —first decided to add a chopped chocolate bar to a cookie. They were a hit, and she sold the recipe to Nestlé in 1939. By 1941, Nestlé figured out how to mass-produce chocolate chips, a novel drop of melted chocolate that solidified into a tiny morsel. And the rest is history. Read Full Story

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