15 Feb 2013
Sneak never liked Blue Peter when he was a child - all those fresh-faced eager-beaver up-and-at-em presenters gurning at the camera enthusing kids to "give it a try" just struck him as annoying.
His hardline stance has softened over the years - time does that to a man - but he can't say he ever finds himself watching the show now, obviously.
However, he may well take time out of his oh-so-busy schedule on Saturday morning to see Apple's head design honcho Sir Jony Ive on the show.
This is because Ive is to receive a very special golden Blue Peter badge, for his efforts in designing products like the iPhone and iPad, joining a very special list of people to have received this accolade, including David Beckham, JK Rowling, The Queen and Sneak himself. Ok, not Sneak, that's a lie.
"Sir Jonathan Ive is an inspiration to children around the world and we were ecstatic to hear his comments and design advice to our viewers who will remember such feedback for a lifetime," gushed Ewan Vinnicombe, acting editor of Blue Peter.
Ive, in return, gave the team an aluminium Blue Peter badge crafted by this team - perhaps it's a new iPeter product. Or should that be iBadge?
We think Vinnicombe and the rest of the staff must really have been hoping for iPads for all, and maybe a few iPhones thrown in as well.
02 Jan 2013
Zut alors! Le Sneak was shocked to zee zat thieves in ze French capital of Paris (That's enough faux French accents now - Parisian Ed) have stolen around £1m of Apple goods in a New Year's Eve heist.
The Gallic assassins used the cover of fireworks and drunken revellers to mask their thieving ways and cries of, "Quick, grab the Pomme iPads and iPhones!" (see those French lessons stuck!), to make off with some serious loot.
"They were well prepared," said the brilliantly-named Christophe Crepin from the police union UNSA, according to numerous reports.
"As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs Elysees the robbers took advantage of this opportunity."
The heist is estimated to be worth around £813,000 which given the pricing of Apple goods means they probably got three iPads, four iPhones and five new iMacs in total.
According to the French newspaper Le Parisien (no idea what that means) the thieves were able to first gain access by threatening a security guard at a back entrance.
Typical, a back-door exploit; see those closed ecosystems aren't as secure as you think.
Apple has made an unlikely ally in its push for next-generation interconnects.
According to filings uncovered by Patently Apple, the company recently inked a deal with the Harley Davidson motorcycle company gain control of the trademark for the term "lightning."
The news site reported that Apple on 24 November finalised an EU deal which gave the company control over the "Lightning" name as a trademark.
The deal is an important legal manoeuvre for Apple, as the company uses "Lightning" as the name for the new interconnect on the iPhone 5. The system is paired up with the "Thunderbolt" interconnect platform on desktops to give Apple its "Thunder" and "Lightning" connection platform for next-generation desktop and notebook systems.
While Harley fans may have lost a trademark, the biker crowd will be pleased to learn that Apple has brought the complete catalog of heavy metal icons AC/DC to the iTunes store.
This is not the first time Apple has had to cut a trademark deal with an unlikely partner. In the 1980s when the company was developing its Macintosh operating system, The Beatles and their Apple Corps recording label took notice. Eventually the two firms settled on a 1991 deal.
The two firms engaged in a back and forth, and it was not until 2010 that Apple was finally able to bring the Beatles to iTunes.
12 Nov 2012
Sneak has never been one for forking out on time pieces – having stumped up £4 for a Casio digital watch in 1987, there seems to be little point in extending the largess any further. But not everyone is so frugal when it comes to time keeping.
Take Apple. The paragon of modern technology design chic paid $21m to license the clock design seen in its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, according to Tages Anzeiger.
The clock design is indeed a magnificent example of the designer's art. But in this case it belongs to the Swiss Federal Railway, rather than Apple, and can be seen on station platforms up and down the country. Sadly for Apple, the design is jealously guarded by the Swiss train firm and their officials were quick to notice when it started popping up on their iPhones.
As lovely as the design is, however, Sneak can't help but wondering if for Apple, which admittedly has more money than most, $21m represents good value for money. Whatever its design guru, Sir Jony Ives is paid (and it's probably a lot), surely he could have spared a few minutes to come up with an original clock face design, without it costing the firm quite so much?
17 Oct 2012
In honour of Steve Jobs Day, news site Motherboard asked a psychic to get in touch with the ghost of the Apple luminary. So while most everyone else forgot that California had an annual day of remembrance for the technology iconoclast, deputy editor Sean Yeaton was headed to The Twilight Zone.
Yeaton got a hold of New York psychic Betsy Cohen to perform the ghostly séance. Unfortunately for the living, Cohen was unable to gleam any Steve Jobs-style wisdom about the current state of affairs in the technology world.
Cohen did, however, get a chance to chat with ghost Jobs about what he's doing in the afterlife. The psychic said that ghost Jobs told her he was learning to be less competitive and harsh in the afterlife.
To quote Cohen, "[Jobs] is learning survival of the fittest is a made-up thing." In other words, kind of like psychics or a successful Zune product.
While a happy Steve Jobs ghost sounds wonderful, we'd probably say the same thing if we were pretending to communicate with famous dead people.
While Sneak thinks psychics don't actually exist (just ask ghosts) Yeaton's video was one of the more original Steve Jobs tributes to pop up in the man's honour. Not only has Jobs received a day, a statue, and a movie within the last year, but he also received a pseudo-psychic reading.
Maybe next year someone can get Jony Ive to attempt a séance. After all, Jobs once called Ive his "spiritual" partner at Apple.
This is no doubt why five million punters handed over shed loads of cash to get their greasy paws on the new iPhone 5 when it came out on Friday, so all five million of them are now as cool as each other.
Apple has the coolest reputation in spite of some recent issues - such as its new mapping software which is actually the latest hilarious problem to get the Tumblr treatment, while riots at its manufacturing partner Foxconn are definitely not cool.
But then maps and riots are never cool at the best of times, so this probably won't have much impact on Apple's attitude to how it conducts its business - which is most decidedly cool - not answering phones, referring to themselves as geniuses and the like.
Sneak always thought he was cool. His mum told him he was. That was until he once met some bigger boys who laughed at him and called him a "dork". Kids can be so cruel.
Still, Sneak had the last laugh - he's now a prominent member of the technology world, while the mean boys are nothing but city brokers, lawyers and rock musicians. The jokes on them.
Surely it's only a matter of time before Sneak is on the CoolBrands list, right guys?
Sneak knows all too well how seriously Apple takes design patents – and woe betide anyone (mostly Samsung) that dares to round a rectangular corner without the Cupertino-based giant's prior approval.
So it was with huge admiration that Sneak opened the Clock app newly adorning a colleague's iOS 6-updated iPad. Who could not admire the simple, bold designs?
Classic Apple, Sneak thought, always leading the way, never one to use the designs of others.
However, those at Swiss Federal Railways have taken issues with the design as they believe it too closely mirrors those classic railway station clocks you see around the country.
“We're trying to contact Apple to control the unauthorised use of [our design]", SBB spokesman Reto Kormann told Blick.
Brave bunch - everyone knows how much Apple likes a legal scrap and has plenty of cash to throw at the problem. Then again, if any nation can take Apple on when it comes to finances, it's the Swiss.
Who will win? Time will tell.
For as long as Sneak can remember, the internet has proved a fount of comical, inaccurate and wrong-headed information.
But while Sneak has wised up sufficiently to no longer try and claim Nigerian lottery winnings, some people it seems are willing to take anything they read at face value – even when that value is patently absurd.
Take the case of the comic 9gag website. Pranksters there were riffing on the comic possibilities of how Samsung might pay the $1bn it has been ordered to hand over to Apple, for nicking the earth-shattering idea of smoothing the corners of rectangles. Wouldn't it be hilarious, mused the writers, if Samsung paid up in five-cent coins.
However, the joke started taking a life of its own, after a handful of bloggers seized on the story, and reported it as fact, along with details of how the payment arrived in a convoy of 30 trucks.
Sneak, of course wasn't taken in for a second. Not just because the US doesn't have enough five-cent coins in circulation to meet a $1bn bill, but mainly because Sneak is certain that Samsung will move heaven and earth to avoid paying the fine.
Even so, Sneak hasn't laughed so hard since watching Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld team up to promote Windows Vista, although for very different reasons to what Microsoft had in mind.