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.
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.
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.
Apple surprised just about everyone on Wednesday by naming its latest iPad, not the iPad 3 or iPad HD as was expected, but just New iPad.
Sneak noted that when asked about the branding by Miguel Helft of Forbes magazine, Apple's chief of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller responded with a throwaway line:
I asked Phil Schiller why the name "new iPad" (and not iPad3, iPadHD). Answer: we don't like to be predictable.
- mhelft (@mhelft) March 7, 2012
Aside from the observations that this won't be the New iPad for long and won't be the last New iPad either it is, to say the least, something of an unfortunate choice by Apple's top executives.
Just imagine for a moment the millions of conversations that will happen in the native habitats of the Apple faithful all over the world: the potted fern festooned and so tastefully decorated, trendy coffee shops that shamelessly peddle overpriced lattes and GMO-laced sweets - the types of places Sneak is never seen.
Sweet, young, lonely potential hookup (SYLPH): "Oh, nice tablet! Is that an iPad?"
Turtleneck-wearing internet surfing twit (TWIST): "Why yes it is. Haven't you seen one?"
SYLPH: "Oh yes, my ex-boyfriend had one years ago, but he never let me use it."
TWIST: "That was the old one. This is the new iPad."
SYLPH: "That was called the iPad too. Is yours a newer model?"
TWIST: "Yes, this is the latest one. It's called just the iPad."
SYLPH: "Oh, I see. So was my ex-boyfriend's. [suspicious] Are you sure this is a new one?"
As you can imagine, this sort of thing isn't going to be helping any Apple fanbois hook up. Sneak imagines, though, that people will call the device the iPad 3 anyway, to help avoid this kind of confusion.
However, for Apple, it's not so simple. What do they do when the next device comes out, call it the Newer iPad? Then what, the Newest iPad? Followed by the Even Newer iPad? Old Steve Jobs would never have painted himself into this corner.
That Apple is a wonderful company. Everything it does turns to gold, or in this case, meat. Yes, marvellous meat.
Into the inbox of Sneak popped a little gem of weirdness from a company called iDevices announcing the availability of an iGrill Apron for its iGrill product which monitors the heat of a barbeque remotely via iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
The apron relays this info via Bluetooth (the old Norse king would be turning in his Valhalla grave if he knew how his name had been sullied) so that alpha male cooks can mingle instead of cooking, thus defeating the point of posturing next to meat cooked by flame.
What's even more baffling, though, is that the iGrill Apron offers a silicone skin for the iGrill to keep it safe from heat, moisture, food and the elements for outdoor barbequing and indoor cooking - exactly the sort of functionality that should have been essential from the beginning.
However, it could be useful for the UK market as perhaps too many people in Blighty bought the device (for $99.99!!!) and then found it wet through when the heavens opened and the rain came gushing down.
The rain was to blame for no-one turning up to Sneak's barbeque last week. Yes, the rain. Nothing else ...
20 May 2011
Fanboys beware, parliament is not as safe as it appears. Apple iPads, iPods and even candlesticks regularly go missing in the hallowed halls, according to new reports.
The shady goings on have been brought to light by official Palace of Westminster crime reports. The documents reveal that the crimes logged since 2008 range from assaults to the theft of a £1,500 microphone and even a £25 orchid.
However, in the latest case, upstanding MP Keith Vaz has reported that his iPad and laptop have been stolen.
Considering that Vaz claimed £75,000 in expenses for a flat that was 12 miles from his home, Sneak is a little bit sceptical about any of the crime reports logged in the Commons. Sure there's nothing else on the list? A new Motorola Xoom or an Xbox 360 perhaps?
With former Labour minister Elliot Morley having been jailed today for 16 months, it's fair to assume that most of the incidents are an inside job, and Sneak's not pointing the finger at the cleaners here.
The high level of crime also doesn't say much about security at the Palace of Westminster. Although, it's not fair to blame the guards entirely. Sneak wouldn't want to give Ken Clarke or his boozed up colleagues a full body search on their way out, either.