Apple Creates U2 Album Removal Tool

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In the aftermath of the outrage over forcing users to download the U2 Album, Songs of Innocence, Apple has relented and created a website tool which allows users to remove the album.  Many users found the album automatically added to their purchases who had absolutely no interest in the album and no way to remove the album from their purchases.

The SOI removal tool webpage is at:

https://buy.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZFinance.woa/wa/offerOptOut

Apple Watch Marks Beginning of New Road

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On September 9, Apple unveiled the long-anticipated Apple Watch, to be released in early 2015.  It will be available in three designs – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, starting at $349 presumably for the Sport version.

As demonstrated, it is clearly the most advanced and innovative smart watch, featuring a reimagined iOS Multi-Touch interface and a Digital Crown for scrolling and navigation.  Beyond technical features, Apple has endeavored to make the watch very fashionable through customizable watch faces, numerous practical and elegant interchangeable bands, and a choice between 38mm and 42mm case sizes.

The watch has health and fitness apps, a walkie-talkie, and Siri along with standard iOS apps like Calendar, Messages, Mail, and Phone.  Users can send sketches to other Apple Watch users, as well as taps and heartbeats that will be subtly felt by the recipient.  Apple’s new, secure payment system Apple Pay is included.

There is potential for improvement and new innovations, especially in the area of health-related sensors that appear to be absent in this initial release.  It is unclear if the watch will sync with a Mac in addition to a required iPhone 5 or newer.  Developers will likely create many compelling apps for this new platform.

For more on the release of the Apple Watch, check out the website at:

http://www.apple.com/watch

Next OZ KFest Dates Decided

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From Andrew Roughan — The next Australian retro computing gathering, Oz KFest, will be happening in Melbourne, Australia, April 17-19, 2015. Come join us downunder for a few of days of retro inspiration, Aussie ingenuity and camaraderie!

The goal of the event is to provide a user group style environment to exchange ideas and discuss new developments in retro computing hardware, software, preservation, emulation and other related topics. There will be a few attendees of past KansasFests and Oz KFests and we hope to imbibe the spirit of these events into Oz KFest once again.

The presentations during the weekend will come from the participants and therefore an invitation is extended for session proposals to be made via email to ozkfest@gmail.com  If you have an idea for a session that you’d like to present, please let us know so we can allocate a time slot for you. If you would like to learn something, let us know what that is and we will try to find a presenter for that topic.

Registration for the event is not yet open. However, now is the time to block out the dates in your calendar, arrange how to get there and where you’ll stay. If you need help, let us know how we can help.  Reminder that the ‘Downunder Chat’ happens every Friday night from 9pm Australian EST in irc.a2central.com #a2.chat

For more information on registration for the OZ KFest event, check out the event website at:

http://ozkfest.net

Bonhams to auction off Fully Functional Apple-1

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Auction House Bonhams has another Apple-1 in its possession which will be auctioned off on October 22nd.  While there are approximately 60 of the Steve Wozniak created Apple-1 motherboards, only about a dozen or so have been shown to work.  Previous auctions of  similarly functioning machines have fetched anywhere between 385,000 and 650,000 USD.

The Apple-1 belonged to John Anderson who was the Founder of the Cincinnati AppleSiders User Group who kept the machine enclosed in a glass case for a number of years.  According to the Lot Details on the Bonhams website, it comes with a Keyboard of the same era as well as a Sanyo VM 4204 Monitor as well as a custom power supply in a wooden box.  Also, this Apple-1 has no apparent modifications made to the board and only one chip was replaced.

For more information on the Auction check out the Bonhans website at: http://www.bonhams.com/press_release/17415/

Lode Runner Creator Douglas E. Smith Has Passed Away

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The developer of one of the most popular platform games of the early 1980’s has passed away.  Lode Runner was an overnight success for Douglas E. Smith and had heavy competition from several publishers after he submitted the game for evaluation.   The game originally was developed on the Apple II and became so popular that it has appeared on many of the later gamin platforms.

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His latest incarnations of the Lode Runner game were being published through Tozai Games.

New Book Scan at Apple2Scans — Assembly Language Programming by Robert Mottola

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The Apple2Scans Website has posted a scan of the Apple II book, Assembly Language Programming for the Apple II by Robert Mottola.  The book is a 96 mb PDF and is available for download at:

http://www.apple2scans.net/2014/09/01/assembly-language-programming-for-the-apple-ii/

IDG Ends Print Publication MacWorld

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IDG is shuttering the print section of their MacWorld publication.  While there website will continue to exist and publish information, their print publication will cease to exist.

Dan Miller, the editor of the magazine posted a note on Twitter about staying on for another month with the company, while others like Jason Snell also announced their own departures.  Snell had been a writer with the magazine for the past 17 years.

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Another MacWorld writer, Ted Landau posted a number of messages on Twitter confirming the closure and the feelings of many at the magazine.

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Many publications have been ending their print runs of late with the success of the online magazines.  However, with competition stiff in that realm, MacWorld will be hard pressed to continue achieving the same level of success, especially in light of the fact that most of the staff who worked on the print publication have been let go.

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Apple Announces iOS8 Release Date

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As part of the iPhone6 announcement, Apple Inc. also announced that iOS8, the next version of their mobile operating system, will be released on September 17th.

Apple also announced that they will be continuing support of the older iPad 2 with this release as well as the iPhone 4’s, 5’s and 6’s.

Is Sir Jonathan Ive Exiting Apple?

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World famous designer Marc Newson is joining Sir Jonathan Ive’s design team at apple according to an article in Vanity Fair.  The article.  While the pair have worked on some projects before, this has all the appearances of a Steve Jobs/Tim Cook style ascendency to the top design position in Apple currently held by Sir Ive.

This is not the first time that Marc and Sir Ive have collaborated on projects, having worked together on the famous Apple Red project with U2 leadman Bono.   According to the article, Marc Newson will continue to participate in non-Apple related projects but seemingly will be calling the shots on a number of new product designs within the company.

Four years older than Sir Ive and seemingly out of the limelight, Marc Newson is no stranger to the world of high pressure design having done projects for New York based Museum of Modern Art and Nike    He has also been involved in projects for the Gap, Renault, Ford, and Canon among a bevy of other upper tier brands around the globe.

Photo Credit: Vanity Fair

Apple to Stream Event Live on September 9th

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Apple has announced that they will be streaming the Scheduled September 9th live over the Internet.  The event which is expected to announce the availability of the iPhone and iWatch among other things will be held in Cupertino at 10am that day.

The announcement for the live stream appears on the main Apple website, allowing users to add the calendar item to their calendar app.  This is a marked separation from the Steve Jobs era in Apple’s current habit of live streaming every event including the Developers Confer3ence events. You can find the live stream at:

http://www.apple.com/live/