(You're reading all posts by John Brownlee) John Brownlee is Cult of Mac's Deputy Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.
About John Brownlee
As part of expert testimony at today’s Senate Sub-Committee Hearing to Examine Offshore Profit Shifting and Tax Avoidance by Apple Inc., Professor J. Richard Harvey has made a compelling case that the tax system Apple is taking advantage of needs to have its loopholes closed.
Harvey — a distinguished Professor of Practice at Villanova University’s School of Law — says that while what Apple has done is acceptable under current International tax law, it still widely uses tax tricks and gimmicks to avoid paying what it fully owes.
Senator John McCain just laid out his case against Apple in Washington D.C. in a Senate hearing about Apple’s tax rates, and he’s out for blood.
According to McCain, although 95% of Apple’s research and development happens in the USA, they funnel most of their profits through overseas entities that are not tax residents in any country in the world.
Ireland is a big target for McCain here. Ireland has long had liberal tax policies in an attempt to attract foreign companies, but McCain says that Apple paid less than $10 million in taxes on $22 billion in earnings in Ireland, a tax rate of less than 1.20th of 1%.
External battery packs are one of the least sexy aspects of the mobile age. They’re the equivalent of the plastic gas can in the back of your trunk: stinky, unsexy, and probably empty when you need it.
Category: Battery pack
Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Lenmar’s Helix battery pack isn’t particularly sexy, but it doesn’t smell (despite the “Undead Power” branding, which implies putrifying flesh) and it’s unlikely to be empty when you need it: it has a massive 11,000mAh battery inside, capable in theory of charging a third- or fourth-gen iPad from 0% to full. All in a battery pack not much bigger than a deck of playing cards.
There’s a lot of talk these days about Google Glass, Google’s new futuristic wearable computer that functions like a set of cyborg glasses, overlaying a HUD of Google products and search services over your life.
It certainly sounds impressive, and early reviews from the usual techno-nerds are positive. But what would Steve Jobs have thought of Google Glass?
He would have thought you were a dork for wearing one, and you needed to get laid.
Apple is well-known for its love of the so-called golden ratio, an “extreme and mean” mathematical ratio that designers as far back as the third-century B.C. had identified as most likely to lead to harmonious design. The iCloud logo, for example, is designed with the golden ratio in mind… and it’s widely believed that the iconic Apple logo is also designed using the golden ratio.
It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? That Apple’s logo is constructed out of mathematically perfect circles and partial circles? Unfortunately, not only is it not true, but Apple has different logos it uses even in its own official materials: the Apple icon etched into the back of your iPad is very different than, say, the official Unicode symbol.
A fifteen year old boy has been gruesomely killed in Las Vegas while being robbed for his iPad.
Apple doesn’t like OLED displays. Across the board, Apple uses LCD IPS displays in its devices, which have better color accuracy than OLED. Theoretically, though, OLED is better than LCD when it comes to power consumption, though… which is why a new report is floating the possibility that Apple might switch to OLED for the iWatch… and that Foxconn is already building test runs.
“Intel Inside.” It’s been called one of the best campaigns to ever come out of Silicon Valley’s Mad Men, and it turned a relatively unknown maker of microprocessors into a $100 billion dollar company, and a household name. All this, thanks to a blue sticker slapped on every Intel PC or laptop.
Every Intel PC or laptop except Apple’s, that is. Even when Cupertino transitioned to Intel processors in 2006, Apple refused to put ‘Intel Inside’ stickers on their new Macs and MacBooks. And with characteristic bluntness, Steve Jobs had no problem explaining why when asked about it back in August 2007, right after the first aluminum iMac was introduced.
How much should Apple have to pay Sony if they use a song on iRadio, but a listener hates it so much that they immediately skip to the next track? A common sense answer would be ‘nothing’ but in the high stakes world of music industry legal mumbo jumbo, common sense doesn’t apply… and Apple and Sony Music’s disagreement over the matter might delay iRadio from launching with iOS 7.
When my fingers are covered in egg, or I want to use my iPad as a second-screen when working at my Mac, or when I’m performing computer surgery and I want to keep iFixIt in the corner of my eye, there’s a lot of situations in which I might want a stand for my iPad.
Category: iPhone/iPad Stand
Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Unfortunately, of the few I’ve tried, I’ve found most of them only to be good in specific situations: great for, say, using your iPad as second monitor at your computer, but not good for cooking or doing computer surgery.
The iOStand by iOMounts is the first stand I’ve really liked, because sometimes simpler is better. But it’s not perfect.