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Lewis Wallace Lewis Wallace is a San Francisco-based writer and editor specializing in technology and culture.

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Fantasy keynote shows how Steve Jobs would have sold us on Apple Watch

Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

How would Steve Jobs have introduced the Apple Watch? Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Apple fans will never revel in the glory of another Stevenote. But an essay that imagines how Steve Jobs would have introduced the Apple Watch just might be the next best thing.

Lesson No. 1: He wouldn’t have called it the “Apple Watch.”

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U2 and Apple crank marketing debacle up to 11

Apple delivers U2's Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody's buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple delivers U2’s Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody’s buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Thousands of angry iPhone users have found an album they weren’t looking for: U2’s Songs of Innocence.

Instead of making the band’s mediocre new album an opt-in freebie, Apple jammed it down the throats of a half-billion iTunes Store customers, enraging some of the company’s most loyal fans. Whether they wanted the album or not, it’s now showing up as “purchased” in individuals’ iTunes libraries on their computers and phones.

When Tim Cook trotted out the Irish rockers for a limp finale to Tuesday’s big Apple Watch announcement, he called giving away the band’s new record “the largest album release of all time” — but now it looks like one of the dumbest.

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U2’s sad show was a swan song for iTunes

U2's performance couldn't match the star power of the Apple Watch. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

U2’s performance couldn’t match the star power of the Apple Watch. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Dragging U2 onstage to end Apple’s big iPhone 6 event was more than a disappointing denouement to an otherwise solid piece of marketing theater: It was a tacit admission that the recorded music industry is gasping for its last breath.

During his peculiar onstage banter with Bono, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the iTunes-exclusive release of U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, “the largest album release of all time.” He also crowed that dumping the record for free on iTunes’ half-billion users would make music history.

It did, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Lust List: Gear so great we can’t stop talking about it

Why Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s iWatch

With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is spinning its movie empire forward into the future. Image courtesy Marvel Studios

With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios is spinning its movie empire forward into the future. Images courtesy Marvel Studios

A comic book movie about misfit space superheroes might not seem to have much in common with Apple’s long-rumored entry into wearable computing. However, for a handful of reasons, Guardians of the Galaxy is to Marvel Studios what the iWatch is to Apple –- a high-profile release that’s critical to the company’s future success.

Here’s why.

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Guardians of the Galaxy sneak peek proves Avengers wasn’t a fluke

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel brings together a band of misfits to fight evil. Image courtesy Marvel Studios

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel brings together a band of misfits to fight evil. Image courtesy Marvel Studios

Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy and why should you care? Marvel Studios gave lucky fans a nice long look at the weird team of space heroes during an extended sneak preview of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

The 17 minutes of footage introduced the five key players: Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt); talking raccoon Rocket and his treelike buddy/protector Groot; beefy blue badass Drax the Destroyer (part-time WWE wrestler Dave Bautista); and steely, green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). It also gave us a sustained looked at the movie’s not-so-secret weapon: humor.

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Lust List: Time to seriously upgrade your life

Copy this please: 9 things Apple can teach Google about keynotes

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Siri: “How long should a keynote last?”

As anyone who watched Wednesday’s nearly three-hour livestream of the Google I/O kickoff, the answer to that question should be 90 minutes or less.

As the event dragged on, the tone on Twitter went from restrained interest about Google’s somewhat underwhelming announcements to reports of sleeping reporters and jabs at the ponderous presentation’s length. “Apple just launched a keynote shortener,” tweeted Dave Pell.

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Devs dish on what’s hot about iOS 8, OS X Yosemite and Swift

What’s your take on iOS 8, Swift and OS X Yosemite?

Got your own favorite features in Apple’s latest releases? Let us know in the comments below.

Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple alters the future again — here’s how

Tim Cook leaves the stage at the end of the 2014 WWDC keynote. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Tim Cook leaves the stage at the end of the 2014 WWDC keynote. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Instead of dropping an iWatch or some other hardware bombshell at WWDC, Apple showcased the futuristic tools it will use to extend its rapidly growing empire.

“Apple engineers platforms, devices and services together,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he wrapped up the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote Monday in San Francisco. “We do this so we can create a seamless experience for our users that is unparalleled in the industry. This is something only Apple can do.”

Casual observers (and stock analysts) might fret that there was no big wearables reveal, no amazing new Apple TV, not even a spec boost for an existing device during the highly anticipated WWDC kickoff.

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