(You're reading all posts by Luke Dormehl)

About Luke Dormehl

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)

The only good way to brick your MacBook

we5d42zotuvc5f3lr5fa

Seriously, how could you resist? Photo: Brik Case/Gizmodo

I pretty much love Apple and Lego in equal measure, so the idea of somehow combining the two is never going to fail to win my approval.

Assuming that I’m not the only person to feel this way, allow me to introduce the Brik Case: a fantastic Kickstarter campaign intended to raise the cash needed to manufacture a MacBook case that can be decorated with Lego bricks, to create any design of your choosing.

Read the rest of this post »

It’s time for Apple Watch mini-stores

Mr. Selfridge will be selling Apple Watches. Photo: Cult of Mac/ITV

Mr. Selfridge will be selling Apple Watches. Sort of. Photo: Cult of Mac/ITV

If you’re in the market for an Apple Watch, and you live in London, Paris or Tokyo, consider yourself in luck: Apple will be opening mini store-within-store kiosks in luxury local department stores, dedicated to selling its eagerly-anticipated smartwatch.

The pop-up stores are planned to open Friday, April 10, when the Apple Watch first goes on preorder, which means you can be among the first to see the Apple Watch in person.

Read the rest of this post »

WWE Immortals gets an upgrade just in time for WrestleMania

Update our apps? Ooh, yeah! Photo:

New playable characters? Ooh, yeah! Photo:

This weekend is WrestleMania and, even as a kind of lapsed fan, I still can’t help but be excited about the prospect of Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Antonio Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and pals plying their trade on the grandest stage of ‘em all.

Which, of course, makes this the perfect time for Warner Bros. Interactive and WWE to update its WWE Immortals card-based fighting game for iOS — adding the characters “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, plus an all-new Events System, to what was already a fun gaming experience.

Read the rest of this post »

This is what Steve Jobs looked like as a high school freshman

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 09.05.22

Steve Jobs back when he had the same net worth as you or I. It didn’t last long. Photo: Austin Belisle/Homestead High

When I think of young Steve Jobs, I typically picture the long-haired hippie who worked at Atari or the brilliant-but-immature co-founder who started Apple with Steve Wozniak. But here’s something I’ve not seen before: a photo of Jobs as a cherubic-but-undeniably-recognizable high school freshman.

The photo comes from the Homestead High yearbook from 1969, when Jobs was 14, and is far less well-known than the high school senior picture with which I’m already familiar.

Read the rest of this post »

How Tim Cook persuaded Angela Ahrendts to join Apple

Photo: Mac Otakara/Twitter

Angela Ahrendts at the opening of a new Apple Store in Tokyo. Photo: Mac Otakara/Twitter

Much has been made of the managerial differences between Tim Cook and predecessor Steve Jobs, and unsurprisingly that extends to their respective approaches to recruitment, too.

Jobs famously recruited Apple engineer Bob Belleville by telling him that, “Everything you’ve ever done in your life is shit, so why don’t you come work for me?”

Tim Cook, on the other hand, takes a slightly softer tack — as evidenced by a new Fortune article, revealing how Cook recruited Apple’s retail guru Angela Ahrendts to join the company from her previous prominent role as CEO at Burberry.

Read the rest of this post »

Woz: Apple wasn’t built to sell $17,000 watches

Steve Wozniak. Photo: HigherEdWeb/Flickr CC

Steve Wozniak seems to have mixed emotions about the upcoming Apple Watch. Photo: HigherEdWeb/Flickr CC

Steve Wozniak seems to have a complex relationship with both modern-day Apple and, particularly, the Apple Watch. In an interview at the Automate/Promat Show in Chicago yesterday, Apple’s co-founder said Apple’s foray into high-end wearables marks a very different turn for the company he helped to found.

“It didn’t seem like the company we started,” he said. “That’s not the Apple that moved the world forward.”

Read the rest of this post »

Twitter takes on Meerkat with live video app Periscope

I asked my colleague Killian Bell to come up with an image to show the battle between Twitter and Meerkat. This is what he came up with. The monster. Photo: Cult of Mac

Twitter is hunting Meerkats. Well, sort of. Photo: Cult of Mac

By now, you’ve almost certainly heard of Meerkat: the live-streaming social media phenomenon. Well, Twitter has too, because today it launched its own would-be Meerkat killer: a standalone live-streaming video app called Periscope.

Currently available only for iOS devices, the app was acquired by Twitter back in January for a reported $100 million. Unlike Meerkat, which works on the same disappearing media idea as Snapchat, Periscope allows users to save live streams and then replay them later.

Read the rest of this post »

Apple acquires big data company to help improve iCloud

What is happening with iCloud within Apple? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is trying to improve its iCloud services. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Rightly or wrongly, iCloud is one of Apple’s most regularly criticized products (speaking personally, I’ve never had any major problems with it, but I use Google’s rival service far more.) It seems that Apple is more than aware of the negative feedback, however, because it’s in the process of improving the back-end infrastructure needed to support its cloud-based services.

Firstly, the company bought FoundationDB, a Virginia-based startup, which specializes in handling large chunks of data very quickly. Now a separate report claims that Apple acquired U.K.-based big data analytics firm Acunu sometime in late 2013, with the likely effort of using its database technology for providing analytics related to iCloud services.

Read the rest of this post »

Apple teams with Foxconn to launch iPhone trade-in program in China

People queue for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus all across China. Photo: People's Daily/Weibo

People queue for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus all across China. Photo: People’s Daily/Weibo

Apple’s doing everything it can to push its brand in China, which Tim Cook is convinced will soon take over from the U.S. as the company’s primary market.

Having recently taken the top spot for smartphone sales in the country for the first time ever, and also beaten out the likes of Gucci and Chanel to be named China’s favorite luxury brand, Apple is now teaming with manufacturer Foxconn to introduce a trade-in program for iPhones — letting customers exchange their older iPhone handsets for credit against other Apple products.

The program is set to go into action next week, on March 31.

Read the rest of this post »

Apple may release three different iPhones this September

Is the 4-inch iPhone coming or not? Photo: ModMyI

The projected sizes of Apple’s next generation of iPhones. Photo: ModMyI

Whispers about three new iPhones set to arrive this September are emanating from Apple’s Chinese supply chain — suggesting that we may be set to receive the expected iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, alongside a 4-inch iPhone referred to currently as the iPhone 6c.

Check out details about internal components, possible pricing and projected sales below.

Read the rest of this post »