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About Luke Dormehl

Luke Dormehl Luke 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.

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Rules to live by if you want to be an Apple supplier

Some of GT Advanced Technology's failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ

Some of GT Advanced Technology’s failed attempts to create sapphire for future iPhones. Photo: WSJ

Depending on whether or not you can fulfil what is asked of you, being an Apple supplier sounds like it’s either the best or worst experience imaginable.

In the wake of the crashing and burning of Apple’s former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies, some of Cupertino’s other contractors have pitched in with their take; filling the Wall Street Journal in on a few of the lessons they’ve learned along their roller coaster rides with Apple.

The two biggest take-homes? Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t rely too much on Cupertino.

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Great gifts for the wonderful women in your life

Ogio Hampton bag. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Looking for some gift inspiration? We can help you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Whether you’re shopping for your sweetie or trying to find something for your mum, picking presents for the important women in your life can prove daunting. Cult of Mac is here to help with this list of the top 10 gifts we’ll be buying for the fairer sex this year.

From clothes to quirky tech, we’ve got you covered.

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Sci-fi novel that inspired Apple’s iconic Mac ad is hitting the big screen

Apple's vision of a possible 1984-style dystopian future. Photo: Apple

Apple’s vision of a possible 1984-style dystopian future. Photo: Apple

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of my favorite dystopian sci-fi novels, and according to Hollywood magazine Deadline, it’s about to be brought to the screen courtesy of the Jason Bourne movies’ director Paul Greengrass.

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Nineteen Eighty-Four tells the story of a surveillance heavy future (well, technically the past at this point) in which an everyman named Winston Smith rebels against an all-knowing government in an age of omnipresent surveillance and perpetual war.

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Apple-backed patent consortium settles lawsuit with Google

googleiOSsearcheasteregg

The patent-holding consortium Rockstar — which includes Apple among its members, alongside Microsoft, BlackBerry and others — has reached a settlement with Google.

In a lawsuit filed last October, Rockstar alleged that Google was infringing on 7 different search-related patents, which had been acquired by Rockstar in 2011 following the bankruptcy of networking products supplier Nortel.

Rockstar outbid Google to acquire the patents, for which it paid $4.5 billion. Some reports put Apple’s contribution as high as $2.6 billion.

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Foxconn to spend $2.6 billion building a factory exclusively for Apple

Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has a go at assembling an iPhone. Photo: Apple

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Foxconn is set to spend $2.6 billion building a new factory in Taiwan exclusively to create displays for Apple.

Equipment installation for the factory is likely to begin next month, with the aim of starting mass production of panels by the end of 2015. The factory will require hiring an addition workforce of 2,300 people, and is going to be built at Innolux’s Kaohsiung Science Park campus in Southern Taiwan.

Foxconn currently has factories in China dedicated to assembling iPhones and iPads, but this will be the company’s first designed entirely with the goal of producing Apple components to go inside the devices.

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World of Warcraft isn’t the only video game celebrating an anniversary this year

Your next Mac could double as a smart smoke alarm

Do you like your iMac crispy? Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Photo: The Partners/Kevin Lan

Apple may build smoke detectors into future Macs and iOS devices, according to a patent application published Thursday.

As users move toward the smart home, courtesy of services like Apple’s HomeKit, the idea is that Macs, iPhones and iPads could intelligently monitor for signs of a fire and trigger various mechanisms accordingly.

This could mean sending users a text or email alerting them of the danger, calling 911 for emergency assistance, or even activating fire suppression equipment.

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This is why the iPhone 6 didn’t get a sapphire screen

Photo: WSJ

Photo: WSJ

No matter what the reason, or who was at fault, the collapse in Apple’s relationship with former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies came down to one thing: the latter company wasn’t able to meet Apple’s terms.

Now photos published by the Wall Street Journal show some of GTAT’s sapphire errors, made just days before Apple signed a deal for the company to produce sapphire displays to be used in next generation iPhones. The 578 pound sapphire cylinders — known as boules — featured multiple flaws, which rendered the majority unusable.

While Apple certainly pushes its manufacturers hard to seemingly achieve the impossible on tighter and tighter profit margins, the picture that emerges from the WSJ article is of GT as a chaotic company, struggling from the very start to fulfil Apple’s expectations.

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Sony backs out of Steve Jobs movie, but don’t worry!

"You like me, they really like me!" Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

A case of art imitating life: Steve Jobs was cast out of Apple in 1985, and now the Jobs movie has been thrown out by Sony. Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Just as Steve Jobs had to go through some frustrating years of failure before returning to Apple to turn in around, so too is the Aaron Sorkin Jobs biopic experiencing its fair share of setbacks.

Following the recent news that Christian Bale has, err, bailed on the project, now Hollywood magazine Deadline is reporting that the movie is being put into turnaround by its studio, Sony Pictures. Turnaround refers to a deal whereby the rights to a particular movie are sold from one studio to another in exchange for the cost of development, plus interest.

Exactly why the film is supposedly being dropped by Sony isn’t known, particularly since the Sony-owned Columbia Pictures did so well both critically and commercially from Sorkin’s previous true tech drama, in 2010’s The Social Network. It may, however, have something to do with schedules.

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Turn your iPhone into a retro typewriter courtesy of Tom Hanks

tomhanks

My Cult of Mac colleague Killian is obsessed with the actor Tom Hanks to an almost worrying degree.

I’ve never been to his home before (Killian’s, not Hanks’ — although I’ve not been there either), but I like to imagine that it’s full of Forrest Gump and Castaway posters, with the focal point being a single lock of the actor’s hair kept in an airtight jar. Surrounded by candles, with an iPod dock playing the soundtrack to The Da Vinci Code on repeat.

At any other time of year this would seem irrelevant, were today not the occasion upon which Hanx Writer, a typewriter app created by actor and typewriter fan Hanks, went universal on iOS.

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