(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.

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The two personality traits that made Steve Jobs great

Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Steve Jobs was a total narcissist. And that’s a good thing. Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

The new Steve Jobs biography, Becoming Steve Jobs, rests on the premise that Jobs’ wilderness years outside Apple somehow helped turn a once-reckless co-founder into a seasoned leader.

Just how accurate the book’s kinder, gentler portrayal of Steve actually is, is something that will be discussed over the coming days and weeks — but a new study from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management backs up the idea that brash, narcissistic qualities can be a “net positive” for CEOs, so long as they are counterbalanced by an added dose of humility.

The study’s illustration of the perfect mixture of these qualities? None other than Jobs himself.

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Becoming Steve Jobs searches for answers in Jobs’ wilderness years

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Becoming Steve Jobs explores Steve Jobs’ exile from Apple. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

New biography Becoming Steve Jobs attempts to answer an important question: What happened to Steve Jobs during his wilderness years outside Apple that turned him from a gifted-but-impossible-to-work-with youngster into the seasoned digital emperor he would be following his return to the company he founded?

It’s a question that’s crucial to understanding Apple’s rise back to prominence from the late 1990s onward — but one that was ignored by previous Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson, whose 2011 book Steve Jobs sold a gajillion copies, but is now (perhaps unfairly) being recast as an unqualified failure.

In Isaacson’s book, these crucial years away from Apple take up just five chapters out of 42 — and that section also includes Jobs’ marriage to Laurene Powell and the birth of his children. In Becoming Steve Jobs, the lessons from that era permeate almost every page.

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Woz says Apple would never hire him or Steve Jobs today

Woz and Jobs in their early days at Apple. Today, they'd have been looking at job rejection letters.

Woz and Jobs in their early days at Apple. Today, they’d have been looking at job rejection letters.

Steve Wozniak thinks he and co-founder Steve Jobs could never have found employment at the company they created together, had they been in their twenties in 2015.

“I look at the experience and education levels you need to get a job at Apple today and I think, ‘Well, Steve Jobs and I never could’ve gotten a job at Apple today,'” Woz told The Australian Financial Review in an interview.

The reason, he says, is that the rigorous Apple hiring process (like the ones at other tech giants like Google and Microsoft) would never have favored two college dropouts like himself and Jobs. This bias means the companies are potentially missing out on finding the next person to come along with a world-changing idea.

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Apple’s new Japanese R&D center in all its shiny glory

The new R&D center looks to have some interesting design flourishes. Either that or it's a mirage. Photo:

The new R&D center looks to have some interesting design flourishes. Either that or it’s a mirage. Photo:

Apple’s spaceship-style Campus 2 isn’t the only impressive Apple building on the horizon. The first render for the company’s giant R&D center in Yokohama, Japan, is out — and it looks spectacular!

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Fake Apple Store employees try to sell customers on Microsoft


Welcome to the Apple Store. Would you like to buy a Samsung? Photo: NelkFilmz

I’ve always found the people who work in Apple Stores to be incredibly helpful and, considering that their job is to sell you on expensive products, honest. One thing that’s never happened to me, however, is having an Apple Store employee suggest that I consider choosing a Samsung handset or Windows Phone over an Apple device.

But that’s exactly what happened the day that YouTube pranksters NelkFilmz dressed up as Apple employees and hit their local Apple Store, with the aim of selling Surfaces instead of iPads. They’re quickly weeded out by the real store employees, of course — at which point things just get awkward.

You can check the video out below.

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H2 woah! Apple’s new spaceship campus will use recycled water

What the finished product will look like.

Apple’s upcoming campus as it will eventually appear. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook wasn’t lying when he claimed Apple’s new spaceship-style Campus 2 would be the company’s most cutting-edge, environmentally friendly construction to date.

A new $17.5 million project — approved by the Santa Clara Valley Water District board Tuesday night — will involve the laying of 13,300 feet of pipeline that will pipe recycled water to both Cupertino and Apple’s Campus 2 HQ.

“Apple drove this project,” said Katherine Oven, deputy operating officer of the water district, describing it as “a true partnership of both public and private agencies.”

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Hilarious ‘Also Shot on iPhone 6’ posters slime Apple’s shiny facade


The iPhone 6 has one of the best smartphone cameras around. Shame it’s not always pushed to its limits. Photo: Also Shot on iPhone 6

You just knew that when Apple announced its new “Shot on iPhone” ad campaign — crowdsourced from the millions of photos shot by regular iPhone owners each year, and displayed on billboards and bus stops around the world — it wouldn’t take long for someone to parody it.

Well, that day has come, thanks to a Tumblr parody page called “Also Shot on an iPhone” which shows an array of oddball bathroom selfies and other images blown up to poster size and displayed around San Francisco by a pair of local guerrilla street artists.

The results are suitably hilarious.

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U.K. politicians get free iPads, and not everyone’s happy about it

Photo: Flickr/UK Parliament CC

iPad Airs are now officially allowable expenses. Photo: Flickr/U.K. Parliament CC

The 650 politicians who win seats at the U.K.’s House of Commons on May 7 are set to be given iPad Air 2 devices as part of a new deal.

Not everyone is happy about it, though. Shadow Cabinet Office minister (and possible Android user?) Chi Onwurah has attacked the plan — saying that, “Locking some of the most powerful people in the country into a platform that most of my constituents can’t afford seems like a mistake.”

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Charli XCX’s new music video looks like an Apple ad

Her iPhone's so fancy, but you already know that. Photo: Officialcharlixcx

Her iPhone’s so fancy, but you already know that. Photo: Officialcharlixcx

Lesser brands like Samsung have to splash some serious cash to give the impression that they’re cool pieces of technology, but Apple’s so ubiquitous that pop stars are seemingly lining up to feature its products in their music videos.

The latest to create an unofficial Apple ad is pop songstress Charli XCX (a.k.a. the girl who sang the hook on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”). In her new video “Famous” — debuted as part of this week’s YouTube Music Award Show — Charli dances around her bedroom texting and watching videos on her iPhone and iPad, before both devices run out of battery, at which point she’s whisked off on a surreal adventure.

Check it out below:

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Steve Jobs had to be convinced that multi-touch was the future

Apple is finally on the "same planet" as iPhone 6 demand. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Where would the iPhone and iPad be without multi-touch? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Steve Jobs may have had an astonishing ability to predict where tech was going next, but he very nearly missed out on the iPhone and iPad altogether.

That’s because — according to a quote from Jony Ive in today’s freshly-released biography, Becoming Steve Jobs — Apple’s late CEO didn’t see “any value to the idea” of multi-touch: the breakthrough touchscreen technology which makes iOS regulars like “pinch-to-zoom” possible.

And it was left up to Ive and a few other core Apple employees to save it.

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