(You're reading all posts by 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.
About Luke Dormehl
A Florida man has been charged with federal wire fraud for racking up $309,000 in illegal credit card transactions, with many of them carried out at Apple Stores.
52-year-old Sharron L. Parrish Jr. visited different Apple Stores – including those in Brandon, Boca Raton, Millennia and Wellington Green — and spent up to $7,400 in each one; adding up to a total of 42 purchases.
Coinciding with the forthcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot produced by Michael Bay, Apple has announced its latest free App of the Week as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run.
It’s an endless runner combat game, in which the heroes in a half-shell fight against the sinister Foot Clan and evil associates. If you’re a Turtles fan, you’ll find plenty of familiar faces here — including the obvious (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael) and less obvious faves (Kraang, Baxter Stockman, Casey Jones).
Apple might have its most exciting product pipeline in years underway, but exactly when we’re going to see these devices is another question.
According to new reports in the Taiwanese media, the reported 5.5-inch iPhone 6 has yet to enter production, and is being pushed back to September. The report doesn’t state whether this decision is deliberate on the part of Apple — perhaps as a way of confusing the market by launching two new iPhones simultaneously — or is being forced on the company as the result of manufacturing problems.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote says that it is “most troubling” that Apple could potentially be made to pay just $70 million in its antitrust case related to e-book price fixing.
Cote was speaking during a teleconference on Thursday regarding the long-running case claiming that Apple conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices.
In the original ruling made by Judge Cote in April 2012, Apple was expected to pay $674 million after the plaintiffs reached settlements with the individual publishers.
Nothing's better than a bloody surprise.
If there’s one thing we like more than vampires, it’s vampires that surprise us. Forget about your grandpappy's Brylcreemed Transylvanian counts, the bloodsuckers who really matter here in 2014 are the ones that break the established rules -- whether that's being a redneck vampire biker or a pistol-packing model, inflicting nocturnal death on werewolves.
With the last season of True Blood playing out at the moment, the time is right to take a gander at the characters that have changed our ideas about what a vampire should be. Who made the cut? Take a look through our ghoulish gallery to find out.
Caleb and Mae (Near Dark)
We’ve seen a few different redneck vampire characters now, but in 1987 — when the dregs of the Hammer Horror were still a (relatively) fresh memory -- Caleb and Mae, the vampires from Kathryn Bigelow’s horror western Near Dark were unlike anything most audiences had seen. For one thing, Caleb especially isn’t a killer: something that makes him a preview of the later soft vampires of the Twilight series. The rest of the film’s vampish cast are a little bit different too: a mix of classic vampire, cowboy, and biker. It’s a strange mix — but it somehow works.
Lestat (Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles)
Lestat’s a tricky one. Today we think of the brooding, tortured, slightly foppish vampire as almost as much a part of vampire legend as the whole stake-through-the-heart, dislikes-garlic aspects of the traditional lore. Not so. While vampires always possessed a slightly sexy edge, it took Anne Rice’s 1976 novel and subsequent movie adaptation Interview With the Vampire to reimagine these monstrous bloodsuckers as the kind of perennially stylish heartthrob we think of today. Definitely a mold-breaker.
Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Originally I was going to include Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Angel on this list, but all he really did was take the Lestat model and add an (admittedly cool) dose of action hero on top of the brooding antihero model. Instead, consider Spike: The bleach-blond cockney punk turned what should have been a disposable character into one of Buffy’s most memorable players.
Buffy’s vampires tended to stick to established vampire lore, but remixed the archetypes in all sorts of inventive ways. Spike started breaking the mold by being a one-off character who turned into a series regular thanks to his surprising popularity. He continued to surprise us from there.
Selene (Underworld series)
Underworld’s Selene was what would happen if Keanu Reeves in The Matrix was vampirized thanks to a quick bite on the neck in between bullet-time sequences. Well, it would be if Reeves was a sexy lady with child-birthing hips and silver bullets. The Underworld movies may have been a bit of an incoherent mess, but the techno-inspired, leather-wearing, werewolf-gunning Selene was as far from the helpless Mina Harker female vampire as possible. Like many of the vampires on this list, it was a combination that worked bizarrely well.
Edward Cullen (Twilight series)
You almost hate to include Edward Cullen and the rest of Twilight’s sparkly vampires on a list of vamps who broke the mold, but there’s no doubt that Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga broke with a few key aspects of bloodsucker lore: namely the whole vulnerability to sunlight thing.
While not an original part of the vampire myth (they were more active at night, but not actually afraid of the sun), this death-by-sunlight angle been included in almost every vampire story since Count Dracula appeared in the 19th century. Breaking with it not only changed Twilight by ridding its characters of a classic vamp weakness, it also ditched the whole “creature of the night” aspect for something altogether friendlier. For shame!
Eli (Let the Right One In)
Twists to the vampire legend don’t come much more heartbreaking than Eli, the female lead of 2008’s Let The Right One In. Taking the form of a lonely young girl, Eli befriends bullied 12-year-old Oskar, who is totally unaware that his new pal is anything but an equally troubled child. Their resulting friendship is troubling, surprisingly tear-jerking and unlike anything seen in other vampire movies before or since.
Deacon Frost (Blade)
Forget Wesley Snipe’s tax-evading vampire hunter (wait, I think that’s mixing up a few details!) — the really original character in Blade was Deacon Frost. The idea of yuppie-as-vampire had been explored in metaphor previously, but this is the first time I remember literally seeing it up on screen. Apart from the whole bloodsucking thing, is there anything about Deacon Frost that would seem out of place at a Silicon Valley drinks mixer? His murder of the vampire elders in the House of Erebus was a signal moment for ushering in the vampire v2.0.
Henry Fitzroy (Blood Ties)
Where to start with Henry Fitzroy, the most memorable character from supernatural drama series Blood Ties? The illegitimate son of Henry VIII, this Renaissance vampire winds up living in Canada in the 21st century, working as a graphic novel artist set on charming the pants off a female private investigator.
Unlike seemingly every other romantic vamp, Fitzroy’s not an angst-ridden teen, but a smooth chick-magnet/charmer who gets all the ladies. In a further departure from regular vamp lore, Fitzroy rarely kills humans and drinks only from those who are willing to offer him enough blood to sustain him.
Just in time for Comic-Con International, iOS game Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is rolling out an appropriately themed update, adding a whole new storyline and cameos from a bevy of geek-chic celebrities.
The new plot line concerns (surprise, surprise!) a comic convention that comes to Quahog. Chaos naturally ensues, and Stewie somehow gets transformed into the evil octopus monster seen in the above picture. To fight him, Quahog enlists the help of an all-star celeb cast including Patrick Stewart, Bryan Cranston, Stan Lee, Ron Perlman, George Takei, Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion.
With their help, the Griffins and supporting characters are turned into real superheroes, who can use their new-found powers to save the day and restore order to the town.
The console-quality, Zelda-inspired game Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas was one of the best original games in ages when it hit iOS late last year.
Based on the amazing feedback that game deservedly scooped up, developers FDG Entertainment and Cornfox & Bros. have just dropped a brand new victory lap trailer hyping what looks to be an epic “Game of the Year Edition” update the team is currently working on.
One of the best things Apple offers for newbie customers is the ability to go into brick-and-mortar retail stores for training sessions.
Looking to improve this service — or at least to speed up the ability for users to make the appropriate reservations — Apple has made changes to its “Learn” webpage, adding an interactive map of its stores along with revised session details.
The changes also integrate workshops such as Youth Programs and One to One training into the existing Concierge reservation system.
Beats may have been acquired by Apple for $3 billion earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean that the trendy headphone maker is ready to adopt the white Jony Ive-favored minimalism of Apple just yet.
While Apple continues to work on its Cupertino “Mothership” headquarters, an article from Fast Company sheds some light on the new Beats campus being renovated from two industrial buildings in Culver City, Los Angeles.
Featuring reception areas, conference rooms, and offices in one building, and a cafeteria, gym, and double-height workshop for R&D in the other, the article describes the design as featuring “architectural gestures that go from pop to cinematic to downright arty.”
One thing it’s not, though, is reminiscent of Apple.
With a great quarter behind Apple and massive refreshes of both iOS and OS X in the near future (along with a little something called the iPhone 6) Tim Cook is unlikely to have a lack of things to crow about during today’s earnings call.
If he is, however, maybe he can bring up the fact that – despite increased competition – the iPad is still driving a massive majority of tablet web usage, as measured through ad impressions.
The data was collected by research firm Chitika Insights, who sampled tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian ad impressions between July 1 and 7 this year. They found that the iPad accounts for 78.0% of all tablet ad impressions — up from the 77.2% the iPad represented back in April, and one of the largest quarter-over-quarter increases for any tablet brand.