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10 surprising things we learned about Tim Cook today

Photo: Apple.

Fortune names Tim Cook the “world’s greatest leader.” Here’s why. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook had enormous shoes to fill when he took over as Apple CEO. After Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, doubters questioned whether the Southern engineer could keep Apple relevant. But Cook has led Apple to become the world’s most valuable company — he might be even better at running the company than Jobs ever was.

Now Fortune has named Cook the “world’s greatest leader” and published a profile full of exclusive details about Cook’s journey as Apple CEO. In the interview, Cook reveals how he developed thick skin, why he’s giving all his money to charity, and the real reasons he opened up about his sexuality.

The massive profile is well worth a read, but we’ve picked out the most interesting bits for you below.

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Calling Aaron Muderick a putty magnet is not a stretch

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Magnetic Putty smothers all it is attracted to. Photo: Ian Parks/YouTube

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Magnetic Putty smothers all it is attracted to. Photo: Ian Parks/YouTube

Aaron Muderick is grateful to the anonymous pioneering office worker who thought to populate his or her desk with toys.

Muderick was a software engineer when his go-to desk toy, Silly Putty, gave him a whole new career when the tech bubble burst in the late 1990s and the company that employed him went under.

The story behind the unique beginnings of “Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty” is even crazier than the chemistry that creates the luminescent and magnetic properties of his product.

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The problem with Becoming Steve Jobs? Too much Steve Jobs

The world needs more insight into how Apple works, but you won't find that in Becoming Steve Jobs. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The world needs fresh insight into how Apple works, but you won’t find much of that in Becoming Steve Jobs. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

One of Steve Jobs’ favorite recordings was The Beatles working on version after version of “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

The new Jobs biography, Becoming Steve Jobs, is like that recording: It serves up fresh takes on oft-told stories from Apple’s history, this time with more sugarcoating.

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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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Fake Apple Store employees try to sell customers on Microsoft

Photo:

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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How to mark all iMessages as read on your iPhone

Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Too many unread iMessages? Try this simple trick. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of unread iMessages on your iPhone and tapping through them all just to get rid of your app badge anxiety seems like a bit too much effort.

Apple has your back, though, with a nicely designed way to mark all your iMessages as read. It might not be apparent at first glance where to find this magic trick. Here’s how.

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Logitech reboots a beloved mouse for Mac users

The top of the Logitech MX Master mouse. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The new Logitech MX Master takes pains to be a great Mac mouse. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — To make its mouse of the future, Logitech looked to the past. The MX Master, a reboot of a classic Logitech mouse that brings back a long-lost feature while adding significant modern upgrades, is perfect for the port-deficient new MacBook.

The MX Master resurrects the nifty scroll wheel that was a killer feature of the MX Revolution, which Logitech released in 2006. The Revolution’s clever scroll wheel seemed to shift gears on the fly, going from slow to speedy and letting you zip through long webpages and documents. The feature helped turned the Revolution into a hit, but the scroll wheel went away in subsequent Logitech mice, causing fans to weep for their loss when their beloved mouse finally crapped out.

The MX Master brings back the innovative scroll wheel with a vengeance.

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Hidden iOS 8 trick lets you change words to ALL CAPS with a tap

Shouting can be an important part of your internet experience. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Shouting can be an important part of your internet experience. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Sometimes you just need to emphasize something. One of the best ways to do so when you’re texting is to make the words you really need to get across in all capitals. Or maybe you just want to shout at someone, and an ALL CAPS sentence will certainly get that across for you.

Before now, I’ve always just deleted the word I was trying to emphasize and re-typed it after double-tapping the Shift key in iOS (for Caps Lock). Now, however, it looks like you can change the case of the word after you’ve typed it without deleting anything.

Here’s how.

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Apple officially loves new Steve Jobs bio, hated old one

The new Steve Jobs biography hopes to set the record straight. Photo:

Becoming Steve Jobs? More like Forgetting Walter Isaacson. Photo: Penguin Random House

You may have suspected that the new biography Becoming Steve Jobs had Apple’s official endorsement the moment it was revealed that Jony Ive, Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, Pixar’s John Lasseter and Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, offered their participation.

However, with just one day to go until the book’s release, the word is now officially out: This is Apple’s sanctioned version of the Steve Jobs story.

“After a long period of reflection following Steve’s death, we felt a sense of responsibility to say more about the Steve we knew,” Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said. “We decided to participate in [the] book because of [author Brent Schlender’s] long relationship with Steve, which gave him a unique perspective on Steve’s life. The book captures Steve better than anything else we’ve seen, and we are happy we decided to participate.”

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Jony Ive was almost fired by Steve Jobs

"Will design for food." Photo: Apple

“Will design for food.” Photo: Apple

Steve Jobs planned to boot Jony Ive out of Apple the very first time he met him, according to an explosive new revelation from the forthcoming biography Becoming Steve Jobs.

“He came over to the studio, I think, essentially to fire me,” Ive told the book’s authors, Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, in an interview.

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