How Apple spun success out of its every failure

The Apple Newton. Failure, or precursor of the iPhone?

The Apple Newton. Failure, or precursor of the iPhone?

Anyone who’s followed Apple for a long time knows the company has not always been the kind of world-beating success it is today. An entire book could be written about Apple’s failures over the years — and there are the doomsday predictions to prove it.

But Apple has succeeded in taking those seemingly disastrous mistakes and learning valuable lessons from them. The graphical user interface of the Apple Lisa? Apple learned that sometimes you need to stick with good ideas for a while before they catch on. The takeaway from Apple’s QuickTake Camera? Rushing to beat everyone else to market isn’t always the best idea.

A new infographic runs down 21 of the biggest Apple flops in history — and what Cupertino learned from them. If you’re a long-time Apple fan it’s a great trip down memory lane. If you’re a newcomer, it’s a fascinating introduction to how Apple has learned from even its most grievous errors and become the undisputed giant it is in 2015.

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Kids’ coding academies aim to bridge ‘skills gap’

The Flatiron School in New York is expanding its kids coding academies to six U.S. cities this summer. Photo: Flatiron School

The Flatiron School in New York is expanding its coding academies for high school student sto six U.S. cities this summer. Photo: Flatiron School

There are plenty of schools with computers. But find a teacher with tech industry experience and you’ve found a “unicorn,” says a school director who wants to introduce kids to the language of coding.

Lyel Resner, director of K-12 curriculum at New York’s Flatiron School, is promoting a series of summer workshops across six U.S. cities to teach high school students programming fundamentals, app development, front-end web design and how to get a startup off the ground.

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Soviet space propaganda: rocket porn from the past

Space will be ours. Long live the first woman astronaut!

Space will be ours. Long live the first woman astronaut!

The Cold War and that whole mutual assured destruction thing sure made the space race fun.

Soviet space propaganda: rocket porn from the pastEvery astronaut strapped into a rocket and sent toward the stars was an ideological finger in the chest of the other side, each mission asserting who had the better technology or, more importantly, the most firepower.

The United States took its licks as the Soviet Union was first to launch a satellite, put a man in space (and then a woman) and execute the first spacewalk. Only after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon could the Americans begin to perceive they were finally winning the race.

But the Reds were absolutely unmatched when it came to using talented illustrators to make the average citizen believe their country would conquer the cosmic frontier.

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What to expect from Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ Watch event

Apple is taking over the Yerba Buena Center in San Fransisco. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is taking over the Yerba Buena Center in San Fransisco. Photo:Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s March 9 “Spring Forward” event is just around the corner, and its tagline can only mean one thing: Apple Watch news galore.

Scheduled for the day after daylight saving time kicks in, we expect Apple to shower us with details about the upcoming wearable, including pricing and availability. Select Apple Watch apps from App Store developers will likely be shown off as well to whet our appetites for what’s to come.

While there’s a chance some new Mac hardware could share the stage Monday, we expect the event to focus mostly on all the unanswered questions surrounding the Apple Watch.

What are those questions? Glad you asked:

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Here come the Apple Watch fart apps

Oh god. Here come the Apple Watch fart apps. Photo: Fart Watch

Brace yourself for the onslaught of Apple Watch fart apps. Photo: Fart Watch

Oh god. What else is there to say? The first Apple Watch fart app is already in development.

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6 audacious fan films that could teach Hollywood a lesson

Dawson and Starbuck in a gritty future war? Yes please. Photo: Adi Shankar/YouTube

A recent Power Rangers fan film created major excitement online. Photo: Adi Shankar/YouTube

Fan films are the ultimate way for devotees to pay tribute to the characters they love. They give fans the chance to show how the beloved heroes (and antiheroes) should be portrayed — without the creativity-sapping “benefit” of focus groups, hack screenwriters and overpaid producers.

With a war raging between the fans who make these productions and the rights-holders who argue they’re being damaged, Cult of Mac runs down six of the best fan-created short films doing the round on the interwebz.

Check out our picks below.

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The Wankband aims to be the Apple Watch of masturbation

Every wearable maker out there right now is trying to figure out how they’re going to compete with the Apple Watch once it lands. Leave it to adult website Pornhub to actually figure it out: It’s just unveiled a tongue-in-cheek concept for a wearable band that would allow you to charge your other gadgets using the power of masturbation.

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12-inch MacBook Air may arrive in time for WWDC

12-inch MacBook Air may arrive in time for WWDC

The 12-inch MacBook Air may finally find its way into your hands this June. Photo: Apple

Apple could launch its eagerly anticipated 12-inch MacBook Air around the time of the Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Claiming to have spoken with unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal writes that Apple will release its first refresh of the MacBook Air since April 2014 “in large quantities” during the second quarter of 2015, although no definite date has been nailed down. Suppliers are reportedly already manufacturing the notebook, and are building up supplies ready for shipping.

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‘Microsoft tech support’ scammer threatens murder in Canada

A scammer pretending to be a Microsoft employee threatened to murder someone who disbelieved his credentials. Photo: WMKY

A scammer pretending to be a Microsoft employee threatened to murder someone who didn’t believe his credentials. Photo: WMKY

Apple’s customer service is tops. Go into any Apple Store, and a Genius will be happy to assist you with even the most trivial of technical support problems.

I bet the guy on the other end of a call from an alleged Microsoft tech support guru wished he was talking to an Apple Genius instead. The “support” guy turned out to be a scammer, and when the victim called him out on it, the fake Microsoft agent actually threatened to murder him.

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Indie dev hopes Zombie Match Defense will chew its way to the top

This guy really wants his game to do well. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

This guy really wants his game to do well. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — After his best friend deemed it impossible to make a fun game using the oversaturated staples of mobile gaming — match three, tower defense and zombies — indie developer Jake Sones made a bet.

Now Sones and his three-person team at Shovelware Games are ready to win that bet with upcoming game Zombie Match Defense, which makes players defend a row of scientists against an attacking horde of zombies by matching three or more brains of the same type. It’s as if Plants vs. Zombies and Candy Crush had a goofy baby and invaded your iPad.

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