Apple Watch tops holiday list for IBM’s Watson


iBM Watson
IBM's supercomputer Watson isn't just good at Jeopardy.
Photo: IBM

If you’ve watched any YouTube videos lately, you might have learned that IBM’s Watson supercomputer is a big fan of Bob Dylan, even though the deep-learning machine can’t carry a tune. But we can also add the Apple Watch to Watson’s list of likes, as the wearable has topped the think-bot’s list of items trending this holiday.

These results come from a brand-new, free app that collects and analyzes customer sentiment from across the Internet.

How Beats maximizes cheap hardware for luxurious profits


Beats by Dre teardown
This is what the inside of a set of Beats by Dre Solo HDs looks like.
Photo: Bolt. Used by permission.

A teardown of a set of Beats headphones, which sell for hundreds of dollars at retail, revealed that the hardware contains less than $18 in components. And that sounds like the ‘phones are an insane ripoff, but that’s not even the most interesting thing we learned from the examination.

We’re used to hearing about how our expensive gadgets “only cost” whatever amount, but of course you’re not just paying for the parts when you pick something up. That price includes labor and manufacturing, as well as the research that went into designing it and future iterations, post-purchase support, and a bunch of other invisible costs like the non-specific luxury and status values of the product.

Cheap materials aside, Beats contain a bunch of very cool design decisions that also help keep the real costs down for their makers.

The future of the iPhone 5c, Apple pays Lebron and the rest of this week’s hottest news



Back in 2008, basketball star LeBron James received a small stake in Beats Electronics in exchange for promoting the company’s headphones. Now that Apple has bought Beats, guess how much James is set to make? You really don’t want to know, but watch our news wrap anyway. The rest of it, including updates on split-screen iPad multitasking and the future of the iPhone 5c. will cheer you up.

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