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The Agony & The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: Q&A with Mike Daisey [Interview]

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MD_SJ61

Mike Daisey isn’t afraid to rant. The mercurial storyteller first made a name for himself on stage by decrying the state of American theater. Tech is a natural target for him – he’s survived a stint at Amazon.com and takes apart computers to relax – so he really makes his point forcefully with a two-hour monologue called “The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” onstage now through Feb. 27 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. (See our review of the show here.)

During our 40-minute conversation, I get the uncomfortable feeling he’s ranting directly at me. In fact, the show takes tech journalists to task for being subservient to the industry as well as missing the whole story of where all the shiny gadgets we report about so breathlessly come from. Ahem.

Cult of Mac talked to Daisey about why both Apple fans and PC people will enjoy his show, as well as his own gadget gear and why donning Steve Jobs’ signature black turtleneck on stage would’ve been “fucking stupid.”

Geek Trend – Ringing Up Sales with an iPad Cash Register

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iPad Cash Register Collage

The iPad isn’t just creating revenue for Apple and iOS developers, in many retail establishments it’s now tracking revenue as well. Everyone’s favorite iDevice has been increasingly seen helping out at the checkout counter and point-of-sale operations in restaurants and coffee shops worldwide.

Several vendors are now offering iPad software and integrated terminal hardware supporting order management, payment processing, reporting and remote management capability. What an ideal Geek Trend: iPads, Coffee, Cupcakes and Commerce!

Misunderstanding the ‘iPad Computer’

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Dvorak

Pugnacious PC pundit John C. Dvorak is always fun to read. His opinions are often as outrageous as they are insightful. I’ve always been a huge fan, even when I disagree.

Dvorak’s latest post on PCMag.com, headlined “Understanding the iPad Computer,” is one of those I disagree with. In fact, I think his whole argument is exactly the opposite of reality.

(This isn’t the first time I’ve butted heads with PCMag.com over the iPad, by the way.)

In a nutshell, Dvorak attributes the overwhelming success of the Apple iPad not to the user interface, but to the design of the tablet as an output device, rather than input device. He writes:

“It was always assumed that the pad was going to be primarily an input device, like a paper and pen notepad. The successful machines of today are primarily output devices, not a notepad. It was this one simple paradigm shift that appears to be the difference maker.”

The column and conclusion are based on three key assertions, all of them false.

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Where Apple Makes Its Money: Software

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Some insight is emerging as to what Apple product (hardware, software, or media) is earning the most bucks. Turns out, at the core of success for the Cupertino, Calif. company might be software. Earlier this week, Apple announced its iOS-powered triumvirate — iPhone, iPad and iPod touch — comprised 65 percent of the $17.3 billion in the last-quarter revenue.

Additionally, sale of Mac OSX products accounted for 20 percent of all sales. Combine those two with sales of the Mac OSX software and the various App Store products and 90 percent of Apple revenue is coming from software, according to analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco.

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Digitimes Says iPad 2 Will Have Retina Display, While Moore’s Law Says It Won’t

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The scarcely, randomly reputable boys over at Digitimes are recycling weeks-old rumors by insisting that one of their sources from inside AAPL’s component supply chain says that the iPad 2 will boast a Retina Display.

Well, no, it jolly well won’t. But just in case that doesn’t convince you, how about some extrapolation due Moore’s Law?

Hugh Hefner Tweets Uncensored Playboy Coming to iPad

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Hugh Hefner, founder of the Grandaddy of all girlie mags, Playboy, tweeted Tuesday evening that an “uncensored” Playboy is coming to iPad.

Given that the Playboy website’s metadata “description” reads: “Nude girls, hot girls, naked women and sexy pics with nude girls as well as videos of hot girls posing nude or in sexy positions celebrating girls and women …” — Hef’s tweet would appear to be in direct contradiction of Apple’s prohibition against sexually provocative material in apps designed to run on iOS devices.

Maybe Hef knows something we don’t know; perhaps he’s just hoping to take advantage of Steve Jobs being on medical leave. Or maybe Hef is just a little more hip to the buzz generating capabilities of Twitter than an 84 year-old guy ought to be.