Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Brian Chen’

Engineer’s Disguised Apple Watch During Testing ➝

A few interesting bits from Brian Chen’s recent piece on the Apple Watch, published by The New York Times:

In an effort to maintain secrecy, engineers testing the watch outside the office even created fake casing that made the Apple device resemble a Samsung watch, one person said.

This reminds me of how Apple concealed the iPhone 4 while engineers were testing them in public. It’s funny that Apple’s devices are typically small enough to fit in a case the size of their competitors’ products.

The company also developed a yet-to-be-announced feature called Power Reserve, a mode that will run the watch on low energy but display only the time, according to one employee.

This is undoubtedly due to Apple’s use of AMOLED displays in their smartwatches, which use considerably less power while displaying primarily black screens. That’s also how Apple has managed to get a full day’s worth of battery inside the Watch — by designing user interfaces with black backgrounds they reap the benefits of an incredibly energy efficient display technology.

Apple will release the watch a bit later than it had hoped because of technology challenges. It probably didn’t help that several important employees jumped ship. Nest Labs, the smart appliance maker that was acquired by Google last year, poached a few engineers who were the very best on the watch team, according to two people.

Talent retention is tough, especially when, often, the perception of Apple is that they’ve run out of ideas or aren’t doing anything interesting anymore. Engineers, designers, and developers want to work on exciting project. And, I can imagine that another company’s job offers start to look really tempting after you’be been working on the same device for 18 months.

Toyota Has No Plans to Adopt CarPlay or Android Auto in US ➝

Aaron Kessler and Brian Chen, reporting for The New York Times:

John Hanson, the national manager of Toyota’s advanced technology communications, said while the company talked frequently with both Google and Apple, it currently had no plans to adopt Android Auto or CarPlay in the United States.

Something tells me this is a foolish decision. It seems like Android Auto and CarPlay would be worth making available, at least as an add-on option in new vehicles.

Inside Apple’s Internal Training Program ➝

The New York Times profiles Apple University — Apple’s internal training program — designed to teach employees about Apple’s business culture and history.

AT&T’s FaceTime Restrictions Could Be Violating FCC Rules ➝

Brian Chen:

Public Knowledge, a nonprofit group that focuses on Internet law, says that by prohibiting its other customers from using the video-calling feature on the network, AT&T is violating net-neutrality rules by blocking a service that potentially competes with its own.

No word from the FCC yet, but I hope they do the right thing and keep AT&T from blocking FaceTime for its non-shared data customers. I’ve been holding onto unlimited data since the release of the original iPhone and would prefer to keep it rather than move over to the shared data plans just for FaceTime.

Wired Reveals the People Involved in Sale of the Lost iPhone ➝

Law.com has revealed that Gizmodo editor Jason Chen has hired a criminal lawyer. I’m glad to hear that he’s finally taking this seriously. Chen’s lawyer says that he does not know if Chen is the target of the investigation or if they are trying to find information about his sources. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is saying that to protect his client.

What’s more interesting is that the finder of the iPhone prototype has been revealed. Wired has discovered the identity of the finder after following some social networking clues.

From the report on Wired:

Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, California, says although he was paid by tech site Gizmodo, he believed the payment was for allowing the site exclusive access to review the phone. Gizmodo emphasized to him “that there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press,” according to his attorney Jeffrey

Hogan says that he regrets not doing more to return the iPhone to Apple. Wired also reports that a friend of Hogan called AppleCare about the device and this is all that was done as an attempt to return the device. The iPhone was never returned to the bar and no other type of attempts were made.

In their report Wired also reveals that they were contacted to purchase the device, but not by Hogan. So there was a middleman, which leads me to believe that Hogan knew what he was doing was not only incredibly shady but also potentially illegal.