Features

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 Ever since 1914, when president Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday in May would be a U.S. national holiday in honor of mothers, people have gone nuts trying to pick the perfect present for the moms in their lives. But fret no longer -- whether your mother is a hardcore techie, somewhat tech-savvy, or totally uninterested in the world of bits and bytes -- we’ve found a great gift for her.

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 In the May issue of Mac|Life, we interviewed Leander Kahney, managing editor of Wired News, contributer to the Cult of Mac blog, and author of the new book Inside Steve’s Brain (Portfolio, $23.95). The book, in bookstores now, is part management theory text, part history of Apple and technology, and part Steve Jobs biography—a lively, enthralling look into the people and processes behind the success of Apple, and a glimpse into the motivations and passions of the man who guides and controls the company like no other CEO in business today. We spoke with Kahney to peek inside his brain and find out what it was like to write about the biggest personality in the computer industry. Here’s the full transcript.

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 After dangling one of the world’s coolest gadgets in front of attendees at the 2007 San Francisco Mac Expo for the better part of two hours, Steve Jobs broke thousands of hearts by setting iPhone’s release date a few seasons down the road: “We’re announcing it today because with products like this we gotta go and get FCC approval, which takes a few months. We thought it would be better if we introduced this rather than ask the FCC to introduce it for us.”

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3G iPhone -- Why It Matters

 Like every shiny new piece of Apple hardware, it seems like from the very moment the first people in line got their paws on an iPhone, speculation began over when Apple would be releasing the second generation. Why? Well, for one, it provided a convenient out for anyone who didn’t want to drop $600 on a new phone (Yeah, yeah, that’s it—I’m waiting around for a better iPhone). But the truth is, the iPhone was released with features that many users felt could stand a little improvement. Where were the third-party apps? No Java? And isn’t this EDGE network a tad slow?

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Top 10 Apple Flops

   For a niche company that’s endured a pretty steady stream of criticism for more than three decades, Apple's track record is surprisingly strong. Even before the iPod transformed from an overpriced toy into the must-have gadget of the decade, Apple turned as many heads with its misses as its hits, crafting well conceived and constructed products that were sometimes overpriced, often overhyped and usually just plain ahead of their time. But, of course, nobody’s perfect: Missteps from our favorite company.

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The Canadian iPhone Waiting Game

 Canadians have been waiting for the iPhone to arrive since it was announced at Macworld 2007. Some Canadians refuse to wait for homegrown carriers to adopt the revolutionary device. Hell-bent on owning an iPhone by any means necessary, they've hacked, bartered and unlocked their way into possession and control of the coolest phone...well, ever. 

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The Top 10 Apple Movie Moments

  While it’s a pretty safe bet that Macs are starring behind the scenes of Hollywood’s greatest creations, Apple’s presence is strong on the other side of the camera, too, as PowerBooks, iPods, Cinema Displays and iPhones appear alongside Academy Award winners, sultry starlets and B-movie hacks. Over the years, Apple’s chic style has caught the eye of more than a few set designers, directors and writers, making for some memorable moments. Lights, Camera, Mac-tion! 

Free Your DRM Shackled Music

 With a little bit of work, you can create DRM-free versions of your iTunes music. Digital rights management (DRM) prevents a music file from being played by an unauthorized user or player. The recording industry thinks DRM is necessary to stop piracy, but as Steve Jobs put it in his February 6, 2007, public letter titled Thoughts on Music, “DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.” DRM’s restrictions effectively do nothing but annoy the people who bought the music. Since Jobs’s letter, the iTunes Store has gone on to offer DRM-free songs, but the iTunes Store’s DRM-free library, called iTunes Plus, is limited (although always growing). If you already have a DRM’d iTunes song, you can pay 30 cents per song to convert to a DRM-free version—if one is available. Or you can create your own. 

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iPhone Apps Safari

 The final release of the iPhone SDK is quickly approaching. As we impatiently await new apps, the Mac|Life staff has been speculating on what apps are already in the works by some of our favorite companies. Tell us what apps you want for the iPhone and we'll call the developer and get the info.

 During the course of human events, it sometimes becomes necessary to bring the rock—and we cannot bring the rock without the hallowed tools of our trade. So we summon our guitars and amps, our boots and leather, our Pete Townsend windmills and Janis Joplin caterwauls. And now we also enlist our Macs—for they bestow furious powers of transformation upon those who seek rock star greatness. Yes, Macs are even more potent than cowbells. Consider the DIY career stylings of D’arby Rose, singer-guitarist of the As Ifs, a band that most certainly has the coolest name in the entire history of rock, ever. At the gravelly old age of 17, Rose has already produced all the must-have media assets that one would expect of a serious punk-rock frontwoman. She’s got the demo CD. She’s got the music video. She’s got the website with the obligatory music downloads and calendar of live appearances. And she, along with drummer Lily B, created all of this stuff with nothing but a MacBook. And we do mean nothing but a MacBook.