VIDEO: Sudanese diva on her desert songs

Amira Kheir been hailed as the Diva of the Sudanese Desert and is one of the most popular folk musicians to emerge from Sudan in the last decade. The singer told BBC Africa’s Peter Okwoche about her new album.

These Tire Caps Change Color When Your Car’s Tire Pressure Gets Low

Quick! How’s your car’s tire pressure?

Don’t know? Better go check. Which, if you’re like most people, means going out, kicking the tire, saying “seems good” and forgetting about it until something is clearly wrong.

Here’s a damned clever alternative: tire caps that change color when the pressure gets too low. Read More

Laptop Mag Names Apple Best Notebook Brand Fifth Year in a Row

For the fifth consecutive year, Apple has been named overall winner in Laptop Mag’s “Best and Worst Laptop Brands.” The magazine evaluated notebooks from nine manufacturers in a range of categories, from reviews and tech support to design and software. “For a remarkable fifth year in a row,” the magazine writes, “Apple has proved once again that it’s still the gold standard of laptop makers.” Apple won four out of eight categories and tied for first in two others, and all four MacBook models reviewed received Editor’s Choice awards. “Often imitated, never duplicated,” the reviewers concluded. “The clean, modern look of Apple’s MacBook has set the standard for portability and power, which is why so many other notebooks look like clones.”

If You’re Going To Watch One Video Of A 3D-Printed Clock That Writes The Time, Make It This One

The machines. They are learning. The Plotclock is a small, 3D-printed clock that forgoes the traditional gears and springs for servos and an Arduino microcontroller. It writes the time. And then erases it. Then writes the time again, continuing forever even though the white board will quickly descend into a smudgy mess of partially erased ink. It’s a simple device: One servo lifts the pen… Read More

Upcoming Apple TV Product Will Include Video Game Support, Launch Date Unclear

appletv.pngApple’s much-rumored revamped Apple TV product will be revealed “any week now” according to a new report from the Financial Times, though notable Apple journalist Jim Dalrymple poured water on a separate report, saying an Apple TV will not be launching soon.

Though a launch date is uncertain, rumors have indicated the redesigned Apple TV product will include support for games, which the Financial Times confirms. It may also include a fully-fledged App Store, bringing apps to the set-top box for the first time.

The significantly redesigned hardware will include greater support for video-games, already a popular pastime on its iPhones and iPads, as well as other new features which could include bringing its App Store to the TV set for the first time.

The release, which was delayed from the end of last year, could come “any week now”, this source said. Apple has not commented on the rumours.

Rumors of a revamped set-top box first begun appearing in early 2013, with TechCrunch‘s MG Siegler pointing towards an Apple TV product with a focus on gaming. Later in the year, hints of a delay surfaced, and it appears that the product was indeed scheduled for a 2013 launch that was later pushed back to 2014.

A recent report from Bloomberg suggested Apple was on the verge of revealing a new set-top box, possibly at some point in April, but indicated an actual product launch might come somewhat later in the year, which could potentially account for the discrepancy between launch reports from the Financial Times and other media outlets and a “Nope” from Jim Dalrymple.

In addition to games and support for Apple’s iOS 7 controllers, other Apple TV rumors have pointed to a hardware product that combines the Apple TV with the router features of the existing AirPort Express. It has also been suggested that Apple is planning to work in conjunction with cable companies to build an Apple TV interface over existing cable content, essentially replacing the cable box.

Earlier today, Tim Cook told shareholders that the Apple TV generated $1 billion during 2013, counting hardware sales and movie/TV show rentals. He also noted that it was “a little more difficult to call [the Apple TV] a hobby these days” given its ever-increasing growth.

The company has also began offering a $25 gift card with the purchase of an Apple TV, possibly in an effort to clear out existing inventory ahead of a new product launch, and the Apple TV has also gained its own product section on Apple’s online storefront.

    



Ask A VC: Merus Capital’s Sean Dempsey On The Role Of Corp Dev And More

In this week’s episode of Ask A VC, Merus Capital’s Sean Dempsey joined us in the studio to give us an inside look at corporate development, and how that translates into investing. Dempsey was previously a Principal of Corporate Development at Google, where he helped lead the acquisitions of YouTube, Android and Postini. He also spent over six years at Microsoft in the Corporate… Read More

Tim Cook Says Apple’s Sapphire Facility Is for ‘Secret Project’

Sapphire BouleWhen asked about Apple’s U.S. manufacturing efforts during a question-and-answer session with Apple shareholders today, CEO Tim Cook said the company’s new sapphire production facility was for a “secret project” that he couldn’t talk about, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Cook did not give any more information, but did say separately that the company is working on “extensions of what we’re already doing” and also “things you can’t see”. He reiterated that secrecy is important because Apple is “getting ripped off left, right and sideways” by competitors.

In response to a question about manufacturing in the U.S., Cook pointed to a plant a supplier recently opened in Arizona to produce sapphire exclusively for Apple. There’s been speculation that Apple may use the super-hard sapphire to produce scratch-resistant screens for future iPhones. Cook said the Arizona facility was a “secret project” that he couldn’t talk about.

But then, he said other Apple suppliers “already make” glass for iPhones in the U.S. An Apple spokeswoman declined additional comment.

Apple routinely denies having any particular new project in the works, so it’s possible that a future iPhone model with an ultra-durable sapphire screen is the “secret project” to which Cook is referring, though there are a number of other possibilities for sapphire crystal including a potential smart watch product.

Cook previously confirmed that the plant would make sapphire, but the company has thus far refused to say anything more about it. He also said that investors should plan to hold Apple stock for the long term, saying to investors looking for a quick turnaround, “I encourage you not to invest in Apple.”

    



American Voices: National Milk Industry Drops “Got Milk”

Two decades after launching it’s famous "Got Milk" campaign featuring celebrities with milk mustaches, the national milk industry has phased out the iconic slogan in favor of the tagline "Milk Life," which officials say will put emphas…