HomePod mini: in search of the lost cord

Damn, HomePod mini looked pretty great in Apple’s unveiling last week.

They had me from the first image where it sat elegantly on the side table. Simple. Clean. Not a cord in sight!

It was my ultimate music-player-intelligent-assistant fantasy come true. A gorgeous device I could put absolutely anywhere.

Until it wasn’t.

Silly me. I made the unforgivable error of believing my eyes. At the very end of that scene, for just the briefest moment, came a glimpse of a cord trailing away from mini.

Nooooo!

From there, Apple took us on a winding path visually, with the vast majority of shots showing a “cordless” HomePod mini. A casual viewer could be forgiven for drawing the wrong conclusion.

Out of curiosity, I went back for a re-viewing.

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Phil Schiller and the last wisp of Steve’s Apple

Once upon a time, eight Senior VPs formed Steve Jobs’ inner circle.

Steve empowered them because they were talented, strategic, trusted and in tune with his vision.

Well, time marches on. Apple doesn’t have Steve anymore. Tim Cook has reigned for nearly nine years. One by one, most of Steve’s Gang of Eight have been replaced.

Today only Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams remain. The original Big Guns of hardware, software, retail, marketing, finance and legal have all checked out.

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Ellen’s little people problem

America loves a good “fall from grace” story. At the moment, The Ellen Show is serving up an excellent one.

Public accusations from staff have been nonstop.

Sexual harassment. Bullying. Out-of-control managers. Toxic work environment. It’s a smorgasbord of nasty.

If true, there are but two explanations. Either the real Ellen falls way short of her lovable public image, or she empowered her managers and failed to oversee them.

In other words, Ellen is either a bad person or a bad CEO.

I’m not exactly an insider. But I did spend two months working in Ellen’s world producing JCPenney’s $5 million, five-part Ellen campaign on the 2012 Oscars.

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The first Mac’s speechwriter, unmasked!

January 24th was the 35th anniversary of Macintosh, bless its little soul.

In reading a number of articles, I got to enjoy the original Macintosh intro event all over again. It’s a vivid reminder that Steve Jobs’ showmanship and obsession with detail was in full bloom way back at the beginning.

One of the those details was “the speech.” (About 3:05 into the video.). Steve wanted to have the first Mac to speak for itself—

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I’d like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER YOU CAN’T LIFT! Obviously, I can talk, but right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me… Steve Jobs.

That made me smile, and it got me wondering: who actually wrote these words. Steve? One of his minions?

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Sugarcoating the Apple agency layoffs

I am eternally grateful that no one ever asked me to write a PR release for a company in trouble.

It’s a thankless job, and nobody believes what you write—but write you must.

That’s why so many surrender from the start, dipping into a reservoir of classics like, “He’s leaving to pursue other opportunities.”

This was the challenge served up to the spokeswoman at Apple’s agency, Media Arts Lab, to explain the recent layoffs of 50 people.

Thankfully, she didn’t ask us to believe that those 50 simultaneously decided to pursue other opportunities. What she did ask us to believe was something equally absurd.

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iPhone is dead! Long live Apple Phone!

Somewhere in an alternate universe, Tim Cook is busy rehearsing his September 10th event.

He’s nervous. He’s about to do something incredibly bold. Maybe even crazy.

Going through his show, he pauses when he gets to the iPhone branding slide, imagining how the audience’s collective jaw will drop.

Despite the rumors, there is no number 11. There’s no X, R, S, SE, Plus or Max in sight. And that’s just the tip of this boldness iceberg. 

Alternate Tim takes a deep breath, then drops the bomb.

“Our new iPhones are so new, so totally amazing, so far beyond any iPhone we’ve made before, we’re not even calling them iPhones anymore,” he says. “Meet the new Apple Phones.”

After a 21-year run, the i is finally dead.

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