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Does anyone use Ping?

Do you even know what I’m talking about?

ug…

Last fall, Apple announced this thing called Ping (not latency), a new type of music social network. I signed up. Then, like Game Center, I completely forgot about it and have never touched it again. When I went to redeem a Starbucks free download today, however, it asked if I wanted to follow the artist on Ping.

It look a couple of seconds to realize what it was talking about.

Uh, no, thanks “Ping”, now go the way of Bing and die.

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It’s the age old debate: which computer is better, a Macintosh, created by Apple, or a PC running Windows, created by Microsoft. This debate has been waged since the beginning of both of these companies. Fanboys on both sides have and still fight to the death about which computer company makes the best hardware, software and everything in between.

I’ve been a Macintosh fan since I was very little, however, I’ve never once owned a current model of any Macintosh product (current being “released within the past four years”), so obviously, I grew up on Windows 98 and 2000 instead of Mac OS 8, 9 and 10. I’ve always loved how the Macintosh operating system worked much more than Windows and I’ve always loved the look of the products that Apple releases. However, since I was never able to afford a top of the line Macintosh, I have been using Windows Xp and 7 for the past decade with very little complaints. What can I say; Windows is great!

And right there is my point. Yes, I am an Apple fan (not fanboy, mind you). I prefer Apple products (both computers and music players) over any other brand. But when someone mentions how they hate Apple or how they hate Windows, I get sick. What is the point in arguing over who is better? Who cares who is better? The Macintosh and the Windows PC are two completely different beasts. It’d be like comparing apples to oranges and saying “Wow, well, this orange tastes nothing like this apple, therefore, it must be terrible!”. Macintosh can do things that Windows can’t. Windows can do things that Macintosh can’t. There is no need to get our panties in a knot every time that someone says they like Apple over Microsoft.

Yes, Apple costs more money that 99% of the PC’s on the market, but that’s because Apple demands a certain standard for everything they do. You can hate on Apple all you want, but everyone knows that they always produce quality machines, and with quality comes the higher price. Since Microsoft created their OS to run on any PC, there is no quality control; Windows 7 can be installed on any PC. That is the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft just creates the software and says “go for it”. They don’t care if it doesn’t run well on your computer (Vista, I’m looking at you), they just send the software out there and let people build around it. Apple creates their machines specifically to run their software; you will never find an Apple product that is too underpowered to support the official software for it because Apple makes sure that you DON’T. That is the main difference between Apple and Microsoft and it also explains the price jump; it’s all about quality (NOT of software, of hardware. Apple’s operating system software have ALWAYS been cheaper than Windows operating systems).

So please, can we stop the arguing? I love Macs, but I use Windows every day. I do not bash Windows (well, service pack 1 for Windows 7 bricked my computer, so that pissed me off, but usually I enjoy Windows greatly), so why retaliate to something I haven’t done by bashing what I like? And if you absolutely must hate on Apple all the time, don’t do it around me.

My new iPod Touch 4th gen is on its way, strait from Kunshan, China on a Fed-Ex plane and should arrive in my greedy little hands by noon on Friday. Weirdly enough, this will be the second major Apple portable device that I have bought on, or close, to the actual release date this year; I bought my iPad, river, just a few weeks after it was released. This has never happened in my life before, as I’m usually months or even years behind the technology in terms of Apple’s yearly updates to their devices.

So needless to say, I’m excited!

But it wasn’t just as simple as “going online and pre-ordering this sucker”, no way. When I got into college just a few weeks ago, I wanted to listen to music or play games late into the night. My roommate, having to get up at some unGodly hours, was in bed earlier than me, so I started using my iPad in bed. But the one time I fell asleep using it and woke up with the device under my stomach, I started to get worried about using the over-sized iPod in my bed (it would be horrible if I was to crush it). So I decided I should pick up a smaller iPod.

The next day I went and bought the 5th generation iPod Nano (the one with the video camera). The little thing was pretty fancy, and I enjoyed it for a good two days.

On that third day, though, Apple announced that they were going to have a press conference on September the 1st. About the same time, a design for a new iPod leaked onto the internet.

I looked my “new” Nano. The only thing that came to mind was “CRAP”.

When the pressy came around, and Apple announced the little beauty you see above you, I took the Nano back (you gotta love Walmart’s return policy) and used the money (and a bit extra) to order it.

*sigh* Can’t planes go any faster?

I bought my iPad just a few short weeks ago, and it only took a couple of minutes for me to fall deeply in love with the little device. I named it River, and there hasn’t been a single day since day one where I haven’t used her to browse the web, listen to music, check my email and maybe play some games. I loved how simple the interface was, I loved how fluid everything worked and I loved how beautiful she looked, both inside and outside.

I loved nearly everything about River.

But then Apple announced iOS4. Both iPhones and iPod Touches were getting multitasking (among other things), but they were leaving the iPad out in the cold until August. Saddened, though I was at the time, I didn’t much care because I was still under the initial spell of “iPad is god”.

It wasn’t until one night, one random night, that I became jealous of the iOS 4 users.

I was lying in bed, watching a movie on Netflix (which, in itself, is a feat that the iPhone/iTouch users can’t do anyways, so that’s plus one for iPad I suppose). I can’t recall exactly what movie it was, but I was at a part where the action was intense and I was, not so literally, on the edge of my seat. Suddenly, I remembered that an item I had placed up for sale on eBay was about to end, and I wanted to check and see how much it was going for. I went to press the home button on my iPad, but stopped myself short. My brain sat still for five rather long seconds before putting two and two together; I was going to either quit my movie and then have to hunt it down again through the slow Netflix app, or get out of my comfy bed and go to my computer and look up the eBay item. Either way, my calm was disturbed.

Thus began my research into how to Jailbreak River.

The first article I found was a very informative read, called “How To: Jailbreak Any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad” by Gizmodo (which, by the way, is a very good read, and it’s a perfect place to start if you want to jailbreak your iDevice). The instructions were unbelievable simple; plug your iPad into the computer, varify that you had iTunes 9.1.1 or below, download a very small program called Spirit and press the big “JAILBREAK” button. Simple as that, I suppose.

I was still skeptical. Though I couldn’t find a single report of an iPad bricking, the article made it very clear that it was a possibility and that was NOT something I wanted to do to my shiny new iPad. But the things I could do with the iPad while jailbroken intrigued me more and more. Multitasking, free apps, wireless sync, emulators; they all called my name and the temptation to do it became greater and greater.

But I held off.

A week or so goes by, and three of my friends with iTouches get the new update. I, once again, got jealous. And, I once again, looked towards Jailbreaking.

I went back to the same Gizmodo article and decided “I’m going to do it”. I went to the Spirit website, and the first thing I see, in giant letters is “DO NOT USE WITH iTUNES 9.2”. I looked at my iTunes; 9.2.

This knocked me a step or two backwards, and I once again backed away from jailbreaking. But this time, it was only for hours, because I had a bright idea; uninstall iTunes 9.2 and reinstall 9.1.1!

And so I did. I plugged River into Spirit. It detected the iPad, and told me to press the “JAILBREAK” button. I was very nervous, very scared my iPad was going to plunge into the abyss, never to work or be fixed every again.

I covered my eyes and pressed the button.

Not ten seconds later, my iPad screen restarts from black and allowed me access to my dashboard. “It worked!” I thought. “It really worked!!”

That whole night was spend downloading everything I could get my hands on and running as many apps as I possible could. I was having a blast watching a Netflix movie, checking my Facebook and playing a game at the same time. I downloaded apps that let me change what my buttons on the iPad do, I downloaded one that let me download Youtube videos, one that could run Hulu, one that could stream new movies, one that added a quick launch and many others. I was having the time of my life.

I was having so much fun, in fact, that I didn’t notice little problems the iPad was having. When I would run an app that wasn’t compatible with something, it would crash and I’ve have to reboot. Sometimes everything wasn’t super sleek and things didn’t run as they should. I ran into a lot of graphical glitches and had some problems with the keyboard. The iPad even hard froze once or twice and needed to boot into “safe mode” (whatever that it). But, at the time, I didn’t care, because I was having so much fun. At 5am, I fell asleep, still clutching River in my hand.

I woke up. The first thing I did was reach for River to check Facebook. I clicked her on, and a little blurb popped up saying “Hey, you’re running in safe mode; restart?”. Um, sure? After the reboot, the iPad was running slow. Facebook was taking a while and I noticed browsing was jerky. I shut down Pandora that I had running in the background and still, I was just noticing that things just weren’t the same. Everything was sluggish. There were random glitches in my apps that ran perfectly before hand. Some apps that I had bought were actually missing.

It annoyed me.

I ran the back up and got rid of the jail break.

I bought my Apple iPad because it is so simple. The bloody thing doesn’t even come with instructions; THAT’S how SIMPLE it is. Everything was there, at my fingers, fluid, like water flowing; it’s just easy to use. Everything was increcibly graphical, and best of all, my iPad has never crashed once.

After Jailbreaking, my iPad crashed ten times. In six hours.

Yes, the iDevices are tethered to Apple. Yes, Apple has a dictatorship over their device. But you know what? I don’t care. They control us, but in return, we get one thing: Stability. I never have to worry about an app crashing my device or, worse, bricking it. I never have to worry about backing up my .blob file, or whatever, in case my iPad tries to update and fails. I bought into Apple’s dictatorship because I wanted stability. Is that so wrong?

I did enjoy my time with River jailbroken. And I do miss multitasking. But I like perfection more.

Apple has had a very interesting history, to say the least. In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and, with the help of some external funding, founded Apple Inc. Their computers were crude, large, extremely expensive and also brilliant. Using the new GUI (Graphical User Interface) invention, they created a computer that was easy to use and good to look at. But, as mentioned, their computers were too expensive, and didn’t sell well. Apple came out with other models of computers, including the Lisa and the Macintosh, some of which sold decently enough, but only just so.

Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, was relieved of his position as head of the Macintosh corporation in 1985 due to an internal power struggle between him and some of his employees, and Apple started to slide down a slippery slope into bankruptcy. They released multipule failed products, such as the Macintosh Portable, which was 17 pounds and sold under 100,000 units total. The Powerbook sold better, and it came with Apple OS 7, which was the groundwork for the future OS releases, but overall, didn’t pull Apple out of the hole.

Though the next years, Apple would release other computer units that did compete with Microsoft, but they were all deemed too expensive and, some, too complex for the average user. They continued to release flop devices such as the Newton, a PDA, and the Apple II series, which was immensely expensive and stole sales from their other products.

But, in 1996, Steve Job’s company was bought by Apple, and soon Jobs found himself back on top of the Apple chain of command. From here on, Apple began reinventing the wheel, creating computers that pushed the boundaries of our mind and inventing software that was thought impossible. Whether or not it was Jobs that started the turn around is debatable, but when he came back to the helm, Apple prospered. And with the creation of the iPod, Apple finally had breathing room, and lots of it.

But enough of the history lesson. I have other things to talk about.

Things like, “What if Steve Jobs had stayed with Apple for that 10 or so year slump?”

*cracks knuckles*

Here we go.

…just know, this is all for fun. Don’t get too bent out of shape.

φ

New Apple Time-line:

1985 – Steve Jobs keeps his job at Apple and begins work on a new project.

1986 – Jobs reveals the Powerbook, a ten pound box, running the new OS 7. It costs only $1500 and runs on batteries for ten hours.

1987 – The Apple II series Macintosh is released. The computer is slim, weighing only five pounds, and it is running the new OS 8. Sporting a 200MHZ processor with 128 megs of RAM, it costs $1200.

1988 – The Apple III series Macintosh is released. This new model of the Apple II is even lighter, running the upgraded OS 8.5. It has a 450 MHZ Power PC processor and has 512 megs of RAM, costing $1199.

1989 – The Newton is revealed, with a color screen and actually works. Released for $500.

1990 – The Newton 2 is released, has music playback ability and runs at millions of colors. It comes in a 10 GIG version and 15 GIG version, costing $350 and $450. At the same time, the first iMac is revealed. The computer and monitor is one unit standing on a slim stand. The computer uses an improved LCD screen that runs at 1200 by 1600. The computer brags a upgradable 1 GHZ Power PC II processor with a GIG of RAM. It is running a completely overhauled OS 9. It is released for $1599 for a 60 GIG HDD or $1699 for a 120 GIG HDD. It becomes the new standard for movie makers and Pixar buys stock in Apple.

1990 – Steve Jobs begins working on a secret project, codenamed “iNewton”.

1991 – The “iNewton” is revealed to be the iPod, a portable music device. The first generation of iPod has a 30 GIG HDD with a color screen and picture playback. It costs $600. iTunes is also revealed at the same time, though it runs clunky and isn’t completely optimized.

1992 – The iPod II is revealed, slimming the device down nearly 50% and doubling the HDD to 60 GIGs. It now supports video. The new iMac II is also revealed, and though it looks similar to the original, the new one has a 2.2 GHZ Apple Power PC III processor, which is also upgradable, and has 2 GIGs of RAM standard. It is running the brand new OS, OS X. Pixar buys the majority of Apple’s stocks.

1992 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.1 with a color screen and a basic interface costing $2499. It sells 129,000 units.

1993 – Apple reported having a 97% consumer base for the personal computer. The iMac 3 is released, which comes with a standard touch screen monitor. It has a slightly upgraded Apple Power PC III processor, running at 2.4 GHZ. The new iMac 3 has a RAM limit of 8 gigs, and costs $1299 at release. It runs the new OS X 10.1.

1993 – Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iBook, a sleek and thin laptop weighing only three pounds and having the power of the iMac II. It has a 12 hour battery life and costs $1999, being their most expensive item ever released.It also runs OS X 10.1.

1994 – The iPod III is released, removing the plastic cover instead opting for glass and metal. It comes with a minimum of 120 GIGs and up to a 256 GIGs model, selling for $250 and $350. At the same time, the iPod Mini is released, being 80% smaller than the iPod III. It has a color screen and supports video. It comes with a 40 GIG solid state drive and costs $250. iTunes is updated to 5.0, allowing access to buying music, videos and movies. The songs costs $.59 a piece.

1994 – At the beginning of the year, Microsoft releases Windows 95, which costs $599 by itself. It is plagued with bugs and sells poorly. At Christmas, Microsoft announces that they are stepping out of the computer business and are working now on a secret project.

1995 – Apple releases the iBook Pro, a larger screened version of the original iBook. It is slightly upgraded in terms of power, but comes with the touchscreen found in the iMac 3.

1996 – Apple remains quiet, not releasing any products but releases small updates to OS 10.1. Meanwhile, Microsoft introduces the Xbox, a gaming console to go up against the Playstation and the Nintendo 64.

1997 – The iBook ProV is released. The laptop is highly customizable, with nearly every aspect being able to be rearranged online by the buyer. The iBook ProV’s in stores came in a 19 inch screen version with a 2.2 GHZ Power PC III processor and 2 GIGs of RAM and a 21 inch screen version with a upgraded 2.4 Power PC III processor and 2.5 GIGs of RAM.

1998 – A much needed upgrade to the iMac is released, called iMac 4. It comes with a upgraded version of the touch screen that does not pick up any finger prints. It comes with a standard 3.6 Power PC IV processor and a maximum of 10 GIG’s of Ram. It, once again, becomes the new standard for movie and music creators and sells nearly billions. It was priced at $999 at launch, Apple’s cheapest launch PC. It runs OS X 10.2

1998 – The iPhone is revealed and has a wide screen that is also touch. It only has one button, a home button, and is controlled completely by the touch screen. It is a cell phone that runs off of a Apple network that covers 98% of the United States. It is the first “smart phone”, that can not only make calls, but it acts as an iPod as well. It is sold without the phone features for $199 with 20 GIGs and with the phone features for $299 as well with 20 GIGs.

1999 – It is reported that 56% of home PC users use the iMac 3, 20% use the iMac 4, 23% use an older iMac and 1% use something other than a Apple product. Apple releases the iPhone 2, with more power and all models having the phone feature. It sells for $249. The iPod Touch is released after years of waiting for a new iPod. It looks like the iPhone, but it is slimmer and has no phone capabilities. It also has a slightly larger screen at no expense to the size of the entire unit. It comes in 16 GIG and 32 GIG models, selling for $149 and $199.

2000 – The iMac 4 is given a software update for free, up to OS X 10.3, which featured several graphical updates and security fixes. Apple also offered cheap hardware upgrades for those who had previously bought a iMac 4, no matter where purchased. The upgrade also applies to the severely outdated iBook ProV. The iPhone 3 is released, with a 1 GHZ Power PC M processor and 512 MBs RAM. The iPod Touch, now called simply the iTouch2 is released with the same power as the iPhone 3. Both new devices came with 64 GIG drives.

2000 – Microsoft releases the Xbox 360, competing with the Playstation 2 and the Gamecube.

2001 – Apple announces the new line of computers to replace the iMac 4, simply called iMac. It is considered to be the “Apple iMac reboot”. The first model is running the new Apple Power PC V, with a standard of a dual core 4.0 GHZ processor and a maximum of 16 GIGs of RAM. It is running the new OS X 10.4. The monitor has a touch screen similar to the one on the iPhone. The iPhone 3GS is announced, sporting a dual core Power PC M2 processor, clocking in at 1.2 GHZ and a gig of RAM. The iTouch2 is phased out and is replaced with the iPhone 3GS. Apple dropped the price of the iPhone 3GS to try and fill the iPod spot. They say they want to stream line their products so it is less confusing to the consumer. The iPhone 3GS costs $149 for the 64 GIG version, $199 for the 128 GIG version and $249 for the 256 GIG version.

2002 – Apple announces the same program that they did for the iMac 4 with the new iMac, and offers nearly free hardware upgrades to everyone who purchased the iMac the previous year and a free upgrade to OS X 10.5. The iBook ProV also was included in the upgrade program. The iPhone 4 is released with double the storage and a slight increase to the power.

2003 – The success of the Xbox 360, which seemed to be ahead of its time, out sells both the Gamecube and the PS2, and forces Nintendo to announce that they will not be making a console in the next generation but instead will be developing exclusively for Sony.

2003 – The iMac L is announced, running the new Power PC V Quad processor, a quad core processor running at 4.0 GHZ. The RAM storage is capped at 24 GIGs. The iPhone 4 gets a new OS update, but no new hardware update.

2004 – Apple is quiet, releasing only some software updates for OS X 10.5 and the iPhone OS. Microsoft and Sony start to reveal their new home gaming consoles, the Xbox 1080 and the Playstation 3.

2005 – Apple announces that they will be joining Sony and Microsoft on the home gaming console wars. They announced the iGame, to be released Christmas 2005. Several major publishers signed on to Apple, and the iGame will release with 34 launch titles, 20 of which are AAA games. It will cost $400.

2005 – The Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and iGame with a $799, $499 and $399 price tag respectively, are released at Christmas.

2005 – At Christmas, Apple calls the previous program to upgrade computers iUpgrade, and applies iUpgrade to anyone who owns a iMac 4, a new iMac,  iMac L or the old iBook ProV. iMac and iMac L users are upgraded to OS X 10.5.10

2006 – Apple announces that they sold over 2.1 million iGame consoles by April and dropped the price to $299 in April. The PS3 sells a million consoles by April and the Xbox 1080 sells only 670,000.

2006 – The iMac LL is released, with a Power PC 6 processor, running six cores at 5.4 GHZ. It has a RAM capacity of 30 GIGs and is released with a ten terabyte HDD for $1200. The new OS X 10.6 comes pre-installed. The iPhone 5 is released, and is slightly thinner and slightly longer with a 512 GIG drive costing only $199. It is also slightly more powerful. The iGame sells another 3 million units between April and December, while the PS3 sells another million and the 1080 struggles at only 214,000 consoles sold. The price of the iGame drops to $249, while the price of the PS3 and 1080 stay the same.

2007 – The iMac LL is continued to be advertised with more updates to the hardware and software through iUpgrade. The iPhone 5 drops the iPhone OS in favor of OS X 10.6, the full featured OS that is on the iMac LL.

2007 – The Xbox 1080 is discontinued at Christmas due to incredibly poor sales, only selling 54,000 units in the 2007 year. The Playstation 3 dropped it’s price to $299, and sold 1.9 million units by Christmas 2007. The iGame sold another 3.3 million units and it’s price was dropped to $199.

2008 – OS X 10.7 is given free to all iMac, iMac L and iMac LL users, as well as to all iPhone 5 users. The iGame is also upgraded to OS X 10.7, dropping the old software it ran before. iUpgrade continues to be popular, as nearly 89% of all iMac, iMac L and iMac LL users have been reported to have used the service to upgrade their Macs.

2008 – The iGame continues to sell over 2 million units a year, while the PS3 finds itself to be gaining momentum. It sells 2.3 million units in the 2008 year.

2009 – iUpgrade continues to upgrade all iMac L and iMac LL’s, but support for the iMac and the iBook ProV is discontinued. At Christmas, OS X 10.8 is released for free to all iMac, iMac L, iMac LL, iGame and iPhone 5 users.

2010 – The PS3 and the iGame are tied for sales, both selling just under 1 million units from Christmas 2009 till June 30th2010. The iPad is announced and released, being called “The laptop Apple has owed us for years”. Steve Jobs calls the iPad “A iMac in your hands.” It comes with a CD drive build inside the case, two USB 3.0 ports, a VGA output and a front and back camera with facial recognition. It has a wide touch screen that is 12 inches long and 10 inches high and weighs only two pounds. it runs the new OS X 10.8.5. It was released with cell phone capabilities running on Apples service for $499 for a 64 GIG version and $599 for a 126 GIG verion.

2010 – The June statistics for home PC users was broken down like this: 43% of the home PC consumers use the iMac L, 27% use the iMac LL, 15% use the iMac, 14% use the iPad and 1% use another OS.

φ

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on what would have happened if Jobs has stayed with Apple. And please, remember, it’s all just for fun!

Also, this is my official longest post ever! Whoo!

As most of you know, Steam, created by Valve with a goal to be the biggest online retailer of PC video games, has made the transition to the Macintosh. Along with the program, many Steam games have made the jump onto the Mac as well. Portal was one of the first, and was being offered for free. Other games such as Plants vs Zombies and Half-Life 2 have followed suite. While it has been proven

that games on Steam don’t run quite as good on the Mac as they do on the PC (1), it’s only a matter of time before Valve managed to work out all the kinks and starts to rebuild the library of games that Windows users have onto the Mac. When that time comes, could this be a revolution for Apple and its computers?

Microsoft and its Windows operating system hold the market in amount of people who use their software. As of December of last year,  92.21% of people were using a Windows operating system, while only 5.11% were using Mac OS X (2). Most of us are already aware of this and have made our decision between a Windows OS or a Mac OS.

One of the biggest complaints from Windows users about the Mac is the lack of video game support on the system. I’ve heard people say countless times, “I’d use a Mac but they just don’t play the games I want. Instead, I bought a Windows computer”. I, myself, have said the same thing and have purchased my Dell running Windows 7 based on that train of thought. Obviously, that statement is a very common occurrence, but it’s one that I think it going to end with the coming of Steam.

When Valve finally gets Steam running 100% on Apple’s computer, we will be looking at hundreds of quality games finally being able to run on the Mac. Steam is the biggest online retail store and having full access to the store on a Mac is something that will draw the attention of gamers. People who at once thought about buying a Mac but decided against it will come back to take another look. And why stop at Steam? Other companies such as Direct2Drive might see the prospect of turning the Macintosh into a gaming device and decide they want in on the action, thus making the Mac play more games and bring in more users.

Steam being on the Macintosh could very well increase the market share to give Windows a run for it’s money.

Now, I’m not saying it’s going to happen over night. Steam has a lot of catching up to do on the Mac and it will take a while for the word to get out that the Mac is now a capable game playing machine. But, in time, I think the pie chart measuring the market share could soon favor Apple more so than Microsoft.

1. Steam for Mac Benchmarks: Windows is Much Faster.

2. World Wide Market OS Market Share December 2009

People hate waiting for the newest stuff. We like to have the newest iPod, laptop, video game and car as soon as physically possible  So, because the American electronic consumers want more information about the newest gadgets all the time, most company’s try to do the opposite; keep as much information secret as possible to build up hype and, hopefully, sales.

2010 hasn’t been a kind year for video games and electronics though. We’ve had at least three rather large announcements announced months, even years ahead of time, along with some smaller leaks, and it’s only April. Let’s get a quick run down.

Gears of War 3:

Cliffy B, the lead designer for Gears of War, was scheduled to be on the Jimmy Fallon show on a Thursday. On Wednesday of the same week, he had to reschedule for Tuesday, the next week. Well, someone forgot to mention that little fact to the good people in the advertisement department for Xbox Live, because this little blurb appeared announcing on the game on Thursday. Cliffy B, on Tuesday, called Gears 3 “The Worst Kept Secret”. No kidding. I’m sure Epic was real happy about the slip up, and you know someone over on Xbox Live got fired.

Nintendo 3DS:

Though we had heard rumors of a new Nintendo DS that was being planned by Nintendo, the world was expecting news at E3; no earlier. One late night, on a random day in March (March 23rd, to be exact), Nintendo announced some small facts about a brand new Nintendo DS: the 3DS. It was to be a type of 3D that wouldn’t use glasses and was going to be nearly “the strength of a Gamecube”, but that was all the information Nintendo released. No pictures, no concept art, nothing. But it was actually Nintendo who announced what little information we got about the 3DS, so why the weird time?

Turns out that some journalists had aquired some facts about the new Nintendo handheld, some true, some false and Nintendo wanted to beat them to the punch by officially announcing it.

Apple iPhone 4th Generation:

Probably the biggest leak this year was from the big Apple themselves. Apple has a track record to be very very secretive about their newest devices or software. We’ve never had a leak of the newest version of the iPod or iPhone unless Apple specifically wanted it to be leaked.

Until a brand new version of the iPhone, cleverly disguised inside a casing that made it look like a 3GS, but running the new OS, version 4, showed up in a random bar.

An Apple employee was out for his birthday, probably had a little too much to drink and walked off… leaving a prototype of the newest Apple iPhone that hadn’t even been seen by people inside Apple yet, on a stool.

Oops.

As soon as Apple realized that it was lost, they bricked the console so it wouldn’t even turn on. Gizmodo.com bought the device for $5000, and had the first world release of the newest iPhone. Hours later, Apple wrote Gizmodo and asked for the iPhone back (which confirmed that it wasn’t a fake). Gizmodo gave it back without a fight.

Xbox 360 Slim?:

On March 17th, this picture of what was thought to be a Xbox 360’s motherboard appeared all over the internet. It has a Xbox branding and some of the same parts as the 360 does. But to anyone who has seen the current Xbox motherboard, you’ll notice a slight difference in this new find: it’s way smaller. It looks like the CPU and GPU have been combined and some of the ports have been shuffled around to make the motherboard shorter than the current version. We heard exactly nothing from Microsoft about this rumor, but it’s obvious they are trying everything to get 100% rid of the Red Rings of Death problem that has been plaguing their consoles for years. Seems like a redesign of the terrible X-Clamps would be a good start to rid the world of the problem forever.

All these slip ups so far, you have to wonder what else is going to hit the press months or even years early this year.  

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