Throwboy Launches New ‘Pocket Pillows’ Featuring Original Macintosh and iMac G3 Designs

Throwboy, known for its Iconic Pillow Collection featuring a selection of plush pillows designed to look like Apple devices, today launched a new selection of mini pillows called the "Pocket Pillows."


Like their larger-sized siblings, the Pocket Pillows are modeled after Apple devices. The first palm-sized pillows are made to mimic the 1984 Classic Macintosh and the 1998 iMac G3, and they can be ordered today on Kickstarter. Depending on how the campaign goes, additional classic Apple products could be turned into little desktop plushes.


Each plush is made from a soft, huggable material and is embroidered to resemble one of Apple's Macs. The detail for each pillow is impressive, with all ports, vents, drives, and other features sewn on. Inside the Pocket Pillow, there's a plush filling along with pellets to give them some heft.


Unlike the couch-sized standard Iconic pillows, the smaller Pocket Pillows are designed for a desk, shelf, or nightstand.


Pocket Pillows can be pre-ordered for $15 each, or $30 for two, though there are some early bird backing options that are a few dollars cheaper. We don't typically feature Kickstarter projects as many of them don't come to fruition, but Throwboy is an established manufacturer that already has a line of plushes available. Pocket Pillows are expected to ship out in May 2020.


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36 Years Ago Today, Steve Jobs Unveiled the First Macintosh

On January 24, 1984, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh at Apple's annual shareholder's meeting in Cupertino, California, debuting the new computer equipped with a 9-inch black and white display, an 8MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 128KB of RAM, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and a price tag of $2,495.


The now iconic machine weighed in at a whopping 17 pounds and was advertised as offering a word processing program, a graphics package, and a mouse. At the time it was introduced, the Macintosh was seen as Apple's last chance to overcome IBM's domination of the personal computer market and remain a major player in the personal computer industry.

A Computerland newspaper ad from the day the Macintosh was introduced

Jobs pulled the Macintosh out of a bag at the event, powered it on, and the Mac had a little message for everyone in attendance.

Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.

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.
Despite the high price at the time, which was equivalent to around $6,000 today, the Macintosh sold well, with Apple hitting 70,000 units sold by May 1984. The now iconic "1984" Super Bowl ad that Apple invested in and debuted days before the Macintosh was unveiled may have helped bolster sales.


After the Macintosh, Apple introduced the Macintosh II, the Macintosh Classic, the PowerBook, the Power Macintosh, the iMac G3, the iBook, and so on, eventually leading to the current Mac lineup, which includes the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, ‌iMac‌, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro.

Today, Apple is one of the leading PC vendors in the world, shipping an estimated 18 million Macs worldwide in 2019. Then Apple competitor IBM is no longer in the personal computer business, having sold its technology to Lenovo back in the early 2000s.


Apple in the future is expected to continue expanding its popular Mac lineup, and current rumors suggest we can expect to see new 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ models, a refreshed 13-inch machine with scissor keyboard, and, eventually, an ARM-based Mac.


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Apple Rents All Six Floors of ‘Triangle Building’ Near Apple Park

Apple has leased the entirety of the so-called "Triangle Building" near Apple Park in San Jose, California, reports The Mercury News.


The prominent six-floor building is located at 5300 Stevens Creek Blvd, just two miles from ‌Apple Park‌, and the company has reportedly leased all 86,000-square feet of the property.

According to the report, a "considerable" amount of construction work is already to be underway on all six floors, and Apple logos can be seen throughout the building.

Apple first rented part of the building in 2012, but information from property listing services obtained by The Mercury News suggests that the company has not continuously made use of the office space.

The report notes that Apple has began expanding its presence around ‌Apple Park‌ last year, when it leased office space in a complex located directly across from the Triangle Building.

Apple owner and leases several properties in and around the Bay Area, including its Cupertino campus in Santa Clara and offices in San Jose.


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WSJ Profiles ‘The Blevinator,’ Apple’s VP of Procurement Who Handles Supplier Negotiations

The Wall Street Journal today published a profile of Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, providing an inside look at Apple's corporate culture and what Blevins does for the company.

As Apple's vice president of procurement, Blevins' job is to get suppliers to cut their prices, and he will apparently stop at little to score a favorable deal for Apple, which has earned him the nickname "the Blevinator."


Blevins was, for example, the key driver behind encouraging Apple suppliers to deprive Qualcomm of royalty payments during Apple's ongoing dispute with the chipmaker. He negotiates with suppliers, enforces manufacturing details, and manages semiconductor suppliers.

His negotiating skills are so important to Apple that Cook tapped him to manage negotiations for Apple's spaceship-shaped Apple Park campus. When getting bids for the curved glass used for the structure, he invited glass makers to Hong Kong, put them in separate conference rooms, and went from room to room to get the lowest price, ultimately saving Apple hundreds of millions of dollars.

Blevins does not hesitate to drop suppliers, and in one example, after STMicroelectronics refused to lower the price of gyroscope sensors in 2013 despite Blevins' threats to find a different supplier, STM lost Apple's business.

Blevins is also the go to for making sure that suppliers adhere to Apple's nondisclosure agreements, which can carry fines. In 2017, Japan Display disclosed that it had received orders for liquid crystal displays, and The Wall Street Journal subsequently confirmed that Apple was one of the smartphone makers that had expressed interest in LCDs, leading to trouble for Japan Display.
Mr. Blevins called a top Japan Display executive and accused him of violating Apple's nondisclosure agreement. "Are you stupid?" he said, according to a person familiar with the call.
Apple demanded Japan Display pay $5 million for breaching the non-disclosure agreement. Japan Display didn't pay, but promised to submit news conference materials to Apple before events so Apple can review it. A Japan Display executive told The Wall Street Journal that Apple's supplier agreements are "torturous."

When asked for comment, Blevins opted not to speak to The Wall Street Journal, saying "I'm a loyal company guy." The full profile on Blevins, which goes into much more detail, can be read over at The Wall Street Journal.


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Apple Revamps Jobs Site With New Design and Video Featuring Animated Apple Logos

Apple today overhauled its Apple jobs website, introducing a new look and a new video in an effort to better recruit employees. The updated video on the site features the different Apple logo designs that Apple first created for its Mac-centric event in October 2018.

The site displays different Apple logo designs whenever it's reloaded, and the video also features animated logo designs with a recruiting message spoken over the designs.

To the constant beginners who sing off-key against the beat. To those unfamiliar with convention, unmoved by rules, and reborn with every new discovery. Those open to daydreams and night dreams and visions and mirages. Who can see the millions of shades of green in a field of grass. Whose days are filled with mysteries that cannot be solved with facts. You are more powerful than you think... and you are welcome here.
As with before, the jobs site features sections outlining the different Apple teams, opportunities for students, Apple's philosophy, and jobs at retail locations, with an overview of all of the locations where Apple operates stores, as well as a section for creating a profile for job hunting.

Apple's new site design is up and running now and anyone who is interested in checking it out.


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Svalt Launches New Lineup of Cooling Stands and Docks for Macs

Svalt, known for its line of docks designed for Apple's Macs, today launched a whole new collection of 2020 docks and stands designed for Apple's latest notebook and desktop Macs.

The Cooling Stand S, designed for the 16-inch MacBook Pro and other Mac and PC laptops, features silent passive cooling, an ergonomic raised design, adjustable feet, and a design that hides accessories and cord clutter.


There's also a Cooling Stand S Pro, a variant of the Cooling Stand S that comes equipped with a fan for active cooling to complement the passive cooling features. The fan offers dual speeds depending on whether quiet operation or maximum cooling is preferred, and it is user upgradeable.


For the Mac mini, Svalt has a Cooling Stand Mini that offers both passive and active cooling with a built-in dual-speed fan and a design that hides away cords and accessories.


The Svalt Cooling Stand S sells for $179, the S Pro sells for $279, and the S Mini sells for $269, with purchases available now from the Svalt website. All of the stands are modular and can be converted to accommodate other devices with additional add-on accessories.


Svalt also has a new Cooling Dock Model D, which is designed to be used with a ‌MacBook Pro‌ in clamshell mode. It features a sculpted aluminum heat sink and a flexible leaning design for optimized silent passive cooling. The Svalt Dock D can be purchased from the Svalt website for $169, though adding a fan will raise the price.


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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 99 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

safaripreviewiconApple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced three years ago in March 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 99 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, Web API, Cookies, CSS, Media, WebRTC, Payment Request, Web Animations, JavaScript, Web Share API, WebDriver, and IndexedDB. Today's update also removes support for Adobe Flash.

The new Safari Technology Preview update is available for both macOS Mojave and MacOS Catalina, the newest version of the Mac operating system that was released in October.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with Safari Technology Preview is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.


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Mac Catalyst App ‘Asphalt 9: Legends’ Now Available

Asphalt 9: Legends, a game that was ported to the Mac using Apple's Mac Catalyst tools, is now available for download from the Mac App Store.

The app was one of the titles that Apple promoted when macOS Catalina and Mac Catalyst technology were introduced at WWDC in June, but the app did not launch as expected when ‌macOS Catalina‌ became available.


At the time, Gameloft said that Asphalt 9: Legends had been slightly delayed in order to polish the experience, and after a wait of several months, the game has now launched.

Because this is a Mac Catalyst app, players who already have Asphalt 9: Legends on iPad or iPhone can pick up their game on the Mac and swap between devices when playing thanks to cross-platform saves.

The game supports Sign in with Apple for account creation (required to transfer between devices) and the content is the same as the content in Asphalt 9: Legends for iOS devices.

According to Gameloft, Asphalt 9: Legends will have content parity across devices going forward, so the Mac and iOS apps will be updated simultaneously.

Asphalt 9: Legends can be downloaded from the ‌Mac App Store‌ for free, though there are in-app purchases. [Direct Link]


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Apple Opening New Office in Munich, Germany

Apple is expanding its presence in Germany with plans to open a new office building in Munich, Germany, according to German news site Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Located in the "Karl" office building of the former Mahag site on Karlstrasse, the new office space is expected to house around 1,500 employees when it is completed in 2021.

A rendering of the Karl office building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield

Apple has rented the entire 30,000 square meter location, though declined to respond to questions about the upcoming office space.

Apple already operates the Bavarian Design Center in Munich, Germany, with 300 engineers that work on silicon chips and other technologies for Apple devices.


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Apple and Apple Employees Donated $100 Million to Various Charitable Causes in 2019

In a news story about an Apple employee who has started a barbershop for at-risk youth, Apple today said that between its own donations and employee donations, it donated more than $100 million to charitable causes in 2019.

Apple says that 21,000 Apple employees donated their time and donated $42 million to causes they care about. Combined with Apple's 1-for-1 donation match and $25 match per volunteer hour, the total amount donated climbed to over $100 million.


Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson said the company has a mission to "change the world for the better, and give back to the communities in which we live and work."
"Apple employees like Jaz embody this culture of giving every day, volunteering over a quarter of a million hours last year. We share a deep commitment to our local communities and doing what we can to cause more good."
Much of Apple's story focuses on Jaz Limos, an Apple Park Visitor Center manager in Cupertino who launched Saints of Steel, a nonprofit pop-up barber shop for at-risk youth and people looking for employment and housing.

Saints of Steel was largely funded by Apple. 80 percent of the donations for the first year came from Benevity, a corporate giving program used by Apple, and 74 percent of that donation was made by Apple.
In its first year, the organization was almost fully funded by volunteers and donations from Apple. "Our board, when we first started, was primarily made up of Apple employees who just jumped in and rolled up their sleeves," Limos says. "We saw the power of Benevity and the company match program, because it funded the majority of our ability to run this program."
More info on Saints of Steel and Apple's donations can be found in the full Apple Newsroom article on the topic.


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