• Wednesday Morning News

    The rumours surrounding Apple's sapphire production facility in Arizona suggest production may be geared towards Apple's upcoming wearable product, at least initially. Sources from the Asian supply chain say the iWatch will be the first product to be released with a scratch-resistant material, as opposed to replacing the glass in the iPhone with sapphire, which would require much more production volume.

    All Tim Cook has been talking about this year are unannounced product categories, and an Apple job posting has revealed new evidence there will be products in new categories from Apple this year. The job listing for an "Instrumentation Designer/NPI Engineer" specifically lists "new platforms as of now unannounced". While this news doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know, at least it confirms there's some cool stuff in the pipeline.

    Either the Mac Pro is more popular than Apple thought it would be, or Apple are struggling to produce enough Mac Pros in the US to meet demand. Shipping estimates on Apple's Online Store now show April as the earliest the Mac Pro is available to ship, so if you haven't already ordered it seems you'll be waiting a little longer.

    In Apple HR news, Denise Smith is the new head of HR after being promoted from her previous position as VP of Global Retail Stores. She replaces Joel Podolny, who will now focus on Apple University. Meanwhile, Apple VP of Operations for iPad, Mac desktops, and Mac accessories Rita Lane has retired. Lane was responsible for the supply chain and distribution of the above categories, and as anyone who has been at an iPad launch will tell you, that couldn't have been an easy job.

    We all know iTunes is a big business for Apple but exactly how big? Analysis from Horace Deidu puts the entirety of iTunes/software/services at around half of Google's core business and growing slightly faster, and if iTunes were its own separate business, it would come in at around number 130 in the Fortune 500 (Apple itself comes in a number 6, for the record.)

    Anyone who has used iPhoto or iMovie knows about the Ken Burns effect, even if they don't know who Ken Burns is. The man has now released an iPad app which explores each of his films, giving you a look at the man behind the "Ken Burns effect". Burns said he was excited to be using an Apple platform to showcase some of his work.

    A bug in iOS 7.0.4 lets users turn off Find My iPhone without authorisation. It's worth noting that Activation Lock still stays activated even when Find My iPhone is disabled in this manner, and the issue has already been fixed in the iOS 7.1 betas distributed to developers and due for public release soonish.

    If you have Parallels 7 or above and haven't upgraded to Parallels 9 just yet, there's no better time as Parallels themselves are offering an upgrade bundle that includes 1Password 4 and Fantastical for free. It's a few hundred dollars worth of software for AU $54.95, which isn't too bad a deal at all. (I use 1Password and Fantastical daily, and they're among the first apps I install on a new Mac.)

    I've seen a lot of App Store screenshots in my time, but the award for best use of App Store screenshots has to go to PrismaDROP (link opens iTunes).

    Steve Ballmer is worth billions. Even Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, would pick up a $100 bill from the street. Tim Cook, by comparison, is only worth mere millions. If you won $100 million tomorrow, would you bother working your normal job for the rest of your life? That's the question posed over at Techpinions, where Brian Hall wonders why people like Tim Cook bother working at all *I, for one, am glad they do.
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