Reports that Tim Cook was seen at Valve HQ have yet to be confirmed, even though they're flying all around the inform-ether today. What's definitely true, though, is that Valve is looking for a couple of hardware geeks for an unknown project, as the job description itself indicates:For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we're developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen...We're not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here -- help us invent whole new gaming experiences.
So the head of the world's most famous hardware maker visited a popular gaming software maker that's got a secret hardware project in the works. Hmm.... There's a few ways to deal with the rumor mill that springs up around these kinds of things: 1) ignore it all -- deals fall through all the time, projects get shelved, it's tough to know what's really going on until it's arrived, 2) get ahead of it, and then turn it up to 11, get really crazy with the speculation.
The first option is safer, but the second option is more fun. Since it's a Saturday, let's go for Option 2. I'll lay out some of the guesses I've seen that seem to be the most educated and advance some insane theories of my own that are part fact, part fantasy.
First up, Cult of Mac says the whispers it listens to are telling it the long-awaited Apple television will include a gaming console similar to a Microsoft Kinect that relies heavily on motion and voice-recognition technology. Could Apple partner with Steam to develop that part of the platform? Perhaps.Related storiesApple to unveil 'revolutionary' product this year, says designerWhat's your dream Apple product?Steam gaming client for Mac now available
Then there's the case of the Valve employee's blog that mentions R&D the company is engaging in around "wearable computing." Forbes speculates this could mean that Tim Cook wanted to talk to some of the folks about a possible fall line that could compete with Google's recently confirmed "Project Glass" eyewear with the heads-up display. Seems as good a guess as any -- except for that last one, I think I like the Apple gaming platform better.
But we could certainly get a little more crazy with the theories. Why bother working with a company that you've gotta go all the way through Oregon to get to when you've got enough money to buy the whole outfit and have it shipped back to Cupertino? Or perhaps, given Steam head Gabe Newell's past disdain for Apple, his people finally scheduled an arm-wrestling match with Cook, and because Cook did a trillion reps on the stress balls while working under Steve Jobs, he's totally ripped in the forearm area and easily bested Newell to win himself a gaming company.
Then again, maybe we'll soon be seeing a whole new line of games on Steam exclusively designed for the iPad. Or maybe not.
Whatever the conversation was that took place in the Evergreen State yesterday, two things are for sure: 1) nobody writing about it in the inform-ether was in the room, and 2) I'm going to keep using the phrase inform-ether until it's in a dictionary somewhere....
As South by Southwest transforms from a massive tech party to a massive music festival, Twitter has unveiled Twitter for Musicians and Artists, a page offering tips on how musicians can use the service to connect with their fans.
Even if you’re not a world-famous musician, many of the suggestions will be pretty familiar. (Use hashtags! Reply to your fans!) Perhaps the most interesting thing is the suggestion that artists share their music specifically through links to YouTube, Rdio, or iTunes — in other words, sites whose content is directly viewable in tweets, without having to leave Twitter.
The Twitter for Musicians Page returns to some of the other themes of the site’s latest redesign. For one thing, it promotes the idea that an artist’s @username is their new URL.
Overall, Twitter describes itself as “the artist’s voice empowered”:
Musicians are always surrounded by people who want to tell their story. Whether it’s a publicist, a manager, an agent, a label rep, a journalist or that guy or gal you dated in high school, it seems no one hesitates to share their take on you and your work. But the most powerful voice is your own. Whether you’re celebrating a career milestone or need to clear the air, Twitter is the easiest and most powerful way to get your message across, directly and clearly.
This idea comes up later, when Twitter urges artists to use the service to break news: “You don’t always have to rely on a publicist to say that you’re excited that about your GRAMMY nominations; simply tweet it and share the joy instantly.”
Of course, artists who see Twitter as their “true” platform for interacting directly and authentically with fans, and for breaking news, aren’t just building a following — they’re driving attention and traffic for Twitter itself.
Twitter has been periodically rolling out how-to pages like this, starting with a general Twitter 101 page for businesses, and, more recently, specialized sites like Twitter for Newsrooms....
Apple's new iPad doesn't hit stores until Friday, but that hasn't kept it from ending up out in the wild first.
Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn today posted photos and a video of the new iPad for the first time outside of Apple's unveiling event last week, and ahead of reviews from CNET and other news outlets.
While there aren't any surprises to be found in the packaging or packing materials, the site did run the device through its paces in the popular Geekbench software by Primate Labs where it scored a 756. As MacRumors notes, that's very close to what the iPad 2 pulls in (751), however the test is not set up to evaluate graphical performance, which is where the new model surpasses the old one.
Also noteworthy: the test confirmed the new iPad has 1GB of RAM, up from 512 in the iPad 2. A report from The Verge following the new device's introduction last week claimed as much, however that's not a spec Apple lists.Related stories Unboxing the iPad 2 (ZDNet) New iPad comes with 1GB of RAM, report says Mystery white iPhone sports 64GB, multitasking tweaks White plastic iPhone 4 pops up, possibly '4S' model
This is the latest in a series of early Apple product grabs for Tinhte. It's the same outlet that got a hold of the iPhone 4 ahead of its official announcement, as well as a 64GB iPhone 4 model last April ahead of such a model arriving with the iPhone 4S.
The new iPad goes on sale this Friday at Apple's store as well as a handful of retail partners, including RadioShack and U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon. Apple has already shipped out units to many who preordered the device last week, however those packages are being held until release day.
In case you're itching for more unboxing, Tinhte has posted an unboxing video, which is embedded below:...