Read an exclusive free sample of Becoming Steve Jobs in iBooks.

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Becoming Steve Jobs, a new book by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli about Jobs’ life, comes out on March 24th and is available to download both in digital and print. As part of a strong marketing push by Apple in the run up to the book’s release, iBooks is offering an exclusive free sample of the prologue and first chapter that you can download right now. (Update: It’s unclear what countries the sample is being offered in — readers are reporting it showing it for some but not universally.)

Apple has been heavily promoting the book in the last few days, on its iBooks Twitter account as well as through iTunes marketing emails. iBooks describes it as the ‘only book about Steve recommended by the people who knew him best’. For comparison, in one of the chapters, Tim Cook describes the Isaacson biography as a tremendous disservice.

From the sample, the prologue features Schlender describing his first ever interview with Steve Jobs, when Jobs was marketing his new venture at NeXT, and an introduction to how his relationship developed. The first chapter opens with a description of how Jobs reacted at a meeting for the Seva foundation. The full book features seventeen chapters. Interestingly, the introduction explains that the writing of the book is the work of two people, the book uses ‘I’ throughout the narrative as much of the book revolves around Schlender’s 25 year experience with Jobs.

You can pre-order Becoming Steve Jobs now, with release on the 24th (iBooksAmazon).

Twelve South loves you and is giving you a Christmas present.

Twelve South Dual-Screen Wallpaper Collection, photos by Scott Gordon
Those of you who have dual-screen setups for your Macs are going to love the nice Christmas gift that accessory manufacturer Twelve South is sending your way. The company has partnered with San Francisco photographer Scott Gordon to create sets of dual-screen backgrounds that you can download and install for free.

According to Twelve South Creative Director and Co-founder Andrew Green,

“I’ve always enjoyed the dual-screen experience with my Macs, and the best way to make the most of that setup is with gorgeous dual-screen backgrounds. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve partnered with San Francisco photographer Scott Gordon to share a stunning set of dual-screen backgrounds with you. Happy Holidays from everyone at Twelve South.”

The collection of backgrounds is titled “Collection 1: Fall in San Francisco”, which seems to be a subtle hint that there will be future collections coming from Gordon and Twelve South. Visiting the page for the collection, you have your choice of four different wallpaper duos — Golden Gate, Nightscape, Cloudveil, and Soma — all of which come in a variety of sizes and resolutions.

Frankly, this is tempting me to get a 27-inch iMac with Retina display to sit next to my “old” 27-inch iMac so I can get a stunning set of San Francisco images… Many thanks to Andrew Green, Twelve South, and Scott Gordon for this fun and useful gift.

Starbucks to Roll Out 100,000 Wireless Smartphone Chargers at 7,500 U.S. Stores.

Starbucks, in collaboration with Duracell, has announced that it will begin rolling out more than 100,000 Duracell Powermat wireless smartphone table chargers throughout 7,500 of its stores in the United States over the next three years. The announcement comes after the program was initially tested in Starbucks stores across Boston, Massachusetts and San Jose, California.

Notably, while Apple’s current iPhone line isn’t compatible with wireless charging out of the box, Duracell currently offers an AccessCase accessory for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4 that is compatible with Duracell’s Powermat and Starbucks’ wireless table chargers.

While phone manufacturers like Motorola and LG have added wireless charging capabilities to their phone over the past few years, Apple has yet to add the feature to the iPhone. However, Apple has shown past interest in the technology, with a report in 2011 noting that the company was experimenting with WiTricity wireless charging and another report in 2013 stating that Apple was looking at Qi inductive charging for the iPhone 5s.

Apple is also said to be including wireless charging functionality in its highly-rumored iWatchsmartwatch, which is expected to launch this October.

Source:  Mac Rumors.

Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5s now available on Apple online store in US.


If you have been patiently awaiting the day that Apple began offering an unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5s on its online store, that day has finally come. Now, alongside the option to purchase an iPhone 5s through your respective carrier, you are given the option to purchase an unlocked SIM-free iPhone 5s for $649/$749/$849 for a 16/32/64GB option. If you buy this, you will have to have your own GSM SIM card to use with the device because – as the name so obviously states – it doesn’t not come with a SIM. The device also is showing a shipping time of 1-2 weeks, so you’ll have to wait a little longer than a carrier version; if you have waited this long already though, it shouldn’t feel like that much longer.

If you really wanted to have an unlocked device, however, you would have known that some of these devices come unlocked already. The T-Mobile and Verizon flavors of iPhone 5s have been unlocked since launch, so you could have purchased one of those at full retail in order to get your hands on an unlocked device earlier. However, if you were simply waiting for a true SIM-free unlocked device, that device can now be yours (well, in a few weeks at least). If you are interested in picking one of these up, head on over to the Apple online store here: iPhone 5s.

Walmart offers iPhone 5s for $189, iPhone 5c pre-orders for $79 with two-year contract.

iPhone 5s press

Walmart wants you to purchase your new iPhone through its stores. The company has confirmed to The Verge that it will sell the both the 16GB iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s for $79 and $189, respectively. That’s $20 to $10 off the launch day price set by Apple, and while it isn’t a massive discount, it is unusual for retailers to undercut the MSRP on launch day when so many are looking to upgrade. Of course, you’ll need to sign a two-year agreement with either AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint to get the deal. (Plans for T-Mobile, which doesn’t sell devices on contract, are unclear.) Additionally, you’ll be able to pre-order the iPhone 5c through Walmart; you’ll need to go to a store location starting tomorrow, the 13th, to reserve a device, and you’ll have until the 25th to pick it up. Both the iPhone 5c and 5s are launching on the 20th, but the latter isn’t being offered for pre-order from any retailer.

Outgoing iPhone models are also getting a discount: the 16GB iPhone 5 will be sold for $79 with a two year contract starting today, putting it interesting head-to-head with the new (and very similar) iPhone 5c. The iPhone 4S will be sold at 97 cents on contract, and the ancient iPhone 4 will cost 10 cents on contract and it will come with a $100 Walmart gift card. Neither of the two older phones are a good deal considering you’ll be locked into a costly two-year agreement with an outdated phone that lacks LTE connectivity.


The retailer’s launch plans come just a day after it announced a smartphone trade-in program to compete with Amazon, Best Buy, Apple, and others. You’ll be able to trade in your phone starting on the 21st, one day after the new iPhones launch, and any credit you receive will be applied to your new smartphone purchase (on a two-year contract). This isn’t the first time Walmart’s undercut Apple’s launch day price: when the big box store offered iPhone pre-orders for the first time last year (with the 5), it made a splash by putting the device on sale at $187.97 with a two-year contract. Retailers earn valuable commissions for signing customers up to lengthy and expensive post-paid contracts with the nation’s largest carriers. These types of contracts are most lucrative for carriers.

Source: The Verge.

Stream Nine Inch Nails’ new album on iTunes for free | iMore

Stream Nine Inch Nails' new album on iTunes for free

Nine Inch Nails’ new album Hesitation Marks doesn’t come out until September but you can already stream it for free through iTunes.

Nine Inch Nails (NIN) is the creation of Trent Reznor. Ever since Reznor debuted NIN in 1989, he’s been at the vanguard of what some critics call “industrial rock.” NIN has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and released eight studio albums.

Things looked bleak for NiN fans in 2009, when Reznor announced that it was “time to make NIN disappear for a while.” He made it clear that he wasn’t done making music as Nine Inch Nails, but felt that the 2008 “Lights In the Sky” tour was a creative and technical peak. Reznor continued to make music including movie and video game soundtracks and collaborations with other artists.

Hesitation Marks is the first new music from Nine Inch Nails in five years, and it’s being supported by an international concert tour.

Source: iMore

Stream Daft Punk’s New Album Free on iTunes.

Daft Punk’s long awaited new album, Random Access Memories, isn’t due for release until May 21, but anyone in the United States can stream all of the tracks now for free through iTunes. Unlike the usual 90 second previews for trackson other albums, you can listen to complete songs as often as you want, although you can’t download any yet. Random Access Memories is available for pre-order at the iTunes Store and is priced at US$11.99.


Check It Out: Stream Daft Punk’s New Album Free on iTunes

Source: The Mac Observer.