Jony Ive Condemns Apple Copycats, Amazon Opens New York Store, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Satya Nadella gaffes, Imgur kills GIFs, U2 Echoes numbers, and Hatsune Miku on David Letterman.
Jony Ive Not Flattered By Apple Copycats
If you copy anything Apple does, Jony Ive doesn’t particularly like you. Ive is the Senior Vice President of Design at Apple, and the man who makes sure the company’s products look the way they look. The problem, as Ive sees it, is that as soon as a new Apple product is revealed , other companies borrow visual elements from them. Which is a nice way of saying they copy them.
According to The Verge, Ive was recently speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit when he was asked how he felt about the Apple-like designs produced by Chinese company Xiaomi. He replied, “I don’t see it as flattery, I actually see it as theft,” making sure to clarify he was talking generally rather than specifically about Xiaomi.
He continued, “When you’re doing something for the first time, for example with the phone, and you don’t know it’s going to work, and you spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied — I have to be honest, the first thing I think isn’t ‘ooh, that was flattering.’” He finished up with a sarcastic, “All those weekends I could have had at home with my lovely family but didn’t, but the flattery made up for it.”
Accusations of other companies copying Apple’s design sensibilities have been commonplace since Apple reinvented itself with the original iPod. And they continue on to this day. However, despite numerous lawsuits , no one seems particularly sure who copied who, and, more importantly, whether it’s all that important. Well, apart from Jony Ive, who is very sure on both scores.
Amazon Plans Bricks-And-Mortar Store
Amazon is planning to open its first bricks-and-mortar store, and the online retailer has chosen New York as its location. This is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that the new Amazon store will be located at 7 West 34th St, right across from the Empire State Building.
The bricks-and-mortar Amazon store will accomplish several things: selling Amazon hardware, such as Kindle e-readers , Fire smartphones , and Fire TV ; offering same-day delivery within New York City; allowing product returns and pick-ups; and, most importantly, marketing the Amazon brand offline.
Which all sounds rather sensible, actually.
Microsoft CEO Makes Gender Gap Gaffe
— InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 10, 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has landed himself in hot water after making a controversial statement regarding the pay gap between men and women. Nadella was speaking on stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing when he made the gaffe, which, depending on how you take it, was either an honest mistake or a misogynist take on the issue.
According to ReadWrite, Nadella was speaking about the fact that women get paid around 78% as much as men when he suggested, “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise.” He continued, “That might be one of the initial ‘superpowers’, that quite frankly, women (who) don’t ask for a raise have. It’s good karma. It will come back.”
The Microsoft boss, who replaced Steve Ballmer earlier this year, has since apologized for what he said, and backtracked by stating, “If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.” And we suspect there will be a queue of female execs at Microsoft doing just that at this opportune moment.
Imgur Kills GIFs in Favor Of MP4
Imgur has killed off GIFs, but don’t panic, as repeating images aren’t being kicked off the site. Instead, Imgur is replacing GIFs with what it calls GIFV, which are GIFs automatically converted into the MP4 format. The advantage to this is the decreased file size, with a GIF weighing in at 50MB being reduced to 3.4MB.
If you hate GIFs then this is actually bad news, as they’re more likely than ever to turn up on your favorite website. Boo, hiss, etc.
That U2 Album By The Numbers
The new U2 album, Echoes, may not be to everybody’s tastes, but 26 million iTunes users have downloaded it in its entirety. A further 55 million iTunes users “experienced” the album in some way, even if that means deleting it after listening to a couple of the songs.
This is according to Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, who revealed the numbers to Billboard. He added, “To help put this into perspective, prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003.”
So, while Apple might have taken stick for foisting a free U2 album on all iTunes users , millions of people appreciated the gesture. The question now is whether offering music for free in this way will kill sales of CDs when Echoes gets released physically on Oct. 14. It has to, right?
Hatsune Miku Guests On David Letterman
And finally, Hatsune Miku is already incredibly popular in her native Japan, but with an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman under her belt, could fame and fortune in the U.S. beckon? After all, everybody seemed to accept it when Tupac returned from the dead as a hologram .
Hatsune Miku is a virtual pop star created by software developer Crypton Future Media. She appears in the form of a pigtailed 16-year-old girl, albeit a holographic one. Which is weird, but no weirder than animated rock band Gorillaz, who didn’t let their cartoonish nature hold them back.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Is Jony Ive right to be annoyed rather than flattered over companies copying Apple? Would you shop at a bricks-and-mortar Amazon store? Is Hatsune Miku a novelty or the first pop star of the future?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Mat Honan via Flickr