About This Particular Rumor
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As a special feature, ATPM has gone to great pains in contacting its sources all over the globe, and even aboard the international space station. The staff spared no cost, went without sleep for days, and lived exclusively off root beer and dried chipmunk sandwiches to gather these confirmed facts. Our correspondents under the White House desk have hacked the CIA files to confirm every little detail, and we are proud to break these news items first, right here, right now. You might see this on AppleInsider a month from now, but remember, you saw it here first! If any of these news stories turn out to be wrong, it wasn't our fault. We reported the truth, but to cover their tracks companies might have maliciously altered their products and services make us look bad. Don't be fooled; they are trying to trick you. What follows is the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us Gil.
PowerBook 105: Iceberg
By now it is of course common knowledge that a new series of PowerBooks, featuring the G4 processor, will be announced by Apple shortly, probably at Macworld Expo San Francisco in early 2001. (See this page for details.) But let’s face it: G4s are old hat. Who wants old technology that’s been available for months and months? Fortunately, we have some good news for all of you who are thinking about buying a PowerBook, but want to wait for a truly stunning product.
An ATPM source high up in Apple’s hierarchy (we naturally can’t give his name, but he uses the same coffee machine as Steve Jobs himself!) informs us that Apple is already hard at work designing the PowerBook G5. With a built-in 2 MB level 2 cache and SuperRage 264 graphics card, this thing really flies! Motorola is totally incapable of manufacturing them at this time, but Apple has gotten a few test units from IBM, running at 1.2 GHz. That clock speed is much slower than what IBM hopes to have ready when the product is released, though. The technology is very young, and it is quite difficult to manufacture such an amazing chip at high speeds.
My first question on hearing this exciting news was, how can Apple even think about putting such a fast chip into as small an enclosure as a PowerBook? Won’t it overheat? Nope. Apple plans to use Peltier Effect technology to keep the chip super-cool. In fact, Apple hopes to finally break the 1" thickness barrier with this machine, currently code-named 105, or “Iceberg.” Early prototypes have completely transparent casing, and if that wasn’t enough the hard drive enclosure is itself in a transparent high-impact case, so you can actually watch it spin while it searches for your data.
Our source at Apple said that it is too early to guess what Iceberg will cost, but I expect he’s just saying that because it will be amazingly inexpensive compared to today’s offerings, and he’s afraid that if people find out that they will be able to get an Iceberg for $1099 a short year and a half from now, they will refuse to purchase the old and outdated Pismos that are currently clogging up Apple’s distribution channels.
If you really and truly must have a PowerBook now, a Pismo is a good choice: in fact, it’s the best portable on the market! On the other hand, if you think you can wait a little longer before buying your next machine, hold out for Iceberg. It’ll be well worth the wait.
Apple’s New Pro Strategy
Due to production shortfalls of high speed G4 processors at Motorola, Apple will announce that it is abandoning its current 350/400/450 MHz computers. Instead, Apple will sell a single professional computer. The processors in the professional computers will be whatever Motorola is currently able to ship to Apple. Apparently, there will be no way to specify a faster processor—your only guarantee is that the processor will be no slower the 350 MHz.
Apple, Gibson, and OMS
As reported in last month’s issue, Doug Wyatt, father of “OMS” and motivating force behind the Save OMS campaign at last February’s NAMM show, was recently hired by Apple. This lends credibility to earlier rumors of Apple’s interest in either purchasing OMS or developing a similar and compatible feature within Mac OS X. The latest rumor goes far beyond this, though:
According to reliable inside sources, Apple will shortly announce their purchase of Gibson Musical Instruments, who presently own and operate Opcode systems. Apple’s intent is to break up Gibson, keeping OMS and Vision DSP, along with Gibson’s own GMICS (Global Musical Instrument Communication Standard), which they will combine with Quick Time Instruments into a new MIDI and digital audio standard, QTOMIDSPGCSIS (Quick Time Open Musical Instrument Digital Signal Processing Global Communication Standard Interface System).
They will then sell off Studio Vision to Twelve Tone (the makers of PC sequencer Cakewalk Pro Audio), and the Musical Instrument Division (they make the guitars) to Yamaha Music, Inc. of Japan. We can only hope that Yamaha will keep the Gibson name, and continue to manufacture guitars in the US. As for Henry E. Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s CEO, his plans are to splurge a little on a new Gulf Stream Jet (“just like Steve’s!”) and then focus his aggressive management style on new and innovative business ventures. “I’m not sure yet,” he said “but it will probably involve selling sugared water to children.”
Disney and Apple
As most of you know, Steve Jobs has been sighted on the Disney lot lately, fueling speculation that Apple would in fact be bought by Disney, lock, stock, and barrel. Nothing could be further from the truth. By the time you read this, the sale of Disney to Apple Computer, Inc. for $57.6 billion of cash and stock will be complete, however, the official announcement won’t be made until the World Wide Developers’ Conference. Steve Jobs will come out on stage, wearing mouse ears. Sporting the new combined Apple/Disney logo (see right), the company will focus on diversification. As part of the move, go.com will merge with iTools, to form The Go Apple Network. The new ad campaign will replace Jeff Goldblum with Mickey Mouse, and Richard Dreyfuss with Donald Duck. “Think Different.” will be replaced with, “Go, Apple!,” and Steve will of course head up the new company as MiCEO.
New iMacs and iBooks More Than Good “Looking”
Let it never be said that Apple doesn’t titillate the senses.
When the original Bondi-blue iMac hit the streets, the world was taken by storm with a computer that genuinely looked awesome. The storm showed no signs of subsiding when the variety of iMac flavors came on the scene.
After years of pleasuring the senses of sight, sound, and even lingering flirtations with the sense of touch, it seems Apple engineers are now targeting the olfactory senses. That’s the sense of smell, for the lexicographically-challenged.
According to ATPM’s anonymous sources, the next generation of iMacs and iBooks will look no different than the current models. The standard anticipated improvements to the processor’s speed, the increased RAM, and the larger hard drives will likely be modest. But the transparent cases will be created using an experimental technique that will make the material behave much like a Scratch-N-SniffTM sticker.
Each machine’s aroma will correspond to its visual flavor, and while you won’t have to actually use your fingernails to scratch the case, a gentle rub will cause it to give off its intended smell for a minute or two.
It is probably for the best that the cases don’t produce their aromas perpetually. Sources agree that no two different flavors smell good when experienced simultaneously. For this reason, Apple will consider making nonodiferous versions of the iMac for the benefit of schools and computer labs.
“Orange” and “cherry” were most popular with ATPM’s sources, while lime was quickly ruled the least favorite. One source commented that the “lime” flavor should be recalled and replaced with “kiwi.” Another said he wished there were a “peach” flavor.
The “charcoal” cases of the special edition iMacs were notably absent. Apple engineers are probably scratching their collective heads as to what they should smell like.
When asked whether the idea ever surfaced for Apple to cater to the remaining sense of taste—the sources recalled the movie, Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and his lickable wallpaper. “Anything’s possible,” they agreed.
Disappointed by their constant inability to correctly predict Apple’s upcoming hardware releases, Jason O’Grady and Doug Landry have commenced a hostile takeover of Apple Computer, Inc. It is rumoured that once they have control over Apple, they will sue all non-rumours-based Web sites for maligning Apple by their incessant reporting of what is actually going on.
O’Grady told this reporter, “I estimate that Apple has lost nearly $800 million this year alone because of their [Mac News sites’] constant placation of Mac users, and their refusal to help Apple get customers excited about upcoming products.”
Alpha Syntauri: Affordable Digital Synthesis System
Mountain Hardware is set to announce the release of the Alpha Syntauri, an affordable digital synthesis and sequencing system. The Alpha Syntauri is a two-card system that interfaces with Apple hardware and software (and only Apple, there are no plans for a PC-compatible version). The Alpha Syntauri promises a “hip 80’s retro sound,” reminiscent of Brian Eno, David Byrne, Herbie Hancock, and others. Unlike other software packages, though, the Alpha Syntauri includes hardware: a five-octave keyboard and a light pen interface that allows the user to draw waveforms directly on the screen. One potential problem, the system may not be compatible with the most recent Macs. If this is true, we hope that future upgrades will deal with this issue. In the meantime, a rare picture of this innovative digital synthesizer is available here, and detailed tech specs are listed here.
Apple Takes a Bite Out
After the successful non-attendance by Apple at the London Apple Expo (31 March-1 April) and the cutting back of Apple UK staff, Apple has confirmed that they will be pulling out of the UK altogether. By April 1st 2001, Apple will have stopped all UK distribution of its proprietary and third party products. All warranties will become invalid one year after that date.
An Apple spokesman, who wishes to remain nameless, commented “It’s not like Britain is a very big country, and we have got enough money now.”
If the scheme is as successful as Apple hopes, they plan to pull out of Europe altogether, until eventually the whole of Apple is operating on a small fishing boat, just outside of Steve Jobs’ cosy house.
Apple and the FAA
Well-placed sources at Apple tipped us off to secret meetings between Apple and the FAA, where discussions of replacing aging aircraft communication systems with Apple-branded AirPort-based wireless network devices are moving forward, with possible in-the-air testing to begin by Q3 2000. As an added bonus, AirPort-enabled iBooks and PowerBooks will be able to piggyback on this signal to communicate with terminal concierges to prepare transportation, show reservations, and other services.
Net Granny Nears Beta
Reliable sources confirm the long awaited adult offering from Net Nanny (we broke the story some time ago, but noooo, you weren’t paying attention or maybe you forgot) is about to go beta. A person close to an associate of Mahatma Kane Jeeves, who was recently interviewed for the position of promotion intern for this product, tells us, “...[name of Net Nanny employee] tells me they’ve dropped the name ‘NetNumbskull’ because it fails to obfuscate the product’s position in the market. We’re going with Net Granny, not only because grandmothers are notoriously bullbleep resistant, but because granny rhymes with nanny. Get it?”
Net Granny, which sounds very much like Net Nanny, deletes hoaxes from your e-mail. Like the e-mail and site sex-and-spam filters that block anything with ‘sex,’ ‘XXX,’ ‘hot,’ ‘money,’ ‘free,’ or ‘!!!’ in the subject, Net Granny scans the first paragraph of your e-mail messages for ‘true,’ ‘research proves,’ ‘experts confirm,’ ‘reliable sources,’ and any reference to gangs, the Centers for Disease Control, or Arizona State Troopers.
Filtered mail is removed and replaced with an alert from Net Granny, such as “Someone out there must think you’re a real idiot,” “I heard that one when I was your age,” or, “If your friends think you’re stupid enough to believe this, maybe you need different friends.”
The full-featured Net Granny Pro(active) also filters any e-mail the user forwards to other accounts, adding headers such as, “Your so-called friend [sender] thought you’d like to read this groaner one more time. Click here if you don’t want any more of this rubbish.” If clicked, the message will be bounced back to [sender] with the comment, “You may not have a life, but [recipient] does. Think twice before you click ‘forward.’”
Microsoft Simplifying Text Management Products
Due to the high level of sophistication among modern computer users, Microsoft is removing the word “gullible” from the MS Office and MS Word spelling checkers. “Research proves the Internet is creating a well-informed public. Unlike consumers of earlier days, who were raised on print, radio, and television communication, this new breed is not easily duped. And since experts confirm that obsolete words are a major contributor to so-called ‘bloat’ in Microsoft products, removing such offending terminology as ‘gullible’ adds room for more useful features, such as tracking user purchasing habits with Internet Explorer.”
The unnamed but highly reliable source also noted Microsoft’s commitment to entry-level Internet users, through bundling its Internet browser and e-mail programs with everything from the ubiquitous iMac (Apple) to the so-called “Windows” operating system which is popular with several other CPU manufacturers. “Our strategy is based on faith in the consumer. We believe there is an Internet user born every minute.”
Also in This Series
- About This Particular Rumor · April 2000