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Science. Poetry. History. These three words set the tone as you pass through the doors of Apple Carnegie Library, the latest in a careful collection of global flagship stores. It’s been over 116 years since each art was carved into marble and hung above the library’s entrance, but the studies remain as relevant to Apple today as they were when the building was built. Apple Carnegie Library is far more than a store — it’s the clearest public expression of Apple’s values.
In Washington, D.C., Apple hosted a special preview of its new space ahead of the grand opening on May 11th at 10:00 A.M. There was certainly cause for celebration. According to Tim Cook, the completed library is Apple’s “most historic, ambitious restoration by far, in the world.”
Located at the nexus of Mount Vernon Square and surrounded on all sides by freshly landscaped parkland, D.C.’s Beaux-Arts Carnegie Library is a gleaming historic structure set amid modern commercial developments. But it wasn’t always that way. Just two years ago, the library was tired and underutilized, dulled by time and a succession of promising reuse projects that struggled to get off the ground. The last time the building served as a proper public library was 1972. It was a far cry from the vision Andrew Carnegie outlined when he funded the building’s construction.
Apple’s plans to revitalize the space came together swiftly. Most of the company’s retail store restorations have been international projects, so a historic store is a new experience for many Apple customers in the U.S. Teaming up with architecture firms Foster + Partners for design and Beyer Blinder Belle for preservation expertise, a strategy was devised to respect the library’s original architecture and intent while reversing a century of modifications and adding a few modern touches along the way.
Stepping inside today, you’re greeted by the library’s original three-story staircase to your left and right. A bronze handrail winds from the basement to the second floor, where the DC History Center and city Historical Society reside.
Straight ahead, just past dentil moulding inscribed and gold-leafed with the names of ancient intellectuals Plato, Homer, and Galileo is the Forum. At one time, this area housed a circulation desk. Today, the space is dotted with ficus trees from Florida, seating, and a video wall. A new skylight opens the atrium to the second level.
Had you requested a book from the library a century ago, a staff member would’ve visited the area behind the Forum to find your title. The stack room was the knowledge hub of the library, a private space that contained every resource available to visitors. While the stacks have long since disappeared, the room today serves a similar purpose, lined with training tables and open to the public as a place to wait for your appointment or learn from the knowledge hub that is Apple’s retail team. Tall, narrow windows interrupted by columns of white Vermont Marble mined from a quarry in Danby frame the north entrance.
Representatives from Apple’s design team and Foster + Partners discuss the building’s restoration.
The east and west wings of the library’s first level have transformed from reading rooms into ornate showrooms for Apple’s hardware, software, and services. Though spacious, these areas are distinct from the building’s center of gravity and allow the products to fade to the background. Unique freestanding Avenue displays mimic the placement of walls that once split the reading rooms down the center.
A row of Apple Watches is juxtaposed against original arched windows restored with operable sashes. iMacs sit on Apple’s iconic wooden tables not far from wainscoting designed to reference the bookshelves that once lined each reading room. Narrow LED lamps matching those used at Apple’s store in Grand Central Station have been added to each table for a touch of elegance. The interplay between old and new is carefully balanced without feeling forced or alien. Apple was even able to reinterpret the original ventilation design in both reading rooms.
Apple Carnegie Library is the first store in the United States and only the second in the world to feature what Apple calls an Experience Room, a more comfortable space to learn how Apple’s entire ecosystem of products works together. The furniture in the Experience Room matches the pieces found in the Boardroom.
In the basement, past the Carnegie Gallery with its exhibit vaults lined in refurbished Guastavino tile is Apple’s Boardroom, a private space for meetings that will host the creators Apple partners with for a robust lineup of educational and creative Today at Apple programming planned.
The work of a few of those first creators was featured near the library entrance on large posters announcing the StoryMakers Festival, a 6 week series of special Today at Apple sessions hosted by 40 skilled artists. From poetry to illustration to photography, each event in the series highlights the art of storytelling. May marks the second anniversary of Today at Apple’s worldwide rollout, and the StoryMakers Festival testifies to the growing importance of Apple’s creative platform to the future of its stores.
Education joins architecture and history as a major theme of the Carnegie Library store. Apple threw out the book on traditional retail long ago, so it’s no surprise that the space takes a page from previous projects like Apple Michigan Avenue and Apple Union Square to create a community gathering place. What’s unique at this location is the depth and magnitude of the initiative. The Carnegie Library acts as a role model for the type of work Apple hopes to accomplish at all of its stores across the world.
The benefits of a civic collaboration at this scale are obvious in the short term, but perhaps even more meaningful given time. Skeptics of the strategy argue that public space around the world is under siege by corporate interests, but Apple’s actions to this point have shown only positive intentions. Even if you disagree with Apple’s vision or products, the importance of education and historic preservation is difficult to dismiss. Just as Andrew Carnegie donated D.C.’s public library more than a century ago to ensure future generations access to knowledge, Apple’s reinvestment in the city is a statement to its dedication to leaving the Earth a better place than it found it.
If you attend a store opening, spot something interesting, or attend a great Today at Apple session, we’d love to see your photos. Follow 9to5Mac’s retail guide for in-depth coverage of the latest Apple Store news.
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With the success of iTunes and iPods, not to mention MacBook, you’d think Apple wouldn’t be that interested in the Xserve — an item that contributes a relatively minuscule amount to the company coffers. In fact, it hasn’t been covered in a Snapshot for a couple of years.
Yet Apple has been working hard on its server platform. In the past year or so, it updated its server OS and has added Intel Nehalem processors to Xserve. In addition, it has made its Mac Pro desktop hardware available as a tower server. Finally, the company has continued to invest in improved storage systems for its user base.
At the end of 2006, Apple introduced the first Intel Xeon processor-based Xserve model. Since that time, it has continued to add the latest and greatest from Intel. The newest Xserve, for example, comes with Xeon 5500 series processors.
“Our most recent release has a lot of new technology which provides a big boost in performance and more memory bandwidth,” said Doug Brooks, the Xserve product manager at Apple. “Customers include education, science, research, federal government and creative customers in printing, graphics, media, video and post production.”
Apple positions this 1U machine as a complete package — everything you need in one box. The company web site pushes two basic versions:
A server with one 2.26 GHz quad-core Nehalem processor with 3 GB of memory, one 160 GB 7200 rpm SATA drive, Mac OS X server software and unlimited client licenses for $2,999; or one with the same basic specs except for two 2.26 GHz Nehalems for a price of $3,599.
The current operating system in the Xserve is known as Leopard, version 10.5 of the Apple server software. It took over from the Tiger OS (10.4). Compared to its predecessor, Leopard provides a streamlined interface that makes it easier for those who lack server administration experience to set up the server. Further, it comes with lots of collaboration software (such as a Wiki server), and a media processing engine to automate the capture of content and its publication.
Apple has also been working hard on storage support. On the Xserve side, the company released a 128 GB solid state drive (SSD) option. As it comes on an internal RAID card, it doesn’t take up a hard drive bay. This SSD, though, isn’t intended for primary storage. Rather, it operates as a fast, low-power boot drive with the OS loaded onto it. It costs $500.
“The SSD gives 100 MB a second-read performance, and random access performance is up to 20 times faster than a SAS drive,” said Brooks.
Additionally, the company has updated its SAN file system with the release of Xsan 2. This is clustered file system software that helps to create shared storage environments used in IT and video editing. XSan 2 requires a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN network and a metadata controller that typically runs on Xserve.
As well as the Xserve, Apple has one other server hardware offering. It’s Mac Pro desktop is now being offered as a server (i.e. it comes loaded with the Mac OS X Server software). According to Brooks, this has been available for some time but the company is now putting more of a spotlight on it. Mac Pro pricing starts at $2,499.
“Xserve is a rack-mounted product, and some SMBs prefer a tower model,” said Brooks. “We support our server software on the Mac Pro and the Mac Mini. The Mac Pro has all of the horsepower of the Xserve and most of its features except a redundant power supply and lights out management.”
Product Name Base Configuration Base Pricing
Xserve Choice of Quad-Core (2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” Processor) with 3GB RAM or 8-Core (Two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processors) with 3GB RAM, 160GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA drive module and Mac OS X Server v10.5 Unlimited-Client Edition Starting at $2,999
Mac Pro Choice of Quad-Core (One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor) with 3GB RAM or 8-Core (Two 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processors) with 6GB RAM, 640GB HD, 18x double-layer SuperDrive and NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB video card Starting at $2,499
Article courtesy of Server Watch.
Following this morning’s report about the deployment of Apple’s iBeacon technology to its 254 US retail stores, I decided to go to my local Apple Store and give it a try for myself. After agreeing to enable in-store notifications within the Apple Store app, I then drove to the Carlsbad Apple Store.
I didn’t expect to be blown away by this new app/store feature, but I did expect it to work and offer a certain level of relevancy. The results were very mixed, to say the least…
As I walked though the door, a notification showed up on the Lock screen. It welcomed me and invited me learn how to make the most of my visit by launching the Apple Store app. Launching the app showed me a splash screen with the EasyPay option front and center. I thought it was a pretty nice touch. I closed the app and continued wandering through the store.
I stayed a few minutes at the iPhone 5s table where I was expecting a notification to tell me more about the device, or at least tell me about my upgrade eligibility, since it’s part of the features touted by the Apple Store app update. Nothing happened.
So I decided to check out the iPhone 5c table. As a side note, I really love those iPhone 5c models. They look good and feel great in your hand. I’d even venture to say the build quality is better than the 5s. Anyways. After a few minutes at the iPhone 5c table, I hadn’t received any notification. I had however received a second welcome notification.
I then made my way to the MacBook Pro section. As I was browsing iDB from a 15-inch MBP with Retina display, an Apple employee approached me and saw I was reading iDB’s post about iBeacon tech being deployed today. The employee mentioned he had heard about it but he didn’t know it was coming out today. I explained him the basics of iBeacon. He seemed impressed, but not so much after all when I told him it had failed to work properly with me so far. As we were talking, I received a third welcome notification, but still nothing about the products I was actually looking at.
I walked to the accessories section of the store, and yes, I received a fourth welcome notification. I guess Apple really wants me to feel welcome. It’s nice but it’s not what I’m looking for. Still no notification about the various cases I’m checking out.
Walking across the store to see other products for sale, I finally get a relevant notification explaining me that I can read product reviews and complete a purchase right from my iPhone. Launching the app takes me to the bar code scanner. I proceeded to scan a couple items. The app was very fast at showing more details about the products. A big colorful button also made it clear I could have purchased the items from the app.
As I was walking out the door, I received a final welcome notification. Not very timely!
From my point of view, this was a very underwhelming experience with more than mixed results. The implementation of this technology is new, which could explain the poor results, but this is certainly not an excuse. Instead of launching this to all its stores at once, it might have been wiser to go through a test period at select stores first.
At the end of the day, this is not a big deal. Sending me notifications when walking around its stores is not something I expect from Apple. However, I have become accustomed to Apple providing a flawless experience in just about every regards. So far, iBeacon hasn’t delivered.
Of course, it must be noted that your experience may vary, but from I gather, iBeacon in Apple Stores hasn’t lived up to its hype quite yet.
Apple’s “Spring Forward” event is scheduled for Monday, March 9th and we’re already getting prepared to bring you live coverage and last minute leaks leading up to the event. What can you expect at the event? Below we’ve put together our list of likely announcements including some unannounced Apple Watch features and possible surprises…
Get your credit cards ready, Apple will likely give us more on pricing and availability for the Apple Watch and could even give details on preorders.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind: How much will the 18k gold Apple Watch Edition cost? We know the Apple Watch lineup will start at $349, and most expect that represents pricing for the Sport model, but otherwise we’ve yet to get anything official on pricing beyond that.
A poll of 9to5Mac readers showed nearly 80% of people think Apple’s 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will cost under $4500, while only 16% expect it to cost between $5000-$10,000, and 3.8% expect a price tag over $10,000. The jewelry experts are expecting a price tag slightly higher than the $4500 mark.
Apple might also give us some info on changes it’s making to the retail experience for Apple Watch and how customers will be able to try on the device in stores and purchase online. It’s possible some models might be harder to find than others and there have been rumors that the gold model could have its own special sales/buying experience.
There are a lot of Apple Watch features, both software and hardware, that Apple hasn’t yet highlighted in detail. We just told you about a few of them: Power Reserve mode, storage capacity, Heart Rate Glance, and more.
You can expect Apple to talk about some of these features with Power Reserve features likely a given due to worries of poor battery life for the device. We’d also hope to get more on final hardware specs and a look at apps from partners. Apple just started asking developers to not share their app announcements, so it’s likely Apple has some time allotted for showing off third-party apps.
We reported that Apple plans to sell its own straps separately alongside the Apple Watch, so it’s more than possible Apple will give some stage time for Watch accessory announcements.
We don’t know if Apple plans anything for third-party accessories or anything beyond just basic straps, but its event Monday will certainly be a good place to show off anything it might have planned for launch. There has been speculation regarding the possibility of a smart straps platform similar to what Pebble just announced with its new wearable.
We’ll likely hear a mention of iOS 8.2, the software update to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, as it’s on track to be released next week after several beta builds.
The Apple Watch requires an iPhone 5 or higher, and iOS 8.2 adds support to the iPhone for pairing and communicating with the Apple Watch. iOS 8.2 also introduces WatchKit, the framework used to add Apple Watch apps to existing iPhone apps.
Because the Apple Watch will require the iPhone to have this software version, Apple will likely want to distribute the update without any issues well before the Apple Watch goes on sale.
The update also adds new and previously available information to the existing Health app on iOS 8. A minor update to the Apple TV 3 software has also been in testing.
In addition to enhancing the built-in Health app on iOS 8, we may see a couple of new apps show up next week.
As we reported earlier this year, a Companion app on the iPhone that we previously revealed is used to manage many of the settings on the Apple Watch. The Companion app features controls for accessibility options and different Watch behaviors, and an unannounced monogram feature allows you to create a customized watch face with your initials.
While Apple has not yet shown off the Companion app that we highlighted, it did reveal another iPhone app when it first demoed the Apple Watch. A new app called Fitness will interface with the Apple Watch’s own Fitness app and functionality to provide an overview of your activity and workout routines.
Apple Pay officially launched in October and has steadily expanded in the US, but with the feature a perfect way of highlighting the convenience of Apple Watch, it won’t be surprising if Apple gives us an update on the payments service. Apple just updated its Apple Pay website to further highlight Apple Watch integration.
Tim Cook said Apple Watch would be available outside of the US in April, so an expansion of Apple Pay would also make a lot of sense. We reported back in January that Canadian partners were prepping for an Apple Pay launch that could happen as early as March, and other reports said Apple was targeting a similar timeframe to launch in the UK and other countries.
At the very least Tim Cook has a lot of Apple Pay growth to mention if he runs over his usual company stats: As of this month the company is now at over 100 banks and credit unions in the US and growing.
Rumors of early 2023 updates to the MacBook Air have persisted for months, and based on a seemingly authentic spec leak for an updated 13″ model, it’s quite possible that Apple will update the Air with improved Intel Broadwell CPUs, graphics, and battery life either during or shortly after the Monday event. An as-of-yet-unconfirmed report from Japan has suggested that Apple may also update the 13″ MacBook Pro with Broadwell CPUs at the same time.
Similarly, reports have differed on whether Apple will debut the radically thinner 12″ MacBook Air exclusively profiled by 9to5Mac during this event. The Wall Street Journal suggests that it could be announced as early as Monday, but the announcement could take place closer to the middle of 2023.A Muse performance?
Word around the Muse fan blog world is a possible performance at Apple’s event on Monday, which wouldn’t be a huge shocker given Apple often hosts big name rock bands at its events. U2 was a big hit with everyone last time around.
The rumor seems to originate with the tweet pictured above from Muse frontman Matt Bellamy. It could just be a nice send-off for BBC DJ Zane Lowe, who just accepted a new gig at Apple. But some think the hint at meeting with Apple’s Jimmy Iovine could mean Muse is on their way to the Apple event in California.
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Since KDE 3, with each update, the number of desktop effects multiplied. Let’s take a trip into the land of KDE’s desktop effects and look at how you can use them to improve both your desktop’s aesthetics and usability.Hardware Requirements
KDE had the reputation of being the most demanding desktop environment. Its effects used to put an extra toll on resources and induce significant lag, but not anymore – at least, not if you bought your PC within the decade. Check out our KDE review for that.
If your PC isn’t a two-decade-old relic, KDE will automatically recognize its GPU and enable its compositor. Under normal circumstances, you don’t have to do anything to enable its support for effects.
On older hardware, you can change the scale method to “Crisp” or “Smooth,” tearing prevention (“vsync”) to “Only when cheap” or “Never,” and disable “Keep window thumbnails.”
We should note, though, that due to their nature, extra effects still induce some lag, no matter your compositor or desktop environment. If you enable a lot of effects, you may feel your mouse cursor trying to keep up with you. In such a case, the only solution is to go back and disable some effects.Enable Desktop Effects
KDE comes with an assortment of effects that can improve your desktop’s aesthetics, accessibility and even help you focus.Accessibility
The Accessibility section offers a collection of visual enhancements and functions that can ease your computer’s use.Appearance
Under Appearance, you’ll find effects that tweak how your desktop looks. Some of them are listed below.
Blur is useful only when used in conjunction with semi-transparent windows since it blurs the background behind them to improve the foreground’s readability.
Desaturate Unresponsive Applications can “drain the color” from a frozen application’s windows.
Mouse Mark can be ultra-useful in streaming, video conferences, and vidcasts since it allows you to draw lines on your desktop directly.Candy
Candy is one thing you can do without them, but it doesn’t hurt trying them on to see if you like them.
Here you’ll find effects like “Fall Apart,” which when closing a window makes it fall into pieces, and “Wobbly Windows,” which when you move a window around, it deforms it as if made of jello.Focus
The Focus group of effects visually prioritizes the points of interest on the desktop through different approaches. Among them, you’ll find:
Dialog Parent, which darkens a parent window when it presents a dialog.
Dim Inactive, that keeps the window you’re working on normal brightness but dims the other windows the longer you don’t turn your attention to them.
Dim Screen for Administrator Mode does precisely that, turning everything darker when you have to enter your root password.Show Desktop Animation
A mix of usability and eye candy, the effects here aren’t essential either, but you should give them a try to check if you like them.
For example, “Window Aperture” moves a window into the corners when showing the desktop.Tools
Do you want to know if your desktop updates as quick as your screen? Enable “Show FPS.” Would you like to know which areas of the desktop were recently updated? Put a tick in “Show Paint”Virtual Desktop Switching Animation
A cube is one of the alternative animations for switching between virtual desktops. The other’s an even simpler fade effect, perfect for those who want their desktop to present smoother transitions but don’t like bling.Window Management
KDE comes with some alternative ways to present windows on the desktop. Some of them are:
Present Windows, which zooms out to show all opened windows side by side.Window Open/Close Animation
If you don’t like how the windows you open and close appear like they fade in/fade out, you can make them “Glide” instead. Alternatively, you can have them “Scale” in and out.Get More Desktop Effects
Are you using KDE desktop effects on your computer? If you prefer something that is more lightweight, try Compton. If you are experiencing a screen tearing issue, here is how to fix it.
OK’s real life started at around 10, when he got his first computer – a Commodore 128. Since then, he’s been melting keycaps by typing 24/7, trying to spread The Word Of Tech to anyone interested enough to listen. Or, rather, read.
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Apple has announced a variety of changes to the App Store Review Guidelines today after multiple major App Store controversies over the last several months. The new guidelines and updates relate to areas like in-app purchases, streaming game services, and personal lending applications.
Apple says the goal of the new 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 guidelines are to add additional transparency around the types of applications required to use Apple’s in-app purchase system. There is a specific clarification related to person-to-person experiences, something that has come under scrutiny as businesses shift to virtual classes and experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple says that if an app enables the purchase of realtime person-to-person experiences between two individuals, such as fitness training, medical consultations, or real estate tours, developers can use purchase methods other than in-app purchase. Apps that offer one-to-few or one-to-many realtime experiences must use in-app purchase, Apple says.
Further relating to in-app purchases, Reader applications may now offer account creation for free tiers as well as account management functionality for existing customers. Free apps acting as a stand-alone companion to a paid web-based tool, such as email services and web hosting, do not need to use in-app purchase so long as there is no purchasing inside the app.
Elsewhere, Apple’s new guidelines focus heavily on streaming game services and formalize the expectations for these services, should they choose to be available on iPhone and iPad. This should apply to services such as Microsoft’s Xbox streaming game platform and Google Stadia, though Apple is not specifically addressing any specific services with these guidelines.
Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.
Apple explains that each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual application, such that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, and integrates with other iOS features and experiences. Companies can, however, offer a catalog application that includes links to the App Store versions of all of the games available through their service.
For example, a company can offer 11 applications on the App Store: 10 games and 1 catalog. The catalog application would link out to the 10 games available in the service through the App Store, but the games and the catalog app must adhere to other App Store guidelines related to in-app purchase. Apple specifics that streaming game services must offer “users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase.”
Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on the userʼs device, etc.
Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the App Store, provided that the app adheres to all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple. All the games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.
The new guidelines centered around streaming game services come after Microsoft criticized Apple and blamed the company for its decision not to bring its xCloud streaming game service to iPhone and iPad. The new guidelines formalize Apple’s requirements for the streaming game category and offer a path for companies like Microsoft and Google to bring their services to the iOS ecosystem, albeit with the requirement that the in-app purchase system is used.
While details here are still a bit murky, it seems that the game you download from the App Store can essentially be a “wrapper” and the actual game is streamed over your internet connection. Essentially, you would download the “game” from the App Store, sign in with an existing account or sign up using Apple’s in-app purchase system, then play the game from the company’s servers.
There are also new guidelines for App Clips, which is a new feature in iOS 14:
Finally, Apple is also cracking down on applications that offer personal loans. Apple says that apps offering personal loans must clearly disclose all loan terms, including things like maximum Annual Percentage Rate and payment due day. Apps are also forbidden from charging a maximum APR higher than 36% and may not require repayment in full in 60 days or less. Apple says these changes related to personal loans are in accordance with the military lending act.
You can find the full App Store Review Guidelines on Apple’s developer website here.
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