Star Wars TIE Fighter

This short film about a squadron of Imperial TIE Fighters is the best video I've watched in a while. Blending all the best Star Wars ships with a 1980s anime style and a killer guitar solo, it chronicles a brief space battle between rebels and imperial forces from the point of view of the Empire. And did I mention that it's hand-drawn by one person over 4 years?

Star Wars is a product of the 70s and 80s, so a somewhat antiquated anime aesthetic reminiscent of Macross, Gundam, and other shows works surprisingly well. Look for classic anime tropes like missile clusters, targeting reticles dancing over the eyes, close-ups of exploding pilots, rapid keypad typing, and half-shaded smirking faces. If only the camera swoops in the next Star Wars film could be this dynamic!

Oh, and of course there's a poster.

- Via Ars Technica

Becoming Steve Jobs

The reaction to Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of Steve Jobs was lukewarm to negative in the Apple community. Steve came off as abrasive and rude, while Isaacson (and Bill Gates) got multiple technical details wrong. It was a disappointment that Steve's hand-picked biographer may simply have been the wrong guy.

Four years later, Apple has thrown its weight behind an alternative book, Becoming Steve Jobs, out tomorrow by longtime tech journalist Brent Schlender. It's available for pre-order at Amazon and iBooks. This book has the full support of Apple's executive crowd and Jobs' family, getting a feature page on iBooks and an exclusive early sample. It's a much more positive narrative, and it's obvious that this is the story Apple prefers to tell.

I'm conflicted by this. Isaacson's book may not have been perfect, but there's no denying that Steve did some inexplicably horrible things. There's no good way to spin the fact that he abandoned his girlfriend and unborn daughter, refusing to acknowledge their existence or pay child support as a multi-millionaire until forced by the courts. But at the same time, this new book has even deeper access to the people who knew Jobs best. Obviously Isaacson had the advantage of speaking with the man himself, but Schlender has interviews with just about everyone else who worked or lived with Jobs. The book may well turn out to be PR spin, but Steve was indeed a very confusing man. He reconciled with his oldest daughter in the mid-80s, and she eventually moved in with his family. Perhaps this new book can explain how such massive contradictions could exist in one person.

New Genius Bar appointment system

Apple is changing how customers visit the Genius Bar. For most of the last decade, you either walked in or went online, made an appointment for a specific time, and came back. Now, walk-ins will be assigned a priority based on the severity of their problem and then texted when it's time to return to the store. Big problems will be addressed first, and small issues will have to wait their turn.

This was the old system used when Apple stores first opened, but it was abandoned when too many people needed help. I don't see how this will work unless the number of Genius Bar staff increases dramatically. Online booking remains unchanged, but I've never been able to schedule a same-day appointment at any of the three stores near me. It's always booked at least three days out. They must set aside a large percentage of time just for walk-ins.

Apple repair program for MacBook Pro GPU issue

After suffering through almost 6 months of unexpected restarts, black screens, and a total inability to connect to an external display, I am happy that Apple is formally addressing this widespread problem. While I can't say for sure that my laptop has this issue, the symptoms are almost identical. I'm looking forward to having a fully-functional machine again.

Evan Brus and hold no copyright over the LEGO or Mac brands, and are not affiliated with the LEGO Group or Apple.