The Chopping Block - Week of April 25th

Elon Musk Had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013

Earlier in 2013 the company was struggling to turn preorders of its vehicles into actual sales. As Musk put his staff on crisis footing to save Tesla, he also began negotiating a deal to sell the company to Google through his friend Larry Page, the search giant’s co-founder and chief executive officer, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal.

It's likely this was around the time Apple was in the mix as well.

Custom Apple Watch Faces

John Gruber of Daring Fireball:

I don’t expect Apple to open up watch faces to arbitrary designs, even when the full Apple Watch SDK ships later this year. If they do allow third-party faces, I think it’ll be through design partners hand-selected by Apple. (The Mickey face is arguably an example of this already.) The idea of fully-customizable watch faces is right in the sweet spot between the differing philosophies of Google (anything goes) and Apple (tightly controlled). Apple Watch currently offers 10 different faces, and most of those faces offer a lot of customization regarding which complications are visible, and the tint colors. It’s a lot of fun to play with, but here’s the thing: there is no way to set up a watch face that is ugly, or that doesn’t look very Apple-Watch-y. Even the Mickey face looks like an Apple Watch Mickey face, because of the San Francisco font on the hour markers and the complications. That is by design, and I don’t see that changing.

I couldn't agree more. I can't see Apple allowing developers to make *potentially* hideous watch faces.

Apple Details Heart Rate Sensor In Apple Watch

Directly from Apple:

The heart rate sensor in Apple Watch uses what is known as photoplethysmography. This technology, while difficult to pronounce, is based on a very simple fact: Blood is red because it reflects red light and absorbs green light. Apple Watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist at any given moment. When your heart beats, the blood flow in your wrist — and the green light absorption — is greater. Between beats, it’s less. By flashing its LED lights hundreds of times per second, Apple Watch can calculate the number of times the heart beats each minute — your heart rate.

☆ Apple Watch, A Launch Like No Other

It's been five months since Tim Cook unveiled the revolutionary Apple Watch to a room brimming with fashion industry tastemakers. Now, we're less than one week away from the product's official launch date - well, kind of.

Considering the circumstances, it's hard to say the Apple Watch will be on sale this Friday. Pre-orders are backed up until June, the Apple Stores won't receive sellable stock until late May at the earliest, and no other retailers will carry them (unless you consider eBay a retailer).

Because of this, it won't be a surprise if Friday doesn't feel like a product launch at all.

There are the select few who stayed awake until 2 a.m. (Central time), myself included, and preordered a completely new product they hadn't worn, used, or even seen yet. Diehards like us, the ones who will spend almost any amount of money to be on the cutting edge of technology, hope to be rewarded with an Apple Watch at our doorsteps this Friday.

Those who receive one will be proud to wear it and relish knowing they'll be one of the first in their town or city to own an Apple Watch. They will happily boast to friends how awesome and life-changing it is - and how they should be next to buy one.

Don't expect Friday to be like any other Apple launch day, unless of course, I get my Apple Watch. 

The Chopping Block - Week of April 18th

Apple Pay Plans Fall Launch For Canada

From The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. is planning to launch its mobile payments service in Canada this fall, marking the start of its international expansion of Apple Pay, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is in negotiations with Canada’s six biggest banks about a potential November launch of the service which would enable mobile payments for both credit and debit cards using iPhones and the forthcoming Apple Watch, those people said.

Hell yeah.

Would Steve Jobs Have Liked the New Biography?

Interesting take on 'Becoming Steve Jobs' from Andy Hertzfeld:

Steve Jobs got the biography that he wanted and deserved: a best selling, well written, unbiased, comprehensive account of his life and work by the biographer of Einstein and Franklin. As much as he valued simplicity, Steve was a complicated man, full of contradictions, so there’s plenty of room for many different takes on his life and legacy. Despite its flaws, Becoming Steve Jobs is another worthwhile, but by no means definitive, addition to the canon.

I'm about halfway through the book right now - so I can't give my full opinion - but I can see his viewpoint.

The Chopping Block - Week of April 11th

Every week I run out of time to post some fantastic links, and I've decided to do something about it. 

The Chopping Block is my way to ensure these links don't go unread.

Check back every Saturday for a new collection of things to read. Enjoy!