Jake Smith

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Hi there, my name is Jake Smith, an Editor at 9to5mac. Here I post stupid little musings from around the web. None of this reflects what my employer may or may not think; It's all my opinion, 100%.

You can get in contact with me through email: jake@9to5mac.com

July 21, 2012 at 11:36am
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No new features, but then comes the good stuff

Yesterday the huge, unexpected, news came up that Google was acquiring Sparrow — the hit email app on Mac and iOS. I saw the news at a stoplight on the way to get lunch. Funny how breaking news works, I guess that’s why I love this business. 

I’ve always been a fan of acquisitions, and I’m not really sure why. I was a big fan of when TechCrunch was acquired by AOL and when Instagram was acquired by Facebook, even when both instances have/or may spell disaster. But the Sparrow acquisition by Google is a little disconcerting in one aspect. The Verge confirmed yesterday that no new features will be added to Sparrow. A total bummer:

You can view our public announcement here, but I wanted to reach out directly to make sure you were aware of the news. We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users. However, as we’ll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps.
So no new features to Sparrow. That sucks I know. I love Sparrow and use it on a daily basis. Even with the lack of new features across the Sparrow apps,  I think with the acquisition comes very good news. Gmail for iOS will most likely be given a HUGE boost, along with the possibility of an official Gmail Mac app. I’d file the latter for coming a long time from now. However, I think the biggest improvement we’ll see is on Gmail.com. The Sparrow crew could do some very nifty HTML 5 work. 
Congrats to the Sparrow team. Enjoy that $25 million. 

July 19, 2012 at 11:57pm
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A dive into old media

My summer can so-far be characterized into two words: heat and traffic. With recent construction going on in the Kentucky-Indiana area, I spend a lot of my mornings and evenings sitting in traffic. I quickly ran through my Spotify playlists, quickly getting tired of Rick Ross’ “So Sophisticated” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Guilty Conscience”. So, I turned to the AM channels — into the talk-radio area. Thus began my dive into old media. 

I always enjoyed listening to podcasts, mainly Leo Laporte’s and the rest of the TWiT team’s shows, but have never really delved into the realm of local talk radio shows. But I have to tell you, it’s highly entertaining and has actually kept me well informed, because the crew at 840 WHAS can certainly beat stuff to death. Past the repetitive news and weather, I’m growing fond of the hosts (so far I don’t know a few of their last names): Terry Miner, Mindy, Mandy, Tony, and of course, the great Rush Limbaugh. Rush comes on everyday at noon, and I can’t get enough of the guy. Sure, he can go off on these rant and raves, but for the most part I think he’s pretty to the point. From what I can tell so far 840 is fairly conservative, which I like. 

I don’t think it’s very typical for a 16 year old to be interested in Obama’s attacks on Romney’s Bain capital situation or the fact that George Zimmerman went on Hannity last night to talk about the case. It’s interesting to me. I like the adult stuff, I guess you could say. (As a side note: Seriously, have you ever heard of a guy convicted of murder going on national TV to plead his case? To me, that’s unheard of.)

Then comes my second dive into old media, and it’s newer than my mission of listening to talk radio. I have begun to read the newspaper more. Yes, the actual newspaper — not the online version of the New York Times. Our local paper is the Courier Journal. It’s actually very liberal, which can get annoying at times, but for now it’s what’s coming to our door every morning. Maybe I can try to switch it up to another publication sometime. It depends. 

Something about holding a newspaper is just so fascinating. It’s like your able to appreciate the writers work so much more. And another thing, I can’t believe these journalists write without being able to see how many people viewed or retweeted their story. To me I love getting that instant feedback online. However, that’s just not possible with a newspaper. I have a lot of respect for these journalists who actually dig to find the nitty-gritty facts. 

I know this all sounds so silly, but it’s something I’m trying. I’m so used to checking Twitter, Gawker, and TMZ to get my daily news, and that’s not including the treasure-trove of tech blogs I navigate through on a daily-basis to get my lethal dose. I don’t know if this will wear on into the school year, but I’m certainly going to try. 

Hopefully I become a better writer and more well informed person through this little mision of mine. 

June 24, 2012 at 12:54am
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NYT Profiles Apple Store Employees →

The New York Times profiled those who work in Apple Stores.

I have to say, Apple has to be one of the best employers out there, giving 20-something year-olds the chance to interact with the technology they love, while bettering themselves for a career in whatever field (doesn’t necessarily have to be technology) they choose. 

To me, Apple Store employees seem happy. 

May 28, 2012 at 10:13pm
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My writing schedule for the summer

For the few of you who care about my writing schedule, here it is until August 1st Monday - Friday.

  • 6AM - 8AM
  • A little noonish
  • 6PM and on

I start full time, 9AM to 5PM (not to be confused with my gig), at the family business tomorrow. (been doing for the last three summers — have to get out of the house some how!)

Don’t worry I’ll still be posting plenty

May 27, 2012 at 11:22pm
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Some great points on the Facebook Phone →

Another report surfaced today that Facebook is working on building its own smartphone, with former Apple engineers developing it. I believe it. 

Jay Yarow of Business Insider makes some great points on how Facebook is building the phone right in front of our eyes. 

  • This week it rolled out “Facebook Camera.”
  • It has a “Facebook Messages” application. 
  • It has a Facebook app store
  • And it’s reportedly interested in buying Opera

May 24, 2012 at 8:34pm
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NBC to buy out Microsoft’s stake from MSNBC.com

NBC is currently in talks with Microsoft to buy out the rest of their stake in MSNBC.com, to gain full control. The Wall Street Journal has the story

NBCUniversal is in talks to buy Microsoft Corp. out of their jointly owned MSNBC.com website, NBC News said Thursday, in a deal that would complete the unwinding of a software-media partnership long regarded as an awkward holdover from the dawn of the Internet.

"Discussions are taking place," said Amy Lynn, director of communications at NBC News, which is owned by Comcast Corp.

Smart move — but being set as the default home page on Internet Explorer on tons of new Windows desktops shipped certainly helps pageviews. 

8:05pm
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Jonathan Geller of BGR today teased the publication’s new “The BGR Show”. It’s airing once a week on Thursdays — premiering May 31st. 

Should be cool. 

(Source: bgr.com)

7:53pm
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Let’s take a look at Facebook’s stock price today

Yesterday I reported that Facebook’s stock price seemed to be going up. Today, not much has changed, as it’s still steadily going up — with no huge increases. It hit a high of $33.21 for the week, before steadily going back down to $33.03. Things seem to be down a little in after-hours trading — nothing crazy. 

Zuckerburg and co.’s market cap is chilling at a comfortable $70.62 billion. 

(Source: google.com)

7:44pm
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Former RIM sales chief reportedly gets picked up by Sonos

Perhaps fed up with the company’s loss in market share, RIM sales chief Patrick Spence resigned from the Canada-based company last week. Things seem to be looking up for Mr. Spence after his resignation, however, as Reuters reports this evening that he’s been hired by popular audio company Sonos as its COO, according to sources. 

Sonos is a Santa Barbara, California-based company that focuses on creating home music systems, that allow customers to easily stream audio throughout the house through wireless speakers. Their technology is actually pretty cool. 

The fact that Spence wasn’t given the COO role at RIM is one of the reasons he left the company, some have said… or perhaps he just wanted to go over to a winning team. Nothing’s been confirmed, but I’ll let you know when the news goes official. 

6:39pm
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WSJ: BBM will stay exclusive to BlackBerry devices →

This will sure bum out some of you corporate types. After rumors that RIM’s infamous BBM service would be making its way to iOS and Android, The Wall Street Journal reports this evening that the messaging service will stay exclusive to BlackBerry devices — certainly bumming out some of you. For those of you who are accustomed to iMessage and aren’t so familiar with BBM, it’s BlackBerry’s highlight feature that allows for quick and easy messaging between a group of people. According to one person familiar with the matter, RIM’s CEO  Thorsten Heins’s said "It was not up for discussion."  This surely has to trouble those who were looking to jump ship. Maybe the time will come some day. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal