Why Tim Cook is the Right Man to Follow Steve Jobs [Editorial]

Unless you are living under a rock, then you probably already know about the biggest news story of the year. On Wednesday afternoon Copertino time, Apple announced that Steve Jobs had stepped down from his position as CEO of the company. He was immediately elected the Chairman of the Board, and remains an employee of Apple. Many news outlets, both in and out of the world of technology, immediately began speculating about the future of Apple.

There is no reason to ignore what Jobs did at Apple. He almost single handedly saved the company from certain doom in the late 90s. Many believed that Apple has never going to come back from their product failures in the early part of that decade, but he introduced a series of products that changes technology as we know it. Through it all, however, he has had one man by his side: Tim Cook.


The other side of Apple’s announcement on Wednesday was the naming of their new CEO. That person is former COO Tim Cook, who was hand picked by Jobs to take the reins following his departure. Cook, who first joined Apple as a senior VP following Jobs’ return to the company in 1998, has acted as the head of the company across all of Jobs’ lengthy medical leaves in the past.

I know that many people are questioning why Jobs picked this former IBM and Compaq guy as his successor. They have wondered why the new CEO isn’t Johnny Ives, the Senior VP of Industrial Design, or Scott Forstall, the Senior VP of iOS Software. That reason is simple, when you think about it. Steve wanted it to be Cook.

Getting Started with GeekTool [Mac How-To]

A few days ago, I pointed out that GeekTool, one of the most powerful customization tools available for the Mac, is now available in the Mac App Store. I promised in that article that I would do a short write up on how to use GeekTool. I know that it can be a daunting task for those who are new to the application. That’s why I have decided to show you how to set up a simple geeklet.

The geeklet, which is what you get when you place a GeekTool script on your desktop, that I am going to show you is a simple clock. It will display the time in 12 or 24 hour format based on your clock settings. It is essentially a desktop clock that shows a mirror of what is on your internal clock. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Download and install GeekTool.
    That’s an easy one. You can grab it from the Mac App Store.
  2. Open GeekTool and select Shell.
    geektool-window.pngYou will see 3 different options when you open GeekTool. Click and drag ‘Shell’ to the desktop, and a new window will open.
  3. Type ”  date ‘+%I:%M:%S %p’ ” into the Command box.
    So this window can be a little daunting. There are a ton of options that you don’t need to touch. For this step, simply copy and paste that code string into the Command Box.
  4. Set the Refresh rate to 1 second.
    refresh-geektool.jpgIf you want this clock to actually work correctly, then you need to set it’s refresh to 1 second. That option is right under the command.
  5. Optional: Change the Font Color and Size.
    font-geektool.jpgThis last step is optional, but it can make a world of difference. Towards the bottom of the Properties windows, you will see a bar that says ‘Click here to set font & color.’ Click that to do what it says.

If you did everything correctly, you will now have a working GeekTool clock on your desktop. You can move it around you desktop to wherever it works best for you. Mine is in a speech bubble in my Doctor Who comic desktop. I’ve seen them carefully placed behind image geeklets, as backgrounds and even made gigantic. The only limit is your creativity.

If you want to find more unique geeklets, I recommend you check out Mac OS X Tips. They have a great database of cool and unique uses for GeekTool. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a note in the comments below.

Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple’s CEO

In a shocking turn of events, Apple’s long time CEO Steve Jobs has resigned from his day to day duties with the Cupertino technology company. While few details are known about the reasons behind this, it is easy to assume that this is in direct relation to Jobs’ health condition.

For the unaware, Jobs suffers from a form of liver cancer. He has undergone a liver transplant in the past, but he still suffers from repercussions of the disease. Previously, he was  stricken  with pancreatic cancer, which led the removal of parts of his pancreas. He has taken two lengthy medical leaves in the past, but has always maintained a  presence  at Apple.

Jobs, who announced his resignation in a letter to Apple’s Board of Directors, recommend that the Board “execute [their] succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.” The Board did just that, and immediately elected Jobs as the Chairman of the Board. This was at his specific request, as shown in the letter that is quoted below.

August 24, 2011To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my  duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit,  as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our  succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I  look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all  for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


Looking at this letter, I think its important to note that Jobs is not leaving Apple. He is merely stepping down from his day to day position as CEO. He will remain on staff at Apple, and serve as the Chairman of the Board. He will still have a seat of power at Apple, and will more than likely continue to shape the company going forward.

In the wake of this news, Apple stock took a dive of almost 5% in after hours trading. That is almost 19 dollars a share, or  approximately  17 billion dollars total. That is to be expected with this sort of  announcement. only time will tell if the stock manages to recover over the coming days.

We at Techie Buzz wish Steve and his family the very best in this time of transition. We also look for continued innovation and develop from Apple in the future.

Dutch court awards Apple an injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy phones

A Dutch court has issued Apple a preliminary injunction that prevents the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones in the Netherlands. This injunction has the potential to spread across the European Union.  FOSS Patents has a copy of the official court order, and it states that the injunction will go into effect in mid-October.

The order, which was issued by the Rechtbank’s-Gravenhage (a Dutch court located in The Hauge), only applies to Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, including the widely successful Galaxy S II. That means that it won’t have any effect on the sales of Samsung’s tablets.


This is an important injunction because Samsung’s primary European logistics hub is located in the Netherlands. That means that in order to ship these devices throughout Europe, Samsung would have to reroute its operations. That’s unlikely, however, due to Samsung Korea’s lack of infrastructure. It would be logistically impossible for Samsung to respond in a timely manner.

The injunction is specifically based on the infringement of one patent in Apple’s portfolio. That patent is regarding the way you navigate photos in a gallery app, not the touted square based app organization design. This means that this injunction could be upheld in the countries where that patent is valid across the E.U. Unfortunately for Apple, documentation shows that they have allowed this patent to lapse in many countries, meaning it may not have much hold.

This comes on the backs of a previous injunction from a German court temporarily banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab in Europe. That injunction was lifted shortly after it was issued, however. It is possible that this new court order could suffer the same fate.

Wall Street Journal: Sprint to Carry iPhone 5 Alongside AT&T and Verizon

In the United States, it is always big news when the iPhone appears on carriers. There was a huge announcement by Verizon when they got their hands on Apple’s smart phone earlier this year. Swirling around with all the iPhone 5 rumors, we have heard talk that Apple will be offering it’s killer device to yet another American carrier this fall.

It looks like that is probably the case. The Wall Street Journal, which isn’t known for being wrong about Apple products, is reporting that Sprint will get Apple’s next iPhone at the same time that it launches on AT&T and Verizon. This will bring the world’s best selling smartphone to America’s third largest cellular carrier.


This is big news for data users, however. While AT&T and Verizon offer the ability to keep your unlimited plan when you upgrade, you cannot regain it if you lose it. Sprint, on the other hand, still offers unlimited data for a new and existing customers. This is also true unlimited data, unlike the plans offered by T-Mobile which become throttled after a certain amount of data use.

In their article, the Wall Street Journal also said that Sprint would begin selling the iPhone 5 in mid-October. This lines up with the rumored launch date I have previously reported. This also means that these potential sales will not contribute to fourth quarter profits for any carrier, as that ends in September.

Interestingly enough, Virgin Mobile, which operates under the Sprint umbrella in the States, has been working on restructuring it plans. The new plans will feature data throttling, and are set to launch in October. The obvious conclusion would be that Sprint will try to bring the iPhone to prepaid customers in the US for the first time.

Facebook Introduces Sweeping Sharing and Privacy Changes

It seems like we hear horror stories about Facebook every day. There are writers who spend all their time at Techie Buzz warning you about Facebook scams. Joel just did a great write up on how to not get hacked on the worlds largest social network. Now, it looks like Facebook is ready to help you control your sharing and privacy setting.

Announced today on their official blog, Facebook is introducing a slew of changes to their privacy and sharing settings. These are some seriously good changes for Facebook, which hasn’t always been known for giving users control over their sharing. There are a large number of smaller changes, but they can be broken down into two big categories. Let’s take a look at each one.

Tagging Changes


The first tagging related change is the ability to control when tagged photos appear on your profile. In the past, when someone tagged you in a photo, it would appear on your profile automatically. That lead to many spam tags appearing on profiles, and that was a huge problem for users. Now, you can choose to approve or reject each tagged photo posting individually, giving you more control over what appears on your Facbook profile.


The next major tagging change is an old feature brought back. In the old days of Facebook, you had the ability to approve or reject tags people added to your photos or posts. Facebook has brought that back for users, which is good news. Now random people tagging your photos without your knowledge won’t be a big deal anymore.

The next tagging change revolves around the tagging of non-friends and locations. Previously, Facebook only allowed you to tag people you are friends with in your posts. That meant that if you were with someone who you weren’t friends with, you couldn’t tag them. Now, you can, with their approval.


In addition to that, you can now tag locations without checking into them, which makes locations much more useful. Interestingly enough, this change means that Facebook is now phasing out the mobile-only version of Places. That means that all settings associated with that will be removed, and will need to be replaced in the new location settings.


The final tagging change revolves around the removal of tags and content on Facebook. In the past, the process of untagging and removing of content was unclear for many users. Now, Facebook will prompt you for a reason, which will allow you to take one of a set of actions against a piece on content. This marks a new phase for controlling your persona via Facebook, giving you the ability to request the takedown of a photo or even block a user based on a tag.

Sharing Changes


The next big set of changes from Facebook revolves around sharing controls. Many of us (myself included) are enthralled by Google’s sharing system on Google+. Facebook now has something very similar with its Inline Sharing Controls. When you make a post on Facebook going forward, you will have the ability to select who gets to see it. Options include Public, Friends, and Custom, and will grow to include Facebook Lists in the near future.

In the past, once a post was posted you could not change the sharing settings. Now, you are given the option to change those settings after you hit ‘Post.’ This will allow you to stop that secret message for your best friends going out to everyone on the internet.


The last change Facebook announced is a change in the way you handle your profile visibility. In the past, if you wanted to see what your profile looked like to the public, it was hard to do. Now, you will have a button on your Facebook profile to access these previews. This button is labeled ‘View Profile As…’, and will do just what I described.

Facebook: Now More Privacy Friendly

There you have it. Facebook is now working very hard to help users get more control over their content. These changes are, together, the most sweeping sharing and privacy changes Facebook has ever released. These new features will be released to all users over the next few days, starting today. When you receive them, you will get a walkthrough to see all the new changes.

What do you think of Facebook’s changes? Are you happy to see this kind of user privacy become a priority at Facebook? Is there a change you were hoping to see sometime soon? Let us know what you think in comment section below.

GeekTool Released for Free in the Mac App Store

For as long as I have been using computers, I have been obsessed with customization. I themed all my machines growing up, giving them looks that made my father crazy. I would turn my desktop into the control deck of a Sci-Fi space ship, or give it a pirate feel. When I first bought my Mac, I thought I would never be able to do anything like that again.

Boy was I wrong.

Quickly, I learned of a huge community of Mac customization fiends, and made myself one of them. I learned the tools of their trade, including BowTie and Photoshop. Then, I dove deeper into the scene and discovered GeekTool. Once I learned its secrets, I could make my Mac desktop much more personal than any Windows machine I had ever owned.

If you aren’t familiar with GeekTool, then you are probably missing out. It allows you to create simple bits of code or images that exist on your desktop. While that sounds a little boring, allow me to assure you that it isn’t. You can create working clocks, rolling tickers for stock information, and even constantly updating weather information. The possibilities are almost endless.

Now, I have some really good news for old and new GeekTool users. Tynsoe, the developer behind GeekTool, has released it into the Mac App Store. This means that you no longer have to hunt it down on the internet, install it manually, and then try to keep it updated by yourself. The Mac App Store will take care of all those messy parts for you, leaving you to play with your new customization toy. I know that many are wondering how to use GeekTool effectively, and I promise that I am working on a handful of posts on just that subject. Keep your eyes peeled and your tabs open to Techie Buzz to find out more. Until that happens, take a look at my GeekTooled desktop, featuring the great Sci-Fi series ‘Doctor Who’.

iOS 5 Beta 6 Seeded to Developers

It’s time again to sync up your iDevices and try out a new iOS. Only if you are a developer, that is. That’s right, Apple has released the sixth beta version of iOS 5 to registered developers. It was only two weeks ago when beta 5 was released into the wild.

Developers (and non-developers with developer accounts) everywhere are now downloading a whole suite of new beta software form Apple’s Developer Portal. Alongside the new beta of iOS, Apple has also released new Betas for iTunes, iWork for iOS, Xcode, and iOS for Apple TV.  Unfortunately, we don’t have much information regarding the contents of these releases.

For those of us who aren’t devs, news like this is also good. The official release notes is a laundry list of bug fixes and polish, which means Apple is probably getting feature set with iOS 5. That would mean that the beta stage is coming to a close, and a full release is coming very soon.

Like I said, it doesn’t look like anything shiny and new has been built into these betas. However, if we find anything interesting, we will update this post to let you know. Keep your eyes here for more information. If you are  interested, BGR has posted the complete change log.

Are you excited for the launch of iOS 5? Do you plan on using iCloud and iTunes Match? Do you think we will see the iPhone 5 at the same time as the newest version of iOS? Get yourself heard by leaving a comment below.

[Deal Alert] id Software’s Rail Shooter ‘Rage/Rage HD’ Free This Week Only

There is a lot of hype building around id Software’s upcoming post-appocalyptic shooter called Rage. They have been pushing it through social media campaigns for the past few weeks, including one with Facebook. They said that, if their Facebook page got 100,000 likes, they would give away the on-rails version of Rage for iOS for Free for one week.

Well, they hit their goal, and we all win because of it. Rage and Rage HD are both available for free from the App Store for one week only. There are two versions, but they are the same game. If you have a recent generation device (iPhone 4, iPad 2), then you should grab the HD version. Any older, and you should grab regular Rage.


Fair warning about the game: It’s pretty violent. The idea is that you are a competitor in a game show. The goal of the game show is to earn as much money as possible while shooting mutants. Considering that this is a mobile version of an upcoming M rated game, I wouldn’t let your impressionable child play it on their own.

I spent a little time with the game and I can say that I really enjoy playing it. Its a nice sized game, and that makes it an even better deal during its time as a freebie. I see it having a great replay value, despite only having 3  different  levels. Get it while you can, and then go play!

Let us know what you think of Rage by leaving a comment down below.

Skitch now Free for All Users, Coming Soon to a All Platforms

Skitch, which is arguably the best screen shot annotation app on the Mac, is now free to all users. Thanks to Evernote, who announced that they have acquired Skitch Thursday, the highly popular image capturing and annotating app is now available for free on the Mac App Store. It was previously available for $19.99.

Evernote is a fantastic free note taking and organization application that I have mentioned before. They currently have applications available on 14 different platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and the Web. They are now planning on expanding their service by bringing Skitch to all of those platforms, giving users of Windows and Linux the ability to use one of my favorite blogging tools.


There has been full timeline released for Evernote’s release of Skitch across its platforms. They have said that their Android app is available now in the Android Market for absolutely nothing. They also said they are working on their iOS and Windows apps, and hope to have them out as soon as possible.

They also promised deeper integration of Skitch into Evernote. In their blog post, Evernote said that Skitch represented their fulfillment of a promise to users. That promise was to bring better image editing to Evernote, and Skitch fits that bill nicely. I am looking forward to trying it out with the next versions of Evernote.

If you are a Mac user and do any kind of image annotation or screen shot work, then Skitch is an app you should defiantly pick up. I recommended it when it was $20, and now that its free I think it should come preinstalled on all Macs. Grab it form the Mac App Store today.