During last week’s earnings conference call, CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Angela Ahrendts will be transitioning from Burberry and officially joining Apple this week as its head of retail. Her achievements and personality as the CEO of Burberry have been well-publicized, but her Midwestern roots, early career influences, and resulting business and life philosophies are less well-known. These characteristics were recently detailed in a lengthy profile by CNET.
Ahrendts was born in 1960 in the small town of New Palestine, Indiana, where she was one of six children. As a young girl, she “lived vicariously through fashion magazines” and moved to New York after graduating from Ball State University to pursue her dream job in the fashion industry. She got her start at bra maker Warnaco and then landed a position at Donna Karan in 1989. She rose through the ranks at DK to eventually become President of the New York-based fashion house.
When Donna Karan changed its focus, Ahrendts transitioned to Liz Clairborne as the executive vice president and finally landed at Burberry, where she rejuvenated Burberry’s image and sales as CEO of the London fashion house. When she started in 2006, Burberry was a well-known rainwear company and upon her leaving a short eight years later, the company is now an internationally acclaimed fashion label.
Ahrendts has a personal management style that keeps her in touch with her employees, traveling to stores to meet them and “communicating constantly” with them via email to thank them for their work. She credits her Midwestern values that taught her compassion towards others, humility, and hard work were the keys to success. It is this human touch that Ahrendts will be bringing to Apple’s all-male executive team and will be a balance to the company’s technology and engineering focus.
“Technology has given us access to the world and its sea of content, allowing us to never speak to another person if we don’t want to,” she said. “Computers and smart devices are among the greatest intellectual gifts ever created for man, but if not balanced with human contact, may offer little to develop ones heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am mesmerized by this Digital Tsunami, but Google doesn’t have all the answers, and are all those people on Facebook truly your friends?”
Ahrendts will be joining Apple at a time when its retail sales are flat, despite an increase in the number of retail stores opening worldwide. As noted by Bloomberg’s European correspondent Caroline Hyde, analysts are watching Ahrendts closely with the expectation that she will bring her luxury flair to Apple’s retail operations and repeat with Apple what she did with Burberry.
Ahrendts will head up Apple’s retail push in 2014 and beyond after several years of instability in the division. The company confirmed during its recent Q2 2014 earnings conference call that it will continue to invest in retail stores in 2014. It recently opened its first retail stores in Brazil and Turkey, expanding Apple’s retail presence to a total of 15 countries. Apple also will continue its focus on China with a plan to triple the number of Apple retail stores in the Asian country over the next two years.
Apple executives Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will speak at the first annual Code Conference hosted by Re/code, the site reported today. The duo will headline the second night of the event in late May.
We are very excited to have both Cue and Federighi at the event to talk about a range of things about the company that remains at the center of the action, especially in the important mobile sector. From the shifting entertainment and communications landscape to the fast-moving wearables space to, well, everything digital, these two play a very important role.
Eddy Cue serves as Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services handling the iTunes Store, App Store, iCloud, and more, while Federighi serves as the senior vice president of Software Engineering, overseeing both iOS and OS X.
Both Cue and Federighi report directly to Tim Cook and are responsible for overseeing many essential elements of Apple’s ecosystem.
Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of Re/code have done multiple yearly conferences, formerly under All Things D. Past events have included interviews with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and last year’s event featured current Apple CEO Tim Cook, who spoke about wearables and television.
The 2014 Code Conference will also feature speakers like General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. While the event is sold out, the site does have plans to post news and videos on Re/code throughout the conference.
Earlier this morning, news of an imminent MacBook Air refresh surfaced, and now there are additional details on what we can expect from the update. As initially reported, the new MacBook Airs will include updated Haswell processors with no other specification changes.
As can be seen in an image of the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air specs provided to 9to5Mac, the notebook will offer a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, a very minor boost from the current entry level 1.3Ghz processor in the 13-inch version. Build to order models in both 11 and 13-inch varieties are expected to see the same minor processor improvements.
The MacBook Airs continue to offer the same amount of storage space, RAM, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and there has been no upgrade to Thunderbolt 2, which was included in the latest Retina MacBook Pro. The Airs continue to use Intel’s HD Graphics 5000 and it is unclear whether updated Haswell processors will bring any boosts to battery life.
It is unknown when Apple plans to introduce the new MacBook Air computers, but it is possible Apple will take its online store down tonight in order to update inventory ahead of an in-store release tomorrow.
Earlier today, AOL posted an update on last week’s spoofing incident with its email service. In case you hadn’t heard, AOL Mail was hacked a few days ago and accounts were spoofed, sending out spam messages to the affected users’ contact list. In a blog post, the company says that the breach only hit “roughly 2 percent” of its 20+ million accounts. The bad news? AOL says that the unauthorized access allowed the hackers to peek at mailing addresses, contact lists, encrypted passwords, encrypted answers to security questions and “certain employee information.” While that’s pretty awful, the outfit claims that “there is no indication” that the encryption had been broken or that any financial info was nabbed. As you might expect, AOL recommends all users and employed reset their passwords and security queries for any of its services while it continues the investigation.
Disclosure: Engadget is owned by AOL.
[Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
Filed under: Internet
Bungie has been shy about revealing the nuts-and-bolts gameplay of Destiny, its first game since it stopped working on the Halo series. Today, though, the company has thrown open the kimono. In addition to offering its own gameplay video, it gave Joystiq and other outlets a chance to try the title for themselves. Not surprisingly, the online RPG-influenced first-person shooter plays quite a bit like the company’s best-known work; if you’ve spent years blasting Covenant forces in Halo, you’ll adapt well to the new title. The biggest additions outside of the social component are “focuses,” or superpower-like abilities that give each character class a major advantage in battle.
We’re not seeing quite everything just yet. The hands-on time didn’t give much opportunity to see the broader online experience, such as the public player spaces and large-scale missions. However, the studio says that we’ll see more at E3 in June — you’ll likely have your fill by the time Destiny is available on September 9th. If the early hands-on time isn’t enough to tide you over, though, you can also check out Joystiq‘s interview with Bungie exec Pete Parsons and get a tour of the developer’s artwork-laden Bellevue offices.
Filed under: Gaming
This weekend, Microsoft’s project to find E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial videogames buried in the desert succeeded. The video game crash of the early 80s spawned the legend of a movie-licensed game for the Atari 2600 — developed in just five and a half weeks — that was so bad its publisher decided to trash thousands of copies rather than try to sell them, and now things have come full circle. We’ll have to wait for the AtarI: Game Over documentary on Xbox to get the full story, but there’s a new five minute video ready to take you through the crucial moments of the dig and the people behind it, including the game’s designer, Howard Scott Warshaw.
Source: Xbox (YouTube)
Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the 2014 edition, on the Verizon network are in for an update to their tablet. Verizon has announced that Android 4.4 KitKat is headed to consumers in a typical staged roll out fashion starting today. The update brings in software version KOT49H.P605VVRUCNC2. Along with the bump in Android OS versions, you will also see the following:
UPGRADE THE OS TO ANDROID 4.4 (KIT KAT)
• Immersive Mode automatically provides full screen viewing
• Faster multi-tasking
• Print services for HP ePrint, Google Cloud Print and
other printers in the Google Play Store
• Multi-User Mode allows you to create user accounts and permissions
for others to set up and customize their apps, wallpaper and so on
KEY DEVICE ENHANCEMENTS
• Delay in opening S-Note file from Home screen widget fixed
• Tab bar in portrait mode flicker issue in Google Chrome fixed
• Fixed Google Account sign in error during Setup Wizard
• Fixed access limit for enforcing PIN or Pattern attempts when
unlocking the tablet
• Fixed issue where decryption password failure did not erase SD card
Like all staged roll outs, you may or may not see the update hit your device right away. you can head into the settings > about device > software update > check for new software update to see if it is there waiting for you right now. Before you do that though, make sure you have some time to kill on a solid Wi-Fi connection and over 50% battery life. nothing is worse than seeing the update but not being able to do anything about it right now.
Via Verizon G+ Page
Following a few short weeks behind AT&T, the Sprint LG G Flex is starting to see their dose of KitKat goodness. The update carries a version number of LS995ZV6 and is going out in the typical staged roll out that begins today and is supposed to finish by May 7th.
– OS upgrade to Android 4.4 (Kit Kat)
That is it. We expect some similar changes to the Sprint version that the AT&T version received though, like an updated user interface, improved battery efficiency, faster processing speed printing in the cloud and the Knock Code. That could be wrong though. Anyone with a Sprint branded LG G Flex see the update yet and want to confirm some of those things?
Between building its own fibre network and selling a £10 internet-connected Now TV box, it’s clear that Sky considers satellite TV as a dying technology. According to The Telegraph, the company is now looking to build an internet-connected set-top-box that’ll deliver all content, including live TV, over the internet. Dubbed “Project Ethan,” the goal is to develop a system whereby all of Sky’s programming is available through the cloud, letting you pause TV and — if you like — resume it on a smartphone. The paper also reports that Sky is working on a refreshed Sky+HD box that’s better suited to 4K. According to the newspaper’s sources, Project Ethan was previously named “Project 2016,” so perhaps we won’t have long before the company is ready to show off what’s in store for the homes of the future.
Source: The Telegraph
We’re 3D printing pretty much everything these days, at least in laboratories. So why not venture out into cuddly materials? Disney Research is looking into leveraging the technique to create soft toys that children can snuggle without fear of scratching their sensitive skin. The prototype machine uses wool felt and a sewing machine like needle mechanism to connect one layer to the next. The result is a soft and pliable creation based on a standard CAD model that could be used with any other 3D printer. More importantly though, the felt can be layered around other materials to introduce stiffness, embed electronic hardware or even create moveable appendages. So you could create a completely custom teddy bear that hugs your child and speaks. It’s a little early to say that Buildabear should be worried, but we would be resting on our laurels if we were them. Check out the video of the felt 3D printer in action after the break.
Filed under: Misc
Source: Disney Research