Sick of Apple
I’ve gone, in my lifetime, from being an Apple maniac to an Apple allergic. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my iMac and my iPod. But I am completely sick of hearing about Apple. If every company in the world followed the Apple product development and introduction model, we’d all spend our entire lives in keynotes.

Apple is the only company that can pack a room full of people and then spend 2.5 hours slowly doling out details on one new product. As a reporter, being at Worldwide Developers Conference is usually like being the cleaning crew: once the Jobs is done, you’re expected to leave and not ask questions. It’s quite infuriating trying to squeeze actual developer information out of Apple at the show. Naturally there’s a new SDK for the iPhone, but I’ll have to go home and register as a developer to download it. There’s no chance of getting a demo from Apple.

But the thing that really cheeses me off more than anything else is that there’s almost nothing left in the bag of tricks for Apple to pull out. Why are we all still so enthralled by every word that comes out of Steve Jobs’ mouth? Can’t we just be told there’s a new iPhone and see the specifications? Nope, instead, we’re expected to sit through PowerPoint presentations and doctored stats as the information is dripped out as if by an eye-dropper.

As for that bag of tricks… We’ve got the tablet, we’ve got the phone, what else could Apple build now? A car? A pool? I’m out of ideas. And I think Apple is too. That’s why they’re intensely focused on their new operating system, iOS. Now we get to watch as they try to get the copyright for that name out of Cisco, the company that also owned the name iPhone.     — Alex Handy

More like ‘Spacebook’
Calling it “Face in Space,” NASA is asking for pictures of people interested in having theirs sent into orbit on the two remaining space shuttle missions. The first mission, STS-133, will launch the Space Shuttle Discovery on Sept. 16, and STS-134 will launch the Endeavour in November.

This isn’t the first time NASA has taken Earth’s artifacts to be launched into orbit, either. Other shuttle missions have carried signatures of elementary students, a DVD full of names and messages, and a microchip containing names into orbit and realms beyond.

Anyone interested in NASA’s latest offering can upload a photo and choose which mission to fly on. Afterwards, maybe they can use an augmented reality astronomy app to see which constellation their picture is floating in. — Katie Serignese

Don’t count out TechEd
TechEd has come back to life; the show floor was bustling. That’s a great sign for the industry. The floor was filled with rows of vendors, and there were more attendees than even Microsoft had forecasted. The mood was upbeat, and business was being made.

In comparison, last year was depressing. There were hardly any attendees, and many vendors didn’t want to go to the expense of a trade show. Marketing plans changed over the past year. Times are changing for the better.    — David Worthington