MacWorld Keynote Coverage Recap

Erin BarkleyTuesday, January 15, 2008
This post is part of Push the Third Button Twice, a ~2 month adventure where I would write parody articles based on the news as it happened — in 15 minutes or less. The posts are credited to my a fictional "staff", but they're actually all me. I apologize in advance.

This is a transcript of our live coverage of the MacWorld 2008 keynote address by Steve Jobs, re-posted here because the old version appears to have trouble permeating to the RSS feeds.  For continuing coverage of the show itself, stay with PTTBT. We’re very trustworthy.

Early morning: PTTBT’s Erin Barkley has paid a homeless person $5 to keep her place in line outside the Moscone Center overnight and will be providing live coverage of Steve Jobs’ keynote at MacWorld 2008 starting at 8:30PST (11:30EST) when she has finished her morning routine at Starbucks. Check back here for the web’s most insightful liveblogging analysis of the Stevenote, as it happens.

8:05: We’re in line outside Moscone West. There are several hundred people here, all with iPhones and at least half the crowd is wearing mock turtlenecks. One guy with a Dell was just lynched and strung up to a lamp post.

8:08: Someone just hung a “there’s something in the air” poster from the Dell guy’s foot. Ha! Good times!

8:19: Jason Chen from Gizmodo is here. Apparently Richard Blakeley was supposed to cover MacWorld this year, but he’s in jail after discovering TV-B-Gone remotes also shut off pacemakers at a WWII Vets conference over the weekend.

8:24: A bunch of Googlers at the start of the line just announced they’d trade spots with anyone that could solve some stupid-long equation that takes up like seven sheets of paper. They’ve all got stupid grins on their faces.

8:26: A kid back about 200 people in line just called out “42!” and the Googlers all started swearing and picking up their things.

8:36: Jason Calacanis was just singled out by a bomb-sniffing dog and is being dragged from the line by two large men with kevlar vests. I checked Mahalo for an explanation but it was useless.

8:42: We’re about to be let into the hall. Everyone’s being given a little blue pill along with a pair of 3D glasses. Not sure why.

8:49: A trio of Mac fanboys just swooned next to me. Anywhere else, they’d get their asses kicked for that.

8:55: Camera crews are going in. The rest of us are pounding at the doors like Uruk-hai at Helm’s Deep. Some of us look like Uruk-hai, too ([cough]Scoble![/cough])

8:59: I felt a pleasant tingling and a sudden rush of irrational euphoria. Steve must be nearby!

9:00: We’re in! They’re playing Beatles! This must be a sign! Beatles on iTunes! You heard it here first (today at least).

9:01: The big screen where Steve stands just launched into Front Row and someone is browsing the movies. Everyone’s confused.

9:02: Red light in the back and a pair of guys dressed like stormtroopers are pushing through the crowd. Front Row quickly closed.

9:03: Gizmodo again. Jason Chen was just dragged out by the throat, to the applause of the rest of the blogosphere.

9:06: There’s something taped to the bottom of the chairs, but when you touch it you get an electric shock. The Engadget guys are trying to coerce an Adobe rep into risking brain damage for $15.

9:12: Current music: Alone Again by Gilbert O’Sullivan.

9:14: Lights dimmed. Keynote about to start.

9:15: New Get a Mac ad… happy new year. PC has katana is about to commit suicide. Mac just laughs. Crowd laughs too.

9:15: Steve on stage. Big year. iPhones, new iPods, Leopard, Vista sucks. Thank you for buying me a new jet… er… for making it a great year.

9:17: Four things to talk about today. Two of them boring.

9:17: Leopard shipped over 5 million copies in 3 months. Most successful version of OS X ever. 20% of Macs using Leopard now. The rest are still on 10.1 and in use by design shops.

9:18: Stroking egos of tech press that sucked up over the last 6 months. Mossberg giggles when Steve says his name.

9:20: Lots of apps. Mac Office 2008 is now shipping. Boos from audience. Steve imitates gouging eyes out with his fingers, says “I know what you mean.”

9:21: Time Machine sucks because you always have to plug it in to use it on laptops. New product: Time Capsule.

9:21: Time Capsule is a new Airport Extreme base station that has an internal HD. 1TB for $499. Dead silence from audience.

9:21: “What? I thought you liked to buy overpriced shit!”

9:21: Audience now applauding, but with confused looks on our faces.

9:22: 2nd thing: iPhone.

9:22: 200th day since iPhones went on sale. 4 million units sold. 1 million still unsold on eBay.

9:22: 20,000 iPhones dropped and cracked daily. Impressive stats. Kevin Rose is weeping in the back.

9:23: First quarter shipping, iPhone got 19.5% of the US Smartphone market, behind RIM.

9:23: “Gonna do something about that”… Apple to buy RIM! Discontinuing Blackberry!

9:23: Stock market is tanking suddenly.

9:24: SDK for iPhone coming out in February, but new software today. Better not be Pong.

9:25: It is Pong. Dear god.

9:26: Also WebClips, customizing home screen, SMS multiple people, and a new game called JailBreak, where you try and dig out of jail but the warden keeps changing the prison every time you make progress.

9:27: Demoing now. Google maps thinks Steve is in Iceland. Guy in back laughs.

9:28: I swear I heard a sound like a sniper rifle with a silencer.

9:29: Demoing SMS feature. Chatting with Phil Schiller and Tim Cook.

9:30: Scoble just spammed their conversation, asking for a job as an evangelist at Apple. Steve is not amused.

9:32: WebClips let you save where you were on a page. Remembers pan/zoom info. You can make up to 9 of them. Useful for times when you… you… nope, I got nothin’.

9:33: Demo is done. Audience breathes sigh of relief.

9:35: for iPod Touch: 5 new apps. Pong, Pong+, Mail, Stocks, Weather.

9:36: Mail is not actual Mail, it just lets you write letters to show people on-screen, like very expensive paper that you wouldn’t dare put in an envelope.

9:37: $20 upgrade for existing users. “Just because we can.”

9:38: 3rd thing: iTunes. 4 billion songs sold. 20 million on Christmas day. New one-day record.

9:38: iTunes movie rentals. 320×240 resolution, 15fps, $10.99 for 24 hours.

9:38: Sorry, wrong slide.

9:39: Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, Fox, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony all on board, although Sony’s movies will only play on 2008-model Bravias.

9:39: Every major studio is on board. Negotiations with Apple are major reason why the writers’ strike has gone on so long.

9:40: Over 1000 movies (avaialbe 30 days after DVD release)

9:40: Watch instantly (30 seconds on broadband)

9:40: Way better than Pirate Bay if you don’t typically notice when movies arrive in Blockbuster.

9:41: Old crappy movies: $2.99; new crappy movies: $3.99.

9:42: Plays a sample of Transformers 2007 movie. Vomiting heard from audience.

9:43: Movie Rentals launches today in U.S., International later this year.

9:44: Apple TV 2.0. Rent movies on Apple TV. DVD quality + HD + Dolby 5.1. Can show podcasts (two people clap loudly for a few seconds)

9:45: HD Titles are $4.99, 100 titles starting today, including Sound of Music and Casablanca.

9:48: Demoing movie: “Cloverfield_TS_aXXo_720p.avi”

9:49: Can preview movies from the interface, see what movies are popular with losers with similar bad taste in entertainment.

9:50: Plays trailer for new JJ Abrams Star Trek!

9:53: Steve’s Apple TV is downloading at about 1%/second. “Plebs will average 0.0013%/minute”, he says with a grin.

9:56: Steve’s Apple Remote seems to have stopped working. He’s storming around the stage swearing like a sailor.

9:56: An Apple staffter comes out with a new remote. Steve does a crazy kung fu kick to the kid’s neck and snatches the remote out of the air as he falls.

9:57: Audience claps nervously.

9:58: We are apparently watching the entirety of Blades of Glory today. It just doesn’t stop.

9:59: You can view friends’ photocasts from your TV. Steve has some kinky friends, judging from the thumbnails. Was that really a goat?

10:00: Music can be bought from within Apple TV. A guy next to me chuckles and says “bought… classic…”

10:01: The new Apple TV is a free software update, and the hardware is cheaper: $229. Tepid applause.

10:02: 20th Century Fox was first studio to sign up. Brokep from Pirate Bay is taking the stage, explaining how easy it is to hack the Apple TV to automatically download and categorize torrents of your favourite shows and movies

10:04: SFPD are raiding the hall, chasing Brokep with tasers. Steve is just standing there, laughing.

10:05: 20th Century Fox CEO now taking stage. “We wanted to make great movies and get them into as many hands as possible. So now at least we’ve accomplished one of those goals.”

10:08: Steve has re-taken the stage with minimal casualties.

10:09: 4th thing: there’s something in the air.

10:09: Phil Schiller from backstage: “Sorry!”

10:10: Apple makes the best notebooks in the industry. Today a new kind of notebook: the MacBook Air.

10:10: World’s thinnest notebook. So thin it’s almost not there.

10:10: Steve holds up his hand like he’s holding something, but there’s nothing there.

10:10: Awkward silence.

10:11: Most people think of Sony TZ series when they think of thin notebooks. 3lbs, 0.8 inches, 11″ display. Miniature keyboard. Slower processor. Apple is topping all of those.

10:12: MacBook Air is 0.16″ to 0.76″. Fits in an envelope. Someone from the audience yells “prove it!” and throws a tiny envelope on stage.

10:14: Magnetic latch. 13.3″ widescreen. Display is LED backlit. iSight built in. Macbook-like keyboard except not as crappy.

10:14: Multi-touch trackpad. Useful for… for… touching multiple things.

10:15: How do we fit a Mac in there?

10:16: Magic beans. Oh dear.

10:16: 1.8″ hard drive. 8GB.

10:16: 80GB, sorry. But it sounded like Apple, didn’t it?

10:17: 80GB standard, 64GB solid state drive optional.

10:17: 1.6GHz standard, 1.8 optional. Intel Core 2 Duo. Still not fast enough to play Quake, but it will cook eggs if you try.

10:18: Apple asked Intel to shrink the Core 2 Duo. Intel said f**k off.

10:20: Intel CEO taking stage, bitches about Steve’s demands. Gets removed by storm trooper guys. Steve re-takes stage.

10:21: Other features: Magsafe, 1 USB port, Micro-DVI out, audio out, 802.11n, Bluetooth, flux capacitor, Mr Fusion power source.

10:22: No optical drive, but optional SuperDrive for $99. Can also rip apart friends’ computers to “borrow” their optical drives at will.

10:25: 5 hour battery, 2GB memory standard, $17,990.

10:25: Again, sorry. $1,799.

10:26: Audience cheers. Nobody knows why. It’s like a magic hand reached into our souls and made us happy involuntarily.

10:26: Pre-orders today, shipping in 2 weeks, which means March.

10:27: “We expect to have the bugs worked out by the summer, so buy now.”

10:27: Ad for MacBook Air plays, touting ability to fit it into an envelope. Shows single dad losing it when he realizes he accidentally mailed his laptop to the IRS instead of his taxes.

10:29: Environmental benefits: entirely biodegradable, will turn into fertilizer 6 months after purchase.

10:29: Greenpeace heckler at back shouts “not good enough!” and is dragged down and beaten by a small army of fanboys. Audience cheers.

10:31: Randy Newman (sings Toy Story songs) takes stage to put audience to sleep during final stage of hypnosis.

10:35: Longest damn song in the world. Steve has fallen asleep in the corner.

10:40: Randy Newman is having a psychotic break on-stage. The RDF must be too strong for him.

10:44: And it’s over! Thanks to everyone that sent us abuse during the keynote… it really made it worthwhile. We’re gonna go play with a MacBook Air and you’re not! Nyah nyah nyah! Suckers!

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