Apple prepares Moscone for next week's WWDC

With less than a week to go before its big developers conference next week, Apple has already begun decorating the outside of the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where the week-long event is held.

As usual, that involves plastering large Apple logos on the outside of the three story building, as well as adorning some of the inside halls with large graphics.

There aren't too many surprises inside so far, though that could change as more signage goes up. In years past, that's included early looks at icons for products like iCloud. Apple typically covers up time-sensitive things … Read more

The 404 1,211: Where we're down with GDC (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- A what, where, and why primer on the Game Developer's Conference from guests Meggan Scavio and Simon Carless.

- The 15th annual Independent Games Festival opens its Audience Award voting window, now through March 1.

- Nominations open for 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards.

- Unity Engine coming to BlackBerry 10 smartphones, BlackBerry PlayBook.… Read more

T-Mobile to offer iPhone-compatible '4G' at WWDC

During Apple's WWDC at Moscone West next week, T-Mobile has said that it will have an iPhone-compatible 4G network on hand for attendees, according to the Apple news blog 9to5Mac.

The carrier just announced last month that it's network would be compatible with the iPhone later this year, but few expected it to happen so soon.

Here's what a T-Mobile spokesperson told 9to5Mac:

While upgrading coverage inside the West side of the Moscone Center, T-Mobile has also deployed 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band to test the live network on a small scale. As part … Read more

Beat The Traffic to debut new iPhone and iPad app at Macworld

Beat the Traffic will unveil Beat The Traffic 2.0 app for the iPhone at the Macworld iWorld 2012 event being held January 26-28 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

A team of 100 beta-testers will begin using the new Beat the Traffic app, which lets travelers view real-time traffic conditions--such as accidents, traffic congestion, and roadwork delays--and adjust their travel plans.

The new Beat the Traffic app offers interactive maps and additional surface street details; it also lets motorists retrieve travel times and live camera views.

The app will be available for free for the iPhone and iPad … Read more

The 404 978: Where you're today's lucky winner (podcast)

Since Jeff can't attend the 26th annual Game Developers Conference on March 5 in San Francisco, we're doing the next best thing and bringing part of the show to him!

General Manager Meggan Scavio is our guest today and we're getting all the details on the upcoming show, like the split among console, PC, and mobile gaming, the rise of independent game developers, and sequelmania! We'll also rant about 3D games and the convergence of the film and gaming industries.

She'll also join us in the second half of the podcast where we'll run … Read more

How AT&T made Steve Jobs look bad...again

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, CEO Steve Jobs had an embarrassing onstage moment when he lost his Wi-Fi connection during his keynote presentation as he tried to download files to demo the difference in screen quality between an iPhone 3GS and the new iPhone 4.

The download failed, and his demo crashed on the new iPhone 4 because he couldn't maintain a solid Wi-Fi connection.

Certainly not the optimal time for a demo to fail, but at least now Jobs knows how iPhone users feel every day, as we suffer with AT&T's poor cellular network performance. And it should be pointed out that device tethering between attendees' laptops and cell phones may well have reduced these issues, if only AT&T allowed users to tether.

After the initial crash, Jobs later came back and asked people to turn off their access points (as in their MiFi, which is a line of compact wireless routers produced by Novatel Wireless that act as mobile Wi-Fi hot spots).

Jobs claimed that there were 570 of them in that hall. As Sam Diaz at ZDNet pointed out, "The problem is that if 10 percent of the 5,000 people in an audience create their own Wi-Fi networks in that room, there are now 500+ 'networks' all competing for the same wireless spectrum to transmit those signals--including the original Wi-Fi networks that the presenter has established in the room."

After some time, as he pressured more people to turn off their cell phones and put their laptops to sleep, he managed to do the demo. CNET's own Rafe Needleman made the excellent point that your bad network is not my problem on his ProPR Tips blog.

It's understandable that Jobs would get upset about something not working in a demo, but it's shocking that the company didn't set up a special network for him, instead hoping for the best on a consistently flaky Moscone Center Wi-Fi network. And, of course, the demand for everyone to comply in their own best interest to see the demo is so typically egotistical of Apple that it's not even shocking anymore. … Read more

2010 VW New Beetle Final Edition video

I've been showing lots of love to the many fabulous new sports cars I scoped at the recently held 2009 International Auto Show, but it's not as if those were the only types of cars on display at San Francisco's Moscone Center. So I thought it was time "now for something completely different" like Monty Python's Flying Circus. But this car isn't British (although I'm a sucker for a Jaguar of any vintage). Instead I thought we'd share a pint with the 2010 VW New Beetle that made its presence felt … Read more

The 2010 Lotus Evora: An everyday driver?

There were a lot of impressive European sports cars on display at last week's International Auto Show in San Francisco. I've been giving Porsche and Lamborghini a lot of lip service lately in this blog, so I thought it was time to show a little love for the rather remarkable new Lotus--the 2010 Lotus Evora.

Like many of its European contemporaries, the 2010 Lotus Evora is a small, lightweight midengine sports car notable for sleek design and performance capability. What's strange is while Lotus isn't quite the household name that Lambo or Porsche is, the Evora … Read more

Taking a 2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder on the road

One of the few European sports cars at the 2009 International Auto Show in San Francisco that people were allowed to get behind the wheel of was the 2010 Porsche Boxster S. I had to get in on the act, and I must tell you that all I wanted to do was punch the gas pedal and go for a joyride. And for those of us who may never get such an opportunity, here's a video of the 2010 Porsche Boxster Spyder in action on the roadway. Boy, what a sweet view it is.

This new Boxster model is … Read more

2009 San Francisco International Auto Show: The Mix Tape

I finally made it out to the 52nd Annual International Auto Show at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco yesterday, and I'm sure glad that I made the trip. Today is the final day of the show that started over this last Thanksgiving weekend, and in case you can't or didn't make it out to the Moscone to see it all in person, here's an in depth highlight reel to show some of what you may have missed.

Yes, I know the soundtrack to this clip is kinda annoying, but this web video is quite … Read more