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ExtraBITS for 6 April 2015

In this week’s collection of external links, Adam Engst sits in on MacBreak Weekly, Comcast Internet speeds are about to see a big boost, Apple’s Lisa Jackson discusses the company’s environmental efforts, we find out how a stolen iPhone changed a man’s life for the better, and we get a look at the making of the Apple Watch.

Adam Engst Goes Normcore on MacBreak Weekly -- TidBITS publisher Adam Engst had a rollicking good time joining Leo Laporte, Andy Ihnatko, and Alex Lindsay on MacBreak Weekly to talk about how the fashion world sees the Apple Watch as “normcore,” the difference between the two most recent Steve Jobs biographies, the rise of Periscope and fall of Meerkat, and much more.

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Comcast Introducing 2 Gbps Internet Service -- Feeling the pressure from Google Fiber and others, Comcast has announced that it will be rolling out a new 2 Gbps fiber-optic Internet service in Atlanta next month. Comcast said that it plans to expand the service as quickly as possible, covering 18 million American homes by the end of 2015. The company is also planning a 1 Gbps service for 2016, which it said should be available to almost every customer in Comcast’s service areas.

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Lisa Jackson on Apple and Renewable Energy -- Lisa Jackson, former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and current Apple vice president of the company’s Environmental Initiatives group, sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss Apple’s commitment to renewable energy. While Apple is working to make all of its U.S. interests run on renewable power, there’s much to be done overseas, where most of Apple’s products are manufactured.

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Stolen iPhone Turns BuzzFeed Writer into a Celebrity in China -- Matt Stopera’s iPhone was stolen at a bar in New York City. Whatever. A year later, photos from a guy in China start appearing in his iCloud photo stream. OK, that’s weird. Then he writes an article about it on BuzzFeed, and his story goes viral. In China. Now things are getting stranger by the minute. Finally, he travels to China to meet the guy who ended up with his phone. That’s where the story becomes truly insane, but also turns into a lovely tale of friendship across language and cultural barriers. Read it now, or if you’re really busy, you can wait for the movie. Yes, the movie.

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Behind the Scenes of the Apple Watch -- David Pierce of Wired offers an exclusive inside look at the development of the Apple Watch. While the watch was the vision of Apple senior vice president of design Jony Ive, it was turned into a product by Kevin Lynch, the former Adobe CTO who publicly battled Steve Jobs over Flash. The concept behind the Apple Watch is interesting: the iPhone is ruining your life and it’s up to the Apple Watch to separate you from your iPhone. Pierce gives us a look at the Apple Watch’s rough beginnings as an iPhone app, complete with a velcro strap and a digital crown dongle that plugged into the bottom. It took more than a year for the Apple Watch team to perfect its sounds and taps to Jony Ive’s satisfaction.

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