Call It A Soft-Sell Approach (7/29/02)
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Now, this is the sort of thing we'd usually like to leave you with on a Friday so it could bake your noodle over the weekend and leave you nicely disoriented on Monday morning as you drag your puzzled butts back into the workforce, but seeing as we've been AWOL for the past couple of weeks, we're instead throwing it at you on a Monday night, in hopes that it might have at least a minimal effect on your job performance for the remainder of the work week. Hey, when it comes to lowering productivity and thereby contributing to the downfall of civilization as we know it, every little bit helps and better late than never and two or three other clichés that might conceivably apply in this situation yadda yadda yadda.

Without further ado, the noodle-baker. Try this: go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System. Click on "New User Form Search (Basic)." Enter APPLE JUNKYARD as the Search Term and choose "ALL" from the Field menu, then click "Submit Query." Bickety-bam, you're looking at Apple's July 12th application for the trademark "Junkyard," as was so astutely pointed out by MacRumors. So what you should be wondering right about now is, "just what sort of product does Apple have up its sleeve, and why in the name of all that's pure and good is Apple planning to market it under the name 'Junkyard'?"

Remember, this is a trademark we're talking about, here, not a code name. Apple's got some product in the works that somehow falls under the category of "goods and services: computer hardware; computer software; computer peripherals; instructional manuals packaged in association therewith" (vague much?) and the company is planning to take it to market with the actual, honest-to-goodness trademarked name of "Junkyard." Apple Junkyard™. Perhaps it's just us, but somehow that doesn't sound likely to inspire a groundswell of consumer confidence. What's next, Apple Cesspool™? Apple Industrial Waste Disposal Facility™? Apple Portable Chemical Toilet™? Why, the possibilities are staggering. Don't stagger too hard, though.

Caution: for the sake of the speculatory enjoyment of yourself and others, you should probably skip the obvious potential application of the trademark, which is that it's what Apple plans to call the "junk mail" feature of Mac OS X 10.2's improved Mail client to jazz it up a bit. Ignore, too, the fact that two other Jaguar features ("Rendezvous" and "Inkwell") show up in a trademark search under the exact same category as the "Junkyard" filing, thus lending credence to that drab and pedestrian explanation. Instead, just relax and imagine what sort of Apple product might carry the appellation of "Junkyard." Who says the digital hub doesn't need a shiny white-and-chrome FireWire-powered and auto-synchronizing garbage disposal? Certainly not us, buddy.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 7/29/02 episode:

July 29, 2002: Ah, the emergence of illicit spy photos of unreleased Apple products; it finally truly feels like summer. Meanwhile, Apple teams up with Sun to bring StarOffice to Mac OS X (to Microsoft's potential chagrin), even as Apple applies to register the unlikely sobriquet "Junkyard" as a product trademark...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3741: Spy Photos, Take Three (7/29/02)   It never fails: every time we wind up going on an unannounced hiatus down here at the AtAT studios, some kind of big dramatic event unfolds and we miss out on all the fun. The next time things get slow in the Apple world, remind us to take off for a weeklong scooter tour of Trenton or something in a selfless bid to juice things up Mac-wise so at least the rest of you can frolic amid some new Apple-flavored melodrama...

  • 3742: Boasting Real Star-Quality (7/29/02)   Okay, so we're not exactly as rabidly up to speed on every little detail in the Mac universe as we once were. As it turns out, though, that's not necessarily a major handicap, because at least one plot thread has picked up almost exactly where we left off roughly a week and a half ago when we vanished from the public eye to tackle the daunting task of organizing our communal sock drawer...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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