In Stanley Kubrick's Cold War black comedy "Dr. Strangelove," the Soviets have developed a devastating "Doomsday Device," to be triggered by a nuclear attack on the U.S.S.R. It's supposed to act as a deterrent, but has been kept a secret. Asks an exasperated American president of the Russian ambassador: "Why didn't you tell the world?" To which the ambassador replies: "The Premier loves surprises."
One night last January, Mark Shields was home in his kitchen making hummus, listening to This American Life, WBEZ's popular syndicated radio show. He was streaming the podcast on his Mac laptop via Apple's AirPort technology, which turned out to be an appropriate platform for listening to the episode, given that the subject was Apple itself.