Tag Archives: steve-jobs

Steve Jobs’ Cancer is a Call to Action

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Today, word came across the wire that Steve Jobs was undergoing treatment for his pancreatic cancer. It’s possible that he only has weeks to live, which would only cast a dark cloud over the entire consumer electronics industry.

We need a Steve Jobs – just as we need every other tech visionary. He may not always play ball, but that’s PRECISELY WHY we need him.

When I Tweeted this news yesterday, I said that if Steve Jobs were to die, a piece of me would die with him. Many people responded with their agreement, but one kid in particular sparked this video. He replied and stated that if the worst happens to Jobs, he (the kid) would celebrate. I forgave him that, because he IS a kid. The problem is, this kid is also a geek – in a big way.

Even if you don’t like Steve Jobs or Apple, you cannot deny the ways in which they have influenced you. Losing that inspiration is not something to celebrate. The way the world works is through inspiration. Art inspires art. Technology inspires technology. People inspire people.

Speaking as someone who didn’t care too much about Apple or Steve Jobs himself until recently, you should pause before saying something so incredibly short-sighted. Even though it was a kid who Tweeted that, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of adults who would say something similar regarding the loss of this man who is a visionary and a great leader. You cannot deny his influence and inspiration.

At any point in the future – no matter how long it takes – when it happens, keep in mind that Steve Jobs inspired something in your life… directly or indirectly. To celebrate the loss of his life is making you look like a moron. I wouldn’t consider you someone worthy of my respect were you to say something rude about any visionary leaving this Earth long before their time. I’d be saying the same thing if we were discussing Steve Ballmer right now.

Like it or not – Steve Jobs is a leader. That’s the type of leadership that every single one of us geeks has been inspired by. He is the type of leader we need more of, folks. We need people who can step up to the plate and take on the challenge of leading a technology generation into the future. It’s not something that everyone could do, obviously, but it’s something that needs to happen.

Instead of spending your time trolling and doing nothing with your life, why not do SOMETHING? Take this as a call to action. Become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. You have that power in you. Fifty years from now, the world could mourn your loss and be inspired by the things you did.

Don’t just sit there. DO SOMETHING with your life. Realize that you don’t have to be the next Torvolds or Gates or Jobs – as long as you’re doing something. There are small ways you can inspire others… small ways you can leave your mark on the world. But by God – get off your butt and make that mark. Stop being afraid. Stop holding yourself back with excuses. Stop whining about how everyone is against you and there’s nothing you can do about it. Many others before you have blown those excuses out of the water, and so can you.

If you have a dream – make it happen. If you have an idea – turn it into a reality. If you have passion – act on it. Your life is going to be what YOU make of it. Make it something good.

Edited to add: After this video and post had gone live, I received the following email from Jamo. He has given me permission to post his words verbatim. If what I had to say didn’t touch you in some way, perhaps Jamo’s words will strike a chord within you.

Something possessed me to type up part of your monologue from your “Steve Jobs’ Cancer – Dying Soon?” video. If I had to say why I did, it would be because it struck a chord with me in one way or another. I am only an 18 year old kid (I say kid and not adult because I feel I am not yet mature or wise enough to call myself a true adult. And I am sad to say that I also don’t believe that a good amount of ‘adults’ should call themselves that either) so I still feel I have time to wise up and make the world a better place and I will most certainly do my best to do so. I am so glad that you are using your unique position in the world to tell people that they really need to do something. I also applaud you being so direct and not fearing the backlash that may come with it. I think that people need to hear this. I decided to bold the parts that really stuck out to me:

“Unfortunately, I would go as far as to say, unfortunately, 90% of the people that comment on this video have done nothing with their lives, nothing. And sadly, they will likely continue to do nothing with their lives. So take this as a call to action. Become the next Steve Jobs. Become the next Bill Gates. You have that power in you. So that 50 years from now the world would mourn your loss and be inspired by the things you did, because if you’re not providing inspiration, quite honestly, you are taking up space; you are wasting your life.

I very much agree with this and I want you to know that it has done nothing less than strengthen my testimony of the importance of doing something of use in life and not just being a stagnant lump on society’s butt. I wanted to make aware that what you said has strengthened at least one person that listened to it.

So I would like to end this by saying thank you for making this video, taking you time to read through this email and doing your part to inspire the world.

Steve Jobs Calls iPad App Developer

Anyone who claims that Steve Jobs is not a hands-on CEO obviously needs to take the time to do a little research. There are naysayers out there who swear that the emails “from” him aren’t from him at all. They like to be snarky, and make up grandiose stories as to the origins of emails with Steve’s signature on them. Most people agree that he couldn’t possibly be the one sending these out. There has to be someone sitting in a little cubicle in Cupertino smiling to themselves as they type his name at the bottom of witty (and often mean) email replies. If this were all true, though, and Steve was not directly involved in things, why would he pick up the phone to call a new app developer after receiving an email from him?

Seattle developer Ram Arumugam emailed Jobs after his app was rejected by the company. Ram had filed an appeal and was unclear as to why his app had been rejected. He never expected to receive an email from the head honcho, and he certainly never dreamed that he’d pick up the phone to hear Steve’s voice on the other end.

Arumugam’s app, called “Economy for iPad,” was rejected because it contained some non-public code – which Apple doesn’t allow. Arumugam said he had used the private API to work around a problem with the on-screen keyboard, which Arumugam was having trouble removing from the screen after the user was done typing. After talking to Jobs, the code in question was removed from the app and then resubmitted. His $2.99 app, which tracks U.S. and state economic statistics such as GDP, unemployment and housing stats, is now the No. 1 selling paid app in the iPad store’s finance category, he said.

Now. Tell me again that Steve Jobs is too self-important or uninvolved to take time out to talk to the “little people.” When was the last time Steve Ballmer picked up the phone and called someone who had created a three-dollar application for Microsoft?

Does Apple Intend to Bring Spyware to You?

While I’m not sure that spyware is the right word to describe this project, the EFF certainly gets it right when they label it as traitorware. Even though you are celebrating your “right” to jailbreak your device, Apple is quietly trying to patent technology that would allow them to identify (and ultimately punish) those who take advantage of those opportunities by tinkering with their devices.

The patent gives Apple a way to have the device investigate a user’s identity. They claim it is only to be used to determine if and when a user is “unauthorized.” In other words – stolen. However, it would also allow the folks in Cupertino to record the voice of the device’s user, take pictures of the current location and possibly even detect and record the heartbeat of the user! Once an unauthorized person is identified, Apple could wipe the device and remotely restore the user’s data. The patent suggests that it “might” use the technology to limit unauthorized uses of their phones, as well as to shut down the phone if and when it may have been stolen.

The technology would go a few steps further than that, though. The device would allow Apple to secretly collect, store and use sensitive biometric data about you. This is dangerous, folks. It is FAR more than what could possibly be needed to protect you against a lost or stolen phone. It invades your privacy and puts you at risk if Apple’s data is somehow compromised (again).

This isn’t the only concern, either. The device would include various types of usage monitoring – also privacy-invasive. That process would be used to get back at you should you decide to exercise your right to jailbreak a device that you purchased – even if it IS legal under copyright law.

Given the type of information this patented device would collect about you, Jobs and company would know who you are – where you are – and what you’re doing. Hell, they’ll even know how fast your heart is beating while you’re using your phone. The patent application states that this information “can be gathered every time the device is turned on, unlocked or used.” When any usage is deemed by Apple to be “unauthorized,” they would contact a “responsible party.” Sadly, it isn’t clear if that responsible party would be the actual owner of the device, the police or any third party.

Nothing is explained as to what will happen to the data collected, how long it will be kept, how the company might use the information or if/when it will share it with other parties. In my mind, this is just spooky and far, FAR beyond the scope of what is reasonable. What are your thoughts?

Steve Wozniak Gnomedex 4

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Today is the kickoff for the tenth – and likely final – Gnomedex conference. I thought it would be fun to upload an old video taken during Gnomedex 4 in 2004. Even if you aren’t an Apple fan, you likely still know this man. Steve Wozniak is the co-founder of Apple. His inventions have been credited with shaping the technology advancements of the 1970s. His passion and enthusiasm for the work he has done led the way for an entire generation of technology enthusiasts and developers. His genius and insight pioneered even the machines that we use in our homes and offices today. His humor and ability to take an honest look at himself and his work are things that all of us should aspire to achieve in our own lives.

As I look back on previous years of Gnomedex, I have loved every single one of them… and all of our speakers. However, I will freely admit that this is ranked as one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy this look back.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code:

Apple Announces iPhone 4 Press Conference for Friday

Several press people were invited to Cupertino to attend an iPhone 4 press conference on Friday. Apple must have something pretty big to say on Friday: they almost never release information this way. If it weren’t major, they’d likely issue a simple press release and be done with it.

It’s highly doubtful that the company will recall the new iteration of their iPhone. That leaves us to speculate for the next two days, trying to figure out what the heck they WILL be saying. The first beta of iOS 4.1 was released into the wild today. As feared, it doesn’t fix the antenna issue. It does exactly what the team at Apple HQ said it would do: makes the signal strength display more accurate.

What do you think Steve Jobs is going to have to say on Friday? Will we hear a public apology? Could we perhaps actually see a REAL fix in the near future at Apple’s expense?

WWDC Connection Problems Cause Demo Fail

During Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at WWDC yesterday, he experienced several technical difficulties. At one point, he attempted to open the New York Times app only to have Safari refuse. The Apple CEO remained calm and cracked jokes about this “never happening.” Some time later, it was revealed that there were more than 570 Wi-Fi base stations operating in the massive room. With every person present connecting to the Internet in some fashion, the presentation couldn’t proceed as planned.

Jobs asked everyone to close laptops and turn off phones and other devices so that they could see the demonstrations he had planned. The audience clapped their approval and some began powering down. Steve told participants that they should police each other and make sure everyone in the room complied. It’s quite clear that many kept right on blogging/tweeting/recording from all of the live feeds still running on the Internet at the time.

CNET captured this video which shows the connection failure drama in its entirety. Many jabs have been taken at Apple and Jobs for this little gaffe. I caution all of you who are jeering to think about any and every conference you have attended. Are you telling me that you have never experienced a glitch like this? It happens all of the time. No conference center (or network) can control things beautifully 100% of the time.

Steve handled the situation with humor and by keeping his cool. I’ve seen other presenters fall apart at the seams over far less.

iPhone 4 on Sale June 24th

Even though I couldn’t be there in person to witness the goodness at the WWDC today, I was able to listen along live in my car via Twuner. This is a talking Twitter app that lets you actually hear the tweets you want to follow. I was traveling during much of Steve Jobs’ keynote and was to keep up with what was happening almost as quickly as Steve was saying it. My assistant Kat was sitting in her office at home following the updates via the live blog at MacRumors and taking notes for me.

The news of the day, of course, is iPhone 4. Pre-sale orders begin very soon: on June 15th! The device will be available for purchase on June 24th. The pricing is about what was expected with a new two-year contract: $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model. Although you’ll have to choose between black and white as the basic color, you’ll be able to use one of the new “bumper” cases to change things up. They will sell for $29.00, and come in six colors: black, white, pink, light blue, orange and lime green.

Steve spent more than an hour discussing what he feels are eight of the most important features of iPhone 4. He chuckled about the fact that we “saw” photos already back when Gizmodo had one of the devices in their hot little hands. He was quick to point out, though, that we hadn’t really seen it. The design is completely new and is “beyond a doubt the most precise things, one of the most beautiful things we’ve ever made.” There is glass on the front and rear of the phone with stainless steel running around the side. The top features a headphone jack, a second mic for noise cancellation and a sleep/wake button. The bottom has another mic, a 30-pin connector and a speaker. Jobs boasts that this is the thinnest smartphone on the planet at only 9.3mm thick… 24% thinner than the current iPhone 3GS model.

The first audible gasp from those assembled came when Steve grinned almost smugly as he described the display. Retina display is a brand-new technology that dramatically increases pixel density. 300 pixels per inch is the limit of the human retina when held about ten inches away from the eye. The display on the iPhone 4 features 326 ppi – which is four times as many pixels as before in the same amount of space! Text will appear on the screen just like you were reading a “fine printed book.” The screen resolution will be 960 x 640 pixels with an 800:1 contrast ratio.

Next up, Jobs reiterated what we already knew about how the phone will be powered. iPhone 4 packs an Apple-developed A4 chip which is incredibly small – yet incredibly powerful. The bigger battery coupled with this chip means 40% more talk time. Steve estimates you’ll get 7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of both WiFi browsing and video consumption, 40 hours of music listening and about 300 hours of standby time. This is absolutely incredible, and is a development that we’ve long hoped for. Thanks to this chip, the device will have 32GB of storage and will be capable of 7.2 Mbit down and 5.8 Mb up – as soon as carriers support those types of speeds.

The next announcement was met with raucous cheers. iPhone 4 will have a Gyroscope included! The Gyroscope coupled with the accelerometer gives you six-axis motion sensoring. Steve demonstrated by playing a game that looks quite similar to Jenga – he lost the game, by the way. With the Gyroscope enabled, rotation is insanely better. Rotation of 3D objects is unbelievably smooth.

The new camera system had me pumping my fist in the air… right in the car as I was driving. You already know that I use my current iPhone 3GS to take a lot of pictures and videos. The new iPhone is going to make this about a gazillion times better. With both front and rear-facing cameras, you’ll never miss the perfect shot again. The camera is 5 megapixels, and Jobs is quick to point out that a good camera has nothing to do with megapixels – it’s all about the actual photo quality. Even better news is that I will be able to use my iPhone to record HD video in full 720p at 30fps! The quality shown in the demonstration was honestly incredible by all accounts. You’ll be able to tap to focus your video and have built-in video editing. One-click sharing makes life much easier. The LED flash can even stay on during recording.

Insert drum roll here!

Along with that HD recording goodness comes the announcement that iMovie will now be available for the iPhone! You’ll be able to record directly in to your timeline or choose from previously recorded clips and videos on your device. The workflow is very similar to the desktop version… just on a smaller screen. You can edit your movies with themes, transitions and titles. Change the scale of your timeline by pinching the screen, much as you would on the iPad. You can easily add music, switch themes and use geolocation data. Export your creation to 260p, 520p or 720p. The app will be available for only $4.99!

The iPhone OS has been renamed to iOS 4. There are more than 100 new user features. This update will be available for FREE beginning June 21st for your iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G (with not all features supported) and your iPod Touch (again – not all features supported, and not on first generation devices). That’s right – this update will finally be free! Steve went over all of the features that were previously released. iOS4 has multitasking, folders, retina display technology, enhancements to mail, camera and photo apps and much deeper Enterprise integration. Microsoft Bing was officially named as the third search option for iOS4, with Google still being the default option.

iBooks and iAds were discussed for a few moments, and then Steve unveiled the last big surprise of the day: FaceTime. FaceTime will be face-to-face video chatting from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4. The video demonstration showed a grandparent chatting with their grandchild, a dad traveling on business chatting with his children back home and two people conversing via sign language. This was met with many loud cheers and wild clapping from the audience.

My iPhone 3GS has served me well in the time I have had it. However, it is currently whimpering and cowering in a corner. I think it already knows what its fate is going to be come June 24th. What are your thoughts on all of the announcements made during the WWDC keynote? Are you counting down the days until you can officially have an iPhone 4 in your hands, or are you still not convinced you need an iPhone?

Credit for all of the photos in this post go to MacRumors.

Apple and Adobe: Where is the Common Ground?

There is no middle-of-the-road when it comes to Steve Jobs and public opinion: you either love him or hate him. The same can be said about Apple products. You are either someone who rushes to buy everything the company rolls out of production or you shudder in disgust and swear you’ll never cave in. Any time Steve has something to say, his words are rehashed a few hundred times on pages all across the blogosphere. Steve Jobs is, without a doubt, a man one cannot ignore. Even if you are on the side of the road that doesn’t much care for the man, you have to respect what goes on inside his head. Take, for instance, his post today regarding Adobe Flash.

I have written in the past about my reasons for hating Flash. However, Steve-o today said it better than I could have ever hoped to do. He eloquently lists several reasons why you won’t ever find Flash enabled on his mobile devices, including the fact that it hogs resources and isn’t the most secure offering on the block. However, the part that captured my attention the most was his discussion of being open vs being closed.

Jobs states that “While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.” HELLO! It’s about time someone pointed that out loud and clear for the folks at Adobe to read. He goes on to point out how “Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards.”

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We finally have all of our cards out on the table. Steve fully admits that Apple’s products are closed systems. What’s wrong with that? No one has ever tried to pretend otherwise. However… the important factor is that they adopt open standards. Apple’s mobile devices make it simple for you to consume media of every type on widely-used and accepted platforms… all of which are open.

Our lives are open. Our Web is open. We have fought for years to get to this beautiful place in time. Why the hell would we want to take a giant step backwards and embrace the closed and stagnant environment of Adobe Flash?

Jobs is Denying MacStore Rumors

Mac users around the world have been fretting over news that Apple may be intending on imitating their iPhone and iPad Appstore ecosystem on their Macintosh computer line.

Several on-line blogs and news sites have been reporting that Apple will only allow approved applications onto the next version of OS X (10.7), in a similar fashion to their mobile devices.
As expected, this has caused much concern with developers and users alike, who have been lead to believe that only Apple-endorsed software will be allowed to run on future versions of the Mac operating system.

Steve Jobs has been famed for replying personally to customer and developer emails in the past, so Chairo Software developer Fernando Valente thought he’d try his luck and put the question directly to Jobs. Steve responded to the email in his typical brief fashion, simply stating “Nope”.

Steve Jobs is Ticked at Gizmodo

Steve Jobs has decided it’s time to step up and reply to Gizmodo’s iPhone leak, and he isn’t very happy.

The guys behind Hoggworks have done it again. Every video I watch of theirs has me laughing like a fool for several minutes. This time, their Steve Jobs puppet is reacting to the fact that Gizmodo had his iPhone 4.0 prototype. According to puppet Jobs, there will be no iPhone released this year.

Geez, Gizmodo! Did you have to go and ruin it for everyone?