August 29, 2014

May 21, 2014

If Apple does indeed reach a deal to acquire Beats Electronics and announce it this week as expected, the clock is once again counting down to offer up your take on the whole scenario before it’s actually official. Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson got that opportunity earlier this week thanks in part to Dan Lyons of Fake Steve Jobs fame; Isaacson told Lyons he believes the expected $3.2 billion acquisition by Apple is all about creating a world class video service led by Beats’ co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

But when you think about Beats and what the company has to offer for Apple, the subscription music service launched by the company in January earlier this year comes to mind. Spotify, of course, dominates in this space as seen by the company’s announcement today that they now have 10 million paid subscribers and 40 million active users. expand full story

May 19, 2014

Walter-Isaacson_2

With the expected Beats Electronics acquisition by Apple expected to take a week longer than first reported, industry watchers are making their last minute predictions as to why Apple would be interested in the audio and music service company.

The latest notable guess? Walter Isaacson, the man who literally wrote the book on Steve Jobs. Dan Lyons, former Fake Steve Jobsreporting for Billboard:

“Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years. The product has been held up because Apple can’t get all the content owners on board.”

Lyons adds that Isaacson shared with him something which he did not include in the authorized biography of the late Apple co-founder: Jobs was pitched on Apple buying Universal by Jimmy Iovine around 2002 or 2003… expand full story

January 23, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 12.59.44 PM

We’ve learned that Apple is making progress on its development of a successor to the current Apple TV and that the device is well into testing. We are led to believe that the new device, which is said to be a set-top box rather than a full-fledged TV set, will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014. We understand that the product will include a revamped operating system that will be based on iOS. Of course, release timeframes with these type of products can quickly change due to the content partners that are involved in such products…

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November 26, 2013

The same photograph with the focus point changed retrospectively (lycro.com)

The same photograph with the focus point changed retrospectively (image: lytro.com)

A patent granted to Apple today for a Light Field camera – a camera with zero shutter delay and where the focus point can be changed after taking the photo – covers the precise technology Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson he wanted to use to “reinvent photography.”

He had three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography.

Jobs met with Lytro CEO Ren Ng in the summer of 2011, was shown a demo of the company’s Light Field camera and said that that he wanted the company to work with Apple …  expand full story

August 14, 2013

July 12, 2013

Photo: salon.com

Photo: salon.com

The sometimes stormy relationship between Apple and Google appears to be growing friendlier, with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt telling Reuters at the annual Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley that the two companies were having “lots and lots” of meetings.

Schmidt did not provide details about the nature of the meetings during comments to reporters at the annual Allen and Co media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on Thursday. He noted that Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, who joined him at the press briefing, was leading many of the discussions.

The two companies are in “constant business discussions on a long list of issues,” Schmidt said.

The two companies started out close. Schmidt joined Apple’s board in 2006, and the iPhone launched with both Googlemaps and YouTube on board. That was to change after Google’s Android platform began growing in popularity. It was revealed in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography that Jobs threatened “thermonuclear war” on Google over what he felt was a copycat product …  expand full story

July 10, 2013

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Update: Apple provided a comment to AllThingsD and confirmed it will appeal the decision:

“Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations. When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. We’ve done nothing wrong and we will appeal the judge’s decision.”

Reuters reports that a judge just ruled that Apple conspired to raise the retail prices of e-books and said a trial for damages will soon follow:

The decision by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote[pictured, right] in Manhattan is a victory for the U.S. government and various states, which the judge said are entitled to injunctive relief. The publishers have already settled with the federal government on e-book pricing. Cote ruled after a non-jury trial that ended on June 20.

Apple warned that a guilty verdict in its e-book price-fixing case could have a negative impact on how digital media deals are negotiated in the US and Apple CEO Tim Cook even called the suit ‘bizarre’:

The e-book case to me is bizarre. We’ve done nothing wrong there, and so we’re taking a very principled position. … We’re not going to sign something that says we did something we didn’t do. … So we’re going to fight.

The DOJ had argued that Apple had conspired to raise prices with all of the publishers and hurt rival Amazon.

Interestingly, according to the NYTimes, one of the most damning pieces of evidence in the government’s case is the video below of Steve Jobs talking with Walt Mossberg. Per Daring Fireball: Mossberg asks Jobs why someone would buy a book for $14.99 from the iBookstore when they could buy the same book from Amazon for $9.99.

Jobs: Well, that won’t be the case.

Mossberg: Meaning you won’t be $14.99, or they won’t be $9.99?

Jobs (smiling): The prices will be the same.

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June 17, 2013

steve-jobs-book-covers

The paperback edition of Steve Jobs: A Biography will be available on September 10th, featuring a younger Steve on the cover and a new afterword, reports AllThingsD.

The photo used on the hardback, taken by Albert Watson in 2006, was based on the pose of the much earlier photo used on the paperback, taken by Norman Seeff in 1984 – the year the Macintosh was launched. Steeff also took the famous photo of Jobs posing with that Mac, which Time used as its cover photo for its commemorative issue shortly after his death …

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June 3, 2013

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Apple will today defend itself in a Manhattan court against a Department of Justice case accusing it of leading a cartel designed to force up prices of ebooks, Tim Cook having recently told the AllThingsD D11 conference that the case against it was “bizarre.”

The e-book case to me is bizarre. We’ve done nothing wrong there, and so we’re taking a very principled position. … We’re not going to sign something that says we did something we didn’t do. … So we’re going to fight.

At first blush, it does seem bizarre that Apple could be accused of leading a cartel in a market largely controlled by Amazon, but the claim here is that five leading publishers used their dominant position to force up prices – and that Apple put them up to it.

We tend to agree with AllThingsD that it’s tough to see how Apple can win the case when all five of its alleged ‘fellow cartel members’ have already held up their hands and settled with the DOJ, and where there is a clear paper-trail showing that Steve Jobs was instrumental in leading the changes that led to the price-fixing allegations …  expand full story

May 27, 2013

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March 25, 2013

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January 3, 2013

December 24, 2012

December 3, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 9.25.23 PM

Sundance Film Festival announced this afternoon that the Steve Jobs biopic, titled “jOBS”, starring famed-actor Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, would premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival this January.

As we previously covered, the biopic will look at the early founding and 30 years of Apple, while centered on the late co-founder Steve Jobs. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak will make an appearance in the film, played by Josh Gad, and former CEO and cofounder John Sculley will make an appearance, played by Matthew Modine. Scenes in the movie were also filmed in the “historic garage” where Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple. The film’s early scenes will even feature Jobs’ Los Altos home where he grew up to maintain “accuracy and authenticity” during the movie-making process, as the film makers revealed in the summer.

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival will run from Jan. 17 to Jan. 27, and “jOBS” will get the honor of being the festival’s closing film on Jan. 27, as Hollywood Reporter first noted. It is not clear whether it will air thus after.

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November 6, 2012

October 16, 2012

One of the last questions in the debate concerned how to bring Apple’s manufacturing jobs ‘back’ to the United States.

Mitt Romney went first and said China is stealing intellectual property, designs, cheating on currency, hacking into computers, and isn’t playing fair to U.S. workers: “We can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level.”

Obama went second and said the U.S. doesn’t necessarily want the low-skill, low-wage jobs and education and skills will bring higher-paying jobs home: “There are some jobs that are not going to come back. […] I want high-wage, high-skill jobs. That’s why we have to invest in advanced manufacturing […] make sure that we have the best science and research in the world.”

And the President should know: Steve Jobs told Obama in February 2011, according to Walter Isaacson, “If you could educate these [30,000] engineers, we could move more manufacturing plants here.”

The New York Times dived deep on this and probably has better answers than either politician.

[UPDATED with full transcript below]

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October 2, 2012

Update: Earlier this week we shared the full hour-long Steve Jobs speech from the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen. At the time, we mentioned John Celuch of Inland Design, who provided the recording to LifeLibertyTech, actually met Jobs at the conference. John apparently approached Jobs at the conference in order to obtain an item to place in a time capsule. Today, LifeLibertyTech posted the full story, revealing Jobs gave John the mouse from the Apple Lisa he was using to control a 6 projector setup during the conference. The time capsule is still unrecovered (and possibly lost), but there is an effort to find it underway.

We posted a link to a rare audio recording in August of Steve Jobs speaking at the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen. A roughly 20-minute audio recording of Jobs’ speech was available from the Center for Design Innovation’s website. In the recording, Jobs predicted the explosion of the personal computer market, the need for better product designers, and the MIT project that would eventually contribute to Google’s StreetView. While we did not realize at the time, it turns out the audio recording is closer to an hour in length and includes a Q&A discussion following Jobs’ 20-minute prepared speech.

It turns out attendees were given cassette recordings from the conference. LifeLibertyTech.com got its hands on the full audio recording and shared it with 9to5Mac. The image above is courtesy of Arthur Boden, who also attended the conference, and it appears to be the only floating around of Steve Jobs speaking at the conference in 1983. During the previously unheard Q&A, when asked about voice recognition, Jobs talked about the difficulties of the technology, saying, “This stuff is hard.” He noted it is likely close to a decade away from reality. He also talks about wanting to get a computer like Lisa, which cost close to $10,000 at the time, into a book design for under $1,000 within 5 years to 7 years.

Other topics include: home networking, which Jobs correctly predicts was about 10 years away, Jobs’ vision of future pocket-size computers, and typefaces and graphic design.

Unfortunately, many of the questions are hard to make out, but you can mostly tell from Jobs’ answers what the topic of conversation is. The man who provided the audio recording to LifeLibertyTech, John Celuch of Inland Design, apparently met Jobs at the conference:

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