Long reads: What it’s like to be an extra in jOBS, an interview with Steve Jobs friend/early employee Daniel Kottke, and the best iPad keyboard

Reporting for Gizmodo, Cord Jefferson has a great account of what it is like to be an extra in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, “jOBS“, featuring Ashton Kutcher. While Jefferson was able to meet Kutcher, he described the experience as being long and boring. One part of the gig included listening to Kutcher give Jobs’ speech against IBM in Honolulu. Jefferson said he heard the speech 26 times:

I’ll remember those lines for the rest of my life. Not because I find them particularly profound, but because I heard Kutcher say them, by my count, 26 times over the course of about three hours. If you have any assumptions that the work of making movies is glamorous or exciting, kill them now.

As for the biopic’s success, the writer was not able to give a firm answer. He said Kutcher sounds serious about the gig (Kutcher looks close to Jobs, just saying). He talked about Sorkin’s upcoming film, too:

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Sotheby’s to auction 1 of 6 working Apple I’s and rare Steve Jobs memo

Sotheby’s plans to auction two pieces of Apple history on June 15 in New York, including a rare document penned by Steve Jobs while working at Atari and an operational Apple I motherboard expected to fetch up to $180,000 USD. An excerpt from Sotheby’s description for the Apple I lot is below, and it claims less than six Apple I’s in working condition are known to exist:

As the first ready-made personal computer, the Apple I signaled a new age in which computing became accessible to the masses. The interface of circuitry and software that Woz created enabled users to type letters with “a human-typable keyboard instead of a stupid, cryptic front panel with a bunch of lights and switches,” as he explained to the Homebrew Computer Club. Even so, it was sold without a keyboard, monitor, case, or power supply, An exceptionally rare, working example with original Apple cassette interface, operation manuals and a rare BASIC Users’ Manual. It is thought that fewer than 50 Apple I Computers survive, with only 6 known to be in working condition. Read more

Steve Jobs’ FBI file reveals he’d been considered for a Bush 1 White House ‘sensitive position’ in 1991

Federal Bureau of Investigation has posted on its website an interesting and exhaustive file on Apple’s Cofounder and late CEO Steve Jobs. According to Gawker, which first spotted the file, the 191-page document reveals that Jobs was considered for a “sensitive position” in the Bush I White House back in 1991. It also contains results of an investigation into a 1985 bomb threat against Jobs.

How did Jobs do in High School?  2.65 GPA - hallmark of all geniuses.

An excerpt also includes comments from several people who noted Jobs’ reality distortion field, included right below.

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Neil Young: In spite of iPod revolution, Steve Jobs enjoyed vinyl, was working on high-fidelity music service

A year ago, CNN reported that Apple was working on a high-fidelity music service that would have required updates to its iPods and other music playing devices.

“Most of you aren’t hearing it the way it’s supposed to sound,” Dr. Dre said in a Beats Audio promotional video. “And you should — hear it the way I do.”

“What we’re trying to do here is fix the degradation of music that the digital revolution has caused,” he said. “It’s one thing to have music stolen through the ease of digital processing. But it’s another thing to destroy the quality of it. And that’s what’s happening on a massive scale.”

You would be forgiven for thinking that the late Steve Jobs enjoyed digital music on his home stereo through his iPod or MacBook. Quite the contrary, though, despite him single-handedly taking the music industry by storm with the iPod and the online iTunes digital music store a decade ago, Apple’s cofounder preferred listening to vinyl. In an interview with Walt Mossberg and Peter Kafka at the “D: Dive into Media” conference, musician Neil Young said the digital age “degraded our music” quality-wise.

A better techology is needed, Young cried. Conceivably, only one man would have been up to the task:

Steve Jobs as a pioneer of digital music and his legacy is tremendous. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl. And you’ve got to believe that if he’d lived long enough, he would have done what I’m trying to do.

Bloomberg expands on that saying that Jobs was actually working on a high-fidelity music service:

Musician Neil Young said he worked with Steve Jobs on a high-fidelity music service before Apple (AAPL) Inc. shelved the project.

While chief executive officer of Apple, Jobs sought to offer uncompressed music digitally, Young said today at an AllThingsD.com media conference in Dana Point, California. Apple “pretty much” has stopped working on the project, said Young, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who is known for the songs “Harvest Moon” and “Heart of Gold.”

We also love Young’s take on piracy:

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Bill Gates reflects on relationship with Steve Jobs and their last meeting [video]

The Steve Jobs segment begins at mark 3:35. Flashless version is here.

Microsoft cofounder and former CEO Bill Gates sat for an interesting interview with Yahoo! and ABC News. The public face of Microsoft responded to a wide range of questions, including those touching on his final conversation with Steve Jobs and how his passing affected him. Contrary to the popular belief, the two Silicon Valley luminaries kept in contact with each other throughout their respective careers. What were the topics of their friendly chats?

He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We’d talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we’d both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.

How did Jobs’ death affect Gates? Read on…
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