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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President Obama says America should support aspirations to become the next Steve Jobs

President Obama is wrapping up his State of the Union Address right now. During the event, President Obama made many references to technology as a way to help with economic times. More specifically, President Obama had a pleasant mention for Apple’s late cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs with his widow Laurene Powell Jobs in attendance.

 “That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-tasker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.”

You may remember when Jobs had dinner with President Obama and other successful technology entrepreneurs in February of last year. The discussion revolved around getting people to collaborate and invest in American innovation to promote private sector job growth.

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State of the Union guestlist likely indicates that Steve Jobs will be discussed

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple cofounder and former CEO Steve Jobs, is among the attendees of the State of the Union address scheduled for 9 p.m. tonight (live stream here). According to the official guest list, the White House invited Powell Jobs, along with other distinguished individuals, to attend the State of the Union address, including billionaire Warren Buffett’s secretary Debbie Bosanek, cancer survivor Adam Rapp, and Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of outgoing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The news becomes interesting knowing the White House usually invites people that have something to do with a proposal or initiative the President will outline in the address. Powell Jobs may have been invited for her focus on education, the arts and women’s human rights.

Vanguard has it that Obama will welcome Powell Jobs to his State of the Union address out of respect for her late husband. According to the White House, Powell Jobs will watch Obama’s speech from First Lady Michelle Obama’s box in the House of Representatives. In December of last year, Obama gave Jobs’ widow a seat on the White House Council for Community Solutions. Chaired by former Gates Foundation CEO Patty Stonesifer, the body advises the President on job creation and social issues. eBay CEO John Donahoe and singer Jon Bon Jovi are also among the members.

Powell Jobs’ ties in education could also prove key, as education is allegedly one of key focus areas of tonight’s State of the Union address. Let’s not forget that Apple held an education-focused media event last week, debuting digital textbooks on the iPad priced at $14.99 or less and a free tool that lets anyone create and publish digital textbooks to iBookstore. In just three days, more than 350,000 copies of digital textbooks were downloaded from the store. Oh, and Obama is an avid fan of Apple’s tablet.

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Virgin America honors Steve Jobs with the ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ Airbus A320


Image: Virgin America

Steve Jobs’ recent passing on Oct.5 sparked intense reactions all over the world, ranging from musical tributes to moving gestures by competitors to tributes from fans and late night talk shows. More than two and a half months later, it is still heartwarming to see big brands pay respect to the values Jobs stood for and to his achievements.

Virgin America adorned the side of their Airbus A320 jet with the now famous “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” quote famously used in Steve’s 2005 Stanford University commencement address (from earlier quote from Stewart Brand, who used it in the farewell edition of the Whole Earth catalog in 1974 – thanks Josh). A spokesperson for the Silicon Valley-based airliner owned by British tycoon (and fellow entrepreneur) Richard Branson told MacRumors that it chose the quote “as part of an internal plane naming competition.” 

There are clearly legions of Steve Jobs fans at Virgin America, too.  Or at least one big fan.

The tail N845VA has been seen on the Orlando to SFO route, and it seems to be based in San Francisco.

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iPad 3 home buttons begin floating around China, feature more design tweaks

The above image is a comparison of an iPad 2 home button and an iPad 3 home button. At the surface, not much as changed, but the prospects of some minor structural tweaks do hint at something greater. The iPad 3 home button, which has been handled in both black and white flavors, looks almost identical to the iPad 2 home button. However, the gray glyph representing the frame of a home screen application icon is slightly thicker. This, obviously, is not all the interesting…but we do learn a few things:

- The iPad 3 will likely come in both black and white-just like the iPad 2-if these iPad 3 home buttons pan out to be the ones used in the final.

- The buttons floating around right now-in large quantities-signal that the iPad 3 is either in production or close to the production stage

- The iPad 3 will not lose the home button (iOS devices have been rumored to soon be losing the home button).

Perhaps the most interesting part about the iPad 3 home button is that its internal structuring is smaller than the iPad 2’s connector (easy to tell in the comparison image above). Apple tweaking the home button structural design and making its size smaller may indicate that Apple is trying to make room for something else. The iPad 3 is already rumored to be nearly 1 mm thicker to accommodate a more pixel-dense Retina Display. Perhaps this slightly smaller home button is one method Apple is using to keep the extra thickness required to a minimum.

Power and volume rockers with a similar design to their iPad 2 counterparts are also floating around, perhaps hinting a minimal design changes. Stay tuned for more.

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Report claims Asian suppliers scramble to meet special iPad 3 launch date: Jobs’ Feb. 24 birthday anniversary

Apply a healthy dose of skepticism to this report rather than take it at face value. According to Focus Taiwan, that also cited a local report in the Chinese Economic Times newspaper, Apple is shooting to launch iPad 3 on Steve Jobs’ birthday anniversary Feb. 24.

The newspaper based their report on sources close to Taiwanese makers in Apple’s supply chain:

After the iPhone 4S successfully took the tech market by storm, the iPad3 is widely expected to be Apple’s first hit product to be released next year. Industry sources said the first shipment of the iPad3 could exceed 4 million units. Because it is a new gadget, it is taking time for makers in the supply chain to raise their yield rates. The sources said all OEM and ODM makers have exercised great caution in ensuring the smooth operations of their production lines.

The original iPad was introduced Jan. 27, 2010 by Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs. In order to meet the deadline, the report noted, Asian component makers and contract manufacturers are demanding that employees work during the Lunar New Year holiday. This February 24 “launch” date should be referring to an availbility versus an introduction date as Feb. 24 is a Friday and Apple typically releases their major products like iPhones and iPads on Fridays.

Specifically…

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Top Google searches in 2011: iPad 3, iPhone 5, Steve Jobs and yes – Rebecca Black

As originally reported on our sister blog, the search Goliath has published its annual list of top search queries, a tradition that started eleven years ago. It comes as little surprise that ‘iPad 3′ and ‘iPhone 5′ were among the fastest-growing search terms of the past year. More specifically, ‘iPhone 5′ was the sixth fastest-growing search term on Google.com in 2011, while ‘iPad 3′ ranked tenth.

Feverish iPhone 5 speculation hit its highest point in search the week of September 25, just a week ahead of the October 4 iPhone 4S presser. Searches for ‘iPhone 5′ rose 1,658 percent between 2010 and 2011, easily outnumbering those for the iPhone 4S, as seen in the above chart from the Zeitgeist site. Searches for ‘Steve Jobs’ grew 982 percent in 2011, enough to score the ninth spot.

Called Zeitgeist, the project “sorts billions of Google searches to capture the year’s ten fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011″, per the official Google blog post. In a testament to the popularity of the Kindle Fire, positioned as an inexpensive iPad alternative, Amazon’s tablet placed ahead of Apple’s new phone, the iPhone 4S, which ranked second in the fastest-rising consumer electronics category, followed by the HTC Sensation, the Samsung Nexus Prime, Sony NPG and the yet-to-be-released iPad 3 (#9).

Two unreleased products piquing such a commanding interest – the cell phone that never materialized and the forthcoming tablet – wow, talk about the power of the Apple hype machine. More below the fold.

Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs made the list (mark 1:50) was the ninth fastest-growing search term on Google.com in 2011.

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