Steve Jobs gets a musical tribute featuring a Beatles song cover

Following the outpouring of grief over Steve Jobs’s October 5 passing and the subsequent October 19 event Apple organized to celebrate its co-founder and visionary, the news has arrived of a musical tribute featuring rockers the Flaming Lips. The band will perform a cover of the Beatles’ “Revolution” at the MTV O Music Awards 2 and their performance will be recorded with an iPad and broadcast on OMusicAwards.com, according to the official blog post.

The O Music Awards broadcast kicks off on October 31 at 8:30 p.m. PDT/11:30 p.m. EST. It is a fitting tribute to Jobs for much more than a choice of song. Steve was a big fan of the English rock band (and pop culture in general). In fact, he regarded The Beatles as being his model for business:

My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.

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Isaacson interviewed Jony Ive in his bunker, here’s what came out with him

The world’s most famous industrial design lab is found at the ground floor of Apple’s corporate campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. It’s arguably one of the most closely guarded offices on the planet. Even Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson was asked to interview Apple’s leading designer elsewhere most of the time. But one day in 2010, Jonathan Ive took the writer for a tour inside his design bunker. It holds “the future for the next three years”, the Briton told Isaacson. According to the just-released biography, the facility is as cutting-edge as cutting-edge gets.

Nobody gets past the guards without special access cards. The office has heavy locks and tinted windows. It features metallic gray decor and has powerful boom boxes that pump out techno and jazz music for a bunch of designers developing future design ideas. Expensive prototyping equipment can be seen inside and various machines to apply paint and make countless foam models of future products are everywhere.

Jobs would often visit Ive’s design lab to actively participate in the design process and his artistic sensibilities were crucial for Apple’s design prowess, Ive said:

In so many other companies, ideas and great design get lost in the process. The ideas that come from me and my team would have been completely irrelevant, nowhere, if Steve hadn’t been here to push us, work with us, and drive us through all the resistance to turn our ideas into products.

Apple’s design guru also tells how they often obsessed over the packaging for Apple products:

Steve and I spend a lot of time on the packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.

But it wasn’t all peachy. The designer would at times get upset with his late boss for “taking too much credit”, which didn’t sit well with Ive’s introvert personality and especially his careful consideration to always put his team’s efforts first and foremost:

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Poll: How did you get the Steve Jobs Bio?

We pondered how best to get our hands on the Steve Jobs Bio that was released last night at midnight. I ended up getting it on Kindle (and hardcover soon) while others at 9to5Mac got it at the iBookstore and/or via local hardcover outlets. We were wondering what the breakdown was for our audience…

Obviously, the book is beyond popular as the #1 Kindle eBook as well as hardcover and Audiobook currently.

Hows the reading going? I passed out at around page 400 last night. Anyone finish? Skip to the last chapter?

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Analysts: Apple prototyping television set for a 2012 launch, but it won’t come cheap


Apple television mockup by 9to5Mac.

“It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.” These are the exact words of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, as revealed in the just released authorized biography by Walter Isaacson. In his own admission prior to his death earlier this month, Jobs was working on “an integrated television set that is completely easy to use”, a solution which would be “seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud”. The quote served as the basis for Piper Jaffray’s resident Apple analyst Gene Munster, the most outspoken proponent of an Apple-branded television set. Munster wrote in a note to clients that Apple is already building prototype TV sets, according to a Fortune blog post:

A significant hurdle to a full-fledged Apple (AAPL) television set (as opposed to the Apple TV set-top box), Munster writes, is combining live television with shows previously captured on iCloud. “Perhaps this code is precisely what Jobs believed he has ‘cracked,'” Munter suggests, adding that Apple could use the new Siri voice activated system “to bolster its TV offering and simplify the chore of inputting information like show titles, or actor names, into a TV.”

If it eventually becomes a reality, the analyst speculates, the rumored product could cost up to $2,000, which is at least double the asking price for a typical 40-inch television product. In addition, Apple’s will likely require users to sign up for an iTunes TV Pass subscription service in order to enjoy bulk television programming, costing anywhere between $50 and $90 a month. It’s unclear whether the strategy stands a chance at a time when Internet providers are capping bandwidth. All told, the Apple television sounds like a pricey proposition…

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Steve Jobs bio eBook hit Amazon Kindle and iBookstore early

We’re getting reports that the Steve Jobs bio is hitting Amazon Kindle early and we’re just hearing that it has hit the iBookstore as well (it has been hitting at midnight the world over but looks to have gone a bit early because of Amazon’s jumping the gun).

Apple also offers an Isaacson Jobs-Einstein-Franklin three pack for $47 and and Audiobook version of Steve Jobs narrated by Dylan Baker over 25 hours ($30).

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Steve Jobs bio is available for download in the iBookstore — in Australia

As it passes into Monday in Australia and across the World, the Steve Jobs bio is hitting the iBookstore (full shot below). It is still a $16.99 pre-order in the US but should become available at midnight tonight. It also hasn’t begun shipping in hardcover form from Amazon $17.88, but the Kindle downloads should be available at about the same time. We saw that some bookstores had begun stocking them prematurely yesterday and readers have been sending in lots of scanned pages since then (thanks).

Thanks Dean!

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Jobs viewed textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform…

The New York Times reveals yet another tidbit from the Steve Jobs bio: The next business he wanted to transform was the school textbook business.

He held meetings with major publishers about partnering with Apple, the book says. If textbooks were given away free on iPads he thought the publishers could get around the state certification of textbooks. Mr. Isaacson said Mr. Jobs believed that states would struggle with a weak economy for at least a decade. “We can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money,” he told Mr. Isaacson.

It isn’t exactly clear how the business model would work in this case but perhaps the fruits of that labor will be seen in coming months and years.

Perhaps more tantalizing, the Times teases that in his resignation meeting, Jobs also peppered Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller with questions about the data capacity of 4G cellular networks and what features should be in future phones. (FaceTime?!)

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Jobs told biographer that he cracked the code to building an HDTV

The Washington Post details an interesting revelation from Steve Jobs to biographer Walter Isaacson prior to his death earlier this month.

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

That is particularly interesting when you consider that Apple has been rumored to be entering the TV business since the beginning of time. There has also been speculation that Apple’s Siri Voice control could play a big part in Apple’s HDTV venture.

Jobs’ passage could also relate to the current Apple TV model which Apple just makes the pass-through box, instead of Apple actually manufacturing the LCD TVs themselves. Obviously with iCloud only being released this month, there could be some Apple TV updates coming shortly.

Meanwhile, CBS posted another clip from the 60 Minutes interview with Isaacson in which Jobs himself reveals on tape the circumstances around meeting his biological father, below:

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Pop culture that shaped Steve Jobs’ penchant for design and innovation

Here’s another excerpt from the upcoming Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, which goes on sale Monday in electronic, hardcover and spoken word formats. The juicy bits published by the Huffington Post teach us about the books and music which had shaped the brilliant mind of the entrepreneur and cultural icon who would go on to transform computers, music, mobile, publishing, digital entertainment and cell phones, to name a few. Jobs’ artistic sensibilities drew from the influences he picked up along the way from his reading and listening material, most of which he had discovered and consumed back in the teen and college years.

So what did Jobs read and listen to back then? The music part is easy:

Jobs called Bob Dylan “one of my heroes” and had over a dozen Dylan albums on his iPod, along with songs from seven different Beatles albums, six Rolling Stones albums and four albums by Jobs’ onetime lover Joan Baez.

Jobs’ love for the Beatles became widely known when he likened Apple’s creative process to that of the Beatles, here’s that quote from 60 Minutes:

My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.

As for literature, Jobs’ “required reading” spanned a variety of genres that includes the likes of William Shakespeare to Paramahansa Yogananda, whose “Autobiography of a Yogi” remained one of Jobs’ favorite reads throughout his life and the only e-book he downloaded onto his iPad. Jobs also liked Shunryu Suzuki’sZen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” and Chogyam Trungpa’sCutting Through Spiritual Materialism.”

Apple’s co-founder in the early days was deeply involved in a spiritual search for enlightenment and he experimented with marijuana and LSD starting at the age of 15.

Jobs found himself deeply influenced by a variety of books on spirituality and enlightenment, most notably Be Here Now, a guide to meditation and the wonders of psychedelic drugs by Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert. “It was profound,” Jobs said. “It transformed me and many of my friends.”

Moby Dick and Dylan Thomas’ poetry were also among Jobs’ favorite reads, but the books which really shaped Jobs’ artistic sensibilities and enriched them with a touch of the much-needed technology flare are…

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Jobs’ original vision for the iPhone: No third-party native apps

Remember back in 2007 when Apple first told developers that to develop for the iPhone, they’d need to build WebApps for Safari? Well, that really was the plan. At the time, Jobs said:

The full Safari engine is inside of iPhone. And so, you can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps that look exactly and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone. And these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, they can send an email, they can look up a location on Google Maps.

And guess what? There’s no SDK that you need! You’ve got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today. So developers, we think we’ve got a very sweet story for you. You can begin building your iPhone apps today.

The App Store came later and apparently as a reaction to jailbreakers and developer backlash.

The App Store nowadays is arguably the most vital app community on any platform, but Steve Jobs initially resisted the idea of users customizing their iPhones with third-party programs, later to become known as apps. The revelation is another of the many interesting nuggets to leak from the upcoming Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, which goes on sale Monday. According to the Huffington Post which obtained an early copy of the book:

Apple board member Art Levinson told Isaacson that he phoned Jobs “half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps,” but, according to Isaacson, “Jobs at first quashed the discussion, partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers.”

Some other tidbits: Jobs informed Cook on a flight to Japan that “I’ve decided to make you COO”. Also, the initial lukewarm reception to iPad “annoyed and depressed” Jobs.

As for Apple’s seemingly unstoppable mobile application bazaar, Jobs – of course – would later embrace the App Store fully as it had become the central theme around Apple’s famous iPhone commercials featuring the “There’s an app for that” tagline. Upon releasing, the original iPhone immediately captured attention of the hacking community which had begun tinkering with the product. Soon thereafter, popular tweaks ensued which added more functionality to the device despite the lack of the official software development kit.

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Jobs told Isaacson that he was either going to be one of the first “to outrun a cancer like this” or be among the last “to die from it”

Details from the upcoming Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson continue trickling in as big media got an early copy of the book. Both the Associated Press and the New York Times have published excerpts that offer a unique insight into the life of the famously private Silicon Valley luminary. According to a New York Times article from yesterday, after attempting to combat a cancerous tumor on his pancreas with a special vegan diet, Jobs then turned to the latest in modern medicine, which included an experimental gene therapy:

According to Mr. Isaacson, Mr. Jobs was one of 20 people in the world to have all the genes of his cancer tumor and his normal DNA sequenced. The price tag at the time: $100,000. The DNA sequencing that Mr. Jobs ultimately went through was done by a collaboration of teams at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and the Broad Institute of MIT. The sequencing, Mr. Isaacson writes, allowed doctors to tailor drugs and target them to the defective molecular pathways. A doctor told Mr. Jobs that the pioneering treatments of the kind he was undergoing would soon make most types of cancer a manageable chronic disease. Later, Mr. Jobs told Mr. Isaacson that he was either going to be one of the first “to outrun a cancer like this” or be among the last “to die from it.

A 60 Minutes preview with Walter Isaacson also touched on Jobs’ cancer treatment, with the biographer revealing that Apple’s late CEO in hindsight was regretful for going with a special diet rather than chose to operate on it sooner. Another interesting tidbit from the New York Times article: Apple’s co-founder began designing his own luxury yacht back in 2009. This is a surprise since Jobs was many things, but not the kind of guy who would display his wealth:

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