Steve Jobs told Rupert Murdoch Fox News is an “incredibly destructive force”

Rupert Murdoch on Fox News talking about the iPad and Steve Jobs (2 minutes in)

Reuters points us to a section of Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio detailing the relationship between Jobs and New Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. is behind the iPad-only publication, The Daily, which Jobs was originally supposed to introduce with Murdoch on stage prior to taking medical leave before the app’s February 2nd launch.

Isaacson writes about a conversation between the two men following New Corp.’s annual management retreat in June 2010 where Jobs tells Murdoch he’s “blowing it with Fox News” while calling it a “destructive force in our society”.

“The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.”

During the conversation, Jobs apparently asked Murdoch to create a video reel consisting of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, to which Murdoch agreed. Jobs later revealed to Isaacson plans to have a similar reel made by Jon Stewart’s Daily Show team, a show known for calling out Fox News frequently. Isaacson quotes Murdoch, prior to Steve’s passing, as saying, “I’d be happy to see it, but he hasn’t sent it to me”.

Jobs told Isaacson he believed Murdoch didn’t like the direction Fox News had gone saying, “Rupert’s a builder, not a tearer-downer, he said. I’ve had some meetings with James, and I think he agrees with me. I can just tell.” Although, Isaacson quotes Murdoch as shrugging off Jobs’ complaints saying “He’s got sort of a left-wing view on this”.

Read more

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.

Read more

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:

Read more

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?

Read more

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…

Read more

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).

Read more

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!

Read more

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?!)

Read more

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:

Read more

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…

Read more