Steve Job Stories August 9, 2012

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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Steve Job Stories July 30, 2012

Samsung objects to ‘gratuitous’ images of Steve Jobs in trial, prefers thermonuclear quotes instead

Samsung vehemently objected to pictures of Steve Jobs in Apple’s opening slides for today’s massive trial, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh struck down the objections over the weekend.

The South Korea-based smartphone manufacturer claimed the “gratuitous images have no evidentiary value,” as it filed 14 objections to Apple’s opening slides.

The company further noted, as FOSS Patents reported, if Apple is given permission to use these slides, Samsung will “request that the Court allow it to use the quotes from Mr. Jobs — which do have nonprejudicial evidentiary value — and yet were excluded by the Court’s ruling on Apple’s Motion in Limine No. 7.”

In other words, Samsung wants to use the “thermonuclear war” quotes from Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs biography” if Apple can use images of the company’s late founder. The contentious quotes from the biography were previously deemed hearsay and inadmissible in this litigation.

According to FOSS Patents, Apple explained the use of the pitcures in its responsive filing:

  • Three of the images are “from a joint exhibit – 1091 (the MacWorld 2007 video), which Samsung itself relies on in its opening demonstratives (at Samsung slide no. 148)”, so “Samsung cannot complain about Apple’s use of the same video” that shows “the public introduction of the iPhone on January 7, 2007, which launched the fame that the iPhone trade dress has acquired”. Also, “[b]ecause they demonstrate Apple’s notice of the 200+ patents covering the iPhone — including the asserted patents, they thus are relevant to willfulness”.
  • Another slide refers to an exhibition relating to Steve Jobs’s patents, which was organized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. “Among the highlighted patents at the PTO exhibit are at least two patents at issue in this litigation — the D’677 and D’889” — and Apple argues that “[t]he Patent Office exhibit demonstrates praise by others to rebut non-obviousness”.
  • The fifth image of Steve Jobs in the presentation is “a screenshot from the announcement of the iPad in July 2010” and, therefore, “relevant to the introduction of the iPad and its acquisition of fame and secondary meaning”, Apple says.

Judge Koh overruled Samsung’s objections on Sunday and said the images are “relevant to Apple’s iPhone design patent and trade dress claims and is not unduly prejudicial.”

Get the full report at FOSS Patents.

Steve Job Stories June 7, 2012

Steve Job Stories May 31, 2012

Atari founder on Steve Jobs: Apple culture came from Atari

TUAW interviewed one of only a few people to ever hire Steve Jobs, the founder of Atari Nolan Bushnell. As you might expect, he is working on a few iOS projects, and he is particularly interested in augmented reality. These paragraphs stand out:

“He basically lived just below me in Woodside for many, many years, before he moved down to Palo Alto, and he’d just walk up the hill to my house and we’d go on and bullshit about stuff. We kept in contact — I’m writing a book right now called ‘Finding the Next Steve Jobs,’ because I was one of the few people that ever gave him a job.”

Bushnell says even at that early point in his career, Steve stood out. “The thing that people miss about Steve is that Steve was very, very driven and very passionate. He was an enthusiastic individual about everything. He had one speed and it was full blast,” says Bushnell. Some of the qualities Jobs is now known for were some of the reasons he first was able to join on at Atari back in the early ’70s. “We looked at what people did in their spare time, how diverse they were. We never looked at grades, college degrees. One of the best engineers at Atari never graduated from high school, and he was one of the prime architects for the 2600.”

Bushnell says that attitude at Atari definitely shaped Apple as a company later on. “We were focused on merit. And the fact that we can go to work in tennis shoes and a t-shirt started at Atari and it was taken to Apple. Because we said this is a meritocracy, we don’t care where you go to school, when you come to work, we don’t care if you come to work, we don’t care where you are we you are at work. You get the job done, we’re happy.”

Interesting to think that some of Apple’s culture is derived from Jobs’ days at Atari. The book should be interesting.

Steve Job Stories May 25, 2012

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. expand full story

Steve Job Stories February 9, 2012

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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Steve Job Stories January 31, 2012

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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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Steve Job Stories January 25, 2012

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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… expand full story

Steve Job Stories January 24, 2012

Apple just emailed customers who pre-ordered the book “Inside Apple” from the iBookstore to let them know the book is now available to download and read. Those interested in downloading the book can do so from this direct link.  The Amazon Kindle version should be available in less than an hour.

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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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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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Steve Job Stories January 23, 2012

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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Steve Job Stories December 26, 2011

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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Steve Job Stories December 23, 2011

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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Steve Job Stories December 15, 2011

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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Steve Job Stories December 14, 2011

BBC is getting set to air a new documentary entitled ‘Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy’ tonight at 9:00pm on BBC HD and BBC Two. According to the Telegraph, the documentary apparently presents a more “ruthless image of Jobs” where Wozniak reveals that Jobs reduced him to tears following the release of Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio (click the image above for the clip of Woz from the doc):

Jobs, for instance, tricked a young Wozniak into writing code for a computer game but pocketed the majority of the payment for the project from Atari himself. Wozniak admits on the programme that he cried when he heard about Jobs’s scam following the release of a book on Jobs.

The doc is hosted by Evan Davis, and features appearances from Tim Berners-Lee, Rita Clifton, and Stephen Fry. It will also of course include interviews with Steve Wozniak and others that were close to Apple and Jobs. The program profiles Avie Tevanian, who worked with Jobs as head of software at Apple until 2006, who tells a story of trying to get Jobs to join in on a stag party: expand full story

Steve Job Stories December 13, 2011

Originally aired on November 2, PBS is making their 60-minute “Steve Jobs– One Last Thing” documentary available on DVD starting today. Available on Amazon now for $22.15, the documentary includes a never-before-broadcast interview with Jobs from 1994, as well as interviews with a number of those who knew and worked with Jobs such as Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, Ross Perot, and Dean Hovey.

The video is also available to rent on Amazon Video and is free for Prime members.  It is also available (Flash) on PBS’s website, or you can grab it on iTunes here.

Here’s an excerpt from the rare Jobs interview: expand full story

Steve Job Stories December 12, 2011

Walter Isaacson signing books in Times Square | Photo: Tanner Curtis

We noted last week that Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography published by Simon & Schuster became Amazon’s best-selling book of 2011, but that included just sales of the dead trees version. Print sales do not, however, paint an accurate picture because Kindle e-books are now outselling hardcover and paperback editions combined, prompting Amazon to include Kindle books into the rankings.

The company this morning issued a press release stating that the biography of Apple’s late co-founder broke all records to become the best-selling book of 2011 – just 50 days following the October 23 release. It’s not just Amazon, the book also topped Customer Favorites chart on Amazon and is #2 on Audible.

The exclusive biography is also a top-seller in the Non-fiction category on Apple’s iBookstore, where it can be yours for fifteen bucks. It’s also available as a digital download from the Kindle store. It did not fare as well on Barnes and Noble however, only garnering a #34 ranking of NookBooks. Go past the fold for Amazon’s list of Top 10 best-selling books overall.

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Steve Job Stories December 7, 2011

Dark roof adorning Apple’s upcoming Spaceship campus suggest solar panels.

UPDATE [Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 12:55pm]: A reader chimed in about that black roof. Find the update added to the article bottom.

Apple’s upcoming campus in Cupertino, California is reminiscent of a spaceship with a footprint bigger than the Pentagon. The spectacular building should be completed by 2015, provided all goes as planned. Now, over the past few months we’ve been shown breathtaking renderings and descriptions of the 175-acre circular structure adorned in glass. The original conceptual images that had owed Cupertino City Council back in June and detailed drawings released in August have now been coupled with a brand new set of renderings that slip a couple of noteworthy details.

Yesterday, a new proposal Apple submitted on Monday has been made public at the City of Cupertino web site (via iPhoneinCanada.ca). Four PDF documents weighing in at more than a hundred megabytes (Introduction, Site Plan & Landscaping, Floor Plans and Renderings) pitch the Spaceship building as “an integrated 21st century campus surrounded by green space”.

The company specifies its “distinctive and inspiring 21st century workplace” will “consist of 2.8 million square feet over four stories, and accommodate up to 13,000 employees”, respecting Apple’s security needs “in part through perimeter protection”. We can see how taking some paperwork to another department inside this monstrous super structure will be a lunch killer for some employees. The site is bounded by East Homestead Road on the north, properties adjacent to Tantau Avenue on the east, Interstate 280 on the south and Wolfe Road on the west. Apple doesn’t appear to have overlooked anything. Read on…

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Steve Job Stories November 22, 2011

The title says it all: “Letters to Steve: Inside the E-mail Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs“. A new book penned by CNN technology writer Mark Milian takes a look at the hundreds of emails between Jobs and the people that discovered his publicly available email address. It also includes never-before-published e-mails exclusive to the book, which is available starting today for $2.99 on Amazon.

This book is based on interviews with many of the customers and fans Jobs communicated with. These tales reveal the intricacies of how Jobs portrayed himself as likable and accessible through direct interaction with fans. He handled customer-service inquiries himself and carefully revealed hints about upcoming Apple products, guaranteeing headlines on blogs. However, some of these letters, when analyzed, provide a glimpse into his “reality distortion field,” in which he lobs insults, bends the truth and uses misdirection in order to manipulate anyone on the receiving end.

To accompany the release of the book, CNN is running a three-part series on their website. The first part in that series was published today and details Jobs’ emails related to customer service. Here’s an excerpt where customer  Scott Steckley recalls receiving a phone call from Jobs after emailing him regarding a long wait for his Mac repair:

“Hi Scott, this is Steve,” Steckley recalled hearing from the other end of the phone.

“Steve Jobs?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Jobs said. “I just wanted to apologize for your incredibly long wait. It’s really nobody’s fault. It’s just one of those things.”

“Yeah, I understand.”

Then Jobs explained that he expedited the repair. “I also wanted to thank you for your support of Apple,” Jobs said. “I see how much equipment you own. It really makes my day to see someone who enjoys our products so much and who supports us in the good times and bad.”

This next one has been posted before but is still entertaining: expand full story

Steve Job Stories November 15, 2011

Interesting move today from Amazon.  Not only did they drop the price of Apple TV to $89.99 matching Best Buy, but they are now calling it the ‘2010’ edition.  Could that mean an update is on the horizon?  At the very least, it is a solid deal. expand full story

Steve Job Stories November 9, 2011

(video link)

Steve Jobs has been nominated for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” by NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. If Steve Jobs were to receive the award, he would be the first person to receive it after their death. Mark Zuckerburg was 2010’s winner, who recently told reporters he was inspired by Steve Jobs while building Facebook. Brian Williams said in his nomination speech:

“One guy, who changed our world, and I said to Seth Meyers as we walked across Sixth Avenue, ‘Just look with me on this one block walk at how he changed the world around us. Look at how he changed the world.’ Not only did he change the world, but he gave us that spirit again that something was possible that you could look at a piece of plastic or glass and move your finger– that’s outlandish. You could make things bigger or smaller like that. ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ and oh the way you will change forever the music and television industries. So may he rest in peace, Steve Jobs, and the spirit he represents, are my nominee for Person of the Year.”

A video has also surfaced this evening (above) showing a segment of the never before seen interview of Steve Jobs by Robert Cringely. The interview is due out in theaters soon, but Cringely has revealed a few parts early.

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Steve Job Stories October 24, 2011

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, […]

Steve Job Stories October 23, 2011

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 […]

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