CategoryLeopard

Steve Jobs dead at 56

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Steven P. Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, has died, according to a statement released by Apple’s Board of Directors:

We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.

Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.

His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.

Earlier this evening, his family issued this statement:

Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.

In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.

In recent years, Jobs has battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer and underwent a liver transplant and took two medical leaves from the company. In late September, he stepped down as CEO of Apple, saying “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” He was named Chairman of Apple’s Board of Directors, a position he held at the time of his death.

Jobs famously asked John Sculley if he wanted to “sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?” and he did just that, transforming entire industries with visionary devices and software including the original Macintosh, the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad. He took Apple from a startup that assembled computers in a garage to arguably the most successful company in history, and along the way lead the company through one of the most dramatic turnarounds in corporate history.

In addition to running Apple, Jobs also ran NeXT, whose NeXTSTEP operating system became the basis for MacOS X; and Pixar, a computer animation company that produced such hits as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Up” and others. When Pixar was acquired by Disney, Jobs was named to Disney’s Board of Directors.

Apple’s website offers a tribute to Jobs, a single black and white photo with the text “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” The company is encouraging the public to share their “thoughts, memories, and condolences” by sending an email to rememberingsteve@apple.com.

Bill Gates, founder and former CEO of Microsoft and sometimes-partner/sometimes-nemesis of Jobs, posted a statement on his personal blog:

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

From Job’s bio on the Apple website:

Steve Jobs is the Chairman of the Board of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976. Apple is leading the consumer technology world with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, its family of iPod media players and iTunes media store, and its Mac computers and iLife and iWork application suites. Apple recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Steve also co-founded and was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006 and Steve now serves on Disney’s board of directors.

Steve grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley, and still lives there with his family.

Apple’s Press Event: My Dark Horse Prediction

Yeah, yeah, Mac OS X 10.7 — Lion — will be the star of the show, and we’ll probably see some refreshed Macs and maybe even a new MacBook Air. But I’m hoping we’ll also get FaceTime integration on Macs — most likely through iChat. And while I’m pushing my luck, I’ll add the hope that it comes as a separate update and we won’t have to wait until 10.7. A side note: does this spell the end of Apple’s cat-themed OSes? I mean, where do you go from Lion?

MobileMe Mea Culpa…again

Acknowledging continuing problems with its successor to .Mac, Apple sent another note of apology to subscribers tonight.

We have already made many improvements to MobileMe, but we still have many more to make. To recognize our users’ patience, we are giving every MobileMe subscriber as of today a free 60 day extension. This is in addition to the one month extension most subscribers have already received. We are working very hard to make MobileMe a great service we can all be proud of. We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.

A FAQ page has been added to Apple’s Support website.

MobileMe

MobileMe

First indication that ‘Snow Leopard’ will be Intel-only?

Apple’s been mum about the rumors that the next version of Mac OS X — Snow Leopard — will not support PowerPC machines, but the webpage describing the new OS may hold a clue:

Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos.

Taking all that PowerPC code out of your OS would certainly go a long way towards reducing its footprint now, wouldn’t it?

Notes on .Mac to MobileMe transition

Apple has posted a FAQs page on its transition from .Mac to the new MobileMe service it announced at WWDC. I’ll just cover a few of the more burning questions I’ve seen.

  • .Mac to MobileMe transitions are automatic; the subscriber does not have to do anything to activate MobileMe
  • Storage space, which recently increased for .Mac subscribers, is being doubled: Individual subscriptions go from 10GB to 20GB; family packs now get 40GB–20 for the main account and 5GB for each sub-account.
  • You can keep your current mac.com address. You will also get a new me.com address with the same username, e.g., if your .Mac address is jdoe@mac.com, you will also get jdoe@me.com–that’s a pretty cool address, in my opinion.
  • If you have .Mac home pages or galleries, their current URLs will still work. They will also be accessible in a me.com version of the URL.
  • You can use either your mac.com or me.com screen name in iChat (or AOL, I presume). However, if you cancel your me.com subscription, only the mac.com screen name will work.
  • Some .Mac features are being discontinued: Web access to bookmarks (bookmark sync between your Macs and/or PCs is still supported), iCards, .Mac slides, and support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther sync.

iPhone 2.0, 3G announced at WWDC; both due early July

iPhone 3GFor those of you who weren’t reading the liveblogging of Apple’s WWDC Keynote, the company unveiled both its new software and hardware for the iPhone.

iPhone 2.0–the next-generation of the mobile device’s operating system, will be available in “early July,” the company announced. The new phone itself got a more specific due date: July 11th. The new OS will allow third-developer applications and will be supported by a revamped and re-branded dot-Mac service dubbed “MobileMe,” and will support “always on” wireless updating of contacts, email, calendars, etc. (I may have missed it, but I don’t recall hearing that syncing to-do lists were supported.)

One the hardware side, the new iPhone 3G will feature faster 3G networking, built-in GPS and a lower price: $199 for the 8GB model and $299 for 16 gigs.

More details are available at news sites including Macworld. Apple’s own site had not been updated as of this posting.

Only briefly mentioned was the next version of the Macintosh operating system, referred to as “Snow Leopard.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said more details would come in an afternoon session, presumably covered under the conference’s No-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

[UPDATE: Andy Ihnatko made a great observation: Apple’s webpage describing the 2.0 software update for existing (i.e., non-3G) iPhones specifically mentions the addition of GPS. As Andy says: “Signif(icant), or typo?”]

Under the wire: WWDC speculation on MacJury

MacJury 807The latest installment of MacJury went live on Friday. In it, host Chuck Joiner and a panel including Jean MacDonald of SmileOnMyMac, John Moltz of Crazy Apple Rumors and Macworld, Jeff Gamet of The Mac Observer and yours truly pontificate about what we expect to see and what we’d like to see announced at this year’s WWDC Keynote (scheduled for today as I write this).

It’s a show with a short shelf life, but in my opinion one of the most fun segments of the series so far. I mean where else will you hear ponies and pink MacBook Pros thrown out as possibilities for a Steve Jobs keynote?

If you’d like to give it a quick listen before the keynote, you’ve got just enough time to download it and hear it before Jobs take the stage. Even more fun, though, might be to listen to it after the announcements and see just how far off base we were.

My thanks to Chuck and the whole panel for making this show so much fun. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes or listen to the show directly from the MacJury website here.

MacJury 807: Microsoft v. Yahoo!; Office v. Everyone Else

MacJury 807I’m back on the MacJury for the latest session, along with Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica, Scott McNulty of The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Warren Williams of the AppleWorks User Group. We had a fun discussion on two topics: Microsoft’s abandoned attempts to acquire Yahoo! and “Can we dump Microsoft Office yet?” It was a lively discussion, with different points of view on both issues, which I always think makes for a better show. One of my biggest concerns on these panels (other than sounding like an idiot), is that everyone will be in complete agreement with each other — that makes for a really boring show. Luckily, we each had some good points to debate.

If you haven’t already subscribed, the show is listed in the iTunes store, or you can just follow this link.

By the way, I’m looking for recommendations for a decent podcasting microphone — preferably a USB condenser mic. Scott and host Chuck Joiner were both using Snowballs, but I’m looking for something a little less bulky and a little more old school.

Bynkii goes stoopid-hunting

There are few things as satisfying to me as taking a really dumb argument and ripping it to shreds with logic and facts. If that stupid argument is delivered with pomposity and arrogance, it’s all the more fun.

Few people have elevated this to the level of sport as well as John C. Welch. A hunting analogy comes quickly to mind, but the more I think of it, the more I realize it’s not so much the hunter-with-rifle-tracks-deer kind of hunting as it is the lion-in-the-plains-gets-gazelle kind. It’s graceful, masterful and can sometimes make you wince at its brutality.

The clueless gazelle this time out is Matt Freestone of Windows Connected, who is clearly talking out of his nether regions in a post that creates a fiction presented as a comparative piece about the compatibility of Mac and Windows operating systems on older hardware. John breaks down his arguments and counters them with beautifully presented facts. Think of it as poetry without mercy.

The piece is worth reading just as a lesson in persuasive writing, but it’s also entertaining as hell. You can almost see Freestone’s arguments squirm under Welch’s attack. In fact, there’s really only one difference between this and a nature channel documentary: in the documentary, I sometimes feel sorry for the gazelle.

The must-read article is on bynkii.com.

What’s your verdict on the MacJury?

Back in the late-nineties, I produced what would now be called a podcast on the long-defunct “GiveMeTalk” Internet Radio Network. They were mostly 10-15 minute scripted shows, wherein I offered some analysis and commentary on the day’s news. Topics back then ranged from the introduction of candy-colored iMacs to the passing of legendary Mac journalist (when such a phrase could be used without irony) Don Crabbe.

I haven’t spent much time on-mic since then, although I’ve threatened to start up “RandomMaccess Radio” again every once in a while. This week, though, I finally return to the Internet “airwaves” as a member of the “MacJury,” Mac User Group guru and podcaster Chuck Joiner’s latest venture. The show joins his already excellent lineup of MacNotables and MacVoices. MacJury distinguishes itself by convening a panel (the jury) to talk in relative depth about two or three issues of interest to the Mac community, not to re-hash the week’s tech news.

I think this is a great strategy and fills a real void in the Mac podcast space. I like Chuck’s idea of rotating jury members, too–mixing up the panel should keep the discussion and interactions fresh. For episode two, Chuck’s panel included Steve Sande of Movable Beast, Red Sweater Software’s Daniel Jalcut, Rogue Amoeba’s Paul Kafasis and yours truly. We covered the future (and merits) of the Mac Mini, some of the possible consequences of Microsoft’s buyout of Yahoo!, and the iPhone’s dominance among mobile browsers. It was, I think, a good discussion and a fun listen (for geeks, anyway). I liked the way we interacted and had a few laughs along the way.

Panelist or not, I think it’s a good listen and a show with a lot of potential. Give it a try and let me know what you think. The show is now up and available for subscription on the iTunes Store. (Link via Chuck Joiner.)

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