He tried exotic treatments for his cancer and exasperated family and friends before finally agreeing to go with more conventional treatment nine months later. He made sure YoYo Ma would play at his funeral.
The authorized biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, rushed to release on Monday, Oct. 24 following his death earlier this month, is an intimate look at the man who shaped the world in ways still being realized. Already at the top of Amazon’s best-sellers list, the book titled “Steve Jobs” has also risen to Barnes & Noble’s top-10 best sellers. An interview with biographer Walter Isaacson on CBS’ 60 Minutes last Sunday night is excerpted here.
The book reveals that Jobs believed Google ripped off Apple’s iPhone design for its Android phone and promised, “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
Did Jobs leave instructions for the people he leaves behind to spend whatever money it takes to finish the job with Google and the Android? Could be a public relations nightmare for Google. Time to call in the reputation insurance agents? Time for Google to turn to Twitter for crisis communications? Could be.
Undaunted, Google’s Android is chipping away at AT&T’s iPhone lead. Sales of Android devices doubled compared to last year, and almost half of the 4.8 million smartphones AT&T sold this quarter to its 100 million customers were Android devices.
AT&T’s iPhone sales have slowed as customers waited for the new iPhone S model.
The iPhone’s new S or Siri model features voice activation. The voice of this “virtual assistant” is that of a woman who answers your question in a part robot, part human voice. Why a female?
For that matter, why are most voice-mail systems, GPS devices voiced by female sounding tones? Click here to find out.
Norman Winarsky, vice president of SIRI and a co-founder of Siri, says speech is “the most natural of all human interfaces.”
“What Apple did is absolutely brilliant,” he said. “They took Siri and gave it more of a personality. It’s the first real artificial intelligence working in millions of people’s hands.”
Facebook lawsuit continues. Lawyers getting rich …
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is being sued again by three-time lawsuit loser Paul Ceglia, who now has a new lawyer to continue his legal challenge against Zuckerberg. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Ceglia “claims he has a 2003 contract that entitles him to half of Mark Zuckerberg’s multibillion-dollar stake in the social networking company.”
A historic day for the way we communicate
It’s being touted as a first in the annals of social media. The commander of NATO’s Libya war announced his intention to end hostilities through Facebook.
Wired.com reported, “In a short post on his Wall Friday morning, Adm. James Stavridis told the world, “I will be recommending conclusion of this mission to the North Atlantic Council of NATO in a few hours.” And “A good day for NATO. A great day for the people of Libya.” Stavridis also tweeted his big news.
Incomparable match: Iceland and the Internet
“The power of the social media is, in my opinion, transforming the political process in such a way that I can’t see any chance for the traditional, formal institutions of our democratic systems to keep up.” So said Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, the president of Iceland, who added that Facebook updates and YouTube videos are becoming more important to global affairs than governments.
For years, Iceland suffered financial hardship after the “collapse of its financial system in 2008 and a massive 2010 volcano eruption that shut down international travel in the region,” according to a published report. Now the country, which ignored international advice and instead eschewed bank bailouts, is rebounding and the Internet is playing a large part in its economic recovery.
Can he touch that?
Rapper and businessman MC Hammer is launching his own search engine. Will it beat out Google or Bing?
While MC Hammer goes about his business, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google might play a role in helping finance a possible deal by others to acquire Internet search company Yahoo!
Once a kingpin of the Internet, Yahoo’s revenue has been tumbling as users increasingly turn to Facebook and Twitter for info instead of using Yahoo’s media website.
Murdoch faces angry shareholders
“We paid $600 million,” Rupert Murdoch says. “We could have sold it for $6 billion a month later,” said the head of News Corp. about the purchase of MySpace at last week’s annual shareholders meeting. Rupert Murdoch said the 2005 acquisition of the social network was a “huge mistake and mismanaged from the beginning”. News Corp. sold off MySpace last June for $35 million, just six percent of its purchase price.
And speaking of News Corp., investors who are angry about the company’s now defunct News of the World newspaper’s phone hacking scandal tried unsuccessfully to separate the CEO title from the chairman of the board in an attempt to wrest power away from the Murdoch family, which controls about 40 percent of the voting rights. Investors were unsuccessful, and the Murdoch family retains control of the news giant.
Ix-nay on the FB recognition factor
Facebook and its controversial facial recognition application are under the gun in Germany and the European Union, where the social network has until Nov. 7 to conform with Germany’s privacy laws or face legal action.
Facebook’s facial recognition software allows users to identify people through online photos.
At last week’s San Francisco’s Web 2.0 Summit, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor said Facebook’s privacy settings are easy to use. Really. He did. (Have you tried it?) Taylor also said the social network has introduced an “activity log” that shows all the information you have shared on Facebook.
I use Facebook, and I know many others who do too. And most of us find Facebook to be complicated, counter-intuitive and difficult to manage. And its software engineers are constantly tweaking it, changing it, and leaving us wishing they’d leave it alone. Just when we’ve got it somewhat figured out … sigh. But then, we’re not teens, the age group that seems to be most savvy with Facebook.
Son of Stuxnet?
A malicious code similar to the Stuxnet virus that messed up Iran’s nuclear facilities has been discovered. According to a report in Ynet News via Breitbart.com, Stuxnet is “a malicious software that targets widely used industrial control systems built by German firm Siemens.
“It is believed to have crippled centrifuges Iran uses to enrich uranium for what the United States and some European nations have charged is a covert nuclear weapons program. Cyber experts say its sophistication indicates that Stuxnet was produced possibly by the United States or Israel.
“The new Duqu computer virus is designed to gather data from industrial control system manufacturers to make it easier to launch an attack in the future by capturing information including keystrokes.”
Google cozying up with lobbyists, lawmakers
It’s the cost of doing business. And it’s tax-deductible too.
In the grips of a Federal Trade Commission investigation, Google has ramped up its lobbying budget, doubling the bucks it spent this time last year. According to published reports, Google spent $2.4 million for lobbying costs during the recently ended third quarter. Google’s also feeling the hot breath of the Department of Justice, which is fine-tooth combing the Internet giant’s $400-million purchase of Admeld, an Internet advertising firm, and a proposed $12.5-billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings.
Google also formed a political action committee to give donations to candidates.
Google’s not the only one to embrace the Washington beltway game. Facebook is launching its own political action committee and has already begun beefing up its lobbying power too.
Trick or Track!
Got a smart phone? Activate the GPS tracking feature on your phone and theirs to keep track of your little Halloween ghosts and goblins while they’re trick or treating.
A handful of smart phone apps enable parents to receive timely updates about where their youngsters are. Technology reporter Shan Li explains some of the popular apps on the market on this video.
A test? Or a demonstration of power?
Buck Sexton writes at The Blaze: “If you have ever wondered about the government’s ability to control the civilian airwaves, you will have your answer on Nov. 9. On that day, federal authorities are going to shut off all television and radio communications simultaneously at 2:00 p.m. EST to complete the first ever test of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS).”
Details are posted on the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau website.
As one commenter wrote: “This is not a test – it is a demonstration. A test would be done at 4:00 a.m. so it would inconvenience as few as possible.”
Time to write your U.S. Senator and Representatives asking for an explanation of why this is happening. And while you’re at it, let them know your concern about all this power in the hands of one man – President Obama. You can reach them directly by email through Elizabeth Letchworth’s GradeGov.com, which brings you to their personal email accounts, NOT the usual House.gov accounts that spit out an auto reply.
The Time Capsule
1945 – The United Nations is born
Now playing at the Princess Theater in Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WND reader John Daley of Prescott, Ariz., who was among the first to correctly guess actor George Hamilton in the 1971 movie “Evel Knievel,” a biopic on the life of the famed motorcycle daredevil that also starred Sue Lyon and Bert Freed.
Last week’s Surfin’ Safari Time Capsule noted the anniversary of the year of Daredevil Robert “Evel” Knievel’s birth in 1938.
The quote was: “We have very little choice about our life. The only thing really left us is a choice about our death. And mine will be … glorious!”
View the scene from the movie.
This week’s quote: “If the sun comes up tomorrow, it is only because of men of good will. And that’s – that’s all there is between us and the devil.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Please be sure to add your town and state. Good luck!