Tag: Steve Jobs

Tim Cook will give away his fortune

Apple's Tim CookThe head of the Apple Cargo Cult, Tim Cook has said that he will do something that Steve Jobs never did – give away his fortune.

Fortune magazine cited the head of the world’s largest technology corporation as saying he planned to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity – after paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s college education.

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,” Cook told the magazine.

Fortune estimated Cook’s net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, at about $120 million. He also holds restricted stock worth $665 million if it were to be fully vested.

He will join billionaire financier Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg who have all pledged to give at least half of their wealth to charity.

While Cook has not made nearly as much as Gates, the Apple CEO told Fortune he hopes to make a difference.

Recently Cook has become more outspoken on issues ranging from the environment to civil rights. Cook, who recently revealed he was gay, spoke out against discrimination of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities during his induction into the Alabama Academy of Honour last year.

He told Fortune he has started donating money to unspecified causes quietly and is trying to develop a more “systematic approach” to philanthropy that goes beyond writing checks.

When Jobs was asked to participate in the scheme he said no.

While Forbes  claimed that Steve Jobs did not have to give a cent to charity because he filled the world with lots of nice looking gadgets made in factories were people were dying to get out, his motives for not giving money to charity was generally questioned.

The New York Times said Jobs did not have to give away any of his fortune because millionarres only did that to buff their image and Jobs was perfect .  He also was charitable in that he paid his staff a wage to work for him.

It is nice to see that Apple has finally got someone at the top who sees helping other people as being important.

Apple’s garage beginning was a myth

Steve WozniakApple co-founder Steve Wozniak has scotched a long running myth that Apple started in Steve Job’s parents’ garage.

For a while now Apple has peddled an HP style myth that Apple started from the garage. However Woz said the garage thing was a bit of a myth.

“We did no designs there, no breadboarding, no prototyping, no planning of products. We did no manufacturing there. The garage didn’t serve much purpose, except it was something for us to feel was our home. We had no money. You have to work out of your home when you have no money,” he told Bloomberg.

He did a lot of his work at his cubicle at HP. He said that was an incredible time. It let him do a lot of side projects, and it was five years to the summer of ’75, when he built the Apple computer, the first one. The next summer he built the Apple II computer.

He also added that the goal of Apple was not the much touted “Steve Jobs wanted to change the world” idea beloved of so many.

Woz said that Jobs always spoke about wanting to be a person that moves the world forward, the only problem was that he could not create anything.

“Steve wanted a company real badly. His thinking was not necessarily about what computers would do for the average Joe in the average home. Steve only found the words that explained what these computers would do for people and how important it was a little later in life,”Woz said.

Woz said that Jobs did have the best brain in the outfit. He usually had a little, tiny suggestion, but usually he was right.

Woz said he was aware that he was in the middle of a revolution and that pretty soon we were going to have computers that were affordable.

“Every computer before the Apple I looked like—you have to imagine the most awful, not understandable computer you’ve ever seen in a museum or in a new movie. The Apple I was the first one to have a keyboard and a video display. A television. You would type on the keyboard and see your words on the television, or the computer could type its own words on the television and play games with you and ask questions and give answers. That was a turning point in history,” he said.

Apple deleted content from user devices

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405Fruity cargo cult Apple deleted music from its customers’ devices which were not bought through the iTunes Music Store.

The information has come out of the proceedings of Apple’s iPod/iTunes antitrust lawsuit. Plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed Apple surreptitiously deleted songs not purchased through the iTunes Music Store from users’ iPods.

If this is true then the order must have come from Steve Jobs himself.

Attorney Patrick Coughlin, representing a class of individuals and businesses, said Apple intentionally wiped songs downloaded from competing services when users performed a sync with their iTunes library.

Users attempting to synchronise an iPod with an iTunes library containing music from a rival service, such as RealNetworks, would see an ambiguous error message without prompting them to perform a factory reset. After restoring the device, users would find all non-iTunes music had disappeared.

The court was told that that Apple decided to give its users the worst possible experience and blow up,” the iTunes library, Coughlin said.

Coughlin claims that Apple manufactured the error message in a move to stop customers from using their iPod to play back music from stores other than iTunes.

Apple insists that the system was a safety measure installed to protect users. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia said additional detail about the error’s nature was not necessary because, “We don’t need to give users too much information,” and “We don’t want to confuse users.” He went on to say that Apple was “very paranoid” in its protection of iTunes, a sentiment echoed in an executive email penned by Steve Jobs in 2004.

Jobs’ emails and a videotaped deposition revealed Apple was “very scared” of breaking contractual sales agreements with music labels, which in turn prompted an increased interest in digital rights management (DRM). Although iTunes no longer sells DRM-protected content, Jobs said frequent iTunes updates were needed to protect as “hackers” found new workarounds.

The case said that Apple is accused of creating a monopoly locking users into a closed ecosystem with FairPlay digital rights management (DRM), the iPod and the iTunes Music Store. Plaintiffs are seeking $350 million in damages, an amount that could be tripled to over $1 billion under U.S. antitrust laws.

Aside from Jobs’ deposition, current Apple execs Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller are scheduled to testify later this week.

Zombie class action haunts Apple

at-least-mantan-moreland-graces-this-poster-hollywood-horror-history-classic-horror-eras-the-1940-s-b840d71b-c348-43fd-ac1b-cf79e1070d44A ten-year old class action is back from the dead after haunting the fruity cargo cult Apple for more than a decade.

Apple faces an antitrust lawsuit which claims the outfit tried to monopolise online music distribution is headed to trial.

If you believe the Apple iPod iTunes antitrust litigation, Apple violated the US and California antitrust law by restricting music bought on iTunes from being played on devices other than iPods and by not allowing iPods to play music bought on other digital music services.

Another zombie  is going to be dug up for the trial — late Apple founder Steve Jobs will reportedly appear via a videotaped statement during the trial. Our guess is that he will not be able to answer questions, unless lawyers conduct a séance.

The trial will start this morning in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Plaintiffs are seeking about $350 million in the case and lawyers for both sides have filed dozens of trial documents over the past decade. The case has a long history. First, the court refused to dismiss it but chucked out some of the original claims in 2005.

In October, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers scheduled a trial to begin this Tuesday.

The original January 2005 complaint in the case references a music distribution industry that no longer exists nearly a decade later. The document refers to iTunes competitors Napster, Buy.com, Music Rebellion and Audio Lunch Box, along with digital music players from Gateway, Epson, RCA and e.Digital.

Even the opening paragraphs of the complaint talk about defunct CD seller Tower Records.

“It would be egregious and unlawful for a major retailer such as Tower Records, for example, to require that all music CDs purchased by consumers at Tower Records be played only with CD players purchased at Tower Records,” the complaint said. “Yet, this is precisely what Apple has done.”

Lawyers for plaintiff Thomas Slattery wrote that Apple has rigged the hardware and software in its iPod such that the device will not directly play any music files originating from online music stores other than Apple’s iTunes music store.

Apple removed DRM (digital rights management) from iTunes in early 2009, so the lawsuit covers iPods purchased from Apple between September 2006 and March 2009.


Megacorps get the hard word

Judge-DreedA settlement between Apple, three other IT outfits and their employees has been rejected by a judge saying it was too low given the strength of the case against the employers.

Apple, Google, Intel  and Adobe failed to persuade  US District Judge Lucy Koh to sign off on a $324.5 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit by tech workers, who accused the firms of conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s employees.

Koh in San Jose, California, said there was “substantial and compelling evidence” that Apple Messiage founder Steve Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy,” Koh wrote

In their 2011 lawsuit, the tech employees said the conspiracy had limited their job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries. The case has been closely watched because of the possibility of big damages being awarded and for the opportunity to peek into the world of some of America’s elite tech outfits.

The whole case was based largely on emails in which Jobs and Google’s  Eric Schmidt hatched plans to avoid poaching each other’s prized engineers.

In rejecting the settlement, Koh referred to one email exchange which occurred after a Google recruiter solicited an Apple employee. Schmidt told Jobs that the recruiter would be fired. Jobs then forwarded Schmidt’s note to a top Apple human resources executive with a smiley face.

The four companies agreed to settle with the workers in April shortly before trial. The plaintiffs had planned to ask for about $3 billion in damages at trial, which could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.

The plaintiffs are worried because workers faced serious risks on appeal had the case gone forward.

But Koh repeatedly referred to a related settlement last year involving Disney and Intuit. Apple and Google workers got proportionally less in the latest deal compared to the one involving Disney under the settlement.

To match the earlier settlement, the latest deal “would need to total at least $380 million,” Koh wrote.

A further hearing in the case is scheduled for September 10.

Channeleye’s likely tips for new Pope

Leo-I_Attila_Raphael-(1)With Pope Benedict announcing that he is cleaning out his desk and collecting his pink slip, Channel Eye has come up with a list of those who it thinks will have the right stuff to be the next Pope. Now we know that one of the jobs of the Pope is to be Catholic, but given that the church is unlikely to survive another 100 years unless it liberals up a bit, we have given our nominations on the basis that if they can run an IT company they can probably look after the world’s largest religious organisation.

1. Steve Ballmer
Ballmer is already half way to the job by having the inner certainty that he is God. Ballmer would sort out most of the Catholic church’s problems by shouting at them until they go away. Pope Ballmer would probably encourage cardinals to make all sorts of power plays so long as they left him alone. We predict that under his rule, the Catholic church would adopt wide scale contraception to avoid another Ballmer.

2. Sir William Gates
Since resigning from Microsoft’s top job, Gates has been heading towards sainthood. Not only is he well on the way of purging Africa from the devilish mosquito, his various charity work is now healing the sick of Polio. If he were appointed Pope, Gates would closely monitor other religions and then try to mimic their success.

3. Steve Jobs
A tricky choice for the church given that he is already dead, however, that has not stopped him being the head of the world’s fastest growing religion. Chances are that thanks to Apple technology he could do the job from the afterlife, all it would take is to replace all those videos of him with an iPad so that he appears to be holding a bible. We predict that under the rule of Jobs, which would be eternal, you would have to pay half of your salary to the church every year and queue to get into the sermons.

4. Leo Apotheker
A bit ofan  outsider but given that Cardinal Ratzinger was a similar figure within the Catholic church, and it is known for being fairly conservative, we think he could be a starter. Pope Apotheker would start by selling off all the churches and training all priests so that they could handle business management software, like SAP. While many people will not understand why the Catholic Church should dump everything it makes money on and moving into business software, Apotheker would point out that this was exactly the same plan he would have run for HP if those pesky board members had not been involved.

5. Michael Dell
Although he might be a little busy for the job, Michael Dell will abandon all the churches and tell his priests to take their services directly to parishioners. However, if this plan starts to go wrong, he will do a deal with Microsoft to buy out the Church from its Mafia backers and make himself the supreme pontiff and not have to answer to anyone.

6. Paul Otellini
Paul Otellini is retiring soon so might be up for the job, as he is a big fan of monopolies and will probably rule the Catholic Church in the same way as he did at Intel. This would involve leaning on the supplies of other religions and advising them to follow the Roman Catholic Church. Then the other religions would go broke and collapse. In some cases, where they had interesting theology, Intel might buy up their patents and incorporate them into Catholic theology.

Church of Scientology runs Apple inspired Super Bowl ad

scientology-adThe Church of Scientology ran a rather amusing Super Bowl ad in several cities and the ad was apparently inspired by Apple.

Everything, from the music, narration and the clean post-production points to Cupertino, although it’s nothing like Apple’s iconic 1984 ad. However, it is a lot like Apple’s 1997 “Think Different” spot.

The ad speaks about seekers of knowledge, freethinkers, non-conformists, rebels, artists and a bunch of other New Age woo. The only thing missing is an iMac at the end.

The ad is part of the organisation’s “knowledge” campaign, which is rather amusing as the Church of Scientology has gone to great lengths to prevent the publication of its religious texts, which are copyrighted.

But you can always Google Xenu or visit RationalWiki for more information on Scientology’s beliefs. The Church of Scientology is often accused of being a money grabbing cult. So it is not that different from Apple after all.

Much like Apple, the Church of Scientology was created to change the world and generate a bit of cash for its founder. The other version is that it was the result of a bet. However, unlike Apple, which was launched by a couple of geeks who really did change the world, the Church of Scientology was launched by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer who spent much of his life on the run from US authorities. It did not change the world. Also, Apple designers tend to have better taste.

It is based on Dianetics, an atrocious attempt at pseudoscience and spirituality written by Hubbard at a time when he was struggling to make rent. Apple also enjoys a cultish following, but even Tom Cruise and John Travolta would struggle if they tried to turn the iTunes Terms and Conditions into a religious text. Hubbard would not, and he would probably copyright it to boot.