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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

This is's website as of 8:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, 2011.
Steve Jobs: 1955-2011
A true legend in his own time
This is a sad day for technology

Apple's board of directors has released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," read a statement by Apple's board of directors. "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." 

Apple co-found Steve Wozniak told ABC News, "I'm shocked and disturbed."

Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the company said in a brief statement.

“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”

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — before resigning as CEO six weeks ago. Jobs became Apple’s chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest version of the iPhone, just one in a procession of devices that shaped technology and society while Jobs was running the company.

Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion. Only Exxon Mobil, which makes it money extracting and refining oil instead of ideas, is worth more.

Cultivating Apple’s countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist’s obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries. For transformation of American industry, he ranks among his computer-age contemporary, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and other creative geniuses such as Walt Disney that left an indelible imprint on the world. Jobs died as Walt Disney Co.’s largest shareholder, a by-product of his decision to sell computer animation studio Pixar in 2006.

Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch. 

In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple’s App Store, where developers could sell iPhone “apps” which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.
Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, Calif., a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA’s Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after a semester. 
“All of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it,” he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”   
—The Associated Press

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Let's talk iPhone 4S

Well, it wasn’t the iPhone 5, but Apple did “talk iPhone” on Tuesday … iPhone 4S that is.

Steve Jobs' replacement as CEO, Tim Cook, took the stage for the first time in that position to announce the latest greatest Apple product upgrades. And while some folks are disappointed that they’ll have no iPhone 5 to play with this holiday season, the improvements on the new 4S should be plenty enough to hold over even the pickiest Apple fan-boy. Short of a miniature human teleportation device, there will always be some who are never satisfied.

Although it’s a definite improvement over the iPhone 4, most of the 4S’s changes take place under the hood, where the enhancements are quite impressive. According to Apple, the new iPhone 4S will be faster than Verizon and Sprint with download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps compared with the previous 7.2 Mbps.

So enough talk, let’s get down to business.

Here are some of the new improvements of the iPhone 4S:
-Processor: BEFORE: 1GHz A4; NOW: 1GHz Dual-Core A5
-Memory: BEFORE: 512 MB; NOW: (Apple has not officially released this stat)
-Storage: BEFORE: Up to 32GB; NOW Up to 64GB
-Video: BEFORE: 720p; NOW: 1080p
-Camera: BEFORE: 5 MP and front camera; NOW: 8 MP and front camera
-Voice recognition: BEFORE: Voice Control (limited); NOW: Siri true voice technology
-Apple has also overhauled the troubled metal-band antenna

That’s it in a nutshell. While many other blogs are writing about how disappointed they are in Apple for the lack of improvements, this is on par with what I expected. 

No, I’m not claiming to have psychic powers or a direct line to Steve Jobs; and, of course, it’s easy to say that in hindsight. But, here’s why I thought that. 

Apple has a history of releasing their improvements in small doses. Remember the iPad 2? It was supposed to have retina display and other features that did not come to fruition. Well, Apple is saving it for the iPad 3. It’s the same thing with the iPhone. Apple’s waiting for the iPhone 5 to release the big guns — higher resolution screen, LTE support, possibly a new form factor, though Apple likes to keep all their products the same size for peripherals’ sake.

As for a miniature human teleportation device? That'll be the iPhone 9.

Come back here soon, and I will discuss some of the other announcements made during Apple's latest unveiling on Tuesday.