All posts in Steve

Steve Jobs Action Figure Yanked

jobsactionfigurePerhaps as you’ve been meandering about the Internets over the past few days, you have caught a glimpse of, believe it or not, a Steve Jobs action figure.  Well, about as soon as the figure made its appearance, it now seems to have made its disappearance.  M.I.C. gadget, the seller of the figurine, reportedly received a cease and desist letter from Apple.

In case you hadn’t seen it yet, the figure was an uncanny resemblance of the Apple CEO complete with black turtleneck, blue jeans, and an iPhone.  The iPhone even had the Apple logo on the back of it. 

The figure came complete with speech bubbles that you could fill out on your own, maybe with phrases like “one more thing” or “magical and revolutionary?” 

The company had sold out of its first round of figurines and was about to release another shipment.

But Apple has kindly asked M.I.C. gadget to cease the marketing and sale of the figure since Apple never gave out any type of permission for use of Apple’s copyrights and trademarks.

So unfortunately if you were hoping for a new bit of inspiration to add to your cubicle desktop, you’ll have to shelve those hopes for now.  But as TUAW points out, hopefully maybe once Apple sees the demand for this, maybe, just maybe, they’ll create a version of their own.

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

(Image courtesy of TUAW)



Steve Wozniak Predicts Android will Dominate Smartphones

Steve WozniakUh-oh, it looks like Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have just saved a postage stamp for this year’s Christmas card mailing: A Dutch newspaper is reporting that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is predicting that Google’s Android will become the dominant smartphone platform.

Engadget is reporting
that the other Steve, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, recently did an interview with Dutch language newspaper De Telegraaf over in the The Netherlands, and as always the eccentric hero to tech geeks everywhere had a few choice bits to reveal.

The most controversial comment has to be Woz’s statement that Google’s Android is likely to become the dominant smartphone platform, mirroring how Microsoft trounced Apple on the PC with Windows. Despite boffo sales on the iPhone, Android is already making its mark on an insane number of devices across every carrier and multiple manufacturers, so the comment certainly has some merit.

Woz notes, however, that the iPhone “has very few weak points. There aren’t any real complaints and problems. In terms of quality, the iPhone is leading,” while noting that Android devices have more features overall and offer more choice for people. As a result, he believes that Android will ultimately match iOS in terms of quality, consistency and user satisfaction.

Also revealed in the interview was the admission that Apple “had collaborated with a well-known Japanese consumer electronics company in 2004” to develop their own smartphone, years before the iPhone we all know and love was launched in 2007. Apparently, Apple was satisfied with the unreleased device, but kept pushing for “something that could amaze the world” — which they clearly succeeded at doing.

The Woz also had his own version of “one more thing,” closing the interview with a jab at Nokia, calling the company “the brand from a previous generation” and suggesting that the Finnish device maker introduce “a new brand for a young consumer.” Well played, Woz — after that Android comment, we love you again.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of Engadget)



An Interesting Look Into Steve Jobs Through Photography

While we anxiously await just what’s Apple’s sleeve tomorrow, there’s that old saying, “a picture’s worth a thousand words.”  With that, Steve Jobs is certainly no exception.  We were able to come across a photo shoot of Steve from awhile back, that offers a candid glimpse of the human side of the man whose eyes clearly show he’s already thinking of the next “one more thing…”

Below is are a couple of the images Ms. Walker was able to capture.  For more images be sure to head here.

CDBaby Exec Recalls Getting “Dissed” by Steve Jobs in 2003

If there’s one thing that Apple fans love almost as much as their beloved Macs and iOS products, it’s hearing tales of CEO Steve Jobs from years past. The founder of music service took to his blog to relate one such tale from 2003 which sheds some light on how iTunes embraced independent music. founder Derek Sivers has an interesting tale about his own encounter with Apple CEO Steve Jobs back in 2003, shortly after Cupertino unleashed the iTunes Music Store upon the world — which later became simply the iTunes Store, once the company added movies, apps and more into the mix.

The tale begins with an invitation from Apple to come to their Cupertino headquarters in May, 2003 to discuss getting CDBaby’s catalog into the iTunes Music Store, which had just made its debut two weeks earlier, its virtual shelves stocked primarily with tracks from major label artists.

Enter CEO Steve Jobs, who announces, “We want the iTunes Music Store to have every piece of music ever recorded. Even if it’s discontinued or not selling much, we want it all.” Sivers recalls this being huge news in 2003, because at the time “independent musicians were always denied access to the big outlets.”

The downside of the tale was that Apple insisted that indie music companies use their own proprietary software to create the tracks required to get onto the iTunes Music Store — quite a feat for a small company like CDBaby who had more than 100,000 albums in their catalog.

As a result, Sivers decided that they’d have to charge indie artists a modest fee for the service, which included “bandwidth and payroll costs of pulling each CD out of the warehouse, entering all the info, digitizing, uploading and putting it back in the warehouse.” That fee was , and CDBaby had 5,000 eager musicians who signed up for the service — not to mention iTunes competitors Rhapsody, Yahoo Music, Napster and eMusic who also came knocking at CDBaby’s door for the same thing.

While CDBaby was hard at work preparing these files, Apple was dragging their feet returning the signed agreement — and then Steve Jobs himself unleashed the bombshell that October in a keynote speech about iTunes, which was widely being criticized for carrying only 300,000 songs versus Rhapsody and Napster with more than two million (more than 500,000 of which came from CDBaby).

“This number could have easily been much higher, if we wanted to let in every song,” Jobs announced. “But we realize record companies do a great service. They edit! Did you know that if you and I record a song, for we can pay a few of the services to get it on their site, through some intermediaries? We can be on Rhapsody and all these other guys for ? Well, we don’t want to let that stuff on our site! So we’ve had to edit it. And these are 400,000 quality songs.”

Of course, CDBaby was the only one charging the fee at that time, meaning that Jobs was clearly dissing the company and their service, despite the fact that so many musicians were knocking down their door to get into iTunes.

Sensing that Apple was backpedaling on their commitment to indie music, Sivers did the right thing and refunded everyone’s money — all 0,000 of it!

You can probably guess what happened next — the mail arrived the following day with a signed agreement from Apple along with instructions to start uploading the CDBaby catalog. Sivers considers it a lesson learned.

“I quietly added iTunes back to the list of companies on our site,” Sivers concludes. “But I never again promised a customer that I could do something beyond my full control.”

You can watch a video of the music event in question embedded below — jump ahead to about four minutes in to hear the “diss.”

Apple Wanted Kinect, Steve Ballmer Cashes in Microsoft Shares

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
(Image courtesy of

Microsoft confirmed last Friday that CEO Steve Ballmer plans to sell nearly one-fifth of his shares of the company, valued at .3 billion. Meanwhile, the company’s Kinect gaming technology apparently went to Apple first, but the creator of the technology found them difficult to work with.

AppleInsider has a pair of Microsoft-related stories on Monday, just as the company launches their new Windows Phone 7 handset here in the U.S.

First up is a report that Kinect creator PrimeSense first took the motion-sensing camera to Apple, where CEO Inon Beracha claimed “it was the most natural place for the technology.” According to Cult of Mac, the camera and infrared sensor was first developed by engineers for the Israeli military, with Beracha enlisted to “shop it around Silicon Valley and find partners to commercialize it.”

Unfortunately, the initial meetings with Apple proved a challenge, with Cupertino’s legendary veil of secrecy producing little more than “a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs,” Beracha explained. Referring to the company as “a pain in the ass,” the technology soon found a home with Microsoft as part of its Xbox 360 gaming console, released here in the U.S. last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is planning to cash in on his work with the company, offering up to 75 million shares of his stock by the end of this year “to gain financial diversification and to assist in tax planning,” the software giant said in a statement on Friday. Ballmer has already sold off over 49 million shares in three separate transactions, taking home more than .3 billion.

According to Cnet, Ballmer may be making the move to avoid savings and investment tax hikes that go in effect come January, when capital gains tax rates increase as much as 20 percent. By selling now, the Microsoft CEO likely saved as much as million which could have gone into Uncle Sam’s coffers.

Despite ditching so many stock shares, Ballmer remains committed to Microsoft. “Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion,” the CEO stated in a press release. “I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success.”

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Steve Jobs Speaks Out on Java’s Fate in Future Mac OS X Versions

Mac OS X Java Preferences

Developers were up in arms on Thursday when Apple posted documentation indicating that Java won’t have a place in future versions of Mac OS X. One such developer pinged CEO Steve Jobs for a response on the matter.

MacRumors is reporting that the future for Java on the Mac OS X platform looks shaky indeed, following developer documentation released by Apple on Thursday that appears to spell doom for future development of Java for the Mac.

“As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated,” the Apple documentation reads. “This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X. The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the standard support cycles of those products.”

Note that the wording is somewhat cautious — Apple says that their Java runtime “may” be removed, not that it absolutely will be. In any event, it appears that Cupertino feels that Java’s time has come and gone and they’ll be phasing it out over time.

A Java developer from Portico Systems took his concerns about the matter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself, inquiring further about the company’s future plans and posted the reply to his Flickr account.

“Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms,” Jobs replied. “They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.”

Jobs’ own reply would seem to indicate that Apple may be counting on Oracle to step up and fill the void left by Cupertino, but there’s no public word yet that such a move is in the Java maker’s plans.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


President Obama and Steve Jobs Meet To Talk Education and Energy


(Image courtesy of

Sometimes Apple and politics seem to go hand in hand.  With Apple continuing record profits despite a soured economy, and Steve Jobs becoming practically a household name, leaders are starting to take notice, which includes one in particular.  The Commander in Chief.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama and Apple Chief Steve Jobs met and conversed about education, energy policy and ways to go about creating jobs, said the White House.  The President had been in California for a political event, and met with Jobs at a San Francisco hotel.

“They discussed American competitiveness and education, especially reforms such as the President’s Race to the Top initiative,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs in a statement.  “They then talked about energy independence and ways to increase job creation.”

Gibbs had told reporters that the President’s meeting with Jobs was “a meeting the President was interested in having.”  President Obama was “eager to talk to him about the economy, innovation and technology, education,” said Gibbs.

Prior to today, President Obama and Jobs had last met during the 2008 campaign, said Gibbs.

In the past, Jobs has thrown support behind Democratic candidates and organizations.  He had donated ,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2000 and ,700 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006, according to the records of the Federal Election Commission.  Jobs also donated ,000 to Rahm Emanuel when he was running for the U.S. House in 2004.

via Bloomberg

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Rescued Miners in Chile Receive Free iPods from Steve Jobs

Chile miners rescued
(Image courtesy of Reuters)

The world watched in awe this week as 33 courageous miners in Chile were finally rescued after 68 days of being trapped underground. Now praised as heroes, they’re being lavished with gifts — including iPods.

Reuters is reporting that the 33 rescued miners who spent 68 days trapped underground in Chile are getting a taste of newfound celebrity. In addition to each man receiving ,000 from a local singer turned businessman, Apple boss Steve Jobs has sent them all free iPods, which appear to be personal gifts from the CEO himself.

“Jobs joins a list of benefactors impressed at the stoicism and courage of the 33 miners who survived 68 days of being literally buried alive,” notes 9to5Mac. That list also includes a Greek mining firm’s offer to send each Chilean miner to Greece for a free one-week vacation, as well as a trip to South Korea offered by Chile’s football league.

“No word on what make or model, but we’d anticipate a top-of-the-range iPod touch,” 9to5Mac surmises. No doubt the men will make good use of them, as the latest word is they plan to jointly publish a book on their ordeal — and to avoid a return to mining. We can’t say we blame them.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Steve Jobs to Build Himself a Spankin' New iHouse

Click image to embiggen.

Steve Jobs now has the approval needed to tear down his 17,000 square-foot historic mansion, which once belonged to copper baron Daniel Jackling. In its place, he will build a new house–dare we call it, iHouse–that is somewhat modest for a billionaire technology CEO. Costing .45 million dollars, the 4,910 square-foot house will feature five bedrooms and plenty of windows and decks.

Gizmodo was able to retrieve the drawings for the house, which shows the overall design and location of each room, deck and garage space. The house will be built on the same six acre area as the soon-to-be demolished Jackling estate, and will feature lighted stone walkways, a private vegetable garden, and a three car garage.

The drawings show that Apple’s CEO has clearly thought through exactly what he wanted in a house, and has designed it accordingly.

Gizmodo consulted an environmental psychologist to find out what she thought about the design choices of Steve Jobs. “Based on these [drawings]… I would say Steve Jobs and his family are quite comfortable in their own skins and not out to prove anything to anyone,” said Sally Augustin. “They have assessed what they need in a home, and will have it built.”

You can read the full details about Steve’s new home as well as see more drawings on Gizmodo.


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.




Steve Young Football for iPad: The Greatest iPad Commercials EVER

When’s the last time Madden had an ad so awesome, you didn’t even care if the game was good?

Steve Young Football, which we assume is about football and the quarterback Steve Young, has spawned two spectacular ads to get people to either buy the app or build a time machine to return to the past to buy My Buddy.

Steve Young Football is .99 for iPad and $.99 for the iPhone


Follow this article’s author, Roberto Baldwin, on Twitter.