Finally, someone puts Big Brother in perspective

What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs

Apple doesn’t stop there. It has a fearsome legal team that is not above annihilating smaller prey. In 2005, for example, the company sued 19-year-old blogger Nick Ciarelli for correctly reporting, prior to launch, the existence of the Mac Mini. The company did not back down until Ciarelli agreed to close his blog ThinkSecret forever. Last year, after our sister blog Gizmodo ran a video of a prototype iPhone 4, Apple complained to law enforcement, who promptly raided an editor’s home. And just last month, in the creepiest example of Apple’s fascist tendencies, two of Apple’s private security agents searched the home of a San Francisco man and threatened him and his family with immigration trouble as part of an scramble for a missing iPhone prototype. The man said the security agents were accompanied by plainclothes police and did not identify themselves as private citizens, lending the impression they were law enforcement officers.

There is a long history of this, and it’s going to get worse as Apple is one of the biggest abusers of our current broken patent system.

Steve Jobs is Dying

This is a really sad day.  Not that Steve is dead yet, but having some personal history and knowledge of pancreatic cancer, it’s not a good sign that he isn’t speaking at Macworld.

One of the first computers I ever used was one he (and his nerd buddy, Steve Wozniak) designed and sold.  It was a good machine and if not for Mr. Jobs and Mr. Wozniak, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Look, I don’t want to be debbie downer, but all the legions of Mac faithful need to be prepared.  The day is coming soon when one of the more powerful reality field distorters is going to leave us forever.  Please, be prepared.

And pay homage if you can, before he wanders off into that good night.

NOTE: Apple will keep this as quiet as possible for as long as possible (again) as their stock price and value as a company will plummet with his passing.

UPDATE: Apple has officially canceled Christmas…

CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2008—Apple® today announced that this is the last year for Christmas. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, spoke at a joint press conference held with Santa Claus at the North Pole this morning. He announced: “Apple has been honored to work with the North Pole the last several years to make Christmas possible, however, we have decided together that this is the last year for Christmas.”

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, Christmas has become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways, throughout the year.

[full press release]

BTW, the only one I’ve seen so far to say this isn’t about a particular organ going bad in Jobs’ abdomen is…wait for it…quoting Apple PR flacks.  The real ones, not the parody above.

Industry analyst types have thrown out a few explanations, many focused on Steve Jobs’ yielding the keynote stage on such short notice. For instance, EWeek’s Joe Wilcox suggested that Jobs’ health was the real reason–an issue also raised by Time’s Josh Quittner but rejected by CNBC’s Jim Goldman.

[WaPo Story]


Goldman’s “reasoning:”

Also not a surprise: swirling rumors that Jobs was pulling out of the conference, the last Macworld, because of health concerns.

I can tell you that sources inside the company tell me that Jobs’ decision was more about politics than his pancreas. Sources tell me that if Jobs for some reason was unable to perform any of his responsibilities as CEO because of health reasons, which would include the Macworld keynote, I should “rest assured that the board would let me know.”

[full (of stupid) article]

You want to name those sources, or just link to them?  “Sources” in the PR department trying to keep the stock price happy do not good sources make.  Riiight, it sounds plausible that a guy who really, really gets off talking to his faithful decided that it just wasn’t fun anymore.  CNBC, the channel that oh-so-accurately predicted that we could borrow and spend forever and it would be o.k.  This is a channel that gave both Larry Kudlow (of “Big Poverty is to blame” Fame) and Jim Cramer (of “Watch TV, Get Rich” Fame) jobs.