Blog Archives

How Romney and Bain made a fortune by taking away jobs… and making the people they fired help with their own dismissal.

This is pathetic, but it is why we can’t trust one word Romney says about creating jobs, or the way businesses are going to create jobs.

Take a look:

DONATE: http://www.prioritiesusaaction.org
If Mitt Romney wins, the middle class loses.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Occupation and Economics

Lalo Alcaraz from Universal U-Click:

The 99% get bigger on the Occupy Wall Street march…

– and –

Jim Morin in the Miami Herald:

Of course, the Right Wing represents the 1%…

– and –

Ben Sargent in the Austin American-Statesman:

We have not stopped the banks from robbing the middle class

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Variations on Experience.

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

How well we’ve learned from experience…

– and –

Jeff Danziger in the Loas Angeles Times:

And how new experiences make us grow…

– and –

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

For many, it would be nice to have someplace to go home to…

– and –

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

The Banks are hiring only the best…

Outside of my regular picks for Cartoon(s) of the Week, there is one more outside the general trend that reflected my own feelings:

Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

I’ll miss you, Steve… every time I bring out my MacBook and enter the Cartoon(s). – Bill

Steve Jobs Died Today…

This has me so broken up I don’t even think I can write about it… so here is the article I first got the news from in Variety:

Steve Jobs dies at 56
Apple mogul gave Hollywood a digital distribution outlet

By DAVID S. COHEN

This is the Photo I want to remember Steve Jobs by...

Steven Jobs, the pioneering mogul who led Pixar Animation and Apple to banner success and became a leader in the computer, consumer electronics and animation industries, has died. He was 56.

Hollywood did not always agree with Jobs — there were tiffs over the pricing of music and other offerings on iTunes and over the fact that Apple rendered iTunes content unplayable on non-Apple devices. But in an environment in which huge numbers of consumers were illegally downloading music and other content from P2P file-sharing sites, the series of devices Apple introduced under Jobs — the iPod in conjunction with the iTunes Music Store, the iPhone and the iPad — made the legal (and therefore, for showbiz, at least potentially profitable) consumption of digital content possible and popular, weaning some consumers of the piracy habit.

Jobs first gained fame as one of the “two Steves” — Steve Wozniak was the other — who co-founded Apple Computer in a garage in 1976.

He lost control of the company in 1985 and saw his reputation and personal fortune dwindle over the next decade. But during that time he acquired from George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, at a bargain price, a small computer-graphics unit that was quickly remonickered Pixar. Jobs put his own cash into the money-losing company long enough to see it deliver the blockbuster “Toy Story” and make him a billionaire.

In time, Disney bought Pixar, and Jobs became the Mouse House’s largest shareholder, with holdings dwarfing those of any other individual, and a member of its board. By then, he was a well-established entertainment executive, having returned to Apple and led it to market domination in a new arena: music.

Under Jobs, Apple introduced the first popular system for legal music downloading: the combination of iTunes software, the iTunes Music Store and the iPod music player. The iPod, dismissed by critics at its introduction for being too expensive, too quirky and too tied to Apple’s software, became an iconic entertainment product and transformed Apple into a key player in electronic distribution, including TV shows and movies.

Personally, Jobs was one of the corporate world’s most effective pitchmen. His appearances at trade events, especially the Macworld tradeshow in San Francisco, always clad in his trademark black mock-turtleneck shirt, were among any year’s most anticipated tech events.

Apple fans would hang on every word, waiting for the famous “One more thing…” at the end, which often signaled some astonishing new product, like the iMac or iPod.

He was famous for his ability to persuade — or bully — people into doing the impossible, or at least convince them that the impossible was possible.

Those who worked closely with him often described an abrasive, arrogant and occasionally petty leader who did not brook disagreement. Companies or people that ran afoul of him were often “Steved” — fired on the spot.

But for better or worse, Jobs commitment to high-quality, cutting-edge products made him indispensable for the companies he ran. His career resurrection after his first flameout with Apple was, as the unauthorized biography “iCon” put it, “The greatest second act in the history of business.”

Born in San Francisco and given up for adoption, Jobs was raised in the Northern California area that would eventually be called Silicon Valley, growing up around many of the future leaders of the digital revolution, including Wozniak. He entered Reed College after high school but soon left.

After traveling in India, he teamed with Wozniak in a venture to make and sell small, pre-assembled computers, something no company had ever tried before. The success of their Apple II created the personal computer industry almost from scratch, but the market came to be dominated by the cloneable IBM PC design and Microsoft’s operating system.

Apple responded in 1984 with the Macintosh, the first personal computer to successfully mass-market a graphical interface.

Even the launch of Macintosh had a hint of Jobs’ future. Ridley Scott helmed a “1984”-themed commercial touting the launch of the Mac, and the commercial became one of the legendary spots in TV history.

Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985.

Just the next year, George Lucas — needing cash for his divorce settlement — sold the nascent Pixar to Jobs for just $10 million.

Pixar was a money pit at first, though its Renderman software became the first and most popular computer animation software. Jobs’ funds and patience were running low, but when Pixar’s “Tin Toy” won the animated short Oscar, he negotiated Pixar’s first feature deal, for “Toy Story.”

The picture opened to rapturous reviews and socko B.O. When Pixar took its stock public days later, Jobs became a billionaire.

“Toy Story” was the first in a three-picture deal with Disney and the beginning of an unprecedented run of hits from Pixar.

Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 and began a rapid turnaround. The company’s products quickly came to reflect Jobs’ personal tastes.

He loathed buttons on handheld devices, and the result was the sleek, uncluttered interface of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Apple’s success with iTunes and the iPod made it a major player in entertainment, but record labels chafed at Apple’s insistence on a flat 99¢ for every song. ITunes helped reduce but did not end illegal downloads, so it didn’t put vast sums in labels’ coffers. The primary beneficiary, went the complaints, was not artists or labels but Apple itself.

With Jobs in charge of Pixar and the prickly Michael Eisner running Disney, negotiations over a renewal of Pixar’s distribution deal with the mouse became highly contentious. Disney retained sequel rights to several Pixar titles, including the “Toy Story” franchise, and began developing its own “Toy Story 3” without Pixar involved. Meanwhile, in a notorious 2004 investor call, Jobs mocked Disney’s toons, singling out “Lion King 1 1/2” as “embarrassing.”

An impasse in the negotiations seemed unavoidable. Jobs wouldn’t sell Pixar for cash, and Disney wouldn’t pay what Jobs was asking.

The solution, it turned out, was for Disney essentially to pay Pixar to take over its own animation efforts.

Disney paid $7.4 billion in 2006 to merge with Pixar. Jobs acquired a 7% stake in Disney and a seat on the board but gave up his posts as Pixar chairman and CEO, and Pixar executives Ed Catmull and John Lasseter took charge of the Disney animation slate.

Jobs pulled another techno-shocker in 2007, unveiling the long-rumored Apple iPhone. With its smooth touchscreen face and media-centric design, neither of which had been anticipated by tech-watchers, the iPhone proved a game-changer for the cellular phone/PDA business, just as the iPod had been for the music business.

But Jobs’ health was beginning to fail even as his companies were achieving their greatest success yet.

He was treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004. He seemed to recover but looked gaunt in public appearances in 2007 and 2008, sparking rumors about a recurrence of cancer and even rumors of his death.

He announced late in 2008 that he had a hormonal imbalance that was causing him to lose weight, and on Jan. 14, 2009, he took a medical leave of absence from Apple. It was later revealed that he underwent a liver transplant during his leave.

He remained gaunt, however, and took another health-related leave of absence in late 2010, amid rumors his cancer had returned and he was near death.

Jobs abruptly resigned as CEO of Apple on Aug. 24, 2011, and was elected chairman of the board. He recommended Tim Cook as his successor; Cook had already been serving as Apple CEO since January, when Jobs took a third medical leave from the company, though he still made most of the major decisions at Apple.

Jobs disliked publicity about his personal relationships, which could be difficult. He found his birth parents and biological sister, the novelist Mona Simpson.

He is survived by his wife, Laurene Powell; a son; and three daughters.

Steve Jobs Leaves CEO position at Apple…

Steve Jobs announced to Apple Computer’s board of directors that he would be resigning as CEO of the company he founded.

In a letter, Jobs stated:

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple.”

Jobs “strongly” recommended tapping Tim Cook as CEO of Apple, and asked to continue serving as chairman of the board and Apple employee, “if the board sees fit.” The board then appointed Cook to the position.

Apple went down 5 points on the Bog Board today when the word got out.

There are very nice people in the world…

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Grocery shopping at Martin’s in Hagerstown this afternoon, I accidentally lost my iPhone… while I was loading or unloading my shopping cart it apparently slipped out of my shirt pocket into the empty cart and I didn’t realize it.

Halfway back to Shepherdstown, I reached for my phone to check the time and it was gone. I was really upset.

I pulled the car over to the side of Interstate 81 and searched it top to bottom… went through the grocery bags… looked between the front seats. It wasn’t there.

I turned around and headed back to the Hagerstown Martin’s. I asked at the  management desk if anyone had turned in my iPhone…and lo and behold there it was.

Someone very nicely turned it in and I was extremely lucky to get it back. As my wife pointed out, back in New York or even in Hartford, I never would have seen it again.

Al Franken vs. Steve Jobs: Why are you tracking our locations?

Your iPhone may be tracking your every move and Senator Al Franken, with Congressman Ed Markey, has set out to do something about it.

From HuffPo:

Researchers found that iPhones and iPads track and record users’ locations by latitude and longitude, sometimes hundreds of times a day, for up to a year, storing the file in an unencrypted format on the device.

Franken highlights some of the potential dangers of this system, noting someone in possession of a stolen iPhone or iPad could “easily download and map out a customer’s precise movements for months at a time.” The senator also points out that there’s no indication the software can tell the difference between minors and adults meaning that “the millions of children and teenagers who use iPhone or iPad devices also risk having their location collected and compromised.”

I’m going to reproduce Franken’s letter to Apple Chairman Steve Jobs here:

Mr. Steve Jobs
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 90514

Dear Mr. Jobs, 

Sen. Al Franken

I read with concern a recent report by security researchers that Apple’s iOS 4 operating system is secretly compiling its customers’ location data in a file stored on iPhones, 3G iPads, and every computer that users used to “sync” their devices. According to the researchers, this file contains consumers’ latitude and longitude for every day they used an iPhone or 3G iPad running the iOS 4 operating system-sometimes logging their precise geo-location up to 100 times a day. The researchers who discovered this file found that it contained up to a year’s worth of data, starting from the day they installed the iOS 4 operating system. What is even more worrisome is that this file is stored in an unencrypted format on customers’ iPads, iPhones, and every computer a customer has used to back up his or her information. See Alasdair Allen & Pete Warden, Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is Recording Your Moves (Apr. 20, 2011), available at http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/04/apple-location-tracking.html. 

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The existence of this information stored in an unencrypted format-raises serious privacy concerns. The researchers who uncovered this file speculated that it generated location based on cell phone triangulation technology. If that is indeed the case, the location available in this file is likely accurate to 50 meters or less. See Testimony of Michael Amarosa, Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, June 24, 2010 at page 7 available at http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Amarosa100624.pdf. Anyone who gains access to this single file could likely determine the location of a user’s home, the businesses he frequents, the doctors he visits, the schools his children attend, and the trips he has taken-over the past months or even a year. Cf: People v. Weaver, 909 N.E.2d 1195, 1199- 1200 (N.Y. 2009) (“What this technology yields and records with breathtaking quality and quantity is a highly detailed profile, not simply of where we go, but by easy inference, of our associations … and of the pattern of our professional and avocational pursuits.”). 

Moreover, because this data is stored in multiple locations in an unencrypted format, there are various ways that third parties could gain access to this file. Anyone who finds a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad or who has access to any computer used to sync one of these devices could easily download and map out a customer’s precise movements for months at a time. It is also entirely conceivable that malicious persons may create viruses to access this data from customers’ iPhones, iPads, and desktop and laptop computers. There are numerous ways in which this information could be abused by criminals and bad actors. Furthermore, there is no indication that this file is any different for underage iPhone or iPad users, meaning that the millions of children and teenagers who use iPhone or iPad devices also risk having their locationcollected and compromised. An estimated 13% of the 108 million iPhones and 19 million iPad devices sold are used by individuals under the age of 18, although some of these devices may not have been upgraded to iOS4. See AdMob, Admob Mobile Metrics Report at 5 (Jan. 2010), available at htt://metrics.admob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/AdMob-Mobile-Metrics-Jan-10.pdf; Complaint of Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics CV-11-1846 at 4-5 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2011).

These developments raise several questions:

  1. Why does Apple collect and compile this location data? Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?
  2. Does Apple collect and compile this location data for laptops?
  3. How is this data generated? (GPS, cell tower triangulation, WiFi triangulation, etc.)
  4. How frequently is a user’s location recorded? What triggers the creation of a record of someone’s location?
  5. How precise is this location data? Can it track a user’s location to 50 meters, 100 meter, etc.?
  6. Why is this data not encrypted? What steps will Apple take to encrypt this data?
  7. Why were Apple consumers never affiamtely informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?
  8. Does Apple believe that this conduct is permissible under the terms of its privacy policy? See Apple Privacy Policy at “Location-based Services” (accessed on April 20, 2011), available at www.apple.com/privacy.
  9. To whom, if anyone, including Apple, has this data been disclosed. When and why were these disclosures made?

I would appreciate your prompt response to these questions and thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Al Franken

United States Senator

So the next time you make a call on your iPhone or bring up the web on your iPad, you should realize that you are not alone. And, by the way, if you thought you were beating the location cache problem by buying an Android device, you should be aware that they have been found to cache location data in a similar manner.
Gotcha!

Cheers for Steve Jobs…

…who appeared today unexpectedly (he’s on medical absence at Apple) to present the new iPad.

Steve said:

“We’ve been working on this product for a while and I didn’t want to miss today.”

…and I, for one, am glad he didn’t.

I just watched Steve Jobs’ 2005 Graduation Speech at Stanford.

It got me thinking with a forward motion again, something I haven’t felt in a couple of months. I pass it on to you:

Hope you liked it.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolsh.

As I predicted… here’s what meets you at the top of the NY Times Web Site…

And there’s Steve Jobs with the new “iPad”. BTW, when I went here at 4:25 PM, there was nothing at the top of the Times page about Pelosi saying she could bring in the House on the Senate’s Health Care Bill.

Cheers for independent blogs!

clipped from www.nytimes.com

Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, introduced the iPad on Wednesday in San Francisco.


Apple Reveals the iPad Tablet

Steven P. Jobs said the new iPhone-like tablet computer, starting at $499, is prime for video, music and e-books.

blog it

Who do Junior Achievement teens think is the entrepreneur they most admire? Why, Steve Jobs!

As I write this on my MacBook, I have to admit that I admire Steve, too. My hat’s off to him… and I hope he’s feeling healthy again and well enough to keep going (but I won’t hold it against him if he slows down.)
clipped from www.tgdaily.com
US teens have voted Apple’s Steve Jobs the person they most admire because he has ‘made the world a better place’.

The votes were cast for ‘people who had started business enterprises themselves, as opposed to licensing their names and images to products produced by someone else, say poll organizers Junior Achievement USA.

Surprisingly, teens chose a business legend from the technology sector over fashionistas, Facebook and even the Queen of Daytime. Steve Jobs was selected over Tony Hawk, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kimora Lee Simmons, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg.

Made the world a better place
Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of those voting for Jobs said it was because he “made a difference in/improved people’s lives or made the world a better place.”

The votes cast were as follows:

  • Steve Jobs (35 percent)
  • Oprah Winfrey (25 percent)
  • Tony Hawk (16 percent)
  • Mark Zuckerberg (10 percent)
  • The Olsen twins (seven percent)
  • Kimora Lee Simmons (four percent)
  blog it