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Old 09-07-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default The President of the United States is an idiot.

From Obama's speech last night at the DNC:
We believe the little girl who's offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the next Steve Jobs or the scientist who cures cancer or the president of the United States — (cheers, applause) — and it is in our power to give her that chance. (Cheers, applause.)
So a great teacher or a grant for college is going to produce the next Steve Jobs, eh?

Steve Jobs was adopted at birth by a working-class couple, Paul and Clara Jobs. Clara worked as an accountant, and Paul a machinist. Clara taught young Steve to read before he began kindergarten.

Steve was, by all accounts, a terrible student. In elementary school he was a notorious prankster whose teachers had to bribe him to study. After an unremarkable high-school education, he enrolled at Reed College, but dropped out after six months. He spent the next year and a half hanging around the college, dropping in on various creative and arts classes, but never re-enrolling- he sustained himself by mooching off of friends, gathering up empty soda bottles for refund money, and dining for free at the Hare Krishna temple.

After a brief stint at employment as a technician at Atari's arcade-game production factory, Jobs fled to India to "find himself" along with a friend. Jobs wondered around India for seven months before returning to the US. He quickly became enamored with both Zen Buddhism and LSD, still unemployed and mooching off of others for the next year.

He then re-joined Atari, and lied his way into a job as an engineer. Realizing that he had no idea how to actually design anything, he took his work home with him and enlisted the help of Steve Wozniak (a college-educated engineer at Hewlett Packard), to whom he had been introduced by a mutual friend. Jobs originally promised to split the proceeds of the design 50/50 with Woz, but instead lied to him about the actual amount of money which he received ($5,000 instead of $700), giving Woz only $350 and pocketing the rest.

After being fired from Atari, Jobs learned of the then-new trend of phone phreaking, and again enlisted his friend Woz to design a Blue Box (an illegal device which allowed one to make free long-distance phone calls) and began peddling them around college campuses, again shafting Woz with regard to the financial rewards.

In 1976, Wozniak independently created a prototype computer, initially as a hobby project for his own enjoyment. Jobs latched onto the idea that he could get rich by selling this machine, and convinced Woz to join him in a business venture. The two Steves founded Apple Computer, and became quite wealthy.

Jobs then spent the next several years fomenting conflict and animosity within Apple. He was loathed as a manager, and notoriously mis-managed the company. After driving his "friend" Woz (along with many other talented engineers and managers) out of Apple, Jobs was himself fired by the board.

His next act involved squandering millions of dollars of venture capital on a blue-sky venture called NeXT, which had essentially no grounding whatsoever in reality.

Finally, after using what little cash he'd been able to steal away from NeXT prior to its implosion, Jobs purchased Pixar with the intention of selling its assets to a medical imaging company. By pure luck, several bored Pixar engineers happened to create a series of animated cartoons in their spare time using Pixar's imaging package, and these cartoons won several academy awards, catapulting Pixar to fame and fortune. This elevated Jobs to the status of Lord and Savior, laying the groundwork for his triumphant return to "save" Apple from the mess which he had created years ago prior to his ejection, and from which it was only then recovering.

Once again at the helm, Jobs ushered in a new era of anti-competitive business practices at Apple. He drove the various companies which were then making Macintosh-compatible computers out of business by bleeding them to death with frivolous lawsuits, and purchased the ruins of his old company NeXT just prior to its bankruptcy, in order to gain access to the portfolio of innovative software patents which it had earned subsequent to his departure. These would, of course, be later used to attack scores of software companies, many of whom relented and paid large settlements to Apple, and others of which were simply driven out of business entirely

Jobs' greatest triumph, of course, came in 2000 when he strong-armed the young company PortalPlayer into granting them an exclusive license to manufacture what would become known as the iPod, perhaps the most iconic consumer-electronics device of that decade. (After Apple eventually abandoned it to seek a cheaper technology supplier, PortalPlayer collapsed in 2007, and its assets were acquired by nVidia.)

The combination of this new technology platform and the iTunes store model allowed Jobs to commit a number of innovative new crimes in the fields of both privacy exploitation and the slightly more mundane (but considerably more profitable) tactic of exclusionary media licensing, earning him recognition in the courts of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as a guest appearance before the European Commission to explain the merits of his price-fixing schemes.



So, yeah. Great role-model there, Mr. President.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 09-07-2012 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Schpelling
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Yes, Joe, everyone who is not a blinded fanboi knows Woz is much better/smarter at everything than Jobs.

Unfortunately, that is NOT most of the country. So Steve Jobs is our idol, like it or not.

You are making the mistake of thinking anyone in politics cares about what you think. They don't, they care about the 10 idiots behind you that they can influence with a 30 second commercial.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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To be fair...the President's speechwriter is probably the idiot. Well, they may both be idiots. But the inclusion of Steve Jobs in the speech is probably the speechwriter's responsibility.

Thanks again for the "Hackers" recommendation. I knew in general terms that Woz was the brilliant techy guy and Jobs was the clever business guy, but I didn't realize how misguided the pop culture hagiographical view of Jobs is.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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Clinton's speechwriter used to be our neighbor.


that is all.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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and it is in our power to give her that chance.
Well hes right, other people suffering made Jobs who he is now
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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Sam Seaborn would never invoke Steve Jobs' name.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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You are making the mistake of thinking anyone in politics cares about what you think. They don't, they care about the 10 idiots behind you that they can influence with a 30 second commercial.
True. Saying that the President (or his speechwriter) are idiots is actually completely untrue. They're both likely quite intelligent ********, who freely distort history in order to influence the less-well-informed who look to them for "leadership." (This ties in to my previous rant about the concept of "truth" in electoral politics.)



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Thanks again for the "Hackers" recommendation. I knew in general terms that Woz was the brilliant techy guy and Jobs was the clever business guy, but I didn't realize how misguided the pop culture hagiographical view of Jobs is.
You're welcome. And, was it you who recommended "Worm" to me? Fascinating book that's turning out to be. I started it a few days ago and I'm about halfway through it. Reminds me a lot of "The Cuckoo's Egg" set in the internet Age.

It's kind of an interesting personal dichotomy which I battle here. I utterly detest Jobs as a person, and yet I greatly admire him as a businessman. And while I loathe the way in which Apple Computer had evolved into a style cult over the past 20 years, I was actually a big Apple fan back in the days of the IIe and the IIgs.

There have been a huge number of books written about Apple itself as well as the various personalities within it. I'll probably never be able to read them all, but a few that stick out in my mind which were quite entertaining and informative were "Revolution in the Valley," "Insanely Great" and "iCon."
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #8
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You're welcome. And, was it you who recommended "Worm" to me? Fascinating book that's turning out to be. I started it a few days ago and I'm about halfway through it. Reminds me a lot of "The Cuckoo's Egg" set in the internet Age.
Probably was me. I read it last year sometime and enjoyed it. Glad you're enjoying it too. Mark Bowden is a good writer.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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From reading that I got two things,

Steve Jobs is a terrible person but a brilliant capitalist.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:05 PM   #10
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From reading that I got two things,

Steve Jobs is a terrible person but a brilliant capitalist.
True and true.


So, this is interesting:


Apparently, Obama's speechwriter is not to blame after all. The speech, as originally written, cited "the founder of the next Google" as opposed to "the next Steve Jobs."

The speech, in its original form, was even pre-submitted to the New York Times, which published it. You can see the original here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/us...pagewanted=all


Apparently, the decision to ignore the teleprompter and snub Google in favor of Jobs was an impromptu ad-lib, which is interesting in three ways:


1: Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page both come from backgrounds of relative privilege. They are the products of highly educated families (their parents are two computer science professors, one mathematics professor, and one rocket scientist), and they enjoyed the benefits of a formal college education paid for by others. Thus, they more closely exemplify the ideal of Obama's "Successful people didn't build/do/create it on their own- somebody else helped them, and thus, you should expect somebody else to help you" philosophy.

This is in stark contrast to Jobs, who lied and cheated his way out of the blue-collar suburbs without receiving any kind of scholarships / grants / special education; a completely self-made man.


2: Right now, creating jobs in the US seems like kind of a big deal, politically. Apple used to have all of its engineering in-house and manufacturing in the US, but under the leadership of Jobs' second term transitioned to a model of outsourcing pretty much everything it can. They outsource quite a lot of software development to India (a trend which they are actually planning to increase by a factor of four in coming years, and of course their manufacturing operations moved to China long ago.

Amusingly, they have recently been coming under attack by CHINESE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS about how utterly horrid Apple is about both pollution and worker safety as compared to other US-based companies which outsource production to China.

(When even the Chinese are complaining about how much you pollute and how badly you treat your workers, there is a problem.)


3: Sergey Brin and Larry Page, to the best of my knowledge, are not criminals.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:40 PM   #11
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Apparently, the decision to ignore the teleprompter and snub Google in favor of Jobs was an impromptu ad-lib, which is interesting in three ways:
It's possible you're reading far too much into this. Having done on-camera work with a prompter -- rarely live, and nothing even remotely on the scale of 20k people -- you learn to get the gist of the words on the screen and make up the rest. It makes the reverberations coming out of your piehole sound less like you're reading words verbatim from a screen and more like you're having a conversation with the audience. You say what feels most natural and flow-y in the moment, on the fly.

Then again, Obama has off-the-charts public speaking skills and could probably pull off purposeful, conniving, devious changeups during his delivery with no effort at all.

Anyway, Occam's razor, and all that.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
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I can see this a couple of different ways.

I've never met or worked with the President. I have, however, worked in broadcast TV doing live news. My experience in that domain has been that the joke in Ron Burgandy that "they will read anything that you put on the prompter" tends, to some degree or another, be true. While it's true that newsreaders do often ad-lib in certain well-defined scenarios (such as banter between anchors when tossing from one segment to another), it is extremely uncommon for them to go off-script in the middle of copy.


Of course, I'm not positing that there's any conspiracy here, or that the President had some sinister motive in electing to cite Steve Jobs over Page and Brin.

Quite the contrary, in fact. I can deduce no logical explanation for this whatsoever.

Now, the President and Jobs were personally acquainted, and it's well-known that the President is a fan of Apple's portable elctronic gizmos (iPad, Macbook, etc). But for what seems like such a trivial point, why risk going off-script?

I honestly can't explain it. And the fact is that the why of it doesn't really matter to me. What I find puzzling is the why not.

Why not?

For all the reasons I posted above. Beyond Jobs' questionable character and numerous ethical failings, holding him up as an icon is quite simply contradictory to Obama's "You didn't build that" message. Jobs most certainly did "build that", insomuch as that he built a business empire which is unrivaled to this day, and he did it without any help from his parents, the government, charity, the educational system, an existing industry infrastructure, etc. Jobs is the antithesis of Obama's message to America.

And that just makes no sense at all. It makes me question the President's judgement.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:13 AM   #13
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He doesn't know WTF he's doing. His strongly-ingrained beliefs have failed him. His Czar's (who share his beliefs) have failed him. Nothing he's doing is working, and he can't understand why (although it is obvious to many that he's strangling the golden goose -- hard). He knows he's in deep doodoo, but he's not nearly as smart or adaptable as Bill Clinton. He's grasping, like a drowning swimmer.

In 2008, he ran as a moderate that could inspire the American people to great things. He definitely was not running as a 100% anti-business socialist. The Reverend Wright thing gave pause, but most took the chance.

Now we know who he is. I don't think he will be elected again.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:45 AM   #14
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Joe,

Any other interesting side stories of Jobs?
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Huffington Post
Jobs' Meeting With Obama

Jobs, who was known for his prickly, stubborn personality, almost missed meeting President Obama in the fall of 2010 because he insisted that the president personally ask him for a meeting. Though his wife told him that Obama "was really psyched to meet with you," Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.

"You're headed for a one-term presidency," he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where "regulations and unnecessary costs" make it difficult for them.

Jobs also criticized America's education system, saying it was "crippled by union work rules," noted Isaacson. "Until the teachers' unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform." Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

Aiding Obama's Reelection Campaign

Jobs suggested that Obama meet six or seven other CEOs who could express the needs of innovative businesses -- but when White House aides added more names to the list, Jobs insisted that it was growing too big and that "he had no intention of coming." In preparation for the dinner, Jobs exhibited his notorious attention to detail, telling venture capitalist John Doerr that the menu of shrimp, cod and lentil salad was "far too fancy" and objecting to a chocolate truffle dessert. But he was overruled by the White House, which cited the president's fondness for cream pie.

Though Jobs was not that impressed by Obama, later telling Isaacson that his focus on the reasons that things can't get done "infuriates" him, they kept in touch and talked by phone a few more times. Jobs even offered to help create Obama's political ads for the 2012 campaign. "He had made the same offer in 2008, but he'd become annoyed when Obama's strategist David Axelrod wasn't totally deferential," writes Isaacson. Jobs later told the author that he wanted to do for Obama what the legendary "morning in America" ads did for Ronald Reagan.
I don't disagree, he was a bad person, IMHO. But he was a businessman, and he did well at it, even if he did step on some toes along the way ( For lack of a better term ). However, when I read the book ( yeah, i bought it ) about his meeting with Obama and what he told him, I couldn't believe my eyes. The man was left, to say the least, but I'll be dipped if he didnt have Obama pegged from the word go.

And yeah, Wozniak is the man. The iPad won't let me call him Woz unless I do it manually. lol.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:27 AM   #16
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How much of Apple's success today (e.g. iPhone, iPad), was due to Jobs?
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:23 AM   #17
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How much of Apple's success today (e.g. iPhone, iPad), was due to Jobs?
Given that Jobs was the one who originally came up with the idea to create the Apple Computer Company, and the iThings would not have existed if Apple did not exist, 100% of Apple's success today is due to Jobs.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:34 AM   #18
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So indeed he was a visionary, and had great ideas for great products.

Your description of him in post #1 somewhat fits the description of a narcissist, or someone who would score on the low end of the Psychopathy Checklist. I have a theory when someone like him (low morals), otherwise brilliant, tries to get what he wants (wealth, greatness), in a relatively free market, he can do some good, because the free market rewards those that satisfy customer needs and wants. You get a bunch of satisfied customers.

OTOH, when a psychopath desires power and gets into government.... some of them probably become president.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:15 AM   #19
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So indeed he was a visionary, and had great ideas for great products.
Yes, and no.

Jobs was a visionary in that he was able to see the potential value of the inventions of others (blue box, Apple I, Xerox Alto, Macintosh, etc) with a more potent clarity than their own inventors, and pursue an aggressive strategy to commoditize those inventions.

But Jobs himself was almost totally incapable of having ideas for great new products. He was fascinated by technology and gadgets, but was never successful at creating an idea for a new product which succeeded in the marketplace.

In the early days of Apple, for instance, Jobs was instrumental in creating original designs for both the Apple III and the Lisa, which were both colossal failures in the marketplace.

After these two failures (well, after the first one and part-way through the second) Jobs quite literally stumbled across the Macintosh, which up to that point was being developed in pseudo-secret as a sort of skunkworks project by a group of disgruntled former members of the Apple II and Lisa teams who had found themselves without useful projects to pursue by Jobs' frequent and seemingly random re-organizations.

Jobs pushed aside the manager of the Macintosh project (Jeff Raskin) and seized control of the project, which was sufficiently far along in the development cycle by that time that he was not able to cause significant damage to it other than crippling its memory and removing its internal expansion capability. (Remember that the very first Mac was shipped with only 128k of RAM and was not upgradeable.

This was barely enough memory to run the OS itself, and without the ability to add additional memory, Apple was deluged with returns which would have bankrupted the company were it not for the still-profitable Apple II keeping the company afloat. This machine was quietly discontinued after a little more than one year and replaced with the Macintosh 512, and then, at the insistence of now-CEO John Sculley, by the 1 megabyte Mac Plus four months later. It was in this same year that Jobs was finally driven out of Apple altogether, clearing the way for more powerful (and expandable) Macintosh computers which would make possible the creation of the desktop publishing market that would drive Apple's growth and dominance of the "creative" marketplace for the decade to follow.



Of course, none of this is really relevant to the thread topic, although I do appreciate that you haven't yet tried to blame the federal reserve bank or America's departure from the gold standard for Apple's decline in the mid 1990s.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:45 PM   #20
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Where in Apple did the iPhone and iPad come from?
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