January 27, 2012

Bill Gates discusses Steve Jobs, iBooks and education in new interview

When you think of Apple, you may think of their longtime rival in the OS space, Microsoft. When you think of Mac OS, you may think of Windows (drawing comparisons between the two since Windows debuted), and when you think of Steve Jobs, you often think of Bill Gates. The two founders of two giant tech companies have often been described as binary stars in the tech world. It seems only fitting that in his recent interview with Yahoo! and ABC News, the former Microsoft head spent some time talking about his colleague Jobs and Apple’s new push into education.

Gates had nothing but pleasant things to say about Jobs and his relationship with the Apple co-founder over the years.

“He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We’d talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we’d both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.”

Host Bill Weir also asked Gates about Apple’s recent iBooks 2 and iTunes U announcement. Though he didn’t talk about the iPad or iBooks specifically, Gates did talk about the promise of this new way of educating students. He said several times that we are still in the early days of this transition from traditional learning to digital learning.

The interview is available on Yahoo News and is broken up into short segments so you can choose which sections you’d like to watch.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Bill Gates discuses Steve Jobs, Apple’s iBooks & the future of education

By Sam Oliver

Published: 11:37 AM EST (08:37 AM PST)
In a new interview, Microsoft founder Bill Gates discusses conversations he would have with the late Steve Jobs, and also shares his thoughts on the future of education in the wake of Apple’s iPad textbook announcement.

Gates sat down with Nightline’s Bill Weir for an interview in which he talked about his philanthropy. Having given away a significant portion of his wealth, Gates is no longer the world’s richest man.

Given his efforts to fight disease and poverty, Gates said the passing of Jobs late last year put some perspective on how fragile life can be. He said it was particularly strange to have someone as “vibrant” as Jobs die so young.

“It makes you feel like, ‘Wow, we’re getting old,’” Gates said. “Yet you look back and think about the great opportunities we had.”

Still in good health, Gates said he hopes to live long enough to see some of his current projects become a reality. He noted that medicines the Gates Foundation have invested in, with grants totaling more than $ 26 billion since 1994, are 15-plus years out from hitting the market.

In particular, one of the projects he and his wife Melinda have worked hard on is the eradication of malaria. “I need a couple of decades here to fulfill that opportunity,” he joked.

Gates also spoke about the one-on-one conversations he would have with Jobs. The former Microsoft chief executive said that while he and Jobs had very different skill sets, Jobs was “every bit as intense” as himself.

“He and I always enjoyed talking,” Gates said of Jobs. “He would throw some things out, some stimulating things, we’d talk about the other companies that had come along. We’d talk about our families and how lucky we had been in terms of the women we had married. It was great, great relaxed conversation.”

Weir also asked Gates about iBooks 2 for iPad and the digital textbook push Apple announced in a media event last week. While Gates didn’t specifically comment on Apple’s initiatives, he did say that there is a great deal of opportunity for improving the education system in America through technology, given that it hasn’t seen much improvement in the last 30 years.

“The idea of having personalized learning is now enabled by a lot of innovation on the Internet,” he said. “Having good classes, having the teacher be able to look at where their students stand — we’re going to have technology on our side. It’s early days.”


Bill Gates Recounts His Last Conversation With Steve Jobs [Video]

While the pair were huge rivals at the helms of two competing companies, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were still somewhat fond of each other. In a recent interview with ABC News and Yahoo!, Gates recounts his last visit to Jobs’s house during his final months, the conversation they shared, and how Jobs’s passing has affected him.

Gates reveled their relaxed conversation included a lot of reminiscing, and talking about their families:

He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We’d talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we’d both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.

Gates also revealed that Jobs’s passing reminded him that we only have “limited time,” and that we “gotta pick the important stuff”:

Well, it’s very strange to have somebody who’s so vibrant and made such a huge difference and been … kind of a constant presence, to have him die. It makes you feel like, ‘Wow, we’re getting old.’ I hope I still have quite a bit of time for the focus I have now, which is the philanthropic work. And there’s drugs we’re investing in now that won’t be out for 15 years — malaria eradication, I need a couple of decades here to fulfill that opportunity. But, you know, it reminds you that you gotta pick important stuff, because you only have a limited time.

If you haven’t already watched the video above, Gates starts talking about Jobs at around 03:35.

[via 9to5Mac]

Cult of Mac

President Obama points to Steve Jobs’ ingenuity in State of the Union address

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 10:18 PM EST (07:18 PM PST)
U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as an example of America’s best and brightest during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, which was attended by Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs.

President Obama referred to the former Apple CEO during the early portion of his hour-long speech, and gave a knowing glance to Powell Jobs as he said the following:

You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.

Powell Jobs was seated almost directly behind First Lady Michelle Obama in the balcony box of the U.S. Capitol’s House of Representatives chamber during the President’s annual address to the nation.

In context, President Obama mentioned Jobs as part of the country’s education and ways to jump-start the economy, and went on to declare that U.S. lawmakers need to come to a consensus on immigration reform to stop allowing potential workers from leaving the country.

Earlier reports noted that Powell Jobs had been personally invited to attend the yearly address as a guest of the First Lady. She was joined other official guests including Debbie Bosanek, secretary to billionaire stock guru Warren Buffett and symbol of President Obama’s tax reform plan, Astronaut and husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Captain Mark Kelly, USN, Ret. and Admiral William McRaven, USN who is credited for organizing and executing the mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.


Steve Jobs’s widow attending tonight’s US State of the Union address

By Katie Marsal

Published: 03:12 PM EST (12:12 PM PST)
Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, will be in attendance as an official guest at tonight’s State of the Union address by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Jobs will be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House confirmed to MarketWatch. Her appearance has fueled speculation that Obama may mention Jobs in his address to the nation tonight.

Among numerous nonprofit activities, Jobs is the founder and chair of the Emerson Collective, which works with entrepreneurs to advance domestic and international social reform efforts. She also serves on the White House Council for Community Solutions.

Jobs is also president of the board at the after-school program College Track, which she founded in 1997. It helps to prepare underprivileged high school students for college.

She also serves on the boards of the directors of the New America Foundation, Teach for America, NewSchools Venture Fund, Stand for Children, and Conservation International.

Jobs met her husband of 20 years when she was a student at Stanford. The Apple co-founder delivered a speech at the Stanford graduate business school in 1989. They had three children together: Eve, Erin and Reed.

Last year, the late Jobs attended a dinner with Obama and other executives from Silicon Valley. Jobs also gave Obama a pre-release iPad 2 before the second-generation tablet went on sale to the public last year.

Obama even issued a public statement last October after Jobs passed away. The U.S. president said he and his wife Michelle were saddened by the loss.

“The world has lost a great visionary,” Obama said. “And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”


Book details Apple’s ‘packaging room,’ Steve Jobs’s interest in advanced cameras

By Neil Hughes

Published: 08:25 AM EST (05:25 AM PST)
Apple has a secret room devoted solely to designing product packaging and what users experience when opening a new product, a new book reveals. It also gives details on Steve Jobs’s interest in a startup camera company before he died late last year.

Fortune writer Adam Lashinsky’s “Inside Apple” goes on sale Wednesday, Jan. 25, and an advance copy was provided to AppleInsider. One of the key themes of the book is the company’s “obsessive” focus on its products, all the way down to the packaging of them.

Apple’s packaging room is located in a walled-off section of the company’s main marketing building, Lashinsky’s new book reveals. It’s said to be “so secure that those with access to it need to badge in and out.”

In the room, employees perform “the most mundane of tasks — opening boxes.” It is said that one packaging designer spent months in the room doing just that, opening hundreds of iPod box prototypes trying to get the experience just right.

“How a customer opens a box must be one of the last things a typical product designer would consider,” Lashinsky wrote. “Yet for Apple, the inexpensive box merits as much attention as the high-margin electronic device inside.”

He goes on to note that showing attention to detail at even the smallest level communicates to customers that “the manufacturer cares about them.” Customers then feel a bond with the company, something that transcends price points.

“Inside Apple” also reveals that only months before his death, Jobs met with the CEO of Lytro, the maker of a new “light field camera” that creates “living” pictures. Lytro’s technology gained considerable attention last October, at All Things D’s AsiaD Conference, for its camera that lets users focus a picture after it has been captured.

But well before Lytro was on the public’s radar, Jobs requested to meet with the company’s CEO, Ren Ng, in June of 2011. Ng met Jobs in Palo Alto and gave an in-person demonstration of Lytro’s technology to Jobs.

In its current form, Lytro’s relatively large, tube-shaped camera is not a candidate for use in an iPhone or most of Apple’s other thin products. But Jobs did reveal to biographer Walter Isaacson that photography was one industry he hoped to reinvent, along with televisions and textbooks. Apple unveiled its new digital textbook initiative last week, and rumors continue to persist that the company is working on a full-fledged television set.

A deal was never struck between Lytro and Apple, but Jobs did request that Ng send him an e-mail outlining three things he wanted Lytro to do with Apple. The young 32-year-old CEO complied.

“What struck me the most was how clear his communication was,” Ng said, according to the book. “His eyes were just so brilliant. His glasses kind of levitated off his nose. I told him we drew a lot of inspiration from the iPad. He really smiled. It was clear it resonated.”

Earlier glimpses at the new book detailed Apple’s “cultish secrecy,” as well as the fact that there are no free lunches provided to employees on the company’s corporate headquarters after first-day orientation. Lashinsky’s book include claims that Apple’s iOS chief, Scott Forstall, is viewed as the company’s “CEO-in-waiting, while the head of Internet software, Eddy Cue, is portrayed as a “dealmaker” crucial to the company’s negotiations with outside partners like content providers and wireless carriers.

“Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired — and Secretive — Company Really Works” is available to order from Amazon in hardcover, as well as a digital Kindle edition and an unabridged audiobook. “Inside Apple” can also be read on iOS devices by purchasing the title through Apple’s iBooks.


Commercial airliner named in honor of Steve Jobs

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 10:24 PM EST (07:24 PM PST)
A Virgin America Airbus A320 now has the quote, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” emblazoned on its fuselage directly beneath the cockpit in tribute to late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

The Burlingame, California-based airline recently added the popular quote taken from Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech to the nose of a plane that has been in service since last fall, reports CNET.

“The ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ aircraft name was actually submitted as a tribute to Mr. Jobs by one of our employees in an internal plane naming competition,” said Virgin America spokesperson Abby Lunardini.

Virgin likens itself to Jobs in its forward thinking approach to air travel, noting that it was the first company to roll out fleet-wide onboard Wi-Fi in one of its many attempts to bring technology to the sky.

“The idea behind Virgin America was to reinvent the travel experience by thinking differently about design and service–we are known for the tech-forward amenities we offer onboard,” Lunardini said.

Jobs’ “Stay Hungry” speech has gained much notoriety since the former CEO passed away on Oct. 5, 2011.

Currently, Virgin America’s fleet is comprised exclusively of Airbus jets and employs 36 of the short to medium range A320 model.

The airline has been known to dream up imaginative marketing schemes and has previously opened up naming to the public, including the 2008 inaugural flight of Air Colbert after comedian Stephen Colbert and a 2010 opportunity to purchase a chartered flight with plane-naming rights for $ 60,000.


Virgin America Names Commercial Airplane After Steve Jobs

Virgin America Names Commercial Airplane After Steve Jobs

He created products that profoundly shaped the technology sector and modern culture as a whole. He won a Grammy without ever recording a song. Now Steve Jobs has a commercial jetliner named after him.

Virgin America has emblazoned a giant ”Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” on the side of one of its Airbus A320 jets. The plane flew for the first time last fall and is part of an internal naming competition within the airline.

The quote comes from Jobs’ famous Stanford commencement speech from 2005:

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960”s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

(via MacRumors)

Cult of Mac

Apple’s digital textbooks with iBooks 2 were ‘vision’ of Steve Jobs

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 01:25 PM EST (10:25 AM PST)
Apple’s newly unveiled textbook initiative for the iPad with iBooks 2 was a project spearheaded by the late Steve Jobs before his death.

Speaking with Peter Kafka of All Things D, McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw said that he met with Jobs last June about the project and discussed their goals. McGraw-Hill is one of the first publishers already on board with Apple’s new e-textbooks for iBooks 2, which cost no more than $ 14.99 each.

“He (Jobs) should be here. He probably is (in spirit),” McGraw said. “This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad.”

The CEO said he’s been interested in the iPad as a learning tool since Apple first launched the device in 2010. He sees Apple’s new iBooks 2 platform as a way for textbooks to evolve and improve education.

“Apple has really essentially turbocharged the process (of building e-books), and it’s just going to open up the world of learning to more people,” McGraw said. “Anything we can do to be a part of that, we’re going to do.”

Textbooks were one of three industries Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had hoped to reinvent. The other two revealed in Jobs’s authorized biography were the television and photography.

While Jobs’s vision for the future of textbooks was unveiled by Apple at this week’s media event in New York City, what the late inventor had in mind for televisions remains to be seen. Rumors continue to persist that Apple is secretly working on a new, voice-controlled television set that could be released as soon as the end of this year.


Steve Jobs rumored to have shot down Push Pop Press for iBooks Author

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 04:52 PM EST (01:52 PM PST)
Steve Jobs was rumored to have scuttled the prospects Push Pop Press after its founder allegedly built the company’s physics engine using patented Apple technology, despite knowing about Apple’s parallel plans for advancing iBooks.

According to an unverified report from a source who worked with Push Pop Press co-founder Mike Matas, Jobs met with the fledgling company and warned Matas that if he pursued building dynamic books targeted at the App Store he would risk intellectual property claims.

Matas, a former designer at Apple, reportedly used a variety of patented technologies developed at Apple to deliver his plans for Push Pop Press. His company intended to give publishers a way to develop smoothly interactive titles that blurred the line between book and app.

A key element of the patent conflicts surrounded the “physics engine” Matas was credited with designing for the new company; Matas is listed as a contributor to a number of patents that are assigned to Apple. In many states, work created while employed by a company belongs to that company and can’t be used without permission after the employee leaves.

Over the course of 2011, while Push Pop Press developed its publishing tools and worked with Apple board member Al Gore to deliver his “Our Choice” book as a flagship example of what the new publishing platform could deliver (shown below), Apple itself was busy working on developing its textbook strategy.

Apple had already delivered its Xcode 4.0 and iAd Producer development tools in 2010, delivered last year’s new iBooks app alongside iPad 2, and was preparing to release basic EPUB support in Pages 09. But it was also deep into development of its iBooks 2.0 strategy revolving around the iBooks Author and iTunes U initiatives announced earlier today, at the heart of which were textbooks aimed at deployment on iPad.

Jobs reportedly delivered an ultimatum to Matas that resulted in the company selling itself to Facebook as a talent-based acquisition that abandoned its allegedly tainted ebook apps business model.

Because Push Pop Press planned to deliver its version of ebooks as native iOS apps, Apple’s iOS App Store was ultimately the sole potential distributor the finished work Push Pop Press would have created, giving the company little leverage in arguing around any IP claims by Apple.