Apple was found guilty in July of conspiring with publishers to fix the price of eBooks. As punishment, Apple must delete existing contracts with publishers and negotiate new ones, one at a time to avoid new conspiracy. The government is also pushing for Apple to let Amazon and others sell their books from Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
The whole story is framed like this: Apple and publishers are the bad guys, conspiring against victim Amazon to screw readers out of reasonably priced eBooks. So government, the hero, steps in and sets it right. Everyone lives happily every after.
It sounds like a bad fairy tale. Unfortunately, the true story that nobody is telling is actually something of a Shakespearean tragedy.
Here’s the true and tragic story of how Apple ended up helping Amazon become the Mother of All Monopolies.
Pixar’s Brad Bird and Mark Andrews working on The Incredibles. Picture courtesy of Pixar.
San Francisco, CA — Steve Jobs revered Pixar for its blend of artistry and technology, as Walter Isaacson detailed in his 2011 biography, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that he actually apologized to one of the artists working on the 2004 film “The Incredibles” after he criticized some of the design in the film after a screening.
Joshua Michael Stern, who directed Jobs, calls the late Apple leader a purist. Bingo!
It’s not easy making a posthumous movie about the world’s most well-known and beloved control freak. Just ask Joshua Michael Stern, director of new Steve Jobs biopic Jobs. The film delves into the early days of Apple Computer as Stern paints a picture of a man he calls a “brutally honest character.”
Don’t go into the PG-13 Jobs expecting any bombshells about Apple’s late, great maximum leader — you won’t find any. Instead, what you’ll get is a straightforward cinematic take on Jobs’ early partnership with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (played mostly for comic relief by Josh Gad), a healthy dose of Hollywood-style boardroom intrigue and a few glimpses into Jobs’ personal life. Many of the scenes, whether factually accurate or not, have been woven into the tapestry of tech history. And Jobs, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, obviously isn’t around to fact-check the past or exert his famous control over the final product.
“Part of the shackles for me as a director was, we really had to do everything that was sort of public domain, you know, we couldn’t stray too far off of what we basically knew about Steve,” Stern told Cult of Mac during a recent interview at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco. “But the interesting thing about Steve, being such an enigma, there really isn’t that much more to know at all. I mean, everyone knows what they know.”
The new Jobs movie hits Friday, August 16th in theaters. And it’s not going to be pretty.
The movie covers the life of the late Apple co-founder and CEO from 1971, before the founding of Apple, to 2001, when Jobs announces the iPod, thus setting the company on the path to glory and dominance.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Andrew Stone, an indie NeXT developer who worked with Steve Jobs for almost a quarter century, believes that Jobs would’ve never let Apple be a part of the United States National Security surveillance program PRISM.
Whether all this universe denting was just Jobs’ reality distortion field or an actual change in human culture depends on your corporate loyalties, or lack thereof.
Any debate over the cultural impact of the Macintosh really boils down to how much of the graphical user interface revolution was determined or influenced by Apple, and how much of it would have happened regardless.
Because there’s no question that the shift from command-line computing to WIMP computing (windows, icons, menus and pointing-devices) radically changed the world, leading, for example, to the web, which is the dominant WIMP interface to the formerly command-line Internet.
WIMP computing also enabled powerful new tools for software programming, design (of everything), animation and a bazillion other things.
WIMP computing, and to some extent the Macintosh itself, really did make a dent in the universe, but not in the way most people imagine.
Trip Chowdhry, the Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, told a financial writer a few months ago that Apple’s biggest challenge without founder Steve Jobs is that Apple lacks a “unified force.” In order to become unified again, Apple would need a “supernatural person” overseeing things.
But according to Thai Buddhists, they may have exactly that — the reincarnated spirit of Steve Jobs himself, who they say is living in a “mystical glass palace hovering above his old office at Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
I’ll tell you in this post more about Jobs’ so-called reincarnation, and also about several ghosts caught haunting various Apple products. (And I’m not talking about problems with the MacBook Pro Retina screens.)
Google and Apple are the Athens and Sparta of the tech industry. It’s in the DNA of both companies to rule the tech world. They will battle each other for supremacy and, in the process, greatly diminish each other’s power and reach. United, they could accomplish anything. But they will not be united. They will become increasingly divided.
It’s a Greek tragedy unfolding before our very eyes.