Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs his liver, and other revelations from new biography

By

New biography Becoming Steve Jobs gets to the heart of Apple's mercurial co-founder. Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

I can’t wait to read Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader. The upcoming biography, by veteran reporters Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, promises to be the definitive telling of Steve Jobs’ life.

The writers scored interviews with major players including Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Pixar’s John Lasseter, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs. The result is a book loaded with interesting anecdotes and insights about the former Apple CEO.

I haven’t yet read the whole thing (it comes out March 24), but while pre-ordering my copy on Amazon, I could initially access a significant portion of the biography through the site’s “Look Inside the Book” feature. (Amazon later blocked out far more of the book’s contents.)

From what I’ve seen, some of the stories are pretty sensational — providing new details into the close relationship between Jobs and Cook, revealing Jobs’ secret plan to buy Yahoo!, and much more.

Want a few of the highlights? Check them out below.

It’s time to rewrite Apple history — with more Jony Ive

By

Is this
It's time for Jony Ive to get the credit he deserves. Photo: Portfolio/Penguin

People are calling The New Yorker profile of Jony Ive the most important thing written about Apple in quite a while, and I’d have to concur.

Not only is it full of fascinating details, it puts Ive at the center of Apple, where he belongs. As the piece’s author, Ian Parker, writes: “More than ever, Ive is the company.”

This is something that’s been true for a couple decades, but still isn’t apparent to most people — even veteran Apple watchers. Such is the company’s secrecy, and the tendency of the public to equate everything Apple does with Steve Jobs, that the true story has yet to be told. Ive has not gotten the credit he deserves.

Both David Fincher and Walter Isaacson love Steve Jobs script

By

"You like me, they really like me!" Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Aaron Sorkin’s attempt to make Steve Jobs light up the big screen has been filled with disaster thanks to a rash of casting dropouts and production hold ups, but all the problems the movie’s facing can’t be blamed on Sorkin’s script.

Emails from Sony released by hackers this week reveal that pretty much anyone who’s read Sorkin’s Steve Jobs movie script has loved it. Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson told Sony execs that he had a tear in his eye when finishing, and that the script is “totally awesome.”

Sorkin told Sony that shooting the film would be a breeze because the only locations they’d need are “two auditoriums, a restaurant and a garage.” Another email from Oscar-winning director David Fincher, who was originally signed on to direct Sorkin’s movie, gushes with positivity on the film that’s really more like a play.

Here’s what Fincher told Sony after reading the script in February:

8 great new tech books to make the winter months fly by

By

Walter Isaacson’s new book might not be quite the monster hit that his 2011 Steve Jobs biography was, but The Innovators is definitely the 2014 tech book you’re most likely to spot someone reading on the bus. Having focused on one of tech's most singular visionaries, The Innovators turns its attention to teams of inventors and computer scientists, offering a look at just how far technology have come over the past century.

If The Innovators has a downside, it’s that it can be cursory in its discussions of specific people. Jobs got 500 pages of his own, but Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Page and others have to share less than that between them.

Still, if you’re looking for a tech book people will have read this winter, The Innovators should be high on your list.Photo: Simon & Schuster

Walter Isaacson’s new book might not be quite the monster hit that his 2011 Steve Jobs biography was, but The Innovators is definitely the 2014 tech book you’re most likely to spot someone reading on the bus. Having focused on one of tech's most singular visionaries, The Innovators turns its attention to teams of inventors and computer scientists, offering a look at just how far technology have come over the past century.

If The Innovators has a downside, it’s that it can be cursory in its discussions of specific people. Jobs got 500 pages of his own, but Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Page and others have to share less than that between them.

Still, if you’re looking for a tech book people will have read this winter, The Innovators should be high on your list.

Photo: Simon & Schuster


[avocado-gallery ids=”302305,302293,302295,302302,302299,302298,302301,302303,302300,302304″]

It’s official: Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in movie adaptation

By

The hero Cupertino deserves. Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage
The hero Cupertino deserves. Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage

There have been plenty of rumors and today we have confirmation: Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in the upcoming movie adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s bestselling 2011 biography.

Confirmation of the casting was made by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) during an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang for an upcoming edition of Studio 1.0.

“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin said. He went on to observe that Bale didn’t have to audition for the role, although “there was a meeting.”

The film is said to begin shooting in the next couple of months, with Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle attached to direct.

Apple bought Beats for video, suggests Steve Jobs’ biographer

By

apple-tv-overview-hero-2013

The web has spun about 13,000 different theories on why Apple bought Beats. Did they want the headphones? Or was it Beats Music that tipped things over?

It’ll be months, if not years, before we learn Apple’s real play with the Beats acquisition, but Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson has his own theory on why Apple bought Beats and it has nothing to do with music, overpriced headphones, or other wearables.

It’s all about video.

Apple Is Valued As A ‘Predictable Cash Machine,’ Says Former CEO John Sculley

By

John-Sculley

Apple isn’t being valued as a creative leap company so much as it is a predictable cash machine, says former CEO John Sculley.

Speaking with India’s Economic Times about the launch of his latest venture, pCell — a technology that allows huge amounts of data to travel on spectrum-crunched wireless networks, while offering faster speeds and fewer call drops to customers — Sculley gave his opinion of Apple’s current situation:

“Google and Apple are like ATMs, they just keep generating cash. Google takes more risk than Apple. Apple tends to stay the course, and this year is a very big year for Apple in terms of products. It’s not clear that they’re going to demonstrate a creative leap this year despite the products, like they did when Steve Jobs was leader. I think it’s probably unfair to expect them to have a creative leap every five years.”

Walter Isaacson: Google’s Innovation Is Great, But Apple Is Best At Executing [Video]

By

walterisaacson

Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson ruffled some fanboys’ feathers earlier this month when he said Google is outpacing Apple on the innovation front. Pointing to the Nest acquisition as evidence, Isaacson says the greatest innovation is coming out of Google.

During an appearance on Bloomberg TV this morning Isaacson stood by his comments but clarified that while innovation is great, the most important trait for tech companies to acquire is the ability to execute, and no one executes better than Apple.

Asked about Apple’s problems coming out with a great low-end device, Isaacson responded that Apple won’t ever be good at low-end because it makes “insanely great products” so it will have to come out with a new disruptive device.

Listen to Walter’s full comments in the video below:

Steve Jobs Biographer Thinks Google Is Leading Apple In Innovation

By

Walter Isaacson isn't in Jony Ive's good books.
Walter Isaacson isn't in Jony Ive's good books.

Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box yesterday — and had a few things to say about the state of the high tech nation.

Isaacson — who is currently crowdsourcing editorial comments for his new book on digital innovators throughout history — claimed that Google is outgunning Apple when it comes to innovation.