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Steve Jobs

Only a short time after turning over the day-to-day operations of his company, the man who brought us the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, and Pixar, has died. Truly one of the most remarkable innovators of our day, he transformed the way we shop, the way we obtain media, and the way we interact with each other. For the past decade, Steve Jobs has created for us something totally new, and while others scrambled to catch up with him in competition, he was already moving on to newer and better things. A meticulous inventor and clever businessman, he brought Apple from scruffy 1984 start-up to one of the best companies in the world, his unbridled genius attending to every detail and challenging others to think different about technology and comfort and commerce. I draw your attention again to Julie's wonderful homage to Jobs just last month. The man was a titan of industry, a visionary genius, a man who exemplified the American dream, and one who helped improve the lives of millions with his inventions. He will be missed
Categories > Technology

Discussions - 39 Comments

Obviously a great innovator and a great marketer. How do others assess the impact of his inventions on American culture? Large, yes. Good?

Truly a sad day. I knew a lot of people who worked for Apple Computer in the early 1980's - the original folks who helped start the company. Jobs was tempermental and had a knack for conquering and dividing the techology groups within the company. Most people will tell you that Jobs was the talker, the marketer and the visionary, but without the brillance of THE WOZ Apple would have never gotten off the ground the way it did. I heard a truly disturbing story about some original investment in some technology between Jobs and WOZ in the early years where Jobs put the screws to WOZ and WOZ did not find out it about until much later. Worse, WOZ found out about what Jobs did to him via Silicon Valley journalist.

About 15 years ago I was traveling to a high tech conference at the San Jose Convention Center and a guy in a Bentley passed me and the license plate read

THANKS WOZ!

That all aside Jobs and The Woz are proof positive that the American way works. Two brillant young kids throwing the dice and leaving college and starting a company that years later would be one not only one of the richest companies in the United States, but would change the world with amazing technology. This doesn't happen in Liberal's dream land of Marxism and Big Government.

However, just remember that Apple and Microsoft did not invent the mouse, windows, first pc, graphical user interface, cd-rom, laptop, laser printer and ethernet. Another company did - Xerox Parc - from which big high tech companies like Adobe, and 3-Com spun off.

For those of you really interested in the great success stories of capitalism, free markets and the American way in the Silicon Valley, may I suggest the following books:

Fumbling the Future - How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored The First Personal Computer

Computer Wars - The Post IBM Wars

Accident Empires - How the Boys fo the Silicon Valley Make Their Milions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can't Get a Date.

Accidental Empires was made into a documentary by PBS in the late 1990's Called the Revenge of the Nerds.

Rest in Peace Steve.

Up there with Disney and Henry Ford. Mac 128k, Patent # D285,687. Pretty big in the personal computing space. The blue and latter purple iMac...brilliant marketing. Solid power adapters that are still in use, and probably most obviously the iPod and iPhone.

Provided the laws are just, and you did not advance yourself by graft...Large=Good?

I mean if you are going to go as far as Cowgirl in championing Capitalism, it makes the most sense when it is more or less impossible or implausible to make a distinction between sucess and merit, or between the size of the wealth accumulated and the goodness of the products.

Steve Jobs certainly helped advance a constitutionally recognized legitimate state interest, i.e. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 aka "the advancement of science and the useful arts" via the patents he secured.

If Steve Jobs' large impact upon american culture is not also good it is the fault of Jefferson, Madison the USPTO and the Federal Circuit.

"Go as far as Cowgirl in championing Capitalism"

Come on... If it weren't for capitalism you would not be sitting at a computer typing your comments over the internet to this website.

Name one thing socialism and big government invented that 1) created jobs 2) created weath and 3) made the world and people's lives easier. Of course there is always a bad side to things like technology. It creates the idiot Wall Street Occupiers who want to bash Corporate America yet they are running around wall street acting like Ayers, Boudin and Dohrn with their smart phones. Where in the sam hell do they think their smart phones came from - Oh yes excuse me - Hope and change got them their smart phones. More reason to believe that public education in this country run by Big Government is a waste of taxpayer's money.

Heck the government did know what the hell to do with ARPANET. It was companies like Xerox - PARC, Bell Labs, GE and private universities like Stanford and MIT and the Stanford Research Institute that made the internet what it is today. DARPA could not have done it without the help of Corporate America.

I will always appreciate that Jobs refused to allow pornography in the App store. When a libertarian lambasted Jobs for "making my decision for me", Jobs replied: "You'll understand when you have kids."

Wow. You really are a crazy person. Really.

Steve, I agree with your point. Clearly, Jobs was representative of American entrepreneurship, capitalism, and innovation, and his death has had a very broad impact on Americans and people around the world that other CEOs would not have. Also, it's undeniable that technology has made our lives more convenient (in many though not all ways), more productive (same caveat), etc. But, to your point, I'm not sure it's an unmitigated good. If all these inventions are used mostly for entertainment of movies, music, video games, finding restaurants, etc., then I wonder whether they're all that great. The devices have been bought as fashionable consumer goods and fuel consumerism, but is necessarily a good thing for "permanent things?" Secondly, what impact has all of this technology had in terms of personal relationships within families and the larger civil society? Perhaps we're becoming more atomistic. Thirdly, these devices seem to be affecting brain use, attention spans, and the amount of reading young people do. Fourthly, employees are generally expected to be accessible 24 hours a day including weekends, evenings, and vacations ~ not too many cheer about that. Now, I recognize that some qualifiers and objections can be raised to these points, but I think the obvious answer is that the technology has not always worked for the benefit of the human person.

"Scruffy 1984 start-up"? The Apple II was released in 1977. The IPO was in 1980.

Not to let reality intrude too deeply into your delusions of intelligence, but those research labs that you mention (XEROX-PARC, etc.) and research institutions (Stanford, MIT) were (and are) heavily if not almost exclusively reliant on government money for research funding.

My mistake; I was focused on the birth of Macintosh and its challenge to Microsoft.

An interesting reflection from Peter Robinson:
http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Steve-Jobs-s-Chopsticks

When you have no facts to refute your rantings you resort to calling people names.

Refute my facts and then you can call me names.

Liberalism is a mental illness.

I am an former employee of Xerox-PARC. It was wholly owned and financed by The Xerox Corporation - as well as Xerox-PARC in Europe.

Stanford University is a private university.


The research that produced all the WINTEL Products between Xerox and Stanford was done without the help of the government with the exception of their use of the internet first developed by DARPA.


I guess reality and intelligence is not one of your strong suites.

Dated 9/10/2011 (XEROX press release): PALO ALTO, Calif. -- PARC, a Xerox company, today announced it is one of four project teams chosen by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to pursue ways to build a more trustworthy and robust Internet. The new “Future Internet Architecture” (FIA) program is focused on collaborative, long-range, transformative thinking about new comprehensive network architectures and concepts.

Stanford Fact book (retrieved today):
Sources of Funds for FY 2010-11

30% sponsored research
20% endowment income
4% other investment income
18% student income
14% health care services income
6% expendable gifts and net assets released
8% other income

NSF is government funding, "sponsored research" is government funding. XEROX-PARC is owned by Xerox, but it is a research wing, and Stanford is indeed private, but as a research university the single largest source of income is government research money.

Oh, she's going to be mad. She hates it when people point out that she's wrong. About anything.

*runs out to get popcorn*

It depends when Xerox first started using government funds. Cowgirl said, "It was wholly owned and financed by The Xerox Corporation - as well as Xerox-PARC in Europe." Note the past tense.

My bet is the Stanford has received money from the government, for many of its science programs, for quite some time.

I think the NSF budget is in the range of $7 bn. As of 2007, there was about $405 bn worth of R & D expenditure.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Commerce Department has some handy statistics on the sources and loci of research and development expenditures. The following is the distribution among sources and some loci:

1. Federal grants: 21%
2. Federal, in-house: 7%
3. State and local agencies, loci
not specified: 1%
4. State universities 2%
5. Philanthropies, NOS 2%
6. Private colleges

This is a woman who is freakishly unable to complete a post without at least one spelling or grammatical error, so why would anyone trust that she is accurately typing her intended tense. She's got a son in high school (taking classes at a JuCo, by god) so she can't be old enough to have been with Xerox PARC on day one, when they may, in fact, not have started with government funding.

I don't doubt that she worked there, but she doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to government funding of research at academic and corporate labs, especially in the area of high tech like computer development. Xerox PARC was, of course, a corporate research lab, but they have received government funding throughout their history. To take just one example, ARPA was deeply involved with various research labs (corporate, academic, and other governmental) from the very beginning of developments in the field of computers. Read any thorough history of computer science and you'll see that government and private industry were in bed from the get-go.

I would also add that it is important to consider that many of the initial people at Xerox PARC were former ARPA researchers.

Your stats are recent - 2010-2011.

Read my statement again:

The research that produced all the WINTEL Products between Xerox and Stanford was done without the help of the government with the exception of their use of the internet first developed by DARPA.

These products were developed in the 1970's.

Again, obviously reality is not a strong suite of yours.

Mad Scanlon - far from it. Rolling on the floor laughing out loud is more like it.

I so enjoy baiting liberals.

It is one of my hobbies.

Mr Adams... the only one on the board who gets it.

None of this people on this board know the first thing about the Silicon Valley. I do - I worked in it for years.


Thank you
cowgirl.

Name one. Make sure you know who and what you are talking about before you make a complete fool out of yourself again.

You do not understand what I am talking about so I will post the statement again for your edification:

The research that produced all the WINTEL Products between Xerox and Stanford was done without the help of the government with the exception of their use of the internet first developed by DARPA.

Anonymous/Scanlon:

I mistype and misspell words on purpose to get your panties in a wad. It works every time. Your inability to refute my facts makes you crazy. I need to give you the opportunity to release all that anxiety so I misspell and mistype words to help you with those issues.

Let me repeat the statement I made above again:

"The research that produced all the WINTEL Products between Xerox and Stanford was done without the help of the government with the exception of their use of the internet first developed by DARPA."

To help you understand that sentence because you are definitely clueless about the story of the Silicon Valley, those products were produced in the 1970's. Let me repeat that. The wintel products referred to in my statement above were produced in the 1970s'. You and your liberalism buddies up here are not grasping that concept. These products were produced without any help of the government. If you and your buddies will be nice to me I will tell you the whole story very succintly with names and dates. Remember - we are talking WINTEL products here as listed above - the mouse, the gui, the laptop, laser printer, cd rom, ethernet and the first pc.

Not one of you on this board could answer these questions without googling it...

Which company produced the first pc commercial?
(You should be able to figure that out now because I have enlightened you on that one)
What year did that commercial first appear on TV?
What was the name of the pc in the commerical?

This is fun - let's see if you can answer these question without googling any of them - I know you can't, but it is will be fun know that none of you posting here about Xerox-Parc and the silicon valley know $hit about it.

1. Name the computer used in the movie War Games?
2. Name the founder of the company that produced the computer used in War Games
3. What other company did that founder start that made him a millionnaire.
4. Name the two silicon valley inventors that approached the founder of the company wanting to supply computers to the masses.
5. Name two big silicon valley inventors/programmers helped write games such as Pong for Atari.

Have fun.

Oh ... wow. You really are a crazy person, aren't you? It'd be funny, truly funny, if it wasn't so sad.

Ok, just because this is entertaining me, you cite that the mouse was invented by Xerox-PARC but, in fact, it was developed by the folks in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford in the late 50s/early 60s. Now, some of those people eventually went to work for PARC (which, as you well know is on the Stanford campus). The folks in the ARC were highly involved in computer research (including the mouse) that was sponsored by various government agencies such as the NSF, DOD, NASA, etc.

To the best of my knowledge, neither Apple nor Microsoft has received any (or at least very little) government funding for their R&D, but you can't deny the role that the gov't (especially the military and NASA) played in the early days of computer R&D (both mainframe and personal). That said, perhaps both receive copious amounts for R&D of products that the general public never sees, but that is developed for military applications, but I think most of that money goes to universities and other research centers.

Can't answer the questions without googling them can you.

Liberalism is a mental illness.

Ok Fred/Scanlon - a little education for you and the rest of the people who have posted on this board. You have no idea what fools you have made of yourselves. You cannot name one person who came from ARPA to Xerox-Parc because you are full of bull manure.

You are referring to Douglas Engelbart at SRI who invented a protype. He did not invent the mouse that went along with the PC's developed by Xerox-Parc. Bill English DEVELOPED THE TRACK BALL MOUSE AT XEROX-PARC.

The Computer Science Labs at Xerox Parc (CLS) headed by Robert Taylor consisted of what was believed at the time to be the 50 smartest engineers in the world. Some of these engineers included Bob Metcalf (3-Com) , Thacker & Worner - Adobe, Alan Kay - who while at Parc invented the first laptop and later went on the program for Atari and later worked at Apple Computer and Charles Simonyi who left PARC to work for a small startup in Redmond WA called Microsoft. It is believed that if not for Simonyi, Microsoft would have not become software powerhouse it is today.

No funding for anything developed in the CSL was funded by the U.S. Government. Matter of fact management at Xerox headquarters in Stamford, CT had no idea what the wild engineers were doing nor did they care since it did not having anything to do with copiers. There is a book written about this called "Fumbling the Future" (refer to my first post) about how Xerox fumbled the wintel industry because they saw nothing of any value that was being developed by the wild west coast engineers.

Furthermore, everything invented by these engineers in the CLS lab made it to the general population without any help from the government or Xerox for that matter. Engineers like Metcalf and Thacker found private investors and made millions without any help of any stupid government agency.

Ok Fred/Scanlon - a little education for you and the rest of the people who have posted on this board. You have no idea what fools you have made of yourselves. You cannot name one person who came from ARPA to Xerox-Parc because you are full of bull manure.

You are referring to Douglas Engelbart at SRI who invented a protype. He did not invent the mouse that went along with the PC's developed by Xerox-Parc. Bill English DEVELOPED THE TRACK BALL MOUSE AT XEROX-PARC.

The Computer Science Labs at Xerox Parc (CLS) headed by Robert Taylor consisted of what was believed at the time to be the 50 smartest engineers in the world. Some of these engineers included Bob Metcalf (3-Com) , Thacker & Worner - Adobe, Alan Kay - who while at Parc invented the first laptop and later went on the program for Atari and later worked at Apple Computer and Charles Simonyi who left PARC to work for a small startup in Redmond WA called Microsoft. It is believed that if not for Simonyi, Microsoft would have not become software powerhouse it is today.

No funding for anything developed in the CSL was funded by the U.S. Government. Matter of fact management at Xerox headquarters in Stamford, CT had no idea what the wild engineers were doing nor did they care since it did not having anything to do with copiers. There is a book written about this called "Fumbling the Future" (refer to my first post) about how Xerox fumbled the wintel industry because they saw nothing of any value that was being developed by the wild west coast engineers.

Furthermore, everything invented by these engineers in the CLS lab made it to the general population without any help from the government or Xerox for that matter. Engineers like Metcalf and Thacker found private investors and made millions without any help of any stupid government agency.

Perhaps we might concede that the government might conduct in-house research in furtherance of its prescribed functions and perhaps in realms which require assembling a great deal of capital (e.g. the space program). We might also concede that some of this research has an agreeable spillover to the production of useful goods and services by private corporations. It is rather a stretch to suggest that public agencies can allocate capital for R & D more reliably than private enterprise, most particularly when the government's distribution of grant money generates patron-client relationships and the opportunity for rent-seeking and such. There is also the possibility that centralized funding of scientific, technical, and social research can manufacture unsalutary orthodoxies. Phillip Johnson has written on this tendency.

Seriously, I think you might be insane.

Next time I'll just post a set of random questions and scream that you can't answer them without google. Yeah, 'cos that's what an argument looks like.

Being educated by cowgirl is child abuse •zing*

You heard me scream Scanlon. Hold on the men in the little white coats are on their way with a straight jacket for you and a scissors to get to those panties of yours that all in a wad.

Once again: I'm not Craig Scanlon.

You, however, are a complete idiot.

You miss the whole point. The point isn't that the government spends money on itself (e.g., NASA/CDC) to do scientific research, it's that the government also gives money to research centers (corporate and academic) for R&D activities. On a blog where the contributors frequently display a stunning ignorance of basic scientific knowledge, it's not surprising that the knee-jerk reaction is 'government funding of science and technology: bad." I am certainly not saying that government is, or should be, the sole source of scientific/technological R&D. There are too many people out there doing terrific research in all sorts of fields and research environments to even begin to contemplate that kind of 'government takeover.'

My point, and my only point, is that in areas specifically related to scientific and technological R&D, the government has been, is, and should continue to be financially supporting those activities whether they occur in the government realm (e.g., CDC) or in corporate (Xerox PARC) and academic (Stanford) research labs. Such research benefits us all and there is a place for different sources of funding.

Your concerns about rent-seeking and patron-client relationships exist in the private sector also (exhibit: tobacco-related research sponsored by the cig. manufacturers).

I don't think you're crazy, but I also think you're kind of delusional. Bob Taylor, who you just discussed, was in fact at ARPA before he went to head up the group at Xerox PARC. In fact, he was actively involved in the development of the ARPANET. I'm surprised you didn't know that.

Begging the question that giving taxpayer money to those institutions is a good use of money at all, my next question concerns how much of that money is given for political reasons? Not all research benefits us all. Congressional representatives claim money for r&d to benefit those institutions in their districts to gain political favor. Everyone who pays taxes pays for those programs. We hear protest only occasionally, when we read some report in the news about various projects that few taxpayers would have willingly paid for. What's the difference between that sort of thing and giving money to Solyndra? I suppose Congressmen have a better position a la’ the Constitution than the president does.

Who cares in a general way where private entities invest in research? They must get that kind of funding past boards of directors and not upset shareholders. They are aware of limited resources in ways our politicians and bureaucrats never are.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no congressional involvement in grant submissions/reviews involved in NSF, NIH, and other such 'pure' science funding sources going to non-profit centers such as academic research labs. Having done reviews for such funding, only experts in the particular field are reviewing submissions and recommending awards.

I do know that there is a lot more political involvement with funding at the state level, where state budget offices disperse state allocations from national programs such as Race to the Top.

I have no idea how money for companies such as Solyndra are dispersed, but since congressmen routinely earmark money for various activities conducive to bids by companies in their district, I suspect that it is different from the kind of R&D funding that I am talking about.

I see you are having some problems with reading comprehension. Since I delineated above the source and destination of research and development funds, it is not likely that I am unaware that the federal government passes cash to commercial companies and higher education. I do not care for this policy for reasons already stated.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no congressional involvement in grant submissions/reviews involved in NSF, NIH, and other such 'pure' science funding sources

a. There is institutional politics with other people's money. Creating academic baronies with public funds doesn't interest me.

b. It would be worse if Arlen Specter were steering the funds, but that is a lesser issue. The funding itself creates a dependency relationship which will generate pressure groups to defend and enhance it.

c. Don't care about the tobacco company's public relations. They cannot coerce anyone into contributing.

d. Unless it is your contention that you need to assemble capital from the largest possible field of (coerced) donors or that central co-ordination and control is crucial to the efficacy of a project, hitting up the central government for patronage is gratuitous. If Prof. Bullbleep at Iowa State insists he has to have public money to operate his laboratory, there is nothing wrong with handing him the address of the capitol building in Des Moines and telling him to get lost.

e. You want the Babbits' money, you'd best persuade them that they ought to give it to you, even if they do 'frequently display a stunning ignorance of basic scientific knowledge'.

f. Sorry buddy, but we are broke. The first thing that should go is patronage to the well-connected, and that means both crony capitalism and crony philanthropy are on the chopping bloc and that in turn means the pipelines to agribusiness, real estate development, higher education, and purveyors of midnight basketball.

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