Staffers discuss new book, new gaming column, new apps
We're now at episode eight of The MacNN Podcast, which this week welcomes our new Apple Gaming column, as well as reminding listeners about our weekly game news roundup. We also discuss the book Becoming Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook's latest honor from the business world. More confusion about Windows 10 pricing outside China has come to light, and tech companies are asking for changes in the Patriot Act.
Universal movie films key iMac launch scenes in San Francisco
The Universal movie about Steve Jobs is continuing its principle photography, and over the weekend filmed scenes revolving around the May 6, 1998 original iMac unveiling. One of three key scenes in the film that cover product launches, the film used extras to show attendees of the keynote from 1998 holding signs and banners welcoming back Steve Jobs, and others to film interior scenes of the original presentation.
Absorbing and informed new look at the man's life
Becoming Steve Jobs is an engrossing account of the Apple CEO's life, and very specifically on his journey to becoming a businessman with art and style. It's not as well written as Leander Kahney's Jony Ive book but it's significantly better than Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography.
Inner circle felt need to help provide more complete picture of complex leader
After a long period of refusing to participate, and following some "reflection" on how Jobs was portrayed in his own authorized biography, Apple executives reversed course and agreed to be interviewed for a new biography on the mercurial co-founder and twice-CEO of Apple. Due to go on sale tomorrow, Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, includes statements made by CEO Tim Cook and numerous other Apple executives, a first for the company since Jobs' death in 2011.
CEO vows to improve quality, says collaboration is why Apple is better
Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company's current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed -- and what has stayed the same -- since Jobs' untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.
Unauthorized documentary focuses on ex-employees, ex-girlfriend
A previously little-known documentary on Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs has debuted at SXSW, drawing mixed reviews for its pre-emptive effort to "counter" the positive image generally put forth in the media by focusing on disgruntled former employees and the ruthless, cruel, or angrier sides of Jobs' personality. Funded by the former legal chief of Gawker and Gizmodo, the film is directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney.
Jobs, Cook, Powell-Jobs, colleagues feature in tech-savvy portrait of former CEO
Although there is an official biography of Steve Jobs, made with Jobs' cooperation before he died in 2011, another tome on the life and thoughts of the mercurial Apple co-founder will be published later this month, titled Becoming Steve Jobs. The book is noteworthy due to Jobs' posthumous involvement, along with new interviews with Jobs' family, Apple CEO Tim Cook, design chief Sir Jonathan Ive, and former Apple and Pixar colleagues galore.
Reason Cook is in Germany not clear, pays visit to Bild tabloid newspaper
Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, spending a portion of his day with the editors of the German tabloid paper Bild, though the reasons for the visit were not made clear. Cook may be in Germany for a variety of reasons, ranging from meetings with EU bankers to help forge European Apple Pay agreements, to overseeing the last of the glass panels for the Apple Campus 2, or on his way to Israel to help open the new Apple R&D center there. While in Germany, he tweeted a remembrance of what would have been Steve Jobs' 60th birthday.
Fassbender as Jobs, Rogen as Wozniak, Daniels as Sculley spotted
[Updated with October 9 release date] A few photos have emerged from the principle photography that is in progress for the Universal Studios biographical drama Steve Jobs, showing actors Michael Fassbender (as Jobs) and Seth Rogan (as Steve Wozniak), with another photo capturing actor Jeff Daniels portraying former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film, which saw numerous changes and drop-outs while still in pre-production, is filming in and around Cupertino.
Three actresses to assume role of Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Universal Studios has published the complete cast list for its upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, tentatively titled just Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender has been confirmed as Jobs, while Seth Rogen will play Steve Wozniak. Jeff Daniels will assume the role of former Apple CEO John Sculley; Kate Winslet will be former Mac marketing head Joanna Hoffman, while Katherine Waterston will play Jobs' one-time girlfriend Chrisann Brennan. Michael Stuhlbarg will portray Mac programmer Andy Hertzfeld.
Crew sets up garage where Apple Computer was born in 1976
The long-planned and long-awaited "official" biographical movie on Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs is finally underway, now in the hands of a different studio, director and star than was originally envisioned. Crews began setting up the former Jobs family home in Los Altos, California to shoot scenes in the famous garage where Apple was officially born on April 1, 1976. Originally developed by Sony, Universal Studios is now in charge of the production.
All modern smartphones owe Apple, Jobs a debt of gratitude
Tech memories, sometimes, are the shortest memories of all. Do you remember what "smartphones" were like before the iPhone? Unless you were fairly well-off, you may not have any clear recall of those hazy days of 2007, when the Palm Treo and the BlackBerry ruled the world. Maybe your dad has one in a drawer somewhere -- go find it, power it up, and take a trip back to the Dark Ages (comparatively speaking). Eight years ago today, Steve Jobs blew up Macworld West in San Francisco with an earth-changing announcement.
Relatively unknown actress takes role once linked to Natalie Portman
Actress Perla Haney-Jardine has been cast as Steve Jobs' first daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, in the upcoming Universal biopic of the former Apple CEO. Haney-Jardine is just 17 years old and a relative unknown, having only held supporting roles in movies like Kill Bill Vol. 2, Dark Water, and Spiderman 3. Her spot in the Jobs biopic may potentially be a breakthrough role, since screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has described Lisa as the "heroine" of the movie. At one point, Natalie Portman was attached to the role, but she decided to pass.
Specific character unidentified
Actress Kate Winslet is currently in negotiations for "the female lead" in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, Variety reports. Winslet is best known for movies like Titanic, The Reader, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's not clear what the role will be, but top female characters in the film are thought to include Jobs' daughter Lisa, Jobs' wife Laurene Powell Jobs, and Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR head.
Judge agreed video was witness testimony rather than evidence
As a postscript to Apple's unanimous win in a lawsuit brought by audio software company Real, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers on Wednesday turned down media requests to make public a videotaped deposition from Steve Jobs, in one of his final filmed appearances, that was presented during the trial. Jobs, who was quite ill at the time and just months from his resignation from Apple and later death, was videotaped answering questions about the case. Yesterday, a jury exonerated the iPhone maker from charges it had conspired to lock out competitors.
Only known surviving model sold directly by Steve Jobs to customer
A fully-functional Apple I original computer known as the "Ricketts Apple I" after the original owner, has sold at auction at Christie's for less than expected, fetching $365,000 rather than the estimated $400,000-600,000 range. The unit was the only known Apple I sold directly by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to an individual from his Los Altos family home. Another working Apple I was recently sold to the Henry Ford foundation last October for $905,000. While there are thought to be some 50 surviving Apple I units, only six are known to be functional.
Attorneys argue that video was entered as witness testimony, not evidence
Apple is opposing a media request to the court hearing the lawsuit between audio software maker Real and Apple that seeks to release a video deposition made by Steve Jobs, near the end of his life, on behalf of the case. The iPhone maker is opposing the request, saying that the video was part of witness testimony and not entered into evidence, and therefore can't be released as that would constitute a recording of a portion of the trial, which has not allowed cameras or video.
Daniels said to be top pick for one-time Apple CEO John Sculley
Although not officially cast yet, Jeff Daniels could soon be selected to play former Apple CEO John Sculley in Universal's Steve Jobs biopic, claims The Wrap. Daniels -- best known for Dumb and Dumber and The Newsroom -- is said to be the top pick of director Danny Boyle for the part, and may soon get the necessary paperwork. Sculley helmed Apple between 1983 and 1993, and famously battled with Jobs in a power struggle that ultimately led to Jobs resigning and founding NeXT.
Emails show Apple CEO wanted to keep other services off iPod
Evidence from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is likely to be central in an antitrust case against the company set to go to trial tomorrow, notes the New York Times. The plaintiffs charge that Apple's now-defunct DRM restrictions on iPods -- which limited people from copying purchased tracks to unauthorized devices, but had the side effect of limiting options music bought on the iTunes Store, obtained elsewhere in a DRM-free format, or ripped from a CD -- represented anti-competitive behavior, in turn leading to higher prices. Jobs recorded a video deposition prior to his death in 2011, which the plaintiffs' lawyers intend to use, alongside emails written by the CEO.
Would take on 'major' role
Actress Natalie Portman is in negotiations to join Universal's Steve Jobs biopic, according to Deadline. Who she might play is unmentioned, but the role is said to be a "major" one. Given Portman's age and the resemblance, that role is likely to be Lisa, Jobs' first daughter.
Buys rights from Sony for reported $30 million; Boyle still to direct
As a follow-up to a story we reported on last week, Universal Studios has officially bought the rights to the Steve Jobs biopic already in pre-production from Sony, which had placed the project in "turnaround" on Thursday. Universal is said to have paid Sony $30 million to transfer the picture to the latter's control, retaining director Danny Boyle and reportedly confirming actor Michael Fassbender to play the lead role. There is still no firm announcement on when shooting will commence.
Project has seen original director, star, now studio drop out in pre-production
The Sony-backed Steve Jobs biographical movie, based in part on Walter Issacson's biography of the Apple co-founder, has proven to be nearly as mercurial as the reputation of its subject. In recent weeks, not one but two rumored stars of the project have dropped out, the original director was replaced with an Oscar-winning substitute, and now -- according to trade magazine Deadline -- Sony has put the film in "turnaround," offering it to sale to other studios, with Universal said to be making a play for it.
Writer reveals small role in Jobs' Stanford commencement speech
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who has penned the screenplay for the forthcoming Sony-backed movie about Steve Jobs, was interviewed on the project by Emily Chang of Bloomberg and revealed that he had met and spoken on the phone to Jobs a few times, along with some minor details about the upcoming film. Sorkin told Chang that the movie will follow Jobs' interactions with a number of key people, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and former CEO John Sculley. He also detailed his encounters with Jobs.
Would be replacing Christian Bale
Actor Michael Fassbender is now in early negotiations for the lead role in Sony's Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell Variety. Christian Bale recently made a surprise departure from the project, even as names like Seth Rogen have become attached to supporting roles. In explaining the move, Bale said he came to the conclusion that he wasn't right for playing Jobs.
Actor allegedly decided he didn't match part
Actor Christian Bale has decided to drop out of Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The project was reportedly on schedule to start shooting this winter, and director Danny Boyle is said to be Los Angeles this week meeting with actors and actresses, including Seth Rogen, who could be playing Steve Wozniak. Bale, though, has allegedly decided he wasn't right for the lead role, and opted out of the movie.
Unique model known to have been sold by Jobs himself
An unusual Apple I -- estimated to be worth $600,000 -- will be put up for auction at Christie's on December 11, according to Reuters. While a number of Apple I models are still in existence, the system in question is not only fully-functional, but has documentation indicating that it was sold directly by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. It was originally purchased for $600 by a man named Charles Ricketts; on a canceled check made out to Apple Computer, he wrote "Purchased July 1976 from Steve Jobs in his parents' garage in Los Altos." A second check, for $193, reads "Software NA Programmed by Steve Jobs August 1976."
Jessica Chastain could take unidentified role
Actor Seth Rogen may have been cast to star as Steve Wozniak in Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell Variety. Rogen is best known for his comedy roles, starring in movies like Neighbors and This is the End, but he has also appeared in dramas such as 50/50. The sources add that Jessica Chastain is under consideration for the movie as well, but what role she might play is unknown.
Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in biopic, according to interview
Christian Bale is set to play the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the forthcoming biopic film written by Aaron Sorkin. Previously considered for Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Sorkin said in Bloomberg interview that there wasn't a need for Bale to audition for the role due to being a good fit. The latest screenplay is comprised of three thirty minute scenes of backstage goings on prior to three keynote presentations.
DiCaprio passes on role
Actor Christian Bale is in talks to play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, sources tell Variety. The movie is based on Walter Isaacson's popular biography, which was released just weeks after Jobs died in 2011 and featured rare, previously-unheard information gleaned through Jobs' cooperation. Bale is best known for movies such as Empire of the Sun, The Dark Knight, and American Psycho.
Leonardo DiCaprio drops out of consideration for Jobs role; Boyle on as new director
The Sony Pictures-produced, Aaron Sorkin-authored big-budget biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has undergone some changes recently, notes The Hollywood Reporter. Original director David Fincher who was previously reported to have left the project, has been replaced by Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle. Boyle, who wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the title role in the movie, will have to pick another star, as DiCaprio has dropped out of the race for the part. Other actors possibly in the running include Ben Affleck, Christian Bale (Fincher's original choice), Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon.
Says co-founder's influence is still present in every new product and service
As he has done each year since taking over as CEO, Tim Cook has written a memo to all Apple employees reflecting on the death of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. In this latest note, Cook says he will be thinking of Jobs on Sunday, the third anniversary of his passing. He thanks employees for "helping carry Steve's legacy into the future," and notes that even projects that were begun after Jobs's death still carry his "unmistakeable" influence.
Company is a 'very different place,' but changing market suits Cook's management style
A hit-and-miss profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook has brought some new details to light about changes made at Apple since Cook took over in late 2011. It also confirms that the Apple Watch project was started after former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died, that the consolidation of hardware and software teams that led to Scott Forstall's ouster was a deliberate move by Cook, and that those who work with him have no doubts about the ability of the company to continue innovating.
Apple Watch may be first new product never seen by Jobs, Apple Pay 'incredibly safe'
In interviews with the Wall Street Journal and ABC News' David Muir, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated many of the sentiments expressed during the Tuesday press even that introduced the two new iPhone 6 models, the Apple Watch wearable and the Apple Pay mobile payments system. He also, however, had a few words in response to questions, ranging from his thoughts on Steve Jobs in the three years since his passing, and how the iPhone 6 will trigger "the mother of all upgrades."
Architecture partly designed by Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
Directors, executives accused of bringing company into legal trouble
A new lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff R. Andre Klein, is seeking damage compensation for Apple shareholders as a result of alleged misconduct by the company's directors and executives. Lawyers for Klein accuse former CEO Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook and others of "breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services." Specifically, by engaging in anti-poaching practices, Apple leaders are said to have caused the company to break antitrust laws, issue misleading proxy statements, and suppress workers' wages.
Strategy would've detoured around iPhone's lack of 3G
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once wanted to make shared Wi-Fi commonplace in homes and small businesses, says Re/Code's Walt Mossberg. The impetus is said to have been the first-generation iPhone, which lacked 3G. Although people could get around slow 2G speeds by connecting to Wi-Fi, most hotspots were and are password-protected, and Jobs wanted people to be able to leap seamlessly from network to network, much in the same way people transition between celltowers without noticing.
Apple CEO will make unspecified contribution in Campbell's honor
In something of an "exit interview" with Fortune magazine, outgoing Director Bill Campbell -- who started with Apple in 1983 and has served on the Board of Directors since 1997 -- talked about the late Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook, his sideline seat watching Apple go from nearly broke to the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world and other topics. He also revealed that Cook plans to make a contribution to Campbell's hometown of Homestead, Pennslyvania.
Exhibit foreshadows opening of USPTO satellite office in Colorado capitol
A week or so ahead of the grand opening of a new US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) building in Denver, Colorado, the central library branch of the Denver Public Library is hosting a USPTO-created exhibit featuring life-size models of the some of the many inventions and patents that are jointly or solely credited to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and twice former CEO of Apple. "Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World" will run through September.
Bono says current Apple products still hide RED logo
U2 frontman/(Product) RED creator Bono squared off with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs about RED branding, a Cannes interview (below) reveals. Some proceeds from RED-branded products go toward the Global Fund, a charity that combats AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, particularly in Africa. Bono notes however that when Apple was first entering the program, Jobs wanted to remove the parentheses to stop anything from "interfering with the logo." After some time to sleep on the idea, Jobs partially conceded, but still blocked parentheses from being used in Apple Stores.
Company still operating by core principles laid down by Jobs, designer says
In a fuller version of an interview given to The New York Times by Apple senior VP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive, the head of Apple's hardware and software creative design team has revealed that the team has been working "for years" with "new materials" not previously seen (at least, not on a large scale) in previous Apple products, and that new products are in active development. He also dismissed the notion that the engine of innovation at Apple has changed without Steve Jobs at the helm.
Music mogul relies heavily on gut instinct, highly opinionated, shuns publicity
The Wall Street Journal on Friday published a profile of hip-hop artist and producer Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre -- whose company, Beats Electronics, has been sold to Apple for $3 billion, pending regulatory approval. The article paints Young as an obsessive, thoughtful talent who relies heavily on taste and instinct rather than market research, with one colleague describing the 49-year-old as a "cultural barometer" of what is in vogue, with great development skills and strong intuition.
Apple insists promise was 'too vague'
A judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Carol Overton, has given the go-ahead for a lawsuit targeting Apple over job promises. The plaintiff, Wayne Goodrich, says that he reported directly to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for over 20 years, including not just time at Apple -- where he spent 17 years -- but also at Pixar and NeXT. His role involved preparing Jobs' public presentations, which have often been a huge draw for the media and helped to sell products like the iMac, iPod, and iPhone.
Producer is chair of Interscope Geffen, suggested buyout of Universal
Revisiting his notes, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has said that he thinks the rumored $3.2 billion Apple buyout of Beats Electronics may not be primarily about the latter company's accessories and music service. He said that he believes that the deal centers primarily around gaining Iovine and his access to content companies and producers that may make any agreement worth the money.
Full special to be aired Tuesday night
CNBC has ranked Apple co-founder Steve Jobs #1 in First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders, a new list of people who have "had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century." In talking about Jobs, the network says he took first place "for both transforming the way we think about technology and redefining the style in which we live." It adds that "More than any other member of our group of extraordinary entrepreneurs and executives - all outstanding leaders - his vision spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture."
Fincher out, Boyle in as director; Bale out, DiCaprio in as Jobs
Following the alleged pullout of planned director David Fincher -- and possibly his choice to play the title role, Christian Bale -- the latest speculation on Sony Pictures' Steve Jobs biopic has it that the studio is now talking to Danny Boyle to helm the multi-million dollar movie, and goes on to say that Boyle's choice for the Jobs role is Leonard DiCaprio. Boyle, best known for Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, is rumored to be the leading candidate following Fincher's walkout over fees and marketing control demands, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Shows brief glimpse of interior design
A newly-leaked video -- strongly believed to have been produced by Apple -- promotes the design of Apple's upcoming Campus 2 building in Cupertino. The clip (below) features interviews with key members of the project, such as architects and arborists, as well as shots of lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive, and archival footage of company co-founder Steve Jobs. Jobs' presentation to the Cupertino city council about the building was one of his last public appearances.
Jobs' personality a potential controversy
Plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, and two other companies are asking that evidence related to Apple CEO Steve Jobs be included in the case, Reuters reports. The case revolves around the anti-poaching agreements Apple and Google -- and later, other high-tech businesses -- forged to keep salaries low and talent in place. The accused parties settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, agreeing to end barriers to competitive hiring.
Public assumed to be worried about Apple's prospects
Samsung decided to launch its "Next Big Thing" campaign -- parodying Apple -- in the wake of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to an email trail exposed during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Samsung America's VP of US sales, Mike Pennington, described Jobs' death as "the best opportunity" to run a campaign targeting Apple, since people would be worried about whether Apple could continue to come up with great ideas minus Jobs' influence. "Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone," Pennington is quoted as saying.
Wanted Christian Bale in the role of Jobs, $10M fee, marketing control
Those hoping for a reunion of the team that made The Social Network into a critical and commercial success will be disappointed to learn that -- at least for now -- that film's director, David Fincher, is off the Sony Pictures "Steve Jobs" project, according to industry trade reports. Fincher, along with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, was set to tackle Sony's big-budget interpretation of Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, but has pulled out over the issue of fees and marketing control, sources claim.
Shows interest in Apple TV, MobileMe improvements
As a byproduct of the patent trial between Apple and Samsung currently going on in San Francisco, a number of previously-confidential Apple emails have seen the light of day. Some talk about how to react to Samsung's marketing bombardment, since it outspent all rivals but Apple combined on advertising its smartphones; others reveal additional details on things already known. A 2010 email from Steve Jobs, shown in court, reveals a little of how Apple works to improve itself.