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Apple attempted to silence newspaper profile of Steve Jobs

post #1 of 117
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Apple reportedly attempted to block the publication of a profile on company co-founder Steve Jobs, a piece that called the company's chief executive a visionary and also compared him to that of a ruthless dictator.

Referring to the technological revolutionary as "Silicon Che Guevara," author Bryan Appleyard in the British Sunday Times profiled the well-known history of Jobs at Apple, including his departure from and return to the company, as well as his health problems. The profile pulls no punches, portraying the man as both an American icon and a person to be feared, calling him "Good Steve" and "Bad Steve." The article even quoted the late Jef Raskin, co-creator of the Macintosh, on Jobs: "He would have made an excellent king of France."

The article also mentioned that Apple didn't want the Times to print the story. Appleyard noted that fact as he detailed the secrecy that surrounds Apple, and how it is the company's "core marketing tool."

"Apple hates personality stuff and press intrusion," Appleyard wrote. "'We want to discourage profiles,' an Apple PR tells me stiffly, apparently unaware she is waving a sackful of red rags at a herd of bulls. Another PR rings the editor of this magazine to try to halt publication of this piece."

In one of the article's more telling parts, it described a job interview that Jobs conducted. Reportedly, the Apple co-founder became bored with the candidate and began asking him questions about when he lost his virginity and how many times he's taken LSD. Finally, the multi-billionaire allegedly began gobbling like a turkey at the candidate before the job-seeker acknowledged he was not the right person for the position.

Calling "Bad Steve" the man who was driven out of Apple, Appleyard referred to "Good Steve" as the businessman who has obtained "rock-god" status. It said that "abused employees" who survive Jobs often find themselves praised by the company executive.

The lengthy piece quoted numerous people who worked with Jobs, or who have covered him in the press. It questioned how the company would proceed without its co-founder at the helm, suggesting a Jobs-less Apple would seek a merger with Google.

"The loss of Jobs's genius for products would mean Google's innovation and Apple’s design and market sense would be a very good fit," he wrote, "although antitrust regulators might disagree."

Recently, Jobs has has numerous surgeries following his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. He returned to work this summer after he had a liver transplant. Last month, a very thin Jobs was photographed leaving Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
post #2 of 117
I'd love to see more "personality" stories on those who run Apple, and MS, and Google, and the other competitors. I want to know their style. But not so much in a PR way, but in a true in depth researched way.

Of course, most of our current day news can't even handle day to day events in an ethical way, so I guess its just a pipe dream.

I'm sure if true interviews with honest questions and honest research with no bullying or bias, would reveal some very interesting (bad and good) parts of the people we have come to love and hate. I'd love to see more on Steve Jobs; I'm sure there's stuff that we don't know that would make us look at him very differently.
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post #3 of 117
Appleyard?
post #4 of 117
Another example of Apple paranoia and heavy handed tatics.
post #5 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In one of the article's more telling parts, it described a job interview that Jobs conducted. Reportedly, the Apple co-founder became bored with the candidate and began asking him questions about when he lost his virginity and how many times he's taken LSD. Finally, the multi-billionaire allegedly began gobbling like a turkey at the candidate before the job-seeker acknowledged he was not the right person for the position.

I've interviewed a few lame candidates, and I must admit that if I were a multi-billionaire who didn't need to give a crap about what other people thought, I'd probably gobble like a turkey if that fit the situation. Sure, it's not politically correct, but I've noticed that these multi-billionaire types didn't get where they are by cowtowing to everyone else's extreme oversensitivity to everything.

The bottom line (human interest anectodes or none) should be: Does the person do what they need to do to move the company forward? Steve does.
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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post #6 of 117
We all remember what a Jobs-less Apple looked like, something called beleaguered and dying. Anyone that thinks that CEO's of big corporations should have the personality of Ghandi are delusional. Jobs has been called a hard-ass perfectionist for many years and anyone that has bought Apple's products has benefitted from it. Would I want to work for Jobs? Hell no, I worked for boss' like him and that's why I have worked for myself for the past ten years.
post #7 of 117
That the article suggested a merger with Google as a logical course of action pretty much called the whole thing into question for me. I can't fathom how anyone could conclude that a merger between Apple and Google would be advantageous for Apple. I admire Google greatly, and I think they've done some neat things. However, I wouldn't accuse Google of being truly innovative, and they have absolutely zero understanding of consumer products. At best Google is a software company that operates a lot like Microsoft. More so, Google is successful in spit of itself; many of the company's ventures have been stunningly unsuccessful, and they survive based on the strength of their core business. I'm not sure how that could be considered a good fit for Apple.
post #8 of 117
I love the idea that journalists still see Google as 'innovative' and Apple as 'design and style'.

Without being down on Google's technical skills at all, I see little evidence that, as a company, they are more innovative than their competitors, or even wholly more technically adept.

They certainly are in places (their fundamental search algorithms, and their early use of advanced Ajax techniques with Maps) but to be honest a lot of their products are Me Too developments - not to mention that in using WebKit and LLVM they are building on Apple's innovations.
post #9 of 117
The "are you a virgin" job interview story is so old, it's CEO of its own company now. Noah Wyle recreated that scene in Pirates of Silicon Valley.
post #10 of 117
Even without reading it, it sounds like an obvious "hit-piece" to me, at least as described. There is not only nothing new in any of the allegations or stories, they even use the same memes that better writers had thought up before them ("good steve" and "bad steve"), and used in previous articles.

It's also pretty standard "yellow journalism" tactics to include in your article, heavily dramatised descriptions of the subjects, reacting to you doing the article. In this case a simple statement from Apple PR is made out to be some kind of implied threat, and a standard phone call to a newspaper letting them know that you don't like the character assassination turns into them "trying to stop" our intrepid reporter, who of course comes out like a hero.

This kind of crap reporting was already old in the 1940's.
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post #11 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesLt View Post

I love the idea that journalists still see Google as 'innovative' and Apple as 'design and style'.

Without being down on Google's technical skills at all, I see little evidence that, as a company, they are more innovative than their competitors, or even wholly more technically adept.

They certainly are in places (their fundamental search algorithms, and their early use of advanced Ajax techniques with Maps) but to be honest a lot of their products are Me Too developments - not to mention that in using WebKit and LLVM they are building on Apple's innovations.

+1 I was going to say that!

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post #12 of 117
Decent read, but nothing that we already don't know about him.
post #13 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple reportedly attempted to block the publication

Kind of nit-picky, but I'm not sure I would call a couple of PR reps asking the newspaper to not run that story qualifies as attempting to "block" the story. That implies Apple tried to actively interfere with their ability to publish the story (cease-and-desist letters, threats of legal action, etc).

Let's try not to make Apple out to be any more evil than they actually are.
post #14 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The lengthy piece quoted numerous people who worked with Jobs, or who have covered him in the press. It questioned how the company would proceed without its co-founder at the helm, suggesting a Jobs-less Apple would seek a merger with Google.

"The loss of Jobs's genius for products would mean Google's innovation and Apples design and market sense would be a very good fit," he wrote, "although antitrust regulators might disagree."

That is absolutely ridiculous and highly unlikely. The writer is clearly pulling these opinions out of his ass.
post #15 of 117
Perhaps we should also expect in depth research into the backgrounds and history of book authors and self proclaimed technology journalists ... you know, to make sure we have the whole story when reading their output on their targets of interest. I realize Apple is a public company, but then so are all these media companies.
post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizwarrior View Post

Another example of Apple paranoia and heavy handed tatics.

Apple (absurdly enough) called the editor of the magazine to ask them not to run the story. That's it--that's the entire extent of this article's "example."

If you think THAT is a heavy-handed tactic, you are clearly unfamiliar with the operations of any large corporation and its PR division

(Meanwhile, AI's misleading "attempted to silence" headline fits nicely with the myth that's so popular these days: Apple is evil, unlike "normal" corporations who ignore profit and shareholders. If you were responding to the headline without reading the article, I'm sure you're not alone.)
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Apple (absurdly enough) called the editor of the magazine to ask them not to run the story. That's it--that's the entire extent of this article's "example."

Yeah, I didn't see a whole lot mentioned about it, almost devoid of degree that would merit those adjectives. If there was a veiled threat of litigation, or if there's advertising money at stake, then maybe that's heavy handed. There's only so much that can be done, I imagine that Apple would send their legal team up for bat if they thought that would do good, though I would also imagine that has considerable risk of blowback too, if for some odd reason they don't know what the Streisand Effect is, they'll learn pretty quickly.
post #18 of 117
I remind you, Appleinsider, that your public is not only 1st world stuck-up techies. Ernesto "Che" Guevara is regarded worldwide as a revolutionary and ideological leader.

You prefer the likes of Bush (father or son, take your pick) over someone who really did something for the poor of this world??

I am *this* close to boycotting your publication, which I have had on RSS for years, for insensitive racist descriptions such as this.
post #19 of 117
Hi guys/girls,

I have literally just finished watching Pirates of Silican Valley on YouTube

That "Virgin" scene was very random!!

I do wish they make a sequel - I very enjoyed the film very much

Kind regards,

Mo.

p.s. 1st post!
post #20 of 117
And this is news why ??????? do you not think every CEO would not want this type of profile of them.....and just how did they try to stop this......a phone call..... wow !!!!
post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogeriogal View Post

I remind you, Appleinsider, that your public is not only 1st world stuck-up techies. Ernesto "Che" Guevara is regarded worldwide as a revolutionary and ideological leader.

You prefer the likes of Bush (father or son, take your pick) over someone who really did something for the poor of this world??

I am *this* close to boycotting your publication, which I have had on RSS for years, for insensitive racist descriptions such as this.

Wait a minute, can you clarify the racist accusation? I didn't notice anything that stood out.
post #22 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

We all remember what a Jobs-less Apple looked like, something called beleaguered and dying. Anyone that thinks that CEO's of big corporations should have the personality of Ghandi are delusional.

Just as an aside, I wouldn't write off Gandhi, I recall that he made an empire blink.
post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tt92618 View Post

That the article suggested a merger with Google as a logical course of action pretty much called the whole thing into question for me. I can't fathom how anyone could conclude that a merger between Apple and Google would be advantageous for Apple. I admire Google greatly, and I think they've done some neat things. However, I wouldn't accuse Google of being truly innovative, and they have absolutely zero understanding of consumer products. At best Google is a software company that operates a lot like Microsoft. More so, Google is successful in spit of itself; many of the company's ventures have been stunningly unsuccessful, and they survive based on the strength of their core business. I'm not sure how that could be considered a good fit for Apple.

Google's biggest innovation is the Google File System that allows them to run the cloud at low latencies. the details are still secret. it was very successful because the hardware wasn't very powerful 10 years ago. today hardware is cheap and too powerful.

If Apple will ever merge, I think the best partner is MS. Let the Apple part have all the consumer divisions and keep all the server products on the old MS side. Just keep an eye on them to price stuff normally. Why is it that an X-Box 360 can be bought for $299 and it has more features than an Apple TV?
post #24 of 117
I was losing interest until someone mentioned an Apple-Google merger. As someone who loves both companies' products, where do I sign up for that?

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post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesLt View Post

I love the idea that journalists still see Google as 'innovative' and Apple as 'design and style'.

Without being down on Google's technical skills at all, I see little evidence that, as a company, they are more innovative than their competitors, or even wholly more technically adept.

They certainly are in places (their fundamental search algorithms, and their early use of advanced Ajax techniques with Maps) but to be honest a lot of their products are Me Too developments - not to mention that in using WebKit and LLVM they are building on Apple's innovations.

there was an article in the NY Times today about how MS currently has 850 PhD's working for them doing a lot of basic research. Google has some of the top computer scientists working for them as well. In fact Google poached a lot of the smart MS people back around the turn of the decade. Their products might not be as pretty as Apple's, but technically they are very complicated to pull off.

how many people does Apple have who regularly publish research papers? Apple is a systems integrator that makes polished products from available technology. Kind of like Dell
post #26 of 117
What the world has to say about Steve Jobs is not even slightly interesting. For that matter, whether Steve Jobs is a tyrant on the job is not very interesting either. The world is teeming with jerks and loudmouths, but how many high-tech visionaries are there? Regardless of his personality, Steve jobs is a unique individual who is making a tremendous contribution to society. No one needs to "excuse" Steve's behavior (or damn him). He is who he is, just like everybody else. But his achievements will live on long after he's gone.
post #27 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesLt View Post

not to mention that in using WebKit and LLVM they are building on Apple's innovations.

Perhaps you forgot that with WebKit, Apple itself was building on Linux's KDE project innovations?
post #28 of 117
It's a hit piece that Apple didn't like and tried to discourage.

So what? Happens all the time.
post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

there was an article in the NY Times today about how MS currently has 850 PhD's working for them doing a lot of basic research. Google has some of the top computer scientists working for theml

Yeah, it really shows.
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


In one of the article's more telling parts, it described a job interview that Jobs conducted. Reportedly, the Apple co-founder became bored with the candidate and began asking him questions about when he lost his virginity and how many times he's taken LSD. Finally, the multi-billionaire allegedly began gobbling like a turkey at the candidate before the job-seeker acknowledged he was not the right person for the position.

This is in the film "Pirates of Silicon Valley", made 10 years ago. Hardly a revelation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

The "are you a virgin" job interview story is so old, it's CEO of its own company now. Noah Wyle recreated that scene in Pirates of Silicon Valley.

Oops, didn't notice you got there first.

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post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Wait a minute, can you clarify the racist accusation? I didn't notice anything that stood out.

I take it as racist because every time a latin-american person is portrayed in US media they are bogged down. I bet that if Che had been canadian they would not have used "ruthless dictator".

BTW Che was never a dictator, maybe they are confusing him with his pal Fidel. And if overthrowing a US imposed real dictator (which is what Batista was) and standing up for the oppressed made him ruthless than I am ruthless as well at least in thought, anyway.

Greetings from ruthless México where a REAL dictatorship is being held by the party in power (not that any of you gringos would be aware of or would actually care about).
post #32 of 117
So its big news if Apple's Job is a tough SOB who is running a multi-billion dollar corporation... as opposed to people like Jack Welch, Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin / Larry Page, and Lee Raymond (Exxon). Those guys are a bunch of pussies, right?

There are some that want the CEO to be as amicable as the products they sell but In 2007, the Wall Street journal found that most successful CEOs are extremely tough...kind of goes with the territory of running an innovative, high paced, highly profitable company.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119543240896797405.html
post #33 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by elgreco View Post

So its big news if Apple's Job is a tough SOB who is running a multi-billion dollar corporation... as opposed to people like Jack Welch, Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin / Larry Page, and Lee Raymond (Exxon). Those guys are a bunch of pussies, right?

The reporting/media is the problem here, not Apple.
post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogeriogal View Post

I remind you, Appleinsider, that your public is not only 1st world stuck-up techies. Ernesto "Che" Guevara is regarded worldwide as a revolutionary and ideological leader.

You prefer the likes of Bush (father or son, take your pick) over someone who really did something for the poor of this world??

I am *this* close to boycotting your publication, which I have had on RSS for years, for insensitive racist descriptions such as this.

Are your freaking kidding me?

I am Brazilian, so we know pretty much about Ernesto. He did everything but "something for the poor of this world". He was a ruthless dictator who brainwashed the population into thinking the way YOU think with his charisma. There is no problem with the general concept of socialism: however misinterpretation is common, and so is people abusing its near-utopian objective to brainwash people. Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba... all of its communist leaders are/were charismatic dictators with no real intention of helping people. I think Cyrus the Great was the closest we ever came of a leader with the welfare of its citizens...

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post #35 of 117
Why would I care whether Jobs is narcisstic, or "arrogant", or whatever other personality trait people attribue to him. I'm not in bed with him and we don't do luch. All I care about are the products. And if Jobs' arrogance works for him and if Apple's "secrecy" and attitude helps to churn out great products then more power to them.
post #36 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The lengthy piece quoted numerous people who worked with Jobs, or who have covered him in the press. It questioned how the company would proceed without its co-founder at the helm, suggesting a Jobs-less Apple would seek a merger with Google.

"The loss of Jobs's genius for products would mean Google's innovation and Apples design and market sense would be a very good fit," he wrote, "although antitrust regulators might disagree."

Is he implying that with Jobs's genius for products, Google's innovation and Apples design and market sense would be a very bad fit?

Or is he implying that Jobs's genius for products is equal to Google's ability to innovate?

Or is he implying that without Jobs's genius for products, Apple would do poorly without Google?
post #37 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Yeah, it really shows.

after having to reinstall the OS on my iphone this morning i'm not impressed with Apple either since i lost a lot of pictures. but at least i got rid of the famous duplicate contacts bug that a lot of people are complaining about. The least Apple can do is write a sync program to detect duplicate contacts and only keep one copy

i like my iphone, it's nice and pretty, does more than any other cell phone on the market today but it has enough annoying bugs that should not have made past QA that turn me off from buying a Mac and paying the crazy premium.
post #38 of 117
excellent response!
post #39 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

after having to reinstall the OS on my iphone this morning i'm not impressed with Apple either since i lost a lot of pictures. but at least i got rid of the famous duplicate contacts bug that a lot of people are complaining about. The least Apple can do is write a sync program to detect duplicate contacts and only keep one copy

i like my iphone, it's nice and pretty, does more than any other cell phone on the market today but it has enough annoying bugs that should not have made past QA that turn me off from buying a Mac and paying the crazy premium.

Your iPhone is backed up on iTunes automatically. What would you lose?
post #40 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Your iPhone is backed up on iTunes automatically. What would you lose?

i have it set to sync my photos, but even though the folder is there on my hard drive with 1000 old photos i took with my digital camera, the photos i took in the last month on my iphone are not there anymore

i went from Windows 7 RC to RTM on friday. restored all my itunes and other data and synced for the first time today. it froze during the sync process with the constant backing up iphone message

i was even joking with people at work today that i had to reinstall the OS on my cell phone. Apple made it familiar to us MS people
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