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Steve Jobs was no Einstein. He was more like Leonardo Da Vinci

Sunday, October 9, 20116 comments

I don’t think Daily Mail columnist A N Wilson fully appreciates the impact that Steve Jobs had on society. I am not surprised that Jobs’ untimely death has elicited sadness and sorrow from all corners of the world. Wilson may feel –and I agree—that some statements from public figures go over the top – but that does not lessen the powerful effect that the Apple founder had on the world.

Admittedly, as Wilson argued, Steve Jobs probably wasn’t an Einstein. But then again A N Wilson, great writer and polemicist that he is, probably isn’t a Tolstoy. Jobs deserves praise as a visionary and one of the most transformative figures of the information age.

I understand the point that A N Wilson is trying to make in the Mail. In this post-Diana, emotive age in which we live, the public overdo hero worship.

A N Wilson is wrong though if he thinks that all Steve Jobs did was to invent “needless gadgets.” No, what Jobs did transformed the way we live, the way the computer industry thinks about their products and how computers interact with the public.

I agree with Wilson, that Jobs was not, to quote Stephen Fry, “the most important person on the planet.” That was Fry’s delusion not Jobs’s (to quote Charles De Gaulle, “The graveyards of France are filled with indispensible men”).

Many would argue, though, that not since Eve took a bite out of that apple in the Garden of Eden (which the Apple logo alludes to) has so much knowledge been as accessible to people all over the earth.

As with Eve, that knowledge also brings consequence to the world; Wilson is right, there is a lot of useless tosh on the web but that's where man comes in, with the freedom to choose the internet’s wheat from the misinformation chaff.

Printing press inventor, Johannes Guttenberg, who Wilson cites, did not write the Bible he simply made it more accessible to others; yes, as Wilson states, that was transformative to society. Jobs too, through his many products has done the same; the big bulky text of a Guttenberg reduced down to the size of a phone or a pad; an “app”, searchable, annotatable, with instant cross referencing; and not just the Good Book, but the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon and a whole library of books, movies and music, right in the palm of your hand.

Albert Einstein was a visionary and by all accounts the smartest man ever to grace the planet. To measure up Jobs to Einstein is a bit of an unfair comparison; but to the revolutionaries cited by Wilson, including Guttenberg; Spinning Jenny inventor James Hargreaves, Brunel or Henry Ford of the Industrial Revolution are more apt. You can count Steve Jobs among them.

Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. His genius was to mass produce it in such a way, on an assembly line, where the cost came down and for the first time the average middle class family could afford a car, the Model T, available in any colour as long as it was black.

McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc did the same with the simple American Hamburger, “there’s not much you can do to improve on it,” but in Kroc’s case was the ability to mass produce them, inexpensively and with consistent quality; marketing them in such a way that he was able to sell billions of burgers around the world every day.

Bill Gates is the Henry Ford of mass computing, he simply tooled the operating system to make it possible for anyone to use his machines. Michael Dell, also like Ford, found a way of building personal machines on a factory line, bringing down costs, so that nowadays not only is there a car in every garage but several desktop computers and laptops in every house.

Steve Jobs, in his way though, has been more visionary than the others in shaping our relationship with the computer. The computer became more than Charles Babbage envisioned – some sort of ‘computing’ or calculating machine. To Jobs it was not a mere machine: It is a stylish, trend setting device; it communicates, entertains, and bring people together.

Jobs changed our relationship with the computer. He developed the Graphic Interface –the use of symbols that people would ‘point’ at with a device –or mouse—copied by Microsoft and others and totally changing the way we interface with computers. Even today, Apple is doing it again. It was the iPhone that brought us the “app” and the many buttons on the desktop that one simply taps on to access. Now Microsoft and hardware manufacturers are following suit. Touch screen computers (which have been around for about 10 years in certain industries such as mine as a broadcaster) are finally reaching the mass market as manufactures follow where the iPhone, iPod and iPad’s touch screen have led; Microsoft’s latest operating system it is reported, will replace the start button with a series of blocks on the home page for the user to simply point and press with their fingers. Touch screen computers will become standard equipment in the next few years thanks for Job’s vision.

The best comparison to Steve Jobs would be with America’s most prolific inventor and businessman, Thomas Alva Edison. Where Edison was the Benjamin Franklin of his day, Jobs is the Edison of his. These were men who had a transformative effect over their worlds. They were larger-than-life truly American figures. They grasped the idea of the American Dream –Capitalism and the free market-- dreaming both for them and for the many others with the products they invented, improving the lives of millions at the time.

The comparison is apt, the light bulb, invented by Edison, shining over Steve Jobs head illuminating not just the genius of new ideas, but a passion for innovation and the ability to totally transform not just our lives, but to transform the way we use and interact with products such as computers and mobile phones

The comparison is fitting. Edison is famous for the light bulb, but he is also the inventor of the gramophone record and motion picture camera. Jobs replaced the record and the CD with iTunes, the first commercially successful mass marketing of digital music. We now listen to music not on the gramophones or record players of Edison, but the iPods, Nanos, and other devices of Jobs. Jobs, a renaissance man worthy of Edison, also made a major improvement on Edison’s invention of the movie camera. His company Pixar, was the first to make totally digital, computer generated films, such as “Toy Story.”

Sure, Apple computer owners –like Radio Four listeners —can be a little peculiar, snooty and disdainful of PC users (I am one of the latter but not yet one of the former). They look down on us PC users as plebeian and common; not able to think on Apple’s own terms, they believe themselves to be a league apart, no mere geeks, but trendy style setters, their computers as fashion statements.

I can’t necessarily blame them, for Apple is probably the world’s premier brand. In marketing terms, Jobs has developed very distinctive brand values: Stylish, forward thinking, with unique operating software, providing both the hardware and the software. Customers talk about the level of service and training they get at Apple stores, unlike the common cattle-class treatment the rest of us PC users get at the back of the plane. Nothing against Microsoft, I swear by them; Gates like Jobs is also a visionary and one of the great industrialists of the PC age. I have a friend, though, who worked proudly for Microsoft for 17 years. Leaving them last year to set up his own marketing company the first thing he bought was a Mac.

With newspaper readership falling by the day, A N Wilson, who makes his living in the “rag trade” should note the recent comments from Rupert Murdoch, who sees the iPad as the device that will finally monetise newspaper readership on the internet. The iPad, not the newsagent is where you will probably pay for and pick up your Daily Mail in the future.

I would even go so far as to put Jobs up there with the great religious and political leaders named by A N Wilson. Like Thatcher and Reagan, Jobs brought a certain kind of freedom, maybe not political, but a financial freedom to his many investors and employees. Financial freedom to the billions of persons who own and are affected by his products every day; they have enriched our lives, made us more productive and freer. They have allowed us to communicate faster, seek information quicker, to be creative and entertained.

Forward thinking, progressive and intuitive, Jobs, unlike Einstein, was truly a renaissance man. Jobs was a modern day Leonardo da Vinci; an inventor but also an artist.

Apple’s products are post-modernist design classics; aesthetically stylish and functional at the same time. Like da Vinci it is reported that Jobs has left his own “notebooks” with development plans for Apple for the next four years. Jobs was a man with one eye on the product’s design and the other on its functional future.

Steve Jobs was a man ahead of his time who died well before his time. His finger, not just “on the pulse” but pushing it like an “app” (Source from : Daily Mail)
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Five Things Steve Jobs Must Do Before He Dies

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It's all true, almost. Bloomberg ran an obituary Wednesday for the man who made the computer as easy to use as the telephone, remade animated films, hooked the world on digital music and turned the phone into a truly smart, pocketable computer. There's just one tiny detail Bloomberg's write-up got wrong: Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs lives.

Bloomberg quickly retracted the story, though crocodiles are probably gnawing away on the editors who let that pre-packaged obit slip through.

Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) has been dogged by rumors of Jobs' ill health since his appearance at an Apple developer's conference in June. (The Apple co-founder had surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004.) The best sign: Jobs ambushed New York Times columnist Joe Nocera with a call that began with an expletive-ridden rant before browbeating Nocera--whom he called a "slime bucket," according to Nocera's column--into an off-the-record conversation on the matter.

But while the rascally Jobs lives, another man is dead: Dave Freeman, 47, author of "100 Things to Do Before You Die." Freeman died this week after hitting his head at his Venice, Calif., home. Reportedly, he'd only gotten to half the destinations he'd urged readers to visit before his own untimely demise. In that spirit, here are a few of the gadgets we'd like to see Jobs, 53, create before he goes.

1. A Tablet Computer

Apple has hinted that the iPod Touch won't be the only device that will get a version of the iPhone's touch-sensitive interface. One product long speculated about: a thin, lightweight Web tablet with a touch interface, perfect for browsing the Internet or viewing an episode of Torchwood from Apple's iTunes store.

2. A Television

While Forrester Research (nasdaq: FORR - news - people ) trashed the idea in a report published earlier this year, others, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, have suggested Apple will design its own television. The effort could revive the fortunes of Apple TV, a set-top box that transfers content from Apple's iTunes digital media store onto television screens.

3. A Remote Control

For a control freak like Jobs, a remote control might just be impossible to resist. Or so speculate the prognosticators at Forrester Research. Apple is already part-way there. An application created by Apple for the iPhone and iPod Touch already allows users to take control of the media on their computer or their Apple TV using the slim devices. A touch-sensitive remote control would be another step toward placing Apple at the center of the digital living room.

4. A Digital Book

Amazon's Kindle is nice. The slim, white device allows Amazon customers to buy and read books for the online retailer at the touch of a button. And while the device isn't the next iPod, it's revived a category of gizmos many had left for dead. But something's missing--and it's not just Apple's unerring design sense. What e-readers lack is a crafty business model, such as Jobs has constructed for putting content on Apple's iPod digital media players.

5. The Personal Computer--Again

Jobs didn't invent the graphical user interface, or the mouse. But he was the first to put them on a machine with the power--and the simplicity--to appeal to a mass audience. Twenty-four years after the introduction of the Macintosh, however, most of us still type when we want to communicate with our computers. Jobs' experiments with touch interfaces and fascination with ever larger, thinner displays hint that he may have some thoughts on how to take the way we interact with personal computers in a new direction.

Of course, the best gadgets Jobs will make will be the things no one--except Jobs--imagines. The upside: Jobs will get to know how Huck Finn felt when he and Tom Sawyer got to listen in all the nice things everyone said about him at his funeral service. Just don't let it go to your head, Steve. You've got work to do.

Source from : FORBES.com
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Hacker Monitoring 300.000 Gmail User in Iran

Wednesday, September 7, 20112 comments

300 thousand users Google email service (Gmail) on Iran should accept the fact that during this communication may be spied upon by a hacker or hackers. This is because they use fake security certificate that has been designed by hackers.

Previously, users of Gmail using a security certificate from the Netherlands, issued by Diginotar. However, since July 2011 website Diginotar hackers attacked and caused 333 false security certificate can spread to various sites.

Security certificate issued Diginotar should ensure communications made by the user of a website. With the certificate, website visitors, especially email users will feel secure because the communications do not be seen by others. However, since Diginotar attacked by hackers, the entire communication from 300 thousand Gmail users in Iran becomes vulnerable.

Report violations committed hackers discovered by Fox-IT, which then issued its report on Sept. 5. Fox-IT reports indicate that the hackers were able to access an internal system for a month before DigiNotar take action.

DigiNotar has asked the Dutch government to help restore the attack. Behind it, Google and many other companies have issued updates to ensure that the false certificates could no longer be used in email service.

DigiNotar is a second security certificate victims of hackers. In March 2011, Comodo also experienced the same thing. There is evidence that the same hackers were behind both attacks. Messages sent hackers through a site stating that they have also mastered other manufacturers' Web sites security certificate.

Earlier, the Dutch government has also started an investigation to determine whether personal data of citizens of the Netherlands as a file income tax returns have also been monitored hackers. Vincent van Steen, a spokesman for the Dutch Foreign Minister, said that the ministry was working to learn more about how the intrusion occurred and how to prevent future attacks (The New York Times, BBC).
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In France, Teaching Kids How to Write Using Twitter

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Seated in front of the family computer, with his mother watching him, Lucas, 7, let his 30 Twitter followers know that "my cousins Eva and Léa are coming to my house tonight." It's just like he does at school. In 2010, Lucas was a pupil in the first primary school class in France to use Twitter to learn how to read and write.

Still far from the mainstream, especially in the rather traditional French education system, the introduction of Twitter is nonetheless spreading fast among teachers. As of Sep. 1, the website Twittclasses.posterous.com listed 81 French-speaking twittclasses, about 50 of which were located in France.

In Lucas' class, none of the students, and only a few parents, knew about Twitter when the teacher Jean-Roch Masson introduced the new school project for 2010 with the declaration: "We are going to be the journalists of our own lives."

Every morning, one or two pupils are in charge of posting the first tweet of the day. However, before posting it, he or she needs to write the sentence in his or her exercise book, get it corrected, type it on a shared digital document and copy and paste it in the software managing Twitter. The short message then appears on the smartboard on the classroom wall, along with messages from followers of the class. When a new tweet addressed to them appears, the whole class can get over-excited. "I had to set up a few rules," the teacher says. "They wanted to stop everything to read the messages and reply."

In addition to the tweets suggested by his pupils, Jean-Roch Masson uses Twitter for new kinds of exercises: creating portmanteau words, discussing a word, solving math problems... or even playing chess with Amandine Terrier's class hundreds of miles away.

Terrier launched the first primary school twittclass in 2010 to comment on a school trip to Paris. Parents could follow the tweets posted by their children from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. The experiment should have stopped there, but when the same pupils arrived in her class the next year, the first thing they asked was "Teacher, when do we tweet?" To respond to this motivation to write, Terrier decided to use Twitter as a learning tool for civics projects, and to communicate with schools abroad.

"Those experiments were launched in very specific contexts," says Gérard Marquié, a member of the French National Institute of youth and popular education. "They are all located in rural, middle-class areas or in vocational schools. The pupils' situation encourages teachers to work on ways to motivate them, and open up."

Stéphanie de Vanssay, a member of a teacher network for kids with learning difficulties, says Twitter makes pupils see that reading and spelling is not just about getting good marks at school. "Just writing a line makes no real sense, but writing it for someone does," she says.

According to the psychologist and therapist Yann Leroux, the success of writing on Twitter can be explained by the digital medium's ability to break down inhibitions. "Children quickly learn that something written on paper stays whereas on the Internet, things can be erased. It avoids the guilt a mistake can provoke, and allows you to try new things without fear."

Not being afraid is one thing, but the pupils are also taught to be cautious. To avoid any trouble linked to social networks, each twittclass has created its own code of conduct. Jean-Roch Masson's class decided it would only go on Twitter "with a parent or the teacher to read or write." Pupils need to be "polite and nice" and not to give their "address, password or anything regarding their private life."

Source From : Time World
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Google Executives Threatened Tweet 20,000 Within a Year

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The U.S. federal agency the FBI had arrested a 27-year-old boy who allegedly sent a threat to Google executives, Marissa Mayer, the past year. The threat has been running for one year, from November 2010 until August 2011 and amounted to 20 thousand tweet.

Mayer, Google's first female engineer who served as vice president of the local map service and location, is the target of threats Calvin Gregory King, the name of the suspect. In his tweet King also alleges Mayer belong to a group that infect him with HIV disease. King also wrote derogatory statements that Jews, blacks, and Latin.

The FBI claimed there was no apparent relationship between Meyer with the King, who was arrested in San Antonio on August 19, 2011 and, after fleeing Virginia. After his arrest, King chose to take to San Francisco, as quoted by the San Antonio Express-News.

The FBI began working on the case since the safety of Google, in writing this report the incident in February 2011. King allegedly used three Twitter account, with the message he sent from Virginia and Texas. When the FBI interviewed Mayer in April 2011, this 36-year-old woman claimed that she was disturbed and felt that the actors always follow all the information about and control over the internet.

If the King found guilty, then he will be snared five-year prison sentence for interstate activities and the threat of an additional 2 years in prison for abuse of communication does.
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Facebook Prepares to Integrate Music

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Facebook Inc. is preparing changes designed to make the site a hub for listening to music, watching movies and playing videogames, according to people familiar with the matter, in much the same way people already use the social network to share personal media like photos and videos.

Facebook has told media executives in recent days that it will begin letting online music services such as Spotify AB and Rdio Inc. publish user activity on Facebook pages, much like actions such as adding friends or "liking" websites.

The move is part of a larger effort at Facebook to improve the discovery of all types of media content on the site.

If finalized, the changes could be announced at Facebook's f8 developer conference in late September, said a person familiar with the matter.

The Facebook initiative is designed to integrate the social-media giant more closely with services that let users stream free music or an unlimited amount of music for a monthly fee. By contrast, Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. recently started "cloud" music services that let users upload their personal music collections to remote servers and listen to them remotely, and Apple Inc. is preparing to start a similar offering.

CNBC reported Wednesday that Facebook was working to create a music platform. In response, Facebook said: "Many of the most popular music services around the world are integrated with Facebook and we're constantly talking to our partners about ways to improve these integrations."

In some cases, music services could create a player that would sit within Facebook, letting users hear music without leaving the site. However, the music itself would still be delivered through the third-party service, which users would be required to log in to before listening. Such players wouldn't be mandatory, these people said, so that if a user wanted to listen to a Facebook friend's Spotify playlist, that person might need to switch applications to hear it.

These people said that the new arrangement wouldn't represent a partnership with any particular music service. In practice, however, Spotify could benefit more from the changes because the music service offers more free music than its competitors. That in turn could mean that Facebook users could sign up for Spotify and listen to friends' playlists without paying.

One of the media executives said Facebook was encouraged to pursue the plan after its success with social games made by companies like Zynga Inc., the maker of FarmVille.

Meanwhile, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. movie studio in recent months has begun renting movies on Facebook. As with the proposed music offerings, users watch the movies, including "The Dark Knight" and "Yogi Bear," on Facebook, but they are delivered by third parties. Warner Bros. charges 30 to 40 Facebook credits for the rentals, with the site taking a 30% fee - its standard cut of transactions using its proprietary currency. A Facebook credit is worth 10 cents (Source : Wall Street Journal).
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