By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

This is a sad day. Steve Jobs has died. He was a visionary and a genius — a genius of design, and of knowing how we wanted to work and play long before we had any idea. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve,” said Apple in a company statement, according to NBC News. It’s true, and how many people can you say that about?

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  1. Mike Benedict

    Jobs was a technical visionary. As a human being, he was something of a disgrace. Not sure that obviates the feting we are about to be inundated with, but I hope his failings — and they were big — are not completely ignored.

  2. Al Fiantaca

    The broadcast announcement of his death should have been done at the next scheduled news program. The was nothing critical or time sensitive about it, and the major TV networks had no business interrupting their regularly scheduled programs for a gush festival by their anchors. That isn’t to say that anything scheduled was that important, just that there was nothing urgent about Jobs’ death that demanded that immediacy.

  3. Stephen Stein

    I started working on Macintosh software in 1983, and I’ve done so ever since. It’s because of Steve Jobs that I’ve been employed these last 28 years. He changed the world. Not only that, but he showed a lot of people how it’s done by being smart, arrogant and fearless.

    It’s a sad day indeed.

  4. Mike Benedict

    @Stephen: Any thoughts on Jobs’ being joined at the hip to Foxconn, whose worker conditions are so notoriously bad nearly 20 of its employees have committed suicide over the past two years? Foxconn and Apple have direct financial ties: Apple actually owns the equipment in Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory, and pays Foxconn for every finished — and working — assembly. Meanwhile, Apple by its own admission essentially ignores its own Supplier Code of Conduct.

  5. Stephen Stein

    @Mike – I don’t like it. But right now I doubt there’s a piece of consumer electronics made in the last 10 years that doesn’t have similar issues.

  6. Stephen I concur, yes smart, arrogant and fearless.

    Also there is more commentary in the comments section:

    I thought or more accurately feared this for some time. We all can crack on Apple for various reasons — and I did — told Apple they could *******, but then they made it right. Anyway never forget that most of us doing the cracking can only do it as proficiently as we do…. because of him. My Mortgage Movies and exposure of shady Federal Judges in NH would probably would not exist as it is without him.

    RIP Brother, and that is all I have to say, but to that I will add this: For example, I’m 46. How would you live, how would you love, how would you learn if someone told you that you had but ten years left to live? Good. Then go ahead and act as if, Peace.

    PS: I don’t think the cause of death should remain a mystery, however. I have two tennis idols, John McEnroe and Arthur Ashe. I have had short interviews with both an on extended with Arthur about 5 years before he died, and even though he died of AIDS because of a blood transfusion at a time when it was considered taboo to have AIDS for any reason, he publicly acknowledged what was happening to him. I think when millions of people look up to you that you have an attendant obligation to inform, if only because it bring awareness to whatever ailment that has removed your physical body from our realm. Just my $.02.

  7. I’m going to see a show in New York this month called “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” It’s a monologue by a theater artist named Mike Daisey. He traveled to China to visit the Foxconn plant.

    Here’s the Washington Post review:

  8. Mike Benedict

    @Stephen: Actually, RIM refuses to go to China for precisely that reason. So everyone who is walking around with a Blackberry can hold their head high.

    Until RIM goes out of business, that is…

  9. Stephen Stein

    @Mike – Dealing w/ Apple at a business level over the years has been both troubling and troublesome at times. It’s just not a day to dwell on that, for me at least.

  10. Laurence Glavin

    I worked at Wang Laboratories (a corporate name that belied its size at its height) in the early 1980s, and besides what were lovingly called “minicomputers” in those days, Wang also made a PC with proprietary software and a several features that appeared LATER on Macintoshes: imaging processors and retrievable sound files (not compressed to the extent they were with MP3 technology). If only Steve Jobs had been born in New England and had been a hire by Wang, things might have been different.

  11. C. E. Stead

    I am apparently the only person in America who has never used an Apple product…

  12. Nial Lynch

    Mass. regulators bar IPO of Apple stock in 1980 as being too risky (PDF).

  13. Maybe I’ve been wrong on this but I always felt that as a consumer, Apple’s tight control benefited me. I assumed that making things difficult for third-party developers was a way to ensure a certain level of quality control and ease of use for any software that ran on its computers. The fact that it’s a “closed system” is meaningless to me. I don’t think I need to open it for anything.

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