Google changed the settings on Android phones without their owners' permission

A decade ago, Steve Jobs admitted in an interview that Apple had the means to remotely kill core functionalities and apps on iOS devices. Apple purportedly made this possible to ensure that their hardware could not be taken over with malicious apps. I remember being very not OK with this, at the time. But over the years, I completely forgot about it.

Until this week.

From The Verge:

Yesterday a mix of people who own Google Pixel phones and other devices running Android 9 Pie noticed that the software’s Battery Saver feature had been switched on — seemingly all by itself. And oddly, this was happening when the phones were near a full charge, not when the battery was low. As reported by Android Police, initially it was assumed that this was some kind of minor bug in the latest version of Android, which was only released a few weeks ago. Some users thought they might’ve just enabled Battery Saver without realizing.

But it was actually Google at fault.

The company posted a message on Reddit last night acknowledging “an internal experiment to test battery saving features that was mistakenly rolled out to more users than intended.” So Google had remotely — and accidentally — changed a phone setting for a bunch of real-world customers.

Not cool.

Sure, you can argue that it was an honest mistake made by Google's OS development team: they hadn't meant to screw with Android Pie users' handsets. Hell, as soon as it happened, Google hit the interwebz to admit to the mistake. Read the rest

What Lisa Brennan-Jobs wants you to know about her father

The public myth of Steve Jobs' bullying arrogance concealed a private reality of cruelty, coldness and spite. His daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, exposes the "damning details" in her forthcoming book, Small Fry [Amazon]. But in a New York Times profile written by Nellie Bowles, Brennan-Jobs hopes all the same that others choose not to damn him.

In passage after passage of “Small Fry,” Mr. Jobs is vicious to his daughter and those around her. Now, in the days before the book is released, Ms. Brennan-Jobs is fearful that it will be received as a tell-all exposé, and not the more nuanced portrait of a family she intended. She worries that the reaction will be about a famous man’s legacy rather than a young woman’s story — that she will be erased again, this time in her own memoir. ... Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s forgiveness is one thing. What’s tricky is that she wants the reader to forgive Mr. Jobs, too. And she knows that could be a problem.

“Have I failed?” she asked, in one of our conversations.

Perhaps the problem is that most of the people who might forgive him never damned him in the first place. And those who might damn him now (his monstrous narcissism is left undeniable) have no reason at all to forgive him. Read the rest

John Carmack shares Steve Jobs memories

Programming legend John Carmack shares stories of working with Steve Jobs. Jobs, Carmack writes, disliked computer games and their early prominence on the Mac platform — “Steve doesn’t like blood” — and yet...

When my wife and I later started building games for feature phones (DoomRPG! Orcs&Elves!), I advocated repeatedly to Steve that an Apple phone could be really great. Every time there was a rumor that Apple might be working on a phone, I would refine the pitch to him. Once he called me at home on a Sunday (How did he even get my number?) to ask a question, and I enthused at length about the possibilities.

Read the rest

The hotel where Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh prototype in 1983 (and why Apple got banned from it)

In Apple's early days, the swanky La Playa Carmel hotel was on the list of preferred venues for the company's offsite retreats. Carmel-By-The-Sea's quaint charm coupled with the property's privacy made it an ideal spot for their gatherings.

In fact, it was where the company's Macintosh retreat was held in late January of 1983. That's where Steve Jobs first revealed the team's Macintosh computer prototype, right there in the hotel's ocean-view banquet room.

I am just back from EG, a fantastic conference for/by/of creatives held in Carmel-By-The-Sea, and ate dinner in that room.

This room...

EG's director Michael Hawley pointed out this commemorative plaque, which resides on the room's back wall.

It reads, "In this room Steve Jobs unveiled the MacIntosh computer prototype during a development team retreat, and ceremoniously christened it with a bottle of La Playa Carmel water."

Hawley also shared the rest of the story. Apparently things got a little wild at this gathering, resulting in getting Apple banned from the hotel for 30 years. The team -- who were drunk -- stripped naked and jumped in the hotel's pool ("oblivious to the polite strangling sounds of the blue-haired ladies all around," according to author Frank Rose) and then headed to the beach to start a bonfire. The next morning the hotel politely asked them to not return.

In 2013, the hotel changed ownership and Apple was invited back with the message, "All is forgiven."

Read: Carmel hotel ends ban on Apple retreats 30 years after skinny-dipping incident (2013 article)

photos by Rusty Blazenhoff Read the rest

1981 Nightline interview with Steve Jobs

In this 1981 Nightline interview Ted Koppel asks 26 year old Steve Jobs "There is a sense that many of us have who really don't understand how computers work, or what they do for us or to us, that we are becoming controlled by the computers. Any danger of that happening?"

Jobs said: "Well, as you know, the product we manufacture, many people see it for the first time and they don't think it's a computer it's about 12 pounds you can throw it out the window if the relationship isn't going so well." Read the rest

Who exactly is the audience for the Steve Jobs movie?

The biopic, starring Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, is getting good writeups: "brilliant, when not breaking your heart," is Time Out's summation of both man and movie.

An early dissent, from Rex Reed, is equally unsurprising to anyone who has followed the narratives of Jobs: " Cold, obnoxious, neurotic, selfish, indifferent toward everything but his computers … worth $441 million when his wife and daughter were living on welfare". (And, postscript, Fassbender "looks nothing whatsoever like Jobs.")

At Wired, Jason Tanz writes about Steve Jobs and "Tech's god complex".

Chris-Ann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girfriend and Lisa’s mother, likens him to a figure in a Ram Dass book: “When someone goes into a state of enlightenment but does it while still attached to their ego, they call that the golden chain. And that’s what I feel happened to Steve. He went into magnificence and enlightenment but he, he just blew it.”

Roll your eyes all you want, infidels, but I think there’s something to it.

His argument is that the new movie, "Steve Jobs", is like an anti-biopic. Most set about mythologizing and narrating their subjects, whereas this one aims to demythologize a man lionized and caricatured to absurdity by the time he died.

In this way, it’s more like one of those postmodern Westerns—McCabe & Mrs. Miller or Unforgiven—deconstructing America’s self-image by poking holes in the stories it tells about itself. Yeah, Jobs may have made good computers, this movie says, but that hardly matters, because—whatever Jobs might believe—machines are secondary to our work as humans, not extensions of it.

Read the rest

Arab-looking man of Syrian descent found in garage building what looks like a bomb

Omar Ghabra won Twitter with these photos, and this quip: “An Arab-looking man of Syrian descent in a garage w/his accomplice building what appears to be a bomb. Arrest them.” Read the rest

Younger Bill Gates poses with older Bill Gates

Fulvio Obregon, an illustrator from Cali, Colombia, created a series of portraits that show younger and older versions of the same celebrity as if they are in the same room together.

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Trailer for Alex Gibney's Steve Jobs documentary

Documentary maker Alex Gibney (Going Clear, We Steal Secrets, and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) is directing Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. The trailer looks good – I would rather watch this instead of the docudramas about him. It's coming out on 4 September 2015.

Read the rest

Steve Jobs: Insanely Great

A sponsored sneak peek of a new graphic biography of the late Apple founder and chief executive.

Steve Wozniak says the media is wrong about him and Steve Jobs

Here is Esquire's candid interview with Steve Wozniak, who talks about his disappointment over our growing loss of privacy and the truth about his relationship with Steve Jobs.

I'll say the same thing as Steve, and the press will make it seem like I'm trying to bash Apple. Like when they lowered the price of the iPhone, a reporter asked me about price drop. I said it was too fast too quick, which was the same thing Steve had said, but they made it seem like I was bashing Apple.

Image: by Schreibvieh Read the rest

A Steve Jobs postage stamp is coming in 2015

The Washington Post got their hands on a leaked copy of the USPS stamp plans for the next few years. Steve Jobs is getting his own stamp in 2015.

He's in good company: Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Harvey Milk, Johnny Carson, and Charlie Brown's Peanuts gang will be honored, too.

Here's the full list. Read the rest

Jobs wanted "a little man in every Mac"

"It was one of Jobs's most whimsical ideas," writes John Brownlee. "A mysterious cartoon character that would live inside each Macintosh computer. Then, the grim practical reality of early computing set in. This is the legend of Mr. Macintosh. Read the rest

Pixar boss Steve Jobs hated one thing about The Incredibles

At Cult of Mac, Sarah Lai Stirland offers an amusing anecdote from Pixar Director Mark Andrews, who got to tell Steve Jobs off.

Mark Andrews, a writer, director and storyboard artist at Pixar, recounted that Jobs would often drop in to participate in production postmortems. It was at the company’s screening of “The Incredibles,” about a family of superheroes living undercover in the suburbs, where he first met Apple’s late co-founder. Andrews worked on the project as its story supervisor.

“He was sitting next to me and he said: ‘I just got one thing, John and Brad,’[the film's producer and writer/director] They said: ‘Sure, what is it Steve?’ He said: ‘Those stupid-ass, George Lucas-reject Star Wars space ships in “The Incredibles” are asinine!’” Andrews said. “And I designed ‘em, and I turned around and I said: ‘Excuse me, Steve, those are MY George Lucas-reject fuckin’ asinine space ships!’

Read the rest

Steve Jobs Manga

Posted online is a preview of the first installment of Manga Taishō and Mari Yamazaki's manga bio of Steve Jobs. Read the rest

A bizarre Steve Jobs "Groucho" photo and the story behind it

John Brownlee tells the story of "a photograph of Steve Jobs so incredible, so deserved of being considered iconic, that you simply can’t believe that no one has ever even heard of it." Read the rest

Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs biopic will be three half-hour-long real-time segments

Aaron Sorkin, who is one of the only qualified people (in my opinion) for the job of writing about the late Steve Jobs, has told The Daily Beast at their Hero Summit today that his screenplay will have some pretty ambitious stuff in it. Namely, three thirty-minute segments that will take place backstage at three different Apple product launches, each of them to be filmed in real time. And that's the whole movie! Sorkin's hope is to end the movie on the memorable line, "Here's to the crazy ones," mentioned in the 1997 "Think Different" ad narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. (Here is a longer, unaired version with Jobs narrating.) But only, he says, if he can "earn" that ending. (Ahhhh... capital "W" Writing.) Sorkin also revealed which product launches the movie will feature: the Mac, NeXT, and the iPod, meaning that the movie will span Jobs' career from 1984 to 2001. Expect a lot of walking and talking, hectic backstage shenanigans, Josh Malina, many mentions of the word "thing" (don't make it a drinking game since Jobs was well-known for his inventions of things), and a long speech about how important and noble technological progress really is.

In the same talk, Sorkin also revealed that while he wasn't close acquaintances with Jobs, he did get a request from him to write a Pixar movie. So, I'll let that marinate with everyone for a while -- an Aaron Sorkin-scripted Pixar movie.

(via /Film) Read the rest

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