No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
— Steve Jobs’s 2005 commencement address at Stanford. You can read the full text here or watch the entire thing here.
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On Wednesday, Apple announced that Jobs had died. There are far too many tributes and obituaries out there to even try and sift through everything. The Stanford commencement address — smartly dubbed “what may be the Gettysburg Address of graduation-speechism” by Ken Auletta — is probably the single best thing to read, and I highly recommend it. There was a rainbow over Pixar, which is nice purely for the visual. Steven Levy’s story at Wired is just as good as you would expect. Brian Lam, former editor of Gizmodo, has an excellent story about the time his site got its hands on the iPhone 4 prototype. Walt Mossberg, who knew Jobs well, also shared a terrific tribute.
Everyone who cares about the passing of Jobs has their own reasons. Everyone who feels some level of sorrow at the passing of a man they never met, never knew and never spoke with feels that way because of the connection fostered through innovation, technological advancement, branding and so much more. If you are feeling particularly moved today, consider making a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Are you heading out to buy the iPad 2 today? It’s okay, you can tell me. I won’t judge. I won’t mock you because it’s probably unnecessary. I won’t even mock you if you bought one last year, but you simply have to have it because zomgs did you see HOW THIN? It’s seriously a piece of paper. It makes me look hefty. (Oh, right, you can’t see me. I’m svelte. But that’s not the point.)
Anyway, here’s something to remember when you head out to the store, hoping to add the iPad 2 to your collection of other iGoodies: You would have been a lot better off if you just bought an equivalent amount of Apple stock instead of the devices. Financially, I mean. Kevin Conroy, a computer science student at UC Berkeley, crunched the numbers. It’s very interesting! For example, if you bought $399 worth of Apple stock instead of the original iPod in 2001, that stock would be worth $11,914 today. That’s a pretty solid ROI, no? Of course, there’s a tradeoff: Sure, you’d have a lot more money, but you’d lose that esoteric sense of self-satisfaction that comes from being an early adopter of shiny, fancy technological wonders.
The iPad 2 is here, to the joy of some and the indifference of others. It’s thinner! It’s faster! It still costs $499 and, to a great many of us, has absolutely no use nor purpose. Still, for the sake of completeness: Takes from Engadget, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, NYT.
Its amazing how badly behaved some customers are. I have seen customers have complete meltdowns and get phones exchanged that were like two years old. They scream, cry, curse. And it works. People can be horrible. Sometimes it’s like working at McDonald’s, with better pay. I’ve never been treated so badly in my life.
— An anonymous Apple Store employee speaks out in Popular Mechanics about what it’s like working there. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but apparently they encounter a lot of drug dealers, or so this cat believes.
For the second time since January 2009, Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave from Apple. Kara Swisher has a good take on the human angle of this, while this Times story has a good read on what they accurately call Apple’s deep bench. Rumors always abound about Jobs’s health, and there’s no point in speculating. We’ll know more when we know more. For now, Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook takes the helm.
Verizon will finally announce tomorrow that they are getting the iPhone, reports the Wall Street Journal. If they sell the anticipated nine to 12 million phones this year, loaded up with the unlimited data plans AT&T declined to offer when they debuted the phone, Verizon users should look forward to constant network failures and the requisite massive headaches. As for me, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When the iPhone comes to T-Mobile, maybe I’ll think about it.
It’s a very, very, very long time coming, but Apple is about to announce that iTunes will start carrying Beatles songs. Yes, this old chestnut. Apple sure knows how to draw attention from Facebook’s big announcements. This has taken seemingly forever, but hey, now you can buy songs you surely already own.
UPDATE: Yep, it’s official. Here it is.
Following the report on Monday that Facebook apps were transmitting personal data to advertising and tracking companies, some congressmen would like a word with the social network. Since the two representatives are co-chairmen of the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus, now Congress is on the job and your privacy will forever be secure! Huzzah. In unrelated but semi-related news, Steve Jobs and Apple have $51 billion (!) to play with. Peter Kafka posits an oft-considered question: Will Apple try to buy Facebook? Jobs was spotted dining with Mark Zuckerberg recently. The relatively short history of Facebook to this point suggests Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to sell, but at some point don’t the headaches outweigh the positives?
When Apple wants your land to build a new data center, you don’t have to leave. But eventually, they might give you $1.7 million, so you can go build a 49-acre property with a Jacuzzi in the master bedroom. [Bloomberg]