Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads!

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Steve Jobs was the father of two teenage girls and a son when he passed away in 2011. These kids grew up with a visionary father who co-founded one of the best-known tech companies. Jobs led the world into the digital age with gadgets that transformed the way we listen to music, watch movies, communicate, live our lives.

You would imagine that his children’s rooms would have been filled with iPods, iPhones and iPads.

That’s not the case. In an article in the Sunday New York Times, reporter Nick Bilton says he once asked Jobs “So, your kids must love the iPad?” Jobs response: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

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The Times article examines the growing trend among the California Silicon Valley tech set to limit children’s technology use. Many of the people behind the social media platforms, gadgets and games that are consuming our kids’ time and minds aren’t actually allowing their own children to waste an entire Saturday afternoon playing Minecraft on the iPad.

A quote in The Times from Chris Anderson, father of five and chief executive of 3D Robotics, pretty much defines why Anderson and his colleagues are limiting technology at home. “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” says Anderson, formerly the editor of Wired. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

Some of these Silicon Valley engineers and execs are even going to the extreme of sending their kids to computer-free schools. A Times story from 2011 reported that engineers and execs from Apple, eBay, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo are sending their kids to a Waldorf elementary school in Los Altos, Calif., where you won’t find a single computer or screen of any sort. Also, kids are discouraged from watching television or logging on at home.

Alan Eagle, who works in executive communications at Google and has a degree in computer science from Dartmouth, has a fifth grader who attends the school and he told the Times that she “doesn’t know how to use Google.”

The thinking is that technology interferes with creativity and young minds learn best through movement, hands-on tasks, and human-to-human interaction. Students at this school are gaining math, patterning, and problem-solving skills by knitting socks. They aren’t exposed to fractions through a computer program. Instead they learn about halves and quarters by cutting up food.

Are you surprised by any of this? Bilton certainly was when he had that conversation with Jobs in 2010. Bilton spoke with the Apple boss many times and says learning that Jobs was a low-tech parent was the most shocking bit of information that he ever heard. Shocking for me too…and now I wonder is tech good or bad at such a young age…my grand daughter is already an iPad expert.

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The Woman Behind Apple’s Icons

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Brandon Griggs of CNN wrote a great article about the woman behind Apple’s icons.

I certainly did not know her name but thanks to Griggs I now know her work which still influences how we interact with our computers today.

She is Susan Kare, and she designed fonts and icons for Apple’s original Macintosh, including the little trash can for discarding files and the computer with a smiling face. In that way, Kare helped people such as Steve Jobs pioneer the transition from controlling computers via text to the icon-based interfaces now common on touchscreen devices.

Kare had a fine-arts background when a friend recruited her to join Apple in 1982. For the Mac, Kare designed the first font whose letters were spaced proportionally – in other words, accounting for the varying width of ”i” and “m” instead of just fitting letters into identical blocks regardless of size, which left gaps in between. As a graphic artist I am pleased about that but never knew who was behind what seems to be a simple idea unless you are obsessed with typography like I am.

Because an application for designing icons on Macintosh screens hadn’t been coded yet, Kare went to an art-supply store and bought a sketchbook so she could begin playing around with ideas. In those pages she created the casual prototypes of a new, radically user-friendly face of computing — each square of graph paper representing a pixel on the screen.”
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After leaving Apple Kare designed icons and products for Microsoft’s Windows, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Facebook’s Gifts program, which encouraged users to send each other virtual birthday cakes, flowers and other amorphous treats.

After years of semi-obscurity, Kare has been getting some renewed attention lately. She just published an art book of 80 of her favorite icons created between 1983 and 2011. Her work with Apple is also cited in Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Steve Jobs, currently the top-selling nonfiction book in the country.
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“She and Jobs hit it off because they shared an instinct for simplicity along with a desire to make the Mac whimsical,” Isaacson wrote.

In keeping with his rep as a perfectionist micromanager, Jobs stopped by to check on Kare’s work almost every day. When she first named her Mac fonts after stops on the Main Line commuter train in her native Philadelphia, Jobs encouraged her to think bigger.

“They ought to be world-class cities!” he complained, according to the book, Kare’s fonts were soon renamed after such cultural capitals as San Francisco, London and Venice.

My American business hero died today…Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs the innovative co-founder of Apple who transformed personal use of technology as well as entire industries with products such as the iPod, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh computer and the iTunes music store, died today.

The iconic American CEO, whose impact many have compared to auto magnate Henry Ford and Walt Disney— whom Jobs openly admired — abruptly stepped down from his position as CEO of Apple in August because of health concerns. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, a former Apple board member, called Jobs the best CEO of the past 50 years — perhaps 100 years. I would agree…he has become almost a cult hero among all of us in the tech community.

A seminal business and technology leader, Jobs’ success flowed from a relentless focus on making products that were easy and intuitive for the average consumer to use. His products were characterized by groundbreaking design and style that, along with their technological usefulness, made them objects of intense desire by consumers around the world.

He was known as a demanding, mercurial boss and an almost mystical figure in technology circles as well as American popular culture. Author and business consultant Jim Collins once called Jobs the “Beethoven of business.” He was one of the figures who made Silicon Valley the capital of technological innovation and related venture capital fortunes.
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He revolutionized the computing business with Mac, he revolutionized the music business with iTunes and he turned the telephony business on its ear with the iPhone. He reinvented several businesses too, Pixar gave animation a whole new life. A fact that I just learned today as a retailer, Apple Stores are the most profitable per square foot retail spaces in the world.

And finally as a marketer…my former ad agency network produced the advertising for Apple and without a doubt created some of the most outstanding commercials in the industry for the Apple Brand. Who does remember the famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial or the iconic “think Different” campaign.
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Jobs’ work at Apple and other projects made him a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine in 2011 at $8.3 billion. He was No.110 on Forbes’ list of billionaires worldwide and No.34 in the United States, as of the magazine’s March 2011 estimates.

It will surely be missed and everyone has to wonder who will lead Apple not just in the Boardroom but in the “kitchen” where the ideas are created.

Unusual CEO

Steve Jobs earned a $1 annual salary every year since he rejoined Apple in 1997. While many $1-a-year CEOs reap big back-end stock and options packages, Jobs was almost a financial ascetic: He collected no stock awards most years, no cash bonuses and no perks, even turning down a 401(k) match from Apple.

Apple’s market cap has risen from less than $2 billion to over $355.6 billion under Steve’s leadership, making it the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

Apple Campus 2 to be like a “spaceship”

The Cupertino, California municipal website is attracting buzz this weekend with a slew of new material about Apple’s proposed new “spaceship”-inspired mega-campus for 12,000 employees.
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Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance at a Cupertino City Council meeting in June to announce plans for a major expansion of the company’s headquarters, on a parcel of land formerly owned by Hewlett-Packard. The city’s website now has posted material related to Apple’s submission of a development proposal for the new “Apple Campus 2” on a 175-acre area.

Included in the proposal were downloadable PDFs of floorplans and renderings of the proposed circular building, which is expected to be completed by 2015. Here is the link to the PDF’s.

http://www.cupertino.org/inc/pdf/apple/Renderings.pdf

“Apple is growing like a weed,” Jobs told the council in June. “It’s a little like a spaceship landing,” he said of the futuristic design.

After the presentation, Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong said, “Cupertino is ready for this. … There is no chance we are saying no.”

Finally Fab Four on iTunes!

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The Beatles finally are making their debut on iTunes.

On Tuesday, Apple announced a deal with representatives of the Beatles and the group’s record label, EMI Group, to put the entire catalog of Beatles music in the iTunes Store.

“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. “It has been a long and winding road to get here.”

For years, The Fab Four have been the most notable holdout from selling their collective digital music in Apple’s popular iTunes store even though solo recordings by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are available.

But Tuesday’s announcement brings the British pop royalty into the digital realm in a major way.

“It’s a very big deal,” says Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “It’s a symbolic milestone.”

While the Beatles music has been available for four decades on vinyl, cassette, 8-track and CD, its migration to iTunes makes it more easily available to those who don’t own the songs in those other formats.

“It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around,” said Sir Paul McCartney.

All 13 of the group’s remastered studio albums are available for $12.99, or as double albums for $19.99. Individual songs can be downloaded for $1.29 each.

It’s not like owners of Apple iPods, Zunes and other mp3 haven’t been able to get the music onto their devices. All they had to do was copy their CDs to the computer and transfer the music.

“But there’s a value to saying ‘We’re the first to have the Beatles online,” says Mike McGuire, an analyst with Gartner. “Have you ever downloaded something you were pretty sure you had somewhere else? I know I have. Apple will sell lots of Beatles downloads.”

Paul Resnikoff, editor of the Digital Music News blog, says the Beatles on iTunes will appeal to the older demographic who never got with the program of ripping CDs. “A 16-year-old, if they’re interested, already has the music on their iPod, and figured out how to get it there. A 66-year-old may not know how to download the entire catalog in 30 minutes, and may really be interested in getting it from iTunes.”

Yikes I guess they think us geezers can’t do anything digitally.