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Slate Reprints Blue-Box Article That Inspired Jobs

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the via-neal-stephenson-via-facebook dept.

Communications 121

Slate has reprinted the piece that Ron Rosenbaum wrote for Esquire in 1971, explaining to the world that there was an underground movement of people hacking the phone system. (Rosenbaum is now a columnist for Slate.) According to the article's new introduction and followup piece by Rosenbaum reflecting on its impact — and to the New York Times obituary for Steve Jobs — this article inspired Jobs and Wozniak to start building blue boxes themselves, an effort that made them several thousand dollars.

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121 comments

hate this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660208)

Hate this article? Don't worry! Unlike Bitcoin, HTML5 or Linux, the obituaries and tributes will stop being published eventually. Steve Jobs is dead and not coming back...

WAIT NOOOOOOOOO I JINXED IT STEVE ZOMBS

Re:hate this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660544)

Occupy Wall Street protests are dying down...

Re:hate this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661318)

Sigh. I thought the daily Jobs bowel movement post wold go away, but it is still around and multiplying. Where can I buy a cheap and functional netbook to soothe me?

I hate Jobs (-1, Flamebait)

dev740 (2480244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660226)

dead or alive. really please stop worshiping Apple religion.

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660238)

Hate is a nasty thing to waste time on. Try to concentrate on things you like and love.

Re:I hate Jobs (0, Offtopic)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660250)

Like telling people how to live their lives.

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660318)

Like telling people how to live their lives.

Most people are actually in dire need of that from time to time.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

salemboot (1178525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660352)

Money won't buy you happiness.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660438)

Money won't buy you happiness.

It'll just buy everything else, which is already something, don't you think?

Re:I hate Jobs (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660470)

If I had enough money to not worry about not having enough money, I could concentrate on being happy instead of making sure I have enough money.

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it certainly makes being happy a lot easier.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660580)

Exactly. Money indirectly does buy happiness to the poor person, because the poor person has money troubles which cause unhappiness. Take away that unhappiness and relative happiness goes up. More money than is required for getting out of money troubles doesn't buy happiness, or buys a lot less of it.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662020)

People who have tried to research this say that money does, in fact, buy happiness, but only up to an upper-middle-class income of about $65,000/year (in recent dollars).

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661066)

You can use money to get some pussy and pussy makes us happy.

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660550)

So, you're saying you think they should stop telling people how to live their lives?

I think you should stop telling people to stop telling people how to live their lives.

Or maybe I don't. It would perhaps be easier if we could agree that we can tell people how we think they should live their lives if we want to, but agree that they don't necessarily have to listen to us or follow our advice. So, I'm not sure anymore what I think or don't think I or you should do or not do.

Have a nice day (if you like).

Re:I hate Jobs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660292)

What if you love to hate?

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660340)

You *hate* him? Did he come and personally torture you or a family member or steal all your money and frame you for a rape?

If not, rather than expecting the world to turn on a dime to suit your irrationality, would it not be easier to either grow up or just not read such things? (Or learn to drop the hyperbole and stop wasting everyone else's time...)

Rgds

Damon

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660386)

You *hate* Hitler? Did he come and personally torture you or a family member or steal all your money and frame you for a rape?

Re:I hate Jobs (1, Funny)

flonker (526111) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660396)

You *hate* Hitler? Did he come and personally torture you or a family member or steal all your money and frame you for a rape?

Yes he did.

HTH, HAND.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660392)

Hitler did none of those things either.

Hate is best directed at ideas and, if you want to personify it, the leaders who promulgate them.

Rape's awful for one person and perhaps those close to him. Jobs's less awful for any individual but his negative impact touches much of the world.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660444)

But what is this negative impact you speak of? Having democratized graphical interfaces and the mouse? The smartphones? mp3 players?

Let me know.

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660672)

People rule their iphones and ipods and ipads?

Right.

Sure, they get to push the button they're granted and get to install the apps they're granted, but as democratic hardware goes, the iStuff is far off on the fascism side of that scale.

Re:I hate Jobs (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660764)

People rule their iphones and ipods and ipads?

Right.

Sure, they get to push the button they're granted and get to install the apps they're granted, but as democratic hardware goes, the iStuff is far off on the fascism side of that scale.

democratic hardware? ruling one's phone? iStuff being fascist???? Looks like the extremist just posted as AC. You know, "democratic", "free" and such adjectives best apply to sentient beings, not to inanimate objects.

Should toaster vendors provide the schematics of their toasters to make them not fascist? Or should they print Mussolini's picture on the side if they don't provide said schematics?

You're insane. Just plain insane. Real life is just out there, please get out of your mom's basement and take a peek.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660612)

>Hate is best directed at ideas and, if you want to personify it, the leaders who promulgate them.

Agreed. And one could even consider that the leaders are the way they are because of their nature and nurture, neither of which they are to blame for. I mean, take for example GWB. Talk about a bad upbringing. He was practically helpless before his fate of becoming president of the US and bombing Iraqis.

As that guy with the long hair and the blue car said: "Forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing", or something.

Re:I hate Jobs (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660436)

true atheists leave it be

Re: I hate Jobs (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660490)

true atheists leave it be

Indeed. Actually, even the believers should leave it be.
Just for the record: Jobs is still dead, and it's been more than 3 days...

Re: I hate Jobs (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660514)

That's right, we shouldn't talk about jesus or newton anymore since it's been so long...

Re: I hate Jobs (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660982)

If there is indeed something like a religious believe in Newton, then at should stop.
By now we know Newton wasn't entirely right anyway, if we believed in his "teachings" religiously, there might not be a relativity or quantum theory.

As for Jesus. Unless it's the name of some brazilian soccer star, we should stop worshipping him.

Re:I hate Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660894)

Jobs is dead.

-- Nietzche

Re:I hate Jobs (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661036)

Jobs is dead.

-- Nietzche

Ding dong, the wicked Jobs is dead - The Munchkins

not any more (4, Insightful)

spokenoise (2140056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660230)

They would now be considered a homeland security threat or some such shit and locked up, put on a no fly list and given a free colonoscopy. The several thou would be proceeds of crime and fined in the brazillions or dollars....

Re:not any more (3, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660270)

Most definitely. Phreakers would be water boarded at Guantanamo today. Not only would the law have taken Steve and Woz's paltry thousands, they would have confiscated their homes, their cars, their parent's homes and cars, and the families of both would be on no-fly lists, etc ad nauseum. Gotta do away with those phreakers - they'll be the downfall of this great corporate nation!

herve leger (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661162)

herve leger [herve-leger-fall.com] is really eye-catching additionally to the sexy style.

Re:not any more (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661830)

Why stop there? Woz would be dressed in a pantsuit and hung inverted on a rack while dwarves plucked at his beard and insulted his mother. And most horribly, Steve Jobs would be forced to wear a brightly-colored T-shirt WITH ABSOLUTELY NO COLLAR WHATSOVER, exposing his poor fragile neck to harsh atmospheric vapors.

Re:not any more (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662302)

They also would have imprisoned them for life, chemically sterilized them, removed their toenails, confiscated one of their kidneys, given them lobotomies, and forced everyone who had ever met them to weak ankle bracelets.

America is just so crazy isn't it?

Re:not any more (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665328)

In all fairness, phreaking had negative connotations at the time (once you explained to people what it was). But since it exploited a company (Ma Bell) which was eventually found to be an illegal, controlling, price-fixing monopoly that was forcibly broken up, it has a neutral to positive connotation today. Likewise, once we regain our senses, the security hysteria of the last decade will probably be viewed much as McCarthyism is today. And those who rebelled against it will be viewed in a much more positive light.

Re:not any more (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37665888)

There's a better understanding once people know that the cost of national (inter-state) and international calls were at least $1.50/minute. So if a college student desperately wanted to call her parents from campus for a 30 minute call, that was $45. Take into account inflation over the past 40 years, and that would be like paying $250 now.

Or you could get a little blue box, put it over the handset, and enter some admin codes to get a free call.

Now you just use Skype with a PC or a mobile phone. There was a fuss over that in the beginning because while the phone companies had already moved their voice traffic to travel over their data traffic networks to save costs, they didn't expect their customers to do the same.
(National calls were used to subsidize local phone networks).

Maybe the closest thing now to Phreaking is wi-fi wardialing and making antennae out of Pringles cans.

Re:not any more (2)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660272)

Only if they got caught. Mitnick got 5 years for something similar, partly in solitary because they thought he could launch nukes by whistling into payphones.

Re:not any more (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661774)

Phreakers were back then too since what they were doing was illegal. Just not as many resources were spent, until they decided they wanted Kevin out of the picture for a while and tossed his butt in prison..

Re:not any more (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37664738)

They would now be considered a homeland security threat or some such shit and locked up

Maybe you should read the article before reaching for the tinfoil - because Mr Draper (AKA Captain Crunch) was in fact locked up back then. (As were other phone phreakers.) The only reason Jobs and Woz were never so treated is that they managed to stay off the radar and were never caught during their brief careers as phreakers.
 
IIRC, the mere possession of a 'box' could net you a hefty fine. If they could prove you used it - that was wire fraud. And that's a Federal offense.

RIP JOBS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660312)

Pretty sweet article, not so much about Jobs but more about how things were. It's always great to hear a good robin hood story of the guys who come from behind to really make it big in the world.

yup (0)

kervin (64171) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660356)

news that matters

Re:yup (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660962)

Scoff all you want, but it would do all the youngins here good to read the whole Blue Box article from front to back. Not only does it provide a great historical context to modern hacking - and proof that the motivations haven't changed even though the technology has - but it's also an example of an extremely well written article, something the modern blogosphere is incapable of creating. Even if it takes the death of Steve Jobs, it's exactly the kind of article that should be posted on Slashdot.

iWoz, Chapter 6 (4, Informative)

BitterKraut (820348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660362)

titled 'Phreaking for Real' tells the story from Steve Wozniak's perspective. It starts "In 1971, the day before I headed off to my third year of college at Berkeley, I was sitting at my mother's kitchen table and there happened to be a copy of Esquire sitting there." After giving an account of the article and the excitement it gave him, Woz first mentions Jobs four pages later: "One of the first things I did after reading the article was to call up my friend Steve Jobs. He was just about to start twelfth grade at Homestead High School, the same high school I'd gone to. I started telling him about this amazing article, [...]".

The lesson is... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660370)

Be a criminal first. Then start a business so you can rip people off bigtime. Legally.

Don't much care for apple of the last 10+ years. Apple could have advanced computing greatly. Instead they advanced lockin, lawsuits, form over function, and trendy fad expensive disposable products.

We're not a pc! No.. you're the same hardware with one extra thing to make it a pain to interoperate with the rest of the computing world easily and cheaply. Once apple started using intel as their base it should have become obvious to everyone what they were doing and what they actually cared about. Money.

And that does not make you great. That's actually pretty common.

Damm shame... Apple forcing microsoft and other companies to compete on a level open playfield could have done so much more to advance technology.

Instead you now get your choice of iproduct in a range of primary colors!

Re:The lesson is... (1, Offtopic)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660388)

No doubt you will be modded down to the darkest pit of trolliness, but know that some people agree with you nonetheless.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660452)

This is all well and good, but do you know any other way to make a computer useable by grandma?

Re:The lesson is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660642)

"Grandma" browses the web and checks her email just as well from a well set up Linux or Windows box as a Mac.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660650)

I hope this was meant to be funny. I'll consider it as such.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

txgunslinger (932679) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660996)

Forget Grandma, what about Aunt Tilly [catb.org] ?

Re:The lesson is... (3, Insightful)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661316)

I didn't know "grandma" was the problem the iPad was meant to solve.

Demographic studies [ymobileblog.com] would seem to indicate that the main group using iPads are between 35-44. In other words, perfectly computer literate, probably well into their careers, and wealthy enough to afford the hefty price tag and maintenance (after all, you've got to send it back to change the battery).

Also, I have used an iPad. It is just as quirky as any Windows computing device. I don't know where this delusion comes from that Apple products are more user-friendly, but from the perspective of someone who had to learn how to hook these damn things into my virtual desktop environment, I have had ample opportunity to experience the Apple user interface, and it is really nothing spectacular. It's just as badly-designed as every other user interface I've ever encountered.

Re:The lesson is... (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662036)

Ha! Then, you missed the biggest part of the iOS so-called "revolution". The key is that there is only one button, and this button always brings you to the same place.

You see, computers (and phones, VCRs, etc.) are stateful machines. The biggest gripe non computer literates have with computer is that they invariably get lost somewhere, and then they don't know how to get back to their previous state. I once caught my mother in law editing a word document with a 1600x magnification on. She was barely able to see 3 characters on the screen. Plus, the window was not full-screen and was a small rectangle at the top of the screen.

The thing is, I could explain how to zoom-out and maximize windows, but she doesn't give a damn about it, so she'll listen, nod, and forget it in a minute.

The iPhone first-gen was a perfect example of a clean and pragmatic solution to this problem (which really is no that uncommon. If you've worked with people that are computer illiterate you know that.). The home button invariably gets you to the starting point, no matter where you are, no matter what you've done. You can start over. And no multitasking made that even better, in that if you screwed up an app (bug or otherwise) you could hit the home button and restart from scratch.

Now it's a little more complex, in that it can take a few hits on the home button to get to the home screen. But the navigation btw the icons prove to be a simple enough metaphor for most to grasp.

All in all, computer-literate dudes don't find the iOS UI attractive, because they like their stateful machine. They grok it.

Computer illiterate users are frightened by the stateful nature of a computer, because they do get someplace where they don't know how they got there and worse, they don't know how to get out of these situations. So they completely love iOS, because of thet simplicity that you don't like.

Again, we've said it time and again but it doesn't look like it's sinking in, the /. crowd is not the target of iOS, hence it cannot "get it" without trying to put themselves into the shoes of the target. It's not that big of an exercise, but it needs to be done.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662660)

Oh i think they get it, what they worry is that by pandering to the lowest common denominator one heads towards idiocracy.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37664800)

Instead of idiocracy, I'd settle with "to each his own". Since computers as we know them are too complex for dumb* people, we should not cater anything for them? I'd rather have two sets of computers on the market: The dumbed down version and the full fledge computing platform for us.

And everyone's happy, except those that claim that the dumbed down version is a walled garden and is therefore evil. But very few care about them so all is well.

* dumb means computer-illiterate in this context.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666200)

And then corporate backed government decide that those full fledged computing platforms are dangerous to national security in some way, and demand that anyone using them get certified via some office or other. Next thing we know, security research takes a dive and if they find a "open" laptop in your belonging during a border crossing you "vanish".

Re:The lesson is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666196)

Ha! Then, you missed the biggest part of the iOS so-called "revolution". The key is that there is only one button, and this button always brings you to the same place.

You see, computers (and phones, VCRs, etc.) are stateful machines.

If we're going to talk about modes vs. mode-less as a revolution, a good place to start might be *early* emacs. As I recall, the commands were all there all the time[*]. This in comparison to other early editors which had all kinds of "enter mode" and "exit mode" commands that were required before you could actually do anything like edit, save/load files, etc...

* one exception was "fill-mode", but that didn't stop you typing or cause any mischief.

Re:The lesson is... (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660454)

+1 insightful

Re:The lesson is... (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662064)

Apple could have advanced computing greatly. Instead they advanced lockin, lawsuits, form over function, and trendy fad expensive disposable products.

You don't think they did both? I do. The lock-in is the reason I'm no longer an Apple customer (I'm five years clean, thank you) but the nicely integrated systems make me wish they were open enough to be purchased ethically.

Re:The lesson is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37662418)

Mac OS is one of Apple's competitive advantages.

If they had been just another PC manufacturer and Windows distributor they would probably no longer exist, because it isn't the "shiny" that sells most Macs, it's the fact that they work differently. Less hassle, no viruses, etc.

I don't know how anyone can argue that Apple should be made to give away their software advantage to others, so all other hardware manufacturers could benefit. That's just stupid.

Want to argue that it isn't about the OS? Where are the millions lining up for that latest Linux machine from Dell?

How is it that you can argue that Apple is "just in it for the money", versus a company like Dell that just assembles hardware and ships whatever Microsoft gives them?

"Reprint"? (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660394)

What's that? Is that a symlink for cp?

Re:"Reprint"? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660460)

It's been renamed "cat" in recent years.

Esquire, then Xerox (1, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660402)

> this article inspired Jobs and Wozniak to start building blue boxes themselves, an effort that made them several thousand dollars.

this [visit] inspired Jobs and Wozniak to start building [a GUI] themselves, an effort that made them several [millions] dollars.

Now that is a pattern of real innovation.

Re:Esquire, then Xerox (3, Informative)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660750)

They were invited to Xerox and bought the tech off them. Afterwards, Apple hired some of the staff. Read history (or ask Woz) and don't be a douche.

Re:Esquire, then Xerox (-1, Troll)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661550)

I don't have Woz phone number, I lost it when I switched from my iPhone to my iPhone2 (or was it from my iPhone2 to my iPhone3, or from my iPhone3 to my iPhone4 - it's hard to keep track of all those times I shelled out 600$ over the last 5 years just to be part of The Cool People).

As for history, can you send me an hyperlink, one that does not require Flash since I plan to read it on my iPad (after I'm done cleaning it for the 19th time today)? Or even better, is there an app for that, since all of my smart devices have a shitty browser and require an Objective-C version of existing websites?

And don't call me a douche, I prefer iSucker because I rent my music and eBooks from Apple (which makes sense, I don't even control the software that I can install on my the devices I paid for so there is no point in owning music either).

Re:Esquire, then Xerox (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662198)

Don't feed the trolls.

Blue Box? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660406)

Wait.... Steve Jobs is Doctor Who now???

Re:Blue Box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660468)

Wait, did you just answer the question?

Hahah (3, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660410)

It's amazing how fucked up humanity is.

Day after day, "media" spends time talking about someone who managed to run some businesses that basically produced some eye-candy that naive people can drool over. A hero.

But chance that you will hear about someone who actually saves peoples' eyes (like this, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanduk_Ruit [wikipedia.org] ) are almost zero.

Edward Bernays would be proud.

Re:Hahah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660434)

There are hundreds of thousands people who owe their eye vision to Sanduk Ruit.

He will never need any media to make people remember and love him.

Re:Hahah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660626)

Since most people only care about money our old fashioned life saving hero became the billionaire. And those shallow people are the ones who buy shiny gadgets to upgrade their unimportance to the next level. They don't care about how these gadgets are produced in China, if price meets value, if the gadget is a throw-away one (see battery packs), if they're locked into a corporation controlled ecosystem, if the vendor stifles innovation by ridiculous patents and so on. And all other corporations follow that same way because that's how money is be made today. I call all those people just iDiots.

Re:Hahah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660632)

He helped create the information age, which has touched effectively everyone on the planet. Although your example no doubt does work that is very worthwhile, it touches only a tiny number of people in a profound way.

Re:Hahah (2)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660644)

So Jobs got started and built his empire on making a Blue-Box phreaking tool that was illegal at the time and still is now .... ....can the government seize his ill-gotten gains ...?

If the captain himself if reading this. . . (2)

Froomb (100183) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660422)

. . . greetings, John Draper! This article made you my hero. Hope you've had a great life since the 1970s.

Re:If the captain himself if reading this. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660688)

He didn't; he lives in a broken-down van in San Fransisco, eating out of garbage cans.

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB116863379291775523-lMyQjAxMDE3NjE4MzYxMzMzWj.html

Captain Crunch was a hero of my childhood; a part of me died when I first read that article. (Sorry that it's now behind a paywall; it wasn't four years ago...)

Re:If the captain himself if reading this. . . (2)

Kwelstr (114389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661280)

If you read the Wikipedia entry on John Draper, that is not true at all. He seems to be doing alright for himself.

What about Atari? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660474)

I wonder what inspired him to deny paternity of his kid for years and steal steve wozniaks atari profits.

A tad ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660532)

Nowadays Apple is very protective of anything they consider their own property.

Ave! duci novo, similis duci seneci

That's Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660630)

Once the effort is tainted with illegality, it is forever doomed.

A great example for our children, Steve-O.

Don't let current Apple fans find out (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660668)

We can't have current owners of Apple products find out that Jobs was once at least tagging along with someone who liked to hack. It would tarnish his image.

Re:Don't let current Apple fans find out (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660972)

We can't have current owners of Apple products find out that Jobs was once at least tagging along with someone who liked to hack. It would tarnish his image.

You would be surprised how many current owner of Apple products know that ^-^
I also really doubt that his image would be tarnished, or that he has a particular bright image.
Just because you can't stand Steve Jobs, there is no need to overestimate "how much he is liked" by Mac owners.

Re:Don't let current Apple fans find out (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661238)

He has a very bright image among many people. That's why there was so much adulation from him coming from various sources. His recent role was also one of very strict control, which many fans of Apple products have stood strongly behind. I've heard a fair amount of arguments that jailbreakers are dirty crooks for trying to exert greater control over products they own. However, phreaking was far more anti-authority than this, making him far worse than jailbreakers, and probably worse than those dirty patent infringers and 'ripoffs' of elements Apple doesn't have any legal protection for.

Re:Don't let current Apple fans find out (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661342)

I for my part know no one who frowns upon jail breakers. After all jail breaking is completely legal in europe and unlike in the USA it does not void the warranty.

If you mean the Samsung case with this: and probably worse than those dirty patent infringers and 'ripoffs' of elements Apple doesn't have any legal protection for. Then I advice to try to look through the fog.

Samsung is the main supplier of Apple for nearly everything Apple is producing. When one of the two is suing the other one and the other one is not really defending ... then there is surely a trick or deeper sense behind it.

Is it just me? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660726)

Am I the only person on here who, despite making a living in IT, has has never owned a single Apple product in my entire life, doesn't want to own one, and probably will never own one (not out of some deep political motive but just because they don't sell things I want to buy)?

I'm much more interested in some tech news, which the "Steve Jobs dying" thing was FOR ONE DAY, and could be summarised in a single brief article. I don't need it front-page of a London paper, slapped across BBC News and then people dredging up any-old-article (not even a particularly interesting one) in order to use the "news" (now "olds") to seem relevant.

I hope we get the same amount of fuss when the creator of the Mario characters dies, or someone similar. Actually, I hope we get the amount of fuss *suitable* for when anyone like that dies, instead - i.e. one-day, one-article, done.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660908)

Me also. They do sell things I want to buy (desktop computer, laptop, mp3 player, phone, etc). Whenever I comparison shop I always feel like the Apple product is less functional and more costly than something else.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661284)

I've always found the opposite. The last time I comparasin shopped I found a Mac based solution (Axiotoron Modbook) which had specs unmatched by generic PC counterparts (the pressure sensetivity of the stylus). The time before that the generic PC options were $1,000 more expensive than the Powerbook once I added Bluetooth, WiFi and Firewire (all included on the base model Mac).

It may depend what you intend to do with the computer, but my experience has been that Macs are price competitive for their feature set, the downside being that you can't buy a strip-down model that lacks the "premium" features, and the graphics cards aren't selected with the "hard core" gamer in mind.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37660964)

It's just too much effort to exclude Apple stories, iddn't it?

You do know that Slashdot looks at the comment count certain topics bring when a story is being chosen to run right?

Re:Is it just me? (2, Informative)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661074)

Am I the only person here that has grown sick and tired of people who don't wish to read Apple content that post about how sick and tired they are of the Apple content that they can't stop reading?

I'm much more interested in reading comments that include humor, insight, and interesting anacdotes that are in some way related to the topic than reading another Goddamn complaint about how some egotistical elitist doesn't understand why they're not interested in the same things as others and forgot how to shut their own fucking eyes and get on with their life.

I hope we get the same amount of fuss when someone complains about the complaints directed towards my complaint!

Re:Is it just me? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661146)

I much prefer reading comments about how people are sick and tired about reading comments by people that they are sick and tired about reading about Apple ....

As Lord Vetinari said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661130)

people prefer "olds".

I own just one Apple product, a first gen Mac Mini. A real heap of crap. I can't even be bothered getting some puttyknives to crack open the case to install more RAM and a bigger hard disk. Its just sitting at the back of a cupboard, mocking me every time I open the door for some more printer paper.

Mind you, I've sti;ll got the box and all the bits of associated paper. It may become a collectors item and I'll get my money back!

It was spread all over the BBC because BBC News is infested with the cult of Jobs. As well as the solid reporting on the death, this weeks "Click!" has an extended hagiographical appreciation of Steve Jobs, a man I have always regarded as cross between a typical salesman and an intellectual magpie, always on the look out for Ohh! Shiny!

Have yu seen the BBC Breakfast team all drag out iPads whenever they can?
I think the BBC is taking product placement cash...

Re:Is it just me? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661212)

Anybody that cares about having control over their machine and isn't old enough to have owned an Apple ][ or older computer probably hasn't. There was a period with the old world Macs where you still had control, but they tended to have other issues.

As for Shigeru Miyamoto, just look at the projects that he's worked on during his career. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Miyamoto [wikipedia.org] It's hard for me to imagine Nintendo carrying on through the electronic era without a visionary like that.

Re:Is it just me? (3, Insightful)

unimacs (597299) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661892)

Never watched a Pixar movie? Never owned a device with a firewire port?

What about MS Windows? Windows up until at least 3.1 licensed some Mac OS technology.

Downloaded any music using a paid service? Maybe you haven't use an Apple product to do so, but Steve Jobs and company turned the music industry upside down and forever changed the way we buy music.

First web server? Written on NeXT computer. First spreadsheet? Written for an Apple computer.

Maybe you have never owned Apple product but my guess is that many of the products you do use have been profoundly influenced by Apple's designs in one way or another.

What if there was never was a Steve Jobs? What would the computer industry look like today? Would the computer as a personal device be as prevalent as it is? Would there be as many IT jobs as there are today?

I'm not saying that he was a great humanitarian or anything. But his impact on our lives is undeniable.

If nothing else, the lesson I wish the world would take from Apple and Steve Jobs is how to weather an economic downturn. Layoff staff? Hunker down? F*&k no. Make stuff people want, - not just cheaper versions of and minor improvements to what's already available. Innovate.

He had an ability to make stuff that was complicated into things mortals could do on their own. I agree that it is a shame he couldn't have applied this talent to the world's more profound problems.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662354)

The Windows GUI was from Xerox Parc (Jobs paid to go there, then was convinced it was "the next big thing", which shows only an amount of insight, not ingenuity) - that's the kind of story behind all the things he brought to market. He can sell, I'll give him that. I'm not sure why that makes him a martyr compared to, say, Tim Berners-Lee (who at least *does* invent stuff).

By the time you start attributing the web servers and spreadsheets to Apple/Jobs "somehow" - given that he had very very little to do with them other than they were wrote for his machines - you might as well attribute Sage, Doom 3 and nVidia drivers to Microsoft / Gates - they were written for MS operating systems first. And how many businesses have been run on Apple hardware compared to IBM-based historically? Not an awful lot.

The critical question you have is "What is there never was a Steve Jobs?" but the answer's probably not one you'd like - not a lot. The same things would have happened, maybe sooner, maybe later, but you can't say he - or even his company - "invented" half that stuff. He brought it to market, at opportune times, but that's just being a salesman - and I'm not sure why you'd celebrate someone being a good salesman unless he's bringing YOU commission.

I consider most of the early Apple equipment to be design nightmares, personally. I'm not saying they didn't sell, but I could never have used them.

He was more a salesman than anything and the god-like status inferred on him and everything he touches is rather misplaced, in my opinion. He can read the market, sure, but when was the light time you saw his name on an RFC, or a piece of code, or a piece of hardware? His *company*, sure, but that's just because of being able to hire talent. But the guy? We're mourning the death of a salesman - literally.

Re:Is it just me? (2)

unimacs (597299) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662936)

The problem with your argument and many others like it is that you place too small a value on the ability to bring something to market. Sure, you need the people to write the code and design the hardware, but getting it to work in a lab someplace in only part of what needs to be done. Certainly Steve Jobs wouldn't have gotten to where he did without somebody like Woz to make the visions a reality. What I think is funny is that a lot of people point out how evil Jobs is because he didn't share $5,000 in bonus money with Woz on Breakout. Sure, it was horribly selfish but Woz ended up making a fortune because of Steve Jobs. He's long since forgiven him.

I'd argue that a lot of things would have come a lot later and perhaps we'd still be waiting for if not for Steve Jobs. It was his understanding of, and connections to the entertainment business along with his understanding of the computer user that lead to the iTunes store. Could Gates have done or anyone else done that? It wasn't only salesmanship. It was attention to detail and refusal to let products out the door that didn't meet his standards.

Why do you suppose Tim Berners-Lee was using a NeXT computer? It certainly wasn't the industry standard, and I'm sorry, something like creation of the Web goes beyond the creation of Doom or graphics drivers.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665674)

Considering your first line, I'm almost the same as you, but i got an old corroded iPhone 3g for free, which i promptly ripped apart, cleaned the corrosion off and used it. I got an android phone shortly thereafter.

He who fucks nuns will later join the church (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37660844)

Need any more be said. Apple has become the epitome of everything that is founders once opposed - a greedy parasitic, controlling, corporate monstrosity, run by lawyers and accountants (and even more lawyers). Its founders were corrupted by power and greed, which brought out the worst in them.

Nowadays.. (1)

h8sg8s (559966) | more than 2 years ago | (#37661248)

The irony here is rich and creamy. Jobs and iTunes made the bluebox-like act of downloading music for 'free' an act of unspeakable violence, at least if you ask the lawyers of the RIAA or Apple. So, where will the next Jobs get the thrills needed to motivate them to greatness? Probably where we expect it the least.

I'm inspired just reading the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37661446)

It's obvious that without Ron Rosenbaum there would have been no Steve Jobs.
It's just too bad Ron Rosenbaum had been an anonymous nobody for forty years. Who knows how many more Steve Jobs we would have had if his inspirational masterpiece had been in wide circulation.
How this country treats its inspirational journalists is nothing short of scandalous.

Riveting article (2)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37662304)

Seriously, that reprinted Esquire article is an amazing document. I can't believe it's 40 years old!

Follow-up (1)

pev (2186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37663246)

To the person complaining about relevence, if you don't care about it, ignore it! Maybe consider investing the time you spent typing negative comments in reading something you are interested in instead? Much more rewarding I promise :-) besides, Know Your History! I'd seriously be amazed at anyone I know that's a committed hacker (old defn) not to be fascinated by that article.

Anyway, my actual reason for posting - Given the age of hte article, does anyone know of a recent follow up to it? I'd love to know what the main characters have been spending the rest of their working lives doing and what the "blind kids" found to pique their interest in the modern world!

tro0lkore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37665692)

[idge.net] every daY...Like
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