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Steve Jobs Defied Convention, and Perhaps the Law

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the howso-perhaps? dept.

Businesses 311

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that recent revelations that Steve Jobs was the driving force in a conspiracy to prevent competitors from poaching employees raises the question: If Steve Jobs were alive today, should he be in jail? Jobs 'was a walking antitrust violation. I'm simply astounded by the risks he seemed willing to take,' says Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law and an expert in antitrust law. 'Didn't he have lawyers advising him? You see this kind of behavior sometimes in small, private or family-run companies, but almost never in large public companies like Apple.' In 2007, Jobs threatened Palm with patent litigation unless Palm agreed not to recruit Apple employees, even though Palm's then-chief executive, Edward Colligan, told him that such a plan was 'likely illegal.' That same year, Jobs wrote Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google at the time, 'I would be extremely pleased if Google would stop doing this,' referring to its efforts to recruit an Apple engineer. When Jobs learned that the Google recruiter who contacted the Apple employee would be 'fired within the hour,' he responded with a smiley face. 'How could anyone have approved that?' says Hovenkamp. 'Any competent antitrust counsel would know that's illegal. And they had to know they'd get caught eventually.'" (Read more, below.)Pickens continues: "But the anti-poaching pact was hardly Jobs's only brush with the law. Jobs behavior was at the center of an e-book price-fixing conspiracy with major publishers where a federal judge ruled that "Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy." (Apple has appealed the decision. The publishers all settled the case.) Jobs also figured prominently in the options backdating scandal that rocked Silicon Valley eight years ago. An investigation by Apple's lawyers cleared Jobs of wrongdoing, saying he didn't understand the accounting implications but five executives of other companies went to prison for backdating options, while Jobs was never charged.

There's no way of knowing whether Jobs, had he lived and been healthy, would have faced charges, especially since he was a recidivist. Given Jobs's immense popularity, prosecutors might not have wanted to risk a trial, says Hovenkamp. Jobs probably came closest to being prosecuted in the backdating scandal, but by then he was already known to have pancreatic cancer. Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson notes that 'over and over, people referred to his reality distortion field.' Isaacson added, 'The rules just didn't apply to him, whether he was getting a license plate that let him use handicapped parking or building products that people said weren't possible. Most of the time he was right, and he got away with it.'"

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Jobs had a long history of criminal behavior (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907781)

Not only did Jobs engage in dirty deals as a businessman, but back in the 1970s he was a very active phone phreaker as well.

Just the cost of doing business. (5, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46907873)

Seriously, where do they get off saying it's rare for big companies to do illegal shit? Name me one that *doesn't* at least walk really close to that line.

1) break the law
2) profit
3) maybe get caught
4) if caught, pay a fine of 1% of the excess profits

Why *wouldn't* a company break the law in such circumstances? There is absolutely no reason for it to stop until it becomes routine to either fine corporations an amount much greater than the excess profits (to compensate for all the times they presumably didn't get caught), or it becomes normal to hold the executives personally liable for the corporate actions they endorsed.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (3, Insightful)

knightghost (861069) | about 4 months ago | (#46907989)

No Enforcement = No Law

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908131)

Not really. Congress makes the laws, the executive branch decides how to enforce the laws, and the judicial branch interprets the laws when there's a conflict someone is willing to go to court for.

If there is a law you don't think is being enforced properly, you have the right to take it to court.

If nobody in the executive / police arms of the government, and nobody in the public, cares to enforce a law, it is essentially toothless. Congress themselves could sue for proper enforcement, but it's up to the courts to decide if the law is valid or not.

Checks and balances include gaps and holes.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (3, Informative)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#46908445)

If there is a law you don't think is being enforced properly, you have the right to take it to court.

And if you don't have standing, you will be tossed right out.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (4, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#46908601)

thats bullshit. I know the constitution inside and out. The constitution is just that, a piece of paper. All laws are just that, pieces of fucking paper.

If the system won't enforce the laws, they for all intents and purposes don't exist. Stop arguing over technicalities.

Look at the former soviet union, which on paper, was a democracy with strong civil rights protections.

Heck, even on paper North Korea is a democracy with a very popular elected leader.

Its easy to see it somewhere else, but its sometimes hard to see the forrest from the trees

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (5, Insightful)

es330td (964170) | about 4 months ago | (#46908095)

The only way to fix this is for the people behind decisions to face penalties. Whether or not a corporation is considered an entity, a real person makes every decision, and only holding the people behind a decision to break the law responsible will fix this kind of behavior.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#46908251)

So we're defending Steve Jobs with "Well, everyone does it, of course he does to" now? Steve Jobs was a terrible person. He setup a deal with a local car dealership to switch cars on a regular basis for the sole purpose of never having to get a license plate so he could park in handicap spaces without getting a ticket. He could have had his own parking spot damned near anywhere he went, but no, he was such a huge asshole he couldn't just have the spot, he had to take it from someone else that needed it. Jobs fanboys always like to sweep that fact under the rug... now we also have to sweep the plethora of federal laws he broke just to win... and again, it always had to be at someone else's expense. The guy was a grade A jerk, and hope time will eventually reflect that once everyone finally gets their rose colored glasses off.

Ok, mod me down Apple fanatics. It's worth the karma.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908395)

Agreed. If I was a handicapped Apple employee I would have video recorded him parking in handicap spaces and called a towing company every time I saw a car without a handicap sticker parked in those spot. Then after I was fired I'd sue the company.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908441)

For we are all human and fall short of the glory of God. And as it proves, Steve Jobs is just as human as the rest of us. No glorious icon here. He had one of the worst reputations as a manager, business leader and corporate professional. But he had a lot of charisma and this unerring ability to bring an idea to fruition. I think it's these qualities that make people admire him. That he could take a fresh an innovative idea, even if it wasn't his own, organize the various disparate talents and motivate them to bring the idea to life.

This quality is rare, especially when it's held to high standards where compromise is not allowed. Yes he was a Grade A Asshole, but he got results that mattered. And even the people who hated him the most all gave voice to their admiration of him because of those results.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 4 months ago | (#46908527)

Translation: the people benefiting from his unethical actions admired him.

That's just standard criminal syndicate behavior.

Re: Just the cost of doing business. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908655)

But in that way he is like most americans attitude to healthcare: it is not enough that you would get cheaper/better healthcare, it is more important that poor people don't get it.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (5, Insightful)

Mike_EE_U_of_I (1493783) | about 4 months ago | (#46908399)

Seriously, where do they get off saying it's rare for big companies to do illegal shit? Name me one that *doesn't* at least walk really close to that line.

I've consulted in big companies for quite a while. My experience has been that most of time, most people are trying to obey all the laws. That said, yes, "the line" does get crossed. In all the cases I've personally seen, "the line" was crossed either because of ignorance or for precisely the reason you state (the fine is lower than the expected profit).

And that's why this case is astonishing. Steve Jobs went so far over the line, he might have wound up in jail. That's something I've not seen. You know why no banker went to jail? I've seen this shit in meetings. Someone proposes something that is illegal. The discussion then focuses on costs and profits. It then moves to plausible deniability and the chance of going to jail. If the conclusion is that there is the slightest chance someone will go to jail, that's it. That idea is dead dead dead.

  Steve Jobs, like the Honey Badger, didn't care. He left a trail, IN WRITING, that could have put him in jail.

Insanely illegal.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#46908575)

I think they mean its rare for them to get caught or prosecuted for it.

The only real crime in the USA is not being able to pull it off.

There is no rule of law. Its simply what you can get away with.

Re:Just the cost of doing business. (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#46908671)

It's probably not so much that other companies don't do illegal shit, but rather, that they at least try to mask it in some degree of legitimacy. Even crime syndicates tend to put up efforts to have legitimate fronts for their illegal behavior, as opposed to sending unsecure emails threatening others to make them illegally conspire with them.

Re:Jobs had a long history of criminal behavior (-1, Flamebait)

Alex Libman (3639887) | about 4 months ago | (#46908303)

In a socialist world, all innovators are "criminals".

Re:Jobs had a long history of criminal behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908371)

In a capitalist world only poor people are.

Re:Jobs had a long history of criminal behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908629)

Where did you get that stunning piece of paranoia from??

Bad Apple (1, Funny)

ZigiSamblak (745960) | about 4 months ago | (#46907787)

I think there's a worm in this apple.

Re:Bad Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908273)

Not worm. The core is bad.

Simple (4, Informative)

rainer_d (115765) | about 4 months ago | (#46907809)

He was going to die. And he knew it. So he was able to take risks that no one else was going to take.
Because he knew: whatever he did (short of doing an OJ-Simpson style stupidity), he would only be judged by his achievements, the products he created.
Nobody remembers Charlie Chaplin for his three teenager-wifes and pre-marriage pregnancies - even though it was a major scandal even back then.
What lives on are his works.

Re:Simple (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907853)

Not exactly. He was well known for believing that some rules didn't apply to him, e.g. not putting a license plate on his car and parking in handicap spots. He just got to be rich and powerful enough that some rules pretty much didn't apply to him.

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907909)

That seems to be a big reason for wanting to be rich and powerful. You get to flout the rules. You see this mentality all the time, from buying a license to speed [priceonomics.com] to Leona Helmsley's assertion that only the little people pay taxes. [barrypopik.com]

Re:Simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908009)

That seems to be a big reason for wanting to be rich and powerful.

No, it's not a "big reason". The great majority of rich and powerful people live ordinary middle class lives day-to-day because it's far more comfortable, lets them focus on what they enjoy doing, and because they don't have anything to prove to anybody.

You think it's a "big reason" only because those jerks are who the media report on. The media don't know most of the people who are rich and powerful, and if they did, it would be too boring to report on them.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908071)

Sounds to me like you're describing the majority of the "rich," not the "rich and powerful."

Re:Simple (4, Interesting)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 4 months ago | (#46907893)

Jobs was the only tech industry giant with the gall to assume that he deserved a cut of every piece of software sold over his company's platforms, and this is why they made multiple pushes to take over and lock down the entire software industry. I'm not saying Windows or Android are better, but at least those users can run whatever software they want. Jobs was always a megalomaniac.

Re:Simple (0, Flamebait)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46907937)

You can get your apps listed in the App Store, they take care of hosting your files, managing the download bandwidth, the credit card transactions, etc. All for 30%.

For OS X apps, you can do it all yourself and still have to pay for hosting, bandwidth, credit card processing or PayPal fees. But your program will not be listed in the App Store searches. Also, novice users may not trust installing applications outside of the App Store.

Re:Simple (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 4 months ago | (#46908045)

Jesus, it's 30%? I thought it was 10%. Sickening.

Unless you only happen to sell around $50, hosting, bandwidth and transaction fees should be a drop in the bucket and nowhere near 30%. But as you mention, good luck getting anyone to run your software if it didn't come from "the app store."

Re:Simple (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 months ago | (#46908103)

Jesus, it's 30%? I thought it was 10%. Sickening.

You should open a shop and sell everything 10% above what you pay for the goods yourself. People will love your shop, until you go bankrupt.

You have no idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908111)

Obviously you have no idea what the normal markup is at retail outlets.

Re:You have no idea (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#46908209)

I think it goes something like:
Manufacturers: 1$ --> Distributors/resellers: 2$ --> Retail outlets: 4$

Or, via eBay:
Chinese manufacturer: 0.10$ --> You: 1$

Re:Simple (2, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 4 months ago | (#46908295)

"Jesus, it's 30%? I thought it was 10%. Sickening."

For crying out loud, it was only a few years ago that the app store and its deal for developers was started and already everyone has forgotten what happened. Developers flocked to creating apps for the app store because they were only charging 30%. Devs were used to making no more than around 50% for their efforts.

For someone else to host your app and process all of the transactions and make it searchable, etc. you have to expect to pay something.

Re:Simple (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46908035)

the only tech industry giant with the gall to assume

Obviously, the pancreatic tumor compressed his bile duct. Yay for human anatomy!

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908493)

This is a true statement. Once you got around to the cut the packager took, then the distributor and finally the retail markup, you would be lucky to see pennies on the dollar as the original development studio for the piece of software you wrote. This meant a plethora of useful little applications that would have made a modest profit ended up as donateware because then at least it got out there, but you still had to serve the files for download.

With the app store, you got 70% of what the consumer paid for the application. And all you had to do was pay for a development license and write a good piece of software. No packaging, distribution, retail, etc. And it was a guaranteed return, because the only downside with donateware is that very few people actually send money.

Re:Simple (5, Informative)

stenvar (2789879) | about 4 months ago | (#46907987)

He was going to die. And he knew it. So he was able to take risks that no one else was going to take.

That's not what happened. His cancer was likely easily treatable and curable when it was discovered. But Jobs refused "conventional treatment" and went for a "holistic approach". By the time he went back to regular doctors, many months later, it was too late. And instead of the heroic dying hero you try to make him out as, there is fairly little he accomplished after that.

Jobs did "think different" and it killed him.

Re:Simple (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46908143)

His cancer was likely easily treatable and curable when it was discovered.

Except that when pancreatic cancer manifests itself, it's already too late. In fact, Jobs was simply very fortunate to be in the minority of pancreatic cancer patients eligible for the Whipple procedure, which is very far from "holistic approach" and dangerously close to hemicorporectomy in the level of invasiveness. And he underwent it and went on to live something like ten times longer than you'd expect from an average pancreatic cancer patient. Hadn't he been one of those lucky few, there would be little point in trying to do anything for him, and even the delayed Whipple gave him an above-average number of extra years to live.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908231)

My grandmother had pancreatic cancer a year and a half ago, got the whipple, and is living fairly well at the moment. I do believe she had lots of complications afterwards but seeing her this easter, if she was still in significant pain or anything, she certainly put on a good face. She was even moving about, cooking, doing dishes... Jobs seems to have simply not have had good enough doctors.

Re:Simple (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908075)

IMHO, the problem is that Jobs didn't invent light bulbs or put on a good act to be remembered. He made toys, and in 5-10 years, the "insanely great" products may be something of yesteryear. People don't remember Sony's MP3 devices which were groundbreaking, nor Creative and the Nomad Jukebox which was one of the first popular players.

With that in mind, he seemed to leave a lot of negative legacies. His ship and the large sums of money owed on that, the handicapped parking place issue (be it real or a rumor), and the fact that he is on record for giving $0 to any charity. There isn't a Jobs foundation for the arts. Nor is there a Jobs foundation for anything. He might have donated behind the scenes, but that doesn't matter to history where it matters what is on the books.

One can contrast him to the 19th century robber barons. They at least left behind hospitals, schools, foundations, and trusts as a legacy which persists today.

IMHO, once his devices become items from a bygone time, there won't be much positive that Jobs will be remembered for other than yet another brutal CEO.

Re:Simple (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#46908697)

People don't remember Sony's MP3 devices which were groundbreaking,

I'm pretty sure you mean MiniDisc, and yes, for a while, I was a *god* walking the Earth with my MZ-1.

Re:Simple (2)

fermion (181285) | about 4 months ago | (#46908125)

There is also precedent, in that executives almost never go to jail for white collar crime. The company pays fines, get sued and pays damages, may even warrant government oversight, but not jail. About the only time when this does happen is when the management is so horrible that the company goes bankrupt. these people don't go to jail for being criminals, but for being incompetent. Really, this is most criminals. Competent criminals are less likely to be caught and convicted. And even if they are convicted, they can use their ill gained funds to reduce jail time, like Jeff Skilling.

Re:Simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908693)

Nobody remembers that about Chaplin because it's not really true, or certainly not a fair portrayal. Only one of his wives was pregnant before they got married. (Another one claimed to be but wasn't.) As for teenagers, yeah, but not the way you're making it seem. His first wife was a month short of being 18 when they were married and he was in his 20s. I don't know what the age of consent was (there probably wasn't one), but even if it was 18 I'm not going to vilify someone for marrying someone a month shy of that. His second wife? Yeah, 16. And a half :-). And pregnant. That one I'll give you, obviously (but no scandal at the time). His third wife only even met him when she was 22 and never had kids with him. His fourth wife (fourth time was a charm) was 18. So out of four wives there's only one where the implication of "teenager" is really correct. (I'm aware that 18 and 19 are still teenagers, but you mention scandal, so the clear implication of the word "teenager" is "under age.") Anyway, I'm not aware of any scandal with any of the marriages. With a couple of the divorces, yes-- after all, he was crazy rich, so I wouldn't expect easy, quiet divorces.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907817)

Sometimes executives at companies do a perp walk, but it's very rare. Of all of these things, only the backdating could have gotten him arrested. No one went to jail when Standard Oil or AT&T got broken up, so any antitrust issues wouldn't put him in prison. When companies do price fixing, they pay fines but no one goes behind bars. And even with the backdating scandal, there was no smoking gun; he maintained just enough plausible deniability to keep from being charged. So no, he wouldn't be in jail if he was alive today.

No way of knowing? (4, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 4 months ago | (#46907819)

It seems pretty silly to ask whether Jobs would have gone to jail. Of course he wouldn't.

Between his celebrity status and bankroll, there's a snowball's chance in hell that he could get convicted of anything, barring committing the crime right there in the courtroom.

Re:No way of knowing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907863)

Yeah, whatever deal he made would include "no admission of wrongdoing"

Re:No way of knowing? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46908173)

It seems pretty silly to ask whether Jobs would have gone to jail. Of course he wouldn't.

Well, we could always pull a Pope Formosus on him and ask him personally. ;)

Re:No way of knowing? (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#46908177)

"Only the little people pay taxes, and go to jail." -- Leona Helmsly

If I remember correctly, she was proved wrong on both counts. When a celebrity gets caught doing something naughty, it all depends on the PR and legal team.

If that basketball team owner had been smart, he would have hired the best from the start, and his problems would disappear, and instead be deflected to his . . . um, "assistant" . . . who seems to be completely able to make a train wreck of herself. Now it's too late for him.

And he's the only one? (5, Insightful)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 4 months ago | (#46907823)

I can't seems to stop a suspicion from forming in the back of my mind that somewhere someone is trying to shift blame on the recent news of anti-trust behavior onto the one guy who is no longer here. Doesn't it take 2 to tango? In this very news story, I read that Google was complicate in the scheme of preventing a competitive job market. So let's report on the story that should be reported, please -- Who in Google is going to jail over this?

OH BOY, THE BIG GOVERNMENT CROWD IS OUT !!! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907827)

Why do people who have achieved nothing in life love to find fault with the innovators that are the engine of modern economic growth. (Ford, Gates, Jobs), were they aggressive business people, yes. Is our world better because of them, YES !!!!

Re:OH BOY, THE BIG GOVERNMENT CROWD IS OUT !!! (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 4 months ago | (#46907851)

Why do people who have achieved nothing in life love to find fault with the innovators that are the engine of modern economic growth.

So because Hitler was the driving force behind the autobahn, VW, and the foundations of modern space exploration we should just give him a pass on that little Holocaust thing? I mean, he was even partly responsible for bringing the US out of the Great Depression!

Re:OH BOY, THE BIG GOVERNMENT CROWD IS OUT !!! (0)

Amouth (879122) | about 4 months ago | (#46907931)

need a "perfect" mod option

Stop mythologizing Jobs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908229)

Why do people who have achieved nothing in life love to find fault with the innovators that are the engine of modern economic growth.

So because Hitler was the driving force behind the autobahn, VW, and the foundations of modern space exploration we should just give him a pass on that little Holocaust thing? I mean, he was even partly responsible for bringing the US out of the Great Depression!

Ugh... its worse than that, because the idea that Jobs was a true innovator is a myth I'm getting disgusted by. Maybe a shrewd and ruthless businessman, who was good at marketing, but not an inventor or innovator.

Even while people mythologize Jobs, we forget the engineers, innovators and inventors who actually underlie all the growth and progress we've seen. John McCarthy, the inventor of LISP and a giant in computer science, died at almost the same time as Jobs, and arguably had a much greater influence on computing than him. He's a giant in the history of computer science and engineering. But where's the discussion of McCarthy? Where were all the television shows and books? Why aren't we discussing him?

The first Apple-Samsung trial was about what? Patenting a rectangle? With an outcome determined by a lying, aggressive juror? Where are our priorities?

I have no problem with honoring those who contribute to the progress of society, but the idolization of Jobs is not that. For me, it represents everything wrong with society. It's not only misplaced, but harmful in that it neglects those who actually move society forward and perpetuates the myth of the lone creator. You can call me a hater if you want, but sometimes it's necessary to point out problems before we can move on.

Tiny WW2 thing (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 4 months ago | (#46908409)

So because Hitler was behind the Holocaust, we should just give him a pass on that little WORLD WAR 2 thing?
Why is it we only ever talk about the Holocaust when WW2 was 10x worse (and is required for the war crimes to exist.) Is it because WAR is good that a 100 million people more can die and we still just cite the relatively tiny war crime?

Re:OH BOY, THE BIG GOVERNMENT CROWD IS OUT !!! (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 4 months ago | (#46908047)

I'm a small government kind of guy and I'm not sure what Jobs did should have been illegal. I still believe that Jobs was a jerk and an imitator, not an "innovator" in any sense of the word. He pretty much said himself that his skill was in identifying the best things to "steal" (his word) from his competitors.

In addition, Apple probably wouldn't exist without "big government", since much of their success and much of their power is based on using artificial monopolies and the threat of lawsuits based on dubious and non-innovative intellectual property.

Re:OH BOY, THE BIG GOVERNMENT CROWD IS OUT !!! (4, Insightful)

next_ghost (1868792) | about 4 months ago | (#46908157)

I still believe that Jobs was a jerk and an imitator, not an "innovator" in any sense of the word. He pretty much said himself that his skill was in identifying the best things to "steal" (his word) from his competitors.

That's what innovation is all about. Nobody can make all the puzzle pieces themselves from scratch. But if you can get the pieces from others, you can then put them together into something new.

Re:OH BOY, THE BIG GOVERNMENT CROWD IS OUT !!! (-1, Troll)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 4 months ago | (#46908365)

A couple weeks ago, while taking my asian girlfriend shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Steve Jobs -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the security guards wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal thinker and had been an Apple customer since 1984. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting Jobs, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Steve Jobs, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman, and thrusting my pink iPod Shuffle into my ass. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Steve Jobs wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than reading an Apple press release!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Steve Jobs dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful Apple customer.

Jail time?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907861)

Plah-ease!

For the billionaire class, they don't go to jail for minor things like this. At best their company get fined - at the stockholder's expense: the you and me with our 401Ks and IRA with the obscene fees.

The CEOs can commit crimes as a result of their decisions and the company gets fined, they get their bonuses and at worst, they get fire with their golden parachutes.

Bernie Madoff only went to jail because he screwed over the billionaires. If he just went after us peons, he would just paid some fines and made off to a nice cushy estate somewhere.

Jobs himself said ... (4, Insightful)

romanval (556418) | about 4 months ago | (#46907875)

that the best programmers/software engineers are astoundingly more productive; something like 10 to 25 times faster then average ones. He obviously wanted to do what it took to retain them, since he was knew that his new product developments relied on impossibly fast deadlines.

Re:Jobs himself said ... (5, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 4 months ago | (#46907897)

that the best programmers/software engineers are astoundingly more productive; something like 10 to 25 times faster then average ones. He obviously wanted to do what it took to retain them, since he was knew that his new product developments relied on impossibly fast deadlines.

I have an amazing, original idea for retaining talent. Ready for this? ........ Pay them a competitive salary.

Profit Margin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907959)

I have an amazing, original idea for retaining talent. Ready for this? ........ Pay them a competitive salary.

All the big tech companies could afford it, but it'd cut out a sliver of their profit margins. Coding savants should be paid their due worth I think - if they're adding 15x the value of average coders they deserve a representatively larger paycheck.

Re:Jobs himself said ... (0)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 4 months ago | (#46908019)

That actually costs money that can be used to pad manager salaries.

Kas Tekne Turu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908649)

That actually costs money that can be used to pad manager salaries.

www.kastekneturu.com

Re:Jobs himself said ... (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#46908041)

that the best programmers/software engineers are astoundingly more productive; something like 10 to 25 times faster then average ones. He obviously wanted to do what it took to retain them, since he was knew that his new product developments relied on impossibly fast deadlines.

I have an amazing, original idea for retaining talent. Ready for this? ........ Pay them a competitive salary.

I have a better one. Kidnap them and chain them to benches, lash them as needed and feed them gruel.

It worked for galleys, so let's bring back the Good Old Days!

Re:Jobs himself said ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#46908183)

There are programmers who are an order of magnitude more productive than the average ones. But there are very few of them. And it is not all that unusual. The best golfers, chess grandmasters, top R&D scientists are like to be an order of magnitude more productive. Heck, you could extend it to actors and celebrities, you just have to redefine productivity by box office receipts instead of acting ability.

Re:Jobs himself said ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908547)

>hat the best programmers/software engineers are astoundingly more productive; something like 10 to 25 times faster then average ones

I think this is a community myth - proficiency exams don't show people who are 25 times faster at writing CS exams. How could they? Code isn't about speed, it's about depth of thought and planning.

So is there any actual proof for this besides anecdotal perceptions? I've seen coders who work all day and night and thus produce more, but on an hourly basis the amount and quality of code is probably 25-50% more productivity because they are constantly heads down in the code. These are the "superstars" generally, but do they produce 25x more? Absolutely not. Not in your wildest dreams.

Re:Jobs himself said ... (2)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 4 months ago | (#46908263)

It's basically impossible to pay your employees what they're worth while still retaining exorbitant executive compensation (and still turn a profit). I'll let you do the math on who's going to get the short end of that stick.

Re:Jobs himself said ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908105)

that the best programmers/software engineers are astoundingly more productive; something like 10 to 25 times faster then average ones. He obviously wanted to do what it took to retain them, since he was knew that his new product developments relied on impossibly fast deadlines.

Yeah, too bad he was a dupe, as is anyone who believes in that discredited, perfectly vague claim. It is nothing more than folklore, a meme.

Re:Jobs himself said ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908551)

"the best programmers/software engineers are astoundingly more productive; something like 10 to 25 times faster then average ones."

If such a person also does project management, an entire software product could depend on him or her. Thus, by hiring such a lead programmer from your competior, you could kill or at least seriously delay a competing product, and you get valuable insider information. There werer rumors that this happened in the early days of silicon valley. Maybe this explains Job's behaviour.

Conspiracy theory? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907951)

Steve Job maybe, one up the law by poison...

Strange (0)

NetNed (955141) | about 4 months ago | (#46907961)

I find it odd that they wait all this time to try and discredit Jobs further. Could all of these things been shake downs because unlike google, Jobs wasn't going to let the government agencies in to all it's devices unfettered?


Accuse me of fanboy-ism all you want, but do some research. For all the crowing that everyone did that apple was so controlling and taking of all our info off apple devices, you will find that they actually tried to keep it all to themselves, much like Job was supposedly doing with employees. Google? Not so much.

Re:Strange (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908021)

The article is about how jobs subverted the law, consistently. There is hard evidence proving he did just this. This has nothing to do with discrediting, and nothing to do with government access. Stop trying to distract people from the original topic.

Re:Strange (-1, Flamebait)

NetNed (955141) | about 4 months ago | (#46908245)

Yes because a forum on the web is nowhere to have a open discussion. My bad. Resume Asshattedness

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908325)

You deliberately came up with a nonsense conspiracy theory to distract people from Job's blatant disregard for the law, which fucked over a vast amount of employees. You are the one who looks like an asshat. The real reason this stuff is being brought up? The average citizen is tired of getting completely fucked over by the rich and powerful, who magically avoid the consequences of breaking the law again and again, while the rest of us pay dearly for even the most minor mistakes. That you completely failed to see this and invented one of the most retarded ideas I have ever come across, makes me quite sure you are part of the problem.

Re:Strange (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#46908051)

I think Apple/Jobs is just the poster boy. This isn't a new investigation, but as far as I know, it's only now that things are happening that make the news. And, of course, when it comes to anti-social behavior, about the only one person more self-centered than Jobs runs a database company.

PERHAPS defied the law? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46907993)

The guy was a druggie. What do you mean, PERHAPS defied the law?

Stve Job At His Finest (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908001)

I worked as a contractor at Apple for some years in the early 1980s. I was offered a permanent position there which I turned down. In those days Apple was small and I interacted with Jobs on a semi-regular basis.

Inside Apple, Jobs was a capricious tyrant who inspired fear or loyalty depending on whether he liked you or not. The stories about him are legion. He liked people to challenge him, to a point, but if you went over that point he would never listen to you again. He felt that he understood what users wanted much better than the user experience people (maybe correctly). He was the ultimate micro-manager. He gave a few secretaries a $50k spending limit when their boss might have a $5k limit (or less in one case). He ignored convention - but only when that helped him. He hated colored screen output - Woz had to sneak in the 6 colors the Apple II had. In the early days he swindled Woz out of profits from a joint venture. He considered most people as objects to be used to achieve his objectives. He considered laws as something to be worked around. I'm reasonably convinced he had very little or no conscience.

But he knew what he wanted from people. Customer experience was everything. He could charm people when he felt he needed to. He was loyal to people in his inner circle (mostly). He would not compromise if he felt this would result in an inferior product. He had very high expectations of people's work output (and he let them know in no uncertain terms when they didn't meet those expectations).

He had his good side and his bad side. He was not a suitable person to run a company. Firing him was the best thing that could have happened because it changed him fundamentally. He actually started to be concerned about what others thought, and realized that and sometimes you have to listen to them, and on occasion someone else could be right. But be in no doubt, at the bottom of his heart he still considered other people as stepping stones to help him go where he wanted to go - to provide money as investors or customers, to create products for him to sell, or to help him sell those products.

Re:Stve Job At His Finest (2, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | about 4 months ago | (#46908175)

I would argue that selling the products was also a stepping stone for him. He was more concerned with building great products. That was always the fundamental difference between Apple and MS. Microsoft was all about marketing and maybe delivering what they promised. Apple was about building the one true right thing and believing that it will sell because it will be better than anything else. This is why Google will eventually beat both the Apple philosophy and the MS philosophy. Google's mission is not sales or products. Google's mission is in enabling as many people in as many technology contexts as possible.

Re:Stve Job At His Finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908561)

No, Google's aim is to sell advertising. Everything they do is towards that end. They have long since abandoned any higher mission.

Hovenkamp lacks vision. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908077)

Hovenkamp simply is not a visionary.

An interesting definition of recidivist... (1)

baKanale (830108) | about 4 months ago | (#46908083)

There's no way of knowing whether Jobs, had he lived and been healthy, would have faced charges, especially since he was a recidivist.

Based on the context I'm guessing they've taken "recidivist" to mean "a rich and famous person". Funny, I'm not familiar with that definition.

Didn't he have lawyers advising him? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#46908085)

Yes, evidently he did, and pretty good ones too. Nobody went to jail, and Apple is doing great. Risky business? Maybe, but it paid off.

Re:Didn't he have lawyers advising him? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#46908695)

I'm pretty sure that a number of his emails have ended up costing Apple a pretty penny in antitrust suits. A good lawyer would have advised him to engage in his illegal activities with a bit more subtlety, either doing so in person, or at least having his emails use innuendo.

Psychopathic Personalities (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908109)

I think Steve Jobs was a psychopathic individual.

It wouldn't surprise me if Larry Ellison is, too.

Re:Psychopathic Personalities (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 4 months ago | (#46908357)

No. The word you are looking for is sociopath. Jobs did not display violent behavior and he was not unstable. He was, however, un-empathic to those around him and displayed anti-social behavior.

I'm a Mac user and I really like my Apple products, but I don't mythologize or worship Steve Jobs. He was driven to make cool stuff but as with most people who affect the world in big ways he was doing it strictly for reasons of ego.

And yes, Larry Ellison is, too.

Re:Psychopathic Personalities (1, Offtopic)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 4 months ago | (#46908577)

Larry Ellison makes great products?

Re:Psychopathic Personalities (3, Interesting)

danheskett (178529) | about 4 months ago | (#46908611)

There are many, many, many accounts of Steve Job's having frequent, spastic, and yes violent outbursts. We tend to excuse it because he was passionate, am I right?

Secondly, there is substantial evidence that Jobs was unstable. His emotional rollercoastering, OCD, and again passion are often just passed off as you know, just how it is. He essentially committed suicide by failing to believe he was mortal, and did not turn to medicine to heal his sick body until it was too late to be saved. There are numerous accounts of his epic, days long LSD trips, benders, and other substance abuse.

I am not saying the case is 100% solid, but there is more than enough probable cause to suggest Jobs was a psychopath.

Who cares? (0)

suprcvic (684521) | about 4 months ago | (#46908127)

When you've got billions of dollars in the bank, who cares if what you're doing is illegal. The worst that will happen to large corporations is some fines numbering in the millions which is peanuts to them. Now if you or I did this, we'd be out of business.

HR PERSON (2)

superwiz (655733) | about 4 months ago | (#46908133)

The person who got fired was an HR person -- not the employee who was contacted. Imagine if Apple HR started blindly calling up Google employees trying to lure them away and Google HR trying to lure Apple employees away. It's one thing when employees start looking around and reach out on their own or do so through recruiters. It's quite another for internal company recruiters trying to lure away employees from other companies. They had a deal to not destabilize each others' business. If that deal went so far as to not hire employees who wanted to leave on their own, then it went too far. But this particular email is not an example of such a case.

Master of manipulation (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 4 months ago | (#46908139)

For all of the books and documentaries that worship Steve Jobs as our technological lord and savior, I would like to see one dedicated to pointing out just how much of an unscrupulous, narcissistic bastard he was. It's amazing how much people are willing to sweep under the rug when you give them shiny things. It would have been interesting to see how things turned out for Brendan Eich, had he been the same kind of media darling.

Re:Master of manipulation (5, Insightful)

killhour (3468583) | about 4 months ago | (#46908223)

Jobs was well known to be a sociopath. He cared nothing for people or anything that didn't directly further his vision. That's part of what made him such a successful artist and business man, but it's very obvious to anyone that spent any time at all with him that he just didn't care about the law or anything that he saw as standing in his way of getting what he wanted. Just watch any video with him talking about his competitors. He's dismissive, and rude, and obnoxious. And for some reason, people loved him for it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:Master of manipulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908733)

The timing of this Slashdot article, and your post, is almost uncanny. Why?

I began reading Steve Jobs [amazon.com] , the biography written by Walter Isaacson, earlier this week. I haven't finished it yet, but I just got to the part where Steve went off and created NeXT, which leads me to two points (one for you, and one for the overall irony of the Slashdot article / NYT article).

For you: the aforementioned book repeatedly, and very sternly, drives home the point that Steve was absolutely narcissistic and unscrupulous. It does not "dance around" this point -- in fact, it gets driven into your face more and more regularly as the book progresses forward. This is because Steve's personality, which is repeatedly labelled "mercurial" (with Jobs even making a tongue-in-cheek joke about it during the NeXT launch), apparently grew more and more volatile over time. The most common trend repeated was how he'd refer to something as "total shit" one day, and then the following day would say it was "the best idea ever". I won't go into the details of why (read the book if you want some insight, and no I'm not a shill), but Steve possessed what the book (and others) called a "reality distortion field" -- where his passion and intensity as a person drove people to near insanity (and to tears many times over, including John Sculley on multiple occasions), but also drove innovation, all while (in his own mind) convincing himself he could mould everything to his desire (and in some cases, yes, believed the literal law did not apply to him). The book repeats this mantra of operation over and over, rather than just mentioning it once in passing -- because it's a personality trait of Jobs that impacted (let's face it) the entire world, to some degree.

For others: there is hilarity and thick irony in Jobs threatening to sue a company over "poaching employees from Apple", because he did exactly that when he started NeXT. Referring to his aforementioned biography, specifically chapter 18 ("NeXT: Prometheus Unbound"), this chapter brings to light when Jobs was ousted from Apple, more or less as retaliation, Jobs took with him 5 employees from Apple (Bud Tribble, Rich Page, George Crow, Susan Barnes, and Dan'l Lewin) who he repeatedly (and in writing nonetheless, when he submit his own resignation and gave it to Mike Markkula dated September 17th, 1985) labelled as "low-key people" (meaning unimportant) except all had been with Apple for a very long time and were critical (Markkula was quoted as saying "top executives"). But Jobs never saw it as poaching/stealing because these employees were "already disgruntled" -- in effect he talked them into "seeing the light of leaving Apple", and therefore in his mind they chose to leave on their own recognizance. Apple sued Jobs as a result (and other reasons), quoting the lawsuit: "Jobs ... (c) secretly lured away key employees of Apple". And that's just the NeXT aspect; there's the whole Macintosh vs. Lisa ordeal as well, which one might refer to as an "internal poaching" of sorts.

Anyway, I guess my point (back to you) is: if there's a book to read about Jobs that was balanced (as balanced as it can get, I supposed), it'd be the one I've mentioned. So far I've found it an intriguing, fascinating, uncomfortable, and bizarre read, which I think sums up Steve pretty well. And that's coming from someone who's somewhat biased: I'm an old Apple II nut and a huge fan of Wozniak (personally and professionally), but as a kid with an Apple II had no idea what was going on within Apple (as a company); I had no idea it was so chaotic.

Food for thought.

I'll tell you how. (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 4 months ago | (#46908185)

"How could anyone have approved that?"

Because Steve Jobs was an ASSHOLE.

I take no delight in his death, it's very sad that he was struck down in such a manner but it doesn't change the fact that he had a thirty year history of being a raging asshole to people.

LK

And MSFT was Bad? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908307)

So, darling Apple and Jobs were not saints? Oh my. Now we will hear from the Apple hard cores saying that is just trashing the memory of "The Great Steve Jobs". I mean after all Apple can do no wrong. Can they?

Old Boys' Network (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 4 months ago | (#46908369)

In any corporate social hierarchy, there are the existing network of the "Old Boys" that used to gather in smokey back rooms, and private clubs in big wing-backed chairs, talking about what they were doing, and to whom...

Today, there's a digital social network that exists, but the social connections that have no traces still exist.

Such unwritten agreements shaped the development of many a huge cash-based community. Las Vegas is but a single example.

If you were among the Elite, you knew the rules, and could get away with a lot more. Steve Jobs was not exactly part of the actual Old Boys Network, and made his own. The thing is this: he was doing what they were doing, just in a lot less discrete manner. Same stuff. Different pile. If he had been "classically trained" by the Old Boys, he'd likely have never been even suspected directly of anything. That, and he'd have been stifled into obscurity, and the Personal Computer would have been quite different than it is today.

Bottom Line: Power and Influence has its own rules. Rarely do they comply to the actual Laws that govern the Rest of Us. Only when they get found out does anything happen. That's usually when new laws and precedents get set to deal with the "new problem" that has actually been around for decades, but only just made the headlines recently.

Old Boys nod and smile(ey) a lot, and they still do what they want. It will be a long time before (if ever) changes make the headlines in that field.

Re:Old Boys' Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908423)

I was thinking along the same lines. In any company, there are people who can get away with stuff in broad daylight that would have others hauled into HR or tossed onto the street. Steve Jobs was unusual in that he could get away with stuff that was public knowledge, because he was regarded as an national or industry treasure.

So the stuff these people do should be captioned "Professional Showman with Connections... Do Not Attempt."

Re:Old Boys' Network (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 4 months ago | (#46908599)

and the Personal Computer would have been quite different than it is today.

On that point we can agree. Back in the early days of the Mac, Apple sued the various competing GUI environment developers out of business. They ran GEM off the desktop and relegated GeoWorks to oblivion. It took the emergence of a deep pockets business like Microsoft, with Windows, to defeat Apple in the courtroom.

Without Apple and Steve Jobs Windows wouldn't be the dominant environment that it is.

Ethics are for folks with consciences, (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | about 4 months ago | (#46908433)

Hard to find anyone with a butt load of money AND ethics.

Not sure it's possible.....

No one goes to jail for antitrust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908507)

At worst you pay a fine.

In the USA we watched securities fraud cripple the economy and more than double unemployment, with trillions of dollars of wealth evaporating into thin air. I think like one guy has been prosecuted.

It takes two to tango.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46908557)

Hey, Job's wasn't doing this alone. Several other major CEOs were part of this 'arrangement.' Trying to dump the blame on him alone makes no sense.

Apple is a thief (2, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | about 4 months ago | (#46908565)

Apple is a thief. If ever a company deserved to be given the corporate death penalty, it's Apple. I present my point of view with three supporting factors:

1. Preventing employees from sharing in the wealth generated by the company is a monumentally criminal undertaking. Only a very few employees are ever the subject of a bidding war amoung competitors. It's the Holy Grail of being an employee. It creates positive ripple effects throughout the entire economic system. Increased wages and pay also creates incentives to avoid geographic concentration (like in Silicon Valley). Stifling those natural market forces is alone enough to justify having a corporate character cancelled.

2. Apple has effectively, and evilly, cost-shifted the burdens of it's product production pipeline to anyone who has pockets deep enough to pay (other than themselves). From using outsourced labor in China, subsidized by the ruling Community party and the brazenly inhuman economic system in China,to their offshore subsidiary tax-scheming, to their perpetuation of the corporate copyright cartel, Apple has done everything in it's power, legally and extra-legally, to benefit from the investments of others, to exploit loopholes, and to exploit developing nation's labor supplies.

3. Apple has, and continues to, extract massive wealth from the economy, and put it to use in non-productive ways. The late Mr. Jobs was a huge driver to this end. By using a combination of mythology, lies, and a deeply held anti-freedom ethos, Apple has done all it can to leverage it's cultural and political power, plus it's product line, to the extraction of middle class wealth. In itself, this is fine, but combined with price fixing, labor exploitation, and fascist integration into government, Apple is a classic economic rent-seeker. Between now and when the product is totally saturated and must compete on price, Apple will have extracted trillions of dollars of economic rent, while providing very little genuine economic benefit. The wealth they have shared outside of the top leadership and shareholders, trickled down to app developers or employees, has not gone towards generating additional economic activity, but instead, to pumping up a lavish, ridiculous, obscene real-estate and consumption bubble isolated into a tiny nexus of the country. The benefits that have accrued, as minimal as they are, are far less positive than would be more productive, honest, and transparent economic activity that they have deprived of oxygen.

Normally these traits would be just fine, as the marketplace on many levels would correct itself over time. But in Apple's case, it is serious national problem. The combination of illegal dealings, monopoly power, cultural dominance enabled by consolidated media and back-dealing, labor abuses, marketing to under aged youth, and exploitation of celebrity has left Apple isolated and above market pressures for far too long. Combined with rank patent protection abuse and serious ethical breaches of psychopathic top management, Apple must be recognized as a harmful economic actor, and ultimately, like a beloved household pet gone rabid, put down as quickly as is feasible.

Says a lot about this country (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 4 months ago | (#46908569)

> Given Jobs's immense popularity, prosecutors might not have wanted to risk a trial,

This is why I'm an Anarchist.

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