Alex Gibney’s New Documentary Paints An Ambivalent Portrait Of Steve Jobs

 writes: Earlier this week, I joined a group of journalists to meet with director Alex Gibney and discuss his new film, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine — and the first thing he did was put away his iPhone.

It was no big deal, but the action took a little extra humor and weight since the documentary is all about our relationship with Jobs and the products he created. It opens with footage of the mass outpouring of grief after Jobs’ death in 2011, and the rest of the movie asks: Why did people feel so much attachment to the CEO of an enormous tech company? And is Jobs really worthy of such admiration?

“The way the Jobs film ends, there’s no prescription there. To me, the best films are the ones that force you, not force you but encourage you to take something out of the theater and the questions roll around you in your head.”

Gibney isn’t trying to convince people that they should stop buying Apple products — after all, he’s still got that iPhone. Instead the aim is to raise questions about Jobs’ values and the influence those values had on the rest of Silicon Valley (where Gibney often sees a similar “rough-and-tumble libertarian vibe”).

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“The film is not a slam. The film is a meditation on this guy’s life and what it meant to us. It’s not so simple.”

“The way the Jobs film ends, there’s no prescription there,” he said. “To me, the best films are the ones that force you, not force you but encourage you to take something out of the theater and the questions roll around you in your head.”

On the other hand, the film’s ability to address those questions may have been hampered by the fact that many people declined to be interviewed — there’s no Steve Wozniak, no one currently at Apple, and the closest you get to Jobs’ family is Chrisann Brennan, the mother of his first child Lisa. In fact, Gibney recounted how Apple employees walked out of a screening of the movie at South by Southwest — at the time, Apple’s Eddy Cue tweeted that it was “an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend.” Read the rest of this entry »


Apple’s not-so-secret weapon in streaming music

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College Students Prefer Their iPhones Over Sex and Beer

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According to a super not scientific study

But those people are wrong. There is one thing college students care about more than sex, drugs, parties or anything else. And that is their iPhones. At least, according to a recent study conducted by Student Monitor. Researchers surveyed 1,200 undergrads around the U.S. to choose “what’s in on campus” from a list of 77 options, Fortune reports.

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Apple’s iPhone earned the most votes, with 66% of students selecting it. The next most popular results were coffee, texting, Facebook, iPads and Instagram. Beer was #7 on the list and “hooking up” was #12. Read the rest of this entry »


‘RED FRIDAY’ – The Non-Communist Version: Discount-Crazed Shoppers Rush China’s Apple Stores for Wonderful Capitalist Goodies

Photo: Jason Y. Ng

Photo: Jason Y. Ng

“It’s like a refuge camp!” wrote Jason Ng, who tweeted this photo from Hong Kong

FORTUNE —  reports:  No, these aren’t customers lining up for the launch of the iPhone at China Mobile (CHL). That event is scheduled for Jan. 17, a week from now.

These are shoppers at Apple’s (AAPL) Hong Kong store drawn by the discounts the company is offering for its second-annual Asian Red Friday sale.

Read the rest of this entry »


How the iPod President Crashed: Obama’s Broken Technology Promise

 writes:  In the 2008 election, President Obama’s advisers talked of their boss’s belief that it was time for an “iPod government.” Obama, a technology addict who tools around on his iPad before going to sleep and who fought the U.S. Secret Service bureaucracy for the right to carry a smartphone, would be the first president truly at home in the Digital Age. That put him, he thought, in a unique position to pull the federal government into the Digital Age, too. His administration wouldn’t just be competent. It would be modern. And it would restore America’s faith that the public sector could do big things well.

After Obama got to the White House he tried to deliver on the promise. He created positions for a chief information officer and a chief technology officer. He embarked on a massive effort to open up government data. He created an online dashboard to bring transparency to the government’s spending on IT. “If a project is over budget or behind schedule, this site tells you that, and by how much—and it provides the name, the e-mail, and the phone number of the person responsible,” Obama said in January 2010. “To date, the site has gotten 78 million hits.” Read the rest of this entry »