Steve Wozniak

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pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy


air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The Apple ad even said, “our philosophy is to provide software for our machines free or at minimal cost.” While the selling was going on, Steve Wozniak began working on an expanded design of the board, something that would impress his Homebrew peers even more. Steve Jobs had plans to sell many computers based on this new design, and he started getting financing, support, and professional help for the day the product would be ready. The new version of Steve Wozniak’s computer would be called the Apple II, and at the time no one suspected that it would become the most important computer in history. • • • • • • • • It was the fertile atmosphere of Homebrew that guided Steve Wozniak through the incubation of the Apple II. The exchange of information, the access to esoteric technical hints, the swirling creative energy, and the chance to blow everybody’s mind with a well-hacked design or program . . . these were the incentives which only increased the intense desire Steve Wozniak already had: to build the kind of computer he wanted to play with.

Most of the Apples at that time used cassette recorders; the difficulty of using an assembler with a cassette recorder made it nearly impossible to go down into the deepest recess of the machine, the 6502 chip, to speak in the Apple’s assembly language. This was changing: Steve Wozniak had recently hacked a brilliant design for a disk-drive interface for the Apple, and the company was able to offer low-cost floppy-disk drives which accessed thousands of bytes a second, making assembling easy for those few who knew how to program on that difficult level. Those infected with the Hands-On Imperative, of course, would soon join that elite in learning the system at its most primal level. Programmers, would-be programmers, and even users buying Apples would invariably purchase disk drives along with them. Since Steve Wozniak’s Apple adhered to the Hacker Ethic in that it was a totally “open” machine, with an easily available reference guide that told you where everything was on the chip and the motherboard, the Apple was an open invitation to roll your sleeves up and get down to the hexadecimal code of machine level.

He was guided in this by the experienced hand of Mike Markkula, who was taking the Apple venture very seriously. One thing he apparently recognized was that Steve Wozniak’s commitment was to the computer rather than to the company. To Woz, the Apple was a brilliant hack, not an investment. It was his art, not his business. He got his payment by solving puzzles, saving chips, impressing people at Homebrew. This was fine for hacking, but Markkula wanted, at the least, Wozniak’s full-time participation in the company. He told Jobs to tell his partner that if Woz wanted there to be an Apple Computer company, he must quit HP for all-out work on pre-production of the Apple II. It was a tough decision for Wozniak. “This was different than the year we spent throwing the Apple I together in the garage,” Wozniak later recalled. “This was a real company.

pages: 744 words: 142,748

Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley


air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, card file, Chance favours the prepared mind, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott:, John Markoff, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, urban renewal, wikimedia commons


While there, Draper claims, he taught the art of phone phreaking to dozens of other inmates. Draper soon went to work for his friend Steve Wozniak at Apple Computer, designing an innovative product called the Charley Board. Charley was an add-in circuit board for the Apple II that connected the computer to the telephone line. With Charley and a few simple programs you could make your Apple II do all sorts of telephonic tricks. Not only could it dial telephone numbers and send touch tones down the line, it could even listen to the calls it placed and recognize basic telephone signals as the call progressed, signals such as a dial tone or busy signal or a ringing signal. With the right programming it could be used as a modem. An Apple II with a Charley Board, in fact, became the ultimate phone phreaking tool. Just as the phone company thought it was natural to mix computers and phone switches, John Draper thought it was natural to mix computers and phone phreaking.

Every one needed hardware and software hackers to help them. Riches, or promises of riches, or maybe just a fun job that might pay the bills beckoned. In 1976 former phone phreaks Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were selling Apple I computers to their fellow hobbyists. “Jobs placed ads in hobbyist publications and they began selling Apples for the price of $666.66,” journalist Steven Levy wrote. “Anyone in Homebrew could take a look at the schematics for the design, Woz’s BASIC was given away free with the purchase of a piece of equipment that connected the computer to a cassette recorder.” The fully assembled and tested Apple II followed later that year. By 1977 microcomputers had begun to enter the mainstream. You could stroll down to your local Radio Shack and buy a TRS-80 microcomputer off the shelf, something absolutely unheard of just a year earlier.

pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston


8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos,, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

Little did he know that I was actually up all night writing a business plan, not partying. C H A P T 3 E R Steve Wozniak Cofounder, Apple Computer If any one person can be said to have set off the personal computer revolution, it might be Steve Wozniak. He designed the machine that crystallized what a desktop computer was: the Apple II. Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer in 1976. Between Wozniak’s technical ability and Jobs’s mesmerizing energy, they were a powerful team. Woz first showed off his home-built computer, the Apple I, at Silicon Valley’s Homebrew Computer Club in 1976. After Jobs landed a contract with the Byte Shop, a local computer store, for 100 preassembled machines, Apple was launched on a rapid ascent. Woz soon followed with the machine that made the company: the Apple II. He single-handedly designed all its hardware and software—an extraordinary feat even for the time.

So a bunch of Apple engineers and marketing people got to benefit from going public. Otherwise, they’d have no stock at all. Mike Markkula kind of felt that some of these people didn’t deserve it; some people shouldn’t get stock. But I disagreed with him on that. Nobody stopped me, so I did it. Livingston: But you still kept enough stock for yourself to buy a house, right? Wozniak: The money I got from Apple employees, I used to buy a house. It was kind of an early state to be selling out 15 percent of your stock, but hey, that was a great opportunity for me. When I designed the Apple stuff, I never thought in my life I would have enough money to fly to Hawaii or make a down payment on a house. So it was huge deal for me. Steve Wozniak 59 Steve Jobs (left) and Steve Wozniak (right) in 1975 with a blue box Photo by Margret Wozniak C H A P T 4 E R Joe Kraus Cofounder, Excite Joe Kraus started Excite (originally called Architext) in 1993 with five Stanford classmates.

Mike Scott was starting to make some real rash, quick decisions, and not be as careful as was needed, and as he’d been in the past. The board gave him another job and he wrote a very shocking resignation letter that, basically, life was too important for this political type stuff. It was sad to see him go because he supported good people so well in the company. Steve Wozniak 47 Livingston: What about Ron Wayne? Wasn’t he one of the founders? Wozniak: Yes, but not when we incorporated as a real company. We had two phases. One was as a partnership with Steve Jobs for the Apple I, and then for the Apple II, we became a corporation, Apple Computer, Incorporated. Steve knew Ron at Atari and liked him. Ron was a super-conservative guy. I didn’t know anything about politics of any sort; I avoided it. But he had read all these right-wing books like None Dare Call it Treason, and he could rattle the stuff off.

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Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall


Apple II, belly landing, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

They couldn’t put an R/F modulator in it to hook to your TV set because obviously that was something for the home.” Without an R/F modulator, the Apple II was too complicated for inexperienced users. “The PET and the TRS-80 both came with their own monitors, so they were a more appropriate solution for most people than the Apple II was,” says Yannes. The original design by Steve Wozniak also had several flaws. “Right after the Apple II came out, Electronic Engineering Times wrote a story about the three major design flaws that Woz made on the Apple II,” says Peddle. “He didn’t understand the ways the [6502] chipset worked and some other electronics stuff.” In response to these problems, Apple hired an engineer to redesign Wozniak’s motherboard. “There was a guy who was hired at Apple to redesign the Apple II and make it real engineering without offending Woz,” explains Peddle.

I wanted to do something that helped the world in some way, but I was in Oshkosh.” After a tour of duty in Vietnam and a business degree, Tomczyk travelled to Silicon Valley in 1979. “I used to hang out at Apple almost daily. I would hang out with Steve Wozniak and Andy Hertzfeld and some of the people developing the Apple computers because I was planning to go into the industry and I wanted to learn.” Although he was not an Apple employee, he walked the halls freely. “I was kind of like a groupie at Apple. They let me come and go as I wanted. I could walk around even without an ID tag, which was forbidden at Apple. People used to ask me, ‘Where’s your ID tag? Go get your visitor badge!’ And I used to just wave them off.” After six months as Tramiel’s personal assistant, Tomczyk felt ready to make his contribution with the VIC computer launch.

“Steve [Jobs] is a very, very charismatic guy,” recalls Leonard Tramiel. However, the mediocre sales of the Apple I computer, a period before Markkula and McKenna, testifies to his lack of results compared to other kit computers. “It’s really easy to get carried away with what he is saying, but as far as actually producing sales and making money and selling machines, Commodore did a far better job than Apple.” Although Steve Jobs was a natural, Steve Wozniak lacked a compelling persona. “If you were to read the literature during that time, you will discover that [McKenna] probably took Woz to two places and then dumped him because Woz just didn’t come across as smart and interesting,” recalls Peddle. In May 1977, Apple moved into their first company headquarters in Palo Alto, close to Commodore. McKenna launched Apple’s first advertisement in Byte magazine in July 1977, a month after Commodore sold its first PET computers.

pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Spending on the Basics as a Share of Disposable Personal Income,”, (accessed April 13, 2015). 5. Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith, iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon (New York: Norton, 2006), pp. 12–13. 6. Ibid., p. 18. 7. Ibid., pp. 54–55. 8. Ibid., pp. 155–56. 9. “National Inventors Hall of Fame,” Ohio History Central, (accessed August 31, 2015). 10. Quoted in Sean Rossman, “Apple’s ‘The Woz’ Talks Jobs, Entrepreneurship,” Tallahassee Democrat, November 6, 2014, (accessed April 13, 2015). 11. Quoted in Alec Hogg, “Apple’s ‘Other’ Steve—Wozniak on Jobs, Starting a Business, Changing the World, and Staying Hungry, Staying Foolish,”, February 17, 2014, (accessed April 13, 2015). 12.

But we do live on a Glorious Earth, where we can make life amazing. And it can be amazing for everyone, because it turns out that the way we improve our lives—ingenuity and effort—is not a fixed-sum game, where we battle over a static amount of wealth. We produce wealth, and there is no limit to how much wealth we can produce. Who Created the Modern World? In his autobiography, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, or Woz, as he’s usually called, describes how his dad, an engineer, would explain to the four-year-old Woz how electronics worked. “I remember sitting there and being so little, and thinking: ‘Wow, what a great, great world he’s living in,’” Woz recalls. “I mean, that’s all I thought: ‘Wow.’ For people who know how to do this stuff—how to take these little parts and make them work together to do something—well, these people must be the smartest people in the world. . . .

Quoted in Alec Hogg, “Apple’s ‘Other’ Steve—Wozniak on Jobs, Starting a Business, Changing the World, and Staying Hungry, Staying Foolish,”, February 17, 2014, (accessed April 13, 2015). 12. Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 295. 13. Ibid., pp. 308, 318. 14. Ibid., p. 317. 15. Ibid., p. 337. 16. Ibid., pp. 318–19. 17. Ibid., p. 329. 18. William J. Bernstein, The Birth of Plenty (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004), p. 125. 19. Isaacson, Steve Jobs, pp. 76–77. 20. Ibid., pp. 340–43. 21. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York: Penguin, 1999), p. 1065. 22. David Harriman (ed.), Journals of Ayn Rand (New York: Plume, 1999), p. 421. 23. Angus Deaton, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality (Princeton, NJ: Princeton, 2013), pp. 45–46. 24.

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The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

He wanted it that way. The Apple II was my machine, and the Mac was his.” Apple’s origins were pure Steve Wozniak, but as everyone knows, it was the other founder, Steve Jobs, whose ideas made Apple what it is today. Jobs maintained the early image that he and Wozniak created, but beginning with the Macintosh in the 1980s, and accelerating through the age of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, he led Apple computers on a fundamentally different track. Jobs is a man who would seem as much at home in Victorian England as behind the counter of a sushi bar: he is an apostle of perfectibility and believes in a single best way of performing any task and presenting the results. As one might expect, his ideas embody an aesthetic philosophy as much as a sense of functionality, which is why Apple’s products look so good while working so well.

The history of the firm must be understood in this light. For while founders do set the culture of a firm, they cannot dictate it in perpetuity; as Wozniak withdrew from the operation, Apple became more and more concerned with, as it were, the aesthetics of radicalism than with its substance. Steve Wozniak is not the household name that Steve Jobs is, but his importance to communications and culture in the postwar period merits a closer look. While Apple’s wasn’t the only personal computer invented in the 1970s, it was the most influential. For the Apple II took personal computing, an obscure pursuit of the hobbyist, and made it into a nationwide phenomenon, one that would ultimately transform not just computing, but communications, culture, entertainment, business—in short, the whole productive part of American life.

“It’s pretty rare to make your engineering an art,” said Wozniak, “but that’s how it should be.”8 The original Apple had a hood; and as with a car, the owner could open it up and get at the guts of the machine. Indeed, although it was a fully assembled device, not a kit like earlier PC products, one was encouraged to tinker with the innards, to soup it up, make it faster, add features, whatever. The Apple’s operating system, using a form of BASIC as its programming language and operating environment, was, moreover, one that anyone could program. It made it possible to write and sell one’s programs directly, creating what we now call the “software” industry. In 2006, I briefly met with Steve Wozniak on the campus of Columbia University. “There’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask you,” I said. “What happened with the Mac? You could open up the Apple II, and there were slots and so on, and anyone could write for it.

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Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli


Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

The traffic on 280 and 101 had been at a standstill much of the way up from Cupertino, way down south in Silicon Valley, where the company he’d founded, Apple Computer, had its headquarters, and where he had just suffered through a meeting of Apple’s board of directors, which was chaired by the venerable Arthur Rock. He and Rock didn’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything. Rock treated him like a child. Rock loved order, he loved processes, he believed that tech companies grew in certain ways according to certain rules, and he subscribed to these beliefs because he’d seen them work before, most notably at Intel, the great Santa Clara chipmaker that he had backed early on. Rock was perhaps the most notable tech investor of his time, but he in fact had been reluctant to back Apple at first, largely because he’d found Steve and his partner Steve Wozniak unpalatable. He didn’t see Apple the way Jobs saw it—as an extraordinary company that would humanize computing and do so with a defiantly unhierarchical organization.

Other Newspapers and Magazines BusinessWeek/BloombergBusinessweek Esquire Fast Company Fortune New York Times The New Yorker Newsweek San Francisco Chronicle San Jose Mercury News Time Wall Street Journal Wired Websites Computer History Museum:, a Fast Company website that a focuses on design news, May 22, 2014, Forbes billionaires list: “Two Decades of Wealth,”; interview with Stephen Wozniak, Gartner Group: Golden Gate Weather: National Cancer Institute: National Historic Trust for Historic Preservation: (Jackling Mansion details) National Mining Hall of Fame, Leadville, Co.:;

Long before Internet mania started churning out wunderkinds of the week, Jobs was technology’s original superstar, the real deal with an astounding, substantial record. The circuit boards he and Steve Wozniak had assembled in a garage in Los Altos had spawned a billion-dollar company. The personal computer seemed to have unlimited potential, and as the cofounder of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs had been the face of all those possibilities. But then, in September of 1985, he had resigned under pressure, shortly after telling the company’s board of directors that he was courting some key Apple employees to join him in a new venture to build computer “workstations.” The fascinated media had thoroughly dissected his departure, with both Fortune and Newsweek putting the ignominious saga on their covers. In the six months since, the details of his new startup had been kept hush-hush, in part because Apple had filed lawsuits trying to prevent Jobs from hiring away its employees.

pages: 486 words: 132,784

Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions by Brett Stern


Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Build a better mousetrap, business process, cloud computing, computer vision, cyber-physical system, distributed generation, game design, Grace Hopper, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart transportation, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the market place, Yogi Berra

Calvert: These are the things that an inventor really needs to learn and work out before taking that big step of sending a patent application to the USPTO—hopefully as the prelude to starting up their own business. 1 2 CHAPTER 23 Steve Wozniak Co-Founder Apple Computer A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral to launching the personal computer industry. Wozniak is named sole inventor on the US patent for “microcomputer for use with video display.”

His bestselling autobiography—iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It—was published in 2006 (W. W. Norton). His television appearances include Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Dancing with the Stars, and The Big Bang Theory. Brett Stern: You talk about having an engineering side and a human side. Any thoughts on what the difference is, and how you define those sides? Steve Wozniak: I talk about the difference between the engineering side and the human side in two different senses. One is the general sense of developing technology products. If you look at Apple history, you’ll find out that the most important thing that made Apple great—and made Steve Jobs such a great person—was our focus on understanding the users more than understanding the technology.

Tim Leatherman, Folding Hand Tools Chapter 15. Reyn Guyer, Toys Chapter 16. Bernhard van Lengerich, Food Manufacturing Chapter 17. Curt Croley, Shane MacGregor, Graham Marshall, Mobile Devices Chapter 18. Matthew Scholz, Healthcare Products Chapter 19. Daria Mochly-Rosen, Drugs Chapter 20. Martin Keen, Footwear Chapter 21. Kevin Deppermann, Seed Genomes Chapter 22. John Calvert, Elizabeth Dougherty, USPTO Chapter 23. Steve Wozniak, Personal Computers Index About the Author Brett Stern is an industrial designer and inventor living in Portland, Oregon. He holds eight utility patents covering surgical instruments, medical implants, and robotic garmentmanufacturing systems. He holds trademarks in 34 countries on a line of snack foods that he created. He has worked as an industrial design consultant for such clients as Pfizer, Revlon, and Saatchi & Saatchi, and as a costume materials technologist for Warner Bros.

pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling


Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, pirate software, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

Before computers and their phone-line modems entered American homes in gigantic numbers, phone phreaks had their own special telecommunications hardware gadget, the famous "blue box." This fraud device (now rendered increasingly useless by the digital evolution of the phone system) could trick switching systems into granting free access to long-distance lines. It did this by mimicking the system's own signal, a tone of 2600 hertz. Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the founders of Apple Computer, Inc., once dabbled in selling blue-boxes in college dorms in California. For many, in the early days of phreaking, blue-boxing was scarcely perceived as "theft," but rather as a fun (if sneaky) way to use excess phone capacity harmlessly. After all, the long-distance lines were JUST SITTING THERE.... Whom did it hurt, really? If you're not DAMAGING the system, and you're not USING UP ANY TANGIBLE RESOURCE, and if nobody FINDS OUT what you did, then what real harm have you done?

On the contrary, like most rock musicians, the Grateful Dead have spent their entire adult lives in the company of complex electronic equipment. They have funds to burn on any sophisticated tool and toy that might happen to catch their fancy. And their fancy is quite extensive. The Deadhead community boasts any number of recording engineers, lighting experts, rock video mavens, electronic technicians of all descriptions. And the drift goes both ways. Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, used to throw rock festivals. Silicon Valley rocks out. These are the 1990s, not the 1960s. Today, for a surprising number of people all over America, the supposed dividing line between Bohemian and technician simply no longer exists. People of this sort may have a set of windchimes and a dog with a knotted kerchief 'round its neck, but they're also quite likely to own a multimegabyte Macintosh running MIDI synthesizer software and trippy fractal simulations.

Furthermore, proclaimed the manifesto, the foundation would "fund, conduct, and support legal efforts to demonstrate that the Secret Service has exercised prior restraint on publications, limited free speech, conducted improper seizure of equipment and data, used undue force, and generally conducted itself in a fashion which is arbitrary, oppressive, and unconstitutional." "Crime and Puzzlement" was distributed far and wide through computer networking channels, and also printed in the Whole Earth Review. The sudden declaration of a coherent, politicized counter-strike from the ranks of hackerdom electrified the community. Steve Wozniak (perhaps a bit stung by the NuPrometheus scandal) swiftly offered to match any funds Kapor offered the Foundation. John Gilmore, one of the pioneers of Sun Microsystems, immediately offered his own extensive financial and personal support. Gilmore, an ardent libertarian, was to prove an eloquent advocate of electronic privacy issues, especially freedom from governmental and corporate computer-assisted surveillance of private citizens.

pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen


Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

Compare Boone Pickens’s resiliency to the hesitancy that affected Ron Wayne, an original partner in Apple Computer. Wayne had started a slot machine business that failed, swallowing $50,000 of savings. After that failure he went to work at Atari, where he met Steve Jobs. When Jobs later asked Wayne to join Apple Computer as a third partner to balance and adjudicate between Jobs and the engineering wunderkind Steve Wozniak, Wayne was initially enthusiastic. But then it became clear that they were going to structure the nascent Apple Computer as a partnership. Wayne, who was significantly older than his partners, was worried about the personal liability he would incur if all the borrowing and spending Jobs was doing to manufacture the Apple I at volume did not pan out. The fear overcame him and a few days after they filed the business paperwork he pulled out.33 HOW EXECUTIVES CAN LEARN TO REVERSE THE RISK EQUATION Producers aren’t knocked out of the entrepreneurial game by defeats—even those that seem entirely devastating.

He has since founded Vatera Healthcare Partners, a health venture capital firm, and Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, a biotech discovery firm. Steve Jobs 1955–2011, United States Apple Computer, Pixar Jobs was a game designer at Atari when he, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne launched Apple Computer in 1976 to market a personal computer Wozniak had invented. The first Apple PCs proved a huge success, but later products floundered. Infighting led to Jobs’s 1985 ouster. He founded NeXT Computer and bought the Pixar animation studio from George Lucas. Pixar’s 1995 IPO made Jobs a billionaire. Two years later, Apple bought NeXT and reinstated Jobs as CEO, ushering in an era of tremendous innovation and growth driven by the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Kirk Kerkorian b. 1917, United States International Leisure, MGM/United Artists, MGM Resorts International A flight instructor as a young man, Kirk Kerkorian then risked his life flying mosquito bombers for the Canadian Royal Air Force during World War II.

He stood behind his people and he was happy that he could do it.” THE PREVALENCE OF PRODUCER-PERFORMER PAIRS More than half of the billionaires in our study sample started their businesses as part of a Producer-Performer team.2 The number jumps to 60 percent when we remove financial industry billionaires from the sample.3 Some famous examples include Steve Jobs (Producer) and Steve Wozniak (engineering Performer) of Apple; Nike’s Bill Bowerman (Producer) and Phil Knight (Performer); and Amancio Ortega (Producer) and his first wife, Rosalia Mera (Performer), who together founded the apparel giant Zara. The prominence of pairs among the billionaires we observed cuts against a lot of what we always thought we knew about how people feel productive and successful in their professional lives. Yet once we saw it in the data and began investigating its dynamics, the prominence of a Leadership Partnership began to make intuitive sense.

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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

Eventually, a major cardinal learned of his work and wrote a letter encouraging Copernicus to publish it. Even then, Copernicus stalled for four more years. His magnum opus only saw the light of day after a young mathematics professor took matters into his own hands and submitted it for publication. Almost half a millennium later, when an angel investor offered $250,000 to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to bankroll Apple in 1977, it came with an ultimatum: Wozniak would have to leave Hewlett-Packard. He refused. “I still intended to be at that company forever,” Wozniak reflects. “My psychological block was really that I didn’t want to start a company. Because I was just afraid,” he admits. Wozniak changed his mind only after being encouraged by Jobs, multiple friends, and his own parents. We can only imagine how many Wozniaks, Michelangelos, and Kings never pursued, publicized, or promoted their original ideas because they were not dragged or catapulted into the spotlight.

If you’re a freewheeling gambler, your startup is far more fragile. Like the Warby Parker crew, the entrepreneurs whose companies topped Fast Company’s recent most innovative lists typically stayed in their day jobs even after they launched. Former track star Phil Knight started selling running shoes out of the trunk of his car in 1964, yet kept working as an accountant until 1969. After inventing the original Apple I computer, Steve Wozniak started the company with Steve Jobs in 1976 but continued working full time in his engineering job at Hewlett-Packard until 1977. And although Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin figured out how to dramatically improve internet searches in 1996, they didn’t go on leave from their graduate studies at Stanford until 1998. “We almost didn’t start Google,” Page says, because we “were too worried about dropping out of our Ph.D. program.”

Entrepreneurs who kept their day jobs: Joseph Raffiee and Jie Feng, “Should I Quit My Day Job? A Hybrid Path to Entrepreneurship,” Academy of Management Journal 57 (2014): 936–63. Phil Knight: Bill Katovsky and Peter Larson, Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012); David C. Thomas, Readings and Cases in International Management: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003). Steve Wozniak: Jessica Livingston, Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days (Berkeley, CA: Apress, 2007). “We almost didn’t start Google”: Personal conversations with Larry Page on September 15 and 16, 2014, and “Larry Page’s University of Michigan Commencement Address,” May 2, 2009,; Google Investor Relations,

pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman


Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump,, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

In 1975 a group of microcomputer enthusiasts in the Bay Area formed the Homebrew Computer Club and invited those who shared their interests in technology to “come to a gathering of people with like-minded interests. Exchange information, swap ideas, help work on a project, whatever.”8 Five hundred young geeks joined, and of them, twenty went on to start computer companies, including Steve Wozniak, who cofounded Apple. Homebrew helped establish the distinctly Silicon Valley model of disseminating opportunities and information through informal networks (something we’ll discuss in the Network Intelligence chapter). Small, informal networks are still uniquely efficient at circulating ideas. It’s why we still have local PTAs and alumni groups from schools. Book groups. Beekeeping clubs. Conferences and industry meetings.

World-class professionals build networks to help them navigate the world. No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team. Athletes need coaches and trainers, child prodigies need parents and teachers, directors need producers and actors, politicians need donors and strategists, scientists need lab partners and mentors. Penn needed Teller. Ben needed Jerry. Steve Jobs needed Steve Wozniak. Indeed, teamwork is eminently on display in the start-up world. Very few start-ups are started by only one person. Everyone in the entrepreneurial community agrees that assembling a talented team is as important as it gets. Venture capitalists invest in people as much as in ideas. VCs will frequently back stellar founders with a so-so idea over mediocre founders with a good idea, on the belief that smart and adaptable people will maneuver their way to something that works.

There was clearly growing market demand for folks who had experience with the Internet. But did I have the skills, and could I make enough connections in the tech industry, to become a hitter? To find out, I tried. I got a job (via a friend of a friend) at Apple Computer in Cupertino. Apple hired me into their user experience group, but shortly after starting on the job I learned that product/market fit—the focus of product management—mattered more than user experience or design. You can develop great and important user interfaces, and Apple certainly did, but if customers don’t need or want the product, they won’t buy. At Apple, and in most companies, the product/market fit questions fall under the purview of the product management group, not user experience. And because product management is vital in any product organization, work experience in the area tends to lead to more diverse career opportunities.

pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport


Apple II, bounce rate, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

In 1974, after Jobs’s return from India, a local engineer and entrepreneur named Alex Kamradt started a computer time-sharing company dubbed Call-in Computer. Kamradt approached Steve Wozniak to design a terminal device he could sell to clients to use for accessing his central computer. Unlike Jobs, Wozniak was a true electronics whiz who was obsessed with technology and had studied it formally at college. On the flip side, however, Wozniak couldn’t stomach business, so he allowed Jobs, a longtime friend, to handle the details of the arrangement. All was going well until the fall of 1975, when Jobs left for the season to spend time at the All-One commune. Unfortunately, he failed to tell Kamradt he was leaving. When he returned, he had been replaced. I tell this story because these are hardly the actions of someone passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, yet this was less than a year before Jobs started Apple Computer. In other words, in the months leading up to the start of his visionary company, Steve Jobs was something of a conflicted young man, seeking spiritual enlightenment and dabbling in electronics only when it promised to earn him quick cash.

Now that we know what to look for, this transactional interpretation of compelling careers becomes suddenly apparent. Consider Steve Jobs. When Jobs walked into Paul Terrell’s Byte Shop he was holding something that was literally rare and valuable: the circuit board for the Apple I, one of the more advanced personal computers in the fledgling market at the time. The money from selling a hundred units of that original design gave Jobs more control in his career, but in classic economic terms, to get even more valuable traits in his working life, he needed to increase the value of what he had to offer. It’s at this point that Jobs’s ascent begins to accelerate. He takes on $250,000 in funding from Mark Markkula and works with Steve Wozniak to produce a new computer design that is unambiguously too good to be ignored. There were other engineers in the Bay Area’s Homebrew Computer Club culture who could match Jobs’s and Wozniak’s technical skill, but Jobs had the insight to take on investment and to focus this technical energy toward producing a complete product.

It was around the time I was transitioning from graduate school that I started to pull on these threads, eventually leading to my complete rejection of the passion hypothesis and kicking off my quest to find out what really matters for creating work you love. Rule #1 is dedicated to laying out my argument against passion, as this insight—that “follow your passion” is bad advice—provides the foundation for everything that follows. Perhaps the best place to start is where we began, with the real story of Steve Jobs and the founding of Apple Computer. Do What Steve Jobs Did, Not What He Said If you had met a young Steve Jobs in the years leading up to his founding of Apple Computer, you wouldn’t have pegged him as someone who was passionate about starting a technology company. Jobs had attended Reed College, a prestigious liberal arts enclave in Oregon, where he grew his hair long and took to walking barefoot. Unlike other technology visionaries of his era, Jobs wasn’t particularly interested in either business or electronics as a student.

pages: 223 words: 52,808

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow


3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 17. Wing JM (2006) Computational thinking. Commun ACM 49(3) 18. Wozniak S (2014) In “Intertwingled: afternoon session #2.” Chapman University, Orange, California. Video timecode: 58:14. http://​ibc.​chapman.​edu/​Mediasite/​Play/​52694e57c4b546f0​ba8814ec5d9223ae​1d Footnotes 1For example, as Steve Wozniak said at Intertwingled, “At our computer club, the bible was Computer Lib” — referring to the Homebrew Computer Club, from which Apple Computer and other major elements of the turn to personal computers emerged [18]. 2“Computational thinking is the process of recognising aspects of computation in the world that surrounds us, and applying tools and techniques from Computer Science to understand and reason about both natural and artificial systems and processes” [5]. 3“Computational Media” has recently emerged as a name for the type of work that performs this interdisciplinary integration [15]. 4Kodu is both an influential system itself and the basis of Microsoft’s Project Spark, launched in October 2014. 5The first stage of our work is described in “Say it With Systems” [4].

Technical compromises made in the early days of the World Wide Web undermined Ted’s ability to implement hypertext on a large scale. He continues to rail at this constraint. Forty years after Computer Lib, computers are far more sophisticated and the networks among digital objects are much richer and more complex. It is time to revisit fundamental assumptions of networked computing, such as the directionality of links, a point made by multiple speakers at the symposium—Wendy Hall, Jaron Lanier, Steve Wozniak, and Rob Akcsyn amongst them.1 Fig. 10.3Ordinary hypertext, with multi-directional links. From Literary Machines (Used with permission) 10.2.3 Managing Research Data Managing research data is similarly a problem of defining and maintaining relationships amongst multi-media objects. Research data do not stand alone. They are complex objects that can be understood only in relation to their context, which often includes software, protocols, documentation, and other entities scattered over time and space [8].

Some of what I showed during my talk is what Steve Jobs saw, and the Macintosh was a result of his glimpse and also interpretations of that glimpse by him and others at Apple. But it missed a number of really important ideas. Many of Ted’s and Doug’s ideas have been missed. So, with all this working against someone like Ted, why bother having visions? Standard schooling is already trying to convert two-eyed children into standard children, that is, into blind children. Why not just put more effort into this and save all the bother? To me, the visionaries are the most important people we have because it is only by comparing their ideas with our normal ideas that we can gauge how we are doing. Otherwise, as it is for most people, normal becomes reality, and they only measure from that less broad view of reality. Toss Ted back into this mix, and you’ve upset the Apple cart—and that’s what we need! This allows us to see that normal is only one of many possible constructions of reality, and some of them could have been much better.

pages: 52 words: 14,333

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday


Airbnb, iterative process, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, market design, minimum viable product, Paul Graham,, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Wozniak

But we don’t simply set up viral features and hope they work. Keeping our growth engine going is a step unto itself. We must dive deeply into the analytics available to us and refine, refine, refine until we get maximum results. STEP 4 Close the Loop: Retention and Optimization You need the kind of objectivity that makes you forget everything you’ve heard, clear the table, and do a factual study like a scientist would. —Steve Wozniak If the growth hacking process begins with something I would have previously considered to be outside the marketer’s domain (product development), then I suppose it is only natural that it conclude with another. The traditional marketer’s job, as I learned in my time in fashion and publishing, is to get the leads—to bring in potential customers. It’s someone else’s job to figure out what to do with them.

Dropbox, for instance, offered its customers a 150 megabyte storage bonus if they linked their Dropbox account to their Facebook or Twitter account. Think of Hotmail, whose early attempts at growth hacking we looked at earlier. It turned every e-mail its users sent into a pitch to new customers. Think of Apple and BlackBerry, which turned their devices into advertising engines by adding “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my BlackBerry” to every message sent. (Apple’s best and most compelling public move, of course, was the decision to make its headphones white instead of black. Now the millions of people who’ve bought devices from Apple advertise them everywhere.) Now start-ups are following this lead. Mailbox, an in-box organizer, adds a “Sent from Mailbox” line to the end of its users’ e-mails. When I filed my taxes this year with TurboTax, it asked me if I wanted to send out a prewritten tweet that said I’d gotten a refund by using its service.

pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

Even as much of the high-tech culture has embraced decentralized, liquid networks in their approach to innovation, the company that is consistently ranked as the most innovative in the world—Apple—remains defiantly top-down and almost comically secretive in its development of new products. You won’t ever see Steve Jobs or Jonathan Ive crowdsourcing development of the next-generation iPhone. If open and dense networks lead to more innovation, how can we explain Apple, which on the spectrum of openness is far closer to Willy Wonka’s factory than it is to Wikipedia? The easy answer is that Jobs and Ive simply possess a collaborative genius that has enabled the company to ship such a reliable stream of revolutionary products. No doubt both men are immensely talented at what they do, but neither of them can design, build, program, and market a product as complex as the iPhone on their own, the way Jobs and Steve Wozniak crafted the original Apple personal computer in the now-legendary garage.

ENDORPHINS (1975) Discovered at about the same time by two research teams working independently, endorphins were first described when American scientist John Hughes and German-born British biologist Hans Kosterlitz published their results of a study in which they removed an amino-acid molecule from the brain of a pig, which they believed would bolster investigations of the brain’s receptors for morphine. PERSONAL COMPUTER (1976) Legendarily working out of a garage, entrepreneurs and college dropouts Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs designed one of the first personal computers, or microcomputer—Apple I—in 1976, creating the first single-circuit board computer, though many important models, including the Altair, preceded it. ONCOGENES (1976) Bolstering the understanding of cancer and how malignant tumors are created, American immunobiologist J. Michael Bishop and cellular biologist Harold Varmus discovered the first human oncogene in 1970. RNA SPLICING (1977) British biochemist Richard J.

No doubt both men are immensely talented at what they do, but neither of them can design, build, program, and market a product as complex as the iPhone on their own, the way Jobs and Steve Wozniak crafted the original Apple personal computer in the now-legendary garage. Apple clearly has unparalleled leadership, but there must also be something in the environment at Apple that is allowing such revolutionary ideas to make it to the marketplace. As it turns out, while Apple has largely adopted a fortress mentality toward the outside world, the company’s internal development process is explicitly structured to facilitate clash and connection between different perspectives. Jobs himself has taken to describing their method via the allegory of the concept car. You go to an auto show and see some glamorous and wildly innovative concept car on display and you think, “I’d buy that in a second.” And then five years later, the car finally comes to market and it’s been whittled down from a Ferrari to a Pinto—all the truly breakthrough features have been toned down or eliminated altogether, and what’s left looks mostly like last year’s model.

pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen


Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Pranks were a part of the hacker culture, and so was phone phreaking—the usually illegal exploration of the forbidden back roads of the telephone network. But hacking was above all a creative effort, one that would lead to countless watershed moments in computer history. The word “hacker” took on darker connotations in the early 1980s, when the first home computers—the Commodore 64s, the TRS-80s, the Apples—came to teenagers’ bedrooms in suburbs and cities around the United States. The machines themselves were a product of hacker culture; the Apple II, and with it the entire home computer concept, was born of two Berkeley phone phreaks named Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. But not all teenagers were content with the machines, and in the impatience of youth, they weren’t inclined to wait for grad school to dip into real processing power or to explore the global networks that could be reached with a phone call and the squeal of a modem.

See (May 24, 2001). Max says he did not consider himself an informant and only provided technical information. Chapter 4: The White Hat 1 The first people to identify themselves as hackers: The seminal work on the early hackers is Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984). Also see Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2006). 2 Tim was at work one day: This anecdote was recalled by Tim Spencer. Max later recalled Spencer’s advice in a letter to his sentencing judge in Pittsburgh. 3 If there was one thing Max: Details of Max’s relationship with Kimi come primarily from interviews with Kimi. 4 Max went up to the city to visit Matt Harrigan: Harrigan’s business and his work with Max were described primarily by Harrigan, with some details confirmed by Max.

He met twenty-year-old Kimi Winters at a rave called Warmth, held on an empty warehouse floor in the city—Max had become a fixture in the rave scene, dancing with a surprising, fluid grace, whirling his arms like a Brazilian flame dancer. Kimi was a community college student and part-time barista. A foot shorter than Max, she sported an androgynous appearance in the shapeless black hoodie she liked to wear when she went out. But on a second look, she was decidedly cute, with apple cheeks and her Korean mother’s copper-tinted skin. Max invited Kimi to a party at his place. The parties at Hungry Manor were legendary, and when Kimi arrived the living room was already packed with dozens of party guests from Silicon Valley’s keyboard class—programmers, system administrators, and Web designers—mingling under the glass chandelier. Max lit up when he spotted her. He led her on a tour of the house, pointing out the geeky accoutrements the Hungry Programmers had added.

pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison


23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, East Village,, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

As long as starting a business remains relatively easy, small businesses, which can turn into big businesses, are one avenue for young people looking to build experience. And in a world where technology will continue to help level playing fields, businesses that shun smart, young people will face competitive disadvantages. There are many examples of young people starting small companies that grew into larger, very successful companies. For example, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in their early twenties—the same age as Bill Gates and Paul Allen when they started Microsoft—and Sergey Brin and Larry Page launched Google in their mid-twenties. GOING LONG ON AMBITION The degree to which longevity will change the economic order also depends somewhat on how much of an effect an increased health span has on the conditions of human ambition. A strong source of motivation, ambition affects individuals and societies on a large scale.

”62 The cool kids in the biohacking world, many of whom have competed at the international genetically engineered machine competition, are not only watching Dr. Venter with great interest; they are also working to create their own projects. Making cells blink, glow, or smell like banana is what many DIY bio types have on their minds, and such frivolous pursuits are reminiscent of the beginnings of the personal computer revolution. Back in the 1970s, it was the Homebrew Club that brought together clever thinkers—such as future Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—to trade parts, circuits, and information for DIY computing devices. The point is that biology has become the latest and greatest engineering project, one that hobbyists celebrate. More importantly, eventually this passion will change the world. Those who have already made it big in the technology industry have not failed to notice. Aside from Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, other tech titans who are driving interest in the longevity meme include Oracle’s Larry Ellison, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

See Artificial intelligence AIDS Airlines Alchemists Alcohol consumption Alexander the Great Algae Alginate hydrogel Allen, Paul Allen, Woody Allen Institute for Brain Science (Seattle) Alm, Richard Alzheimer’s Ambition American Council on Science and Health American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations Ames, Bruce Anatomy of Love (Fisher) Angola Annas, George Antibiotics Apple Inc. Aquinas, St. Thomas Archimedes Archon Genomics X PRIZE Aristotle Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) Arnett, Dr. Jeffrey Jensen Art Artemisinin Arteriocyte company Artificial intelligence (AI) Artificial life Asian American females Asimov, Isaac Association of Medical Practitioners and Dentists (Italy) Astrology Atala, Dr. Anthony AT&T Atheists/agnostics(fig.)

pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner


1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

I wasn’t approaching it from either a theoretical point of view or an engineering point of view, but from sort of a fun-ness point of view.”59 According to Levy, this point of view characterized the work of two subsequent generations of innovators. The first comprised the “hardware hackers” of the 1970s. Clustered in and around the San Francisco Bay area, they included the young founders of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, as well as early proselytizers for personal computing such as Lee Felsenstein, Bob Albrecht, and Ted Nelson, a programmer who had authored a volume loosely based on the Whole Earth Catalog entitled Computer Lib: You Can and Must Understand Computers Now. For this generation, Levy suggested, computing was a form of political rebellion. Computers may have always been large and centralized, they may have always been guarded by institutionalized experts, and they may have been used to organize the war in Vietnam, but this generation would put them to new uses

In particular, he suggested, they wanted to “witness or have the group articulate what the hacker ethic was.”63 Brand and Kelly aimed to explore via the conference whether hackers might constitute the sort of cultural vanguard for the 1980s that the back-to-the-land and ecology crowds had hoped to be for the decade before. Something like 150 hackers actually arrived. Among others, they included luminaries such as Steve Wozniak of Apple, Ted Nelson, free software pioneer Richard Stallman, and Ted Draper—known as Captain Crunch for his discovery that a toy whistle he found in a box of the cereal gave just the right tone to grant him free access to the phone system. Some of the hackers worked alone, part-time, at home; others represented such diverse institutions as MIT, Stanford, Lotus Development, and various software makers.

The foundation would, in addition, work “to convey to both the public and the policy-makers metaphors which will illuminate the more general stake in liberating Cyberspace.”84 The first and most influential of the metaphors Barlow referred to was the “electronic frontier.”85 Being master networkers, Kapor and Barlow quickly gained press coverage of their new organization as well as offers of funding from Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, and John Gilmore of Sun Microsystems. They started a conference on the WELL, and they recruited Stewart Brand, among others, to serve on their new organization’s board of directors. One evening in the early fall, Barlow convened a dinner in San Francisco attended by Brand, Jaron Lanier, Chuck Blanchard (who worked at VPL with Lanier), and Paul Saffo (head of the Institute for the Future, a Silicon Valley think tank).

pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain


8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

But that night he goes home and sketches his first design for a personal computer, with a keyboard and a screen just like the kind we use today. Three months later he builds a prototype of that machine. And ten months after that, he and Steve Jobs cofound Apple Computer. Today Steve Wozniak is a revered figure in Silicon Valley—there’s a street in San Jose, California, named Woz’s Way—and is sometimes called the nerd soul of Apple. He has learned over time to open up and speak publicly, even appearing as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, where he displayed an endearing mixture of stiffness and good cheer. I once saw Wozniak speak at a bookstore in New York City. A standing-room-only crowd showed up bearing their 1970s Apple operating manuals, in honor of all that he had done for them. But the credit is not Wozniak’s alone; it also belongs to Homebrew. Wozniak identifies that first meeting as the beginning of the computer revolution and one of the most important nights of his life.

Many of our most important civic institutions, from elections to jury trials to the very idea of majority rule, depend on dissenting voices. But when the group is literally capable of changing our perceptions, and when to stand alone is to activate primitive, powerful, and unconscious feelings of rejection, then the health of these institutions seems far more vulnerable than we think. But of course I’ve been simplifying the case against face-to-face collaboration. Steve Wozniak collaborated with Steve Jobs, after all; without their pairing, there would be no Apple today. Every pair bond between mother and father, between parent and child, is an act of creative collaboration. Indeed, studies show that face-to-face interactions create trust in a way that online interactions can’t. Research also suggests that population density is correlated with innovation; despite the advantages of quiet walks in the woods, people in crowded cities benefit from the web of interactions that urban life offers.

We also need to create settings in which people are free to circulate in a shifting kaleidoscope of interactions, and to disappear into their private workspaces when they want to focus or simply be alone. Our schools should teach children the skills to work with others—cooperative learning can be effective when practiced well and in moderation—but also the time and training they need to deliberately practice on their own. It’s also vital to recognize that many people—especially introverts like Steve Wozniak—need extra quiet and privacy in order to do their best work. Some companies are starting to understand the value of silence and solitude, and are creating “flexible” open plans that offer a mix of solo workspaces, quiet zones, casual meeting areas, cafés, reading rooms, computer hubs, and even “streets” where people can chat casually with each other without interrupting others’ workflow. At Pixar Animation Studios, the sixteen-acre campus is built around a football-field-sized atrium housing mailboxes, a cafeteria, and even bathrooms.

The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley by Leslie Berlin


Apple II, Bob Noyce, collective bargaining, computer age, George Gilder, informal economy, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, means of production, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, open economy, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

This certainly was true of Apple Computer, which was financed by men associated with Fairchild and Intel and staffed with many people from Hewlett-Packard and Intel.46 Apple had gotten its start in 1976, when 19-year-old Jobs convinced his friend Steve Wozniak, who had developed a personal computer in his garage, to start a business with him. The two showed their computer to venture capitalist Don Valentine (a former Fairchild salesman), who suggested they contact Mike Markkula, recently retired (at age 34) from his job in Intel’s marketing group. Markkula, who had long dreamed of something like a personal computer—as a teenager, he had built a “programmable electronic sliderule”—invested $91,000 in the company. In exchange, he received a one-third ownership stake in Apple.47 One of Markkula’s first calls on behalf of Apple was to Noyce. “I want you to be aware of this,” Markkula said. “I’d like to present to the [Intel] board.” Noyce gave his approval and on the appointed day, Markkula and Steve Wozniak gave a presentation about the personal computer, an Apple II on hand for demonstration purposes.

But he was interesting enough to talk to, and soon Bowers found herself engrossed in what she called “all Steve’s schemes,” only half of which she thought were even remotely feasible. Clearly this was a company that needed her help. She agreed to consult for Apple.49 A few months into her consulting work, Bowers learned that Steve Wozniak wanted to sell some of his founders’ stock for $13 a share. She bought it from him. “Bob thought I was nuts,” she recalls. Noyce did not try to stop her from investing—they had long ago agreed that she could do what she liked with her money, and he could do the same with his—but he could not take Jobs and Wozniak seriously. Even Arthur Rock admits, “Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak weren’t very appealing people in those days.” Wozniak was the telephone-era’s version of a hacker—he used a small box that emitted electronic tones to call around the world for free—and Steve Jobs’s ungroomed appearance was offputting to Noyce.

Jobs thought that “Bob was the soul of Intel,” and Jobs wanted, he said, “to smell that second wonderful era of the valley, the semiconductor companies leading into the computer.”52 What did Noyce get out of the relationship? Jobs surmises, “Apple was probably the first Silicon Valley company that was widely known as a lifestyle company, the first that made a broad consumer product—and here I was, twenty-five [years old]. And for Bob, it was a bit of ‘What?! Who is this guy? What’s going on here?’ It was just a little strange for him. Bob might have been a little curious.” Renewal 253 Apple went public in December of 1980 at $22 a share. The offering netted Apple more than $100 million, roughly 14 times the proceeds Intel received from its IPO.53 Noyce had a front-row seat for all that transpired at Apple. Not only was he one of Jobs’s mentors and Markkula’s friends, but in August of 1980, Ann Bowers joined the company as the human resources vice president. Apple burst with the young-company spirit and hunger that Noyce adored, and every once in a while, Noyce would, as Markkula put it, “come over to Apple and just hang around.

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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney


Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Computer Numeric Control, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, John Markoff, Jony Ive, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

It was more than four years since Brunner had written his conceptual brief. With the much-anticipated twentieth anniversary of the Macintosh approaching, the decision was made to designate Spartacus as a special edition. Officially named the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, the new product was limited to a run of just twenty thousnd units. Apple unveiled it at Macworld in January 1997 and the first two units were given to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who had just returned to the company as advisers. To make it more memorable, the machine was hand-delivered to customers’ homes by specially trained “concierges,” who set up the machines, installed any expansion cards (along with the ugly hunchback) and showed users how to use them. “I think it is the first sensible computer design that we have seen in a long time,” said Henry Steiner, Hong Kong’s most eminent graphic designer.

Like the MessagePad, the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) won not only kudos but awards, including the Best of Category prize for I.D. magazine’s Annual Design Review. Steve Wozniak thought it was the perfect college machine “with the computer, TV, radio, CD player and more (AV even) all in one sleek machine.” He had several at his mansion in the hills of Los Gatos above Silicon Valley. By the time the machine was pulled from the market one year after launch, however, Wozniak seemed to be the only person on the planet who liked it. The TAM bombed in the marketplace. The machine widely missed its mark. Originally priced at $9,000, within a year the list dropped to under $2,000. It was originally intended as a mainstream product, but the marketing group turned it into a pricey special edition. It was the last straw. After all the battles to get the TAM to market, Brunner had grown tired of Apple’s dysfunctional culture. Bye-bye, Brunner Just before the release of Twentieth Anniversary Mac, Brunner quit.

Harry McCracken, “Newton Reconsidered,” Time,, June 1, 2012. 33. Kunkel, AppleDesign, 237–38. 34. Ibid. 35. Dormehl, The Apple Revolution, Kindle edition. 36. London Design Museum, interview with Jonathan Ive,, last modified 2007. 37. Kunkel, AppleDesign, 236–46. 38. Interview with Robert Brunner, March 2013. 39. Dormehl, The Apple Revolution, Kindle edition. 40. Interview with Martin Darbyshire, May 2013. 41. Kunkel, AppleDesign, 254. 42. Dormehl, The Apple Revolution, Kindle edition. 43. Interview with Robert Brunner, March 2013. 44. Ibid. 45. Dormehl, The Apple Revolution, Kindle edition. 46. Ibid. 47. Interview with Robert Brunner, March 2013. 48. Kunkel, AppleDesign, p. 255. 49. Dormehl, The Apple Revolution, Kindle edition. 50.

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Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein


Apple II, cloud computing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, zero-sum game

All of this captivated not just consumers but investors. A year after Jobs had unveiled the iPhone, Apple’s stock price had doubled. Apple helped create and then took full advantage of all the hype. On launch day it sent top executives to various stores in big cities to witness it all and help whip up the crowds. Head of Global Marketing Phil Schiller went to Chicago. Jony Ive and his design crew went to San Francisco. Steve Jobs’s store was, naturally, the one in downtown Palo Alto at the corner of University Avenue and Kipling Street. It was a mile and a half from his house and he often showed up there unannounced when he was in town. The appropriate high-tech luminaries had already gathered when he arrived. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak and early Apple employees Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld were already standing on line.

Jobs was particularly satisfied with this development, a confidant said—even though in the context of the other upheavals the iPad was unleashing it was almost a footnote. Thirty-five years after starting Apple with Steve Wozniak, Jobs was finally doing what he had set out to do all along: he was transforming what consumers and businesses expected from their computers. The Macintosh in 1984—the first mainstream machine to use a mouse—was supposed to have been the machine that did this. It was supposed to have taken a complicated device—the PC—and made it a consumer product that anyone could use. That failed. As everyone knows, Macs didn’t go away, but Microsoft Windows and Office get the credit for making the PC mainstream. Yet by 2011 the world had come full circle. If you counted desktop and mobile operating systems together, Apple’s computing platform was now about as big as Microsoft Windows and Windows Mobile.

Almost all the media coverage focused on Apple’s unreasonable and possibly unlawful control over its app store, portraying Jobs as a power-mad despot. In an effort not to look despotic, Apple tried to lead journalists into concluding that AT&T, not Apple, was behind all the rejections. But that made things even worse. It made the FCC wonder if Apple and AT&T were in some kind of improper collusion. Two months later, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by the media, the FCC released its correspondence with the three companies. It did not make Apple look good. Google’s letter said, “Apple representatives informed Google that Google Voice was rejected because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialer functionality of the iPhone. The Apple representatives indicated that the company did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality.”

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All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg


Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, game design, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Oldenburg, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning

Tobey spent most of his time at the computer trying to make a game that was as close to real life as a computer in the 1980s could make it. Through word of mouth, Tobey’s flying and shooting game based on F-15 fighter jets came to the attention of Apple’s Steve Wozniak when Tobey was just sixteen. Wozniak was wowed at the sound, graphics, and game play. He kept saying, “This can’t be done on the Apple II. I can’t believe it. This can’t be done.” He gave Tobey a calling card and added a note to Trip Hawkins, which read, “Please consider this flight simulator as the finest Apple game ever done.” Hawkins didn’t waste any time. He wanted to make a deal right away. Tobey’s parents came with him to EA’s offices to oversee a lucrative royalty deal for Skyfox, a game that would eventually sell more than a million copies.

From plastic dust they were born and to plastic dust and desert sand they returned. In 1975 that plastic hadn’t been worthless at all. It was precious gold to the principals of Atari, and it would only become more valuable as the decade progressed. Atari’s arcade business was still thriving, and Home Pong exceeded sales expectations, and demand exceeded supply. Alcorn hired an unkempt and unshaven Steve Jobs, who in turn asked his best friend, the diffident genius Steve Wozniak, for help with what would be one of Atari’s most popular additions to its ever expanding library. Without telling Alcorn, Bushnell asked Jobs to help him streamline the innards of a brick-breaking arcade game called Breakout. Bushnell wanted to save money because the chips used in each arcade machine were still pricey at the time. He coaxed the brazen, odoriferous Jobs with $750 and a $100 bonus for each chip removed from the prototype.

When he finished, he still couldn’t find the right job in the nascent world of games. So he took at job at Apple Computer. As employee number sixty-eight and the company’s inaugural MBA, Hawkins was the first person at Apple to tackle the job of marketing. Within a year, Hawkins had worked his way up to an executive position at Apple. He was in the right place at the right time. Apple was the “it” company. Like Apple today, with the iPod and iPhone, the company could do little wrong. The media hyped the Apple II personal computers, and business (“an elixir for U.S. industry,” glowed the New York Times) and families loved the quality the technicians put into each piece of equipment. The computers, although fairly expensive, almost sold themselves, so much so that in his four years at Apple, Hawkins became a rich man with a niche he carefully carved for himself and his team: selling the computers to medium and large businesses.

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What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

At various times Engelbart has said that he found the original article in the library and at other times he has said he believed he first read the Life account of Vannevar Bush’s Memex. Whatever the case, it had a defining impact on him. 5.Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” Atlantic Monthly, July 1945. 6.Lowood and Adams, oral history. 7.Ibid. Twenty years later, a young Steve Wozniak, then a brand-new HP engineer, would ask the company if they wanted to sell a personal computer. HP said it wasn’t interested, and Wozniak went off to cofound Apple Computer. It was the second time the Silicon Valley pioneer missed an opportunity to define the future of computing. 8.Ibid. 9.Jack Goldberg, Stanford Research Institute, e-mail to author. 10.Author interview, Charles Rosen, Menlo Park, Calif., October 10, 2001. 11.Douglas C. Engelbart Collection, Stanford Special Libraries, Stanford University. 12.Author interview, Don Allen, Menlo Park, Calif., August 31, 2001. 13.Myron Stolaroff, Thanatos to Eros, 35 Years of Psychedelic Exploration (Berlin: VWB, 1994), p. 18. 14.Stolaroff, Thanatos to Eros, p. 19. 15.Ibid. 16.Ibid, p. 20. 17.Jay Stevens, Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream (New York: Grove Press, 1987), p. 53. 18.Stolaroff, Thanatos to Eros, p. 23. 19.Ibid., p. 25. 20.Kary Mullis, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, New York: Pantheon Books, 1998. 21.Author interview, Don Allen, Menlo Park, Calif., August 22, 2001. 22.Vic Lovell, “The Perry Lane Papers (III): How It Was,” in One Lord, One Faith, One Cornbread, eds.

Terminal, TV typewriter? I/O Device? or some other digital black-magic box? Or are you buying time on a time-sharing service? If so you might like to come to a gathering of people with like-minded interests. Exchange information, swap ideas, talk shop, help work on a project, whatever…13 One person who saw the flyer was Allen Baum, who was working at Hewlett-Packard at the time with his friend Steve Wozniak. The two had met in high school when Baum had seen Wozniak sitting in his homeroom class drawing strange graphics in a notebook. “What are you doing?” Baum asked. “I’m designing a computer,” was Wozniak’s reply. It turned out that Baum had on his own become intrigued with computers just months earlier after his father, who had moved the family from the East Coast, took a job at Stanford Research Institute.

It seemed inevitable that the old order would collapse and that a different, more spiritual path—to somewhere—lay just ahead. For some of Silicon Valley’s most influential figures, the connection between personal computing and the counterculture has not been forgotten. Early in 2001, I met with Apple’s cofounder, Steve Jobs. I have interviewed Jobs dozens of times over two decades and have come to know his moods well. This was not one of our better conversations. A photographer had accompanied me, and if there is one way to insure that Apple’s mercurial chief executive will be irritated, it is to attempt to take his picture during an interview. After only a handful of photographs, Jobs threw the photographer out, and things went downhill from there. Jobs was in a particularly bad mood. However, as our session ended, he sat down in front of one of his Macintosh computers to demonstrate a new program he had introduced earlier that morning before the legions of faithful. iTunes was to turn any Macintosh into a digital music player that stored and played CDs or music downloaded from the Internet.

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Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

Then he will pause, as if he has just said something incredibly profound and wants to give you a moment to let it sink in. Then he repeats the line, and a ballroom full of marketing people cheer. But when I meet them together it occurs to me that their different personalities are probably why their partnership works. There’s a yin-and-yang quality, like the one between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the co-founders of Apple. Halligan is the Jobs figure, the corporate visionary, the guy who thinks about sales and marketing. Shah is like Woz, the nerdy software programmer. Shah is wearing scruffy jeans and a rumpled T-shirt, his usual attire. He has dark hair and a dark beard, flecked with gray. Halligan wears jeans, and a sports jacket over a button-down oxford shirt. His hair is gray, as gray as my own, in fact, and he wears the same kind of chunky horn-rimmed glasses that I do.

Twelve The New Work: Employees as Widgets It turns out I’ve been naïve. I’ve spent twenty-five years writing about technology companies, and I thought I understood this industry. But at HubSpot I’m discovering that a lot of what I believed was wrong. I thought, for example, that tech companies began with great inventions—an amazing gadget, a brilliant piece of software. At Apple Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built a personal computer; at Microsoft Bill Gates and Paul Allen developed programming languages and then an operating system; Sergey Brin and Larry Page created the Google search engine. Engineering came first, and sales came later. That’s how I thought things worked. But HubSpot did the opposite. HubSpot’s first hires included a head of sales and a head of marketing. Halligan and Dharmesh filled these positions even though they had no product to sell and didn’t even know what product they were going to make.

In their mind, HubSpot belongs to them, not to these interlopers and outsiders who are now storming into the place and writing memos and telling everybody how they should be doing their jobs. Many of these people have never worked anywhere else. A lot of them aren’t very good. But here, they’re in charge. And I’m stuck working under them. Eight The Bozo Explosion Apple CEO Steve Jobs used to talk about a phenomenon called a “bozo explosion,” by which a company’s mediocre early hires rise up through the ranks and end up running departments. The bozos now must hire other people, and of course they prefer to hire bozos. As Guy Kawasaki, who worked with Jobs at Apple, puts it: “B players hire C players, so they can feel superior to them, and C players hire D players.” That’s the bozo explosion, and that’s what I believe has happened at HubSpot in the course of the last seven years. “How weird are you, on a scale from one to ten?”

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Why Wall Street Matters by William D. Cohan

Apple II, asset-backed security, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bonus culture, break the buck, buttonwood tree, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, financial repression, Fractional reserve banking, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, money market fund, moral hazard, Potemkin village, quantitative easing, secular stagnation, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

This is a good thing. Objectively speaking, we learn from the Apple prospectus that there would be no Apple, at least in its present form, without Wall Street. The prospectus explains that Apple had a relatively large group of early investors who supported the company from its inception in 1976, when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the two founders, “designed, developed and assembled the Apple I, a microprocessor-based computer consisting of a single printed circuit board.” On January 3, 1977, Apple incorporated; three months later, it introduced the Apple II, which was similar to the Apple I but with a keyboard and a plastic cover. For the nine months leading up to the end of September 1977, Apple had a profit of almost $45,000. But Apple had big ambitions, as the prospectus makes clear, and achieving those ambitions required capital.

Most important, at first, were the venture capitalists, such as Venrock Associates, in New York City, which had a 7.6 percent stake in Apple at the time of its IPO, and Arthur Rock, a former banker at Hambrecht & Quist, a small technology-oriented investment bank in San Francisco. Rock had a 1.3 percent stake in Apple. There were other venture capitalists, too, and together they owned another 8.7 percent of Apple before its IPO. As for Jobs, then twenty-five years old, and Wozniak, then thirty years old, they had stakes in Apple of 15 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. A. C. Markkula Jr., Apple’s chief marketing executive since May 1977 and also the chairman of the board of directors, had a 14 percent stake. Michael Scott, Apple’s short-lived first CEO, bought his stake of nearly 1.3 million shares for a penny a share when he joined Apple in May 1977. The venture capitalists backing Apple did so for one reason: They were hoping to make money.

It doesn’t deserve or warrant extra vilification as a result. For instance, it’s no surprise that Apple would not exist if it weren’t profitable, or weren’t able to convince investors that one day it would be (as companies such as Amazon have been able to do for years). The fact that Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world enables it to hire the best, the brightest, and the most creative people and pay them well. Apple’s success allows it to buy new equipment and to build new plants—including a space-age, $5 billion circular headquarters in Cupertino, California—and, of course, it allows Apple to design and to build new groundbreaking products, such as the iPod, the iPhone, and the Apple Watch, and to dream about what the future will look like, whether it includes the Apple car or the Apple personal transporter, like The Jetsons.

pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby


AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

Bureau of Labor Statistics) to expand by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than most other jobs. Before we leave the subject of taste, we shouldn’t neglect to mention Steve Jobs again. It might strike you as odd that, in a book about the encroachment of computers into knowledge work, the name of Apple’s iconic founder would come up in the chapter devoted to stepping aside. But note that whenever Jobs’s genius is mentioned, the emphasis is on his sensibilities—his taste. No one denies he had strong technical knowledge, but according to his cofounder, Steve Wozniak, “Steve didn’t ever code. He wasn’t an engineer and he didn’t do any original design, but he was technical enough to alter and change and add to other designs.”4 As an undergrad at Reed College, Jobs studied physics, but also literature, poetry, and calligraphy. Jobs’s genius was the judicious tweak, and his extreme success comes down to the fact that he focused his time on those points where a tweak he could make would make all the difference.

Walter Kirn, “The Tao of Robert Downey, Jr.,” Rolling Stone, May 13, 2010. 2. Tricia Drevets, “How to Make Money Living off the Grid,” Off the Grid News, June 25, 2014, 3. Heather Plett, “What It Means to ‘Hold Space’ for People, plus Eight Tips on How to Do It Well,” Heather Plett blog, March 11, 2015, 4. Steve Wozniak, “Does Steve Jobs Know How to Code?,” response to email posted on, 5. Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, revised and expanded edition (New York: Harper Perennial, 2010). 6. Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 3rd ed. (New York: Basic Books, 2011). 7.

First, machines relieved humans of work that was manually exhausting and mentally enervating. This was the story of the late industrial revolution, which, having pulled all those workers off farms and into factories, proceeded to make most of them unnecessary with contraptions like the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny, and the power loom. And it’s a process that continues around the world. Consider Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing subcontractor to global electronics brands like Apple. Starting in 2011, it started putting robots on the lines to perform welding, polishing, and such tasks—ten thousand of them that first year. In 2013, Chairman Terry Gou noted at Foxconn’s annual meeting that the firm now employed over a million people. But, he was quick to add: “In the future we will add one million robotic workers.”1 If that goal is realized, it will mean, of course, that some hundreds of thousands of human workers will never get hired—a loss of jobs for the local economy.

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Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman


23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

In the early days of hacking, it was the telephone system that was the target of hackers’ attention as so-called phone phreaks manipulated the network to avoid the sky-high costs of long-distance calls. Let’s not forget two hackers who spent part of their youth back in 1971 building “blue boxes,” devices capable of hacking the phone network and making free calls: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. The pair sold blue boxes to students at UC Berkeley as a means of making money that would effectively help fund their other small start-up, the Apple computer company. As time passed, other notable hackers emerged, such as Kevin Mitnick and Kevin Poulsen. Mitnick famously broke into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s computers at the age of sixteen and went on to a string of such cyber intrusions, earning him the FBI’s ire and the distinction of being “America’s most wanted hacker.”

There are many private sector professional organizations that could prove immensely helpful in jump-starting such efforts, such as the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2, a nonprofit with over 100,000 certified cybersecurity professionals at the ready, capable of having a positive impact on any such effort should they choose. Crime, Inc. is out there busily recruiting minions for its efforts. Shouldn’t we be doing the same? People of all stripes and backgrounds can help with these endeavors—young, old, and even some hackers who surely have the skill set to make a difference, should they wish to direct their talents for public benefit. As the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reminds us, “Some challenging of the rules is good.” We need to help create opportunities, particularly for young people, to channel their considerable talents and energies for good, lest Crime, Inc. engage them for ill. The exponential nature of technology and the linear response of government mean we will need many more hands on deck to help build a safe and stable society that won’t destroy itself.

For the criminal angle, see David Shamah, “Hack Attacks on Infrastructure on the Rise, Experts Say,” Times of Israel, Jan. 30, 2014. 18 President Obama when he noted: Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President on Securing Our Nation’s Cyber Infrastructure,” The White House Office of the Press Secretary, May 29, 2009. 19 Each plays its role: “War in the Fifth Domain,” Economist, July 5, 2010. 20 Let’s not forget two hackers: Phil Lapsley, “The Definitive Story of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Phone Phreaking,” Atlantic, Feb. 20, 2013. 21 As time passed, other notable hackers: Kevin D. Mitnick and William L Simon, Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker (New York: Little, Brown, 2012). 22 Poulsen’s ingenious 1990 hack: Jonathan Littman, “The Last Hacker,” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 12, 1993. 23 For example, in October 2013: “Adobe Hack: At Least 38 Million Accounts Breached,” BBC, Oct. 30, 2013. 24 But what changed in that attack: Brian Krebs, “Adobe to Announce Source Code, Customer Data Breach,” Krebs on Security, Oct. 3, 2013. 25 Yep, the company that is selling: Darlene Storm, “AntiSec Leaks Symantec pcAnywhere Source Code After $50K Extortion Not Paid,” Computerworld, Feb. 7, 2012. 26 Traditional organized crime groups: The Hague, Threat Assessment: Italian Organized Crime, Europol Public Information, June 2013; Nir Kshetri, The Global Cybercrime Industry: Economic, Institutional, and Strategic Perspectives (London: Springer, 2010), 1; Chuck Easttom, Computer Crime, Investigation, and the Law (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2010), 206. 27 These newly emerging: Mark Milian, “Top Ten Hacking Countries,” Bloomberg, April 23, 2013. 28 New syndicates: Brian Krebs, “Shadowy Russian Firm Seen as Conduit for Cybercrime,” Washington Post, Oct. 13, 2007; Verisign iDefense, The Russian Business Network: Survey of a Criminal ISP, June 27, 2007. 29 RBN famously provides: Trend Micro, The Business of Cybercrime: A Complex Business Model, Jan. 2010. 30 ShadowCrew operated the now-defunct Web site: Kevin Poulsen, “One Hacker’s Audacious Plan to Rule the Black Market in Stolen Credit Cards,” Wired, Dec. 22, 2008. 31 Founded by the notorious criminal hacker: James Verini, “The Great Cyberheist,” New York Times Magazine, Nov. 10, 2010. 32 The number and reach: John E.

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The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

John Draper, another legendary hacker who came to be known as Captain Crunch, found that the pitch of a toy whistle that came free in Cap’n Crunch cereal boxes could be used to open long-distance call lines; he built blue boxes, electronic devices that generated the tone, and demonstrated the technology to a young Steve Wozniak and his friend Steve Jobs. Jobs famously turned the blue boxes into his first ad hoc entrepreneurial effort; Woz built them, and Jobs sold them. The culture of hacking, reshaping, and bending consumer technologies to one’s personal will is as old as the history of those technologies. The iPhone is not immune. In fact, hackers helped push the phone toward adopting its most successful feature, the App Store. The fact that the first iPhones were sold exclusively through AT&T meant that they were, in a sense, a luxury phone. At $499 for the low-end 4G model, they were expensive. Every Apple diehard around the world wanted one immediately, but unless you were willing to sign on with AT&T and you lived in the United States, you were out of luck.

His head is clean-shaven and he sports a thick, graying mustache and a quick, mischievous smile. He grew up in Florida with a love of tinkering and gadgets; he was more Wozniak than Jobs, and experimented with hardware in his spare time. “I was a hacker, and hackers, well, from that era—hackers meant you could build a computer from scratch. So, I was building computers,” he says, some based on the motherboard designs of Steve Wozniak. “It was unfortunate, I’ll call it, to live in Florida, outside of where the [Silicon] Valley stuff was going on.” He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology and went to work for IBM. He stayed at the company for sixteen years, rising through the ranks thanks to his mastery of both hardware and software. In the 1980s, he joined an “advanced research team” that was in charge of engineering IBM’s first laptop computer and making it as small as possible.

But there are other situations—such as when photos that Apple helped law enforcement unlock sent two people who had sexually abused a sixteen-month-old child to prison—that help make a case for Apple’s cooperation. (Which, it should be added, the company has provided in the past: Apple has reportedly opened over seventy iPhones at the behest of law enforcement, though many of those were before the Secure Enclave necessitated a novel software hack from Apple.) There may need to be a mechanism for law enforcement to access this stuff, but how we do that in the age of the Secure Enclave is an open question. For Apple, security is a question of product too. As it moves to promote Apple Pay, internet-of-things apps, and HealthKit, consumers must be confident their data can be kept safe. From a consumer’s perspective, Apple’s decision is win-win; it may be unpopular, but the message is clear: You won’t find a more secure phone anywhere.

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Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik


Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

A company, say, like Apple. The idea was not wholly implausible. Apple was coming on strong. Started in the proverbial Silicon Valley garage by Jobs and his high school classmate Steve Wozniak, Apple had successfully negotiated the transition in its product line from kit versions of Woz’s little personal computer to a more versatile version, the Apple II. This machine was unique in the hobbyist market. It came already assembled, with a keyboard (although it required a separate monitor). Shortly after Jobs’s appearance before Zarem’s group, Apple started bundling it with VisiCalc, a unique software program known as a financial spreadsheet—a “killer app” that would single-handedly turn the Apple II into a popular businessman’s tool. With fewer than forty employees in 1978, Apple was already one of the most sought-after investments among the small community of speculative private investors known as venture capitalists.

January: The Altair 8800, a hobbyist’s personal computer sold as a mail-order kit, is featured on the cover of Popular Electronics, enthralling a generation of youthful technology buffs—among them, Bill Gates—with the possibilities of personal computing. February: PARC engineers demonstrate for their colleagues a graphical user interface for a personal computer, including icons and the first use of pop-up menus, that will develop into the Windows and Macintosh interfaces of today. March 1: PARC’s permanent headquarters at 3333 Coyote Hill Road are formally opened. January 3: Apple Computer is incorporated by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. August: Having perfected a new technology for designing high-density computer chips at PARC, Lynn Conway and Carver Mead begin drafting Introduction to VLSI Systems, a textbook on the technology that is written and typeset entirely on desktop publishing systems invented at the center. August 18: Xerox shelves a plan to market the Alto as a commercial project, closing the door to any possibility that the company will be in the vanguard of personal computing.

Those were the qualities that enabled him to hold the experienced investors of XDCrapt by relating the story of how he had founded Apple. Those, and the fact that at the age of twenty-four he was the chairman of a company already worth $70 million. A small handful of PARC engineers, like Larry Tesler, had not allowed their preconceptions about Apple’s customers or Jobs’s personality to cloud their perception of where these little computers might lead. Rather than shun the growing underground of youthful hackers, Tesler dove in. For a year or two he had been attending such cultural events as meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club, where young Altair and Commodore users met to trade their tiny software programs and swap lore. He was no stranger to Apple, having gone out with a woman who worked for the company. “I’d been to an Apple picnic as her date in 1978, when there were thirty employees,” Tesler recalled.

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Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel


Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, Zipcar

Some years will pass before people look back and try to understand how they ever could have lived without such a device. Scoble tells audiences it’s like seeing the first Apple IIs as they rolled off the assembly line in 1977: They were like nothing people had seen before, but you couldn’t do much with them. Decision makers at HP and Atari weren’t interested in cutting a deal with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs for rights to market their new computer—the new, highly personalized devices were obviously too radically different to sell in significant quantity. Yet, it turned out a lot of people wanted them and the Apple II kicked off a 20-year explosion of invention and productivity that we now remember as the PC revolution. Google Glass will do the same. How long will it take? We’re not sure.

Some pointed to a bitter and public divorce between Apple and Google. Steve Jobs had considered Google Android to be a direct rip-off of Apple’s iOS operating system. Could Apple Maps have simply been a crudely devised and poorly executed act of revenge against a powerful former ally? We think not. In our view, Apple made a huge mistake, but it was strategically motivated and not part of a petty Silicon Valley vendetta. Although Google and Apple historically had lots of good reasons to be allies, they were destined to become the rivals they now are. In the past, tech companies were pretty much divided between hardware and software, so an alliance between world leaders in each of the two categories was formidable, to say the least. Apple was clearly the pacesetter in world-changing mobile hardware.

To remain a leader, Apple and Google each needed to vie for online time, for alliances with third-party developers and to provide platforms that make those apps valuable. For Google that meant having its own operating system; for Apple it meant having maps because it saw the unquestionable value of location-based services. For Apple, and many companies, mobile apps are the secret sauce of the Age of Context; mobile mapping is the most strategic of all categories. Caterina Fake, CEO and founder of Findery, a location-based platform, explains it best in a statement that is simultaneously obvious and profound: “Without location, there is no context.” And for Apple, without context there will be no leadership. So Apple and Google divorced. Today Android and iOS compete for mobile operating system dominance, and thus Apple had little choice but to develop its own maps. Its big mistake was not in the play, but in being unprepared for the enormous challenges they faced on an unrealistically short timeline and then blindly plowing forward.

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Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, optical character recognition, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit maximization, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transfer pricing, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy

It’s up to creators everywhere to engage with their colleagues about the ways that expanded liability for intermediaries drive us all into the old-media companies’ corrals, where they get to make the rules, pick the winners, and run the show. 3. DOCTOROW’S THIRD LAW Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, People Do BACK IN 1984, Stewart Brand—founder of the Whole Earth Catalog—had a public conversation with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak at the first Hackers Conference. There, Brand uttered a few dozen famous words: “On the one hand, information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.”

Blu-ray’s keys are 128 bits long—you could spraypaint one of them onto a smallish wall. Is Apple for or against digital locks? One of the world’s most successful digital-lock vendors is Apple. Despite public pronouncements from its late cofounder, Steve Jobs, condemning DRM, Apple has deployed digital locks in nearly every corner of its business. The popular iOS devices—the iPod, iPhone, and iPad—all use DRM that ensures that only software bought through Apple’s store can run on them. (Apple gets 30 percent of the purchase price of such software, and another 30 percent of any in-app purchases you make afterward.) Apple’s iTunes Store, meanwhile, sells all its digital video and audiobooks with DRM. Many people assume that this is at publishers’ insistence, but it’s not so: when Random House Audio published the audiobook of my novel Little Brother, Apple refused to carry it without DRM. 1.4 Digital Locks Always Break DIGITAL-LOCK VENDORS TEND to focus on how hard their technology is to beat if you attack it where it’s strongest.

The labels came to realize that they’d been caught in yet another roach motel: their customers had bought millions of dollars’ worth of Apple-locked music, and if the labels left the iTunes Store, the listeners would be hard-pressed to follow them. Just to make this very clear, Apple threatened a competitor, RealNetworks, when Real released a version of its player that allowed users to load (digitally locked) songs bought from the RealPlayer store onto an iPod, enabling customers to play both Real’s and Apple’s music on the same device. “We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws,” Apple said. But Amazon offered the labels a lateral move: give up on digital rights management (DRM) software and sell your music as “unprotected” MP3s (which also play on iPods), and you can start to wean your customers off the iTunes Store—or at least weaken its whip-hand over your business.

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Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott


Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

IBM embraced Linux and donated hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of software to the Linux community. In doing so, IBM saved $900 million a year developing its own proprietary systems and created a platform on which it built a multibillion-dollar software and services business. Experience shows that long-term sustainability of volunteer communities can be challenging. In fact, some of the more successful communities have found ways to compensate members for their hard work. As Steve Wozniak said to Stewart Brand, “Information should be free, but your time should not.”19 In the case of Linux, most of the participants get paid by companies like IBM or Google to ensure that Linux meets their strategic needs. Linux is still an example of social production. Benkler told us, “The fact that some developers are paid by third parties to participate does not change the governance model of Linux, or the fact that it is socially developed.”

Or it could release the private data from other servers or hold the data hostage until we human owners paid a ransom. Once machines have intelligence and the ability to learn, how quickly will they become autonomous? Will military drones and robots, for example, decide to turn on civilians? According to researchers in AI, we’re only years, not decades, away from the realization of such weapons. In July 2015, a large group of scientists and researchers, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak, issued an open letter calling for a ban on the development of autonomous offensive weapons beyond meaningful human control.53 “The nightmare headline for me is, ‘100,000 Refrigerators Attack Bank of America,’” said Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the father of the Internet. “That is going to take some serious thinking not only about basic security and privacy technology, but also how to configure and upgrade devices at scale,” he added, noting that no one wants to spend their entire weekend typing IP addresses for each and every household device.54 We do not recommend broad regulation of DAEs and the IoT or regulatory approvals.

“Issuing fungible assets like equities, bonds, and currencies on the blockchain and building the necessary infrastructure to scale it and make it commercial don’t require a banker’s CV,” he said. For one, “You don’t require all the legacy infrastructure or institutions that make up Wall Street today. . . . Not only can you issue these assets on the blockchain, but you can create systems where I can have an instantaneous atomic transaction where I might have Apple stock in my wallet and I want to buy something from you. But you want dollars. With this platform I can enter a single atomic transaction (i.e., all or none) and use my Apple stock to send you dollars.”48 Is it really that easy? The battle to reinvent the financial services industry differs from the battle for e-commerce in the early days of the Web. For businesses like Allaire’s to scale, they must facilitate one of the largest value transfers in human history, moving trillions of dollars from millions of traditional bank accounts to millions of Circle wallets.

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The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells


Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

In 1975, Ed Roberts, an engineer who had created a small calculator company, MITS, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, built a computing box with the improbable name of Altair, after a character in the Star Trek TV series, that was the object of admiration of the inventor’s young daughter. The machine was a primitive object, but it was built as a small-scale computer around a microprocessor. It was the basis for the design of Apple I, then of Apple II, the first commercially successful micro-computer, realized in the garage of their parents’ home by two young school drop-outs, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, in a truly extraordinary saga that has by now become the founding legend of the Information Age. Launched in 1976, with three partners and $91,000 capital, Apple Computers had by 1982 reached $583 million in sales, ushering in the age of diffusion of computer power. IBM reacted quickly: in 1981 it introduced its own version of the microcomputer, with a brilliant name: the Personal Computer (PC), which became in fact the generic name for microcomputers.

They gathered in loose groups, to exchange ideas and information on the latest developments. One such gathering was the Home Brew Computer Club, whose young visionaries (including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak) would go on to create in the following years up to 22 companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Comenco, and North Star. It was the club’s reading, in Popular Electronics, of an article reporting Ed Roberts’s Altair machine which inspired Wozniak to design a microcomputer, Apple I, in his Menlo Park garage in the summer of 1976. Steve Jobs saw the potential, and together they founded Apple, with a $91,000 loan from an Intel executive, Mike Markkula, who came in as a partner. At about the same time Bill Gates founded Microsoft to provide the operating system for microcomputers, although he located his company in 1978 in Seattle to take advantage of the social contacts of his family.

See, for instance, Kranzberg’s (1992) acceptance speech of the award of honorary membership in NASTS. 5 Bijker et al. (1987). 6 There is still to be written a fascinating social history of the values and personal views of some of the key innovators of the 1970s’ Silicon Valley revolution in computer technologies. But a few indications seem to point to the fact that they were intentionally trying to undo the centralizing technologies of the corporate world, both out of conviction and as their market niche. As evidence, I recall the famous Apple Computer 1984 advertising spot to launch Macintosh, in explicit opposition to Big Brother IBM of Orwellian mythology. As for the countercultural character of many of these innovators, I shall also refer to the life story of the genius developer of the personal computer, Steve Wozniak: after quitting Apple, bored by its transformation into another multinational corporation, he spent a fortune for a few years subsidizing rock groups that he liked, before creating another company to develop technologies of his taste. At one point, after having created the personal computer, Wozniak realized that he had no formal education in computer sciences, so he enrolled at UC Berkeley.

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The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk,, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Japan may favor robots to protect its elderly and preserve its economy, but a far more contentious discussion is under way right now with tremendous implications for humanity, concerning use of robots for destructive purposes. The debate concerns whether we should allow robots powered by A.I. to kill people autonomously. More than 20,000 people signed an open letter in July 2015 that called for a worldwide ban on autonomous killing machines. A thousand of these signatories were A.I. researchers and technologists, including Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Steve Wozniak.6 Their logic was simple: that once development begins of military robots enabled to autonomously kill humans, the technology will follow all technology cost and capability curves; that, in the not-so-distant future, A.I. killing machines will therefore become commodity items, easy to purchase and available to every dictator, paramilitary group, and terrorist cell. Also, of course, despotic (or even wayward democratic) governments could use these machines to control and cow their populations.

But with home health monitors, we could become as obsessed with monitoring our body’s vitals as we are with Fitbits and calorie trackers. We could become overly confident or pessimistic on the basis of data we don’t really understand but imagine we do. Over all, as you will note, I am really excited about the advances in medicine. Yes, Apple and Google, both developing medical devices and healthcare applications, may want my health data in order to present me with more highly targeted ads. But their motivation is to keep me healthy, to prevent disease, so that I can do more searches and download more applications. The motivation of the healthcare industry has been to keep me coming back for more. So, Apple, take my data and send me your ads, but please help me keep healthy. PART THREE What Are the Risks and the Rewards? 8 Robotics and Biology: The Inevitable Merging of Man and Machine As a child, I believed that by the time I grew up, we would all have robots like Rosie, from The Jetsons, cleaning up after us.

When then WIRED magazine reporter (and now BuzzFeed tech editor) Mat Honan had all of his digital belongings deleted, the hackers didn’t use some cutting-edge technology or brute force to make their way in. Instead, they used social engineering to trick Apple and Amazon customer-support personnel into giving control of Honan’s account to a stranger. Writes Honan, “In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.” 5 Some of Honan’s lost items were pictures of his young child that he had forgotten to back up. They’re now lost for good.

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Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman


3D printing, algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, digital map, discovery of the americas,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

A self-taught genius who worked during the early part of the twentieth century, Ramanujan was not your average mathematician who tried to solve problems through trial and error and occasional flashes of brilliance. Instead, equations seemed to leap fully formed from his brain, often mind-bogglingly complex and stunningly correct (though some were also wrong). The Ramanujan of technology might be Steve Wozniak. Wozniak programmed the first Apple computer and was responsible for every aspect of the Apple II. As the programmer and novelist Vikram Chandra notes, “Every piece and bit and byte of that computer was done by Woz, and not one bug has ever been found. . . . Woz did both hardware and software. Woz created a programming language in machine code. Woz is hardcore.” Wozniak was on a level of technological understanding that few can reach. We can even see the extremes of our brain’s capacity—as well as how its limits can be stretched—in the way London cabdrivers acquire and use what is known as The Knowledge.

abstraction, 163 biological thinking’s avoidance of, 115–16 in complexity science, 133, 135 in physics thinking, 115–16, 121–22, 128 specialization and, 24, 26–27 technological complexity and, 23–28, 81, 121–22 accretion, 65 in complex systems, 36–43, 51, 62, 65, 191 in genomes, 156 in infrastructure, 42, 100–101 legacy systems and, 39–42 in legal system, 40–41, 46 in software, 37–38, 41–42, 44 in technological complexity, 130–31 unexpected behavior and, 38 aesthetics: biological thinking and, 119 and physics thinking, 113, 114 aggregation, diffusion-limited, 134–35 algorithm aversion, 5 Amazon, 5 American Philosophical Society, 90 Anaximander of Miletus, 139 Apple, 161, 163 Apple II computer, 77 applied mathematics, 143 arche, 140 Ariane 5 rocket, 1996 explosion of, 11–12 Aristotle, 151 Ascher, Kate, 100 Asimov, Isaac, 124 atomic nucleus, discovery of, 124, 141 Audubon, John James, 109 autocorrect, 5, 16 automobiles: self-driving, 91, 231–32 software in, 10–11, 13, 45, 65, 100, 174 see also Toyota automobiles Autonomous Technology (Winner), 22 Average Is Over (Cowen), 84 awe, as response to technological complexity, 6, 7, 154–55, 156, 165, 174 bacteria, 124–25 Balkin, Jack, 60–61 Ball, Philip, 12, 87–88, 136, 140 Barr, Michael, 10 Barrow, Isaac, 89 BASIC, 44–45 Bayonne Bridge, 46 Beacock, Ian, 12–13 Benner, Steven, 119 “Big Ball of Mud” (Foote and Yoder), 201 binary searches, 104–5 biological systems, 7 accretion in, 130–31 complexity of, 116–20, 122 digital technology and, 49 kluges in, 119 legacy code in, 118, 119–20 modules in, 63 tinkering in, 118 unexpected behavior in, 109–10, 123–24 biological thinking, 222 abstraction avoided in, 115–16 aesthetics and, 119 as comfortable with diversity and complexity, 113–14, 115 concept of miscellaneous in, 108–9, 140–41, 143 as detail oriented, 121, 122, 128 generalization in, 131–32 humility and, 155 physics thinking vs., 114–16, 137–38, 142–43, 222 technological complexity and, 116–49, 158, 174 Blum, Andrew, 101–2 Boeing 777, 99 Bogost, Ian, 154 Bookout, Jean, 10 Boorstin, Daniel, 89 Borges, Jorge Luis, 76–77, 131 Boston, Mass., 101, 102 branch points, 80–81 Brand, Stewart, 39–40, 126, 198–99 Brookline, Mass., 101 Brooks, David, 155 Brooks, Frederick P., Jr., 38, 59, 93 bugs, in software, see software bugs bureaucracies, growth of, 41 cabinets of curiosities (wunderkammers), 87–88, 140 calendar application, programming of, 51–53 Cambridge, Mass., 101 cancer, 126 Carew, Diana, 46 catastrophes, interactions in, 126 Challenger disaster, 9, 11, 12, 192 Chandra, Vikram, 77 Chaos Monkey, 107, 126 Chekhov, Anton, 129 Chekhov’s Gun, 129 chess, 84 Chiang, Ted, 230 clickstream, 141–42 Clock of the Long Now, The (Brand), 39–40 clouds, 147 Code of Federal Regulations, 41 cognitive processing: of language, 73–74 limitations on, 75–76, 210 nonlinear systems and, 78–79 outliers in, 76–77 working memory and, 74 see also comprehension, human collaboration, specialization and, 91–92 Commodore VIC-20 computer, 160–61 complexity, complex systems: acceptance of, see biological thinking accretion in, 36–43, 51, 62, 65, 191 aesthetics of, 148–49, 156–57 biological systems and, 116–17, 122 buoys as examples of, 14–15, 17 complication vs., 13–15 connectivity in, 14–15 debugging of, 103–4 edge cases in, 53–62, 65, 201, 205 feedback and, 79, 141–45 Gall on, 157–58, 227 hierarchies in, 27, 50–51 human interaction with, 163 infrastructure and, 100–101 inherent vs. accidental, 189 interaction in, 36, 43–51, 62, 65, 146 interconnectivity of, see interconnectivity interpreters of, 166–67, 229 kluges as inevitable in, 34–36, 62–66, 127 in legal systems, 85 and limits of human comprehension, 1–7, 13, 16–17, 66, 92–93 “losing the bubble” and, 70–71, 85 meaning of terms, 13–20 in natural world, 107–10 scientific models as means of understanding, 165–67 specialization and, 85–93 unexpected behavior in, 27, 93, 96–97, 98–99, 192 see also diversity; technological complexity complexity science, 132–38, 160 complication, complexity vs., 13–15 comprehension, human: educability of, 17–18 mystery and, 173–74 overoptimistic view of, 12–13, 152–53, 156 wonder and, 172 see also cognitive processing comprehension, human, limits of, 67, 212 complex systems and, 1–7, 13, 16–17, 66, 92–93 humility as response to, 155–56 interconnectivity and, 78–79 kluges and, 42 legal system and, 22 limitative theorems and, 175 “losing the bubble” in, 70–71, 85 Maimonides on, 152 stock market systems and, 26–27 technological complexity and, 18–29, 69–70, 80–81, 153–54, 169–70, 175–76 unexpected behavior and, 18–22, 96–97, 98 “Computational Biology” (Doyle), 222 computational linguistics, 54–57 computers, computing: complexity of, 3 evolutionary, 82–84, 213 impact on technology of, 3 see also programmers, programming; software concealed electronic complexity, 164 Congress, U.S., 34 Constitution, U.S., 33–34 construction, cost of, 48–50 Cope, David, 168–69, 229–30 corpus, in linguistics, 55–56 counting: cognitive limits on, 75 human vs. computer, 69–70, 97, 209 Cowen, Tyler, 84 Cryptonomicon (Stephenson), 128–29 “Crystalline Structure of Legal Thought, The” (Balkin), 60–61 Curiosity (Ball), 87–88 Dabbler badge, 144–45 dark code, 21–22 Darwin, Charles, 115, 221, 227 Daston, Lorraine, 140–41 data scientists, 143 datasets, massive, 81–82, 104–5, 143 debugging, 103–4 Deep Blue, 84 diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA), 134–35 digital mapping systems, 5, 49, 51 Dijkstra, Edsger, 3, 50–51, 155 “Divers Instances of Peculiarities of Nature, Both in Men and Brutes” (Fairfax), 111–12 diversity, 113–14, 115 see also complexity, complex systems DNA, see genomes Doyle, John, 222 Dreyfus, Hubert, 173 dwarfism, 120 Dyson, Freeman, on unity vs. diversity, 114 Dyson, George, 110 Economist, 41 edge cases, 53–62, 65, 116, 128, 141, 201, 205, 207 unexpected behavior and, 99–100 see also outliers Einstein, Albert, 114 Eisen, Michael, 61 email, evolution of, 32–33 emergence, in complex systems, 27 encryption software, bugs in, 97–98 Enlightenment, 23 Entanglement, Age of, 23–29, 71, 92, 96, 97, 165, 173, 175, 176 symptoms of, 100–102 Environmental Protection Agency, 41 evolution: aesthetics and, 119 of biological systems, 117–20, 122 of genomes, 118, 156 of technological complexity, 127, 137–38 evolutionary computation, 82–84, 213 exceptions, see edge cases; outliers Facebook, 98, 189 failure, cost of, 48–50 Fairfax, Nathanael, 111–12, 113, 140 fear, as response to technological complexity, 5, 7, 154–55, 156, 165 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Y2K bug and, 37 feedback, 14–15, 79, 135 Felsenstein, Lee, 21 Fermi, Enrico, 109 Feynman, Richard, 9, 11 field biologists, 122 for complex technologies, 123, 126, 127, 132 financial sector: interaction in, 126 interconnectivity of, 62, 64 see also stock market systems Firthian linguistics, 206 Flash Crash (2010), 25 Fleming, Alexander, 124 Flood, Mark, 61, 85 Foote, Brian, 201 Fortran, 39 fractals, 60, 61, 136 Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, 89 fruit flies, 109–10 “Funes the Memorious” (Borges), 76–77, 131 Galaga, bug in, 95–96, 97, 216–17 Gall, John, 157–58, 167, 227 game theory, 210 garden path sentences, 74–75 generalists, 93 combination of physics and biological thinking in, 142–43, 146 education of, 144, 145 explosion of knowledge and, 142–49 specialists and, 146 as T-shaped individuals, 143–44, 146 see also Renaissance man generalization, in biological thinking, 131–32 genomes, 109, 128 accretion in, 156 evolution of, 118, 156 legacy code (junk) in, 118, 119–20, 222 mutations in, 120 RNAi and, 123–24 Gibson, William, 176 Gingold, Chaim, 162–63 Girl Scouts, 144–45 glitches, see unexpected behavior Gmail, crash of, 103 Gödel, Kurt, 175 “good enough,” 27, 42, 118, 119 Goodenough, Oliver, 61, 85 Google, 32, 59, 98, 104–5 data centers of, 81–82, 103, 189 Google Docs, 32 Google Maps, 205 Google Translate, 57 GOTO command, 44–45, 81 grammar, 54, 57–58 gravitation, Newton’s law of, 113 greeblies, 130–31 Greek philosophy, 138–40, 151 Gresham College, 89 Guide of the Perplexed, The (Maimonides), 151 Haldane, J.

This phenomenon of “algorithm aversion” hints at a sentiment many of us share, which appears to be a lower-intensity version of technological fear. On the other hand, some of us veer to the opposite extreme: an undue veneration of our technology. When something is so complicated that its behavior feels magical, we end up resorting to the terminology and solemnity of religion. When we delight at Google’s brain and its anticipation of our needs and queries, when we delicately caress the newest Apple gadget, or when we visit a massive data center and it stirs something in the heart similar to stepping into a cathedral, we are tending toward this reverence. However, neither of these responses—whether from experts or laypeople—is good or productive. One leaves us with a crippling fear and the other with a worshipful awe of systems that are far from meriting unquestioning wonder. Both prevent us from confronting our technological systems as they actually are.

pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

Not only was he a veteran of the early non-violent protest movement, now he was into the promise of personal computers in a big way. Most of the money Moore received the night of Stewart Brand’s Demise Party eventually went into founding the Homebrew Computer Club, a place for amateur and professional computer enthusiasts to tinker with personal computers. And so from the ashes of the Catalog rose a legendary phoenix. For it was at Homebrew that Steve Wozniak would meet Steve Jobs, and the two decide to found Apple Computers. Lee Felsenstein, designer of the first mass-produced portable computer the Osborne 1, also hung out there, as did the legendary telephone network hacker or “phreak” John “Captain Crunch” Draper. And it was to the Homebrew Computer Club that a 20-year old Bill Gates wrote his disgruntled “Open letter to Hobbyists”. * * * After the Catalog’s demise party, Brand reached out to a wider audience.

I’m here to interview Rop Gonggrijp, a Dutch hacker and activist, and a long-time friend of the CCC. And yes, I may have dropped his name at the desk to secure our entry, after all, at one time he was the Netherlands’ most notorious hacker. But I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. He’s accustomed to the so-called “social hack”. In 2006, Rop and his friends obtained decommissioned voting computers from a Dutch local authority in exchange for apple cake. He then proceeded to demonstrate on national television how the machines could be hacked to reveal and even alter what unsuspecting Dutch voters were keying in at the polling station. Unsurprisingly, the Dutch don’t use electronic voting anymore in their elections, they vote with pencil and paper. This is how I know Rop. When I was running the Open Rights Group we also campaigned to eliminate electronic voting from UK elections.

Housing was super cheap, welfare and tenancy law was on your side, and the city was – and still is – full of pirate nightclubs, galleries and art spaces. This couple both study history of art: he’s about to get his PhD; hers has won her a permanent fellowship at Berlin’s Humboldt University. He wears pointy shoes, she wears vintage dresses bought by weight in downtown East Berlin. They have a Siamese cat called Raoul. Neither of them care about computers, although they both have Apple Mac laptops for work. Their names are Sarah and Luke. The one problem with Berlin, they tell me, is the Germans. They’re all so bloody rude. To prove their point, Sarah and Luke have brought me to what seems like the most poorly-served bar in Berlin. When the waitress does eventually arrive at our table, it seems she has only done so in order to let us know that tonight she shouldn’t really be working at all – the boss has brought her in because he got the rota wrong.

pages: 196 words: 57,974

Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge


affirmative action, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, business process, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, double entry bookkeeping, Etonian, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, market bubble, mittelstand, new economy, North Sea oil, race to the bottom, railway mania, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Packard served as deputy secretary of defense in the first Nixon administration. In the 1970s, the Valley began to acquire its identity. The name “Silicon Valley” was invented in 1971 by a local technology journalist—reflecting the success of its memory-chip makers. Meanwhile, the Valley began to be taken over by the sort of people who protested against the Vietnam War, rather than helped run it. In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak set up Apple Computer in the Jobs family garage. But the 1970s boom was brought to a halt by the Japanese. On “the black day,” March 28, 1980, Richard Anderson, a HP manager, revealed that tests had shown the Japanese memory chips outperformed the Valley’s. To its shame, the Valley turned to the American government for protection, but it also successfully changed shape, outsourcing its manufacturing and diversifying from chips into computer software.

It built museums and art galleries in a country that was prone to philistinism. And it bound the classes together in a society where the income gap was widening. The third and most important thing that provided a bedrock of support for the company came down to a simple proposition: The company was making America richer. In his essay “Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?,” Werner Sombart, a German sociologist, argued that “on the reefs of roast beef and apple pie socialist utopias of every sort are sent to their doom.” The new companies plainly improved the living standards of millions of ordinary people, putting the luxuries of the rich within the reach of the man in the street. When Henry Ford went into the car business, it was devoted to handcrafting toys for the super-rich; by 1917, he had sold 1.5 million Model T’s. When George Eastman purchased his first camera in November 1877, it cost him $49.58, and was so difficult to use that he had to pay $5 for lessons.

(Nobody was particularly surprised when a survey showed that 82 percent of chief executives admitted to cheating at golf.)34 Meanwhile, investors fumed when they discovered that Wall Street analysts had been misleading them with Orwellian doublespeak: to the cognoscenti, a “buy” recommendation meant “hold” and “hold” meant “run like hell.” What had gone wrong? Two explanations emerged. The first, to which the Bush administration initially subscribed, might be described as the “bad apples” school: the scandals were the product of individual greed, not a flawed system. The bankruptcies and the arrests would be enough: the founder of Adelphia, John Rigas, was forced to do a “perp walk,” clamped into handcuffs and paraded in front of the cameras. By contrast, those of the “rotten roots” school argued that the problems went much deeper. They argued that the 1990s had seen a dramatic weakening of proper checks and balances.

pages: 166 words: 49,639

Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Than You Think by Luke Johnson


Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Grace Hopper, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, James Dyson, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, mass immigration, mittelstand, Network effects, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, patent troll, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traveling salesman, tulip mania, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators

They usually get married, have a family and develop a new set of priorities in life. Spouses and children become far more important to a founder than their business and the partnership that created it. They make some money, the hunger and ambition abate, and perhaps they decide to give up all the striving for a more settled life. Illness can also intervene. At both Microsoft and Apple, a single founder of each remains involved and famous: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. But in each case there was a co-founder who dropped out through ill-health (Paul Allen and Steve Wozniak respectively). The fact is that running large organizations takes real stamina and many find the intensity and responsibilities too onerous. Failure tends to bring out the knives. Everyone starts blaming someone else for the problems. It amazes me how often chief executives get away with the argument that they were not money men, and that the finance director was the only person who understood what went wrong and why the cash ran out.

We might have been sacked from a job, an account, a project, or by a client. But life continues, new opportunities arise. ‘That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ Friedrich Nietzsche I have been given the boot on more than one occasion, but the experience has only encouraged me to try harder. Steve Jobs said: ‘Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have happened to me.’ He went off and founded neXT, then Pixar, and then returned to Apple, and made it vastly more successful than it had ever been. For him, losing his role at the company he founded was a stimulus to make a new start. I can empathize. As a stockbroking analyst in the 1980s I was passed over for promotion by my then boss (who went on to become a chairman of insurance giant Prudential). I don’t really blame him – I was never cut out to be a bank employee.

If you are ambitious, the part-time option should only ever be temporary. To avoid being forever in stealth mode, you should have a ‘boat-burning’ target: a clearly defined point at which you chuck the day job and dive in. Don’t tweak your fledgling business until it seems like a sure-fire bet: it never will be. It’s very easy to tinker away on the margins for ever but, as Steve Jobs once said to a perfectionist engineer at Apple, ‘real artists ship’. The online revolution has made moonlighting easier than ever. As long as there is no conflict with your principal job, why shouldn’t such an arrangement be successful? Of course, a part-time enterprise will have to become your hobby and consume your holidays. You must steel yourself for the prospect of 100-hour working weeks. It will test your determination: if you don’t have the energy and commitment to put that effort in, don’t expect the journey to get easier if you go full-time.

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Instead of a large, up-front investment in hiring and training someone who may or may not be good enough for the role, you’re able to make a small investment, over time, in someone that has been vetted by other people in your industry. Self-Education: Information Wants to Be Free In 1984, at the first Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand was overheard telling Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak the now iconic phrase: “Information wants to be free.” The internet has done more to facilitate information transparency than any technology since the printing press. Knowledge that used to be opaque and hard to source is often now just a Google search away. Scott Young, a young entrepreneur who now teaches others about advanced learning strategies, put himself through the entire MIT course material in twelve months for two thousand dollars.

He is engaged in a dialogue with his reality asking “why” and “why not” instead of “how” or “what.”52 The degree to which we’re able to design our reality is directly related to our quality of life, freedom, and wealth. Those that design reality have a higher quality of all factors in their life, and through designing their reality they enable others to do the same by creating more wealth. In designing my reality in the form of an iPhone, Steve Jobs and Apple created more power, freedom, and wealth for me than Rockefeller had. This leads to an upward spiral. As wealth is increasing, so is our ability to design our realities. PhD or Podcast? While it’s always been true that great work comes from those who freely choose it and that the ability to design our realities creates more freedom, it’s the changes we’ve seen over the past decade that made both of those radically more accessible and safer.

ref=business&_r=1& Chapter 1 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Example borrowed from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb 11. Peter Drucker (1974) Management: tasks, responsibilities, practices. p. 181. Source: 12. Author Interview with Jesse Lawler. To listen to Jesse’s interview, please visit 13. For further reading on how power distribution effects, see The Dictator’s Handbook: Chapter 2 14.

pages: 260 words: 76,223

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel


3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

What can only be described as a contemporary subculture, this annual event showcases “makers”—people who create robotics, electronics, woodworking, 3D printing, and more. These hobbyists embody the next generation of the same philosophical ideologies that brought together people interested in computers and computing back in the 1970s at computer clubs and meetups (the places that people like Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak used to hang out). What’s now being worked on in these garages and shared at events like Maker Faire is a combination of invention and prototyping. We’re evolving from computer hardware and software into more tangible things (concept cars, robots, and more). The Maker Movement is closely tied to the rise of hackers, and people like Tim O’Reilly (founder of O’Reilly Media and advocate of the free software and open-source movements) have described these events as the most exciting ways to see what the future holds for humanity.

The company never pulled the trigger on their e-commerce project, and now they’re busy scrambling for “likes” on Facebook and are selling their products through the handful of big-box retailers left. Ironically, other, scrappier startups have disrupted this traditional retail model with digital-only brands that are capturing the imagination (and money) of consumers all over the world. WHAT APPLE KNOWS. What happened prior to 2001 that made Apple go into the retail business? Whenever the topic of Apple and the Apple retail experience (aka Apple Store) is brought up, many media pundits roll their eyes as if the success of these sparse and crisp stores is some kind of anomaly in business lore. It’s not. Apple came to a conclusion in the 1990s that many businesses have yet to wake up to. They knew that if potential customers walked into a traditional consumer electronics goods store and became inundated with a massive selection of computers and laptops, they would, instinctively, defer to the first sales associate they could wrestle down.

No one knows the value of simplicity and the power that it brings better than Ron Johnson. Prior to becoming the CEO of JCPenney, Johnson was the senior vice president of retail operations at Apple. In short, he led the concept of both the Apple retail stores and the Genius Bar. His record at Apple is pristine. Within two years of the first store opening, the retail operation of Apple surpassed a billion dollars in annual sales (beating the record held by The Gap). Globally, Apple now has over three hundred stores, and their expansion plans continue to be as aggressive as their product launches. In November 2011, Johnson left Apple to lead JCPenney through this time of purgatory and reboot. His first big and bold moves made news as the 110-year-old company not only struggles to remain relevant but fights within the constraints of the traditional retail world—a place where being an anchor store at a highly coveted shopping mall was the difference between success and failure.

pages: 255 words: 68,829

How PowerPoint Makes You Stupid by Franck Frommer


Albert Einstein, business continuity plan, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, hypertext link, invention of writing, inventory management, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, oil shock, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, union organizing

And some champion presenters have grasped this fact. PERFORMANCE BUSINESS Over the course of a few years, the late head of Apple became a past master in the realm of spectacle, to the point that entire books have been written about his talents as a presenter. Steve Jobs’s shows began on January 24, 1984, for the release of the first Macintosh. It is touching today to see the young man in a black suit with a bow tie, a little ironic smile at the corner of his mouth as though he’d just made a bad joke, presenting the machine that revolutionized the computer market. Obviously, presentations at the time did not yet use dedicated software. But the procedure was already well honed. Even though Jobs, just out of his garage with Steve Wozniak, read his notes, spoke too fast, and stood awkwardly, he made a few jokes, manipulated projected photographs, and played with numbers.

The presentation follows a well-tried plan: brief slide on earnings—better to be quick; they’re bad—then Steve Jobs, armed with his remote, the essential tool of Steve Notes, briefly recounts his time at Pixar, then follows with three quotations that appear on the screen. “Apple has become irrelevant.” “Apple can’t execute anything.”18 “Apple’s culture is anarchy; you can’t manage it.” Jobs’s entire presentation is based on these three negative judgments. The procedure is clever; it enables him to build, practically in real time, Apple’s new strategy on the basis of criticisms made of it and to bring out the value of the innovative products and services intended to contradict these received ideas. Jobs’s first trick is to rely on the audience’s taste for numbers. The use of a number as image or emblem is an indication of his way of using a mere item of management information as an element of communication: quantity thus becomes a sign of quality.19 The number of units sold, hard-drive capacity, prices, market share—all become icons of Apple’s success over the years, powerful elements of memory.

The computer is the star of the presentation. The lights go out, mysterious music is heard—Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield15—and all the machine’s features start to parade on the screen, crowning the show. This type of exhibition symbolizes one of Apple’s trademarks. Every year since 1984, the manufacturer has organized a large conference to which it invites the “Apple family.” The California company understood early the marketing value of creating a community of users, as opposed to mere consumers. The most famous of these gatherings is the Macworld Conference Expo that takes place in January every year. Apple presents its earnings, its plans, and its new software and hardware. The “Mac family” waits like impatient fans for Steve Notes, the boss’s presentation.16 Over the years, these annual meetings have become highly codified ceremonies, the staging of which Steve Jobs has brought to a high polish.

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

One group, the People’s Computer Company, put this explanation on the cover of its newsletter: “Computers are mostly used against people instead of for people; used to control people instead of to free them; Time to change all that—we need a … People’s Computer Company.”13 It all amounted to a sharp departure from mainstream computer science in America, which lived on in the giant mainframes of academic and government institutions. A famous example of the burgeoning anti-institutional computer counterculture is the Homebrew Computer Club, an ad hoc group of hobbyist nerds who in 1975 began meeting once a month in Gordon French’s garage in Silicon Valley. Some of its more famous members included the Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.14 Gates drew the ire of the Homebrew Computer Club by selling something that had previously been given away free—a terrible development for hobbyists. Microsoft’s first software product, Altair BASIC, was sold at a time that software was generally bundled with a hardware purchase. Homebrew members famously started to circulate illegal copies of the software at the group’s meetings—arguably the first instance of pirating software.

A liberationist ethic also became entrenched in the overt marketing of personal computing devices, most famously in a classic television commercial, Apple’s 1984 spot. Following the rousing success of Apple’s first two home computer models, Steve Jobs wanted to do something big to roll out its third model, the Macintosh personal computer. He hired Ridley Scott, who two years earlier had directed the sci-fi classic Bladerunner, to make the commercial.18 The result was a powerful and intense ad that referenced the dystopian future of George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. In the ad, a young woman breaks into a large auditorium where a crowd of mindless automatons sit listening to a giant screen of a speaking man, presumably Big Brother. The woman, representing the Macintosh (she has a sketch of the Mac on her tank top), smashes the screen. The advertisement closes with the text, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh.

But it’s easy to imagine that ten years from now, every home will have a 3-D printer, just like every home today has a microwave. Over time, these 3-D printers will grow more advanced. Once nanotechnology hits its stride, 3-D printers will build complex machines such as an iPhone in your own home. In fact, Apple is already preparing for this future. Take the iPhone you’ve got in your pocket right now and turn it over. You’ll see that it says in fine print, “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” Apple understands that the design is the important part of what companies do, not manufacturing, and it is already staking its claim to the design. The Coming Plague of Shanzhai On-demand fabrication has the potential to do a lot of good around the world. A group of smarties at MIT has developed the Fab Lab—a kit of about $20,000 worth of equipment that allows all kinds of things to be manufactured on-demand.

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson


3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Writing in Wired,12 Steven Levy explained the connection, which led to the original Apple II in 1977: His dad, Paul—a machinist who had never completed high school—had set aside a section of his workbench for Steve, and taught him how to build things, disassemble them, and put them together. From neighbors who worked in the electronics firm in the Valley, he learned about that field—and also understood that things like television sets were not magical things that just showed up in one’s house, but designed objects that human beings had painstakingly created. “It gave a tremendous sense of self-confidence, that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment,” he told [an] interviewer. Later, when Jobs and his Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak, were members of the Homebrew Computer Club, they saw the potential of desktop tools—in this case the personal computer—to change not just people’s lives, but also the world.

Yet when the truly personal—“desktop”—computer did eventually arrive with the Apple II and then the IBM PC, countless uses quickly emerged, starting with the spreadsheet and word processor for business and quickly moving to entertainment with video games and communications. This was not because the wise minds of the big computer companies had finally figured out why people would want one, but because people found new uses all by themselves. Then, in 1985, Apple released the LaserWriter, the first real desktop laser printer, which, along with the Mac, started the desktop publishing phenomenon. It was a jaw-dropping moment, combining in the public imagination words that had never gone together before: “desktop” and “publishing”! Famously, Apple’s printer had more processing power than the Mac itself, which was necessary to interpret the Postscript page description language that was originally designed for commercial printers costing ten times as much.

Take even the best company you can think of, say Apple, and consider how it hires. First, it’s based in the United States, and most of its employees are in Cupertino, California. So there’s a bias toward those who are already in the United States, or can legally work in the country, as well as toward those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area or are willing to move there. (It’s lovely in Cupertino, but if your spouse doesn’t want to leave her family in Rome or Chang Mai, that may matter more.) Like all companies, Apple favors people with experience in the industry it’s hiring for, and it likes to see degrees from good universities as an indication of intelligence and work ethic. Even though Steve Jobs was a genius teenage dropout, there aren’t many others like him at Apple. The company may “think different,” but these days it hires pretty much like every other good company: based on professional qualifications.

pages: 242 words: 68,019

Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, From Atoms to Economies by Cesar Hidalgo


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, assortative mating, Claude Shannon: information theory, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, New Economic Geography, Norbert Wiener, p-value, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, price mechanism, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, working-age population

Silicon Valley’s knowledge and knowhow are not contained in a collection of perennially unemployed experts but rather in the experts working in firms that participate in the design and development of software and hardware. In fact, the histories of most firms in Silicon Valley are highly interwoven. Steve Jobs worked at Atari and Steve Wozniak worked at HP before starting Apple. As mentioned previously, Steve Jobs is also famously known for “borrowing” the ideas of a graphical user interface and object-oriented programming from Xerox PARC. If HP, Atari, and Xerox PARC had not been located in the valley, it is likely that the knowledge and knowhow needed to get Apple started would not have been there, either. Hence, industries that require subsets of the knowledge and knowhow needed in other industries represent essential stepping-stones in the process of industrial diversification. The personbyte theory can also help us explain why large chunks of knowledge and knowhow are hard to accumulate and transfer, and why knowledge and knowhow are organized in the hierarchical pattern that is expressed in the nestedness of the industry-location data.

PIRSIG Consider two types of apples: those that grow on trees and you buy at the supermarket, and those that are designed in Silicon Valley. Both are traded in the economy, and both embody information, whether in biological cells or silicon chips. The main difference between them is not their number of parts or their ability to perform functions—edible apples are the result of tens of thousands of genes that perform sophisticated biochemical functions. The main difference between apples and Apples is that the apples we eat existed first in the world and then in our heads, while the Apples we use to check our email existed first in someone’s head and then in the world. Both of these apples are products and embody information, but only one of them—the silicon Apple—is a crystal of imagination.1 Thinking about products as crystals of imagination tells us that products do not just embody information but also imagination.

Both of these apples are products and embody information, but only one of them—the silicon Apple—is a crystal of imagination.1 Thinking about products as crystals of imagination tells us that products do not just embody information but also imagination. This is information that we have generated through mental computations and then disembodied by creating an object that mimics the one we had in our head. Edible apples existed before we had a name for them, a price for them, or a market for them. They were present in the world. As a concept, apples were simply imported into our minds. On the other hand, iPhones and iPads are mental exports rather than imports, since they are products that were begotten in our minds before they became part of our world. So the main difference between apples and Apples resides in the source of their physical order rather than in their embodiment of physical order. Both products are packets of information, but only one of them is a crystal of imagination. In this chapter I will emphasize the imaginary origin of the information embodied in products, as this is a fundamental characteristic of the type of information that humans grow and accumulate.

pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Jobs and Gates started out when personal computing, that idea advanced by Licklider the Patriarch and Kay the Aquarian, was the province of a tiny group of obsessed hobbyists. It was a business, but one with a smaller market than fly-fishing. As teenagers in the 1970s, Jobs and Gates were part of this small group of hobbyists who purchased kits to make simple, programmable computers to use (and play with) at home. Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, were members of the best-known group of these enthusiasts, the Homebrew Computer Club of Cupertino, California. Gates, who had been programming since he found himself able to get access to a DEC mainframe in high school, was already writing software professionally while he was a student at Harvard. Jobs and Gates, along with their collaborators and competitors in the mid-1970s, were positioned at a fulcrum point, when a diversion turned into a business.

What made them both rich and powerful was their ability to meld the attributes of the two generations that preceded them—fusing the hardheaded business logic of the Plutocrats with the visionary futurity of the Aquarians. 163 GENERATIONS Jobs and Gates have an interesting competitive history, leapfrogging each other in the quest to achieve “insane greatness,” in Jobs’s words, and global market preeminence, for Gates.21 Jobs and his partner, Wozniak, were the first to make the leap from hobbyists to industrialists with their Apple computers, launched in 1976. It was the Apple II that really broke loose, in 1977, attracting a huge user base, and establishing Jobs and Wozniak as the first publicly lauded millionaire whiz kids of Silicon Valley. As important as their early success with the Apple II was, however, their greatest impact came seven years later, when they took the inspiration of people like Engelbart and Kay, and created a mass-market personal computer that set a new standard for participation. Before we get to that, we need to return to 1976, and move from Silicon Valley to New Mexico, where Gates and his partners, including former Harvard friends Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer, were writing programs for the Altair computer.

Steve Jobs, the cofounder and CEO of Apple, on the other hand, has been known to create a “reality distortion effect” around himself because of the intensity of his vision for computing. He worked for early electronic games pioneer Atari in the late 1970s and visited Xerox PARC, where he saw the work infused with Engelbart and Kay’s Aquarian vision. This spirit resonated with Jobs, who at one point had taken a personal pilgrimage to India and lived in an ashram. But even more so, the meme of participation entered his head on those visits to PARC. The Apple II, released in 1977, was unique in having a graphics capability and a soundboard built in. Here was the first major computer for the masses, designed from the start as a multimedia machine. These Apple IIs became the de facto machines in classrooms around the country, and without a doubt prepared a generation of computer users for what was to come.

pages: 239 words: 64,812

Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra


Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, East Village, European colonialism, finite state, Firefox, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, haute couture, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, land reform, London Whale, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, pink-collar, revision control, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supercomputer in your pocket, theory of mind, Therac-25, Turing machine, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce

I didn’t feel comfortable hacking up the code of a Real Programmer.12 Despite the allusion above to “the *macho* side of programming,” the non-geek may not fully grasp that within the culture of programmers, Mel es muy macho. The Real Programmer squints his eyes, does his work, and rides into the horizon to the whistling notes of Ennio Morricone. To you, Steve Wozniak may be that cuddly penguin who was on a few episodes of Dancing with the Stars, and by all accounts, he really is the good, generous man one sees in interviews. But within the imaginations of programmers, Woz is also a hard man, an Original Gangsta: he wired together his television set and a keyboard and a bunch of chips on a circuit board and so created the Apple I computer. Then he realized he needed a programming language for the microprocessor he’d used, and none existed, so Woz—who had never taken a language-design class—read a couple of books, wrote a compiler, and then wrote a programming language called Integer BASIC in machine code.

And when we say “wrote” this programming language we mean that he wrote the assembly code in a paper notebook on the right side of the pages, and then transcribed it into machine code on the left.13 And he did all this while holding down a full-time job at Hewlett-Packard: “I designed two computers and cassette tape interfaces and printer interfaces and serial ports and I wrote a Basic and all this application software, I wrote demos, and I did all this moonlighting, all in a year.”14 That second computer was the Apple II, the machine that defined personal computing, that is on every list of the greatest computers ever made. Woz designed all the hardware and all the circuit boards and all the software that went into the Apple II, while the other Steve spewed marketing talk at potential investors and customers on the phone. Every piece and bit and byte of that computer was done by Woz, and not one bug has ever been found, “not one bug in the hardware, not one bug in the software.”15 The circuit design of the Apple II is widely considered to be astonishingly beautiful, as close to perfection as one can get in engineering. Woz did both hardware and software. Woz created a programming language in machine code.

Witzel, Michael. “On the Origin of the Literary Device of the Frame Story in Old Indian Literature.” In Hinduismus Und Buddhismus: Festschrift Für Ulrich Schneider, edited by Harry Falk, 380–414. Freiburg: Hedwig Falk, 1987. World Economic Forum. Global Gender Gap Report. October 23, 2012. Wozniak, Steve. “And Then There Was Apple.” Apple II History. Accessed August 10, 2013. Wright, Edmund, and John Daintith. A Dictionary of Computing. Online. Oxford University Press, 2008. Wujastyk, Dominik. “Indian Manuscripts.” In Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field, edited by Jörg Quenzer and Jan-Ulrich Sobisch. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter Inc., 2013.

pages: 223 words: 63,484

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky


centralized clearinghouse, index card, lone genius, market bubble, Merlin Mann, New Journalism, Results Only Work Environment, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, young professional

Approximately nine hundred people have traveled here from around the world for the annual TED conference. Leaders in the worlds of technology, entertainment, and design have come for a curated set of eighteen-minute presentations on new ideas and breakthroughs across industries. They have also made the trek to meet each other during the breaks and dinners that happen over the course of the five-day conference. The audience is star-studded. From tech legends like Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to entertainment icons like Robin Williams and Ben Affleck, everyone has come to indulge themselves with a healthy dose of wonderment. TED’s tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” As chief curator Chris Anderson (not to be confused with Wired ’s Chris Anderson) explains, the purpose is “to put great people on the TED stage and let the rest happen as it will.”

You don’t need to set aside three actual rooms, but you do need a period of scrutiny in your creative process. You also don’t want to create too much structure around when you can and cannot generate new ideas. However, you must be willing to kill ideas liberally—for the sake of fully pursuing others. In a rare interview in BusinessWeek on Apple’s system for innovation, CEO Steve Jobs explained that, in fact, there is no system at Apple—and that spontaneity is a crucial element for innovation, so long as it is paired with the ability to say no without hesitation: Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient. But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.

At the same time, many of us don’t really associate such tasks with creativity and ideas. Since 2004, AMR Research, a leading authority on supply chain research that serves numerous Fortune 500 companies, has published an annual list of the twenty-five companies with the best supply chain management. You might be surprised to learn that Apple debuted on the list at No. 2 in 2007, and overtook companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and Toyota to take the No. 1 slot in 2008. Why would Apple, a company known for new ideas and its ability to “think different,” also be one of the most organized companies on the planet? The answer is that—like it or not—organization is a major force for making ideas happen. Organization is just as important as ideas when it comes to making an impact. Consider the following equation: CREATIVITY X ORGANIZATION = IMPACT If the impact of our ideas is, in fact, largely determined by our ability to stay organized, then we would observe that those with tons of creativity but little to no organization yield, on average, nothing.

pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin


Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, deskilling,, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

The finding that groups are more creative when their members trust one another helps explain a phenomenon frequently observed: that the most creative groups of all are often groups of two. The writer Joshua Wolf Shenk has pointed out the truly astounding number of pairs who have produced many of the world’s greatest creative successes. Think of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, James Watson and Francis Crick, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir—once you get started you can think of them all day without even mentioning less known two-member teams like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Shenk argues that they all developed mutual trust so deep that it became faith in one another. “What I saw . . . in creative pairs was trust developing in concert as pairs took risks together,” he has observed, “like when Neal Brennan and Dave Chappelle pitched HBO an idea for a comedy show—and got shot down—or when Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger bought See’s Candy and turned a solid profit.”

Exhibit A was Apple’s top team under Steve Jobs. The conventional view of Apple’s success is that it derived from Jobs’s genius and dictatorial management, but Jobs knew that wasn’t nearly enough. He worked extraordinarily hard to assemble and keep a highly effective top team, which is an extremely difficult feat in a successful company. As the company prospers, other firms try to lure away its executives, usually with higher-level, higher-paying, more highly visible roles, and the temptation can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, by the time Jobs stepped down as CEO in August 2011, the six-executive inner circle he had assembled had been working as a team for thirteen years, meeting together for hours every week. This is virtually unheard of and appears to be unique among companies of Apple’s size and success.

Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.’” It all has to happen in person. That’s why Jobs famously designed the Pixar headquarters the way he did. Pixar is the animation studio that Jobs initially funded and eventually ran in the years before he returned to Apple and for several years thereafter. It’s arguably the most successful film studio ever, since it has never produced a flop. The Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, the Cars films—of the fourteen features it had produced through 2013, every one was a major financial winner. Jobs wanted to keep it that way, so he insisted that Pixar’s new headquarters be designed around a central atrium; he then placed the café, mailboxes, conference rooms, and other elements so as to force people to criss-cross it.

pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill


barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism,, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

He traveled in India, took plenty of LSD, shaved his head, wore robes, and seriously considered moving to Japan to become a monk. He first got into electronics only reluctantly, as a way to earn cash on the side, helping his tech-savvy friend Steve Wozniak handle business deals while also spending time at the All-One Farm. Even Apple Computer’s very existence was fortuitous: while Jobs and Wozniak were trying to sell circuit boards to hobbyists, the owner of one local computer store said he would buy fully assembled computers, and they jumped at the chance to make more money. It was only once they started to gain traction and success that Jobs’s passion for Apple and computing really bloomed. What about following your heart, your gut, or your itch to find work you love? The evidence suggests that won’t work, either, since we’re bad at predicting what will make us happy.

For health benefits, economists: In this discussion I’ve left out the most common metric used by economists to measure harms and benefits, which is called willingness to pay. According to this metric, the size of a benefit of something to a person is measured by how much that person is willing to pay for it. If Jones is willing to pay a dollar for an apple, but Smith is willing to pay ten dollars for an apple, then, if we used this metric, we would conclude that giving Smith an apple provides ten times as great a benefit as providing Jones with an apple. The reason I don’t rely on this metric is that it treats an additional dollar as being of equal worth no matter who has it. But this is clearly wrong. If Smith is a multimillionaire, whereas Jones is poor, then one dollar will be much less valuable to Smith than a dollar is to Jones. This problem becomes particularly severe if we try to compare activities that benefit people in rich countries with activities that benefit people in poor countries.

Suppose you’re deciding whether to buy a Mac or a PC. What factors would you consider? You’d probably think about the design and usability of the two computers, the hardware, the software, and the price. You certainly wouldn’t think about how much Apple and Microsoft each spend on administration, and you wouldn’t think about how much their respective CEOs are paid. Why would you? As a consumer you only care about the product you get with the money you spend; details about the financials of the companies who make the products are almost always irrelevant. If Apple spent a lot of money to attract a more talented management team, you might even consider that a good sign that their products were the best on the market! If we don’t care about financial information when we buy products for ourselves, why should we care about financial information when we buy products for other people?

pages: 229 words: 67,599

The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age by Paul J. Nahin


Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, New Journalism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, V2 rocket

A diagram like Figure 7.1.2 is very nice for a high-level, slide-show management meeting (I call it a Jobs-diagram, in honor of Apple’s late marketing genius Steve Jobs, who sold a good line, but who I suspect might have been more than just a little vague on what is actually inside an Apple computer or iPad). For engineers who are tasked with building real hardware, however, it really won’t do. What we need to do now is show precisely how to build both the parity bit generator logic at the source end of the channel, and the parity bit checking logic at the receiver end of the channel. What we are aiming for is a Wozniak-diagram (in honor of Apple’s Steve Wozniak, the technical brains behind the original Apple computer). 7.2 THE EXCLUSIVE-OR GATE (XOR) To lay the groundwork for parity logic, this section introduces a “new” logic gate, the exclusive-OR (written as XOR).

And yet, as we proceed through the book, I’ll show you how they too will easily yield to routine Boolean algebraic analysis.3 PUZZLE 2 The local truant officer has six boys under suspicion for stealing apples. He knows that only two are actually guilty (but not which two), and so he questions each boy individually. (a) Harry said, “Charlie and George did it.” (b) James said, “Donald and Tom did it.” (c) Donald said, “Tom and Charlie did it.” (d) George said, “Harry and Charlie did it.” (e) Charlie said, “Donald and James did it.” (f) Tom couldn’t be found and didn’t say anything. (g) Of the five boys interrogated, four of them each correctly named one of the guilty. (h) The remaining boy lied about both of the names he gave. Who stole the apples? PUZZLE 3 Alice, Brenda, Cissie, and Doreen competed for a scholarship. “What luck have you had?” someone asked them.

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Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers by John MacCormick, Chris Bishop


Ada Lovelace, AltaVista, Claude Shannon: information theory, fault tolerance, information retrieval, Menlo Park, PageRank, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

Over 50 years earlier—in 1939, with the world economy still reeling from the Great Depression—Hewlett-Packard got underway in Dave Hewlett's garage in Palo Alto, California. Several decades after that, in 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak operated out of Jobs' garage in Los Altos, California, after founding their now-legendary Apple computer company. (Although popular lore has it that Apple was founded in the garage, Jobs and Wozniak actually worked out of a bedroom at first. They soon ran out of space and moved into the garage.) But perhaps even more remarkable than the HP and Apple success stories is the launch of a search engine called Google, which operated out of a garage in Menlo Park, California, when first incorporated as a company in September 1998. By that time, Google had in fact already been running its web search service for well over a year—initially from servers at Stanford University, where both of the cofounders were Ph.D. students.

(If the “.docx” here seems mysterious to you, check out the box on the facing page to find out about file name extensions.) Let's be very clear about one thing: in both cases, I'm running exactly the same computer program, which is Microsoft Word. It's just that the inputs are different in each case. Don't be fooled by the fact that all modern operating systems let you run a computer program by double-clicking on a document. That is just a convenience that your friendly computer company (most likely Apple or Microsoft) has provided you. When you double-click on a document, a certain computer program gets run, and that program uses the document as its input. The output of the program is what you see on the screen, and naturally it depends on what document you clicked on. Throughout this chapter, I'll be using file names like “abcd.txt.” The part after the period is called the “extension” of the file name—in this case, the extension of “abcd.txt” is “txt.”

See artificial intelligence algorithm: books on; criteria for greatness; definition of; future of; lack of; relationship to programming; significance of. See also addition algorithm; checksum; compression; digital signature; error-correcting code; Dijkstra's shortest-path algorithm; Euclid's algorithm; factorization; JPEG; key exchange; LZ77; matching; nine algorithms; PageRank; public key; ranking; RSA; web search AltaVista AlwaysYes.exe Amazon Analytical Engine AntiCrashOnSelf.exe AntiYesOnSelf.exe Apple artifact. See compression artificial intelligence. See also pattern recognition artificial neural network. See neural network As We May Think astronomy Atlantic magazine atomic. See transaction audio. See also compression Austen, Jane authentication authority: score; of a web page. See also certification authority authority trick B-tree Babylonia backup bank; account number; balance; for keys; online banking; for signatures; transfer; as trusted third party base, in exponentiation Battelle, John Bell Telephone Company binary Bing biology biometric sensor Bishop, Christopher bit block cipher body, of a web page brain Brin, Sergey British government browser brute force bug Burrows, Mike Bush, Vannevar Businessweek Byzantine fault tolerance C++ programming language CA.

pages: 302 words: 74,878

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman


4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, Bonfire of the Vanities,, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

Williams: former police chief of Los Angeles Marianne Williamson: spiritual teacher, New Age guru Ian Wilmut: embryologist, led the team of researchers who first successfully cloned a mammal (a sheep named Dolly) E. O. Wilson: biologist, author, professor emeritus at Harvard University, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize Oprah Winfrey: founder and chairwoman of the Oprah Winfrey Network, actress, author George C. Wolfe: playwright, theater director, two-time winner of the Tony Award Steve Wozniak: cofounder of Apple Inc., designer of Apple I and Apple II computers, inventor John D. Wren: president and CEO of marketing and communications company Omnicom Will Wright: game designer, creator of Sim City and The Sims Steve Wynn: businessman, Las Vegas casino magnate Gideon Yago: writer, former correspondent for MTV News Eitan Yardeni: teacher and spiritual counselor at the Kabbalah Centre Daniel Yergin: economist, author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, winner of the Pulitzer Prize Dan York: chief content officer at DirecTV, former president of content and advertising sales, AT&T Michael W.

Simpson Jared Cohen: director of Google Ideas Joel Cohen: population specialist, mathematical biologist Kat Cohen: university admissions counselor, author of The Truth About Getting In William Colby: CIA director, 1973–1976 Elizabeth Baron Cole: nutritionist Jim Collins: management consultant, expert on business and management, author of Good to Great Robert Collins: neurologist, former chairman of neurology at UCLA School of Medicine Sean Combs: musician, music producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur Richard Conniff: author who specializes in human and animal behavior Tim Cook: CEO of Apple, Inc. Tatiana Cooley-Marquardt: repeat winner of USA Memory Championship Anderson Cooper: journalist, author, TV personality, anchor of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Norman Cousins: medical guru, author of Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient Jacques Cousteau: oceanographer, pioneered marine conservation Chris W. Cox: chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association Steve Coz: former editor of National Enquirer Donald Cram: professor of chemistry at UCLA, Nobel laureate in chemistry Jim Cramer: investor, author, TV personality, host of CNBC’s Mad Money Clyde Cronkhite: criminal justice expert, former police chief of Santa Ana, former deputy police chief of Los Angeles Mark Cuban: investor, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks Heidi Siegmund Cuda: journalist, former music critic for the Los Angeles Times Thomas Cummings: leading expert in designing high-performing organizations and strategic change at USC Marshall School of Business Fred Cuny: disaster relief specialist Mario Cuomo: governor of New York, 1983–1994 Alan Dershowitz: attorney, constitutional scholar, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School Donny Deutsch: advertising executive, TV personality Jared Diamond: evolutionary biologist, author, professor at UCLA, winner of the Pulitzer Prize Alfred “Fred” DiSipio: record promoter investigated during payola scandal DMX: musician, actor Thomas R.

News & World Report, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting Jack Healey: human rights activist, former executive director of Amnesty International USA Thomas Heaton: seismologist, professor at California Institute of Technology, contributed to the development of earthquake early warning systems Peter Herbst: journalist, former editor of Premiere and New York magazines Danette Herman: talent executive for Academy Awards Seymour Hersh: investigative reporter, author, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War Dave Hickey: art and cultural critic who has written for Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair Jim Hightower: progressive political activist, radio talk-show host Tommy Hilfiger: fashion designer, founder of lifestyle brand Christopher Hitchens: journalist and author who was a critic of politics and religion David Hockney: artist and major contributor to the Pop art movement in the 1960s Nancy Irwin: hypnotherapist Chris Isaak: musician, actor Michael Jackson: singer, songwriter, his 1982 album Thriller is the bestselling album of all time LeBron James: NBA basketball player Mort Janklow: literary agent, founder and chairman of the literary agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates Jay Z: musician, music producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur Wyclef Jean: musician, actor James Jebbia: CEO of the Supreme clothing brand Harry J. Jerison: paleoneurologist, professor emeritus at UCLA Steve Jobs: cofounder and former CEO of Apple Inc., cofounder and former CEO of Pixar Betsey Johnson: fashion designer Jamie Johnson: documentary filmmaker who directed Born Rich, heir to Johnson & Johnson fortune Larry C. Johnson: former analyst for the CIA, security and terrorism consultant Robert L. Johnson: businessman, media magnate, cofounder and former chairman of BET Sheila Johnson: cofounder of BET, first African American woman to be an owner/partner in three professional sports teams Steve Johnson: media theorist, popular science author, cocreated online magazine FEED Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Olympic gold medalist, track star Paul Kagame: president of Rwanda Michiko Kakutani: book critic for the New York Times, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism Sam Hall Kaplan: former architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times Masoud Karkehabadi: wunderkind who graduated from college at age thirteen Patrick Keefe: author, staff writer for the New Yorker Gershon Kekst: founder of the corporate communications company Kekst and Co.

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The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy


Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory,, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

Two things always seem to evoke an indignant outburst of "It ain't natural!" One is drugs; the other is technology, applied so as to please ourselves. When the latter is used to get effects as mind-blowing as the former, things become really interesting. (One of the most memorable quotes I've ever gathered in my reporting career came in 1982, covering the US Festival, a huge rock concert sponsored by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. At a motel nearby, Jerry Garcia, who was prepping to play a "Breakfast with the Grateful Dead" set, proclaimed, "Technology is the new drugs." Okay, not an original concept, but consider the source.) Without altering one's chemical composition, the iPod does change your head. Plugging directly into your ears, dominating the Personal brain matter in between, and shuffling your music collection to extract constant delight, it generates a portable alternative reality, almost always more pleasant than the real one.

Years earlier, when he had been in his earlier phase at Apple and working on the Macintosh, I had asked him what he wanted for Apple. "I want us," he said, "to be a ten- Apple billion-dollar company that doesn't lose its soul." Now Apple's revenues had fallen from a high of eight billion dollars to barely five billion. And Jobs would be the first to tell you that the soul level had fallen from Solomon Burke heights to the Lawrence Welk abyss. "I think the world is a slightly better place with Apple Computer," he told me then. "If Apple could return to its roots as an innovator, then the whole industry would benefit from that. When you really look at it, there are two things about Apple that are remarkable. One, Apple owns one of the two high-volume operating systems in the world. Second, Apple is the only company left that makes the whole widget.

Soon before the launch, the first production iPods arrived, ready for the lucky first wave (like me) who would receive them in advance of the thousands that would be snapped up instantly when Apple began selling them to the public in November. Looking back on the process, Jobs waxes philosophical. "If there was ever a product that catalyzed what's Apple's reason for being, it's this," he says. "Because it combines Apple's incredible technology base with Apple's legendary ease of use with Apple's Origin awesome design. Those three things come together in this, and it's Uke, that's what we do. So if anybody was ever wondering why is Apple on the earth, I would hold up this as a good example." A few days after the launch, Jobs threw a celebratory lunch for forty or so of the core people who had worked on the product. He thanked the team not only for making a great product but for taking all of Apple in a new, limitless direction. For the meal, he sat down at a table with a few unfamiliar faces and asked those he didn't recognize who they were and what they did.

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The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato


Apple II, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, computer age, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demand response, deskilling, endogenous growth, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, G4S, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, incomplete markets, information retrieval, intangible asset, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, natural language processing, new economy, offshore financial centre, Philip Mirowski, popular electronics, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

While the products owe their beautiful design and slick integration to the genius of Jobs and his large team, nearly every state-of-the-art technology found in the iPod, iPhone and iPad is an often overlooked and ignored achievement of the research efforts and funding support of the government and military. Only about a decade ago Apple was best known for its innovative personal computer design and production. Established on 1 April 1976 in Cupertino, California by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, Apple was incorporated in 1977 by Jobs and Wozniak to sell the Apple I personal computer.1 The company was originally named Apple Computer, Inc. and for 30 years focused on the production of personal computers. On 9 January 2007, the company announced it was removing the ‘Computer’ from its name, reflecting its shift in focus from personal computers to consumer electronics. This same year, Apple launched the iPhone and iPod Touch featuring its new mobile operating system, iOS, which is now used in other Apple products such as the iPad and Apple TV. Drawing on many of the technological capabilities of earlier generations of the iPod, the iPhone (and iPod Touch) featured a revolutionary multi-touch screen with a virtual keyboard as part of its new operating system.

Drawing on many of the technological capabilities of earlier generations of the iPod, the iPhone (and iPod Touch) featured a revolutionary multi-touch screen with a virtual keyboard as part of its new operating system. Table 3. Apple’s net sales, income and R&D figures between 1999 and 2011 (US$, millions) Note: Apple’s annual net sales, income and R&D figures were obtained from company’s annual SEC 10-K filings. Figure 10. Apple net sales by region and product (US$, billions) While Apple achieved notable success during its 30-year history by focusing on personal computers, the success and popularity of its new iOS products has far exceeded any of its former achievements in personal computing.2 In the 5-year period following the launch of the iPhone and iPod Touch in 2007, Apple’s global net sales increased nearly 460 per cent. As Table 3 illustrates, the new iOS product line represented nearly 70 per cent of the overall net sales of Apple in 2011. The success and popularity of Apple’s new products was quickly reflected in the company’s revenues.

If one takes this figure and then adds the estimated 210,000 jobs that are focused on developing mobile applications for the Apple Store, the aggregate total is estimated at 514,000 jobs that are either created or enabled/supported by Apple (Apple 2012). Apple bases its claims on a report developed by the Analysis Group, a private consulting firm Apple hired to study its impact in the job market.1 The attention to these numbers stems largely from the ongoing debate regarding whether or not technology companies have been contributing to overall job creation within the domestic manufacturing sector. Apple directly employs individuals in 47,000 jobs out of the total 304,000 that the company claims; over 27,000 jobs are employed within the 246 Apple Stores located in 44 US states. The company does not reveal exactly what portion of the 304,000 figure includes manufacturing jobs specifically (or those jobs created by overseas manufacturers such as Foxconn).

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Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum


3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

As a teenager, he hung out in the garage of his neighbor Larry Lang, an engineer who got Jobs into the Hewlett-Packard Explorers Club. When he needed parts for a frequency counter he was building for the club, he called HP’s CEO Bill Hewlett directly and spoke to him for twenty minutes, according to Walter Isaacson in his biography of Jobs. One could argue that the Apple cofounder’s early introduction to electronics, his friendships with other techies like Steve Wozniak, and his growing up in a hot high-tech culture were instrumental in his development as a tinkerer and designer of computers. Embodiment begins with knowing yourself—who you are, what cultures you belong to, and what you want to create in the world. From the Park Slope mom who builds a babysitting sharing site for her community to the young doctors who embrace social networking in their practices, we all have had experiences that, if mined for their true value, can help us customize our careers and lives.

But the technology of our time—their improved features and lowered costs, their ability to make us all creators and not just passive users—can, in fact, connect people in ways that the films or photographs of seven decades ago could not. As with many of the Creative Intelligence competencies, the road leads back to Apple. Consumers call Apple products “cool” and “easy to use,” and more sophisticated business analysts applaud Apple’s “ecosystem” of integrated software and hardware. But none of those qualities alone explains why we feel the way we do about Apple products; it’s impossible to discuss Apple products without mentioning how they feel in the hand, look to the eye, and connect to our deep emotions. The story of how Apple began creating beautiful, easy-to-use products should be required reading for anyone interested in creating something that’s not just useful but meaningful. WHEN STEVE JOBS RETURNED TO Apple in 1997, after twelve years in exile, he bet the company and his future on a radical new idea: an easy-to-use, stand-alone PC that looked unlike any other computer before it—translucent, colorful, fun.

; online/jonathan-ive-on-apple/imac-1998, accessed September 5, 2012; Janet Abrams, “Radical Craft/The Second Art Center Design Conference,” 04.06_artcenter.asp, accessed September 5, 2012. 187 Ive then spent yet more: Burrows, “Who Is Jonathan Ive?” 188 They also designed a beautiful: Neil Hughes, “Book Details Apple’s ‘Packaging Room,’ Steve Jobs’ Interest in Advanced Cameras,” Apple Insider, January 24, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, articles/12/01/24/book_details_apples_packaging_ room_interests_in_advanced_cameras_.html; Yonu Heisler, “Inside Apple’s Secret Packaging Room,” Network World, January 24, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, blog/inside-apples-secret-packaging-room. 188 The iMac’s launch in 1998:, accessed September 5, 2012;, accessed September 5, 2012; John Webb, “10 Success Principles of Apple’s Innovation Master Jonathan Ive,” Innovation Excellence, April 30, 2012, accessed September 5, 2012, 04/30/10-success-principles-of-apples-innovation-master-jonathan-ive/. 188 In a 2006 interview with Peter Burrows: Burrows, “Who Is Jonathan Ive?”

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The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

In particular, I’d like to thank Kurt Andersen, John Borthwick, Stewart Brand, Po Bronson, Erik Brynjolfsson, Nicholas Carr, Clayton Christensen, Ron Conway, Tyler Cowen, Kenneth Cukier, Larry Downes, Tim Draper, Esther Dyson, George Dyson, Walter Isaacson, Tim Ferriss, Michael Fertik, Ze Frank, David Frigstad, James Gleick, Seth Godin, Peter Hirshberg, Reid Hoffman, Ryan Holiday, Brad Horowitz, Jeff Jarvis, Kevin Kelly, David Kirkpatrick, Ray Kurzweil, Jaron Lanier, Robert Levine, Steven Levy, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Andrew McAfee, Gavin Newsom, George Packer, Eli Pariser, Andrew Rasiej, Douglas Rushkoff, Chris Schroeder, Tiffany Shlain, Robert Scoble, Dov Seidman, Gary Shapiro, Clay Shirky, Micah Sifry, Martin Sorrell, Tom Standage, Bruce Sterling, Brad Stone, Clive Thompson, Sherry Turkle, Fred Turner, Yossi Vardi, Hans Vestberg, Vivek Wadhwa, and Steve Wozniak for appearing on Keen On . . . and sharing their valuable ideas with me. NOTES Preface 1 The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture (New York: Currency/Doubleday, 2007), and Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us (New York: St. Martin, 2012). Introduction 1 Carolyne Zinko, “New Private S.F. Club the Battery,” SFGate, October 4, 2013. 2 Renée Frojo, “High-Society Tech Club Reborn in San Francisco,” San Francisco Business Times, April 5, 2013. 3 The Battery describes itself on its website: “Indeed, here is where they came to refill their cups.

Google is around seven times larger than GM, but employs less than a quarter of the number of workers. This new data factory economy changes everything—even the monetary supply of our global financial system. In early 2014, the global economy’s top five companies’ gross cash holdings—those of Apple, Google, Microsoft, as well as the US telecom giant Verizon and the Korean electronics conglomerate Samsung—came to $387 billion, the equivalent of the 2013 GDP of the United Arab Emirates.78 This capital imbalance puts the fate of the world economy in the hands of the few cash hoarders like Apple and Google, whose profits are mostly kept offshore to avoid paying US tax. “Apple, Google and Facebook are latter-day scrooges,” worries the Financial Times columnist John Plender about a corporate miserliness that is undermining the growth of the world economy.79 “So what does it all mean?”

See also “The Square People, Part Two,” New York Times, May 17, 2014. 2 Edward Luce, “America Must Dump Its Disrupters in 2014,” Financial Times, December 22, 2014. 3 Nick Cohen, “Beware the Lure of Mark Zuckerberg’s Cool Capitalism,” Observer, March 30, 2013. 4 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (University of Chicago Press, 2008). 5 For more on Apple, Steve Jobs, and Foxconn, see my TechCrunchTV interview with Mike Daisey, who starred in the Broadway hit The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: “Apple and Foxconn, TechCrunchTV, February 1, 2011. 6 Lyn Stuart Parramore, “What Does Apple Really Owe Taxpayers? A Lot, Actually,” Reuters, June 18, 2013. 7 Jo Confino, “How Technology Has Stopped Evolution and Is Destroying the World,” Guardian, July 11, 2013. 8 Alexis C. Madrigal, “Camp Grounded, ‘Digital Detox,’ and the Age of Techno-Anxiety,” Atlantic, July 2013. 9 Oliver Burkman, “Conscious Computing: How to Take Control of Our Life Online,” Guardian, May 10, 2013. 10 Jemima Kiss, “An Online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee Calls for Bill of Rights for Web,” Guardian, March 11, 2014. 11 “Bitcloud Developers Plan to Decentralize Internet,” BBC Technology News, January 23, 2014. 12 Suzanne Labarre, “Why We’re Shutting Off Our Comments,” Popular Science, September 24, 2013; Elizabeth Landers, “Huffington Post to Ban Anonymous Comments,” CNN, August 22, 2013. 13 “Data Protection: Angela Merkel Proposes Europe Network,” BBC News, February 15, 2014. 14 Philip Oltermann, “Germany ‘May Revert to Typewriters’ to Counter Hi-Tech Espionage,” Guardian, July 15, 2014. 15 Lanier, Who Owns the Future?

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Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts


active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city,, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, industrial cluster, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

To illustrate this problem, let’s step away from bankers for a moment and ask a less-fashionable question: To what extent should Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple Inc., be credited with Apple’s recent success? Conventional wisdom holds that he is largely responsible for it, and not without reason. Since Jobs returned in the late 1990s to lead the company that he founded in 1976 with Steve Wozniak in a Silicon Valley garage, its fortunes have undergone a dramatic resurgence, producing a string of hit products like the iMac, the iPod, and the iPhone. As of the end of 2009, Apple had outperformed the overall stock market and its industry peers by about 150 percent over the previous six years, and in May 2010 Apple overtook Microsoft to become the most valuable technology company in the world. During all this time, Jobs has reportedly received neither a salary nor a cash bonus—his entire compensation has been in Apple stock.20 It’s a compelling story, and the list of Apple’s successes is long enough that it’s hard to believe it’s all due to chance.

Surprisingly, the company that “got it right” in the music industry was Apple, with their combination of the iPod player and their iTunes store. In retrospect, Apple’s strategy looks visionary, and analysts and consumers alike fall over themselves to pay homage to Apple’s dedication to design and quality. Yet the iPod was exactly the kind of strategic play that the lessons of Betamax, not to mention Apple’s own experience in the PC market, should have taught them would fail. The iPod was large and expensive. It was based on closed architecture that Apple refused to license, ran on proprietary software, and was actively resisted by the major content providers. Nevertheless, it was a smashing success. So in what sense was Apple’s strategy better than Sony’s? Yes, Apple had made a great product, but so had Sony. Yes, they looked ahead and did their best to see which way the technological winds were blowing, but so did Sony.

As with all explanations that depend on the known outcome to account for why a particular strategy was good or bad, the conventional wisdom regarding Apple’s recent success is vulnerable to the Halo Effect. Quite aside from the Halo Effect, however, there is another potential problem with the conventional wisdom about Apple. And that is our tendency to attribute the lion’s share of the success of an entire corporation, employing tens of thousands of talented engineers, designers, and managers to one individual. As with all commonsense explanations, the argument that Steve Jobs is the irreplaceable architect of Apple’s success is entirely plausible. Not only did Apple’s turnaround begin with Jobs’s return, after a decade of exile, from 1986 to 1996, but his reputation as a fiercely demanding manager with a relentless focus on innovation, design, and engineering excellence would seem to draw a direct line between his approach to leadership and Apple’s success.

pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat


3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Puzzles so difficult that we can’t help but make mistakes, like playing Jeopardy! and deriving Newton’s second law of thermodynamics, fall in seconds to well-programmed AI. At the same time, no computer vision system can tell the difference between a dog and a cat—something most two-year-old humans can do. To some degree these are apples-and-oranges problems, high-level cognition versus low-level sensor motor skill. But it should be a source of humility for AGI builders, since they aspire to master the whole spectrum of human intelligence. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has proposed an “easy” alternative to the Turing test that shows the complexity of simple tasks. We should deem any robot intelligent, Wozniak says, when it can walk into any home, find the coffeemaker and supplies, and make us a cup of coffee. You could call it the Mr. Coffee Test.

So, Kurzweil’s more general law, the Law of Accelerating Returns, is a better fit. And more technologies are becoming information technologies, as computers, and even robots, grow ever more intimately involved with every aspect of product design, manufacture, and sales. Consider that every smart phone’s manufacture—not just its processor chip—took advantage of the digital revolution. It’s been just six years since Apple’s iPhone first came out, and Apple has released six versions. Apple has more than doubled its speed and for most users halved its price, or better. That’s because hardware speed has been regularly doubling in the components within the end product. But it’s also been doubling in every link in the production pipeline that led to its creation. The effects anticipated by LOAR reach far beyond the computer and smart phone businesses.

An alternative is to install the intelligent agent in a robot, to continue its education and fulfill its programmed goals in the real world. Another is to use the agent AI to augment a human brain. Broadly speaking, those who believe intelligence must be embodied hold that knowledge itself is grounded in sensory and motor experiences. Cognitive processing cannot take place without it. Learning facts about apples, they claim, will never make you intelligent, in a human sense, about an apple. You’ll never develop a “concept” of an apple from reading or hearing about one—concept forming requires that you smell, feel, see, and taste—the more the better. In AI this is known as the “grounding problem.” Consider some systems whose powerful cognitive abilities lie somewhere beyond narrow AI but fall short of AGI. Recently, Hod Lipson at Cornell University’s Computational Synthesis Lab developed software that derives scientific laws from raw data.

pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff


algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

Reinforcing self-similarity on every level, a network of people is better at mapping connections than a lone individual. As author and social critic Steven Johnson would remind us, ideas don’t generally emerge from individuals, but from groups, or what he calls “liquid networks.”1 The coffeehouses of eighteenth-century London spawned the ideas that fueled the Enlightenment, and the Apple computer was less a product of one mind than the collective imagination of the Homebrew Computer Club to which both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak belonged. The notion of a lone individual churning out ideas in isolated contemplation like Rodin’s Thinker may not be completely untrue, but it has certainly been deemphasized in today’s culture of networked thinking. As we become increasingly linked to others and dependent on making connections in order to make sense, these new understandings of how ideas emerge are both helpful and reassuring.

The expectations for instant reward and satisfaction have been built up by media for close to a century now. The amount of time between purchase (or even earning) and gratification has shrunk to nothing—so much so that the purchase itself is more rewarding than consuming whatever it is that has been bought. After waiting several days in the street, Apple customers exit the store waving their newly purchased i-gadgets in the air, as if acquisition itself were the reward. The purchase feels embedded with historicity. They were part of a real moment, a specific date. The same way someone may tell us he was at the Beatles famous concert at Shea Stadium, the Apple consumer can say he scored the new iPhone on the day it was released. Where “act now” once meant that a particular sales price would soon expire, today it simply means there’s an opportunity to do something at a particular moment. To be a part of something.

Knowledge had handicapped the hedgehogs, while the wide-ranging curiosity of the foxes gave them the edge. Now, on the surface this sounds like the failing of the fractalnoids—those economists who want to equate the properties of plankton with the personalities of Parisians. But it’s fundamentally different in that it’s human beings applying patterns intuitively to different systems, not the frantic confusion of apples and oranges or, more likely, apples with planets. Yes, it is still fraught with peril, but it’s also a rich competency to develop in an era of present shock. For instance, I still don’t know whether to be delighted or horrified by the student who told me he “got the gist” of Hamlet by skimming it in a couple of minutes and reading a paragraph of critique on Wikipedia. The student already saw the world in fractal terms and assumed that being able to fully grasp one moment of Hamlet would mean he had successfully “grokked” the whole.

pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal


1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

53 It would not be much of a challenge to elevate him to overnight celebrity status in the manner, common today, of infinitely less accomplished persons in countless realms. (Robert Noyce also invented the integrated circuit but worked separately from Kilby; however, because he was already dead, he was ineligible for the prize.) There is, however, a bit of historical reverence in Silicon Valley for the three garages in which three major high-tech companies began: Hewlett-Packard (William Hewlett and David Packard, starting in 1938), Apple (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, starting in 1976), and Google (Sergey Brin and Larry Page, starting in 1998). None is open to the public, but all are popular brief stopping places for contemporary geek tours.54 More generally, there is a declining confidence in scientific and technological panaceas—not simply a declining faith in utopia. This was a process that began in Europe during World War I as Victorian confidence and complacency were shattered by the tragic futility of trench warfare and by the use of terrible new weapons of mass destruction such as machine guns, tanks, airplanes, and poison gas.

There have since been improved versions, including a larger-size Kindle that now allows easier access to selected newspapers that were difficult to read in the earlier Kindle. Meanwhile, rivals to the Kindle have inevitably come about, above all the Apple iPad, released in 2010. This tablet computer offers not only books and periodicals but also games, movies, music, and the Internet. Its origins can be traced back to Apple’s first tablet computer, the Newton Message Pad of 1993 (discontinued in 1998), named, of course, after Isaac Newton. Like Apple’s extremely popular iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad uses a multi-touch finger-sensitive touchscreen—a vast improvement over the pressure-triggered stylus used in previous tablet computers. Studies of human interaction with these devices indicate that touchscreens have become integral components of our daily lives much sooner than other “technological behaviors” because they The Resurgence of Utopianism 219 are “so natural, intimate, and intuitive.”

First came audiobooks, which brought new or renewed attention to thousands of books through enjoyment of them being read by either the authors themselves, professional narrators, or actors. More recently, books and other printed materials have increasingly been revived in the very electronic form that was predicted to be their downfall. Consider podcasts, for example. In 2004 Ben Hammersley coined the term “podcast”—a mixture of “iPod” and “broadcast.” Apple Computer originated the brand of portable media player that first used podcasts, calling it the Apple iPod. 218 The Resurgence of Utopianism A podcast consists of digital media files that are transferred from the Internet to a computer, iPod, smart phone, or other media player. Podcasts of newspaper, magazine, and journal articles have now become routine.68 There is a growing audience of those willing and often eager to listen to podcasts and to read online versions of books, newspapers, magazines, and journals.

pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo


Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

Tricking the phone and hearing the system’s clicks gave a sense of secret access, a feeling of control in the largest network on earth. At one point, a phreaker named John Draper figured out that the little plastic whistles stuffed as children’s toys inside boxes of sugary Cap’n Crunch cereal produced the 2,600-hertz tone nearly perfectly. The hack made him a legend, and he became known, inevitably, as Cap’n Crunch. An article about Draper in Esquire in 1971 had inspired two teenagers named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to start their first company in order to build and sell little blue phreaking boxes. Woz later recalled nervously meeting the Cap’n one day in California. He was a strange, slightly smelly, and extremely intense nomadic engineer. “I do it for one reason and one reason only,” the Cap’n huffed to the writer of that Esquire article, who was a bit baffled as to why a grown man would find whistling into phones so appealing.

You might ask: What drew tens of millions of people to watch as Steve Jobs, live, unveiled some new Apple device? Of course, partly it was the cool technology, the warm charisma of the man. But something else was at work, I think. What Jobs was unveiling atop those black stages over the years as we waited for him was nothing less than whole new worlds, connected landscapes that emerged entirely from ideas Apple was secretly developing. He wasn’t merely introducing a phone; he was changing how we were going to experience life. “Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Jobs began in his famous speech introducing the first iPhone, in 2007. “In 1984 we introduced the Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry. In 2001 we introduced the first iPod.

In 2001 we introduced the first iPod. It didn’t just change the way we all listen to music. It changed the entire music industry.” Apple devices were cracking open paths to whole new worlds in this sense. The company develops an app for podcasts; a new media form is born. It builds an architecture for video calling; our relations to each other deepen a bit. What Jobs was presenting were new and—until that very instant—unimagined universes of possibility that we would all explore. No wonder the world tuned in. Power pulses through structure as molten metal might pass hot into a mold, leaving behind something solid and hard to snap—forms for politics, wealth, and influence. The Orientalist scholar Karl Wittfogel followed this link between form and power as he developed his famous “hydraulic hypothesis” in the 1930s. Ancient agrarian societies such as Egypt and China were formed not least by the need for large-scale irrigation.

pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler


Andy Kessler, Apple II, bioinformatics, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business intelligence, buy low sell high, call centre, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, family office, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, interest rate swap, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, Marc Andreessen, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition,, railway mania, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Toyota Production System, zero-sum game

He quickly pulled up his sleeve and pointed to a Microma watch on his wrist and told me he wore it often to remind himself to never be that stupid again. Intel’s lesson: make the intellectual property, not the end product. The cool thing about a computer on a chip is you can start a computer company without knowing much about computers. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created Apple Computer without knowing that much. Wozniak had to write some software to get data on and off a floppy disk drive, which no one else had, and their Apple I became a hit. IBM knew lots about how to milk big bucks out of big computers, but nothing about microprocessors. So a stealth group in Florida contracted out the work, creating a Frankensteinlike IBM PC in 1981, using an Intel microprocessor, Microsoft software and a Western Digital disk controller. Design and manufacture were now separated in the computer business too

See Advanced Micro Devices American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Fall Joint Computer Conference (1968), 119–20, 123 America Online. See AOL Andreessen, Marc, 197, 199 animation, 134–35 AOL (America Online), 69–73, 207, 208, 223, 290 Cisco routers and, 199 Inktomic cache software and, 143 Netscape Navigator purchase, 201, 225 Telesave deal, 72–73 TimeWarner deal, 223, 229 as top market cap company, 111 Apache Web server, 247 Apple Computer, 45, 127, 128 Apple II, 183 Applied Materials, 245 Archimedes (propeller ship), 94 Arkwright, Richard, 65 ARPANET, 186, 187, 189, 191 Arthur Andersen, 290 Artists and Repertoire (A&R), 212, 216 Asian debt crisis, 3, 150, 151, 229, 260 yen and, 162–65, 168, 292 @ (at sign), 187 AT&T, 61, 185–86, 189 August Capital, 2, 4 auto industry, 267–68 Aziz, Tariq, 26 Babbage, Charles, 93 Baker, James, 26 Balkanski, Alex, 44, 249 bandwidth, 60, 111, 121, 140, 180, 188–89 Baran, Paul, 184, 185 Barbados, 251, 254 300 Index Barksdale, Jim, 198, 199–201 Barksdale Group, 201 BASE, 249 BASIC computer language, 126, 127 BBN.

You remember my suggestion for C-Cube.” “Of course, you told me that a salesman or broker has 30 seconds and three bullet points to pitch our deal. So we need to provide that in our positioning.” “Right. But I figured out that the bullet points are always the same.” “Always?” “Sure. Bullet one is a large market, as Don Valentine says.” Don Valentine ran Sequoia Ventures and first made his mark funding Apple Computer. His golden touch didn’t stop—he funded Cisco and Sierra Semiconductor. He was also chairman of C-Cube and sitting across the table. “Bullet two is an unfair competitive advantage, and bullet three is a business model leveraging that unfair advantage. I just fill in the details company by company.” “It’s ‘monster market,’ ” Don Valentine threw in. Shit, I didn’t realize he was listening.

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

“Pearls before swine” overestimates the average chat room conversation, but it is the pearls of hardware and software that inspire me: the Internet itself and the World Wide Web, succinctly defined by Wikipedia as “a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet.” The Web is a work of genius, one of the highest achievements of the human species, whose most remarkable quality is that it was constructed not by one individual genius such as Tim Berners-Lee or Steve Wozniak or Alan Kay, nor by a top-down company such as Sony or IBM, but by an anarchistic confederation of largely anonymous units located (irrelevantly) all over the world. It is Project MAC writ large. Suprahumanly large. Moreover, there is not one massive central computer with lots of satellites, as in Project MAC, but a distributed network of computers of different sizes, speeds, and manufacturers—a network that nobody, literally nobody, ever designed or put together but which grew, haphazardly, organically, in a way that is not just biological but specifically ecological.

The “entire world” the Internet seems to offer harmonizes strangely with the apple from the Tree of Knowledge offered to Eve—ah, we don’t believe in those old myths? (I guess one company guru did.) Well, the only hope I see hovering in the Neverland (now real) where the Internet does its work of feeding smart people amphetamines and “dumb” people tranquilizers is that the expanding puddle of boiling, bubbling hot milk will eventually coagulate and a new, unforeseen pattern will emerge out of all that activity that thought it was aiming at a particular goal but (as is usual with life) was really headed someplace else, which nobody knew about. That makes it sound like the new mysticism for a new Dark Ages. Well, we’ve already bitten the apple. Good luck to those much younger than I am, who may be around to see either the new Heaven or the new Hell.

Net Gain Richard Dawkins Evolutionary biologist; emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford; author, The Greatest Show on Earth If, forty years ago, the Edge question had been “What do you anticipate will most radically change the way you think during the next forty years?” my mind would have flown instantly to a then-recent article in Scientific American (September 1966) about Project MAC. Nothing to do with the Apple Mac, which it long predated, Project MAC was an MIT-based cooperative enterprise in pioneering computer science. It included the circle of AI innovators surrounding Marvin Minsky, but, oddly, that was not the part that captured my imagination. What really excited me, as a user of the large mainframe computers that were all you could get in those days, was something that nowadays would seem utterly commonplace: the then- astonishing fact that up to thirty people, from all around the MIT campus and even from their homes, could simultaneously log on to the same computer, simultaneously communicate with it and with each other.

pages: 342 words: 99,390

The greatest trade ever: the behind-the-scenes story of how John Paulson defied Wall Street and made financial history by Gregory Zuckerman


1960s counterculture, banking crisis, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, financial innovation, fixed income, index fund, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, merger arbitrage, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Ponzi scheme, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, technology bubble, zero-sum game

Burry sold Greenblatt a 22.5 percent piece of the business, using the proceeds to pay off his school loans. He named his firm Scion Capital, inspired by the book The Scions of Shannara, a Terry Brooks fantasy novel. Burry would be a scion of investing greats such as Buffett and Benjamin Graham, although he would chart his own path. Back in California, he rented a small office in a suburban office park, blocks from the headquarters of Apple Computer. The office had been Apple’'s cofounder Steve Wozniak’'s, which Burry took as an auspicious sign. Burry wasn’'t very good at courting clients, but he figured if his results were strong enough, investors would line up. Early on in his fund, after top executives of Avanti Software were charged with stealing secrets from a rival and the stock plunged to $2 per share, Burry determined that customers still were relying on Avanti’'s products.

pages: 376 words: 110,796

Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight by Chris Dubbs, Emeline Paat-dahlstrom, Charles D. Walker


Berlin Wall, call centre, desegregation, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Mark Shuttleworth, Mikhail Gorbachev, multiplanetary species, Norman Mailer, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, V2 rocket, X Prize, young professional

People sent money, even people from England and Japan," Peters recalls. An English teenager named Trevor kept sending letters with a few pounds of his hardearned money in each. People wanted to believe in PPE; they wanted to be part of it in whatever small way they could. A furniture store in San Francisco donated beds; a sporting goods store thought a trampoline would help in astronaut training. An up-and-coming Apple Computer was just three miles down the road. Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak visited PPE operations and were so impressed they sent a truckload of computers the next day. A number of NASAS astronauts took a keen interest in the project. Alan Shepard, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton would write or call, wondering when PPE would launch. Peters wrote to British adventurer/entrepreneur Richard Branson, and invited him to invest in PPE.

In a prelaunch interview, she praised her crewmates as "very concerned about how I am fitting in with them, trying to make me part of the team." The question of how well she was able to mesh with the astronauts on her crew was illustrated during an earlier portrait session in Houston. Her crewmates told her to wait alone in the adjoining room. Although puzzled, she complied. They soon joined her, each wearing a mortarboard and holding a plastic lunchbox and an apple. In that same prelaunch interview, McAuliffe mentioned how delighted she was that a teacher had been chosen as the first spaceflight participant. She encouraged others to follow in her footsteps. "I'm hoping that everybody out there who decides to go for it-the journalist in space, the poet in space-whatever the other categories, that you push yourself to get the application in." Her remarks came barely a week after the deadline for applications for the journalist in Space program.

pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein


affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, John Markoff, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

I am a modern hacker, but I’ve been interested in computers since I was a child in the early 1970s when “hack” meant “create” and not the current media corruption, which essentially translates to “destroy.” 94192c15.qxd 6/4/08 3:45 AM Page 619 Still More Hacker Stories This was a time when there were no visible computers and the government still decided who had ARPANET access. Around then, the first ads started appearing for Steve Jobs’ and Steve Wozniak’s Apple II—a useful configuration cost the same as taking a family to Europe (or the United States if you’re European). A real physical computer like the ones I saw in the magazines that taught me to program were simply out of the question. My only computer was imaginary. It existed only as a simulation in my head and in my notebook—the old fashioned paper kind. My computer programs were just lists of commands and parameters on paper, much like those programs of the first hacker Alan Turing, who hand simulated the world’s first chess program in the 1940s before the computers he fathered existed.

I think of myself as lucky to have never spent a day in jail. If I had, I don’t think I would have emerged a survivor. Quite honestly, I probably wouldn’t be here today. I don’t think this mark on my record, this felony, reflects with much accuracy what kind of person I am, or what kind of employee I am. Many youths do stupid things that aren’t necessarily injurious to anyone. Before Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computer, they “cheated” the phone company with a device called a “blue box” while in college at Berkeley, CA. Didn’t they turn into quasi-responsible multimillionaires? 94192c15.qxd 6/4/08 3:45 AM Page 633 Still More Hacker Stories “They didn’t get caught,” a landlord said to me, whose rental operation routinely turned away convicted felons per police sponsored programs.

A good part of this issue is devoted to those matters and, as a result, many articles we were planning on running were bumped to the autumn issue. It would be nice if there was substantially less of this to report for our next issue. What is the EFF? (Summer, 1990) One of the results of our public outcry over the hacker raids this spring has been the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Founded by computer industry giants Mitch Kapor and Steve Wozniak along with writer John Barlow, the EFF 501 94192c13.qxd 6/3/08 3:34 PM Page 502 502 Chapter 13 sought to put an end to raids on publishers, bulletin board operators, and all of the others that have been caught up in recent events. The EFF founders, prior to the organization’s actual birth this summer, had said they would provide financial support to those affected by unjust Secret Service raids.

pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos


business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

There were three start-ups just in the UK, and there were others in Scandinavia, and others in Benelux. And ultimately all of these start-ups were amalgamated under the umbrella of LOVEFiLM International. I think there are between five and ten people who could credibly say that they were co-founders of what became LOVEFiLM. I think there are some interesting lessons. People very often focus on the single or the dual founder story. The Steve Jobs/Steve Wozniak story, that then just becomes the Steve Jobs story. Or the Bill Gates/Paul Allen story that then becomes the Bill Gates story. Or the Larry Page and Sergey Brin story, which is still the Larry Page and Sergey Brin story. Or the Jeff Bezos story, which is just the Jeff Bezos story. Or the Reed Hastings story. But the reality is, before we got into the questions of how Video Island started, it's really important to understand that fundamentally no great company is ever just created by a founder.

You need every element of this ecosystem working perfectly to create monsters—and Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Twitter, VMware, and Zynga have all been recent beneficiaries there. In fact, the capacity for serious scale is almost part of the muscle memory of Silicon Valley’s residents. As a newly-minted founder, you have unparalleled access within a 10-mile radius to a living ecosystem of talent and investors who have been part of businesses in almost every technology sector. Some of these went from start-up to superstar—HP, Intel, Apple, Cisco, Oracle, and Google—the list goes on and on, each one at different speeds and with different approaches, creating tens of thousands of jobs, over $10 billion in annual sales, and over $100 billion of enterprise value. Of course, there are examples of extraordinary value creation driven by visionary founders who were able to build great organizations in the last 30 years outside of Silicon Valley, including monsters like Amazon, Dell, and Microsoft.

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

(The scruffily bearded Jobs wore his T-shirts, jeans, and sandals like a badge of honor.) And partly it was at- tributable to his memory of Steve Wozniak's former employer, Hewlett-Packard, which had once rebuffed Woz's proposal for a microcomputer. But in any case, Jobs changed his mind after repeated urging by Apple engineer Jef Raskin, who had joined the company to help design the Apple II. Raskin had visited PARC, as it happened, and his friends there had shown him its wonders. So on April 2, 1979,Jobs and his team met with the XDC people and struck a deal that could make sense only in the go-go world of Silicon Valley: Xerox would be allowed to invest $1.05 million in Apple's private stock sale, and in re- turn it would allow Apple full access to PARC's technology. Jobs had only the vaguest idea of what that involved, evidently.

On the hardware side, this challenge was taken up most famously by the Apple Computer Company, founded in 1976 by Homebrew Computer Club members Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, longtime buddies from the Silicon Val- ley town of Cupertino. After some encouraging success with their first com- puter, which they marketed through local hobby shops-it was actually just a single circuit board using the new, 8-bit 6502 microprocessor from MOS Tech- nology, plus 4 kilobytes of RAM-Jobs and Wozniak were joined by the thirty- four-year-old A. C. Markkula, formerly the marketing manager for Intel. Markkula, who had retired from that company two years earlier after earning 434 THE DREAM MACHINE more than a million dollars in stock options, bought a one-third partnership in Apple for $91,000 and began working his contacts to bring in venture capital and management expertise.

And perhaps most important of all, it was great for playing video games; Wozniak, the technical wizard of the team and a video-game addict himself, had designed it with precisely that use in mind. Of course, the Apple II had plenty of competition in the consumer market, notably from the Commodore PET, which debuted at the same West Coast Computer Faire, and from the Tandy-Radio Shack TRS-80, which was intro- duced the following August. In the beginning, moreover, the promises made in the Regis McKenna ad copy-"You'll be able to organize, index and store data on household finances, income taxes, recipes, your biorhythms, balance your checking account, even control your home environment"-were little more than fantasy; the applications software that would work such magic didn't exist yet. Nonetheless, the Apple II was an instant hit. By decade's end Apple itself had become one of the fastest-growing companies in American history.

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Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory quickly became a California haven for the same hacker sensibility that had spawned at MIT. Smart young computer hackers like Steve “Slug” Russell and Whitfield Diffie followed McCarthy west, and during the next decade and a half a startling array of hardware engineers and software designers would flow through the laboratory, which maintained its countercultural vibe even as McCarthy became politically more conservative. Both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak would hold on to sentimental memories of their visits as teenagers to the Stanford laboratory in the hills. SAIL would become a prism through which a stunning group of young technologists as well as full-blown industries would emerge. Early work in machine vision and robotics began at SAIL, and the laboratory was indisputably the birthplace of speech recognition. McCarthy gave Raj Reddy his thesis topic on speech understanding, and Reddy went on to become the seminal researcher in the field.

Instead, the Knowledge Navigator envisioned a natural conversation with an intelligent machine that both recognized and synthesized human speech. Brought to Apple as chief executive during the personal computing boom, Sculley started his tenure in 1983 with a well-chronicled romance with Apple’s cofounder Steve Jobs. Later, when the company’s growth stalled in the face of competition from IBM and others, Sculley fought Jobs for control of the company, and won. However, in 1986, Jobs launched a new computer company, NeXT. Jobs wanted to make beautiful workstations for college students and faculty researchers. That placed pressure on Sculley to demonstrate that Apple could still innovate without its original visionary. Sculley turned to Alan Kay, who had left Xerox PARC first to create Atari Labs and then came to Apple, for guidance on the future of the computer market. Kay’s conversations with Apple’s chief executive were summarized in a final chapter in Sculley’s autobiographical Odyssey.

The three founders had to reverse ground and persuade their board members. Ultimately the investors were convinced; Jobs’s offer was lucrative enough and offered much lower risk. Soon after Apple acquired Siri in April of 2010, the Siri team moved into the very heart of the office space for Apple’s design group, on half of the top floor of Infinite Loop 2. Although Apple could have licensed Nuance to convert speech directly to text—which Google later did—Jobs decided that Apple would undertake the more ambitious task of placing an intelligent assistant software avatar on the iPhone. Siri helped solve another major problem that Apple had with its new iPhone and iPad. Glass screens and multitouch control could replace a keyboard and mouse for navigation through screens, but they did not work well for data entry.

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier


3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart,, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

It means something to have a PhD from someplace like MIT. We love those places! There are legendary professors and we scramble to recruit their graduating students. But it’s also considered the height of hipness to eschew a traditional degree and unequivocally prove yourself through other means. The list of top company runners who dropped out of college is commanding: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Mark Zuckerberg, for a start. Peter Thiel, of Facebook and PayPal fame, started a fund to pay top students to drop out of school, since the task of building high-tech startups should not be delayed. Mea culpa. I never earned a real degree (though I have received honorary ones). In my case poverty played a role, as it did for many others. But also, the very thought of slogging through someone else’s procedures to gain abstract approval seemed unacceptably retro and irrelevant.

To the degree you buy into the ashram, you do give up a certain degree of yourself. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. It’s like how Apple customers experience culture in general through the lens of Apple’s curation whenever they use an Apple device. Maybe it’s the right mix for some people. But one ought to be aware. It’s tempting to ridicule this aspect of Jobs’s legacy, but everything people do is infused with some degree of duplicity. This is doubly true of marketing. Putting the duplicity up front might be best. Back to the Beatles: Lennon’s “Sexy Sadie” ridiculed the guru shtick, while McCartney’s “Fool on the Hill” praised it, and they were singing about the same guru. These two songs could well be applied to the appeal of Apple under Jobs. Yes he manipulated people and was often not a nice guy, and yet he also did either elicit or anticipate the passions of his devotees, over and over.

The answer to climate change can’t be halting or reversing events. The earth is not a linear system, like a video clip, that can be played in forward or reverse. After we learn how to survive global climate change, the earth will not be the same place it was before. It will be more artificial, more managed. That is not anything new. It is nothing more than another stage in the adventure that started when Eve bit the apple, which we can also think of as Newton’s apple. (Not to mention Turing’s apple.) But no one wants to hear that. It is hard to be comfortable accepting the degree of responsibility our species will have to assume in order to survive into the future. The game was entered into long ago and we have no choice but to play. THE FIRST HIGH-TECH WRITER It can be a little deflating to realize how much of the present-day conversation about economic systems, technology, and personhood was already well worn in the century before last.

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini


Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

The final stages of product development and marketing of the interface for the per- sonal computer, however, occurred at Apple, not at Xerox. Apple and The End of the Bootstrapping Process The fairy-tale story of the founding of Apple Computer by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, beginning with the Apple I and the meetings of computer hobbyists at the Home Brew Computer Club in a Palo Alto burger joint, is often told and need not be repeated here. It is necessary, however, to trace the path followed by Douglas Engelbart's innovations as they reached their terminus in the form in which they now are employed, a form very different from the one Engelbart had envisioned for them. And the incorporation of those innovations into the Apple computer via their further development at Xerox PARC forms the con- clusion of that story. It also registers the ultimate translation of the conception of the user. At Apple, the user finally became "everybody," conceived this time as indeed everybody-as consumers of a commercial product, not candidates for coevolutionary change or as "Sally."

It wasn't until Apple picked it up. . . . I mean, it was the real change from there, Steve Jobs saw the technology at PARC and pIcked it up right away. The mouse attracted Steve Jobs's attention during Larry Tesler's demon- stration of the Alto at PARC, and when Tesler moved to Apple a few months later, the mouse moved with him. This last move, at the end of the bootstrap- ping process, was the one that made a star out of the mouse, to the extent that many still believe that Apple invented the mouse. Although Apple never claimed such an invention, some of its employees still occasionally say that "we're the ones who perfected the mouse by getting rid of these extra buttons" (Bruce Tagliazini, quoted in Card and Moran 1988, 524). Indeed, the "but- tons controversy" got reopened at Apple and led to the disappearance of all the extra buttons: the Lisa and the Macintosh mice were to have one (visible) button.

And so, there was a school of thought within PARC, probably epito- mized by Larry Tesler, that felt that the drag-and-drop, since Larry Tesler and Tim Mott were the two people who went off to study the Ginn people and ended up building a program for them, they really were enamored by the drag-and drop. . . . [The drag-and-drop model] came out of Apple's attempt, when Larry Tesler went to Apple, he did the user-interface design for [the] Lisa, and I think that the drag-and-drop sort of started emerging in the late Lisa early Macintosh days, because they were trying to address the complexIty of the user Interface, the clumsiness of the user interface based on cut-and-paste. (Irby 1992) This involvement with publishing organized Tesler's contribution to personal computing and put him in the position of spanning boundaries between the community of hackers as early as the late 1960's and the more formal R&D environment of computer science at Xerox PARCo Then, at Apple Computer, Tesler got the opportunity to set the agenda for the design of the Lisa and then the Macintosh in an institution that by then had become a perfect, if improbable hybrid of the two communities.

From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly


Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Donald Knuth, Grace Hopper, information asymmetry, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, linear programming, Menlo Park, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

The transforming event for the personal computer was the launch of the Apple II in April 1977. The tiny firm of Apple Computer had been formed by the computer hobbyists Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. Their first machine, the Apple, was a raw computer board designed for kit-building hobbyists. The Apple II, however, was an unprecedented leap of imagination and packaging. Looking much like the computer terminals seen on airport reservation desks, it consisted of a keyboard, a CRT display screen, and a central processing unit, all in one package. Though Jobs was not alone in having such a vision of the personal computer, he was by far the most successful at orchestrating the technological and manufacturing resources to bring it to fruition. During 1977, the Apple II was joined by many imitators from entrepreneurial startups, and by machines from two major electronics manu- The Personal Computer Software Industry 203 facturers: the Commodore PET and the TRS-80.

Meanwhile, inside Microsoft, development of Windows continued under its own momentum. In late 1987, Windows 2.0 was released to modest acclaim. The interface had been polished considerably, and its main visual elements were almost indistinguishable from those of the Macintosh. Microsoft had obtained a license from Apple Computer for Windows 1.0 but had not renogotiated it for the new release. Version 2.0 so closely emulated the “look and feel” of the Macintosh that Apple sued for copyright infringement in March 1988. The Apple-vs.-Microsoft lawsuit consumed many column-inches of reportage and rattled on for 3 years before a settlement in Microsoft’s favor was reached in 1991.33 So far as can be ascertained, the lawsuit was something of a sideshow that had little bearing on Microsoft’s or any other company’s technical or marketing strategy.

Adobe Systems was formed by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, who pioneered laser printing technology at Xerox PARC in the late 1970s. In 1982, when Xerox had failed to market the technology, Warnock and Geschke started their own company.61 Adobe grew rapidly, supplying a software technology known as Postscript for manufacturers of laser printers and for the Apple Macintosh. That the Macintosh was subsequently able to dominate the high-end desktop publishing market was due largely to Adobe’s technology. By 1984, half of Adobe’s income came from Apple royalties. By the late 1990s, however, Adobe’s Postscript technology was no longer unique; both Apple and Microsoft had developed their own systems. Recognizing that its niche in printing software was evaporating, Adobe made a number of strategic acquisitions in order to diversify into desktop publishing and electronic document distribution. Intuit was established in 1983 by Scott Cook, a former Procter & Gamble brand manager.

pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Superior at answering problems they may be, but a far more challenging prospect for humans is that robots will also be more creative and innovative, perhaps even better lovers.11 And there is no point fighting it: resistance is futile. Inventor Clive Sinclair argues that “once you start to make machines that are rivalling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very difficult for us to survive.” For Sinclair, AI dominance “is just an inevitability.” Steve Wozniak, one of Apple’s founders, is equally gloomy, suggesting that humans “will be the family pets,” or possibly the “ants that get stepped on” in the New Machine Age.12 Today, Americans fear robots more than death.13 It is not surprising that people are both fascinated and frightened. For many of us, this is not just a weird sci-fi future, but – just like life in Thomas Hobbes’ state of nature – one that appears “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Defensive actions usually have a good payoff, especially in consumer markets where the customer “experience” or the “identity” of a product is central. Apple’s iPhone and its strong market position is a good example. While the first iPhone was truly innovative, later versions have failed to give customers much more value than previous models. However, that has not restrained customers from embracing the iPhone. A study shows that almost 60 percent of iPhone owners admit to “blind loyalty” to the product.37 That sort of loyalty is worth tons of gold because Apple’s customers do not switch brands when they purchase a new phone, even when they think that the iPhone is not a particularly good phone. Only 28 percent of Apple’s loyal customers think of it as the best phone on the market. In other words, Apple does not have to bend over backwards to come up with a new innovative phone, at least not for a period of time.

It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.9 Six years after Ballmer’s prediction, only 3 percent of new mobile phones used Microsoft’s operating system while Apple’s iOS had close to 50 percent of the market. And he is not the only executive to have made spurious claims about their products. Around the same time as Ballmer’s brash dismissal of Apple, Research in Motion (RiM), the parent company of BlackBerry, ridiculed the iPhone as a marginal event in the market for cellular phones. That arrogance seemed daring, even at that time. RiM had grown from a small Canadian pager company to a major, multi-billion-dollar mobile company in just a few years.

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Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

Apple shares have been listed on NASDAQ since 1980, when the corporation raised $100 million from investors. Even then, the purpose of the issue was not to obtain money to grow the business. As with most flotations of technology companies, the reason for bringing the company to market was to give early investors and employees of the business an opportunity to realise value. Forty members of Apple staff became (paper) millionaires that day, and Steve Jobs’s wealth was estimated at over $200 million. Mike Mark-kula, who had invested $80,000 to enable Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak to start making computers, was similarly enriched. Stock markets are not a way of putting money into companies, but a means of taking it out. The opportunity to realise a return on investment is essential to an early-stage investor such as Markkula. The ability to attach value to their shareholdings provides an incentive to Jobs and his colleagues and successors.

Many modern companies need very little capital. The stock market capitalisation of Apple – the total market value of the company’s shares – is over $700 billion. Although the corporation has large cash balances – currently around $150 billion – it has few other tangible assets. Manufacturing is subcontracted. Apple is constructing a new headquarters building in Cupertino at an estimated cost of $5 billion, which will be its principal physical asset. The corporation currently occupies a variety of properties in that town, some of them owned, others leased. The flagship UK store on London’s Regent Street is jointly owned by the Queen and the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund. Operating assets therefore represent only around 3 per cent of the estimated value of Apple’s business. Apple shares have been listed on NASDAQ since 1980, when the corporation raised $100 million from investors.

The transition is partly the result of a change in the nature of modern business (Apple) and partly the result of the deliberate proliferation of complexity for the benefit of modern financiers and their hangers-on (Enron). In the last chapter I described how the value of Apple stock reflected not the negligible value of its operating assets – the book value that would have interested Ben Graham – but the expectation of its future profits. And this expectation is a real asset, created by the activities and record of the business, even if it is an asset of uncertain value. Apple’s future customers do not, however, report any matching liability, and perhaps they should not, since they will buy the company’s products only if they are delighted to do so. The difference between the value of Apple as a company and the value of its physical assets might be quantified as an ‘intangible asset’, the value of the ‘Apple brand’.

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The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman


Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

Excessive Self-Regard Tendency is the natural tendency to overestimate your own abilities, particularly if you have little experience with the matter at hand. Being optimistic about our capabilities has benefits—it increases the probability we’ll try something new. That’s how novices sometimes accomplish great things—they do them before realizing how risky or difficult their objective was. Steve Wozniak, who cofounded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs, built the world’s first personal computer. Here’s what he had to say about the experience: “I never had done any of this stuff before, I never built a computer, I never built a company, I had no idea what I was doing. But I was going to do it, and so I did it.” Woz didn’t know what he was doing, but he thought he could, so he did. Unfortunately, our natural confidence also comes with a cost—the potential for harmful self-delusion.

The more time and energy you spend following your competition, the less time and energy you have to actually build your business. Think of a company like Apple—there’s no other company in the technology world that focuses less on keeping up with what other companies are providing. Instead, they focus on building something completely new and Remarkable, then perfecting it as much as possible. Apple’s competitors, on the other hand, seem to be locked in a never-ending scramble to keep up. After Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, BlackBerry scrambled to create the Storm, which replicated many of the same features. By the time the Storm launched, the iPhone had already gone through several Iteration Cycles, making it very difficult for BlackBerry to compete. To date, Apple has sold over 50 million iPhones worldwide. In the same vein, instead of trying to compete directly with commodity laptop manufacturers like Asus, HP, and Dell in the netbook category (small, low-powered computers designed for portability), Apple conspicuously avoided the market for years.

Find potential purchasers of the product as quickly as possible to keep inventory costs low. 4. Sell the product for as high a markup as possible, preferably a multiple of the purchase price. Resellers are valuable because they help wholesalers sell products without having to find individual purchasers. To a farmer, selling apples to millions of individuals would be time-intensive and inefficient: it’s far better to sell them all to a grocery chain and focus on growing more apples. The grocery then takes the apples into inventory and sells them to individual consumers at a higher price. Major retailers like Walmart and Tesco, book retailers like Barnes & Noble, and catalog operations like Lands’ End work in fundamentally the same way: purchase products at low prices directly from manufacturers, then sell them for a higher price as quickly as possible.

pages: 538 words: 147,612

All the Money in the World by Peter W. Bernstein


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, currency peg, David Brooks, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial innovation, George Gilder, high net worth, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Norman Mailer, PageRank, Peter Singer: altruism, pez dispenser, popular electronics, Renaissance Technologies, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, school vouchers, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the new new thing, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, traveling salesman, urban planning, wealth creators, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

In his 1989 book The Alexander Complex: The Dreams That Drive the Great Businessmen, Michael Meyer examined the lives of six empire builders, including five Forbes 400 members—Steve Jobs, Ross Perot, biotech billionaire Robert Swanson, Ted Turner, and the late shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig—to try to divine what drove them to spectacular success. They “live in the grip of a vision38,” concludes Meyer. “Work and career take on the quality of a mission, a pursuit of some Holy Grail. And because they are talented and convinced they can change the world, they often do.” Meyer refers to Apple founder39 Steve Jobs, for one, as a “visionary monster,” and other accounts seem to bear that out. In The Silicon Boys, for example, David Kaplan recounts a telling anecdote about Jobs. Jobs and his buddy Steve Wozniak famously founded Apple Computer in 1976, when both were in their early twenties. As the company grew, stories of Jobs’s abrasive personality and propensity for tantrum-throwing swirled around Silicon Valley. Jobs reportedly even cheated his good friend “the Woz” out of his rightful share of fees in an early computer-game venture.

The high-tech landscape was changing fast in 1980. Apple Computer, a three-year-old start-up2 founded by a couple of hippies from northern California, Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, was in the process of racking up $139 million in sales. Later that year, Apple would go public with the most successful stock offering since that of the Ford Motor Company in 1956. An impatient IBM3 wanted to break into the burgeoning personal-computer market, and it was going into overdrive to take advantage of a new sixteen-bit microprocessor chip developed by Intel, a company founded by Gordon E. Moore (2006 net worth: $3.4 billion) and the now-deceased Robert Noyce (also a member of the Forbes 400 list before his death in 1990). The new 8088 chip made it possible to support 256 times more memory than the previous eight-bit chip. Prior to Apple’s astounding success and before the arrival of the 8088 chip, personal computers were viewed as gadgets for hobbyists.

Then, in 1963, Sobrato and Berg went into business together as commercial developers (they have since parted ways) and began building industrial buildings and office buildings. Their tenants included companies such as Cisco and Apple. Property values rose so fast that they never had to depend upon investors to realize their gains. Instead, they were able to finance new projects by borrowing against their equity. Without the high-tech boom, Sobrato might have been just another prosperous businessman. “A lot of it is focus,”32 he says. “I have always worked hard at whatever I did. But I was certainly in the right place at the right time.” By the mid-1970s, California, fueled by Silicon Valley development and the new start-up capital pouring in, had become a magnet for entrepreneurs and iconoclasts of all stripes. Before he started Apple Computer33, Steve Jobs had dropped out of college, tried LSD, lived in a commune, and traveled to India on a spiritual quest.

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

At the time, Intel’s Intellec-8 computer cost $2,400 in its base configuration (and as much as $10,000 with all the add-ons needed to develop software for it). The Altair used the same Intel 8080 microprocessor and sold as a kit for less than $400. But you had to put the thing together yourself.12 Hobbyists quickly formed groups like Silicon Valley’s Homebrew Computer Club to trade tips, hacks, and parts for these DIY computers. Homebrew was a training camp for innovators like Apple cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who would overthrow IBM’s dominance of the computer industry. (According to Wozniak, the Apple I and Apple II were demo’d at Homebrew meetings repeatedly during their development.)13 Never before had so much computing power been put in the hands of so many. Grassroots smart-city technologies—mobile apps, community wireless networks, and open-source microcontrollers among them—are following a similar trajectory as the PC: from utopian idea to geek’s plaything to mass market.

The rapid spread of iPhones created enormous demand for new software, and the walled gardens that wireless carriers used to control the Internet experience of users quickly came down. Almost immediately after the iPhone’s launch in June 2007, hackers figured out how to “jailbreak” the iPhone’s operating system, a technique that allowed them to load third-party software. A little more than a year later, in July 2008, Apple co-opted the growing movement by launching the iTunes App Store. The App Store created a place where buyers and sellers of software for mobile devices could come together and easily do business with a few clicks. While not quite as open as the Web (Apple could and did ban many apps, especially those that replicated the iOS operating system’s core features like e-mail), it was a huge improvement. Second, apps made signing up new users and getting them to interact with the service much easier. Getting on Dodgeball was a complex process—signing up on a website, adding its e-mail or SMS code to your phone’s address book, and then tapping out a carefully spelled check-in request to guarantee a match with the system’s master atlas of venues.

In 2004, social-media guru Clay Shirky gave a name to the kind of technology created by place-based communities: “situated software.”8 Years before Apple launched its App Store, Shirky noticed that his students at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program were building social software for themselves using nothing but open-source code and microcontrollers. Their approach was antithetical to the “Web School” that had prevailed up to that point, “where scalability, generality, and completeness were the key virtues.” Instead, situated software was “designed for use by a specific social group, rather than for a generic set of ‘users.’ ”9 You can find situated software on any smartphone, where for almost any life situation one might encounter, as Apple’s ads proclaimed in 2009, “There’s an app for that.” Some apps are only for use on the go.

pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid


1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

They invented time-sharing, against the interest of large corporations, and gave more people access to SAGE-style supercomputers—in effect, turning mainframes into more widely accessible virtual personal computers. The second wave of hackers, in the late 1970s, overturned mainframes entirely by bringing the personal computer to market. Many of them were hard-core counterculture types—for instance, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, two cofounders of Apple. They had honed their skills by developing, and then selling, so-called blue boxes, illegal phone phreaking devices to make free calls. Then came the third wave of “hackers,” the social hackers of the early 1980s. The personal computer and emerging network technology didn’t articulate an entire philosophy and aesthetic just by themselves. Of course, building software tools to connect and educate communities helped, and the then emerging free-software movement offered a promising platform.

Algebra isn’t limited by the availability of fresh apples to count or to multiply. Arithmetic is dealing with abstract entities. The ambitions of the emerging discipline were equally expansive. The “real machine” could be electronic, mechanical, neural, social, or economic. This alone meant that the realm of cybernetics was vast. This ambitious vision of cybernetics is best expressed through an analogy: cybernetics relates to the machine as geometry relates to the object in space. Ashby’s machines-and-math comparison was an inspiration, a stroke of genius. Nature provides a range of geometrical objects in space: stones, apples, snakes, horses, or something more complex, like trees or mountains. Geometry contains these objects and can very well calculate the surface of an apple or the volume of a stone. But real, existing objects don’t limit geometry.

For Christmas that year, Gibson finally bought an Apple II at a discount. The machine’s successor model, the Macintosh, had been launched so effectively nearly one year earlier with the legendary cyberpunk ad “1984,” but the older Apple II was still a best-selling device. When Gibson booted up the machine at home and got ready to use it, he was shocked by the computer’s mundane mechanical makeup. “Here I’d been expecting some exotic crystalline thing, a cyberspace deck or something, and what I’d gotten was something with this tiny piece of a Victorian engine in it, like an old record player.”46 The science fiction writer called up the store to complain. What was making this noise? The operator told him it was normal; the hard drive was simply spinning in the box that was the Apple II. Gibson’s ignorance about computers, he recounted, had allowed him to romanticize technology.

pages: 461 words: 125,845

This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers by Andy Greenberg


Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, computerized markets, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, domain-specific language, drone strike,, fault tolerance, hive mind, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Bouazizi, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Vernor Vinge, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, X Prize, Zimmermann PGP

Those early PCs had to be assembled from kits, and learning to use them was often inextricable from learning to code. So a kindergarten-age Zatko acquired the ability to write software as naturally as most children learn to write their ABCs. At the same time, his parents introduced him to the violin and later the guitar; his talents on both sets of instruments, digital and analog, developed in parallel. When the Apple II was released, Zatko’s grandfather spent Zatko’s father’s entire inheritance to buy the sleek new machine for the family’s prodigy. Plugging into Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak’s powerful creation, Zatko soon discovered video games, their annoying copyright protections, and the tantalizing task of picking those digital locks. “It’s 1978, I’m eight years old, and twenty dollars for a game is a lot of money,” says Zatko. “I can’t even make a backup copy. So I had to hack the systems, reverse engineer and disassemble them.

In 1983, Charlie Merritt, an Arkansas programmer and entrepreneur, was desperately searching for any computer maker who might be interested in reselling what seemed at the time like an obscure invention: his implementation of MIT’s public key crypto-system that could run on a desktop computer. When he dialed up Metamorphic Systems, a tiny Boulder, Colorado, start-up specializing in porting Apple software to Intel chips, the man on the other end of the line responded with so much excitement that Merritt thought he might have been planted by a friend as a prank. As he later told an encryption historian, his first impression of Metamorphic’s founder, one Phil Zimmermann, was “the most gee-whiz-whoopie enthusiastic character I had run into.” Since his college days, Zimmermann had gotten married, moved from Florida to Colorado to escape his native land’s mosquitoes, and founded a less-than-stellar business porting Apple programs to run on Intel chips. But he had never lost his obsession with cryptography. Since reading Gardner’s article, he had begun to imagine crypto as an increasingly necessary tool for grassroots organizing and international freedom-fighting.

The topic of his talk was the same problem that had troubled Julian Assange years earlier, one central to any activist who believes in the power of cryptography: how to keep encrypted data encrypted, even when authorities are standing over the user, rubber hose in hand, demanding the key. In his talk in Berlin, Appelbaum walked the audience through a series of crypto-schemes, grading various software and taking special pleasure in giving Apple an F. (The user’s unencrypted key could be extracted from a file Apple carelessly left on the computer’s hard drive.) And then he came to Julian Assange’s very own solution to the problem of violent key extraction—Assange’s 1997 invention, the crypto-scheme Rubberhose. “In today’s world,” Appelbaum told the audience of European hackers, “this is probably going to get you killed.” Appelbaum cited the obvious issue: If the jailer knows his prisoner, Alice, is using Rubberhose, he’ll never stop torturing her to try and get more of the data that may be hidden on her hard drive.

pages: 509 words: 147,998

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins


airport security, Albert Einstein, Columbine, game design, hive mind, out of africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics

More important, many teenage nerds and geeks now choose to celebrate their label rather than allow it to imprison them. These outcasts are rising up, exulting in the “geek cred” that differentiates them from other groups and the knowledge and precision that, as Geoffrey suggested, eventually will enable them to profit financially (as have, to name a few, Paul Allen, Sergey Brin, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Steve Wozniak, some of whom themselves exemplify quirk theory). They are realizing at an early age that the geeks (and loners, punks, floaters, dorks, and various other outcasts) shall inherit the earth. Some students are fighting their marginalization by co-opting typically derogatory terms. In 2009, four twelve-to-fourteen-year-olds won the New York City FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship under the team name Nerd Herd.

Within days, grateful emails from blog readers flooded her inbox. ELI, VIRGINIA | THE NERD Eli rejoiced when Kim—a girl from his lunch table whom he liked talking to—and a few of her friends invited him to play board games with them in the library on early-release days. Eli laughed more often than usual with this group, even though he couldn’t help thinking, I should really be doing schoolwork right now, while in the midst of a game. During a game of Apples to Apples, Kim was having a side conversation with a friend. “Watch,” she said, smiling. “Eli, when did you turn in your college apps?” “October,” he said. “See?” Kim said to her friend. “When did you finish your gov vocab?” The homework was due at the end of the week. “Two weeks ago,” Eli replied. “See! He’s such a nerd. And he worries too much.” “Yeah, you are kind of OCD,” said another friend.

A few of them narrowed their eyes at Joy; she couldn’t help but feel it was because she was the only black person in the room. More than half of the nearly three thousand students at Citygrove, a public high school in an urban valley north of Los Angeles, were Latino, about 30 percent were white, and 12 percent Asian. Only 3 percent were black. Joy remained in her seat, following her Jamaican school’s rules, until the teacher told her it was okay to leave. During a break before PE, Joy pulled a box of apple juice out of her drawstring bag and called her mother. “Hi, Mommy,” she said. “Hi, Joy, how you doing?” “I’m fine.” Joy wiped away a rolling tear. She noticed a tall student who sat across from her in second period. She hoped he would say hello, but instead he gazed through her at the wall. “What are you doing?” “I’m on break waiting for my next class to start.” With her palm, she tried to catch the rest of the tears before they fell.

pages: 398 words: 120,801

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow


airport security, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, citizen journalism, Firefox, game design, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, mail merge, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas Bayes, web of trust, zero day

They thought that by the time you hit 30, your attitudes would be frozen and you couldn't ever understand why the kids of the day were taken to the streets, dropping out, freaking out. "San Francisco was ground zero for this. Revolutionary armies were founded here. Some of them blew up buildings or robbed banks for their cause. A lot of those kids grew up to be more or less normal, while others ended up in jail. Some of the university dropouts did amazing things -- for example, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who founded Apple Computers and invented the PC." I was really getting into this. I knew a little of it, but I'd never heard it told like this. Or maybe it had never mattered as much as it did now. Suddenly, those lame, solemn, grown-up street demonstrations didn't seem so lame after all. Maybe there was room for that kind of action in the Xnet movement. I put my hand up. "Did they win? Did the Yippies win?"

This is why I loved technology: if you used it right, it could give you power and privacy. My brain was really going now, running like 60. There were lots of reasons to run ParanoidXbox -- the best one was that anyone could write games for it. Already there was a port of MAME, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, so you could play practically any game that had ever been written, all the way back to Pong -- games for the Apple ][+ and games for the Colecovision, games for the NES and the Dreamcast, and so on. Even better were all the cool multiplayer games being built specifically for ParanoidXbox -- totally free hobbyist games that anyone could run. When you combined it all, you had a free console full of free games that could get you free Internet access. And the best part -- as far as I was concerned -- was that ParanoidXbox was paranoid.

pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

Tim Wu argues persuasively in his book The Master Switch that the structure of our information industries is a key determinant of our effective freedom of expression.152 These corporations’ choices are shaped by the profit motive but also by the character of their founders. The influence of a Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerberg on their respective empires has been more like that of an idiosyncratic absolute ruler in some mediaeval principate than that of the head of government in a modern liberal democracy. Apple’s tethered perfectionism has everything to do with Jobs’s personality. If the other Apple-founding Steve—Wozniak—had become Apple’s dominant figure, it might have remained the open, generative platform it was at the time of the 1982 Apple II desktop computer. For years, Google did not allow advertisements for cigarettes and hard liquor because Sergey Brin and Larry Page disapproved of them. Facebook’s insistence on people using their real names is, to a significant degree, a result of Zuckerberg’s personal attitude.

All such artefacts and systems were designed by particular men and women, in a particular time and place, and bear the marks of those origins. In the case of the internet, those men and women were mostly Americans, or English speakers working in America, from the 1950s to the 1990s.48 The Internet, in the original, more specific sense, with a capital I, is not as American as motherhood and apple pie. The Internet is more American than motherhood and apple pie—both of which are, after all, occasionally to be found in other civilisations. It is a product of Cold War America at the height of its power, self-confidence and capacity for innovation. Generous funding from the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, which was originally set up in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite, brought together a strange but dynamic ménage-à-trois of government agencies, private corporations and computer engineers.49 These engineers did not just have tools, they also had views—and generally their views had a strong libertarian strain.

While cyberutopians join Ray Kurzweil in envisaging the glorious moment when artificial and human intelligence merge into one transformative ‘singularity’, cyberdystopians fear machine intelligence first overtaking and then taking over humans—like the mesmerically voiced computer HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, but this time with HAL coming out on top.30 We are not there yet, even if the hypnotic lady speaking from the GPS in your car adjusts her instructions as you change your route, and your handheld box, using software such as Apple’s Siri, can respond to your spoken requests exploiting all the information she’s got on you. Already in the 1960s, the computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum developed a computer programme named Eliza, after Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion—better known as Julie Andrews in ‘My Fair Lady’.31 Eliza was capable of having rudimentary conversations with people, of a vacuously sympathetic kind (‘I am sorry to hear you are depressed’).

pages: 624 words: 180,416

For the Win by Cory Doctorow


barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, double helix, Internet Archive, inventory management, loose coupling, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, RFID, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave

Now on the scene are more familiar faces: Landon Kettlewell, the disgraced former CEO of Kodacell, and Tjan Tang, the former business manager of the Banks/Gibbons scam. But not long after arriving on the scene, Church fell in with Banks, an early fatkins and stalwart of the New Work movement, a technologist who entranced his fellow engineers with his accounts of the New Work’s many “inventions”—prompting one message-board commenter to characterize him as “a cross between Steve Wozniak and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.” Now, eyewitness accounts have them going at it like shagging marmots, as the bio-enhanced Banks falls on Church’s wrinkly carcass half a dozen times a day, apparently consummating a romance that blossomed while Banks was, to put it bluntly, a giant fat bastard. It seems that radical weight-loss has put Banks into the category of “blokes that Suzanne Church is willing to play hide the sausage with.”

Looks like you’ve got pretty much everything you could imagine.” “And then some.” This was spoken by another man, one who puffed heavily up from behind her. He was enormous, not just tall but fat, as big around as a barrel. His green tee-shirt read IT’S FUN TO USE LEARNING FOR EVIL! in blocky, pixelated letters. He took her hand and shook it. “I love your blog,” he said. “I read it all the time.” He had three chins, and eyes that were nearly lost in his apple cheeks. “Meet Lester,” Perry said. “My partner.” “Sidekick,” Lester said with a huge wink. “Sysadmin slash hardware hacker slash dogsbody slashdot org.” She chuckled. Nerd humor. Ar ar ar. “Right, let’s get started. You wanna see what I do, right?” Perry said. “That’s right,” Suzanne said. “Lead the way, Lester,” Perry said, and gestured with an arm, deep into the center of the junkpile. “All right, check this stuff out as we go.”

Don’t want to go in the bushes. Not dignified to go in the bushes.” “That’s true,” he said. “What if I get you some take out, you got a shady place you could eat it? Nursing’s hungry work.” The junkie cocked her head. Then she laughed. “Yeah, OK, yeah. Sure—thanks, thanks a lot!” Lester motioned her over to the menu in the IHOP window and waited with her while she picked out a helping of caramel-apple waffles, sausage links, fried eggs, hash browns, coffee, orange juice and a chocolate malted. “Is that all?” he said, laughing, laughing, both of them laughing, all of them laughing at the incredible, outrageous meal. They went in and waited by the podium. The greeter, a black guy with corn-rows, nodded at Lester and Perry like an old friend. “Hey Tony,” Lester said. “Can you get us a go-bag with some take-out for the lady outside before we sit down?”

pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman


Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart,, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

His labs at MIT and Stanford were elaborate playgrounds for his extraordinary mind, as Cavendish’s estate on Clapham Common was for his own. They also became magnets for other scruffy geniuses who were equally committed to the vision of a world empowered by access to computing—including two young members of a group called the Homebrew Computer Club named Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who would go on to become the founders of Apple. The culture of Silicon Valley began adapting to the presence of a high concentration of people with autistic traits even before the term Asperger’s syndrome was invented. In 1984, a therapist named Jean Hollands wrote a popular self-help book for women called The Silicon Syndrome about navigating what she called “high-tech relationships.” She described a distinctive breed of intensely driven “sci-tech” men who loved to tinker with machines, were slow to pick up on emotional cues, had few if any close friends outside their professional circles, approached life in rigorously logical and literal fashion like Mr.

Their medieval predecessors might have spent their days copying manuscripts, keeping musical instruments in tune, weaving, or trying to transmute base metals into gold. Their equivalents in the mid-twentieth century aimed telescopes at the stars, built radios from mail-order kits, or blew up beakers in the garage. In the past forty years, some members of this tribe have migrated from the margins of society to the mainstream and currently work at companies with names like Facebook, Apple, and Google. Along the way, they have refashioned pop culture in their own image; now it’s cool to be obsessed with dinosaurs, periodic tables, and Doctor Who—at any age. The kids formerly ridiculed as nerds and brainiacs have grown up to become the architects of our future. — WHEN THE VOLENDAM ARRIVED in Glacier Bay, at the midpoint of our journey, we drifted through a natural cathedral of ice with the engines switched off.

“The question that keeps me up at night,” he said, “is what will happen to our beloved daughter when we die?” With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently estimating that one in sixty-eight school-aged children in America are on the autism spectrum, millions of families will be facing sleepless nights in the coming decades. Many autistic adults are not exercising the strengths of their atypical minds at companies like Apple and Google—instead, a disproportionate number are unemployed and struggling to get by on disability payments. Two decades after the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents still routinely find themselves having to sue their local school boards to obtain an appropriate classroom placement for their son or daughter. Furthermore, very little of the money raised by advocacy organizations like Autism Speaks addresses the day-to-day needs of autistic people and their families.

pages: 821 words: 227,742

I Want My MTV by Craig Marks


Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, haute couture, Live Aid, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile

Many of its most important founders came from radio backgrounds, which freed them from abiding by the existing rules of the TV industry. (On the other hand, it also meant they were bound to the existing rules of the radio industry, which soon proved to be an impediment.) A successful start-up requires dedication and imagination, but not necessarily expertise. Steve Wozniak, the tech wizard who cofounded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs, has recalled that in the early days of the company, when he didn’t know how to design a floppy disk or a printer interface, he’d make something up, “without knowing how other people do it.” He added, “All the best things that I did at Apple came from (a) not having money and (b) not having done it before, ever.” Similarly, MTV had little money and less experience. If there was a corporate culture, it was based on confidence and pugnaciousness, traits that began at the top of the company’s masthead.

And Mike Score of A Flock of Seagulls, owner of early MTV’s most unprecedented hair, says video exposure brought like-minded fans together at clubs where outcasts discovered they were part of a tribe. Even if it accomplished nothing else, MTV pissed off baby boomers, in part because it signified a transition from an era when the biggest rock stars were bands that transformed public consciousness, to one where technology filled that role. Today, that transformation is complete: Apple sold 275 million iPods in the first nine years they were on the market, which is higher than the number of records sold by Elton John, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, or U2 in their careers. But MTV was the first time technology became a rock star, because—unlike calculators, CD players, or home gaming systems—it was sold at a reasonable price. Every new technology contains a philosophy. The Walkman told consumers they should never stray far from music, nor were they required to interact with strangers.

I was on a heavy vampire kick—I was into Anne Rice very early—so that’s where the black veil on the dancer’s head comes from. Prince was brilliant in terms of dance and choreography. You could show him something and three seconds later he could do it perfectly. He’s also funnier than people know. I’d put him next to a six-foot-tall model and he would give me an expression like, “Are you kidding? Where’s my apple box?” He was the one who decided at the last minute to use Wendy in “Kiss.” They had great chemistry, and they were funny together. Her facial expressions in that video were perfect. LISA COLEMAN: At the last minute, Prince asked Wendy Melvoin to be in “Kiss.” Wendy and I were living together, and he called her: “I’m shooting the video today. Why don’t you come down and play guitar?” As it turns out, the stuff with Wendy playing guitar stole the show.

pages: 613 words: 200,826

Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles by Michael Gross


Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Bernie Madoff, California gold rush, clean water, corporate raider, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial independence, Irwin Jacobs, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, oil rush, passive investing, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Right to Buy, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Predators' Ball, transcontinental railway, yellow journalism

Bradley Bell bought it in 1992 from the singer Rod Stewart, who moved to Beverly Park. Bradley also bought the house next door, the longtime home of Harold Janss and, later, the movie star Gregory Peck, and demolished it to add four acres of gardens to his estate. 23. Years later, a John Dahlinger would write a book claiming to be the illegitimate son of Henry Ford. 24. Among the so-called phone phreaks who built and sold the gadgets were Apple Computer founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. 25. In 2010, a small house in West Hollywood, occupied by Elijah Blue and reportedly owned by a trust associated with his mother, was sold at a $300,000 loss—one of the few black marks on Cher’s otherwise stellar record as a real estate investor. 26. In 2008, that apartment was put on the market for $6.5 million by its third owner, Rosemary Stack, widow of the well-born actor Robert, who sixty-four years before had bought Colleen Moore’s Bel Air mansion.

He bought a candy company, a car dealership, and some real estate. His first year on his own he made ten times his previous year’s salary. “It wasn’t horrible,” he deadpans. Years earlier, while still a teenager, Burkle had met Paul Whittier, one of Max Whittier’s sons, who lived on a ranch outside Yucaipa, California, on the edge of the San Bernadino National Forest near a small apple orchard the Burkle family owned. While sweeping out Whittier’s barn for an apple growers’ picnic, Burkle discovered that he owned a Camaro—and Burkle’s father bought it, keeping his promise to get his son a car. Burkle was a millionaire when he called Whittier again. After reminding him of that earlier transaction, Burkle got straight to the point: “I’ve always liked your house.” “Come on down,” Whittier replied. “I’ll sell it to you.”

pages: 1,079 words: 321,718

Surfaces and Essences by Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, Chance favours the prepared mind, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Golden Gate Park, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, l'esprit de l'escalier, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, place-making, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Abstraction has its virtues, which we will point out at an appropriate moment, but if one cannot draw distinctions, then thinking becomes as difficult as breathing at the top of Mount Everest. From Eggs to Acorns, From Oxen to Oaks Even if we forget about people who steal eggs and oxen, the notion that things can become bigger and better over time is everywhere to be found around us, for after all, grownups were once children; today’s multinational giants were once fledgling outfits; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made the first Apple computer in a garage before going on to found their legendary firm; Sergey Brin and Larry Page incorporated Google in a humble dwelling in Menlo Park; Albert Einstein first learned to read and write before developing his theories of relativity; popes were once priests in little churches; conquerors of Everest climbed small hills before moving on to the big time; major acts of philanthropy were preceded by minuscule acts of charity; every great friendship was once just a tentative affinity; virtuoso instrumentalists were once musical novices; every chess master had to learn the rules at some point; powerful ideas gave rise to modest fruit before resulting in huge advances… All of this is far from egg-stealers turning into ox-stealers, but it nonetheless deserves a proverb or two, along with the rich category that any proverb covertly symbolizes.

•90 acres of land is going to be divided into 6 equal parcels. What will the area of each parcel be? •A mother buys 20 apples for her 5 children. How many apples will each child get? •A theater has 120 seats arranged in 10 rows. How many seats are in each row? •A teacher buying food for a class picnic filled 4 grocery carts with a total of 20 watermelons. How many watermelons were in each cart? •It takes 12 yards of cloth to make 4 dresses. How many yards does it take to make one dress? Each of these problems involves a starting figure to be divided by something, and the result of the division is always smaller than that starting figure. Thus the first problem reduces 12 candies down to 3, the second problem reduces 90 acres down to 15, the third problem reduces 20 apples down to 4, and so forth. This observation is already significant, since it shows that when people are asked to invent division problems, they come up with situations where the key idea is “making smaller”.

But I’m not done with you yet, Anna! I’m holding a pen in my hand. If I tell you it’s a ballpoint pen, that’s an objective fact. No one could say the opposite. Much the same holds for that sheet of paper and the paper clip that I see sitting over there on my desk. Ballpoint pen, sheet of paper, and paper clip are all categories that have the quality of total objectivity. An elephant is an elephant, an apple is an apple, and Paris will always be Paris. There are no two ways about it. When we categorize, we do something that is objective. ANNA:I don’t agree with you, but I think you might have Plato on your side, because I believe he argued, in Phædrus, that every human being is given the opportunity to look at situations ranging from the most general to the most specific, and to carve up the world in an objective fashion while making very fine distinctions.

pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser,, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

These were Paul Allen, a recent Washington State University dropout, and Bill Gates, who would use his Altair money to drop out of Harvard. In April 1975, they together founded Microsoft. A month earlier, another computer legend, Steve Wozniak, had attended the Homebrew Computer Club in California and was immediately inspired by what he saw. He began work on his own personal computer, the Apple Computer or the Apple I, and got his friend, Steve Jobs, to help with sales. The computer had more memory and a cheaper microprocessor than the Altair and could be plugged into any television to use as a screen. Soon Jobs and Wozniak began work on the Apple II, which included a keyboard and a color screen as well as an external cassette tape (soon replaced with floppy disks). It was IBM’s first personal computer (PC), introduced in 1981, that revolutionized the market and soon made the Wang minicomputer and the memory typewriter obsolete.

Though white or “Irish” potatoes were a staple in the north, in the southern states they matured too early and could not be stored in the hot climate, forcing southerners to rely on the sweet potato, which did not mature until autumn. Although vegetables were home-grown on farms and in urban back yards during the summer, only root vegetables and dry beans were available in the winter. Fruits were largely missing from the American diet of 1870, except for apples, which could be stored for several months. Fresh fruit was little eaten, because it spoiled rapidly, and much of what was available was made into cider and brandy. Fruit from trees could be made into jam and preserves, but in newly settled areas, fruit was scarce, for fruit trees took years to mature.24 Chocolate, tea, and particularly coffee were the beverages of choice almost everywhere. “The coffeepot could almost stand beside the six-shooter or the covered wagon as a symbol of the Old West.”25 Iced tea had become common in eastern cities by 1870.

Keeping a fire burning all day required 50 pounds each day of coal or wood.”82 There was no hired help for the household. A Norwegian immigrant on the frontier complained, “Here the mistress must do all the work that the cook, the maid, and the housekeeper would do in an upper-class family at home. Moreover, she must do it as those three together do it in Norway.”83 This sentiment is notable for its apples-to-oranges comparison of an immigrant farm family with an “upper-class family” back home in Norway. Presumably, working-class housewives in Norway in 1870 were required to perform similar chores to those carried out on the farm by Midwestern Norwegian immigrants. YOUTH, CHILD LABOR, AND SCHOOLING Persons younger than 25 made up 60 percent of the population of 1870, and their lives were very different from those of contemporary youth.

pages: 585 words: 165,304

Trust: The Social Virtue and the Creation of Prosperity by Francis Fukuyama


barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, business climate, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mittelstand, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transfer pricing, traveling salesman, union organizing

More recently, the trend has swung over far in the opposite direction. Public policy in the United States and Europe has been shaped in recent years by the perception that small companies are more innovative and create greater employment. Most corporations are today trying to downsize, decentralize, and become more flexible. Everyone has in mind the example of the computer industry, where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, working out of their garage, invented the personal computer and started a technological revolution that within a decade undermined the behemoth IBM. The argument is also made that improvements in communications technology make possible industries that are far more decentralized and deconcentrated than before, leveling the playing field between small companies and their larger rivals. This current mania for small companies may be no better founded than the earlier fashionableness of large ones.1 In many sectors, important scale economies dictate a certain minimum efficient scale.

It is often the case that the person who turns the enterprise into a durable institution is not the same as the founding entrepreneur: the former has to be more group oriented and the latter more individualistic to play their respective roles. But both types have coexisted easily in American culture. For every Joseph Smith, there has been a Brigham Young; for every Steve Jobs, a John Scully. Are the Mormon church and Apple Computers properly seen as examples of American individualism, or American groupism? Although most people would characterize them in the latter way, they in fact represent both tendencies simultaneously. If we can conceive of a perfectly individualistic society as an “ideal type,” it would consist of a group of totally atomized individuals who interact with each other solely out of rational calculations of self-interest and have no ties or obligations to other human beings except the ones that arise out of such calculations.

pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock,, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Over the next thirty years, International Business Machines (IBM) sold smaller but still monstrous machines to the West’s corporations, but the real transformation followed the invention of the microprocessor in 1971. As so often, the innovators came from the fringes of the elite—in this case, not from ultrarespectable firms such as IBM but, like Steve Wozniak, from garages in places such as suburban Menlo Park in California. Starting with just $91,000 capital and a few geeky friends, Wozniak and his business partner Steve Jobs released their Apple I microcomputer into the world in 1976. By 1982 Apple’s sales had reached $583 million and IBM had invented the Personal Computer to compete. By then the Harvard dropouts Bill Gates and Paul Allen had founded Microsoft and relocated to the West Coast. Computing moved into every office and home, getting cheaper and easier every year.

They have the advantage of being relatively easy to define and document (some potential traits, like happiness, would be much harder), but there are certainly other things we could look at (say employment rates, nutrition, or housing) that might generate different scores. Even economists who agree that the UN’s traits are the best ones sometimes balk at conflating them into a single human development score; they are like apples and oranges, these economists say, and bundling them together is ridiculous. Other economists are comfortable both with the variables chosen and with conflating them, but do not like the way the UN statisticians weight each trait. The scores may look objective, these economists point out, but in reality they are highly subjective. Still other critics reject the very idea of scoring human development.

And at a kingdom’s edges, where sown fields faded into deserts or mountains, villagers exchanged bread and bronze weapons with shepherds or foragers for milk, cheese, wool, and animals. The best-known account of this comes from the Hebrew Bible. Jacob was a successful shepherd in the hills near Hebron in what is now the West Bank. He had twelve sons, but played favorites, giving the eleventh—Joseph—a coat of many colors. In a fit of pique, Joseph’s ten older brothers sold the gaudily dressed apple of their father’s eye to passing slave traders headed for Egypt. Some years later, when food was scarce in Hebron, Jacob sent his ten oldest sons to Egypt to trade for grain. Unknown to them, the governor they confronted there was their brother Joseph, who, although a slave, had risen high in pharaoh’s service (admittedly after a spell in jail for attempted rape; he was, of course, framed). In a perfect illustration of the difficulty of knowing when to trust traders, the brothers showed no surprise when the disguised Joseph pretended to think they were spies and threw them in prison.