The Tech News Blog

November 22, 2014

Report: Sony Ditches Steve Jobs Movie

Steve JobsIt seems like there's some major change regarding the Sony-backed Steve Jobs bio-pic every week. If it's not someone dropping out of playing the late, iconic Apple co-founder, then it's rumors about who could be Jobs incarnate (or Woz).

In this case, however, the news is that Sony Pictures is dropping the movie entirely. Oops. But it seems as though the film has been kind of a mess ever since Sony bought the rights to Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography in 2011.

According to the rumors, David Fincher was first planning to direct it, with Christian Bale as Jobs. But when Fincher dropped out, so did Bale. Attention then turned to Leonardo DiCaprio, but when he too bowed out, Bale's name re-appeared on the casting shortlist, and the Oscar-winning actor officially signed on. But he apparently had (another) change of heart and left the project.

October 23, 2014

Christian Bale Signs On to Play Jobs

steve jobsIt's official: Christian Bale will don a black turtleneck and a pair of round glasses in his new role as the iconic Steve Jobs.

As Aaron Sorkin told Bloomberg, the Welsh actor didn't even have to audition for his part the upcoming biopic about the late Apple co-founder.

"What we needed was the best actor," screenwriter Sorkin said in an interview with Bloomberg. "It's like the NFL draft: There are some people who make a science out of [it] … and other teams say, 'Who's the best athlete on the board?' We needed the best actor on the board, in a certain age range, and that's Christian Bale."

Calling the man behind Batman a "phenomenal actor," Sorkin said "there was a meeting" but no formal audition.

Bale was Sony's original choice to play Jobs, but he reportedly dropped out of the running when director David Fincher left the project earlier this year.

February 6, 2014

Steve Jobs, Sony Talked Mac OS X-Powered Vaio Laptops

sony logo 275

If the winds had blown a little differently 13 years ago, Sony's Vaio laptops might be running Mac OS X today.

In a blog post recounting the friendship between Apple's Steve Jobs and Sony co-founder Akio Morita, Tokyo-based journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi reported that the two were once close to inking a deal on a Hawaiian golf course.

Cupertino surprised the world in the summer of 2005, when it announced plans to move from PowerPC to Intel. But according to Hayashi, Apple was considering an even bolder move.

As former Sony president Kunitake Ando remembers it, "Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of [the] golf course holding [a] Vaio running Mac OS," he told Hayashi, who guessed Jobs was showing off the Intel version of OS X.

December 21, 2012

Steve Jobs’s Yacht Impounded in Amsterdam Amidst Payment Spat

Steve Jobs Yacht

Steve Jobs' superyacht has been impounded in Amsterdam on behalf of the boat's French designer Philippe Starck over a 3 million-euro ($3.96 million) payment spat, according to reports.

The ship, dubbed Venus, was recently seized in the in the port of Amsterdam, but Jobs's heirs are currently negotiating with Starck representatives to end the dispute, Bloomberg reported, citing a port spokesman. Jobs's heirs and the Starck firm are expected to reach an agreement at early as today.

Starck reportedly hired a debt collection agency and got a legal order to keep the boat from leaving the Netherlands before the dispute is resolved. According to Bloomberg, the disagreement stems from an arrangement whereby Starck was to receive 6 percent of the yacht's construction costs, which were initially estimated at 150 million euros. Jobs's heirs, however, are arguing that Venus only cost 105 million euros to make.

Jobs commissioned the luxury yacht prior to his death, and after years of work, the vessel was finally completed this fall. It appears to be controlled by a series of seven, 27-inch iMacs set up in the yacht's control room, or wheelhouse.

October 25, 2012

Apple Will ‘Never’ Make 7-Inch Tablet

Apple iPad mini

When rumors about an iPad mini started making the rounds, many in the tech community pointed to comments Steve Jobs made two years ago in which he said the "current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA: Dead on Arrival."

The 7-inch form factor is "too small," Jobs said at the time, prompting many of us to conclude that Apple would never stray from its 9.7-inch iPad form factor. But earlier this week, Cupertino took the wraps off a 7.9-inch iPad mini, so what gives? Is Apple going against its co-founder and exploring a tablet size he apparently abhorred? Absolutely not, current Apple chief Tim Cook said today.

"Let me be clear, we would not make one of the 7-inch tablets," Cook said during the company's third-quarter earnings call. "We don't think they're good products, and we would never make one."

Cook reiterated what Apple's Phil Schiller said during Tuesday's iPad mini unveiling: apps look horrible on 7-inch tablets like the Google Nexus 7 .

October 5, 2012

Apple, Tim Cook Pay Tribute to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs iPhone 4S

 Apple today replaced its homepage with a moving video tribute to its co-founder, Steve Jobs, who passed away a year ago today.

Current CEO Tim Cook also penned a short note in remembrance of Jobs, noting that his passing was a "sad and difficult time for all of us."

"I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place," Cook wrote.

Jobs's greatest gift, Cook continued, is Apple. "No other company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our value originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future."

Apple's continued work on products that customers love is "a wonderful tribute to Steve's memory and everything he stood for," Cook concluded.

May 30, 2012

Tim Cook Promises ‘Great Stuff,’ Siri Update

Tim Cook D10Tim Cook opened the Wall Street Journal's D10 conference last night with a discussion that touched on Siri, manufacturing in the U.S., Steve Jobs, and what we might see from Apple in the future.

On that point, actually, Cook was - not surprisingly - rather tight lipped. Apple is "going to introduce some great stuff. I think you're going to love it," Cook said, as reported by PCMag's Michael Miller, who is covering D10.

Will that include an Apple-branded TV set? Cook refused to say, but he acknowledged that Apple was interested in improving the TV experience. Don't expect any original programming from Cupertino, however; Cook said Apple should partner with content creators instead of directly creating or funding content.

Whatever comes out of Apple, the company will be "doubling down" on product secrecy, Cook promised.


"Customers love it," Cook said. It's one of the most popular iPhone 4S features, and he promised upgrades over the next few months.

April 6, 2012

Biographer: Larry Page is Wrong, Steve Jobs Really Hated Google

Google's Larry Page caused a stir last week when he said that the anger Steve Jobs expressed over Android was just "for show" and that the late Apple co-founder was actually a nice guy at heart. Not so, Walter Isaacson insisted Wednesday—Jobs really was the boiling cauldron of "thermonuclear" fury depicted in Isaacson's authorized biography.

Page stirred up quite a hornet's nest when, in an interview with Forbes, Google's chief executive dismissed Jobs' angry criticism of Android as merely a tactic to get Apple employees to "rally around" a rivalry with a competitor. That take seemed at odds with what Jobs pretty plainly said about Android in Isaacson's best-selling biography of the iconic tech leader, and it also didn't endear Page to Apple fans much when he added that Google was above such tawdry motivational methods, anyway.

Now, in what's probably the closest approximation to the Marshall McLuhan scene in Annie Hall that we can hope for now that Jobs himself is gone, Isaacson has weighed in. The biographer told a crowd at the Royal Institute in London on Wednesday that Jobs meant exactly what he said in Isaacson's biography, according to MacWorld UK. In case you've forgotten what that was, All Things D helpfully points to the expletive-laced money quote:

"Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you f**king ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.' Grand theft. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Google's products—Android, Google Docs—are s**t."

March 28, 2012

Report: Steve Jobs Didn’t Like the Name ‘Siri’

Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, was notoriously opinionated, and one thing he didn't like was the name Siri, the voice assistant app on the iPhone 4S.

Dag Kittlaus, one of Siri's co-founders, said in a recent talk that while Jobs saw promise in the technology behind Siri, he wasn't thrilled about the name, Network World reports.

Kittlaus, who ran Siri as a standalone app before it was acquired by Apple, explained why he was drawn to the word.

"Siri means in Norwegian, 'beautiful woman who leads you to victory,'" he said. "I worked with a lady named Siri in Norway and wanted to name my daughter Siri and the domain was available. And also consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell, is easy to say."

Kittlaus' first child, however, was a boy and he wasn't given the moniker.

Jobs remained skeptical; he wanted a better name, though in the end he stuck with Siri. Interestingly enough, as Network World points out, Jobs was similarly on the fence about the names "iMac" and "iPod," but failed to find a better option.

February 9, 2012

FBI’s Steve Jobs File Tackles ‘Reality Distortion Field,’ Drug Use

steve jobs

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday released the background check it conducted on Steve Jobs more than 20 years ago, and like many profiles of the Apple co-founder, it painted him as highly intelligent and driven, but a bit of a jerk.

The FBI was looking into Jobs because he was being considered for a position on then-President George H.W. Bush's Export Council. Agents interviewed at least three dozen people about Jobs, from family and friends to co-workers and enemies.

While the majority of those interviewed acknowledged his intellect and business savvy, they noted that his "reality distortion field" was often in full effect.

"Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals," the 191-page document states.

Several of those interviewed also mentioned the fact that Jobs essentially abandoned his daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, for many years before reconciling years later. They also answered questions about his drug use.