Another beautiful Steve Jobs Quote

And no, this is not by the man, but about the man.

And I want you all to give a hand to someone that you know whose health is very bad at this time. … His company took the challenge in making his technology accessible to everyone. In the spirit of caring and moving the world forward:  Steve Jobs. Because there’s nothing on the iPhone or the iPad that you can do that I can’t do. — Stevie Wonder, at a recent performance, thanks Steve Jobs for Apple’s work in making technology accessible to people with disabilities.

CLOO – a ridiculous idea !

I half-balked at AirBnB, but it looks like it took off. On hind-sight, maybe that was a good idea. You have a couple of rooms with a separate entrance. Rather than finding a rental tenant, you could probably make more money running it as a “hotel room”.

But, CLOO takes the ‘cake’. It is a similar idea for renting your bathroom. Really? You would let a stranger come and use your bathroom? The webpage paints a picture of a harried person in the middle of the city, desperately looking for a loo. I can understand the desperation in a country like India, where it is difficult to find a clean loo in some areas (this is improving big time by the way!). But, in American cities, atleast in a few that I have been to, I have not had this ‘desperation problem’. I would either find public toilets, or find a 7-11 or a gas station, and most are half decent – atleast for a desperate run !

Oh well, whatever.

Michael S. Hart R.I.P

Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects. He often told this story of how he had the idea for eBooks. He had been granted access to significant computing power at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4 1971, after being inspired by a free printed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he decided to type the text into a computer, and to transmit it to other users on the computer network. From this beginning, the digitization and distribution of literature was to be Hart’s life’s work, spanning over 40 years.

Michael Hart Obituary, Project Gutenberg page

Should I say more. This man was a pioneer. Hart, the father of ebooks and Project Gutenberg, rest in peace.

TC goes to Surface Garage

In which a Tech Crunch writer is invited to a Surface Garage in Microsoft HQ Seattle …

Devin Coldewey gets invited to a Garage meeting. For those not in the know, the Garage is a term that is used inside of Microsoft for groups of people who passionately develop independent software outside of working hours. This creative activity is highly encouraged by Microsoft. This particular invite was for a Surface Garage – ‘stuff’ that involved a Microsoft Surface.

Very nice article from Devin, where he gets super impressed with the cross-section of people who work on these side projects, and the amount of design details that go into writing a feature from scratch.

A snippet  –

Last was an interesting fusion of two innovative Microsoft products: the Surface and the Kinect. This is a sort of “morning briefing” app that is meant to run on your living room’s idle TV, which one can imagine may some day have a touch panel and depth sensing camera built in. Today it was an upright Surface 2.0 and a stock Kinect.

You always see people in movies set in the future talking to their computers, controlling them with a gesture, and so on. This is a small-scale attempt at something like that that people might actually use. When you’re at a distance, it displays large-granularity info like the weather, upcoming appointments, and so on. You can say “mail” and it’ll switch to email, or “calendar Wednesday” and it’ll switch to that. And when you approach, it senses your proximity with the Kinect and switches to a touchscreen mode where you can touch the news and email items and read them.

All put together by one guy, admittedly using APIs developed by hundreds, but a fun demonstration of what’s possible with the project right now.

For the full deal go [here].

Microsoft vs Apple

“For apple to be successful, we have to let go of a few things. One of the things that we need to let go, is the notion that, for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace the notion that, for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us, thats great, because we need all the help we can get. And if we screw up, and we dont do a good job, it is not someone else’s fault, it is our fault. So, if we want Microsoft Office for the Mac, we’d better treat the company that puts it out, with a little bit of gratitude. The era of setting up the stage as a competition between Microsoft and Apple is over, as far as I am concerned. ”

Steve Jobs, MacWorld 1997.

This was the time, when Gil Amelio was ousted, and Steve Jobs came back to Apple. Apple was close to bankruptcy. Microsoft bought some shares, which helped the company financially. A bunch of agreements got signed – including making IE as the default browser for Mac.

I (personally) think, Jobs showed a lot of maturity and humility in this speech. If you want to see the whole speech, see below.