October 5, 2011 will go down as one of the most bittersweet moments in technology history. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs passed away at 56, a sad end to a magnificent careeer.
Jobs wowed us. The man is the Walt Disney of the technology space – funny, in a way, as he's also Disney's largest shareholder. Apple, Pixar, Disney – three technology icons synonymous with magic.
I can't claim to have known Jobs personally. What I, and we, have seen of him, has been in carefully managed stage appearances over the years, with Jobs rolling out product after product that defined and launched industries, and prompted countless imitations. The Chinese even copied Apple's stores.
I remember how incredibly annoyed I was at Computex, wandering the halls and seeing row after row of candy-colored hardware, virtually everything that you could think of. I remember complaining to the guy who was on the stool next to mine at the hotel bar. Seriously, I said, is this the future? Watermelon-colored computers? And this Taiwanese guy, not even in technology, said something that's stuck with me: "Only until Apple invents whatever's next."
Here's the full text of the note:
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
We are deeply saddened to report that Steve Jobs, the man who revolutionized Apple, and by extension, the way we interact with technology, has died. Steve took a medical leave of absence from Apple this past January, and then resigned as CEO just recently. His incredible vision and leadership will be missed by many. If you'd like to send thoughts, memories, or condolences, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pre-order the only authorized Steve Jobs biography on Amazon now. It should be an amazing read.
Steve Jobs might be alive and kicking, but those responsible for posting a Twitter message suggesting otherwise have suddenly found a new death on their hands to talk about: The death of their Web show's affiliation with CBSNews.com.
The Twitter account for the web show "What's Trending" was responsible for the Friday Twitter message: "Reports say that Steve Jobs has passed away. Stay tuned for more updates." The problem? Jobs sure wasn't dead.
The show attempted to cover its bases by disavowing the death report minutes later, but armies of users retweeting the update had already cast the unconfirmed report out into cyberspace. And CBS was left to mop up the egg on its face–even though What's Trending shares no newsgathering partnership with the company, plenty of news reports started to attribute the erroneous tweet to, "a CBS Twitter account."
A story broke late yesterday about Steve Jobs being seen attending the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, the same center where actor Patrick Swayze sought treatment before his death. The source: The National Enquirer.
Given the source, the claim is questionable, though the Enquirer has been right about matters surrounding secretive public figures before (as former presidential candidate John Edwards can attest). Radar Online says it has confirmed the story, but it didn't say how.
Given that we know Jobs is currently on medical leave from Apple, and that he's had cancer before, the report that Jobs may be seeking treatment at a cancer center isn't surprising. The Enquirer even has photos of what it says is Jobs, supposedly looking extremely thin. A few sites have posted some of the photos, though it's hard to tell how thin the person is, or if he's just wearing baggy clothing.
The Enquirer report takes some big leaps, however, on the scant evidence. Enlisting two doctors, who have never even met Jobs, to make a diagnosis based on what's in the photos, the Enquirer says Jobs may have lost large portion of his muscle mass and probably has just "weeks to live."