One of the best ways of finding amazing stories is making shit up and then hoping that it really does exist and then searching for it.
How Steve Jobs Reacted to Execs Leaving Apple
There’s an amusing little anecdote about how Steve Jobs dealt with departing employees in Brad Stone’s new book about Amazon:
[Jeff] Bezos hired the suave, Italian-born [Diego] Piacentini in early 2000 to take the top spot running Amazon’s international operations. Piacentini’s old boss Steve Jobs had expressed incredulity at the move in his typically strident way. Over lunch in the Apple cafeteria in Cupertino, Jobs asked Piacentini why he would possibly want to go to a boring retailer when Apple was in the process of reinventing computing. Then in the same breath, Jobs suggested that maybe the career move revealed that Piacentini was so dumb that it was a good thing he was leaving Apple.
Leaves are giving up, like newspapers, becoming insolvent all over the streets.
The Road the iPhone Travels to Get to You
Bloomberg has a great behind-the-scenes look at how an iPhone gets from suppliers in China to Apple stores:
The process starts in China, where pallets of iPhones are moved from factories in unmarked containers accompanied by a security detail. The containers are then loaded onto trucks and shipped via pre-bought airfreight space, including on old Russian military transports.
Death of a Typewriter Repairman
The New York Times has a beautiful obit about a typewriter repairman. It includes this great quote:
“I don’t even know what a computer is,” Mr. Whitlock told The Yale Daily News, the student paper, in 2010. “I’ve heard about them a lot, but I don’t own one, and I don’t want one to own me.”
Can Google Glass Free Us From the Tyranny of Screens?
My general feeling is that the closer technology comes to our faces, the more it starts to distract from us living in the moment. But a recent New York Times feature reveals that the designers behind Google Glass hope to achieve the opposite:
Every Glass designer I spoke to insisted that it wasn’t something you were supposed to stare at, zoning out on videos or playing games or reading while ignoring those around you. The expressed hope was that by giving people a quick way to check e-mail and text messages — and to find quick answers while on the go — Glass would encourage them to spend less time, not more, staring at screens. There were technical imperatives at work, too: the device has a short battery life (the screen usually turns off after only a few seconds of inactivity). “We should not be competing with the world,” says Antonio Costa, a Google designer who works on Glass. “We would lose.”
Still, I can’t help but feel that those who use products like Glass risk turning the entire world into a screen. We’ll see, I guess.
What Miley Cyrus Can Teach Us About the State of Online Journalism
Plenty of people question the strategy of publications covering stories like Miley Cyrus “twerking” at the VMAs. Andrew Wallenstein at Variety offered some much-needed perspective on why publications really resort to this strategy:
As extensive as the Cyrus coverage is, it is a cheap and quick way to yield great results–the polar opposite of Syria coverage, which is likely expensive, time-consuming and an inconsistent audience draw.
But that’s where those who cherish the Syria coverage need to understand that Cyrus doesn’t detract from Syria; it actually bears the weight of traffic demands that Syria shouldn’t be expected to meet. Thus Cyrus is helping shoulder the cost of more substantial coverage that Syria can’t possibly meet on its own.
Read the full article here.
Print will never die if cats have anything to say about it
For Jeff Bezos, Amazon is Just a Way to Kill Time
The Washington Post has an excellent profile of its new owner — even though Bezos declined to comment for the piece. It’s worth a read in its entirety, but there’s one surprising quote from an early Amazon employee towards the end of the article that stands out:
“I asked Jeff during my interview why he was building the company. He said: ‘I am really interested in space exploration, but the truth is it’s some number of years off. I see this [Amazon] as a really interesting thing to do in the meantime.’ ”
If you take that at face value, Bezos has basically built up a $130 billion business just to kill time until he can get started on his real passion.
Read the full article here.
NPR’s Scott Simon Inspires Twitter Users to Describe Their Loved Ones’ Final Days
By now, you’ve probably (hopefully) seen the many tweets that NPR’s Scott Simon has posted in recent days about his ailing mother.
Much has already been written about Simon’s decision to live tweet such a personal episode, but one thing that has struck me is how Simon has inspired others on Twitter to post about their own experiences caring for a dying loved one.
This is not the kind of talk you usually hear on Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter.
@nprscottsimon when my mom was dying, I was so upset she’d never see the ocean again. she told me “all I want to see is here in this room.”— pnuts mama (@pnuts_mama) July 29, 2013
@nprscottsimon was there in that room in that way with my mother exactly two years ago. all I can tell you is that it doesn’t end. she stays— walter kirn (@walterkirn) July 29, 2013
@nprscottsimon When my mom was in hospice, we played Nat all the time for her.— Kathleen Schmidt (@Bookgirl96) July 29, 2013
@nprscottsimon Why my aunt was dying, my children and I got massive pieces of paper and traced our arms so we could wrap her with our hugs.— Jen Lee Reeves (@jenleereeves) July 29, 2013
@nprscottsimon My mom taught me enough for a 2nd lifetime the last few weeks of her life. It’s a blessing that you are there. Have a Kleenex— L Halse Anderson (@halseanderson) July 27, 2013