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Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs to unveil The Daily on Jan. 19

ipad-news-corp-the-daily-newspaper-subscription-rupert-murdochSteve Jobs will join News Corps. CEO Rupert Murdoch next week to announce the launch of The Daily for the iPad, according to Yahoo’s blog The Cutline. The event is expected to take place at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, January 19, but the date may change according to the report. Neither News Corps. nor Apple have officially acknowledged that the event is taking place.

Reports that News Corps. was working on a tablet publication first appeared late last summer. In late November of last year, we learned that Murdoch’s publication was going to be named “The Daily” and would be offered for the weekly subscription price of $0.99. It’s expected that The Daily will debut first for Apple’s iPad with launches possible for other tablet platforms occurring at a later dates.

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Murdoch has  invested heavily in the project, reportedly committing $30 million to The Daily’s development. The project is being run by former New York Post editor Jesse Angelo and is backed by a cadre of seasoned journalists.

Despite the investment in both money and personnel, a subscription-based iPad publication is far from a sure fire hit. But even a small degree of success would go a long way in proving that old media may have reason to be hopeful about the burgeoning tablet market.

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Was Dennis Ritchie more important than Steve Jobs?

Computing pioneer Dennis Ritchie died this past weekend at age 70, becoming the second technology giant to pass within a week — the other, of course, being Apple's Steve Jobs. Although Jobs was unquestionably the better-known figure, Ritchie was the creator of the C programming language and one of the primary developers of the Unix operating system, both of which have had profound impacts on modern technology. Unix and C lie at the heart of everything from Internet servers to mobile phones, set-top boxes and software. They have exerted tremendous influence on almost all current languages and operating systems. And, these days, computers are everywhere.
The coinciding events lead to an obvious question: Who was more important to modern technology, Ritchie or Jobs? It's a classic apples-to-oranges question… but the search for an answer sheds a bit of light on what lead to the high-tech revolution and all the cool toys we have today.
Dennis Ritchie, Unix, and C
Dennis Ritchie was a computer scientist in the truest definition: He earned a degree in physics and applied mathematics from Harvard in the the 1960s and followed his father to work at Bell Labs, which was one of the hotbeds of tech development in the United States. By 1968 Ritchie had completed his Ph.D., and from 1969 to 1973 he developed the C programming language for use with the then-fledgling Unix operating system. The language was named C because it developed out of another language called B, created by Ken Thompson (with some input from Ritchie) for use with Multics, a Unix precursor. So, yes, even the name is geeky.

Both Multics and Unix were developed for early minicomputers. Of course, they were "mini" in name only: Back in the early 1970s, a "minicomputer" was a series of cabinets that dominated a room, made more noise than an asthmatic air conditioner, and had five- and six-figure price tags. The processing and storage capacities of those systems are utterly dwarfed by commonplace devices today: An average calculator or mobile phone has thousands-to-millions of times the storage and processing capability of those minicomputers. Minicomputers' memory and storage constraints meant that, if you wanted to develop a multitasking operating system that could run several programs at once, you needed a very, very efficient implementation language.
Initially, that language was assembly: low-level, processor-specific languages that have a nearly one-to-one mapping with machine language, the actual instructions executed by computer processors. (Basically, when people think of utterly incomprehensible screens of computer code, they're thinking of assembler and machine code.) Ritchie's C enabled programmers to write structured, procedural programs using a high-level language without sacrificing much of the efficiency of assembler. C offers low-level memory access, requires almost no run-time support from an operating system, and compiles in ways that map very well to machine instructions.
If that were all C did, it probably would have been little more than a fond footnote in the history of minicomputers, alongside things like CPL, PL/I, and ALGOL. However, the Unix operating system was being designed to be ported to different hardware platforms, and so C was also developed with hardware portability in mind. The first versions of Unix were primarily coded in assembler, but by 1973 Unix had been almost completely rewritten in C. The portability turned out to be C's superpower: Eventually, a well-written program in standard C could be compiled across an enormous range of computer hardware platforms with virtually no changes — in fact, that's still true today. As a result, C compilers are available for virtually every computer hardware platform today and for the last three decades, and learning C is still a great way to get into programming for a huge number of platforms. C remains one of the most widely-used programming languages on the planet.
The popularity of C was tied tightly to the popularity of Unix, along with its many offshoots and descendants. Today, you see Unix not only in the many distributions of Linux (liked Red Hat and Ubuntu) but also at the core of Android as well as Apple's iOS and Mac OS X. However, Ritchie made another tremendous contribution to C's popularity as the co-author with Brian Kernighan of The C Programming Language, widely known as the "K&R." For at least two generations of computer programmers, the K&R was the definitive introduction to not just C, but to compilers and general structured programming. The K&R was first published in 1978, and despite being a slim volume, set the standard for excellence in both content and quality. And if you've ever wondered why almost every programming reference or tutorial starts out with a short program that displays "Hello world"… just know it all started with K&R.
To be sure, neither Unix nor C are beyond criticism: Ritchie himself noted "C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success." Both C and Unix were developed for use by programmers and engineers with brevity and efficiency in mind. There's almost nothing user-friendly or accessible about either Unix or C. If you want to stun non-technical computer users into cowed silence, a Unix command prompt or a page of C code are guaranteed to do the job. C's low-level power can also be its Achilles Heel: for instance, C (and derivatives like C++) offer no bounds-checking or other protection against buffer overflows — which means many of the potential security exploits common these days can often be traced back to C… or, at least, to programmers using C and its descendants. Good workmen don't blame their tools, right?
But the simple fact is that Unix and C spawned an incredibly broad and diverse ecosystem of technology. Microcontrollers, security systems, GPS, satellites, vehicle systems, traffic lights, Internet routers, synthesizers, digital cameras, televisions, set-top boxes, Web servers, the world's fastest supercomputers — and literally millions of other things… the majority descend from work done by Dennis Ritchie. And that includes a ton of computers, smartphones, and tablets — and the components within them.
Steve Jobs and the rest of us
Steve Jobs' legacy is (and will continue to be) well-documented elsewhere: As co-founder and long-time leader of Apple, as well as a technology and business celebrity enveloped in a cult of personality, Jobs' impact on the modern technology world is indisputable.
However, Jobs' contributions are an interesting contrast to Ritchie's. Ritchie was about a decade-and-a-half older than Jobs, and got started in technology at a correspondingly earlier date: When Ritchie started, there was no such thing as a personal computer. Although a perfectionist with a keen eye for design and usability — and, of course, a charismatic showman — Jobs was neither a computer scientist nor an engineer, and didn't engage in much technical work himself.

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How Steve Jobs changed everything, and what we’ll miss without him

As the entire technology industry remembers Steve Jobs fondly, I can't help but fear for its future. Without Steve Jobs, the the tech and entertainment industries would be no where near as vibrant as they are today. And without his unique ability to execute new ideas and push the tech industry where it needs to go, we'll all be a little worse off. 
 The Onion may have been joking around in its story: "Last American Who Knew What The F**k He Was Doing Dies," but there's a scary aura of truth to the paper's words: "Jobs will be remembered both for the life-changing products he created and for the fact that he was able to sit down, think clearly, and execute his ideas — attributes he shared with no other U.S. citizen." This is satire, but it might be a little bit true. 
To look forward, it's sometimes best to take a look back. Here are some of the ways Jobs changed the world in the last 35 years, and some thoughts on how the the future will be different, perhaps worse, without him.
Inventing the PC
In 1976, Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, invented the personal computer with the Apple I, and in 1977 they introduced the Apple II, which has been hailed as one of the first true PCs. There were other computers, but he alone envisioned a future where everybody could afford a PC and used them on a regular basis. He always imagined an easy-to-use computer for the everyday person.
With the 1984 introduction of the Macintosh, Jobs and Apple were among the first to see the value in the mouse and graphical user interface. Without his vision, I would not be typing this article on a Windows machine today. Users of all computer operating systems owe something to Jobs. Without him, we might not have had the PC revolution at all, and assuming it did happen, who knows what the tech world would look like for ordinary people today.
Rethinking the movie industry
In the 90s, Jobs was instrumental in revolutionizing the use of computer graphics in film. Through his work at Pixar, he set new standards for CGI, helped save Disney's animation department, set new standards for what a family film could be, and created the most consistently critically acclaimed and high-grossing film studio ever.
"Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend, and the guiding light of the Pixar family," said Lasseter and Catmull after hearing news of Jobs' passing. "He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer-animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great.' He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity, and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar's DNA."
As Daniel Terdiman of Cnet notes in an excellent retrospective look at Jobs' work at Pixar, the studio wasn't the first to work on CGI, but it was the company that got it right and taught everybody else how to do it. Pixars movies continue to set the standard today. Though he partnered with Disney, Jobs saw that Pixar could one day become bigger than Disney. With hit films like Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Monsters Inc., in many ways it did.

"Steve's major impact was on the strategic direction of the company," said David Price, author of The Pixar Touch. "He had the crucial insight that Pixar could one day be the equal of the Walt Disney Company in animation. He made this vision a reality by overseeing the IPO of Pixar stock in 1995, a week after Toy Story was released. He foresaw that if they had that capital, it would give them the independence to create a body of work and to become a brand that would become as powerful in entertainment as Disney. He was very explicit about this."
When Disney bought Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion, Pixar chiefs John Lasseter and Ed Catmull took over the entire Disney animation department and have significant sway over a large portion of Disney properties now, including the design of theme-park rides. At the time of the buyout, Steve Jobs' only warning to Disney was that it shouldn't turn Pixar into a house of sequels, and instead keep the focus on quality over quantity. In the five years since, Disney has doubled Pixar's output to two films a year (still in the process of happening) and the studio is working on more sequels than original movies. Cars 2 was it's lowest rated film ever, from a critical standpoint. Without Steve, will Pixar change Disney, or Disney change Pixar?
The digital store
Even with Steve Jobs' influence, the music industry continues to doggedly stick with physical distribution and fight new types of digital distribution, but without him, who knows where we'd be. Back in 2001, after a sea of litigation over Napster and file sharing, Jobs unveiled the Apple iPod, a completely rethought MP3 player with a new type of interface. Two years later, when the industry still had no good solution for downloading music, Jobs introduced the iTunes music store, which let users connect their iPods directly with their computers and access a library of more than a million songs. It was the combination of unique hardware and software that finally gave consumers a way to purchase and own thousands of albums without having to carry thousands of physical CDs around with them.

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Steve Jobs masterminds his exit: So what happens to Apple now?

The day all Apple fans have been dreading has finally arrived: Steve Jobs has announced his resignation. He will no longer run Apple's day-to-day operations. And upon Jobs' recommendation, Tim Cook has been officially voted in as Apple's new CEO, a role he has held since January, filling in for Jobs as he's dealt with a mysterious health issue, possibly related to his ongoing struggles with pancreatic cancer. It was the third time Cook filled in for the tech pioneer, meaning he's likely quite comfortable in the CEO chair and Apple employees are used to him being there.
Jobs is not stepping out of the company entirely, however. The 56-year-old Apple co-founder is now Apple's new Chairman of the Board, somewhat mimicking the move Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made after he stepped out of the CEO position at Microsoft in 2000.
So what happens today?
Assuming Apple executives and employees don't begin leaving the company en mass, and fans don't begin rioting at Apple Stores across the country, today will be a normal day for Apple. And so will tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on and so on. We suspect that Apple will continue to dominate the smartphone market and, thanks to the success of the iPad, it may soon announce that it's now the number one PC manufacturer in the world, stealing that title from the hands of HP, which is going through its own set of changes.
Steve Jobs masterminds his own exit
Steve Jobs isn't leaving anything to chance. Though he's been poor in health all year, he didn't stop appearing at Apple's large product announcements, though his appearances have grown shorter throughout the year. He even made sure to pitch his idea for Apple's new spaceship headquarters to the Cupertino, CA, city hall, so we all know who came up with the crazy idea. Sadly, we didn't realize it might be his last public pitch.
Or was it? We may be experiencing Jobs' masterful manipulation right now. While his letter indicates that Jobs only just made the decision to step down, his timing couldn't be better for Apple. The decision was announced at the end of the day on a Wednesday, traditionally one the most boring days of the week. The stock price instantly dropped a bit, but not by much because Apple instantly followed Steve's recommendation, voting Tim Cook in as CEO and he as Chairman of the Board. By letting Tim Cook learn the ropes as acting CEO for nine months, Jobs has allowed him to preside over two quarters of record growth for the company, giving investors little reason to worry about Cook's ability to manage the company's daily operations.
Then there's the timing of the transition itself. Apple put off debuting its new iPhone model(s) in June this year, the first change in schedule since the product launched in 2007. Rumors indicate that the new phone will be unveiled on Sept. 7. By announcing his departure now, he's given us two weeks to worry about what Apple will be like without him, and then the company will unveil the iPhone 5, which we suspect may be pretty spectacular from all the rumors we've been hearing, and will probably debut on Sprint as well. 
Finally, after Apple begins selling millions of iPhone 5s, Steve Jobs: A Biography will hit shelves in Nov. 21, a book Steve has been crafting with writers for some time now. With Jobs freshly out of the CEO position, his biography will become a much greater seller than it otherwise would have been.
Say what you will about Steve Jobs, but even his departure is one of the most well-designed things we've ever seen.
Apple won't change for the next few years
Apple is a hardware company that plans ahead. It's highly likely that the next year or two of Apple products are already well into development and their releases are already planned out. Like always, Apple executives will monitor the market and determine just how quickly to push out their newest creations.
The entire executive team at Apple has been handpicked by Steve Jobs and will continue to work their magic in his absence, with each member bringing his own vital super skills to the table. Tim Cook, for instance, is the reason why you can buy an iPad for $500. Apple's new CEO has completely reworked Apple's supply chain since he joined the company in 1998. Under his management, Apple has become one of the most efficient manufacturers of consumer electronics products around. Thanks to his success, the Cupertino company has been able to offer well-constructed and innovative products like the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and MacBook Air at much lower prices than any other company.
With the iPad especially, Cook's guidance allowed Apple to bet big and buy up millions of 9.7-inch touchscreens at low prices, forcing competitors to bid on the remaining supply and pay more for screens. While we want more tablets at better prices, we have to admire the genius behind Apple's component dealings. The company is continually willing to put its money where its mouth is, spending billions to secure low-cost parts before a product has even proven itself.
Then there's Jonathan Ive. If you've seen Apple product in the last 15 years, you've seen his work. Ive is the Senior VP of Industrial Design at Apple. He's the guy in charge of hardware design and has worked closely with Jobs since he returned to Apple in 1997. Jobs actually discovered Ive in the basement of Apple. (NPR explains Ive's role well in this All Tech Considered piece.) Even though Jobs is not around every day, Ive is more than capable of retaining Apple's flair for simple, elegant hardware design.
These are only two of the many talented executives at Apple. Assuming they don't vacate, the company will be in good hands for the foreseeable future. And remember, Jobs may be out as CEO, but he could actually wield even more power as Apple's chairman. If Tim Cook wants to make any major changes at Apple, this action has to be approved by the board, of which Steve Jobs will organize and preside over. Typically, the chairman also acts as a spokesperson for an organization. We're not sure if Jobs will take up this role, but we wouldn't mind seeing him at a few more product unveilings.
Innovating after Steve leaves
While Apple is certainly set for the next few years, the company's ability to create entirely new markets by releasing innovative products is what separates it from every other consumer electronics company. The big question is: can Apple do this without the vision of Steve Jobs? To this, we do not know. While Apple likely won't innovate as well, the Cupertino company does have some things going for it: It will still have a legion of rabid fans ready to give its products the benefit of the doubt and it will still have an army of talented employees.

Steve Jobs has transformed Apple from a computer company into an enigma. Apple has been so consistent in its philosophy, and so effective with its execution, that it has an immense amount of goodwill. We can think of no other company that has been as hugely successful at creating a mystique around itself. From the stylized product announcements, to the huge glass retail stores, to the dead-on marketing campaigns, to the near-perfect realization of the products themselves, Apple has built an empire by promising the world to its users and then delivering it. As evidenced by his work creating Pixar, which could be the Apple of the film industry, Steve Jobs is heavily responsible for what Apple has become.
If it hopes to stave off becoming just another tech company, Apple will have to learn how to clearly see the computer and electronics market as Steve Jobs has and have a vision for where things are moving. Then it needs to deliver, and stick to that vision and make bold, smart choices. Nobody is safe in the world of computing. Just ask Microsoft, which is now struggling to combat the growing threat of Google.
Apple's long road ahead...
In its early days, Apple was responsible for making the personal computer a reality, introducing the mouse, and pushing the graphical user interface. Since Steve Jobs returned in 1997, the company has continually created entirely new markets. The iMac, OS X, iPod, iTunes, iPod Touch, iPhone, iTunes App Store, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Apple TV, and iPad are all examples of new products that spawned a sea of competition. We're hopeful that, 15 years from now, we'll be able to add a lot more 'i's to this list.

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