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Judge Rules Steve Jobs’ iPod Deposition Video Won’t Be Released to Public

If you were hoping you’d get to see Steve Jobs’ video testimony that was such a key part of the recent iPod antitrust trial, District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wants you to cast those hopes aside. Members of the media had been insisting on getting access to the tape despite significant opposition from Apple (and the plaintiffs, for that matter), but the judge ruled that Jobs’ testimony will be treated as any other live testimony.

In other words, since live testimonies aren’t recorded and released to the media, then Jobs’ testimony shouldn’t be either. The video itself was taped in 2011, just months before Jobs’ death in October of that year, and it represents one of the Apple co-founder’s last appearances on film. In it, Jobs states his reasons for Apple’s air-tight digital rights management system, claiming that it was to ensure the numerous contracts the company had signed would remain valid. The fact that users couldn’t play music for stores like RealNetworks, Jobs says, was just “collateral damage.”

The video reportedly shows Jobs in an “snarky” mood, and at one point he reportedly (via CNN) asks if RealNetworks still exists. Jobs also proved evasive for most of the interview, saying things like “I don’t remember” and “I don’t recall” 74 times throughout the testimony. Jobs’ physical condition was rapidly deteriorating at the time, but the video reportedly shows his mind was as sharp as ever.

Rogers said that her decision might have been different if Apple hadn’t been so strongly opposed to the release, but there are sound legal grounds for keeping it off the public record as well. Releasing Jobs’ testimony would provide a precedent in which other taped testimonies by high-profile figures could be broadcast beyond the court, thereby possibly dissuading similar individuals in the future from providing their own testimonies if they thought they’d be released to the press.

Transcriptions of the video are, in fact, in the public record, and Judge Rogers found these adequate.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Morning Report: Apple.com + PayPal, More on Jobs Biopic, Adobe Acquires Fotolia

Steve Jobs silhouette

The seemingly troubled Steve Jobs biopic now being produced at Universal Pictures apparently wasn’t always so complicated, as newly leaked emails from the Sony hack reveal in our Friday Morning Report. We’ve also got details on a new Adobe pickup, and the addition of PayPal to Apple’s Online Store, so get ready for the weekend by clicking ahead, won’t you…?

Sony Hack Highlights Better Days on Steve Jobs Biopic

The Verge reported yesterday that Sony’s massive security breach has turned up  treasure trove of information about the studio’s Steve Jobs biopic, which has since wound up in the hands of Universal Pictures. During its tenure with Sony, the studio wooed director David Fincher, who screenwriter Aaron Sorkin had worked so successfully with on the Facebook saga The Social Network — and earlier this year, the filmmaker had nothing but praise for the project.

“Is great. It’s a play, but a really quicksilver, cinematic one,” Fincher wrote in a February 23 email to studio head Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. “I would think you would want to cast and rehearse very carefully (couple months). Shoot very quickly. (4 or 5 weeks — 8 days per ACT??) The venues would be easy (we could probably find them all in town). Editing is where we would spend time. Can SONY market a ONE MAN SHOW(?)”

Sorkin, who adapted the screenplay from the Walter Isaacson biography, previously divulged that the film would take place across three major scenes, each marking a major product launch (presumably Mac, iPod, and iPhone?). A March email references only four actual shooting locations: “Two auditoriums, a restaurant and a garage,” with a later missive specifically mentioning Symphony Hall in San Francisco, where Steve Jobs famously unveiled the NeXT after being banished from Apple.

Jobs’ official biographer also weighed in on the completed screenplay earlier this year, telling producer Rudin the script was “totally awesome… I have a tear in my eye having just finished. I was deeply moved by the narrative arc and by the beautiful end. I loved the line, ‘No way she’s not my kid,’” Isaacson wrote, apparently in reference to Job’s daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

US, UK Apple Online Stores Now Accepting PayPal Payments

Here’s one of those obvious decisions that for whatever reason wasn’t made until now: Re/code reported Thursday that Apple’s online stores in the United States and United Kingdom are now accepting eBay-owned PayPal as a payment option. The move makes complete sense given that PayPal can be used to pay for iTunes and App Store content, and Apple.com has also offered the PayPal Credit (formerly Bill Me Later) financing option for quite some time, which allows shoppers the option of interest-free payments spread out over as long as 18 months, depending upon the amount purchased.

Adobe Acquires Stock Photo Marketplace Fotolia

Adobe announced Thursday a deal to acquire Fotolia, described in a press release as “a leading marketplace for royalty-free photos, images, graphics and HD video.” The approximately 0 million cash acquisition is intended to bulk up the content offerings for Adobe Creative Cloud, whose more than 3.4 million current members will soon be able to “access and purchase over 34 million images and videos” from the online marketplace.

In a separate blog post yesterday, Adobe also announced an update to the Creative Cloud Libraries feature launched at the Adobe MAX conference in early October. The feature has now gained new collaboration and management features, allowing users to share assets and content libraries with colleagues in just a few clicks. The update is available immediately from the Creative Cloud Desktop software.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of Mashable.com)



Jeff Daniels Reportedly Joining Steve Jobs Film

The Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs biopic has had a tough time casting its lead role, locking in a director, or even sticking with a studio, but things finally appear to be falling into place. Now at Universal and with Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) directing, the film is reportedly adding Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) as former Apple CEO John Sculley.

Daniels has recently worked with Sorkin on HBO’s The Newsroom, which landed the actor an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2013. His involvement in the Jobs project has yet to be finalized, but an official offer “is expected to materialize soon.”

[Above right] Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom. [Above] John Sculley with Steve Jobs.

If Daniels agrees, he’ll likely join Michael Fassbender in the role of Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. Of course, there’s still a chance he might pass, as many actors already have. Natalie Portman reportedly turned down the chance to play Steve Jobs’s daughter Lisa, and Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and director David Fincher all walked away from the film.

Sorkin’s script focuses on the buildup behind three major product launches during Jobs’s career, which each segment taking around 30 minutes to watch. Despite its troubles, the production is still expected to start early next year.

Sorkin’s script is based on Water Isaacson’s acclaimed biography of Jobs that came out in 2011.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Morning Report: 12.2-Inch iPad Mockup on Video, Steve Jobs iPod Testimony

iPad Pro mockup on video

How big is too big for an iPad? Our Tuesday Morning Report has a followup on yesterday’s iPad Pro news, complete with a video comparing what such a device might look like compared to current iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro models. Steve Jobs is also making headlines again, as is his successor Tim Cook, who popped into Georgetown yesterday to commemorate World AIDS Day. Click to read all the details!

Rumored Larger iPad Sized Up Against Current Apple Devices

Yesterday, we reported on the publication of potential schematics for a so-called “iPad Air Plus” or “iPad Pro,” reportedly a 12.2-inch edition of Apple’s popular tablet that could debut as early as next spring. On Tuesday, MacRumors reported that a YouTube user named Canoopsy actually went to the trouble of not only creating a mockup of just such a device, but also showing how it might look next to current-generation iPads, and even a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The minute-and-a-half video reveals such a super-sized tablet would easily dwarf existing iPhone 6, iPad Air, and iPad mini models, but nearly matches the screen size of the MacBook Pro. The video also rightfully questions why Apple would even consider a tablet estimated at 12 ins. x 8.7 ins. x 0.28 ins., which is rumored to feature a new A9 processor and dual top and bottom speakers for improved stereo sound.

iPod Class Action Suit Makes Steve Jobs a Star Witness

Tuesday marks the beginning of yet another class action lawsuit against Apple, this time over older iPods capable of only playing music ripped from CDs or purchased on the iTunes Store, which plaintiffs say violated antitrust laws. According to The New York Times, attorneys plan to use emails and a videotaped deposition from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to help make their case.

“We will present evidence that Apple took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers,” explained Bonny Sweeney, the lead attorney for the plaintiff.

The potential damages could wind up costing Apple upwards of 0 million thanks to damning emails from Jobs such as a now-public 2003 missive where the late CEO questioned how the iPod maker could keep content purchased from up-and-coming services like Musicmatch off its coveted music players.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits D.C. Store for World AIDS Day

Apple really, really wanted to raise awareness on Monday for World AIDS Day, so Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook hit the streets of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., where he made an appearance yesterday at the company’s retail store there. According to 9to5Mac, Cook was accompanied by (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan, and both of them tweeted photos of the event on their respective Twitter accounts to celebrate.

Dugan noted that Apple has raised million (“and counting”) for the cause thus far, although that number reportedly dates back to June, well before the ongoing (RED) campaign for the holidays. Apple also sent a rare push notification to iOS devices on Monday with a brief message to “get great apps and help (RED) fight AIDS,” which caused some users to complain the iPhone maker was abusing the system to send unwanted, opt-out spam.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of YouTube and Canoopsy)



Morning Report: Sony Dumps Steve Jobs Biopic, WALTR for Mac, Lightroom 5.7

Steve Jobs

Hollywood loved former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but Sony just can’t seem to get an official screen adaptation of the iconic figure’s life off the ground. Our Thursday Morning Report has details on how Sony grounded the high-flying project and what happens next, along with a nifty new Mac app for syncing video and music, plus an update to Adobe Lightroom.

Steve Jobs Biopic Axed by Sony, Could Land at Universal

The official big screen adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s biography on the life of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs appears to be going through a rough patch in recent weeks after losing both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale for the lead role. Now the entire project could be in jeopardy, at least with the studio where it all started.

According to The Hollywood Reporter
, the unnamed Steve Jobs movie has been placed into “turnaround,” a fancy Tinseltown way of kicking the project out the door. With a script from The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle attached, producers Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon, and Guymon Casady are reportedly now scrambling to set the project up at Universal instead.

The report claims the project hit a wall when Boyle pushed for a January start date, while Sony planned to get production underway later in 2015. Michael Fassbender appears to be the frontrunner to play Jobs, but is committed to shooting X-Men: Apocalypse in the spring, which would likely take him out of the running had Sony gotten its way.

WALTR for Mac Aims to Make iTunes Media Sync Obsolete

After more than seven years, one of the most maddening things about owning an iOS device continues to be the rigid format restrictions for syncing movies, TV shows, and music with iTunes. Prefer MKV or AVI video, or FLAC audio formats? Sorry, you’ll need to convert them to MP4 first, or rely on a third-party app to play them back.

As first noted by MacRumors on Wednesday, a new Mac app called WALTR takes all of this pain away with a simple drag-and-drop interface that skips iTunes entirely. Plug in a device, launch WALTR, and drag nearly any media file onto the application — including normally unsupported formats like MKV, AVI, FLAC, and CUE — and within a few moments, that media is ready to play in the native iOS Videos or Music app.

WALTR is available as a free 14-day demo from publisher Softorino, who is currently discounting a single lifetime license key at only .97 (normally .95); a five-pack is also available for only .97.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 5.7, Camera Raw 8.7

Adobe announced the release of Lightroom 5.7 on Wednesday, along with an update to Camera Raw 8.7. Available for download from Adobe.com, Creative Cloud Desktop, or the in-application update, Lightroom 5.7 now includes the previously available Aperture import tool, as well as improvements to Synced Collections that make it easier to share images and manage comments or likes from friends and family.

Camera Raw 8.7 is also available for owners of Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop CC, with improvements to batch processing images, new camera and lens profile support, and the requisite round of bug fixes. Photoshop CS6 users also receive DNG Converter 8.7 as part of the same update.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


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