Jobs Concerns

I'm concerned about two kinds of jobs. In this economy, I worry about just how many will be laid off. But I'm also fretting about Steve Jobs. You've probably heard that Mr. Jobs is taking a six-month leave of absence as his health is poor.

No one besides those in Jobs' inner circle knows what's really wrong, but I'm nervous that health issues could keep a true leader out of the loop. Jobs' real talent is his unrelenting attention to detail. Products have to be -- or at least must try to be -- perfect before they're foisted on a fickle public. It's the same approach that makes a truly great wine great, or a movie something you'll watch again and again.

I hope Jobs returns later this year, but in his absence, perhaps other high-tech execs can adopt the same discipline that makes Apple great.

Is Apple Cool?
Recently, I asked if Microsoft was cool -- and in particular, if Microsoft was cool enough to sell a line of T-shirts. Your reactions were mixed, but plenty of you think that Redmond, in fact, is pretty cool.

Now it's time to turn it around and ask if Apple is cool. Think about it: The Mac is an entirely closed proprietary system. The iPod is an entirely closed proprietary system. The iPhone is an entirely closed proprietary system. And Apple has been known to sue bloggers just for writing about its unreleased products, something I've never seen Microsoft do.

Nor have I seen Apple try to cure malaria, cancer and AIDS, all of which Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are working on -- free of charge. To learn more about how Microsoft is trying to save the world, check this out.

Now satire site The Onion is wondering if Apple is cool or just another cog in the computer establishment. It ran a piece called "Apple Employee Fired for Thinking Different." Here, fake Apple employee Brent Barlow got pink-slipped for listening to Bob Dylan and walking around barefoot.

Is there a ring of truth to this parody? Who's cooler: Apple or Microsoft? And how cool or uncool is your workplace? Vote at [email protected].

Stupid or Stupendous?
I just got a press release about the Mobigrip. What's a Mobigrip? It's a little round item with adhesive attached to a loop. You attach the round thing to a cell phone or some other hand-held device and put the loop around your finger. Voila! You won't drop and break that $500 iPhone!

The idea may have come from the Wii controller. Remember when players would get so excited bowling or boxing that the controllers would fly out of their hands and into the TV screen? But I'm not sure how many of us will loop this beauty around our fingers every time we pick up the phone. 

If you think this idea is dy-no-mite, click here.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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