Monthly Archives: August 2011

Egypt’s New Antiquities Minister

As part of the reshuffle in Egypt’s government, Dr. Zahi Hawass has been replaced as Antiquities Minister.  Mohamed Abdel Fattah has assumed the role.  Read more about the appointment HERE.


Leave a comment

Filed under History

Steve Jobs’ Greatest Speech

In 2005, Steve Jobs was selected to speak at commencement for Stanford University in 2005.  It is one of his greatest speeches:

1 Comment

Filed under Steve Jobs, Tech

Steve Jobs: The iCEO

In the wake of the resignation of Steve Jobs, the Internet community is acting as though they are at a funeral.  Steve Jobs is not dead. He merely resigned as CEO of Apple and has been voted Chairman of the Board of Directors.  I certainly understand why there is an outpouring of grief considering the circumstances surrounding his resignation and medical leave, but lets save the obituaries for when they are necessary.  Instead, we should celebrate what Steve Jobs was able to accomplish as CEO of Apple.

Steve returned to Apple in 1997 when the company purchased his tech firm NExT.  He had been absent from Apple since 1985 and the company was failing.  Steve was named interim CEO and convinced the Board of Directors to resign.  This allowed Steve to build a new Board.

Steve announced his return at MacWorld in 1997

Apple’s major issue in 1997 was that it offered too many product lines (computers, printers, cameras, etc.) and Steve decided it should trim them down.  In fact, at the time, Apple offered nine different variations of its computers.  After employees were unable to explain the differences between the models, it was clear they should be eliminated.  He quickly sent the Macintosh team back to the drawing board to create a new computer, one that could be used by professionals and novices alike.

Before Steve was able to accomplish this, however, there was one major obstacle standing in his way…cash.  Apple did not have any.  He was forced to look for partners, and in a move that surprised and angered many in the Apple community, he turned to Microsoft.  Bill Gates invested in Apple and they created a temporary partnership that would allow them to share specific patents.  In return, Microsoft bought Apple stock with the stipulation they would not sell it for two years.  This gave Apple the cash it needed to create the products that would shape my generation.

Steve and the iMac

Apple struck first in 1998 with the introduction of the iMac.  The all in one desktop device gave Apple the boost it needed, in capital and in stock value.  Apple was quiet for a few years, but in 2000, Steve was no longer considered the “interim” CEO of Apple.

The iPod

In 2001, Apple unveiled its newest device, one that would change how the world listens to music, the iPod.  At first, the iPod is simply a device for loading your CDs too, but Apple vision went much further and in 2003 they released the iTunes music store.  For the first time, the consumer could buy ONE song instead of an entire album.  This also allowed independent artists to distribute their music directly to the public.

In August 2004, Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that is deemed to be operable.  He recovered from surgery and returned to work in September of the same year.  In his 2005 Stanford Commencement address, Steve briefly talked about his diagnosis and how the doctor had originally given him three months to live, before performing a biopsy.

The first iPhone

Apple’s innovation hit a new high when Steve unveiled the iPhone in 2007.  The phone was the first to have content that was not controlled by the cell phone carrier.  Apple took the iPhone to the next level when they unveiled the App Store.  This gave developers a place to distribute their applications to the owners of iPhones.

In 2009, Steve’s health made headlines again when he announced he would be taking medical leave in January.  When he returned to work in July, he revealed he had undergone a liver transplant earlier that year.  Steve’s return was greatly welcomed, but since this event, Steve has never looked as strong.

Unveiling the iPad

In January 2010, Steve was on stage yet again to unveil another Apple device, the iPad.  The iPad continues to dominate the tablet market almost two years later.

In January 2011, Steve announced that he was once again taking an indefinite medial leave to focus on his health.  Despite being on medical leave, Steve was present for the iPad 2 event in January and WWDC in June.  Many saw this as a sign that Steve’s health was improving that his medical leave would soon end.  Yesterday’s announcement of Steve’s resignation as CEO came as a surprise as many, and has left the Apple community concerned over his health.

Steve at WWDC in June 2011

Over the past fourteen years, Steve has led Apple from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most valuable tech company in the world.  There are critics of Apple’s strategies and, at times, bullying of it competitors, but there is no denying that Apple would not be what it has become if it were not for Steve Jobs.

Leave a comment

Filed under Steve Jobs, Tech

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

In a surprising move today, Steve Jobs announced his resignation as Apple’s CEO.  In an open letter (see below) Jobs asked to remain as the director of Apple’s Board of Directors.  Apple confirmed in a press release (also below) that Jobs had resigned and Tim Cook has been named CEO.  The Board also voted to make Jobs its director.

I cannot say I did not see this coming.  Jobs has been on medical leave since January of this year and his authorized biography is to be published this November.  I do not care to speculate why he had made this decision, but I join the technological community in wishing him well.

From Steve:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


From Apple:

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

Tim Cook Named CEO and Jobs Elected Chairman of the Board

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

UPDATE: Tim Cook’s Letter to Apple


I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman. 

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do. 

I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is. 


Leave a comment

Filed under Steve Jobs, Tech

Joplin Rebuilding

Three months after being hit by an EF-5 tornado, the city of Joplin continues to rebuild.  Businesses and homeowners alike are working to put their livelihood back together.  Some businesses have even completely rebuilt.  Yesterday, Walgreens on the corner of Rangeline and 20th Street reopened after being completely destroyed by the tornado.  The store had to be rebuilt completely from the foundation up, and after only 90 days, the store has reopened.

Meanwhile, Joplin’s kids have returned to normal when they went back to school last Wednesday.  Several of Joplin’s schools had to be repaired, students reshuffled between various buildings, and the Juniors and Seniors are attending class at a temporary location inside North Park Mall.  Joplin’s superintendant of schools C.J. Huff is being hailed as a hero for his quick thinking and ability to keep the school year on schedule.

The city of Joplin has come together to rebuild to move forward following the devastation.  The citizens continue to work together after three months of recovery, and there is still work to be done.

Leave a comment

Filed under Joplin Tornado

Joplin Debris Removal to be Completed Tomorrow

Volunteers work to cleanup a Joplin neighborhood

When the Corps of Engineers arrived in Joplin to lead the clean-up effort following the May 22 tornado, they knew that had a limited amount of time to accomplish the task.  With over 30% of the city destroyed, the task of cleaning up seemed daunting, but the volunteers came out in droves.  In May, August 7 was set as the deadline to have the 1.5 million cubic yards of debris cleared.  Yesterday, local TV stations KSN and KODE toured Joplin from the air and shot some amazing footage (click the source below to watch the video).  When yesterday’s video is compared to that of May 22, the difference is staggering.  Colonel Daniel Patton is in charge of the Army Corps of Engineer office in Joplin, and he reports that the debris will be completely removed by tomorrow’s deadline.  He gives all the credit to his crew, local contractors, and the thousands of volunteers who have flocked to Joplin to lend a hand.  These crews have worked 12 hours per day, seven days per week since May 22.  Now, 79 days later, the end is only 24 hours away.

Although debris removal will be completed sometime tomorrow, the Army Corps of Engineers will not leave Joplin.  Their next task is to assist the rebuilding of local schools and the construction of temporary housing for those who lost their homes.

Now that the task of debris removal is complete, the rebuilding can become the focus of the city.  Several of the local business, including Walmart, Walgreens, and Home Depot, have already began their rebuilding process and hope to reopen by the end of this year.

It amazes me how residents, local businesses, and volunteers from around the country have come together to rebuild the city of Joplin.

Source: KSN/KODE

Leave a comment

Filed under Joplin Tornado

Reading List: Fall 2011

On Wednesday I posted the list of courses I am taking this Fall.  After looking over the list of textbooks, I was surprised to learn that there are so many this semester! The number of books required for this semester totals 25.  That is not including additional readings that will be assigned once the class begins.  For example, for HIST 600 it is likely we will be assigned books to report on to the class.  These are the books that I will have to purchase (for more information on each book, click on the title to be taken to the book’s Amazon page):

HIST 590 – Gender in Latin America – Indian Women of Early MexicoGender & Disorder in Early Modern SevilleInfamous DesireCase of Ugly SuitorChica Da SilvaLives of Women: New History of Inquisitional SpainWhat Is Gender History?Marriage, Class & Colour in 19th Century CubaTrading RolesFaces of HonorPeople of the VolcanoWomen Who Live Evil LivesMoon, Sun & WitchesLaboring Women, and Public Lives, Private Secrets

HIST 600 – Seminar in US History: Early Period – Roll, Jordan, RollLincoln, and Midwife’s Tale

HIST 700 – Thesis Research – NONE ASSIGNED

GHIST 101 World History to 1500 – AnalectsKoranBhagavad GitaWays of the World, Volume 1Trial & Death of Socrates: Four DialoguesEpic of Gilgamesh, and Inferno

Do not be fooled by HIST 700, however.  I have already read several books this summer for my Thesis and have many more primary source documents and secondary source books to go.  Once again I will have my work cut out for me!

Leave a comment

Filed under Courses, JMU