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Steve Jobs Health Worries Escalate 520

Posted by timothy
from the hope-he's-got-more-tricks-up-his-sleeve dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes with this sad snippet from the San Francisco Chronicle: "We all know that Steve Jobs is sick. What's not known is how sick he is, and that's worrying investors of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) this morning, as well as everyone else. Jobs did have pancreatic cancer a few years ago, but he had a transplant and was able to come back to work. Last time, he gave some kind of time frame for returning to work. This time, he did not. Supposedly the National Enquirer is set to run pictures of Jobs with him looking frail and gaunt. Jobs was spotted leaving the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, according to RadarOnline.com."
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Steve Jobs Health Worries Escalate

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  • who cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:11PM (#35237798)

    who cares? let the man live his own life

    • Re:who cares (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tanktalus (794810) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:29PM (#35238068) Journal
      I'm not sure why this is marked troll. Seriously, let's keep peoples' private lives private, and only publicise public aspects of their lives.
      • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday February 17, 2011 @07:02PM (#35239166) Journal

        Except Mark Zuckerberg

        He deserves to have every facet of his life known and subjected to Liking or DisLiking.

      • Re:who cares (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:24PM (#35239770) Journal

        Because unlike with other CxOs Steve Jobs has purposely built a cult of personality around him that will seriously affect the stock. A good example of the difference is MSFT, where if you ask the average Joe they still think Gates runs the thing. If Ballmer was hit by a car tomorrow nobody outside the tech world would take much notice and it is doubtful that the stock would take a nosedive.

        Now compare that to Jobs where we HAVE seen the stock take a serious hit just from a phony death rumor. IMHO Steve Jobs has failed Apple by not pushing a successor the second he came back from the transplant. he should have been grooming his successor from day one and pushing them beside him in the spotlight wherever possible. instead you have had Steve take front and center (typical narcissist behavior) the SECOND he was able to get back to work and all talks about successors went the way of the Newton.

        So honestly Steve deserves no privacy because he brought it upon himself by making himself the center of the Apple universe and not doing anything to stop the "cult of Steve" hell if anything he pumped it up. So just like any other business where rightly or wrongly success if believed to hinge on a key component or player, so too does Steve's health affect the bottom line and the shareholders have a right to know. If Steve didn't want it to be this way he could have been sharing the spotlight and grooming his replacement, but I guess Steve doesn't do well with sharing.

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @09:13PM (#35240150)

          Because unlike with other CxOs Steve Jobs has purposely built a cult of personality around him that will seriously affect the stock.

          That's bullshit. He's already left, the stock took a small dive but is higher than ever now. Most people at this point (except for Apple Haters) are pretty much assuming Jobs is not really coming back.

          The fact is that Apple as entire markets that they drive, Jobs leaving will not affect the momentum of the company for many, many years to come - if ever. Rather that building "a cult of personality" Jobs built an approach to thinking about consumer electronics, and he's shared that with everyone at Apple - as much as anyone could share it.

          You know who would have more impact leaving/being ill than Jobs right now? Ives. Because even with Jobs gone Ives will present a consistency of products such that at first glance you will not even realize Jobs was not involved.

          Between momentum and a stable of people with considerable design and product skills, Apple will do just fine without Jobs.

          The reason why Apple Haters are so insistent that Jobs will be back, is that they will have no-one to attribute success to without Jobs there, will have to actually admit Apple might have built a few products people like to use because they are well designed. To an Apple Hater this is the end times.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LordLucless (582312)

            Typical fanboy reaction - label anyone not slotting neatly into your worshipful little reality as a "hater", and deride it as a "meme".

            GP got it exactly right. Steve hasn't resigned his post, he's taken an indefinite leave of absence. If he had quit, and Apple had appointed a successor, Apple would have had a bump in their share price, and gone on their way. He didn't. When the shareholders asked for a succession plan (i.e. whose going to run the show if Steve leaves?) they got nothing.

            What Apple is doing n

    • Re:who cares (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @08:11PM (#35239668)

      who cares?

      The shareholders of his publicly-traded personality cult care.

  • He's probably dying (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:12PM (#35237804)
    Abdominal cancers are not fun. Pancreatic cancers are almost always fatal. I'm sure his wealth has probably bought him time... but you can't cheat death.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by overshoot (39700)

      you can't cheat death.

      Sure you can -- just like you can cheat the Mob. Long term, the results are about the same, too.

    • by Pieroxy (222434) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:29PM (#35238064) Homepage

      Can't we just leave him alone? I mean, when he bashes on Google openly, let the press and everyone else fire full power. It's fair game.

      But now? Doesn't he deserve some privacy or even just some respect? Not because of what he's done, be because of what he is living right now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:42PM (#35238218)

      Doctors of Medicinal Wizardry at Netcraft Sanitoriums have determined that Steve Jobs is dying. His slow lapse into death is due to a lack of Ego, which he has depleted to run Apple Enterprises. It was considered giving him a shot of Humility (which has has no natural reserve of) as an experimental treatment, but past review of his life has determined that this would be of no effect. Apple fanbois are quietly assembling at Cupertino to prepare for the inevitable deathwatch.

    • He had a pancreatic endocrine neoplasm (median survival of 7 years), which is much better than pancreatic adenocarcinoma (2% 5-year survival).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start...

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @06:07PM (#35238604) Journal

      My understanding was that Job's form of pancreatic cancer is not the almost-guaranteed-to-be-fatal kind that Patrick Swayze had.

  • Leave him alone!

    -Android Fanboy

    • by MooseMuffin (799896) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:20PM (#35237928)
      Seriously, leave him alone. Even more so if he's actually dying.
      • Sorry, he's an officer of a publicly held company. Other people need to know about his health in order to properly plan. If he came out and said "I have Stage IV cancer with a 3-6 month mortality prognosis" that would be one thing, but the secrecy is irresponsible, and in fact generates interest. Why else would a trashy celebrity news site follow him around?
        • There's a difference between speculation from a respectful standpoint and tabloids plastering bullshit everywhere to make a point. There is also a disturbing number of internet denizens who honestly think it is funny to make fun of someone dying or try and trivialize it because they don't like iPods or think that it's edgy or something.

        • Why else would a trashy celebrity news site follow him around?

          Slashdot?

        • by MooseMuffin (799896) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @06:11PM (#35238652)
          Maybe he's just a guy with cancer who doesn't want to spend his last days dying in the public eye while they discuss how to best profit from his passing?
          • Haven't you heard? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by denzacar (181829) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @06:35PM (#35238926) Journal

            Maybe he's just a guy with cancer who doesn't want to spend his last days dying in the public eye while they discuss how to best profit from his passing?

            You forfeit your privacy rights when you sign that "rich AND famous" contract.
            And a part of your human rights goes down the drain when you turn yourself into a brand.
            You don't get to be in the spotlight and not take in some heat from the lights.

            Think about it. Would Woz, in a similar situation, be facing the same privacy problems as Jobs? How about Paul Allen?

            That is why I keep my wishes simple. I just want to be rich. Someone else can be famous. E.g. the getaway driver.
            He can have all the fame in the world as long as I'm free to keep and use the money. In fact...

        • He's stepped aside. His health is no longer the concern of the shareholders.

        • by tgibbs (83782)

          Cancer survival is highly uncertain. Some people beat the averages by many years. Investors already know that Jobs probably is not going to be personally micromanaging Apple for many years longer. Those who think that is critical in the near term have already sold their stock. The value of the additional knowledge given to investors who hope to "time the market" in order to maximally profit from Jobs's death or permanent retirement (or more optimistically, his return to full-time management status) hardly j

    • by sarysa (1089739)

      Leave him alone!

      -Android Fanboy

      I'm trying to figure out if you meant that to be multilayered humor or not...

  • by Super Dave Osbourne (688888) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:17PM (#35237862)
    and the reasons are multiple... - I don't own stock in Apple, its over priced anyway for a consumer electronics company. - Steve Jobs wouldn't give a crap if I was dying, nor would I get press for my health issues. - The market knows he is not the messiah, and Apple as a mega corp will continue on with the wisdom of many other vested parties. - Health issues should be private, kept private and not trivialized by news media. - Respect the privacy of others, too many people in the media don't. and the list goes on and one. Just make it a non story by wishing him the best and in the afterlife and if he is reborn he is more than a toad or troll for his massive good deeds to the people he has destroyed and belittled.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by scubamage (727538)
      Not to mention he wasn't the genius behind Apple. Steve Wozniak was. In fact in numerous interviews about all Steve Jobs had a hand in in actually designing the original Apple computers was insisting that the power supply be a certain color for aesthetics. The real work was done by a man whom half the nation probably has no idea exists.
      • Not to mention he wasn't the genius behind Apple. Steve Wozniak was. In fact in numerous interviews about all Steve Jobs had a hand in in actually designing the original Apple computers was insisting that the power supply be a certain color for aesthetics. The real work was done by a man whom half the nation probably has no idea exists.

        Woz is the genius behind the original Apple products from decades past, and Jobs is the genius behind the consumer electronics and publishing juggernaut that Apple is today.

        • Not to mention he wasn't the genius behind Apple. Steve Wozniak was. In fact in numerous interviews about all Steve Jobs had a hand in in actually designing the original Apple computers was insisting that the power supply be a certain color for aesthetics. The real work was done by a man whom half the nation probably has no idea exists.

          Woz is the genius behind the original Apple products from decades past, and Jobs is the genius behind the consumer electronics and publishing juggernaut that Apple is today.

          Not really. The real geniuses are the engineers and the designers. The difference between the Apple II days and now is that decades ago the engineers and designers were far more visible or well known. The Apple II and Woz being at one extreme, however the original Mac had the designers/engineers names molded into the interior of the case. Jobs, then and now, stands on the shoulders of the engineers and designers.

          Best wishes for Jobs. Hopefully he just has to slow down and relax.

        • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:52PM (#35238374) Journal

          Woz was the technical genius who put the parts together to make the new product simple enough to be useful to millions.

          Jobs is the one who ensured millions understood why it was useful.

          History is littered with people who thought you could be Apple by skimping on either of those talents.

      • by Solandri (704621) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:48PM (#35238302)
        Take it from an engineer who's seen lots of fellow engineers try to make start-ups and fail. Having good engineering is not enough. You need good engineering and good marketing. Woz was the engineering genius. Jobs was the marketing genius. Without either, Apple would not be where it is today.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        The real work was done by a man whom half the nation probably has no idea exists.

        It's worse than that. The real work was done by a man whom most will know best for appearing on Dancing with the Stars and dating Kathy Griffin.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Apple is one of the few tech companies that are NOT overpriced. Given their revenue and profits, the market value for Apple is just on par with any industrial company. Geeeez.

      • Apple is one of the few tech companies that are NOT overpriced. Given their revenue and profits, the market value for Apple is just on par with any industrial company. Geeeez.

        True but perception and fear can cause a bit of short term volatility.

        Contrary to what the summary claims investors are not generally worried, AAPLE was down only 1.3% today. They realize that Steve has picked and trained a very strong management team, a team that proved itself during his previous absence.

        Best wishes for Jobs. Hopefully he just has to slow down and relax.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      I don't own stock in Apple, its over priced anyway for a consumer electronics company [...] Health issues should be private, kept private and not trivialized by news media. - Respect the privacy of others, too many people in the media don't

      The two are tied more closely than you think. Info on Jobs' health is necessary for Apple shareholders. Unlike just about every other company out there, Apple does not pay dividends. All that profit Apple makes? The shareholders see none of it. Zero. Zilch. The en

      • by Americano (920576)

        So, let's assume you are in a key engineering role at your publicly traded company. Does the press and the public then have a "right" to any private data about you they wish to get their hands on? After all, you're a critical person at the company, doesn't the public have a _right to know_ whether or not you have the clap? If you have to take an extended absence, it could cause a tremendous disruption in the company's ability to do business!

        If you are buying or selling apple stock based on "how Steve is

  • TLDR: (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:18PM (#35237876)

    Long story short, Satan has come to collect his part of the agreement.

    Posted anon, cause apple fanbois gave up their sense of humor in exchange for shiny things.

  • Any company that requires a specific individual to inspire confidence is, by default, in trouble. Few companies are in the position that Apple is in. How many CEO's could you name? Apple needs to get beyond the cult of leadership that currently surrounds them. I am sure that we still see similar product advances whether he is there as the pitchman or not.
    • by SWad (454879)
      Yeah, the fact that investors are worried about one man's health instead of the actual product should tell you something.
      • by fwarren (579763)

        Yes, that Apple has moved into a market where complete "generations" of devices move in 6 to 12 month cycles. Without the proper vision you can own the market today, and be a has been in 2 to 3 years.

        Steve Jobs has had the knack of being able to put the X on the spot for what people will want to pay money for next year. He has pretty much hit the nail on the head 10 times in 10 years. He is the face of Apple. He may not have stared in the "I am a Mac" commercials. But as far as investors are concerned, he i

    • I don't know, they have the second highest market cap of any company in the world, they must be doing something right.

      Also I think I could name the CEO of most major tech companies. Jobs is definitely the most iconic, but there are plenty of other iconic people in the field.

      If Jobs does pass or is forced to retire (and I hope he doesn't), it will be an interesting opportunity for Apple. Jobs runs the company with an iron fist. His style is "my way or the highway". On one hand he's been in the captain'
  • Stock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scubamage (727538) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:20PM (#35237934)
    Man, i may dump my savings into apple stock once it bottoms out after his death. There's going to be a massive unloading, we all know it.
    • Man, i may dump my savings into apple stock once it bottoms out after his death. There's going to be a massive unloading, we all know it.

      Good point, some investors will dump stock the moment he dies. Buy then, and sell in the next year or two, when his actual influence filters out of the company and apple reverts to being just another mega-corp.

      If you were really the gambling sort of vulture, you might even short some stock now and hope he is unhealthy as he looks.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      So short it now. Or buy puts.

      Make money both ways.

  • A pic here (Score:5, Informative)

    by A Friendly Troll (1017492) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:23PM (#35237976)

    http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4d5c75d8cadcbbc41b160000/steve-jobs-sick.jpg [businessinsider.com]

    There's also a sensationalist headline over here:

    http://thenextweb.com/apple/2011/02/17/steve-jobs-may-have-just-six-weeks-to-live-receiving-treatment/ [thenextweb.com]

    The Daily Mail spoke to Dr Jerome Spunberg, a certified Oncologist, who said: âoeMr Jobs is most likely getting outpatient chemotherapy at Stanford because the cancer has recurred.â

    Another consultant, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a physician with over fourty years experience, said: âoeHe is terminal. What you are seeing is extreme muscle wasting from calorie depravation, most likely caused by cancer. He has no muscle left in his buttocks, which is the last place to go. He definitely appears to be in the terminal stages of his life from these photos. I would be surprised if he weighed more than 130lb.â

    The National Enquirer, who initially reported the news today (to be published tomorrow), talked to critical-care physician Dr. Samuel Jacobson, who said, âoeJudging from the photos, he is close to terminal. I would say he has six weeks.â That said, given the reliability of The National Enquirer, waiting for further news before jumping to conclusions is advised.

    Weâ(TM)ve done a little digging into Dr. Samuel Jacobson. Jacobson appears to be a Florida based pulmonologist (breathing doctor) â" not Oncologist. Which would naturally make you wonder just how qualified he is to diagnose someone via a photo, especially outside of his speciality.

  • The National Enquirer talks about running photos of Steve, and the entire news media gets a hard on and starts running stories on this. Has the media degraded so far that we are now counting the National Enquirer as a reliable news source?

    The only people who are escalating the health worries here are the media itself to push for circulation. It's not news, it's bullshit. Thanks for contributing to the bullshit, Timothy.

  • Why this matters (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jim Hall (2985) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:34PM (#35238132) Homepage

    This item has only been up a few minutes, and already a lot of people are asking why this matters, why they should care. Here's why:

    If you use a Mac, you should care about this.

    Steve Jobs is unquestionably the driving force behind Apple. His return to Apple as the iCEO, followed by the introduction of new streamlined iMacs, the iPod, ... all demonstrated that Steve had returned to make Apple's mark on the industry. How many of the general population - not to mention us IT geeks - have an iPod? I look around my office and see high level executives using iPads. Steve made these a success. The same technology in a different package - maybe even the same package but a different salesman - wouldn't be as popular.

    Pundits, fans, and teh haters all pay attention when Steve makes a new announcement of any new Apple product. That's the presence Steve brings to the game. He's like a tiny god. Love him or hate him, you can't deny he understands the market, and how to drive new products to get at that "I want it" mentality.

    But unfortunately, Steve's success is a double-edged sword. He's the driving force behind Apple. He's also the driving force behind Apple. There was no succession planning here. His second in command isn't well known. He's not the face of Apple. I wonder who will follow him.

    I wish Steve the best, and if he's able to return as CEO, I think that would be great. But if he doesn't ... look for Apple's stock to plummet. Even if the new guy has all kinds of bright ideas, I don't think he'll have the same presence as Steve, and won't be able to garner the same attention for the company. Apple has lots of new items in the pipeline, I'm sure, so the new guy's leadership won't truly be tested/visible for another 12 to 18 months. In that time, he needs to make his own mark, or Apple will quickly find itself on the sidelines trying to catch up to the rest of the market - rather than leading the market.

    That's what has investors worried. And that is why you should care about this item.

    Disclaimer: I am not an Apple fan, but I work in IT.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      IF they next CEO gives Jonathan Ive the freedom and respect Steve does, they may be fine.

      But yeah, it's a real concern for shareholders.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @06:24PM (#35238802) Homepage

      Most likely the one who steps up will fail exactly because he's not Steve Jobs, no matter what he does. What Apple has done is to overcome the catch 22 of users and content because Jobs has a following of rabid fans and loyal developers big enough to kick start any market. It's like setting off a nuke, you need critical mass or you get a fizzle.

      Jobs has the customers go "yeah" then the developers go "yeah" then the tech press goes "yeah" and the cheers runs in circles. The next guy will have the customers go "ummmmmm" then the developers go "ummmmmm" then the tech press goes "ummmmmmm" and the doubt runs in circles. Apple can spiral down just as quick as they've spiraled up.

  • by SavoWood (650474) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @05:37PM (#35238166) Homepage

    When the pictures come from The National Enquirer, you really need to consider the source. Also, the doctor making this prognosis was doing so based on the pictures. Didn't we all jump on the idiot in Congress a few years ago for diagnosing that woman in Florida using a short video clip?

    Let's take this to a conspiracy level and say people are putting out this news to get the stock price to drop a bit so they can snap it up and wait for the retraction of the article and the stock goes back up, they make a pretty penny.

    • If the pictures someone posted above are the ones the Enquirer are basing the article off of, he sure as hell doesn't look good. I certainly wouldn't say 6 weeks to terminal, even if I were an oncologist with expertise in the field. They aren't basing the speculation off the pictures, they're basing it off pictures from a couple months ago compared to pictures now. Suddenly dropping 40-50 lbs over the course of a few weeks wreaks havoc on your body just by itself, and that is what the pictures appear to s

      • Or they're shorting the stock right now, making lots of money as we speak. With this sort of stock manipulation, you can make money coming and going if you play it right and the people who manipulate stocks this blatantly most certainly know how to play it right.
        • The Enquirer makes plenty of money paying freelance photographers for pictures of random celebrities and then selling them to the average American. I have significant doubts that they would engage in a risky, easily detected, and highly illegal stock manipulation scheme to make an extra buck on the side.

    • I wish I could find a source for where I read this, but the doctor looking at the pictures isn't even an oncologist, he's in sports medicine! There's the NE for you.

  • Poor Apple Stockholders. Steve Jobs is sick and all they worry about is pictures of their control-freak "sell the sizzle" CEO not looking well in the National Enquirer when he has pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing that happens when you have a celebrity CEO.

    Personally, I am surprised this hasn't happened until now. I guess they don't have Michael Jackson to write about anymore and have to branch out.

  • by nomadic (141991)
    "Supposedly the National Enquirer is set to run pictures of Jobs with him looking frail and gaunt." Uhhh, TFA has pictures of him looking frail and gaunt. Look at the October 2010 pic on the TFA, he looks terrible. I wish him luck, though at this point I hope he realizes there are more important things to deal with than work and takes a long break.
  • by The Optimizer (14168) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @06:30PM (#35238880)

    The guys over at jalopnik aren't so sure, unless he's traded in his Mercedes SL55 AMG for a 10+ year old Honda Civic...

    http://jalopnik.com/#!5763321/cmon-does-the-national-enquirer-really-think-steve-jobs-owns-a-honda [jalopnik.com]

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday February 17, 2011 @07:02PM (#35239170) Homepage

    Apple's #2 manager is Timothy Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. He's a cost control and outsourcing guy. He came from Compaq, where he turned them from a manufacturer into a distributor of products made offshore. That's what he did at Apple, too - closed all the Apple factories and outsourced manufacturing to FoxConn. He's good at managing low-cost outsourced manufacturing. He's running Apple now, and will probably succeed Jobs.

    Apple will survive. Cook will hire some low-cost design firm in Beijing to do the next products. There's good design coming out of Beijing now. Check out PER design group's [per-id.com] work. FoxConn in Shenzen already does the manufacturing. All Apple US has to do is manage the deals with other parties. Cupertino will probably be downsized to a marketing and IP rights organization.

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