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Steve Jobs Taking Medical Leave of Absence 471

Uttini writes "Apple CEO Steve Jobs has just announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence, according to a release issued by the company today. While it's unclear what the reason is for the medical leave, Jobs' previous medical history includes pancreatic cancer as well as a liver transplant. While Jobs is out, Tim Cook is to be responsible for all of Apple's day to day operations."
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Steve Jobs Taking Medical Leave of Absence

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  • Wishing him well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:44AM (#34904032) Homepage Journal

    I hope that no matter what operating system or computer manufacturer you love or hate, everyone can come together and wish him well. Whether you love or hate what he's done in the industry, he's a fellow human being first, and I hope he has a speedy recovery.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:46AM (#34904048)

    Please extend the same sentiment when gates is not feeling well.

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:47AM (#34904058) Journal

    Absolutely. Yet I must ask: Why should I care about this? I don't know him personally and have thus a hard time seeing the news-value in this... now if this was a stock market news site...

  • by RCGodward ( 1235102 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:48AM (#34904060)

    I hope that no matter what operating system or computer manufacturer you love or hate, everyone can come together and sell their AAPL stock. Whether you love or hate what he's done in the industry, money is money.

    I'm a horrible person.

  • by pyalot ( 1197273 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:50AM (#34904072)
    Please extend the same sentiment when Bush, Palin, Limbaugh, Stewart, Castro, Chavez, Gaddafi, Sarkozy, Uwe Boll and many others do not feel well.
  • by bughunter ( 10093 ) <> on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:56AM (#34904150) Journal

    I agree. Thank you.

    But unfortunately, this thread will turn into yet again another opportunity for anyone who even implies indirectly anything positive about Apple or their products to be accused of Trolling and met with mind-bogglingly uncivil replies by people who can find insult where none exists merely by reading a comment which can be interpreted as a slight against the brand of computer they're typing on or the operating system upon which it runs.

    I've been a happy Mac owner since 1988 and while there are times I am unhappy with AAPL, now included, I still believe that Jobs has made one hell of a positive impact on society. We wouldn't be where we are without him, and he continues to trailblaze. Go. Steve!

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:56AM (#34904164)
    Please; I disagree with a lot of Apple's policies and decisions regarding their products, and I strongly suspect Jobs is behind many of those policies, but that does not mean that Jobs is not a human being. He may just stroll past beggars, but that does not make him any less human either. As you said, he does not deserve death, and I would add that he does not deserve to suffer from whatever ailment he is on medical leave for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @10:59AM (#34904186)

    There are almost 7 billion people on this planet and if we were all being brutally honest that's almost 7 billion people we don't give a damn about. This isn't insightful, it's fake emotion.

  • by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:12AM (#34904316)

    Although I'm nobody special, please do extend the same sentiment to me also. Thankyou. That is all. : )

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:12AM (#34904318) Journal
    Buy them today as the market dips, sell them tomorrow after the earnings report showing the iPhone and iPad christmas sales.
  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:16AM (#34904358)

    It's because Apple's not based on product, it's based on image. If anything seems like it could even start to threaten that image, people want out before it crashes.

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:16AM (#34904364) Homepage Journal

    Because much it's value is based on the cult of personality that's been built up around Jobs. They make some good products and have strong market performance but their stock has been overvalued for quite some time. Beware of any stock that relies on a cult of personality for much of its value.

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:31AM (#34904542) Homepage

    Why is Apple's stock so prone to heavy fluctuation

    Apple doesn't pay dividends, so its stock is owned by speculators, not investors. Its value is based solely on the belief that there will always be another sucker along in a minute who thinks its worth more than you paid. When you stop believing those suckers will appear, then it's time to bail.

  • Re:SELL SELL SELL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:37AM (#34904610)
    Apple aren't in the market of innovation, they're in the market of aspiration. Nothing they've done has been "innovative", every product they've release in at least the last ten years has already been done, but they package it in a format that makes people desire it. They're pretty much like a top clothes designer. A top designer can charge a premium way above the cost of his materials or the price of his competitors because people want to be seen in his clothes. If he loses the ability to design, he can still sell mass-produced pants, but they lose their elite appeal and have to compete purely on price, that's a downward spiral. Don't underestimate just how closely linked the health of Jobs and the health of Apple actually are.
  • by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:37AM (#34904612)

    No, Apple is not too big. And that's the problem. Apple effectively has 4 products. iPods, iPhones, iPads, and laptop/desktops. The only reason Apple continues to make money is not because of that 4th one. It's because of the first three, and only because they've convinced people that they need to continually upgrade their mp3 player or phone. If Apple fucks up on even one upgrade cycle on one of those three products, they're likely to lose a chunk of those people on the annual upgrade cycle, and the entire company's fucked and without Jobs' RDF, it'd probably not have time to recover. As much as I hate Apple as a company, I will freely admit that they've done well in continually making a product that's clearly superior to the last, and maintaining a pretty fierce brand loyalty. Unfortunately, most of that loyalty isn't based on product quality, but image, and Jobs is a HUGE part of that.

    As an MS fanboy, and a proponent of choice and freedom in use of hardware I've purchased, and as a human being, I wish Jobs a long, healthy life; no one else could make a viable commercial alternative to Windows at this point, everyone else will see the walled garden, try it, and fail, bringing more openness, and really, I can't wish harm on another human, especially if all they've done is be a douche.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:41AM (#34904644)

    Everybody deserves death. Its the price for life. The idea that death is cruel or a punishment is wrong. Instead of saying he doesn't deserve death, how about we all say he deserves the great life he has lived?

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:41AM (#34904650)

    Some of those people are not like the others. Some have killed others to further their own goals.

  • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:42AM (#34904662) Homepage

    I want Osama Bin Laden to see the error of his ways and find happiness and then live a long and happy life. If that won't happen I'd really not wish for him to continue living. He's preventing thousands of others from having a long and happy life. And that overrules any worries I have for him.

  • by JWW ( 79176 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:44AM (#34904684)

    Huh, really? I'm sorry, but malevolent dictators do not deserve the same kind of respect that CEO's, pundits, and even directors of crappy movies deserve.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @11:49AM (#34904716)

    Do you feel the same way about others who have "preventing thousands of others from having a long and happy life" such as George W Bush & Bill Gates? OBL is responsible for 3000-4000 deaths. Bush scores a few hundred thousands. Bill Gates will end up killing millions with his interference as Intellectual Property Ambassador to 3rd world countries.

  • by respice ( 974320 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:18PM (#34905062)
    I do wish them all well- even the ones who don't like my country. Even those who are "villains."

    John Donne, Meditations XVII:

    No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

    I don't have to like what they do to wish them good health.

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:32PM (#34905260)

    MS never had a good image here. The suits and pencil pushers that actually get things purchased for business are a different story. "No one ever got fired for buying IBM" basically. /. is a tempest in a teacup when it comes to what the rest of the world likes or dislikes.

  • by ( 463190 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:39PM (#34905356) Homepage
    Steve's health is already priced in. The run-up in share price has been driven by actual earnings, in fact the PE is down from a year or two ago. []
  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fahrvergnuugen ( 700293 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:39PM (#34905358) Homepage

    People don't buy iPhones because Apple is cool, they buy iPhones because the iPhone is cool. Your comment doesn't make any sense.

    For a huge section of the consumer market, Apple makes the *best* products. People don't spend their money on iPhones because they think Apple is cool, they spend it because they want the product Apple makes

    Those products are as good as they are in large part because of Steve Job's persuit of perfection. The guy is sick. Everyone is worried that Apple will lose focus without Jobs (like it did in the past).

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:51PM (#34905524)

    People buy apple products because apple makes them seem cool. The iPhone isn't objectively better than any of the half-dozen equivalent smartphones out there. They buy it because of marketing and image. Stockholders know that. Without Jobs, the image starts to waver. My comment makes perfect sense.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 17, 2011 @12:55PM (#34905580)

    Yup, very interesting, in that it shows that (at least by appearances) he is a more thoughtful, cool guy than Jobs ever was. Can you imagine what would have happened if the situation was reversed, and Jobs found out years after the fact that he was cheated by the Woz? I bet he wouldn't brush it off, but sue Woz for not only the principal amount but any accrued interest.

    I don't care if Jobs is a human being. I wouldn't wish death on him, but I wouldn't feel bad if he croaks either. In fact I would be pretty satisfied. Woz, on the other hand, I would shed a tear and donate money to any foundations he supports.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:02PM (#34905694)

    Then why hasn't Palin explained why she bailed on the State of Alaska midway through her term?

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:16PM (#34905884) Homepage

    It's because Apple's not based on product, it's based on image. If anything seems like it could even start to threaten that image, people want out before it crashes.

    Oh please. Any rational analysis of the history of computing will lead to the conclusion that Jobs is a visionary genius. NeXT created a computer in 1988 that had features that even today's computers don't have. The graphical system was vector based (PostScript), enabling resolution independence. It had an optical drive, years before CD-r existed. It was Unix based. It utilized a middleware framework called OpenStep that allowed an unprecedented degree of platform independence. This system became the basis for OS X. Microsoft didn't even come out with Windows 3.1 until 1992, four years later. Even today, no major OS has resolution independence, and Windows 7 is definitely NOT platform independent. I can think of no other example of a leader leaving such an indelible stamp on a company.

    Indeed, the contrast of Mr. Jobs leadership with the rest of corporate America lays bare the fundamental faults of the latter. Corporate America has become beholden to visionless MBA bean counters, who think they can manage a company without underlying knowledge or insight into the business they direct. They treat management as a skill independent of the underlying businesses they manage. They put forward their management principles as unchallengeable "revealed truths". Contrast Mr. Job's leadership with that of Mr. Sculley who replaced him for a time. Sculley was the president of Pepsico before he took over at Apple. What made him think that his experience managing a soft drink company gave him the ability to lead a computer company I have no idea. But his tenure was an unmitigated disaster. Sculley simply had no vision of what computers should be. He had little insight into the difficulties of coding, the importance of good design, or the future developments in information technology.

  • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:31PM (#34906074) Homepage

    1. Lobby globally for a stronger patent system including patents on basic medical research that increase the cost of treatments and drugs for tropical disease by factors of 10x to 1000x. Rationale: such a patent system will also protect Microsoft's monopoly through patents on its file formats, interfaces, and opponents.
    2. Use your tax-deductible charity billions to 'sponsor' friendly government projects and punish those ministers who promote generic medicines, patent free zones, open source software, open standards.
    3. Profit.

    That's kind of the deal. I like Steve Job's because he's defined the curve of the gadgets I play with. I don't particularly like Bill Gates because he's made the world a worse and more dangerous place for my kids.

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by W2k ( 540424 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {suilesnevs.mlehliw}> on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:46PM (#34906282) Homepage Journal

    Does anyone really like Microsoft, other than those who swear by their products and services? I really doubt it. Most users just seem to be forced to put up with it and are either ignorant of other options or afraid of trying something unfamiliar.

    I have used Linux, BSD, MacOS (X) and Solaris but my home computers (laptop, gaming PC, two servers) all run Windows, because it gets things done and I haven't had a BSOD or a serious issue with it for years. Finding drivers or apps is never a problem because everyone develops for Windows first, Mac OS X second, Linux probably never or perhaps a distant third.

    Being a geek most of my friends are as well and Windows is still by far the most common OS on their home PCs. One guy bought a shiny MBP and promptly installed Windows on it. Pretty much everyone who runs Linux dual-boots with Windows. So yes, when given a choice, even very computer-literate people will freely choose Windows. Because it gets things done, doesn't crash and has drivers for everything. Simple as that.

    My phone runs Android, though.

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joshki ( 152061 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @01:58PM (#34906486)
    Not really a student of history, are you?

    We've seen this movie before. If Jobs were to leave, and not be replaced by someone with the single-minded focus on the user experience that he has inculcated into the company, Apple would fail. Just like they almost did the last time he left.
  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by speedingant ( 1121329 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:17PM (#34906778)
    I call bullshit here. The iPhone hardware isn't as good, but have you actually tried an actual comparison between say, Android and the iOS? It's like chalk and cheese. The usability of Android for day to day tasks, and general "Smart Phone" abilities, sucks. I had it crash a few times, it refuses to connect to wireless networks sometimes, and it felt unpolished. I bought an iPhone, because it actually works really well. And the App Store trumps the stagnated piece of shit Google offers.
  • by Mr Bubble ( 14652 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:24PM (#34906916)

    I'm sorry, but this whole idea that Apple users have fierce brand loyalty because we are mesmerized by marketing, packaging, and image - or that we are posers - is just crap. Apple succeeds because they believe in design down to their bones - not packaging design, but systems design. Apple believes that all parts of the product should be elegant and well thought out. They don't always succeed, but they try harder than anyone else. I use Apple products because they are well designed and retain their value and usefulness over long periods of time. And, I was an advocate for Apple back when their stock was in the toilet and people like Michael Dell - who wouldn't know innovation if it bit him in the ass - were saying shut the company down.

    I also take issue with Apple not being an innovator. Apple's kit is full of innovation - whether it is manufacturing techniques, changes in the direction of computing, Operating systems, design, frameworks, functionality - you name it. By the standards people like to apply to Apple, no one is innovative.

    Steve Jobs has been a huge boon to the computer revolution and to people like us who love computers and what they can do. NEXT was doing stuff in the nineties that made Windows look like a joke. The reason we are all walking around with mini touch screen computers is Apple and Steve jobs. One primary reason why MS is kept in check and doesn't own the Internet with their proprietary crap browser is WebKit. Yes, WebKit was KHTML, but it was a shell of what it could be. Now it powers Google Chrome, Android, Rim, WebOS, Nokia's Symbian - hell, even Office 2011 uses it for its HTML email. As someone who loves Linux, I think Apple has given Linux space to breath and helped to create a multi-polar computing world. Besides, isn't that the idea of open source - to not reinvent the wheel and to build on things and make them better while releasing things back into the wild? That is definitely innovation. You guys can keep bashing Apple as a company for posers while the rest of the industry waits for Apple to come out with the next big idea to copy.

  • by nilbog ( 732352 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:36PM (#34907100) Homepage Journal

    I don't use the iPhone because I don't like the control Apple exerts over it. Still, I recognize that the place smart phones are in today is due to the existence of the iPhone and without it those of us using smart phones would still be using Windows Mobile 6.5 bricks. So my relationship with Apple is both positive and negative. If we lose Steve Jobs, we will lose a driving force in the industry that will effect the quality of the electronics you buy; Apple or otherwise.

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:52PM (#34907350) Journal

    Wish Jobs or Gates well?

    Why? I don't know them personally. These aren't my family. I don't admire them. They're rich billionaires who've often made their money by stepping on people and they have their own family to wish them well. Jobs included.

    Wishing them well would feel like stumbling around drunk yelling "I love you, man" to random strangers.

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @03:42PM (#34908046) Journal

    Wishing them well would feel like stumbling around drunk yelling "I love you, man" to random strangers.

    wow you're a huge db. you wouldn't wish somebody well when they're sick with cancer / liver transplant / other illness? I assume you never give any money or time to charity, because that would be benefiting people who you don't know, and only stupids would do that.

    Assumptions about someone you don't know what they say about assumptions. I will however tell you that when I do donate to charity, it isn't to rich billionaires.

    I guess you must be a huge douche too? Almost as big as me. After all there are 7 billion people on the planet, each with their own problems, and you don't wish 99.99999% of them well.

  • Re:Fucking stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Monday January 17, 2011 @08:04PM (#34910570) Homepage

    Actually it objectively has significantly higher user satisfaction ratings then any phone on the market. It objectively has a much healthier app ecosystem than any other mobile device on the market. It is support by a much better media ecosystem (to everyone but slashdot nerds who think torrenting movies and copying to an sd card is the way to go).

    It is in fact an objectively better smart phone than any other device on the market. Are there phones that may have this feature or that feature the iPhone does not have, sure..Are they better? No, not a single one of them provides a better User experience.

    From a company standpoint, not a single competitors smartphone is even in the same Universe of straight up sales or profitability.

    Objectively the iPhone still has no competition...Sure if you want to call 19 manufacturers giving away Android phones to build Marketshare competition go ahead. In the real world, everyone knows that is just a load of crap. If they had asked, Verizon would have dumped all of them just to be able to sell an iPhone..(This would obviously cause Apple some legal trouble, so they did not ask. ) If you think any carrier on earth would give up their iPhone sales to carry any or even all Android phones, you know very little about the Mobile market.

    None of this is relevant to the conversation, you tried to sidetrack us with an ill-advised offhanded comment. For whatever reason, Apple does need Jobs. Could Tim Cook keep it moving in the right direction? Maybe. I for one do not believe he has the personality to stand up against brilliant engineers and tell them they can not clutter up the devices. Without Jobs Apple becomes Sony, and then no one gives a shit about any of their products.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell