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Transportation Apple

Steve Jobs' Missing License Plate 579

An anonymous reader writes "One of the famous stories about Steve Jobs is that he used to drive around in a Mercedez Benz sports car with no license plates, and that he would sometimes park in Handicapped spots on Apple's Cupertino campus. Jon Callas, who used to work on OS security at Apple, explains how Jobs was able to do this legally."
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Steve Jobs' Missing License Plate

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  • Legal loopholes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sohmc ( 595388 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:29PM (#37857340) Journal

    He's okay with exploiting legal loopholes but when people want to jailbreak their phones, it's all of the sudden "let's get litigious and sue anyone that does this!"

    • by unassimilatible ( 225662 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:31PM (#37857382) Journal
      The tinfoil hat crowd, "government out of my life" - unless they are talking about big companies they don't like, then it's, "rain down the wrath of Big Government on them!"
      • by EdZ ( 755139 )
        I'd be perfectly happy with a tiny government raining down wrath on big companies. It's the Equal Opportunities Wrath I'm interested in, not the size of the government dispensing it.
      • by Fred Ferrigno ( 122319 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:24PM (#37858288)

        Corporations and people are different. Different rules ought to apply according to those differences. Do we need inspectors to visit your home kitchen to make sure you're cooking all your meat to 165 degrees and don't leave food out? No, of course not. You have the choice to prepare your own food however you'd like because you're only taking the risk upon yourself. But they'd damn well better inspect factory farms and commercial restaurants as those have the potential to affect thousands of people.

        It isn't about "small government" or "big government". Those are just slogans. It's about applying the policy that suits the situation without deciding that it has to be one way or another ahead of time.

    • Re:Legal loopholes (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:34PM (#37857428)
      Apple may have a penchant for absurd lawsuits against other companies, but it's never sued any customer who jailbroke their phone. Nor anyone who installed OSX on a hackintosh, for that matter.
    • by Anpheus ( 908711 )

      The law is what you can successfully litigate.

    • by Trillan ( 597339 )

      "Quick! Let's turn the conversation to jail breaking!"

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      The problem is that everyone is looking for a loophole or unenforced rule to gain some advantage. In terms of parking, just look at the number of SUVs parked in spots that are clearly marked 'compact car only'. Now, if there are no other spaces available that might be justifiable but it is mostly because these people don't want to walk to an extra 20 feet. I drive a compact car, but it is on the big side of compact, so I don't generally park in these spaces anymore.

      So if one is trying to secure a syste

      • "Compact Car Only" is an excuse to stuff an extra dozen parking spots. Nothing more.

        Besides, compared to an 18 wheeler, my 3/4 ton pickup is pretty compact. It's always relative.

  • The pictures show a Mercedes/AMG CL 2-seater hard top convertible. The article describes a "big Mercedes". The CL is big only in price, but not everyone would know that just by looking at it...
    • by raddan ( 519638 ) *
      Keep in mind that Andy Hertzfeld is recounting a story about Jobs from the 1980's. Jobs' taste in expensive cars apparently changed from big and expensive to small and expensive.

      I think the key thing to keep in mind here is that being a visionary and being a douchebag are not mutually exclusive.
  • OWS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:33PM (#37857404)
    You know this economic system is broken when 40M people cannot see a doctor when they need to, and guy celebrated as next prophet is changing AMG Mercedes every 6 months, so he can avoid having a damn license plate.
    • by Pope ( 17780 )

      Does "OWS" stand for "false dilemma" in your native language?

    • Re:OWS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @03:19PM (#37859942) Homepage

      Not to mention getting a liver transplant with full-blown pancreatic cancer* which had already metastasized**, possibly due to his unwillingness to undergo surgery at an earlier date***, by adding himself to the transplant list in multiple states****. And he actually bad-mouthed Bill Gates for doing full-time philanthropy... I'm no Gates fan, especially during his reign at MS, but give me a break.

      * Generally a no-no, but I guess they make exceptions for billionaires.
      ** According to second-hand accounts, though it's unlikely he'd need a new liver unless the cancer had already spread. And transplanting an organ due to secondary (metastasized) cancer is a HUGE no-no, but again, I guess they make exceptions for billionaires.
      *** There's no way to know for sure if his delay made any difference, but regardless, it's almost as bad as giving a lung transplant to a patient who keeps smoking after their diagnosis.
      **** Not illegal, but most people can't afford to do it.

  • by digitalderbs ( 718388 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:33PM (#37857408)
    I find it a bit hard to believe that there wasn't a reserved parking space for the chairman right next to the doors. Or are you telling me that he would deliberately not park in a reserved space just so that he could clog up the handicap spaces? That would staggering.
    • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:40PM (#37857534) Journal

      There was no reserved parking at apple. It was one of those "round table" things - first come first served, no one felt superior about their parking place. Very frustrating since there wasn't visitor parking either. You're really left to the wolves if you show up at 11 :)

    • I'm thinking the compex is way bigger than somewhere you'd walk around, and they probably don't have a "Steve Jobs space" in front of EVERY entrance to EVERY building.
    • If I was part of the board and was aware of these actions, I would just turn the CEO parking spot into an extra handicap one.

    • I'm sure he has a reserved spot closest to his office. However, I imagine he occasionally meets with people at one of the other 6 buildings on campus and I can believe that he doesn't have a reserved spot at each of those.

    • I don't think you realize quite how big of a dick Steve Jobs was. You're talking about the guy who subcontracted to his best friend, and ripped him off to the tune of $2500 in 1970's cash. That's a lot of money. He was a huge, self centered, arrogant prick.
  • by rla3rd ( 596810 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:35PM (#37857458)
    The guy undeniably left his mark on the industry, and general consensus is that personally he was an ass. Nothing else new to see here, please move along.
    • By combining all the recent Steve Jobs news items here, I am able to create a complete biography of him.
    • You're probably best untagging 'Apple' in the prefs until after the holidays.

      Reminds me, I have two unopened tubes of Think Different posters to put up on eBay.

    • Seems to be following the standard course for famous people, they get puffed up to near god like levels and then we kick them into the gutter as everyone with a bone to pick gets their 15 minutes of fame.

      While I like some of his products and his influence on design is without question I never would excuse half what he is rumored to have done. That being said, he's dead. Give it a few years and maybe we will get closer to the truth

    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      Actually.... this is the first Jobs story that hasn't made the song "cult of personality" stick in my head. This one is at least instructive of the truth that the laws in this country are written for the rich to take advantage of.

      I randomly stumbled on discussion of this in a gun forum talking about ownership of automatic weapons in the US. Its not that they are illegal to own, its just that they are impossible to legally own unless you can afford to jump through the legal loopholes and get special approval

  • Don't Hate (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @12:38PM (#37857512)
    Park different!
  • I don't care what loopholes he's able to use, doing that is still a douche move.

    (Typed from my Apple Wireless Keyboard into a Safari textbox running on Mac OS X Lion on my 27" iMac. I love the products, but the more I learn about Jobs the more disgusted I become at him.)

    The man was fracking prick.

  • Another example: Ryanair (Europe's lowest cost and most profitable airline) boss O'Leary started his own taxi company, which provides services exclusively to himself, so that he can use the taxi lanes [] to zoom past traffic towards work.
  • Why should he have to use a license plate?

    Have you seen the License plates in California? They have rounded corners and limited buttons.

  • confirmation bias (Score:4, Informative)

    by spottedkangaroo ( 451692 ) * on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:28PM (#37858368) Homepage
    I have to admit, I thought he was an asshole before I read that...
  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:33PM (#37858438)
    We all know everyone in Cupertino down to the dog catcher was terrified of Steve Jobs getting pissed off and moving his giant filthy lucre machine. He could have shot a nun in the face inside Cupertino City Hall and there would have been no witnesses.
  • what a dick (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:35PM (#37858472)

    People who get busted for parking in handicapped stalls should be forced to use a wheelchair for a week instead of a ticket. It's inconsiderate, lazy and just plain douchebaggery. Don't care who you are.

  • by pwileyii ( 106242 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:39PM (#37858526)

    Steve Jobs was an ass. I know people like him that don't think they should have to obey the rules they don't like, but don't have the money to get away with most of it. Steve Jobs did and believed he knew better than anyone else, so he did what he wanted when he wanted regardless of the impact it had on others.

  • by geman ( 1031214 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:45PM (#37858600)
    Makes no sense to me why people worship this guy. No one who ever worked with or for him really liked him. He treated people like shit. Thought the rules that we all have to follow don't apply to him. Thought he could cure cancer with herbs and diet. Yea... he was a good businessman, I will give him that. Every apple product I have ever bought has broken within a year or two, honestly i think the zune is a better product that the ipod. Speaking of Zune. Poor freaking Bill Gates. This guy is a brilliant programmer (which Steve Jobs could never do) and a businessman. And if he dies no one is going to be crying outside of best buy and putting post it notes on windows. In addition Steve Jobs ignored and denied one of his own children for the first 10 years of her life, and also never gave a cent to any charities. Bill Gates is giving away basically his entire fortune to help the less fortunate. Gates has done more for the world that Apple ever will. Yea sucks that he died, we all will die, move on.
    • by Tom ( 822 )

      Gates. This guy is a brilliant programmer

      Err, what?

      He can code, yes. I've yet to see evidence of anything even resembling brilliance. What code of his is actually known to be written by him (and not bought elsewhere) is well within the capabilities of average programmers of the respective time.

      (which Steve Jobs could never do)

      AFAIK he never claimed to. He's most definitely not the nicest guy around. Then again, neither is Gates. Oh yeah, he's trying to whitewash his name now with billions that he's taken from society in the form of monopoly rent. When people give away money, neve

  • by demonbug ( 309515 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @01:57PM (#37858814) Journal

    But this brought up an interesting question. I know that California state law requires a certain number of handicapped spaces for all public parking lots and structures (public including lots intended for customers and employees), but I haven't been able to find anything about enforcing handicapped parking in private lots. Presumably, the city parking police wouldn't be cruising through a privately-owned campus like Apple's. Could an employee (or passerby) call to report such a violation? Or would the entity that owns the lot have to invite the police to enforce the handicapped parking space?

    Absolutely an asshole move to do this, I'm just wondering, legally, how it works to enforce handicapped parking in private lots. Presumably one of those who keyed the car might have considered calling to report the parking violation, so I'm thinking that the municipality's parking police aren't allowed to do anything unless the owner of the property invites them to do so (which most shopping centers etc. would likely do).

  • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @02:02PM (#37858868) Journal

    Why? Because there are always too many or too few. Just like the fact that a stopped clock is right twice a day, you can almost never have just the right number of handicapped spots. So cities usually force businesses to err on the side of having too many, and that violates the Zero One Infinity rule [] and represents a waste of land and money.

    A better design would be more dynamic and responsive to current occupancy rates. Rather than setting some arbitrary number of parking spaces close to the entrance as handicapped spaces, designate zero handicapped spaces, but make sure the spaces close to the entrance never completely fill up []. Then there will always be a parking space near the entrance available for any handicapped person who needs to park there.

    Perhaps Steve was simply annoyed at having to live with the poor design.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Thursday October 27, 2011 @02:58PM (#37859656) Journal


    How frickin' cool would it be to know you were one of the people who keyed Steve Jobs' 500 SL?

    I'd take a picture of it and use it as my logo.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington