October 24th, 2011
02:17 PM ET

Steve Jobs: new biography, new video, new revelations

For Apple watchers and fans of Steve Jobs, there's a lot to digest today.

There's the just-released official biography by Walter Isaacson, new audio recordings of Steve Jobs on "60 Minutes," and and a video of Apple's memorial for the late co-founder.

Apple has released the video of its company-wide service. Available on Apple.com, it's simply called "A Celebration of Steve's Life."

In it, Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals Jobs' parting advice to him: "Don't ask what I would do. Don't ask what I would want. Just do what's right."

The official biography is now available for download via iTunes and Kindle. And already, some juicy highlights are getting posted online.

Here is an excerpt (h/t Danny Sullivan) about a shouting match between Steve Jobs and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Jobs tried to dissuade them from developing the Android operating system.

In fact, he offered Google guaranteed iPhone access and home screen icons to NOT develop Android.

And finally, there's the "60 Minutes" interview with Jobs' official biographer Walter Isaacson (a former chief of CNN). He conducted over 40 interviews with Steve Jobs over two years, and has just released some of the audio recordings from those interviews.

One remarkable story is how Steve Jobs accidentally met his biological father at a Mediterranean restaurant in Silicon Valley. Not knowing the tech titan was his own son, Abdulfattah John Jandali had boasted that Jobs "was a great tipper."

Steve Jobs said he shook hands with Mr. Jandali and that was it. The two men never spoke again.

October 24th, 2011
11:10 AM ET

AsiaD & Start-up Saturday: the News Stream download!

I am never an early riser.

Well, except for special occasions, and last Thursday was indeed a very special occasion.


Because the first-ever “All Things D” conference – AsiaD – kicked off in Hong Kong from Oct 19th to 21st, marking a significant milestone in the region’s digital history. For the non-geeks out there, “All Things D” conference is one of the largest and most prestigious technology conventions in the world. Organized by two of the most respected tech columnists, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the conference brings together top-tier innovative and successful business pioneers as well as technology titans with an exclusive preview of industry trends.

Enough adjectives there?

Past conference speakers have included Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and AsiaD’s line-up featured a mix of Asian and Western tech luminaries including Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey and hometown hero Jack Ma from Alibaba Group.

Even though I didn’t get to sit through the entire programme (of course work comes first! Disclaimer: my boss reads this), I was fortunate enough to tweet-spam the first few sessions when Walt spoke to Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih, among other guests. You can review all the conference-related tweets at “#AsiaD”.

For me, one noteworthy highlight from last Thursday’s morning session was the amazing “light field camera” demo by Lytro Chairman Charles Chi. The team unveiled the product in California only six hours before rushing to Hong Kong, and many reports have already coined it the “revolutionary new camera” for its ability to refocus images. Check out the company’s Living Pictures Gallery to grasp the concept.

Needless to say, a digital convention deserves a digitalized coverage, and without doubt, the team of talented and professional editors at All Things D truly defined the meaning of real-time, seamless online reporting. For more on the talks, speakers and demo at AsiaD, visit AllThingsD.

Although AsiaD concluded Friday afternoon as I obsessively refreshed my Twitter feed at work for updates, I slapped myself awake again on Saturday for another digital meet-up in Hong Kong – Startup Saturday 2011.

While D conferences occurred at the top level, local entrepreneurs are also organizing similar meet-ups in a growing grassroots movement. “Startup Saturday 2011” is a perfect testament for the booming entrepreneur community in Asia.

Co-organized by StartupsHK and BootHK, the one-day event attracted hundreds of startups, investors, developers and tech enthusiasts, including the “super angel investor” Dave McClure from 500 Startups.

AsiaD speaker AirBnB CEO Brain Chesky also made an appearance on stage as he shared his outlandish yet ingenious startup journey including selling “Obama-O” and “Captain McCains” cereals, and paying a personal visit to every single one of the early AirBnB users in New York.

Through roundtable discussions of both HK and US startups as well as an investor panel, I had quite an interactive crash course on the entrepreneurial scene in Asia. Take a look at the Twitter feed #SUS2011 for a detailed recap, and check out Jason Li’s live art notes of the entire conference.