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Click to see full-size As you'll see in the article Secrets of the Little Blue Box, Steve Jobs started as a "phracker" who made thousands of dollars selling an illegal "blue box" used for "phracking" (phone hacking) so people could make free phone calls anywhere in the world. Eventually it seems that Jobs may have turned over a new leaf, and used his ill-gotten gains to start a legitimate business that we know today as Apple. It reminds me somewhat of how the Kennedys got their wealth from bootlegging during the Prohibition Era.

Did he, or didn't he?Do you suppose Steve Jobs really repented of his former evil deeds? Apparently The New Yorker thinks so! Over the last two weeks since Jobs, one of the richest and most famous men on earth passed into eternity (but the question is: what good are his riches and fame doing for him now?), there have been hundreds if not thousands of accolades praising him for his mighty works.

I personally find this somewhat cloying, when I consider his business tactics: he "borrowed" the concept of windows, a graphical user interface, from Xerox Park; but then he sued Microsoft for adopting a similar windows interface for its operating system. The list of Apple's lawsuits could go on and on. His company has more recently "borrowed" an app's functions and even the icon from a small-time app developer and is selling it in the Apple App Store, after refusing to sell that developer's app in the Apple App Store.

The Mac OS X Operating System that helped Apple make its billions is a direct take-off from Linux, a free operating system derived from Unix. The whole concept of Unix, a multi-tasking operating system for small computers, including the C Language it was written in, Jobs "borrowed" from Dennis Ritchie: The Shoulders Steve Jobs Stood On. Ritchie, co-inventor of the C Language and the Unix Operating System, which created the foundation of the Internet, will arguably be a much greater figure in the annals of computing history, but hardly anyone noticed when Ritchie passed into eternity last week at age 70.

As you may have noticed, I'm not an Apple fanboy: "smart" phones that sell for $600 and then cost the user $2,400 over a two-year contract are kind of stupid, as far as I'm concerned. And over-priced Apple personal computers that only lately are able to run the vast array of programs written for Windows just have never made sense to me. Sorry if you're an adherent of the Apple religion - I'm not. Nor am I a Microsoft fanboy: In my next issue of CN.Net-News I will summarize what I see as Bill Gates' and Microsoft's unfair practices.

Definition of status: buying things you don't need... with money you don't have... to impress people you don't like.

Speaking of people signing up for a $3,000 obligation by taking out a two-year contract when buying a "smart" phone, consider whether it's smart to take out a mortgage on your brain by signing up for tens of thousands of dollars in student education loans that often can only be paid off by stretching the payment period out over your entire working life. And consider the effect of taking out 30-year mortgages on homes, one after another, until you finally realize that you'll still be paying on your final mortgage well after you retire. This is what the "Occupy Wall Street" folks don't quite understand: they've sold themselves into debt slavery, and now they're using their smartphones and Mac computers to protest that the "poor 99%" (themselves) are being oppressed by the "rich 1%" - go figure why the poor are poor and the rich are rich! I've just written an article on this, Escaping Debt Slavery, that you can download and pass on to your friends.

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Thanks to Dennis Ritchie, Linus Torvalds was able to develop Linux, which is now the basis for Android (also a free OS). Various other flavors of Linux are showing up on new phones and tablet computers almost every day: Nokia readies Linux OS for low-end smartphones. And now: India launches Aakash tablet computer priced at $35 - this price is slightly subsidized for students, but will retail for about $60. Soon the day will come when virtually everyone in the world will have a smartphone or a tablet computer and be on the Internet.

But what is this leading to? A couple of times when going swimming, I've had to remind some guys in the dressing room who were talking on their phones to pay attention to the five signs posted around the dressing room stating "No Cell Phone Use" because these phones nowadays almost always have built-in cameras. Yesterday while I was swimming, I saw a woman yakking on her phone just before stepping into the pool. Does a person really need to take that phone into the pool area? And how many times have you seen people talking on their phones while driving? I suppose if they've signed a contract for 2,000 minutes per month, they think that they must get their money's worth by using up those minutes!

Now here's our blurb on security, this time where computers and your physical security intersect: the most disgusting use of cell phones is this article - Nasty Bugs Lurking on Your Cell Phone - "A new study found that 92% of cell phones in the U.K. have bacteria on them - including E. coli - because people aren't washing their hands after going to the bathroom." More precicely, one out of six cell phones have E. coli bacteria on them. Ick!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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