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Flash, that lost iPhone & Foxcoon suicides

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It is rare to see the black polo necked one speaking away from the safety of an Apple stage and home crowd, but last night Steve Jobs spoke to influential US journalist Walk Mossberg (yes he of Mosspuppet fame) in a hugely wide ranging (and 90 minute long) interview at the D8 conference in Los Angeles.

As usual Jobs' views were a dizzying array of cutting insight, cautious no comments and wildly inaccurate generalisations (as we have come to expect). Here are a few of the highlights:
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On Apple surpassing Microsoft's valuation:
"It's sort of surreal. It's a little surreal... {in the early 90s} we were 90 days from going bankrupt. I thought all the good people had left - but I found these amazing people. I said, why are you still here? They said, because I believe in Apple. I love what this place stands for. That just made us want to work that much harder."

On Flash and dropping Adobe development tools:
"We have a history of doing this. The 3 1/2 floppy. We made that popular. We got ride of the floppy altogether in the first iMac. We got rid of serial and parallel ports. You saw USB first in iMacs. We were one of the first to get rid of optical drives, with the MacBook Air. And when we do this, sometimes people call us crazy. Sometimes you have to pick the right horses. Flash looks like it had its day but it's waning, and HTML5 looks like it's coming up... {warning: major factual inaccuracies impending} There's no smartphone shipping with Flash... {Flash on sites is} mostly ads... If the market tells us we're making bad choices, we'll make changes. We're just trying to make great products. We don't think this is great and we're going to leave it out."
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On the lost fourth generation iPhone:
"There's an ongoing investigation. I can tell you what I do know, though. To make a product you need to test it. You have to carry them outside. One of our employees was carrying one. There's a debate about whether he left it in a bar, or it was stolen out of his bag. The person who found it tried to sell it, they called Engadget, they called Gizmodo. The person who took the phone plugged it into his roommates computer. And this guy was trying to destroy evidence... and his roommate called the police. So this is a story that's amazing it's got theft, it's got buying stolen property, it's got extortion, I'm sure there's some sex in there... the whole thing is very colourful. The DA is looking into it, and to my knowledge they have someone making sure they only see stuff that relates to this case. I don't know how it will end up."

On the spate of Foxconn suicides:
"It's a factory, but my gosh they have restaurants and movie theatres, but it's a factory. But they've had some suicides and attempted suicides and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the US rate is, but it's still troubling." {Apple has since announced it will be contributing a 10 per cent rise to employee salaries}

Continued on page two...

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