Steve Jobs obituaries
Boing Boing Bounces Back To 1984
Google Links Apple
Apple's Home Page
Wired Goes Dark
New York Times Front Page
Pixar Says Thanks
Apple's original core, Steve Jobs, died last night. Though his death was perhaps not unexpected given his drawn-out battle with cancer and his recent disappearance from public view, what may be surprising to some is the outpouring of emotion in the media. Tributes and obituaries dot the web, the newspapers, the TV, and the radio the world over.
Here are some of them that may have impressed Jobs himself with their innovation and subtle humor, among others that point out how important this innovative man was held to be.
Google's homepage is perhaps its most precious asset, the place the company's phenomenal business really began as a search engine, and its most prominent brand projector. Google doesn't mess with its home page--even its famous Doodles are restrained, clever.
But today Google is thinking differently. Centrally placed in the prominent whitespace below its minimalistic logo and search box are just four words: "Steve Jobs, 1955-2011," and a hyperlink...to Apple's home page. Google, classily, has stepped right over the complex business rivalry between the two giant tech firms.
Not much to be said about this, apart from to admire its characteristic Apple simplicity, straightforwardness. And if its task is to pay tribute to the company's key figure, with style and poignancy, it "just works."
Don't imagine it's not innovative, and an unusual if not unique move for Jobs's company. Forget branding, forget its status as the world's most valuable firm, forget technology, forget good PR: Apple is simply remembering the life of a person.
Taking a leaf from Google, technology blog Wired--the Net presence of the famous magazine--has darkened its entire home page in homage to Jobs. Even the company's logo is dimmed into insignificance.
Above the fold, top-right...a position that's as prominent on the New York Times front page as a headline can get (when an image, this time of the Occupy Wall Street campaign, dominates the left half): "Redefined the Digital Age As the Visionary of Apple" is how the Times remembers Jobs.
The words are choice, careful--pointing out how much of a revolution Jobs was responsible for...including many aspects of computer tech that have seriously challenged the Times itself, and the entire industry it represents. Jobs's innovations, particularly with the iPad, have forced papers like the Times to let go of their perhaps slightly old-fashioned business thinking, and embrace the Digital Age in the headline.
The L.A. Times kept it simple, with Steve's smiling image front, center, and top above the fold and the headline "Apple's Steve Jobs Dies." The Chicago Tribune simplified it further, with an unusual shot of Jobs and the headline "American Pioneer." Many other newspapers across the U.S. led with an image of Jobs, a commentary about his innovations, and segments of obituaries.
Though the time of Jobs' death meant many newspapers elsewhere in the world were out of time to update their pages (national Diário de Notícias in Portugal, for example, has no mention in print but devoted extensive cover in its online edition), many papers around the world from Argentina to France to the East found space on their front page to mention the death of Jobs.
Look on Twitter right now and you'll see trending topics include #ThankYouSteve and #iSad. Fittingly, given the way Twitter is about to be threaded throughout iOS 5--Apple's newest, most powerful code refresh for its iPhones and iPads--many millions of people are expressing their opinions about the news, about the man himself, and are sharing links and images in tribute. A browse through the odd art form of #TWITTERART tells you all you need to know about how many people are affected by this news, and how they're given a forum to collaboratively talk about it, often using technology Steve Jobs himself helped create.
Steve Jobs professed his love for art and creativity in many ways, not least when revealing insights (during his famous Stanford commencement speech) into how his enrollment in calligraphy classes led to some of the typographic prowess that distinguished the Mac and helped build the PC's and Job's own character. Now artists around the Web have seized the news, and are creating moving tributes that, like these two examples, are powerful in their simplicity. That's something Steve would definitely have liked.
Leave it to the XKCD webcomic ("A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language") to come up with the most geekily pertinent tribute to Steve Jobs. The fiancée of Randall Munroe, the hand behind the comic, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and XKCD strips have at various points since referenced the humorous and darker side of the situation.
Hovering your mouse over the original image yields a hidden message: "There's always the hope that if you sit and watch for long enough, the beachball will vanish, and the thing it interrupted will return."