How does the federal government’s suit against book publishers demonstrate the bankruptcy of our antitrust laws?

"The first thing to be said about the lawsuit filed last week by the Justice Department against Apple and five book publishers is that the defendants very well may be guilty. There does seem to have been collusion among them to fix the price of e-books. But even if the book publishers’ actions were illegal, that’s not to suggest what they did wasn’t understandable. Indeed, there’s a plausible case to be made that the actions of the publishers actually amounted to combating an abusive monopoly—namely, Amazon. The Justice department may be acting correctly under existing antitrust law by suing Apple—but, in that way, the case only highlights why the laws in question are in desperate need of an overhaul.”

- Jeffrey Rosen, How the Obama Administration’s Suit Against Book Publishers Proves the Bankruptcy of Our Antitrust Laws

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The newest issue of The New Republic is out!

In our cover story, “The iGod: Steve Jobs’s Pursuit of Perfection—and the Consequences,” Evgeny Morozov imagines Steve Jobs as a CEO-philosopher. Elsewhere, Jesse Zwick takes a close look at the zaniest super-PACs and Molly Redden shows what it takes for the GOP to sell itself to Latino voters. 

Also, be sure to check out an excerpt from Noam Scheiber’s new book, The Escape Artists on how the Obama administration’s economic team fumbled the recovery, and read Charles Homans on the search for the next Macaca moment.

Don’t miss Timothy Noah’s TRB column on the best way to fix the deficit and the environment, Andrew Nathan’s commentary on a new biography of Den Xiaoping, and William Deresiewicz on Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending. For access to these pieces and Leon Wieseltier’s Washington Diarist on the importance of libraries be sure to check out tnr.com.

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Steve Jobs: the ultimate CEO philosopher or just a marketing genius?

"As Isaacson makes clear, Jobs was not a particularly nice man, nor did he want to be one. The more diplomatic of Apple’s followers might say that Steve Jobs—bloodthirsty vegetarian, combative Buddhist—lived a life of paradoxes. A less generous assessment would be that he was an unprincipled opportunist-a brilliant but restless chameleon. For Jobs, consistency was truly the hobgoblin of little minds (he saw little minds everywhere he looked) and he did his best to prove Emerson’s maxim in his own life. He hung a pirate flag on the top of his team’s building, proclaiming that “it is better to be a pirate than to join the Navy,” only to condemn Internet piracy as theft several decades later. He waxed lyrical about his love for calligraphy, only to destroy the stylus as an input device. He talked up the virtues of contemplation and meditation, but did everything he could to shorten the time it takes to boot an Apple computer."

- Evgeny Morozov, “Form and Fortune

Photo courtesy of The Guardian 

"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

-Steve Jobs

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(SAN FRANCISCO) — For the second time in as many years, it’s been reported that an Apple employee misplaced a prototype of its newest iPhone in a San Francisco-area bar. In Cava 22, a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District, CNET says, “the errant iPhone” made off without its owner in late July, setting off a scramble by Apple security to recover it. CNET cites “a source familiar with the investigation.”

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"NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER YOU CAN’T LIFT!"

It was 27 years ago today — January 24, 1984 — that Steve Jobs demonstrated the Apple Macintosh to a crowd of about 3,000 people. Just two days earlier, Apple had debuted the "1984" commercial during Super Bowl XVIII, which introduced the personal computer for the first time. The short clip, which referenced the George Orwell novel of the same name, has since been recognized as a masterpiece in advertising and is considered one of the most successful television commercials ever released in the United States.

From the YouTube caption: “Andy Hertzfeld captured the moment quite well in his retelling: ‘Pandemonium reigns as the demo completes. Steve has the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face, obviously holding back tears as he is overwhelmed by the moment. The ovation continues for at least five minutes before he quiets the crowd down.’”