I’m going to go off topic a bit today and discuss one tech related item, namely what Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Wall Street Journal All Things Digital Conference yesterday, and two non-tech related items: noting the passing of a great American musician – Doc Watson and those persons that awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday.
What Tim Cook Relayed at the All Things Digital Conference: Apple CEO Tim Cook was the guest speaker yesterday at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital tech conference. And while he didn’t relay any specific details regarding new, upcoming Apple products; he did hint that there is some type of actual Apple television (an actual television and not a media streaming box) in development and tantalizingly said of upcoming Apple products that he has “never been as amazed by all ‘the things I cannot talk about today!” And he noted that on his watch Apple’s philosophy will be to continue to strive to be a creative technology company. He also hinted that he would offer a few specific details about upcoming Apple products and/or updates at Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference in June.
Here’s a link to an All Things Digital transcript of Tim Cook’s conversation with All Things Digital staff Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher:
And a link to a Washington Post article, tilted Apple’s Tim Cook promises ‘incredible’ products, offers no details, which offers an overview of what Tim Cook said:
The Great Doc Watson: Doc Watson, the influential flat picking guitarist and singer, died yesterday at age 89. Mr. Watson, who was born in rural North Carolina in 1923, lost his sight as an infant and began playing the guitar as a child. He seemed to have soaked up traditional American folk, bluegrass and country music and made it his own by creating a vigorous flat picking style of guitar playing. And in addition to his richly creative guitar and banjo playing Mr. Watson had an equally rich baritone voice that he used in singing heart felt ballads. Mr. Watson’s talents enriched American music for decades. If you’re not familiar with Doc Watson’s music I urge you to check it out! The library has several of his compacts discs in its music collection.
Here’s a link to Doc Watson’s New York Times obituary which offers an overview of this very creative artist’s life and work:
Thirteen Inspirational People Receive Medal of Freedom: Thirteen persons received the Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday. The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award that can be given in the U.S. and the 2012 recipients include: Bob Dylan, Toni Morrison, Madeline Albright, John Paul Stevens, John Glenn, Doctor William Foege, John Doar, Dolores Huerta, Gordon Hirabayashi, Jan Karski, Juliette Gordon Low, Shimon Peres and Pat Summitt.
Bob Dylan and Toni Morrison are of course well known for their fantastic songwriting and literary writing skills respectively; Madeline Albright is well known for being the first female Secretary of State as well as for her exemplary diplomatic skills, John Paul Stevens for his decades of work as a Supreme Court Justice and John Glenn as the first American to orbit the Earth.
The less well known recipients have offered equally laudable contributions to society; Doctor William Foege was Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the 1970s and was responsible for leading the crusade to eliminate small pox in the United States; John Doar was an attorney who worked for the Justice Department during the Civil Rights era and was instrumental in bringing civil rights cases before the DOJ, for being a leader in the Voting Rights Movement and for sidetracking a riot in the making before it could get started after the funeral of Medgar Evars; Dolores Huerta founded the advocacy group the National Farmworkers Association in 1962 and has been a leading figure in the fight for the rights of farm workers in the United States ever since; the late Gordon Hirabayashi was an American of Japanese descent who adamantly refused to be sent to an American interment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. He insisted that the U.S. government was violating his civil rights by discriminating against him due to his racial background and wound up being convicted in a Supreme Court Case of violating the so called exclusion order which would have sent him to an interment camp and jailed (his conviction was repealed decades later). Hirabayashi famously noted of his civil rights case: ““Surprisingly, even though I lost, I did not abandon my beliefs and my values,” he said. “And I never looked at my case as just my own, or just as a Japanese-American case. It is an American case, with principles that affect the fundamental human rights of all Americans.”* Jan Karski was a survivor of the Holocaust who worked in the underground in Poland during World War II, witnessed and made public stories of atrocities committed by the Nazis during the war; Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of American more than hundred years ago, Shimon Peres is the President of Israel who is being honored for his diplomatic peace efforts in the Middle East and Pat Summitt, who was for years a role model via her role as the Tennessee women’s basketball coach, rounded out the list of honorees. The honors are well deserved by each of the recipients!
Here’s a link to a USA Today article, titled Obama: Medal of Freedom winners have ‘incredible impact’, that offers a more in-depth look at each of this years’ honorees:
* The New York Times obituary of Gordon Hirabayashi