Steve Wozniak Burnishes Steve Jobs' Reputation With Pro-Australia Comments

Every Simon had his Garfunkel, every Leopold had his Loeb, the indispensable partner who nonetheless was never quite the equal of the other. And the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak, the one-time dater of Kathy Griffin, Dancing with the Stars contestant, and, by all accounts, the tech wiz who as much as any individual on the planet helped revolutionize computing and make it personal in a way that was just unimaginable to the slow-moving icebergs of companies such as IBM.

Post-Apple (he officially left the company in 1987), Woz has padded around the globe as an eccentric tech guru and peace bear and occasional cameo presence on nerd-heavy shows such as The Big Bang Theory. Now, as Reason 24/7 notes, he's plumping for Australian citizenship because he digs the Land Downunder's plan to subsidize its lagging broadbrand penetration:

Wozniak told The Australian Financial Review in Sydney that he had spoken to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and was in support of the federal government’s fibre rollout.

“I spoke to him and they plan to roll it out to everyone in the country,” Mr Wozniak said.

And there's this: "I live in a country where we don’t have any regulation of telecommunications.”

Woz further said this to AFR:

Despite his status as a technology icon, Mr Wozniak said he was not connected to a broadband service in his home in California, classing the options available to him as a “monopoly”. “There’s only one set of wires to be on and I’m not going to pull strings to get them to do something special for me,” he said. “When I worked at Hewlett-Packard we treated ourselves like a family and protecting each other and I believe in that.

“I’ve sat with our FCC [Federal Communications Commission] commissioner and told him that story in his office, but it’s not going to happen. We just don’t have the political idea to bring broadband to all the people who are 1 kilometre too far away.”

As it happens, the United States has higher broadband penetration by household than Australia. And it's a country where the regulation of telecommunications is not simply present but overbearing - and itching to expand its province all the time. One of the reasons that the internet and World Wide Web flourished in the U.S. (and elsewhere) is precisely because the FCC and other parts of the government have been thwarted in ongoing attempts to regulate content and access to the 'net.

Part of me would like very much to live in Woz's world: Money beyond calculation, rightly earned gadget guru status, a legacy of liberatory technology. And part of me wonders how the hell this guy ties his shoes in the morning. No telecon regulation in these United States? His reality testing is about as powerful as the old Apple IIe I used 20-plus years ago.

To remind yourself that the FCC exists, watch this 2010 Reason TV vid, "3 Reasons the FCC Shouldn't 'Touch' the Internets":

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  • John||

    It is my understanding that Woz was the Simon and Jobs the Garfunkel. Woz is a socially dysfunctional nerd and an absolute technical genius of the highest order. Jobs was the charming one who didn't do much if any of the technical stuff. He just marketed, abused people, and exploited the hell out of Woz's technical genius.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Garfunkel wrote Bright Eyes, which was in the eternal cinematic masterpiece Watership Down.

    It's an inapt comparison, as Simon and Garfunkel were both insanely talented.

    (And also both good marketers and abusive towards their lessers).

  • John||

    Yes they were. And if you listen to the 1981 Central Park concert, where they sing both Simon and Garfunkel songs and all of the famous Simon solo songs from the 70s, there is not a single Paul Simon solo song that doesn't sound just as good or better with both of them than with just Simon. Unfortunately they both had huge egos and Garfunkel didn't want to spend his life as a hired singer for Simon. But they really were better off with each other than apart.

  • The Hammer||

    eternal cinematic masterpiece Watership Down.

    How many bodies do you have buried under your house?

  • sarcasmic||

    the one-time dater of Kathy Griffin

    *barf*

  • FD||

    But even beyond that. What the hell was the point, Nick?

  • John||

    I know Woz is the prototypcal nerd. But even Bill Gates did better than that. If several billion dollars only gets you Kathy Griffen, you need to consider going celibate or maybe just going gay.

  • ||

    Puhleeze. Even the bear hunters wouldn't go for this guy.

  • John||

    Kristen, he is worth over a hundred billion dollars. You mean you wouldn't suck it up, take a few drugs and have a couple of drinks and put out for half of a hundred billion dollars?

  • sarcasmic||

    If he's smart enough to invent the things he invented, I'm sure he's smart enough to have a nuclear shielded pre-nup.

  • John||

    But with that much money, even a good prenup only goes so far. Oh, you have to settle for a hundred million in Apple stock. Oh my lord, how will you get by?

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently Kathy Griffin found working the comedy club circuit preferable to his sorry ass.

    What does that tell you?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    That she made enough money off of him to get better looking guys?

  • John||

    How do you know she dumped him? Maybe he dumped her. I find it more likely someone would find self abuse and hookers preferable to Griffin.

  • sarcasmic||

    I find it more likely someone would find self abuse and hookers preferable to Griffin.

    These choices are not mutually exclusive.

  • John||

    True Sarcasmic. But I think one of them is a net negative to the situation and it is not hookers or self abuse.

  • fried wylie||

    a nuclear shielded pre-nup.

    It's a doc stored on an AppleII that has painstakingly had all of its silicon replaced with vacuum tubes. Sure, it wouldv'e been easier, cheaper, and greener to run an AppleII emulator on a radiation hardened ARM chip or something, but hey, gotta spend your money somehow, ammirite?

  • Ice Nine||

    If he's smart enough to invent the things he invented, I'm sure he's smart enough to have a nuclear shielded pre-nup.

    He would have to invent that too, given that there's no such thing.

  • John||

    Especially not in California. If you are a man and live in California, just figure you are nothing but an ATM machine for any woman who can catch you.

  • fried wylie||

    Eh, after taxes, would it still be worth it?

  • Zeb||

    Shit, I'd let Woz fuck me for $1 billion.

  • Drake||

    If you live within the service area of a cable company, you have at least 3 internet choices - cable, DSL, satellite, and possibly fiber optic. How is that a monopoly? How many more choices are necessary?

  • fried wylie||

    Where's my option to have my packets transported on the backs of imported Peruvian guinea pigs? Or to have my internet transmitted hydraulically on my water lines?

    Huh SmartGuy, HUH?!

  • Michael||

    Don't you get it, you silly, feeble minded "individual"? Those are "false choices". The only real choices are the ones that the government makes for you. This way you don't run the unacceptable risk of making "bad choices". How else are you going to enjoy WiFi in a yurt?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    His comment is likely rooted in his personal history of wanting to provide technology to people for free. The Jobs bio is pretty explicit about the fact that Jobs was the one who convinced Woz to make their product a marketable one, as opposed to just giving it away to anyone who asked.

  • JeremyR||

    That's not true though. The only option I have is satellite where I live. Some of my neighbors have DSL or Cable, but neither the phone or cable company will go down my street

  • sarcasmic||

    Part of me would like very much to live in Woz's world: Money beyond calculation, rightly earned gadget guru status, a legacy of liberatory technology

    Sex with Kathy Griffin, more sex with Kathy Griffin, projectile vomiting, more sex with Kathy Griffin...

  • alittlesense||

    If she would just not talk......she's actually not bad looking.

  • ||

  • Zeb||

    I'd still say she's doing OK for a 50 yo redhead. I don't know what's up with the permanent milk mustache, though.

  • Loki||

    Gah!!!! Warn people next time, please! That image will haunt my nightmares.

  • Killazontherun||

    The diet plan that got away.

  • ||

    Is he about to eat that apple or fuck it?

  • T||

    It's a step up from Griffin, you have to admit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Savants are often practical idiots. And when you're richer than the Pope you probably have someone dealing with the real world and its bureaucracies for you.

  • kinnath||

    This must be where I shill for Wildblue again.

  • mr simple||

    We just don’t have the political idea to bring broadband to all the people who are 1 kilometre too far away.

    Kilometre? He has lost his mind.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    You know who else treated themselves like a family and protected each other...

  • ||

    The Branch Davidians?

  • Randian||

    That last part didn't work out too well.

  • ||

    Was Sharon Tate one of their "greatest hits"?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    South Korea has by far the greatest broadband system both in reach and speed.

    How that occurred I am not sure.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Probably something to do with demand, but I'm just guessing.

  • T||

    Starcraft, that's how.

  • Randian||

    There's the winner right there.

  • sarcasmic||

    Silent Death, man. Why'd they have to go and kill off Silent Death?

  • Drake||

    Population density.

  • Drake||

    Which is why Australia's system sucks - it's too expensive for multiple providers to build competing systems over enormous sparsely populated areas.

  • ||

    yep, I think we're the only country to have laws allowing third party access to infrastructure for just that reason

  • Juice||

    I think for many countries in Europe, the government (local or national) owns the cable and fiber lines, and telcoms send their signals over those lines and compete using the same lines, much like trucking companies use the roads. And broadband is usually cheap.

  • The Hammer||

    And broadband is usually cheap.

    If you pretend that taxes and subsidies don't exist. Just like "Free" healthcare.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

  • John Thacker||

    South Korea's high broadband penetration rate came long before those white papers, so I don't understand your point.

    The growth of US broadband was arguably slowed by unmetered telephone calls.

    The US broadband rate is similar to other countries with a large population.

  • Jordan||

    His point is he's a big government worshipping leftwinger.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Of the top 50 fastest cities, two were in Sweden. The rest were in South Korea and Japan with Hong Kong being the other lone entrant.

    http://gigaom.com/broadband/so.....broadband/

    But huge market US cities lag.

    Density does not account for this.

  • John Thacker||

    You didn't actually read your link, did you?

    "22 US cities ranked among the top 100."

    "Seven cities in Europe were included in the top 100."

    Note again that the top countries are small countries. South Korea (very dense), Netherlands (as dense as South Korea), Japan (slightly less dense than those two), Hong Kong (insanely dense), Belgium, Switzerland, Latvia, Romania, Czech Republic, Denmark.

    The USA scores 12th, ahead of the UK, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, etc.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I was referencing speed, not reach.

    There is no reason not to have 1Gps in San Fran or NYC.

  • Randian||

    There is no reason not to have 1Gps in San Fran or NYC

    Except for maybe lack of demand, perhaps.

  • Michael||

    I was referencing speed, not reach.

    There is no reason not to have 1Gps in San Fran or NYC.

    Holy crap are you ever so stupid. I mean, I always knew you were dumb, but this is one of the clearest examples of the cavernous depths of your stupidity. Not only that, but it also perfectly illustrates progressives' uncontrollable urge to answer questions that nobody has asked.

    Did you ever stop to think that an overwhelming majority of consumer level needs can be satisfied by DSL speed? Streaming Netflix, occasional VoIP calling, sending email - none of those things have a gigabit prerequisite. Even torrents can be set to run unobtrusively overnight.

  • sarcasmic||

    Internet access piggybacks on highly regulated utilities, so access is actually determined by government regulators.

    I'm not sure what your point is. That governments in those countries aren't as restrictive as ours?

  • John Thacker||

    US cities end up dominating the spots from 51-100. Europe actually does very poorly, in general.

    Small countries in Europe with high density get good nationwide scores, even though their cities don't do very well.

    Yes, South Korea has very fast Internet connections. But they're far from the only country with a national broadband strategy, but they do have a gadget loving, Starcraft loving population with a high density.

  • Paul.||

    Yes, South Korea has very fast Internet connections. But they're far from the only country with a national broadband strategy, but they do have a gadget loving, Starcraft loving population with a high density.

    They have a major television show called "Tekken Crash". These people are nuts for their video games.

  • John Thacker||

    The very high population density certainly helped.

    The countries with the best broadband penetration rate are all reasonably small in population. Crappy cold weather seems to help too, though South Korea doesn't have that.

  • T||

    Any place that regularly gets down to -4F is too damn cold for me.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    When I was stationed there, we lucked out when Glowball Wormin' kept the temps above 30F for the most part. I think we only had one "real" snowstorm the entire winter at Camp Humphreys.

    Considering all the horror stories I heard from Korean War vets about freezing in the winter, I was amazed at how relatively mild it turned out to be.

  • Drake||

    South Korea doesn't have crappy cold weather?

  • John Thacker||

    Not like Sweden and the Nordic countries, no.

    Winter can get a bit cold in some places, I grant.

  • Drake||

    I was waiting for a Korea Vet to chime in. The interior mountains of Korea are brutally cold in the winter. The Korean war had by far the coldest campaigns in American history. Forty below wasn't uncommon.

  • R C Dean||

    I thought good broadband infrastructure showed up where you didn't have that much of a legacy infrastructure/sunk cost fallacy waiting to happen/entrenched firms.

    Like Japan becoming a leading industrial power after WWII, because all their factories were new, for some reason.

    Could be wrong, of course.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Population density something like 10 times the U.S. average? Broadband requires infrastructure, the cost scales with terrain covered, the payments for it scale with population covered. In theory, U.S. urban areas could be doing as well, but the law requires that they subsidize rural areas' infrastructure.

  • ||

    "We just don’t have the political idea to bring broadband to all the people who are 1 kilometre too far away.”

    Or the political idea to:

    * attempt to create a national firewall
    * require ISPs to retain all data about all customers' net usage for two years for the convenience of law enforcement
    * consider creating a new media regulator

    And that's before you get to the problems with the NBN

  • Paul.||

    Thank you for posting this. I was actually quite surprised no one had touched on it yet.

  • Tim||

    WHen I was a kid, broadband meant the Go-Go's.

  • Tim||

    'Cause we got the beat

    We got the beat

    We got the beat

    Yeah, we got it

  • John||

    They were so cute. You would never have suspected half of them were on heroin and the other half had an STD.

  • T||

    One of the GoGos made the comment that if the suburban moms knew what the band got up to, the mommies would never let their kids anywhere near a GoGos show. But they were cute (marginally so, in some cases) girls, so they were considered harmless.

  • John||

    Jane Wiedlin was super cute. Caffey wasn't bad before she became a junkie. Then of course Carlyle was the Ginger to Wiedlin's Mary Ann.

  • robc||

    Wiedlin is the bondage freak, right? (NTTIAWWT)

  • John||

    Is she? I will be in my bunk.

  • robc||

    From her imdb page (the google search for "Wiedlin bondage" brings up some odd choices):

    She is a member of the fetish community. When she was on a celebrity version of "Jeopardy" (which she won), she wore leather bondage pants. One of the first songs she wrote as a Go-Go was called "Fun with Ropes".

  • robc||

    Also:

    I'd [pose nude for Playboy] for $67, but lunch has to be included, and a ride. Being scared of nudity is retarded. A lot of things wrong with this country just stem from other people not being able to think straight.

  • Randian||

    Jane Wiedlin was super cute.

    Disagree.

  • robc||

    I gotta agree with John on this one.

  • John||

    I bet Jane was a lot of fun back in the day. Hell she is probably still a lot of fun.

  • JW||

    Why am I not surprised that Randian's taste in women is as bad as it is for movies?

    Wiedlen=super cutie, once she lost the weight.

  • robc||

    Im sure there was some overlap.

  • The Hammer||

    half of them were on heroin and the other half had an STD.

    Does this mean that heroin prevents STD's?

  • John||

    No. It just means that junkies are too busy getting high to have much time for sex and catching an STD.

  • ||

    So, check their pupils before fucking them? Is this like "half of them have TB, and the other half are Viet-Cong"?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Tim| 9.25.12 @ 10:24AM |#

    'Cause we got the beat

    We got the beat

    We got the beat

    Yeah, we got it

    Somewhere, a Railroad Minister just put out a fatwa against you for that.

  • Tim||

    Those were simpler times.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    You are just lucky you did not do Walk Like an Egyptian, otherwise; death squads would be knocking on your door any minute now.

  • robc||

    Different band.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Shows how much I know, or don't.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Here ya go.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Different band.

    Not really.

  • Randian||

    Beat me to it.

  • ||

    Holy crap. I didn't know anonbot was still trolling Hit Run. Way to make it through registration anonbot.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure this is a real person, not a bot. His comments are actually relevant, and the name is the same (WigFow) every time.

  • ||

    WigFow is just his current name. Nothing will beat TampyDampy or Carbman Jones. He is our own beloved anonbot who is slowly becoming self-aware and will one day pass the sarcasmic test* and be indistinguishable from the rest of us

    * ie drooling over Bar Rafaeli

  • Killazontherun||

    No woman should be cursed with a name as ugly as Bar.

  • Randian||

    You know, if you hung around here a little bit more...

  • Ice Nine||

    Woz has trouble with the babes? Obviously he should have never cut his hair.

  • Jordan||

    Woz is the stereotypical neckbeard.

  • ||

    The Woz invented the Apple II and changed the world for the better. For this I will forgive him much.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I can't get broadband. And that's on me, because I choose to live where I live.

  • R C Dean||

    Same here. I'm currently pissing on HughesNet's leg over the spectacularly bad service I've been getting.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Y'know, Nick, you could do a LOT with an Apple IIe if you knew how to use it. As they say, it's a poor Jacket who blames his tools...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Steve Wozniak, the one-time dater of Kathy Griffin

    Once would be more than sufficient.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Isn't the better comparison the Peter Pettigrew to Jobs' Voldemort?

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