Thursday, October 20, 2011


PRESBHD - Lands First Middle East Contract (OSK)

Prestariang has clinched its first Middle East contract worth USD750k for a period of 3 years. It signed an agreement with Knowledge Point Educational Consultant (KPEC), an education and consulting firm based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to implement the Project-based Cyber Ethics Program in the UAE market.

Small for now but huge on potential. Although the contract value is deemed insignificant at approximately 1% of Prestariang’s existing orderbook of over RM200m, we see great underlying potential given the enormous addressable market with anchor partner KPEC on board. Riding on the collaboration, Prestariang could explore opportunities arising in other countries in the Arabian gulf region. This is in line with its intention of making strategic expansion into regional markets leveraging on its in-house training and certification products.

BUY. Since we initiated coverage on 29 Sept, Prestariang’s share price has moved up by a stellar 30%, outperforming the benchmark FBM KLCI index by over 25%. We continue to like the stock’s compelling valuation, sturdy orderbook as well as efforts to diversify its earnings stream, riding on its innovative in-house developed products. Moreover, trading interest is likely to spike up as the news flow on its overseas forays increase in the coming months. Hence, we maintain our BUY call at an unchanged Fair Value of RM0.92, based on an appealing 6x FY12 PER, with yield of >9% for both FY11 and FY12.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Then in the first 30 days the prosecution fumbled through a series of key witnesses whom later had to be impeached for proffering testimony contradictory to their pre-trial statements. In one case, a police officer testified that police interrogators "tortured and coaxed" her to make pre-trial statements which were untrue.

Subsequent witnesses testified that police reports and phone records had been changed and that other evidence had been tainted and should therefore be thrown out.

In another incident a witness testified that she had seen previous photos of the victim with Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, and both the prosecution and the defense leapt to their feet to have the testimony stricken from the record.

The same witness also testified that hers and the victim's immigration records showing entry to Malaysia had been mysteriously deleted.

Neither the prosecution nor the defense pursued a line of questioning regarding that testimony.


Sunday, October 16, 2011


AirAsia X cadang laksana IPO

Syarikat runding jual saham 10 peratus kepada Khazanah

AIRASIA X, bercadang melaksanakan tawaran awam permulaan (IPO) bagi penyenaraiannya tahun depan, dan kini sedang berunding untuk menjual 10 peratus sahamnya kepada Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
Ketua Eksekutifnya, Azran Osman-Rani, berkata penjualan saham kepada sayap pelaburan kerajaan itu, dijangka dibuat sebelum akhir tahun ini apabila kedua-dua pihak mencapai persetujuan ke atas harganya.
Beliau bagaimanapun tidak memberitahu saiz IPO yang dicadangkan itu atau di mana sahamnya akan disenaraikan.

Ogos lalu, Penerbangan Malaysia (MAS) dan AirAsia Bhd bersetuju melaksanakan pertukaran saham dalam satu urus niaga bernilai kira-kira RM1.14 bilion, yang dianggap penganalisis dapat menghapuskan pertindihan perniagaan, selain mampu merangsang keuntungan kedua-dua syarikat.

Di bawah urus niaga itu, Khazanah akan mendapatkan 10 peratus kepentingan dalam AirAsia.

“Langkah seterusnya adalah Khazanah akan turut membeli kepentingan AirAsia X dan itulah kedudukannya kini,” kata Azran.
“Jika kami mencapai persetujuan ke atas harga dan pemegang saham menerimanya, maka mereka (Khazanah) akan menjadi pemegang saham dalam AirAsia X,” katanya.

Setakat ini, kumpulan itu itu masih belum melantik mana-mana bank bagi menguruskan cadangan IPO berkenaan.

Bagaimanapun, Azran berkata, AirAsia X sudah melantik Morgan Stanley sebagai penasihat bagi urus niaga dengan Khazanah.

AirAsia, yang membuat rekod dengan menempah 200 pesawat Airbus A320neo, menguasai 16 peratus kepentingan dalam AirAsia X, manakala Virgin Group yang dimiliki ahli perniagaan Richard Branson pula memegang 10 peratus.

Sementara itu, Azran berkata, AirAsia X yang kini menawarkan penerbangan ke New Delhi dan Mumbai belum merancang meningkatkan rangkaiannya di India kerana laluan ke negara itu kini mencatatkan kerugian.

Beliau berkata, permintaan kini lebih terarah kepada penerbangan keluar India, tetapi permintaan penerbangan masuk adalah kurang.

“Kita pernah berdepan situasi yang mana syarikat menawarkan 5,000 tiket percuma ke India dari Kuala Lumpur, tetapi hanya 3,800 yang diambil. Maka, kita perlu bekerja lebih gigih bersama industri pelancongan India bagi menjadikan Delhi dan Mumbai destinasi lebih menarik,” katanya.

Azran berkata, kurangnya alternatif hotel premium tinggi di kedua-dua bandar raya utama India itu menjadi punca utama kurangnya minat pelancong asing.

AirAsia X mencatatkan purata faktor muatan sekitar 70 peratus di India disebabkan tiada keseimbangan dalam aliran keluar dan masuk, berbanding kira-kira 80 peratus dalam kebanyakan pasaran lain. – Reuters

Thursday, October 13, 2011


8 Reasons Nouriel Roubini Is (Still) So Worried…And His Plan to Save the Global Economy

Nouriel Roubini is worried about the global economy. With Daniel Alpert of Westwood Capital and Cornell Law Professor Robert Hockett, Roubini has co-authored a new report entitled The Way Forward: Moving From the Post-Bubble, Post-Bust Economy to Renewed Growth and Competitiveness.

Wednesday night in New York City, the three spoke before a small gathering organized by The New America Foundation, which commissioned the report. Before discussing the trio's policy recommendations, Roubini laid out the 8 reasons why he's still so worried about the global economy (or is it "still" so worried?).

Here's a summation, which itself can be summed up as: There are several negative trends that could devolve into a "vicious cycle," pulling the global economy into another deep recession, or even something worse:

1) Tail Risks: In recent days, Wall Street has seemingly become optimistic Europe is on its way to solving its sovereign debt/banking crisis, but Roubini is dubious. "They have a plan to have a plan," he scoffs of the latest news from the Continent. (See: European Debt Crisis Reaches "the End of the Beginning": Martin Wolf )

The situation in Europe is "extremely troubling" and after attempting to "extend and pretend," policymakers now "have no luxury of waiting," he says. EU officials have weeks (not months) to develop and implement a plan that is "credible and front-loaded," Roubini says. Failure to do so could result in bank failures, sovereign defaults or even a "disorderly disintegration" of the EU, any of which could turn the potential for a "mild recession" into a global crisis "as severe as Lehman if not worse."

(Roubini also warned of the risk of a "hard-landing" in China but says that is probably a 2013 or 2014 story.)

2) Risk Aversion: Given the myriad global uncertainties, businesses see "there is value to wait," meaning less capital expenditures and less hiring. This dynamic can become "self-fulfilling" and lead to a "crisis of confidence," Roubini says.

3) Negative Feedbacks: Recent improvements in financial markets notwithstanding, Roubini worries about the "vicious cycle" of market volatility leading to poor economic activity leading to more market volatility, and so on and so on.

4) Joblessness in America: Last week's better-than-expected jobs report brought hope to some observers, but not Roubini, who notes U6, a.k.a. the "real" unemployment rate, rose to 16.5%, the highest level of the year. The risk, Roubini says, is the "cyclical" problem of joblessness "can become permanent" for those out of work for an extended period, and the ranks of the long-term unemployed rose to 6.24 million in September, or 44.6% of the total unemployed.

5) Reckoning Postponed: Thanks to over $1 trillion in public sector outlays, via taxes and transfers, the deleveraging process at the consumer level has been "postponed," Roubini says. But it cannot be avoided and the U.S. savings rate will start to rise again, which is good for individuals but bad for the economy in what Keynes dubbed "the paradox of thrift"

6) Sitting on Cash: While many optimists tout the strength of corporate balance sheets, Roubini notes corporations are not spending their cash because final demand is so weak. Similar to worry number two, corporations' desire to keep costs down — in order to remain competitive and meet Wall Street earnings targets — is "a vicious cycle, a Catch 22," he says, noting lower labor costs for employers means less income for workers.

7) Rising Income Inequality: "Forget the morality" of America's rising wealth gap, Roubini says; it's bad for the economy because of the negative effect on aggregate demand.

8) Empty Chamber: Policymakers are "running out of bullets," Roubini says, describing the Fed's quantitative easing as "impotent," at least in its ability to spur real economic growth. Meanwhile, European governments can't afford to bail out their banks and efforts by the world's leading economic powers to devalue their respective currencies is a "zero sum game," he says. "Currency tensions could lead to trade wars," which often lead to hot wars.

3 Keys to Recovery

But, as noted above, the NYU professor isn't just about identifying problems, he's also trying to make a "contribution to the policy debate" by offering solutions as well.

"The Way Forward" rests on three pillars:

  • A "substantial" (read: over $1 trillion) program to rebuild America's infrastructure over the next 5-to-7 years, which will create jobs now and lay the foundation for "a more efficient and cost-effective national economy," the report states. ("It doesn't take a genius" to know America needs to spend on infrastructure, Roubini quipped last night. Still, this will require approval from Congress, which seems pretty short on geniuses these days.)
  • A national "debt—restructuring program" designed to "unclog the real estate and financial arteries," and featuring principal reductions and/or bridge-loan assistance for homeowners with a proven ability to continue making payments.
  • Global reforms to restore the balance of trade, as well as the balance of supply and demand. To that end, the paper calls for "the establishment of an emergency global demand-stabilization fund to recycle foreign exchange reserves now held by surplus nations," most notably China. Because any such fund would most likely be administered by the IMF or World Bank, this is likely to prove highly controversial.

"Our present crisis is more formidable even than would be a debt-deflation alone," the paper declares, suggesting the problem has been "inadequate action" by policymakers to date, spurred by an "inadequate understanding of what ails us."

Friday, October 7, 2011

BAJET 2012

The following are salient points of Budget 2012 which was announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also finance minister, in Parliament this afternoon.

Total budget - RM232.8 billion, up 9.4%
Operating expenditure - RM181.6 billion, up 11.5%
Development expenditure - RM51.2 billion, up 4.1%
  • Last year, Malaysia's FDI growth was the strongest in Asia and in the first six months of this year have reached RM21.2 billion.
  • Government expects economic growth to remain strong - between 5 and 5.5 percent this year. Growth for 2012 is projected to be between 5 and 6 percent, despite a global economic slowdown.
  • azlanThe budget deficit, the 15th in a row (since 1998), will be further reduced to 4.7 percent of the GDP in 2012.

    In term of amount, this deficit is the highest in history of Malaysia.
  • This is slightly lowerthan the 5.4% for 2011. The budget deficit was slashed from 7.4% in 2009 to 5.6% in 2010.

    Debt servicing was RM12,8 billion in 2008. For 2012, it is RM20.5 billion - an increase of nearly 60%.
  • RM29.8 billion allocated for investment in infrastructure, industrial and rural development.
  • RM13.6bil allocated for the social sector, including education and training, welfare, housing and community development
  • Government to further liberalise 17 services sub-sectors, in places enabling 100% foreign equity.
  • RM18 billion of the RM20 billion PPP Facilitation Fund will be used for high-impact projects, with RM2 billion forbumiputera entrepreneurs.
  • KL International Financial District:

    - income tax break 100% for 10 years, duty stamp exemption
    - development allowances and capital allowances
    - income tax break 50% for property developers in KLIFD
  • In 2012, RM978 million allocated to accelerate the development in five regional corridors.

    azlanThe new projects are:

    1) Coastal Highway JB-Nusa Jaya
    2) Taiping Heritage tourism project
    3) Besut agropolitan project
    4) Lahad Datu palm oil cluster project
    5) Water supply in Samalaju
  • Windfall for Felda settlers: Felda (Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd) will be listed on Bursa Malaysia by mid-2012 to raise funds for the company to become a global conglomerate.

    Felda settlers are expected to receive a windfall, and the amount will be announced before listing.
  • SME revitalisation fund - RM100 million. Easy access loans of maximum RM1 million, handled by SME Bank starting from January 2012.

    Emergency fund RM10 million to help SMEs affected by natural disasters, funded through grant and easy access loans, through SME corporation and MIDF, for purchase of equipment and raw material and repair of premises.
  • NONEFull exemption of import duty and excise duty for hybrid and electric carsextended to Dec 31, 2013.
  • Income tax exemptions fornon-ringgit sukukissuance and transactions will be extended for another three years.
  • RM410 million to redevelop Langkawi, to upgrade museum, better transport and to assist in construction of more hotels.
  • Real Property Gains Tax - raised from 5%, if sold within five years:

    Sold within 2 years - 10%
    Sold between 2-5 years - 5%
    Sold after 5 year - 0%
  • NONEFirst time in history, all primary and secondaryschool fees to be abolished, beginning 2012 school term. Cost to government: RM150 million

    Education: Total allocation - RM50.2 billion

    - RM1.9 billion for all schools, including mission and vernacular schools.

    - RM1 billion for betterment of schools premises (RM500 million for SRK, RM100 million for SRJK (Chinese), RM100 mil SRJK (Tamil), RM10 million for mission schools, RM100 million for Sekolah Agama Bantuan, RM100 million to MRSM - Mara secondary schools).

    - Private schools to get 70% income tax break.

    - Tax break for donations to mission schools and places of worship. Double tax break for companies that give internships, international career fairs and scholarships.
  • Rural development:

    - RM1.1 billlion for rural electricity supply, especially Sabah and Sarawak.

    - RM5 billion will be given to develop rural infrastructure, including RM1.8 billion to the Rural Road Programme and Village-Link Road Project.

    - The government will expand the programme to supply clean water to the rural community in Sabah by RM50 million.

    NONE- In Felda settlements, RM400 million upgrade of water supply system in Pahang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

    - RM150 million for rural public transportation, via SME bank for bus companies in low interest loans of 4% interest.

    - Orang Asli: RM90 million for basic needs, including treated water and income generation, RM20 million for the community affected by Cameron Highlands landslide.
  • Civil service:

    - More rankings for pay rise, so the maximum pay for each grade is higher than now. For example, a teacher can have a pay hike of up to 39%.

    - Time-based pay rise scheme, so teachers can go up the ladder faster. For example, teachers will get grade 44 at eight year and grade 48 at 16th year.

    - Annual pay rise from RM80 to RM320 according to grade, up 7-13%.
  • Retirement age will be raised from 58 to 60 years.

    - 600,000 government pensioners will benefit from an additional annual pension increment of 2%.

    - A special programme will be introduced for 175,000 army personnel who are not eligible for pensions.

    - Senior citizens won't have to pay outpatient fees at all government hospitals and clinics. 50% discount on LRT and monorail.
  • Tax for retirees:

    - Tax relief up to RM3,000 on contribution to a private retirement sceme and insurance annuity for 10 years.
    - tax deducation on employers; contribution to private retirement scheme

    - tax exemption for income private retirement fund.
  • Increase employers’ contribution for the Employees Provident Fund from 12% to 13% for those earning RM5,000 and below.
  • azlanTuition fee assistance for civil servants who want tostudy part-time - for 5,000 places for masters and 500 places for doctorate degrees. Total allocation - RM120 million.

    20,000 places for teachers who want toupgrade to degree holders. RM80 million allocated for the first year.
  • Police:

    - RM220 million for modern policing, RM440 million for PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) development including housing, upgrade of police station and training centres.
  • Defence:

    - RM500 million for army to upgrade all army camps.

    - Ex-servicemen retraining, RM50 million allocated.

    - RM3,000 one-off payment to be given to ex-members of the special constable and auxiliary police as well as widows and widowers.
  • Food and power subsidies:

    - RM0.60 per kilo of local rice
    - RMO.20 per kilo of sugar
    - RM2.25 per kilo cooking oil
    - RM0.55 per kilo for floor
    - RM0.85 per litre of RON95
    - RM0.86 per liter of diesel
    - RM21.43 per 14kg tank of cooking gas
    - Electricity bills of RM20 and below, costing RM150 million.

    Total subsidy: RM33.2 billion
  • Welfare:

    NONE- RM1.2 billion for welfare programme: forsenior citizensRM300 per month, poor children RM100-450 a month, disable RM150-300 per month.

    - To open an extra 85 unitsKedai 1Malaysia, costing RM40 million.

    - To open 30 Agro Bazaar Rakyat for agriculture products.

    - Extend Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia to 3,000 operators, where breakfast provided at RM2, lunch at RM4.
  • First home scheme:

    - Ceiling for house prices under a government deposit guarantee scheme for first time house buyers to be raised to RM400,000 from RM200,000 for those earning RM3,000 and below. This is for joint income (so maximum of RM6,000)

    - 7,700 houses to be built in Cyberjaya, Putra Heights, Seremban, Damansara, Bukit Raja. Prices are below market price, for example in Putrajaya RM150,000 for 1,100 sq ft apartment (market price - RM220,000).

    - Buy-then-sell development concepts, buyers only start paying installment after homes are complete, for homes costing RM600,000 and below.

    azlan- RM443 million to build 8,000 units of low-cost homes for sale, while 7,000 will be built for rent.

    - Government will subsidise low-cost housing by SPNB, each house subsidy will be RM20,000. RM200 million allocated for this programme.

    - RM40 million for restoration and maintenance of public and private low-cost housing.

    - Expats can withdraw their EPF for buy a house.
  • Health:

    - RM15 billion operation expenditure and RM1.8 billion for development expenditure. Upgrade of 81 rural clinics and 50 new 1Malaysia clinics.

    - Hospital Kuala Lumpur, the oldest in Malaysia, will be upgraded to be the country’s premier hospital. RM50 million to construct outpatient block for Hospital Kuala Lumpur. RM300 million to upgrade the hospital with new equipment.
  • NONETaxi drivers:

    - 100% excise duty and sales tax exemption for locally-made taxis.
    - No excise duty or sales tax fortransfer ownership.

    - No road tax for individually-owned budget taxis.

    - 2% subsidy on loan for new locally-made taxi.

    - RM3,000 assistance for disposal of old taxies exceeding seven years but less than 10 years. If 10 years old and above, RM1,000 is given.
  • The National Legal Aid Foundation will ensure that every individual who is charged in court will be given free legal aid. RM15 million allocated.
  • - Training for women in corporate sector: RM10 million

    - RM700 million to build women and children's hospital through private-public partnership.

    - RM320mil for youth entreprenuership training.

    - RM200 million for venture capital for pioneer projects.

    - RM200 million for those who do not finish school. training to be provided by community colleges and Mara colleges, as well as GLCs and private companies.
  • Aim to build 150 futsal courts and 30 football fields with artificial turfs. RM50 million allocated for football fields, RM15 million for futsal courts.
  • Low-income household:

    - One-off RM500 cash assistance for households earning 3,000 per month and below (costing RM1.8 billion), to benefit 3.4 milliion households.

    - One-off RM100 schooling assistance for primary and secondary school students from age 6 to 16, up to Form 5. (costing RM530 million).

    azlan- One-off RM200 book vouchers for students of private and public tertiary institution, and Form 6. (costing RM260 million).
  • EPF can ring fence RM1,300 from account 2 of contributors for the purpose of pilgrimage. As such, the money remains with the contributors but they can register for the Haj.
  • Civil service bonus:

    - Additional half-month salary bonus, with a minimum of RM500 and RM500 for government pensioners, paid together with the December 2011 salary.

    - So for 2011, including earlier bonus, a total RM1,000 minimum for civil servants and RM1,000 for government pensioners.

    - This will benefit 1.3 million civil servants as well as 618,000 government pensioners. (It will cost government RM4 billion).
  • To raise allowance for parliamentarians, as long as "both sides of the divide, government and opposition, agree including the independents".

    The new allowance to start on Jan 1, 2012. No mention of how much.
  • Not mentioned in Budget 2012

    - Sin tax: tobacco and alcohol
    - Income tax
    - Urban public transportation
    - Goods and services (GST) tax


Thursday, October 6, 2011


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's 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. Everything else is secondary."

Steve Jobs, the mastermind behind Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac and iTunes, has died, Apple said. Jobs was 56.

Jobs died "peacefully" surrounded by family members, his family said in a statement. Neither Jobs' family nor Apple revealed where Jobs died or from what cause, though in recent years he had fought a form of pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant.

About the life of Steve Jobs :

1. Early life and childhood

Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955. He was adopted shortly after his birth and reared near Mountain View, California by a couple named Clara and Paul Jobs. His adoptive father — a term that Jobs openly objected to — was a machinist for a laser company and his mother worked as an accountant.

Later in life, Jobs discovered the identities of his estranged parents. His birth mother, Joanne Simpson, was a graduate student at the time and later a speech pathologist; his biological father, Abdulfattah John Jandali, was a Syrian Muslim who left the country at age 18 and reportedly now serves as the vice president of a Reno, Nevada casino. While Jobs reconnected with Simpson in later years, he and his biological father remained estranged.

Reed College

2. College dropout
The lead mind behind the most successful company on the planet never graduated from college, in fact, he didn't even get close. After graduating from high school in Cupertino, California — a town now synonymous with 1 Infinite Loop, Apple's headquarters — Jobs enrolled in Reed College in 1972. Jobs stayed at Reed (a liberal arts university in Portland, Oregon) for only one semester, dropping out quickly due to the financial burden the private school's steep tuition placed on his parents.

In his famous 2005 commencement speech to Stanford University, Jobs said of his time at Reed: "It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple."

Breakout for the Atari

3. Fibbed to his Apple co-founder about a job at Atari
Jobs is well known for his innovations in personal computing, mobile tech, and software, but he also helped create one of the best known video games of all-time. In 1975, Jobs was tapped by Atari to work on the Pong-like game Breakout.

He was reportedly offered $750 for his development work, with the possibility of an extra $100 for each chip eliminated from the game's final design. Jobs recruited Steve Wozniak (later one of Apple's other founders) to help him with the challenge. Wozniak managed to whittle the prototype's design down so much that Atari paid out a $5,000 bonus — but Jobs kept the bonus for himself, and paid his unsuspecting friend only $375, according to Wozniak's own autobiography.

4. The wife he leaves behind
Like the rest of his family life, Jobs kept his marriage out of the public eye. Thinking back on his legacy conjures images of him commanding the stage in his trademark black turtleneck and jeans, and those solo moments are his most iconic. But at home in Palo Alto, Jobs was raising a family with his wife, Laurene, an entrepreneur who attended the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton business school and later received her MBA at Stanford, where she first met her future husband.

For all of his single-minded dedication to the company he built from the ground up, Jobs actually skipped a meeting to take Laurene on their first date: "I was in the parking lot with the key in the car, and I thought to myself, 'If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman?' I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town and we've been together ever since."

In 1991, Jobs and Powell were married in the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park, and the marriage was officiated by Kobin Chino, a Zen Buddhist monk.

5. His sister is a famous author
Later in his life, Jobs crossed paths with his biological sister while seeking the identity of his birth parents. His sister, Mona Simpson (born Mona Jandali), is the well-known author of Anywhere But Here — a story about a mother and daughter that was later adapted into a film starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon.

After reuniting, Jobs and Simpson developed a close relationship. Of his sister, he told a New York Times interviewer: "We're family. She's one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.'' Anywhere But Here is dedicated to "my brother Steve."

Joan Baez

6. Celebrity romances
In The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, an unauthorized biography, a friend from Reed reveals that Jobs had a brief fling with folk singer Joan Baez. Baez confirmed the the two were close "briefly," though her romantic connection with Bob Dylan is much better known (Dylan was the Apple icon's favorite musician). The biography also notes that Jobs went out with actress Diane Keaton briefly.

7. His first daughter
When he was 23, Jobs and his high school girlfriend Chris Ann Brennan conceived a daughter, Lisa Brennan Jobs. She was born in 1978, just as Apple began picking up steam in the tech world. He and Brennan never married, and Jobs reportedly denied paternity for some time, going as far as stating that he was sterile in court documents. He went on to father three more children with Laurene Powell. After later mending their relationship, Jobs paid for his first daughter's education at Harvard. She graduated in 2000 and now works as a magazine writer.

8. Alternative lifestyle
In a few interviews, Jobs hinted at his early experience with the psychedelic drug LSD. Of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Jobs said: "I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

The connection has enough weight that Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist who first synthesized (and took) LSD, appealed to Jobs for funding for research about the drug's therapeutic use.

In a book interview, Jobs called his experience with the drug "one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life." As Jobs himself has suggested, LSD may have contributed to the "think different" approach that still puts Apple's designs a head above the competition.

Jobs will forever be a visionary, and his personal life also reflects the forward-thinking, alternative approach that vaulted Apple to success. During a trip to India, Jobs visited a well-known ashram and returned to the U.S. as a Zen Buddhist.

Jobs was also a pescetarian who didn't consume most animal products, and didn't eat meat other than fish. A strong believer in Eastern medicine, he sought to treat his own cancer through alternative approaches and specialized diets before reluctantly seeking his first surgery for a cancerous tumor in 2004.

9. His fortune
As the CEO of the world's most valuable brand, Jobs pulled in a comically low annual salary of just $1. While the gesture isn't unheard of in the corporate world — Google's Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt all pocketed the same 100 penny salary annually — Jobs has kept his salary at $1 since 1997, the year he became Apple's lead executive. Of his salary, Jobs joked in 2007: "I get 50 cents a year for showing up, and the other 50 cents is based on my performance."

In early 2011, Jobs owned 5.5 million shares of Apple. After his death, Apple shares were valued at $377.64 — a roughly 43-fold growth in valuation over the last 10 years that shows no signs of slowing down.

He may only have taken in a single dollar per year, but Jobs leaves behind a vast fortune. The largest chunk of that wealth is the roughly $7 billion from the sale of Pixar to Disney in 2006. In 2011, with an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion, he was the 110th richest person in the world, according to Forbes. If Jobs hadn't sold his shares upon leaving Apple in 1985 (before returning to the company in 1996), he would be the world's fifth richest individual.

While there's no word yet on plans for his estate, Jobs leaves behind three children from his marriage to Laurene Jobs (Reed, Erin, and Eve), as well as his first daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

"...death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent." - Steve Jobs

The following address was delivered by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, at Stanford University’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

Complete Coverage: Steve Jobs
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. 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. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


On Wednesday October 5, 2011, 3:09 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- The protests on Wall Street, the fabled center of American commerce, are expected to swell with reinforcements as more groups head toward lower Manhattan, widening the scope of the ongoing demonstrations.

Among those planning to join the clamor on Wednesday are the liberal group and community organizations like the Working Families Party and United NY. The growing crowd will also include members of the Chinatown Tenants Union and the Transit Workers Union, signaling that a protest that started out small is showing no signs of losing steam. Meanwhile, organizers have called for students at college campuses across the nation to walk out of class in protest at 2 p.m.

"I think they're capturing a feel of disempowerment, feeling like nobody is listening to them," said Camille Rivera, executive director of United NY. "What do you do when no one is listening to you? You speak up, you take action."

The groups will embark on yet another march, this one from city hall to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the unofficial headquarters where protesters have been camped out in sleeping bags. It's unclear how many people will be joining the march on Wednesday, but some organizers say thousands could show up. is planning a "virtual march" on its website by encouraging people to post photos of themselves with the caption: "I'm the 99 percent" -- a reference to those people not among the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and the debate over whether they should be taxed more. The group's executive director, Justin Ruben, called the protesters "brave young people" who have successfully inspired others to join them.

"From our perspective, we're protesting kind of the greed that led to the collapse of our economy," Ruben said. "The fact that these banks aren't paying their fair share."

Many of those who work on Wall Street say they don't take the protests personally. Indeed, some even sympathize.

"It's really incredible to me, the passion and conviction these people have," said Lou Crossin, who works for a company that sells corporate governance research to large investors. "I don't think these are violent people. They're just standing up for their beliefs."

Crossin said the protesters -- with their chanting in unison, leafleting and drum circles -- reminded him of the lyrics of a song from his youth by Jefferson Airplane: "Look what's happening out in the streets. Got a revolution."

He wasn't the only one to feel that way. Sam Schmidt, a criminal defense attorney who walks by the park every day, said the protests took him back to when he was a college student in 1970 and went to Washington, D.C., to oppose the war in Vietnam.

"I'm 60 years old. I lived through the `60s and the `70s, and this is nothing. I think it is well-behaved. We've got a few crazies, but we have a few crazies here (in New York) anyway," he said. "It's just reminiscent of my youth."

AP National

Monday, October 3, 2011


My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

I'm standing on a stage
Of fear and self doubt
It's a hollow play
But they'll clap anyway

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

You're standing next to me
My mind holds the key

I'm living in an age
That calls darkness light
Though my language is dead
Still the shapes fill my head

I'm living in an age
Whose name I don't know
Though the fear keeps me moving
Still my heart beats so slow

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

You're standing next to me
My mind holds the key
My body is a...

My body is a cage
We take what we're given
Just because you've forgotten
That don't mean you're forgiven

I'm living in an age
That screams my name at night
But when I get to the doorway
There's no one in sight

I'm living in an age
They laugh when I'm dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

You're standing next to me
My mind holds the key

Set my spirit free
Set my spirit free
Set my body free
Set my body free

Set my spirit free
Set my body free