Here are the influential voices leading the conversations where nonprofits and technology overlap.
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple and chief scientist of Fusion-io, is one of those tech prophets whose opinions on technology can shape and influence the masses.
While he’s long since left the comforts of Apple, he’s remained both a steadfast supporter and critic. He loves his iPhone but admitted that with Android “there’s more available in some ways.”
It’s this commitment to objectivity and honesty that causes technology journalists to seek Woz’s commentary on every new gadget or innovation that pops up. So logically, someone had to ask Woz what he thought of Apple’s new iPhones.
In an interview with Wired.co.uk, Wozniak gushed over the high-end specs for the new iPhone 5s, but he wasn’t so enthused with the iPhone 5c, which essentially swaps the iPhone 5’s metal casing for a plastic one that comes in varying colors.
“I'm usually interested in the more high-end anyway, and I love the looks [of] the iPhone 4 and the 5; I just love the looks and the beauty of the product. So the 5S is more like that. All it means is, 'Oh gosh, now I've got to get three new phones to get the three 5S colours',” he said. “So I'm not turned on by the 5C, but hey, maybe that's where a huge market is and I'm just not the person.”
Remember how people were openly wondering who’d want a gold iPhone? Now we know the Woz is one of them.
While Wozniak wasn’t so bowled over by the “fun” colors of the iPhone 5c, he is a big believe in computer hijinks.
On Sept. 25, Wozniak was the keynote speaker at the ASIS Conference in Chicago where he spoke about his dalliances into hacking and IT sabotage.
One time, he broke into a shared computer system and barraged users with nine pages of Polish jokes, according to a report from Network World. Another time, he guessed the password to his stepson’s Mac and made his files difficult to find. But his favorite prank was when he jammed his friends’ TV signals and manipulated them into doing outrageous things to “fix” the TVs, which conveniently seemed to work as he unjammed the TV signal without their knowledge.
Wozniak was quick to point out that these little stunts were largely born out of curiosity and exploration, not malice. “I never once hacked a computer for real,” he said.
As a founding member of the Homebrew Computer Club back in the 1970s, Woz’s affection for hacking and circumventing established infrastructure is both understandable and well documented.
In fact, in 1985, Wozniak told the AP, “I hope my own kid becomes a hacker. It's a fun, worthwhile and creative thing to do. When people think creatively, their brains develop — and that's a plus for society.”
More recently, he backed Edward Snowden, the government contractor who leaked information about data surveillance programs at the NSA.
That’s the magic of Steve Wozniak. He’s part-genius, part-prankster and all geek.