Feb. 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM ET
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released its records on late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. And while what we can see confirms much of what's been covered in Jobs' multiplying biographies, the best parts appear to be redacted.
The 191-page file is accessible online, through the FBI's records vault. According to the description on the file, much of the information included was compiled when "Jobs was considered for an appointed position on the U.S. President's Export Council" in 1991 — that would be President George H.W. Bush. In fact, the released information basically "consists of the FBI's 1991 background investigation of Jobs for that position and a 1985 investigation of a bomb threat against Apple."
I've been skimming through the records and noticing that a lot of the information presented echoes what we've learned about Jobs over the years, much of which is collected in the biography written by Walter Isaacson. For better or worse, it confirms (or at least repeats) stereotypical Jobsian mythology.
Yes, this means interviewees bring up the recreational drug use Jobs' partook in during his youth. Yes, investigators question whether Jobs was a fit parent. And yes, this government document even contains multiple references to Jobs' infamous "reality distortion field."
There are also anecdotes that appear to serve as examples of Jobs' supposedly self-absorbed and deceitful nature, but unfortunately most of those are redacted. What isn't redacted is a long line of interviews full of people who believed that Jobs was a capable, strong-willed and driven individual. If you're curious about those interviews — as well as those from folks who've seen the darker side of the Apple boss — then head on over to the FBI's records vault. 191 pages of heavily redacted reading await you.
Updated: As mentioned above, Jobs' FBI file also includes details from a 1985 investigation of a bomb threat against Apple.
Based on the released records, it seems that on Feb. 7 1985, "an unidentified male made a series of calls" to someone at Apple Computer and claimed that some sort of "devices" were placed in the homes of certain individuals. The unidentified male demanded a million dollars and added that one more bomb — a fourth "device" — had been placed in a location he wouldn't reveal. He said that this bomb would go off if authorities were notified.
During one of the calls, the male provided a telephone number at which his call should be returned. This number was not redacted in Jobs' file and was said to belong to a "public telephone booth in [a] parking garage at San Francisco International Airport." (I called the number, but it appears to be "temporarily out of service" at this point.)
The FBI's investigation of the bomb threat yielded no results or signs of genuine danger. None of the "devices" were found and no trace of the male caller was discovered — other than some fingerprints lifted from the public phone and never linked to an actual suspect.
— via Gawker
Want more tech news, silly puns or amusing links? You'll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.