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Elton John Lambasts Russia's Anti-Gay 'Propaganda' Ban During St. Petersburg Concert

In the middle of his St. Petersburg performance last weekend, the ever vocal Elton John took the opportunity to take potshots at Russia's anti-gay policies and agenda again reports The Moscow Times. While performing a song, John addressed the crowd asking, "Is Tchaikovsky's beautiful music 'sexually perverting?" bringing up the famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky who is widely believed to be gay.

Elton johnJohn also criticized the removal of a statue erected to honor Apple founder Steve Jobs from outside of a St. Petersburg technical college after Jobs successor, Tim Cook, disclosed to the public that he is gay. It's assumed that Russia still sells Apple products, which John recognized and called out the hypocrisy behind the statue's removal.

Said John:

"Can this be true? Steve's memory is rewritten because his successor at Apple, Tim Cook, is gay? Does that also make iPads 'gay propaganda'?"

This isn't the first time the singer spoke out during a concert in Russia; he dedicated a 2013 Moscow concert to 23-year-old Vladislav Tornovi who was raped and murdered after revealing he was gay. Fans and civils rights groups asked John not to perform in Russia, but John told the Moscow crowd why he continues to perform in the country.

Said John:

"You took me to your hearts all these years ago, and you've always welcomed me with warmth and open arms any time I've visited. You have always embraced me and you have never judged me. So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia."

"In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating. People have demanded that because of this legislation, I must not come here to Russia. But many, many more people asked me to come and I listened to them. I love coming here."

John invited Vladimir Putin to meet the country's LGBT youth to listen to their experiences, however the disillusioned leader has yet to respond to the singer's request. St. Petersburg is the epicenter of the nationwide ban on "gay propaganda," as it was the first city to pass an ordinance banning the so-called "propaganda." The nationwide federal legislation version is modeled after St. Petersburg's ordinance.


A Russian Monument to Honor Steve Jobs Has Been Torn Down Because Tim Cook is Gay

Zefs

In St. Petersburg, Russia, a memorial to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs which resembled a giant iPhone with a large screening and a QR code on the back has been taken down by ZEFS, the company which funded its erection in 2013, Business Insider reports:

Speaking in a press release sent to Russian media outlets, ZEFS chairman Maxim Dolgopolov explained that the memorial was torn down for two reasons: Tim Cook coming out as gay and Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA spying. (Snowden's documents suggest Apple products were used by the NSA to conduct surveillance.) He didn't rule out reinstalling the memorial, however, but said that it would only return if it could be modified to instruct Russian citizens to use products from companies other than Apple.

Apparently the Snowden revelations didn't warrant the monument's removal on their own since they happened months ago. ZEFS Chief Maxim Dolgopolov told Business FM Radio that because Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay, the monument now violates Russia's law banning gay "propaganda" to minors. He also urged users to switch to computer products that are not subject to surveillance (good luck).

Watch a video of the monument's unveiling in 2013, AFTER THE JUMP...

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SXSW: Has Apple's CEO Tim Cook Let Steve Jobs' Dream Die?

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Yukari Iwatani Kane — author of Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs — just held a SXSW Interactive discussion in which she discussed whether Apple's vision died with Steve Jobs.

Sxsw_2014_bugKane covered Apple from fall of 2008 (right around the time that Jobs’ dramatic weight loss fueled public speculation about his demise) all the way to the end of Jobs' life, during the iPad launch and the controversy over iPhone 4’s antenna problems.  Apple did not help Kane with her book (apart from letting her attend one meeting). However, she interviewed nearly 200 company insiders, experts and business partners to reach her conclusions and also owns an Apple computer, iPhone and iPad.

In short, her talk suggested that Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook lacks Jobs’ celebrity marketing savvy and inflexible managerial style. As a result, while Cook has maintained that Apple has not changed, his statement rings hollow considering some of company’s cultural changes and product stumbles after Jobs' passing.

Keep reading AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch Steve Jobs Unveil the First Macintosh, 30 Years Ago Today: VIDEO

Jobs Macintosh

The Macintosh was launched by Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984. Here's an amazing video of its unveiling complete with heroic Chariots of Fire soundtrack.

Watch the crowds go wild, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ashton Kutcher is Steve Jobs in the First Instagram Movie Trailer: WATCH

Kutcher

Open Road Films has released what's being hailed as the first Instagram movie trailer for Jobs, its Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher. The film is out in April 2014.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ashton Kutcher Channels Apple Founder Steve Jobs in New Biopic: VIDEO

Jobs_kutcher

Here's the new trailer for jOBS, the upcoming biopic about the late Apple founder.

Yahoo! writes:

If the trailer is any indication, "Jobs" is a particularly abbreviated and fractured biopic; indeed, ten years go by in about a second and a half of screen time as Jobs is back at Apple seemingly right after he got kicked out of it. This impression is certainly in sync with the first round of reviews that came out of this year's Sundance Film Festival, the general consensus being that "Jobs" is a reasonably entertaining but ultimately too simplistic a portrait of a very complex man to truly resonate, a movie that "can't get a handle on how to portray its subject," according to IndieWire.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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