This changing of the guard caps one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, as Apple had been given up for dead only a decade earlier. But the rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds a cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.
[Mr. Sanchez] said that he bought a bootleg copy of Wolverine on the street, and posted a copy on the sharing site megaupload.com, for the cachet. Eight months later, on Dec. 16, Mr. Sanchez was awakened by a knock at 6 a.m., and opened the door to F.B.I. agents, who placed him under arrest. He was charged with violation of copyright law, arraigned in federal court in Manhattan and allowed to return home, but he faces the possibility of prison time, possibly in California, where his indictment originated. His fate is unclear: In 2003, a New Jersey man was fined and put on probation after uploading an unfinished print of The Hulk before its release. But last year, a man who took a copy of The Love Guru, from a tape-duplication company was sentenced to six months in prison.
Once the Senate voted in July to stop buying F-22s, that success reverberated down to help sustain billions of dollars of cuts in Army modernization, missile defense and other programs.
Military analysts said Defense Secretary Gates, originator of the cuts and a holdover from the Bush administration, aimed at the most bloated programs. And Senator John McCain of Arizona, the former Republican presidential candidate, who has criticized the Pentagon's cost overruns, provided Mr. Obama with political cover to make the cuts without being seen as soft on the military.
Mr. Obama has said that he does not intend to reduce military spending while the nation is engaged in two wars. But Mr. Gates also wants to cut more futuristic programs to free money for simpler systems like helicopters and unmanned spy planes that can help the troops now.
Yet magic and hierarchy arise from the same source, and this source has a null pointer.