2010: Quotes of the Year

As 2010 draws to a close we flipped through our reporters' notebooks to find the more memorable quotes and "did he really say that?" moments. Here they are in no particular order:

As 2010 draws to a close we flipped through our reporters' notebooks to find the more memorable quotes and "did he really say that?" moments. Here they are in no particular order:

The "third category" arrives

"In order to really create a new category of devices, those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks. ... Better than a laptop, better than the smartphone. What kind of tasks? Well, things like browsing the Web, doing e-mail, enjoying and sharing photographs, watching videos, enjoying your music collection, playing games, reading e-books. If there's going to be a third category of device, it's going to have to be better at these kinds of tasks than a laptop or smartphone. Otherwise it has no reason for being. Now some people have thought that's a netbook. The problem is netbooks aren't better at anything. They're slow, they have low-quality displays and they run clunky old PC software. So they're not better than a laptop at anything, they are just cheaper. ... And we don't think they are a third category of device. We think we've got something that is. And we'd like to show it to you today for the first time. We call it the iPad."

-- Apple CEO Steve Jobs, at the Jan. 27 introduction of the iPad.

Scott McNealy on Larry, capitalism, and Larry

"Do I have a problem with Larry Ellison buying Sun? No, that's part of the capitalist system. As soon as we go public we're for sale, that's part of the deal. And do I have a problem with him exercising his intellectual property rights? No, I don't have a problem with that. Would it be how we necessarily ran and operated? Obviously not."

-- Scott McNealy at the PostgreSQL conference in November, giving his first speech after Oracle acquired Sun.

"I don't know what he's thinking, I just know he's not a huge fan of sharing. So would I count on more releases to the community of any code Oracle paid for engineering going forward? I wouldn't count on it. I'm not saying some code might not escape Oracle's labs into the community, but only if Larry doesn't know about it would be my guess."

-- McNealy at the same conference talking about Ellison and open-source software.

"We're talking about capitalism and I'm a raging capitalist, I'm a total believer. It creates what I call national economic heroes -- tax payers. They're not evil. They're heroes. The Mineta Airport shouldn't be named after [politician] Norm Mineta, he paid hardly any taxes and spent a lot. It should be the Larry Ellison airport because he's a national economic hero."

-- McNealy, still at PostgreSQL, on capitalism.

On the redemption road

"I plead for leniency. I understand that the road to redemption is going to be long for me."

-- Albert Gonzalez at his March sentencing hearing, where he received 20 years in prison for his role in a global cybercrime ring.

Safra Catz identifies crazy talk

"SAP paying us $40 million [would be] a reward for their bad behavior, frankly. For people who say they are taking responsibility for everything they did, this is exactly the opposite of that. This is like taking someone's $2,000 watch and hocking it for $20 and then offering to give us $20 for it. It's crazy."

-- Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz, testifying at the Oracle-SAP trial, explaining why SAP's damages offer was inadequate.

Confirmation of what we've long suspected

"I want to meet a guy that likes electronics and likes fun, all the time. Um, he doesn't like fun that much ... I think, how many times would I see Steve Jobs just rail out in laughter like you would at good comedy, and it's pretty seldom. We did a lot of pranks together. But he wasn't really a laugher at the pranks, he more wanted to find a way to turn it into money."

-- Steve Wozniak talking about Steve Jobs at the Flash Memory Summit in August.

Technology and problem solving

"Technology often times isn't the answer. It's a component of the answer, but it's often times a misapplied solution. ... If you have a cash flow problem in your house, going out and buying Microsoft Money and loading it on your PC isn't going to solve the problem."

-- Schneider Electric's Jim Plourde, comparing U.S. agencies' energy consumption issues to a common household problem in November.

Long movies and piracy

"Well the music industry saw it coming, waited till it rolled over them, they crashed and burned. Then they tried to sue everybody and now it just is what it is. Seeing this coming, I was trying to be proactive about it. "Avatar" was actually my game plan to have a proactive solution, to keep cinema alive."

-- Director James Cameron, at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas in January, contending that the only thing holding back widespread piracy in the film industry is that it takes a long time to download high-quality copies of movies.

Why Twitter matters

"The fact that we're allowing people to communicate with each other openly can have a positive and dramatic impact," said Twitter founder Biz Stone. "You raise awareness halfway around the world and in doing so create a bit of empathy, and when you do that you have more of a sense of yourself as a global citizen. When you have that we're moving forward. That's what's exciting."

-- Stone, also at CTIA.

Web silos

"If we, the Web's users, allow these and other trends to proceed unchecked, the Web could be broken into fragmented islands. We could lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want ... Each site is a silo, walled off from the others. Yes, your site's pages are on the Web, but your data are not. You can access a Web page about a list of people you have created in one site, but you cannot send that list, or items from it, to another site."

-- Tim Berners-Lee in an essay published in November by Scientific American, criticizing an array of companies, including the Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster social-networking sites for actions that he believes hamper the potential of the Web.

Beautiful things

"One of my favorite things about going on tour is, and seeing so many beautiful things is, that I've always got cameras with me and camcorders and laptops. It gives me the ability to take those beautiful things I see and edit them together into video blogs or just any kind of exclusive content and share that content with the people who put me in those positions: the fans."

-- Singer Taylor Swift, speaking at CES about how she uses gadgets

Do the right thing

"These are specific questions that I don't feel comfortable answering."

-- An unidentified employee at a Fortune 500 company who was one of the few people who did the right thing during Defcon's social engineering contest in July. He refused to answer questions.

How the FCC is supposed to work

"It's not supposed to do exactly what Congress wants. It's supposed to make up its own mind."

-- Andrew Jay Schwartzman, policy director at digital rights group Media Access Project, speaking in November on the role of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Tell us what you really think, Larry

"I'm speechless ... HP had several good internal candidates ... but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP."

-- Larry Ellison in an e-mail to The Wall Street Journal, telling it what he thought about HP replacing fired CEO Mark Hurd with Leo Apotheker.

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