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Silicon Valley elite honor Steve Jobs

Oct 17 2011 09:05 AFP

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Palo Alto - Silicon Valley nobility and political heavyweights paid tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on Sunday at a private memorial service at Stanford University, local media said.

Security teams from Apple and Stanford along with local police officers cordoned off the main quad on campus, only granting access to those with invitations to the event in honor of Jobs, who died earlier this month.

Guests were directed to the university chapel for the service. Candles lined a path leading from the church to a museum, where a soiree in memory of the man behind iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macintosh computers was held afterwards.

Those seen arriving at the event included Google co-founder Larry Page, former US president Bill Clinton and former US vice president Al Gore, who is a member of the Apple board, local media reported.

Also seen were high-powered venture capitalists, the founders of US software maker Adobe and actor Tim Allen, who gave voice to character Buzz Lightyear in blockbuster "Toy Story" animated films made by Pixar, a studio created by Jobs.

Chauffeur-driven black cars and sports-utility vehicles, some with government plates, parked close to the chapel entrance as guards shooed away inquisitive passersby and people snapping pictures of attendees.

Some guests were ushered in through a heavily patrolled rear entrance to the small Romanesque and Byzantine style church at the center of campus.

The church is able to hold more than 1 000 people.

Jobs died on October 5 at the age of 56 after a years-long battle with cancer. He was buried a few days later in a private ceremony at a non-denominational cemetery.

The heir apparent of South Korea's Samsung Group was due to attend the service despite the company's ongoing legal battle with Apple, an industry source who declined to be named said on Sunday.

Jay Y. Lee, the only son of chairman Lee Kun-Hee and chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics, was attending in response to an invitation from Apple CEO Tim Cook, the source said, adding he was close to both Jobs and Cook.

A Samsung Electronics spokesperson declined to comment, saying the visit was a private matter.

Samsung, the world's second-largest maker of mobile phones, and Apple are at loggerheads in a series of patent lawsuits over the technology and design of smartphones and tablet computers.

But the South Korean firm last week delayed the launch of a new smartphone based on Google's latest Android operating system as a gesture of respect for the legendary Jobs, whose death has sparked worldwide tributes.

While Apple was heavily managing the scene on Sunday, responses to invitations were directed to the Emerson Collective, a philanthropic organization founded by the Apple co-founder's wife, Laurene Powell Jobs.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared Sunday as "Steve Jobs Day" in the western US state, saying he had "embodied the California dream."

"To call him influential would be an understatement.... His innovations transformed an industry, and the products he conceived and shepherded to market have changed the way the entire world communicates," Brown said in a statement.

The Apple co-founder was also to be honored on Wednesday at a memorial for firm employees at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple has not indicated plans for a public memorial for Jobs, but people have paid tribute to him with flowers, candles, messages and more outside his home, the company headquarters and Apple retail stores around the world.

Jobs was a "uniquely Californian visionary. He epitomised the spirit of a state that an eager world watches to see what will come next," Brown said in his proclamation.

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