Breaking News: Steve Jobs Taking Medical Leave of Absense

jobs logo portrait metueEven as he denies it himself, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has often been billed as Steve Jobs eventual successor.  When Jobs was recuperating from pancreatic cancer in 2004, Cook ably took the helm.  Now, it seems, on another interim basis (albeit without a change of title) he’s being tasked to try on the role again.

Today, in a surprise announcement delivered by email to Apple staff (full text of the message along with Jobs 2004 treatment related email are reprinted below), Jobs said he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

While Jobs’ health is a personal matter, it has been the subject of recurring rumor and speculation since a June conference where he appeared noticeably gaunt and underweight.  Initially, the intensely private executive deferred most questions saying his health was a not a public concern.   That sparked many debates over the ethics and disclosure obligations that go with his obvious, and substantial, contribution to the company’s fortunes.

Click to Read More

Macworld Revealed: iTunes Set Free

macworld 2009When Steve Jobs gives a keynote, there’s a script.  His is a process that’s been polished through years of practice.  Usually, first comes a warm-up.  Steve baits the audience with facts and notable achievements.  Something to grab their attention.  Next comes a teaser where he hints at the things he’s about to mention.  “I have three quick things to tell you about” he’ll say.  “It’s really exciting.”  “We’re absolutely thrilled.”  Then the announcements and product demonstrations follow.  There’s experts and music, applause pauses, and where possible, even celebrity cameos.  Each announcement builds off the last until, finally, to cap it off, there’s “one more thing” seemingly (but not really) that was almost forgotten; the big cherry on top of it all.  That’s when he throws out the big ace up his sleeve. Then the music plays.  (And the press and pundits begin their critiques).

This morning at Macworld, before the music of Tony Bennett paved the way for his exit, Phil Schiller stood in for Steve Jobs and did his best to follow the same routine. 

Phil had his list of talking points.  He had his “oh, by the way.”  He had a captive audience.  He had his musical departure.  Click to Read More

Applevine Report: Macworld Rumor Recap

macworld 2009 rumorsMacworld has been going on since 1985, the same year Steve Jobs resigned from Apple.   Since  1997, the year he came back, Apple has used the show as a springboard to introduce new products and as a pulpit for Steve to evangelize. 

In 1998, Jobs took to the stage to introduce the iMac.  In 2001, he enthusiastically showed iTunes and Apple’s first widescreen notebook.  In 2005, it was the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle.  Two years ago, in 2007, the iPhone took the spotlight.  Last year, it was the Macbook Air.    

Tomorrow, a new page will turn.  It will be Apple’s last year at the event (Apple announced they were pulling out of Macworld in December) and Steve Jobs won’t be giving the keynote.  Marketing exec. Phil Schiller will do it instead.   No one’s sure what the changes mean.  Will Apple quietly part ways with the independently run Macworld show? Or will the company say goodbye blazing with a surprise announcement of something new and unexpected?

Click to Read More

Walmart to Ring up iPhone 3G

walmart sells iphoneAs a retail brand, Walmart is as ubiquitous as any.  The chain’s stores have been the subject of movies, protests and debates, praise and condemnation. You’d have to live under a rock to never have heard of them.  The same is becoming true for Apple’s iPhone.  As a retail product, the industry-changing cell phone is well on its way to achieving a superstar level of awareness.  Now, the two will be available together.

For months there had been speculation Apple would introduce a cheaper 4GB model for sale through Walmart.  Confirming the relationship part of those rumors but debunking the rest, Walmart will join Best Buy as an distributor of the existing product line. Click to Read More

Hack Watch: iPhone 3G Unlocked? BD+ Secured?

unlock iphone 3gWith Digital Rights Management (DRM) there’s a constant cat and mouse game at play.  Companies spend money to restrict their product’s use, hackers spend time trying to set it free.   Recently, in two different battles from the same war – both sides scored victories.   For the hackers, a group called the iPhone Dev-Team is reporting they’ve unlocked the iPhone 3G. For the content industry, the Blu Ray DRM standard BD+ has taken back some ground.

Click to Read More

Kleiner iFund Funding Applications Accidentally Exposed

kpcb info ifundIn March, venture firm Kleiner Perkins allocated up to $100m for an iPhone related investment initiative and provided an online form to allow open submissions from prospective entrepreneurs.  Thanks to an error, some of these entries were recently exposed to the public.  The mistake opened a brief but unintended window into the kinds of proposals that have been submitted.

The cause of the leak was apparently KPCB’s  former web hosting company Meteora Technologies Group.  At some point in time, an employee accidentally posted a SQL file to the web that contained 588 proposals submitted through KPCB’s online iFund submission form.

According to Tech Crunch, which first got the story, Mac developer Fruxx discovered the error and alerted Kleiner Perkins.  The file was removed but not before Google’s ever efficient spiders indexed the page and copied a portion of it into their storage cache.

While it was available, the SQL file, which was readable with any text editor/reader, provided detailed information Click to Read More

Copyright Files: Apple, HDCP and Consumer Confusion

hdcp copyright apple smallIf you want to irritate consumers, one way is to try and interfere heavy handedly with how they can use the product’s they’ve purchased.  An even more surefire way to rankle them and draw their wrath is to fail to disclose your  practices or cover them up.   

Sony BMG found this out the hard way with their now infamous “root kit”  music DRM fiasco in 2005. That violation of consumer trust brought them a tremendous amount of bad PR and plenty of time in front of a judge before the lawsuits were settled.  Electronic Arts currently, though to a lesser degree, is dealing with a similar parade of customer backlash thanks to their own poor disclosure over DRM. EA’s facing down a handful of class action lawsuits.

Now, it seems, Apple and other PC vendors could, if they’re not careful, get a foot partially snagged in a similar but far less toothy version of the same kind of bear trap too.

According to reports from Wired and Ars Technica, new Macbook computers have quietly been gifted a restrictive anti piracy technology called High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) (or a related system called Display Port Content Protection (DPCP)). These technologies are DRM systems that add a layer of encryption to the distribution of some content between its source (your computer) and certain peripherals and displays (your external monitor).

Click to Read More

Page 4 of 7« First...23456...Last »