Former Apple CFO to Repay $3.5 Million in Stock Options Backdating Scandal

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 09:40
Category: News

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If you can’t beat ‘em, settle. According to the Wall Street Journal, former Apple Inc. chief financial officer Fred Anderson has settled with the Security Exchange Commission on allegations that he backdated stock options during his time at Apple.
Unnamed sources claim that Anderson will both pay a fine of approximately US$150,000 as well as repay option gains of US$3.5 million in exchange for not admitting any wrongdoing.
Anderson, along with Apple’s former counsel, Nancy Heinen, were the focus of an SEC investigation for their part in a January, 2001 stock option grant approved by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. According to a Mercury News article published on Monday, both Anderson and Heinen received options under the grant.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is expected to pursue a civil lawsuit against Heinen in which Heinen will be accused of self-dealing on the stock option grant in addition to charges connecting her to a separate grant in which 7.5 million stock options were awarded to Steve Jobs. These options had been backdated through falsified minutes of a board meeting that hadn’t actually occurred.
Heinen is expected to contest these charges.

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AT&T to Market iPhone Towards Businesses

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 08:38
Category: News

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An anonymous source close to Cingular, which was recently acquired by AT&T, has stated that in addition to pursuing the consumer markets, the iPhone will appeal to business users. To this end, Cingular is shoring up its backend enterprise billing and support systems in anticipation of when the iPhone ships according to Macworld News.
The idea of pushing the iPhone has confused some analysts, Ken Dulaney of Gartner stating that the device might not be suited towards business.
“Building a phone is one of the most difficult things to do,” stated Dulaney, who also pointed out the iPhone’s shortcomings for business users in the form of a non-removable battery and additional processors, which consumes more battery life than single processor cell phones. The iPhone’s much-anticipated touch screen and lack of buttons would also make the phone difficult to dial while driving, Dulaney noted.
Dulaney also noted a current lack of software applications for the unreleased device, something Windows Mobile and BlackBerry units currently have the market lead on.
Other roadblocks to the iPhone’s success in the business realm exist within the fact that the iPhone’s OS X-based operating system is currently closed off and businesses might not be able to write applications for the device. “Companies like to extend corporate apps to the mobile space and in order to do that you need an open OS,” said Avi Greengart, principal analyst for mobile devices at Current Analysis.
Still, it’s a long way until the iPhone’s anticipated release in June and things may change and develop on their own.
If you have any thoughts on this matter, let us know.

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Apple Begins to Describe Instant Message Features for Mac OS X 10.5

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Date: Tuesday, April 24th, 2007, 08:33
Category: News

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Despite Apple’s announced delay of its Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” until an October release, the company is beginning to publicize various features of the operating system. Specifically, an expanded Instant Message framework within iChat 4.0 has become more prominent. In recently published developer documentation, Apple claims that the framework will allow developers to determine whether a specific instant message user is online and then begin using iChat theater sessions to share supporting video and audio content during a video conference according to AppleInsider.
“One of the powerful capabilities that the Instant Message framework gives you is the ability to determine if a contact in a user’s buddy list is online or not. You can also get the Address Book data for that contact as well as other status information,” states online developer documentation. “This information is collectively referred to as ‘presence.’ And once you tap into this presence data, your application can be notified when information about a contact changes.”
iChat 4.0 is also expected to include iChat Theater, which will allow users and other applications to present both audio and video content during the chat session. Files such as a slide show, video feed or graphics can be included into the content. This is made possible by the IMAVManager code used within iChat Theater.
The documentation also covers a new level of scriptability, Apple stating that developers will be able to access iChat’s features via AppleScript to operate nearly half of iChat’s operations that could be performed with a keyboard and mouse.
Further details as they become available.

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Rogue Amoeba Releases Fission 1.5

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Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2007, 12:21
Category: News

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Rogue Amoeba, makers of audio applications like Airfoil and Audio Hijack, has released version 1.5 of Fission, its lossless audio editor for MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF audio files.
The new version features full audio insertion support, which allows audio to be copied and pasted into both single or multiple files. A new Gain Adjustment feature allows for individual volumes to be manually increased or decreased and the program now supports cue sheet files, auto-complete Inspector fields, a new Album Artist tag for the Inspector component and several minor bug fixes.
Fission retails for US$32 and can be purchased in a bundle with Audio Hijack for US$50. The program is a 3.1 megabyte download, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and is coded as a Universal Binary which can run at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

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Mac OS X 10.4.9 and .Mac Synching Problems Found

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Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2007, 12:19
Category: News

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Alert reader Eric Nix, MD, sent us this e-mail descibing problems between Mac OS X 10.4.9 and .Mac synching.
His problem is as follows:
“I recently found that my Powerbook wasn’t sync’ing with my iMac using .Mac’s sync feature. I looked at my Powerbook’s .Mac settings in System Preferences and could not get the Sync preferences window to open. When I clicked on Sync, it turned the menu bar gray.
I looked on Apple’s discussion forum and found that quite a few people are having the same problem. Guess what? Apple has a bug in 10.4.9 I do believe!”
He then points out a discussion thread on Apple’s web site covering the problem. Messages posted cover ways of rectifying the problem such as deleting and recreating various support libraries, moving in with the Terminal program to change files and reinstalling Mac OS X.
For US$99 a year for a .Mac account, this shouldn’t be a problem and if you’ve seen this or have found a fix or workaround, let us know.

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Griffin Ships iPod Dock Adapter for iPod Shuffle

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Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2007, 09:27
Category: News

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Long time peripherals manufacturer Griffin Technology has just released the Dock Adapter for iPod Shuffle, an adapter which allows the second generation iPod Shuffle to function with a wider range of devices such as speaker systems, etc. Sans adapter, the Shuffle is required to connect to device via a line-in port.
According to Macworld UK, the adapter includes a slider switch that toggles between Charge/Sync and Audio Play modes (the Charge/Sync mode allows for data transfer and iTunes synching while in Audio Play mode, the Shuffle’s battery is drained as it plays back music).
The adapter will be available in May and retail for US$19.99 before shipping and handling.

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MacBook Pro Hacked at CanSecWest Event

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Date: Monday, April 23rd, 2007, 08:26
Category: News

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It may not be the news everyone wants to hear where Mac OS X security is concerned, but it’s useful to know either way. One of two “honeypot” (computers which are set up as challenges) MacBook Pro laptops was hacked into at the Canadian CanSecWest security conference.
According to MacNN, a team consisting of Matasano Security researcher Dino Dai Zovi and engineer Shane Macaulay were able to design an exploit for Apple’s Safari web browser and gain user-level access to the Mac OS X operating system. The duo were able to successfully run the hack after contest host eased rules and permitted attendees to attack via code sent through malicious web sites instead of trying to enter through Mac OS X itself.
“At this point all we can say is there is an exploitable flaw in Safari which can be triggered within a malicious web page,” they wrote. “Of course all of the latest security patches have been applied. This one is 0day folks.”
The pair is splitting a prize pack of the MacBook Pro used in the exploit and applying for a US$10,000 prize that’s been offered by TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative bug bounty program.
Additional details can be found over at the Apple Core blog.

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Newer Technology New Offering eSATA Extender Cable for Mac Pro Line

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Date: Friday, April 20th, 2007, 07:54
Category: News

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On Thursday, Newer Technology announced that it was shipping its eSATA Extender Cable for the 8-core and quad-core Mac Pro computers. The cable, priced at US$24.95, allows access to two SATA ports located on the logic board, boosting the number of drives that can be used by the machine from four to six.
The cable, compatible with both SATA-I and SATA-II devices, ships with a step by step illustrated installation manual. The cable is compatible with the 2.0 GHz, 2.66 Ghz and 3.0 GHz quad-core Xeon units shipped in August of 2006 as well as the 3.0 GHz 8-core Xeon 5300 units that shipped this month. The card is immediately available through Other World Computing, Newer Technology’s exclusive distributor.

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iPodMods Offering 100 GB Hard Drive Upgrades

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Date: Friday, April 20th, 2007, 07:23
Category: News

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The folks over a iPodMods are now offering a full deal wherein the company offering 100 gigabyte hard drive updates for fifth generation iPod units. For US$300, the company will ship you a brand new Toshiba hard drive as well as a tool kit and installation instructions. The item also ties in with an offer for a US$39.99 replacement iPod battery according to Engadget .
Full details can be found here and like similar offers, the 30 gigabyte fifth generation iPod and the newest generation iPods will take the upgrade, but use a slightly larger backing in the end.

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Apple Releases Security Update 2007-004

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Date: Thursday, April 19th, 2007, 16:54
Category: News

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Apple has just released the fourth security update of 2007. The update, which varies in size (from a 9.1 megabyte download to a 50.2 megabyte download from either Apple’s web site or Mac OS X’s Software Update feature) depending on the operating system, makes changes to the following Mac OS X system components:
-AFP Client
-AirPort
-CarbonCore
-diskdev_cmds
-fetchmail
-ftpd
-gnutar
-Help Viewer
-HID Family
-Installer
-Kerberos
-Libinfo
-Login Window
-network_cmds
-SMB
-System Configuration
-URLMount
-Video Conference
-WebDAV
Full technical details as to changes made can be found here.
Since system and security updates carry a certain amount of apprehension in terms of the changes they make, let us know how the update works for you.

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