Autonet Mobile: Broadband Wireless Internet for Your Car

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Date: Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007, 08:56
Category: News

An article over at Engadget highlights Autonet Mobile, the first company that intends to be an Internet service provider for the devices within your car.
The firm will be selling the Autonet wireless unit, a $399 wireless Internet router using what appears to be Verizon’s EV-DO wireless network. Specific details as to available plans and network backbones are scarce as of now, but Autonet Mobile claims that it will provide service on up to 95% of America’s roads when its $50 per month service has launched.
Definitely not a bad idea and in-car wireless access could help ease navigation as well as provide last minute information before arriving at a destination.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.


Possible Buzzing/Whining Sound on Second Gen Nano?

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Date: Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007, 08:00
Category: News

An article over at Engadget is reporting that dozens of second generation iPod Nano owners are reporting a high-pitching buzzing/whining sound from their iPod Nano units in one of Apple’s discussion forums.
While most of the reports cite that the units are fully functional aside from this, others have claimed this was the first thing they noticed when they began using the music players. Owners of the 2, 4 and 8 gigabyte capacities have all noticed this problem, leading to speculation that a revised component between the generations of iPod Nanos, such as the backlight or battery, may be the cause of this.
Engadget’s own tests on one iPod Nano revealed that the sound was present, but essentially inaudible unless the headphone was practically lodged in one’s ear.
Apple has experienced similar problems and repaired whining problems with the MacBook, so perhaps a fix is in the works and the problem can be pinned down quickly.
If you’ve experienced this or anything similar to it via your own second generation iPod Nano, please let us know.


Apple Restates Past Earnings, Clears Actions of Current Executive Team

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 11:22
Category: News

In a released financial statement on its web site, Apple Computer, following an independent investigation into the backdating of awarded stock options which began back in June, restated past earnings and cleared currently employed executives of corporate misconduct.
Following the independent investigation, Apple has stated that it will record a non-cash charge of $84 million to compensate for the improper handling of stock option awards granted to executives made between 1997 and 2002. The company has stated that after-tax profits would be lowered by $10 million for the 2004 fiscal year, $7 million for the 2005 fiscal year and $4 million for the 2006 fiscal year.
The investigation made no discovery of actions after December 31, 2002 that required accounting adjustments or restatements.
The company has also stated that a special committee within its board of directors found that while CEO Steve Jobs and other executives were aware of or recommended inaccurate stock option grant dates, they did not financially benefit from these actions. The firm has stated that it has “complete confidence” in its current executive team, despite the quiet departure of former Apple senior vice president Nancy Heinan and former chief financial officer Fred Anderson, both of whom resigned from the company this year.
“The special committee, its independent counsel and forensic accountants have performed an exhaustive investigation of Apple’s stock option granting practices,” commented Al Gore, chair of the special investigative committee, and Jerome York, chair of Apple’s Audit and Finance Committee, in a joint statement. “The board of directors is confident that the company has corrected the problems that led to the restatement, and it has complete confidence in Steve Jobs and the senior management team.”
If you have any comments or feedback on this issue, please let us know.


Apple Files Patent for Notebook “Drive Guard”

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 08:47
Category: News

According to an article on MacNN, the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office published a patent on December 28th that had initially been filed in mid-2005 by Apple Computer. The patent relates to a device that can be included within portable notebook computers and establishes a guard system for their optical disk drives.
Within the patent background description, Apple states that a notebook computer faces a “host of insults” such as rough handling and transportation in the presence of other items that may be placed in a container along with the computer. These hazards can damage a computer, even when turned off and closed, especially when ports, air vents and other openings are exposed. Foreign objects such as paper clips, show tickets, business cards and bits of loose paper. can find their way into the laptop and damage internal components of the computer.
The device in question under the patent is meant as protective measure, especially for opposing-brush slot disk drives like those found in current PowerBooks, MacBooks and MacBook Pro units.
The guard slot described by the patent would be a device that would be positioned adjacent to the laptop’s optical drive slot and alternate between an open and closed position. The open position would provide free access while the closed position would protect the drive slot when the computer is not in use.
The patent lists John DiFonzo and Chris Lightenberg as being the inventors of this patent.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding this, let us know.


Report: Apple Falsified Jobs’ Stock Options Authorization

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 13:09
Category: News

Apple Computer’s stock fell $1.64 per share, or two percent, following a report that indicated that Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who returned to the company in 1997, was awarded 7.5 million stock options in 2001 without proper authorization from the company’s board of directors. The revelation was made public via a recently released Financial Times article.
The article reports that records logging a full board meeting, which is required to approve stock options remunerations, were later falsifed. These records are now under review by the Securities and Exchange Commission as it decides which investigative avenues to pursue (individual or company-wide) and Apple is expected to discuss the situation along with details about an additional investigation as to stock option irregularities and backdating within the company at the annual meeting on Friday.
Additional questions and pressures have arisen given the fact that Jobs has sought legal counsel outside the company, despite having been above the fray of the investigation since it began this fall. To date, Jobs had claimed he had been “aware” of the backdating “in a few instances”, but claimed he had never benefited from these actions or been aware of the accounting implications.
In October of 2001, Jobs’ stock options were offered at an exercise price of $18.30 per share while the alleged board authorization occurred near the end of 2001. Such an action would indicate that the options weren’t properly authorized and had been backdated to maximize the value of Jobs’ stock options.
Jobs would later surrender the stock options before exercising them, thereby not showing any actual gain on the transaction. The Apple CEO would later be given a grant of restricted stock by the company in lieu of the options, this value perhaps having been calculated on the backdated stock options and targeted by the investigation.
Apple has reportedly refused to comment on the issue, but a spokesman has claimed the company has handed the findings of its own internal investiation to the SEC. The company has stated that its investigation found “no misconduct by any member of Apple’s current management team”, although two executives – Nancy Heinan, former senior vice president and Fred Anderson, former chief financial officer for the company, both resigned as of this year.
Anderson may be under investigation for a different set of actions, as he was not a part of the board of directors as of the October, 2001 decision that’s pertinent to Jobs’ reported role in the case.
If you have any ideas or comments, let us know.


Feds Examining Apple Stock-Option Files

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Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 12:14
Category: News

According to an article on Macworld News, federal investigators are “looking closely” at Apple stock-option documents that employees within the company may have falsified in order to boost their own profits. The story was initially published in the late Tuesday online edition of The Recorder on legal news web site
Further details are expected in Apple’s delayed annual report, due out this Friday and Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has publicly apologized for his actions with regard to the stock options and sought legal counsel apart from Apple’s.
A three-month investigation conducted by investigators that concluded in October revealed that individuals within the company familiar with the case came forward as well as requested anonymity given the ongoing criminal and civil government investigations.
At the end of the internal investigation, Apple mentioned that it had “raised serious concerns” regarding the actions of two former executives tied into the fiscal inner workings of the company – Nancy Heinan, former senior vice president, who quietly parted ways with the company this May and former chief financial officer Fred Anderson, who resigned from the company in October as the investigation was wrapping up and commenting that it was in the company’s best interest for him to go.
Apple’s stock price tumbled to $78.19 per share as of Wednesday morning and the firm is among 200 companies that have disclosed internal investigations as well as federal probes by either the Securities and Exchange Commision or the Department of Justice for inquiries related to stock-option management, including backdating of options.
Stay tuned for further comment and details in Friday’s annual report.
If you have any comments or feedback on this, let us know.


MacBook Pro Users Report Continued Screen Flickering

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Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 10:29
Category: News

An article over at reports that several users have written in regarding screen flicker problems with their MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo laptops.
The flickering, according to reader Steven Bailey, is horizontally variable and has appeared twice to date when the screen is turned to full brightness. A restart reduced the problem, but is still visible if the brightness level is reduced.
The problem seems reminiscent of a logic board problem that haunted Apple’s iBook G4 laptops. The company diagnosed the problem and in many cases replaced the logic board under warranty.
If you’re seeing this problem with your Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pro or have questions or comments, please let us know.


Users Reporting Erratic Trackpad Behavior Under Windows

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 12:01
Category: News

According to an article on MacFixIt, several users have reported erratic trackpad behavior on their Intel-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops when running Windows under both Apple’s Boot Cap and Parallels Desktop for Mac OS X.
While behavior will be normal for a while, readers have commented that after a given period of time, behavior will become erratic.
The article reports that running a trackpad reset, or running a hand across the entire trackpad in a wiping motion, can resolve the issue as a short term fix (the solution is covered in this Apple Knowledge Base article, which discusses resetting the trackpad on various PowerBook G4 laptops).
As of now there’s been no comment regarding this issue from Apple.
Please let us know if you’ve encountered this or similar problems and what fixes or workarounds have resolved the situation for you.


MacHeist Raises Over $190,000 for Charities

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 08:34
Category: News

MacHeist, creators of the MacHeist Bundle (a bundled combination of software from 10 different developers) has announced that their MacHeist event is over and that the firm was able to raise over $190,000 for charity.
The effort, which sold the bundle (worth over $356 if the items were bought individually at full price) for $49, contributed 25% of money earned to United Way International, Direct Relief International, AIDS Research Alliance,, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, The Hunger Project and Save the Children.
Shareware developers involved in the project included firms like Delicious Monster, unsanity, Realmac Software and Pangea.
In order to round out the total to an even number, MacHeist will be contributing an additional $10,000 to the effort, bringing the total to $200,000.


Apple Quietly Pulls iSight From Online Store

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Date: Thursday, December 21st, 2006, 08:53
Category: News

According to an article over on MacNN, Apple has quietly removed the iSight camera from its online Apple Store shelves, leaving only the iSight Accessory Kit and Griffin’s SightLight FireWire accessory, both initially modeled around the iSight camera.
With speculation fervent in the less than two weeks before Macworld Expo, some have wondered whether a new camera is in the works or whether additional Apple hardware, such as the company’s screens, will find themselves with iSight camera technology embedded into them.
Time to wait and see, but if you have any ideas or comments, let us know.