Walt Disney has confirmed that it has found backdated stock options at Pixar prior to its acquisition in January 2006. Disney also said that it has cleared Steve Jobs — CEO of Pixar at the time — of any wrongdoing.
“The Committee and Board have concluded that while options were backdated at Pixar prior to the acquisition, no one currently associated with the Company engaged in any intentional or deliberate acts of misconduct,” said Disney in a prepared statement.
Disney said that it should also address the additional income tax liability issues facing Pixar employees who hold the options. The company doesn’t expect the tax issues to affect its financial statements.
Accurate exposure, faithful color, and sharp focus are the technical cornerstones of good photography. Of the three, color is the most often overlooked—many indoor shots end up with a dark reddish tint, while many outdoor snapshots end up blue and lifeless. But there’s plenty you can do to avoid these problems—even if you’re using a basic point-and-shoot digital camera. The key is understanding your camera’s white-balance settings.
I *love* this new camera bag from LowePro.
Easy to carry, compact, holds the camera snugly and has room in the main body for lenses, hoods, batteries, etc. Outer pockets for miscellaneous stuff. It has an interesting carrying position too. It "slings" across your body like a messenger bag and, due to the design of the camera opening, allows you to quickly get at your camera and even use the bag as a "platform" for shooting.
In the wake of its backdated stock options troubles, Apple Inc. is offering affected employees the chance to amend their past options and receive cash payments to avoid related tax penalties, according a regulatory filing. Apple said it sent an e-mail to affected employees, offering them the chance modify the exercise price in accordance with the company's designated schedule.
In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said some of the misdated stock options exercised after 2005 are subject to additional taxes. The Cupertino-based maker of iPod players and Macintosh computers said the value of the affected stock options under the offer was $67,142, as of Tuesday.
When you see the "Optimizing System Performance" phase of a software update, Mac OS X is really updating prebinding. Updating prebinding has a very, very nasty bug in it (look at _dyld_update_prebinding). If multiple processes are updating prebinding at the same time, then it is possible for a system file to be completely zero'd out. Basically, all data in the file is deleted and it is replaced with nothing. This bug is usually triggered when updating Mac OS X and every update to Mac OS X has the potential to render your system unbootable depending on if the "right" file is deleted or not. It's triggered during the "Optimizing System Performance" phase of installing an update. This phase is actually just running update_prebinding. If you launch an application that links to libraries that are not yet prebound, there is a chance one of those files will be zero'd out as dyld automatically redoes the prebinding on that file.
I've been tracking this particular bug for about 18 months now.
Freeverse introduced Sound Studio 3.5 on Thursday with support for several more audio file formats. The updated version adds support for Apple Lossless, ADTS AAC, NeXT/Sun Audio, and Ogg Vorbis audio formats, adds 8, 16 and 24 kbps bit rates for MP3 files, improves AppleScript support, enhances the Split by Markers feature, fixes several bugs, and more. Sound Studio 3.5 is priced at US$79.95.
Griffin Technology has upgraded its TuneFlex — a flexible auto charging cradle for the iPod — with an auxiliary-in cable. The cable is designed to connect to new cars that feature an auxiliary in connection to accommodate iPods and other devices. It costs $49.99.
TuneFlex plugs into your car’s 12V accessory jack or cigarette lighter and mounts the iPod or iPod nano on the end of a flexible gooseneck stalk. A light at the base of the TuneFlex’s neck shows power status. A built-in 1/8th-inch stereo line-out audio jack connects the TuneFlex Aux directly to the car stereo’s auxiliary input.
Wilkes University announced it has pulled the plug on PCs in favor of Macs, saying the move — which actually began last year — will save the Pennsylvania liberal arts college more than US$150,000 while still letting students and faculty continue to run Windows applications.
Touted by Apple as one of the first colleges to mandate a campus-wide shift from Windows PCs to Macs, the Wilkes-Barre, Pa. school wasn’t a bastion of all things Apple before the decision, said Scott Byers, vice president for finance and the head of campus IT. Macs, in fact, were a minority.
If you remember walking into music stores as a kid and thinking how cool it would be to one day see your album sitting on the shelf, the digital age may help your childhood daydream come true. With the help of a company called TuneCore, any musician or band can get their music in the most popular online stores.
TuneCore is the brainchild of Spin Art record label owner Jeff Price. When the industry shifted from physical retail stores to the online world, Price saw the ways of the traditional music label model trying to fit into the digital landscape that just weren’t working in this new environment.
The best part for the artist is that they keep all of the money from the sale—TuneCore does not take any money on the backend. Instead, the company charges one-time fees of 99 cents per song and 99 cents per store for each album and an annual $9.98 charge per album.
At last week's Corbis Creativity 2.0 panel in Manhattan, Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield sat down for a private one-on-one with Corbis and Microsoft chief Bill Gates. The two discussed the likely impact of IPTV on advertising and the distribution of TV content by the major networks' local affiliate stations. Garfield also asked Mr. Gates about the Apple ads, in which actor John Hodgman plays a character modeled on Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates was not amused.
GARFIELD: I want to ask you one more thing: Those Mac ads -- how do you feel about the John Hodgman character?
GATES: I can't comment on someone else's ad.
(Shawn's Comment: Mr Gates, you mean you can't comment *again* on someone else's ads, right? Cause the last time you did, you sounded foolish)
Even as world markets renewed their high-volatility rout this week, real business went on as usual. And for tens of thousands of companies without exposure to subprime lenders or low-end consumers, business is still very good.
A genuine leader in this regard at the moment is Apple (AAPL - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), which is on track to emerge later this year as the single most influential, life-changing and powerful company in the technology and consumer electronics universe. In a few years, it could even become the most valuable.
The latest step in Apple's amazing transformation from industry doormat to kingpin will come in the next 30 days, as investors and consumers come to recognize a set of powerful catalysts that have the potential to kick Apple's sales and earnings to levels that will shock skeptics and possibly even surprise optimists.
Polk Audio has announced two new portable iPod audio systems—the MiDock10 and MiDock Studio. The MiDock10 ($180; shown) features two 3.25-inch full-range drivers in a black ported enclosure. It offers USB connectivity for syncing with iTunes, side-mounted handles, auxiliary input, and headphone jack. The MiDock10 can be operated on AC or battery power, comes with a credit-card sized remote, and fits all dockable iPods. The MiDock Studio ($TBA) is a slightly larger and differently styled iPod audio system being released in April. It features dual 3.25-inch high excursion drivers that are vented via a side-firing flared port. The MiDock Studio features a two-tone black grille/white body color scheme and also has handles, USB connectivity, and auxiliary input.
We're not accustomed to using the words "disappointing" and JBL in the same sentence: the company's reputation for excellent speakers precedes its every release, its Austrian-developed AKG earphones are fairly consistent crowd-pleasers, and its earlier Reference-series earphones have been pretty good, too. So it's with a heavy heart that we report that its Reference 210 Earphones ($40) fail to live up to the family's reputation: these standard earbuds look nice, but don't sound as good as Apple's less expensive iPod Earphones.
The Photoshop World Tech Expo is open to the public one day only on Thursday, April 5 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Hynes Convention Center, Hall D in Boston. If you are interested in mingling with the biggest names in the industry and seeing the latest in Photoshop-related technology, sign up here for a free Tech Expo pass (valued at $20 per person) today.
Streamed Audio Only Archive - http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/YML070314s.mov (Open QuickTime, type Command-U and type in the address)
Streamed Video Archive - THERE WAS NO VIDEO OF THIS WEEK'S SHOW
Our guests on Wednesday's show were:
I am getting a little jittery here. I’ve just checked the Apple PR archives and it’s true: The last significant Mac news dates August 7th, 2006 when Apple announced Leopard and the MacPros. (The Apple TV is not Mac news, it’s iTunes news.)
That’s 7 months!
Since then: iPod, iPhone, iTunes. Ah, and, before we forget, iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro each got a slight update.
The MacBook Pro shipped over a year ago in February 2006. The MacBook has been introduced in May 2006, 10 months ago. Each received a small revision, swapping out a pin compatible processor, hardly a major engineering feat. Certainly not worth a special event to introduce.
So where are the great new Mac products Steve keeps talking about?
Apple laptops were in among the top five biggest selling computer brands in the US this past January, new NPD research shows.
Apple is number five for its US laptop sales — a position unthinkable just a few years ago. The company took 10.1 per cent of the US laptop market.
(Shawn's Comment: Macworld conveniently ignores a crucial part of the Bloomberg story - "Note: figures are for retail channel sales only and do not include direct sales, sales from Wal-Mart or warehouse clubs" - so they ignore numbers from Dell. Apple is, at best, the 6th largest.)
Apparently Leopard is going to be released this year. In fact, Rumor mongers have it nailed down - sometime between like next week and June. So rest easy knowing it’ll be here at some point….
(Shawn's Comment: Considering that's exactly when Apple says they will release Leopard...that's not much of a rumor stretch, is it?)
CrunchGear serves it up hot with the idea that Apple could possibly maybe in a million years license the iPhone OS to other manufacturers. Is this Apple’s style? No way. But I (being not even a fraction of the business mind of Steve Jobs) think the potential could be there for Apple on this one. Who couldn’t benefit from a better operating system on their cell phone?
(Shawn's Comment: Everyone can - which is why Apple will want you to buy the *iPhone*)
Long before countless Americans aspired to be the next American Idol, karaoke let music lovers be the stars of their own musical performances. A pair of new accessories for your iPod offer to bring the karaoke experience home for you to enjoy—instead of just passively listening to your music, you can participate in an interactive karaoke experience. Griffin Technology’s $50 iKaraoke and DoPi’s $60 DoPi Karaoke System take slightly different approaches to delivering karaoke, but with each, your iPod provides the songs and you provide the vocals.
I've been putting off this review, because it doesn't thrill me to warn even a subset of people away from a popular product. But that's exactly what I have to do - in short, although the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be a fun addition for anyone who runs with an iPod or wants a bit more encouragement to run, competitive runners shouldn't bother with it. It simply isn't worthwhile as a training aid for anyone who values ease-of-use, lap counter features, and distance and pace accuracy.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been placed number 132 by Forbes on its ranking of the world's richest people. The listings include rank, name, home country or state, age where known, wealth in billions of dollars and source of the wealth. Ranking in the top five are: William Gates III, Washington, 51, US$56, Microsoft; Warren Buffett, Nebraska, 76, $52, Berkshire Hathaway; Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico, 67, $49, telecom; Ingvar Kamprad and family, Sweden, 80, $33, Ikea; and Lakshmi Mittal, India, 56, $32, steel.
Not too long ago, ad agencies, design firms and other creative companies were about the only businesses that widely deployed Macintosh computers to their employees. But for a number of reasons, word of the benefits of Apple hardware—and software—on enterprise desktops is now spreading.
Gordon Meyer, author of the O’Reilly book Smart Home Hacks, offers this tip, based on his experience posting Amazon links on his blog:
Here’s a great tip for bloggers and the like. I use TextExpander to create a handy macro for creating Amazon Affiliate links. It’s much easier than using Amazon’s web interface.
FastMac came out with a 65-watt AC adapter designed for PowerBook G4 and iBook laptops. Part of the company’s TruePower line of power products, the adapter provides constant wattage output that meets or exceeds Apple’s adapters, according to FastMac.
The TruePower AC Adapter features a built-in LED power indicator and is compatible with titanium and aluminum PowerBook G4s as well as with white G3- and G4-based iBooks.
Twenty years ago, headphones were shrinking, but they were still “headphones,” speakers designed to hang outside of your ears, suspended by a headband. Over the last five years, iPod users have fueled the popularity of “earphones” - headband-less headphones with smaller speakers, like the ones that come with every iPod - and a sub-category of “canalphones,” which fit partially inside your ear canals.
Today, earphones are a big and important business.
iLounge’s editors have been keeping up with all of these developments, testing tons of new earphones, and publishing our per-earphone findings in reviews. We’re excited to welcome you to our brand-new Complete Guide to Earphones. Part 1 is designed to acquaint you with all of your options; parts 2 through 4 will help you choose the right pair for your personal needs.
Pros: Comfortable, sleek, and inexpensive iPod earbuds in your choice of black or white colors, each with a carrying case and three different silicone rubber molds for your ear canals. Good cable and headphone plug design.
Cons: Heavy bass slant to the audio that’s not as controlled as in better options we’ve tested, flattening sound and lacking for treble.
The iPod is probably the best portable music player the world has ever seen. It's simple to use, easy to operate, and instantly updatable. Never before has it been so easy to purchase, store, and transport thousands of songs. It's easy to take this beautiful and reliable device for granted!
One of our pet peeves is the inability to transfer an iPod's music to a computer. This seemingly simple feature has been disabled by Apple for fear of copyright infringement. We can understand the copyright stuff: Apple doesn't want punk kids giving all of their music to their friends. But there are some legitimate and legal reasons for transferring an iPod's music to a Mac.
iStyles today announced the iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector ($10), an adhesive screen cover that lets users watch videos on a fifth-generation iPod in privacy. “The iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector is an innovative new screen protector for the iPod 5G that not only protects your screen from the scratches and light bumps, but also protects your privacy by preventing your neighbors from seeing what you have on your screen,” says iStyles. The iPod Video Privacy Screen Protector allows users to view the iPod’s screen directly, but limits viewing from the side.
(Shawn's Comment: Umm...yeah....there's only one reason I can imagine you'd need this. And, even then, there's no need for this....)