Apple's PR department has had to work overtime lately, first to provide damage control for the iPhone 4 debacle, and now to distance itself from a former manager who has just been indicted by a federal grand jury for a number of alleged illegal behavior.
Specifically, Paul Shin Devine of Sunnyvale, California, was arrested and charged with fraud, money laundering, and taking kickbacks, according to a report in The New York Times.
"Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business," a company spokesman said in a statement (try not to chuckle). "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."
Authorities have accused Devine of pocketing more than $1 million in exchange for giving confidential information to Apple suppliers, who then used the intel to negotiate fat contracts with Apple.
Huzzah! Throw up the flags! Send off the fireworks! Summon the townspeople! Apple has lost! The people have won! Huzzah!
I’m referring, of course, to Monday’s ruling by The Library of Congress, which explicitly carves out a legal exception for those looking to jailbreak their iPhones. No longer will industrious little hackers (or those who downloaded a one-button jailbreak app off the Interwebs) be subject to Digital Millennium Copyright Act smack-downs over their choice of Cydia instead of the App Store.
In short, so long as you’re jailbreaking your iPhone to make it work with a third-party application that, itself, isn’t kosher on a vanilla iPhone, you’re in the clear. I’m not quite sure what you would do with a jailbroken phone otherwise—perhaps smash it with a hammer to test its durability or something--but there you have it.
Now, we’ve won, right? The choice of how and why you use your iPhone has finally been wrested out of the turtleneck-laden hands of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The people are in control now, and we all have carte blanche to do with our handheld devices as we please! Yay!
Businesses big and small may come to regret not making a bigger effort to keep IT workers happy during the tough economic times that have rocked the tech sector the past 12 -24 months. As the economic outlook starts to improve, IT workers may end up seeking greener pastures elsewhere.
Or so says a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive. Harris pinged 4,367 tech workers in the second quarter of 2010, with 241 of them directly involved in IT operations. Out of those surveyed, 61 percent of IT workers making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year said they are "likely" to look for a new job within the next year. And of those making over $75,000 annually, 36 percent said they are "likely" to jump ship.
"In some areas, salaries were cut or certainly salary increases were suspended," said Sean Ebner, a regional vice president at Technisource.
At the same time, just 27 percent of IT workers making between $35,000 and $50,000 said that they expect more jobs will open up in the next 12 months.
Looking for a career change? If you have the right background, perhaps you can land a gig at Nokia as the new chief executive. Word on the Web is that Nokia is looking to hire a new CEO, which won't come as good news to Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, the current CEO struggling to keep the company relevant in the growing smartphone wars.
Nokia still sells more cell phones than anyone else, but hasn't been able to keep up with the likes of Apple, HTC, and others who are active in the smartphone arena.
"They are serious about making a change," The Wall Street Journal quoted a person familiar with matter as saying.
WSJ's source says that Nokia is "supposed to make a decision by the end of the month," which now looms just around the corner.
By now everyone's heard about the iPhone 4's controversial antenna problem, which Steve Jobs has labeled as a "non-issue." But while this is all relatively recent news to consumers, an Apple engineer claims he warned Jobs during the early design phase of the iPhone 4 that dropped calls was going to be a strong possibility, Bloomberg reports.
This isn't just any Apple engineer either, but a senior antenna expert in Apple's ranks who, according to Bloomberg's anonymous source, foresaw the scenario now being played out.
"Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple's management the device's design may cause recpetion problems, said the person, who is not authorized to speak on Apple's behalf and asked not to be identified," Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg goes on to say that a carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before its June 24 release. By all indications, this is something that could and should have been avoided, but then again, we'd be left without entertaining quips, both from Jobs himself (telling users they're holding the phone wrong), and from Microsoft, who likened the iPhone 4 to Vista.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that," Microsoft's COO Kevin Turner said during his keynote speech at the Worldiwde Partner Conference.
Best Buy still hasn't managed to find its funny bone, but at least the company isn't going to fire Brian Maupin, the 25-year-old graphic art student who uploaded a handful of awesome videos mocking the whole mobile phone war. If you haven't seen them yet, stop whatever it is you're doing and kick back for the next few minutes, so long as your boss, kids, and anyone else easily offended by foul language is out of earshot, there's a fair amount of cursing. When the coast is clear, click here and here.
Pretty funny, right? Best Buy didn't think so, and so it suspended Brian Maupin, and it appeared as though he would later be fired. Maybe the media attention had something to do with it, or the fact that Maupin did in fact remove several other less popular videos that mentioned the retail store by name, but either way, he's not getting a pink slip, NBC reports.
"We have completed our investigation into the videos created and posted by Brian Maupin, the aspiring filmmaker and Best Buy employee," Best Buy said in a statement. "This is an important situation for us because it involved balancing our social media guidelines with a commitment to creating a supportive environment for our employees. It's important to note that our investigation involved three videos that were posted in late June because they were openly disparaging of our employees, our customers and our vendor partners. Our investigation is over, and these videos are no longer on the web. Contrary to rumors, Brian has not been fired and is scheduled to return to his job at Best Buy this Friday."
Whether that's a blessing or a curse remains to be seen, and is something Maupin will have to figure out.
"At this point, I haven't decided if it would be appropriate to return," Maupin wrote on his Twitter account.
This is the way of things; just as the sun sets in the west, so do companies fire people when they get acquired. Palm is reportedly laying off a number of employees now that the sale to HP is complete. No one is talking hard numbers right now. But considering the size of HP, it makes sense to ditch redundant administrative positions. We don't know if any engineers are getting the boot. Palm is going to need them to come back from the dead a second time.
Talking to All Things D, a Palm spokesperson said, "Part of the integration strategy is consolidation of functions and operations, as appropriate." We assume the staff was aware of this possibility, but it's still rough. Given HP's resources we hope these unfortunate employees get a nice severance package. After all, they stuck with Palm this far as others were jumping ship left and right.
Steve Jobs might not want to acknowledge any design defects in the iPhone 4, who as far as we know still maintains that the reception issues some users are reporting amounts to a "non issue," but several new job listings may tell a different story. Spreading like wildfire across the Internet, the Cupertino company is looking to hire three "Antenna Engineers," two "iPhone OTA Wireless Systems Engineers", and three "RF Systems Validation Engineers" for the iPhone.
Candidates hoping to score a position as an antenna engineer will have to " Define and implement antenna system architecture to optimize the radiation performance for wireless portable devices. The candidate should be able to design antennas suitable for wireless handheld devices with excellent radiation performance, including TRP, TIS, SAR, and EMC. Work closely with other RF and antenna design engineers, mechanical and industrial designers, and EMC engineers to integrate the antenna design in our products. The candidate will be expected to performance radiation performance measurements, create test plans, execute them, publish test reports, provide feedback to the other design engineers, and lead some of the manufacturing of antenna."
All three Antenna Engineer listings were posted on the same day that widespread reports began to surface of the left-handed reception issues. That could be a coincidence, or maybe it isn't such a "non issue" after all.
It's said that breaking up is hard to do, but have you ever had an ex take you to court to prevent you from seeing someone else? That's not uncommon in the business world, and as former IBM senior executive Joanne Olsen is finding out, breaking up is indeed hard to do.
After serving 31 years with IBM, Oracle managed to dangle a big enough carrot in front of Olsen to lure her away from IBM just as the rivalry between the two companies hit an all time high following Oracle's $5.6 billion buyout of Sun Microsystems. The move has IBM crying foul, which contends that Olsen has violated the terms of the non-competition agreement she signed with IBM. Under terms of the agreement, Olsen must wait a year after leaving IBM before rendering services for a competitor.
"Joanne Olsen possesses valuable confidential information about IBM and our operations. As a result, she cannot undertake a senior position at Oracle without violating her obligations to IBM," said IBM spokesman Doug Shelton.
Olsen, Oracle, and each one's legal team has yet to respond to the accusations.
Looking for a job? Maybe Twitter has a position for you, and about 199 others. Speaking to a reporter after accepting a 2010 Mirrors Award, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that the microblogging service currently employs about 200 people, a number which he expects to double this year.
"We feel like we’ve come exceedingly far in a very short amount of time, and we definitely feel like we’ve reached something, some point," Stone said. "But the key takeaway for us is that now is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning. Twitter is just getting started, and we have a lot of work to do ahead of us."
Twitter, which is still figuring out how best to cash in on the microblogging craze, has been valued at about $1 billion. In April, Twitter rolled out an advertising service that lets advertisers pay to have their tweets show up in the top of search results.