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Apple lands in hot water with application 

A group of U.S. senators is calling on Apple to remove applications that alert users to the presence of police and other law enforcement checkpoints that have been set up to combat drunk driving.
U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) are named as senders in the letter, which is addressed to Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, Scott Forstall. No specific applications are named, but the letter highlights apps that "contain a database of DUI [driving under the influence] checkpoints updated in real-time" as well as one that sends out real-time alerts about the existence of these checkpoints.
"With more than 10,000 Americans dying in drunk-driving crashes every year, providing access to iPhone and iPad applications that alert users to DUI checkpoints is harmful to public safety," the group wrote. "We know that your company shares our desire to end the scourge of drunk driving and we therefore would ask you to remove these applications from your store."
A quick search on the App Store shows several such apps, some with suggestive names such as Tipsy and Fuzz Alert Pro, some that cost money and some that are free. Alongside these more specialized applications are crowd-sourced, social-network-style apps that can alert users to general police presence on local roads and highways.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Along with drunk driving apps, Apple is currently under fire for approving an iPhone application from a religious ministry that takes a stance on homosexuality, encouraging users to "cure" themselves of it. That particular app has been up on the store since mid-February, and continues to be made available.
To combat any confusion or ambiguities on its rules and regulations for application approval, Apple released a set of App Store guidelines back in September that spells out what apps are and are not allowed to do. Included on that list of "don'ts" are "apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes."
Update at 9:10 a.m. on 3/23: The same letter was also sent to Google's Eric Schmidt, as well as Research in Motion for the Android Marketplace and The Blackberry App World respectively.
Here's a full copy of the senators' letter:
Dear Mr. Forstall,
We write today with grave concern regarding the ease with which downloadable applications for the iPhone, iPad, and other Apple products allow customers to identify where local police officers have set up DUI checkpoints. With more than 10,000 Americans dying in drunk-driving crashes every year, providing access to iPhone and iPad applications that alert users to DUI checkpoints is harmful to public safety.
We know that your company shares our desire to end the scourge of drunk driving and we therefore would ask you to remove these applications from your store.
One application, your company acknowledges in the product description, contains a database of DUI checkpoints updated in real-time. Another application, with more than 10 million users, also allows users to alert each other to DUI checkpoints in real time.
Police officers from across the country have voiced concern about these products, with one police captain saying, "If people are going to use those, what other purpose are they going to use them for except to drink and drive?" With a person dying every 50 minutes in a drunk-driving crash, this technology should not be promoted to your customers--in fact, it shouldn't even be available.
We appreciate the technology that has allowed millions of Americans to have information at their fingertips, but giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern. We hope that you will give our request to remove these applications from your store immediate consideration.
Thank you for your prompt and careful consideration of this matter. Should you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.
Sincerely,
Senator Reid
Senator Schumer
Senator Lautenberg
Senator Udall
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Jobs ordered to speak in deposition 

Steve Jobs was ordered by a judge yesterday to answer questions in a deposition related to an antitrust suit filed against the company in 2005 over its FairPlay DRM software.
Attorneys for Apple have said that Jobs' testimony in this case would be repetitive of what has already been offered as part of the ongoing lawsuit, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Howard Lloyd ruled yesterday that this alone was not sufficient to stop Jobs from testifying.
The case, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, revolves around Apple's past use of FairPlay to encode its digital music files. FairPlay encoding ensured that songs bought through iTunes would play only on iPods and not other music and claiming it was the music companies that wanted the digital rights management, Jobs eventually got rid of FairPlay in early 2009, paving the way for DRM-free music through iTunes, but with the use of the software, Apple became the target of a lawsuit launched in 2005 from a group of iPod and music buyers who claimed that the company's use of FairPlay allowed it to maintain a monopoly over both digital audio players and music downloads.
As one example, RealNetworks had challenged Apple in July 2004 by releasing software called Harmony, which was designed to crack through the DRM and allow its own digital music files to play on the iPod.
In its strong response a few days later, Apple threatened to block access to RealNetworks' digital music files the next time the iPod software was updated. Apple eventually followed through on that threat by updating the iPod in October and rendering RealNetworks' content unplayable.
Though Judge Lloyd has ordered Jobs to testify in the deposition, he did find in favor of Apple on certain motions. The plaintiffs argued that Jobs should be required to answer questions about Apple's initial decision to implement FairPlay and its refusal to license FairPlay to other companies. But the judge rejected both of those arguments.
As a result, Jobs' deposition will be limited to two hours, during which time he'll be asked questions only related to RealNetworks' launch of Harmony in 2004, Apple's response to Harmony, and Apple's iPod update later that year.
As reported by CNET, an Apple spokeswoman said the company would decline any response to the lawsuit and Jobs' testimony while the litigation is still pending.
In another matter related to Jobs, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that an investment advisory firm has raised questions over whether the Apple CEO should continue to serve on the board of directors for Walt Disney.
Citing his absences from board meetings the past few years, Institutional Shareholder Services acknowledged that Jobs' ongoing medical condition could certainly excuse him from frequent participation. But the group felt that shareholders are entitled to greater disclosure and a full explanation were he to be re-nominated to the board. Disclosure of Jobs' medical ailments has also been an issue that has dogged Apple over recent years.
The AFL-CIO, which owns about 3.8 million shares of Disney, already voted against Jobs returning to Disney's board, as reported by the L.A. Times.

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Apple insider trading being investigated 



Federal prosecutors in Manhattan arrested four people on charges that "expert consultants" revealed secrets about Apple inc.'s products to hedge funds seeking an edge on quarterly reports. The latest target of the probe was firm executive James Fleishmen of mountain view based Primary Global Research, a California based company that offers consulting services to investors on industry trends.
Fleishman has been accused of using four consultants employed by publicly traded companies to create a clearing house for confidential information and is currently being charged with wire fraud and conspiracy. Investigators state that Richard Choo-Beng Lee's hedge fund's practice was to "have its employees call a firm consultant before the consultants employer was expected to release its quarterly earnings, in part to obtain inside information". Authorities are currently investigating several other possible suspects in the case and the investigation is currently ongoing.
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Apple aquires patent for glasses-less 3D projection  



Apple, the company known for its minimalist aesthetics, recently received a patent for a glasses-less 3D projection method. The image would be projected on to two different textured and reflective layers and, by sensing the position of the viewer's eyes, direct images to each eye separately, creating the stereoscopic effect. The goal that Apple, and other companies such as Toshiba and Nintendo, are aiming for is an unrestricted 3D viewing experience that doesn't require specific positioning or extraneous equipment to enjoy and can be inexpensive enough to be a commercially viable home entertainment system.

The reason why Apple's method differs from others on the market now is that, like everything else from Apple, it's much more simple and efficient, using less processing power than competitors and allowing complete freedom of movement for the viewer. But don't get your hopes up just yet. Apple has no immediate plans to develop a 3D projection system. However, if this technology is truly the future of entertainment, you can bet you'll see Apple unveil the sleekest, most Tron-like system sooner rather than later.

For more information on this story, read Here
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Apple pulls the plug on xserve 

xserve sales had never been Apples main focus, the company reserved that passion for they're base consumer market products, and now after distributing the Apple branded server for the almost half a decade they have pulled the plug on it. This was shocking news, sales of xserve hadn't been great but this was leaving behind the possibility of Apple ever supporting its business consumer needs , or did they? a poll of apple's xserve customers showed that 70% didn't miss it at all, probably being replaced by the new mini server apple is now pushing. thought he future of how Apple intends to deal with the needs of large scale companies in future, one thing is for sure Apple never leaves without a fight and i cant wait to see what they have up they're sleeve.
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