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Maine Gives Windows PCs Contract To HP

HP was awarded a four-year contract by the Maine Department of Education. As per the contract, the HP ProBook 4440, running Microsoft Windows software, will be available as the primary technology and learning solution for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MTLI). Selecting HP for the primary technology and learning solution ends the state's exclusive contract with Apple, which began in 2002. HP will also provide a development specialist, instructional workshops, technical workshops and an active portal that will be a one-stop shop for all professional development resources for any educator in the state. Microsoft is providing a substantial investment as part of the company's Partners in Learning program to provide opportunities for Maine educators, says the company.   Maine has the only statewide-led 1:1 computing program for schools...

Apple Borrows $17B

Apple borrowed $17 billion on Tuesday. This is the the first time in some two decades the company borrowed money. "Apple issued six different securities, with maturities ranging from a three-year note yielding 0.45 percent to a 30-year bond that yields 3.85 percent. The largest piece, a $5.5 billion issue, is a 10-year yielding 2.4 percent," reports Peter Lattman and Peter Eavis of the New York Times.  Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank reportedly led the sale of the issuance.

The Difference Between Siri, Google Now?

Google's personal assistant service Google Now is now available on iPhone and iPads. Should Siri be scared? Nah. The two services complement each other. A quick look. What can Google Now do? Like Siri, Google Now can process some amount of natural language queries. Tap the microphone to ask your phone, and you shall receive answers. “Do I need an umbrella this weekend?”  Google Now will recite the weather forecast to you. Say 'Iron Man'; and Google Now will speak to you a snippet from Wikipedia. Google Now can also show you the day’s weather, or alert you on traffic. It can share news updates, and send reminders. Google Now generates cards that appear at the bottom of the screen, with information the service thinks you may...

Apple Submits Revised Campus 2 Project Plans

Apple has submitted revised plans for the Apple Campus 2 project to the City of Cupertino. The last revision prior to this, was submitted by Apple in November, 2012. Apple had originally submitted a development proposal to replace existing office and research buildings to create a new Apple campus. The 175 acre area of proposed space is located on a former HP campus in Cupertino.  The replacement and rebuild proposal includes demolition of approximately 2.65 million square feet of buildings, and construction of an office, research and development building comprising approximately 2.8 million square feet, a 1,000 seat corporate auditorium, and research facilities comprising approximately 300,000 square feet, among other things.  You may also find this interesting: Everything You Want To Know About Apple’s New Campus

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference To Kick Off June 10

Apple will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) from June 10 through June 14 at San Francisco’s Moscone West. Philip Schiller (Senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Apple): Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we’re excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps.   The five-day conference will feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies, as well as the Apple Design Awards, a showcase of the most outstanding apps available through the App Store and Mac App Store.

Apple Buying Back $60 Billion In Stock

Apple is increasing its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from $10 billion. This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015. Tim Cook (CEO, Apple):  We are very fortunate to be in a position to more than double the size of the capital return program we announced last year.  We believe so strongly that repurchasing our shares represents an attractive use of our capital that we have dedicated the vast majority of the increase in our capital return program to share repurchases. Apple's board has authorized a significant increase to the company’s program to return capital to shareholders, says the company. Apple expects to utilize a total of $100 billion of cash under...

Apple Reports Second Quarter Results

Apple posted quarterly revenues of $43.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share for its fiscal 2013 second quarter ended March 30, 2013. These results compare to revenue of $39.2 billion and net profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 37.5 percent compared to 47.4 percent to a year ago. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue. Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 35.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 19.5 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 11.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The company sold just under 4 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter. Tim Cook...

PC Shipments Show Biggest Single Quarter Decline Ever

Video killed the radio star. And Windows 8 was perhaps the final nail in the coffin. PC shipments continue to decline, finds IDC, with users not (or not yet, at any rate) willing to shell out the big bucks for Windows 8 PCs. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of  7.7%, according to IDC. The extent of the year-on-year contraction marked the worst quarter since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines. Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments...

More Than 1B Smart Connected Device Shipped In 2012

Worldwide shipments of smart connected devices grew 29.1% year over year in 2012, crossing 1 billion units shipped with a value of $576.9 billion, says IDC. The market expansion was largely driven by 78.4% year-over-year growth in tablet shipments, which surpassed 128 million in 2012. Looking specifically at the results for the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), combined shipments of desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets, and smartphones was nearly 378 million and revenues were more than $168 billion. In terms of market share, Apple significantly closed the gap with market leader Samsung in the quarter, as the combination of Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad Mini brought Apple up to 20.3% unit shipment share versus 21.2% for Samsung. On a revenue basis for the fourth quarter, Apple...

Apple Acquires Indoor GPS Company WifiSlam

Apple has acquired indoor GPS company WifiSlam, according to a report by Jessica E. Lessin in The Wall Street Journal. The report says the deal was pegged at $20 million, quoting a person familiar with the matter.  WifiSlam allows smartphones to pinpoint their location in real-time to 2.5m accuracy, using ambient WiFi signals that are already present in buildings. Applications range from step-by-step indoor navigation, to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based social networking, says the company. Investors in WifiSlam include Sky Dayton, Mareza Larizadeh, Naval Ravikant, Felix Shpilman, Don Dodge and Kevin Talbot, according to the company's AngelList posting.     

Intertrust Sues Apple For Patent Infringement

Intertrust Technologies has filed a broad patent infringement suit against Apple. The lawsuit, filed in a North Carolina federal court, accuses Apple of making products and services that infringe on 15 Intertrust patents on security and distributed trusted computing. The lawsuit covers a broad range of Apple products and services, from from iOS devices to Macs to iCloud and the Apple App Store. Founded in 1990, Intertrust  is a digital rights management platform, with a long list of clients that licenses its patents, including Microsoft, Adobe, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, LG, Vodafone, Sony, and Philips. 

Apple Hires Adobe CTO

Kevin Lynch, Adobe's CTO is joining Apple. According to a Form 8-K filed by Adobe with SEC, Mr. Lynch tendered his resignation on Monday, and is leaving the company on March 22 to "pursue other opportunities." Mr. Lynch had come to Adobe through its acquisition of Macromedia in 2005. According to a report by John Paczkowski and Peter Kafka of AllThingsD, Mr. Lynch will be joining Apple. The report quotes a confirmation from Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling. Mr. Lynch will be reporting to Apple senior vice president Bob Mansfield, and will be joining the company as vice president. The move is a coup for Apple. The company had locked horns with Adobe over the use, or rather lack thereof, of its Flash technology in iOS devices. And now one...

Mark Zuckerberg Replaces Tim Cook As Most Admired CEO

Glassdoor has released its latest report highlighting this year's 50 Highest Rated CEOs according to employees. The five highest rated CEOs for 2013 are: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (99 percent approval) SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe (99 percent approval)  McKinsey & Company CEO Dominic Barton (97 percent approval)  Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley (96 percent approval) Northwestern Mutual CEO John E. Schlifske (96 percent approval). During the past year, Mark Zuckerberg saw his CEO approval rating climb 14 percentage points to a 99 percent approval. Mr. Zuckerberg isn't the only CEO to see his approval rating climb over the past year. Mindtree's Krishnakumar Natarajan saw his approval rating climb 21 percentage points to 90 percent, Wipro's T. K. Kurien increased 19 percentage points to 82 percent, Amazon's Jeff...

Ferrari FF Cars Will Come With Siri Integration Now

Audio and infotainment giant Harman is providing Ferrari in-car speech control with the integration of Apple’s Siri in the latest Ferrari FF model. Michael Mauser  (Executive Vice President and Co-President of Infotainment & Lifestyle Divisions): This Siri integration is an important milestone in the cooperation between Harman and Ferrari. By transferring the known modus operandi to the car, Ferrari offers its customers the ease of use of their mobile devices with an embedded premium Harman infotainment system. A combination of Apple’s technology with the existing head unit, makes talking to your car as simple as, well, talking to your iPhone, says Harman. A long press of the infotainment system’s menu button on the steering wheel activates Siri. Commands and audio feedback are picked up and played through...

Apple Slashes Macbook Prices, Improves Specs

Apple has slashed prices, and improved specs of its Macbook range. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of flash, and $1,699 for a new 2.6 GHz processor and 256GB of flash. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now features a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor, and comes with a new 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of memory. The 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of flash now costs $1,399.