Auburn University posts tribute to Apple's Tim Cook following Lifetime Achievement

Apr 14, 2014 - 11:29 AM - by sparkyscott21

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook was profiled in a new video published by the Auburn University Alumni Association, which has recognized Cook in a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cook accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award in December, in a speech that recalled growing up in Alabama in the 1960s and seeing firsthand the "devastating impacts of discrimination."

Cook drew attention to Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., two men who "sacrificed everything, including their lives, as champions of human rights and human dignity," and has championed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that passed the U.S. Senate but has yet to appear before the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. Cook again directed attention to the legislation this week while "reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act."

The Auburn Alumni Association, however, has focused its attention on Cook himself, in a video (above) that includes comments from Apple's chief of operations Jeff Williams and Disney chief executive Bob Iger. Both described Cook's humility, ethics and philanthropy as defining aspects of the man who was personally recruited by Steve Jobs in 1998 to serve as the company's senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Cook profiled as promoting technical excellence, human welfare & sustainable manufacturing

The Alumni Association noted, "Tim Cook has become one of the most recognizable names in the business world over the past two years when he succeeded Steve Jobs in the role of CEO of Apple, Inc. Cook served as the chief operating officer of Apple from October 14, 2005 to August 24, 2011, and served as head of its Macintosh Division, where he played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships.

"He served as executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations of Apple Computer Inc. from 2002 to 2005. He joined Apple in 1998 as senior vice president of worldwide operations. Prior to that, he served as vice president of corporate materials at Compaq Computer Corporation ('Compaq') from 1997 to 1998 and was responsible for procuring and managing its product inventory.

"Prior to his work at Compaq Computer Corporation, Cook served as chief operating officer of the reseller division of Intelligent Electronics. He also spent
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Apple takes over hydroelectric plant project near its Oregon data center

Apr 13, 2014 - 12:08 PM - by sparkyscott21

OregonLive notes that government filings from last week show Apple has taken over a hydroelectric project near its Oregon data center.

Apple has previously reported that it powers its data centers entirely on renewable energy. The hydroelectric plant in Oregon will help maintain its 100% renewable energy rating.

In fact, on Apple’s environmental website, the company notes that the Prineville site will source power from hydroelectric energy in addition to wind and solar.

Apple seems to have taken over the project early in the development cycle. It is not clear if the site is currently completed. OregonLive says that Apple (nor the project’s previous owners) did not respond to requests for comment on the state of the site.

The news comes in the wake of Greenpeace’s latest energy report on Apple, which applauded its green energy commitments. Greenpeace will no doubt be delighted by this latest development which continues to highlight Apple’s commitment to green energy.

In Cook’s most recent public appearance, the CEO expressed strong views about environmental sustainability in Apple’s shareholder meeting.

“If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”



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Apple hires CEO of brand consualtant Wolff Olins in marketing push

Apr 12, 2014 - 1:00 PM - by sparkyscott21

Heiselman, who previously worked for Apple as a contract designer in the 1990s before Steve Jobs' return, told Ad Age he is leaving Wolff Olins after 14 years for "an exciting new role" at Apple. Half of his tenure at the branding agency was spent as CEO.

In a 2009 interview with The Guardian, Heiselman said Apple at times felt "a little too cool for its own good. I think it might be in danger of becoming too cool, maybe not too cool, but too slick."

News of the hire comes a few days after Apple v. Samsung court documents revealed mounting tension between Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller and the company's go-to ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab. At the time, Schiller was concerned that Samsung's marketing blitz was causing damage to Apple's image.

Those worries may have been an impetus for change, as a report from September said Apple was planning to expand in-house marketing operations from the current 300 staffers to 500 or 600 people. To that end, Apple has made a few key hires in the advertising and marketing department, including former New York Times Magazine's design director Arem Duplessis in December.

It is unknown what responsibilities Heiselman will be given within Apple's marketing machine, but his experience in branding will likely be put to good use as some say Apple is going through a transitionary period as the company looks to define itself after the death of visionary cofounder Jobs.



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Apple unlikely to utilize custom iPhone baseband chip until 2015 at earliest

Apr 10, 2014 - 1:03 PM - by sparkyscott21

iPhone 5s logic board with Qualcomm baseband chipset

If Apple does bring baseband processor design and production in-house as recent moves have indicated, one analyst believes that the chips are unlikely to debut in new iPhone models before 2015, thanks to the "notoriously difficult" nature of their development.

In a Thursday morning note to investors, obtained by AppleInsider, JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall pointed to silicon firm Broadcom's recent struggle to produce an LTE modem of its own as evidence of the uphill battle awaiting Apple. Broadcom is one of the companies from which Apple has hired away a number of baseband hardware and software engineers in recent months.

Apple's choice to produce its own wireless modems would likely be motivated in part by a desire for increased power efficiency, Hall believes. Apple's current logic board designs utilize a baseband chip that is separate from the company's A-series application processors, and the company may be looking for ways to integrate the two chips into a single package.

Qualcomm, Apple's current baseband vendor, has done just that with its Snapdragon processors, and Hall believes the company would likely be open to a licensing arrangement that would allow Apple to integrate Qualcomm baseband IP on A-series cores. Such an arrangement would be beneficial to Qualcomm, as Apple is believed to have accounted for approximately one quarter of Qualcomm's 2012 revenues and losing that business would represent a significant financial hardship.

Despite the challenges, Hall believes that Apple has the ability and internal know-how to attract the talent necessary to successfully develop its own modem technology, as evidenced by the success of the A-series processors. Apple is thought to be at least one year ahead of Qualcomm on that front, thanks to the "desktop class" A7 chip that powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display.



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Future Apple TV May Be An Oculus Rift-Style Headset [Patent]

Apr 10, 2014 - 10:51 AM - by sparkyscott21

Could Apple’s revolutionary re-imagining of Apple TV not be a set-top box at all, but rather an Oculus Rift style headset?

A patent published Thursday hints that this might be the case, as it refers to a head mounted display (HMD) capable of providing a personal media viewing experience for users.

The patent describes how data processing circuitry could feature optical component capable of adjusting left and right images to display 3-D media, or else to account for a user’s eyesight limitations.

While the headset could couple with a computer or existing television set to display media in an Oculus Rift-type virtual theater environment, the patent also notes how users could have the option of displaying media streamed or downloaded directly to the headset — so that people could take their Apple TV experience on the go.

Some readers may note that this is patent is a continuation of one that Apple filed back in 2008, although it was freshly filed in December 2013. The company has been actively pursuing HMDs since at least 2006 — long before Oculus Rift appeared on the scene. Although nothing has been released in that time, today’s refreshed patent shows that this continues to be an area of interest for Apple.

(Or else that they’re desperately trying to mislead their rivals into thinking this is what they’re doing.)

Still, with the news that Apple TV has been overtaken by Amazon when it comes to streaming video stats, this would certainly be a way for Apple to differentiate itself in the marketplace. Combined with Apple’s acquisition of PrimeSense — the company behind the Xbox Kinect — and rumors that future Apple TV iterations will focus heavily on gaming, a wearable pair of goggles that let you watch your favorite shows in the comfort of your own personal movie theater would open up a plethora of new possibilities.



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12" Retina MacBook Air and Low-Price iMac Likely in 2014

Apr 09, 2014 - 6:40 PM - by sparkyscott21

In an extensive research note covering Apple's product roadmap for 2014, KGI Securities Ming Chi Kuo reiterated expectations that Apple is working on a ultra slim 12" MacBook Air but also revealed a new low-cost iMac in the works.

Kuo's predictions for the 12" MacBook Air match what was leaked in March from a reliable Chinese forum source. The new 12" MacBook Air will "redefine notebook user experience":

- Thinner than current models
- No fan
- Buttonless trackpad
- Higher resolution Display

Kuo first predicted this ultra thin 12" MacBook Air late last year.

We expect the unprecedented 12” model will boast both the portability of the 11” model, and productivity of the 13” model. The high resolution display will also offer the outstanding visual experience of the Retina MacBook Pro. The offering will likely be lighter and slimmer than the existing MacBook Air to further highlight ease of portability in the cloud computing era. We think the form factor will showcase a much improved clamshell structure, and that it will redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.

Besides the 12" MacBook Air, Kuo reveals that a "low-priced" version of the iMac is coming. The new model will help compete with companies such as HP and Lenovo as well as grow market share in Asia.

The 12" MacBook Air is not expected until late 2014, while the low-cost iMac may come mid-year.



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