Apple posts article explaining stock splits, is one planned after all?


Apple posts article explaining stock splits, is one planned after all?

Apple appears to have posted a Frequently Asked Questions on Stock Splits. It’s not clear if this is a new post, a search on Google shows it last cashed at 17 Feb 2013 and it doesn’t appear to have changed since then. 

The company explains that there have been three 2-for1 stock splits in Apple history.

15 June, 1987

21 June 2000

28 February 2005

The article goes into a lot of detail about how a 2-for-1 stock split works.

“A 2-for-1 split means that a new share of stock is issued for each share in existence prior to the split. After the split, each share is worth half of what it was worth immediately prior to the split,” says Apple.

It continues: “Let’s assume that as of the Record Date (February 18, 2005) an investor owns 100 shares of Apple common stock and let’s also assume that the market price of Apple stock is $80 per share, so that the investment in Apple is worth $8,000. Let’s also assume that Apple’s stock price doesn’t move up or down between the record date and the time the split actually takes place. Immediately after the split, the investor would own 200 shares of Apple stock, but the market price would be $40 per share. The investor’s total investment value in Apple would remain the same at $8,000 until the stock price moves up or down.”

Crucially there are “no tax consequences to U.S. residents as a result of Apple’s stock split,” writes Apple. One of the issues surrounding the calls for Apple to return more of its cash hord to shareholders is the fact that the company would have to pay billions in tax on the money as it is currently held off shore.

It does note that: “Foreign residents should consult their local tax advisors.”

The article goes on to explain how a stock split works and how the shares will be adjusted. 

As we wrote earlier today, yesterday investment manager Doug Kass started a rumour that Apple will announce a stock split. He tweeted: “High above the Alps my Gnome is hearing a rumor that Apple will announce a stock split at tomorrow’s shareholder meeting.”

This set of rumour and speculation, and sent Apple’s share price up, eventually closing at $448.97 (up from $442.80 the day before, and a low of $437.66 during the day’s trading). However, now it is being suggested that Kass was manipulating the stock, especially since, shortly after tweeting his gnome-lead rumour, he tweeted that: “Apple is now trading near $449, up from the day’s low at $437.65.” Prudence dictates that I sell off some of this outsized position”

According to Forbes, Apple couldn’t split its stock. As Forbes explains: “Based on the number of shares issued at about 940 million and only having authorization to issue 1.8 billion shares the company could not even execute a 2 for 1 split.”

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HP TouchPad: Six areas that need improvement


HP TouchPad: Six areas that need improvement

Time and again in recent months, manufacturers have chosen to bring tablets to market that seem half-baked. Unfortunately, the HP TouchPad is no exception.

Like the first Android 3.0 tablets and RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook before it, the TouchPad ships with some rough, buggy spots in its software, hobbled features that need a fix through a later over-the-air update, and a lack of compelling apps that could make this tablet the one to own.

During my hands-on time with the TouchPad, six points in particular stuck out as disappointments.

Image Rendering


It’s only fair that I call out the HP TouchPad on how it handles images; after all, I relentlessly ragged on Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) for its poor excuse for image rendering inside its native Gallery app. The thing is, the TouchPad isn’t a whole lot better off. I saw artifacts (including jaggy aliasing issues on high-resolution images scaled down by the TouchPad to fit its display), inaccurate colors, and a lack of detail and crispness (though this effect was not nearly as bothersome as on Android 3.0).

Google got its act together and improved its Gallery performance in Android 3.1, though I’d posit that the color handling and sharpness could be improved even further. HP reps told me that it was looking into the rendering issues I called out; let’s hope that an over-the-air update addresses these problems soon.

So what is the deal with image rendering on tablets? Although I don’t have a straight answer to that question, developers I’ve spoken with have all agreed that image rendering (and text rendering, for that matter) is akin to a programming black art. Perhaps so–that would certainly explain some of what I’ve been seeing on tablets. Still, the goal is to nail it down from the outset, not to mess around with updates after launch.

Physical Design

The 0.54-inch thick, 1.6-pound, plastic-encased TouchPad might have competed in the tablet market last summer, just months after the release of the first Apple iPad, but in summer 2011 it feels dated. That’s not entirely fair, I admit. However, I’ve noted the chunky measurements of the Motorola Xoom (released in February 2011) and other tablets, including the soon-to-ship Toshiba Thrive (which has a similar depth and weight, but at least offers on-board ports that expand its capabilities), and the TouchPad does nothing to innovate here. If anything, it’s merely poised to play catch-up with the slimline Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Display

The TouchPad’s screen disappoints in multiple ways. It may be an IPS display, but that doesn’t help its readability and color handling. The TouchPad supports 18-bit color–a tad better than Google Android 3.0/3.1 tablets’ 16-bit color, but less than the iPad’s 24-bit color. And the display has a very visible air gap between the LCD and the glass layer, which produces a distracting glare. Text doesn’t look great, either: Characters appear fuzzy, although that could be the fault of the display, WebOS’s text rendering, or a combination of the two. In my tests, the touchscreen seemed imprecise, too; several times I had to tap more than once to get my target, but whether that was because of the CPU’s sluggish performance or the touchscreen’s lack of responsiveness is unclear.

Performance

Speaking of performance, to call the TouchPad sluggish doesn’t do justice to its laggy behavior. This may be the first tablet running Qualcomm’s dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon APQ8060 processor, but if I hadn’t known that a dual-core CPU was inside, I never would have guessed. Never mind the onerous initial boot-up process: The TouchPad took 69 seconds for a cold boot-up, compared with the iPad 2’s 26 seconds, and it took nearly twice as long as most of the competition did in our SunSpider JavaScript test. Loading apps felt interminable; Quickoffice took 10 seconds to launch, in contrast to the near-instant launch of Apple’s Pages. While spending time with the TouchPad, I felt as if I got to know WebOS’s spinning-circle and pulsating-logo graphics (two indicators that something is loading) far too well. Even scrolling through lists and content felt jerky, not smooth.

Native File Handling

If tablets are ever to rival laptops in terms of productivity, file interoperability is a critical component. And this remains a major hurdle for the TouchPad and for WebOS. For starters, when you transfer files to the device, it offers no clearly delineated starting point to dump documents, images, videos, or music–everything just gets transferred over haphazardly. Even Android’s messy standard file-folder organization provides a better starting point. HP says that WebOS indexes files transferred to the tablet, an approach that sounds as if it should simplify transfers. But it actually ends up making the task more difficult, since no guided structure exists to start with.

In my trials, the results of this approach were mixed. The TouchPad recognized music files in the Music Player app, and pictures and videos were visible in the Photos & Videos app–but the latter app also picked up the cover-art images of my music downloads (from Amazon). Images in subfolders were broken out, labeled with their immediate folder name, so I got “227_320” or the like as a folder name instead of whatever descriptive name the top-level folder had. And video file names failed to show up in the app (something that HP says will be fixed soon in an over-the-air update). As for documents, Word files I transferred over were visible in Quickoffice, in a searchable list view, but two Excel spreadsheets didn’t open. A PowerPoint file opened, but with each swipe down came the familiar pulsating logo as Quickoffice opened each page. PDFs that I tried opening from the “file browser” (not that it’s called that) in Quickoffice actually opened in the Adobe Reader app instead.

Meanwhile, although I could access my Gmail account via the Web, and I could view a file within the Web browser, I couldn’t select a file for download. Ditto for files I encountered while Web surfing. Not that I could have done much with my documents anyway–right now, the included version of Quickoffice can only read files, not edit them. HP does say that Quickoffice with full editing capabilities will be coming later this summer, but that means you’ll need to wait before you can try to use the TouchPad as a productivity tool.

App Handling

Native TouchPad apps look great, but if you stumble upon apps in the App Catalog that were designed for WebOS phones, the results are poor. Of the 22 random free apps I chose to download–all of which said they supported the TouchPad–one crashed and closed on its own, three failed to download entirely, two more didn’t work as advertised, and six displayed in a small, phone-size window (it even looks like a Palm phone) inside the TouchPad. Of the apps that took advantage of the TouchPad’s display size and resolution, several specified “tablet” in the title. Clearly, HP faces a similar app challenge as Google does with its fragmented Android platform–and it’s not faring much better at presenting tablet-optimized apps in its store.

AOL may join in bid for Yahoo, report says


AOL may join in bid for Yahoo, report says

AOL is exploring the idea of teaming up with a number of investment firms to make a bid on Yahoo, its much-larger Internet rival, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The talks are still in very early stages and do not even involve Yahoo, the Journal reports. Two of the investment firms – Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group – “have expressed interest in either teaming up with AOL to buy the company or trying to take it private on their own,” the report states, citing unnamed sources.

If true, it would be the second major attempt to take over Yahoo. Two years ago, Microsoft tried, and failed, to buy Yahoo with an offer valued at over $40 billion.

Since then, Yahoo has switched CEOs and watched its stock slide. Its market capitalization is now just over $20 billion.

Both Yahoo and AOL are looking for ways to compete with fast-growing Internet competitors such as Google and Facebook.

The Journal says there are several different buyout scenarios. In one, Yahoo would be chopped up and sold to different companies, including China’s Alibaba Group, which would repurchase Yahoo’s stake in the company. In another, AOL and Yahoo would merge, after Yahoo’s 40 percent share in Alibaba was sold off. The combined AOL/Yahoo could then be taken private, or possibly remain listed as a public company.

The Journal’s All things D blog reported that other suitors, including News Corp., are also taking a close look at a Yahoo buyout.

Yahoo’s stock rose sharply Wednesday on the rumors. It was up 10 percent, at $16.63, in after-hours trading.

Yahoo declined to comment. AOL could not immediately be reached for comment.

Modern Warfare 3 DLC FULL YEAR schedule revealed


Modern Warfare 3 DLC FULL YEAR schedule revealed

Yesterday Activision released first DLC for Modern Warfare 3 in the form of two new multiplayer maps Liberation and Piazza for COD Elite premium subscriber on Xbox 360. And today, publisher gives gamers details about what things they have planned for rest of the year i.e complete release schedule of DLC content for MW3.

MW3We have the complete schedule below. Check it out.

  • January – 2 maps
  • February – 1 map
  • March – 1 map, 2 missions
  • April – 2 maps
  • May – 1 map, 1 mission
  • June – 1 map, 1 mission, 1 mode
  • July – 2 maps
  • August – 1 map, 1 mission, 1 mode
  • September – 1 map, 1 mission

The above schedule is for Xbox 360 gamers have Call of Duty Elite premium subscription. PS3 gamers with Elite premium subscription will get the above content a month later, whereas non-premium subscribers will get all the content bundle together for Xbox 360 with a launch window of June and September.

DVD Studio Pro updated


DVD Studio Pro updated

Apple has released DVD Studio Pro 3.0.2. The update is available for free download for registered uisers from the company’s Web site.

The update delivers compatibility for double-layer media on supported systems and improved general stability. It requires a 733MHz or faster G4; 8MB video memory; a minimum 256MB RAM; a SuperDrive and Mac OS X 10.3.2.

An update to Compressor is also available, version 1.2.1. This offers stability improvements and an improved Preview window.

Reports, leaked components hint at late-summer arrival for iPhone 6


Reports, leaked components hint at late-summer arrival for iPhone 6

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comment that suggests we won’t see any major product launches from the company until autumn, new reports have suggested that the next-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, could be set for a late-summer release.

Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (via AppleInsider) has reported that Sharp is set to begin mass-producing LDC panels for the upcoming iPhone in June at a plant in Kameyama, Japan.

According to the site, Apple has also ordered display panels from Japan Display and LG Display, and that those manufacturers have already begun production.

Meanwhile, French Apple blog NoWhereElse.fr has published new photographs of what is allegedly a leaked component from an unreleased iPhone. The component originates from Japanese retailer Moumantai.

 

NoWhereElse.fr says that the leaked component is part of the motherboard thought to support the iPhone’s front and rear facing cameras.

Component leaks tend to pick up as we near the launch of a new iPhone, so we expect to see more photographs of rumoured next-gen iPhone parts floating around the web over the next few months.

Reports last month suggested that Apple’s next iPhone could boast a 12-megapixel camera with improved low-light shooting and a HDR.

It is widely expected that Apple will bring some camera improvements to its next iPhone. The company has a track record for boosting the iPhone’s camera for its ‘S’ releases. For example, the iPhone 4S was launched with three more megapixels than its predecessor, up from 5-megapixels to 8-megapixels.

The iPhone’s camera has been gaining popularity and credibility, with professional photographers and photojournalists opting to use the iPhone as their camera of choice. Notably, Time Magazine used a photograph captured using an iPhone 4S as its cover image in November.

On its website, Apple boasts that the iPhone’s camera is “The world’s most popular camera,” and the top three cameras on flickr are the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 respectively. So, it makes sense that Apple would want to focus some of its efforts on bringing users an even better offering.

Perhaps the first glimpse we’ll see of what’s in store for Apple’s next iPhone will be at WWDC in June, where Apple has promised to show off the future of iOS.

See also:

iPhone 6 rumour rollup: Tim Cook’s comments, WiFi location tracking, camera, SIM tray

Apple files new NFC patent – further evidence of NFC-enabled iPhone 6?

iPhone 6 rumour rollup for the week: Foxconn hiring spree delays, phablets and camera upgrades

New ad by Apple showcases iPhone 5 camera

New Apple patent hint at camera improvements for iPhone 6, iPad 5

Quicken Essentials update cashes in on criticism


Quicken Essentials update cashes in on criticism

Intuit has updated its high-profile Quicken Essentials finance-tracking application with a series of new features that appear to address user complaints about the software that replaced the Mac version of Quicken.

Version 1.5 of Quicken Essentials for Mac debuted Wednesday, with redesigned features Intuit says should more intuitive to Mac users. Transactions now appear on a single line–instead of two, as in previous versions–for easier skimming. The software also now has iTunes-style abilities to add and remove data columns so that users can arrange financial information according to their preferences. Users can also change information on multiple transactions at once, instead of making edits one-by-one.

Other new features include the ability to write and print checks, add attachments to transaction notations, and enter holdings and balances for investment accounts. Another new option: the ability to export financial information to TurboTax. Intuit has also streamlined the process of downloading transaction information into Quicken; users are no longer required to manually assign each transaction to the appropriate register.

The updated program may also appeal to a wider base of users with the new update; Intuit has expanded the number of financial institutions that offer data downloads from 4,000 to 12,000.

Quicken Essentials for Mac is $50, around £31. It is available for Macs running OS X 10.5 or later.

Quicken Essentials arrived on the Mac in February after a bumpy road to release. Intuit had first announced plans in 2008 to replace its Quicken personal finance application with Quicken Essentials, but numerous delays pushed the release to 2010. In April, Intuit cut the price of Quicken Essentials from $70 to its current $50 price tag.

PalmOne unveils handheld with 4GB hard drive


PalmOne unveils handheld with 4GB hard drive

PalmOne has unveiled its LifeDrive Mobile Manager, a device that includes a 1-inch, 4GB hard drive. LifeDrive can also synchronize entire directories of data, pictures and video from desktop to device and back.

With its large storage capacity, and connectivity through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a USB 2.0 cable, the $499 handheld will appeal both to business and consumer users, say most industry analysts.

The two most prominent features not in the device are a keyboard and cellular capability. The device weighs 6.8 ounces.

Small mobiles preferred

For wide area connectivity users would have to use a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone with the LifeDrive, which can be somewhat problematic depending on how easy the software is to set up, according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. However, Enderle pointed out that users are trending toward a preference for small cell phones rather than larger all-in-one devices that do include cellular connectivity.

The ability to easily synch and store a large amount of enterprise data is a strong plus, said David Linsalata, a research analyst for mobile devices at IDC.

“What is really useful for the enterprise is not having to lose the folder structure,” Linsalata added.

The device can also be used like a USB drive for transferring files between the LifeDrive and any other device.

Built-in Exchange support

Another enterprise feature that IT mobile managers may appreciate is the LifeDrive’s ability to synch easily with Exchange 2003, said Stephane Maes, director of product management for handhelds at palmOne.

Support for Exchange ActiveSync is built into the handheld. “The IT manager basically flips a switch and that gives users access to Exchange Server,” said Maes.

On the client side, a user just puts in user name, password and Exchange Server address.

Business on the move

LifeDrive, like other Palm devices, also gives users access to Word, PowerPoint and Excel files using DataViz’s Documents to Go application. In the June time frame DataViz will offer a free upgrade for viewing Adobe Acrobat files as well, said Maes.

Beside the enterprise, palmOne may have Apple’s iPod in its cross-hairs, according to Enderle. “The LifeDrive does things the iPod doesn’t do well and does what the iPod does reasonably well,” Enderle said.

The device includes on-board support for MP3 files for both music and Podcasts and the palmOne Media application for viewing photos and video.

The device will ship in volume next month.

In related news, Palm has named current interim CEO Ed Colligan as the company’s new chief executive officer (CEO) and president.

Media Molecule's First Look at Their PS4 Project Is a…Trip


Media Molecule’s First Look at Their PS4 Project Is a…Trip

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Media Molecule tease their newest game with a video entitled “Making games: Embrace your mistakes”

U.K.-based studio Media Molecule, the minds behind LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway, are working on PlayStation 4 title. Today the company put out a teaser for the new project. And it is a trip.

“Embrace Your Mistakes”

The YouTube description for the video reads:

A rendering error on our new PS4 project caused this trippy sequence of colorful nonsense that begged to be shared. Consider it an exclusive peek at our new game if you like, it’s not particularly revealing, but it is fun, that much we guarantee… mostly.

This makes the footage shown to somehow be a part of the game.

The short clip shows what look like faces having various strobe lights shown on them, with a moustached fellow in particular being shown. The music played with the video only adds to the trippiness, and is actually catchy.

http://www.destructoid.com/media-molecule-realizing-playstation-move-s-potential-246143.phtml

Media Molecules last project, the PS Vita exclusive Tearaway, was released last November. Aside from this video, the studio has not revealed anything about the PS4 project, though the company did do a demo for the PlayStation Move controller during the PS4 reveal event in 2013.

Count me interested

While the video was not exactly actual gameplay or anything of the sort, I do wonder how it will tie into the project. This teaser did its job on me, as I now want to know more about the project, and how it will all come together. So far Media Molecule has a good track record, so I am sure they will find a way to make this game as interesting and creative as their past endeavours.

Hopefully we will hear more from Media Molecule soon, and get an idea of what this new project has in store. While there are a few good-looking games coming out next year, a project from this studio will be an amazing addition to the PS4 lineup.

Boonana Mac Trojan was not Koobface insists Microsoft


Boonana Mac Trojan was not Koobface insists Microsoft

The widely-reported ‘Boonana’ Trojan was a new piece of malware after all and had nothing directly to do with Koobface, Microsoft and other security companies have reported a week after the event.

At the time, Mac security software company SecureMac reported Boonana as trojan.osx.boonana.a, later identified by Mac security specialist Intego and other companies as a variant of the Koobface worm that has been attacking Facebook users since 2008.

However, according to Microsoft, ESET and SecureMac, the similarity with Koobface doesn’t appear to stretch beyond its general tactics and the fact that it attacks using Facebook and other social media sites. At a code level, what Microsoft now identifies as  Trojan:Java/Boonana is a distinct piece of malware.

The main significance of Boonana could be that its Java design allows it to attack both Windows PCs and Apple Mac computers, and at least run on Linux, the first time such a design has been seen since the age of Macros viruses in the 1990s. Where the software hails from is unknown although one of its first actions on infecting computers is to try to contact a Russian FTP server.

The fact that Boonana is distinct family of malware rather than a variant matters in a small but important way. A new branch of malware capable of attacking across operating systems suggests a new direction in malware innovation. If Boonana was a simple variant it might count more as a one-off experiment.

Apple MacBook AirApple MacBook Air

Programming and platforms apart, Boonana’s use of Facebook often shows that social engineering skill is its real forte. Originally pushed with basic ‘watch this video’ lures, the malware has subsequently tried more sophisticated messages, including one based on an apparent suicide notice.

“As you are on my friends list I thought I would let you know I have decided to end my life. For reasons that will be clear please visit my video on this site. Thanks for being my friend, “ says one reported by ESET.  As with much contemporary malware, the platform is secondary in the mind of the creator. It is the user that is being attacked first and foremost.