News Roundup: Gates's Sour Grapes, More on the Apple Options Mess, and (Oh Yes!) Some Genuine Tech News

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News Roundup: Gates's Sour Grapes, More on the Apple Options Mess, and (Oh Yes!) Some Genuine Tech News

In the latest issue of Business Week, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates tells reporter Steven Levy how he really feels about Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads, saying, "I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it's superior. If you just want to say, 'Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along,' that's fine." So there. We love what he says about the next version of Windows: "It will be more user-centric." Uh, OK.


And as much as we tried, we just can't escape, so we'll succumb… The feds are seeking the 411 from Apple on its past stock-options practices - and Apple fully intends to cooperate, grudgingly. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said, "The resolution of these matters will be time consuming, expensive, and will distract management from the conduct of the company’s business."


In related news, it turns out that Apple got advice on its $7.5 million compensation agreement with Steve Jobs from the same lawyer who gained notoriety in connection with the HP pretexting scandal last year. A San Francisco legal newspaper, The Recorder, reports that Larry Sonsini, the lead partner at Palo Alto-based Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, met with Apple's former general counsel, Nancy Heinen, to discuss the compensation deal. In December, HP relegated Sonsini to a role as "outside counsel," even though the lawyer and his firm weren't directly involved in the impersonation methods used in board Chair Patricia Dunn's investigation into the source of board leaks. But, according to The Recorder, Sonsini claimed that the practice of pretexting to obtain phone records was "well done and within legal limits."


Describing Steve as Apple's "golden goose," CNET staff writer Tom Krazit explains why he thinks Apple's board is standing by the denim-and-black-turtleneck-wearing CEO. Basically, Steve is Apple, Krazit concludes, and booting him in an attempt to deflect the legal spotlight (as other tech companies have done) would cause more problems than it would solve.


Despite the legal murkiness at Apple, the company is looking forward to a brighter future, at least on the tech side. LEDs will likely illuminate MacBook and MacBook Pro displays of the future, saving battery life and offering a thinner form factor. (Incidentally, the LEDs could come from Durham, North Carolina-based Cree.) Brighter, skinnier MacBooks? Sign us up! Meanwhile, Samsung introduced 15.4-inch LED-backlit displays International Conference and Exhibition on Display LEDs.


If you were following the Month of Apple Fixes, an initiative launched in response to the Month of Apple Bugs project by engineer Landon Fuller, formerly of Apple's BSD Technology Group, you might get to keep on doing so. ZDNet UK reports that Fuller and friends may extend their project beyond January, so you can keep getting your fix of Apple bug fixes.


We don't know about you, but we can't wait until February 20, when we might have some actual Apple product news to chew on. Until then, we'll settle for the fact that it's Friday.


If you're looking for some weekend entertainment, try, a "new destination for movie-goers to watch and discuss the world's best films," which already has 1,000 movies available for download - four times the number available from the iTunes Store. Better stock up on microwave popcorn.






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