theodp writes "The Commercial Appeal reports that Dr. James Eason, the surgeon who performed Steve Jobs' liver transplant, found himself grilled at length Monday by Shelby County Commission members. The Univ. of Tennessee-Methodist Transplant Institute, which Eason heads, is in a bitter dispute over the distribution of human organs. Pressed for details by Commissioners West Bunker and Terry Roland about the 2009 liver transplant that Eason performed on the late Steve Jobs, Eason acknowledged that he's now living in the Memphis home that Jobs used during his convalescence. Bunker asked, "Was that a deal cut to get him a transplant here locally?" Eason: "I understand. It's a fair question. Absolutely not." Eason said a company lined up the housing for Jobs. "I took care of him and visited him in that home. And when I learned that it was going to be going on the market, I asked him, I asked the administrator of the LLC, if I could purchase it." So, is it time for Apple to shed some light on The Mystery of Steve Jobs' Memphis Mansion? It was reported that Apple lawyer George Riley, reportedly a friend of Eason's, helped Jobs with the arrangements for the Memphis mansion, which was acquired at a bargain price of $850,000 from the State of Tennessee by the mysterious LCHG, LLC on 3/26/2009. LCHG was formed on 3/17/2009, apparently just days before Jobs received his liver (on 3/21/2010, Jobs noted he was coming up on the 1-year anniversary of his transplant). Records show that title to the mansion was transferred to Eason in May, 2011, about three months after the National Enquirer painted a grim picture of Jobs' health. LCHG, LLC was dissolved in February 2012."
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An anonymous reader writes "Travel site Orbitz found out that Mac users tend to select pricier rooms and swanky hotels. So, from now on, they will show more expensive hotel options to Mac users than to PC users. This is why, although I am a Mac user, my Firefox agent string says 'Windows XP' :)" The (paywalled) WSJ report on which Reuter's summary is based carries Orbitz' s softer explanation, which is that the results by platform are an experiment based mostly on presentation and search-result ordering rather than actually naming higher prices based on OS: "[T]he company isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price."
zacharye writes "Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an integrated NFC chip according to a new report, suggesting the Cupertino, California-based company may soon make its entrance into the mobile payment space. A report from 9to5Mac states that an analysis of code from Apple's latest iOS software includes references to an integrated NFC chip and antenna."
ericjones12398 writes "It's beginning to feel like a TV series, a weekly patent war drama. Apple and Samsung have consistently been going back and forth with claims of IP infringement, to the point where who is accusing who of what is exhausting to follow. The question I would like to ask and try to answer is what the opportunity costs are of pursuing litigation versus just toughing it out? Would it be more economic for both companies to live and let live, or is there value to be captured in legal finger pointing? My best guess would be that this isn't about stopping sales this quarter or next, nor is it about defending the small-scale tech features that merely mildly differentiate. It's instead about momentum and branding. Winning these cases is PR that says, we are the leaders in smartphone technology, we are the innovators."
redletterdave writes "Apple quietly switched out a statement that claimed its Mac computers were completely immune to viruses with a less-forward statement: 'It's built to be safe.' The PR shift comes in the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan, which affected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in early April. From the article: 'Apple strives for perfection, but stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale. Jobs used his reality distortion field to "rally the troops," so to speak, but "Mountain Lion" will ensure Apple can tout its closed, highly-secure operating system for the foreseeable future in a much more realistic sense. Just because a product isn't impervious to sickness doesn't mean it isn't "insanely great."'"
pdclarry writes "An Iranian-American teenager was told by an Apple store employee that they could not sell her an iPad because it would violate U.S. trade restrictions. She returned to the store with a camera crew from a local TV station and was again turned down. Apparently an Apple employee heard her speaking Farsi. As he was also of Iranian extraction he recognized the language and used this as a basis for refusal."
raque writes "The NYTimes is reporting on just how badly Apple Retail employees are being paid. Apple is exploiting its fan base for cheap labor. This is one reason I don't go to Apple Stores if I can avoid it. Stores like NY's Tekserve offer a great shopping experience without so exploiting their workers." Would you rather start at an Apple store for $11.91 an hour (average starting base pay, according to the linked article) and an employee discount, or at Tiffany for $15.60?
whisper_jeff writes "Judge Posner has dismissed the patent case between Apple and Motorola, with prejudice (meaning they can't refile), putting an end to this patent dispute between the two companies. Posner wrote, 'Both parties have deep pockets. And neither has acknowledged that damages for the infringement of its patents could not be estimated with tolerable certainty.' I know many on Slashdot will be happy to hear Apple's lawsuit failed; I am happier to hear that Motorola has been prevented from abusing FRAND patents, a situation I feel could set a very bad, very dangerous precedent for the entire industry."
sl4shd0rk writes "Federal Judge Richard Posner seems to be a man who gets the screwed up patent system in the U.S. As Apple pressed for more injunctions against Motorola regarding alleged patent infringement, Judge Posner has stressed the two companies should just 'get along' and pay each other royalties. A jury trial set to start last week was cancelled when Posner ruled that neither side could prove damages, and grilled Apple's legal team saying an injunction against Motorola would be 'contrary to the public interest.' Furthermore, as Apple tried to plead its injunction case concerning four patents, Posner called the U.S. patent system 'chaos' and said an order barring the sale of Motorola phones could have 'catastrophic effects.'"
mk1004 writes with news from The Register that U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York has written to Apple and Google regarding their use of 'military-grade spy planes.' The Senator claims concerns ranging from voyeurism to terrorism. Suggested protections: Warn when areas are going to be imaged, give property owners the right to opt out, and blurring of individuals. Schumer seems happy enough, though, with the more detailed versions of such surveillance being in the hands of law enforcement agencies, and phrases his complaint to emphasize what he perceives as risks to infrastructure brought about by detailed maps that anyone can browse: "[I]f highly detailed images become available, criminals could create more complete schematic maps of the power and water grids in the United States. With the vast amount of infrastructure across the country, it would be impossible to secure every location."
theodp writes "On Tuesday, the USPTO granted Apple an odd patent on Techniques to Pollute Electronic Profiling, which presumably might concern the targeted ad revenue-hungry folks at Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn (and their investors). The patent, apparently assigned to Apple from Novell, is designed to thwart 'dataveillance techniques from automated Litter Brothers,' including lawful targeted and aggressive marketing tactics. Creating cloned identities that are 'intentionally populated with divergent information [e,g., fake phone numbers, email accounts, credit or debit card accounts],' explains the patent, 'circumvents the reliability and usefulness of dataveillance used by network eavesdroppers and effectively provides greater privacy over the network to principals.'"
coondoggie writes "It's not one-of-a-kind, but it's pretty darn close. Sotheby's this week auctioned off a rare, working Apple 1 computer for $374,500 to an unnamed bidder. The price was more than double the expected price listed on the Sotheby's web site. Sotheby's notes about the Apple 1 say it is one of six thought-to-be-operational boxes and one of about 50 known to exist."
redletterdave writes "Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., has decided to embrace digital distribution. On Thursday, Time Inc. announced that it will make all of its magazines available over the Newsstand application built by Apple. The agreement was confirmed by Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang and Apple's senior VP of Internet software development Eddy Cue. The two company executives agreed to allow Apple Newsstand users to subscribe to more than 20 magazines owned by Time Inc., including Sports Illustrated, People, and Entertainment Weekly."
MrSeb writes "Late yesterday, Apple released a next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. It has a 2880×1800 220 PPI display. The normal 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs have also been updated, but the 17-inch MBP has been retired, in effect replaced by the new Retina display MBP. Without a doubt, this new laptop is an engineering marvel in the same league as the original iPhone or MacBook Air. ... The Retina display MBP really looks nothing we've ever seen before. Here, ExtremeTech dives into the engineering behind the laptop, paying close attention to that new and rather shiny display — and the fact that this thing has no user-replaceable parts at all." Fleshing things out a bit more, iFixit has a teardown of the internals. Their verdict: effectively unrepairable by the user.