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The Almighty Buck Businesses Apple

Apple Disclosures About Jobs To Face SEC Review 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-really-hate-turtlenecks dept.
suraj.sun writes "US regulators are examining Apple Inc.'s disclosures about Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs's health problems to ensure investors weren't misled, a person familiar with the matter said. The Securities and Exchange Commission's review doesn't mean investigators have seen evidence of wrongdoing, the person said, declining to be identified because the inquiry isn't public. Bloomberg News reported last week that Jobs is considering a liver transplant as a result of complications after treatment for cancer, according to people who are monitoring his illness."
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Apple Disclosures About Jobs To Face SEC Review

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  • Seems like... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jonah Bomber (535788)
    A corporation is bigger than just one man.
    • leave steve alone! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:15AM (#26547095)

      Just leave him alone! He's suffered enough, can't you all see that. Just leave the poor guy alone.

      In any case, this SEC thing seems sort of silly. The SEC while it has the power to abusively coerce responses, techincally Jobs is just he CEO, not a golden child. How can his health issues be any more important than those of head of tupperware or American Toyota, who's name you don't know.

      Is it because you know his name that makes his health techincally relevant? Then what about some who's names you do know, like Jack Welch, or Larry Ellison. Should they have been given annual public proctology exams since that's a high cancer risk for men their ages?

      Sure the cult of Steve is an importnat phenomena to apple, but it's not a techincal criteria that I can see. It's not like Apple is somehow misrepresenting it's products or it's book value or it's liabilities to it's shareholders.

      So what does the SEC have to argue here.

      • by MikeDirnt69 (1105185) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:21AM (#26547193) Homepage
        Yeah! What's the problem with a company trying to keep their Jobs?
        Oh, wait...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        I have nothing to say against Jobs or even particularly against Apple, but if shareholders are so stupid as to throw money into a company on the basis of hype surrounding one personality, I can't say I am overwhelmed with sympathy if they lose every cent.
        • by vertinox (846076)

          I have nothing to say against Jobs or even particularly against Apple, but if shareholders are so stupid as to throw money into a company on the basis of hype surrounding one personality, I can't say I am overwhelmed with sympathy if they lose every cent.

          To be fair, Steve Jobs did save the company back in early 2000's since most of us in the computer world had written off Apple as on their death bed back then.

          Secondly, he isn't the only company that has such a cult that keeps shareholder's invested. Warren

      • by DanTheStone (1212500) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:28AM (#26547249)
        If Apple's disclosures were an attempt to influence stock prices, then it would matter. The SEC just seems to be watching for fraud like stock manipulation. That is their job, after all.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ppanon (16583)

          If Apple's disclosures were an attempt to influence stock prices, then it would matter. The SEC just seems to be watching for fraud like stock manipulation. That is their job, after all.

          I would take that more seriously if they hadn't sat on their thumbs for the years that Darl was spouting his garbage about the SCO-IBM case.

      • by _LORAX_ (4790) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:39AM (#26547421) Homepage

        Like it or not the stock price is linked to Steves Health. This is for several reasons, none of which the SEC cares too much about.

        If Steve or the board, knowingly, withheld information they knew would have a negative ( or positive ) impact on the stock price would be breaking SEC regs.

        It's not specifically about his health, but the fact that his health has a material effect on the stock price and therefore investors have a right to know enough information to make informed investment decisions. It's one of the basic requirements for a free market.

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          Like it or not the stock price is linked to Steves Health. This is for several reasons, none of which the SEC cares too much about.

          If Steve or the board, knowingly, withheld information they knew would have a negative ( or positive ) impact on the stock price would be breaking SEC regs.

          It's not specifically about his health, but the fact that his health has a material effect on the stock price and therefore investors have a right to know enough information to make informed investment decisions. It's one of the basic requirements for a free market.

          Once again, I have to look at the bigger picture. Why is it that health records/conditions of CxOs in corporations need to become public record for fear that "withholding information" (also known as Keeping My Private Shit About Me Private) would affect board decisions or stock price THAT much??

          Now we all know for some unexplicable reason the lack of Steve would cause a severe disturbance in the iForce that is Apple, but that still does not excuse the fact that this is a matter of breaking SEC regs at all.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:40AM (#26547433) Journal
        I suspect that they are interesting in the possibility that apple lied about jobs' health, not in his health per se. As TFA notes, apple is not obliged to disclose anything about jobs' health; but they decided to do so anyway. If they were lying about it, that would be an issue.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by mk2mark (1144731)
        LEAVE STEVE-NEY ALONE!!!!!1!!
      • by mweather (1089505)

        How can his health issues be any more important than those of head of tupperware or American Toyota, who's name you don't know.

        Because when THEY get sick, their company's' stock price doesn't plummet.

      • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @12:36PM (#26548379)

        So what does the SEC have to argue here.

        In theory, people who have knowledge of Steve Jobs health have insider trading status.

        Like it or not, the health of Job's does affect the price price.

        If say, Job's doctor diagnoses him with terminal cancer and the doctor calls his broker the next day to short AAPL to kingdom come, then you've got some problem that SEC is very concerned with.

        So the main question is if Apple mislead the public about Job's health in order to manipulate share price. If so, then it is a big deal.

        • Replacing a CEO and naming a CEO has to be considered insider knowledge by the SEC rules.

          So its not just APPL, but any company who uses replacement of the CEO to purposely manipulate stock price. Say the board of directors are going to fire a CEO but if they with hold that knowledge from the public, then that raises some problems.

          Same thing here except its about health issues.

      • by rfunches (800928)

        Take a look at the 10-K and you'll find at least one risk factor which applies to Jobs (CEO):

        The Company's success depends largely on its ability to attract and retain key personnel.
        Much of the Company's future success depends on the continued service and availability of skilled personnel, including its CEO, its executive team and key employees in technical, marketing and staff positions. (p. 21, FY 2008 10-K [corporate-ir.net])

        IANASL (securities lawyer) but I find it relevant that the CEO is separated from the term "execut

    • Here here! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spiedrazer (555388)
      This is what's wrong with our country. The only thing that matters to anyone is stock price, so now the SEC needs to investigate the timing and details of a CEO health announcement??? How does that have anything to do with the long term outlook of the company. This is the most assinine thing I have ever heard.
      • by theaveng (1243528)

        Yes because the SEC has done such a bang-up job with its previous "hands off" policy towards corporations.

        Perhaps it's time for the SEC to start being tougher, so we can avoid more dishonest dealings (lies) coming from corporations & avoid yet another collapse.

        • I am LMAO at the idea that missing the signs to investigate Madoff somehow means they should toughen up on Health releases. That is a bit of a leap don't you think. The Madoff scheme means you nead to investigate if reported earning are real, and reported investments actually exist, not whether they lied about Jobs health.

          Even if you wrap the mortgage induced crisis into your comment, that would only lead to what the true value of things is. That logic would value Job's health even less because he is not

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            The reason Madoff's scheme lasted so long was because, like Jobs, he had developed a "can do no wrong" persona wall street. Perhaps if the SEC of 2004 (overly trusting) had been more like the SEC of 2009 (skeptical and quick to investigate), Madoff would have been stopped earlier when his scheme was only Millions of dollars in size instead of billions.

            I don't see any harm in the SEC at least *looking* at the situation. Better to be cautious than to say five years later, "Ooops, we dropped the ball."

        • by dangitman (862676)

          Perhaps it's time for the SEC to start being tougher, so we can avoid more dishonest dealings (lies) coming from corporations & avoid yet another collapse.

          Yes, but why start here, of all places? It's completely bizarre.

      • The following are facts:

        • Steve Jobs health is perceived to be connected to the long term health of the company.
        • Free markets require the participants to have accurate information to work well. Corporations aren't allowed to lie about things that actually affect their value significantly, capitalism just can't work like that.
        • It's possible to credibly accuse Apple of playing fast and loose with the facts around Jobs' health. Thus it's entirely correct that the SEC investigates. This is not what is wrong with Am
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hendrix2k (1099161)
      It isn't an issue of the corporation being bigger than just one man. The SEC is investigating because it's a matter of whether investors were mislead by Apple's disclosures. Because while a CEO is just a man, he's a very important man within that corporation and his health and well-being does in fact affect share prices. Whether that should be the case is entirely irrelevant to the SEC's need to investigate.

      A corporation is bigger than just one man, but let's put that in perspective:

      /. is bigger than Cm

    • by mangu (126918)

      Because anyone [wikipedia.org] would do fine as Apple's CEO...

    • Sounds like just about anyone is bigger than Steve these days!

  • by actionbastard (1206160) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:55AM (#26546757)
    If Jobs is going to have one he'd better get in line, as I hear that Larry Hagman [wikipedia.org] has all available ones claimed.
  • fixed link (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:56AM (#26546785)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aDL78iMCdOzk [bloomberg.com]

    (its a question mark, not a quote mark...)

    copy the url, look at it, does it look 'right' to you? ;) usually its a question mark as the first delim char before the parms.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:58AM (#26546831)

      Apple Disclosures About Jobs Said to Face SEC Review (Update2)

      By David Scheer and Connie Guglielmo

      Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. regulators are examining Apple Inc.'s disclosures about Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs's health problems to ensure investors weren't misled, a person familiar with the matter said.

      The Securities and Exchange Commission's review doesn't mean investigators have seen evidence of wrongdoing, the person said, declining to be identified because the inquiry isn't public. Bloomberg News reported last week that Jobs is considering a liver transplant as a result of complications after treatment for cancer, according to people who are monitoring his illness.

      Investors have been pressing for information on Jobs's health since June, when he appeared noticeably thinner at an Apple event. The company's stock whipsawed this month after Jobs, who battled pancreatic cancer in 2004, said he would remain CEO while seeking a "relatively simple" treatment for a nutritional ailment. Nine days later, Jobs said he would take a five-month medical leave after learning his health issues were "more complex."

      "The good news flipped by the bad news makes one wonder what Apple knew," said James Cox, a law professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. "It's not surprising for the SEC to come in and look afterward, given the pressure and publicity regarding their handling of a lot of cases," such as criticism of the SEC's response to Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

      SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the Apple inquiry. Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California- based Apple, declined to comment.

      Apple will report first-quarter earnings after the market close today, followed by a conference call at 5 p.m. New York time.

      Shares Rose

      Apple's shares rose 4.2 percent on Jan. 5 after Jobs said he had been diagnosed with a hormone imbalance that caused him to lose weight throughout 2008 and "that has been robbing me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy." It was the first public disclosure of Jobs's health since August 2004, when he revealed he had undergone successful surgery to remove a neuroendocrine islet cell tumor, a rare, slow-growing type of cancer that affects as many as 3,000 people in the U.S. annually.

      Before today, Apple stock had dropped 8.4 percent since the company disclosed Jan. 14 that Jobs, 53, would be on medical leave through June. The shares added $1.58, or 2 percent, to $79.78 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 9:31 a.m. New York time.

      Apple has declined to provide specifics of the illness and Jobs said he won't comment further about his health. "Why don't you guys leave me alone -- why is this important?" he said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News on Jan. 16.

      Definitive Answers'

      To bring any case, the SEC would probably have to show the company tried to benefit by withholding information about an unambiguous diagnosis, said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor and SEC lawyer who now teaches at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.

      "It would be difficult, and certainly a new area of the law," Henning said. "You would have to pin down exactly what they knew, and with a health issue -- unlike a merger or a decline in revenue -- it's not subject to definitive answers."

      Corporate governance experts say shareholder interest in Jobs is unusually high because he is considered synonymous with Apple. He returned as CEO in 1997, turning the once-unprofitable maker of Macintosh computers into a successful consumer- electronics company with the iPod media player and iPhone. Jobs established himself as the face of Apple, serving as the main pitchman at every major product announcement over the past decade while yielding little time to other top executives.

      "Steve Jobs himself thinks the Steve Jobs mystique is of value -- otherwise, why not have other people introduce those products over the past 10 years?" said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dea

    • Should have left it broken. Hate to see bad journalism bringing in the traffic.

  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:09AM (#26547001)

    I'll tell you what, Mr. SEC Investigator, you do a really good job sniffing out wrong-doing in the Mortgage Crisis (and that means severely pointing fingers at Congress) as well as demanding transparency in the oil trade business and I'll let you bitch about Apple.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bill_kress (99356)

      Sometimes I wish slashdot would just give you one mod point each day (not cumulative, just one max) just so you could vote up a really insightful comment like this one even when you aren't a mod.

    • Damn these Troll/Insightful submissions. They tear at my insides....

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:14AM (#26547075) Journal

    I have to side with Jobs himself, on this one. People just need to leave him alone, and stay out of this media crusade to "get to the bottom of what's ailing him".

    The ONLY reason people are worked into a frenzy (and even got the SEC involved) in Apple's case is because of the intense focus on Steve Jobs as THE man behind Apple.

    (My mom is friends with a guy who went through chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, very similar to what Jobs had. Even though he was initially doing well, they discovered some of the cancer cells had metastasized to his liver, and about 4 years later, he's looking at a possible liver transplant. So *if* Bloomberg's report is accurate -- I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the REAL story with Jobs' health right now.)

    Nonetheless, it's not doing investors or the company any good to keep harping on it, and perpetuating the idea that Apple can't function without Steve in charge!

    He's not going to live forever, even if it turns out this whole thing was made up as an excuse for Jobs to give himself a 6 month vacation! There has to be a "plan B", and any decent CEO has certainly given that some thought.

    IMHO, Steve Jobs already served his main purpose for Apple. He rescued the company from a downward spiral, completely revamped the product line from top to bottom and turned it into one of the biggest tech success stories out there. He set Apple on a course of being a media distributor as well as a "computer company", and extended that to the cellphone marketplace too. If nobody out there can work with THAT, after it's handed to them on a silver platter? Well, I'm not sure America has any future in tech at all!

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      I have to side with Jobs himself, on this one. People just need to leave him alone, and stay out of this media crusade to "get to the bottom of what's ailing him".

      This is the Streisand effect in action. The more people scream leave Bri^H^H^H Steve alone, the more people want to know what the big secret is all about.

    • I'm curious how the SEC can punish a company for complying with other federal guidelines, such as HIPPA.

      • They only complied with HIPAA if they said nothing. If Apple had said NOTHING about his health it would be a non-issue. They did say something. The SEC is looking into those public statements were false, whether they were KNOWINGLY false, and whether that was done to keep stock prices up.
  • by wisebabo (638845) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:33AM (#26547329) Journal

    So, let's say Jobs needs (I guess his doctors would decide if he needed it) a liver. Where does he get it? I mean, in the U.S., the scarce organs available for transplant are decided (I think) by some medical board that determines the medical usefulness(?) of the organ to the patient. That is, will it help the patient live a substantially longer, healthier life.

    I don't think that they take into consideration the person's wealth or any other measure of that person's *value* to society. So, even if billions of dollars of market capitalization are at stake and millions of customers depend on his brilliance, he may be turned down for say, a 16 year old girl who has her whole life in front of her. I could be wrong though, there may be some provision for "importance" to society. Anybody know the answer? (Of course the medical board's answer may be different from what you think it should be!)

    Now, living as I do in a third world country, I can see how Jobs could easily fly here and "procure" one if he needed it. (I'm not saying that he'd take one from a living person of course, just that he would get bumped up to the front of the line). Wouldn't look too good for Apple's image to so openly go around the American system but he would save his life (and presumably Apple). I'm afraid to say that as an Apple fanboy I'd rather him do that than die.

    • They will just clone him and harvest the liver. Or perhaps it would be better to let the clone take over.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by the_humeister (922869)

      UNOS is the organization that oversees regional organ procurement and donor rules. If he were to be put on the list, he shouldn't be given any special treatment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      Public organ transplants are handled by UNOS [unos.org] in the United States. He is put on a waiting list. For the most part, UNOS is non-discriminatory: Wealth, fame, etc play no part in where on the list a person ends up. He moves up and down the list based on medical factors like likelihood to survive, likelihood of a match. Patients that are more likely to survive and have rarer matches are moved up. In the particular case of liver transplants, alcoholics who refuse to quit drinking are moved down, for examp

    • There is a more pressing and immediate question: Can a matching donor be found in time to make the transplant effective? Once the match is found, then the next question is whether any other patients are compatible with it and could be saved by it. Only then does the question come down to "who gets it?"

      A lot of transplant patients die waiting for a donor. That's not necessarily because anyone was "ahead of them in line." It's at least as likely that none of the (regrettably few) organs donated during thei

    • by StikyPad (445176)

      Ask David Crosby.

    • by dogmatixpsych (786818) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @12:18PM (#26548053) Homepage Journal
      As someone who has recently been involved in transplant cases (doing psych evals of the potential recipients) here's a bit of what I learned (this might just be true at my particular hospital).
      1. Preference is given to people who demonstrate that they will be able to maintain the new organ after transplant. People with good social networks (or a lot of money to hire full time nursing care) are far less likely to be rejected.
      2. Age generally is not factored in (a lot of transplants fail within 10 years anyway) unless the patient is very young or very old. The thing about a transplant is that it generally won't let someone live a normal life, just a better and longer one.
      3. The parent is correct about the "usefulness" of the organ. If the team of doctors don't think it will significantly improve quality of life, they won't do it.
      4. Money is a factor. If someone like Steve Jobs can pay for a transplant out of pocket without dealing with insurance, he could move up the list just because there is no need to wait for insurance bureaucracy.
      5. Most of the waiting comes from waiting for a good "match." If someone has a family member or friend who wants to donate, then they go ahead with the donation process (after extensive medical and psychological testing, at least that's the way it's done at major hospitals). With livers, people can donate a piece of their liver although it's much more common to have a standard transplant from a deceased donor.

      Basically, much of what the parent said was correct. However, money can influence the process (I'm not talking about bribing, which is both unethical and illegal). Other than some serious psychological issues and/or a history of non-compliance with medical care, there is very little that disqualifies people from transplantation. A lot of it comes down to the "lottery" of finding an organ match. Steve probably would get some preferential treatment though.

      • They also take into account the seriousness of the situation. If you are in dire circumstances, you will be higher on the transplant list. Things like drugs and alcohol use are also considered, and they do not typically give livers to those whose livers were damaged by excessive alcohol use.
    • I mean, in the U.S., the scarce organs available for transplant are decided (I think) by some medical board that determines the medical usefulness(?)

      I think Steve can afford an airplane ticket to someplace outside the US. I think in China the process is different then here. They simply find a prisoner and schedule an execution.

      Not saying he'd go to China but a person with his money has many options

    • I can see it now.. the board of doctors, sitting around a conference table, looking at a list of names.. Then looking at their shiny laptops, and their iPhones, and moving a page from the bottom to the top of the stack.

      Actually, really curious is what would happen if the President of VP of the US needed a transplant?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mindstormpt (728974)

      Obviously a whole legion of Apple fanboys will commit suicide so their liver can live on inside Jobs. And as he does not need to pay anyone, it's all good.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      I'm afraid to say that as an Apple fanboy I'd rather him do that than die.

      Couldn't a fanboy just donate their own liver to Jobs?

  • Mac World (Score:4, Funny)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:37AM (#26547395)

    I'm a PC.

    Not like the rest, the others. Everyone around me. I was at odds with my society and knew it early since birth. Unlike them, I did not "Think Different!"--the mantra of the Macs around me, the phrase on all the billboards in the city that served as a reminder to its citizenry. Sameness pervaded the essence of my being and no amount of self-conditioning I did could change that. Eventually, I gave up and isolated myself emotionally from society.

    I gaze at the faces going by, the white earphones contrasting their black turtlenecks, connecting their ears to their pockets, their blank faces engrossed in hip Indie rock music and various garage bands. I envied them for their perfection against my flaws and my compulsive nature to expand, to burden my life with troubles instead of remaining, like them, simple and easy to deal with. The grandest of virtues, simplicity... the philosophy by our loyal benefactor Steve Jobs, who descended from the heavens, creating the Earth, the iron, the wind and the rain. Steve Jobs, who defined the parameters of existence, the one who set about the patterns of reality, the constants, the variables. He who made gravity, electromagnetic energy, and shaped atomic structures and brought forth motion. From these things, he crafted the elements, processed them, refined them, and from these things engineered Apple products through the purity of his mind. Each Apple product was individually crafted by his own hands with the programming code used to run each device having being compiled in his brain and uploaded to each device telepathically, breathing life and perfection into each and every unit.

    Except, it seems, for me, for I was not among the many. I was a PC. They were Macs. I've always been a cold, stiff person. I got by, disguising myself by keeping my non-Ipod music player safely out of sight, which I use because of my depraved nature demanding more functionality than the simple and easy-to-use Ipods have to offer... In the safety of my own home, behind locked doors, I ran a Forbidden, a contraband computer from more depraved, earlier days that was not given the love and blessing of being birthed by Steve Jobs. I dual booted, out of the great sin of curiosity-- curiosity, a shameful value of a PC, as curiosity has no place where simplicity matters most--using two of the great unutterable blasphemies-- something called "Windows Vista" and something else called "Linux." Although, as I mentioned before, although my tendency to be a PC and towards conformity has always been inherent to me, I was truly transformed when I found these old things in a hidden cache of computer parts predating The Purging. Perhaps the greatest sin of all, the single evil that, if discovered, would damn me forever, was the fact that my mouse had more than one button.

    As I walked on among the Macs on the streets, passing the Starbuckses as I went along, I wondered how it all came to this. I glanced at The Holy Marks on the foreheads as the people wandered down the streets, the Bitten Apple tattooed on all our of us at birth, and wondered if, perhaps, there could be something more to life. But again, this was a PC's thought, and not, like everyone elses', a Mac's. We were to hold ourselves to the philosophy of Steve Jobs--so as his products were designed for idiots, so too were we to be idiots. But I was not a Mac--I was not an idiot. I was simply too complicated to be a worthwhile person.

    Nature called. I found a nearby public iPoo--squeaky clean and shining white, things weren't all bad--and let myself go, expelling the waste that had accumulated inside me. After relieving myself and committing the overly-complicated and thus illegal act of wiping my ass (I did not flush as iPoos, designed to be idiot-proof, did not flush) I left and once again wandered the streets aimlessly, hoping to find some meaning in a world where I simply did not belong, a world where if my true nature was discovered, I would be endlessly persecuted by smug, self-righteous sons of bitches.

  • I think this crosses the line. What next? Should companies publish regular updates on their CEO's blood pressure and cholesterol level so that shareholders can properly assess the odds of him popping an artery just before a crucial rights issue? Should we be told about their mother's cancer history? Heck, even if Jobs were perfectly healthy, he might wake up tomorrow and decide its time to chuck it all in and buy that armadillo ranch in Zambia that he's always dreamed of - perhaps the shareholders need to k

    • Should companies publish regular updates on their CEO's blood pressure and cholesterol level so that shareholders can properly assess the odds of him popping an artery just before a crucial rights issue?

      I believe the SEC's position is that yes, those things should be disclosed to everyone IF they're being disclosed to anyone. And if Jobs himself happens to be one of the stockholders, then it gets really interesting.

      • by itsdapead (734413)

        And if Jobs himself happens to be one of the stockholders, then it gets really interesting.

        Got that Steve? You're not allowed to drop dead unless you're standing on stage at the AGM - and no naughty gentle breaking of bad news to your loved ones before it is publicly announced. Actually, fuck medical ethics, the markets are at stake: your doctors should report directly to the shareholders, not you.

        Methinks (unless they've actually intercepted a phone call from the ER saying "Aaahhhggg! Short... APPL... [croak!]") the SEC should get a sense of perspective and go and harrass some investment banker

  • instead of, say, investigating alleged Ponzi schemes, [wikipedia.org]

    Having said that, I'd have to admit that I'm very much opposed to disclosing information about any company at the expense of one's personal health privacy. That has the potential for setting all sorts of uncomfortable precedents at "for profit" corporations.

    Let's face it, Wall Street isn't exactly a model for ethical behavior. I'd have a hard time being convinced that the SEC or shareholders should be involved in anyone's personal health at anything m

  • Look at all the predictions when it comes to Apples products, and then see how many of them are actually true. Remove the people who actually just happen to guess right (they usually have other, incorrect, guesses as well), and you'll end up with precious few. And we can't be sure even they knew, but rather guessed one way or another.

    So, why, should I give a damn about what the same people are guessing regarding Steve Jobs? The man owes me nothing and I will leave him alone regarding all personal issues.

    All

  • Well, isn't that rich. We are in an economic crisis which was caused, in part, by the SEC being deliberately asleep-at-the-wheel. Now they are going to redeem themselves by appeasing a bunch of whiners who wouldn't be satisfied if Steve Jobs published all of his health records online.

    Investors and would-be investors know absolutely everything they need to know. Steve Jobs had cancer and, as such, will likely die at an age lower than the national average. He is sick again. So sick that he's taking six months

  • Bullshit x 1000000 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gig (78408) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:40PM (#26549407)

    This story is complete bullshit. The implication's that SEC rules have been broken is bullshit. The Bloomberg story that is referred to has already been widely debunked as complete and utter bullshit. Using a person's health as an investment talking point is bullshit ... you have no idea what the state of his health is, you have no idea how that will affect the state of his health in the future, and further, you have no idea what the effect on Apple would be no matter what the outcome.

    What makes this even worse is that any self-respecting nerd knows full well that Mr. Jobs above all other people in the tech industry has imbued his company with its own self-sustaining and unique culture. He could announce that he is taking up sailing like most billionaires and no longer has time to work at Apple and there will still be people at Apple trying to figure out how to remove more buttons from all of their products. There would still be customers because there will still be creative people who need fonts that work and color management you can rely on and a full pro audio subsystem, and Web developers who want to run Apache/PHP/Photoshop, and there would still be poseurs who buy only for the logo and teh shiny. In other words, you have to be truly ignorant of computing to think that Steve Jobs has been sitting in a room at Apple drawing up MacBook Airs on a napkin and that the whole thing would grind to a halt without him.

    Plus, Apple has a huge lead in 21st century computing that everyone would love to have. Google, Nokia, Palm, and Blackberry all use Apple's WebKit as their Web rendering engine ... MPEG-4 is a standardization of Apple's QuickTime format ... the iPod has 75% market share. Right now many people outside Apple are just beginning to use stuff that Apple has been expert at for years. It is obvious they are the only organization with the technology and expertise to do a proper tablet, which is just an iPod touch HD. All that is required is to complete the resolution-independent user interface, which Mac OS X has had in developer preview mode since 2004.

    The smart investor is buying Apple stock right now. They are so undervalued because investors don't understand how to read the subscription accounting that is done for the iPhone.

    • MPEG-4 is a standardization of Apple's QuickTime format

      From Apple's MPEG-4 page [apple.com]:

      MPEG-4 was defined by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the working group within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that specified the widely adopted, Emmy Award-winning standards known as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. Hundreds of researchers around the world contributed to MPEG-4, which was finalized in 1998 and became an international standard in 2000 and included in QuickTime in 2002.

      I hope you did more res

      • by sribe (304414) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:11PM (#26554323)

        I hope you did more research for the rest of the 'facts' in your post.

        He was correct. MPEG-4 did adopt the QuickTime storage format. It was huge news at the time, because Microsoft had been pushing hard to have the committee adopt their proposal, and was quite upset that they lost out to Apple. I think the quote you referenced was simply referring to Apple adding support for the complete standard, codecs and all that.

        • He was correct. MPEG-4 did adopt the QuickTime storage format.

          No, he was not correct. Saying "MPEG-4 is a standardization of Apple's QuickTime format" is deceptive.

          A more accurate way of putting it would be "The container format for MPEG-4 was based up on the container format for quicktime"

          MPEG-4 is far more than MPEG-4 Part 14. [wikipedia.org]

    • Webkit comes from KHTML.

      MPEG-4 is a "group effort". Patent holders include Apple, Philips, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sharp, France Telecom, and SUN, in the US and other countries.

      As to the 75% iPod figure -- only if you remove cell phones with mp3 capability from consideration... I would say that it's arguable that someone like Nokia may be the #1 leader in portable media players.

      Just sayin' -- careful with your backing examples. The world IS larger than Apple.

      Apple means polish, and, in the eyes of MANY, Steve

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      He could announce that he is taking up sailing like most billionaires and no longer has time to work at Apple and there will still be people at Apple trying to figure out how to remove more buttons from all of their products. There would still be customers because there will still be creative people who need fonts that work and color management you can rely on and a full pro audio subsystem, and Web developers who want to run Apache/PHP/Photoshop, and there would still be poseurs who buy only for the logo a

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