Posts tagged ‘Apple’

August 22, 2012

“Where is Steve Jobs?” – Jobs’s afterlife

Steve Jobs’ Reincarnated As ‘Divine Being’ According To Thai Buddhist Sect

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/steve-jobs-afterlife-known-by-buddhist-cult_n_1818716.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

The Huffington Post  |  By

Posted: 08/21/2012 2:06 pm

Updated: 08/21/2012 2:36 pm

A Thai Buddhist movement answered the question“Where is Steve Jobs?” with their take on the Apple founder’s journey in the afterlife.

The Bangkok Post reports that Phra Thepyanmahamuni, the abbot of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya, released and aired a sermon in response to an inquiry by Tony Tseung, a senior engineer at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California and follower of the order.

Tseung supposedly asked the abbot if he knew where Jobs’ was and how he was doing in the afterlife. According to Asian Correspondent, Thepyanmahamuni responded:

“After Mr. Steve Jobs has passed away, he reincarnated as a divine being…His reincarnation is a “Thepphabhut Phumadeva [divinity] of middle rank – half a Witthayathorn, half yak” that lives in a parallel universe not very far away from where he was as a human.”

Saksith Saiyasombut of the Asian Correspondant explains the Abbot’s words:

Jobs is now apparently “half a Witthayathorn” – a term the abbot came up by himself – and, apparently because of his well-known temper, “half a yak” (not the animal), a giant demon that is mostly seen ‘guarding’ Buddhist temples in Thailand.

The abbot went on to describe Jobs’ living space, neighbors, and even full detail of how Jobs’ experienced his day to day afterlife.

“Concerning the living space of this new divine being: it is a very clean-cut, simple and middle-sized, six-story in height, which is built with silver metal and crystal in large quantities and that is not very far away from where he used to work in his human form. (…) Apart from that the new divine being has about 20 celestial servants at his service which comes from karma he obtained from charitable nature during his human form like donating money, objects and knowledge for others and society.”

Steve Jobs’ own views on the afterlife weren’t quite formed when he was interviewed last year on 60 minutes:

“Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s 50-50 maybe. But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of– maybe it’s ’cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated. Somehow it lives on….Yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone…And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”

The Dhammakaya movement that aired Jobs’ fate has been seen as a suspect group with its focus on raising funds and connections with royal family members, according to a book entitled New Buddhist Movements in Thailand. The Bangkok Post also reported the Dhammakaya has consistently been controversial due to its involvement in campaign donations and claims over producing miracles.

The temple is known to have millions of followers around the world, many of whom are powerful Thai politicians.

Dhammakaya ‘knows’ Jobs’ afterlife

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/308543/dhammakaya-boasts-steve-jobs-afterlife

 
 Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani province on Monday stirred an internet controversy when it released an article on its website referring to the afterlife of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, claiming the American legend has been reincarnated as a mid-level angel dwelling not far from his Apple office in a parallel world.

According to the temple’s website (www.dmc.tv), the article named “Where is Steve Jobs?” was in answer to questions about Jobs’s afterlife that had been asked by a man identified as Tony Tseung, a senior engineer at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

It claimed Mr Tseung sent a letter asking Phrathepyanmahamuni (Luang Por Dhammachayo), the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, whether he knew where Jobs went after his death and how he was faring.

He said Jobs was a practitioner of Buddhism and at one point wanted to become a Buddhist monk, but failed to do it as work kept him busy.

The website said the answers to Mr Tseung’s questions resulted in knowledge gained from Phrathepyanmahamuni’s long-time practice of meditation.

The abbot claimed Jobs is now “a half Witthayathorn, half Yak (Thai word for ‘giant’), which is a mid-level angel. Witthayathorn is the term representing one of the angel types who love to seek knowledge in various sciences. Another trait of his angelic character was a hot temper, he said.

Before Jobs died, he was worried about many things such as his family and work projects, and his life after death.

Jobs is living in a big heavenly palace, the height of a six-storey building, made of white, silver metal and crystal glass, located not far from where he worked when he was alive. He has 20 servants as a result of his worldly virtue, the abbot said.

The content in the article was from a Phrathepyanmahamuni sermon that had been aired on the temple’s cable television channel Dhamma Media Channel (DMC) last week. It was intended to teach the law of karma to Dhammakaya followers, not meant to defame or insult any parties, the website explained.

The website said the article had been disseminated on many websites and social media channels and the text may have been edited, paraphrased or distorted. As a result, it urged people to use care and read the “correct” original text on its website. It also said the “Where is Steve Jobs?” article was only an individual opinion and whether to believe it was up to the audience.

Wat Phra Dhammakaya has been embroiled in controversy over its donation campaigns and claims of miracles. The temple, however, is believed to have millions of followers around the world, including many powerful Thai politicians.

The full article can be read via this link: http://www.dmc.tv/pages/en/Where-is-Steve-Jobs/20120822-The-Hereafter-News:Steve-Jobs-where-is-he-now-Part-1.html

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Thai Buddhist cult claims to know afterlife of Steve Jobs

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://asiancorrespondent.com/87995/thai-buddhist-cult-claims-to-know-afterlife-of-steve-jobs/

By Saksith SaiyasombutA Thai Buddhist cult movement claims to know the whereabouts of Steve Jobs in the afterlife. In a TV special on DMC.tv, the satellite TV channel of the Dhammakāya (pronounced “tah-mah-guy”) Movement, and its website have given their take on the question hardly anyone was asking in the first place: Where is Steve Jobs now?The Apple co-founder and CEO passed away in October 2011 after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.This question was asked by a man called “Tony Tseung” – who claims to be a senior engineer at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California – to Phra Thepyanmahamuni, the abbot of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya (their main temple). The movement was established in the 1970s and puts the focus of their teachings by literally interpreting Dharmakāya, which equates obtaining Nirvana as the “true Self”, also known as atta - contrary to the main Theravada Buddhism teachings most Thais are following in which Nirvana is the ultimate goal, in which Self ceases to exist (anatta).The abbot’s answer is very elaborate to say the least:

หลังจากที่คุณ Steve Jobs ได้ละจากโลกนี้ไปแล้ว ก็ได้ไปบังเกิดใหม่เป็นเทพบุตรภุมมะเทวา (…) รวมกับอัธยาศัยพื้นฐานของตัวเขาซึ่งเป็นคนที่มีความรู้ความสามารถทั้งทาง ด้านวิทยาศาสตร์และสุนทรียภาพทางศิลปะสูงมาก (…) ตัวเขาก็ได้ไปบังเกิดใหม่เป็น “เทพบุตรภุมมะเทวาระดับกลางสายวิทยาธรกึ่งยักษ์” ที่มีที่อยู่ที่อาศัยซ้อนอยู่บนโลกมนุษย์ใกล้ๆ กับที่ทำงานเดิมของตัวเขาในทันที

“ภุมมะเทวาสายวิทยาธรกึ่งยักษ์” นั้นมีลักษณะเป็นอย่างไร (…) ก็คือภุมมะเทวาที่มีอัธยาศัย 2 อย่างมาผสมผสานกัน ได้แก่ อัธยาศัยของวิทยาธรที่รักในการเรียนรู้ศาสตร์และความรู้ต่างๆ กับอัธยาศัยของยักษ์ที่มักโกรธ ขี้โมโห (…)

After Mr. Steve Jobs has passed away, he reincarnated as a divine being (…) encompassing his characteristics: a person with the knowledge (and a great appreciation) for both science and arts (…) His reincarnation is a “Thepphabhut Phumadeva [divinity] of middle rank – half a Witthayathorn, half yak” that lives in a parallel universe not very far away from where he was as a human.

What is this divine being like? (…) It is a being that has two characteristics mixed together which includes his thirst for knowledge of sciences [his Witthayathorn half] together with his yak half, that is prone to be angry and hot-headed (…)

ปรโลกนิวส์ ตอน สตีฟ จ็อบส์ ตายแล้วไปไหน ตอนที่ 1“, DMC, August 21, 2012

Aha, Jobs is now apparently “half a Witthayathorn” - a term the abbot came up by himself – and, apparently because of his well-known temper, “half a yak” (not the animal), a giant demon that is mostly seen ‘guarding’ Buddhist temples in Thailand.

When the abbot went on describe how the life of Afterlife-Steve Jobs looks like, things get even more interesting:

ส่วนวิมานหรือที่อยู่ที่อาศัย ของท่านเทพบุตรใหม่จะมีลักษณะเป็นวิมานที่เรียบๆ ง่ายๆ ขนาดปานกลาง ที่สูงประมาณตึก 6 ชั้น ซึ่งตัววิมานจะประกอบด้วยโลหะสีเงินสีขาวและแก้วผลึกขนาดใหญ่ที่มีขอบ เขตกว้างขวาง และอยู่ไม่ไกลจากที่ทำงานเดิมในสมัยที่ตัวเขายังเป็นมนุษย์ (…) นอกจากนี้ ท่านเทพบุตรใหม่ยังมีบริวารอันเป็นทิพย์ที่คอยรับใช้ดูแลอยู่ประมาณ 20 ตน ซึ่งทั้งหมดนี้ก็เกิดจากผลแห่งบุญที่ตัวเขาได้เคยทำบุญแบบสงเคราะห์โลกเอาไว้ในสมัยที่ตัวเขายังเป็นมนุษย์ เช่น บริจาคทั้งเงิน สิ่งของ ความรู้ให้แก่ผู้อื่นและสังคม

Concerning the living space of this new divine being: it is a very clean-cut, simple and middle-sized, six-story in height, which is built with silver metal and crystal in large quantities and that is not very far away from where he used to work in his human form. (…) Apart from that the new divine being has about 20 celestial servants at his service which comes from karma he obtained from charitable nature during his human form like donating money, objects and knowledge for others and society.

ปรโลกนิวส์ ตอน สตีฟ จ็อบส์ ตายแล้วไปไหน ตอนที่ 1“, DMC.tv, August 21, 2012

Anybody who dares to read the full explanation can go to their webpage here - even though it is only in Thai, the pictures should give an idea…! Also, there’ll be a part two of the TV special on DMC.tv…

That last sentence is exactly the way of the Dhammakāya Movement many critics find fault in: give enough money for charity (preferably to Dhammakāya) and you might also reincarnate with your personal living space that coincidentally resembles an Apple Store and with your own personal Geniuses…erm, I mean servants!

The practices and methods by the movement are something more akin to what some say Christian TV evangelists with a giant temple on the outskirts of Bangkok, opulent mass-ordination ceremonies, the aforementioned TV channel with some production value, grand-scale downtown pilgrimages by monks, nationwide promotions such as a special credit card with a special perk to convert the bonus points into money donations to Dhammakāya, among many other actions.

And where does the money come from? Of course from donations by devotees, who are encouraged to donate large sums in exchange for great merits in order to ensure enough good karma for the afterlife. It basically blends religion with capitalism – a fact that may be why this movement had an increase of followers among the Bangkok middle class in the 1990s as this scientific article argues. This practice parallels to the selling of indulgences in Christianity during the middle ages until the 16th century, which was one of the points German reformist Martin Luther was protesting against in 1521.

Also, the Dhammakāya Movement is considered as one of a few Buddhist groups that have some to large supporters in Thai politics, as this cult is rumored to be closely linked to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The other noteworthy group is the Santi Asoke sect, which practices and propagates a more ascetic lifestyle that is opposed to materialism and mass consumption – in some ways the diametrical opposite of the Dhammakāya Movement business model. Followers of the Santi Asoke also took part in numerous protests against the government(s) of the aforementioned Thaksin Shinawatra and its reincarnations.

This whole story is intended as a lesson of karma and their take on what happens next after one has passed away. And of course this story is also yet another attention-grabbing PR stunt by the Dhammakāya Movement to gain new followers (and if you have been reading until this point you know why) by purely making up blatantly speculating predicting the afterlife of a worldwide-known figure. Not to mention the potential new devotees abroad, since this movement also has branches in 18 other countries including an open university based in California.

Steve Jobs was certainly influenced, if not even inspired, by Buddhism of various teachings. But he was not known as a devotee – not by practice and certainly not any of Thailand’s various Buddhist’s groups. Also, the abbot suggests that Jobs was concerned with life after death – contrary to his well-documented remarks that he regards death itself as “very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent.” He also said in the same commencement speech to university graduates in 2005: ”Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”

Saksith Saiyasombut is a Thai blogger and journalist currently based in Hamburg, Germany. He can be followed on Twitter @Saksith and on Facebook here.

August 27, 2011

Apple wins ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab sales in Germany

German court’s interim decision leaves Samsung in limbo during IFA electronics fair, and Europe-wide sales ban could follow

View Original Source:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/26/apple-wins-ban-samsung-galaxy

Spot the difference: Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (right) next to Apple's iPad. Photograph: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

Samsung has been banned from selling its Galaxy Tab tablet computers in Germany until at least 9 September following a successful injunction claim by Apple. The decision leaves the South Korean electronics giant in limbo during the giant IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin next week.

A German court said on Thursday it would deliver its ruling on that date, two days after the end of IFA, after hearing arguments from Samsung and iPad maker Apple, which had argued that the Galaxy Tabs “slavishly” copied its design.

Samsung had asked for a decision before IFA. In his response, the judge said there were “overarching similarities” between Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs, which run Google’s Android operating system, and Apple’s iPad.

It was not clear at the time of publication whether the terms of the injunction prohibit Samsung from displaying the Galaxy Tab at IFA.

Earlier this week Apple also won an injuction against Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy SII and Ace smartphones, prohibiting their import into Europe through the Netherlands – Samsung’s principal import point for the EU. Although the Korean company could get around that injunction by importing into a different country, it would have to reorganise its logistics system to cope with it.

Such methods have been used by companies including Sony to get around similar injunctions.

But the decision in Germany did not all go Apple’s way, as the injunction was not enforced by the German court against Samsung throughout Europe.

Florian Müller, who follows the patent battles between technology companies closely, provided an English translation of the court ruling on his Fosspatents blog, which includes a passage noting that “the… design presented by Apple has to be considered valid and is infringed by Samsung. That said, the court reaffirmed doubts about having cross-border jurisdiction over a company domiciled outside the European Union with respect to Europe-wide injunctions. Therefore, the court has indicated that, after the consultation that took place before the hearing, it tends to uphold the preliminary injunction against Samsung Germany to its full extent and to lift it with respect to Samsung’s Korean parent company with respect to markets outside of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Richard Windsor, an analyst at stockbrokers Nomura, observed: “The problem Samsung has here is precedent. If it loses the court ruling on 9 September, Apple will be able to take that ruling and apply for a ban in other EU countries as the design rights that Apple has on this are enforceable throughout the EU.”

Patent lawsuits are becoming increasingly common between wireless industry players, as established companies seek to protect their markets from newcomers such as Google. Google agreed last week to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn, largely for its vast portfolio of mobile patents. It will be the company’s largest-ever acquisition.

Windsor added: “While this is a short-term negative for Samsung, once it has access to the MMI [Motorola] patents via the Google acquisition, we think it should be in a much better position to fight back against Apple. By any stretch of the imagination, Samsung’s [present] intellectual property position is weak, giving it little with which to fight back against the predations of Apple.”

The battle over the Galaxy Tab in Germany is one of 19 lawsuits going on between Apple and Samsung in 12 courts in 9 countries on 4 continents, says Müller: those include the US, where Apple claims infringement of a number of patents relating to its iPhone and iPad.

February 27, 2011

Secrets of Thunderbolt and Lion in Apple MacBook Pro laptops

Cached:  http://www.tidbits.com/article/11993

Macs & Mac OS X

by Glenn Fleishman Send Email to Author

You can read 1,000 articles about the new Thunderbolt input/output bus in Apple’s latest revision to MacBook Pro laptops, and the new revelations from Apple about Mac OS X Lion. But via Twitter, I discovered that many people are unaware of or concerned about certain features close to their hearts. From online sources and a briefing with Apple last week, I can provide some reassurance.

The following tidbits you can find elsewhere, but these seem to be among the least well understood or documented items.

Thunderbolt’s Blasts — Thunderbolt is a fascinating mix of old and new:

  • Thunderbolt has up to 20 Gbps available in each direction (full duplex), not 10 Gbps, in Apple’s version. While the Thunderbolt specification talks about 10 Gbps to and from a host, Apple’s version incorporates two channels over the same cable: one is apparently dedicated to DisplayPort for video, and the other for PCI Express data. This allows up to 20 Gbps (raw) and reportedly a substantial fraction of that in true throughput in each direction. This will let you run two high-resolution displays (which take Gbps of uncompressed data to service) and a super-fast RAID drive (demonstrated by Promise Technology) or multiple drives that can work at full speed. (On a laptop, Thunderbolt handles both the internal monitor and an optional external one, which is why you can’t drive two externally. On a Mac Pro or Mac mini that won’t be an issue, or with a second Thunderbolt port on an iMac.)
  • By using two channels on the same cable, a display or hard drive can be in the middle of the daisy chain without interrupting the flow of the other channel.
  • Target Disk Mode is supported under Thunderbolt. Until now, this mode only worked over FireWire connections. It allows you to boot one Mac in Target Disk Mode and act as a hard drive for another Mac using a cable to connect the two.
  • You won’t be able to boot a computer (yet) from a Thunderbolt-connected drive, unlike with USB and FireWire. Andy Ihnakto has this factoid, and I tend to trust him. I will be surprised if this isn’t added later. We need a way to boot from an external drive, and if Thunderbolt winds up leading to Apple eliminating FireWire, then it has to boot, too.
  • While Thunderbolt is backward compatible with DisplayPort, and the connector uses the same 20 pins as DisplayPort, you can’t use a DisplayPort cable to run a Thunderbolt connection. You can connect a Thunderbolt port to a DisplayPort monitor with a DisplayPort cable, or use a Thunderbolt cable with any of the existing DisplayPort adapters. The Thunderbolt controller automatically adjusts the signal output to be correct for DisplayPort native ports on the other end.
  • The Thunderbolt port carries 10 watts of power, a significant amount for powering drives and other peripherals. Apple’s hardware with a single FireWire 400 or 800 port (or one of each) can deliver 7 watts to the bus. USB 2.0 can push out a maximum of 2.5 watts, while USB 3.0 can hit 4.5 watts. Apple’s high-power USB 2.0 can generate 5.5 watts, which is enough to charge an iPad while it’s plugged in and in use. Thunderbolt devices can also boost power downstream: an AC-powered display could push 10 watts out the port on the “far” side from the computer in the daisy chain.
  • Thunderbolt will allow splitters and other baroque configurations of adapters, Apple told me. For instance, you could have a DisplayPort adapter with two Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. Apple has no plans to discuss here, but there’s clearly room for a robust market of cables, hubs, adapters, and other elements to make it easier to use legacy video standards.
  • For more exhaustive details about Thunderbolt, read Macworld’s two-Dan FAQ.

FaceTime HD Aside — By the way, FaceTime HD requires the advanced graphics processing in a new MacBook Pro along with the higher-resolution camera. The new laptops have built-in hardware decoding for FaceTime HD, DVD playback, and iTunes playback.

Lion’s Roars — We’ll have to keep mum on many Lion details, as many of us at TidBITS are enrolled in the developer program that gives us access to non-public preview details. However, on the public side:

  • Lion’s AirDrop will let you exchange files between two Macs (and, one expects, iOS 5) using Wi-Fi. But it’s not a variant on Bonjour: the two Macs do not need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi base station or larger Wi-Fi network. Rather, they only need to be within Wi-Fi range of one another. AirDrop uses a peer-to-peer ad hoc connection, only with security and simplicity. A Mac using AirDrop doesn’t drop a Wi-Fi network connection if it has one; it can communicate to another Mac and maintain its network connection, too. This requires newer hardware. I suspect nearly all machines shipped since 2007 or 2008 will have the right Wi-Fi gear, but Apple will need to release guidance.
  • Lion’s FileVault is essentially an entirely new bit of technology labeled with the old name. FileVault before Lion encrypted only the Home directory of a user, and had substantial weaknesses. The new FileVault is a full-drive encryption method: everything on the hard drive (and external drives, apparently optionally) is completely secured. Apple didn’t explain whether you will need to enter a password at boot, as is the case with many existing full-drive encryption products for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Apple told me that the new MacBook Pro models can use accelerated encryption processing in the i5 and i7 processors that eliminate any performance loss due to handling encryption.
  • Mac OS X Server is built into Lion, although not active when you upgrade or boot a new machine, apparently. Apple declined to provide details, but said that reports were inaccurate that you had to make a choice during installation of Lion, or reinstall Lion to use server features. You will activate something within Lion, not yet disclosed. It’s unclear whether this will come at no cost. I wouldn’t be surprised if you pay for the upgrade in the Mac App Store to download an unlocker. Apple might make it free, but there’s no disclosure about pricing yet.

Keep the questions coming.

February 21, 2011

Apple to face CEO question at annual meeting

MarketWatch.com

Fund wants more transparency on succession plan in Jobs’ absence

Cached:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-succession-plan-in-focus-as-investors-meet-2011-02-21?reflink=MW_news_stmp

By Dan Gallagher, MarketWatch

Feb. 21, 2011, 5:00 a.m. EST

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — For years, Apple Inc. occasionally has been pressed to tell the world its plans for life after Steve Jobs. But officials have continually put off the matter.

Now, as the iconic chief executive’s health returns to the spotlight, a shareholder group is forcing the issue onto the agenda of Apple’s annual meeting coming up on Wednesday.

With management saying little about Jobs’ condition, the issue will take on its highest profile to date as shareholders vote on requiring more transparency about succession plans for the post Jobs has held for the last 14 years since his return to the company that he co-founded back in 1976.

It’s unknown whether Jobs, who turns 56 the next day, will show up for the meeting at Apple /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 350.56, -7.74, -2.16%)  headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. A representative for Apple declined to comment.

Apple has faced similar questions in the past. Jobs skipped the annual meeting two years ago, when he was in the midst of a six-month leave of absence for a then-unspecified health condition. It was later learned that he underwent a liver transplant in that period.

Five years before that, Jobs had surgery to treat pancreatic cancer. He took off a month in mid-2004 to recuperate.

Last month, Jobs told Apple employees that he would be taking another leave of absence “so I can focus on my health” but he withheld specifics of his condition. As in times past, chief operating officer Tim Cook was handed the reins during Jobs’ absence.

Resolution on the ballot

What’s different today is a shareholder group has formally demanded that Apple provide more details about its CEO succession planning.

Sponsored by the Central Laborer’s Pension Fund in Jacksonville, Ill., the shareholder resolution calls on Apple’s board to adopt and disclose a written “succession planning policy.” Under such a policy, the board would review its succession plan each year, maintain an emergency succession plan and “identify and develop internal candidates.”

Apple opposes the measure, saying it has already abides by many of the proposed policies. The company further argues and that going public with its “confidential objectives and plans” — as demanded in the proxy’s Proposal No. 5 — isn’t in shareholders’ best interest.

That proposal “requires a report identifying the candidates being considered for CEO, as well as the criteria used to evaluate each candidate,” Apple said in its printed response to the measure in its proxy statement. “By publicly naming these potential successors, Proposal No. 5 invites competitors to recruit high-value executives away from Apple.”

An Apple spokesperson said the company would have no further comment on the proposal beyond what’s in the proxy statement.

Jennifer O’Dell, spokeswoman for the Laborer’s International Union of North America, who will represent the pension fund at the meeting, disputed Apple’s characterization of the measure, saying it doesn’t call on the company to publicly name potential candidates.

“What we’re looking for is disclosure that they have a plan and regularly review it,” O’Dell said in an interview. “We want to see some transparency.”

The union has pressed similar measures at other companies. It pushed a shareholder vote on Whole Foods Market last year, which went down to defeat, but the company agreed to make further disclosures on succession planning. The group is pressing a similar proposal at Intel Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc (INTC 22.14, +0.17, +0.77%)  , and O’Dell says Hewlett-Packard /quotes/comstock/13*!hpq/quotes/nls/hpq (HPQ 48.67, +0.05, +0.10%)  has agreed to adopt a similar measure.

The California Public Employee Retirement System is supporting the resolution. The fund holds a little over 2.2 million Apple shares — less than 1 percent of total shares outstanding.

“Succession planning is a systemic, persistent problem at a lot of companies,” said Calpers spokesman Clark McKinley. “Apple’s done a phenomenal job, and we’re happy to have them in the portfolio. We just think succession planning is important.”

Other shareholders say the company has been open enough about succession planning.

“It would obviously be bad management not to have a succession plan, but Apple’s been aware of this issue for some time,” said Sean Krauss, chief investment officer of CitizensTrust, who has been an Apple shareholder since 2005. “But I don’t see the need to pinpoint Apple in this regard.”

Conflicting signals

Unlike the leave he took in 2009, Jobs this time left the length of his absence open-ended.

The result has been massive amounts of speculation and rumors in the media as to his status. Apple’s highly successful run over the last decade, thanks to popular products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad, have cemented Jobs’ legacy as an innovator and visionary, and also created the impression that the company may be harmed by his departure.

“The major risk in the Apple story is Steve Jobs’ heath,” wrote Needham analyst Charlie Wolf in a note to clients last month after Jobs announced his latest leave. “Risks arising from the competitive landscape pale in comparison.”

Apple shares dipped in the days following Jobs’ most recent announcement, but since recovered — setting a new record high of $363.13 earlier this week.

The CEO’s health status is unclear. A story in the Wall Street Journal last weekend quoted unnamed sources as saying Jobs has remained “closely involved” with the company while on leave, taking meetings at his home and by phone. Read the Wall Street Journal report on Jobs’ work.

He was also quoted in the company’s news release this past week announcing a new plan to charge for subscription content over the company’s App Store. In addition, he was also among several top tech executives to meet with President Obama during a visit to the area on Thursday.

Offsetting that was a story in the National Enquirer tabloid purportedly showing pictures of a frail-looking Jobs visiting the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto on Feb. 8. The Enquirer story was widely circulated on tech blogs and other news organizations on Thursday.

O’Dell, the representative of the Laborer’s International Union of North America, said her group hasn’t held talks with Apple about its proposal. She added that the measure wasn’t motivated because of Jobs’ health struggles, but because recent events place the issue in a brighter light.

“I imagine it’s a touchy issue for them right now,” O’Dell said. “But of all the years to have this discussion, this is the year. We wish Steve the best, and hope he lives forever, but we need to have a plan in place. Because we are long-term investors, we are going to be here for the long haul.”

Kraus of CitizenTrust said it would be a “huge negative” if Jobs were to leave his post at Apple permanently, though the company would likely be fine in the short term.

“But over the long term, the company would be missing the person who brought that creative impetus and drive,” Kraus said. “I don’t think the stock is anticipating a permanent removal of Jobs from Apple.”

Dan Gallagher is MarketWatch’s technology editor, based in San Francisco.

February 20, 2011

New picture emerges of gaunt Apple boss Steve Jobs at dinner with Obama and Silicon Valley elite

Cached:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358951/New-picture-emerges-gaunt-Apple-boss-Steve-Jobs-dinner-Obama-Silicon-Valley-elite.html

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:39 PM on 20th February 2011

 

Steve Jobs, shown here (2/17/2011) with an unidentified man at Thursday's meeting for America's wealthiest entrepreneurs. The Apple boss has been dogged by rumours about his health

An image of gaunt Apple boss Steve Jobs at a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama last week for America’s wealthiest internet entrepreneurs has emerged.

The image, distributed by a news agency, appears to have been taken on a mobile phone. it shows Mr Jobs standing next to an unidentified man.

It is unclear who took the photograph.

The White House had only released two images from the meeting in northern California on Thursday.

They showed Mr Obama with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and a view of all the leaders making a toast around a table.

In that image, Mr Jobs’ back is to the camera. He is the only one there who has not raised his glass fully, his elbow still resting on the table.

 

Guest list: One of the images released by the White House of Thursday's dinner (2/17/2011). Left, from President Obama, Apple chairman and CEO Steve Jobs, Westly group founder Steve Westly, host's wife Ann Doerr, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Genentech chairman Art Levinson, Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, venture capitalist John Doerr (host) Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Stanford University president John Hennessy, Yahoo president Carol Bartz, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, unknown, Facebook founder, president and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Mr Jobs has been battling pancreatic cancer. Fears were growing over his health after pictures were published last week showing him looking extremely gaunt and with thinning hair.

They were apparently taken of the Apple boss in Palo Alto, California.

A spokesman at the hospital declined to comment.

The pictures were published by the National Enquirer, who quoted medical experts who claimed that, based on the images, they believed Mr Jobs only has about six weeks to live.

Mr Jobs, 55, stepped away from the company on medical leave last month. It was the third time in seven years that he has taken time out because of health reasons.

The high-tech visionary has come to embody Apple’s turbulent history and some of the industry’s most cutting-edge products.

The company has refused to provide any details on Jobs’ health, comment on the recent reports or say when he might return from leave.

Mr Jobs was not seen by a pool of White House reporters who were kept out of sight of participants at Thursday’s dinner at venture capitalist John Doerr’s secluded home in the affluent suburb of Woodside.

But a White House official confirmed that all those on the guest list were present.

Mr Jobs had surgery in 2004 for an unusual type of tumor on his pancreas called a neuroendocrine tumor. He had a liver transplant in 2009.

Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook is running Apple’s day-to-day operations while Mr Jobs is on leave.

Analysts noted that Mr Jobs’ health problems are widely known by investors, who are not likely to be shocked by Internet reports.

‘I find it puzzling that he would be on campus and ‘working’ from home if he was that sick,’ said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies.

‘Seeing him go into a cancer treatment facility shouldn’t be a surprise.’

Mr Jobs had been seen in recent weeks on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California.

The company has said he will continue to be involved in major strategic decisions.

Known for his idiosyncratic style, Mr Jobs rescued the computer maker from near death in 1996 after a 12-year absence from the company he co-founded.

The launch of the iPhone, a smartphone with a touchscreen in 2007, and the iPad, a tablet computer in 2010, forged new business lines for the company that created the personal computing category and helped lead the technology industry into new directions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said ahead of Thursday’s meeting: ‘This is a part of our economy that has been a huge contributor to economic growth in the last several decades and we expect will continue to be.’

Along with Mr Jobs and Mr Zuckerberg, the meeting was also attended by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and other members of the Silicon Valley elite.

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