Steve Jobs spotted leaving Apple with Men in Black

men in Black

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs showed up for work on Monday and was spotted leaving the main corporate campus in Cupertino, California, a Reuters witness said.

Speculation had mounted in past days that Jobs had returned to the company he co-founded more than 30 years ago, and emerged after a nearly six-month medical leave.

On Monday, he was seen leaving the main Apple building in Cupertino, California and getting into a black car alone that was then driven off by men in black suits with ear-pieces.

We all knew the Truth is Out There – somewhere in Cupertino…

Dunkin’ Donuts Releases iPhone App

dunkinrun

Dunkin’ Donuts, the popular fast food chain famous for its coffee and baked goods, has released Dunkin’ Run, a free app for the iPhone and iPod touch. It’s designed to make it easier for Dunkin’ Donuts customers to make group orders — a social application, according to the press release.

I’m making a run to Dunkin’ — does anyone want anything?” is a refrain heard in workplaces near where Dunkin’ Donuts are common. The Dunkin’ Run app and its companion Web site help to make it easier for Dunkin’ customers to solicit and place those group orders.

“Runners” initiate the group order, then interactive alerts are sent to the Runner’s friends and co-workers, informing them when a trip is planned and inviting them to place an order online. The Runner can then print the order or use their iPhone to produce a checklist, to make sure everyone gets what they wanted.

Makes sense to me.

British coppers refuse Taser rollout!


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

At least two forces, including the country’s largest, have ruled out extending the stun guns to more officers while another two have still not made any decision…

The use of stun guns was questioned earlier this month when video footage in Nottingham appeared to show an officer shock a man at least twice while he was lying on the floor.

The weapons were initially only available to specially trained firearms officers but last November Jacqui Smith, the then Home Secretary, announced plans to fund the provision of 10,000 Taser guns nationally and training for up to 30,000 frontline officers to use them.

However, it has emerged Sussex Police has now joined the Metropolitan Police in refusing to extend the use of Tasers to non-firearms officers.

And South Yorkshire Police and Devon and Cornwall Constabulary are still to make a decision on whether to roll them out.

The view of 10 other forces remains unknown as they did not respond to Freedom of Information requests conducted by the Liberal Democrats.

Tom Brake, a Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “It is ridiculous that the Home Office is lavishing millions on Tasers when some police forces do not want any more. Tasers should be left in the hands of specially trained firearms officers.”

“By making Tasers available to 30,000 officers we are descending down the slippery slope towards fully armed, US-style policing.”

Discussion of British vs. US-style policing is only meaningful in the U.K.. After all, Brits aren’t dealing with a population that in general is armed and dangerous. Especially to themselves.

Should hospitals be allowed to deport illegal immigrants? – UPDATED

Old Hospital Photo

On his ride back to Indiantown from a landscaping job one afternoon nearly a decade ago, Luis Alberto Jimenez’s destiny collided with the front end of a stolen van. The impact killed two passengers in the car he was in and landed the van’s drunken driver, Donald Flewellen, in prison for nearly 10 years on a DUI manslaughter charge.

The crash also left Jimenez, an illegal Guatemalan immigrant, with debilitating injuries and the cognitive ability of a fourth-grader.

Jimenez has become the center of a legal battle between the hospital that flew him back to Guatemala after spending more than $1 million on his care and Jimenez’s family members who say the hospital falsely imprisoned him and deported him so it would no longer have to pay to treat him. The case is at the forefront of national debates on health care and immigration…

Against objections from Montejo (Jimenez’ cousin) and his attorney – after two years – a judge eventually sided with Martin Memorial. Montejo filed an appeal, but less than a day later hospital officials took Jimenez to Guatemala on a chartered jet…

An appeals court in 2004 overturned Judge Fennelly’s decision, saying he had no jurisdiction to authorize the return…

Martin Memorial officials declined last week to comment on the specifics of the case. They said their situation reflects those of hospitals across the country.

“Unfortunately, the cost of providing that care is rising and the burden of paying the health care bill for many undocumented immigrants is falling on hospitals and health systems that simply cannot afford to pay it,” hospital communications director Ronda Wilburn said in an e-mail.

I don’t know of another country that spends so much time feeling guilty over the plight of those who enter the country illegally. Educating children, providing medical care, job assistance – in some jurisdictions, the needs of illegal migrant laborers seem to take precedence over American citizens, whether by birth or naturalization.

Should be an interesting case to follow.

UPDATE: The Jury found on behalf of the hospital.

iPhone 3GS sales top one million first weekend – of course!


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Apple said it’s sold more than 1 million of its new 3GS iPhones in the first three days since they went on sale.

On Friday, Apple and its exclusive wireless partner AT&T began to sell the iPhone 3GS, a faster third-generation device with improved software and features. The company also said six million customers had downloaded its iPhone 3.0 software since the update was released on June 17.

Apple first announced the 3GS iPhone at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month. Analysts had expected between 500,000 and 700,000 units of the device would sell on its debut weekend.

Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a prepared statement…

The new iPhone has twice as much memory as earlier versions for the same price. The 16GB model sells for $199 and a 32GB version sells for $299.

Apple also cut the price on the second-generation iPhone to as low as $99 for an 8GB model. The latest figures released by Apple do not include sales of older iPhone models.

This is also a positive comment on consumers who feel we’re on the way out of the recession. If things were as negative as several months ago, the original guesstimates of 500-700K units in sales would have been an appropriate target.

The chuckle for me over the weekend was the pundit brigade who kept predicting diminished sales for the 3GS vs. previous iterations because crowds and waiting lines were smaller at Apple stores. They didn’t comprehend that everyone learned previously that [1] Apple was going to have an adequate supply in their stores and [2] you could walk in several hours after opening and get exactly what you wanted – without waiting.

Nissan to build electric cars, Li-on batteries in the United States


Nissan Micro Electric commuter car – the NuVu prototype
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Nissan Motor Co plans to launch production of electric vehicles and their batteries in the United States to tap low-interest loans for green vehicles, the Nikkei business daily said.

The overall investment is estimated at 50 billion yen ($516.4 million) and may rise to 100 billion yen, it said.

Under the plan, the new electric-car assembly lines are to be built at a plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, where Nissan North America is based, the paper said.

The facility, capable of making 50,000 to 100,000 eco-friendly vehicles a year by 2012, is expected to first produce a small passenger car, it said.

Nissan also intends to construct a production facility for high-capacity lithium ion batteries at the Smyrna site with NEC Corp.

The company has applied for funding from the U.S. government under a low-interest-loan program to support the automobile industry.

Too bad we haven’t enough brains within the Big 3 to figure out how to do any of this. Is there something in the water in Detroit that inhibits business competence?

Researchers developing the acoustic equivalent of a laser

It was an idea born out of curiosity in the physics lab, but now a new type of ‘laser’ for generating ultra-high frequency sound waves instead of light has taken a major step towards becoming a unique and highly useful 21st century technology.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham, in collaboration with colleagues in the Ukraine, have produced a new type of acoustic laser device called a Saser. It’s a sonic equivalent to the laser and produces an intense beam of uniform sound waves on a nano scale. The new device could have significant and useful applications in the worlds of computing, imaging, and even anti-terrorist security screening.

Where a ‘laser’,(Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation), uses packets of electromagnetic vibrations called ‘photons’, the ‘Saser’ uses sound waves composed of sonic vibrations called ‘phonons’.

In a laser, the photon beam is produced by stimulating electrons with an external power source so they release energy when they collide with other photons in a highly reflective optical cavity. This produces a coherent and controllable shining beam of laser light in which all the photons have the same frequency and rate of oscillation. From supermarket scanners to DVD players, surgery, manufacturing and the defence industry, the application of laser technology is widespread.

The Saser mimics this technology but using sound, to produce a sonic beam of ‘phonons’ which travels, not through an optical cavity like a laser, but through a tiny manmade structure called a ‘superlattice’. This is made out of around 50 super-thin sheets of two alternating semiconductor materials, Gallium Arsenide and Aluminium Arsenide, each layer just a few atoms thick. When stimulated by a power source (a light beam), the phonons multiply, bouncing back and forth between the layers of the lattice, until they escape out of the structure in the form of an ultra-high frequency phonon beam.

A key factor in this new science is that the Saser is the first device to emit sound waves in the terahertz frequency range… the beam of coherent acoustic waves it produces has nanometre wavelengths (billionths of a metre)…

Professor Anthony Kent from the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, says “While our work on sasers is driven mostly by pure scientific curiosity, we feel that the technology has the potential to transform the area of acoustics, much as the laser has transformed optics in the 50 years since its invention.”

Wowee, zowee. I remember the first reports of a “maser” – a room full of electronics and ruby crystal required to make the critter work. And look where that has proceeded!

Note to self: keep in touch with what this lot produces over the next few years!