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ExtraBITS for 3 March 2014

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In the latest ExtraBITS, Apple appeals the ebook price-fixing case ruling, Tim Cook lashes out at activist investors, Jeff Atwood explains everything that’s wrong with the age’s unhealthy focus on apps, Apple’s shareholders vote against an anti-spying measure, and we get a look at Tim Cook’s childhood hairdo.

Apple Appeals Ebook Antitrust Case Ruling -- As expected, Apple has filed formal papers appealing U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling in the 2013 ebook price-fixing case. In the filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Apple claims that Judge Cote’s ruling was “based on a fundamentally incorrect theory of antitrust liability” and that the lower court did not prove there was an actual conspiracy between Apple and the publishers. The government has said it will respond in May 2014. Here we go again.

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Tim Cook Chooses the Environment Over Profit -- Bryan Chaffin of The Mac Observer witnessed a visibly angry Tim Cook lash out at a National Center for Public Policy Research representative at this year’s Apple shareholder meeting. The NCPPR had pushed a proposal that would have required Apple to disclose the cost of sustainability programs and be more transparent about its relations with sustainability-related groups. After the measure failed, the representative questioned the effect of Apple’s sustainability programs on its bottom line and demanded that Cook promise to do only things that are profitable. Cook responded angrily, concluding with, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

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The App Apocalypse -- Developer Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Stack Exchange, has penned a brilliant diatribe against the current app economy. Atwood rails against the flood of useless apps, and tackles the problems of having different interfaces for each device, not knowing what you’re getting when you buy an app, the lousiness of both free apps and in-app purchases, and having to learn wildly inconsistent interfaces. Atwood compares the state of apps to computing before the dawn of the Web, and hints at an upcoming solution.

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Apple Shareholder Proposal to Lock Spies Out Fails -- On 28 February 2014, Apple’s shareholders voted down a measure to harden the company’s defenses against intelligence agencies, with the proposal earning less than 1 percent of votes. The proposal was drafted with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, encryption expert Bruce Schneier, and Lavabit attorney Ian Samuel; it suggested stronger encryption measures, immediate and frequent revocation of potentially compromised SSL keys, more transparency, and the removal of equipment that was used for mass surveillance.

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A Look at Tim Cook’s Alabama Childhood -- From humble origins in Robertsdale, Alabama, Tim Cook rose to become CEO of Apple. In an AL.com profile, Michael Finch II talks to those who knew Cook as a child, describing him as meticulous from an early age. Be sure to check out the yearbook photos!

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