iFive: Apple's New Macs, Disney Buys Togetherville, Xoom Trademark Row, Apple Shareholders Vote on Jobs, Space Shuttle Launch

On this day in history this day became history. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII issued his papal bull that defined our new calendar--the Gregorian one we all think of as normal. And today, possibly another historic moment, a British court has granted Swedish demands to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on sex crime charges. On with the news:

1. Today is Apple day, part one--ahead of next week's iPad 2 reveal (scheduled for March 2nd) the computer maker is expected to reveal an updated lineup of its hot-selling MacBook Pro laptops. Current rumors suggest the make-over may be less dramatic than has been expected, but will include a next-gen connectivity protocol from Intel based on Light Peak--dubbed Thunderbolt in Apple's implementation.

2. Proving that social networking is for all, not just the grown-ups, Disney's just handed over an undisclosed sum to purchase Togetherville.com. Togetherville is a social network for kids younger than 10 years old, where kids can chat to each other and parents can control the situation so it remains age-appropriate. Presumably Disney has sensed that one way to deeper embed its brand in kid's minds is via social media.

3. Motorola's Xoom tablet is all over the tech press thanks to its odd status as one of the hottest competitors to the iPad, but also because it's high pricing is controversial. Now there's another controversy: Online payment firm Xoom Corporation has filed a trademark suit in California that asks for temporary restraining order on sales of the Xoom. Oops.

4. At an Apple shareholder meeting late yesterday, two big decisions were made: The group voted to give itself more control over executive hiring and firing, and it also--and this is the big one--voted to keep decisions about a succession strategy for CEO Steve Jobs a trade secret. COO Tim Cook presided over the meeting, since Jobs himself is on an extended medical leave of absence, which is the primary motivation for these votes.

5. In several hours Space Shuttle history will be made--if all goes well the final flight of Space Shuttle discovery will begin at 4:50 p.m. EST. Discovery is the oldest remaining shuttle, and this launch has been plagued with a sequence of technical slip-ups and problems that have brought intense scrutiny on the program's flight safety--and highlighted why it's time to retire the Shuttle and develop new rockets.

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1 Comments

  • Chris_WW

    The topic of how tweens engage with social media is definitely a hot topic. Though there's been lively discussion around what is the right age to join, the most important concern with most parents is likely safety. Are the places where their tweens spending time safe?

    How seriously do tween social networking sites take safety? What's the signup process like? How do these sites ensure predators don't sign up? If this is a concern to anyone here then check out www.WhatsWhat.Me. WhatsWhat.Me is a safe, secure, “kids-only” social network for “tweens” ages 7-13 which uses patent-pending facial recognition technology, moderation and kid-friendly features to teach kids positive online behavior, Internet safety and related life skills.

    WhatsWhat.me was built for kids under the age of 13 in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The www.WhatsWhat.Me mission is to reach and proactively teach kids about positive online conduct in a safe, secure, kids-only environment, which we’ve developed carefully through technology, human moderation and enforceable community rules.

    Kids will inevitably be join Facebook, with or without their parents knowledge, the real question is will they be prepared to be a responsible digital citizen when the time comes?