Apple agrees to pay smaller suppliers faster as part of Obama’s new ‘SupplierPay’ program

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According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, President Barack Obama is set to announce a new program called “SupplierPay” to help boost small businesses, and Apple is one of the 26 companies listed as having already signed on.

The program intends to send money down the supply chain and help strengthen contractors and smaller businesses by giving them access to lower-cost capital and thereby opening up opportunities for hiring more workers. This, the White House hopes, will increase investments at the small business level as well. Read more

Samsung fails to obtain Presidential veto from Obama for Apple/ITC import ban case

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With a U.S. import ban previously issued by the ITC set to lock out certain Samsung devices at midnight last night, Bloomberg reports that the company has failed to obtain a veto from President Barack Obama:

The Korean company had argued that the ban should be overturned on public policy grounds, especially since a similar order it won against Apple was vetoed by the administration in August. Samsung can now seek a delay in the ban from a U.S. appeals court that will consider the entire case on legal grounds.

“After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies, and information from interested parties, I have decided to allow” the import ban to proceed, Obama’s designee, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, said in a statement today.

In August, the US International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Apple and issued a sales ban on certain infringing Samsung devices in a long-running case that stemmed from a countersuit originally filed by Apple back in 2011. The news came shortly after the Obama administration’s decision to veto an ITC import ban on certain iPhone and iPad models that Samsung won in a separate case. Like Apple, Samsung was going to attempt to get a veto on the decision by the US President, the only person with the power to overturn ITC import bans.  Read more

US President Obama compares Healthcare.gov’s ‘glitches’ to an Apple product launch

During President Obama’s live remarks addressing the government shutdown and Obamacare site outages today, the U.S President compared the issues with healthcare.gov to an Apple product launch (via WashingtonPost):

Now, like every new law, every new product roll-out, there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix. I’ve been saying this from the start. For example, we found out that there have been times this morning where the site’s been running more slowly than it normally will.

And we’re going to be speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all of this demand that exceeds anything that we had expected. Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t. That’s not how we do things in America. We don’t actively root for failure. We get to work, we make things happen, we make them better, we keep going.

He is of course referring to the release of iOS 7.0.2 last week, which brought fixes for a lock screen passcode bypass flaw and other small issues.

Obama is a confirmed iPad user and is frequently seen carrying around the device so perhaps he’s speaking from some 1st hand experience… Read more

Obama administration plans to curb patent trolling with 5 step plan

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The WSJ reports that after years of worsening patent legislation in the US, the Obama administration has finally decided to try to do something about it.

The president has taken a dim view of certain patent-holding firms. In February, he said some firms “don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea to see if they can extort some money out of them.”

Apple, depending on who you ask, is sometimes the agressor in patent cases but is often the victim of  frivolous lawsuits that often earn these patent holding companies millions and millions of dollars. These companies aren’t really companies at all; instead they are just shell companies built around a patent or a portfolio of patents, which are often overly broad or were never intended to be used in a particular way.

These lawsuits often take place in courts in Eastern Texas, where judges are notoriously friendly to trolling interests.

Some examples of companies who’ve questionably sued Apple or its interests: VirnetXPersonal Audio LLC, Lodsys, Motorola? etc.

The administration’s plans in 5 steps:

Read more

President Obama calls Apple CEO Tim Cook and other CEOs to discuss fiscal cliff and economic growth

CNN reported a White House official confirmed President Barack Obama spoke with CEOs of four Fortune 500 companies over the weekend to “discuss the so-called fiscal cliff and economic growth.” The discussions with the select group of CEOs follow a larger meeting of a dozen American companies at the White House last week. One of the four CEOs invited to join the discussions was Apple’s Tim Cook.

According to the White House, the conversations were part of the President’s “outreach on the need to find a balanced deficit-reduction solution that protects the middle class and continues to move our economy forward.”

The official said Obama spoke with the CEOs of four Fortune 500 companies over the weekend after gathering a dozen CEOs of other major American companies at the White House on Wednesday

The other CEOs included in the discussions were Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Costco’s Craig Jelinek, and Jim McNerney of Boeing. Read more

All of your Election Day apps right here…

9to5Mac scoured Apple’s App Store and the Web for the most talked about, best-rated or just plain interesting apps related to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, the candidates and their respective campaigns, and general news coverage for election night. Check out the roundup below; we will continually update throughout the day.

Oh, and check out the newly published YouTube video above of a voting machine supposedly “altering votes” earlier this morning. Eeek. 

Campaign apps

1. Obama for America by the Democratic Party for iOS | Free
More details on this official campaign app are available in 9to5Mac’s original coverage of its launch.

2. Romney-Ryan for iOS | Free
The official campaign app aggregates the latest news and updates, offers folks a chance to donate, and it provides exclusive campaign information with sharing options friends and family.

Election apps

1. Super PAC App for iOS | Free
Discover more about the presidential election ads on TV. The app identifies commercials from all political groups, including Super PACs, and the official campaigns.

2. 2012 Map: The Presidential Election App for iOS | $1.99
User can create, save, and share 2012 presidential election scenarios with this app that includes “Live” maps updated daily with the newest polling data and “Historical” maps that detail every election from 1789 through 2008.

3. Election 2012 Issues: Obama vs Romney in Their Own Words for iPhone | Free
Answer arguments about candidate’s views with videos of them using their own words. This app is non-partisan and details both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s position.

4. Election Results 2012 for iOS | 99 cents
Real-time election results for GOP primaries, Senate, Governor, House races, and the Presidential elections in November 2012.

5. VoterHub by AT&T for iPhone | Free
This is a “non-partisan clearinghouse for information on the 2012 election season, and future elections, in all 50 states,” with options for checking voter registration status, registering to vote, finding local polling place, getting detailed information on each candidate, and aggregating the latest election news from The Associated Press, etc.

6. Campaign 2012 – Obama vs Romney US Presidential Election News for iOS | Free
A source of up-to-date information about the 2012 U.S. presidential election with continually updated news, opinions, and analysis from many news sources. No subscription fees, either.

7. Electoral Vote Polls for iOS | Free
Electoral-Vote.com tracks the poll numbers for upcoming Senate, House, and Presidential elections. The site is popular, but now folks can now stay informed on the latest poll numbers on an iOS device.

8. 270toWin for iOS | 99 cents
According to the app’s description on the App Store: “It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House. Make your predictions by starting with one of our many library maps. With one touch you are on your way to deciding which states will go to the Republican party, which ones will go to the Democratic party and which ones are leaning, likely or undecided.”  Maps will update on Nov. 6 as states are called.

9. Presidential Election Race 2012 for iPhone | 99 cents
Follow the electoral vote scoreboard and state-by-state poll results, and monitor the swing states with alerts for new polls with the latest election news, a map of how each state is trending, the number of electoral votes for each state, and the history of each state’s voting record since 1940.

10.  Settle It! PolitiFact’s Argument Ender by TIMES Publishing for iOS | Free
Resolve political disputes with this app that checks facts in campaign ads and tests users’ knowledge. Folks can also find fact-checks by searching name, keywords and subject, browse Truth-O-Meter ratings by person and subject, and share their findings by email, Facebook and Twitter.

Read more

How Steve Jobs helped Barack Obama’s re-election campaign get more social and go viral

Barack Obama’s current Campaign Manager Jim Messina revealed recently that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs encouraged him to capitalize on technology in ways that are boosting the president’s re-election efforts.

According to Businessweek, Messina quit his gig as the White House deputy chief of staff in January to become Obama’s 2012 campaign manager. He immediately met with executives at Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, DreamWorks, and more to commence a forward thinking stand for office.

“I went around the country for literally a month of my life interviewing these companies and just talking about organizational growth, emerging technologies, marketing,” said Messina to Businessweek.

He further described two conversations that he had with Jobs while still acting as deputy chief. The Apple co-founder told Messina last year that mobile technology—coupled with social—had to be the primary focus in the re-election effort.

“Last time you were programming to only a couple of channels,” said Jobs, while referring to the Web and email. “This time, you have to program content to a much wider variety of channels—Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Google—because people are segmented in a very different way than they were four years ago.”

Read more

President Obama says America should support aspirations to become the next Steve Jobs

President Obama is wrapping up his State of the Union Address right now. During the event, President Obama made many references to technology as a way to help with economic times. More specifically, President Obama had a pleasant mention for Apple’s late cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs with his widow Laurene Powell Jobs in attendance.

 “That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-tasker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.”

You may remember when Jobs had dinner with President Obama and other successful technology entrepreneurs in February of last year. The discussion revolved around getting people to collaborate and invest in American innovation to promote private sector job growth.

Read more

Jobs to Obama: “You’re headed for a one-term presidency” because the US can’t build factories

The Huffington Post pulls some words that Steve Jobs had for president Obama from Isaacson’s Steve Jobs bio.  On the meeting, Jobs insisted that Obama himself ask for a personal invitation.  They met in the Westin Airport hotel in San Francisco. It sounds like like Jobs is more of a Conservative than “hippy Liberal” in his incredibly blunt words to President Obama:

“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.

Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

That said, Jobs was still willing to help Obama’s re-election campaign…
Read more

Obama could override ITC in any device import blocks by Apple or Google

Didn’t know this:

But another peculiarity of the ITC is that its rulings can be waived by the president. Verizon thinks it would be great if President Obama, in a blanket statement, made clear he would not let stand any decision blocking importation of consumer wireless devices. The parties then would have to recur to normal patent litigation, and whatever rights and wrongs are discovered could be settled by exchanges of cash. Mobile is a rare industry exhibiting growth, job creation and animal spirits. Who needs a paralyzing meltdown?

It will be interesting to see if the President will override if Apple wins any of the blockades it is seeking against Android devices in the ITC.  IF he does, Apple/Google/Microsoft/whoever will have to go through the longer patent dispute process.

Both iPhones and Android devices could be blocked by pending ITC rulings.

Some background: Read more

Caption contest: Biden Shares iPhone app with Obama

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This photo hit the White house Flickr feed earlier today and we can’t help but wonder what they are looking at.  According to the description, it is an App.  Angry Birds?  iFart?

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama look at an app on an iPhone in the Outer Oval Office, Saturday, July 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Help us out? Read more