Okay, okay, I'll get an iPhone 3G!

My very first meaningful blog post here (after an introduction), from June 23, 2007, was titled "Why I'm not getting an iPhone".

Let me review my reasons at the time:

The original iPhone couldn't really do any more for me than my Palm Treo 650. The iPhone couldn't be used to connect my laptop to the Internet. No voice-memo support. No 3G networking. Not enough storage capacity. No native apps from third-party developers. No high-res screen.

Okay, what's changed?

Well, the iPhone 3G still… Read more

Jobs, Apple directors face new backdating suit

Current and former members of Apple, including CEO Steve Jobs and several directors, have been sued again over their role in the company's stock options-backdating affair.

The latest case, filed in federal court in San Jose last Friday, was put on record Monday. Martin Vogel and Kenneth Mahoney, the plaintiffs, are charging several executives and directors of Apple with securities fraud for failing to disclose the company's practice of backdating certain stock option grants in the early part of this decade.

Apple has admitted that the company backdated certain option grants, including two awarded to Jobs, in order … Read more

Google CFO could be millionaire in months

It looks like Patrick Pichette, Google's new chief financial officer, will be rewarded for his new job with up to $2.125 million after the first year if he earns his full bonus.

According to his employment offer letter, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pichette will receive a salary of $450,000 and an annual bonus up to one and half times that amount.

Pichette also gets a signing bonus of $500,000 and another cash bonus of $500,000 after 6 months at the search and advertising giant--though he must pay a prorated amount back if … Read more

Brocade hopes to turn page with $160 million payment

Correction: The dollar figure in the headline has been changed to accurately reflect the story.

From a public relations perspective, this hasn't been an auspicious year for Brocade Communications.

In January, the company's former CEO got hit with a long jail sentence for criminal misconduct. Now it's going to cost a cool $160 million for Brocade Communications to settle a federal securities class action lawsuit tied to the company's stock option backdating practices.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon, the company said it had recorded a pretax expense of $160 million related to the settlement … Read more

Dysfunctional executive watch

Here's the first installment of Train Wreck's first recurring post: Dysfunctional Executive Watch. It'll show up whenever there's enough material. Enjoy the lunacy, and let us know if you've got something to report.

You've got fraud On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against eight former executives of AOL Time Warner for fraudulently inflating online advertising revenue by more than $1 billion. Four of the executives agreed to pay millions in fines and return ill-gotten gains. Charges against the other four, including former CFO John Michael Kelly, are still pending.

The company had previously agreed to fork over $500 million to settle civil and criminal charges brought by the SEC and the Justice Department.… Read more

SEC charges current, former Broadcom execs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two current and two former key executives of chipmaker Broadcom with backdating stock options.

The SEC announced Wednesday it had filed a federal complaint against Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Henry Samueli and general counsel David Dull, as well as former Chief Executive Officer Henry Nicholas and former Chief Financial Officer William Ruehle. The chipmaker later announced that Samueli and Dull had taken leaves of absence from their positions until the matter is resolved.

Samueli, who co-founded the company, also resigned as chairman of the board. The board appointed director John Major to … Read more

SEC suit recommended against Google director

Ann Mather, a Google board member, could well find herself on the receiving end of a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit regarding stock option transactions made while she was chief financial officer at Pixar Animation Studios.

"On April 23, 2008, Ann was advised by the staff of the Los Angeles office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it intends to recommend that the SEC initiate a civil proceeding against her, alleging violation of federal securities laws related to certain stock option transactions involving her former employer, Pixar Animation Studios," Google said in a regulatory filing Monday. … Read more

Apple hit with another backdating lawsuit

Apple faces a new lawsuit filed by shareholders angry over its stock option backdating practices.

Several shareholder suits have already been filed, but the latest one comes from the Boston Retirement Board, according to Andrews Publications over at Findlaw. This group claims to have "confidential information" regarding Apple's stock option backdating obtained through an inquiry via the Santa Clara County Superior Court, according to the article. However, it says it can't publish that information until a judge rules on how to treat the sensitive documents.

Apple acknowledged in late 2006 after an internal investigation that certain … Read more

Start Windows in an Instant

No two jobs are alike, but one thing millions of us have in common is the daily wait for Windows to get going. Why can't our PCs start as quickly as our radios, TVs, and other electronic devices?

Well, the instant-on PC isn't likely to arrive anytime soon, but you can get your workday rolling without having to stare down that annoying Windows logo. The simplest solution is to set Windows' Power Options to send your system into XP's standby or Vista's sleep mode after it has been idle for a while. Then you can simply … Read more

Want to make a fortune at Google? Rub lots of backs

Some people at Google slave away at building a better search engine, or enabling social networks like Orkut, or helping people find directions to places. Not Bonnie Brown. She rubs people's backs. And she has made multiple millions doing so.

Ms. Brown didn't get rich on her salary. In fact, Google paid her a miserly $450 per week (part-time, mind you). No, it was her stock options that have crowned her queen of the massage parlor.

She's not alone, either. There are apparently lots of millionaire-masseuses-in-waiting at Google:

It is estimated that 1,000 employees, Ms Brown among them, have accrued fortunes worth at least $5 million apiece from the nine-year-old web giant's rise and rise. The money has flowed from Google's stranglehold of the hugely lucrative online advertising market (it reported revenues of $7.5 billion in the first half of the year alone) and investors? seemingly insatiable appetite for the group?s shares. Yesterday, the company, founded in a garage by two students, sported a stock market value of some $207 billion.… Read more