Today in Tech: Could Apple’s stock slide cost it the market cap lead?
Also: Facebook introduces Graph Search feature; how the legal system failed Aaron Swartz.
That’s a long way from the all-time high of $702.10 they hit last September. If Apple’s stock continues along this downward trajectory, the company may soon cede its title of world’s largest company by market cap to Exxon Mobil, which it surpassed about a year ago. Apple’s current market capitalization is about $456 billion. Exxon’s is near $407 billion, and its shares have lately been on the rise. Obviously, there’s still quite a gap between the two, but if reports of weaker-than-expected sales of the iPhone 5 continue to dog Apple, or they prove true when the company next reports earnings, who knows?
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu today wrote in a research note to investors that Apple’s reported cuts to component orders have nothing to do with weak demand. Instead, Wu said that while component orders are lower, they’re due to “much improved yields meaning lower component builds and supplier shifts.”
“As far as we can tell, iPhone 5 demand remains robust,” Wu said.
Facebook says users can only search for content that has been already been shared with them. This means if you keep a certain tidbit about yourself limited to just a certain group of people, only they will see that information show up in their search results on Facebook. In other words, different people see different search results, much like how everyone has their own custom News Feed.
How the legal system failed Aaron Swartz — and us [THE NEW YORKER]
I knew Swartz, although not well. And while he was special on account of his programming abilities, in another way he was not special at all: he was just another young man compelled to act rashly when he felt strongly, regardless of the rules. In another time, a man with Swartz’s dark drive would have headed to the frontier. Perhaps he would have ventured out into the wilderness, like T. E. Lawrence or John Muir, or to the top of something death-defying, like Reinhold Messner or Philippe Petit. Swartz possessed a self-destructive drive toward actions that felt right to him, but that were also defiant and, potentially, law-breaking. Like Henry David Thoreau, he chased his own dreams, and he was willing to disobey laws he considered unjust.
As with the site’s last major redesign, the clear emphasis here is on music, and music discovery. There’s an audio deck at the bottom of every page, where users can easily play and add songs to their queues, along with a “People” tab where you can subscribe (or “connect,” in MySpace parlance) to status updates from friends and artists. The site’s “Discover” function, meanwhile, brings up a menu of trending music stories, displayed in a Pinterest-like square layout, which you can browse through by horizontally scrolling across the page. Users can also post status updates, photos, or music to a Twitter-like stream, though it doesn’t appear as if these posts can be synced across Facebook or Twitter.
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