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December 7, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 7, 2012

Apple to Move Some Manufacturing Back to U.S.

Apple will dig deep into its coffers next year to build Mac computers in the U.S.

The $100-million-plus plan means the company will transfer a small slice of manufacturing away from China, where its products have been produced for years.

“Next year we’re going to bring some production to the U.S.,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek. “This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people and we’ll be investing our money.”

Apple moved manufacturing to China from the U.S. in the late 1990s to benefit from the country’s lower labor costs.

The plan will barely put a dent in Apple’s $121.3 billion in cash, and is unlikely to have much impact on profit margins.

Bloomberg Businessweek described the move as a reflection of the pressure companies now face to create domestic jobs as the unemployment rate sits at about eight percent and the economy rebounds from the recession that ended in 2009.

“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Cook said. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.”

Hackers Target Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff        

The FBI is hot on the trail of overseas hackers who targeted the computers of retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The hackers targeted the retired admiral’s personal computers, used while working on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy since his retirement in 2011, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

Sources told WSJ FBI agents took two computers for examination in late October and returned them in mid-November.

The article said evidence indicated China was the origin of the hacking. It was also discovered the hackers accessed Mullen’s personal e-mail.

Mullen’s office issued a statement to the WSJ: “Adm. Mullen, now a private citizen, has responded to very specific requests and is co-operating with an ongoing cyber investigation he has been informed is focused overseas.”

Facebook Reportedly Hoping to Buy Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions

Facebook may be teaming up with Microsoft to create an external advertising network.

News reports indicate the social media site has expressed interest in purchasing Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions, an ad platform that Microsoft bought in 2007 as part of its $6-billion acquisition of aQuantive.

Microsoft, reportedly, is now looking to sell and Facebook seems to be first in line, according to Business Insider.

With such a purchase, Facebook would be able to offer an external ad network to serve its ads on third-party properties.

Such a purchase would also make Facebook more competitive with Google.