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TV-PGJanuary 20, 2000: All of Wall Street jumps in to upgrade AAPL after Wednesday's glowing quarterly results. Meanwhile, Steve's obsession with amassing aircraft is revealed, and QuickTime finally says howdy to Applescript...
There was no new episode broadcast on January 22, 2000, so we're still showing you the last episode broadcast before then. (January 20, 2000)
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Analyst Peer Pressure (1/20/00)

Wow, maybe the curse has been lifted! Traditionally when Apple posts better-than-expected end-of-quarter results, Wall Street's reaction is as reliable as it is unfathomable: AAPL's price starts bottoming out faster than the box office receipts for the last "Ernest" flick. But not this time; the day after Apple's latest financial victory, AAPL rallied like a champ, actually hitting a new all-time-high of $121.50 per share in the middle of the day. Once the dust cleared, the stock had closed at $113.50-- still up almost seven points over the previous day's close.

So what was different this time that changed investors' minds? Was it the signs of massive growth? The ton of cash on hand? Steve's new jet? It's gotta be the jet. Well, okay, the jet and the slew of analyst upgrades that cascaded in right after Apple's numbers went public. According to the Mac Observer, upgrading AAPL is the hip new activity making the rounds in the offices of Wall Street analysts these days-- simply everybody is doing it. Kurt King of Banc of America raised his AAPL price target to $145. Richard Chu of SG Cowen moved AAPL from "neutral" to "buy" and raised his price target to $135. Rick Schutte of Goldman Sachs moved Apple to his "Recommended for Purchase" list. Michael Kwatinetz reiterated his "buy" rating and upped his estimates for Apple's fiscal 2000 earnings. And Salomon Smith Barney got back on the bandwagon by upgrading Apple back to "buy."

See? All the cool analysts are doing it. Pretty soon you won't be invited to any A-list financial parties unless AAPL's on your "buy" list, so analysts beware-- peer-group alienation awaits you if you dis Apple. Just imagine, sitting home on a Saturday night, shunned by your former cronies, relabeling your tax files while all the other analysts are out whooping it up. Don't let this happen to you. Upgrade AAPL today!

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Stockpiling Air Power (1/20/00)

Hey, about that jet that Steve received as a "special executive bonus..." Do you suppose there's any particular reason the Board went with a Gulfstream V? Sure, we hear that the GV is the ultimate executive status symbol and all, but we can't help but wonder if there was another factor to the decision, especially after eagle-eyed faithful viewer Harold noticed something interesting while cruising the Gulfstream web site. If you like, you can take a virtual gander at the interior of Steve's new plane-- via the magic of QuickTime VR.

So the company that's providing the planes for Apple's fleet is using Apple technology to hawk its wares. Coincidence? Not likely. Something's going on behind the scenes of these two companies-- probably something sinister. According to the New York Times, Steve claims that the whole "let's give him a jet" idea was the rest of the Board's, not his: "They thought of this, and it's something I'll probably actually use, and it's something I'd probably never have bought myself." But we know better than to take his Surprised Little Boy act at face value, right? He obviously RDF'd the Board into giving him this plane. The one marketed using QuickTime VR.

To what end, you ask? Well, first he bought that helicopter, and now he's managed to shmooze a jet... Faithful viewer Caleb Wilkerstan knows where this is going. "You think Steve's just going to use the plane and the helicopter for his business? Don't you see? He's slowly amassing an air force!" As for that extra $45 million on Apple's books supposedly to help defray Steve's tax bill following the gift of the jet, Caleb notes that "you can pick up a relatively good MiG-29 for a cool $25 million on the black market." And if Steve cashes in on those ten million shares he managed to squeeze, he'll have plenty of money to build a small armed fleet. It's all just another step in the plan for world domination. Duck and cover...

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QuickTime Gets Scripty (1/20/00)

Amid little to no fanfare, QuickTime 4.1 is now available for your streaming pleasure. Those of you who keep up on this stuff probably recall that this latest version has actually been completed for several weeks-- for a while it was mistakenly made publicly available on one of Apple's European download servers earlier in the month. That's why we were so darn surprised not to see QuickTime 4.1 make its official premiere during Steve's Macworld Expo keynote a couple of weeks back. According to Mac the Knife, the holdup wasn't the software itself, but Akamai's servers, which weren't ready to carry the new architecture. Go figure.

As for what QuickTime 4.1 brings to the party, well, a lot of it might not sound all that impressive to you as an end-user. According to a MacWEEK article, 4.1 brings such e-commerce advances as the ability to insert ads into video streams and support for "pay-per-view" authentication. From an end-user standpoint, the biggest new features are probably support for variable bit-rate (VBR) MP3 files, HTTP tunneling (which may make streaming video more easily available for those of you trying to tune in from behind a firewall), and Applescript support.

Now, we're not going to pretend that the e-commerce features of QuickTime 4.1 are no big deal-- we bet QuickTime's going to get a healthy boost in market share on the web once the, uh, "adult entertainment" industry realizes what those new features have to offer. For us, though, the big advance is Applescript support. We love Applescript. It's a fun, relatively easy-to-learn way to automate all kinds of drudge work that you might do on your Mac. The fact that the QuickTime Player has never had decent Applescript support has bugged us for years. Now, though, Apple's finally made good: not only did they add Applescript support to the player, but they also posted a slew of sample scripts to get us started. Something new to play with...

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Previously, on As the Apple Turns...

TV-PGJanuary 19, 2000: More black ink. Is anyone surprised? Meanwhile, Steve Jobs gets a buck a year, a hearty round of thanks, a ton of stock options, and his own jet, while strife continues overseas as Apple lays off more workers in the UK and Germany...

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