FST News in Brief – Madoff Suicide, Apple

Mark Madoff suicide

Mark Madoff, the eldest son of disgraced financer Bernard, was found hanged in his Manhattan apartment in December.

This latest casualty is another in the saga that sent Bernard Madoff to prison and swindled thousands of their life savings. The suicide took place on Saturday December 11- the second anniversary of his fathers arrest for the worst investment fraud in American history. Mark Madoff, 46, was found dead in the living room of his Soho loft. He was hanging from a black dog leash while his 2-year-old son slept nearby.

Those closest to Mark Madoff said he was despondent over press coverage of his father’s case, an ongoing criminal investigation of Madoff family members in the multibillion-dollar scheme and his struggle to rebuild his life.

The convicted Ponzi-schemer Bernard will not attend the funeral of his son out of consideration for his daughter-in-law and grandchildren, attorney Ira Sorkin said. Bernard, 71, is at the Butner Federal Correction Complex, a medium security prison in eastern North Carolina, where he is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

Madoff fooled investors out of their money by masquerading as the head of a legitimate investment firm while using funds from new investors to send payments to his earlier investors, falsely portraying them as proceeds when they were actually stolen money, prosecutors said.

Madoff’s criminal activities began a tidal wave of civil actions against Mark Madoff, his mother, siblings and hundreds of other defendants, accused of profiting off the Ponzi scheme by withdrawing more money from Madoff’s fund than they invested, money they presumably thought was investment income.

Head to head

Apple is still the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer, as it had been for over a year, but there are signs that the iPhone is approaching saturation in the developer community. In a Millenial survey, Android was the No. 1 platform developers plan to support in 2011, with Microsoft’s Window Phone 7 and the iPad tied for second. The iPhone was relegated to fourth place, after the Blackberry.

The extraordinary growth of Google’s Android phones can be traced in six months of smartphone advertising data from Millenial Media, the largest independent mobile ad network,

Through a series of pie charts, they show Android overtaking Research in Motion’s (RIMM) Blackberry between June and July in ad impressions, gaining rapidly on Apple’s iPhone between July and September and finally coming even with Ios in October with a 37 percent share apiece.

However, Millenial’s November report shows that Android and iOS tied for the second month in a row, at 38 percent each. After six months of gains, there is now something that looks like equilibrium.

Apple puts sharp focus on camera development

Apple have released a flurry of imaging related patents showcasing the effort it’s putting in to improve the camera on the iPhone.

The development came out on top of the iPhone’s High Dynamic Range feature that Steve Jobs demoed last September. They indicate, as Patently Apple’s Jack Purcher put its, “the importance that Apple is facing on cameras within the context of the greater iOS device revolution.”

Purchers highlights three of the patens: One for correcting blurry photos, another for masking skin tones and a third for reducing radically-based chroma noise.

Google is most searched

Apple’s iPad lost by a hair to number one Chatrouletee in Google’s list of the fastest rising search terms for 2010.

Twitter was number eight and Facebook number ten. Android did not make the list.

In the consumer electronics category, the iPad was number one and the iPhone 4 number two. Android didn’t make this list either, but an Android phone- the HTC Evo 4G- did.

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