Pentagon approves use of Apple devices

The Defense Department said Friday that it has approved Apple devices for use on its networks, meaning that it can issue its employees iPhones and iPads at the office.

Apple joins Samsung and BlackBerry on a short list of commercial smartphone makers whose devices, the Pentagon says, are secure enough for its workers to use. Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 6 meet that standard, the Defense Department said in a news release.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Pentagon gave a nod this month to Samsung phones that run a business-focused version of Google’s Android mobile operating system and approved BlackBerry’s latest phones.

In recent years, Capitol Hill offices, the State Department, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have allowed their employees to use Apple and Android devices for work.

Before Friday’s official approval, the Defense Department was allowing some of its employees to use iPhones and iPads in a pilot program to evaluate the system’s security.

— Hayley Tsukayama

Yahoo may buy Tumblr, report says

Yahoo may be on the verge of closing its biggest acquisition under chief executive Marissa Mayer, as she tries to attract more traffic and advertising to the Internet company’s Web site.

The technology news site All Things D reported Friday that Yahoo’s board will meet Sunday night to consider whether to approve a proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, a popular online service for sharing stories, photos and other content.

The report from All Things D cited anonymous sources. If Yahoo’s board signs off on the deal, it could be announced Monday.

In an invitation sent Friday, Yahoo promised to unveil “something special” Monday evening in New York.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

l  Transocean shareholders have voted out the oil-drilling company’s chairman and backed one of Carl Icahn’s director nominees. But the oil driller said Friday that its stockholders decided against the billionaire investor’s proposal for a $4 dividend. Under pressure from Icahn, J. Michael Talbert had already said he would retire as chairman by November. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, triggering a massive offshore oil spill.

l  General Motors’ shares on Friday closed above their initial public offering price of $33 for the first time in more than two years. GM shares reached $33.77 Friday before slipping back to close at $33.42, up 3.2 percent. The auto giant sold shares to the public for $33 in a November 2010 IPO, but they’ve traded below that price since May 4, 2011.

l  A measure of the economy’s future health rose solidly in April, buoyed by a sharp rise in applications to build homes and a better job market. The Conference Board said Friday that its index of leading indicators increased 0.6 percent last month to a reading of 95, following a 0.2 percent decline in March.

l  Consumer sentiment rebounded in early May to the highest level in nearly six years, an encouraging sign after recent data that have suggested economic growth is cooling. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment rose to 83.7 from 76.4 in April.

l  Bloomberg appointed former IBM chairman and chief executive Samuel Palmisano as an independent adviser on security and data issues, as the news and financial data company seeks to address customers’ concerns about possible breaches in the confidentiality of their usage data. Bloomberg said last week that its reporters had limited access to some data considered proprietary, including when a customer logs in or looks for information on assets.

— From news services

Coming Next Week

l  In Sunday Business: The World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim turns to a “deliverologist” as he seeks reforms.

l  On Tuesday: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies at a Senate banking committee hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s annual report.