Jobs' talks at earnings conference call. Apple shares up

Steve Jobs appears on Apple Q4 earnings call; Palin apologizes for 'patriotic small towns' remarks; Wal-Mart reveals stricter ethical guidelines in China; and more

The last time Apple held a quarterly earnings call, rumors abounded that CEO Steve Jobs' health was in serious decline. So during the company's October 21 fiscal fourth-quarter earnings phoner, Jobs appeared – for the first time in eight years - trumpeting Apple's new status as the world's third-largest mobile phone supplier, behind Nokia and Samsung.

During a question-and-answer session, Jobs said that the company “has some pretty interesting ideas” for a 'netbook,' but the market for Internet-focused laptops is now a “nascent category.”

After Apple released its earnings and Jobs said, “We may get buffeted by the waves a bit, but we'll be fine,” Apple shares surged more than 14%, or $12.84.

Also:

Wal-Mart chooses a Beijing gathering of more than 1,000 suppliers, government officials, and advocacy groups to announce stricter ethical and environmental requirements for manufacturers.

Gov. Sarah Palin apologizes for telling supporters that Americans in small towns are more patriotic than those in other areas of the country.

Meanwhile, rumors abound that Sen. Barack Obama will follow Palin's lead and appear on Saturday Night Live before the election.

Bill O'Reilly signs a four-year deal with Fox News Channel estimated at more than $10 million annually for four years.

A study by the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for the Digital Future reveals that men are more likely to be attached to online acquaintances than women.

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