HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap??

Has HP lost their minds?

Leo Apotheker’s days as HP’s CEO look to be over after less than a year at the helm.

Can Meg Whitman do what Leo Apotheker couldn’t for HP?

Looks like we may find out fairly soon. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD is reporting that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is being considered by HP’s board as a replacement for Leo Apotheker.

This swap isn’t a done deal, but just the fact that multiple sources are telling Swisher that Whitman is an option indicates Apotheker’s days may be numbered.Bloomberg is also reporting that Apotheker, who took over at HP on Sept. 30, 2010, is close to getting the boot.

Whitman has the chops since she ran eBay, which was a large organization. It also doesn’t hurt that Whitman has worked at Procter & Gamble, Disney and as a consultant at Bain.

HP could clearly use a whiteboard and some strategic thinking from an outsider. Apotheker’s missteps are numerous. Here’s the short recap:

Add it up and the Apotheker era hasn’t been a good one for HP and the board looks like it wants to start anew even though changing CEOs after just a few months is very embarrassing. The largest question for HP is this: What exactly does the company stand for? Today, HP is sort of an IBM-lite as it tries to do hardware and software while ditching low margin businesses like PCs. Who knows what Whitman will do.

On the bright side, at least Apotheker’s tenure will have lasted longer than the TouchPad—but not by much.

Investors liked the idea of Apotheker leaving HP.

What is next?

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SEAGATE ANNOUNCES 4TB EXTERNAL DRIVE

The 4TB GoFlex Desk drive will retail for $249.99 and is expected to be available through online retailers within the month. UK pricing has not yet been confirmed. The new drive will be able to hold 2,000 high-definition movies or about one million .mp3 music files.

The drive is the latest in the GoFlex product family launched last year . The new GoFlex Desk represents the line’s first redesign, and it features a sharper “industrial look” with a smaller footprint. The entire line of GoFlex drives will adopt the new industrial design over the next few weeks.

Seagate chose to use a USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) connection on the new drive instead of one that uses the latest USB 3.0 (5Gbit/sec) SuperSpeed specification.

The company does, however, provide a USB 3.0 adapter that also features an illuminated gauge to display available space on the drive

Seagate said in a statement that with USB 3.0 still maturing and Apple now pushing Thunderbolt I/O technology, the adapter made more sense for use with existing desktops and laptops.

The GoFlex Desk comes with pre-loaded backup software that provides automatic, continuous back-ups with encryption for all stored files.

The GoFlex Desk for Mac external drive features both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month.

“Yet another industry first for Seagate, we have reached a new high-capacity in the 3.5-inch hard drive form factor,” Patrick Connolly, general manager of retail products for Seagate, said in a statement.

The GoFlex drives are Windows and Mac OS X compatible and have the flexibility to go between both operating systems. In addition to cross-platform compatibility, the GoFlex Desk drive can also be utilized with the GoFlex Home adapter if an owner chooses to use it as a network drive.

Google Launches Offline Versions of Gmail, Calendar & Docs

Google is launching a new Gmail web app and updates to Calendarand Docs, in an effort to increase its products’ offline utility.

Google users have called bringing Gmail, Calendar and Docs offline an essential step for improving productivity, Group Product Manager Rajen Sheth told Mashable. The problem, he explained, is that when users need offline access to their email or calendar, they really need it.

To that end, Google is launching a new Chrome app called Gmail Offline. Separate from Gmail itself, the new app is designed for accessing, managing and sending email while you’re disconnected from the web. “We can build on top of a lot of HTML5 standards, which gives us the capabilities to make it work offline,” Sheth said.

The HTML5 app looks and feels a lot like the Gmail app for tablets. That’s because Gmail Offline is based off the tablet version, which was designed to function with or without Internet access. It focuses on the key features users need to access while offline, including organizing, starring, labeling, archiving and responding to email. It won’t give you access to Gmail Labs features, but it will get the job done.

In addition to the Gmail Offline app, Google is rolling out the ability to access Calendar and Docs offline. The feature, available by clicking the gear icon at the top of the page, lets you view events and RSVP to appointments in Calendar and view documents in Docs. Offline document editing isn’t available yet, but Google promises to find a way to make it work. Part of the problem is finding a way to make sure document edits made offline don’t override edits made by online collaborators.

The apps are only available through the Chrome Web Store at the moment. If you try to use the Calendar or Docs offline features, you will be prompted to first install Chrome. Google says that it intends to roll out its offline apps to other browsers once they support the functionality.