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Rumor: Deciphering Apple's 'fun' event

When Apple Computer this week sent out an invitation to a "fun" announcement at the company's headquarters, it may well have been handing out crack to rumor junkies. Here's a couple of the latest rocks people are pressing into their pipes:

After apparently using an Enigma machine to decipher the true meaning of the 8-word announcement, three analysts at Bear Stearns seized on the words "fun" and "new" to determine that "the most likely products are either a tablet-size iPod or larger HDTV-based iPod--both of which we discussed in our report 'iPod Vectors' (January 25, 2006). While more Intel-based products (new iBook or iMacs) or a phone are possible, neither strikes us as 'fun' or 'new.'" (How many invites has Apple sent out that used the words "boring," "mundane" or "old?")

Meanwhile, an analyst at American Technology Research--working entirely independently from the Bears Stearns sleuths--concluded "there is a greater-than-50 per cent chance that Apple will announce its first, full-length feature films available for download on iTunes." Greater than 50 percent? Brilliant. Of course, he adds that "there is a chance that Steve Jobs will make an announcement that no one anticipated. We will not attempt to guess what it is and let Steve surprise us." So that wasn't a guess on the movie downloads?

By the way, where's that rumored Apple plasma TV with the built in computer, or the cell phone it's designing or that tablet-style PC everyone's been waiting for? Such slackers in Cupertino. Side note: As Apple extends well beyond making computers, the name "Apple Computer" seems a bit dated. Perhaps it's time to just go with Apple. And while they're at it, "iTunes" no longer seems to fit, considering all the video offerings on the service--especially when/if movies are included.