Apple Can't Strongarm Bloggers

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 12th, 2005, 22:41
Category: Archive

EFF Defends Rights of Reporters Who Published Asteroid News Stories on Blogs
Santa Clara, CA – Only weeks before Macworld, the nation’s biggest annual trade show devoted to Apple products, Apple sent legal threats to the publishers of the Mac-centric weblogs AppleInsider and PowerPage for posting information about a product code-named “Asteroid.” Apple-watchers believe this product will be announced at Macworld. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing the publishers to protect their right to keep confidential the identities of the people who supplied them with the information.
On December 13, Apple filed suit against “Does 1-20” in a Santa Clara court. The company obtained a court order that allows it to issue subpoenas to AppleInsider and PowerPage for the names of the “Does” who allegedly leaked the information in question. EFF is defending the publishers against these subpoenas, arguing that the anonymity of bloggers’ sources is protected by the same laws that protect sources providing information to journalists.
“Bloggers break the news, just like journalists do. They must be able to promise confidentiality in order to maintain the free flow of information,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. “Without legal protection, informants will refuse to talk to reporters, diminishing the power of the open press that is the cornerstone of a free society.”
“I am very disappointed by Apple’s behavior and its new policy of issuing legal threats to its best customers,” added Jason O’Grady, publisher of PowerPage. “Is corporate paranoia really more important than the First Amendment?”


T-Mobile: Get (Hacked) More

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 12th, 2005, 22:49
Category: Mobile Phone

SecurityFocus’ Kevin Poulsen broke a story about a 21-year-old hacker that had access to T-Mobile’s customers names, addresses, social security numbers, voicemail passwords, and get this, their Sidekick photos. What’s worse is that he also nabbed some pretty sensitive email from the US Secret Service. Why the hell are those guys sending confidential email from their Sidekicks anyway?

A sophisticated computer hacker had access to servers at wireless giant T-Mobile for at least a year, which he used to monitor U.S. Secret Service e-mail, obtain customers’ passwords and Social Security numbers, and download candid photos taken by Sidekick users, including Hollywood celebrities, SecurityFocus has learned.
Twenty-one year-old Nicolas Jacobsen was quietly charged with the intrusions last October, after a Secret Service informant helped investigators link him to sensitive agency documents that were circulating in underground IRC chat rooms. The informant also produced evidence that Jacobsen was behind an offer to provide T-Mobile customers’ personal information to identity thieves through an Internet bulletin board, according to court records.

The PowerPage are huge GSM and T-Mo advocates and we’re wondering what the company is going to do to compensate the victims of this attack and prevent it from happening again? Verizon, can you hear me now?
Read more:
T-Mobile: Hacker had limited access (CNet)
Hacker breaches T-Mobile systems, reads US Secret Service email (The Register)
Hacker Penetrates T-Mobile Systems (Slashdot)


WSJ: Test-Driving the $99 iPod

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 12th, 2005, 13:42
Category: Hardware, iPod

iPod ShuffleThe Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg test drives the new iPod Shuffle in his Personal Technology column:

I can understand the allure of shuffle play, and of carrying around just a subset of your music. I most frequently use my larger iPods on Shuffle mode. And, like most people, I play favorite songs more often than others, even though my whole music collection is loaded on my bigger iPod.
But, the lack of a screen on the Shuffle would bug me, personally. I really enjoy seeing the song information while I play music. It’s one of the big advantages digital music players have over playing CDs. Of course, joggers and others who listen to music while they work out won’t miss the screen, because they are rarely in a position to watch it, and the fact that the Shuffle is small and lacks a delicate hard disk will make exercising with it appealing.
There are a few design downsides to the iPod Shuffle. The lack of a screen means you can’t use playlists of collected songs on it, because you have no way to select such a list. For many people, play lists are a key part of the iPod experience.
The Shuffle also lacks many of the extra features of the bigger iPods, such as various equalization settings for music playback, and the ability to display calendar and contact information.
And I found the three-way mode button on the back difficult to move. I was forced to press it so tightly that I often tripped the playback controls on the other side.

Read the rest of the column at The Mossberg Solution.
What’s your take on the iPod shuffle? Gotta have one or stripped-down tongue depressor?


shuffle Different

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 12th, 2005, 10:04
Category: iPod, music

What exactly is the iPod shuffle about. It is about extending into the realm of the flash based players while making absolutely sure that it does not cannibalize real iPod sales. Where the iPod mini bested the full scale iPod in every way but storage capacity, the iPod shuffle is either a teaser or supplement to the iPod experience. It is as much an iPod accessory as it is an iPod.


MWSF05: A Look at iWork

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 16:21
Category: Software

iWork '05Apple’s new iWork productivity suite strikes me as a curious beast. Pages and Keynote 2.0 make beautiful documents and presentations yet it seems that Apple recommends you have iLife on your system too. From Apple’s initial marketing pages (oh what a word to choose) it seems that integration is the word of the day – using movies, pictures and pages to make your Keynote presentation fly. Read on…


Apple Gets Hit by the Ugly Stick

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 16:08
Category: Archive

SAN FRANCISCO — After seeing Apple’s new hardware announcements today, one word comes to mind – UGLY. The emperor has no clothes, there, I’ve said it.
Take a look at the iPod Shuffle, it looks like a combination of one of those cheapo digital cameras combined with a digital thermometer. Yuck. No Apple design flair whatsoever.
Also, I was expecting Apple to do something innovative with the lanyard like include the headphones in it, instead you plug headphones into the bottom (top?) and the result is a mass of spaghetti hanging from your neck. The spaghetti problem is blatantly obvious in the new TV ads where people are dancing around with them around their necks. I bet we’ll start hearing stories really soon now about how the lanyard/headphone combination gets caught car doors, etc.
While we’re at it, take a good long look at the Mac mini. It looks like an external hard drive from 1999. While not quite as ugly as the iPod Shuffle, it has absolutely no redeeming design values whatsoever! What? It’s rounded? Big whoop! Maybe they should have called it the Mac SCSI?
Folks, face it. The new Apple hardware is butt ugly. Was Jonthan Ive involved in these designs? Curiously, Ive was noticably absent from the promotional videos usually played during the keynote.
I know that both products have their market and that they’ll sell lots of them, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like them. Frankly, I expect more from Apple’s design team and I am extremely underwhelmed and disappointed.
Don’t be an Apple apologist! Steve has no clothes.


Apple Plays for Growth

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:01
Category: Archive

It’s quick-spin time, so get ready: this is the Macworld we’ve been waiting for.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: the Macworld you (and I) are waiting for is the one with faster Mac towers and G5 PowerBooks. But for years, we’ve watched as Apple has been content to be a niche player, milking the faithful (that’s you and me) for all we’re worth. Apple’s market share hasn’t really grown since the crash in the 90s. Profits, revenues, all up — but the Mac languishes. For the pro market, that’s been a big deal. Don’t believe the hype: a LOT of production in audio and video is now on PCs, in what was once an all-Mac nirvana.


GarageBand 2 Revealed

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:57
Category: Archive

GarageBand 2 gets one of the biggest upgrades in iLife `05 (second only to iMovie). No audio interface hardware as rumored, but here’s the scoop:
Good news: More features inherited from Logic — live viewing and editing of notation, automatic pitch correction and groove correction, built-in guitar tuner, instant save to loop library and (drum roll!) finally supports MIDI import.
Bad news: (As far as we can tell) no MIDI export and no printing of notation. Those are “pro” features, apparently, according to Apple. (Stay tuned, though, I’m hoping they added this and didn’t tell anyone.)
See full details at, where I’ll be posting updates.


Mac mini for me and you

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:24
Category: Announcement

The new Mac mini. It just had to be more than a cheap headless desktop computer, but it is far less. It?s a laptop without a screen or keyboard or battery. It?s an external drive with a computer squeezed in. Cheap PCs are mostly towers, generic boxes that can be added to, but are largely hollow, empty and without style. They are desktop behemoths with no guts. The Mac mini is flexible because it is small. read on……


MWSF05: Key Notes

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 15:20
Category: Archive

Just past the link are my blow-by-blow notes from the today’s keynote address by Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo San Francisco. Please pardon obvious mistakes and typos….