Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 8th, 2005, 01:18
Category: privacy

sony-bmg-logo.jpgA reader sent me this excellent email from Alex Reynolds on Sony’s surreptitiously installing rootkits on unsuspecting PCs when a user plays one of their CDs:

To be clear, these are not CDs. These discs do not conform with the CD format and releases omit the CD logo on the packaging.
Here’s information about the Copy Control format that EMI and Sony uses, which includes Sony’s trojan horse. Copy Control discs carry their own Mac OS 9 player, apparently; iTunes cannot be used to play the disc’s music. No mention is made of an OS X or Linux player.
If you want to warn your users to help avoid trashing Windows
machines and incurring support demands, here is a list of releases using Copy Control.

Needless to say you should probably avoid buying any of the above CDs if you care about your privacy, and you should probably boycott SonyBGM and EMI entirely if you give a damn. -Ed

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Capacity Meter 1.1.1 a Must-Have for PowerBookers

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 8th, 2005, 01:06
Category: Accessory

capacity-meter-ss.jpgIs your PowerBook battery not quite lasting the advertised 4.5 hours? Well no one’s does, but you should be be able to get at least 3 hours and 45 minutes according to Apple. If you’re getting something less, your battery is probably getting a little old and has lost some of its capacity.
Branden Keller’s excellent freeware tool Capacity Meter 1.1.1 is truly a must-have utility for all PowerBook users.
Capacity Meter displays and tracks information about your PowerBooks battery, including capacity, amperage, current, and voltage. Using this information and your machine’s specifications, Capacity Meter will let you know the current status of your battery and track degradation over time.
Capacity Meter 1.1.1 is Tiger compatible and free, so check your battery today.

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The Apple Core: PowerBook Battery Shenanigans

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 8th, 2005, 01:18
Category: The Apple Core

apple-battery.jpgThe Apple developer note for the new PowerBook announced on 19 October 2005 (1440 by 960 pixels) appears to contain conflicting information about its battery capacity: on page 11 it says: “the computer has a 6-cell battery pack that uses lithium ion cells and provides 50 watt-hours at 12.8 V (nominal) for up to 6 hours.” But on page 12 it claims a “50 watt-hours battery with up to 5.5 hours operation.”
So where does the new PowerBook get the extra hour, or hour-and-a-half, of extra run time over the previous model’s quoted “4.5 hours operation?” The previous model PowerBook also ships with a “50 watt-hours” battery, so it must either be advanced power management ASICs on the logic board or creative marketing.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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More on AC Adapters

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 7th, 2005, 22:12
Category: Accessory

madsonline-microadapter.jpgTidbits’ Travis Butler has posted a follow-up to his article Comparing Three AC Adapters:

After last week’s article on PowerBook AC adapters was published (see “Comparing Three AC Adapters” in TidBITS-803), I’ve received several messages from people about the MadsonLine MicroAdapter and the MacAlly adapter – specifically, about the amount of power they provide.
I wrote that the MicroAdapter wasn’t recommended for use with newer PowerBooks (the 1 GHz PowerBook G4 Titanium, and all of the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks) because it provides only 45 watts of power, compared with the 65 watts provided by the adapter Apple ships. Several people wrote in to say they were, in fact, using the MicroAdapter with those machines, and that it appeared to work fine – though some reported the adapter getting “pretty warm.” One person suggested the overheating was the main reason MadsonLine had to disclaim using it; another that the higher wattage requirement on newer PowerBooks was only under peak usage, and that when performing less-intensive tasks a lower-power adapter works fine.

Read the rest of the article at Tidbits.

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The Apple Core: Intel PowerBooks Ahead of Schedule

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 7th, 2005, 02:40
Category: The Apple Core

intel-inside-apple.jpgAppleInsider is reporting that Apple’s Intel PowerBooks and iBooks are ahead of schedule and could arrive as soon as April or May 2006. Originally slated for June of 2006, AI reports that iBooks are expected a little earlier than that to meet the educational buying window for the 2006/2007 academic year.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Trifle Speakers for the iPod Shuffle

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 7th, 2005, 01:17
Category: iPod

trifle.jpgTrifle is a cool little sound system that works with the iPod shuffle and nano. It sits on a tabletop and delivers “music sans ear buds.” It is powered by an AAA battery and has an ON/OFF switch to conserve battery when you’re not using it. The sound quality is reported to be good although it is not recommended for noisy environments. Trifle is available for US$30 from Madsonline.

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Eminem iPod Commercial a Lugs Ripoff? (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 7th, 2005, 01:23
Category: iPod

ipod-eminem.jpg
It seems the new iPod TV commercial featuring Eminem is “very heavily inspired” by an old Lugz commercial (from 2002) that psyop did a few years back.
UPDATE: According to AppleInsider “Lugz footwear has sent a cease-and-desist letter to both Apple Computer and its ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, over similarities between a commercial “Arrow,” which Lugz aired in 2002, and a spot with Eminem that launched earlier this month for Apple’s iPod and iTunes, AdWeek is reporting.”
Think Legal!

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TechRestore Launches New Overnight iPod Battery Upgrade Service

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, November 6th, 2005, 23:42
Category: iPod

techrestore_ipod_battery.jpegTechRestore, Inc. (a sponsor of this site) has begun offering a new overnight iPod battery upgrade service for all full sized iPod models. The service includes the replacement of the standard iPod battery with a TechRestore high capacity battery with up to 20-hours of playback time. The TechRestore Overnight iPod Battery Upgrade is available for US$49 (in the continental United States.) The service includes overnight pickup of the users iPod at their location, installation of a replacement high capacity iPod battery and return overnight shipping to the users location. The users old iPod battery is then recycled in conjunction with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation.
To schedule battery upgrade service, visit http://ipodrestore.com or call 1-877-For-iPod.

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REMINDER: PPUG Meets Saturday

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 4th, 2005, 15:37
Category: User Group

PPUG.jpgPPUG (Philadelphia PowerBook Users Group) will have its last meeting of 2005 on Saturday, November 5, 2005. The meeting will take place from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant. We usually have lunch (or a brew) while we talk mobile computing. We will have Jason O’Grady, editor of the PowerPage on hand to talk about his latest ventures. Topics will include the upcoming Macworld Expo 2006, new iPods, podcasting, gadgets and a question-and-answer period. Join us for a great meeting, and it’s free — open to all and guests.
You can view PPUG calendar dates or subscribe to the PPUG calendar (via iCal).

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Griffin Updates Airclick USB Remote Software

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 4th, 2005, 13:44
Category: Software

airclick.jpgGriffin Technology announced today an update to the Mac OS X version of its AirClick USB Remote software. This significant revision adds support for more applications and numerous new features.
AirClick USB Remote (US$40) is unique in a crowded field of products because it uses RF signals allowing it to transmit up to 60 ft., even through walls. Most remote controls use IR technology, which relies on line-of-sight, and works only over relatively short distances. There are no line-of-sight limitations with Griffin AirClick. With the software update, AirClick USB is now more versatile and powerful.
Now where’s the hack to make it work with Front Row?

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