Apple May Serve As Its Own Wireless Carrier

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Date: Thursday, December 14th, 2006, 07:19
Category: Rumor

An article on Bloomberg.com quotes UBS AG analyst Benjamin Reitzes as stating that Apple Computer may have to serve as its own wireless carrier as well as rely on its own network of retail stores to sell service contracts on a widely-anticipated call phone device (the “iPhone”) expected for release at Macworld Expo next month.
Reitzes also commented that in order for Apple to operate as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, the company may partner with Cingular Wireless, a move that would make sense since rumored details of the product don’t tie it down to any single major provider.
The iPhone is expected to be a combination music player and cell phone while rumors of the device state that it will offer additional features such as individual battery cores for the music player and phone components and PDA-like features.
It’s a case of wait-and-see for the next month, but to see Apple function as its own wireless provider (and perhaps offering something new that your current provider doesn’t) seems interesting.
If you have any opinions, ideas or suggestions about this from your end, please let us know.

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VLC 0.8.6 Released, Becomes Universal Binary

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 10:32
Category: Software

Video Lan Client (VLC), the popular free “catch-all” media player for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux (where QuickTime falls short or isn’t licensed to play a format, this has become the easy substitute), has been updated to version 0.8.6 according to an article on arstechnica.
VLC 0.8.6, which is about an 11 to 22.7 megabyte download, is now a Universal Binary program capable of running natively on both Apple’s PowerPC and Intel hardware architectures and includes support for the Apple Remote, Windows Media Video 9 files, VC-1, VP5/VP6, Flash video, TTA, WavPack lossless audio and Shoutcast TV files. H.264 support has also been rewritten for this version.
VLC is an open-source project. For information as to how to beta test or contribute code to the effort, click here.

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The Apple Core: What’s on iTV? NetFlix or MacFlix?

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 08:00
Category: iTV

I’ve been thinking about iTV a lot lately and something occurred to while watching 60 Minutes on Sunday. Apple could use Macworld Expo to announce a partnership with Netflix on the iTV.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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New Software Snags Pictures of Would-Be Laptop Intruders

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 07:34
Category: Software

The Unofficial Apple Weblog and MacOSXHints have done their homework today to bring up a few nifty tools for laptop security using what’s already there to catch would-be intruders incorrectly entering passwords to try to gain access to your computer; your Intel-based MacBook or MacBook Pro’s built-in iSight camera.
Authsight by Jonathan Zdziarski, uses a monitoring daemon program which turns on the iSight camera after an invalid password has been entered and begins to take pictures of the intruder. The program is script-based and requires the iSightCapture command line tool to function.
Several commercial security solutions are available via the TUAW link and the article makes a good overall point; this is the time of year when the most laptops are stolen and a few additional precautions aren’t a bad idea. Short of renting a mastiff and its shotgun-wielding owner to guard your hardware this year, a few cool freeware, shareware and commercial applications could provide the peace of mind you’re looking for this holiday season.

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MacBook “Thin” Rumors/Specs Surface

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 07:58
Category: Rumor

Macosrumors.com has recently published an article to add to the fevered pre-Macworld rumor mill this time of year.
The article, which cites sources strong but anonymous sources in both Cupertino and southeast Asia, discusses a “MacBook Thin” portable model which may be en route for the new year.
Since the introduction of Apple’s Intel-based hardware and laptops, an ultra-thin 12″ laptop has been in demand, especially given the fact that the consumer-level MacBook features a 13″ monitor – something which had never been done in previous generations of entry-level/consumer models for Apple laptops.
According to the article, the key goals of the “Thin” project were to scale down the features of the MacBook Pro without compromising them for the smaller size of the unit. The new “MacBook Thin” is expected to be a variant of the MacBook Pro family yet contain many of the pro-grade ports such as Firewire 800, ExpressCard expansion slot and a higher-end ATI graphics card.
To date, the final shipping name of the “MacBook Thin” is unconfirmed, but the purported specs are as follows:
-12-inch widescreen display, 1280×800 resolution.
-2.16 or 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors
-1GB of DDR2-667 memory standard. Max. capacity 3GB.
-Standard “Pro” ports: USB2, Firewire 400 & 800, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital/Analog Audio minijack I/O ports.
-ExpressCard expansion slot (believed to be /34 type)
-Similar storage to “Pro”: 2.5in SATA HDDs at 120GB & up, ‘Combo’ or ‘Super’ optical drive.
-ATI Radeon Mobility X1600 or nVIDIA GeForce GO 7600 graphics systems with 256MB of VRAM.
-Mini-DVI display connector with full second display capabilities
-Built-in iSight, stereo microphone, Airport Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.
-Battery life is expected to be “best in class” at about 6.5 hours real-world, some reports have suggested up to 8 hours is possible.
As of now expectations for Macworld Expo run high and given that an iPhone and iTV products as well as a new preview version of Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system and several software updates are expected, the “MacBook Thin” will probably see a later release date.
Please let us know your comments, ideas and whether you’ve heard anything to this end.

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Micromat, Publishing Your Mac’s Serial Number

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Date: Wednesday, December 13th, 2006, 01:00
Category: Uncategorized

iconmagg5.gifEditor’s Note: This article was originally run without the long version after the jump due to a technical error. This is the entire article and the PowerPage regrets the error. – Ed.
Did you know that when you install TechToolPro 4 it is constantly running an anti-piracy service? Did you know that it was sending your serial number out to every other Mac on your network? I didn’t think so.
Micromat slipped some broad and sweeping anti-piracy measures into a TechToolPro update awhile back. TechToolProtection, the daemon that constantly runs on every Mac installed with TechToolPro, does much more than “protect” your Mac, as its name implies.
TechToolProtection starts a Bonjour service that is constantly broadcasting critical pieces of information about your Mac to other systems… information that anyone on a network subnet can read.
But, that’s the least of your worries. It also broadcasts your Mac’s serial number. This is something that even Microsoft refuses to do with their most stringent anti-piracy measures. Even Microsoft agrees that publishing your machine’s serial number can place it at-risk for security attacks, as well as accessing your personal information.
Gaining your Mac’s serial number can be used for pretexting with Apple, accessing insurance information about you, and places your identity at risk. Not to mention that should there be a recall on your Mac, anyone can claim parts for your Mac, and pocket the cash selling them.
There are known knows, and there are known unknowns about TTP’s anti-piracy measures. We don’t know what else is being broadcast, but Micromat has indicated to myself and others that it is not encrypted.
Finally, we do know that there is no need for this. Net Monitor uses the same Bonjour method of sniffing out piracy, and does not broadcast your Mac’s serial number. Also, it does not run 24/7, but only when the app itself is running, minimizing the chances of your serial number being pirated by someone else.
Want to see this in action? Download Bonjour Browser (don’t bother opening TechToolPro). If you see “_ttp4daemon.tcp.” running, congratulations, anyone can rip off info about you and your Mac.
Want to put a stop to this? Post in Micromat’s forum or send a note to them letting them know you care about your privacy. Or, don’t, and let someone more nefarious take care of you. A temporary workaround is barring TechToolProtection from starting up, or, close it after startup (and every startup) from Activity Monitor.
I approached Micromat with this issue in-depth, and their response was “you’re the only one complaining”. I tried to respond to them that this was simply because nobody knew about it yet… but that did not go too well. I also want to add that I own and use TechTool Pro on a weekly basis, and endorse its ability to repair and fix your sick Mac. I just wish Micromat would be as ardent about your privacy and system resources as they are about their feature set.
Contributed By: Christopher Price – PCS Intel

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Fujitsu to Release 300 GB Laptop Hard Drive in 2007

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 11:32
Category: Uncategorized

According to an article on electronista and MacNN, storage component maker Fujitsu has announced today that it will be releasing a 2.5″ notebook hard drive with an unprecedented 300 gigabyte capacity.
The new MHX2300BT series of drive will use perpendicular magnetic recording (in which drive blocks are tilted at various angles to increase density and thus storage space). The drives will spin at 4,200 RPM, although the company claims the increased density will improve speed without increasing the 1.6 watts of power needed to power the units.


fujitsunotebookdrive.jpg

Fujitsu has claimed that the new drives will ship in the first quarter of 2007 and that a less expensive 250 gigabyte model will also be offered. No set price for the 300 gigabyte model has been released to date.

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Apple Legal Targets iBuzz, iPod “Spinoff” Adult Products

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 10:21
Category: News

According to a story on techdigest.com, Apple’s legal department has targeted iBuzz, a musical sex toy that vibrates to the rhythm of a given music file on your iPod.
While this may have gone over as a funny joke with most people, Apple took offense with the gadget and the all-too-similar-to-its-own-campaign imagery on the iBuzz web site.
Love Labs, the maker of the iBuzz device, received a threat from Apple’s legal team (Field Fisher Waterhouse) with regard to Love Labs’ use of silhouette-style images of a woman using the product in a similar style to Apple’s iPod ad campaigns.The firm has argued that the imagery is derived from freely available adult images manipulated in Adobe Photoshop. Though the styles are similar, Apple doesn’t have a copyright on the look and feel, according to Love Labs.
Since Apple’s action, Love Labs has removed the image and animation from its web site and replaced the content with descriptions of its upcoming iBuzz 2 product line.

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The Apple Core: Has the iTunes Store jumped the shark?

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 10:18
Category: The Apple Core

US-digital-song-sales.gifIndustry analyst Forrester Research has released a report saying that Apple’s iTunes has experienced a collapse in sales revenues this year. Forrester conducted an analysis of credit card transactions over a 27-month period and concludes that since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 percent, with the average transaction size falling 17 percent.
There are two things that Apple should consider if they expect to get more sales from the iTunes Store…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Apple/Disney/Google Collaboration Could Boost iPhone Sales

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 09:43
Category: Opinion

A recent article on MYiPhone.com speculates that Apple, which now holds a nice position with Disney per Steve Jobs’ recent addition to the company’s board, could see boosted iPhone sales as a result of recent buyouts this year.
Disney, which has filed patents for an upcoming streaming-video handset that looks like a flip phone, seems to be cooperating with Apple. In addition to this union, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, whose company recently bought out Internet video staple YouTube.com, joined Apple’s board of directors back in August of this year.
Where the iPhone is concerned, Apple would provide the device, Disney will provide some of the content (as it’s been doing to the delight of parents looking for family-friendly video downloads by way of the iTunes Store) and Google will provide mobile searching and video advertising for the device through its classic search engine strengths as well as its new YouTube assets. Moving beyond speculation of a combined phone and music device, the iPhone could become a full-fledged broadband mobile video device as a result of these combined efforts.
Not a bad thing and we’ll see what’s on the horizon come January at the Macworld Expo.

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