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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 12:53
Category: Opinion

Steve Jobs is no friend to the music industry. He is just an astute businessman who knows a vacuum when it enters his reality distortion field. When he penned his open letter decrying DRM protection, few knew that this was part of an orchestrated move that might force the music industry to do something that is ultimately in its own best interest — sort of. When the man is right, he is dead on. CD’s are the primary source of pirated music. Rip one unprotected song from a CD and there you have it. It can be shared with friends or the entire planet, with nothing for the publisher or the artist. Compression and broadband conspired to make the iPod king of mobile music. Movies are somewhat different. DVDs have some protection built in and the file size is much bigger. Unlike an album full of music, you really want all of the scenes from beginning to end, unless it is just a great car chase scene in an otherwise dull movie. And that tiny screen.
We may be entering an era where the bulk of the value offered by music is provided by the artist and the cost of production and distribution is of little value. Look at the travel business. The Internet has stripped out much of the value added by agents. No longer do you have to sit in an upholstered chair while watching the travel agent peck at the keys and read the options off a CRT. The Internet is transforming the world of sales agents and distributors – real estate, cars, music.
If this move works, it is a huge win for Apple and for the consumer. No DRM limitations. Higher music quality. Near total interoperability. All for twenty nine cents more. What of the iPod? Losing the integrated vertical monopoly with iTunes and Fair Play could kill it you say. Ridiculous. The vast majority of music on iPods is ripped from CDs. Legitimate fair use as well as pirated. Death blow to Zune or boon? Death blow — what a lousy product. What of WMA and RMA? Footnotes. AAC is open source and better than MP3 without the onerous lawsuit that hangs over MP3. Long live iTunes and Quicktime. These technologies are at the core of future Apple success.
Already, the spotlight is turning from the perceived Apple monopoly in the distribution of digital music towards the record companies and their role in the variable pricing of songs for iTunes in Europe. Perhaps Apple could take over the music business by leasing iMacs preloaded with Garage Band to every potential new artist and just post the tracks on iTunes for a fee. Price songs by popularity. Ten cents each until they get popular. Then charge Fifty. Who needs a music industry when you can just put a do it yourself version of American Idol directly onto the iTunes Music Store.


PowerPage Podcast Episode 38

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 12:41
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast LogoEpisode 38 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (56’51, 26.71MB, AAC).
Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Youngmoo Kim and Chuck Freedman.
Topics include: the brand new Oct-Core Mac Pro, lower Cinema Display prices, Garmin’s beta WebUpdater for Mac OS X and Apple and EMI do DRM-less iTunes.
Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
Thank you to The Tragically Hip for allowing us use their music in the podcast. Check out their new album World Container in stores now.


The Apple Core: Joost Preview

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 11:51
Category: News

Jason O’Grady has offered a full preview of the newly-released Joost by Skype and Kazaa creators Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom.
The next “cool thing”, or at least the thing that people are hankering for invites to, Joost is a legal service that allows users to watch television for free on their computers.
Not a bad idea and Jason has a full write-up of the program over on the Apple Core web blog.
If you’ve got any opinions about Joost or what you’ve seen of it, let us know.


VMWare Releases Fusion Beta 3

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 10:16
Category: Software

VMWare has recently released beta 3 of Fusion, its virtualization product for the Mac that allows users to simultaneously run operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux and others on their Intel-based Macs.
The new version boasts the following fixes and improvements:
-Much faster operating speeds.
-Full Boot Camp partition recognition support
-A Windows Easy Install wizard program to make installation easier.
-Improved virtual machine management. Multiple virtual machines and their individual settings can be centrally controlled from the Virtual Machine Library.
-Improved international support (European and Apple keyboards now have full functionality within the program).
-Host-Only Networking: This creates a network completely self-contained within the Mac between the virual machine and the Mac.
-Improved Suspend/Shutdown State: VMWare now takes a screenshot of the last known state of the virtual machine as well as a “play” button to resume use of the virtual machine.
-Improved Hardware Editor: Settings for virtual hardware are now fully functional and devices can be removed when the virtual machine is powered down.
-Improved Networking Performance: In some cases, networking in earlier beta versions was slow with single-processor virtual machines. VMware Fusion Beta 3 solves this problem and greatly improves performance in this case. Virtual networking no longer fills system logs.
-VMware Fusion Beta 2 wireless networking added many entries to the system log. Beta 3 release resolves this issue.
The new beta can be downloaded here after signing in through a registration form.
If you’ve tried the new beta and have had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.


Proof of Concept iPod Virus Developed

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 10:33
Category: News

An article over at Help Net Security points out that Kaspersky Lab has developed a proof of concept virus capable of infecting an iPod running the Linux operating system.
The virus, called Podloso, is not a genuine threat and can be installed on an iPod running Linux. The virus can then install itself into a folder containing program demo versions, which can execute the virus’ file architecture.
It should be noted that Podloso cannot be automatically launched without user interaction.
Once launched, Podloso can scan the iPod and infect .elf format files. Later attempts by the user to access infected files will return an error screen stating “You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus.”
As a proof of concept virus, Podloso was created to prove a vulnerability within the iPod itself. The virus is unable to spread on its own and the user has to save the program to the iPod’s memory in order for the unit to become infected.
If you have any comments or feedback about this or similar proofs of concept, let us know.


Intel Quietly Releases New Low-Power Chips

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 08:52
Category: News

On Thursday, Intel quietly released two ultra low voltage processors. According to Engadget, the 1.06 GHz U7500 and 1.2 GHz U7600 are out the dore and consume a mere 10 watts of power as opposed to the full-fledged Core 2 Duo models, which consume about 34 watts of power. The chips still feature the speedy Merom core which has become successful in current Macs and has for the most part outpaced competitor AMD‘s products.
The new chips are expected to be used in the smallest PCs and laptops on the market. Prices for the units are not available and Apple has not announced when or if the new chips will make their way into the company’s future products.


iPod Serves as Body Armor, Saves Soldier’s Life in Iraq

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Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007, 08:35
Category: iPod

Although Apple probably never intended its iPod to be used as body armor, Kevin Garrad of the 3rd Infantry Division found out otherwise when he was shot with an AK-47 at close range while on patrol in Tikrit. An iPod, which was located on an outside pocket, apparently slowed down the bullet enough to prevent it from piercing his body armor.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog has pointed out this image of the iPod after the fact through Flickr user tikigod.
Employees within Apple state that they’ve seen the image and cite that they’re working on sending a replacement out to Garrad.