AT&T to Impose US$175 Early Cancelation Fee for iPhone

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Date: Monday, June 25th, 2007, 09:20
Category: iPhone

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You’re looking forward to the iPhone‘s release on Friday.
And you’ve given somewhat consideration to naming your first-born child “iPhone”.
According to an article on boston.com, this might be an expensive choice to get out of.
In addition to spending US$50 million to beef up its wireless network, the Boston Globe has discovered that AT&T plans to charge customers who break their two-year iPhone contracts a US$175 early termination fee. While an early termination fee is somewhat common, these are usually put into place to help wireless providers recoup subsidies and discounts offered to customers agreeing to go with the service.
According to JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg, who termed the early termination fee “a little odd”, the fee seems like a bid by AT&T to boost its revenues by providing an obstacle to cancelation and hanging onto more affluent customers for as long as possible.
AT&T has yet to disclose how it will handle or charge customers under existing contracts who want to upgrade to the iPhone early and swap out their current plan in exchange of one offered with the iPhone.

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Apple Releases Security Update 2007 – 006

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Date: Monday, June 25th, 2007, 08:14
Category: Software

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On Friday, Apple released Security Update 2007 – 006 via both its web site as well as Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
The new update, a 2.2 to 4.5 megabyte download depending on the version of Mac OS X installed on your computer, provides changes for WebCore, Mac OS X’s HTML layout engine and WebKit, Apple’s application framework that serves as an underpinning for the Safari web browser.
According to Macworld News, the update repairs flaws in which malicious web site code can be executed that could lead to problems such as applications unexpectedly terminating and executing arbitrary code.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 on the Mac OS X 10.3 (“Panther”) end and Mac OS X 10.4.9 on the Mac OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”) end.
As always, if you’ve installed the new update and noticed any appreciable difference in how your Mac operates, let us know.

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Safari 3.0.2 Beta Released

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Date: Monday, June 25th, 2007, 08:22
Category: Software

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Late Friday, Apple released version 3.0.2b of its Safari web browser. The most recent release of the public beta for the new browser, the new version adds the following fixes and changes:
-Latest security updates
-Improved stability
-Improved WebKit support for Mail, iChat and Dashboard
Safari 3.0.2b is currently available as a free download for Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows Vista. The browser requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later to run on Mac OS X and weighs in at a 14 megabyte download.
If you’ve tried the new Safari beta and had either positive or negative experiences with it, let us know.

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Updated VMWare Fusion Beta Released

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Date: Friday, June 22nd, 2007, 15:27
Category: Software

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On Thursday, virtualization software outfit VMWare released Fusion 1.0b4.1, an updated beta of its Fusion software.
According to Macworld News, the new version, a 171 megabyte download, updates the USB manager to accommodate changes in both the Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro laptops as well as the Mac OS X 10.4.10 update.
Full details can be found over at the product’s web page. Fusion requires an Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program is available as a pre-order for US$39.99.
As always, if you’ve done the gerbil routine and played with the new version, let us know how it went, good or bad.

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iPhone Guided Tour Now Online

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Date: Friday, June 22nd, 2007, 13:24
Category: iPhone

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Reader Michael Long just pointed out the following:
A twenty-minute Quicktime guided tour of Apple’s new iPhone is now available online at their web site, illustrating nearly all of the phone’s features and functions. Go and see the tour here.
If you’re curious and can’t get enough of the iPhone between now and the 171 hours until it’s released, take a gander.

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PureMobile Offering Unlocked iPhones

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Date: Friday, June 22nd, 2007, 08:44
Category: iPhone

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The iPhone’s coming out in a week.
You already knew that.
And whether it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread or not, you already have a clear idea as to what you want from the device. For those of you who demanded an unlocked unit, your prayers may be answered.
According to cnet’s news blog, retailer PureMobile looks to be touting unlocked eight gigabyte iPhones on its web site.
If completely kosher, an unlocked iPhone could be used on any GSM carrier as opposed to running exclusively on AT&T’s network.
Currently, the web site only declares that the iPhone is “coming soon” and doesn’t offer a price, but alerts the user that shipping will either be US$19 or US$29 depending on delivery speed selected.
Though an impressive idea, it’s also important to note that an unlocked iPhone will be subject to the same quibbles as all other unlocked phones in that while it will be able to make calls without any problems, data features won’t work out of the box. To date, no alternate carriers have come forth with any plans regarding this issue.
Stay tuned for further details on this developing story.

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Solar Jacket for iPods, Cell Phones in the Works

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Date: Friday, June 22nd, 2007, 08:36
Category: iPod

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This may not be next on your shopping list, but it could be interesting:
Italian fashion company Ermenegildo Zegna Holditalia SpA (Zegna) recently demonstrated the Solar JKT, an outdoor jacket lined with wearable electronics such as two solar modules in the coat’s collar that can turn solar energy into electricity. According to Playlist, the stored electricity is then routed by conductive textile cables to a buffer battery which can be used to charge a device or store power.
The battery, which measures 70 millimeters by 60 millimeters by 13 millimeters, weight about 100 grams and requires about four to eight hours to load. Once full, a device such as a mobile phone or iPod can be charged in less than four hours through a five volt connection for USB devices and a six volt connection for mobile phones.
The jacket is currently being developed by Interactive Wear AG and Innovative Solarprodukte GmbH (Solarc).
No details have emerged as to pricing and availability, but the Solar JKT coat is expected within the second quarter of 2008.

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Reports Surface of Santa Rosa-Based MacBook Pro Overheating

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2007, 11:31
Category: Hardware

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Your Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro just arrived in the mail. And after showing it to your spouse, kids, pets and co-workers, you settle down to work with it.
If it feels a bit too warm, that might be Apple’s contribution.
A report over on Engadget is citing how dozens of users on MacRumors and Apple discussion threads are mentioning that their newly-acquired MacBook Pros are running hot.
An intrepid reader pulled his laptop apart only to find about 40 times too much thermal paste having been applied to the logic board. Other readers have echoed similar complaints and offered similar logic board pictures.
A recent firmware update issued by Apple seems to have helped somewhat, but no official comment as to the issue has been released.
If you’ve seen this problem on your new MacBook Pro or have a solution, idea or workaround, let us know.

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iPhone to Integrate YouTube Access

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2007, 10:22
Category: iPhone

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While it’s unknown as to whether the iPhone will walk the dog or consistently predict tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers, it will be able to access YouTube content.
According to cnet’s Crave blog, the upcoming cell phone will feature “a special YouTube player that you can launch right from the home screen.” Leaked photos have also shown a specific “YouTube” button in the main menu interface.
The iPhone is slated for release on Friday at June 29th at 6 PM at various AT&T and Apple retail locations. Check your local outlet for additional details.

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Opinion: Stick it to the Man or We Get No Respect

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Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2007, 08:39
Category: Opinion

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Apple’s iPhone is scheduled for release only a handful of days from now, reader Kenn Marks voices his opinion on Apple, AT&T, unknown required contract details and the other mystery areas of iPhone ownership he’d like to see covered before he picks up Apple’s next generation cell phone:
Stick it to the Man or We Get No Respect
By Kenn Marks
With the iPhone just around the corner, as a loyal Mac enthusiast I’m beginning to feel like Rodney Dangerfield that “I get no respect” from the company I support, sometimes on the bleeding edge, like my desire to be one of the first iPhone owners. I’m also feeling some of my sixties roots in wanting to “stick it to the man” with Apple introducing the iPhone six months ago at Macworld SF and letting us know it’s going to cost us US$499 or US$599 plus the big AT&T unknown. Here we are, less than two weeks away from the big day and NO ONE can tell us what our monthly commitment to AT&T is going to be, or if there is a multi-year contract involved.
It’s like buying that new car with all the features we want at a great price then finding out once we drive it off the lot that it only gets ONE mile per gallon fuel economy (aka, consumption). I know I can trust Apple for product and service reliability, but what about the New AT&T, the old Cingular and the Old AT&T. What are they trying to hide with all the name shuffling?
I think it’s pretty arrogant of Apple and AT&T to introduce a new piece of hardware one day BEFORE the end of month and quarter and be betting the farm and their next bonuses on a great couple of sales days, while you and I might have to fork out US$74.99/month for an unlimited internet two-year contract (if a contract is required – “2 yr contract required” removed from advertising on June 7th). If that’s the price point, then it’s an additional US$1,800 commitment after purchasing the phone.
I feel that if we let Apple walk all over us this time when we have the opportunity to make our vote heard, we’ll all lose. We can take all the online polls we want and have no guarantee that Apple even looks at the results. In the construction industry, where there are such things as holdbacks to ensure that there are no problems down the road with your newly constructed project, we as potential customers, who hold the cash/credit card, can influence future company decisions on how they treat us.
Not buying gas on a certain day doesn’t even make a ripple for the oil company pond you are boycotting, but holding off your iPhone purchase until Monday July 2 could really make the bean counters scream. All that revenue they were planning for end of quarter just vaporized into Apple’s fourth quarter. Yes, it will affect the value of my Apple holdings, but I feel treating customers fairly outweighs making a bunch of shareholders rich. We can do nothing about what the CEO of our employer makes unless we work in a union shop. Our supervisor will call us a troublemaker and tell us to seek employment elsewhere and that we’ll be easy to replace. Unless Apple & AT&T publishes the rate plans necessary to purchase an iPhone by Monday June 25th I strongly suggest waiting two more days (you already waited six months) and buy the worlds greatest phone on Monday July 2nd.
An owner and loyal purchaser since my first IIe Plus.

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