The Apple Core: Hackers Unite

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2007, 15:34
Category: The Apple Core

As mentioned before, the iPhone is Jason’s baby. He hankered for one for months, snagged it the first day it came out and has focused on it since.
In the eighth entry of the iPhone Diary, The Apple Core focuses on the interest and efforts from the hacker community. From the prominent effort to unlock the iPhone to more flexible calling plans to released/leaked firmware to component studies, the entry points to everything that’s out there and currently in the works for the most lusted-after handset on the market.
And if you have any ideas or tips about hacks in the works, let us know.


VMWare’s Fusion Reaches Final Candidate Status

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2007, 13:39
Category: Software

Fusion, the upcoming emulation software by VMWare, reached Final Candidate status on Tuesday. The new version, a 159 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
-Improved Unity feature: Bug fixes have been added to Fusion’s Unity component, which allows for features such as drag and drop and launching Windows applications on the fly or from the Dock. Experimental support has been added for Unity on Windows Visa, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003.
-Improved Mac integration: Mac OS X-style shortcuts such as Command-Tab, Expose and keyboard shortcuts have been updated and optimized.
-Enhanced Boot Camp performance: The new version improves disk performance on Boot Camp partitions and allows for faster Windows application launch times.
-Better support for Mac OS X Leopard: VMware Fusion has improved experimental support for running your favorite virtual machines on Mac OS X Leopard.
-Experimental 3D support for MacBook and Mac Mini: The release restores experimental 3D support to Macs with Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics cards.
-Improved USB compatibility: Beta 4.1 and the Release Candidate restore USB compatibility with Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pros and Mac OS X 10.4.10.
Fusion is expected to ship later this year and is available as a US$39.99 pre-order. The software will sell for a full retail price of US$79.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the release candidate and have positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.


iBook G3 Becomes Book and Server

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2007, 11:53
Category: Hack

I was never this optimistic when my iBook G3 croaked a few years back, but a user over on Chaos Blog 2.0 has apparently taken a 500 MHz iBook G3 with a broken screen and turned it both into a book and a server.
After removing the non-functioning screen and trimming down the essentials of the case, the author then wrapped the remaining iBook in a hardcover casing and connected the unit to a Firewire hard drive.
Perhaps the most impressive part is that he was able to retrofit the power supply to another part of the laptop and cut the footprint down by half. The blog posts step by step instructions, complete with pictures, so if you have several free hours, the tools on hand, a somewhat-croaked iBook and a soldering gun, you can pull off a similar feat.
As always, if you have a cool fix, hack or workaround of your own that you’ve done with your Mac laptop, let us know about it.


Hackers Could Crack Finish Unlocking iPhone in Three to Seven Days

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2007, 08:35
Category: iPhone

A representative of the group working to unlock Apple’s recently-released iPhone handset claims that the project could be finished in as little as three to seven days according to Macworld News.
‚ÄúWe believe it will be easy. We are privately aware many of the iPhone engineers came from other handset manufacturers, and we understand their design techniques fairly well,‚Äù stated a group member identified as “gj”, who has been communicative with the media throughout the effort.
An unlocked iPhone would allow the handset to function with providers other than AT&T. AT&T has penned a five-year deal to exclusively sell the iPhone within the United States.
By Tuesday night, the iPhone unlocking effort had cracked the iPhone’s activation process, having written tools that would allow them to activate an iPhone without Apple’s iTunes software. The iPhone’s activation process relies on a software token sent from iTunes to Apple. Apple then signs the token and returns it to the iPhone, which activates the iPhone’s capabilities. Recently developed tools written by the project allow a software token from an activated iPhone to be used to activate multiple iPhone units. The token itself is not being provided with the tools that have been developed so far.
IIf you don’t have a known token (which does contain identifying information) you won’t be able to use the tool,” gj said.
An alternative tool developed by a hacker known as “DVD Jon”, allows for the iPhone to be activated without iTunes and initiates certain functions, such as the iPod and Wi-Fi systems. The hack currently doesn’t allow for the phone capabilities to be activated, but is seen as a step in the right direction.
A rumored software update which was anticipated yesterday could undo some of the project’s work and patch security holes as well as areas that have been worked with for the effort. No firm date has been released as to when the update could be expected.
If you have any thoughts, ideas or workarounds about this, let us know.


Apple Releases iPod Reset Utility 1.0.2

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Date: Friday, July 6th, 2007, 08:25
Category: iPod shuffle

Late Thursday, Apple released iPod Reset Utility 1.0.2, a restoration utility for first and second generation iPod Shuffle units. The program is designed to completely reset the device, erasing all data and reinstalling the following software for the unit to run:
-iPod shuffle (1st Generation) – iPod Software version 1.1.5
-iPod shuffle (2nd Generation) – iPod Software version 1.0.3
The iPod Reset Utility 1.0.2 program is a 3.5 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker) and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the program and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.