Recent Apple Patent Filing Describes Backlit Touchpads and Click-Wheels

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Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 11:55
Category: Hardware

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A recent Apple patent filing submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office published earlier this month discusses the concept of illuminated touchpads and click-wheels as a means of providing constant visual feedback.
According to AppleInsider, which pointed out the 34-page filing, Apple cited that visual stimuli could be used to both alert the user via feedback to a touch event as well as be used in low light conditions.
The patent filing also stated that such devices could change intensity or color based on motion characteristics or pressure. Visual characteristics could also be used to highlight events, especially before and after an event occurred.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Apple Looking into QuickTime 7.2 Error Complaints

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Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 08:39
Category: News

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On Tuesday, Apple stated that it was looking into errors some users have reported with QuickTime 7.2, the most recent version of of its multimedia technology.
According to Macworld News, users have reported issues with Code Fragment Manager applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Entourage.
“Apple has received a few reports that the QuickTime 7.2 update may cause issues with some Power PC-based applications running on Intel-based Macs, and we are looking into it,” commented an Apple spokesperson.
The company is currently recommending that users contact AppleCare support if customers have questions regarding these issues.
A timeline for a QuickTime update to fix the issue has yet to be released.
If you’ve noticed these errors on your Macs or have a fix or workaround, let us know in the forums.

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Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 Build 4560 Released

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Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 08:08
Category: Software

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Late Tuesday, software company Parallels released build 4560 of its best-selling Parallels Desktop for Mac emulation program.
The new build, an 83.2 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker, adds the following fixes and changes:
-Better customizability of SmartSelect for easier app/file integration.
-Faster & smoother Boot Camp partition use.
-Much smoother fullscreen transitions. No more flickering or lagging redraws.
-Improved Parallels Tools for Linux…we’ve added a Time Sync tool.
-The return of the Parallels Image Tool!
-A beefed up Parallels Explorer that makes sharing files and working with non NTFS drives easier. Sharp new graphics too.
-More powerful Snapshot manager that gives you greater control over how snapshots -re created and deleted.
-Minor tweaks and fixes.
Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 retails for US$79.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know in the forums.

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iPhones Lead to Headaches on Duke’s Wireless Network

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Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2007, 14:25
Category: iPhone

It’s new, it’s spiffy and damn is it cool to have.

And it’s apparently brought Duke University‘s wireless LAN system to its knees.

Writing for NetworkWorld.com, author John Cox has pointed out that anywhere from a dozen to 30 wireless access points have been overwhelmed by requests from several iPhone handsets.

At this time, campus network administrators are talking with Cisco, the campus’ main WLAN provider and have opened a help desk ticket with Apple.

“Because of the time of year for us, it‚’s not a severe problem,” commented Kevin Miller, assistant director, communications infrastructure, with Duke’s Office of Information Technology. “But from late August through May, our wireless net is critical. My concern is how many students will be coming back in August with iPhones? It’s a pretty big annoyance, right now, with 20-30 access points signaling they’e down, and then coming back up a few minutes later. But in late August, this would be devastating.”

The iPhones apparently flood the access points with as many as 18,000 address requests per second, consuming almost 10 megabits per second of bandwidth and overtaking the access point to the point that the access point shows up as “out of service” for up to 10 to 15 minutes at a time. During these periods, there’s no way to communicate with them.

In addition to temporarily shutting the access points down, the iPhone, through the use of the Address Resolution Protocol, will request the MAC address of a destination node since the device has already obtained an Internet Protocol address. If the device receives no answer regarding the MAC address, it just keeps asking.

Miller has stated that Duke’s network team began capturing wireless traffic for analysis and discovered that the offending devices were iPhones. There are currently about 150 iPhones registered to use Duke’s campus WLAN.

“I’m not exactly sure where the ‘bad’ router address is coming from,” Miller says. One possibility: each offending iPhone may have been first connected to a home wireless router or gateway, and it may automatically and repeatedly be trying to reconnect to it again when something happens to the iPhone’s initial connection on the Duke WLAN.

They’re still sorting out what that “something” is. On two occasions, one last Friday and one today, Monday 16 July, both users seemed to be behaving completely normally, yet both iPhones started flooding the net with ARP requests. In both cases, the user first successfully connected to the WLAN at one location, and then moved to another building, where the ARP flood began. “It may have something to do with the iPhone losing connectivity and then trying to reconnect in a new location,” said Miller.

Duke has currently commented that the trouble ticket with Apple was “escalated”, but as of now, nothing substantive has been heard from the company.

This fall could prove interesting, especially if you’re in a campus network capacity.

If you’ve seen anything along these lines or have your own stories, ideas or feedback, let us know over in the forums.

Security Firm Expresses Concerns Over iPhone Browser Dialer

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2007, 08:04
Category: iPhone

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Security firm SPI Labs claims to have discovered a threat to the iPhone’s security via the handset’s built-in MobileSafari browser. The company claims that the browser, which features an ability to dial phone numbers found on web sites, can be exploited in the following ways:
-Redirecting a call to a phone number other than the one seen on a given web site.
-Tracking calls to a site visitor.
-Bypassing the confirmation dialog box and forcing the call to continue.
-Preventing the phone from dialing calls altogether.
The firm has offered examples in which a user clicks on a malicious web site, then discovers they’re calling an international number and paying those rates.
According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, SPI Labs has opted not to disclose the actual nature of the exploit and how to perform it. The company has stated that they have alerted Apple and are cooperating with the company as to how to plug these holes. SPI Labs has also commented that the feature can simply not be used if users are worried about security.
If nothing else, the first iPhone software update should prove interesting.
Let us know your comments, ideas and thoughts on this over in the forums.

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Intel Ships Core 2 Extreme X7800 Chip

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Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2007, 08:09
Category: News

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On Monday, Intel released its new high-end mobile chip, the Core 2 Extreme X7800. The new chip, which is based on the company’s Penryn architecture, is geared towards higher end laptop users such as graphic artists and gamers.
According to Macworld News, Intel is encouraging vendors to push the chip’s performance by opening the unit’s protection locks, thereby allowing them to overclock the processor to run faster. Such a move helps users run the chips beyond their rated limits. This practice is fairly uncommon for notebook systems, which are usually geared around battery conservation.
Intel is currently selling the Core 2 Extreme X7800 processor to various vendors and has stated that the unit will reach store shelves within two weeks. The processor is rated at running at 2.6 GHz and is available for US$851.
No word has been given as to when the new processors will find their way into Apple’s MacBook or MacBook Pro series of laptops.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on this, let us know over in the forums.

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iPhone Users Reporting Mixed Brightness on Handsets

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Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2007, 07:53
Category: iPhone

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The grass may be always greener on the other side, but iPhone users may have a genuine complaint in this situation.
According to the guys over at iPhone Atlas, readers are reporting that some iPhone screens are brighter than others when set to the full brightness setting. The dimmer screens also seem to display a grid pattern on the background that appears as a checkered pattern of horizontal and vertical lines in all applications (a picture posted on ImageShack presents the difference).
The problem seems to stem from two distinct revisions of iPhone LCD panels being used, a 5 series and a 7 series. This can be tested via the following instructions:
-Put your iPhone in field test mode by accessing the Phone application, tapping Keypad, then entering *3001#12345#* and pressing Call.
-Tap Versions
-Inspect the entry next to LCD Panel ID
-Users have reported that iPhones with LCD Panel IDs that begin with 7 exhibit this problem, while those with IDs that begin with 5 do not — though we’ve seen reports from users with 7-series screens that do not exhibit the issue.
The article also suggests that when checking whether or not your iPhone has this issue, be sure to deactivate the Auto Brightness setting in your Settings menu, then reset the iPhone by holding the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button for at least 10 seconds. The reading may be affected by ambient light and this is the best way to remove that factor.
Apple has yet to comment on this issue.
If you’ve seen this or anything similar with your iPhone, let us know over in the forums.

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Get a Mac ads from the UK and Japan ••DRAFT••

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 16th, 2007, 14:54
Category: Fun

It looks as if you hosted the Eight original ones as quicktime. They were on the powerpage on April 2, 2007 here is your Archive location
I moved the four new Get a Mac Ads from Japan to your public folder as requested the “OfficeGood” 6MB and “MovieGood” 6MB were translated by Coal on June 7th and “bloated” 12MB was done on the 18th and “practicedrawing” 12MB on the 19th hope you find this satisfactory. you might also want to link to the new UK ones also just so your readers get to see those also without taking up your bandwidth . Some of these would play well in the US I wonder why we do not get some of these scenarios here.

AT&T May Offer Discounted Data-Free iPhone Plan

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Date: Monday, July 16th, 2007, 13:03
Category: iPhone

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When enough customers get irked about something, a company usually works to accommodate then.
AT&T is no exception. According to Electronista, the provider may offer a low-cost data-free plan for iPhone users who threaten to drop their accounts.
Specifically, if a client calls complaining about Internet performance over its EDGE network, AT&T sales agents have apparently been offering to lower their monthly bills to US$40 as opposed to the current US$60/month minimum in exchange for dropping the unlimited data plan and SMS text messaging features.
Other features that arrived with the iPhone and its initial service plan will remain. Subscribers will still be able to use the iPhone’s Wi-Fi feature for browsing as well as have e-mail and YouTube access. Other features that will remain the same include 5,000 night and weekend minutes as well as 450 daytime minute. Visual Voicemail is disabled under the revised contract and the US$40/month fee tacks on minor service fees as well as charges 25 cents for each text message if a separate text bundle isn’t included within the revised account.
For subscribers failing to pass AT&T’s credit check during the activation process despite owning an iPhone, AT&T has quietly instituted GoPhone plans for these users. The GoPhone plan functions as a simplified prepay plan. Up to this point, AT&T had required that virtually all its plans include data and SMS features.
Not a bad alternative if you feel the iPhone’s data functions aren’t up to snuff, but not perfect either. As always, feel free to toss around your ideas and thoughts in the forums.

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World of Warcraft 2.2 to Feature MacBook-Specific Improvements

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Date: Monday, July 16th, 2007, 08:07
Category: Software

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In other news, Blizzard Entertainment has released a new beta version of its World of Warcraft massive multiplayer online role playing game.
The version 2.2 beta, which according to Macworld News, has yet to be released to the public, will include changes such as bug-fixes, revised items, player balancing and the ability to capture gameplay footage via QuickTime.
The new version will require Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later and QuickTime 7.1.6 or later to be able to make use of the new QuickTime functionality.
Perhaps the most interesting new change for portable users are graphics optimizations that are being made. The new version will incorporate changes which utilize AltiVec on PowerPC-based Macs and SSE on Intel-based Macs. The changes are expected to yield performance boosts on Macs wherein vertex animation shaders aren’t available such as the Mac Minis and MacBooks, which use Intel integrated video systems as opposed to specific graphic cards.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on this, let us know over in the forums.

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