Softbank Begins Giving Away Free iPhones to New Customers

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 08:41
Category: iPhone

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Softbank Mobile, Apple’s iPhone carrier in Japan, plans to introduce a new program Friday that will give some iPhone handsets away for free with a new two-year contract.
The 8GB iPhone 3G handset will be offered for free to new subscribers starting a calling plan today, though this may be likely to disappoint those who paid the equivalent of US$235 (22,782 yen). According to CrunchGear, Softbank is also reducing the price of the 16GB version from US$350 to US$118 as part of the new “iPhone for everybody Campaign.”
The wireless carrier has also cut the cost of its cost of its maximum data plan rate from US$62 a month to US$45.60 a month. Voice calls and texts are free among Softbank customers, but if your friend or colleague is an NTT DoCoMo customer, charges can start to accumulate quickly at 20 cents for a 30-second call.
There’s no clear indication as to whether Softbank is cutting prices in response to demand, but Apple COO Tim Cook noted during last month’s earnings conference call that the company considers the price of the iPhone “clearly elastic,” meaning that every time it has dropped the price, demand has increased.
If you’re in or around the Japanese marketplace and have noticed this offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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First-Gen MacBook Air Owners Cite Flaw in Hinge Construction

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 07:42
Category: MacBook Air

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Given what you paid for the first-gen MacBook Air notebook, Hulking out may be entirely permissible given the following news: a number of owners of the notebook have cited a fundamental flaw in the notebook’s hinge constructions.
According to MacNN, a number of users on the Apple Discussions board have noted that, after several months of use, hinges can become unreasonably loose, sometimes enough for a lid to travel or close completely without any help. In extreme cases hinges may break entirely, rendering an Air useless as a portable device.
The problem may be especially critical as some Apple Store Genius Bars are reportedly refusing to honor warranties, with or without AppleCare, on the basis that the damage is thought to be “accidental” rather than an inherent problem. The Air hinges are also divided in two, as in some older Apple notebooks, and embedded into the lid, meaning that people affected by faulty hardware may have to pay as much as US$900 for repairs due to the cost of the associated display.
Some Apple Store locations have cited that they’d be willing to cover repairs under warranty. The problem appears to be absent from second-generation MacBook Air notebooks, though Apple has yet to officially recognize the issue, which could represent the second major flaw to affects Airs following the discovery of graphics corruption.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this problem on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Truphone Adds Skype Support for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 07:37
Category: Software

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Software developer Truphone announced yesterday that the company has added Skype support for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. Per the press release, users can now instant message their Skype contacts as well as make and receive Skype-based calls to users on their contact list.
To begin, download Truphone for iPhone or iPod Touch, go to the IM screen in the iPhone application (the IM/More screen in the iPod touch application). If you cannot see this screen, select it from within the “More” screen.
Once here, select Skype from the setup screen, sign in using your Skype account details.
Once logged in, you will now see all of your Skype contacts and you will be ready to start.
Skype-based calls within Wi-Fi areas as well as instant messages will be free and users can make Skype-based calls and send Skype instant messages using Truphone Anywhere, which will use your data package to connect the call or send the instant message.
Truphone is a free download and requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried Truphone for the iPhone or iPod touch and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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PowerPage Podcast Episode 106

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 00:02
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast Logo 2008Episode 106 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (1’28:39, 35.56 MB, MP3).
Your panel: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Youngmoo Kim and Tom Hesser.
Topics include: This week we have a netbook death match between the Acer Aspire One and the Dell Mini 9 and we discuss the leaked Mac mini video, Safari 4, iTunes Pass, free Omni apps, Apple TV 2.3.1, the MobileMe update and we play “What’s on your Mac?” Featuring: Jason O’Grady, Rob Parker, Youngmoo Kim and Tom Hesser. (2009-022618)
What’s on your Mac?:

  • Rob:

    • TickerMenu ($9) – Stock quotes in your menu bar.
  • Tom:

    • DropBox – Seamlessly sync your files between your computers and the Web.
  • Youngmoo:

Follow us on Twitter:

Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast directly in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to the newsreader of your choice.
PowerPage Podcast theme music is generously provided by The Tragically Hip. Pick up their new release “We Are The Same” on iTunes.
Don’t forget to add the PowerPage Facebook group!

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Bookmarklet for Posting URLs to Tweetie

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 14:41
Category: iPhone

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If you are a frequent Tweeter or Twitter-holic, and use an iPhone, you may be interested in this handy bookmarklet. The folks over at Atebit.com, the makers of Tweetie for iPhone and iPod Touch, have created a handy javascript tool for sending links to web sites from MoblieSafari straight into a post within the Tweetie app ready for you to add a comment and send to the Twitter-verse. It even creates a shortened URL using bit.ly automatically!
Just follow this link for full instructions. Best if done directly on the iPhone.
http://www.atebits.com/___?javascript:window.location=’tweetie:’+window.location
or optional shortened version…
http://bit.ly/BhBBR


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Apple Begins Testing Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:20
Category: Software

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No matter what you think of Mac OS X 10.5.6, Apple is cited as having tapped its developer community this week to begin testing its Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, a maintenance and security update to the company’s Leopard operating system with a particular focus on syncing improvements.
According to AppleInsider, sources close to the story have stated that the update will include a plethora of bug fixes, six code corrections and currently weighs in at 440 megabytes in its simplest form.
Apple is currently said to be focusing on syncing issues found in applications such as Mail, Address Book and system preferences. A problem with Safari not accepting certain types of cookies will also reportedly be addressed.
Among the nearly two dozen other components receiving attention in beta of Mac OS X 10.5.7 are graphics drivers, Time Machine, printing services, screen sharing services, MobileMe syncing, AirPort services, text services, and iCal, those familiar with the software claim.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your hands on a 10.5.7 build, please let us know what you think of it in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple, China Mobile May Release iPhone 3G to Chinese Market in May

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:53
Category: Rumor

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Apple’s long-standing negotiation hurdles with Chinese wireless carrier may be at an end according to an article on ChinaTechNews.com.
Per the article, China Unicom has reportedly reached an agreement with Apple on iPhone’s entry into China and the 3G iPhone may appear in the Chinese market in May 2009.
The piece cites representatives from Ovum, a British consultancy, as saying that China Unicom and Apple will achieve cooperation soon and if everything goes smoothly, the iPhone 3G will enter the Chinese market in May 2009 at the earliest.
No further details have been offered and prior to this latest rumor, other rumors cited that both China Mobile and China Unicom intended to introduce Apple’s iPhone into China.
Earlier this month, China Unicom reportedly sent a negotiating team to the United States to talk with Apple about the issue and the two companies even implemented tests on iPhone in some Chinese regions.
Apple’s iPhone 3G can support the WCDMA network, which is the 3G protocol provided by China Unicom. Previous reports stated that China Unicom will start a commercial trial of WCDMA in China from May 17, 2009.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.1 Update Released

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Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:34
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday night, Roxio released version 10.0.1 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved handling of AIFF audio files.
  • Resolves issue where some users may be unable to add audio to Music DVD project.
  • Resolves issue where creating Audiobook project may result in -35 error.
  • Resolves issue where users may be unable to remove video from appearing in the Web Video Media Browser view.
  • Resolves issue that may occur when creating disc images so that users are not prompted for additional information.
  • Resolves crash that may occur when opening audio projects saved in a previous version of Toast.
  • Audiobook projects will be split automatically if they become larger than iTunes is able to play back.
  • AVCHD Archive discs created from memory card-based cameras should now play correctly on Blu-ray players.
  • Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.
    If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Apple TV 2.3.1 Update Released, Apparently Disables Boxee Installations

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    Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:28
    Category: Apple TV

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    Overnight, Apple released a minor software update for owners of its set-top media box, though it’s currently unknown whether the patch offers any new features. According to AppleInsider, Apple has yet to update its Apple TV software updates page, which documents revision changes as they come about.
    Per reports that have come in, the 2.3.1 update appears to wreak havoc on installations of the Boxee cross-platform media center software, which adds unauthorized support for a wide range of multimedia formats, online video channels, and social networking features.
    An update to Apple TV that arrived this past November also disabled Boxee installations but did so while delivering a number of widely received features at the same time, such as AirTunes streaming from Apple TV, third-party remote control compatibility, playlists, and music volume control.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve downloaded the update and noticed any major changes, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    OmniWeb Updated to 5.9, Now Free

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    Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:29
    Category: Software

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    Early Wednesday, Omni released version 5.9 of its OmniWeb web browser. The new version, a 16.6 megabyte download, adds no fixes and changes but is now apparently free, according to the development listing.
    OmniWeb 5.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
    If you’ve played with the new version and noticed any major improvements or shortcomings, let us know in the comments or forums.

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