AT&T to Begin Selling Contract-Free iPhones in U.S. Next Week

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Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:48
Category: iPhone

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Recently, wireless carrier AT&T announced that it would begin selling contract-free iPhones in the United States beginning next week.
According to Boy Genius Report, the price works out to be more expensive than that of buying a subsidized iPhone with a two-year contract, paying the subscription for a month, canceling the plan and paying the early termination fee.
The phone, including the activation fee, would retail at US$599 for the 8GB model and US$699 for the 16GB model.
“This is simply another way AT&T customers can experience iPhone 3G on the nation’s fastest 3G network,” AT&T said in a statement.
Existing AT&T customers – the only people who can buy the contract-less phones – are eligible to purchase an iPhone at a subsidized price based on the amount of time left on their contract and their payment history. In many cases, these users fare better by waiting until they become eligible for a subsidized iPhone with a two-year contract.
There currently seems to be a “one per customer” limit tied in with the offer.
AT&T’s current cheapest plan retails for US$70 a month, including voice and data access.
iPhones without contracts have been available in some European countries. AT&T has long said that it would sell iPhones without contracts but until now had not said when.
If you’re looking into picking up a contract-free iPhone, let us know what’s on your mind in the comments or forums.

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Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 2.0.0.21

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Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:22
Category: Software

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Mozilla.org, creators of the Firefox web browser, has just released version 2.0.0.21 of Thunderbird, its free e-mail client. The new program, an 18.7 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and new features:

  • Upgrade PNG library to fix memory safety hazards
  • XML data theft via RDFXMLDataSource and cross-domain redirect
  • Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.7)
  • Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.6)
  • Thunderbird 2.0.0.21 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run and is programmed as a Universal Binary, allowing for native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
    As always, if you’ve played with the new version and have any feedback, positive or negative, let us know.

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    Elgato Releases Turbo.264 HD Video Converter

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    Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 08:00
    Category: Accessory

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    Accessory provider Elgato announced the release of its new Turbo.264 HD video converter on Thursday. The USB hardware converter can convert HD and AVCHD content into a wide range of standard and HD video formats.
    Users can then edit movies before copying them from a camera, splice movies together, and download movies to your Mac or YouTube account. Turbo.264 HD supports AVCHD Video, QuickTime, AVI, DV, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 Program/Transport Stream, MPEG-4, MP4, M4V, H.263, H.264 AVC, Xvid, VIDEO_TS and more. It also includes a QuickTime component that improves H.264 exporting for other applications including Apple’s iMovie.
    The Turbo.264 HD retails for US$149.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later to run.
    If you have a hardware converter of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Is Internet Tethering Finally Coming to the iPhone?

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    Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 01:30
    Category: iPhone, Software

    Well, that’s sort of a rhetorical question really. By now, reports of successful tetherings of an iPhone running the developer release of iPhone OS 3.0 have blanketed the blogosphere. It certainly isn’t without caveats, but then it IS a developer preview of unreleased software.
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    On Tuesday, March 16th, Apple’s held it’s latest press release party to show off the iPhone’s next OS to media and developers. Scott Forstall stated, in response to media questions about when Apple was bringing tethering to the iPhone, “We’re absolutely supporting tethering in the client side in iPhone 3.0, but we’re working with carriers around the world to see when they can add tethering support on their networks. But we are building that support into iPhone 3.0.”. While no demonstration of this capability was given, the ravenous developer community began looking for hints within the software’s SDK that tethering was in the works.
    Not only did they find clues, but apparently fully working components and system controls to manage a tethered connection through the iPhone. The software in the 3.0 firmware will allow connection to be be made using a USB or Bluetooth connection to a computer. Now that we know that the software is there, now we just have to wait for word from AT&T to see how much they are going to bilk charge us for the privilege. Odds favor it will cost around $30 per month like their other tethering plans for other phones. Maybe Apple will go to bat for iPhone users to get the price lowered.
    What do you think about tethering and what would you pay? Let us know in the forums.

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