Happy Memorial Day from the PowerPage

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 31st, 2010, 05:10
Category: Announcement

bbq.jpg
It’s Memorial Day, the beginning of summer and we here at PowerPage will be taking the day off to spend it with friends and family.

We’ll resume our regular news coverage of all things Mac, mobile and awesome tomorrow.

In the meantime, there’s a nice day out there, friends to invite over and tasty barbecue to cook and serve.

And you should get started on that.

Have an outstanding Memorial Day and we’ll be here tomorrow.

Rumor: Apple working on next-gen Apple TV device powered by iPhone OS 4.0

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 28th, 2010, 10:07
Category: Apple TV, Rumor

appletv

Details have emerged of a next-generation Apple TV set top box reportedly based on iPhone OS 4, powered by Apple’s custom-built A4 processor, and offering 1080P cloud-based streaming content with a price tag starting at US$99.

Per Engadget, editor Joshua Topolsky said the information came from a tip and was confirmed by a source “very close to Apple.” The new hardware will reportedly have just 16GB of storage, but will be capable of full 1080P HD video.

“Not only will this be priced to sell (like hotcakes), it seems that Apple is moving away from the model of local storage and will be focusing the new ATV on cloud-based storage (not unlike Amazon’s streaming scheme, though we’re talking instant-on 1080P, a la Microsoft),” the report said. “For those still interested in keeping their content close, there will be an option to utilize a Time Capsule as an external storage component, but the main course will be about streaming.”

The new hardware, said to be small with only a power plug and video out, was described as “an iPhone without a screen.” Sources could not say whether or not the new hardware would be compatible with software from the App Store, though Topolsky noted “it makes sense given the shared platform.”

It’s been reported that Apple will not announce the new hardware at the forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, but the development is currently “full steam ahead.”

The project has allegedly been in development since long before the Google TV was introduced last week. Google’s offering will run on the Android operating system, and will be integrated in set top boxes as well as on HDTV hardware itself from major manufacturers. Google TV, which will run applications from the Android Market and stream Internet video, is scheduled to be released this fall.

The current generation of Apple TV devices begin at US$229 and comes with 160GB of storage. Last September, Apple discontinued the low-end 40GB Apple TV.

The set top box software was updated last October to Apple TV 3.0. The update added a redesigned main menu that aimed to make navigating content simpler and faster. It also allowed useres to watch iTunes Extras and iTunes LP content in full screen on their TV.

However, the software update failed to boost sales for the device, and Apple executives maintained their position that the Apple TV is simply a “hobby” for the Cupertino, Calif., company. In February, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said the set top box market does not compare with the other categories in which Apple competes, particularly media players, smartphones and computers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

International iPad launch underway, line of over 1,200 reported in Japan

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 28th, 2010, 05:49
Category: iPad, News

Apple’s iPad hit the international markets today with initial reports over over 1,200 lined up at Apple’s Ginza flagship store for its 8AM opening. Per Electronista, lines had started as early as Wednesday in Japan and have been matched by similar lines in Australia and Europe. Japanese pre-order numbers aren’t known, but over 900,000 allegedly ordered the tablet in Europe.

The Tokyo queue was helped by the Japanese pre-order campaign, which let customers reserve their iPads in-person rather than online. Shoppers country have also historically been more likely to line up for product launches of many kinds, not just Apple, as NTT DoCoMo saw smaller but noticeable lines for the Xperia X10 handset.

Apple has routinely had a disruptive effect on Japan, as the iPod was the first foreign MP3 player to oust the Sony Walkman from its top spot; the iPhone makes up 72 % of Japanese smartphones and a small but sizeable portion of all cellphones in the country. Few tablets are sold in Japan outside of convertible notebooks, and the relative absence of competitors may give Apple free rein in the short-term future. Sony so far has refused to enter the market quickly but has been one of the few in the region to express interest in building a rival.

Apple updates iBookstore, allows for self-published submissions

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 28th, 2010, 04:40
Category: News

Yesterday, Apple opened up the ability for individuals to submit their books to the iBookstore within the United States. Previously, aspiring authors have been able to work with third-party agggregators with whom Apple has deals, such as Lulu, Smashwords, and Ingram, these firms handling a lot of the overhead and performing tasks such as acquiring an ISBN for your book and making sure the ePub file checks out. Apple has now added e-books as an option to iTunes Connect, albeit the company does warn users that they may get paid faster by using one of those aggregators, as it doesn’t pay out until the sales meet earning thresholds in various regions.

Per Macworld UK, users will need to provide some information before your book hits the digital presses. Besides an Apple ID, you’ll need an ISBN for your book as well as a Tax ID from the IRS (also known as an Employer Identification Number).

Once your application has been approved, Apple says you can submit as many books as you want to the iBookstore. Of course, you’ll still need to create an ePub version of your title, then validate it, and finally submit it to the store for sale.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve ever published a work on your own and have anything to say about it, please let us know in the comments.

PowerPage Podcast Episode 134

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 27th, 2010, 09:52
Category: Podcast

PowerPage Podcast Logo

Episode 134 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (29.4 MB, MP3). This week we went with MP3 encoding because it was too long to keep under the 20GB cap for OTA downloading on the iPad/iPod/iPhone.

Panel: Jason O’Grady and Rob Parker

Topics: This week we discuss AT&T confirming the June iPhone launch, WWDC 2010, DOJ scrutinizing Apple, Wired’s iPad app, traveling with your Mac and we play “What’s on your Mac.”

Here’s what’s on our Macs this week:

Jason

  • Pinball HD ($2.99, iTunes) – Killer pinball simulator for the iPad, great for old school gamers like me.
  • X-Plane ($9.99, iTunes) – Amazing flight simulator for the iPad, now with helicopters.
  • @BPGlobalPR – Just check it out (and follow!)

Rob

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to your RSS client. Our theme music is generously provided by The Tragically Hip their new release “We Are The Same” is available on iTunes. Don’t forget to join the PowerPage Facebook group.

Security researchers locate additional iPhone security hole, publish findings

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 27th, 2010, 04:02
Category: iPhone, News, security

3gs.jpg

Even if you feel absolutely secure in entering your PIN every time you unlock your iPhone, there may still be some security shortfalls. Per a blog post by Bernd Marienfeldt, Marienfeldt and fellow security wonk Jim Herbeck have discovered that plugging even a fully up-to-date, non-jailbroken iPhone 3GS into a computer running Ubuntu Lucid Lynx allows nearly full read access to the phone’s storage even when it’s locked.

The belief is that they’re just a buffer overflow away from full write access as well, which would surely open the door to making calls. Bernd believes the iPhone’s lack of data encryption for content is a real problem, and also cites the inability to digitally sign e-mails as reasons why the iPhone is still not ready for prime time in the enterprise.

Still, better that these guys found it and put the evidence in front of Apple than another party locate the security hole.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

AT&T revises employee work schedules, fourth-gen iPhone expected

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 27th, 2010, 03:56
Category: iPhone, News

3gs.jpg

It’s all falling together as it has in years past. Per Boy Genius Report, AT&T employees have been informed that the phone is actually coming, and may in fact be on sale in the month of June.

The announcement matches employee vacations for June affecting the cell carrier and back at the end of April, it was hinted that the fourth generation iPhone might go on sale during the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference itself.

Even so, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster has stated that he doesn’t expect to see the new iPhone anytime in the immediate future.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your mind in the comments.

VLC updated to 1.1.0 release candidate

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 27th, 2010, 03:45
Category: Software

vlclogo.jpg

Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 1.1.0 release candidate. The new version, a 23.1 megabyte download, adds a massive list of fixes and changes detailed here.

VLC 1.1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Half-Life 2 for Mac OS X to hit Steam today

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 26th, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

Half-Life 2, the groundbreaking first-person shooter, will become available for Mac OS X today via the Steam digital storefront. The game follows the exploits of scientist Gordon Freeman as he fights through the dystopian world of City 17 in an effort to battle and interdimensional force known as the Combine.

Per AppleInsider, Valve, the developer of the Half-Life series, released a video Tuesday echoing Apple’s iconic “1984″ commercial, which introduced the Macintosh platform to the world in what many have heralded as the greatest television advertisement of all time.

To promote the release, Valve has offered the following commercial, the company’s own take on Apple’s legendary “1984″ commercial:



As part of the staggered rollout of Steam for Mac, Valve plans to release new titles every Wednesday, each designed to highlight specific functionalities of the Steam platform on Apple hardware. The first collection of titles included Portal, which was available to play for free for a limited time.

For users who’ve already purchased and activated Half-Life 2 on a Windows version of Steam, check in on Steam for Mac OS X today and you should be able to download and install this version of Half-Life 2 without charge.

Steam is digital game distribution platform which has more than 25 million users and offers access to 1,100 games on the PC. Valve has said it will treat the Mac as a “first-tier” platform, meaning new major titles developed for the PC will release day-and-date with the Mac.

SpamSieve Updated to 2.8.2

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 26th, 2010, 04:26
Category: News, Software

spamsieve2.jpg
Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.8.2. The new version, a 5.9 megabyte download, makes the following fixes and improvements:

Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
- Added Dutch, Italian, and Swedish localizations.
- Made various code improvements and modernizations.
- SpamSieve is better able to recover from certain types of damaged corpus files.
- Updated the Setting up Eudora section of the manual.
- Improved the layout of the Software Update window.
- Adjusted the packaging of the disk image and the installation instructions.
- Fixed a bug that could cause a crash when parsing messages with an invalid Date header.
- Fixed a regression where SpamSieve would sometimes bring up an alert sheet to report that you already had the latest version.
- Fixed a crash in the software updater.

SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.