China Unicom to Begin Selling iPhone 3G in October

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Date: Monday, September 28th, 2009, 04:56
Category: iPhone

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Apple’s iPhone 3G smartphone will go on sale in China in October, operator China Unicom said on Monday.

According to Macworld UK, the handset will go on sale in October for around 5,000 yuan (US$733), the operator said, without offering specific pricing for the two iPhone 3G models, which have storage capacity for 16GB and 32GB of data, respectively.

The Chinese version of the iPhone 3G, which intentionally lacks Wi-Fi networking support, will be offered with eight different service plans, which range in price from 126 yuan to 886 yuan per month, China Unicom said. These packages will include 450MB to 4GB of mobile data access, 120 to 880 SMS messages, 15 to 95 MMS messages, and between 320 to 3,000 minutes of talk time.

Details of all eight pricing plans were not available, and it was not immediately clear if iPhone 3G customers would pay the full retail price with all of these plans.

The Chinese launch of the iPhone 3G closely tracks the commercial launch of China Unicom’s 3G service, which is based on WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology.

The 3G service officially starts operations on 1 October, which is a national holiday and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Rumor: Apple to Unveil Updated iMacs, Refreshed Plastic MacBooks for Holiday Season

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Date: Monday, September 28th, 2009, 04:33
Category: iMac, MacBook, Rumor

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The rumor mill is starting back up again and The Unofficial Apple Weblog as well as other sites have begun to report on Apple’s expected releases for the holiday season.

French Mac site Mac4Ever is citing tips indicating that a new iMac, possibly quad-core powered, is in the works for a possible release before the holiday season. Like the MacBook Pro line, the new iMac would feature an SD card reader. There’s also the thought that a high-end iMac could even pack in a Xeon processor. AppleInsider has added its two cents, citing that an iMac boost is in the works, although they’re not speculating on quad-core or Xeon processors, and even reports that a new, slimmer design has been churning off Taiwanese assembly lines for the past two weeks.

The second rumor, also from AppleInsider, points to a less expensive and slimmer white polycarbonate MacBook. If Apple is able to reduce the price of the low-end laptop below its current US$999 level, it could stem the tide of sales of low-cost Windows and Linux netbooks.

They’re just rumors, but there’s generally some nuggets of truth to be found. If you’ve heard anything or want to chime in on this, let us know what’s on your mind.

TomTom Announces Clarification, States Car Kit, Application to be Sold Separately

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Date: Friday, September 25th, 2009, 05:47
Category: Accessory, iPhone, iPod, News

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Following up on an incident where its product was briefly displayed at the European Apple Store web site yesterday, TomTom U.K. announced that its upcoming iPhone Car Kit accessory will have a retail price of £99.99 but will not include the TomTom application.

“TomTom announces today that the TomTom car kit for the iPhone will have a recommended retail price of £99.99,” the company said in a press release. “The TomTom car kit will be available this October and will be sold separately from the TomTom app. It will be compatible with the iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS. All further details on the car kit will be made available soon.”

The announcement conflicts with earlier reports that the kit would include the software as a bundle.

The press release didn’t clarify whether the iPod touch will be compatible with the hardware kit, though the product’s windshield mount includes an external GPS receiver that is said to improve the reception of the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

Unlike those models, first-generation iPhone does not include an internal GPS receiver, but the press release states that the device will work with the hardware. That corrects an apparent error in the previous Apple Store listing, which said that the TomTom software would not work on the first-generation iPhone.

Originally due for release over the summer, the kit was delayed until October. The TomTom application was released in the App Store in August at a price of US$99 U.S.

A final price for the U.S. edition has yet to be officially accounced.

New iMac Generation Almost Ready for Holidays, Could See Introduction This Month

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Date: Friday, September 25th, 2009, 05:03
Category: iMac, News

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Before the start of October, Apple could begin to fill out its 2009 Mac product line with a new family of iMacs sporting classier enclosures and a few added bells and whistles. Per AppleInsider, the new iMac dual-core desktops were finalized earlier in September and have been rolling off the Mac maker’s Taiwanese product lines for roughly two weeks, according to two people sources.

In addition to more affordable pricing, the systems are expected to come clad in a thinner industrial design. Though details are admittedly limited, it’s likely these new enclosures will also take design cues from the Cupertino-based company’s LED-lit Cinema Display offerings.

Aesthetic revisions aside, the late 2009 iMac line should also debut several features previously unavailable to Mac buyers.

People familiar with Apple’s thinking have suggested in recent months one of these moves could see the company finally embrace Blu-ray

With the costs of such drives remaining relatively high, it’s reasonable to presume such capability would fetch an added premium on most models.

A pair of other associated enhancements, one believed to be related to audio, should be seen with this new generation of iMacs according to sources close to the story.

For its part, AppleInsider believes Apple is primed to extend the capabilities of at least one technology introduced on the Mac platform as recently as last fall.

To make way for these new models, Apple’s corporate and educational sales teams this month have reportedly been offering their volume customers instant discounts of US$100 to US$200 on existing models. Anxious to clear inventories, representatives have allegedly stressed to buyers that these offers would be valid for just one week.

AT&T to Launch MMS Feature for iPhone Friday via Carrier Profile Update Over iTunes

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Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2009, 04:49
Category: iPhone, News

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American iPhone users will finally see AT&T’s MMS feature unlocked late Friday morning on the west coast by way of a carrier update file that will be delivered through iTunes, AT&T announced Wednesday.

“MMS Update: We know you’ve been eager for this service so we wanted to offer a quick update on the launch plans for MMS on Friday, Sept. 25,” AT&T wrote on its official Facebook page. “Late morning, Pacific Time, on Friday, the new carrier settings update enabling MMS should be live and ready to download through iTunes. We’ll provide the steps and all of the details you need right here at that time.”

Per AppleInsider, east coast residents will likely see their update available sometime early Friday afternoon. It also confirms that an iTunes update to the phone’s carrier profile will be necessary for MMS to be activated.

An article published over on DSLReports cited a source familiar with the company’s MMS upgrade as saying, “Starting at 10AM Eastern (on the 25), AT&T will send out a mass text to a group of iPhone users telling them that MMS now works on their phone.

Assuming all goes well, “They will keep doing groups of phones on the hour throughout the day,” the source said. Official word from company spokesman Seth Bloom said the upgrade would be targeted at early afternoon on the East Coast, or late morning for users on Pacific Time.

The source said AT&T was “very nervous” about the launch, due to seeing a surge in traffic from just a limited number of iPhone users selected to participate in advanced testing of the new service.

MMS allows users to send graphics, audio clips, location and contact files, and even video clips via an SMS-like messaging system. The new MMS features require an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS.

Picture and video messaging was originally scheduled to arrive in the summer, but will be a few days late. AT&T has said that iPhone data usage has been very taxing on its network, leading to delays as the company attempts to strengthen its service.

Originally, iPhone tethering was also announced for the summer, but AT&T officials have said that service is coming at a later date, with no specifics given. The company apparently has no intentions to cap bandwidth for iPhone users.

Carbon Copy Cloner Updated to 3.3

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Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2009, 04:42
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, has released version 3.3 of the program. The new version, a 3.2 megabyte download, adds the following changes:

– Added support for HFS+ filesystem compression that was introduced in Snow Leopard.
– To correspond with how the Finder and Disk Utility report these values on Snow Leopard, CCC will now use base 10 for reporting MB and GB on Snow Leopard. CCC will continue to use base 2 to report these values when booted from Leopard or Tiger.
– Improved the performance of backing up a large number of files with extended attributes.
– It is no longer a requirement that CCC be installed on media that supports the setuid bit.
– Added a bootability notification that will notify users when a target volume’s underlying disk is partitioned with the MBR partitioning scheme (rather than the Apple-recommended GUID or APM partition scheme).
– Increased the increment value of the disk image segment size stepper from 1 to 25. Now it takes mere seconds to get from 650MB to 4.6GB.
– Addressed an issue in which the source and target menus would not be properly updated if a disk disappears unexpectedly in the middle of a backup task.
– CCC now properly excludes the Time Machine database when backing up a hard drive using the “Backup everything” cloning method in file-level mode.
– Much like the Snow Leopard update, this release includes hundreds of tweaks and adjustments to improve performance and reliability.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

Apple Clears Legal Hurdle to Sell iPhone in South Korea

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Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, 03:05
Category: iPhone, News

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South Korean authorities cleared Apple’s iPhone for sale in the country on Wednesday by lifting a legal bar on operation of location-based services by Apple, a spokesman for a government regulator said. Per Macworld UK, the Korea Communications Commission decided to allow Apple to operate the services itself in a “flexible” application of local law, the spokesman said. Without the clearance, Apple would have needed a local operator to run the location services and manage user privacy for the data gathered, he said.

The move is partly aimed to avoid limiting choices for South Korean consumers, according to a spokesperson’s press release. South Korean’s mobile phone market is currently dominated by local handset makers Samsung and LG Electronics.

South Korean mobile carrier KT is in talks with Apple about offering the iPhone, though details are not yet available. Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Apple recently removed Wi-Fi functionalities from the model of the iPhone to be offered in China this year to obtain the country’s regulatory approval for the handset.

VLC 1.0.2 Released

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Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, 03:53
Category: Software

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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 1.0.2 on Tuesday. The new version, a 43 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Assorted bug fixes.
– Support for SSA decoding.
– Support for v4l2.
– Mac OS X interface changes.
– OGG/theora support changes.
– X264 modules and security issue changes.
– Introduces the port to 64 bits for Mac OS platform and 2 new languages (Kazakh and Croatian).

VLC 1.0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and is available as a free download.

Apple Releases iTunes 9.0.1 Update

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Date: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009, 03:37
Category: iPhone, iPod, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released iTunes 9.0.1, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, an 83 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Resolves issues browsing the iTunes Store.
– Addresses a performance issue where iTunes may become unresponsive.
– Fixes a problem where iTunes may unexpectedly quit.
– Fixes a problem syncing Podcasts in playlists to iPod or iPhone.
– Fixes a problem sorting albums with multiple discs.
– Addresses an issue with the Zoom button not switching to Mini Player.
– Improves application syncing for iPod touch and iPhone.
– Genius is now automatically updated to show Genius Mixes.

iTunes 9.0.1 is available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

ESPN Radio App Now Available for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009, 03:27
Category: iPhone, Software

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ESPN Radio has released an iPhone application that provides access to live radio streams from more than 15 different ESPN stations. Per MacNN, the app features play-by-play broadcasts of college football games in real-time, as well as live scores and news feeds for NFL, MLB, NHL, and other professional sports games. ESPN Radio allows users to listen to a variety of shows such as Mike and Mike in the Morning, The Michael Kay Show, and The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

Users can use the application access live feeds from regional stations including ESPN 1050 New York, ESPN 1250 Pittsburgh, and ESPN 1000 Chicago. The app also provides over 35 different podcasts, along with SportsCenter updates every 20 minutes. Users can even send text messages directly from the interface to ESPN Radio studios.

ESPN Radio retails for US$3 and requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.

And for the record: go, Patriots!!!