Apple Legal Targets iBuzz, iPod “Spinoff” Adult Products

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 10:21
Category: News

According to a story on techdigest.com, Apple’s legal department has targeted iBuzz, a musical sex toy that vibrates to the rhythm of a given music file on your iPod.
While this may have gone over as a funny joke with most people, Apple took offense with the gadget and the all-too-similar-to-its-own-campaign imagery on the iBuzz web site.
Love Labs, the maker of the iBuzz device, received a threat from Apple’s legal team (Field Fisher Waterhouse) with regard to Love Labs’ use of silhouette-style images of a woman using the product in a similar style to Apple’s iPod ad campaigns.The firm has argued that the imagery is derived from freely available adult images manipulated in Adobe Photoshop. Though the styles are similar, Apple doesn’t have a copyright on the look and feel, according to Love Labs.
Since Apple’s action, Love Labs has removed the image and animation from its web site and replaced the content with descriptions of its upcoming iBuzz 2 product line.

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Apple/Disney/Google Collaboration Could Boost iPhone Sales

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 09:43
Category: Opinion

A recent article on MYiPhone.com speculates that Apple, which now holds a nice position with Disney per Steve Jobs’ recent addition to the company’s board, could see boosted iPhone sales as a result of recent buyouts this year.
Disney, which has filed patents for an upcoming streaming-video handset that looks like a flip phone, seems to be cooperating with Apple. In addition to this union, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, whose company recently bought out Internet video staple YouTube.com, joined Apple’s board of directors back in August of this year.
Where the iPhone is concerned, Apple would provide the device, Disney will provide some of the content (as it’s been doing to the delight of parents looking for family-friendly video downloads by way of the iTunes Store) and Google will provide mobile searching and video advertising for the device through its classic search engine strengths as well as its new YouTube assets. Moving beyond speculation of a combined phone and music device, the iPhone could become a full-fledged broadband mobile video device as a result of these combined efforts.
Not a bad thing and we’ll see what’s on the horizon come January at the Macworld Expo.

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“I Would Buy a Mac if I Didn’t Work for Microsoft” Claims Microsoft Development Manager

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 08:57
Category: News

According to an article on Computerworld.com, Microsoft veteran software development chief James Allchin commented in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software firm had “lost sight” of customer needs and claimed that he would buy a Mac if he wasn’t working for Microsoft.
“In my view, we lost our way,” claimed James Allchin co-president of Microsoft’s platform and services division, wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004.
The e-mail was presented along with evidence last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft Corp where Microsoft is defending itself against allegations that the firm used its monopoly position to overcharge Iowa residents for its software. The case is one of the two holdover cases brought against Microsoft by the U.S. government and multiple states from the late 1990’s asserting that Microsoft abused its position in the market.
“I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products,” said Allchin in one of the cited e-mails.
Allchin, a veteran Windows development manager since the mid-1990’s, is still with the company but plans to retire at the end of this year after the upcoming Windows Vista operating system ships out the door. Elements of the legal transcripts and e-mails were obtained and posted by Groklaw.net, an open-source legal web site.
Like much of the evidence brought against Microsoft in past antitrust litigation, transcripts from the e-mail messages of Allchin and other executives have helped construct the case.
No immediate reply to Allchin’s comments were available from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Inc., Microsoft’s public relations firm.

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CoolBook Update Fixes Controller App Bugs

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 15:05
Category: Software

CoolBook author Magnus Lundholm has released an e-mail to registered users as well as download links to a new build of his shareware application.
The program, a 688 kilobyte download, allows users to monitor their MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops’ CPU frequency, voltage and temperatures with registered users being allowed to manually set their voltage and frequency. Corrected settings can significantly reduce heat dissipation throughout the laptop as well as overall fan noise and help extend the life of their batteries.
The update repairs a damaged build of the CoolBook Controller application that may result in problems activating the program or if an error occurs when clicking the “deactivate original driver” box doesn’t show a window requiring authorization.
CoolBook is available for a $10.00 shareware registration fee.

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Apple: Some Intel-Based Macs May Become Unresponsive After Extended Periods in Target Disk Mode

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 13:55
Category: News

A recent article on MacFixIt.com points to an Apple Knowledge Base document detailing how certain Intel-based Macs (namely the early 2006 iMacs and the MacBook Pro laptops) can become unresponsive if used as a host for FireWire target disk mode for more than 24 hours. Also worth noting is that the display and hard disk on the MacBook Pro might not go into sleep mode when Target Disk Mode has been activated for long periods of time, so be aware of this when checking if the system has become unresponsive.
Albeit a fix (either from a hardware or firmware update end) hasn’t been released, Apple suggests unmounting the host computer and restarting target disk mode sessions every 24 hours.
Please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or ideas regarding this issue.

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MacBook/MacBook Pro Tilt Sensors Control Roomba

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Date: Monday, December 11th, 2006, 10:57
Category: Hacks

A cool link over at the mighty digg.com describes a project over at Tod E. Kurt’s HackingRoomba.com wherein a small Perl script can be used in conjunction with a Bluetooth adapter and the built-in tilt sensors found on the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops.
The script takes a short time to load, then allows the user to control the Roomba’s movements by tilting it forward, backward, left and right to propel the Roomba in corresponding directions.
The script is in an early version but functional. For more information, instructions and a QuickTime demonstration video of the project, go to the project page for full details.

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Apple Confirms Certain Processes Can Shorten Battery Runtime

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 16:03
Category: News

An article posted on the always-useful MacFixIt.com shows Apple confirming that certain system processes can shorten battery run times according to a Knowledge Base document posted on Apple’s web site.
The document confirms that “runaway” processes (or those that use much larger amounts of CPU time than seem to be necessary) can dramatically reduce battery life on Apple laptops such as the iBook, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Per the document: “Battery runtimes can be reduced if an application(s) has runaway or taken over system processes. This can cause the processor to work overtime and consume unnecessary battery power. […]
and:
“If any process is taking more than 70% of the CPU […] verify if the process is needed. If not, quit the process by selecting the process and clicking the Quit button in the upper left corner of the window to regain CPU process control. This can lead to longer battery runtime.”
Practical advice and never be afraid of the Activity Monitor program, for it is your friend, despite residing in the slightly-intimidating Utilities folder.
If you have any comments or opinions on this issue, let us know.

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MiniBatteryLogger Tracks Battery Activities

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:23
Category: Software

Claudio Procida has today released version 1.5.2 of MiniBatteryLogger, a $15 shareware application that allows the user to view battery data such as charge and amperage over time as well as the ability to track this data via customizable colors and indicators for power events, such as surges and drains. Stored data is saved to a log file which tracks time and event occurrence while the program makes sense of this by creating charts, graphs and easy visual markers to follow.
Like other battery tracking programs, MiniBatteryLogger also shares details about your battery’s charge, actual, maximum and original capacities, amperage, voltage, cycle count, and estimated times to complete refill and discharge a battery.
The program is also compatible with the uber-cool Growl system notification program and can alert users via this application.
MiniBatteryLogger is a 2.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is written as a Universal Binary and runs cleanly on both the PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

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Mock iPhone Concept Drawing Hits the Web

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Date: Friday, December 8th, 2006, 08:46
Category: Humor

It may be something that’s either extremely clever or a complete waste of time, but Wired News has reported that several Photoshop jockeys have delivered a concept model of a fake Apple iPhone.
The mock-up, which hints at a rotary dial button system rather than digital push buttons, mounts the phone on a fourth generation iPod body, complete with clickwheel.
Cool stuff and amazing work. Despite the fervor surrounding the potential release of an iPhone device at the upcoming Macworld Expo, it’s nice to remember that there are those who would notice how worked up we’re getting – and still tease us about it.

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Rumors of Apple/TiVo Partnership Abound

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 09:19
Category: Rumor

Apple and TiVo
With Macworld Expo San Francisco on the horizon, the rumors abound.
The latest one according to an article on techcrunch.com centers around the possibility of Steve Jobs announcing a partnership at the upcoming show.
Albeit rumors usually spawn around this time, there is some credibility to the notion of a partnership, especially with Apple’s iTV product in the works. An article over on PVRWire agrees with the idea of the partnership and/or licensing deal, but also cites that Apple and TiVo embody different goals as well as work styles.
The joint effort may be mutually beneficial in that TiVo still has a strong brand name in the PVR world, but faces the reality of declining sales and increased competition while Apple’s connections to online video and retail through the iTunes Store could help the firm. Despite this strength, Apple remains new, untested and unproven in the television markets.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding this, let us know.

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