Apple confirms June 23rd delivery date for some iPhone 4 orders

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 05:42
Category: iPhone, News

Representatives from Apple confirmed on Tuesday that some iPhone 4 pre-order customers will receive their new combination iPod and smartphone on June 23, a day ahead of the official launch.

Per The Mac Observer, the confirmation e-mail Apple sent to some pre-order customers stated “This email is to confirm that your delivery will occur on June 23rd. Although Apple and FedEx tracking information may currently indicate a later date, you can check the FedEx website the morning of the June 23rd to track your package to your doorstep.”

The official launch date for the iPhone 4 is Thursday, June 24th. Apple will be opening its stores at 7 AM for customers that reserved iPhones after the pre-order program kicked off.

The iPhone 4 offers several improvements over the iPhone 3GS such as a thinner body, a higher resolution multi-touch display, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, support for capturing 720p video, a front-facing video call camera, a built-in gyroscope, and more. It is priced at US$199 for the 16GB model and US$299 for the 32GB model.

If you’ve gotten this e-mail on your end, let us know.

Apple releases iOS 4 update for iPhone 3G, 3GS and third-generation iPod touch units

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Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 05:33
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, News

After months of waiting, Apple finally released its iOS 4 operating system for the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, the third-generation iPod touch and the iPhone 4. The new version of the operating system, which weighs in at a hefty 579 megabyte download, is available through iTunes boasts the following changes and fixes:

Multitasking: Now you can run your favorite third-party apps —- and switch between them instantly —- without slowing down the performance of the foreground app or draining the battery unnecessarily.

Folders: Organize apps into folders with drag-and-drop simplicity. Get faster access to your favorites and browse and manage up to 2160 apps.

Even better Mail: See messages from all your accounts in a unified inbox, organize messages by threads, open attachments in third-party apps, and more.

iBooks: More than a great ebook reader, iBooks is also an amazing place to browse and shop for books, day or night.

Create playlists: Create custom playlists right on your iPhone.

5x digital zoom: Get closer to your subjects by zooming in up to 5x.

Tap to focus video: While shooting video, tap the display to choose where to focus.

Faces and Places in Photos: View photos based on who’s in them and where they were taken.

Home screen wallpaper: Change the background wallpaper on your Home screen.

Gift apps: Send apps as gifts to your friends or family.

Spell checking: A built-in spell checker works in Mail, Notes, and other apps.

Wireless keyboard support: Pair a keyboard based on Bluetooth wireless technology with your iPhone.

Like similar iPhone OS (now iOS) updates, simply connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your Mac or PC, select the device and tell it to check for an update. This will find the new version of the iOS and should begin the several-minute update process.

If you’ve tried the new iOS and have any feedback, positive or negative, to offer, please let us know what you think.

Customers receive shipment dates, expected arrival times for iPhone 4 handsets

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:00
Category: iPhone, News

Just a couple more days and you’ll have your mitts on it.

Per iLounge, Apple has started shipping iPhone 4 units to customers who pre-ordered the handset last week.

According to shipment details seen by one customer, the phones appear to be shipping directly out of Shenzhen, China. Based on reports from readers, some shipping estimates list June 23rd instead of June 24th; however, Apple has in the past halted shipments that would have arrived earlier in order to coincide with its pre-announced launch date.

Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24th.

If you’ve heard about the arrival date on yours, please let us know.

Apple quietly installs specific anti-malware code into Mac OS X 10.6.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

There’s something to be said for an operating system succeeding and gaining market share: people will make more of an effort to write viruses and malware for it.

Per CNET, Apple’s recent Mac OS X 10.6.4 update includes software to protect Macs from a Trojan horse that has been distributed by attackers disguised as iPhoto, but which opens a back door on the machine, security firm Sophos said on Friday.

When Apple released OS X 10.6.4 on Tuesday, the company said it addressed certain compatibility issues with VPN connections and other things, but failed to mention anything about adding an anti-malware update.
Buried in the code is an update to the XProtect.plist file, which contains signatures of malware written to target the Mac. The signatures now detect malware dubbed “HellRTS,” Graham Clulely of Sophos wrote in a blog post.

HellRTS, which Sophos detects as “OSX/Pinheard-B,” is a Trojan that has been around several months. It lets attackers use infected computers to send spam, take screenshots, access files, and pretty much take control of the computer, Sophos said.

“Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn’t helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done,” Clulely writes. “You have to wonder whether their keeping quiet about an anti-malware security update like this was for marketing reasons. “Shh! Don’t tell folks that we have to protect against malware on Mac OS X!”

Representatives from Apple have yet to return any requests for comment on the issue.

E3 2010: Strange find in the halls

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Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 03:49
Category: Accessory, iPad, News

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On the second to last day of E3 this year, I was walking from the south hall to the west hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center only to find a man named Howie repeatedly dropping his iPad to the ground in public.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words…



There it is, the accurately-titled iBallz protection system for your iPad or Amazon Kindle, priced at US$20 plus shipping and handling with the product being geared towards users with small children who could easily knock your iPad off the coffee table or other low surface.

Take a gander, as this is one of the cleverest ideas I’ve seen in a while.



E3 2010: Portal 2 demoed, details surface

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 19:51
Category: News

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The long-awaited Portal 2 was demoed at this year’s E3 and the included gameplay footage aside, the following facts were garnered during the presentation:

- The new title is wrapped around story, gameplay (fans wanted to be surprised again) and music (the Jonathan Coulton track “Still Alive” took off and became a calling card with fans were demanding music have practically a starring role in the title).

- A lot of time has passed within the story between Portal 1 and 2 and the GLaDOS test computer is putting the labs back together, as it only knows how to have a relationship through testing, which was the premise of the original title).

- Throughout the demo, there’s an amazing combination of imagery with the charred/destroyed labs repairing themselves. A mix of wreckage, clean room/tech lab and jungle footage environments mix together to create a surreal but effective new world to play in.

- New character: A small personality sphere named Wheatley (complete with a British accent) surfaces as a guide/counterpart within the game. This character has been trapped in the Aperture labs for a long time and looks to escape along with you.

- The GLaDOS computer returns, embodying an enraged, insane and passive/aggressive cleverness in its interactions with your character.

- Throughout the demonstration, the game retains its dark but irreverent sense of humor.

- Certain environments are now destructible, which adds a new dimension to the gameplay.

- Repulsion Gel: Pour it on a surface and you can sort of use it as a trampoline (blue).

- Propulsion Gel: Allows for a “fling” effect. (orange)

- The developers commented that they’re looking to work off the same skill set as Portal 1 without forcing the players to relearn too many basics.

- Portal 2 itself is that much bigger and more involved than the original (no final level count has been released).

- Portal 2 can be worked through via a two-player co-op mode, this mode offering a different set of levels.

- The title will ship next year on Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.

Part 1:



Part 2:



Part 3:



Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

E3 2010: Gameloft demos assorted iPhone/iPad titles en route to market

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 16:19
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

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Over at E3, mobile publisher Gameloft introduced a slew of iPhone and iPad titles over the course of the week.

Per Macworld, Gameloft will release the following titles to the iPhone and iPad:

Hero of Sparta 2:
In the coming months, Gameloft will release Hero of Sparta 2, the sequel to the adventure title in which the player must follow avenge his homeland after finding everything he knows has been destroyed. Although no firm release date has been set, the title has been confirmed for both the iPhone and iPad.

Splinter Cell: Conviction for iPad:
The first Splinter Cell game for the iPad, Splinter Cell: Conviction places you in the middle of a plot where stealth means everything. A final release date has yet to be confirmed, though the game seems to be a better fit on the larger iPad than the iPhone.

Ultimate Spiderman: Total Mayhem:
Set in the comic book style of the hero’s roots, Ultimate Spiderman: Total Mayhem has you control Spiderman as he battles criminals and super villains while web swinging throughout the world of New York.

Expect to see this title within the App Store before too long and this proved promising.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
In addition to providing applications in the stealth and brawler genres, Gameloft is producing some new titles in the platformer genre as well. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was originally released on consoles in 2004 but is getting its own iPad version in July of this year.

Like the console version, expect to wall jump, backflip, dispose of several demonic guards, and then maybe slide down a banner for good measure. The current build looks on par with the 2004 release, which was still impressive and the title itself played pretty smoothly.

Let’s Golf 2:
Let’s Golf 2 will hit the iPhone this July and features eight characters with their own powers as well as over 108 holes of golf. Users will be able to travel to six exotic locations including Aztec ruins, African jungles, and Greenland.

Other new features Gameloft will add to Let’s Golf 2 include new leaderboards and ways to challenge your friends, a new career mode, and new achievements to unlock.



E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS impressions

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 10:25
Category: News

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By Joshua Simmons

Nintendo knows it has a hit on its hands when the line to just try the 3DS curls around half the expo in just minutes after opening the doors at 10 AM. The security did their best to quell the stampede of gamers to the Nintendo booth as shouts of “No running!” went largely ignored. However, despite the large crowd and after waiting in line for only an hour, I was finally able to get my hands on Nintendo’s new baby and try a few demos.

To start with Nintendo has provided a 3D effect slider on the device that allows the user to adjust the intensity of the feature, or completely turn it off. But even when turned off, the screen has a beautiful resolution and is worthy of the upgrade alone. So, after adjusting and trying various degrees of the 3D effect, I settled into a comfortable area of about 3/4 of the slider turned up. I also noticed that you really have to be looking at the device in it’s sweet spot, right in the center, to fully enjoy the 3D; looking at it even slightly to the right or left causes a slight double vision issue. Other noticeable additions to the 3DS include the addition of an analog stick, two front facing cameras for taking 3D photos, and the ability to play 3D movies. Finally the system itself was slightly smaller then the DSi, with smoother curves and a gloss finish instead of matte.

As for the demos, I was able to get hands on time with the device for about 20 minutes before being shuffled out for the next group. The first demo I got to play was a retro Star Fox level, remade in 3D. As I flew over the landscape, I was astounded by the sense of depth the 3D effect was creating as Fox’s ship seemed to hover out of the screen flying towards the mountains in the background. As I shot down enemy ships, the explosions would seem to burst in the space before me off the screen; it is something you just have to see for yourself. I am hoping this was more than just a tech demo, and we’ll be seeing a Star Fox 3D release in time for the launch.

Next I was treated to another playable demo, this time a brand new Pilotwings title made just for the 3DS. There were two modes available to try, stunt plane flying and jet pack flying. Both modes, similarly to Star Fox, really demonstrated the 3D feature with the the subjects popping out in the space before my eyes as I guided them over a city existing in varying depths of perception. Lastly, I was able to see a couple of trailers for future 3D titles such as Kid Icarus, Resident Evil, and Metal Gear Solid 3; all looking fantastic in 3D. Nintendo has really accomplished something unreal here, and I highly recommend everyone at least try it for yourselves the first chance you get.

2010 Mac mini teardown report posted, interesting discoveries found

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Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 06:13
Category: Mac mini, News

Apple’s slim new 2010 Mac mini received the royal treatment/acceptance into the tech world recently via a complete teardown by tech firm iFixit shows.

A teardown report by iFixit shows how Apple fit the slim system’s power supply inside the unibody aluminum case and reveals a variety of new innovations.

Rather than needing an external power supply, the new unit ships with simply an AC power cable (similar to Apple TV and Time Capsule), and Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. The new model also includes a built in HDMI port for delivering audio and digital video to an HDTV display over one cable.

The new Mac Mini includes an SD Card slot just like recent MacBook Pros, and includes four USB 2.0 ports, along with the standard Gigabit Ethernet and a FireWire 800 port. After taking a new unit apart, iFixit discovered the following new changes:

- The Mac mini’s unibody top enclosure is machined from a single block of aluminum, with a twist off rubber base that exposes RAM components for easy access. “Removing the RAM is very simple this time around, requiring only the simple prying of two clips.” The bottom cover also provides a radio window in the metal case for WiFi and Bluetooth.

“There are two blind holes in the case of the Mini that are meant for the ends of Apple’s custom U-shaped logic board removal tool. We just used two Torx screwdrivers. We call them the ‘Mac mini logic board removal tool.’”

- The new Mac mini’s power supply provides “a minuscule 7 Amps at 12V. Compare that to the 25.8 Amps at 12V cranked out by the 27 inch iMac, and you can understand how they fit the power supply inside the Mini.”
“The fan doesn’t have too much work to do, since the new Mac Mini is the most energy-efficient desktop, running on less than 10 watts at idle! In keeping with its space saving design, the fins directing air toward the vent hole are slanted to allow for better fan placement.”

- The fan cools the CPU and CPU via a wraparound heat sink tube that wicks heat toward the fins and blows it out the wide slot on the back panel.

iFixit notes that the Mac mini’s 3/8 inch woofer dome “won’t be popping ear drums anytime soon” and may be a bit underpowered for some audiophiles.

iPad hacker faces multiple drug charges, spotty past following FBI arrest

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 05:16
Category: iPad, News

Some hackers just have no luck.

Per CNET, one of the hackers in the group that snatched more than 100,000 iPad owner email addresses from AT&T’s servers was arrested Tuesday on felony drug charges after the FBI searched his Arkansas, US home.

Andrew “Escher” Auernheimer was arrested by Fayetteville, Ark., police and was booked into the Washington County Detention Center Tuesday afternoon, where he is being held on bonds totaling US$3,160.

Auernheimer, 24, faces four felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor drug charge. During the raid, police reportedly found drugs that included cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and Schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals when they searched his home.

Auernheimer, who also goes by the hacker nickname “weev,” is one of 10 members of Goatse Security, a hacking group that used an automated script to collect 114,000 iPad email addresses from AT&T through a public feature of the carrier’s Web site.

Goatse revealed its e-mail harvesting after AT&T closed the hole, then defended its actions as “responsible disclosure” (the term given to security revelations made public only after a vendor has patched a bug). In a letter to customers apologizing for the email address disclosure, however, AT&T said the group “maliciously exploited” its Web site and promised it would “prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law.”

In recent interview, Auernheimer argued that Goatse’s attack was “ethical” and denied that they did anything illegal . “We love America and did this in the public interest,” Auernheimer said at the time.

Wednesday, the Fayetteville Police Department declined to comment on the charges against Auernheimer, instead referring all questions to the FBI.

Special Agent Bryan Travers of the FBI’s Newark, N.J., division confirmed that the agency had served a search warrant at Auernheimer’s home, but declined to answer any other questions, including whether agents removed computers from Auernheimer’s residence. “This remains an open investigation,” Travers said in an email.

The FBI launched an investigation into the Goatse attack last week, saying then that it was trying to determine if the group broke any laws.

Auernheimer is no stranger to drugs, according to Brian Krebs, a former reporter for the Washington Post and now the author of the Krebs on Security blog. In 2006, said Krebs, Auernheimer started a talk at a security conference by telling the audience that he was tripping on acid.

He has also regularly posted anti-Semitic statements on his LiveJournal blog, where he has claimed that the FCC is “Jewish-run” and that Jews “have long made a sham of the nobel [sic] prize.”

Auernheimer was arrested last March, according to a report by Fayetteville television station KHBS-TV , which noted that city police said he had given them a false name when they responded to a parking complaint.

A court hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in Washington County Circuit Court.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.