Hulu Plus service for iPad delayed, won’t make May 24th launch

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 06:47
Category: iPad, News

You love Hulu on your Mac.

But you’ll have to wait a little longer for it on the iPad.

Per MediaMemo, sources close to Hulu have cited that Hulu’s new service, dubbed “Hulu Plus” wouldn’t make its anticipated arrival date of May 24th and in fact there was “no way” Hulu Plus would become available next week.

According to the original plan, Hulu plans to charge a monthly subscription for access to Hulu on the iPad through a forthcoming application to be released on the App Store. Hulu executives were initially hopeful that they could release an application potentially alongside the debut of the iPad.

Sources close to the story said Tuesday that it’s likely the service remains in negotiations with content holders. Even with the delays, it’s been reported that the principal partners, including Fox, ABC and NBC have agreed to the basics of the subscription plan, including a US$10-per-month fee for access to “a deeper catalog of broadcast shows plus access to the services like Apple’s iPad.”

“And even if Hulu and all of its partners are seeing eye-to-eye — not a given — getting the rights from various programming partners to sell their shows could be a slog,” Kafka wrote for MediaMemo.

Sources pushing Hulu’s subscription plan behind the scenes did reportedly say that the new service will be “revolutionary.”

One feature that the new Hulu won’t support: HTML5. Last week, the company revealed on its official blog that it doesn’t see HTML5 in its immediate future. The current player on the website is built on Adobe Flash, which is used to stream video, secure content, and handle reporting for advertisers, among many other tasks.

Hulu’s iPad application is expected to be similar to the existing ABC and Netflix streaming players available for download on the App Store. The popular ABC application shows programs like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for free, with ad support. And that free product has apparently caused concern for Hulu and its subscription plans.

Reports have suggested that Hulu will incentivize its subscription plan by offering streaming to Apple’s iPad, as well as by including a “window” where content is available to subscribers before it can be seen for free by the general public. It is said that Hulu’s business partners have pressured the service into subscription plans to “train” viewers that they should pay for online access to content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Recently published patent hints at deeper iPhone/Facebook integration

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 03:06
Category: iPhone, News, Patents

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A newly published Apple patent hints at the company’s plans for including improved Facebook integration into the iPhone at the device level.

The document, discovered by Patently Apple, was approved until April 1st, 2010 and filed in September 2008 and focuses on creating device-to-device workflows.

Apple has essentially patented the ability to sync actions between two or more devices. This could be something as simple as adding a to-do on your Mac’s calendar application and having it automatically sent to the iPhone.

The patent also includes provisions in the patent for device proximity. For instance, an iPhone and iMac set to synchronize a schedule could be activated by Bluetooth connections on both devices that will automatically initiate a calendar synchronization once the devices are within a certain range of each other.

The Facebook element of the patent comes into play with contact syncing. For example, say you meet a colleague or friend out somewhere and realize you haven’t friended her or him on Facebook. When you initiate an “add contact” on your phone, it can first pull in all the vCard information from your friend’s phone, send your info back (if you are exchanging information), offer to take a photo of your friend to add to your address book and then, if you so choose, add your friend to Facebook.

Your friend will then get a notification on her device of the pending friend request and can then approve or ignore it.

There are some third-party solutions available for the iPhone (like Bump) and for Android and BlackBerry devices that can do similar things, but having a scripting workflow engine built into the device itself is a unique idea unto itself.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple quietly releases updated 13″ MacBook

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Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, 03:35
Category: MacBook, News

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Confirming yesterday’s post, Apple quietly released a refreshed MacBook notebook, the new model incorporating a new faster 2.4GHz processor, and NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics processor.

These changes bring it into line with recently released MacBook Pro model.

Apple is claiming that the new MacBook provides 80% faster performance, largely due to the the improved graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320m graphics processor.

Like the NVIDIA 9400m graphics chip it replaces, the 320m shares its memory (256MB) from the main system RAM, rather than possessing the discrete graphics memory found on the NVIDIA 330m (used by the MacBook Pro).

Per Macworld UK, the NVIDIA 320m is 40% more efficient than the 9400m chip it replaces. Apple is also claiming a fairly hefty 10 hours of wireless productivity from the new MacBook.

Another new feature (albeit a small one) is that the DVI socket now supports the DVI to HDMI adaptor, enabling users to connect the older monitors to the laptop.

The 2.4 GHz MacBook retails for US$999 and is immediately available.

Next-Gen iPhone to see upped screen resolution, other improvements

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Date: Monday, May 17th, 2010, 07:19
Category: iPhone, News

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Per DigiTimes, Apple’s next-gen iPhone should see significant display improvements and carry an upped resolution of 960 x 640 pixels.

Despite the appearance of several prototype iPhones in recent weeks, the only confirmation of the higher resolution display has been a qualitative comparison with the current iPhone suggesting that it is the case. DigiTimes’ report today again suggests that the new iPhone will in fact carry a 960 x 640 screen.

The next-generation iPhone’s display will also reportedly adopt fringe-field switching (FFS), a technology that should improve viewing angles and performance in bright sunlight.
By incorporating FFS technology, users should have a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality under in sunlight, Apple is aiming to improve the handset’s e-book reader features and promote its iBooks Store. HTC’s Hero smartphone has already adopted this technology.

The report also notes that the panel on the new iPhone is 33% thinner than in current models, allowing for increased battery size.

In addressing the brains behind the forthcoming iPhone, the report claims that users can expect an ARM Cortex A8 processor, of which the Apple A4 processor used in the iPad and observed in one of the prototypes is an implementation. The report claims, however, that it will also offer 512 MB of RAM.

The iPhone 4G is currently specced as running on the ARM Cortex A8 processor and a 512MB memory module from Samsung Electronics, doubling the memory capacity seen in the iPhone 3GS to take advantage of the multi-tasking capability of the iPhone OS 4.0 platform.

Apple is widely expected to introduce the new iPhone on June 7th at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.3 released

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Date: Monday, May 17th, 2010, 06:08
Category: News, Software

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The good news: BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.3 has been released.

The application, a 31.6 megabyte download, allows Mac users to sync data from Mac applications like iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Entourage and others, as well as add and remove applications, schedule automatic backups, encrypt backup files and install software updates for their BlackBerry smartphones.

The downside: Because Research In Motion is apparently run by staggering idiots who think the cast of “Jersey Shore” qualify for Mensa status and unicorns are real, absolutely no version changes have been logged or mentioned.

None.

So, if you’ve installed the new version and noticed any changes (for better or for worse), we’d love to know.

Especially since the developers of this long-awaited software package seem reluctant to tell you what they are.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.3 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Additional evidence emerges for both front and back cameras on next-gen iPhone

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Date: Friday, May 14th, 2010, 08:41
Category: iPhone, News

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This could be interesting.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, a Twitter post from user @chenks shows the hidden metadata of an iPhone OS 4.0 screenshot states that the picture came from the phone’s “Back Camera.”

The image brings up a stronger possibility that the upcoming iPhone could feature a front-facing camera as well as the conventional back-facing camera.

If so, applications such as Skype, iChat and others could come into their own via video conferencing on the iPhone.

Stay tuned for additional details as we get them.

Hulu confirms, quickly retracts, vow of HTML5 support for iPad

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Date: Friday, May 14th, 2010, 04:25
Category: iPad, News

Video streaming web site Hulu both posted and quickly retracted a blog post yesterday, the edited form stating that the web site doesn’t see using HTML5 in its immediate future.

Per AppleInsider, Eugene Wei, vice president of product with Hulu, said that his company’s contractual requirements make the transition to HTML5 too difficult. The current player on the website, built with Adobe Flash, does a great deal more than stream video.

“We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs,” Wei wrote. “Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user.”

The statement would seem to finally put to rest lingering rumors that Hulu might convert to HTML5 for an iPad-friendly site. But it does not mean that iPad users will not be able to access Hulu.

The company is still expected to bring its service to the iPad eventually, through software in the App Store much like the ABC and Netflix streaming players. It is believed Hulu on the iPad will be a pay-only service that would require a monthly subscription.

But the existing, popular ABC application shows programs like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” for free, with ad support. And that free product has apparently caused concern for Hulu, which is rumored to introduce a US$9.95-per-month subscription plan later this month, on May 24th.

It is believed that Hulu will incentivize its subscription plan with Apple’s iPad, and also offer a “window” where content is available to subscribers, both on computers and the iPad, before it can be seen for free by the general public. Rumors have suggested Hulu’s business partners have pressured the service into subscription plans to “train” viewers that they should pay for online access to content.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.6 update released

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Date: Friday, May 14th, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday night, Roxio released version 10.0.7 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

- iPad video export profile now available as device setting for video exports.

- TiVo recordings (US only) can now be exported at 640×480 resolution.

- Resolves issue where text entered may appear outside text field.

- Resolves issue where DVD-Video volume with in name may be handled incorrectly.

- Resolves issue which may cause application to crash.

Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

Apple awards CDMA iPhone contract to Pegatron

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Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2010, 04:19
Category: iPhone, News

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Apple has apparently awarded a contract for building a CDMA iPhone to Pegatron Technologies.

The news arrives from Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes, which back in February announced that the company had won the contract for building the expected next generation UMTS iPhone 4. Previous iPhones have been built by Foxconn, which also builds Apple’s Mac mini, iPods and the iPad, and is the company’s main supplier.

Rumors surrounding the possibly of a CDMA iPhone model that Apple could sell through Verizon and Sprint have regularly surfaced throughout the iPhone’s entire history, and have recently blossomed as speculation about the end of AT&T’s exclusive contract in the U.S. has reached a fevered pitch.

Pegatron is a three year old Taiwanese company formed during a restructuring of Asustek, which resulted in a split between Asustek’s own Asus-branded products, its PC-related manufacturing performed under the Unihan name, and contract manufacturing under the Pegatron name.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Valve releases Steam gaming client for Mac OS X

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Date: Thursday, May 13th, 2010, 04:13
Category: News, Software

You’ve been hankering for it and Valve finally came through.

The Steam gaming client, Valve’s Mac OS X port of the gateway to its online game store, allows users to purchase, download, and manage games for your computer. Per CNET, the program offers networking options for locating and joining online game servers, chatting, and providing in-game communication enhancements.

Valve offers access to over 1,000 games via Steam, and for OS X the debut will see Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Portal, and the whole Half-Life series available. Many of these games are run using Wine-like compatibility layer for OS X, which has been seen in applications like Codeweaver’s “Crossover” and “Crossover Games” packages.

The client is available as a 2.7 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

Current Steam release titles for the Mac include Civilization IV (Colonization, Warlords, and Beyond the Sword editions), And Yet It Moves, Chuzzle Deluxe, Bejeweled 2, Bookworm Deluxe, Galcon Fusion, Bob Came in Pieces, World of Goo, Altitude, City of Heroes: Architect Edition, Machinarium, Torchlight, Braid, Brainpipe, Football Manager 2010, Zuma Deluxe, and Quantz, though Valve has stated that new Mac ports will