On Tuesday, news site Washingtonpost.com began offering high-definition podcasts formatted for download and viewing on HD TV sets as well as Apple’s newly released Apple TV device. These files, which are shot with high definition cameras and encoded at 720p and include documentary pieces such as Ben De La Cruz’s “Being a black man” series, coverage of Chad’s Darfur refugee series and ongoing coverage of the emerging 2008 presidential campaigns according to MacNN.
The content is free and the move represents the first move by a major news organization to format content for the Apple TV, which was released to the market a few weeks ago.
The sharp-eyed folks over at Macenstein.com have pointed out what may be the first third party application designed for Apple’s upcoming iPhone.
The description for Scenario Poker, included in Apple’s Dashboard games section, describes the title as being designed for the iPhone’s screen size and resolution as well as supporting a “tap” interface as well as a mouse-friendly double click interface.
To date, Apple has not specified the exact criteria for third party iPhone applications or what’s involved in the development of any such titles.
If you have any ideas or comments about this, let us know.
It was only a matter of time between when the Apple TV was released and people would try to make it do…everything.
A pair of new hacks to Apple’s recently released media device now allow the Apple TV to act as both a news reader as well as a video game emulation unit for NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis game console titles.
The RSS reader, according to Engadget, is installed as a plug-in. Full details and the plug-in itself can be found here at the twenty08 blog.
The video game emulation is a bit foggier, but appears to be functional, a wiki post over at awkwardtv.org citing that several emulators by Richard Bannister can work with the addition of SSH. Below is a YouTube video of the hack in action, though no directions as to how to set this up for yourself have been posted as of yet:
Finally, AppleTVHacks.net and FalWallet.com have offered a $1,000 bounty for a hack that enables full external drive support through the Apple TV’s USB port.
If you’ve tried these hacks or know of another project that’s pushing what the Apple TV is capable of, let us know.
The Apple TV has been out for a few weeks now. And after all the content you can find around the house has been ripped from your DVD collection, the hunt for additional material to store to the device continues.
The guys over at MacDailyNews are reporting on HyngryFlix.com, a web site which provides independent content for portable media devices such as the Apple TV and Sony PSP. Here, creators can upload their own content while customers can pull down films for a few dollars per title.
Even as the argument over formatting, resolution, playback and the quality of titles available for purchase over in the iTunes Store rages on, there’s always room for a third party to step in and offer something.
Take a look and if you have an opinion on what you see or know of a similar site doing the same thing, let us know.
On Monday, Apple released version 7.1 of the firmware for its recently released 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme Base Station. The update, a 4.6 megabyte download, provides general fixes, compatibility updates and security improvements for the wireless router.
Specifically, the update patches a security hole in the way the Base Station accepts IPv6 connections. According to AppleInsider, the update alters this to prevent servers and other services from attacks, the revised method changing how the router accepts traffic from both computers inside and outside a local network.
The update also provides a correction in the way the station handles hard drives through its AirPort Disk feature. Before, computers on a local network could view the names of files in password-protected columes without having to enter the password. This has been changed to protect sensitive file information where applicable.
Users can also open the AirPort Utility program and choose “Check for Updates” from the AirPort Utility menu to snag the update.
If you’ve had either a positive or negative experience with the new firmware version, please let us know.
On Monday, Razer Pro Solutions announced that the company is now accepting orders for its Pro|Type keyboard. The keyboard, which will ship on April 20th, features a built-in iPod docking station and will retail for US$129.99.
Complete with a nice number of bells and whistles, the Pro|Type keyboard also sports 10 quick access media keys, line-out, two USB ports and the ability to switch profiles on program detection. The keyboard also incorporates ultra touch-sensitive keys and a wrist rest area according to Macworld News.
The integrated iPod docking station behaves like a standard iPod conneciton, allowing the user to both synch and charge their iPod without requiring a separate cable or dock device.
Last week, a story regarding the uncertainty of the iPhone in Canada sparked debate as telecom provider Rogers Wireless had not announced whether it would be carrying Apple’s upcoming device.
This week and a call to Rogers Wireless’ customer support lines later, things look to be a bit more optimistic. According to comments from a customer service representative, Rogers will be carrying the iPhone and will actually function as the exclusive Apple iPhone carrier for the nation of Canada. No exact release date or price could be specified, even though the carrier claims it will provide full support for the phone when it’s released.
Additional details will be posted as they become available.
On Monday, Apple announced that the company had sold its 100 millionth iPod music player.
‚ÄúAt this historic milestone, we want to thank music lovers everywhere for making iPod such an incredible success. iPod has helped millions of people around the world rekindle their passion for music, and we’re thrilled to be a part of that,‚Äù said Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Apple first introduced the iPod in November of 2001 as a five gigabyte model. Since then, 10 new models have been released over five iPod generations, two iPod mini generations, two iPod Nano generations and two iPod Shuffle generations. Current capacities range up to 80 gigabytes with the most recent iPod Shuffle being scaled down to a unit about the size of a book of matches.
The iTunes Store, which was later launched as a content provider, has sold more than 2.5 billion songs, 50 million television shows and 1.3 million episodes according to Macworld News.
The iPod currently retails between US$79 and US$349 depending on model and capacity.
According to an editorial published in the Detroit Free Press, Michigan democrats are pushing for iPods and other MP3 players to be distributed to students throughout the state. Recently, state house speaker Andy Dillon suggested the idea, citing the MP3 players as learning tools and pushing for US$38 million to be allocated toward the effort.
The proposal has triggered a controversy in Michigan politics, the state currently facing a US$600 million deficit this year and a US$2.1 billion deficit in 2008, according to MacNN.
“My members are telling me they have much more pressing things they’re worried about, like whether they’re going to be able to make payroll in May,” said Michigan Association of School Boards spokesman Don Wotruba.
The proposal has drawn flak from Republican quarters, party members and their supporters accusing the Democrats of wasting money on luxuries while supporting stressful tax hikes that have been simultaneously offered along with the iPod program. Opponents to the proposal have gone as far as to pen an editorial in the Detroit News.
“We wonder how financially strained Michigan residents will feel about paying higher taxes to buy someone else’s kid an iPod,” wrote the editorial’s anonymous author.
The Michigan state fiscal year begins in October with state officials hoping to have their budget signed by first of June.
Although iPods and other MP3 players have been handed out to students and faculty at various educational levels for years, including Duke University’s Duke Digital Initiative, no comprehensive study has emerged regarding the effects of these devices and learning.
On Friday, FastMac announced that the company has released its Blu-ray optical drives for the following slot-loading Macintosh computers:
-MacBook Pro (17″)
-PowerBook G3 Pismo
-PowerBook G4 Titanium (667 Mhz or higher)
-PowerBook G4 Aluminum
The Blu-ray format allows up to 50 gigabytes to be stored on a single disk while also remaining compatible with standard CD and DVD media. The drive is available at an introductory price of US$799.95 and arrives with a bundled copy of Roxio‘s Toast 8 Titanium, a complimentary 25 gigabyte Blu-ray rewritable disc, a 30 day money back guarantee and a year’s warranty.
The drive requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to function according to Macworld News
The company also mentioned that native support for Blu-ray burning within iLife and iTunes could be expected in the future, but cannot be guaranteed at this time.