Breaking News: Sirius and XM Satellite Radio Merge

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 20th, 2007, 00:54
Category: News

I’m a Sirius subscriber and just got this email in my inbox:

February 19, 2007
To: SIRIUS Subscribers
Today is a very exciting day for SIRIUS customers. As you may have heard, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio are merging to form the nation’s premier audio entertainment provider.
This combination of our two offerings will benefit you – our loyal listeners. As a single company, we’ll provide superior programming to you every day with the best of both SIRIUS and XM. Currently, XM and SIRIUS broadcast a wide range of commercial-free music channels, exclusive sports coverage, news, talk, and entertainment programming. Howard Stern. Oprah and Friends. The NFL. MLB. NBA. ESPN. CNBC. Fox News. Additionally, the combined company will be able to improve existing services such as real-time traffic information and rear-seat video as well as introduce new ones.
After shareholder and regulatory approvals, we anticipate that the combination will be finalized by the end of 2007. Until then, both companies will continue to operate independently. We will continue to provide you with the uninterrupted service – as well as the outstanding customer support – that you have come to expect and enjoy from SIRIUS. We do not anticipate any changes in your service during the merger process, however, please call our customer care team on 1- 888-539-7474 should you have any questions.
We look forward to the many benefits this combination will offer and continuing to make your listening experience an enjoyable one – offering more of the Very Best Radio on Radio.
Stay tuned,
Mel Karmazin, CEO


Apple Releases WWAN Support 1.0 Updater

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 16:39
Category: News

Apple has released the WWAN Support 1.0, a 348 kilobyte software update that provides support for Novatel’s peripherals.
The list of supported devices are as follows:
Available on the Cingular network:
Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard (HSDPA)
Available on the Sprint network:
Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 Express Card (EVDO Rev. A)
Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB Modem (USB Adapter, EVDO Rev. A)
Available on the Verizon network:
Novatel XV620 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. 0)
Novatel V740 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. A)
Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 (USB Adapter, EVDO Rev. A)
The update requires an Intel-based Mac laptop and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be found on Apple’s software updates page or downloaded and installed via the Software Update feature in Mac OS X.
If you’ve had positive or negative experiences with this update, let us know.


Adobe Gets Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 Out the Door

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Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 12:20
Category: News

Abode announced today that it has shipped its Photoshop Lightroom software. The software, which retails for US$199 until April, then rises to US$299, functions as a workflow management program (similar to Apple’s Aperture program) for digital images.
The package supports a wide variety of digital image formats such as JPEG, TIFF and more than 150 variants of the RAW format in order to be compatible with a wide variety of cameras on the market. Featured tools include white balance, exposure control, tone curves, lens distortion and color casts.
The public beta, which was released for the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems last year, will expire on February 28th. Photoshop Lightroom requires Mac OS X 10.4.3. or later, a 1 GHz G5, G5 or Intel-based processor and one gigabyte of hard drive space to install and run. The software is a universal binary an runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware architectures.


iPhone Rate Plans Leaked?

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 08:13
Category: News

The folks over at have posted and summarily removed an ad describing Cingular’s planned calling rates for the highly-anticipated Apple iPhone. The ad mentions a US$39.99 rate for 450 minutes with unlimited mobile to mobile calling and 5,000 night and weekend minutes with data plans starting at US$4.99 a month for 200 minutes or US$19.99 a month for a 200 message data plan plus unlimited Internet use and Visual Voicemail.
The ad may have only been a sample from a private consumer survey form and full details can be found over at Jason’s Apple Core blog.
And now, the million dollar question: how much is the iPhone worth to you each month?


Mexican Airline Volaris Now Renting iPods to Customers

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Date: Monday, February 19th, 2007, 08:49
Category: News

An article on MacNN points to Mexican airline Volaris, which will rent iPods out to its passengers for about US$5.
Although Apple has made arrangements with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to offer integration between the iPod and these carriers’ in-flight entertainment systems, Volaris seems to be the first to offer the devices themselves, albeit the units aren’t inegrated into seat-back video screens.
The airline has begun distributing 30 gigabyte iPod video units for the rental fee of 50 pesos per flight as of February 8th. The iPods are configured with Mexican TV shows and music, although Volaris also plans to load American television shows and other genres of music.
Not a bad way to fly and if you have an opinion, let us know.


Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5 Build 3170 Released

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Date: Friday, February 16th, 2007, 10:52
Category: News

Parallels has released build 3170, the third candidate version, of Parallels Desktop for Mac. The final build, when complete, will be known as Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5.
Parallels Desktop for Mac has become a favorite Windows virtualization tool for many Mac OS X users who can now simultaneously run Microsoft’s Windows operating systems on their Intel-based Macs without having to reboot a la Apple’s Boot Camp technology.
The new version, a 38.7 megabyte download, offers a wide variety of fixes and changes (as listed on the version’s notes page), the most prominent being better Coherence support (which allows users to run Windows applications directly from Mac OS X’s Dock), improved USB 2.0 support, Windows Vista upgrade improvements and preliminary support for Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system, due out later this year.
Parallels Desktop for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run. The software retails for US$79.99 and is available as a trial download.
If you’ve had any experience with the new Parallels build, positive or negative, let us know.


Apple Updates Patch Security, Final Cut Pro and Daylight Savings Time

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Date: Friday, February 16th, 2007, 08:49
Category: News

On Thursday, Apple released nine downloadable patches for Mac OS X. These updates address security holes, repair bugs in Apple’s Final Cut Pro digital editing program and adjust the system’s Daylight Savings Time tracking and are available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
Holes found during the Month of Apple Bugs project undertaken by security researcher Kevin Finisterre and a hacker known as “LMH” were repaired via the Security Update 2007-002, a downloadable update for the Mac OS X 10.3 (“Panther”) and Mac OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”) operating systems as well as both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
The fixes provided in this update addressed a bug within Mac OS X 10.4 where a bug in the disk image loading system could lead to an application crash or “arbitrary code execution”.
Click the jump for the full story


Apple Redesigning Dock Connector for Electronic Devices

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Date: Thursday, February 15th, 2007, 14:27
Category: News

A report over on AppleInsider has pointed out a patent filed to the United States Patent and Trademarks Office by Apple Inc. for a new type of dock connector that could charge devices from any angle and, in certain cases, wirelessly.
The patent discusses “non-contact platforms”, such as inductive coils, that can be placed in devices to wirelessly transfer both power and data. “The inductive coils are typically hidden from view behind the housings of each device and therefore they are more aesthetically pleasing than electrical contacts, which need to be exposed in order to operate effectively,” the company said. “Furthermore, inductively based systems are more robust than electrical contacts. For example, there are no contacts to wear out and/or oxidize.”
Devices built with such technologies would have the docking station include the primary coil while portable devices would include the secondary coil. Both the docking station and its mated device would include transceivers that could both transmit and receive data.
Click the jump for the full story…


iPod Considered “Criminal Tool” in Ohio Data Theft Case

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Date: Thursday, February 15th, 2007, 13:12
Category: News

The Toledo Blade has a story about a former junior of Clay High School being charged with unauthorized computer access, after downloading school personnel and student files onto his iPod.
The student, whose name hasn’t been released, has been charged with a felony crime while his iPod was termed “a criminal tool” since it was used in the incident, commented Oregon City Police Detective Janet Zale.
John Hall, Superintendent for the Oregon City school system, commented that “two certified high school staff” members have also received written reprimands in the incident for their “inaction or lack of follow-through”.
Click the jump for the full story…


When iPod Locks Get Serious

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 15th, 2007, 08:44
Category: News

An article over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (via Engadget) points to what can only be described as a bicycle-style iPod lock from Japanese accessory manufacturer Elecom.
The lock, which retails for about US$40, serves as an external case for the iPod to be sealed into and offers a multiple-digital combination system and a reinforced cable. With any luck, they’ll help keep your iPod from being easily snagged, especially if the unit is wrapped around a large object such as a desk or chair). The locks are designed for the fifth generation video iPods as well as the first and second generation iPod Nano units.
Unfortunately, the Elecom site is written entirely in Japanese, so you might have to ask a friend for help or polish up on the language to be able to see what’s going on.
If anyone knows a good translation site that could help our non-Japanese readers to view the site, let us know.