O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

Hackers Move Closer to Unlocking iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2007, 08:05
Category: iPhone

Apple’s iPhone has been out for almost a week now and has received ample feedback, both positive and negative. One of the most prominent complaints about the handset was the fact that it would be locked to the AT&T EDGE network and would be unable to work with other providers.
Generally, when a cell phone is locked into a single network, the effort is focused towards helping the provider recoup the costs involved with subsidizing the handsets for their customers. In AT&T’s case, Apple has taken on the costs involved, AT&T having become involved in a five-year agreement to function as the sole iPhone provider in the United States.
According to Macworld News, a group of hackers is currently involved with the process of unlocking the iPhone in order to allow it to function with other wireless carriers. As of Monday, members of the group posted that progress had been made in this effort.
The first major obstacle that’s been focused on is circumventing the authentication process in Apple’s iTunes software that allows users to sign up for an AT&T service plan as well as activate the handset’s features, such as its camera and music player.
One group member, identified as “gj” on the iPhone Dev Wiki (the site is apparently locked down at this point) commented that “We have been fairly successful in spoofing iTunes activation processes. This should allow us to activate the phone.”
Progress made to data apparently allows to group to set and read data on an iPhone as well as query as to whether or not an iPhone has been activated. “The rest of our work is legwork really, in understanding how certain functions operate with the rest of the phone,” commented one poster on the forums. The post also mentioned that the group was close to the ability to browse file systems on the iPhone.
Other questions facing the group concern how iTunes will react when faced with a phone that hasn’t been activated for use with the AT&T network as well as how the rest of the handset functions. This process is aided by the fact that the iPhone uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) smart card which contains data such as a user’s phone number as well as storage space for contacts and messages, as opposed to a system that hardwires this data directly into the phone. Apple’s use of a removable SIM cards allows for the firmware to be more easily cracked.
If you have any thoughts, ideas or workarounds regarding this, let us know.


Leaked iPhone Firmware Files Point to Possible European Carriers

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2007, 07:35
Category: iPhone

After less than a week out in public, the iPhone firmware has apparently been leaked over the Internet and is currently under review by anyone who cares to look it over.
According to Engadget, a forum post over at Hackintosh disclosed that the following files were found within the iPhone’s firmware:
It’s currently believed that the files point to possible European wireless carriers for when the iPhone is released to these markets later this year.
More information on this as soon as it becomes available.


BMW Confirms iPhone Integration for Future Models

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007, 11:56
Category: iPhone

Via a brief announcement posted on its web site, auto manufacturer BMW has confirmed reports that it would be the first to offer full iPhone integration with its cars.
According to iLounge, the company has noted that cars currently equipped with the iPod/USB interface (namely the 3 and 5 series manfactured from March, 2007 on; the X5 series manufactured from April, 2007 on and the 6 series manufactured from September, 2007 on) will be able to use the iPhone with music and Bluetooth hands-free calling.
The company has promised additional details in the near future.


Ecamm Releases Call Recorder for Skype 2.1

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007, 11:02
Category: Software

On Tuesday, Ecamm Network released Call Recorder for Skype 2.1. Call Recorder for Skype functions as an add-on for the Skype Voice over Internet Protocol program and allows users to record and archive their conversations.
The new version, a 1.4 megabyte download, adds the following features and changes:
-Adds an option to automatically discard short recordings.
-Adds an option to keep the Call Recorder window in the foreground during Skype calls.
-Call Recorder will now properly respect Skype’s mute button.
-Fixes a recording problem which could cause distorted sound when using certain input and output devices on a Power PC Mac.
-Fixes a warning message that could be displayed while recording voicemail messages with Skype v2.6 or later.
-Fixes a problem which caused the Call Recorder windows position to be forgotten after quitting Skype.
-Fixes an issue with default encoding settings on newer Macs.
-Fixes an issue which could cause Skype to hang after a conference call.
Call Recorder for Skype retails for US$14.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and Skype 1.4 or later to run.
As always, if anything good or hideous comes out of your experience with the new version, let us know.


Apple Releases Audio Update 2007-001 Patch

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007, 08:22
Category: Software

On Monday, Apple released Audio Update 2007-001, a small software patch that resolves a “popping” sound that might be heard on some external speakers connected to Intel-based Macs.
The update is a 660 kilobyte download via Apple’s web site and is also available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.
Users will need to have Mac OS X 10.4.10 already installed before using this update.
If you’ve had either a positive or negative experience with Audio Update 2007-001 on your Mac, let us know.


Apple Fleshes Out iPhone Battery Replacement Program Details

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007, 08:15
Category: iPhone

Apple has updated its iPhone support web site, offering supplemental details regarding its iPhone Battery Replacement Program.
According to MacNN, the replacement terms state that if your iPhone battery demonstrates a diminished ability to hold an electrical charge, Apple will repair the iPhone for a service fee of US$79 plus US$6.95 shipping and handling, bringing the total to US$85.95. The repair process requires about three business days.
Apple has also noted that the iPhone’s data will not be preserved, so be sure to sync your iPhone to iTunes before sending it in.
If you’ve been having trouble with your iPhone’s battery or have an idea or workaround regarding it, let us know.


Macintosh 2.0

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2007, 13:15
Category: iPhone

If the iPhone is version 2.0 of the Macintosh computer, then the 4GB iPhone is the second coming of the original 128k Macintosh. Product reviews seem to bear this out: The iPhone is phenomenal, while falling short. A vision of the future, hampered by the constraints of current technology.
The iPod was doomed to the same slow death as the PDA. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone and increasingly, they can do it all. Horrid little convergence devices that live in your pocket. Connected to a network with operating systems that remind me of the screen menus built into my TV set.
Enter the iPhone: iPDA, iCamera, iWebrowser and iPod. It is the handheld computer that Microsoft could not envision. Just like the original Macintosh, it is running well out on the edge of the curve teetering on a technological reality that barely meets the requirements. Cellular network speed, fixed battery and memory all stretched to the limit. It’s the screen baby, supported by an intuitive touch interface and slick animated graphics. Crack one open and it is nearly one third battery. The remaining two thirds are just pure magic.


Five Free iPhones Being Given Away in Upcoming Contests

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2007, 12:45
Category: iPhone

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Jason Calacanis, the CEO and co-founder of Weblogs, Inc., has just posted that he’s come into possession of no less than five eight gigabyte iPhones to give away in upcoming contests.
The contests themselves are currently up in the air and he’s taking suggestions via his web site.
Take a look and see what you think.
Also, standing at the end of his driveway waving torches and pitchforks isn’t a valid (or legal) option, so you might have to think of a plan b.


Manufacturers Unveil New iPhone Cases

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2007, 09:29
Category: iPhone

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The iPhone has arrived.
And with it, a variety of accessories, peripherals and companion products.
According to Macworld News, three companies unveiled the following new cases for iPhone:
-Leather Folio: A US$39.95 case made of ballistic nylon and a nappa leather exterior with a custom leather interior. The unit includes a belt or strap attachment and “push-through” hole for headphone access.
-Fitted Sleeve: A US$34.95 leather case with a suede interior. The Fitted Sleeve is available in black, brown and pink colors.
-Sport Case: A US$34.95 case featuring an adjustable velcro armband, neoprene hand strap and belt attachment. The case also includes a camera lens opening, direct access to the iPhone’s screen controls and access to the dock connector.
Protective Cover: A US$29.95 form-fitting rubber slipcase for the iPhone. The Protective Cover is available in red, blue and black colors.
-Anaconda 5: A US$44.95 case made from ballistic nylon, the unit features neoprene and is lined with scratch-resistant material. The Anaconda 5 can attach to a belt loop, backpack or laptop bag via a velcro latch.
-Sport Armband: A US$29.99 neoprene case. The Sport Armband is machine washable, available in black and gray and includes a pocket for key or earbud storage.
-Slim-Fit: A US$29.99 leather case with a removable belt clip. The Slim-Fit allows an iPhone to be removed through a mesh base and also features a padded exterior for additional protection.
-Acrylic Case: A US$29.99 hard, acrylic case that allows for full access to an iPhone’s keys, ports and screens. The Acrylic Case also includes a belt clip that can serve as a kick stand for video viewing.


Perian 1.0 Released

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2007, 08:13
Category: Software

Late Friday, the Perian team released version 1.0 of Perian, the open-source QuickTime components effort that allows QuickTime to support and play a variety of additional formats beyond what it would normally be able to handle.
The new version makes the following fixes and changes:
-Added support for Matroska/mkv.
-Integrated a52codec.
-Added subtitle support.
-Added support for .gvi (avi wrapper from Google Video).
-Changed distribution to a Preference Pane in order to make installation simpler and configuration possible in the long term.
-Changed installation directory from /Library/QuickTime to ~/Library/QuickTime.
-Fixed avi/flv over http.
-Added support for Windows Media Audio in AVI.
-Added support for MPEG-1 layer 2 audio.
-Added support for the ADPCM audio codec in FLV.
-Added Vorbis decoder.
-Added support for Fraps FPS1.
-Added support for VP3.
-Added support for i263.
-Added support for HuffYUV.
-Added support for MPEG-1/2 video in AVI/MKV.
-Fix opening AVIs with VBR audio for which there is no available decoder.
-Fix crash with DVI ADPCM.
-Fix multichannel audio descriptions in AVI.
-Faster opening of AVI files.
-High profile H.264 support.
-Full MPEG-4 video support in .mp4.
-Altivec & SSE2 colorspace conversion.
-Fix DV in type 1 AVIs.
Perian is a 2.2 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.