Apple Apologizes Over “Baby Shaker” Application

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Date: Friday, April 24th, 2009, 07:05
Category: iPhone, News

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Ok, this was embarrassing.
After software developer Sikalosoft’s “Baby Shaker” app was briefly approved for the App Store later this week, Apple pulled the application and offered the following apology:
“This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store. When we learned of this mistake, the app was removed immediately. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention.”
According to Macworld UK, the application featured a drawing of a baby accompanied by audio of a baby crying with the goal was to shake the handset until the baby stopped crying. Some groups have called the application offensive, especially in relation to the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Defenders of the program, meanwhile, have said the application is clearly humorous in intent.
Though Sikalosoft has yet to officially comment on the situation, the company’s web site contains the following message:
“Okay, so maybe the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea. You should never shake a baby! Even on an Apple iPhone Baby Shaking application. No babies were harmed in the making of Baby Shaker.””
The site goes on to feature a description of the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

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Apple Releases Updated Mac OS X 10.5.7 Developer Beta, Build 9J56

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Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009, 14:48
Category: News, Software

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The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, which appears to be close to release, went through yet another pre-release build late last week with developers working out additional tweaks for the operating system.
According to AppleInsider, build 9J56 focuses on “Bluetooth compatibility and stability fixes” per sources familiar with the software.
A number of recent Mac mini purchasers have complained about intermittent Bluetooth connection problems on their new systems, though similar problems are believed to be plaguing a variety of Macs.
Another fix in the latest build targets an issue with Personal File Sharing and AFP volumes not being properly recognized as Time Machine shares. However, the other three fixes were relatively minor, two of which add once-missing descriptive information to certain crash logs.
The Mac OS X 10.5.7 update is expected to offer more than 110 code corrections spanning over two dozen areas of the operating system. Earlier this month, Apple added Help Viewer to the list of key software components where beta testers should focus their testing efforts.
Though its believed that Mac OS X 10.5.7 remains close to release, Apple still notes that the software is incompatible with the public beta of Safari 4 — the OS update’s lone known issue.

Apple Announces Q2 Financial Results, Reports US$1.21 Billion Profit

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Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009, 07:19
Category: Finance

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Amidst strong iPhone and iPod sales, Apple Inc. reported a US$1.21 billion profit for its second quarter despite Mac sales being down 3% for the quarter compared to last year.
“We are extremely pleased to report the best non-holiday quarter revenue and earnings in our history,” Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO said during the conference call announcing the results.
According to Macworld, Apple posted a total revenue of US$8.16 billion, its best non-holiday quarter to date. The quarter’s revenue and profit was higher than the $7.51 billion revenue and $1.05 billion profit posted during the same quarter last year.
During the quarter, Apple sold 2,216,000 Macs with notebook sales comprising 63% of this at 1,398,000 units and desktop Macs accounting for the remaining 818,000 units.
When asked about Apple’s plans for releasing a netbook, Apple executive Tim Cook said, “If we find a way that we can deliver an innovative product that really makes a contribution, then we will do that–we have some interesting ideas in this space.” Cook said that netbooks currently have cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, and very small screens, “not something that we would put the Mac brand on, quite frankly.” He added that people who want a small computer that does browsing and e-mail might want to buy an iPod touch or an iPhone.
iPod sales reached 11,013,000, a 3% gain over the same quarter last year. Apple said its U.S. market share for digital music players is more than 70%, based on data from market-reseach firm NPD. The iPod also grew in worldwide markets, with healthy unit sales growth in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and China.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Data Rescue II 1.2.2 Update Released

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Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2009, 07:50
Category: Software

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Data Rescue II, Prosoft Engineering’s data rescue and recovery program, was updated to version 1.2.2 late Wednesday. The new version, a 14.2 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

  • Update to Apple’s latest boot disc technology.
  • Several bug fixes.
  • Additional improvements in speed and performance.
  • Data Rescue II requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.

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    Voice Recognition Feature Seems Likely for iPhone OS 3.0

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    Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 08:22
    Category: iPhone, Rumor

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    As the iPhone OS 3.0 beta software has been picked apart, some interesting new discoveries have emerged for consideration. The latest one, which centers around voice recognition and voice synthesis, may take the cake, though.
    According to Ars Technica, the software, nicknamed “Jabbler”, will be built into the SpringBoard application (the software component that controls the home screen, launches other applications and will be the basis of the upcoming Spotlight search feature).
    Jabbler will likely have voice functionality similar to the software bundled with the latest iPod Shuffle, i.e. a computerized voice reading off playlists and other textually-based content.
    Sources close to the story have mentioned the upcoming feature, which has yet to be confirmed by official Apple sources. The ability to control voice features via the iPhone headset has also been mentioned.
    Voice control features could bring the iPhone up to speed with many other phones that come with voice-dialing, and will broaden the playing field with a voice search function like the Google app as well as be useful for turn-by-turn GPS navigation, eBook reading capabilities, and on-the-spot note-taking.

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    TechRestore Announces MacBook Pro Glass Repair Service for US$349

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    Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 08:50
    Category: MacBook Pro

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    Service outfitter TechRestore announced Tuesday a new glass replacement program for Apple’s Unibody MacBook Pro. For those owners who have broken their glass, but not the LCD display itself, the company can replace the glass for US$349.
    The repair includes the company’s usual 24-hour turnaround time frame as well as a 1-year warranty on the repair. Full details are available at TechRestore’s web site.
    TechRestore is a PowerPage sponsor.

    Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.9 Update

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, 08:02
    Category: Software

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    Early Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.9 of its Firefox web browser.
    The new browser, a 17.3 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Many users experienced an issue where a corrupt local database caused Firefox to “lose” its stored cookies. (bug 470578)
  • Fixed an issue where, starting with Firefox 3.0.7, inline image attachments on popular webmail services (like AOL and AIM) would not display. (bug 482659)
  • Large forms would sometimes take a long time to submit. (bug 426991)
  • In certain cases, new windows would not have proper focus. (bug 446568)
  • The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    Updates Rumored for Pro Apps and MacBooks at WWDC

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009, 23:05
    Category: Rumor

    According to 9to5 Mac, Apple plans to introduce minor updates to the MacBook line as well as some significant updates to Final Cut Pro, Aperture, Logic, and Shake.

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    There has been some speculation in the last few months, fueled by rumors, that AT&T may be subsidizing MacBooks in much the same way as the iPhone due to built-in 3G connectivity. I am putting this rumor into the “unlikely” column, but 9to5 Mac’s sources suggest the laptop updates may be more than just speed-bumps. This could include changes to the battery, such as making it non-removable. I will want to be out of town if that announcement hits the floor to avoid the rioting.

    I for one don’t see Apple handing over any control of the sale of their computers, but stranger things have happened. There are almost 2 more months before WWDC kicks off, so plenty of time for more rumors to bounce around the internet. I think we all agree that a new iPhone (or 3) will be announced, but how about a netbook? Send us your thoughts in the forums!

    The $200 Mac Netbook – By Dell

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009, 10:58
    Category: Hacks, netbook

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    For users hankering for a Mac netbook at long last, Dell might have something right up your alley. According to the Apple Core, Dell’s Vostro A90 netbook, which retails for US$199 (less than the price of an iPod touch) can be turned into a computer running desktop-class Mac OS applications as well as a Flash-equipped web browser.
    The unit is Dell’s business equivalent of the Mini 9 and uses the same components as the Mini 9 with the only difference being its all-black enclosure, as opposed to the Mini 9′s black and silver styling, and, according to forum posts, a little more metal inside making it more rigid than the Mini 9.
    Users will still have to purchase Mac OS X and there are compromises that come with any netbook (1.6 GHz Atom processor, small keyboard, screen and HDD) but the machine can still offer the most bang for the buck of any Apple machine bar none, even if it won’t blow away the MacBook Pro on performance.

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    AT&T Confirms Efforts to Double 3G Network Speeds

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    Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009, 07:01
    Category: iPhone

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    In an interview with TelephonyOnline, AT&T vice president of technology realization Scott McElroy has confirmed that the carrier is currently performing a variety of upgrades on its 3G network that should combine to double capacity in the coming months.
    McElroy stated that his team plans to upgrade “the downlink capacity on its high-speed packet access (HSPA) from 3.6 megabits per second to 7.2 Mb/s through software upgrades at the base station.”
    Though McElroy didn’t provide a timetable for the upgrade, he said that AT&T is in the process of field certifying the faster network in two test markets, adding that AT&T plans to eventually migrate its 3G networks to evolved-HSPA (or HSPA+), which would increase top speeds threefold.
    AT&T could then theoretically upgrade its HSPA network to 14.4 Mb/s but is expected to forgo that option due to a technical problem and its ability to migrate directly to 21 Mb/s HSPA+, McElroy said. He told TelephonyOnline that AT&T will focus “on upgrades to the baseband, which will dramatically increase capacity without having to fiddle with the elements on the tower or in the core.”
    McElroy also noted that AT&T is simultaneously upgrading its network backbone to handle the increased data traffic resulting from its network upgrades. He refused to reveal the exact extent of those upgrades.
    Sources close to the story say Apple has set a strict deadline that asks AT&T to complete the upgrade, quality test it, and have it ready to go live no later than May 31st. The third-generation iPhone is expected to be unveiled a few weeks later.
    Meanwhile, McElroy says AT&T is also looking further ahead, selecting vendors for its 4G (or long-term evolution (LTE)) network expected to go live in test markets by 2010 ahead of widespread commercial availability the following year.
    The carrier will reportedly use both its 700 MHz and advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum to facilitate the LTE launch, with other spectrums on reserve should 4G usage take off. It could also repurpose its 2G and 3G channels for LTE once users begin migrating off those channels to the 4th-gen network.

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