CBS Mobile Launches TV.com, Allows Free Streaming to iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:34
Category: iPhone

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Following up on other streaming-television efforts, CBS Mobile has released application currently offers CBS shows, CBS Sports programming and content such as episodes of “Late Show with David Letterman, “Star Trek: the Original Series,” “CSI,” and “The Young and the Restless,” among many others. The mobile application also serves up a selection of shows from the CW including “Smallville” and “90210,” a half dozen shows from Showtime including “The L Word” and “The Tudors,” and a variety of CNET and GameSpot podcasts.
While the current programming selection is rather limited, the app can accommodate all the new content CBS serves up as it works to make more of its library of content available. The app uses the iPhone’s standard QuickTime player.
According to AppleInsider, CBS is currently pushing TV.com in competition with the Viacom-backed Joost and Hulu, a joint effort between NBC and Fox, to reach audiences beyond the TV and deliver a “direct to users” model of web-oriented offerings. Hulu currently lacks a mobile app for the iPhone like TV.com’s offering but Joost does provide a player app for its content, though it has yet to use the standard QuickTime player on the iPhone.
TV studios have rushed to set up their own web-based operations to create an alternative to seeing their content distributed (at no benefit to them) to web audiences via sites like YouTube. Joost, TV.com, and Hulu are supported by ads. Like YouTube, all three websites use Adobe Flash to deliver their video content on the web.
The TV.com application requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later to install and run.
If you’ve downloaded the application and played with it, please let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update May Feature Nehalem, Radeon HD 4000 Support

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Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2009, 07:27
Category: Rumor

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Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5.7 update may go beyond its usual complement of expected fixes and incorporate support for Intel’s new Nehalem hardware architecture as well as the ATI Radeon HD 4000 graphics chipsets.
According to netkas, a recent discovery located just five kernel extensions for the video cards and doesn’t appear to work perfectly in a bootleg installation for 10.5.6 meant for hacked Mac OS X installations. The retrofitted version doesn’t recognize DVI ports fully and doesn’t even recognize widescreen resolutions without third-party utilities to force the expanded screen area.
Even so, the extensions are enough to identify support for the Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 chipsets by name but also to enable Core Image and Quartz Extreme acceleration of the Mac OS X interface, which would require the direct involvement of AMD, Apple or both firms to work. They also support the full OpenGL 2.1 specification for 3D graphics.
And while screen captures currently aren’t available to support the claims as with the video hardware, the slip also hints that 10.5.7 is the first edition of Mac OS X to recognize Intel’s Nehalem architecture.
The Nehalem architecture is a major overhaul to Intel’s standard hardware approach to processors and leaves aside the standard system bus in favor of an interface that lets the processors talk directly to memory, peripherals and each other.
Although it’s unknown as to whether Apple will formally include the new hardware support in the release of Mac OS X 10.5.7, such add-ons will eventually become necessary. It’s been rumored that Apple is looking to use Intel’s Nehalem-based Xeon processors at the heart of its next generation of Mac Pro workstations and will eventually filter the technology down to its portables and mainstream desktops through Core i7 processors, which share the same essential design.
Apple has also remained comparatively dormant in its support for AMD’s ATI Radeon graphics and hasn’t used hardware newer than the Radeon HD 2600 found in the iMac and as an option for the Mac Pro; the technology is now approximately two generations old.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Softbank Begins Giving Away Free iPhones to New Customers

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 08:41
Category: iPhone

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Softbank Mobile, Apple’s iPhone carrier in Japan, plans to introduce a new program Friday that will give some iPhone handsets away for free with a new two-year contract.
The 8GB iPhone 3G handset will be offered for free to new subscribers starting a calling plan today, though this may be likely to disappoint those who paid the equivalent of US$235 (22,782 yen). According to CrunchGear, Softbank is also reducing the price of the 16GB version from US$350 to US$118 as part of the new “iPhone for everybody Campaign.”
The wireless carrier has also cut the cost of its cost of its maximum data plan rate from US$62 a month to US$45.60 a month. Voice calls and texts are free among Softbank customers, but if your friend or colleague is an NTT DoCoMo customer, charges can start to accumulate quickly at 20 cents for a 30-second call.
There’s no clear indication as to whether Softbank is cutting prices in response to demand, but Apple COO Tim Cook noted during last month’s earnings conference call that the company considers the price of the iPhone “clearly elastic,” meaning that every time it has dropped the price, demand has increased.
If you’re in or around the Japanese marketplace and have noticed this offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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First-Gen MacBook Air Owners Cite Flaw in Hinge Construction

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 07:42
Category: MacBook Air

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Given what you paid for the first-gen MacBook Air notebook, Hulking out may be entirely permissible given the following news: a number of owners of the notebook have cited a fundamental flaw in the notebook’s hinge constructions.
According to MacNN, a number of users on the Apple Discussions board have noted that, after several months of use, hinges can become unreasonably loose, sometimes enough for a lid to travel or close completely without any help. In extreme cases hinges may break entirely, rendering an Air useless as a portable device.
The problem may be especially critical as some Apple Store Genius Bars are reportedly refusing to honor warranties, with or without AppleCare, on the basis that the damage is thought to be “accidental” rather than an inherent problem. The Air hinges are also divided in two, as in some older Apple notebooks, and embedded into the lid, meaning that people affected by faulty hardware may have to pay as much as US$900 for repairs due to the cost of the associated display.
Some Apple Store locations have cited that they’d be willing to cover repairs under warranty. The problem appears to be absent from second-generation MacBook Air notebooks, though Apple has yet to officially recognize the issue, which could represent the second major flaw to affects Airs following the discovery of graphics corruption.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen this problem on your end, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Truphone Adds Skype Support for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Friday, February 27th, 2009, 07:37
Category: Software

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Software developer Truphone announced yesterday that the company has added Skype support for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. Per the press release, users can now instant message their Skype contacts as well as make and receive Skype-based calls to users on their contact list.
To begin, download Truphone for iPhone or iPod Touch, go to the IM screen in the iPhone application (the IM/More screen in the iPod touch application). If you cannot see this screen, select it from within the “More” screen.
Once here, select Skype from the setup screen, sign in using your Skype account details.
Once logged in, you will now see all of your Skype contacts and you will be ready to start.
Skype-based calls within Wi-Fi areas as well as instant messages will be free and users can make Skype-based calls and send Skype instant messages using Truphone Anywhere, which will use your data package to connect the call or send the instant message.
Truphone is a free download and requires iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried Truphone for the iPhone or iPod touch and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.

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Apple Begins Testing Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:20
Category: Software

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No matter what you think of Mac OS X 10.5.6, Apple is cited as having tapped its developer community this week to begin testing its Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, a maintenance and security update to the company’s Leopard operating system with a particular focus on syncing improvements.
According to AppleInsider, sources close to the story have stated that the update will include a plethora of bug fixes, six code corrections and currently weighs in at 440 megabytes in its simplest form.
Apple is currently said to be focusing on syncing issues found in applications such as Mail, Address Book and system preferences. A problem with Safari not accepting certain types of cookies will also reportedly be addressed.
Among the nearly two dozen other components receiving attention in beta of Mac OS X 10.5.7 are graphics drivers, Time Machine, printing services, screen sharing services, MobileMe syncing, AirPort services, text services, and iCal, those familiar with the software claim.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your hands on a 10.5.7 build, please let us know what you think of it in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple, China Mobile May Release iPhone 3G to Chinese Market in May

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Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 10:53
Category: Rumor

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Apple’s long-standing negotiation hurdles with Chinese wireless carrier may be at an end according to an article on ChinaTechNews.com.
Per the article, China Unicom has reportedly reached an agreement with Apple on iPhone’s entry into China and the 3G iPhone may appear in the Chinese market in May 2009.
The piece cites representatives from Ovum, a British consultancy, as saying that China Unicom and Apple will achieve cooperation soon and if everything goes smoothly, the iPhone 3G will enter the Chinese market in May 2009 at the earliest.
No further details have been offered and prior to this latest rumor, other rumors cited that both China Mobile and China Unicom intended to introduce Apple’s iPhone into China.
Earlier this month, China Unicom reportedly sent a negotiating team to the United States to talk with Apple about the issue and the two companies even implemented tests on iPhone in some Chinese regions.
Apple’s iPhone 3G can support the WCDMA network, which is the 3G protocol provided by China Unicom. Previous reports stated that China Unicom will start a commercial trial of WCDMA in China from May 17, 2009.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.1 Update Released

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Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:34
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday night, Roxio released version 10.0.1 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved handling of AIFF audio files.
  • Resolves issue where some users may be unable to add audio to Music DVD project.
  • Resolves issue where creating Audiobook project may result in -35 error.
  • Resolves issue where users may be unable to remove video from appearing in the Web Video Media Browser view.
  • Resolves issue that may occur when creating disc images so that users are not prompted for additional information.
  • Resolves crash that may occur when opening audio projects saved in a previous version of Toast.
  • Audiobook projects will be split automatically if they become larger than iTunes is able to play back.
  • AVCHD Archive discs created from memory card-based cameras should now play correctly on Blu-ray players.
  • Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.
    If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Apple TV 2.3.1 Update Released, Apparently Disables Boxee Installations

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    Date: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, 09:28
    Category: Apple TV

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    Overnight, Apple released a minor software update for owners of its set-top media box, though it’s currently unknown whether the patch offers any new features. According to AppleInsider, Apple has yet to update its Apple TV software updates page, which documents revision changes as they come about.
    Per reports that have come in, the 2.3.1 update appears to wreak havoc on installations of the Boxee cross-platform media center software, which adds unauthorized support for a wide range of multimedia formats, online video channels, and social networking features.
    An update to Apple TV that arrived this past November also disabled Boxee installations but did so while delivering a number of widely received features at the same time, such as AirTunes streaming from Apple TV, third-party remote control compatibility, playlists, and music volume control.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve downloaded the update and noticed any major changes, let us know in the comments or forums.

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    Review: Roxio Toast 10 Titanium and Toast 10 Titanium Pro

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    Date: Tuesday, February 24th, 2009, 15:59
    Category: Review

    By Robert Kaneko
    Roxio has once again updated their flagship authoring software package. The latest update, Toast 10 Titanium, continues the natural evolution of a mature product. It gives the user some hints about where Roxio might go with the product as we begin to approach the end of the general use optical storage era. It also presents users with a choice. Roxio has, for the first time, split the product into two versions. There is Toast 10 Titanium, which is the standard version of Toast that users have come to know and love. There is also Toast 10 Titanium Pro, a new variant that basically includes four extra third party authoring solutions in with the basic Toast package.
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    Let me admit up front that I am a long time fan of Toast. It sits on my short list of “must have” applications. As I noted in my Toast 9 Titanium review last year, I find it an invaluable resource for authoring and archiving beyond the basics provided by Apple’s iDVD, iTunes and Finder disc burning features. In addition, Roxio seems to anticipate that one new feature that I didn’t even know I needed that makes me want to open my wallet one more time.
    Toast 10 Titanium has joined the growing list of applications that now requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. The funny thing is, I didn’t know that when I started this review. Sitting comfortably in my world of ignorance, I installed Toast on my trusty PowerBook G4 running OS X 10.4.11. It worked beautifully! I used most of the new features, including the ability to download and convert flash video from sites like YouTube, and they worked perfectly. I might have run into problems with AVCHD support or Blu-ray, but since I don’t have hardware that supports those features I remained blissfully unaware. Toast and SonicFire Pro 5 (part of the Toast 10 Titanium Pro package) both worked flawlessly. It wasn’t until I tried using the new Mac2TiVo feature that I realized there was a problem. That’s when I actually read the system requirements and moved the installation to a Leopard machine.
    If you are familiar with any of the recent versions of Toast, especially Toast 9, Toast 10 is nearly identical. Roxio has once again polished the interface, dropping the styling of Toast 9 in favor of a more Leopard-friendly look, but the general structure of the program remains largely unchanged.
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    Click the jump for the full review…

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