Rumor: Apple, Verizon in Talks for 2010 iPhone

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Date: Monday, April 27th, 2009, 08:34
Category: Rumor

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Despite its exclusive contract with carrier AT&T, Apple is now claimed to be in discussions with Apple for its own version of the iPhone in 2010.
According to USA Today, anonymous sources familiar with the negotiations stated that Verizon reportedly entered serious talks before Steve Jobs’ hiatus and has been continuing those talks even with Jobs temporarily sidelined for medical reasons.
Other than a 2010 target release window, little else has been divulged by the apparent insiders.
Though not explicitly stated, the article infers that the phone would be a CDMA device compatible with Verizon’s existing network and therefore using EVDO for its 3G Internet access. Such a move would give the phone broad coverage but directly contradicts Apple COO Tim Cook’s own dismissal of CDMA last week. During a previous speech regarding iPhone expansion plans, the executive justified the absence of a CDMA model by arguing that a single, GSM phone model is easier to produce than building a separate version for a relatively small batch of customers. Cook also sharply criticized CDMA by asserting that it has no future, as most CDMA carriers plan to phase out the calling technology in favor of the same 4G standard that will be used on GSM networks.
A direct leap to a 4G seems more liekly and Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg recently explained that a deal is more likely for a phone with the advanced networking technology as it would let Apple continue making one phone but still service North American carriers that are for now off limits.
Verizon has stated that it plans to officially launch its commercial 4G network in early 2010 and would therefore have at least some of its network ready for an iPhone by the time AT&T’s exclusivity term ends, which is likely for the same year.

Garmin Releases WebUpdater 2.0.6

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Date: Monday, April 27th, 2009, 08:06
Category: Software

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Over the weekend, GPS accessory company Garmin released version 2.0.6 of its firmware for its family of devices.
The update, a 4.0 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), fixes issues with detecting certain Zumo models.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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How-To: Work Around Continuous External Hard Drive Spinning

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Date: Friday, April 24th, 2009, 07:37
Category: How-To

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As spiffy as Mac OS X’s 10.5 Time Machine feature can be, a number of users have noticed that their external hard drives continue to spin even when they have stopped using the drive, which has brought about the question as to whether the drive was being accessed by another, unauthorized application or because of a bug. While this issue does not have a clear solution, most people agree that the disk access is normal and not a result of a bug.
According to MacFixIt, users have submitted the following comments, workarounds and ideas:
Apple Support Discussions user “Timothy Arends1″ commented:

“I have an external LaCie FireWire hard drive that I use for Time machine. I understand that it should stay on and connected to my Mac so that time machine can make its periodic backups.
I normally do not like to leave it on, because it “cycles.” By that I mean, it will go to sleep, or “spin down,” and then a few minutes later, for some reason it will wake back up again.
When Time machine is backing up to it, it is understandable, but it “churns” even when Time machine is not using it, for example, when I simply save a file to my documents folder (I never save anything directly to my Time Machine drive) or sometimes for no reason at all.”

This was followed up by Apple Support Discussions user “Robert Weingarten”:

“Although I have turned off Time Machine in the Preference panel, several times per hour TM keeps trying to access the external FireWire HD that it formerly used to do backups. I repeatedly hear the FireWire drive rev up each time this happens and its very distracting when working at my computer. Can anything be done to completely make Time Machine forget that drive?”

Possible workarounds for the issue include controlling the frequency with which your Mac accesses the external hard drive, as outlined by user “Pondini” on the Apple Support Discussions board:

“Some drives respond to the Put the hard disk(s) to sleep … option in System Preferences > Energy Saver.”
By most accounts, it is completely normal for a mounted external hard drive to be accessed several times per hour, even if the drive is not directly in use. To get an idea of what processes are causing your drive to be accessed, you can open Activity Monitor in your Applications, Utilities folder and watch for processes to spike as the drive is accessed.

The user then suggested going to www.bivalve.net/reference/OS-X/background-processes.html and looking into the Window Server application, which manages the display and mediates how Mac OS X’s various applications and other processes that want to display information on it, as the program does the grunt work of launching new user applications.

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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.