Friday, January 30, 2009

Apple warns of reduced iMac availability in near term

Apple this week is advising members of its reseller channels that supply of iMacs will be constrained in the immediate future, a move that may signal new models are nearing production.

In particular, people familiar with the matter say the Cupertino-based Mac maker has warned that new reseller orders for the high-end 24-inch 3.06GHz iMac are unlikely to be fulfilled, suggesting manufacturing of that model is ramping down or has already ceased.
 
Full article at here.

 

Apple’s iPhone highlights difference between volume and profit

From Microsoft to Dell to Motorola, 2008 has been a very burdensome year for number-chasers. For those who find value in and thus only pay attention to market share, units shipped and revenue, the argument for volume is becoming increasingly more difficult to justify. In What Sony Ericsson Must Do To Stage a Comeback, Jose Fermoso includes an interesting table:
 
 
Read the full article here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Griffin’s updated TuneJuice recharges for supporting iPod Touch 2G and iPhone 3G

More than just a battery extender, Griffin's updated TuneJuice recharges iPhone and iPod in the field, using 4 AAA batteries (included). Just plug TuneJuice into virtually any dock connector iPod or iPhone to enjoy up to 24 hours of additional music, 6 hours of video, or 2 hours of talk time. TuneJuice is a must-have for air travel, camping, road trips, or just urban adventuring.
Elan Form Chrome for iPhone 3G

* TuneJuice for iPhone, $29.99, available January '09
 

 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Play rmvb movie using MPlayer, subtitle supported and have better performance than Native Real Player

The steps to install MPlayer to play RMVB file on Leopard:

1. Download MPlayer OSX. You need the player to play rmvb. Note: Real Player cannot load the subtitle.

2. At the same page, scroll down and find "Binary Codec Package" section. Then download the package. Binary codec packages add support for codecs that are not yet implemented natively, like newer RealVideo variants and a lot of uncommon formats. Without the package, you can run rmvb file via MPlayer but cannot view the movie. Close MPlayer before install this codecs package.

3. find a rmvb file with subtitle for testing.

4. Done. You should realize that the palyback performance is better than the native Real Player, and the subtitle is shown.

Enjoys.

 

Apple's iPhone and iPod touch to get global flat-fee voice over WiFi (Vo-Fi) service

"A carrier-grade voice over Wi-Fi (Vo-Fi) application will soon be available at the Apple App Store for the iPhone, as well as for Apple's Wi-Fi-enabled iPod Touch portable media player. The availability of the application should remove the risk of unpredictable and often sky-high cellular usage and roaming charges for international travelers,"

"The Vo-Fi application is coming as early as Feb. 1 from DeFi Mobile ( www.defimobile.com.), a pioneer in using Wi-Fi to circumvent high cellular voice and data usage and roaming charges with a unified, worldwide, flat-fee Wi-Fi service. The company went commercial with its service last fall for Symbian-based handsets,"

"iPhone or iTouch users who download the De-Fi app from the Apple App Store will get 101 free minutes of service. After the 101 minutes are up, they can continue to use the service for free with users of DeFi and other non-TDM voice services such as DeFi, Skype and GoogleTalk. Or they can click a button to upgrade to the DeFi Global Access service for $40 or $50 per month, says CEO Jeff Rice,"

"For $40, they can make calls virtually anywhere globally where there is Wi-Fi coverage without having to log on in each hot spot. For $50, they can have up to three different phone numbers in different countries,"
 
"For example, if a U.S.-based company has manufacturing facilities in China, a U.S. iPhone business user could provide his/her Chinese colleagues with a local Chinese landline phone number that rings his or her phone in San Francisco, bypassing the long-distance rates, Rice explains."
Joanie Wexler reports for Network World at here (full article).

Apple Secretly Bricks Non-Intel PCs, Psystar Claims

Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" operating system contains undocumented code designed to render inoperable personal computers that aren't running on Apple-approved hardware, according to the latest claims in the ongoing copyright dispute between Apple and Mac clone maker Psystar.

In new allegations, Psystar claims Apple uses so-called stealthware to protect what Psystar claims is an illegal monopoly in the Mac computing market. Specifically, Psystar contends that OS X runs a startup routine that checks whether the host computer is running on Intel dual core processors, which are included in genuine Macs.

Psystar claims that if the OS discovers unapproved hardware, it shuts down. "The check stops the execution of the Mac OS on any computer that is not an Apple-Labeled Computer Hardware System," Psystar states in court papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Psystar maintains that less-expensive chips and hardware are fully capable of running Leopard. The allegations echo charges that Apple has used embedded code to brick iPhones running nonapproved applications.

Psystar sells unauthorized Mac clones from a nondescript warehouse in a Miami industrial park. Apple sued the company earlier this year for copyright violation. Psystar countersued in response, claiming that Apple's control of the Mac market violates antitrust laws.

Last month, a judge rejected Psystar's counterclaim -- leading Psystar to file revised claims on Monday. The new complaint contends that Apple's "leveraging" of its Mac OS copyright to dictate which hardware is allowed to run the OS is beyond the scope of the copyright.

Psystar is now asking the judge overseeing the case to declare Apple's Mac OS copyrights invalid.

For its defense and countersuit, Psystar has retained high-profile Silicon Valley law firm Carr & Ferrell. If Psystar prevails in the case, it could pave the way for mainstream PC makers like Dell , HP, and Lenovo to enter the potentially lucrative Mac market.

In court filings, Apple has said it believes Psystar is backed by a silent third party.

Original article here

New Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable Makes the Move from a PC to a Mac Computer Easy

November 12, 2008 - The new Belkin Switch-to-Mac Cable provides a simple way to transfer files, settings, preferences, and more from your PC to a new Mac computer. Unlike existing products where you have to drag and drop specific files you want to transfer, the Switch-to-Mac Cable-with its easy-to-use Switch-to-Mac Utility software-automatically moves your music, movies, photos, files, and Internet preferences, making the transition from PC to Mac as seamless as possible.

Now that Mac computers support Windows® applications, a growing number of PC owners are switching to them, making the ability to work with existing PC files a necessity. The Switch-to-Mac Cable ensures a hassle-free experience when transitioning to your new Mac.
 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Massive Windows virus with mystery payload continues to spread rapidly; Macintosh unaffected

David Randall reports for The New Zealand Herald:
"A mysterious computer virus, the purpose of which has yet to become apparent, is spreading so fast that it has already infected more than 15 million computers around the world. Some six million machines have been contaminated in the past three days alone by the virus, a worm known as Downadup, Conficker or Kido,"
 
"More than 3,000 British organizations - including hospitals, the Ministry of Defense, councils, and what are described as "well-known firms" - have been hit. They and the hundreds of thousands of other victim organizations in countries such as the US, Russia, China and India are now bracing themselves for the virus to be triggered and do whatever malicious work it has been designed to do,"

"There remains the possibility that it has no function other than to demonstrate its originator's skill, but security experts think it unlikely a worm so sophisticated has no ulterior purpose,"

"Tom Gaffney, technical manager of F-Secure, says this could be to capture confidential information, such as online account details and passwords, but it is more likely to be a 'rootkit,' which gives the virus designer administrative access n effectively, control over the computer and then, perhaps, its network," Randall reports. "He said that Conficker is the worst outbreak of this type seen for six years, since the Slammer worm ran amok in 2003... F-Secure estimates 15 million computers are affected worldwide."

"The worm, which does not affect Apple Macs, exploits a vulnerability in Windows..."

Full article here.
 

Microsoft's Zune crashes as iPod sales grow

Microsoft's Zune hit the ground even harder in its third holiday quarter. After two years of annual sales that barely reached the million unit mark, the company reported a major new drop in device sales for the winter quarter.
 
Microsoft's latest 10-Q filing stated that "Zune platform revenue decreased $100 million or 54% reflecting a decrease in device sales." The music player's sharp decline in revenues helped erase 60% of the company's earnings in its Entertainment and Devices Division, which includes the Xbox gaming platform.

Apple's iPod business, once feared to be at a dead end with satiated demand, hit a new quarterly unit record with sales of 22.7 million units. That's just 3% higher than the company's sales in the year ago quarter, but demonstrates a demand for innovative products even in the midst of difficult economic times.

Apple's record iPod sales don't include the iPhone, which Apple has referred to as its "best iPod yet." With iPhone sales, Apple sold over 27 million mobile devices last quarter, and over 208 million in total since it began selling the iPod.

Key to Apple's success has been its efforts to remain differentiated with unique features while also staying familiar and easy to use with the company's iTunes software. Microsoft's Zune debuted with some unique features, but the company's software churned as MTV pulled its URGE store from Windows Media Player, forcing the company to ship an entirely new, unfamiliar, and not quite functional Zune 2.0 desktop app.

Last year, Microsoft released a new software update but no significant new hardware refresh, leaving the tarnished brand without anything new to sell just as Apple continued to redefine its iPod line with a revamped, Internet browsing iPod touch. A rumored Zune partnership with Nokia also failed to materialize.

Apple's strength in digital media sales within iTunes also helped to keep the iPod in the leadership position among music players, holding on to 71% market share. Growth in iPod touch sales was particularly fueled by its new designation as a handheld gaming platform, leveraging the support the iPhone Apps Store has received from developers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

TIME Magazine’s "Top 10 Apple Moments"

Looks at what TIME Magazine consider the "Top 10 Apple Moments":

• In the Beginning (Jobs and Woz)
• Introducing Apple I
• 1984: Dawn of the Mac
• The Power-Sharing Deal (PowerPC)
• The Return of Jobs
• Computer Candy (iMac is born)
• Apple's Evolution
• iPod Mania
• Mac OS X Releases
• Dreamy Downloads (iTunes Store)
• The iPhone

Full article here.
 

Attention Apple iWork ‘09 pirates: Free iWorkServices Trojan Horse Removal Tool now available

SecureMac has released iWorkServices Trojan Removal Tool, a free utility created to remove the iWorkServices Trojan from infected Macintosh computers running OS X.

This tool is in response to a new trojan horse in the wild that comes bundled with pirated copies of Apple's (AAPL) iWork 09. Intego recommends "users [do not] download iWork 09 installers from sites offering pirated software (As of 6 am EST, at least 20,000 people ha[d] downloaded this installer)."

When infected copies of the iWork 09 installer are run, they install a hidden trojan program called iWorkServices with full access rights to the target computer. Once the trojan is installed, it will attempt to connect to a remote server and provide the server with the infected computer's network location. It then listens for further instructions from the remote server, which may include instructions to download additional components.

Pirates who feel they might be infected can use SecureMac's free removal tool to remove the trojan horse.

More info and download link here.

Windows 7 vs. Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Microsoft’s comeback plan

Prince McLean writes for AppleInsider.
 
"Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard aren't [really] competing directly; instead, each is part of competitive strategy to either grow the Mac user base at Microsoft's expense, as Apple has been doing, or in Microsoft's case, to stop the hemorrhaging market share losses and reclaim leadership of desktop operating system development,"
 
"Microsoft's goal with Windows 7 is to lift Vista's derailed train and put it back on the tracks. Windows 7 itself is internally called Windows 6.1, essentially Vista Service Pack 2 (Microsoft is also preparing a scaled down Vista SP2 for delivery shortly before Windows 7 is released). Microsoft's executives have made no secret of the fact that Windows 7 is an incremental improvement to Windows Vista, with CEO Steve Ballmer calling it 'Windows Vista, a lot better,' and saying, 'Windows 7 is Windows Vista with cleanup in user interface [and] improvements in performance.'"

"To impress downloaders of the Windows 7 public beta, Microsoft has numbered the release 7000.0. It also refers to Windows 7 as a monumental release, and of course, the 'best Windows ever,'"

"Before Microsoft had released any real details on the new operating system, some fan sites initially described Windows 7 as being 'completely rewritten from the ground up,'thinking that a massive rewrite was exactly what Microsoft needed to get around the problems associated with Vista,"
 
"However, an actual rewrite would really just create massive new compatibility problems, just as the company discovered during the years of development delays that plagued Longhorn and Vista. It would also take a very long time, and time isn't on Microsoft's side."
 
Full article here.

Microsoft’s pain is only just beginning

Frank Hayes wrote in Computerworld:
 
"Microsoft cuts 5,000 jobs. That's the big news of the week. Not just because the layoffs will cut one in 20 of Microsoft's 91,000 employees. Not only because it signals just how hard Microsoft has been hurt by the failure of Vista and by shifts in the way big customers license and use software. Not even because of the grim sign it represents for the rest of the IT industry,"
 
"No, it's big because it means Microsoft has begun to hit bottom."

"And it's about time. For the past couple of decades, we've been referring to Microsoft as the new IBM. But Microsoft has never learned the lessons of the original IBM -- not even the ones that Microsoft forced Big Blue to learn,"

"It's easy to understand why Microsoft hasn't learned that lesson from IBM. This is Microsoft, after all. It has a lock on its markets. It has customers over a barrel. It's the 800-pound gorilla of the IT world, and it has been for as long as anyone at the company can remember," 
 
"Of course, all those things were true of IBM, too."

"Microsoft has been coasting for years on Windows and Office. Those have been the cash cows that enabled the company to fumble its way through years of halfhearted 'innovation' and watered-down imitation. Microsoft has lost ground (or never gained a footing) in search versus Google, music players versus Apple, Web browsers versus Firefox,"
 
"Worse still, Microsoft has forgotten how to improve even those cash-cow products. Office 2007 is a mess for usability. Vista is a disaster in almost every way.

"And now, Microsoft has begun to hit bottom financially, too. It's not all the way down yet. There's a lot more pain to come."

Full article here.
 

Phone, iPod connectivity comes to Singapore Airlines

Australian economy class travelers will be the first to benefit from iPod and iPhone connectivity on Singapore Airlines' newly delivered A330-300 airplane.

The airplane rolled out of Airbus' Toulouse, France assembly plant earlier this week. It will enter commercial service on the Brisbane to Singapore route on March 30, before being phased in to Perth and Adelaide routes in April and June respectively, the company said.

iPod and iPhone access debuted on the airline's all-business class A340-500 aircraft last year.

The access is part of the airline's souped up in-flight entertainment system. On top of iPod and iPhone connectivity, there is a USB port for listening to music or viewing various files as well as an audio-video input to plug portable media players to watch personal movies or programs.

Full article at Macworld.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FW: Windows worm trickery for Vista reported by BBC

The Conficker virus has opened a new can of worms for security experts.

Drives such as USB sticks infected with the virus trick users into installing the worm, according to researchers.

The "Autoplay" function in Vista and early versions of Windows 7 automatically searches for programs on removable drives.

However, the virus hijacks this process, masquerading as a folder to be opened. When clicked, the worm installs itself.

It then attempts to contact one of a number of web servers, from which it could download another program that could take control of the infected computer.

Bad guys

The worm is unusually clever in the way that it determines what server to contact, according to F-Secure's chief research officer Mikko Hypponen.

"It uses a complicated algorithm which changes daily and is based on timestamps from public websites such as Google.com and Baidu.com," said Mr Hypponen in a blog post.

"This makes it impossible and/or impractical for us good guys to shut them all down — most of them are never registered in the first place.

"However, the bad guys only need to predetermine one possible domain for tomorrow, register it, and set up a website — and they then gain access to all of the infected machines," he added.

It has also emerged that the virus automatically disables the automatic updates to Windows that would prevent further infection.

As the virus - also known as Downadup - has spread to an estimated 9m computers globally, a number of high-profile instances of the virus have arisen.

The Ministry of Defence has been battling an outbreak of the virus across its network for more than two weeks, and on Tuesday a network of hospitals across Sheffield told technology website The Register that more than 800 of their computers had been infected.

Users are urged to download the KB958644 Security Update from Microsoft to mitigate the risk of infection.

 

Monday, January 19, 2009

UK Ministry of Defence Stung by Rapidly Spreading Virus

BBC News reports:
"A computer virus has attacked the Royal Navy's communications network, knocking out e-mails and the internet,"

"HMS Ark Royal, which left Portsmouth for Liverpool on Monday, was still without the system on Thursday," 
 
"An MoD spokesman said the weapons and navigational systems were unaffected by the computer virus. He said personnel were able to use 'welfare phone systems' to contact family but would not comment on reports that 75% of the fleet was affected."
Full article here from BBC
Full article here from PCWorld.com
 
 

Windows PC worm infection numbers skyrocket; Macintosh unaffected

BBC News reports:
 
"Infections of a worm that spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without the latest security updates is 'skyrocketing,'"

"The malicious program, known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido was first discovered in October 2008," 
 
"Anti-virus firm F-Secure estimates there are now 8.9m machines infected. Experts warn this figure could be far higher... In its security blog, F-Secure said that the number of infections based on its calculations was 'skyrocketing" and that the situation was "getting worse.'"

Full article here

Friday, January 16, 2009

How iPod Touch to identify you location without GPS

Metropolitan areas today are blanketed by overlapping Wi-Fi signals. At a typical Manhattan intersection, you might be in range of 20 base stations. Each one broadcasts its own name and unique network address (its MAC address — nothing to do with Mac computers) once every second. Although you'd need to be within 150 feet or so to actually get onto the Internet, a laptop or phone can detect this beacon signal from up to 1,500 feet away.

A company called Skyhook had a huge idea: Suppose you could correlate all those beacon signals with their physical locations. Why, you'd be able to simulate GPS—without the GPS!

So for 5 years, 500 full-time Skyhook employees have been driving every road, lane, and highway in major cities around the world, measuring all those Wi-Fi signals, noting their network addresses and locations. (Neither these vans nor the iPhone ever has to connect to these base stations. They're just reading the one-way beacon signals.)

So far, Skyhook's database knows about 50 million hot spots—and the precise longitude and latitude of each. The company licenses this information to companies, like Apple, who want to build location services into their gadgets. If the iPhone can't get a fix on GPS, then, it sniffs around for Wi-Fi base stations. If it finds any, it transmits their IDs back to Skyhook (over the cellular network), which looks up those network addresses—and sends coordinates back to the iPhone.

That accuracy is good only to within 100 feet at best, and of course the Skyhook system fails completely once you' re out of populated areas. On the other hand, it works fast, and it works indoors, which GPS definitely doesn't.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Slacker Radio app for Apple iPhone and iPod touch

Slacker, Inc. today announced the availability of the free Slacker Mobile application for iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPod touch at the Apple iTunes App Store.
 
Slacker Mobile for iPhone features:
• Free music library featuring millions of songs
• High-quality stereo playback from any wireless connection
• Over 100 professionally programmed genre stations
• Create custom stations based on artists or songs
• Fine tune stations on-the-fly to play more of the music you like
• View artist biographies and photos
• View album art and reviews
• "Peek Ahead" artist and album preview
• Pause and skip songs
• Rate songs as favorites
• Ban the songs and artists you don't like
 
The Slacker Personal Radio Mobile application for iPhone and iPod touch is available immediately as a free download via the Apple iTunes App Store here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A closer look at Apple's advanced notebook battery Technology

With notebooks now accounting for more than half of the computers Apple sells, battery technology is a key area of research, one that the company is addressing with advanced research into battery chemistry and packaging design. This enables the company to produce differentiated products that stand out against the sea of commodity PC notebooks that are fighting primarily only to be cheaper, resulting in a need to use older technology that doesn't demand any investment in innovative research.

Apple has been routinely criticized for not scrambling to jump on the bandwagon of $400 netbook mini-laptops, but while that market of razor thin profit margins receives a lot of press hype, sustainable profitability lies with higher-end notebook models, a market Apple is increasingly dominating. Just as it did a decade ago, Apple intends to innovate its way out of the current recession, setting itself up for a strong position once the global economy recovers. Until then, sales of Apple notebooks appear to be stronger than ever, thanks to the company's relentless efforts to improve and differentiate its MacBooks from commodity PC alternatives.

The video to explain the technology at www.apple.com 

Full article here 

 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Picasa for Mac now available from Google

Google today released Picasa for Mac. As detailed in the Official Google Mac Blog entry on the release, the beta version of Google's free photo management application provides users with a number of tools for photo manipulation while also providing smooth integration with Picasa's free photo-sharing site.

If you've never tried Picasa before, it's a program that helps you manage, edit, and share your photo collection. It works especially well with Picasa Web Albums, Google's free photo-sharing site, so it can help you manage the photo albums you've shared online with friends and family as well as the photos on your computer. In addition to photo editing tools, the Picasa client includes features like automatic web sync, fast and simple sharing, collage making, and simple movie editing.

Google notes that several features, including geotagging and webcam capture, are not yet functional, but will be added at a later date. Picasa for Mac requires OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac.